"I'm sorry, did I hurt you?" she asked concerned.
"It's a bit tender," he said.
But trust me, I can endure it if you'll keep your hands on me.
"Let's get it wrapped up." Jackie took the ace bandage out of the case and very gently wrapped Remington’s ankle just tight enough to keep it immobile. "I have a brace as well, but lets wait and see if the swelling goes down first." Jackie grabbed a pillow from the couch and set it on the coffee table. "Rest your foot on this." Remington did as she told him, his ankle feeling better already with just having the bandage on.
"Okay, now the cuts. Some of these look pretty deep; you must have lost a lot of blood." She said. Jackie pulled out some antibiotic salve and used a Q-tip to rub it on his wounds. Putting bandages on the smaller ones; butterfly bandages on the bigger ones, and not quite knowing what to do with the really big ones. "I think a few of these need real stitches, I've never done that before." She said feeling a little embarrassed.
"That’s okay." Remington laughed. "Why would you have? Hand me the needle and suture thread."
"You’re going to do it yourself?" Jackie asked surprised.
"Yea, it's okay. I've done it before."
Jackie looked at him like he'd lost his mind. "Are you a Doctor?" She asked.
"No, but I took some medical training in the military."
"Oh! I'm not sure if I can watch this." She said, afraid of getting nauseous.
"I would love a cup of coffee." Remington said flashing her a bright smile.
Jackie understood what he just did for her, and she appreciated it. "That I can do." She said, and got up and headed for the kitchen.
Slade Thompson sat in his office going over security camera footage. He'd arrived back at The Den around nine A.M. He spent half the day in a meeting trying to figure out what to do with the incompetent chimps he called employees. He threatened their jobs and their lives. He also put them all on twelve-hour shifts and in teams of two to tighten up security. There weren’t any cameras in the cells, but there were in the hallways. He watched Remington Cross make his way down the corridor that led to the cliff exit. He watched him take down that lazy guard Mike and break the handle off of the door before escaping through the cave tunnel. That’s where it ended. There were no cameras in that particular tunnel, no reason for them. That was a suicide escape attempt for anyone stupid enough to go out onto the cliff. He didn’t understand how Remington could have broken the handle seeing how the operation was a failure with him.
Or was it?
He thought. Either way, he's probably dead now. There was no way he could have made it across the cliff face, and falling into the raging icy river below was a sure death sentence. Slade rewound the footage; trying to get a good look at how Remington escaped his cell, but the camera was at the far end of the dimly lit hallway. Therefore, he had no view of him actually leaving the room. Just then, his phone rang.
"Smith." He answered curtly.
"Mr. Smith, it's Josh. The search team just pulled in."
"Send Austin to my office as soon as he comes in."
"Yes sir, Mr. Smith."
Slade hung up the phone. He would wait to hear from the leader of his search team before deciding how to proceed. He turned back to the monitor and restarted the footage.
"Cream or sugar?" Jackie asked from the kitchen.
"Just black thanks." Remington had just put the knot in the final suture and was covering it with a bandage when Jackie walked back over to the couch and handed him his coffee. "Smells great, thank you.”
"I should thank you, for giving me a reason not to have to watch what you were doing." She said; looking at him with her nose wrinkled up. "I made the guest room up for you. You should probably get some sleep."
"Yeah, I'm exhausted, and the pills are starting to kick in."
"Okay, lets get you up then." Jackie stood and held her hand out for Remington to grab. She helped him up and put his arm over her shoulder. She walked him to the guest room and helped him sit down on the bed. "Do you need anything else?" She asked.
"Maybe another glass of water." He answered looking up at her.
"Okay, I'll be right back." Jackie left the room and went to the kitchen. She filled a glass at the sink then went to the laundry room and put Remington’s clothes in the dryer. She took the glass back to the guest room and when she entered her heart started to race. Remington was in the bed; his head propped up on two pillows with the blanket pulled up to his waist. His shirt and the throw he was using to cover his bottom half were folded up lying at the foot of the bed. He looked like a Greek God lying there with his tanned skin, wide muscular chest; his fingers laced together resting on his bare rippled stomach. Jackie just stood there holding the glass of water with her mouth hanging open.
"You okay?" Remington asked.
"Uh, yeah. Yeah, sorry, I got you your water."
She thought to herself.
Try not to drool all over yourself.
Jackie walked over and set the glass down on the nightstand. "I'll be in the living room for a while, just yell if you need anything." She said, trying not to stare at all that glorious exposed skin.
"I will. Thanks again."
Jackie turned and left the room, pulling the door to. She left it open just a crack so that she could hear him call out if he needed her. She made her way back to the kitchen and finally fixed herself a sandwich. With all the excitement, she'd forgotten to feed herself. Her growling stomach was an uncomfortable reminder. After making her plate she grabbed a bottle of wine and poured herself a glass, then went to the living room to eat in front of the television while she watched the six o'clock news.
Remington laid in bed and just looked around the room. It was decorated in different shades of blue; from the curtains to the cozy down comforter he was lying under. It was sparsely decorated; a few pictures on the walls of various mountain ranges, all with prominent blue tones, two nightstands that each held a lamp with a dark blue base, and a trunk at the foot of the bed. He liked it. The colors were soothing. Thoughts of what he would do next were running through his head. Not sure of whom he could trust, he didn't really have any family and most of his friends were military. He wasn't sure if the people who had held him were part of a government operation or if it was privately funded, but his gut was telling him it was a government installation. The closest friend he had, and the only one he thought he could trust, was Rick Davis. They had served two tours together.
I'll call him first thing in the morning.
Maybe he can help me figure out what to do.
Although it wasn't much, Remington was relieved he had some sort of plan. Growing more tired by the second, he resigned himself to the fact that he was safe, at least for tonight, and rolled over and went to sleep.
Jackie laid on the couch watching TV and tried her hardest to figure out why Remington seemed so damn familiar. Something about his eyes, and the way they drew her in every time he looked at her. She just couldn't put her finger on it. Today really stressed her out, maybe she just needed some rest. She knew it would come to her eventually.
There was a knock on Slade's office door. "Enter." He called out.
The door opened and a large man dressed in a black BDU entered the room. "Mr. Smith." He nodded at Slade.
"Ah, Austin. Have a seat." Slade said pointing to the chair on the other side of his desk. "Has your team found anything?"
"No sir. The dogs seemed to pick up a trail about six miles to the east; we followed it deep into the forest and they led us to a large fallen tree, there was blood on it."
"But no sign of Remington?" Slade asked, his anger palpable.
"No sir. From there the dogs seemed to pick up the scent again, but this time they took us northwest. We followed it for another ten miles. The dogs were definitely onto something, then it just ended."
Slade crossed his slender fingers together resting them on the desk. "Do you think it was him? Did you get a blood sample?"
"No sir; we wanted to keep the dogs moving while they had the scent and by the time we circled back it was gone."
"Gone? How could it be gone?" Slade asked glaring at this new disappointment. "Did it rain?"
"No sir. It was just gone; like it had never been there. We looked around the area but didn't find any more traces." Austin said, sweat starting to form on his brow.
"Am I making you nervous?" Slade asked with a menacing grin.
"No sir. I'm just sorry we couldn't find him for you. It may not have even been him. He fell from the cliff right? He's probably dead." Austin said clearly uncomfortable.
"For your teams sake, you better hope so. First thing in the morning I want you to send your team twenty miles down the river. Have them start from where Remington fell in and walk the bank on both sides the entire way, see if you can find the body."
"Now get out of my office. I have work to do." Slade said flicking his hand out at the other man as if shooing away a fly.
Jackie woke up on the couch; she must have dozed off. It was late and the room flickered in blue shadows from the light of the TV. She sat up, remembering she had an injured houseguest, and got up to go check on him. She kept her footsteps light as she walked down the hall toward the guest room. She peered though the crack of the door and could see Remington lying on his side with his eyes closed facing the door. He looked so peaceful. He looked nothing like the huge, scary, bloody intruder she found laying in a heap on the floor of her shed earlier in the evening. Not wanting to disturb him, she started to back away from the door.
"Don't go." He whispered opening his eyes. Jackie froze for a few seconds, then took a step forward and opened the door so she could see him better.
"I thought you were asleep. I didn't mean to wake you.” She said taking a small step into the room.
"It's okay. I'm a very light sleeper." He said and started to sit up. "What time is it?"
"It's a little after three A.M. I fell asleep on the couch in front of the TV and just woke up. I figured I'd come check on you."
Remington couldn't believe he had slept for nine hours. He couldn't remember the last time he slept so well. "I could watch a little TV." Remington said in a hopeful tone. "If you’re up to it."
"Uh yea, sure. For a little while." Jackie walked over to the bed and held her hand out to Remington to help him up.
"I don't have any clothes on," he realized with a grin.
"Oh! Yeah, let me get your things from the dryer.” She said trying not to blush. Jackie left the room and went to get Remington’s clothes. The sweat pants didn't look too bad, but the shirt was trashed. She walked back to his room.
"Here are your pants but your shirt wasn't so lucky" she said handing his sweats to him.
"Thanks. I'll just put back on the one you gave me earlier if that’s okay." He said.
Or you don't have to wear one at all; that would be fine by me!
She thought to herself. "Of course" she answered instead. Jackie turned and faced the door so that Remington could get dressed in private and she wouldn't look like a sex starved idiot staring at him with her mouth hanging open.
"All done." He said. Jackie turned around and walked over to the bed to help Remington stand and together they hobbled into the living room. She helped him get seated on the couch then lifted his injured ankle and rested it atop a pillow on the coffee table. "How’s that?" She asked.
"Perfect, thank you."
"Can I get you anything? It's been awhile, are you hungry again?" Remington looked at her with disbelief; she'd done so much for him already and was still offering.
"Of course you must be, I'll make us a snack. Watch whatever you want." She handed him the remote and walked in to the kitchen. Remington clicked on the TV, and scoured through the news channels; looking for anything that may relate to his missing or if anyone was looking for him. He stopped and sat straight up when he saw a picture of himself on a local Denver channel with the words 'Wanted for murder' and 'May be armed and dangerous' underneath. It was a headshot of what he looked like before being taken; his hair at his shoulders, his face fuller.
"Oh my god that’s you!" Jackie said from behind him. "That’s you! I thought you looked familiar. What did you do?" She asked him slowly walking toward the hallway.
"Nothing! Please believe me. I told you they kidnapped me, they did this to me!" He said rubbing the stitches on his head. "You don't need the gun, I promised you I wouldn't hurt you and I meant it. Please, just come sit down. I'll tell you everything I remember."
Jackie wanted to believe him. He hadn't tried anything yet, but that was before he knew she knew who he was. She wasn't sure if she could trust him further. She wanted to, with everything inside her screaming for her to believe him, but the logical side of her brain was telling her if this mans picture was on the TV and the cops were looking for him, there was a reason for it.