Fandom: Crossover House MD/Alias
Pairing: Robert Chase/Julian Sark
Notes: Beta Goddess Carol was kind enough to get out the whips and stilettos to deal with cliches, typos, and general WTF-ness, and then michelleann68 came in to make sure my Sark met with her Alias-savvy approval.
Warnings: 1.My first ever rimming scene. 2.Contains violent imagery. 3.Read at your own risk.
Summary: Sark finds himself in a strange place with an unlikely ally.
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Sark always woke up in pain.
Whether he slept on the 700 thread-count sheets of four-star hotels or in the more Spartan accommodations provided by his occasional hosts at the CIA, there were too many scars on his body and mind to come out of unconsciousness free of ache.
Over the last two years, there was usually some reminder of an encounter with Agent Vaughn. If only Vaughn could admit that every moment of protracted violence they had inflicted on each other was a stand-in for lust.
Michael, Michael, Michael. In the first moments of awareness, he remembered Vaughn’s hot breath on his neck just before he heard, more than felt, his ulna snap. He’d never found Lauren more desirable than when she was fresh from her “husband’s” bed and he imagined he could feel the heat and dimensions of Vaughn’s prick when he entered her. He’d be able to pick Vaughn’s cock out of a line-up by touch alone, an exceedingly pleasant thought to chase away the petty screams and cries of his tendons and muscles as he awoke.
He catalogued the newest bruises, wondering what exactly was digging into his arm somewhere in the vicinity of his right wrist. The pain was sharp enough to keep him from retreating behind the wall of morphine. Not morphine, he corrected himself. He’d used the drug enough to know the sturdy protection it offered. Whatever narcotic shielded him now couldn’t fend off the deep, hot gashes in his wrist.
The drug receded, giving him enough clarity to recreate the previous night’s debacle.
“Oh, god.” He groaned at the stupidity which had put him in such a position, as well as the various injuries he’d incurred as a result. You’d think a world-wide smuggling operation might have someone making travel arrangements who knew that there was more than one Lodi in the United States. As a result of the error, Sark had ended up facing an uncouth gang of thugs in Lodi, New Jersey, who thought he was there to help them wreak vengeance on the Rimbaldi family for trying to horn in on their book-making action, instead of a few academics in Lodi, California who’d come into possession of a Rimbaldi artifact.
The situation had disintegrated rapidly. The Arniello family turned out to be under surveillance by local and federal authorities. Even with his credentials as Professor Caleb Schroeder from the University of Salzburg and his off-the-record association with APO, it would be better if he were not apprehended. There’d been an ugly scene with the mobsters, during which he incurred an extremely low blow to his gut, as well as the hit that left a familiar burning in his left cheek. The police had been particularly sloppy with their meaty fists, accounting for his inability to properly open one eye. He assumed the kick to the left side of his head was the doing of a federal agent and his freshly polished boots. He’d escaped custody by propelling himself out of a vehicle in the middle of the highway, removing skin from various parts of his anatomy.
None of which accounted for his wrist. Probably some kind of restraint. Cuffs with an extra bite, reminding him not to even think of escape. Clever idea, that. He’d have to get out anyway. Whoever had taken possession of his person clearly meant him harm and he needed to formulate a plan as soon as…as soon as he could open his eyes. Since that would be a bit of time coming, he tried to gain other sensory information. He was in a bed, warm, feeling oddly safe, despite what must be dangerous circumstances. There was music, but nothing he could identify. Possibly some kind of subliminal message system, attempting to get information out of him or implant coding while his mind was vulnerable from injury and drugs.
The ache in his wrist intensified. He hated to give his captors any hint of weakness, but a single groaned curse escaped his throat.
Suddenly there was a voice. “Hey, are you OK…? Oh, bloody hell.” Australian? Had he already been transported out of the country, or were members of the Commonwealth now on the Rimbaldi trail?
“I’m sorry. Didn’t even realize she’d gotten in here. Rebecca, you bad girl.”
The excruciating sensation was alleviated as a weight came off his arm. He heard a yowl of protest followed by gentle purring.
He forced one eye open and instantly decided he had been given a hallucinogen.
A young man with light skin and hair close to the color of his own, dressed in a horrid combination of grey slacks with a blue shirt and yellow striped tie, was standing near the bed holding a well-fed black cat.
“That was quite a show you put on last night.”
“Is that so?” he replied cautiously. There’d been the melee, the car chase and the highway. After that… nothing. Trying to pin down the memory produced only new pain, as though someone were stabbing his temples with sharp needles.
The man looked genuinely concerned, but that meant nothing. He’d used the technique himself many times, although he had to admit that the innocent face made the act quite convincing.
“You don’t remember, do you? I’ve got a neurologist coming over. He’ll want to take a look at you. I’m Dr. Robert Chase, by the way.”
The black man shone a small light in his eyes and asked inane questions about the date and who was president, as if it mattered in the least which buffoon slept in the White House. He introduced himself as Dr. Foreman and seemed to buy his “Caleb Schroeder” story without suspicion.
Who were these so-called “doctors”? What happened after the car chase? Pain. The pain that was starting to reassert itself right now. He wanted to call out for some kind of relief, but his tormenters were having a discussion just outside the door, pretending to lower their voices.
“We should get this guy to the hospital. I’m pretty sure he’s got a concussion. He could use a CT scan and probably some better painkillers than anything you’ve got around here. What did you give him, anyway?”
“Don’t ask. He said he didn’t want to go to a hospital. Then he passed out.”
“And you brought him back here? What the hell were you thinking?”
“That I’m still suspended and I don’t want to go anywhere near House.”
“Or maybe you didn’t want House to make cracks about your latest boy-toy getting worked over by some rough trade.”
“Like I give a damn what House thinks.”
“Like you give a damn about anything else. If you bring him something interesting you’ll be off his shit list that much quicker. Cameron’s been making herself very useful, if you know what I mean.”
“What’s interesting about this one?”
Then they started whispering in earnest to taunt him. Trying to listen made his skull feel like it was going to shatter. His screams brought both “doctors” running and shortly thereafter two pills were placed in his mouth and water held steady enough for him to swallow. It was a calculated risk, but he couldn’t formulate an escape plan while he was in this much pain. The men didn’t seem inclined to kill him immediately. He tried to make sense of the conversation he’d been allowed to overhear.
At first he thought they’d been talking about a safe-house, but it seemed that there was a person called House who must be running this operation. He must be the type of guy who pitted his underlings against each other.
Irina had a special gift for that. Her people would do anything for a word of approval, a chance to believe that they were her favorites. He remembered her soft chuckle as she turned down his advances, calling him a “very confused boy.”
His next rendezvous with consciousness found a different ache demanding attention. He traced it to his abdomen, thinking at first he was suffering from poisoning or starvation or both. He was definitely hungry, dizzy from it, in fact, but more desperate was his need to urinate.
He raised his arms, expecting to find restraints and was perplexed to find nothing holding his hands or feet to the bed. If his captors weren’t bothering to tie him down, they must believe him too injured to effect an escape. This House, whoever he was, clearly didn’t know Julian Sark.
At the first attempt to get a foot on the floor, he found himself hissing with pain and cursing under his breath as he attempted not to be heard. He felt as though his flesh had shrunk on his legs and trying to bend his left knee would cause the skin to burst. He had to ignore the image of blood spurting out of his joints and remind himself that the tightness was probably scar tissue, a sign of healing. Pulling away the blanket, he found a neatly applied dressing over his knee. These people were taking good care of him, for purposes he couldn’t begin to imagine.
Another attempt to remember what had happened between the car chase and this…place produced nothing but a pounding in his temples that nearly distracted him from the goal of getting to a bathroom before his bladder betrayed him.
With a grunt, he managed to get his feet down and stand up, although he had to fight off nausea and dizziness to do it. Maybe his hosts weren’t such good caretakers after all.
There didn’t seem to be any toilet facilities in the room itself. Not much foresight in building a holding cell, he thought. Of course, he wasn’t usually kept prisoner in a room with a TV set, bookcases and a fish tank. Tropical, he guessed, but the annoying tendency of the world to spin at high velocity around him made it hard to look for very long.
He clung to the wall for support until he found the stability to launch himself across open territory to the door. The expected guard failed to materialize, depriving Sark of the opportunity to overpower him and demand some answers as well as a way out.
Each step increased the urgency in his bladder. He became so focused on finding a water closet that neither the smell of cooking nor the glimpse of a living room with what might have been a door to the outside world could distract him from his goal. One door led to a storage closet full of ski equipment and another to what appeared to be a workout room before he found what he was looking for.
“Thank god,” he breathed, noticing that he had been clothed in sweatpants and an unfamiliar t-shirt. Desperate need made the act excruciating as his body trembled with the exertion. He couldn’t bother attempting to muffle the sounds of pain. Only after he had finished and further risked detection by flushing was he able to relax. Without thinking, he used the washbasin to clean his hands. Even an international terrorist needed to be polite and hygienic.
The mirror over the sink told a sad tale. Bruised eye. Split lip. Cheeks scratched from the pavement. At least he could keep his eyes open long enough to see the damage. Things were looking up.
Except that he still had no idea where he was or what this House person wanted from him. It would be good to know what he was up against before he tried to take on the guards who must be just outside the front door. There had to be a way out besides the obvious.
Only now it was impossible to think with the smells of cooking that assailed his senses. He might as well find out who else was in the apartment and use his state of pitiful hunger to garner sympathy.
Sark followed the aromas to a small kitchen. He leaned against the doorframe, clutching his stomach to quell the hunger-induced nausea. Someone was preparing eggs over a stove-top. It appeared to be a man with blond hair, probably the Australian who claimed to be a doctor.
There was a Formica table with two chairs. He could smash his captor’s face against the smooth surface and hold him there, hopefully break his nose and threaten more damage until he was given answers and allowed to leave. The stove had potential as well. It wouldn’t take long to get information, and the smell of burning flesh might help clear his head. Detailed images played in his mind, but his body failed him before he could take the first step. Hunger, pain and weakness dropped him to the floor and darkness took him back into its embrace, only to reject him again.
He’d been placed in one of the chairs. A cup was being held to his lips and he had no strength to resist.
“Sips,” the Australian accent cautioned. “Are you trying to kill yourself? I was going to bring you breakfast.”
“Not soon enough,” he snapped. “I’m starving.”
It was ridiculous for a prisoner to berate the jailor for mistreating him. A man in his line of work could hardly invoke the Geneva Convention. He steeled himself against whatever retribution he’d earned for his insolence. He was completely unprepared for the guilty expression on his “host.”
“Sorry. I’ve been feeding you protein shakes because of the jaw, but you won’t take more than a few sips before you start spitting and yelling about being poisoned. If you were in the hospital, we’d have you on an N.G. tube. That’s naso-gastric,” he explained helpfully.
His face must have registered a negative reaction.
“It’s not fun, but it beats malnutrition.”
Sark nodded, waiting for more clues and something to eat.
“I’d intended to bring you some food in bed. You’re in no shape to walk around by yourself. What were you doing up anyway?”
“Bathroom,” he answered pointedly.
“Right.” There was a thoughtful nod. “In the hospital, it would have been a catheter, of course.”
The message came through loud and clear. If he protested his current situation and demanded “real” medical treatment, he’d be taken to a facility where tubes would be inserted and the actual torture would commence.
“I still think you’d be better off. Princeton-Plainsboro’s an excellent hospital.”
“Please. No.” He didn’t have to feign panic.
“Care to tell me why?”
Because I’d prefer to keep my limbs unbroken for the time being.
He shook his head quickly, wishing he knew the rules of this particular game. Was this where the roughing up started or did the young man continue to play innocent?
“In that case, let’s try getting some food into you, shall we?”
Sark decided against mentioning that he preferred his eggs softly poached with hollandaise sauce and Canadian bacon, not ham, thank you very much. He accepted his plate of scrambled eggs and buttered toast, along with a glass of orange juice. His growling stomach begged him to take a bite, a sip, anything to filling the grinding hunger, but his survival instincts couldn’t help notice his keeper with no food in front of him, waiting and watching with blue-green eyes and nervous lips.
“You’re not eating, Dr…?”
“Chase. I’m Dr. Chase. Or just Robert, if you like. It’s three in the afternoon, Professor Schroeder.”
He hoped he wasn’t giving away his confusion for the moments it took him to remember his cover for the whole Lodi fiasco.
“Do you still think you’re being poisoned?”
The eggs smelled delicious. He gritted his teeth in resistance.
“I know it’s no good to argue about delusions, but honestly, no one’s trying to hurt you, except maybe the blokes who did this to you in the first place.”
This guy was good. Probably the accent. Or the fact that he just looked nice…in both senses of the word. Sark needed to eat, so he needed to believe. The eggs were bland and slightly overdone. He devoured them as though he were being fed foie gras and seared scallops at Le Bernadine. He asked for seconds and guzzled two glasses of orange juice until he started choking and Dr. Chase jumped up in obvious alarm.
“OK, that’s enough for now. Probably too much. Time to get you back to bed.”
Exhaustion was setting in, no doubt from the drugs in the food. He couldn’t just let himself be led back to bed, leaning against Dr. Chase, without trying to get more information.
“Where did you find me?”
Chase stopped in his tracks. Sark could practically feel the reluctance and didn’t expect an answer.
“Willows. It’s a bar in Garfield, off Route 20. Someone found you on the highway and started looking for a doctor.”
“And you took me to your home to care for me? Very kind of you.”
The sarcasm produced only a weary sigh in response. What fun was that?
Soon he was back among the blankets and pillows, wondering for the first time where Dr. Chase was sleeping, if this was in fact his apartment and his bedroom. Maybe Chase was a civilian who’d gotten roped into this mess without knowing what was going on. Both CIA and the Covenant were notorious for that kind of thing. Irina had no objection to luring innocents into her schemes for as long as they were useful to her. If Chase was being used, Sark could try to get control of the situation.
But first he was going to sleep and Chase was tucking him in, unless he was only dreaming it.
It was almost too easy to be taken care of. Chase continued to bring him food and change his dressings. The expected “friendly” interrogation never emerged, not even a mild inquiry about how a professor from Germany ended up battered and bruised on a highway in New Jersey. Chase didn’t even attempt to use his own story as barter for personal details.
All Sark could glean from his eventual wanderings around the apartment was that Chase really was a doctor and had an interest in religion, if his books and bibles were anything to go by. The skis in his closet were high-quality and so was the exercise equipment in the spare room. Either Dr. Chase made a lot of money at whatever kind of medicine he usually practiced or he had money coming in from somewhere else
Perhaps he wasn’t the first prisoner left in Dr. Chase’s custody. He continued his explorations, looking for evidence of luxuries purchased with profits from his non-medical pursuits, and found none. The closest thing to an expensive vice was a subscription to Setanta on his satellite television.
Whole afternoons evaporated sharing Chase’s couch, watching Premier League games while he scoured the New York Times for information that might be helpful when he was ready to take up his business again.
Chase imposed a regimen of physical therapy using the weights and treadmill. While Sark was taking one of his prescribed ten-minute walks, Chase got a call. Apparently his employer, the mysterious “House,” was anxious for his return.
Chase’s accent grew more pronounced as the conversation went on. “Tell him I’m adding a week of vacation. You know, that thing we’re legally entitled to but none of us ever takes, because god forbid we miss the opportunity for House to call us idiots.”
Sark couldn’t make out the other end of the conversation, but the voice was shrill, probably a woman’s.
“Yeah, he’s still here. Just tell House I’ll be back next week. I’m sure he’s just as happy not to see me for a few more days. No, I’m fine. Do not come over here, Cameron. I mean it.” He finished on a slightly hysterical note.
His ten minutes timed out just as Chase was closing his phone, clearly upset. Sark wondered if he’d overstayed his welcome -- assuming he was a guest and not a prisoner. Despite residual pain and dressings on his knees, he certainly felt fit enough to get back in business, which meant getting out of New Jersey and preferably out of the States.
“Let’s take a walk,” Chase said, as if reading his mind. “You need some fresh air.”
Sark wasn’t about to argue the point, although he would have added, “…and a shower, shave, steak dinner, and first class transport to a major European city.”
Only after they were outside and Sark was looking up at the sun for the first time in two weeks, grateful for the pair of sunglasses Chase had handed him before they left the apartment, did he realize this could be a trap. The walk took them down a suburban street where nondescript passers-by might be CIA, FBI, or any number of clients who’d paid for his services in the past and been betrayed as soon as his personal well-being was at stake.
It was also possible that he could walk away at any time because Robert Chase was exactly what he appeared, a naively good-hearted young doctor who had taken in a stranger under highly suspect circumstances, nursed him back to health and even lent out clothing and a belt.
Sark knew he’d lost weight during his convalescence, not that he’d had much to spare. Chase’s jeans fit him only with a belt pulled tight to keep them from falling off his hips.
With a belt in his hands, Sark was capable of immobilizing or killing a man. He could easily have left Chase beaten and bound.. The leather and metal around his waist proved he’d been safe all along.
The thought left him slightly breathless, unless that was the effect of the sunlight combined with the exertion of walking farther than his ten-minute session on a treadmill. It might have been hunger. He barely managed to finish the trip around an exceeding large block of suburbia before the world started its infernal imitation of a whirling dervish.
He instinctively reached out to Chase for support and Chase held him upright as they made their ungainly way back to Chase’s apartment.
Sark wished he could come out from behind his cover, but it would be dangerous for Chase to know him as anything other than an academic who’d taken a seriously wrong turn in his studies. He didn’t want Chase to run afoul of his many enemies.
“I need to leave soon,” he mumbled as Chase was helping him out of his clothes and into bed. He expected a vociferous argument that he was in no condition to go anywhere. Instead there was a soft, resigned, “Yeah, I guess so.”
Certain interests in New York owed him money and favors. It was time to collect. He could be on a plane to London in twenty-four hours. Sark would never be able to repay Chase; making sure he was safe would have to be enough.
Sark always woke up in pain, but the feeling of a warm wet cloth against his skin was new. It must have happened before, but only while he slept through the process. The sensation wasn’t unpleasant. He’d received sponge baths in hospital from nurses with a far less gentle touch.
The fact that he was being cleaned should have made it obvious, but it was still a bit of a shock to find he was naked when his legs were adjusted to make his private parts accessible. Naked meant vulnerable until he ascertained with a glance that it was Dr. Chase doing the cleaning. He trusted Chase.
The procedure was necessary. Why not lie back and enjoy it? Chase had finished doing a thorough job on the more personal areas and was now turning his attention to Sark’s upper body.
Some time later it occurred to him that he might be enjoying things a bit too much. This was followed by the realization that it was no longer a flannel evoking the response. Chase had positioned himself between Sark’s legs, seemingly determined to taste every bit of him he could reach with his tongue.
Even if his brain had been slow to comprehend, his body was fully engaged. He gave himself up to the wonders of Chase’s mouth. First his balls were thoroughly tongued until they felt ready to burst at the next touch, at which point Chase started licking his way up the shaft, finding every particularly sensitive point along the way.
Sark writhed against the sheets, already longing for release, but still grounded by enough residual pain to analyze what was happening. He awarded Chase full marks for talent and enthusiasm, especially when his mouth focused on the head of Sark’s cock, his tongue circling the foreskin and delving into every crevice it could find. Dr. Chase’s treatment was rapidly earning a high spot in the echelon of his most memorable encounters with the sucking, the heat, the softness of Chase’s lips against his skin, and the number of times Chase brought him to the edge and then backed off.
It wasn’t until he felt Chase easing his legs further apart and pushing his buttocks upwards, probably so he could attend the sensitive flesh between dick and arse, that he realized this was, in fact, the Dom Perignon of blow-jobs.
The second Chase’s tongue began lapping between his ass-cheeks, honing in on a spot that made him gasp sharply, Sark was no longer capable of coherent thought. His whole body trembled with the building tension as Chase continued the assault, fucking Sark’s ass with his tongue. He grasped at the blankets around him, trying to maintain consciousness, wanting to enjoy every moment of the rare treat, barely able to control his groans and whimpers.
He hardly knew the moment that Chase reached up to finish him off with a thumb against the head of his cock and a few firm squeezes.
Spasms of pleasure spiked through his body, hoarse screams were wrenched from his throat, and still Chase’s tongue remained in motion until Sark’s balls were empty and the last twitches of orgasm had ended. He had the vaguest sense of Chase licking at the head of his cock one more time, possibly to assure himself that he’d done what he set out to do.
As if there could have been any doubt, Sark thought, falling into a position where he could appreciate the lack of pain as long as it lasted. Which wasn’t long enough; it never was.
The sharp tone in Chase’s voice was more of a shock than the sound of his real name.
“I need to know who’s running you. CIA? MI6? K-Directorate?”
“What?” His confusion was only partially an act.
“There’s no time for that. My boss decided there was a mystery to be solved, so he started asking questions. Now this place is surrounded by cops and they could move at any minute. I can arrange for an extraction, but you’ve got to tell me who to call and it’s got to be soon.”
Sark was still half intoxicated by the orgasm and prone to trust the man who’d so skillfully put him in that state. He pulled himself into a sitting position with only a few aches still announcing themselves.
Chase appeared to have shaved and showered and was wearing a perfectly coordinated dark suit and tie. It all looked so familiar. Sark suddenly remembered seeing Chase in that same suit when he was lying on the ground after his escape from the police car, and Chase saying “It’s all right, mate. You’re going to be all right.”
Adrenaline shot through him, eliminating any traces of sexual stupor.
“You’re a sleeper agent?” he asked, knowing he didn’t have time for all the questions and probably wouldn’t get answers if he did.
“There are no accidents,” Chase replied by way of inadequate explanation.
“Of course not,” he spat in anger. Could anyone really be stupid enough to mix up Lodi, California, with Lodi, New Jersey, or was it not an accident that he ended up somewhere he could be retrieved and cared for by a sleeper agent working for…he still didn’t know who. “Are there really policemen ready to swoop in on me?”
“Some Feds too, I think. You can look out the window if you want to give one of their snipers a clear shot or you can tell me who the hell to call so you can get out of here.”
Something was wrong with this conversation, several somethings, but Chase seemed to be offering a chance to get out of here on his own terms. Common sense told him he was safest as a co-operating CIA witness, but he decided to follow what he supposed must be his heart.
“Can you get in touch with Irina Derevko?”
Chase did a poor job of covering his surprise. “Are you sure?”
He nodded. If there was a chance to be back in her metaphorical embrace, he’d take it.
“I’ll try to reach her. You should get ready to go. Take whatever clothing you need…you may want to shave.”
Sark touched his own face. If he was going to see Irina, he needed to be presentable. Incognito be damned.
A careful shave revealed that his face bore only faint traces of the swollen wreck it had been when he’d first been brought here. He managed to put together a respectable ensemble from Chase’s wardrobe, making free use of another belt and many safety pins.
He found Chase pacing the living room, chewing on a pencil and paying not a bit of attention to the rugby game on the telly.
“Were you able to make contact?”
Chase stopped his pacing and started at the sound of Sark’s voice. Sleeper agents were always jumpy. Telling him that Irina’s people would be willing to drop half the National Guard without a qualm probably wouldn’t do much to calm him down.
“Uh, yeah. Extraction team’s on the way. I just hope the cops don’t get antsy.”
Sark wasn’t a physically affectionate man by nature and Chase was too much of a moving target for even a quick hug. All he could do was join the aimless wandering which would have to substitute for any meaningful words.
Just when Sark thought he’d rather try a showdown with the police than wait another minute, there came a complex series of taps on the door. As Chase went to answer, Sark wished more than anything for a weapon of some kind, even a kitchen knife. Irina’s associates could be as treacherous as any government agency, especially those who coveted his closeness to their leader. And in the unlikely event Irina herself came, she could just as easily assume he was being used to lure her into the open and feel the need to eliminate him as a liability.
Chase looked through the keyhole and nodded. Sark felt his body tense, but worked on presenting an expression of utter insouciance. He had a reputation to maintain after all. It wouldn’t do to have any of those Rimbaldi freaks telling Irina that he’d looked the least bit frightened.
The smirk got a lot harder to maintain at the sight of Michael Vaughn, gun in hand, looking vindictively smug at the turn of events. He must still be miffed about Lauren. If Sark had had any ideas of trying to disarm Agent Vaughn and make a run for it, they were eliminated when he saw Jack Bristow barring the door. A two-for-one sale of the CIA agents he was least happy to see. At least he could always entertain himself goading Sydney. The most fun he could expect out of the current situation was another round of “interrogation” in a soundproof room at the deft hands of Michael Vaughn, no doubt choreographed by Bristow Sr.
Sark had once tried to charm Irina by complimenting her success at duping Jack Bristow into falling in love and marrying her so that she could carry out her KGB assignment. Instead of rewarding him with a scrap of affection, her mood had darkened.
“Do not underestimate Jack Bristow.”
By asking for Irina’s assistance, he’d exposed his own allegiance. Now he’d pay the price.
He should have smashed Robert Chase’s face into the Formica table when he had the chance. Now he was back in the clutches of his personal CIA pit bull with the rueful knowledge that all it took for him to spill vital secrets was a dedicated tongue up his arse. Maybe he should mention that fact to Vaughn. Why waste all that energy on brutality when there were better ways to get information?
“What exactly have you been doing for Irina Derevko?” Jack asked, almost conversationally.
Sark couldn’t resist, even with Irina’s warnings still in his head.
“Yes, Jack. I’ll tell you about all the services I’ve provided for Irina and how much she’s enjoyed them.”
The smack of the gun against his temple was expected, and probably deserved. His left ear rang, producing a new round of pain in his left temple, but it was worth it to get a reaction out of the old sourpuss.
“Hey!” Chase called out, clearly upset by what had just happened, and maybe by his own complicity. They’d probably left out the part where Sark got the shit kicked out of him to make Michael Vaughn feel macho. “He’s not well yet.”
“He’s got that coming and more,” Vaughn snarled.
Chase looked horrified. Obviously the “sleeper” had no idea what was really going on. Bristow and Vaughn exchanged some glances, indicating that they were taking their show on the road. Whatever they were going to do to him, they didn’t want a witness. Jack produced handcuffs.
“Oh, Jack. You and your kinky streak.”
Bristow decided to ignore that, at least for the time being, addressing himself to Chase, who looked like he might be unwell.
“Dr. Chase. We’ll be leaving now. You can resume your work at the hospital as soon as you like. The CIA is grateful for your services.”
Chase looked down, leading Sark to suspect that the services rendered went a bit further than anything the oh-so-straitlaced US government had specifically requested.
“Yes, Chase,” he chimed in. “You did a good job. I owe you. For everything.” He stretched out the syllables for maximum suggestiveness and menace. Jack’s eyes and mouth narrowed suspiciously.
In his last glimpse of Chase, he saw the young man’s face full of the oddest mixture of guilt and relief, as though he knew he’d done something horrible, but was supremely grateful to have gotten away with it.
“You’re in no position to make threats,” Vaughn reminded him, with his best tough-guy growl and a gun in the vicinity of Sark’s kidneys as he pushed him out the door.
“You know I never make threats, Michael. Just a promise.”
A promise to himself.
He wasn’t finished with Robert Chase. There were questions that needed answers, and he was willing to come back to New Jersey to get them. Not to mention the medical attention he’d probably need as soon as he escaped CIA custody.
At least he had something to look forward to.