Chapter Eleven: I Will Wait
How long had he been there, lying down in that bed unable to move. Unable to do anything but scream from the never ending pain ever since Raven had slammed a hammer down upon his left hand. The bottle of codeine was still there on the table, mockingly out of reach. He wondered if she hooked up the dreaded catheter. He hadn’t been using the bathroom since he crawled out it’s window so he suspected as much. Part of him didn’t want to know. He suspected he was drugged repeatedly at some point through his food because when he woke up he had an IV hooked into him.
“Bad Boys don’t get to eat. Bad Boys only get the bare nutrition so they don’t die. Because I can’t bear to lose you Nick. Not yet. We’re meant to be.”
He was sure it’d been several days since he’d seen her but she’d come while he was out, making sure he was still alive and given what was needed to keep him so. Only drugs to keep him from fighting. Never any from the pain. No escapes. She’d learned from his last attempt. All he could do was stare at the tiny television in front of him, which mockingly played the news, always featuring a lack of updates on the police’s ability to find him. Presumed dead. That’s what he was now.
Did the fellas give up? Did Lauren?
He prayed that wasn’t the case. If anyone was going to hold out hope, it’d be them, right? Of course his mother used every opportunity to be on the news. She liked attention. He didn’t doubt that she was worried about him as much as anyone else. Deep down beneath all her issues, and the bipolar tendencies, Nick felt she loved him. She just didn’t know how to be a mother. She never did yet had five kids whose lives she fucked up beyond repair, one of them now dead and gone. Another going down that same damned path despite Nick’s best efforts to try and save his only brother.
His hand continued to throb and idly Nick wondered if he'd be able to ever use it properly again. Maybe he’d bring that up to Raven next time he consciously saw her. She was a fan - psychotic but a fan all the same. Telling her he wouldn’t be able to play the guitar ever again if his hand healed wrong might make her give him something. Nick took a deep breath as his eyes shifted up towards the ceiling, away from the mockingly frozen poster faces of pop stars. If he was going to survive this, as sickening as it was he needed to keep playing into her twisted fantasies. She didn’t trust him but she would be blinded to his charm, the way all fans tended to be.
Swallowing hard and ignoring the aches ricocheting throughout his body, he opened his mouth and slowly began to sing. Maybe she would hear him. Maybe she’d wonder if he finally snapped. Either way, he knew it would get her attention. Raven wouldn’t be able to help herself; or so he hoped. Because it was a song he’d written but hadn’t been ready to release. A song he hoped to release on a solo album rather than the duo project he’d done with Jordan.
Jordan was the lucky one . It was a harrowing thought that continued to haunt him.
“I f you're gone before I wake up, just promise that you'll be okay, love. Too many times you left me better, we need to share this one together...So, I will wait for you.”
The reaction was immediate. “Nick? Are you awake?”
His voice felt rusty but he’d dealt with worse during concerts. He continued, softly crooning from his bed prison that he’d been trapped in for only God knew how long. It was strange but he felt better singing like this. It was a song he’d written for Lauren and it made him feel closer to her. It made him pray he’d one day be able to sing it for her.
“This love was made for two and I'll hold on this time, no, I won't leave you behind. I will wait for you…”
“Nick...you’re singing?” Footsteps picked up their pace down the small hallway.
“I promise darling that I won't sing, until we reached the highest mountain peak. Thanks for the times that you were there for me, so let me payback all your charity.” His wife’s face hovered in his vision, smiling, encouraging him. “So, I will wait for you, this love was made for two. And I'll hold on this time, no, I won't leave you behind…”
The door opened and there his captor stood, in simple jeans and a t-shirt. Her eyes were watery as she smiled a smile that felt so out of place. One that he felt would likely haunt him for years to come. “That was beautiful.” She whispered, completely star struck in that moment.
It felt like a tiny victory. But it was, in the end a victory.
“Where did you learn that?” She came over and started checking his bandages. For the first time since his escape attempt, her hands were gentle as they moved over his body. From what little he could see in his position, the bruises along his chest were slowly fading to that weird green shade as they healed. He tried not to think about the scar likely forming under the bandages in the shape of MINE . He looked like he’d been through a battle and in a sense he supposed he has been.
Nick then shifted his gaze up towards Raven, forcing himself to swallow down everything he really wanted to say. “I wrote it but it felt too personal to put it on Nick and Knight . But I love the song so I thought I’d sing it. There’s not much else I can do. Figured you’d like hearing it…”
She moved towards a dresser and grabbed medication along with a bottle of water. “I loved it. Oh Nick…” Her eyes were bright as she came back over. “I feel like we’re really making progress. I don’t like punishing you like this. It hurts me more than you’ll ever know. But I think you’ve earned this.”
He opened his mouth and she gave him some water. It felt like he hadn’t drank anything in weeks, though he knew that couldn’t be true. He swallowed the medication, knowing she wanted him alive so it couldn’t be too harmful. That was his other advantage, she wanted him alive. He may suffer, but he would live. Staying alive was vital. “Thank you.”
“Do you have any other songs, that I could hear?” She asked softly.
The request caught him by surprise but he rolled with the sudden gift. “I do. Stuff I never released, songs the Boys and I never used for group albums. Shit like that. But..but my laptop and iPhone got destroyed in the crash.”
“But you have a cloud account.”
His brows rose. This could be good. Maybe they’d be able to detect a login into my account? It was a slim hope, likely to lead nowhere but he was willing to take it. If those he loved hadn’t given up as he hoped they hadn’t, maybe they were watching anything connected to him for leads. “I do. But I thought you didn’t have the internet out here.”
“I...I don’t. But I can go into town and get it at the library.” Her smile grew, an eagerness there that was so strong that it unsettled him on the deepest of levels, eyes wide with excitement. It reminded him of the crazed teens he’d encounter during 1999. But this was a full grown adult in front of him, someone who shouldn’t be like this about a singer.
She’d be going into whatever town is nearby. People would see her. It’s not much but it’s something. Anything. He nodded. “Can you give me a pen and hold up a notebook to it? I could write it down for you.”
“Oh wow, Nick this is...this is amazing. I’m SO SO happy you’re coming back around.” Raven rushed off to get what he asked for, almost knocking down his IV in the process. He was grateful she missed it.
“You’re taking care of me.” He said reassuringly as he awkwardly wrote the information down. “I see that now.”
“I am. I’ll do anything for you.”
“What is it?” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re not ready to move freely. Not just yet.”
“No, no. It’s just…” He glanced over. “My hand. I worry it won’t heal right and I’ll never be able to play the guitar again. Not even for you.”
Raven stared at him in shock and pure horror. “I never thought about that. I’ll get a wrist cast while I’m out and reset it for you. It’ll hurt but I’ll, I’ll make sure it doesn’t this time.”
Small victories. That’s what this was about. He had to keep reminding himself of that so he could child on to the strength he’d need to get through this. “Thank you.”
“I’ll get some food too. You deserve dinner today, and I’ll eat it in here with you. We can listen to your music and talk and...oh it’ll be the best night. You need a treat now that you’re behaving. I want to give you so so much and I will. I will Nick. Trust me.” Raven giggled. “God I’m rambling on but I need to get going if I’m going to do all this.” She leaned over and kissed him softly.
It took Nick all the will power he possessed not to twitch with the bile that built up inside. That wouldn’t help him. This girl was completely insane and the only way out was to keep playing into her delusion till her guard went down. No matter how he felt. No matter how much it disgusted him. He needed to get back to his friends, to Lauren. She needed him. They needed to know he was alive. Somehow, someway, he’d manage to find a way. Yes she’d thwarted him once but he wasn’t ready to stop trying. Only ready to let her believe he was. He wasn’t going to give up. Not now.
He just had to wait till the right moment.