It felt like his head was full of thick, sticky molasses as Jack’s exhausted brain refused to process what his eyes were telling him. He lay with his cheek pressed against the rough wood of the truck knowing that it was important that he lie quietly, but not quite able to remember why.
The canvas was flung back and a dark form scrambled in muttering hot curses only to end up in an ungainly heap beside him. Even before he could begin to put the pieces together two more shapes clambered into the truck.
Grappling to make sense of what was happening, Jack could only stare as Frank struggled to his knees.
Had Frank really come to get him or was it just a figment of his overwrought imagination? Had Vicente used drugs on him? He had to be sure. He couldn’t fail now and let them use his own mind against him. Use his own faith in Frank to break him.
Oh God, anything but that.
There was so much he wanted to say, so much he couldn’t say until he was sure one way or the other whether it was really Frank. But he found that words were beyond him and he could only stare.
Stare and pray that this was not the ultimate cruelty propagated by Vicente’s warped mind to make him believe escape was at hand.
The man was kneeling beside him, crooning soothing words as he ran his hands over his body searching for wounds. Jack couldn’t help but flinch even under the gentle touch as he anticipated the pain that was sure to overwhelm him if he let down his guard even for a second.
And he was so right. Pain hit him like a fire bomb. Ripping pain that spread like wildfire through his arm, searing straight into his brain with the accuracy of a branding iron. Overwhelming, engulfing, terrifying in its intensity.
One strangled cry escaped from the void of his heart, one lone soldier alerting the camp of an attack, one single cry in the midst of battle.
But it was enough.
Frank heard the cry and stopped.
Jack looked deeply into his friend’s eyes and found the assurance he had desperately sought. And he gave himself over to the darkness that was pulling him down, knowing he could trust Frank to get him out.