“I swear if there’s a safe word, I don’t know it! I’m not Colin!”
“Just relax. We still have a few days to go.”
Mark grit his teeth and groaned. He’d already been stuck in this apartment with her for going on three days. She’d been meticulous. He had no access to his phone, to the door, or even a window. Anything he tried to tell her was falling on deaf ears. She’d come with a mission and she was getting the job done.
But he still didn’t know what her mission even was. At first sight he’d just thought she was an expensive hooker, but as time wore on things had gotten more and more… crazy. She’d gone from the expensive evening gown he’d first seen her in to a leather ensemble that frankly looked complicated and hard to wear. Not to mention tight.
He couldn’t work out what their relationship was. Was she an ex-girlfriend? Was she some kind of dominatrix Colin had booked specifically? What about his wife?
He didn’t know and he was trying not to care. But she demanded his attention every moment he was awake.
He was tired. He wanted out.
“Not falling asleep on me again, are you?” he heard her voice behind him before her left hand slid around his hip.
“I wish I could,” he muttered under his breath.
He yelped when he felt a jolt in his back, knowing she’d aimed for his kidney and missed. He tried pulling down on his wrists again but the leather restraints were holding them tight to a bar that ran across the center of the closet.
“I swear to God I know this is supposed to be fun for you guys but this is not my thing,” he shook his head.
“You can stop talking in the third person, it’s weird,” the blond scorned, “don’t tempt me to draw blood. That comes later.”
“No it does not!” Mark’s voice rose before she hit him with the small Taser again.
He had to catch his breath this time and he groaned as he leant his head into his arm.
“Oh come on,” he murmured to himself.
He was half hoping Carey would show up and save him. But even if he hadn’t made it clear that moving to Chicago had been for personal space, he knew his twin was angry with him. He never did get to end that phone call.
“Don’t you worry baby…” she stepped around to where he could see her, “I won’t let you get bored. I won’t let you get cold. We can even cuddle if you want to.”
His eyes followed her hand as it started to roam his bare chest.
“But it’s been so long since I’ve seen you,” she pouted, “and I’m sure you’ve done so many naughty things in that time.”
“I haven’t,” he started to shake his head, stopping when she tutted and put a finger to his lips.
She paused to make sure he wouldn’t say anything else before using her finger to gently trace the scar on his cheek. He closed his eyes as he held back a yawn.
The next thing he knew she’d roughly grabbed his crotch.
“Let’s get back to work,” she playfully bit her lip.
“It’s so weird being back,” Zac looked around as he collapsed onto the couch.
“Tell me about it,” Isaac nodded in agreement, “for a while there I didn’t think it was going to happen.”
“Yeah me too,” Zac’s eyes fell.
“Does anyone remember where we were up to?” Taylor appeared through the door, dumping his satchel beside Zac.
“I believe we were somewhere between the final drum tracks for Wintry Mix and deciding which of the clones to eventually replace you with,” Zac replied.
Taylor stared him down as Isaac smirked from his chair.
“What?” Zac shrugged.
They were distracted by Taylor’s phone ringing. Unable to think of a retort before he had to answer it, Taylor simply rolled his eyes.
“Taylor? It’s Carey.”
“Carey,” he frowned, looking across at Isaac, “what’s up?”
“It’s Alex,” he got to the point, “they traced his hack when Jesse was getting you out of Dallas.”
“Nothing yet,” Carey assured, “but he and his Mom need a place to stay. They’ve been on the road ever since and I’m pretty sure they’ll technically be in a stolen car soon.”
“Colin’s safe houses. If I send Alex to you can you direct him to one?”
“You want to send him here?” Taylor’s brow rose.
“You have to admit,” Carey didn’t sound confident, “it’d be a good place to hide out. People will just think he’s you.”
Taylor opened his mouth to complain that they didn’t even look alike but decided against that argument.
“What am I supposed to tell people?” he went with instead, “we still haven’t talked to the kids properly about Damien.”
The sound of his name caught Isaac’s attention.
“Well you might want to get on that,” Carey drawled, “it’s the best option I could come up with. It’s not safe for him to be on the road and he’s closer to you than he is to me. Or I’d have told him to come here and pretend to be Mark.”
“Where is he?” Taylor frowned again.
“Uh… South Carolina somewhere I think. He might have moved since I spoke with him.”
“What’s going on?” Zac was frowning as well.
“Carey wants Alex to come here and hide out,” Taylor’s other hand went to his hip.
“What?” Isaac’s brow rose.
“Hide out?” Zac looked to Isaac for guidance.
Isaac just shrugged.
“Look you know I wouldn’t ask if I wasn’t desperate,” Carey pointed out dismally, “please just take him until we find somewhere else to put him.”
“He can go to the house Zac was at, as far as I know that hasn’t been burnt,” Taylor shrugged.
“Great. Just let him know the address when he gets there and I’m sure he’ll be on his way.”
“But how long-“ Taylor flinched when Carey suddenly ended the call.
He grit his teeth and resisted the urge to throw it again.
“So…?” Zac prodded.
“I guess he’s coming to get the address,” Taylor sighed, slipping the phone into his pocket.
“Coming… where?” Isaac asked, “the studio or your house?”
“Fuck,” Taylor spat, pulling the phone out again.
Instead of calling, he texted Carey. The reply made him sigh with relief.
“Studio,” he confirmed.
“Home might have been awkward,” Zac smirked.
“Speaking of…” Isaac swivelled in the chair, “how are Penny and Ezra doing?”
“They’re okay,” Taylor put the phone away again, “whatever they were given wore off in the first day.”
“And you haven’t talked to them about Damien yet?”
“Who’s Damien?” Zac looked between them.
“Another clone,” Isaac supplied.
“No. I asked them to keep it secret and I’d tell them the full story later,” Taylor winced.
“Aren’t we overloading on clones?” Zac raised a brow, “I thought there was only supposed to be seven. Doesn’t that make eight?”
Taylor just shrugged.
“Maybe they didn’t count Damien because he works with them?” Isaac suggested.
“He wasn’t working for them when he was born,” Zac scoffed.
“I don’t know and I don’t really care,” Taylor admitted, “we’re having enough trouble with the ones we have now.”
“How long until he gets here?” Isaac asked.
“Carey thinks he was in South Carolina somewhere so maybe around lunch?” Taylor shrugged.
“And why is he hiding?” Zac was rubbing his chin, “do we need to be worried?”
“I’m not entirely sure, I just think it has something to do with the whole blackmailing us thing. Maybe they wanted to take him in before Jesse showed up? I don’t know.”
“Hopefully we can get them on their way tonight,” Isaac turned back to the computer.
“Yeah… I’m sorry guys,” Taylor frowned again, “here we are supposed to be diving back into work and we’ve been here five seconds and this has already interrupted.”
“Not your fault,” Isaac insisted, clicking away.
“You know I haven’t spoken to Mom or Dad in months?” Zac’s brow rose, making Taylor look across at him.
“Why?” he asked.
Zac just shrugged.
“I just don’t feel the need to talk to them and not get any questions answered,” he replied.
“We’re all in that boat,” Isaac insisted, “but they are still our parents.”
“I know that I’m just angry,” Zac scowled, “why aren’t you?”
“I never said I wasn’t.”
“They know what’s going on,” Taylor folded his arms, “I feel like if they cared they’d at least check in on all of us.”
“Of course they care,” Isaac scorned, “this is hard on them too don’t forget. We don’t even know what they want with them yet.”
“How often do you talk to them?” Zac asked.
“Every other day.”
“I’m down to about once a week,” Taylor admitted, “it’s just become the same conversation over and over. The ‘hey, you’re still alive’ convo.”
“Yeah I get that,” Zac agreed.
“Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least stay in contact,” Isaac still hadn’t bothered turning around, “they’re going out of their minds a little worrying about everybody already considering they can’t be here.”
“So why don’t they say anything?” Zac frowned, “why don’t they just tell us what the Hell’s going on?!”
“We’ve got the gist, I guess that’s all we need,” Taylor shook his head, “I just wouldn’t mind knowing a bit more about Morris and his plans is all.”
“They haven’t seen him for over thirty years, they probably don’t know any of his ‘plans’,” Isaac looked over his shoulder.
“So why don’t they just say it?”
“I’m not gonna argue,” Isaac turned back, “this isn’t my fight. Just don’t do or say anything you guys will regret.”
Taylor and Zac shared an awkward glance.
“Might be too late for that,” Zac smirked.
“How did it go?”
Carey looked over his shoulder as Emma entered the room, seeing him sitting at the kitchen bench with his cell phone beside him.
“Just got off the phone with Alex,” he admitted, “he’s going to head into Tulsa. Taylor can give him the safe house details and hopefully he’ll be okay there for a while.”
“Heard anything from Jesse?”
Carey shook his head, unable to hide his worry as she came to rub his shoulder.
“I think he’s gone,” he admitted, “I think they know what they’re dealing with now and they’re not going to let him get one over on them again.”
Emma hugged him from behind making him sigh.
“Let’s just hope we’re never in a position where we need his help again.”
“You’ve managed so far,” Emma assured, “and you were going after Taylor… eventually.”
“Only with Mark’s help,” Carey pointed out.
“Have you heard from him yet?”
Carey shook his head.
“I’ve tried calling. I even tried calling the building managers. Nothing. I can’t even ask Alex to check on him because he’s on the road.”
“Are you worried?”
“He’s done this before, but yeah I’m worried.”
“Maybe a trip to Chicago is in order?”
“If he’s even in Chicago,” Carey shook his head, “who knows?”
“What was the last you heard from Alex?”
“That he hadn’t left the apartment.”
“So…” she leant over slightly, “maybe that’s a good place to start?”
Carey sighed again.
“Maybe,” he relented, “if I don’t hear from him tomorrow I might book a flight out.”
Jesse looked up from where he sat on the bed as the door to the cells opened. He wasn’t at all surprised to see Morris walk through, accompanied by a handler.
“Good morning Mr Musgrove,” he greeted, “I hope you enjoyed your breakfast.”
“Let’s cut the pleasantries,” Jesse insisted, “what do you want from me?”
Morris paused with a grating smile.
“Comparative testing, to compare with the data we received from the Hanson brothers,” his hands went behind his back, “and aside from that it seems we need to do a more extensive interview. Some questions about your past have come up. I don’t suppose you’d care to elaborate straight away to save us the trouble?”
Jesse just shrugged.
“No?” the doctor’s brow rose, “then I guess we should get started.”
He gave the handler a nod, who armed the tranquiliser gun he’d had hidden in his coat. Jesse just sighed, preparing for himself to collapse back on the bed.