Shades of Grey
Part 6

The faint beeping caught his attention. Sam turned his head, straining to hear. Curiosity drew him to his feet and over to the door. There it was. He was certain.
It was his pager. They were looking for him. They knew something was wrong. It wouldn't be long now. His friends would...



What could they possibly do? Sam's shoulders sagged, and he leaned his forehead on the cold wood of the door. The President wouldn't negotiate. He couldn't. They would look for him, but how long would it take for them to find him? Did he have that long? Once Ahmad realized there was to be no bargaining...Oh, dear God, he thought, help me, please.

Sam's legs wavered a moment and he rolled on his shoulder until his back was supported by the door. His breath shuddered in and out, and he tried to focus on something else.

He wondered what was going on in the White House now. How many people knew he was missing? Toby. Toby knew. A sad smile touched his lips as he imagined his boss fuming about the Bullpen asking if anyone had seen Sam. The smile was short-lived. Toby would be worried. For all his gruffness, the Communications Director really did care. He'd gone to bat for Sam more than once. And Sam found himself turning to his boss more and more. Josh was his best friend, and always there for him, but there were just times he found himself needing Toby's council. He wasn't sure why, he just...He wished Toby were there now—

The wretchedness of that thought horrified him and he propelled himself away from the door as if awakened from a nightmare. He didn't mean that. He didn't wish this on any of his friends. He'd just meant...

He began to prowl the room like a caged tiger. There were two windows, both of which had been boarded up. One of the slats on the side window had fallen askew, and Sam could see it was twilight outside. He lifted his wrist to check the time. His watch was gone. When had they taken his watch? Shit.

Running a hand through his hair in frustration, Sam returned his attention to his prison. Through the dimness, he spotted a door at the other end of the room. He strode to it and grasped the doorknob. Taking a breath, he turned the knob and pushed. The door creaked open to reveal a small master bath. He headed for the beveled glass window. It was boarded up too. He spun back toward the main room, suddenly uncomfortable in the enclosed space. He started out, but stopped at the doorway, spotting the knob and tube wiring beside the doorframe. The room had an overhead light. With a silent 'please', he turned the knob. There was a click, then there was light. It spilled out into the main room, throwing eerie shadows on the walls, shadows that seemed to mock him, reaffirming the fact that there was no way out.

No way out.

No! There had to be a way. His chest rose and fell as his lungs heaved for breath. He had to find Josh. He had to get out.

Sam bolted for the door. He knew it was locked, but he grasped the knob and yanked anyway. It didn't budge. "God damn it!" he yelled, pounding a fist on the solid wood. He didn't want to die. Not like this....

He couldn't hear the pager anymore. He couldn't hear voices anymore. His friends wouldn't give up on him, or Josh. They would find a way. He had to believe that.

His fist began a soft, rhythmic pounding on the door. He couldn't lose hope. He...



Shades of Grey - 7



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