Howdy there! Here's the latest part of "Demons."

I've been thanking you all for your feedback and constructive critism, but I have to ask those of you who are emailing me privately about being "disturbed" to please stop. I include warnings in every single part and I've rated it "R" which you should all know since I put it in the subject line and my Author's Notes. I understand some of you don't like what I'm writing about, but the solution to that is to not read it. Don't read it, get riled up about it and then harass me. I'm not responsible for your emotional well-being, because I warned you ahead of time. So at the risk of repeating myself many, MANY times: IF YOU DON'T LIKE VIOLENCE AND/OR SAMTORTURE, THEN DON'T READ THIS!!! Thank you.

Note: SAC stands for Special Agent in Charge - it's a FBI term.

Demons: Part Seven

By Red

Disclaimer: Located in parts one and six. Warnings: More themes of violence. Run away now. Rated R!

Unknown Location #2

Friday, 3:21 AM

Hearing the door open behind him, Sam groaned and bit his lip harder. He curled into himself into a tight ball, ignoring the sudden pain the action brought on from his various injuries. He had long ago lost count of how many there were or of where they were. All he knew was that he hurt everywhere, and Cruz was about to hurt him some more.

He watched as the large man rounded his body, for once with nothing in his hands. "Please," he begged unabashedly. "Please don't. Just let me go. Just… don't hurt me anymore. Please." He stared up at the other man, fighting off panic, praying that Cruz would give him mercy for once. He couldn't take anymore.

"Sorry pal, you know I can't do that," Mathew answered in a frightening jovial tone. He squatted down at his side and reached out a hand to trace a finger along his bruised and swollen jaw line. "You know, you're an ok guy, Seaborn. I think I could've liked you in other circumstances, but business is business, you know?"

Sam watched with wide, scared eyes as Cruz reached behind him and pulled a large shining knife from his back pocket. Desperately he tried to scramble away but his body wouldn't cooperate with him and his captor had a hold on his ankle, keeping him right where he was. "No! No, please…" he cried, shaking his head from side to side.

Panic finally beat him and took hold on his mind. His breathing speeded up dramatically and he could swear all of DC could here his heart beating wildly against his damaged ribs. "You can't do this," he whispered.

"Oh but I can," was the lowly spoken answer. Cruz leaned forward and followed the path he had made with his finger with the knife's blade. "I've been nice so far, only using the bat or the pipe or my own fists and feet - but I think you're ready for the big time now. After this, it won't be long until you're finished."

Sam could only wonder what he meant by that cryptic comment. His mind raced trying to reassure himself that he didn't mean he would be dead soon, though the corner of his brain that sounded amazingly like Toby at his most cynical berated him for thinking Cruz could mean anything but that. After all, with his extensive injuries, how could he expect to live much longer without help?

His inner ranting was cut off abruptly as a sudden burning pain like none before invaded all his senses and drove all rational thought from his brain. He screamed and threw his head back, his eyes squeezed shut, trying to escape the fire in his thigh. And then the burning instantly transferred to his belly, though his leg continued to smolder where Cruz had stabbed first.

He opened his eyes and stared up at the ceiling. He could hear the voices of his friends in his mind telling him to give up, to let go. If he surrendered than the agony would stop. He wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Josh, CJ, Leo, Charlie, Mallory, Laurie, and even the President pleaded with him to give up. But one other voice - Toby's - told him to hold on, to be stubborn. Toby assured him help was on the way, and if he would just hang on a little longer, everything would be all right again.

Sam could hardly believe that anything would ever be all right again, but he knew Toby wouldn't lie to him. He shut his eyes again as the pain came back suddenly, this time on his face.

He didn't even notice when he whimpered Toby's name before passing out.

The White House - The Oval Office Friday, 10:55 AM

Jed Bartlet, President of the United States of America was positively brimming with excitement like a child at Christmas when the Senior Staff - minus one - entered at his urgent summons. Worry was etched across each face, stark fear in their eyes as they burst into the large room. Not even Leo, his most trusted friend knew what was going on.

"Sir?" Josh asked, picking up on his boss' light mood and feeling hope for the first time in nearly a week. "Has there been any news?"

Jed could hardly hold himself back from bouncing up and down in his glee. "They found him!" he announced with a clap of his hands, unable to draw out the anticipation any longer.

He watched, amused, as CJ collapsed back onto the couch in shock, Josh following suit a moment later. Leo was grinning like a fool, his eyes suspiciously bright. And Toby was the most shell-shocked of them all, his mouth hanging open and his head shaking slowly in disbelief.

"I just got the call. The police found him when joggers reported hearing some screaming coming from an abandoned building. They haven't found Cruz yet but they have Sam. In fact, they've requested that someone who knows him come down there right now. It seems they're having some kind of difficulty."

All four staff members were volunteering at once and he had to cut them off with a wave of his hands. "CJ, you need to be ready to make a briefing as soon as we have more information and Leo, I need you here on damage control. Josh, I don't trust you not to kill Cruz on sight if they find him and you're too valuable to me to be sent off to prison." He turned to his Communications Director and smiled wide. "I guess you get the honors Toby. An agent is waiting outside to take you there now."

Without another word Toby was blowing out of the room, leaving a stunned staff in his wake. "Are you sure it was wise sending him?" Josh asked nervously. "We all know how he can be with Sam…" CJ shook her head dazedly and smiled at Josh. "I have a feeling that Toby is the best man to go. There's more to how he feels about Sam than he lets us know."

It was something to think about while they waited.

Abandoned House (Previously Unknown Location #2) Friday, 11:10 AM

Toby stood frozen, staring in absolute horror at the sight before him. He could hardly draw in a breath as he gazed fixedly at his friend's unmoving body. "Is he…" He couldn't bear to finish the question but he had to ask.

The SAC shook his head and sighed. "No, he's alive all right. Don't let him fool you. He's already broken a hand and sprained a wrist of two paramedics who tried to approach him earlier."

Swallowing hard, Toby stepped closer cautiously, not noticing as the FBI agents and police officers simultaneously moved back to give him plenty of room. "Why is he still handcuffed?" he demanded, his voice choked. He felt ready to vomit.

"He won't let us close enough to unlock him. We tried…" the SAC's voice trailed off as Toby slowly knelt down at Sam's side.

Licking his lips nervously, he watched wide-eyed as Sam flinched forcefully away from a hand he tried to lie on his shoulder. "Sam, come one buddy. I'm not gonna hurt you. You know that," he murmured soothingly.

The other man started to uncurl from his fetal position just enough to peek out from under one forearm, his eyes wild and filled with terror. "To… Toby?" he asked his voice so quiet the older man could barely hear it.

Toby nodded emphatically, smiling as recognition and something more unidentifiable flashed in Sam's eyes. "You've had us worried. Almost no work has gotten done this week thanks to you," he joked softly, reaching out a hand again. He winced when Sam wrenched away.

"Sam," he whispered, his eyes imploring. "I won’t hurt you. I promise I won't hurt you. You have to trust me on this one, kid." He bit his lip and held his breath, his eyes locked on Sam's as he reached out again. This time the younger man didn't pull away. He stilled shivered violently at the touch, but he stayed still, his eyes glued to Toby's.

Toby let out a relieved breath and faintly heard the others in the room doing the same. "So, how about you let one of these paramedic types undo these cuffs on your wrists and ankles?" he suggested. "They won't hurt you."

He saw the fear and uncertainty in the blue eyes, but he motioned one paramedic forward. When the man began to work at the shackles around his ankles, Sam began to tremble harder, making distressed noises low in his throat. Toby noticed and immediately squeezed his shoulder in reassurance. "It's ok pal, he's not hurting you."

Done with the ankles, the medic moved to Sam's wrists, quickly undoing them as well. Once freed, Sam flew upward like a rocket and plowed right into Toby, nearly knocking the smaller man over. He wrapped his arms tightly around his neck, sitting partially in his lap as he buried his head in Toby's chest.

For Toby's part, he froze for an instant before wrapping his own arms around Sam's back and shifting so Sam could settle closer against him. "It's ok," he whispered into the shaking man's hair. At that moment, cradled in his lap, Sam looked for the entire world like a lost, frightened little boy. Deeply buried instincts suddenly rose to the occasion inside Toby as he began to rock slowly from side to side, moving one hand to rest against the back of Sam's head, protecting it where it lay on his chest.

"Don't worry Sam. No one's going to hurt you anymore. I'm here and I promise no one's going to hurt you. Cruz is gone and I won't ever let him anywhere near you again. You're safe." He continued to croon softly, rocking back and forth until Sam's shivering lessened and his breathing deepened.

He looked up to the stunned men around him and smiled. "He's asleep," he whispered to them, his expression bemused. He had no clue how he had gotten to this point, with his colleague in his arms like a small child, but it felt right and he was just glad it was all over.

"We need to get him out of here and to the hospital. He has some very serious injuries that need to be seen to," the paramedic who had undone Sam's bindings informed him. Toby nodded and started to let go of Sam in order to slide him onto the stretcher that had been brought in.

In his sleep Sam thrashed a little, his face screwing together in distress, a keening note escaping from his mouth. Toby immediately froze then drew Sam back to him. The other man instantly stopped and calmed down. Shrugging in puzzlement, Toby shook his head at the medic. "I'd better take him."

He received no argument and was helped to his feet by an agent. Carefully, straining under his friend's weight and with the supporting hold of two agents, Toby climbed the stairs out of the basement. Officers and agents cleared a path for him outside the house and several men helped him and his precious cargo into the waiting ambulance.

It took several tries to get Sam finally settled on the stretcher inside, and even then Toby had to keep a firm hold on his hand, sitting close by the entire trip or Sam would burst into hysterics. On the ride to the hospital, with the sirens blaring and the EMT's working on the most obvious of Sam's injuries, Toby had time to wonder about the strange attachment the younger man had forged with him. He worried about it, felt strange and uncomfortable with it, but he decided that if him being there for Sam was what he needed to recover, than nothing could tear him away.

END Part Seven.


Demons - 8


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