Patient Twelve

Chapter Twenty-Seven

 II was frozen as I watched Ben unlock my hands from the side of the bed. I stretched out my shoulders and rubbed the sore skin around my wrists.

“We have to get you packed,” he said.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I said. “I don’t need to pack anything.”

“I don’t think you’ll want to be wearing my clothes,” he said with a chuckle behind his voice.

I furrowed my brows at Ben. His lips lifted into a faint smile.

“What is going on?” I asked.

“We’re getting out of this,” he said.

“Yeah, but I don’t need to pack a bag to go to the police station.”

“We’re not going to the cops.”

My jaw dropped and concern washed over Ben’s face. He cupped my face in his hands. My stomach twisted into a knot when he touched me. I grabbed his wrists and tried to pull him away from me. I kicked my foot out at him. Ben grunted in pain.

“Diana, calm down,” he said. “We can’t go to the police station. They’re going to tear us apart if we go there.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Ben, you’re a victim in this too.”

Ben let out a deep breath and rested his forehead against mine. The tears were pricking at the back of my eyes. I was so close to getting out of here and the harsh reality that I was stuck came crashing back down.

“I haven’t been completely honest with you,” he said. “When I met Bethany I wasn’t just some broke screenwriter living in Toronto.”

Ben let out a shaky breath. He squeezed his eyes shut. When he opened his eyes the piercing blue was staring back at me.

“I was on the run,” he said. “The cops were looking for me because I killed my sister and mom.”

I ripped Ben’s hands off of my face. My chest seized up, and I struggled to breathe. Ben reached out for my face again, but I smacked his hand away from me. I watched Ben just kill Oliver, but I saw that as a man killing his captor to gain his freedom.

Ben was a murderer.

He killed his family in cold blood.

That’s why he had no problem killing Colin. He did not know who Colin was. He could have let Colin get out of here with us, but that’s not what he wanted.

“Diana, don’t cry,” he said.

I didn’t realize that the tears had escaped my eyes. I wiped them off of my cheeks with the back of my hand.

“You’re insane,” I said. “You’re a killer.”

“This is why I was afraid to tell you,” he said. “I knew you wouldn’t understand. I will explain this all to you, but I don’t have time right now. We need to get out of here.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Ben reached for me again, and I went to hit him. He snatched my wrists and held them against his chest.

“Listen,” he said. “I love you, Diana. I am not going anywhere without you. I always told you that we are getting out of this together.”

“I am not going!”

Ben let go of my wrists. He pulled the gun out of his pocket and wrapped his other arm around my neck. He pressed the gun against the side of my temple. He pushed his head forward so that his head was next to mine. My body tensed. The barrel of the gun was still warm from firing at Oliver.

“You’re all I have left,” he said. His voice cracked and it caused a shiver to run up my spine. “I cannot live without you. If you refuse to come with me then I have no reason to live. I will do anything to make sure that we are together.”

Ben pushed the gun harder against the side of my head. I imagined his finger wavering over the trigger. With one little motion, he could cause a bullet to rush through both of our brains.

Ben had been teaching me how to act to make these doctors happy so that I could survive. I needed to do the same thing to keep Ben happy so that he wouldn’t kill us.

I slid my arms around Ben’s neck. I could feel the gun slip a further back on my head. I buried my face in his neck. Ben’s body relaxed and he wrapped his arms around me. Relief washed over me when I felt the gun no longer pressed against my skull.

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you too,” I said.

Ben kissed my forehead before getting up onto his feet. He extended his arm down and helped me stand. He snaked his arm around my waist. I wiped the remaining tears off of my face. Ben curled me tighter to his body when we passed Oliver’s body. He grabbed the backpack off of the counter, and we walked down the hallway to my room.

Ben set the bag down on my bed and stuffed it full of clothes. He passed me a dress. I looked down at myself to see that I was still wearing the scrubs Oliver had given me. I thought about running to the bathroom to get changed, but I knew Ben wouldn’t like that. He’s already seen me naked already, so I got changed as quickly as I could.

He zipped the bag and slid it over his shoulders. He laced his fingers through mine, and we walked back down the hallway. Before we started going up the stairs, he passed me the sunglasses.

I followed next to Ben as he pulled me through the house. His grip on my hand tightened when we stepped outside. There was a silver car sitting in the driveway behind Oliver’s vehicle. Ben opened the passenger side door for me. I stepped into the car, and he slammed the door shut. I turned in my seat to watch him put the bag in the trunk and come around to the driver’s side. I pulled the seatbelt across my chest as he put the key in the ignition.

Ben didn’t say anything to me as he pulled out of the driveway, but he put his hand on my thigh. The hem of my dress had risen when I sat down, so his hand was on my bare flesh. My chest tightened as he let his fingers trail up and down my thigh.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“I’m not really sure yet,” he said.

“Can we go to Ottawa?”

“Why? Because your family is there?” He looked over at me to see that I was chewing on my bottom lip. “Sweetheart, we can’t see them.”

“We don’t need to say that we were kidnapped,” I said. “We can say that we ran off together.”

“And what about your eyes? I’m sorry, but it can’t happen.”

I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned back in the seat. Ben took his hand off of my knee for a few seconds so that he could turn on the radio. The car filled with the sound of classic rock. Ben’s fingers tapped along to the beat of the music on my thigh.

I watched a cop car drive by us. The lights were not on and there were no sirens. I wished it was rushing to Oliver’s house, but it wasn’t.

I stayed quiet as Ben drove for hours. He had left the busy city streets and was now on a series of country roads. Only the odd car had passed us.

Ben sang along to the songs on the radio and continued to drum on my thighs

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