My Brother's Keeper - July 2016

The Braidleigh wing of Oakleaf was as understatedly daunting as Grigori remembered, a clear indication that the majority of patients lingering under its roof had more than enough wealth and privilege to their name.

“Wealth can't buy everything," he mused, watching a well-dressed aging man tracing circular patterns over a piece of paper with a crayon, leaving a waxy orange deposit over and over in an almost soothing manner.

-He could have been a CEO once…or a top lawyer…-

Grigori grimaced at the idea, refocusing his attention on pacing up the hallway alongside a rather large nurse as she rattled off a long list of rules for visiting ‘unstable patients.’

"Anything given to the patient must be pre-approved by his Doctor. If the patient becomes distressed please call for an orderly or security...."

On and on she droned…Grigori muted her out and focused instead on the thought of his brother. He was nervous about seeing him, avoiding it vehemently after finding out about what had happened to Bethany.

-You pathetic, cowardly son of a bitch…how dare you touch my fucking wife without her permission…how dare you touch her at all…-

If it had been simply Baelian and no one else, Katorga would have left him there to rot…but there were others to consider here. Grigori had always had a soft spot for the hyperactive and happy Cookie, it was almost like having a goofy younger brother to play with - something he’d not had growing up - while Baelian filled the role of moody older sibling.

-You mean rapist, right? And what about your ex-wife Belladonna and that psychotic bastard Nikolai? They’re tumbling around in there as well…-

He winced, he was happy to avoid both those personalities if at all possible, but as long as Baelian stayed buried in that mess of a head he was still more than happy to see Jasper.

'Family should come with warning labels,' he thought to himself with a sad smirk.

" that understood, Mr Katorga?"

His attention snapped back to the nurse at the sound of his name. They’d come to a stop before a large single door.

"Doctor Monére was adamant that I instruct you clearly on all of the protocols before your visit with Mr Black," the nurse added, glaring at him with a look of disdain that left Grigori wondering what exactly Claudia had told her about him.

"Please, call me Grigori, Nurse...Janet, is it?" he stepped forward with a smile and reached out to shake her hand as he continued, "Thank you for everything you're doing to help my brother while he's at his worst. I want you to know that I appreciate it and I'll take care to fully abide by the rules that Doctor Monére has set out."

The nurse let go of his hand with barely concealed irritation.

"If that is all Mr. Katorga," she said pointedly, "I'll leave you to it. This is his room. Another nurse will be in to give the patient his meds soon.”

Swiping her security clearance card, the nurse waited until the door clicked open before turning to make a brisk retreat back down the hallway. Grigori smirked as he watched her leave, bringing his hand up to the door handle and looking into the room through the little viewing window.

He could see his brother sprawled unceremoniously on the bed, arms crossed in front of him in a straitjacket, staring out at him with a playful smirk. Swallowing, Grigori steeled himself and pushed the door open, looking about to inspect the room as he stepped inside. A single dishevelled bed and a small chair was all that this patient was allowed, apparently.

"Well…nice to see you're still living in glamour and opulence…” Grigori said with a wink.

"Oh yeah," Jasper retorted, "I think the Ritz has to up their game if they're gonna compete with this place…" He fixed his bright blue eyes on Grigori as if searching the Russian's face for something, something that amused him, and Grigori exhaled a breath that he hadn’t realised he’d been holding, grateful that he had guessed correctly as to the current ‘occupant’ of the body across from him. Claudia had assured him that Baelian was ‘not an issue’ and barely responsive, but you could never quite tell…

“So what brings you here, Russia? I'd shake your hand but..." Jasper wriggled in his restraints, "I'm a bit tied up at the moment…if you ever wanted to take’s your chance…"

Grigori let out a chuckle and sat down on the bed beside his brother, pushing him forwards in a sitting position and unfastening the buckles on the straitjacket without a second thought.

"No, no nothing like that…Lyra called and told me to come keep you company while the Nurses caught up on their paper work. Apparently it’s a bit hard to concentrate on it while you're inside them…" he looked up at a sudden knock on the door, a petite nurse with short dark hair popping her head in seconds later.

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but it's time for Mr Black’s medication," she stammered over Jasper’s name just a touch, her eyes lowering. Grigori looked at his brother, who merely shrugged with a look of feigned innocence.

The nurse walked briskly to Jasper's side, holding up a small plastic cup with two pills rattling in the bottom.  Turning to face her, Black opened his mouth and stuck his tongue out, gazing up at her with those big blue eyes glimmering.

-Cheeky motherfucker-

Grigori chuckled and watched the nurse’s knees tremble slightly as she tipped the pills onto her patient’s outstretched tongue, her breath drawing in sharply. She offered Jasper a small cup of water to wash it down and, obviously hearing Grigori’s laugh, turned to face him with a slightly embarrassed look.

"Was there something you wanted, Mr Katorga?" she asked.

"Oh I was just wondering if Jasper was going to share," he replied without missing a beat, waiting a moment for her blush to deepen before he nodded at the empty pill cup in her hand, “His medication, of course.”

The woman frowned, then looked surprised, her head shaking.

"Oh! No…I couldn't possibly. I mean..."

"Oh go on..." Jasper purred at her, "It's what? 2pm? Not time for the strong shit…it's not gonna kill him, though it may make him more tolerable."

The nurse froze, nervously sinking a hand into her coat pocket and pulling out a small container to read the label.

"I’m sorry," she stammered and bit her lip, making a show of her reluctance though she obviously wanted to please her patient, "It could cost me my job."

“Only if someone found out…and I’m not about to tell anyone…how about you, Katorga?” Jasper looked to him with a mischievous grin. Grigori’s eyes widened and he gave the woman the sincerest look he could muster.

“Of course not…” he pledged.

Blinking, the nurse shook her head, lips parting to offer another apology.

“Wendy…” Jasper crooned, tilting his head and gazing at the nurse with an expression that made Grigori want to gag, “You’ve done bigger favours for me than this…you don’t have to play coy…”

‘Wendy’ stared at him like a deer in headlights, her mouth moving but no sound coming out as she fingered the bottle in her hand. Grigori wondered if it would be easier to just wrestle it from her.

“But…” she whispered finally, her words trailing off as Jasper leaned forward.

“But you’re worried about your job, I understand…” the blue-eyed demon murmured to her, “We’ve been over this – my lawyer would never allow you to be sacked…and I promise I’ll reward you for your troubles…” pausing, Jasper smiled a pretty smile and blinked at her, “Whatever you like…my beautiful one…”


“I’m sorry,” the young nurse breathed, hurrying to the patient chart on the wall and putting the pill container on the end of the bed as she scribbled some notes, “I’ve got other patients to see…”

Checking her watch, she threw Jasper a last glance before excusing herself apologetically and ducking out the door. Grigori watched her go before turning his attention to his brother, who was smiling darkly, his eyes elsewhere. Following his gaze, Grigori snorted in a short laugh.

The pill container was still sitting on the end of the bed.

“You sly fucker…”

"How about it, brother?" Jasper purred, gesturing to the bottle with his head and making no attempt to move or let himself out of the straitjacket, "Want to share?"

Grigori leaned over to pluck up the bottle, studying the label and its dosage instructions for a moment before moving to pour two pills onto his palm.


Glancing at Jasper, who was watching him with a look of childlike anticipation, Grigori shrugged.

“Fuck it…” he declared, swallowing the medication in one gulp, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Jasper let out a howl of delight as Grigori pushed the gurney he was sitting on at top speed down the hallway, the arms of his straitjacket flapping like streamers in the wind behind them. They rushed past a cleaner, who watched with a curious expression as the two grown men - heirs of their respective empires - laughed like children and flew through the sterile environment of the Braidleigh wing. Around them, patients in their own rooms either screamed or laughed as they sped past, both Jasper and Grigori oblivious to anything but the exhilaration of the game.

It had only been a few minutes since they’d swiped the access card from the pretty nurse they’d called on for assistance…a few moments since they’d found the gurney and decided to turn the long hall of the Braidleigh into Formula One.

And it was a few moment more before an enormous wave of nausea flooded Grigori's senses and he stumbled to a halt, letting the gurney fly forward without him. Its unwary passenger's laughter turned into a shout of warning as a wall approached. Katorga fell to his knees, retching as the gurney hit the wall with a loud crash. Jasper rolled off it, landing badly with a string of curses.

"Motherfucker! What the hell was that!?" he tried to stand, tripping over the sleeves of his jacket and falling again.

Grigori got up and stumbled towards his brother to try and help, stopping when another wave of nausea hit him, forcing him to sink to the ground next to Jasper instead.

"Sorry about that, Cookie. Those tablets aren't mixing well with breakfast," he barely finished his sentence before he was gagging again, moving to sit against the wall with his head between his legs. Jasper stared at him for a moment then started laughing.

"Yeah, well that’s bound to happen when breakfast comes in a bottle. Didn't Claudia tell you to come sober?" he moved about, coming to rest against the wall opposite Grigori.

Grigori shrugged, "It's easier than pancakes," he muttered, his body shuddering with another threat to empty his stomach, "Besides. I didn't think they'd make me this sick."

"You'd be the only one then." Jasper chuckled, his eyes glittering mischievously.

Grigori lifted his gaze from the polished hallway floor and looked at Jasper curiously. Then it clicked.

"You fucker."

"Hey, don't blame me. I just figured it out. You took the damn things," Jasper flapped his hand dismissively.

"So did you."

"I didn't take those. Mine were oval shaped," Jasper said, as if Grigori should have noticed.

"Why the hell would the nurse...." Grigori scowled, then stopped short as Jasper’s head fell backwards against the wall and he started cackling, "Fucking Claudia," he muttered.

Jasper's laughter grated on his nerves and Grigori glared at the dark-haired boy irritably, shaking his head as if trying to clear it and reaching down to pull up his pant leg, withdrawing a flask he had in a holster on his calf.

"She wasn't wrong though," Jasper pointed out as he watched, "I bet you woulda been fine if you were sober."

“Yeah, well…” Grigori closed his eyes and took a good swig, "Hair of the dog right?" he laughed bitterly and looked up to Jasper, who was smiling at him.

"Sure…" his brother shrugged, "So, how'd you piss Claudia off this time? And how are you going to hurt her as payback?" Jasper asked, his smile becoming almost predatory.

"What?" Grigori looked up at him in confusion, "Hurt her? Cookie, it’s....this is just a sort of game we play, Lyra and I. We just like to push each other…for fun…" he settled back and took another swig from the flask, struggling to explain it, "I hurt her, badly, last year…after she hurt me and betrayed my trust, or so I thought at the time. She's just letting off steam...and I play this game to show her there are no hard feelings…"

"Last year…that was when you raped her right?" Jasper asked casually, his eyes flicking sideways as if he expected someone to appear in the hallway at any moment.

-...hold up…-

Grigori’s flask froze at his lips. Narrowing his eyes, he let the container drop and stared at the person sitting across from him.

"For fuck’s sake Baelian!" he shouted furiously, finally, "What are you trying to pull, playing as Cookie, you prick! Last I checked the kid didn't know about any of that fucking business while Nikolai was out and about!"

His brother’s face held the predatory smile as Grigori glared at him, the dark glimmer in their blue depths making the Russian’s stomach churn all at once. Staring at him, Grigori’s eyes finally grew wide and he let out a whisper.


"Good to see you again, Brother," Niki smirked at him casually, offering a mock salute with a flapping hand.

"Fucking hell!" Grigori spat, "Let me guess…the plan was to play the game as Cookie for a bit so I could get you out of that room…then off to freedom and into whatever a psycho like you enjoys, right?"

"As fun as that sounds, I don't think I’d make it off the grounds. Unless of course you feel like sharing how you were planning to get Belladonna out all those years ago?" Nikolai laughed at Grigori’s shocked expression, "Yeah I know about that…Claudia’s therapy has had some unexpected side effects. But let’s focus on you, shall we? While you're nursing the results of Doctor Monére’s little cocktail we can have a chat…I always have enjoyed a captive audience…" he finished with a low chuckle.

Grigori stared, his eyes flicking to his brother’s unrestrained hands as another bout of nausea washed over him.

“Relax,” Nikolai winked, “Claudia has made sure that we’ll not be interrupted until your life is actually in danger, but she’s watching…” his eyes lifted to the security cameras on the wall nearby and he waved, “…and I assure you, my leash is very short.”

-Was wondering why no one had stopped us all this time…-

Blinking at Niki, Grigori picked up his flask and took a deep drink, realising that the safest bet for the moment was to play along with the madman.

"What do you want to know?" he asked. Nikolai tilted his head and smiled in amusement.

"Let’s start with the fact that you seem to despise me, but are a raving fan of Baelian’s…how do you figure that?” Niki mused, “I mean, I never killed your sister or pretended to be Belladonna to manipulate you. I enjoyed myself with Bethany and Alina…but so does Baelian, yet you always seem to forgive him. So what gives?"

Grigori looked at him thoughtfully, considering his response as a bout of dizziness bit him. He blinked to clear his vision, then shrugged.

"Probably because you’re destructive and sloppy," he replied quietly, "Both you and Baelian remind me of Alexei in a lot of ways…but while Baelian is capable of destroying everyone and everything around him if the mood strikes, he also has a way of keeping us all moving in the same direction, through emotional manipulation or by sheer force of will…"

"You don't have that, Nikolai. You're more like Alexei than Baelian is, which in a weird way I can respect, but from what I've seen you're completely focused on your own immediate desires. You react on a whim instead of building a firm base of support to work with, which leaves you vulnerable. Alexei started as nothing and worked hard to build an empire so that he could take his pleasures from a position of power, where nobody would oppose him. A Katorga needs to be cruel and ruthless, but if you don't take care of the family around you then you will be alone. Being alone can be a weakness, and Alexei abhorred weakness."

Nikolai watched him in interest as he spoke, saying nothing. Scowling, Grigori shook his head and went on.

"You raped my wife and my sister, and I hate you for that,” he continued, “You broke them in a way that made them weak and dependent on only you. From everything I've seen of you Nikolai, you don't know how to build. Only to destroy."

Grigori stopped, glaring at the man with the glimmering blue eyes across the hallway, jutting his chin out as if silently punctuating his extensive dialogue with a silent ‘so there.’ Nikolai perked a brow, finally shaking his head.

"Last year…" he said calmly, "…was the first time in over twenty years that I’ve been awake. Can you imagine what that was like, Grigori? At the old Fundays my whim was law, but I was a child and I couldn’t leave…then suddenly here I am, in a grown body with the freedom to go wherever I wanted…are you honestly surprised that I behaved the way I did?” he laughed, "Tell me, when you got out of prison was going to work the first thing you thought about doing? No. I bet you drank yourself stupid and buried yourself in cunt until you couldn't walk or think…"

Grigori made a face, then opened his mouth to protest, but Niki leant forward and clapped his hands together like a child, interrupting him.

"Next topic! What’s the deal with Alexei? You talk about him like he's your hero, yet I’m told you killed him…” blue eyes peered into him through that veil of hair. Grigori frowned, taking a moment to look up and down the empty hall. Niki smirked when he noticed his brother’s concern.

"We've got plenty of time to talk, Grigori. Don't go boring me now…I might have to start doing 'whatever a psycho like me enjoys'."

Taking a swig from his flask and swallowing nervously, Grigori sighed.

"Okay then. Alexei," he waved a hand, unsure of how to respond but hoping he could somehow pluck the right words from the air.

"He was a cunt," he stated finally. Nikolai laughed and looked at him reproachfully.

"Come on Grigori. You can do better than that," he mocked, "I’m trying to get to know my little brother…consider this quality family time. Did you love my father or no?”

Grigori exhaled loudly, scowling and swallowing the bile that rose within his throat all at once.

"Look, the old bastard raised me from the time I was 11. He shipped me off to schools all over the world, and whenever I was home with him he’d take me along on ‘business.’ I learned from firsthand experience the best ways to extort, torture, and strong-arm people…I hated him most days, loved him on a few…but I always respected him."

Niki crossed his ridiculously long arms across his chest, nodding for Katorga to go on.

"Baelian and the others, they speak of him like he was some kind of mythical monster who snatched away kids in the night. I just saw a man. He was hard as iron and a sadistic son of a bitch, but I'm guessing they never saw him passed out on his desk. Or heard him complaining about the cold in his bones as he got older. Or had to use the bathroom after he'd been in there for a shit."

Niki burst out laughing at that statement, wrinkling his nose.

"They all talk about the monster…I just saw my grandfather," Grigori continued softly. "I didn't know about his part in the old Fundays when I killed him. I was drunk and angry about Belladonna leaving…Alexei made some caustic remark about ‘Jerald Black’s child whore’ and I saw red. Honestly, I think he was happy to go out that way, judging by the expression on his face. I think the thought of getting old and weak scared him more than anything else."

Nikolai sat back as Grigori spoke, watching him thoughtfully with that strange smile he had, then nodded again when Katorga had finished, tilting his head.

"So how’s the wife Grigori?" he asked quietly, changing tack again as his blue eyes glittered with amusement, “You said I raped your wife earlier…you’re talking about Bethany, right? Does she miss me? I bet she does…”

"Fuck you Nikolai," Grigori snapped, cursing at the sudden change of conversation and his own stupidity.

-Don’t tell him anything-

"I'll take that as a yes…" Niki stood up and stretched slowly, moving to walk back and forth before the angry Russian like a panther stalking its prey, “I'm guessing you don't want to talk about Bethany. I can understand that. Nobody likes the ex in the new relationship…" he watched Grigori with predatory eyes, seeming to take great delight in his brother’s distress.

-Don’t let him know he’s getting to you. He’s getting off on your discomfort-

Grigori tried to calm himself, letting the emotion drain from his face until he sat staring back at Nikolai passively.

"Why do you care?" he asked finally, "I didn't expect that you'd be upset at her for moving on from you. You've been gone almost a year…we all moved on. Sure, you caused a splash in the water, but the Professor came along and put you back in your box with only a word…"

Niki paused in his pacing, throwing Grigori a smirk, his brow rising.

“I don’t care, at least not in the way that you think,” came the smooth reply, “Bethany is mine. She’s my spawn and therefore belongs to me…no matter who I choose to marry her off to now, or the next time. It’s the same with that other one, what’s-her-face…Lorelei?” throwing the Russian a smug wink, he resumed his little walk, “And all the rest of my progeny…what are we up to now, four or something?” Not waiting for Grigori to reply, Niki waved a sleeve.

“And I hate to be the one to point out the obvious, but the Professor is dead and you’re running out of boxes, if that’s your plan…” moving closer to Grigori, Nikolai turned and slid down the wall, sitting next to the ailing man and nudging him with a shoulder, “You’re probably gonna throw up again soon…try not to do it on me, roman showers aren’t my thing…” he murmured, cobalt eyes searching Grigori’s face as if he were looking for something then, having found whatever it was, he smirked and leant his head back against the wall.

“But don’t worry your pretty little head, baby brother…Claudia’s got me well in hand, she’s working on fixing the problem as we speak and will have me back in her box again in no time. Then you’ll be able to return to being oblivious to your wife’s emotional trauma when the next guy rapes her…which, let’s be honest, is bound to happen over and again with that one…”

“You son of a bitch…”

Grigori tried to launch himself at Niki, he really did, but the moment he moved an intense shock of nausea completely floored him and he was on hands and knees again, gagging and coughing. There was a dull thud on his back, then another…it took Grigori a moment to realise that Niki was patting his back with a sleeved hand.

“Ugh…the fuck..?”

“Just get it out,” came the response, followed by a soft rubbing in small circles along his spine, “You’ll feel better once you’ve thrown up…trust me…”

Grigori gagged, waving a hand and trying to smack Niki’s hand away.

“Don’t…fucking touch…me…”

“Jeeze fine, I’m not trying to seduce you…this isn’t Spain…”

“Ugh fuck…” Grigori heaved again, spewing the contents of his stomach across the floor, “Mother…fucker…”

“No, she only touched me once or twice…I was a restless child, it helped me sleep…cough it up Russia…”

Crawling away from Niki and the mess he’d made on the floor, Grigori slid a few paces down the hallway before collapsing, pressing his face against the cool linoleum.

“Phugg…ewww…” he swore, his words muffled by the hard surface. Niki chuckled, carefully tiptoeing around the vomit and coming to stand before Grigori, nudging him with a foot.

“Uh huh…not until you’ve brushed your teeth, stud…” he teased, then slowly knelt before the sprawled man, tilting his head down until it was level with Grigori’s face and he could peer into his eyes, albeit upside-down, “But seriously, you’re looking at this situation all wrong Grigori…you’ve been seeing the world through Baelian’s fucked up perspective…of course I’m gonna look like a psychopath, he’s got you all following his skewed and hypocritical morals, how much of it do you actually believe?”

Pressing his forehead against the floor, Niki smiled at his brother.

“Did you ever stop to think that maybe Alina and Bethany wanted what I gave them? Okay, yes…the drugging was overkill, I admit it, I got carried away…but I know those girls…I know them as well as I know myself. Alya was bred to be my whore…it’s who she is and what she is good at. You should have seen her….” blue eyes glazed over as a fond and faraway look filled them, “At 9 years old she had most of the old men wrapped about her little finger…she took what they gave her and she demanded more…always more…she liked it, more often than not. Of course she was never gonna tell Baelian that…the fucking cry-baby…and your wife…” shaking his head, Niki sat up suddenly, swaying slightly on his knees, “Whoa….headspin…”

Grigori closed his eyes, trying to shut out Nikolai’s voice and focus instead on his breathing.

“Your wife…my little doll…that one is a chip off the old block. You think I’m crazy, she ain’t much better…and she’s got the wiles, whims and the fucking insanity of girl hormones to make it even worse. Think about it, Grigori…she drugged and raped Baelian when she was barely a teen, and she’d been trying to do it since she was 8. Do you know how many schoolteachers she got fired, arrested or ‘disposed of’ before then? Do you think this happened by accident?”

Moaning Grigori tried to rise, slamming his palms down onto the floor and pushing upwards.

“Shut…up…” he hissed at Niki, who went on as if he hadn’t heard him, or didn’t care.

“…I mean…that one was bound for Oakleaf from the moment she was born…addicted to alcohol before she even took her first breath - foetal alcohol syndrome, or whatever they call it - Betty was a gem when it came to laying off the booze and drugs long enough to pop the fucking thing out…there were bound to be wires crossed all over the place…and that’s before you even factor in my genetics…”

Growling, Grigori launched himself at Niki, hands clamping around his throat as he threw his weight onto the still partially bound man. Falling backwards, Nikolai laughed, staring up at his brother and gagging somewhat as his air supply was cut off.

“I said shut the fuck up about my wife…” Grigori snarled, trying to push the dizziness away and blinking as spots began to appear before his eyes. After a moment he loosened his grip on his brother’s throat, though he didn’t get off him.

“Your hands smell like vomit…” Niki commented, coughing and scrunching his nose, “Gross.”

The laugh that escaped Grigori’s lips was a surprise, and he bit it back as he glared down at Niki, who was watching him silently. After a few moments more, the Russian shook his head.

“You don’t know her…” Grigori muttered, drawing his hands away from Nikolai’s throat and sliding off him onto the floor. Niki blinked and perked a brow, his expression all at once becoming solemn.

“Suit yourself,” he replied, his words coming out slightly hoarse, “I’m just saying that sooner or later you’re going to have to decide between giving her what she wants…and giving her what’s best for her and the rest of the world. I can assure you that they are not always the same thing…just ask Baelian…” he sat up slowly, pushing his hair out of his eyes with a flick of his head.

Grigori stared at him, this creature that they called a monster, his eyes narrowed in mistrust. There was no fucking way that he was going to give even an inch of credit to anything that Nikolai said…he was well aware of how charming, manipulative and sneaky this particular fracture of his brother’s mind could be.

“Have fun watching the world go by from your little box, Nikolai,” Grigori sneered at him finally, drawing in a deep breath, “Claudia will figure out how to get rid of you soon…so enjoy your freedom while you can…”

Smiling cheerfully, Niki nodded.

“Oh I’ve had a great time, truly…though it’s a shame we won’t get to burn down another village together, you and I…” he told Grigori, “Baelian has all these ideas about right and wrong that generally only seem to suit whatever his purpose is at the time…I doubt fireworks and crashing hum-vees factor in to this somehow…”

A pang of pain hit Grigori in the stomach at the memory of the two of the tearing through Spain together, and he averted his eyes.


Both Grigori and Nikolai’s gaze flicked upwards at the sound of the name, a wry grin filling the latter’s features Nurse Wendy appeared around the corner, approaching tentatively. The young woman looked somewhere between frightened and mortified, her eyes flickering between her patient and Grigori…and the mess on the floor.

“Wendy!” Niki exclaimed, “Right on time…Mr Katorga isn’t well, we might need to find him a room of his own so he can lie down for a bit…he made a mess…” flapping his sleeve at the vomit on the floor, the blue-eyed demon rose to his feet, giving the woman a charming smile, “And I think we should get me back to my room…my straitjacket seems to have malfunctioned and Doctor Monére will be angry if she finds me wandering around out here…shall we?”

Holding out an arm, Niki winked at the nurse, who studied him warily for a long moment before taking it. Her gaze shifted to Grigori again and she frowned.

“Oh don’t worry about him…he won’t be able to walk for a while longer…just sit tight little brother, and Nurse Wendy will be back to take you to Neverland in just a moment…” throwing Grigori a sly wink, Niki moved to guide the woman back down the hallway, his sleeves training behind them, “It’s been real, Russia…” he called over his shoulder, “Pity it has to come to an end so soon…is that a new perfume Wendy? You smell divine…I could just eat you alive…”

Blinking, Grigori watched in confusion as Niki disappeared with the nurse back down the hallway, his eyes narrowing as he wondered if he should follow them just in case.

-Fucker will probably murder her and wear her face as a disguise to escape-

Rearing up on his knees, Grigori tried to stand, propping himself against the wall with one hand. He made it about an inch off the floor before a bout of dizziness sent him down again. Turning and sliding to sit, the Russian put his head between his knees and focused on breathing.

-Okay, so Wendy is on her own-

Closing his eyes, Grigori let his mind wander over the conversation he’d just had, his head starting to throb with the onset of a migraine.

‘You’re looking at this situation all wrong Grigori…you’ve been seeing the world through Baelian’s fucked up perspective…how much of it do you actually believe?’

Soft eyes lifted in search of his flask, a trembling hand moving to pluck it up from the floor nearby. Shaking it, Grigori scowled, cursing under his breath.

-I need a fucking drink-

There was no way he was going to think about any of this until he had a scotch in his hand.

But first…he had to figure out how to get up off the floor.

 Written by A. Grant, N Ristovski and Luna Madness.

All characters and story lines remain the property of N.Ristovski and the Underground. All character writings within the Underground are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2016. Natalie Ristovski.

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