On The First Page:

"Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,

Well, that's alright because I like the way it hurts.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry,

Well, that's alright, because I love the way you lie

I love the way you lie"

The clattering of chains was a familiar sound on the cement walls, echoing and bouncing into a hollow lifelessness that led those inside to desperation. Some, those who were allowed to see the light of day, would survive to tell the tales of the horror they conceived while imprisoned in their small rooms. Others, those who realized that confinement would crowd their minds with paranoia and evil, would find themselves gone before long, ceased by the withery hand of desperation and death.

As usual, the men clad in dark blue circled the perimeter, some searching for those who they could drive insane, others praying to go home alive. Two men in particular broke the normal silence that filled the walls of the cement structure at such early morning hours, hearing the howls and hooting of inmates as they dragged a small figure between them.

The men were part of guards at the prison, men who had harsh lines and scars to prove what they had done to those whom had acted out of line. Both carried the figure as if he were made of nothing, a light weight that barely fazed the two as they bee-lined towards ward thirteen.

Ward thirteen.

Here, all the notorious, worst of the men in the world, lived. Here, people who killed those for fun spent their time in padded cells, awaiting their turn on the chair. It was the worst part of the prison, and the most frightening.

Without much thought on injuring their captive, the two men pushed him forward onto a cement bench settled behind a wooden desk in the small ward. The men in the cells said nothing, but malicious eyes stared at the scene without a spoken word of amusement, lust, or danger as the other criminals had done.

"Stay put boy!" Hissed one of the guards, before spinning and stranding the poor innocent within Ward thirteen.

The boy, trapped on his seat in fright as the eyes shifted from the retreating guards to him, did not move an inch. Yes, he was out of reach and safely distanced from all the criminals, but that did not give him any reassurance. What if he got too close to a cell? What if one reached for him with long arms?

He was in no state to defend himself, having not recovered from an extensive eye surgery that would take almost a month to heal, though the bandages would be removed in a week. His father, a cruel and deceitful man, had decided his son needed to be taught to be a man, and had forced the boy into the chair as the doctors tried to fix his poor vision. A week later, and the bandages that had been wrapped tightly around his head felt nothing more then a regular part of his body.

"You look as if you've lived in this place your whole life," a voice interrupted his thoughts.

Unsure what direction to face, as the room echoed each sound, he remained where he was, fiddling lightly with his hands underneath the cool surface of the wooden table.

"You're so pale, if I didn't know better, I'd say he was an albino… but I think there's more to it, don't you boss?" The voice started up again; this time however, the boy realized the words were not directed to him at all, but another silent observer.

"What's up with the bandages mijo? Did they carve out your eyes? I heard they slashed up a guy downstairs… pity they just didn't send him up to us to finish off. What did you do to deserve such a punishment?" The voices were starting to blend, different questions arising from the different cells that surrounded the petite boy.

"Must be only sixteen, must of done something really terrible to end up here," came another voice.

Unwillingly his hands rose to his ears, cupping them in an attempt to block out the sounds of the malicious whispers. In his mind the boy could only picture the men as monsters, with wicked yellow eyes, crooked fingernails, and dirty appearances that would identify them as criminals. However, he was too aware of the fact that most people in the ward were quiet handsome, quiet… normal looking.

He heard more jeering, and finally had enough. After weeks spent with his father, the boy had thought he'd grown tolerant of names and cruel words, but soon it was too much. With a helpless whimper he stood, ignoring as his legs banged harshly against the side of the desk he couldn't see. He had heard the direction the guards had went, had been to the prison too many times not to know where the exit was.

The voices grew louder, seemingly blending as he started to move as fast as his shaking, sweating body would allow. Thus, when two arms grabbed at his waist and pulled him back the boy couldn't help but let out a shriek of surprise.

Every voice dimmed, as if a candle that was suddenly blown out by the wind. His heavy breathing the only sound in the entire ward, though he could feel the person behind him breathing steadily, the rustle of light wind on his hair an indication that he was pressed up against the man's front.

Immediately the boy knew that he was dealing with a criminal, the cold biting metal at his back his clue that there was a cell behind him.

"So beautiful," came a voice as soft as caramel.

A hand suddenly moved up, running threw the boy's silver hair. "I've never seen hair like this… natural, beautiful…" The male was being gentle with him, but he knew something was wrong, could feel it in his aching bones.

"What is your name?" Came the voice.

When the boy did not reply, the stranger demanded his question again. There was obvious danger in the criminal's tone, a sharp intake of breath from the other inmates an indication that he better answer the question or suffer a fate worse than death.

"Mal… Malachi," he managed to speak lightly.

The boy felt a curve of lips against his ear, the man giving him a smile as he repeated the name slowly, as if it were a rare dessert.

No sooner had the boy felt himself released did he hear the screams of the guards, running forward in a panic as they reached for his limp body. The fear had taken all his energy, and as he had been born with a weak heart, the stress did not bode well for his body.

"What the hell did you do to him?" The guard yelled at the criminal, the other preoccupied with getting Malachi on his feet.

Blocking out the guard's screams the boy rose to his feet, following after the man rather quietly. However, his ears did catch a last minute preview of the guards curses as he told the criminals to be quiet and behave, and that if they reported any movement or noises from a 'Ryker' to report to him for a reward.

With a groan he allowed himself to be half dragged from the bottom of the structure to the tunnels, the top where the offices were, the places where the men who had gotten themselves locked up could not go without special warrant.

They passed many doors, all shut and prohibiting entrance unless authorized to do so. However, as ominous as the shut doors threatened to be, it was the one that they entered that scared Malachi more than anything in the prison.

Sitting behind a large desk in an office filled with files and paperwork, sat a man. He was hunched over, handsome as the devil, though the description was not far off. His hair was cut short, brown, unlike that of his child. But the most petrifying thing on the man was not his size (as he stood over six feet) or the fact that not an ounce of fat lay on his body, it was the eyes. Some people made theories that a person's soul could be seen through a window, through human beings eyes.

However, those people also steered clear of the man who simply nodded that the guards leave, not once looking up at the boy who was deposited in the seat in front of him. Like his father, Malachi had inherited blue eyes; however, they were light, as clear as the sky, while his father had the color of a raging ocean. They were cold eyes, always calculating, holding a cruelty that not a single criminal in the place possessed.

Kole Nikoia finally glanced up to stare at the boy before him, a sneer lifting only a side of his lips rather than a smile that a father should give his child.

It was satisfying to know that the boy knew the feelings shown to him, as he watched Malachi cringe. Kole had found that the child was too sentimental, blaming half of it on the fact that his last name had been taken from his mother, Austen. Of course he would be like a woman; inheriting the name of a famous romance novelist would have done it.

"So…" he drawled, watching the boy for any movement. "I hear you got a little rough with our resident mafia leader. How did that happen?"

Kole went silent, enjoying the struggle the boy went through as he tried to come up with a way of speaking that would not be reprimanded for being too light. His mother had been coddling him for too long, it had been the reason he'd gotten him for the year. That woman had never been intelligent when it came to raising a man.

"I…. I decided that the ward was too quiet and I needed to go to the bathroom?" It came out more of a question than as a statement.

Pursed lips, then a shake of the head as the warden spoke with venom. "I heard it was because they called you out on what you are, stupid and worthless… am I wrong Malachi?"

His silence dared the boy to speak, but as Malachi had learned, silence was truly golden when it came to choosing between the hard atmosphere or a slap to the face. So, he merely shook his head and waiting, not sure where his father was, only that the man had moved from the spot he had originally been when they had entered.

"You deliberately disobeyed my orders! I told you to stay in that ward until I was satisfied with how much punishment you got. I will not tolerate you running off-" he watched as the boy opened his mouth to interrupt. "Shut up! I don't care if your doctors say you're too weak to be too physical, I will not allow any child of mine to miss out on a training instruction because he's too scared to go! Do you understand me?"

Malachi wasn't sure whether to speak or not, biting his tongue seemed like the best option. However, in seconds his father had reached forward and slapped him hard enough to send his head reeling in the motion of the hit.

"Yes!" He cried, hoping it would be enough to satisfy the blood thirst the man he called father would pursue.

"Now, one more punch, because you were going to interrupt me." The man didn't wait for a reply, raising a fist and getting a sadistical pleasure of watching the child fly down to the floor. However, as he raised his foot to continue the beatings a shrill alarm sounded through the office, shrieking in the prison.

Kole glanced down at his son, in a ball as he tried to bury his eyes away from any blows that might be delivered to him. Giving the boy a point for being smart about hiding the wounded area, he spoke quickly. "Go under my desk, stay there until I'm back."

He didn't wait to see if Malachi could find his way to the desk, turning and deserting the boy on the floor.

A hand blindly reaching around himself the boy was glad to finally feel the wood of the desk, scooting underneath as he heard everything from screams to laughter from the halls that he had been pulled through. What in the world was happening?

Soon, the shrill alarm sounds went off, but he did not dare move and disobey his father's orders. Stiffening as he heard the soft sounds of more than one person entering the office.

"The boss said what he wanted would be in here," came a voice he'd heard earlier.

"You search that side, I'll go over here," came another reply.

Malachi felt as if his heart would stop beating, recognizing the voices from the criminals whom had been with him in Ward thirteen. He tried to labor his breathing, keep himself quiet and pray that he would go by unnoticed.

Curling as best he could into the corner of the office desk he listened intently for the footsteps of the strangers, sucking in a breath as he heard them approach the desk. Every bad thing that could happen ran through his mind, all the scenarios that could leave him laying dead on the floor. Had there been a prison break? Were these criminals looking for their files?

He prayed that they went to the files across the room, and that they'd leave without so much as a glance in his direction.

"Hey! Look what I found!" One of the men called from across the room.

Malachi heard the footsteps from the other rushing towards the other side of the room, unable to hold back a small sigh of relief as he listened to the rustling of paper as they searched through the prison files on every criminal.

It felt like an hour, through truly on minutes had passed, before Malachi heard the sounds of the men leaving the room. However, he made no move to appear from his hiding place as he didn't want to get more wrath from Kole.

Loosening up the boy slumped against the side, feeling like crying though he did his best to keep it in as the doctor had advised him that doing so would aggravate his already irritated eyes.

Without warning a hand wrapped around his arm, pulling the boy rather violently from his hiding place. The hand was strong, and Malachi immediately connected it to Kole, wincing in hopes that his father would forgive him for hiding rather then attempting to stop the men who had come through his office.

"Look what I found," it wasn't Kole.

Immediately Malachi went rigid, the man before him wasn't his father. The voice, it had been the same one of the criminal in ward thirteen, the one who had grabbed him. He found himself begging, unable to stop the words as they rushed from his mouth.

"Please…" He wanted to call for his mother, perhaps even the warden though he doubted the man cared enough to put himself in danger for Malachi.

"Please what?" The man sounded amused, moving his hold so that he now held Malachi's hips, facing him even if the boy couldn't directly see him. "I'm bringing you with me."

Malachi knew that if he could see his eyes would have widened alongside the shivering his body produced at the idea of going out with this stranger. "No…" It began quietly, raising in volume. "No! Let go of me! I just want to go home to my mom! Get off me! Don't touch me!"

The man ignored his protests, silencing them for a few minutes as he threw the boy over a shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

"Ryker! The helicopter's here!" Everything was spinning, the panic of the situation draining the boy. Within seconds, no longer able to hold himself, the boy collapsed against the stranger hauling him, hearing the wicked whispers of cruelty remind him that his life was likely over as he sank into the only bliss provided to him, a dark oblivion.


This story is not going to be a happy one. This is a very dark story, don't expect Ryker to become friendly and happy, because that's not him.

This is just a warning! Hope you enjoy this though!

This story has been a long time coming...

~ Chasing