I woke up to numbness and a dull pain spreading through my body. God, my head hurt.
When I tried to move I found myself buckled to the hospital bed I was lying on, with an IV protruding from my right hand.
"Boltake!" I roared, feeling my lip twinge where neat stitches ran along it, "Boltake! I'll kill you, damnit!"
A part of the uniform grey wall in front of me slid open and the object of my anger walked in, smiling a Mona Lisa smile in a completely black suit.
"You are much more peaceful to watch asleep than awake." he mused, pulling up a stool to sit beside me as I struggled.
I lunged at him best I could from my position, being yanked back by my restraints and practically gnashing my teeth.
"What the hell did you-"
He cut me off, waving a hand dismissively.
"Don't get too flustered, Miss St. Croix. I only had my surgeons make a few adjustments."
My eyes were practically bulging out of my head.
He sighed and swept his turquoise eyes over me.
"Not to be colloquial, but 'if you won't stop interrupting, I can't explain a bloody thing'."
I shut up after that.
"Now," he started, looking pleased, "You have been under anesthesia for just under a week. Your troupe has moved on to Kansas City. Within a few hours you will be able to rejoin them and serve as my eyes and ears. To ensure that your loyalties are in my interests and mine alone you have been implanted with various monitoring devices, including but not limited to a chip inserted through your skull that serves, put simply, as a kill switch."
My silence was shattered.
"Oh come o-"
"-if you so much as breath a word of our little agreement to anyone I only have to push a button and a powerful electrical charge will instantly surge into your brain and send you to where Wiseacre wanted you to be. I can hear everything you do and see everything you do, as well as make sure that you do not attempt to turn against me."
As if to prove his point he pulled out a cell phone-like device and tapped something into the screen.
My body convulsed suddenly in sheer agony and I fell back, light flashing into the back of my eyes.
"That, Miss St. Croix, was the lowest setting. I pray you do not decide to experience the full spectrum of my wrath, as I am truly a man of my word."
I closed my eyes to help me push down the pain but managed a sardonic smirk. Just my luck, I make an alliance with a paranoid billionaire.
"In addition I have had certain precautionary measures installed that should prevent Wiseacre from being able to control your movement with his technology. A few other enhancements here and there, including some aesthetic changes that were quite needed, but those are unimportant as of this moment."
He was talking about me as if I was a piece of machinery. Honestly, the only reason I didn't want to rip his throat out was because he wanted Wiseacre out of the picture, and clearly had the resources to make it happen.
"When are you going to at least let me out of these?" I asked, jarring my hands up against the leather holding me down.
Boltake snapped his fingers and the restraints all clicked open at once.
"I'll have the private jet take you. I've had false medical records made up to make it seem as if you were hospitalized so that you have a sufficient cover story whenever Wiseacre decides to look into why you aren't dead, seeing as his subordinate was meant to ensure you were. I will never be far from the circus, and my agents will always be watching."
The man almost sounded reassuring. Almost.
I had to ask. I couldn't stand it any longer.
"The one who Wiseacre sent to kill me and the others he was meant to get rid of, do you know....are they...?"
I was met with cold greenish-blue eyes that only briefly flashed with something reminiscent of pain.
"I'm afraid that is something you will have to find out for yourself."