From Thu Jan 16 00:30:20 1997

By: Deborah L. Wells
January 15th, 1997

1:15 A.M. February 17th
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Scully's heart was racing, lost within its effort to out run the next
beat.  For four years now she had been many things to this man, and he
to her.  All save one.  Lovers.  And in just one moment they would
become that as well.  She mentally tried to count how many times she
had brushed aside the rumor mills and sly innuendoes of fellow workers,
family and friends.  The suspected intimacies of their lives becoming
the hot topic of many Monday morning coffee break gossip and water
cooler fodder.  Her family get together flights of small talk conversa-
tions.  Chance meetings in grocery stores and bank teller lines.
Hurried conversations.  Catching up on the lives of old friends left
behind, who asked for quick synopsis of the passing years they had
missed in her life.

All questions sent with practiced aim in an effort to fit their rela-
tionship into one neat and tidy package.  One they could understand.
A friend, she would answer.  A partner, she would insist.  'That's
all?', their reply.  Delivered in customary tones of shock.  Dismay.
Some with a raised brow of disbelief.  Others with a look of pity for
her loss.  Still more with a wink, and the unspoken promise - 'it's
okay you can tell me the truth, I won't tell'.  How many of them
already believed that they had been sleeping together almost from
that very first day.  More for than against she suspected.

It was true what she had said all those time, Mulder was all those
things to her and more.  But the intricacies of their relationship
stubbornly defied simple categories.  He was her friend.  Her partner.
Even her nemesis at times.  He was capable of sparking the full
gambit of her emotions and responses.  Sometimes with just a single
look.  Respect.  Pride.  Sympathy.  Apathy.  Anger.  Disappointment.
Laughter.  She thought of all the possibilities, realizing that there
was not one that she could not attach to some aspect of their relation-
ship.  And love?  Yes, her heart left no doubt on that point.  But
before now she had never realized the depths of that love or even
that it was possible that this love, first grounded in friendship,
had always possessed the elements to change over time.  And until
tonight she had honestly believed that what they shared before now
had been enough.  That she could not ask or expect more.  It was
also in part that they both knew how much of themselves had been
invested in all that they had shared before.  Could it be that they
had held back, just on the simple belief that they would not have
anything more left of themselves to give each other.  She knew now
though.  They had been wrong.  So wrong.

The cold air of the room, still chilled from the withering effects of
the long winter came into contact with her skin.  The frost of the
air fighting the fever heat of her body, compromising finally on a
warmness that spread throughout her being.  She watched transfixed
as the dress he had just removed from her body fell now in a liquid
pool from his fingertips, to gather in a bundle on the floor.  She
pulled his head down to hers.  Demanding.  Reveling in the first
shock of his naked chest to hers.  Kissing his lips, tasting his
body with each breath.

She lingered there until her lungs demanded that she breathe again.
And she did so, but only reluctantly.  He reached between them,
deftly removing her last article of clothing.  Ripping the thin
garment in his haste.  She ran her hands across his chest, lifting
her head to kiss and taste his nipples.  He arched.  Then suddenly
moved away to the edge of the bed, removing his remaining clothes
with a record speed.

Standing before her now as he kicked his trousers away.  His need
full and hard now before her eyes.  He was all she had imagined
and more.  And then he reached for her again, as she fell back
pulling him unto her.  She felt his hands moving, roaming, touching
her over the firmness of her breasts.  The arousal of his touch
burning the sensitive flesh to hardened nubs.  It felt like animated
magic, leaving trails of pleasure in their wake.  His hands.  She
wanted to watch them.  She wanted to show him where to put them.
Where she wanted them to touch.  Then as if reading her mind he
knew, exactly, where and how, and showed her each move with careful
and exquisite detail.  Then her body raced, followed languidly by
her mind to the next sensory flood of sensation.  The feeling of
his hardness straining for attention between them.  The knowledge
of what it meant, and where it would be taking them.  Their relation-
ship.  Their bodies.  Their lives.  All of these awareness' were
fighting for premium space, as one pleasure rolled unto the next.
Until there was no break in the unrelenting momentum.  And just
as quick, all else forgotten as she could focus on only on goal,
and one goal only.  She wanted him inside her.  Now.  Her body
writhing beneath his desperately, aching and ready, urgently
trying to telegraph her wants.  Her needs.

And his as well.  He moved his knee forward, spreading her legs
wide.  Moving his length to hover over hers.  She could feel him
poised just on the edge of her opening, almost there.  So close she
wanted to scream.  Her breath was leaving her body hard becoming
swept up into her passion.  She ran her hands down his back, encir-
cling his hips and the firm roundness of his cheeks, pulling, urging
him to give her what she wanted.  He paused, as he lowered his head
to her neck.  She could feel his breath, almost panting.

"Scully, I love you", he said, the words tingeing the fine hairs on
the nape of her neck like sparks of lightening.

She smiled with happiness into his neck.  Scully. He had called her
Scully, even now.  And it was right.  So right.  They had started
the journey this way.  It was only fitting now that they should
give them their due.  Scully, not Dana.  Mulder, not Fox.  They were
two other people.  They did not belong here.  Mulder and Scully had
been the ones who had worked together these past years, forging the
beginnings from amid the doubts and subjective theories.  Her facts
to his fancies.  Mulder and Scully had been the ones who had suffered
through the pain.  Fought all the battles.  Paid all the dire conse-
quences.  And felt the myriad losses, both personally and profession-
ally.  Even now, in this demon world they had become trapped in,
they were still caught here as Mulder and Scully.  They had paid
their dues, and now it was their sovereign destiny to be allowed to
reap the pleasures.

Fox and Dana belonged to family members and long lost school chums.
Peripheral people, those just met once and then forgotten.  Formal
documents and official statements.  Address labels and paychecks.
All these things they could have.  But this?  No.  This belonged to
Mulder and Scully.  Only to them.  It would be too simple to fall
into those other personas now.  To distance themselves from this
decision.  To say it wasn't Mulder and Scully about to make love
now.  If called by Dana and Fox they could still go on with some
semblance of what they had always been, no ripple to upset the
fabric of their lives.  No complications.  Regrets could be assigned
to the impetuous natures of Dana and Fox.

"Mulder, I love you too", she breathed back into his ear, needing
to let him know that she understood the meaning behind his use
of that name.  She could see the last vestiges of his doubt about
the strength of her complete willingness in this decision evapor-
ate from his mind before her very eyes.  Yes.  Mulder and Scully.
It was their turn now.

She reached her hand between their bodies, no longer able to wait.
Grinding her hips in anticipation.  She took hold of his shaft,
feeling the length and texture.  Smiling softly at his answering
groans of pleasure caused by her touch.  Guiding him towards her
waiting body, as he followed her lead.

He began pushing himself inside of her slowly.  Her breath caught
as soon as she felt him enter her.  Before he had even filled her,
she knew she was forever lost.  "Ohh...Mulder", she moaned softly.
Almost forgetting what the meaning and concept of language truly
was, as no words could begin to express this experience they were
sharing.  Raw.  Wild.  Unbridled.  The words rushed through her
mind, as she dismissed each one.  They were all inadequate.  No,
none of those words did this justice.

Her body began shuddering almost immediately.  Caught up in the
throes of this long awaited release of pleasure.  He grasped at
her body, tugging at her hips, urging the intensity of their union.
He pushed down deeper and deeper until finally reaching her center,
and then back again, almost completely out of her.  And diving
deep once more, increasing the pace and force with each thrust.
The rolls and waves of pleasure assaulted her senses.  She arched
her back to meet his thrusts, grabbing the headboard with both
hands in a desperate effort to focus what was becoming for her
a very tenuous hold on reality.  Turning her head from side to
side on the pillow.  Biting her lips with the deepening and oh so
quick race towards complete satisfaction.  Trying not to act on
the sudden and overwhelming need to scream out with the echoes
of ecstasy resounding through her body.  Oh God, just the feel
of him moving inside of her was enough to bring her over the top.
The thought alone might do it as well, she realized.  The heat.
The desire.  The simple need.  All of it.  He moved forcefully,
pounding into her, equally lost.  No more able to slow his frantic
rhythm than the world from revolving.

He reached up, his hands sliding along the path of her arms from
shoulders to wrist, pulling her hands away from the spindles of
the headboard.  "Scully", his breathing labored.  "I want all of
you.  All."  He moved his hands underneath her body, grabbing
and kneading the flesh of her buttocks as he lifted them still
joined.  She wrapped her arms around his neck, as he lowered her
down once again.  Her head was near the edge of the bed, almost
hanging over now.  He ran his hands down her thighs, bending her
knees back high, as he increased the demands of his thrusting to
ever strident levels.  Harder Deeper.

She moaned and gasped, almost losing complete control.  She forced
her mind to remember the dictates of their surroundings.  The
door locked from the outside.  The people just beyond.  Ethan.
It seemed almost as if their love making were some forbidden fruit.
One destined to be hidden behind closed doors, and carefully muted
noise.  Not only an outcropping of their captivity, but their long
denial of this moment as well.  But she refused to let Ethan take
this from her, as he had taken their freedom.  This was hers and
his.  It belonged to Mulder and Scully.  Not Dana's.  Not Fox's.
And never Ethan's.

She could feel the intense inner pressure building within her yet
again, as she wrapped her legs around his hips tightly.  Trying to
become an extension of his body, as his mouth covered one of her
breasts with searching lips.  "Oh God...", she whispered desperately,
as their bodies slid and rocked against the bed.  'Too much', her
brain tried to tell her.  'Not enough', her body argued.

"Scully, you are so beautiful", he whispered.  She opened her eyes
to see him staring at her intently.  They smiled at each other, mar-
veling and matching the mirror of their eyes to the pace of their
bodies as their love built to the final ebb and flow of its cres-

She met his kiss with red and swollen lips, almost bruised in some
ways from the journey they had made tonight.  A journey that had
begun four long years ago.  These same lips had eagerly and with
welcomed anticipation explored his body tonight for the first time.
Making discoveries.  Revelations.  Some blissfully expected.  Some
wondrously not.  But they were all hers now.

She touched her lips to his ever so lightly.  Promising more, and
giving it all at the same time.  "Scully", he moaned against her
lips, playing out the syllables into a half song, filled with his
aching tenderness.  She captured the tone of the name just as he
had said it.  Memorizing it and playing it back.  She had heard
him utter her name a thousand times before.  Each one played a
different tune to her ears.  There was the - 'I'm sorry Scully'.
The - 'Why can't you believe Scully', and so many more stored and
categorized in the recesses of her mind.  But this 'Scully' she
had never heard before tonight.  This 'Scully' had been hidden from
her until now.  Perhaps only uttered in his dreams?  This 'Scully'
spoke of his love for her.  His need for her.

His thrusts were becoming almost brutal, and she knew that neither
of them would be able to last much longer.  She felt his hands
slide underneath her back, lifting her, pulling her up into his
arms.  They clung together this way, face to face, as their bodies
hurled toward the explosion of the culmination of their union.
Her lips began to tremble from the force of the pleasure
that suddenly rocked her body.  She threw her head back, supported
by his arms, riding the waves.  Then she felt his release follow
her, as he emptied deep inside of her.  She wrapped her arms around
his still quivering body, with her own shaking arms as she buried
her head in his shoulder.  Lightly biting it in an effort to cut
off the cries in her throat as she raked her fingers down his back.
Exhausted and fairly dripping with sweat they grasped their bodies
close for many minutes.  Coming down from the intense experience.
Their breathing ragged and hard, but finally beginning to slow.


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 15th, 1997

Mulder played with the damp hair around Scully's neck and face as he
brought his forehead down to touch hers.

"Scully....", he began.

"I know....", she finished.

He nodded slowly as he gently withdrew himself from her body.  He
reached behind them, drawing the heavy quilt around both of their
shoulders, as they lay down together on the pillows.  He pulled her
body atop his, looking into her eyes.  Their spirits seemed so in
tune at this moment that even their breathing settled into matching

She traced the firm line of his jaw with one finger, up and over his
lips in a slow and easy fashion.

"Mulder, if you had asked me six months ago I would have said with
every conviction that we would never have reached this step.  I don't
regret, not for one single moment, what happened here tonight.  In
fact, I'm almost grateful in a demented sort of way, for the car
accident, being kept here against our will.  Without all that, I don't
know if we would have ever gotten to this point on the outside."

"Why Scully?  Didn't you ever think about it?  Imagine it?  Fantasize?
I know I have."

She smiled thinking of him thinking of her that way.  "Yes Mulder, I
won't lie.  I did.  But I was so afraid of losing what we have
together.  I wasn't willing to risk, what has become over the past
four years, the most satisfying and intimate relationship of my life.
You aren't the easiest person to figure out Mulder.  But you are, with-
out a doubt the most fascinating, multi-faceted, complex and caring
person I have ever known.  And....", she paused.

"What?", he asked running his hand through her hair absently.

"And I've always felt lucky and blessed knowing that no matter what,
I've somehow managed to become the most important person in your
life.  Just as you've taken that role in mine.  I thought it would
be less complicated to distance ourselves from further intimacy.
We had grown so very close.  I couldn't stand the thought of losing
that, and I've always thought you've felt the same way."

"And now?", he prompted.

"And now I feel cheated.  It's so ironic to have all my fears about
our relationship proved unfounded in the reality of it.  Only to have
to deal with a whole new set of rules in its place.  New rules.  New
fears.  As a matter of fact, all this time during the last six months
the one thing I've felt has held me back from you for so long is
the total unreality of this place and situation."

"You thought by giving your love to me it would signify that you are
acknowledging the power Ethan holds over us.  It would give some
tangent and physical proof to the belief that we are never going to
escape from here?"

"Yes", she said quietly.  Once again amazed at the knowledge this man
had of her very soul.

"Scully", he said as he brought her face close to his.  "I made you a
promise once.  That time I was holding you in my arms as well, only
you couldn't hear me because...."

"That first night?  My arm?", she asked.

"Yes.  Scully, we'll get out of here.  I promised then, and I'm
reaffirming that promise now.  We will get back home again."  He kissed
her deeply.

She smiled into the kiss, as she felt the stirring of his awakening
arousal. "Mulder, don't start something here you can't finish.  We've
only got about two hours left to sleep before we have to get up.  And
besides that", she said nestling down into his arms, "I'm about a quart
full of Mulder right now, and I'm too exhausted to take any more to-
night. "Sleep Mulder", she commanded  "Sleep."


8:45 A.M. February 20th
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

But Scully had been wrong.  No one came for them in two hours.

Mulder crawled across the cold wooden floor.  He grimaced as he felt
the tiny splinters from the rough and unfinished pine board floor
painfully enter the skin of his palms.  He had been using his hands
to drag himself over to the bedroom door.

It had been three days now.  Three days since Ethan had locked him
and Scully here in their room.  Three days since either of them had
been given food or water.  As he finally reached his goal he pushed
himself up awkwardly to rest his back against the door.  He was out
of breath, almost heaving from the exertion.  He looked over to
the bed.  Scully was lying on her stomach, draped across the bed with
her arms hanging over the side.  Her hair was thrown down over her
head.  She hadn't moved for a long time now.

Mulder reached behind him, banging on the door weakly with his fist.
"Ethan", he called, knowing he would not respond.  "Dammit Ethan.
Give us some water."  His hand dropped to his side again, spent from
the amount of effort it had taken him.  He shivered.  The room was
cold, filled with an icy chill.  He moved forward determinedly on
his hands and knees, working his way back to the bed.  To Scully.

Once there he crawled in beside her, turning her over on her back.
She was sleeping deeply.  Too deeply and for too long.  "Scully", he
called to her.  He slapped her lightly, trying to get a response.
Finally, she opened her eyes.  "Mulder", she said sleepily.

He smiled at her, reaching for the quilt, as her pulled her close
wrapping his arms around her waist.

"You were right Mulder", she said after a minute.

"Right about what?"

"He is killing us softly."


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 19th, 1997

4:25 A.M. February 21st
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Eve pressed her ear tight against the cool wood grain of the locked door
leading into the bedroom.  She was so scared.  Her heart was pounding,
ready to burst from the strain.  She had never felt this depth of fright
before.  The cabin made a settling noise around itself, which caused
her to jump nearly out of her skin.  She was afraid that Ethan had woken
up.  He would be so angry to find her here.  Ethan had never raised a
hand to her in all her fifteen years, but now she was afraid of him.  Of
her very own brother.  Since Emily had, before that even, she
realized now, he had changed.

She turned her scared rabbit-wide eyes back to the door.  Four days.
Four days since Ethan had Mulder and Scully locked in there.  No food.
No water.  Nothing.  And now, she couldn't hear anything from inside.
There had been no noise coming from behind the door for most of the
night. The first days had been horrible.  Listening to them pounding
on the door.  Confused and demanding an explanation.  Then later
pleading and begging for water and food.  She could feel their misery
during those times.  But she had been helpless.  Ethan had threatened
the rest of them that if they even thought of going to their aid he
would tan their hides good.

She had thought then that there could be nothing worse than listening
to folks crying out for help, and not being able to give them that
help.  But then the silence came.  And she found she actually missed
the noise.  Because it had meant that at least they were still there
in spirit.  Still fighting.  Now she was so afraid that they were....
she couldn't even bring herself to think of the word.  But she knew,
they had already been weak before this.  Ethan worked them nearly to
death each day.  She just wasn't sure how long they would be able to
last.  She leaned against the door, until it was flush with her open
palms and one side of her face.  She mouthed the words she was too
afraid to speak out loud.  Trying to communicate somehow with the
tragic occupants on the other side.  'I'm sorry', her lips mouthed
with silent echoes.  She turned slowly away from the door.  Reluctan-
ly. But she couldn't push her luck any further as far as Ethan find-
ing out.  She crossed the room, returning to her narrow cot.  Feigning
sleep.  Because she knew there would be no more rest for her tonight.


Ethan watched silently and secretly seething from across the room, as
Eve returned to her bed.  His cold eyes reflecting off the beams of
moonlight coming in from the window.  The glow that issued forth was
like the hungry and rabid mad orbs of some mythical beast animal.
Eve.  His Eve.  His very own blood.  She was going against him.  For
them.  Why couldn't she understand.  Why couldn't she see things the
way he knew them to be.  These people.  Mulder and Scully.  They
were the cause of all the misery that had befallen him and his family.
Just like all the others before them.  They deserved this punishment
and worse.  Especially after that little play act Scully had pulled
the other night.  She had been making fun of him.  Him and his family.
I'll bet she isn't laughing now, he thought with no small satisfaction.

His mind changed tracks suddenly.  He would let them out tomorrow.
He had already reached the decision.  He would even let them off
work details for a couple of days so that they could recover.  He
could be fair.  More than fair.  He looked over at Eve tossing and
turning on her own cot across the room.  He was doing all this for
her, and the others.  It was his responsibility to make sure that
they would be taken care of in his absence.  If anything should
happen to him, he had to know there would be someone to take his
place.  But whoever it was had to follow his rules, and his thoughts
about what was right for his family.  To ensure this, he had to keep
showing them who was boss here.  Who made the decisions.  It was only
because he wished it that they were even allowed to breathe.  Surely
they knew that by now.  Once they came around straight to his way
of thinking on things it would be that much easier on them.  He had
told the man that on the very first night.  He should have listened.

It was only when they disobeyed that he lost control.  But even then
it only got real bad when they pushed him too far, he rationalized to
himself.  They made him do the things he did.  Only when they went
against his wishes.  Only when they talked back.  Only when they...
they....she....they....she....his mind suddenly began flipping back
and forth.  They....Scully and Mulder...Scully...Emily...Scully...
Emily.  Emily.  Emily had talked back to him.  She had told him
'no'.  He drifted back into his muddled thoughts.  Remembering.  Re-
membering, but not wanting to remember.  He fought in vain against
the direction his mind was heading.  He didn't want to go there
again.  But he had no choice tonight.  The door was open, and some
things would not be denied.  He closed his eyes, resigned.

He had found Emily playing near the creek that day.  She had been
singing.  Something about a frog, and a rock, and a rainbow with a
pot of gold.  It made no sense, except to her.  She had sang out loud,
with youthful abandon, strong and sweet.  He had loved Emily.  Emily
had loved him.  It had always been that way between them.  She had
never once disobeyed him, never talked back to him.  Until that
fateful day.  She had smiled happily as soon as she had seen him.
She had run to him with her arms outstretched, hugging him tight.
He had told her it was time to come with him now.  That it was get-
ting too cold for her to be playing near the water.  She had nodded,
so quick as always to understand that what he was telling her to
do was for her own good.  He had always looked out for her best
interests.  She had been his world.  She had put her tiny hand in
his as they had started walking back towards the woods.

Then suddenly she had stopped. "Widgit", she had cried, running back
to the edge of the creek.  He had followed right behind her.  She
had scooped him up from his resting place atop a large and decayed
tree log.  She had frowned, seeing once again that his stuffing was
starting to fall out.  Ethan had reached down, meaning to take the
toy from her and fix it.  But she had pulled it away, hiding it
behind her back.

"No.  I want 'Ma' to do it.  She does it up real good.  Better than
you", she had said to him, with all the sincerity and faith that a
child holds in such things.

Scully, he had thought darkly.  She's picking Scully over me.  I've
broken my back raising this child all these years, and she's abandon-
ing me for a woman she barely knows.  Emily was choosing to leave
him.  Just like his parents.  Just like all the others. A red fog
had begun to invade his thoughts and senses, blocking out every-
thing at that moment except his fiery need to take this toy from
this child.  To fix it.  *He* was Emily's family.  Not Scully.  It
was his responsibility, as it had always been.

"She's not your 'Ma' Emily.  Now give it here.  I mean it."  It was
a warning.  A plead.  A desperate attempt to stop the events from
proceeding any further.

"No!"  Her one word, forever sealing her fate.

He had reached down, grabbing her thin arms roughly, wrestling the
toy from her tight grip with a simple tug.

"Ethan!  Give it here", she had wailed, tears starting to run down
her face.  She had encircled his body, jumping up trying to grab
her beloved toy back from him.

"Stop it Emily.  Stop it!  I'll fix it and give it back to you.
Just stop it now you hear."

But she wouldn't.  She wouldn't.  God help him, she wouldn't.
Finally exasperated and angry beyond the limits of his own beliefs
he had thrown the toy.  It had landed at the edge of the creek,
further down the bank.  It had toppled on its final bounce, falling
into the freezing water.  Emily had looked at Ethan stricken.

"I hate you!", she had cried.  "I hate you Ethan!"  She kept repeat-
ing the sentence over and over again until he thought it would
sear itself straight into his brain patterns.  She had run over
to where 'Widgit' had landed, with Ethan close behind.  "I hate
you Ethan", she had said again, picking up the sopping wet bunny
from the water's edge.

"I want 'Ma".  I'm gonna go home right now and fib on you to 'Ma'.
You're bad Ethan.  You're bad and you're mean.  I'm not gonna be
your friend no more.  I love 'Ma'.  Not you.  No more.  Not you
Ethan...Not you"

"Not you...Not you...Not you...Not you..."

He closed his eyes now as the vile words grew and repeated over and
over in his fevered brain.  He covered his ears, trying to block
out the sounds.  The voice.  The memory itself.  Finally, when they
had receded back into the dark pit from which they had sprung he
opened his eyes again.

He could never remember for sure what had happened after that.  Or
maybe he didn't want to.  He only remembered waking later and
finding Emily there in the water.  Her eyes closed. Her lips blue and
cold.  His own clothes soaked to the skin.  He had desperately
pulled her nearly lifeless body from the depths of the frigid water.
Trying to pull the water out of her body with shaking hands.  Then
as he lifted her tiny form into his arms, he had grabbed 'Widgit'
as well, tucking him into his tether rope place.  Returning him to
her.  She had asked him, and now too late, he was complying with
her wishes.  He had turned stumbling, with Emily cradled in his
arms and had run back to the cabin.  Where she had later died.

Now as he was forced to concentrate on the confusing images and
thoughts rushing at him.  He could almost make the lost connection
between himself and Emily's death.  His last remaining vestige of
humanity fighting to bring a sentience and some small spark of
remorse to his cancerous soul.  But just as quickly it passed.
The cold hard glint of his eyes returning to their former burn of
a monstrous glow.

And there was nothing left mirrored there that was remotely human


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 19th, 1997

12:55 P.M. February 21st
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Scully clutched her stomach under her arms, with her knees pulled
tightly into herself.  She would never have imagined it was possible
to be this hungry and thirsty.  The sensations intruding and influenc-
ing every breath she took.  The constant pangs never letting up or
allowing rest anymore.  Their bodies, she realized, were beginning
to consume themselves.  Attacking the reserves of fat in an age-old
involuntary attempt at self-preservation.  But as bad as the hunger
was, it still paled in comparison to the thirst.  And she knew that
was their worst enemy right now.  The lack of moisture.  Life-giving
moisture.  She tried to lick her dry and cracked lips.  Her mouth
felt like sandpaper, rough and arid dry.

She turned unto her other side.  The small exertion made her head
start pounding.  And her body began to tremble, shaking like a leaf.
Mulder was asleep next to her.  She was grateful.  He needed the
rest.  Whatever rest he was able to steal.  She looked into his face
closely.  She reached out tentatively, needing to touch his face,
yet afraid to wake him.  But she needed to know that he was still
here with her.  She ran her hand along the contours of his face,
and was once again flooded with and amazed at the depths of her
feelings for Mulder.  God, how she loved this man.  She smiled now
at the memory of their love-making that even this small touch of
his face rekindled in her mind and body.  She hoped fervently that
it would not end up being their one and only time together.  But as
Ethan seemed so hell-bent on killing them, it very well could end
up being just that.  He always found a way to steal their moments
of happiness.  No matter how much they tried to keep him from
stifling their will and resolve.  Ethan was a master, unparalleled
by none, when it came to inflicting pain.

Mulder began to stir against the caress of her hand on his face.
He opened his eyes slowly.

"Hi", he said softly, lifting her hand from his face to kiss her

"Hi yourself", she answered back.

"Chocolate", he said suddenly, smiling mischievously.

She groaned, envisioning unwrapping a candy bar with all the pomp
and circumstance of a political office candidate being sworn into
office.  As the thought equaled in importance to her food less world
right now.   It was a game they had started playing two days into
this ordeal.  A way to pass time, and also a sort of 'in your face'
way of dealing with the lack of food and water.  They had taken turns
naming what would be their first choice of food once they were freed
and away from the shackles of this insanity.

"You're heartless Mulder."

"Sorry, I was dreaming about it", he said sheepishly.  "Well, actually
about chocolate and you."  He rolled over slowly and with some effort
to rest himself lightly atop her body.

"Let me guess.  Does it involve a life-sized fondue pot?", she teased

He laughed.  Then turned serious.  "Scully, I wish I had the strength
to make love to you right now."

She smiled sadly.  "Me too Mulder.  Me too."

He reached down and underneath her dress, slowly moving the material
high up on her leg.  He ran his hand over the top of her thigh strok-
ing the skin lightly.  She closed her eyes trying to savor the feel
of his touch for a moment between the ever present gnawing aches of
hunger and thirst.  He continued his light caress as he laid his
head to rest on her stomach.  She reached down bringing her arms up
around his shoulders, entwining her fingers in his hair.

They were quiet.  He concentrated for some while on the gentle rise
and fall of her breathing.  He listened to the soft beat of her
heart, and the quiet murmurs of her stomach echoing back through his
ear pressed against it.  They had long passed the noisy and intru-
sive grumbling stomachs most associated with normal hunger.  But
every now and again he could hear her body voice its displeasure
over this sad state of affairs.  He turned his head impetuously
into her belly, kissing it through the material of her dress.
Perhaps a sudden and irrational turn of the 'kiss it and make it
better' quick fix going through his mind.  Desperate times called
for desperate measures, he figured.

It wasn't fair, he thought not for the first time.  Here they had
finally found some measure of happiness.  Something to get them
through the long and hard days.  Something to hope for. Live for.
The new found extension of their previous friendship into love as
well as the physical expression of that love.  And now.  Now they
may not live to see the natural growth of that relationship.

The fingers of her hands that had been moving lightly through the
locks of his hair relaxed softly against his scalp.  He looked up
and saw that she had fallen asleep.

'Sleep Scully', he thought quietly.  'For as long as you can.'  He
turned his head back, resting it once again on the concave surface
of her stomach.  He closed his eyes, hoping reverently to join her
there in that dream world.  Sleep.  Blessed sleep.  It was their
only avenue of escape anymore.


5:17 P.M. February 21st
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Mulder's head snapped up at the noise.  It was the sound of the bar
bolt being pulled away from its cradle.  "Scully", he called to her,
shaking her lightly.  "Wake up."  Scully opened her eyes, rubbing
them, as she forced herself to come fully awake in response to the
urgency in his voice.

The door hinges creaked and groaned, the wood and metal having settled
in place after so prolonged a period without use.  Finally the door
swung open slowly.  There stood Eve, holding a tray, looking worried
and something else.  Frightened?  Her eyes darted wildly from Mulder
to Scully.  They could hear the sharp intake of her breath as she took
in their state.  The room was like a tomb, and it reeked of the near
essence of death.  As well as the combined smells of two bodies
unwashed for four days, and the absence of proper facilities.  Eve
wanted to cry as she just stood there for a moment, unable to move.

She looked at them.  His arm around her shoulders, as she leaned
against his chest, one hand clutching tightly at the material of
his shirt.  They just stared at her, and she stared back.  There were
no words to convey this horror properly.  These were good people.
She had known that from the start.  And now they had been reduced
to this.  Treated like rats in a cellar.  Being made to suffer.
Scrounging.  Hidden.  They didn't deserve this.  She almost bowed
her head.  She was grieved ashamed to be called a Wilstead this day.

Her feet somehow started to move finally, breaking her thoughts
as she rushed forward with her treasures.  Two cups brimming full
with cool water.  Her eyes began filling with tears, watching them
as they reached for their first nourishment in four days.  Hands
shaking.  Him holding out a cup to her lips first.  Her pushing
it away, insisting that he take it.  Eve turned her head away.
The way they felt about each other was too beautiful to witness
sometimes.  It filled her heart with a warm and wondrous glow.
Finally, they took the offerings, choking and sputtering in their
haste to get the sweet liquid down their parched throats.

Then Ethan entered the room from the shadows of the doorway, shot
gun in hand.  Eyes burning with gloat over his absolute power over

"Eve get on with it", he commanded.

She nodded, wanting to hurry, afraid he might change his mind any
moment.  "Eloise", she called out to the other room.  "Come here
child and help me out now."  The young girl walked quickly into the
room at the call of her name, waiting for further instructions.
Eve turned back to the bed.

"Scully, your suffering is done for this day.  Think on that now
and work on forgetting what come before.  I've got you a soothing
bath drawn up, just waiting in the shanty shed out back.  And
there's some food cooking up on the fire that'll warm up and fill
your insides when we're finished up with the outside.  The other
girls are set to come in here and make up your room.  Air it out
some and fill it with sweet smells to carry away the bad ones.
Tonight you'll sleep deep with a fresh scrubbed body, and a full
belly, snuggled under clean bed clothes.  Come with me now."

Scully pulled back from Eve's outstretched hands.  Eve could see
the turmoil in her eyes.  She desperately wanted these things
that Eve was offering her, but she still hesitated.  She turned
to look at Mulder.

"But Mulder....", she began.

Eve smiled.  "Don't you worry on that darling.  The boys will be
taking him on the same journey.  I promise."

"Scully, go on.  Don't worry", Mulder encouraged her.

Scully looked in his eyes deeply, before wrapping her arms weakly
around his neck.  She kissed him lightly.  "I love you", she whispered
in his ear.

He hugged her back.  "I love you too Scully."

Eve gestured for Eloise to join her by the bed, as they stood on each
side of Scully.  When she was upright finally, her head began spinning
immediately.  If not supported by Eve and Eloise she might well have
fainted from the vertigo feeling, and lack of strength.

Once they had left, Ethan and Mulder stared darkly at each other for
tense moments.  Mulder bit his tongue from the sharp words he wanted
to hurl at him for all the anguish and suffering he had piled on him
and Scully these last months.  And especially for these last four
days.  But he controlled his anger.  It would do nothing to help the
situation, only serve to worsen an already tension frought scenario.
Ethan took his silence as acquiesce, and he reveled in the victory
of his perseverance over them.

Yes, Mulder thought, giving Ethan his dark winning place in this
round.  You've won this time.  But you haven't beat us down yet.
We'll still here.  And we're still fighting.  And we will win in
the end you bastard.  There will come a day when he and Scully would
be able to walk out of this cabin.  This life.  This nightmare.

By: Deborah L. Wells
January 19th, 1997

Scully's eyes were closing again.  She shook her head, trying to clear
the cobwebs of her mind.  She felt so comfortable.  A feeling she wasn't
sure she would ever feel again after the events of the last four days.
She was clean now, her skin fairly bristling from the hard scrubbing
she had given her body trying to wash away the dirt.  The grime.  The
stink of hopelessness that had pervaded her very pores.  She was full
too.  And only after eating half a bowl of the ever present and bland
stew.  Although tonight, she could have sworn the ingredients included
ambrosia, it had tasted so good.  Her stomach had shrunk and it would
take some time to stretch it again to its normal size.  So a little
food went a long way for now.  And the bed.  It was warm.  Clean.
Fresh.  She stretched her body, digging her toes into the folds of
the sheets, feeling invigorated by the warmth.

But there was still something she needed.  She turned her head,
splaying out her arm to caress the empty pillow next to her.  Mulder.
He still wasn't back, and she could not fall asleep without him next
to her.  Her soul hungered for him with the same kind of need that
her body had craved the missing elements of food and water so very
recently.  And the pangs of his absence went as deep, and hurt
just as much.

Suddenly the now familiar sound of the bar bolt being moved away
alerted her.  She sat up in bed.  Mulder walked through the door,
and it was closed and locked quickly behind him.  She smiled broadly
seeing his freshly washed self, his hair still damp from shampooing.
He crossed the room in two quick steps, throwing back the covers
and gathering her tight in his arms.

It felt like home.  And all the comforts that resided there.  A warm
fire.  A shelter from the storm.  A place where you belonged without
question.  A undeniable sense of being one half of a whole.  He kissed
her deeply, taking in the sweet smell of her soft hair.  The feel of
her warm body next to his.  They were far from being physically able
yet to make love, but still.

He took hold of her thin dress, pulling it over her head and away.
She unbuttoned and removed his shirt as well.  Then reached for his
trousers next.  With combined efforts this piece of clothing and the
rest of their garments soon too joined the others on the floor.  They
couldn't be together completely this night, but they needed desperate-
ly to feel the intimate warmth of each other's skin.  To touch.  To
reassure themselves that they had survived.  To know they had made it
through the long and dark tunnel of their suffering out into the light
of a new day once again.  Not home yet.  But alive.  And together
still.  And as long as they were alive and together there was always

Long moments later they collapsed against the coolness of the pillows.
Sated.  Exhausted.  Ready now and willing to go into the journey of
sleep tonight entwined within each other's arms.  It didn't seem like
much to the standards of the outside world.  But to them.  Tonight.
After all that they had been through.  It was enough.  More than
enough to bring joy to their hearts.  And joy was such a rare commod-
ity in this world.  They took it where they could, and in whatever
small doses were allotted them.

Before the next full sweep of the minute hand from the missing tell-
tale clock of their passing lives had completed, they were asleep.


12:52 A.M. February 22nd
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Eve was spending another restless night.  The events of the last days
had weighed heavily on her soul.  She had always been taught that
family came first, above all else.  But she had doubts now.  Her
loyalties to Ethan were conflicting with her deep-rooted conscience
about what was just plain right and wrong.  She could no longer even
recognize the 'thing' that had once been her beloved brother.  To
give him his due though, he had stepped forward and taken this family
from a lost and parent less wandering group.  He had formed it into a
unit.  He had only been a child himself at the time, but she had
always thought he had handled things amazingly well.  Until now.

She had only been nine years old when he had brought home his first
substitute 'parent'.  And even though it had seemed strange, she had
been but a child.  They had all been.  Ethan had a way with the
persuading talk, and soon it was just another part of their lives.
But then the man had just disappeared one day.  Found later in the
woods by Ethan, caught in one of their animal traps.  He had bled
to death.  And soon others came to take his place.

They had all disappeared too.  All dead.  Lost and frozen in the woods
from the cold nights.  Or fallen over one of the steep ravines.  Always
something like that.  But death made sense in her world.  Life could be
very cruel, and the woods were a terrible hard and deadly place, when
you didn't know the ways of it.  She had believed it.

She had believed him.  He was her brother.  She had always believed
him.  They all died that way, except for that one poor soul who had
found his own way back home.  By his own hand.  That had really
bothered Ethan too.  She could see it on his face.  Not so much the
fact of his death, but almost like he felt cheated out of something.
She could never really put her finger on exactly what it was, but
something there never felt quite right.

And now what he was doing to Mulder and Scully was beyond punishment.
Beyond cruel.  Oh sure, Ethan had always been hard, even with all the
others, but never openly this way.  The way he was with these two.
Even the little ones were scared of him now, and scooted out of his
way when they saw him coming.  Things were bad, worse than they had
ever been.  Since Emily's death, his behavior was becoming unbearable
and more frightening every day.

She knew the direction she was headed towards tonight, but she didn't
know if she would be able to find the strength to follow its course.
Because she had gained a secret knowledge tonight.  One that she
almost wished she didn't possess.  A wrench had been thrown into
the correlation that begged her questions.  And now that it was here,
she could not turn back on the implications.

While she had helped Scully, so desperately weak, with her bath out
in the shanty shed, she had laid eyes on the sack.  The one Ethan
had taken and hid away.  The one they had brought back with them
that first day from the scene of the accident.  The one that held
all of Mulder's and Scully's other world belongings.

The one that held their guns.

She closed her eyes tightly, feeling a well of tears slide from under-
neath the lids to fall down her cheeks silently.

God forgive her soul - because she had betrayal on her mind this


By: Deborah L. Wells
January 26, 1997

11:52 P.M. March 21st
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Scully moved behind him on the bed where he sat naked.  Quietly.  She
brought her arms up around his neck, as she lowered her lips to nuzzle
his left ear.  She moved his hair back and away under her fingertips.

"Again", she sighed under her breath.  The word not so much heard, as
felt against his skin.  He shivered.  She started to nibble on his ear
lightly, as she snaked her hands out to cover his already closed eyes.

"What do you see", she questioned him.  Her voice taking on a lilting
smoothness.  Encouraging.  Expectant.  Yet demanding.  All at the same
time.  He swallowed trying to concentrate.

"I see....", he began.

"Yesss", she prompted, drawing out the syllable.

"I see a ring of woods surrounding the cabin door as I open it. It's
chilly.  She pressed her own naked form tight against his back,
almost as if offering her body's warmth as shelter from the non-
existent chill.

"On my left is the chopping stump and cords of wood needing to be split.
On my right are the animal pens and the dirt path leading around to
the shanty shed out back.  I'll need to move quietly, so as not to
disturb the animals and cause them to fright.  The noise might alert
Ethan and the others."

She could feel his eyes moving back and forth beneath their closed
lids, sliding against her palms as he focused them on the scene playing
out in his mind.

"No, wouldn't want to do that", she said quietly, moving, coming
around like a phantom spirit to whisper the words now into his right
ear.  He shifted slightly at the feel of her warm breath cascading
across his tired senses.

"Go on", she said after a moment during which he had remained silent,
lost and content in the pleasant sensations of her gentle touch.  He
took a deep breath before continuing.

"I'll need to stay close to the cabin walls as I make my way around
the corners to reach the back.  There's a hidden trap, a fine line of
mesh wire running just above the dirt further out in circumference
that will trigger an alarm if tripped."

He felt her lips move lower now, kissing his neck softly.

"Something noisy", he continued, moving his head slightly to give her
better access.  "Cans, I think.  Bottles."

She could feel his pulse pumping strong beneath her lips.  "And the
shed?", she questioned him on cue, the words escaping lightly around
her mouth between kisses.

"It's to the right in the very back.  Hidden behind a sloping hill,
under a tree.  The door is always propped open during the day.  There's
a sturdy wooden ladder next to the rain barrel just inside the door
on the left.  I can use it to reach the sack.  It's on the highest
shelf, just near the edge.  Under a blanket, with one corner peeking

She could feel his shoulder muscles contract, almost as if they were
reaching for the imaginary sack.

"Lie down", she said suddenly.

He smiled, the shift in his features molding around the palms of her
hands still resting against his eyes.

"I thought you wanted to practice?"

She didn't say anything, but he felt her hands pushing against his
chest, and he complied with her wishes.  He lay on his back, stretch-
ing his length against the bed.

"Just relax.  Keep your eyes closed, and start talking, Agent Mulder",
she commanded authoritatively.

"Ma'am", he saluted, as he settled down against the pillows, keeping
his eyes closed as ordered.  "Where was I", he pondered.

"The next part's mostly mine.  So start with the woods", she said,
as she moved to lay down beside him.  Her fingers trailing languidly
against his chest the whole way down.

She has been so restless lately he realized now.  The tension of
the last month had been building ever more each day.  And now that
they had finally worked out an escape plan that posed some possibi-
lity of success, it had only served to increase the pressure.  The
anticipation.  Somehow both of them knew.  Without ever even saying
the words out loud.  Or wanting to either.  This was their last hope.
If it failed.  If they were caught.  That would be the end.  Ethan
would kill them in retaliation.  There was no question.  But one
way or another, by escape or by death, they would finally be free.
It was worth the risk and the possible consequences.  But it still
did nothing to quell the building uneasiness of the last weeks.

He thought back on the almost child-like excitement that had shown
on Scully's face when she had related to him what Eve had told her
one day, just shortly after their near death four-day punishment.
Eve had confessed that she not only knew where their guns were
located, but was willing to help them escape.  With their guns and
Eve's intimate knowledge of the woods passed along the information
lines bit by bit everyday.  From Eve to Scully, and then from Scully
to Mulder, they finally had their first real chance.

He reached out to cradle her in the crook of his arm. But she pulled
away.  Intent on her own pace and agenda this night.  And he was
willing to follow her lead.  For now anyway.

"I'm waiting", she said quietly, as she lowered her head to his,
kissing him sweetly.  He reached his hands out trying to keep her
close, but she took his hands into hers, laying them down at his

"Patience Mulder.  First, the woods."

He knew what she was doing, and why is was so important to her.  To
them both.  This envisioning game was just a way of reinforcing their
combined and individual knowledge of their planned escape route.  But
it was more than just that.  Each one was searching for reassurance
that if separated, the other would be able to find a way to freedom.
Scully especially had become almost obsessed with this need to repeat
the exercise at every opportunity.  She had also displayed an almost
unequaled tenacity by seizing upon Eve's lingering fears and doubts.
Desperately.  Unrelenting.  He had started to feel concerned that
she was pushing Eve too hard.  Eve was torn, faced with making a
conscious choice which would betray her own family.  Mulder felt Eve
was reaching the breaking point over this divide in her loyalties.
Yet even with these concerns, he never brought the subject up to
Scully, or even asked her to back off.  Eve was their only way out
now, and God help them both, they were using this child even at the
cost of her own peace of mind.

"Tell me what you see", Scully began again.

He frowned for a moment, working to deepen his concentration. Whereas
the area around the cabin he had been exposed to on several occasions,
the woods were still a mystery.  Finally he could feel the picture
taking shape.  He could see the greenness in the color of the leaves
now becoming evident after the stark bareness of winter.  Spring
beginning to make its natural order known with the returning presence
of life to the foliage.  The dense coarseness of the tree trunks,
gray, brown, and black mixtures, sometimes overlapping each other in
places.  Making it that much more difficult to determine where one
tree ended and another began.

The sky was wafting through the treetops in jigsaw puzzle snatches,
blue and heavy with cottony clouds.  He turned his head slightly in
response to the ghost-like sounds he could almost hear that also
served to bring the scene into further focus.  The gentle and
chilled, but ever present breeze stirring the dry leaves that paid
final homage at the gnarled feet of their former masters.  The
picture now firmly in place, he began.

"There is a path.  A definite path.  But it's not easy to find."
He followed his senses and instincts quietly in his head, matching
his mind's scenario to his array of experience as an agent.  "We'll
need to go in at the point just at the apex of the outhouse.  Look-
ing over the roof we can see that there is one tree that is slightly
taller than the rest, but bent at its tip to the left.  From an
especially bad storm years back.  It's the first trail marker.
That's where the path begans.  Next...", he stopped. His breath
coming out in a surprised rush as he felt her straddle his hips.
And then a whole new vision replaced the woods scene in his mind.

She leaned down, her hair wisping across his face, her breasts
resting against his chest.

"You're making it very difficult to concentrate Scully", he whispered
in mock seriousness.

She sat up on top of him, running her hands across his chest, knead-
ing the muscles.  "I have full confidence in your abilities Mulder.
Tell me what you see", she urged him again, the words almost hinging
on need.

He moved his hands to rest on her waist. "I see a beautiful red haired
woman sitting on my chest."

She leaned down again, close to his face.  "I'm not talking about
those abilities Mulder.  Focus."

He smiled, at least she hadn't moved his hands away this time.  Pro-
mise of things to come in that.  And he wanted to give her what she
wanted, even if at this moment thinking was the last thing he felt
like doing.  But, for her.  Slowly he returned to the place he had
been in his mind, picking up where he had left off.

"Next, we'll need to follow the line of trees straight until we can
no longer see the cabin behind us.  The ground should stay level
for quite awhile."  Eve, of course, had no concept of measured time
clocked by watches and meetings.  She had relayed this piece of
information by saying simply that 'the ground won't have any up or
down places in it, for a good while.  Like maybe as long as it
efforts me to beat out and hang a day's worth of washing on the
line.'  They had estimated that to be about forty minutes.

"If the ground slopes or deviates any before that, we'll know that
we've gotten somehow off track.  We'll need to move quietly.  This
will be the time when we will be in the most danger of being heard
by Ethan and the others out working in the woods.  He unconsciously
lowered his voice, like he was crouching and searching the woods
ahead, afraid of detection.  They could even be on the trail them-
selves if they decide to return to the cabin for anything around the
same time we'll be crossing it."

His breath had quickened slightly, stress showing as he got caught
up in the mind exercises.  Scully caressed his face, not wanting to
break his concentration again, but needing him to know that she was
here for him.  Would always be here for him.  After a moment he
started again.

"The next trail marker will be on the right.  A bush, growing at
the base of a tree.  It has tendrils reaching up high along the
truck of the tree.  Encircling it.  Almost like they are growing
together.  Here we'll need to turn right, and follow the path
until we reach a fork, maybe half a mile down.  The trick here is
not to follow the forks in either direction.  Instead we'll need
to climb over the small hill in front and continue on over the
path that's behind it.

He suddenly tensed beneath her body.  She could feel it.  This was
always the most difficult part for him.

"It'll be darker here.  Even in the full sun of day, because this
is where most of the trees have overgrown the tops of their branches.
It's like a canopy blocking out the sun.  There's barely any light.
This will be the most dangerous place we'll have to get through.
The dark makes it hard to see the steep ravines and it's easy to
lose your footing and fall into one.  Also this is where Ethan has
most of his traps."

He was silent for a moment.  His hands tightening around Scully's
waist.  She knew where this apprehension was coming from, and she
knew why.  Eve had not been able to supply them with anymore infor-
ation on the subject of Ethan's traps.  Only that they were there.
And that there were a lot of them.  This is the area where most of
the others before them had died.  According to Ethan's version
they had supposedly been killed by their own ignorance of the
terrain, based on what Ethan had told Eve anyway, and she had then
relayed to them.  But Mulder and Scully suspected that these people
had been hunted down and killed in cold blood.  Just as they would
probably be hunted once their escape had been detected.  Time
would not be on their side.

She placed her warm hands over his suddenly cold ones, urging him
to finish.  She felt almost guilty forcing him to face these
unpleasantries, like a mother holding a child down about to get
an injection.  The child struggling and confused as to why the
person who proclaimed to love him the most was now responsible for
giving him pain.  Empathy and guilt, mixing together with the
subtle responsibility that is the foundation of all love.  Mother
to child.  Friend to friend.  Spouse to spouse.  Lover to lover.
But this justification didn't make it any easier.  It still hurt
her, in ways similar to the mother and child example, to see him
suffer.  But she needed to feel secure that he could recite this
information backwards and forwards, no matter what the price
to his state of mind.  He was always too off-hand glib and evasive
when she had tried others ways of testing him on this.  He was
forever citing her his near perfect memory.  But ever the skeptic,
her heart demanded tangible evidence.  This was the only way she had
found that seemed to work.

Finally, almost as if he had worked his way through the darkness
of his mind he eased up, relaxing his muscles, releasing the tension
in a heavy sigh.  And in truth he had.  Because she knew he had
now reached the other side of the darkness in the woods setting of
his mind.  Away now from the unknown place that they would be en-
countering in real life soon enough.  There wasn't much he could
play out for her on that scene anyway, except for the fear.
Because Eve had not been able to give them too much information
in this area.  And this lack of forewarning was of course, the
basis for the fear itself.

But Scully could not ascertain whether he had fully absorbed the
details of the escape route she had been supplying him with, without
first taking him through this part.  But it was over now for the time-
being, at least in his mind.  And in hers.  But it hung there, a
waiting and tangible final darkness.  Preparing even now for their
arrival on that final day.

She leaned down resting her head against his chest.  She knew what
this took out of him, and that he did it only for her benefit.

"Tell me what you see", she repeated once again.

But they both knew this time it was different.  The sentence wasn't
as serious as the others before had been.  Because the rest of the
journey would be easy compared to the part he had just completed.
He could do it in his sleep.  He brought his hands up clasping them
tight around the bare skin of her back.  And she now allowed the
comfort that his touch brought.  The peace.  Both hers.  And his.

"We'll come into a clearing.  We'll need to cross it heading left
until we reach the point where it falls back into the woods.  The
path will be more defined here, and easier to follow."

His hands started moving slowly down the curve of her back, and
then under to cup her breasts.  Kneading them between the fingers
of his hands.

She smiled.  He was tired of the game now. Never a willing partici-
pant in the first place.  But patient, and pleased with his own
performance.  He was now ready to reap his promised rewards.  She sat
up again.  Arching her back into his insistent hands, giving him
full exposure.  She braced her hands down behind her, one on each
of his legs.

"There's a grouping of rocks, five of them."  He sat up lowering his
head to her neck, and moving his lips over the crevices of her shoulders.
Slowly.  She moaned softly.  "All the rocks are similar in size, and
shape."  He brought his hands around to her back, shifting her, to
lay her down on the bed beneath him.  He trailed kisses down her body
and back up again.  She began moving restlessly.  Impatiently.  He
smiled.  Now it was his turn.  "This grouping is the last trail marker.
This is where we need to reenter the woods."  He moved forward settling
his body between her legs.  "We continue on a straight path for maybe
another half a mile. Once we get to this point, we should be able to see
the road from there.  The road we were on when we had the accident."
He kissed her hard and deep, opening her mouth with his tongue.  Finally,
pulling back he looked down at her.  Her eyes glazed over in passion.
The undeniable look of love meant only for him.  She had never looked
more beautiful to him.

"Then we go home", he said quietly.

"Home", she murmured underneath her breath. The word spoken with an
awed reverence.

And then he was inside her, moving slowly.  Sweetly.

She closed her eyes.

"Tell me what you see Scully", he whispered, his lips now against her
ear.  Caressing.

"I'm home.  And I see a beautiful dark-haired man, making love to


By: Deborah L. Wells
February 1st, 1997

April 6th, 7:35 P.M.
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

"Go to hell Ethan", Scully repeated angrily. Her eyes narrowing to slits.
Mulder stood up forcefully down at the other end of the table.  Earnest
followed him quickly, turning the shot gun level with his chest.  Mulder
slowly returned to his seat, palms displayed in a supplicating gesture,
but his eyes never left the scene unfolding before him.  The cabin was
stock still quiet.  Waiting for the next turn of the screw.  Or nail in
the coffin.  Ethan's facial expression embodied hate, surpassing known
human concepts of the emotion.  His fingers reached out, and talon-like,
clawed the edge of the table in front of him.  Each one turning ashen
with the force of the pressure he applied to them.  A stray piece of
potato trailed down the contours of his cheek, until it reached the end
of his chin and fell.  It landed on the table in front of him.  He
looked down at it, almost studying it.  The starch whiteness spattered
inconsistently with the murky brown sauce, congealing rapidly.  At
first he couldn't remember the connection.  What did this seemingly
innocuous thing have to do with his raging anger?  And then he remember-
ed.  She had thrown it at him.  The bowl of stew.  She had thrown it in
his face.  Scully.  Scully had done that.  To him.

Eve moved quietly from her place, rounding the table to hover near
Ethan.  Her carefully controlled movements were like a small humming-
bird in flight.  "Ethan", she began, but was interrupted.

"Earnest, take Mulder on into the bedroom.  Now."  Ethan spoke with an
eerie calm.  Earnest immediately stood, gun still pointed at Mulder
as he dipped the barrel slightly in the direction of the bedroom door.
Eve moved over to Mulder when she saw him stand, knowing that he was
about to protest leaving without Scully.  She placed her palm against
his chest lightly.  "Mulder, you go on now.  Don't make things worse
like.  Please."  He could see the ravages of worry bringing an almost
centuries-old wisdom to her otherwise youthful face.  "Please", she
said again.  The word was broken up by an unexpected quiet sob.  Edgar
had now joined Earnest with his own shot gun, also pointed at Mulder.
Together they began prodding him back towards the door.  Eve moved
behind him, opening the door.  Mulder tried to catch Scully's eyes,
but she was immersed in some kind of test of wills with Ethan's.
"Scully", he called out plaintively, just before the door was shut in
his face.  But she wouldn't look at him.

Ethan stood slowly, pulling his long legs out from under the bench
like structure in a deliberate measured pace.  Scully followed his
movements.  Eve bent down to pick up the bowl Scully had dropped to
the floor after she had thrown the contents into Ethan's face.  "No
Eve", Ethan commanded.  She stopped her actions at his tone.  Her
mind was caught in a loop.  A repeating mantra.  'They lied.  They
lied.  They lied'.  Over and over and over again. It wasn't supposed
to happen this way.  She stood up straight.

"Eve you go and take the others out back.  Let'em play or set them
to work.  It don't matter.  Just go", said Ethan, his voice was cold
and distant.  Eve knew better than to argue, and quite frankly she
was afraid to let the little ones witness anything that might happen.
She hurried them together.  They were scared and full of unasked
questions.  She could feel their fright, and it matched her own.  She
just couldn't figure out how they had reached this point so quickly.
One minute things had been running smoothly.  And then.  This wasn't
part of the plan.  They had been so close too.  But now.  She turned
at the door just before leaving.  She wondered what horrors she would
find upon her return, as she closed the door quietly behind her.

The cabin was suddenly awash in silence.  The only sounds that were
evident would have been in other circumstances, soothing.  Not here.
The crackling of the fire was now reminiscent of hell's own scorching
fire, burning the flesh off some poor helpless sinner.  The occasional
creaking and groans of the cabin were now only reminders of the
confinement and constriction of the cage that was the cabin's inter-
ior.  A cage without a key.  Ethan moved slightly, as Scully repressed
a shudder.  His movements were reptilian in nature.  She would not
have been surprised if his lips had parted just then, revealing a
blackened tongue, split and forked, followed quite naturally by the
devil's own hiss.  He was evil.  The soul of pure evil.  Although she
had always known this; it still had all the first time capabilities
to produce the fear.  And this was the core of his power over her.
He reveled in it.  He fed on it.  He crossed the room to stand
behind her silently.

Scully allowed herself to close her eyes for a moment.  Knowing he
couldn't see her face just then.  She only now realized the true
scope of what it was she had done.  She had tossed away their only
chance for escape.  It wasn't supposed to have happened like this,
but when she saw him....his hands....what he was doing with them.
She had lost control.  Completely.  The next thing she could remem-
ber clearly was standing there seeing his face covered with the stew.
She opened her eyes to the bedroom door.  Mulder.  Her heart lurched.
Not only had she thrown her own chances away, but his as well.  She
had no right to seal his fate along with hers.  Her eyes lowered
in shame.  All their planning.  That small spark of hope that had
ignited with the return of their resolve to escape.  It was all
gone now.  She was filled only with the complete and overwhelming
hopelessness and defeat that had almost destroyed her before.
Made worse because she knew, if given the chance....she would do
it again.

She waited.  She could feel the heat seeping through her skin from
behind.  But it wasn't the fire.  It was him.  The heat of his
soul-less self wafting off from his body like the shimmering hot
mirage heat of an acrid dry desert landscape.  His breath was foul
next to her neck.  Putrid.  Sulfuric.  This was what madness smelled
like she realized.  He placed one hand atop her shoulder, and she
flinched instinctively, shrugging it off.  She turned to face him

And he laughed.  Low.  Throaty.  Raspy.  There should be another
word to describe it, she thought suddenly.  Not laughter. Because
this could only be looked upon as a mockery of laughter.  His eyes
danced within the pools of their own insanity.  Reflected back to
her with a reddish glow from the fire.

"I know", she whispered.

"I wanted you to know", he acknowledged, with no small pleasure.

There was a pounding.  She thought it was her own heart for a moment
before taking in the fact that it was coming from the bedroom door.
It was Mulder.  Afraid for her.  And she was indeed afraid herself.
Very afraid.  She fought to maintain eye contact with him.  But it
was like staring straight into the sun.  His image burning itself
permanently into her corneas.  He was the devil.  He was.  He moved
again, backing away slightly.  He leaned lazily against the edge of
the fireplace's mantle.  She watched intently, as he began again.
His left hand lifted, overturned and cupped.  His right hand moving
against it, under and back.  Over and over again.  She closed her
eyes finally, but the picture was still there.  When she opened her
eyes once more she looked down with surprise.  She was repeating his
movements with her own hands.  But then she knew them so well.
By route, and repetition.

How many times had she repeated this ritual for Emily.  Holding the
stuffed bunny in one hand while pushing the stuffing back in with
the other.  She stilled her own hands, while his increased their
tempo.  Until they were but a parody of the original movements.
He was turning it into some obscene and grotesque gesture.  Fren-
zied.  Trying to warp even this memory for her.  Why?, she thought
desperately.  Why must evil seek out innocence and destroy it?
Why?  He had killed Emily.  She, who had been the very embodiment
of all that is pure and innocent.  And this walking apparition of
death had killed her.  She knew this now.  As soon as she had seen
him making the hand gestures during dinner.  Displaying them for her
benefit only.  Down in his lap while she had stood near him dishing
out his dinner.  It was then she had lost control, and thrown the
stew.  Emily had not drowned accidently.  Ethan had killed Emily.
She remembered blurting out that accusation at the graveside, but
her reasoning then had only been based on the fact that he had
refused medical treatment which could have saved her life.

The dreams.  They took on a whole new significance now.  They
weren't only a sad product of grief.  The dreams had been real.
Her head shot up.  She looked again at his hands, moving with a
frantic speed now.  Those same abominations had been locked around
sweet Emily's throat.  Killing her.  And Emily *had* called for
her.  Just like in the dream.  She knew this.  She knew.  Her eyes
filled with hot salty tears of soul-wrenching pain.  "No", she
wailed.  "No."  She sank to her knees on the hardwood floor. And
quick, like a vulture descending unto carrion, he was behind her
now, encircling her with his arms.

Evil has a touch.  It's an encompassing cold, filled with cruelty.
A total absence of comfort.  Whispering of pain endured and endless
more yet to come.  "Yes", he hissed into her ear, and it was death

"Mulder", she whimpered softly.

"....can't help you now", he finished.

He pulled her to her feet, her form locked within the steel mesh of
his arms. He was moving her body forward, towards the roaring fire.
She watched the embers and flames leap high, intertwining and embedded
throughout the cords of burning wood.  It was beautiful and deadly.
Offering warmth and death.  Coming closer and closer.  He ran one of
his hands down the length of her arm, stopping at the bottom, as he
took her limp hand in his at her wrist. He lifted her arm. He felt
like ebony ice, an agony of coldness.  A coldness that even the heat
of the fire was powerless to extinguish.  His legs molded behind hers
as they pushed her forward even more.  Towards the gaping mouth of the
fire's fetid breath.

"I want to hear you that first night", he whispered,
as he moved her hand ever onward.

Her fingers automatically retracted against the increasing degrees
of heat.  He bent her body with his own, folded around her at the
waist from behind.  She resisted an overwhelming urge to become sick
as she felt his hardness straining against her body.  It was a
desire.  But it wasn't remotely sexual in design.  His desire wasn't
for her body.  It was for her pain.  He lived only for other people's
pain.  She was darkly mesmerized as she gazed into the encroaching
fire.  Lost.  She fought to gain control.  The first iron hot lick
of flame searing her tender skin brought her back to reality.  She
bit her lip, hard enough to draw blood in order to quell the scream
that was trying to escape in response to the pain.  She would not
give him his desire.  Refused.

Instead she reached out with her other hand, using it to cover both
his and her own where they conjoined within the heat of the flames.

"Together then Ethan.  We'll go into hell together", she said with a
firm resolve.

She purposely began moving their hands now firmly fused together deep-
er into the fire.  She felt him stiffen against her with a stunned
surprise, as he now too felt the effects of the flames.  The smell
of burning flesh assaulted her senses.  She registered the concept
of the pain, but for now at least was separated from it as if sus-
pended on another level from its grasp.  She turned just enough to
watch his face contort in agony as their hands were engulfed in the
fury.  No more the monster now to her.  Just a man-child.  He held
no power over her this night.  She smiled, even as he screamed.

In that single micro-moment a strange reversal took place as she
saw that she had now become as much the monster as he had been.
And she tearfully mourned the loss of herself.

He jerked back, pulling her with him.  They fell to the floor and
he immediately pushed her away roughly.  He stood, running to the
sink, working desperately to prime the pump.  Cursing her.  Whimper-
ing with the pain while the cool water gushed over his hands.  The
cabin door burst open then, as Eve, Earnest and Edgar rushed in from
outside.  Eve stood motionless for a moment, trying to make sense
of the conflicting images in front of her.  Ethan yelling out
obscenities directed at Scully, and in obvious pain.  Scully on the
floor, leaning back on her knees almost serenely.  Her hands held
out in front of her, obviously burnt.  But she didn't seem to be
acknowledging the pain.  The pounding and yelling coming from behind
the bedroom door, as Mulder demanded to know what the hell was hap-

This madness had to stop, Eve thought fleetingly.  All the remaining
lingering doubt she may have had over her own participation in the
plan falling away.  Tomorrow.  As scheduled.  Come what may, the
escape would go on as planned.  Tomorrow.  She rushed over to Scully,
helping her to her feet, wanting nothing more than to get her into
the bedroom before Ethan had a chance to hurt her further.  Scully
looked at Eve like she didn't know who she was, but responded to
her directions as they worked their way over to the door.  The bar
bolt was removed in record speed as Eve pushed Scully into Mulder's
waiting arms.  And then locked the door firmly behind them.


By: Deborah L. Wells
February 1st, 1997

Mulder grabbed Scully as she came through the door, pulling her into a
relieved hug.  It wasn't until he heard her muffled groan of pain that
he realized that something was wrong.  He pulled her back to arm's
length and that was when he saw her hands.  Burnt.  Blistered and red.
In some places blackened.  "God", he said as he steered her over to
the bed and sat her down.  He then went over to the dresser, removing
the water pitcher and bowl, along with the wash cloths that sat next
to them.  Returning to the bed, he sat the items down on the table,
pouring the bowl full of water.  He guided Scully to sit up against the
headboard, as he placed a pillow on her lap.  He laid the bowl of water
carefully on the pillow, and gingerly lowered her hands into the cool
water.  She grimaced at the sensation, sucking in her breath through
clenched teeth.  He began ripping the cloths into strips.

"Scully....", he began, then faltered.

What had gone wrong?, he wondered.  What had possessed her to do what
she did tonight.  The plan had been to only irritate Ethan enough to
merit another lengthy lock-up punishment.  It was to have been the
first phase of their escape plan.  So meticulously planned over these
last weeks.  They both knew he would not need much provocation.  Any
little thing would have set him off.  But what she had done was no
little thing.  Why had Scully thrown the stew?  It was overkill.  It
was like the lamb blindly walking into the lion's den.  What had she
deemed so paramount in importance that it equaled worth in her mind
enough to risk their only possible avenue of escape.

"Mulder", she spoke quietly, as if reading his mind.  "I'm sorry."

He nodded slightly, not trusting himself to speak right now.

He lifted her hands from the water, touching them as little as possi-
ble. She frowned some, and shifted a little, but that was all. It
bothered him that she didn't seem to feel much pain.  It was if she
was completely detached from reality.  He wrapped them carefully with
the cloth strips, as best he could, tying the ends at her wrists.  He
returned the bowl to the table, and then sat down beside her on the
bed.  He pulled her into his arms.

"Tell me Scully", he said quietly after awhile.

"He killed her Mulder.  Emily.  And he was taunting me with it like
she was some piece of garbage thrown out for disposal.  I...I just
lost it...I don't know what else to say."  She turned around to face
him, moving next to him to wrap her arms around his neck.  He could
feel the soft cloth bandages on her hands as they rested against his
skin.  "I'm sorry", she said again next to his ear.

She stayed there, resting against him for many minutes before finally
speaking once more. "I was there with him Mulder. Inside his madness."
She pulled back to look deep into his eyes.  He could almost see the
dark abyss of despair that was Ethan's essence reflected back in her
own eyes for just a split second, and then it was gone.  He held her

"You're back now Scully.  You found a way out."

She searched his eyes for answers.  "This time", she said weakly.

He opened his mouth to speak and then changed his mind.  She would not
want platitudes now.  She was being honest, and in truth he knew there
could well be another time when she was faced with even worse trials.
Only she would be able to know whether she had the inner strength
within herself to breach the bridge back from the edge of darkness.
Their combined silence lengthened as they both drifted off to sleep.


April 7th, 5:25 A.M.
In The Woods, Wilstead Cabin
Hadden, West Virginia

Scully was pacing.  Mulder watched her out of the corner of his eye.
She was in pain and trying to ignore it. She had woken several times
during the night drenched in sweat from the throbbing ache of the
burns. But there wasn't much she could do, nor he to help her.  The
blisters had started weeping and it had taken all her reserves of
strength to tolerate the pain while he had washed her hands and
changed the bandages this morning.  His only comfort was knowing
Ethan was going through the same agony. Although he was sure he was
afforded some relief via Eve's medicinal plant medicine.  Ethan would
never offer the same treatment for Scully of course.

But it wasn't the pain making Scully restless now. It was the waiting.
Would Ethan revert to his practiced method of locking them into their
room for days on end without food or water by way of punishment?  Or
would Scully's accelerated act of defiance last night push him into
some new and seemingly unimaginable higher plane of punishment?

They both jumped as they heard the sounds of the bar being removed.
Unconsciously they moved together.  Awaiting their fate.  Mulder was
reminded of that story about the doors - one holding a tiger meant
to kill, the other a beautiful lady.  Which would it be he wondered

The door swung open slowly.

There stood Eve, worry etched on her face.  "Are you ready?", she
whispered urgently.