Awake, unsedated. Fully aware and capable. Likely to shred him in less time than it took to blink.
But there was no other way. The predator was not about to listen to him while he stayed outside the cell. He had to go in there, make it personal, appeal to the part of Sanaan that respected and loved him. That meant his physical presence, terrifyingly close to her.
He took several deep breaths to try to calm himself. It didn't work.
Fuck it, I'm just going in. If I die, at least I will have tried.
He nodded up at the security camera, signaling the guard on duty. The door to Sanaan's cell unlocked with a loud click, and the sound of the bolt sliding back into the wall echoed loudly in the empty hall. John very nearly started hyperventilating as he reached for the door, sternly telling his body that Directors did not run away from danger, and stepped inside.
Sanaan's eyes followed his every movement as he entered the cell and shut the door behind him. He heard the bar slide back into place, the click as the lock engaged sounding much like a death knell to his ears. If anything happened, he would be trapped in here, unable to escape. He told himself if he survived this, he was going to demand one hell of a raise from Donovan, plus extra vacation time. Provided they all survived this war, of course.
He stopped when he was in front of Sanaan, the mantra Directors do not run nor scream on endless repeat inside his head. This was it--Sanaan would either accept or reject his offer, and once one of those two things happened, she was either going to kill him or let him live. Simple as that.
He cleared his throat, coughing probably longer than was normal. Sanaan's blood-red eyes remained steady and unwavering on his face, her attention complete--the gaze of a predator stalking her prey. John coughed again and, gathering what courage he had left, opened his mouth to speak.
"Sanaan, I've come to offer you a deal," he began, his voice cracking. Sanaan cocked her head slightly, and he hoped that meant she was listening. "So, here it is--I'll let you out of here and let you kill your enemies. However, there are certain conditions you must agree to before I'll do that."
Sanaan's eyes brightened, and she slowly straightened her head as she considered him. John held his breath, waiting; either he'd triggered his own demise, or she was thinking. Several interminable moments passed before the silence was broken.
"What are your...conditions?" Sanaan asked. Or rather, Sanaan and the predator--the dual voice that spoke the words sent shivers down John's spine. One voice was clearly Sanaan's; the other was a deeper, rougher version of that same voice. The two together sounded like something out of a horror film. Not to mention the predator speaking was unheard of in the vampire community...until now.
John blew out the breath he'd been holding, relieved. It looked like he was going to at least live long enough to give her the conditions.
"The conditions are that you must obey my orders at all times. You may not go anywhere without permission. You may only kill who or what I've given you permission to kill. Any commanders I assign you to, you will obey the same as me. You will return to the Agency after each mission, and you will not harm anyone here."
More interminable moments of silence passed as Sanaan stared at him, unblinking. The soft splats of the blood-tears were the only noises in the room, and John was again reminded of a scene out of a horror film. It would be funny, he thought, if Sanaan weren't so goddamned scary right now.