Title: Bound
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: John Reese/Jordan Hester
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: PG-13
Table: writers_choice
Prompt: #458, Hands and feet
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely John Reese or Jordan Hester, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.

***

Jordan closed his eyes, trying to push away the events of the day, wishing that this was all a horrible nightmare that he would wake up from. If he concentrated hard enough, he would be in bed with John, all of this fading away into the mists of a dream.

But it wasn't a dream. He was lying on his bed, bound hand and foot, a gag in his mouth to keep him from crying out. The men who had broken into his apartment were long gone; they hadn't harmed him, and he didn't think they'd taken anything.

They had intended this as a warning to John; he was sure of it. They'd broken into his home and rendered him helpless, leaving what looked like a note on the table by his bed. He had no doubts that they had left some kind of threat -- more than likely, one against him.

John had been right, Jordan thought despairingly. His enemies had no scruples; they hadn't hesitated to use their relationship against John, and Jordan knew that it would keep happening over and over again as long as they were together.

Unless, of course, John's enemies killed him first. The thought made his blood run cold, a shudder going through his bound body. He didn't want to think about that, though the possibility was all too real, looming in the forefront of his mind.

John's enemies could easily kill him, simply to prove to John that they could. They had to know that losing yet another person he loved might very well destroy John; if his lover was right, those enemies would think nothing of taking a life to do so.

He had thought that they were going to kill him when they'd forced their way through the front door of his apartment; he'd been foolish enough to think that the knock had been from the postman, delivering a package that he'd been expecting.

Instead, there had been three burly men outside the door, one of whom had grabbed Jordan as they came into the apartment, another clamping a hand over his mouth to choke back his cry. It had only taken them a few moments to tie him up and gag him, rendering him helpless.

Jordan had been sure that they would either shoot him or slit his throat, but they'd simply stood there looking at him for what had seemed like a lifetime before they had all nodded at each other and one of them had placed the note on the beside table.

They'd left the room without a word, and a few moments later, Jordan had heard the front door slam shut. He had almost cried with relief; after being so sure that he would die, he'd been given a reprieve. He had felt faint with the relief of it, as though he was going to pass out.

But he hadn't done that; instead, he'd tried to move his wrists, grimacing in pain as the rough ropes had abraded his flesh. He'd discovered quickly that it was useless to try to free himself; his assailants were apparently very good at tying knots.

His hands and feet were bound together, making it impossible for him to even attempt to free himself. All he could do was lie here and wait for John, hoping that his boyfriend would be here before those men might decide to come back and finish him off.

Struggling was useless; he'd found that out quickly enough. It was only going to make him feel even more helpless, and rub his wrists and ankles raw. There was nothing he could do but wait for John to get here -- if his boyfriend even came to his apartment tonight.

Would they have sent some kind of message to John to let him know that he should come here? Jordan hoped not; if that was the case, then his boyfriend might find himself caught in a trap that he couldn't get out of. Jordan didn't want to be responsible for that happening.

If that was what those men were planning, then Jordan was sure that there was no way he would survive the night. They wouldn't hesitate to use him against John in any way they could; to them, he would just be collateral damage, expendable and worthless.

He had to blink back tears at the thought that he and John could lose each other so easily, at one single stroke of fate; they had only just found each other, but fate might tear the two of them apart just as quickly as they had been brought together.

His wrists had already gone numb; how much longer would he have to lie here bound and gagged, hoping that John would find him without placing either of them in danger? There was no way for him to know what might happen; all he could do was hope for the best.

Jordan's head jerked up as he heard the front door open; his eyes widened in a combination of hope and fear. Was that John, finally coming to Jordan's rescue like some white knight out of a fairy tale -- or was it his captors coming back, deciding that he was better dead than alive?

"Jordan?" He heard John's soft voice echoing through the living room, the sound almost making him weep. He moaned behind the gag, hoping that John would hear him and make his way to the bedroom, yet at the same time hoping that his boyfriend was being cautious.

Within a few moments, he saw John's shadow on the wall opposite the bedroom door before the other man looked into the room, gun drawn, his eyes hooded and secretive. When he saw that there was no one in the room with Jordan, he holstered the gun, making his way to the bed.

It only took seconds for John to ease the cloth gag from Jordan's mouth; he took a deep breath, closing his eyes and leaning against his boyfriend. "Thanks," he managed to say, his voice sounding hoarse and disused. "It was getting harder to breathe."

"Jordan, are you okay? Who did this to you?" John demanded, taking Jordan's face between his hands and looking into his eyes. "Did they touch you? Did they hurt you? I swear, if there's one bruise on your body, I'll fucking kill the people who --"

John broke off, closing his eyes for a moment, shaking his head. "That's not important. I'll deal with them later, once I know who they are. Are you all right?" He removed a penknife from his pocket, slicing through the ropes that bound Jordan's hands and feet quickly and efficiently.

"I don't know who they were," Jordan told him, sitting up slowly, still leaning against John. "I saw their faces, so I know I could point them out if I saw them again. But I don't know what they wanted. They just broke in, tied me up, and left. That's it. I think this was a warning."

John nodded, his countenance grim. "Yes, it was a warning for me," he said, his voice terse. "They were sending me a message that they don't have any qualms about using you to get to me. I can't let you stay here, Jordan. They know where you live now. It's too dangerous."

Jordan stared at his boyfriend, raising his hands to chafe his abraded wrists. "This is my home, John. I can't just leave. It was stupid of me to let them in. I thought it was somebody from UPS -- I didn't look to make sure it wasn't. This was my fault."

"No, it wasn't!" John's voice had a rough edge to it; he sighed as he turned to Jordan and took the other man's hands in his own. "Jordan, you couldn't have known. You're not used to looking at the world with apprehension all the time, like I am. I don't want you to be like that."

"I tried to be that way," Jordan murmured, unable to look up at John. "I just wasn't very good at it. You saw how useless I was at protecting myself. I need you, John. And don't say that I wouldn't need to be protected if I wasn't with you. I'm not going to give you up, and that's final."

"I can't give you up, either," John told him, his voice soft and husky. "But this is a warning to us, Jordan. Not just to me, but to you, too. We've got to be more careful. And I've got to find a way to keep you safe, even when I'm not with you."

"I don't think you can do that," Jordan told him, shaking his head. "I've got to take my chances, just like every other person in the world does. I might have more of a risk factor because I'm with you, and your enemies know it, but I can deal with that. I have to."

"At least you're safe for now," John said with a sigh. "And I can work on a way to make sure you're kept safe. Don't argue with me, Jordan," he said as the other man raised a hand and opened his mouth to speak. "It's not optional. I'm going to keep you safe, no matter what."

Privately, Jordan wasn't sure that John could do that -- after all, he was one man, with only one other man as his professional partner. But he trusted John in every way -- he would simply have to trust his boyfriend to keep him safe, too. He had no other choice.

John lifted Jordan's hands to his face, pressing a soft kiss against each wrist. "I'm going to make them pay for every second of pain they made you suffer," he whispered as his eyes met Jordan's. "I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner, sweetheart."

"That was the first time I've been tied up," Jordan murmured, shaking his head. "I didn't much like it. Until today, I might have been curious about playing around with it -- in bed, I mean. But now, I don't think I could deal with being tied up ever again. It's too scary."

"You're never going to be bound and helpless again if I have anything to say about it," John told him, his voice grim again. Standing up, he pulled Jordan to his feet, then slid an arm around his slender waist. "Come on, let's go take a shower. Hopefully, you'll feel better after that."

Jordan nodded, leaning on his boyfriend as they headed down the hallway to the bathroom. All he wanted to do at the moment was forget about everything that had happened today, and concentrate on being with the man he loved for the rest of the night.

John was here. He was safe. They were both safe. So why did he still have this prickling feeling at the back of his neck, as though they were being watched? Why did he feel that there was much worse to come, and that the sword hadn't fallen upon them yet?

He opened his mouth to remind John about the note that those men had left, then closed it again without speaking. There would be plenty of time for John to worry about that after they had taken a shower -- and he had the disturbing feeling that neither of them would like what was written there.

***