Sam groggily raised her head from her shoulder and immediately detected her injuries. Her right eye was slowly swelling, her head throbbed like nothing before and her bottom lip was caked in dried blood. She was strapped by the wrists, stomach and ankles to a chair which pressed painfully against the welts across her back. She did not fight, however, because she knew it was futile and, even so, she was exhausted. Peering around, Sam noted the thick, metallic walls resembling the interior of a large shipping container and the dark lighting. Despite this, she was able to identify the figure perched on the edge of a table in front of her and she sighed in defeat, her eyes hitting the floor. “How the hell did you beat me?” she asked. Ben stood up off the table and began a slow stroll around the chair. “Oh, you’re good, Samantha. But I’m better.” Sam gave a small snort of derision, still avoiding eye contact. “I bet if you gave me a stick too I wouldn’t be here.” “That’s probably true.” “What do you want? And where’s Sawyer?” Ben finished his tour, took a seat on the table again and ignored the questions. After a pause, he quizzed her, “Why do you care so much for James? He’s a liar, a con man, a cheater, not to mention he doesn’t even bathe daily. What could you possibly see in a man like-?” Sam snapped, “He looks after me.” Her eyes finally met Ben’s. “I would’ve thought you could look after yourself.” “You don’t know me,” she sneered. Ben sat up straight and seemed to go into auto-pilot. “Samantha Cate Overcash, born August 4th 1986 in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Father Gavin Peter Overcash, lawyer, mother Michelle Elizabeth Banks, therapist. Graduated high school two years early, excelling in all areas, especially physical combat and biology. Never had a boyfriend, never had a job, plays competitive baseball and kickboxing-” “STOP IT!” The bulging eyes stared at her intently. Unblinking. Her own shout rang in her ears amongst the now-present silence.
“Stop it,” she repeated, quietly. “As you can tell, I know a lot more about you than you think.” Sam sighed again. “I hate you.” She looked up at him. “I hate the way you speak. I hate the way you look at us with your horrible eyes. You are a sick, twisted, disgusting excuse for a human being.” Her fists clenched and her arms strained against the straps as she raised her voice. “Where do you get off? What the HELL do you want?!” There was a sudden silence in which Ben, his blank expression unchanging, rose from the table and approached Sam. He began to circle the chair again but stopped to Sam’s left, placed a hand on her head and slowly twisted it backwards by the hair. Sam groaned in pain as Ben leant in and muttered, “No, Sam. YOU are a disgusting excuse for a human being. Do you remember the so-called Other you killed in your second week on this island?” Sam’s eyes flashed over to Ben’s in fear. “That was my brother.” Throwing her head forwards, Ben strode briskly to the door. Before opening it, he turned back to Sam. “You will not see Sawyer again,” he stated furiously. Sam picked her head up and cried, “Why?” Ben’s lips formed a snarl. “Because I can.” Sam barely had a chance to let a tear fall down her cheek as Ben stormed out and a bag was thrown over her head.