Tarzan had been conscious when he heard their hard boots clattering down the corridor outside. It had cost nearly all his willpower to haul himself over to the wall and be sitting resting upright by the time the door crashed open. In the last moment, he’d thrown his hands behind his head.
Looking pure nonchalance. Looking cocky. His guts screamed with the move. But it was worth it to see the look of surprise on the soldier’s face. Never expecting Tarzan to be looking so relaxed after the pounding his metal-clad fists had dished out.
“On your feet, motherfucker. Need more answers outta you.”
Tarzan knew he’d given no answers. He’d passed out before they got anything out of him. Brazenly he stared back for a few moments. Then, slowly .. like he had nothing better to do .. he started to get to his feet. Knowingly he twisted around as he got his legs under him. Facing the wall .. using it for support as he rose. Only the wall saw the grimaces of pain that lashed across his features as he got up. His innards screamed with every move. But that bastard wasn’t going to see. Best way of denying this bastard Cooper that satisfaction.
Almost upright, Tarzan was surprised. A sudden movement behind. A tight grip in the back of his neck. Shoving him forward. Slamming him into the wall. Smacking Tarzan’s face against the bricks. A punch to his lower back. Slamming his belly into the wall. His damaged belly muscle took a savage hit. The injuries inside stabbed him like a warrior’s spear.
Shocked. In pain. A cry broke.
“Who you fucking playing with, Wildman?”
WHAM! Another fist gouged out pain. It was that Cooper was hissing down Tarzan’s ear.
“Who you jerking around?”
THUD! An eye-popping pain blasted Tarzan’s belly into the wall. Gripped tight by the neck. Crushing his face into the wall.
“Not hurting? Really? ”
THWACK! A hard-knuckled fist gouged Tarzan’s aching ribs into the bricks.
“Who you trying to fool?”
THUD! Pain exploded in his head. His innards burst into flames. Somehow Tarzan managed to suppress the cries of pain. But the ragged grunt of eye-watering pain racing through his insides .. that would not be denied.
“That way, asshole …..”
Outside the soldier with his automatic indicated the way. Back to the room where they had strung him up. Where Cooper had gone for him with his tooled-up fist. It didn’t take much to imagine what they wanted him for.
But .. Tarzan instincts quickly noticed .. it was only a pair of guards this time ……? Did they think he presented less of a problem after that beating?
“Move your ass, motherfucker.”
Cooper shoved Tarzan from behind. A rough push against his shoulder. It took Tarzan all his effort not to stumble. He didn’t. But the move taught him not to under-estimate how much that brutal beating had cost him.