Despite what Pitch said, Jack ran as fast his feet would take him. It seemed as if he would escape, but without warning his path became a dead end. Frustrated Jack quickly turned around and once more started to run.
"Jack? Oh jack?" Pitch called. "Please stop running, it will get you nowhere." All at once the stairs Jack was running down disappeared, and he found himself in the middle of the lair, with no place to hide. "Hello Jack," a sly voice came from behind. The guardian turned around and before he could do anything, Pitch pushed him up against a wall, a gray hand wrapped around his throat.
"Let-Go!" Jack yelled.
"Oh," Pitch cooed, looking at the boy lovingly, "but if I do than you'll run away. And what would be the fun in that?" The boy latched his hands onto Pitch's wrists and covered them in as much ice as possible, without his staff. The boogeyman let out a cry and dropped Jack. Although he hit the stone hard, the guardian got up and sprinted away. The Nightmare King stared at Jack, a devious smirk appearing on his face.
"Playing hard to get, are we Jack?" Pitch's voice echoed throughout the lair, as duplicates of his shadows spread across the walls. "It doesn't have to be this way Jack." The guardian of fun looked around nervously, trying to pinpoint Pitch's location. "I don't have to fill you up with sand again." The voice stopped echoing and suddenly came from behind the frost elf. "All you need to do is stay."
Jack instantly turned around and began to back away. "I told you before I would never join you!"
"Why must you be so persistent?" Pitch stated, stepping forward, forcing Jack to back away. "I understand all the pain you've been through, I know everything about you."
"You know nothing about me!!" Jack cried, still backing away, getting awfully close to the wall.
"I know more than you think," Pitch said with confidence. "Did you honestly believe when you were under my control, I would learn nothing about you? You have two choices Jack." The boy was now all the way against the wall. "You can stay of your own freewill and everything will be glorious, or I could fill you with sand until you're obedient."
Jack's expression changed, and it looked as if he were slightly afraid, not of Pitch himself, but of what Pitch would do to him if he tried to run. "I don't want to make you a puppet, Jack." The Nightmare King moved in closer. Pitch caressed the boy's cheek, and Jack didn't move, he couldn't move from fear taking over his mind. "Stay Jack." The Boogeyman placed his hands on the boy's shoulders, leaned in and kissed him. The warmth on Jack's lips shocked him out of his fear.
The frost elf thinking quick, kneed Pitch in the stomach and once more ran. Pitch slightly winded, and resting his hands on his knees, glared at the guardian. Pitch lifted up his hand and black sand shot out of it. It formed itself around Jack, trapping him in a cage. Jack froze the bars, and hit them, hoping they would shatter and he'd be free.
But nothing happened.
The Nightmare King grabbed the collar of Jack's sweatshirt, and yanked him forward, causing the poor boy to hit the bars hard. A terrified expression appeared on Jack's face. Being filled with the nightmare sand was the worst pain he'd ever felt. It had felt as if the sand was tearing him apart, like it was ripping out his DNA one cell at a time.
"Please," Jack begged. It was the lowest of the low to plead to his enemy, but Jack was desperate. He really didn't want to feel that horrendous pain again. "Please, don't. Anything but that."
There was the slightest hint of sympathy in Pitch's expression, but the Boogeyman hid that fact from the young guardian. "This was your choice Jack." Sand started to consume Jack once more, and the frost elf had to grasp the bars for support. He groaned as the pain became unbearable, but still he continued to fight it. "Stop fighting it Jack, you're only making it worse for yourself."
The boy stared intently at the ground, his shoulders heaving as his breathing became heavier. "It hurts!" Jack cried.
"I'm sorry," Pitch replied, with such sincerity that Jack looked up in slight shock. Suddenly it hit his heart and he let out a small scream as his head fell.
After two minutes of it staying absolutely quiet, Jack's head lifted up. His eyes were white and his smile was broad. The cage disappeared, and Jack wrapped his arms around the Boogeyman. Pitch rubbed the boy's back, and ran his fingers through his silky white hair. "That's my good boy," Pitch said sadness in his voice. Although Jack was now his, the guardian of fun had two chances to be with him willingly, and the frost elf turned him down.
"Pitch," the boy said, voice muffled by Pitch's shirt. Jack looked up, resting his chin on the Nightmare King's middle. "I love you." Pitch picked up the guardian, and patted his head.
"I love you too," the Boogeyman replied, grief still noticeable in his voice.