Underground: Supremacy

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I looked at my watch one more time then up at the roof that had several assassins looking out. This was suicide. Anyone with common sense would know that all they are going to do is provoke Justine’s anger without knowing what she is fully capable of. I sighed looking back in front. “Do you think she will show up?” I looked over at Staci who stared blankly at the horizon.

Did I think Justine will really show up?

Part of me was hopeful. I was praying she would. All I remember was the phone call I got that night, the fear and the smell of blood when we walked through the front door of the Mason mansion. Hundreds of our people slaughtered. “I trust my sister,” was all I could manage to say.
I did trust her. Innocent or guilty there was a reason and I planned to listen to whatever she had to say. The movement behind us caused me to look over my shoulder and see the others, Cherine, Dorian, Carter and Alex. walk through the door. I frowned. “Where is Joel, Carter?” Staci asked.
“Eric doesn’t want him out here and possibly making Justine run. We don’t need a fight to break out,” Alex answered running a hand through his hair. “She’s twenty minutes late.”

“She will be here,” Staci said confidently.

Dorian shook his head. I looked at Cherine who didn’t even look like she suffered serious injuries. She stood proud, her red hair pulled back like Staci’s and in uniform. Cherine caught me looking and smiled softly. “We need to be as one for this, Jon,” she said. “She’s not the same girl and it will take a lot more than guns and fighting to bring her back.”
She’s late.
Before I could respond everyone straightened up as my father and mother along with the Belrose and Almassy family walked out the building fully dressed and ready for a fight. Standing among them leading the charge was Gary Belrose. Dorian moved first. “General, What is this?” He asked.
“Lieutenant Ryder is a no show but is in London,” Gary piped up. “We are taking hostile measures now.”
“The hell you are,” I growled.

“I fought her and trust me when I say you will be signing the death warrants of every man and woman here if we don’t wait,” Cherine looked at father and mother. “Did Joel sign off on this?”

“The day you start listening to Gary’s nonsense is the day you are as foolish as him,” Mother said. “We are waiting for her. It seems to be a Mason family trait with tardiness.”

I watched my siblings visibly relax while glaring at Gary. Joel being able to hold his temper in for as long as he has is a miracle in itself. I looked back at the front gate. Justine. What happened to you? Why didn’t you wait for us? I bit the inside of my cheek as I felt the jealousy spike in my chest again. Cherine told us Thomas, Devlin, Mitchie and Judith were with her. She took them and not us. I would have gladly stood with her and take the charges if it meant I knew she was safe.

“Five bodies approaching!” Someone yelled from the roof.

My head snapped up. My heart began to race as the figures got closer. The leader I would have recognized anywhere. Her long curls hung around her like a dark cape and she was wearing a short black dress with knee high boots. Her coat hung low enough to make a train behind her but what stuck out the most about her was her aura. The woman coming towards us was dangerous. “Justine,” I heard Dorian say softly.

Mother took a step forward but was quickly grabbed by Cherine in warning. I couldn’t take my eyes off Justine. Cherine’s story at the time felt so exaggerated but standing here now I felt chills I only experienced in front of one other person. In front of Joel. Finally after what felt like hours, Justine and her party stopped at the bottom step looking up at us. She scanned each face in the crowd before stopping at father.
“This is it?” She asked sounding bored.
Baffled was not even close to how I felt. I looked back at Cherine who kept her eyes on Justine. Rul Almassy walked forward a few steps but when Justine looked at him he stopped his movements. He cleared his throat, “Lieutenant Justine Ryder of the Mason Faction, you are under arrest for desertion and the murders of—”

“Perhaps someone with more authority than you should read me my charges and not hide,” she cut him off raising an eyebrow. She looked back at Eric. “I trust you have cells waiting for us.”
I covered my mouth to hide my smile and Carter coughed to hide a laugh. She didn’t lose her fiery nature. “Good,” was all I heard from Joel. I stepped forward against small protests and looked down at her. “If any of you have any weapons now is the time to hand it over,” I told them.

Thomas jerked his chin at Justine, “She’s our weapon and you’re taking her so.”

I looked back down at Justine, “I’m taking you to your cell.”
She looked at me for a moment then nodded. I looked up at my father and he gave a sharp nod as I escorted Justine up the stairs into the building. The other four were detained by Dorian and Alex. Carter and Staci were close behind us as the crowd parted for her. Justine kept her chin raised and her eyes forward. Those that were whispering stopped immediately when she walked by. The whispers and staring fully stopped when the four of us got into the elevator and the doors closed. “Where are we taking her?” Staci asked.
“The lower cells,” I looked down at her but she kept her eyes trained forward.

“If you stare at me any longer you will bore a hole in the side of my face,” she snapped looking directly at me.

I gave her a soft smile, “I’m just making sure you’re real since you won’t let any of us touch you.”
It was true. She had placed an invisible barrier around herself and I didn’t reach out for fear of what might happen. When the doors opened Justine stepped out and walked towards the metal doors of her cell. It was a padded white room with a large glass window. I noticed they gave her a more comfortable bed than what was usually in there and a section was cut off which was most likely a shower and toilet. There was also a table in the middle of the room. Though it was nicer then other cells she didn’t belong down here. I scanned my ID card and moved out of her way. She paused for a moment before looking at me, “If they are going to question me please have them do it in a timely manner. I want to sleep.”

“I will tell Eric to have you interviewed first,” I said. “Is there anything you want?”

“A fresh pair of clothes,” was all she said as she stepped into her cell and the door sealed shut.

They took forever to begin the interview. After securing the five in their cells, Gary Belrose insisted that the others would crack if pressured. They took forever because they didn’t know who to interview first. Cherine tried talking to Thomas and got nothing. Alex tried speaking to Mitchie and that was met with silence. None of their tactics were working. I gave up interest in what the others had to say and stood in front of the window of Justine’s cell. Staci bought her a simple black tank top and jeans to wear and when Justine finished changing she sat at the table. Waiting. I don’t know how long I was standing there but I felt him before I saw him or he said anything.

“She’s been through a hell we can’t imagine,” I said. “She’s acting the way you did when you first changed and came home.”

“I want to be the one she talks to.”
I finally looked over at my older brother and for the first time in my life I was actually scared. His features were darker than I’ve ever seen them. The same way they were the night she went missing. The same way he looked when she severed their connection and he could no longer feel or hear her thoughts. This was pure anger. A rage no one could understand unless you had found your soulmate. “I will support it but they aren’t going to let you, Joel, not now,” I told him.

Chatter behind us tore our attention from Justine as Eric, Gary and Alexander Almassy, the fourth former council member walked in with the four other high generals from the Greece Underground. Among them was our cousin Rahana Mason. A proud woman and a natural born leader. I didn’t notice our other siblings had trailed in after them until Rahana started to speak. “There are four of them and no one is talking. What am I supposed to make of that, Uncle?” She asked Eric without looking at him. She was staring at Joel.

“That they are loyal to her,” he answered. “They won’t break easily and I expect nothing more from assassins that represent our family.”

Rahana smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes. She was small and slender like my mother but taller than Justine. A feature people used to underestimate how dangerous she really was like most women in our family. “And you, dear cousin? Will you defend your mate like your siblings and parents have been?” She asked Joel.
“Let me speak to her and find out what happened, Rahana,” Joel growled.

“If anyone understands your impatience to make sure your mate is alright it is me,” she held up a finger walking towards the glass. “However she is accused of murder and I need to assess that she is not a danger to us.”

“She came back of her own free will, Rahana,” Staci spoke up. That didn’t sway her.
“She did, Staci and yet she waited a full year and after injuring Cherine—”

“I provoked her,” Cherine growled.

“—I have every reason to believe that she is a threat to my family,” Rahana finished as if she hadn’t spoken. I now remembered why we sent her to Greece. I cleared my throat gaining the attention of the audience. “You are not the head of the Mason family,” I reminded her. “Yes you might want an unbiased opinion about the matter but if anything it needs to go through the elders if you are going to make this a family matter.”

“This wouldn’t be a discussion if Eric would agree to what the elders demand of him,” Rahana shrugged.

Bitch. Gary stepped forward, “You are talking about changing the foundation of the Underground—”

“Reverting is the correct term, Mr. Belrose,” Rahana glared at him. “The Masons, before this council nonsense, had always been the ruling family of the Underground. The elders have seen that you and your fellow council members were not competent enough to handle the task seeing as how you had two traitors among you.”

“Let me also remind you that Carmen was one of the two traitors and was a Mason,” Alexander snarled. “You are not above the law just because of your last name!”

“And yet it was me who was chosen to see that this matter be settled. Not an Almassy,” Rahana scoffed. “How much more does the Almassy have to prove to show they are fallen from grace?”

A stiff silence fell over the group. This has been a fight for the last year. After Valentine got away the Underground fell into chaos. The council that kept all stations and sections of the Underground fell apart and it destroyed us. There had been several meetings until the Greece station demanded that we revert to the old way. Back to the monarchy when the Masons ruled. Elizabeth moved closer to the window, “I have no desire to be Queen until I know the fate of my child.”

Rahana paused for a moment, considering her words and then looked at Eric. “I am safe to assume you share the same view as your wife?” She asked.
Eric nodded.

“Then I will be the unbiased one to speak to this daughter of yours,” she announced holding up a hand to Joel who opened his mouth. “You want the matter handled quickly, yes? Then let me do my job.”
She didn’t wait for a response holding out a hand for a keycard which Gary supplied to her. Rahana gave Joel one more look unlocking Justine’s cell door and walking in. I pressed the speaker button on the side hearing Rahana introduce herself to Justine.

Justine simply looked up at her and said, “So you are the bitch they have been bickering with and wasting our fucking time.”

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