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Chapter 10 : Alec

Chapter 10 : Alec
Sunday, July 18th, 2021

I didn’t think I’d ever see her again, but here we are.

Madelyn is currently in my hold, my arm looped around her body.

From the second I shook hands with her, I had observed her every reaction, both with us, and those around her.

I didn’t miss the way she bites the inside of her cheek before she takes a photo, or the way her legs kept pressing together every time we were near her.

She seemed to be very attuned to her surroundings, even more now that I’m by her side.

I don’t like that she’s scared, but it’s rather appropriate considering what little she knows of us. I can’t imagine how terrified she’d be if she actually knew who we were.

Even though I had agreed merely days ago to never see her again, I now understand what Caleb was talking about.

He only informed us today that he and Madelyn spoke at my aunt’s cafe recently. After meeting her personally, I now fully understand the appeal of the beautiful girl he described to us earlier.

Sure, it was the initial physical attraction that drew me in to her, but every one of our encounters has only left me wanting more.

Throughout the night, I watched as she spoke to many people, but it was only us that caused her to flick her eyes away under pressure and shift when we spoke to her.

Even when we were dancing together, she may have been scared, but her lust was still highly apparent.

Every moment I’m with her, I’m more and more glad we didn’t need to kill her, but now, things are different. Now, she knows.

After Madelyn walked away from Xavier on those steps, leaving us all in a state of both surprise and admiration, the four of us contemplated on what to do.

Hailey wasn’t even supposed to make it tonight, but of course, her schedule cleared up.

She’s friends with Jules who was more than happy she could make it, even if it was last minute. It caused a whole lot of chaos for us, though.

Caleb ran the risks of a few possibilities we could go about to deal with this situation and ultimately decided that talking was the most idealistic method.

We could of course kill her, but Hailey would never forgive us, and none of us wanted Madelyn dead anyway.

We could kidnap her and keep her with us to ensure her mouth is kept shut, but as tempting as that is, it could get messy fairly quickly.

We could take something she deeply cared about as leverage, but Caleb struck down that idea as quickly as it formed. It wasn’t because a risk was involved, but because he liked her, whether he would admit it or not.

I also know Jolene would come for all of our heads if we hurt her.

In the end, there were endless ways we could go about this, but talking was the only option we all agreed on.

That’s why I’m the one guiding Madelyn away right now. We need to know for certain she won’t speak, because while we would never hurt her, Xavier’s dad is another story.

He can’t know about her. If it were up to him, she would already be in a body bag and a thing of the past. And for some reason, that thought just didn’t sit right with me. Not one single bit.

Leading her towards the mostly vacated main building, we end up under a patio roof with enough seating to fit at least fifteen people.

Thankfully, the space was completely clear, allowing for the two of us to talk without the ears of others listening in.

I sit down on one of the navy blue couches while Madelyn casually tries to escape to one of the three chairs across from it.

“Why don’t you come sit here next to me?” I half suggest, half order, patting the cushion to my right.

It’s easier to read people when they’re closer, plus, I can probably find a discreet way to feel her pulse if she’s close enough.

Madelyn narrows her eyes at me, as if considering whether or not I could be trusted.

I probably can’t.

“Don’t worry, princess, I won’t bite.” I grin at her stubbornness, and my smiling only seems to annoy her more.

Instead of commenting, Madelyn takes a seat as far away from me on the couch as she can.

“You want to talk? Talk.” She says, nervously readjusting her position.

Oh, princess. You have no idea how badly I want to take you over my knee for using that tone with me.

Fully taking in her appearance, her legs are crossed and wearing blue high waisted pants. A black blouse pairs nicely with it. The sleeves end at just above her elbows, and her hair is curled and tied up in a ponytail to keep it out of her face.

She really is beautiful, and especially after talking to her, I can’t imagine any reason as to why that boyfriend of hers would cheat.

“Did you get a chance to eat earlier?” I ask, not commenting on her attitude. I know this question would throw her off anyways, so it works for me.

“W-what?” She unintentionally stutters, a flush appearing across her cheeks.

“Did you have dinner here?” I smile, taking in her uneasiness.

“Oh, right.” She says, shifting ever so slightly in her seat. “I had dinner at the same time everyone else did.”

As she says this, her eyes dilate and her body reveals the lie without her even knowing it. I just hum in response.

“And how’s the shoot going so far?” I continue and watch as she begins to grow confused at my questions.

“Alec, I know this isn’t what you needed to talk about, otherwise you would have said it in front of everyone else.”

I think that’s the first time she’s ever said my name before. I liked it though.

“And what exactly do you think I wanted to talk about, Madelyn?”

She takes a breath, before straightening her back.

“The fact that I know you three are murderers and somehow managed to trick both me and the police into thinking I was crazy.” She blurted, getting straight to the point.

For a moment, I didn’t say anything, watching as she cautiously waited for my response.

“You calling me a killer, princess?” I ask, shifting a bit closer to her body.

“Are you denying it?” She counters, this time looking me directly in my eyes as she speaks.

Yup, I definitely like her.

“No, which is why I’m sure you have many questions.” I state, gauging her reactions as I speak. “Feel free to ask away.”

Madelyn’s eyes narrowed slightly, not seeming to believe my intentions.

“You brought me back here to tell me whatever I want to know?”

“To an extent, yes.” I respond.

She doesn’t say anything for a moment and just looks at me warily. She seems to be debating whether or not she believes me, but it’s not like she has a choice. Carter won’t be expecting her back for at least another twenty minutes.

“Fine. What did you do with the body?” She questions, jumping right in, but I don’t answer right away.

“Oh, one more thing I forgot to add.” I say, ignoring her question. “I don’t do anything for free.”

At this, her body grows tense once again.

“I don’t have anything—”

“No, not an item. It’s quite simple really; you ask me a question, I get to ask you one in return.”

“What would you ask me about?”

I grin at her uncertainty, “You’ll just have to agree to find out.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I see that Caleb and Xavier have joined us, each leaning against one of the columns behind Madelyn.

She can’t see them, and they make no move to make their presence known.

“Fine, deal.” She curtly agrees to my terms. “I asked my question, now you have to answer.”

I reach my hand out to her, but it only earns me a look of confusion.

“Shake on it first.”

Reluctantly, she moves her hand out to meet mine and when she does so, I take that as an opportunity to inch a little closer to her.

For the third time today, our hands meet, but this time, my other moves to check her pulse on her wrist. As predicted, it’s racing, betraying her calm composure.

Madelyn doesn’t move away by my touch like I had expected and instead seems to relax slightly.

“We cremated him and then dumped the ashes in a lake.” I respond, answering her initial question. At this, she snaps out of letting her guard down and hastily pulls her hand away.

My words clearly surprise her and judging by her reaction, I’m guessing she didn’t expect me to respond so honestly.

She may not know me well, but she’ll soon learn that I never break my promises.

Before approaching her on the dance floor, Xavier, Caleb, and I decided telling her what she wants to know is our best option. If she understands the situation, she might not feel as scared, meaning she may not be as inclined to go talking to others.

We’ll obviously be keeping an eye on her for a while to ensure she keeps her mouth shut, but there’s no need to be violent if we don’t have to be.

Once Madelyn processes this information, she continues, “Who put my phone in my room?”

“Nice try, princess, but it’s my turn now.”

She looked like she was about to say something further, but ultimately chose to hold her tongue instead. Caleb was right, she is fun to mess with.

“I need the names of everyone you told about that night.”

She stayed quiet for a moment before answering.

“No one really. I started to tell the owner of the cafe I go to often, but Hailey took my phone from me before I had the chance.”

“Oh you mean Jolene?” I ask, shock becoming evident on her face.

“How’d you know that?”

“Jolene’s my aunt.” I state and watch as this information clicks in. “I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on it sooner. We do have the same last name.”

Only now does she connect the dots, though.

In her defense, we looked a lot more similar when Jolene was younger, and I wasn’t covered in tattoos.

“Does she know what you guys did?” Madelyn asks, but I stop her.

“You already asked your question. It’s my turn again.”

“What are you talking about? I never—”

“You asked how I knew Jolene, hence it is now my turn.” I grin at her annoyance, but she knows I’m right. I will always stay true to my word, but I’ve never been opposed to loopholes. “Why hadn’t you slept in the three days prior to that night?”

I’d been wondering this since the police informed us of what she told them.

“That’s really none of your business.” Madelyn says becoming instantly evasive. Because of this, I’m assuming her answer is a personal one.

Xavier takes a step forward from behind her, but still does not get close enough for her to see him.

“Sorry, but that’s not how this works, princess. What was keeping you up all night?”

“I’m sure Caleb already told you everything.” She avoids, trying to get out of having to respond.

“I want to hear it from you.”

Madelyn stares at me blankly for a moment, before she gives me her answer.

“Fine. My boyfriend cheated on me, I’m currently living in a hotel with a job that isn’t giving me enough money to pay for it, I have no friends or family to stay with, and now I’m dealing with this bullshit. It’s fair to say that I have a bit on my plate to deal with.”

I go to open my mouth to respond, but she cuts me off.

“No, it’s my turn now, remember. That’s how this works, right?”

I think that I should reconsider the name princess and change it to spitfire perhaps.

Under other circumstances, if she used that tone with me she wouldn’t be able to sit for a week, but I can’t help but like this Madelyn at the same time.

Holding my tongue, I allow her to continue. I can see from the side that Caleb is trying not to laugh, and Xavier, as usual, shows no emotion.

“How did my phone end up in my room?” She asks.

“Xavier snuck in and put it there while you were sleeping.”

She bites the inside of her cheek at this, but makes no further comments.

The two decide to make their presence known at this moment, walking up in front of us. Madelyn tenses and seems to immediately become more alert.

“Mind if I sit?” Caleb asks her, but she doesn’t look up to meet his eyes.

“I don’t have a choice, right?” She says, but ultimately moves over for him to sit down. She is now placed in between the two of us, while Xavier sits on one of the chairs across from where we’re sitting.

“There’s always a choice, darling. You could get up and walk away now if you wanted to, but you won’t.” Caleb tells her.

“I can leave right now, and you won’t stop me?” She questions, clearly not believing what my friend had to say.

“Only one way to find out, but then of course you would miss the big news we have to tell you.”

At this her eyes narrow in caution, and she starts to pick at the side of her nail again.

I’ve noticed that she tends to do that when she’s nervous or unsure.

“What news is that?”

“Are you going to stay here?”

She hesitates before giving Caleb a reluctant nod.

“You’ve gotten yourself a part time job.” He informed, and we all waited for her reaction.

She didn’t give one, though.

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re going to bartend at our nightclub four days a week until we can trust you’ll keep that pretty little mouth of yours quiet.”

She looks to Xavier and I to see if this is some kind of joke, but she soon realizes it’s not.

“I’m not doing any work for you.” She says, pushing up from her seat.

I instantly go and grab her upper arm, nothing hard, but just enough to keep her from walking.

This motion caused her sleeve to ride up a bit, showing faint bruise marks around her arm. It looks like she was grabbed, but they were faded so it must be a couple days old.

Caleb can’t see from his angle, but I know Xavier noticed.

“Sit down.” Xavier ordered, speaking for the first time since revealing he was here. When he sees her flinch, he softens his tone, “Madelyn, please sit. I promise all we want to do is talk.”

I don’t blame her for being scared of him, but his change in voice caused Caleb and I to both look at each other in slight surprise.

What surprised us even more was that Madelyn listened.

“I’m not going to work for you. I swear I won’t say a word, as long as I leave here unharmed and you let me explain to Jolene what happened. I won’t lie to her, and she’s already stressing out.” She insists, looking Xavier directly in the eye.

For a moment, he doesn’t say anything and just stares her down.

I watch as Madelyn shifts and crosses her legs together, but she never breaks eye contact.

Fuck, I’m definitely into her.

“You’re going to work for us four days a week, in exchange for allowing you to tell Jolene everything. Or you can not work for us at all, but we’ll just send others out to keep an eye on you anyway and you can’t say a thing.” Xavier concludes, presenting her with two offers.

Madelyn doesn’t move, contemplating his words.

“What’s the name of the club and what’s the pay like?”

“You would work on the main floor of Rush. You’ll make $18.00 an hour, and you get to keep all of the tips you make.”

At this, her eyes widen ever so slightly.

“Wait, you guys work at Rush?”

Ah, it seems like she’s heard of it before.

“Not work sweetheart, we own it.” Xavier corrects.

This seems to surprise her even more. I can’t tell if it’s a good or bad kind though.

“So that’s how you were able to pay off the police. You guys are loaded then?”

This makes us smirk.

“Yeah, you could say that.” I answer her question, not mentioning the fact that we’re all multi-millionaires, even without the income from the mafia.

Her attention then goes to me and her bright green eyes nearly stun me. She really is a sight for sore eyes.

“If I’m going to be keeping your secret and having to be around you multiple times a week, then I want $20.00 an hour. And once you can trust me to stay quiet, if I enjoy the work, I want to be guaranteed the position at least until the new year.”

Holy shit, was she bargaining with us right now? No one in their right mind would challenge Xavier, let alone all three of us.

This caused an amused chuckle to fall from my mouth, and Caleb does the same.

“You’re making it sound like it would be a chore to be in our company.” I joke and her response comes instantly and firmly.

“It would be. I don’t trust you any more than you trust me.”

Looking at Xavier, I know that it’s him who will be the one to make the final call.

After a brief moment of thinking, he agrees, “Alright sweetheart, it looks like we have a deal.”

A smile appears on his face, but it’s not a warm one. It’s the kind that shows he wants to both devour, destroy, and tame her all at the same time. He wants her, and she just agreed to work for us four days a week for as long as we want.

I can only hope she’s strong enough to handle him. To handle us.

Reaching out my hand to shake, Madelyn’s much smaller one meets mine.

Her eyes look up at me and I instantly notice something has changed in them. She has a look of determination and something else that I can’t seem to figure out.

Typically, we would just kill the witnesses we couldn’t rely on, but Madelyn was an exception. A beautiful, unexpected exception.

I was interested in her, and I don’t find interest in anyone. Not long term anyway.

Standing, she and Caleb shake hands, but while he smiles, she rolls her eyes at the sight of his several thousand dollar watch.

She muttered something under her breath that sounded a lot like ‘predictable’ before moving to Xavier.

Caleb looks at me and while her back is turned, he mouths in surprise, “Did she just call me predictable?”

I just smirk in amusement because I know her statement bothered him. Caleb is anything but, and I already know he saw her words as a new challenge.

Unfortunately for Madelyn, we just happened to have the entire next month off.

Looking at her, she holds her head high before reaching out her hand to Xavier. He doesn’t take it right away though and just lets her stand there.

His lack of action caused her confidence to crack slightly, and I know that was his intention from the start. An indirect way of asserting his power over her.

Finally standing and taking her hand in his, a small gasp falls from her mouth when Xavier pulls her in closer to his body. She looks up to meet his eyes in confusion and annoyance, but he doesn’t pay that any attention.

Instead, with his free hand, he moves to the arm he’s currently holding and slides the sleeve of her shirt up ever so slightly.

Madelyn tries to pull away, but her efforts don’t come close to affecting my friend.

At the sight of the slight bruising, Caleb stiffens from where he was sitting.

Xavier’s fingers brush across the hurt skin and even from where I am, I can see that goosebumps have formed on her body.

“Don’t.” Madelyn says to him, her calmness now completely gone.

Xavier doesn’t comment for a moment, as if he were lost in the finger marks she wore on her skin.

I didn’t want to be the first to speak, because I was surprised by my friend’s behavior.

I’m great at reading people, but what was happening right now was just as much of a mystery as it was to everyone else.

“What’s this?” Xavier asks lowly, still inspecting the bruising.

Madelyn has stopped moving now and instead looks to be relaxing into his touches as he continues to trace her skin.

“It was an accident, truly.” She murmurs in response, but this isn’t enough for him. It wasn’t enough for any of us.

“And who gave it to you?” He continued, but I had an idea of who it was.

Caleb specifically described her ex-boyfriend as someone with anger issues and the temper of a toddler.

The thought of someone laying their hands on her, especially to the extent of bruising made me feel outraged.

“I don’t see how this is any of your business.” Madelyn says, but there is no attitude to her tone now. Instead, it was her becoming closed off.

“Who did this?” Xavier repeated, his tone soft— or as soft as Xavier can be.

“Don’t—”

“Madelyn.”

“Jesus Christ, I did okay.” She lets out, and her body grows tense as she waits for his reaction.

Xavier hides his emotions better than anyone I know, but I can see that her response confuses him just as much as the rest of us.

What does she mean by ‘I did it’?

She looks behind her at Caleb and I in panic before shifting her attention back to Xavier.

“Like I said, it was an accident. Nothing’s wrong.” She says, using her free hand to pull her sleeve back down.

She tried to cover it up like nothing happened and I know that’s a taught habit.

“Why would you do that?” Caleb asks, drawing all of our attention to him.

The expression on Madelyn’s face looks almost sad, but she tries to cover it up with a smile.

“I didn’t even feel it.” She says, but our silence causes her to continue. “I need to get back to work, can I please go?”

When no one responds she looks at me, “Alec, I spoke with you like you asked and we already agreed that I would temporarily work for you. I don’t see the problem with me leaving.”

Once again, I look at Xavier because I know that ultimately it’s his decision.

I’m extremely confused by Madelyn’s answer, but we can’t force her to talk about something that is clearly very personal to her.

I mean we could, but it wouldn’t feel right.

Even though I know he doesn’t want to, Xavier takes his hand off of Madelyn’s, allowing her to step back.

She mumbles out a quiet, “Thank you,” turning to leave.

She takes a few steps before turning back to face us, finding that all of our gazes rest on her.

“How will I know more information about the job?”

“We’ll contact you.” I tell her and she nods in response. The mood here has gotten extremely low within only a matter of minutes, but what’s even worse is that Madelyn’s trying to cover it up.

She raises her eyebrows slightly and even though she’s free to go, she remains near us for just a few more moments.

“I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but it was from a panic attack. I didn’t feel myself doing it until afterwards, but like I said, I’m all good now, okay?” Madelyn explains.

Her arms cross across her chest, resting right above where her camera sits.

With one final look, she turns and walks away, leaving the three of us in slight dismay.

I hadn’t expected her to actually talk to us so willingly, especially opening up about what happened.

I never even thought of the possibility of her having panic attacks, but now I can’t help but wonder what causes them.

None of us talked, but a shared look between the three of us was an unspoken agreement about two things.

One, Noah was going to get a visit, and soon.

Two, if she let us, Madelyn Adams was going to be ours, we just needed to figure out the right way to make it happen.


- End of Chapter 10 -

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