The Quiet

I followed her gaze to the other side of the room, where there were two windows. One was closed tightly. But the other was opening slowly. I could see some kind of shadow come over the bottom. Someone was coming inside.

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40. Maddox

When I was a child, before any of this happened, I would hide when I was afraid or nervous that someone, mainly my father, was going to yell at me for some reason. So that was what I ended up doing when Lena was shot.

I ran and hid like a little kid.

I had burrowed myself into a small room upstairs and wondered how no one had seen or heard me, especially Alec. He had the most sensitive hearing of anyone I had known. And he was the most lethal human being I had ever met.

Part of me wanted to go back and save Cari and Clay, but I knew if Alec saw me he would shoot me like he did to Lena.

Except I would know why I died.

Lena didn’t have a clue.

I crept out into the hallway. Embers from the fire I had set still lingered on the wood floor. Seeing that pulled at my gut and I realized all too late that everything that happened tonight was my fault.

It wasn’t Alec’s.

I listened to him.

I hurt these kids.

I deserved to die.

And I knew he would take pleasure in doing so. I guess killing only made sense to him when the people he was disposing of had done something terrible.

As I walked down the stairs, I had a thought.

Would anyone be able to get rid of him before my life ended at his hands?

My feet hit the floor and I stood there for a moment or two before looking into the living room. He was tearing the room apart, most likely looking for me. Clay and Cari were on the couch, both unmoving.

I feared the worst until Cari’s hand twitched. She opened her eyes and looked right at me, her mouth open. I put a finger to my mouth and stepped further into the room.

“You wanted me,” I said softly, “well let’s fucking go.”

Alec stopped moving, his back slightly rigid. Then he turned his head and smiled sinisterly.

“Maddox,” he hissed, straightening up. “Come to die?”

There was nothing in his voice.

“If it comes to that,” I replied, smiling slightly. “But I’d rather kill you first.”

He chuckled. “I’d like to see you try. Clayton’s father certainly did.” He picked Clay up again, walked a few feet so they were close, and smirked. “Sometimes people just have to die.”

Then he threw Clay through one of the still intact windows. He hit the ground and didn’t move. Blood and glass fell onto his face, neck, and arms. He didn’t whimper or moan.

The quiet was the only thing I heard as Alec's fist collided with my face. Then there was blackness.

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