Jordan arrives at Shady Shanice's radio station. Gaige's party is going to start in the next hour. He had to been thinking about it ever since he found out what was going to go down with Caliph. Caliph was going to kill people in that bitch and he was completely fine with it. Still. A majority of the Gammas would be dead. Jordan needed a way to capitalize off of this.
The one person who knew anything about media on campus was Shady Shanice. That's why he was walking into her studio now.
She doesn't seem happy to see him. He's a Gamma. She hates Gammas. He can see it a mile away.
"Guess you weren't invited to Gaige's party," Jordan jokes with her.
Shady Shanice doesn't smile.
"You are a Gamma aren't you? Everyone's talking about you and the other recruits. Gammas aren't invited anywhere near me," Shady Shanice lets him know almost immediately taking off her headphones and placing them on the control board. Her eyes glare at Jordan as though she doesn't trust him.
way she recognizes Jordan makes him smile. Before he had become a Gamma
no one knew who the fuck he was. No one cared about him. Now he was
Jordan attempts to smile this reaction off too, "Funny. I hear that Flip hangs around you a lot."
Flip had admitted to Jordan that he was feeding Shady Shanice information. Jordan wasn't some Gamma loyalist. He wasn't going to rat Flip out. He was going to use this. Shady Shanice might have been trustworthy if she had never ratted Flip out as her source in the Gammas. Maybe he would be able to trust Shady Shanice as well.
"What do you want?"
"I want to give you an opportunity."
"I don't want any opportunity a Gamma has to give me."
"I'm not officially a Gamma yet," Jordan explains to her attempting to seem friendly, "And I think you'd really want to hear this."
"Spit it out."
"If I tell you this you have to promise not to tell anyone. Keep this under wraps," Jordan explains.
Shanice gives him a suspicious look. Jordan can tell she is really suspicious of him. Maybe it was a mistake coming to Shady Shanice. Still. She had the biggest microphone in the whole school. If he needed to sell a story she was the person that he needed to do it with.
After studying him for a minute Shanice surprisingly gives him a grin, "Anything you tell me is completely confidential. I don't ever give away my sources."
"Not even to the cops."
"Not even to the cops," she responds, "So what's the story?"
sighs a little bit. He's taking a risk with Shanice, but if Flip
could trust her then he had to trust her as well.
"What if I told you that something bad is about to happen at Gaige's party tonight?" he asks her hypothetically with a menacing wince in his eyes.
"Bad like what?" she asks, "Spit it the fuck out."
"I can't say what," he explains, "Just earth shattering. I'm talking bad, bad, bad..."
Shanice gives a look up and down. She shrugs at that moment, "I'd ask you what the hell does that have to do with me?"
"This is going to be the story of the year and if you are the first to break it, it would be amazing for your career," he promises her.
"And what do you want."
"I want to be the face of a tragedy. I want to be the little boy who survived the bombing in Aleppo that is on every newspaper. You know how to spin the media better than anyone. I want you to make it happen for me."
There's a pause.
Shanice is thinking it over.
"There's only one problem with that," She finally says.
"You're here. You're not at Gaige's party."
Jordan almost laughs at her reaction. If Shanice knew what was about to go down at Gaige's party, then there was no way that she would be hinting at Jordan actually going to the party.
"I'm not going there. Hell fucking no."
"Listen. I am the Queen of Media. I can spin any story. You want fame off of this. You want to be the face of this...you have to be there."
"Oh you don't get it. I can lie about being there... I just can't physically be there."
"Then there is no story. You can make up any outrageous lies you want about what goes down at the party, but you have to be there. So after you witness first hand what happened a lot of people are going to want your story. I'll make sure they want to hear it. I'm talking CNN, I'm talking Bill O'Reilly. I'm talking Oprah."
Jordan's mouth waters.
"If it's that big...Oprah. So it's up to you. Do what you want, but I'm not going to report a story from a source who wasn't in the building. No one will."
Jordan realized it at that moment. He'd have to take the risk. He'd have to head over to Gaige's party one way or another. He'd have to get there.
As long as he stayed away from Caliph he would be fine.
long as Caliph committed the terrorist attack, he'd be able to the sole
survivor of the Gammas.
Caliph opens up his bag. He takes out the terrorist vest. It's so powerful that he could immediately kill anyone within 20 feet from him. That didn't include people who would be hit with additional shrapnel. It would be a maximum attack. He takes a long hard look at the detonator.
He breathes as his hand circles the detonator...
All of a sudden he closes the detonator and throws the vest into the lake.
Caliph wasn't going to do it. He wasn't going to kill people. An hour ago he got a call from Nadia telling him to meet her at the party.
An hour ago he had called the cops to warn them.
It was over.
Caliph walks back towards the street at that moment. He felt so light. He had gotten rid of the vest. He had gotten rid of the thoughts that had driven him to this place in his life. Right now all he wanted was to be with the man of his dreams. All he wanted to do was have a future. He didn't just want any future though. He wanted a future with Mariano.
"Caliph! Hey! I thought that was you. What are you doing down here?"
turns to see the RA Kimmy driving past. She stops her car when she sees
Caliph walking back from the lake. It's nighttime and it's probably a
little suspicious that he was down at the lake. Caliph gives her a smile
at that moment. Usually he wouldn't because he didn't want her to get any
ideas but honestly he needed to smile at Kimmy. He felt like a different
person. These people were infidels to him anymore. They were just like
him. Mariano showed him that.
"Just taking a walk," he tells her, "What are you up to?"
"Headed to Gaige's party."
He seems to scare her a little bit when he screams like that. She jerks up at that moment. She's clearly shocked that he is reacting the way that he is.
"You must have heard about it. It's the biggest party on campus. Gaige. Everyone knows who he is. You can't be serious that you weren't going to that party. Everyone is going to be there."
panics all of a sudden.
"That's IMPOSSIBLE! The cops shut down that party..."
He had called the cops. He had unanimously tipped them off. He told them there was going to be an attack at Gaige's party. He had warned them. He was promised by the cops that they would shut it down before the attack happened. He even fucking told them about Nadia. He gave them her name. he told them about all the weapons that Nadia had and what she planned on doing with them.
How the fuck was the party still happening?
"No they didn't. I just got a text message from a few of my girls. They say that the party is still on. People are already there. Gaige is already there with his boyfriend."
"His boyfriend?" Caliph asks.
"Oh you know----what's his name?" Kimmy starts out before shaking her head in confusion a little bit, "Damn. I keep forgetting his name. Um..."
Please. Please no...
That's him. Mariano is there too."
All of a sudden Caliph's mouth goes dry at that moment.
No. This wasn't happening. This wasn't fucking happening.
party is bouncing. Zackery has his shirt off. He's drunk and high
off weed. They pass a blunt around the room. He didn't like Gaige
but Gaige most definitely knew how to throw a party. Gaige had some live
performers, some dope ass popular rappers had built a stage in the middle of
the room. Some girls with fat asses were twerking all over him.
Zackery nods at Gaige, as Gaige passes him a blunt.
"Yo man. I know we haven't always gotten along, but I wanted to let you know one thing," Zackery tells Gaige.
Gaige smiles, "What's up man?"
"Gamma's for life!"
Gaige smiles back at Zackery, leaning in for a fist pump.
More people were coming into the party. It was dark. There was smoke everywhere. The party was so crowded that it was like a mosh pit with people intentionally bumping into everyone. Luckily Gaige had a VIP area set up in the house for them. Only certain people were allowed into the VIP area.
Two pretty bitches push past a few of the other Gammas to make their way right between Gaige and Zackery. Normally this kind of thing would excite Zackery especially when the girls bend over and start grinding on them.
think this is a truce bro," Gaige tells Zackery, "We the two flyest guys in the
Gammas. No offense."
Roddy and Cody aren't too far. They hear the comment. Zackery knows Gaige's flunkies won't take offense to the fact that Gaige doesn't consider them as "fly". What Gaige was saying was the truth. Zackery and Gaige had always had some strong competition going on. It always was a dick measuring contest. Truth was Zackery was kind of giving in. Gaige was winning. Gaige never lost.
If you can't beat `em. Join `em.
"You pulled this off man," Zackery tells Gaige, "Biggest party of the year."
"Of course," Gaige says, "Did you doubt me?"
sighs a little bit. Gaige had no idea what humility was. He was
trying to make amends with this guy and his annoying ego was still getting in
"I'm just saying. You pulled it off."
"Could you imagine the cops tried to shut this shit down?"
Gaige laughs, "Yeah some shit about a security risk."
"That sounds serious."
"Naw. Probably just a hater. You know I got a lot of haters. I mean---look at me. If I were them I'd hate me too..."
Gaige puffs up his bicep and flashes Zackery a smile. This causes the girl dancing on him to get all distracted. She feels all over his muscle at that moment clearly impressed with it. Zackery can tell that Gaige was most definitely feeling himself tonight.
"If the cops tried to shut it down how the hell did you get the party going."
"Oh we are the Gammas. Remember? I called your Dad. He knows people. He had the district attorney call down there. Scared the fuck out of them," Gaige laughs.
Zackery was annoyed. Just like that he was back to hating Gaige. Why would Gaige get his father involved over some petty ass party? That was what it meant though. Gamma was the plugged. Anything they wanted they got it. Zackery wasn't surprised.
see..." he says.
Zackery is zoned out. He's not thinking right now.
"You want some more Henny man?"
"No. Actually have you seen Flip?"
Fuck Flip. Look how wet this bitch is?" Gaige states.
Gaige has had his hand down the random girl's skirt. No matter how pretty she was it didn't matter. His hand was dripping at that moment.
better be cool. I seen Mariano walking around here..." Zackery states.
"I'll deal with Mariano. Come with me bro. Let's go bond. We'll take these two bitches to one of the bedrooms and fuck the shit out of them."
Zackery would be all the way down with it. That was the Gamma way. Today
was different though. A thought broke through all the alcohol. A thought
broke through the drugs. The thought that kept breaking through was the
one thing he couldn't take his mind off of.
If Gamma was the Plug, then Zackery should have gotten anything he wanted.
What he wanted right now was Flip...
"I'm good man," Zackery says, "I got to go look for someone."
Gaige grabs the female dancing with Zackery by her tit to pull her over to him, "More for me..."
Gaige has a two girls at that moment. He has one chick over the dresser. The other girl is eating him out from behind. He looks in the mirror. He could care less about these bitches. This was his moment. He deserved this. He deserved to be banging out a model chick that he had just met. He was raw dogging her. She'd be lucky if she had his baby.
This was his moment. His time was now.
deserved everything he got.
He was the plug.
"Fuck me. Fuck me Daddy!"
The girl is tossing her long Brazilian hair back. She's a mixed girl with an ass like Nicki Minaj, a face like Jennifer Lopez and an accent like Sofia Vergara. The other girl is just as pretty but he couldn't really see her because her face was buried in between his ass cheeks.
so high that he doesn't even realize the door open. He doesn't realize
until too late that Mariano walks into the room.
"FUCK!" he says.
Mariano just stares at that moment. Mariano is shocked. The music at the party is so loud that he doesn't even realize Mariano opening the door.
Mariano turns and walks out.
Gaige trips. He is so drunk that he just has time to pull up his boxers. He can't even get his pants. The girls are shocked when they see him running out the door. He chases Mariano down all the way to the top of the stairs before grabbing him and attempting to turn him around.
"Please don't touch me," Mariano states.
"Baby it's not what you think," Gaige responds.
All of a sudden he was desperate. This wasn't about the girls to Gaige. This was about him. He'd tried his hardest to be faithful but at the end of the day he was fucking Gaige. He was the sexiest motherfucker on campus. What made Mariano think that he was good enough to keep someone like Gaige loyal? This was Mariano's fault. Mariano should have known that he had a prize and that Gaige was someone that needed to be shared with the world.
"I'm not your baby," Mariano states.
"I can explain."
"You don't have to."
"I don't love those hoes. I love you," Gaige promises Mariano.
A couple of the people who are smoking at the top of the stairs are gathered around. They probably can't hear what is going on because the music is so loud but they can see the dramatic way Gaige is out here in his underwear. None of them can judge Gaige though. He was better than all these motherfuckers.
Mariano does something weird at that moment. He actually smiles.
"You don't get it. I'm not saying I don't need an explanation because I'm too upset. I'm saying I don't need an explanation because I don't care."
Mariano shrugs, "I just don't care."
All of a sudden they are between songs. Mariano is looking at Gaige with the biggest level of indifference that anyone has ever looked at Gaige with. Gaige didn't get it. Anger would have made sense. Sadness would have been understandable. Indifference was a dilemma that Gaige had never in his life encountered.
the fuck did you just say to me?" Gaige asks.
"Go fuck anyone. Everyone. I don't care," Mariano explains, "I actually prefer you be happy you know. And do whatever makes you feel good about yourself."
Gaige snickers, "You fucking with me. What you trying to be petty or something? You trying to play mind games because you caught me with someone else?
Mariano's face looks dead serious.
"No games. I just am happy as well. With someone else..."
Gaige is breathing heavy. Mariano turns and starts heading down the steps as though he could care less. Mariano isn't storming off. Mariano is walking like someone who has a bounce in his step. He's in a good mood! What the fuck was going on?
runs him down. He runs down a few steps and stops Mariano half way down
the steps. He stands in front of his face.
"Don't fucking walk away from me!" Gaige says, "I was fucking talking to you. Who the fuck did you move on with."
"Don't act like you don't know him Caliph."
Gaige's emotion gets the better of him. This wasn't happening. He wasn't going to be upstaged by some Gamma PLEDGE. There was no way the most popular guy in school was going to have his boyfriend stolen by the likes of Caliph.
"Do you know who the FUCK I am, faggot?" Gaige asks.
Mariano raises an eyebrow, "Excuse me?"
His mouth just spits out all types of anger at that moment, "I made you. You piece of shit. All you have is your money. You hear me? You ugly as fuck. You lame. You can't dress. You corny. You were lucky to have me. You know why? I'm Gaige. Bitches drop they panties when I lick my motherfucking lips. You fucking cornball."
tries to walk past him again. The indifference is killing Gaige.
This is worse than Mariano just going off on him.
"Wait. Wait please," Gaige says grabbing onto him, "I wasn't serious."
"Are you done? Because my future husband is calling me," Mariano says looking at his phone.
Just at that moment Gaige looks down at Mariano's phone and sees the picture of Caliph on the phone. His mind goes somewhere dark. The idea of Caliph actually being with Mariano fills his head. He snatches Mariano's phone out of his hand. Mariano struggles to get it back but he runs up the steps with Mariano's phone picking it up.
are you?" Caliph says on the phone
Caliph's voice sounds panicked.
"You looking for Mariano?"
"Who is this? Put Mariano on the phone! I need to talk to him! GET OUT OF THE PARTY! GET OUT OF THE PARTY NOW!"
"This is Gaige. And I'm sorry but Mariano is busy. I'm fucking him in the ass right now. He says he's in love with me and he wants you to stay the fuck away from him."
that Gaige smashes Mariano's phone into the wall. He looks back at
Mariano. He is finally getting underneath Mariano's skin. Mariano
pushes Gaige hard. Gaige loves every moment of it. It takes
Mariano's best friend Jordan to come out of nowhere and attempt to hold Mariano
Jordan is trying to calm Mariano down, "It's not worth it!"
For some reason Jordan is calming Mariano down and it works. Mariano starts to walk away again, backwards this time while staring at Gaige.
"You think you fucking did something just now! You think he believes you?" Mariano asks, "I'm happy, Gaige. Get over it and stop thinking everything is owed to you."
Jordan grabs Mariano, "Ignore him best friend. He just knows that you don't want him..."
Jordan was trying to get even. Gaige could see it. The comment was sly. It was painful. It hurt like shit because Gaige knew it was true. Gaige knew Mariano was over him. He had a feeling. There was nothing to lose now. If he was going down he'd make sure that Jordan went with him.
"I fucked you best friend," Gaige announces, pointing at Jordan, "In the ass. Many times. And the last time I fucked him in the ass, raw, I came over to your house. I didn't even shower. And you sucked my dick..."
Jordan is shocked. He stands there completely shocked.
Mariano looks at Jordan. He looks at Gaige.
He had gotten under his skin. Mariano breaks into tears at that
moment. He runs off. Jordan is shaking his head.
"Why the fuck did you do that? Why the fuck did you say that?" Jordan asks Gaige.
Gaige just smiles.
Maybe it wasn't' the reaction he wanted but it wasn't the reaction that scared him the most. He knew at least that Mariano wasn't indifferent to him now.
Caliph arrives at the party. He's panicking. He has to find Mariano. He had told everyone he met out on the front patio to get the fuck out of the party. No one listened. Everyone was too drunk or thought he was joking or something. He was trying. He was trying as hard as he could. But he knew that he was trying the most for one thing.
He's screaming. He'd called Mariano 35 times. Every second. The phone was now going straight to voicemail. He couldn't get in contact with Mariano. His heart was in the back of his throat.
Something tells him to look outside. That's when he sees her.
She is walking up to the party. She has a black duffel bag in her hands.
"EVERYONE GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE!" he screams at the top of his lungs.
one listens. He doesn't have time for this. He wasn't going to
leave here without Mariano. He would get Mariano out and then he'd worry
about everyone else. The party was so crowded though. There had to
be hundreds of people crowded in this space. It made the huge mansion
look like a small apartment by how crowded it was.
Caliph pushes past people. He's making his way past a huge dance floor. He's staring through the darkness. There is smoke everywhere!
takes him forever to push his way just to the middle of the room. He's
aggressive at this point pushing past people and getting pushed back. He
doesn't care though. He has to find him even if it was the last thing
that he did.
The voice seems to echo his. He turns however but doesn't see Mariano. He instead sees Jordan. Jordan is screaming out for Mariano as well. He doesn't get it. He warned Jordan not to come to this party. He warned him not to bring Mariano.
"Jordan! Thank god. Where is Mariano? Have you seen him?"
"Stay the fuck away from me!" Jordan panics.
Jordan is screaming and backing up.
"Jordan calm down. It's not me!"
"STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!"
Jordan takes off running. He's running back towards the entrance of the party! He's trying to get out of here. He's running towards where Nadia is!
Caliph attempts to scream back at Jordan. He runs towards him. He tries to grab him.
That's when the first shots break out.
A series of sound break out. A few people look up curiously but only a few. The others probably think it is the sound of the music. There is an abrupt striking sound. A series of shots ringing out. That's how it begins.
reason is that Jordan is staggering throughout the party. He isn't
alone. He's just struggling to get back away but it's too late for
Jordan. He's been shot!
"RUN!" someone screams out.
There is chaos at that moment. So much chaos and Caliph still couldn't find him. He still couldn't find Mariano.
I've never seen a dead body before. It isn't until Reggie, the Gamma and two other guys I haven't seen before are laid over me that I realize what is happening. Somehow I hit my head. I'm playing dead on the floor.
I can see hear her footsteps. Someone shut off the music. I'm not sure who but it went from loud screams and panics to immediate silence. It's so quiet. I wonder if anyone was alive.
I wonder if it is one shooter or more.
How could just one person do all of this? There was so many dead. The entire room seems full of people. No one downstairs could have really survived. Maybe a few people in the kitchen had managed to get out another exit but everyone in this main room had to be dead. I couldn't count the dead among me. If it wasn't for Reggie's dead body falling on me and shielding me from the barrage of automatic bullets, I would have been dead as well.
From across the room I can see a boy. He looks at me in my face. I don't know this boy but I'll never forget him. He is playing dead like I am. We are so close. He moves just a little bit to put his finger to his lips. It's the signal to tell me to be silent. He is warning me. He's warning me that the shooter is close.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
head is riddled with bullets. I want to scream. I want to
cry. I don't do either.
I get up and I run. I run because I realize the shooter is shooting at people who are pretending to be dead. The shooter wants to make sure no one is alive.
I make a run for it realizing the shooter is focused on the boy. I don't have enough in me to get to the kitchen. I have to go for the stairs!
see the shooter's face.
Nadia is holding the automatic rifle in her hands. She doesn't even realize I am running until I'm halfway up the stairs. I can see her eyes. They are so dark. She has no soul. She has nothing inside of her but anger and destruction. It is so hard for her to lift the gun to the height I am up the stairs. The gun is so much bigger than her.
That might be the only thing that saves me. She shoots all the steps below me.
I am running.
I am still running.
back!" her voice screams, "Come back Mariano! I'm going to kill you
INFIDEL! Come meet our maker SWINE!"
I'm at the top of the stairs. I'm sweating. I'm so tired. My shirt is drenched. I'm breathing so heavy. I go to one of the bedrooms! The door is locked! I don't know where to go. There's nowhere to go! She's coming up the stairs and I have nowhere to fucking go.
That's when I see it. A face. A face in a door. It waves me over.
run to the door.
It's Caliph. He pulls me into the bathroom and locks the door behind me. I'm in tears at that moment. I'm crying on his chest. He holds me for a minute and I can't stop crying. No one has ever squeezed me so tight in my life. He squeezes me so tight that I find it hard to breathe.
"He's been shot," a familiar voice says.
It's Gaige. He's sitting in a tub right next to Flip and Zackery. Cody and Roddy are also in this bathroom. They are both hiding under the sink. I notice Cody has been shot in the arm but he's just sitting there silently bleeding out and not making a noise.
I think Gaige is talking about Cody but then I look at my own shirt. It's not sweat. At least it's not all sweat. There is blood mixed in it too. I've been shot as well.
still don't feel pain strangely even though I see the bullet wound in my
"Fuck baby!" Caliph says.
Caliph helps me to the ground. He pulls me up against the side of the tub. I look around me and notice that we aren't alone in this tight bathroom. The bathroom is crowded. At least 15 people must be in this bathroom. Some have phones. Some are texting in their phones. They are texting their loved ones. They must be telling them to call the police. They must be telling people that they are in trouble.
"Shut up," Gaige warns Caliph, "You just gave us away. She's coming..."
We all know she is coming when the door is being shot at that moment. Everyone starts screaming. Caliph holds me and starts praying in my ear. I just watch. There is nothing we can really do at this moment. We were surrounded.
This was really happening. We were going to die today.
It's Roddy who attempts to keep the door shut. He presses up against it. The shots riddle into his back and he's dead within a matter of seconds. No one else tries to go near the door after Roddy dies. No one really reacts. A few people who were already screaming keeps screaming. Everyone who was already crying keeps crying. I could imagine how much death they'd all seen already.
That is when she comes in the door. Nadia stands there. She her gun in her hands. No one was around. The cops were not here yet. We would have heard them by now. It was just us and Nadia. No one was going to come save us and there was nothing we could do to save ourselves.
"Swine..." she says pointing her assault weapon at us.
To read the next chapter in advance go to www.crushedcrown.com