Well, Lana seemed alright. And it was good to get out of the house for something other than recording in the studio. Kyle seemed genuinely chatty for the first time since I'd met him. He was even telling jokes. It was good to see him so relaxed. I glanced over at Rollar, who smiled back. Kyle was laughing at something Lana had said.
As we turned a corner, I froze, the colour draining from my face. Rollar noticed and stopped.
"You okay, Jaimie?" she asked, concern in her voice.
Kyle and Lana heard and stopped too. Madelin was walking down the street, her blonde hair straight rather than wavy now. When she noticed me, she stopped too, a sickly sweet smile spreading across her face.
When I was finally able to speak, I quietly said, "I'll be back in a minute."
Rollar opened her mouth to say something but I was already walking away. When I reached Madelin, she was practically grinning.
"Madelin," I said shortly.
"Jaimie," she said, smiling up at me. "How can I help you?"
"What do you want from me?" I asked.
"You know what it is I want, JJ," she said quietly, her eyelids hooding her eyes.
"That's not an option, so I'll ask again, what do you want?"
She ignored my question. "Who're your friends?" she asked, looking around me at the others.
"None of your concern," I said immediately.
"Your band members? I heard the news. Congratulations by the way."
"I don't want congratulations from you, bitch," I said.
"So which one are you sleeping with? I thought there were only three of you, so one of them must be a friend. Let's go and say hello, shall we?"
She stepped around me and started walking towards Kyle, Rollar and Lana. I grabbed her arm to stop her but she just shrugged out of my grip and carried on. I walked after her, hoping to limit the damage done by her words yet to come.
When we reached the others, their expressions were confused and cautious, though Kyle seemed a little suspicious and then I remembered he'd heard my phone conversation with her.
"I'm Madelin by the way," she said, smiling sweetly.
Kyle's eyes widened slightly in surprise and he glanced at me for confirmation. I nodded slightly.
"Going to introduce me, Jaimie?" Madelin asked.
"No," I simply said.
"Oh, that's a shame. So, do you know about Jaimie's past?" she asked, hoping to catch them out.
"Yes," Kyle and Rollar said simultaneously. Lana, wisely, said nothing.
Madelin quickly covered up her surprise. "I wonder if the papers know; I'm sure they'd love a story like this."
I laughed hollowly. "Blackmail, is it now, Maddy? I never thought you could stoop so low. So, what? You're going to out me to the world if I don't get back with you?"
"And what if they were to learn about your brother? They'd be vultures if they knew about that."
Her face went ashen but she quickly recovered. She straightened up.
"Goodbye, Jaimie. Tell Carter I said hello." She turned on her heel and strode away.
I pulled my phone out and sent a text to Carter: Dealt with Madelin.
His reply came almost instantly. Good. How though?
I'll explain later.
When I looked up, I was met the eyes of those standing in front of me.