13 // ROT

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They were watching me.

Davey had insisted they were mostly here just to take a look and report the night back to Oscar, and Addi had maintained as much when I had questioned him earlier about it, but I knew.

I knew.

I wasn't stupid and they thought I was. Poor, little deluded drug-fucked Casey. Spin her a line. Fill her head with memories and give her a pathetic grasp of hope, and she'll lay back and think of England and let us screw her some more. And it had almost worked. Almost.

Yesterday, I'd believed it. I'd wanted to believe it. I'd wanted to believe them, but I'd seen the looks they'd been shooting each other all day. I'd pretended to be oblivious as they watched my every move and I'd smiled as I'd swallowed down the pills and as I'd cut the lines, consuming it all like everything was completely normal.

Pretend. Smile. Play the game. It's what I always did.

Oscar's goons had split up as soon as they'd arrived, but the shorter one – all five-foot-eight of pure muscle and malice, with a butchered buzz-cut and a face carved from weathered stone - had nodded at Davey and he'd returned the gesture, barely giving him another look, severing any suspected connection with nonchalance and focusing on the decks. I knew what the nod meant.

She's here. Go take a look. Help your fucking self, mate.

And Oscar's bloke was helping himself. I'd remembered him from the club one time, poisonous beady eyes that never left my body, doing with his gaze what he wanted to do with his hands. He'd never touched me, but he never had to. His eyes always did enough damage. They were the kind that made me want to scrub at my skin until it was raw.

He was watching me now, from the other side of the deserted pharmaceutical factory where Davey was holding tonight's gig. I'd tried to move through the crowd, deserting my usual spot close to the decks, hoping that I could conceal myself from his view behind the steel columns situated throughout the expansive factory floor, but everywhere I went, his eyes followed. Everywhere I tried to hide, he found me, and the copious number of drugs I'd taken earlier to help me cling on to the edge were fast wearing off and the fallout was hitting me like a three-day hangover from Hell.

I saw faces I knew everywhere, people I'd known on the scene for years – the ones who lived for these nights, the ones who were here week in, week out. I'd danced with them, got high with them. They understood what it was to live for the buzz, to spend your whole week just living out the same nine-to-five and praying the weekend would just hurry the fuck up and get here so you could get off your tits and spend a couple of days in drug-fuelled oblivion. These were my people, but tonight I felt crushed among them, caught up in a claustrophobic funk of sweat-plastered bodies and glazed eyes.

I scanned the crowd, looking for Addi, wondering if I could get him to fix me up again.

Bodies moved together, arms raised in hedonistic hallelujah as the bass pounded out its sermon. I began moving through them, sliding into the gaps, weaving in and out of the constantly shifting tide of people and becoming more and more desperate by the second. Oscar's guy continued to watch me, his gaze bugging me like an itch I couldn't scratch and I moved away from him, veering towards the other side of the factory, still searching for Addi. Not only was he Davey's best mate, but Addi was also the guy who manned the floor, keeping an eye out for trouble – and for the undercover boys in blue - while also controlling all the runners. He distributed the supply, took the money, dished out more pills, kept the flow going all night long. Davey kept the crowd going with the tunes, and Addi kept them high, and it was just typical that when I wanted to get high, he was nowhere to be bloody seen.

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