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Aurelia's POV

I walk quietly back to the court, taking the longer, more scenic path. The route that Audrey sometimes took, when she wanted to clear her mind. I thought if I could encounter her, we could talk or... something.

Instead, the birds chirping cheerfully, with the stream gurgling cheerfully, and the occasional cheerful chipmunk darting across the tree combined to make me feel not very cheerful.

It was a true hassle really, to live here. In this perfect place where people were protected and safe. Crime rates had gone way down. The population was growing steadily. So why were there still doubts?

"Aurelia?" A tell-tale voice caught me off-guard.

"Jason?" I realize I am looking at Madison Grey's fiance, a man who was to feared as much as his future wife.

"What are you doing here so late?" Jason's eyes narrow, and I can see the suspicion rising behind his face.

"Just thinking," I reply, trying to be casual.

"Really, Ms. Summers?" Jason's voice is also casual, but with a hint of warning. "Care to enlighten?"

I shift. "The usual."

Jason waited.

"I was simply thinking," I elaborate, trying to imitate his elegant, detached tone.

"About?" Jason leaned against a tree. He looked completely at ease, but I could detect tension in his posture.

"Break," I quickly exclaim. "Axel and I love to do things during break."

Jason lips tighten. "How's the Defect?" He completely changes the topic.

"Fine," I shrug, looking down. "How's Madison?"

Jason stiffens ever so slightly. "She's good."

I look around, panicking a bit. No one was around; Jason could murder me and he could get away with it -

Snap out of it, Aurelia!

He would never risk something that foolish.

"Well, I really shouldn't be away for too long," I awkwardly salute and scurry away.

Before I'm completely out of range, I hear Jason's last warning. "Careful where you walk, Ms. Summers."

I shake off the shivers rolling down my spine. The night was deep and dark, and the moon didn't offer much solace. In fact, it was clouded over, which made me uneasy. I knew should get back to Asher, but my curiosity betrays me. I whip myself around and silently step towards where Jason was heading. I trail him slyly, careful not to make sound.

He walks for what seems like ages until he makes a sharp right.

By now I'm in a section of the Rose district that I've never been in, and it makes me nervous. Why did I even decide to do something stupid like this and follow him? He'd probably just meet up with Madison and they'd have a make-out session, something I really didn't want to see.

Yet, I keep following him.

"Jason?" Madison's voice snapped.

I hid behind a bush, trying to peer out of it to stare at them.

"Hey, Madison," Jason's deep voice came.

"I've managed to crack Audrey," Madison explains, cutting straight to the point.


"What?" Jason asks.

"You don't need to know how," Madison scoffs. "But I have. Our society won't be ruined any time soon by those people."

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