Despite the uncertainty of the situation and against her better judgment, Max felt herself swaying gently to the music of the tuxedo-clad orchestra in the corner. She'd tried to shake it off and focus her attention on tracking Mad Jackson's movements through the throng of sleazy businessmen, but for some reason the melody kept pulling her away. Mad Jackson may have been criminally insane, but you had to hand it to him; the man had great music taste.

"Why don't you sing for me, little birdie?" the clearly inebriated man crooned as he pressed himself against the gilded bars, reaching an fat arm through to grope at her. She backed up in disgust only to find that another man had positioned himself behind her as his hand brushed against her ass. She whirled furiously enough to cause him to reflexively step back before letting out a hearty chuckle that drew the attention of a few nearby men. Soon the birdcage was surrounded and Max had to turn continuously to try to keep them all in sight, but the sheer numbers overwhelmed her as she struggled against them.

A high whistle pierced the air and Mad Jackson strode through the partygoers as they parted reverently. Once he reached the cage he placed a finger on the padlock and the door sprang open. For one short, heart-stopping moment Max believed he was going to whisk her away in a sudden fit of compassion but the moment quickly passed as his hand clamped down on her wrist and jerked her out with a leer. She'd been off balance already so had no choice but to stumble forward to raucous applause and groping hands.

Max was buffeted through the crowd. Everything was moving too quickly to react. No part of her remained untouched. Hands swarmed around her. Panic bubbled in her chest, rising up through her. The mob presented her to Mad Jackson. She was choking on panic. He reached for her. The panic forced itself past her lips as a scream. The air rippled and Mad Jackson was flung back against the wall. Max turned to the others instinctively, still screaming. Soon she was alone in a room of slumped bodies, chest heaving with exertion. She couldn't tell if they were dead or not, and she was unsurprised to find that she didn't care. A new power coursed through her, and she strode from the room without looking back. She could deal with the connotations of her actions later; right now she needed to find her friends.

Author's Note: Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy! I honestly forgot that I hadn't updated in so long because I have quite a few chapters written already, so if you want me to remember to update, please review.

Much love,
Miss Luxe