A/N: Hey guys - first I would like to say I'm extremely sorry for not updating in a while, for the whole month of September I was hardly home so I had no time to sit down & write, but hopefully, I'm back now & can resume writing :) Also I've added a few major twists in this chapter, hopefully you like it, and will possibly review? Please? haha XD Anyways, enjoy the chapter, and if you perhaps decide to leave a review once you're finished reading, just know... I love you ;) haha XD Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Camp Rock, or JONAS... yup, my evil plans will never be put on the big screen. :(
I should've known better. I should never have challenged Dain, I never should have stood up to him. I realized that the moment that he had his knife at Mitchie's neck, his expression triumphant, and I was reminded of that fact when the cell's door slid open to reveal two of his guards. I was foolish and hot-headed, and now it was time for me - and my brothers - to pay for the consequences to my actions.
I stepped forwards, already knowing what the guards would say, and one opened his mouth despite my obvious cooperation. I didn't wish to anger Dain any further - I knew that to delay my punishment would only cause not only myself, but Mitchie and my brothers, more trouble then we were already in.
"Dain wishes to see you." The guard informed me, although I'd already guessed this much, and gave a slight nod to show them that I'd understood, and wasn't going to be difficult. They still didn't seem to trust me, though, as the both eyed me suspiciously.
"Joe." Despite the fact that Mitchie had whispered my name, I could still hear her soft, broken tone, and I flinched at what was probably going through her mind at the moment. Glancing at her, my head lowered so that the guards wouldn't notice the direction of my gaze, I offered her a small, hardly reassuring smile, although I felt heartbroken at the tears on her face, and her tortured expression. I wished I could tell her that things would be okay, but I couldn't even be sure that this would turn out well.
The guards immediately moved to either side of me as I stepped out of the cell, and I tried to force down my panic as the door was shut firmly behind me, and the bolt replaced. I didn't even want to imagine what Dain had in store for me after what I'd done today.
I flinched, stiffening as I heard Mitchie's sudden pleas of desperation, screaming at my guards to let her talk to Dain, to take her instead. My heart in my throat, trembling at the distress in her cries, I tried my best to ignore her, seeing as acting up anymore certainly wouldn't help either myself, Mitchie, or my brothers. I wanted nothing more than to turn back around, rush to her, and pull her into my arms, but I knew I couldn't do any such thing.
Biting my lip, I ignored my instincts - which were what had gotten me into this mess in the first place - and instead continued walking meekly along with the guards.
It seemed as if we walked forever, but it was probably simply the dread that I felt as I took every step forwards into what was sure to become a living nightmare. Oh, why had I snapped out at Dain, when I knew what would happen later? At the same time, I didn't regret speaking up for Mitchie - or at least, I didn't yet. His words had been harsh, unnecessary, and the scary thing was that I knew he was dead serious about everything he'd said.
I was still shocked that I'd almost told Mitchie the reason why we were actually here, and I knew by the mistrustful expression on Landon's face that he'd suspected something from the very beginning. I'm not proud, but in my defense, I had no idea what this situation would be like when Dain had first spoken with me. I hadn't thought about the fact that I might have begun to fall for Mitchie.
I shook my head, trying to push the thought away and deny it. I knew we were almost to Dain's room, and I knew he'd instantly find any traces of my feelings in my expression if I didn't get them out of my mind, and I wouldn't put my brothers or Mitchie in jeopardy again.
The door in front of us opened, and the guards released me, one's hand shooting out to shove me forwards into the dark room. I stumbled, only just catching myself and managing to avoid falling, my hands reaching out for the chair in front of me, so I could steady myself. I could see faintly as Dain smirked at my near fall.
"So, Joe," Dain's tone was triumphant, although he did sound slightly angry with me, beneath his cool exterior. "Would you care to explain what happened back there?" I knew that he was waiting for my answer - his own question was to test my loyalty to him. I couldn't let him know the truth, and so I resorted to quick thinking. Thankfully, I've always been good at coming up with convincing excuses.
"I'm sorry, sir, I didn't mean to come across so badly, I was just trying to keep Mitchie convinced that we're on her side. You know, just in case she had any doubts or anything, I figured that would be a good way to show her she can trust us." I even smirked at the end, as if I truly had meant to lash out at Dain to keep Mitchie on our side, when in truth, it had simply been an instinct to try to protect her. I didn't dare mention that to Dain though, since he wouldn't be quite so forgiving.
I saw the anger in Dain's eyes flash away, and a small smile came onto his face. I wanted to breathe a sigh of relief, but I didn't out of fear that he'd guess I'd been lying, since as of now, he seemed to believe me.
"Smart thinking, Joe. Well, I'm glad we've had this little talk, since I had to be sure that my agents weren't bailing on me. Because, of course, I really would hate to dispose of you three, when you're still helping me out so much."
"I'm doing my best, sir, as are my brothers." I replied softly, hoping that my voice wouldn't crack in the middle and Dain would suspect I wasn't being honest. Honestly, I still wasn't quite sure who's side I was on, but until I did, I needed both to believe that I was on their side completely. Dain's smile widened.
"Well good then, keep it up - because very soon, I'll be putting a new plan into action, and I will surely need your help, most of all." Dain smirked, and I stiffened subconsciously, hoping he hadn't noticed. He must not have, since he had a large grin on his face as he continued. "You, my dear friend, and your brothers, are going to run Mitchie straight into a trap."
I couldn't stand it. Every second that ticked by felt like hours, and I struggled to contain my emotions as I dug my nails into my skin, deeper and deeper with every passing moment.
Landon's tight grip on me hadn't faltered, from the moment I'd broke down crying into his arms, until now, when I'd managed to run out of tears, and simply sit in silence, feeling numb. Nick and Kevin had remained quietly in the other corner, their faces showing distress as they whispered among themselves, their movements nervous. I was too wrapped up in my own thoughts to bother with wondering what they were discussing, since I could already see the fear on their faces.
Landon sighed, leaning down and resting his head on my shoulder, his firm grip still holding me tightly. I was glad, since if he did let go, I wasn't sure how I might react. I wanted nothing more than to fling myself at the door, find a way out, and to go find Joe and Dain. I needed to know what was going on - this never ending torture, as every moment passed, dragging on and on, until I could hardly breathe.
My head felt as if it was ready to explode. I was so stressed I could hardly focus, my mind racing back and forth, and dried tear stains on my cheeks. How could Dain do this - not just to me, of course, but to Landon, Joe, Nick, Kevin, and every other single person he'd victimized. It wasn't right, and I didn't know how he could remain so emotionless and cruel. I wondered if he even had a heart, or just a cold piece of ice there.
Overwhelmed, I drew in a deep breath, unable to stop myself from shaking as the fact that Joe was still not back continued to haunt me. He shouldn't have to suffer for what I'd done - it wasn't his fault, after all, that I was here. Dain knew me too well, and he knew exactly what would bother me.
I hated myself, in that moment, for a number of reasons. I'd trusted him and had told him freely how I felt, I'd spoken up to him, I'd caused Joe to have to suffer. Hardly able to swallow, the hatred rising into my chest, I slammed my hand against the stone floor with a grunt. Immediately, I realized I probably shouldn't have.
Landon jumped, his eyes wide as he shouted, and both Nick and Kevin's head snapped up to stare at me in shock. Pain spread through my hand like wildfire, and I bit my lip to keep from crying out. Tears, once again, streamed down my face, although not from the physical pain I was feeling, but from the emotional and mental pain I'd suffered through for the past three days. I ignored Landon as he moved in front of me, his hand grasping my wrist gently but firmly, as he glared at me, silently telling me not to even think about doing such a thing again. Kevin and Nick were now leaning over me, their eyes scanning my hand, probably to see what kind of damage I'd done to it. Landon groaned.
I ignored them all. Pulling my knees up and burying my face in my good hand, I cried.
I heard Landon tell me briefly I'd managed to break my wrist, but I didn't care, because at that moment, the pain felt good. It helped to distract me from everything that had happened, everything that was happening, and probably, everything that was still to come. I pulled back, forcing Landon to release his grip on my hand, and shoved my back against the wall, trying to block everything out. Pain was shooting through my arm and down into my side, but at the moment, I couldn't have cared less. Everything was falling apart.
I heard the bolt to the cell door pull back, and I immediately raised my head hopefully. The door was slammed open, and Joe stumbled through. Both Nick and Kevin rushed forwards, their arms encircling him, but my eyes focused on the person behind the three brothers, the one who'd started all of this.
In a rush of anger, I stood, still ignoring the pain in my arm, and lunged forwards. Dain, nor myself, hardly expected what happened.
Screaming at him that I hated him, I jumped on top of him, the anger coursing through my veins. His shocked expression told me that I'd taken him by surprise, and I quickly took advantage of that fact. My fist swung forwards and, after a brief moment of pure shock, he toppled over, landing on the ground with a loud bang.
I stumbled back, my head spinning as I realized that I had actually managed to knock him half unconscious. Obviously, his guards hadn't expected it either, because they stood for a moment, horror written over all their faces. After a second's hesitation, two lunged forwards, grabbing my wrists and pushing me to the ground, while the others helped Dain back up. The fury in his eyes, and rage in his expression, made me second guess my actions.
Terrified, helpless beneath the guards' strong grasp, I realized that I had, once again, made a horrible mistake. He stepped forwards, the tip of his boot moving to rest on top of my broken wrist, and with a smirk, he stepped down again.
I bit my lip, trying to ignore the horrific pain shooting through my body, and focused on trying to breathe, although it was near impossible. Half unconscious from the pain, I glared up at him, as he stared down with hatred in his eyes.
"Just remember, Mitchie, that one way or the other, you won't escape. You will end up dead, if you don't choose to cooperate." He stepped back again, and I immediately sucked in a deep breath of air, trying to get my breath back and avoid passing out. Through my half-closed eyelids, I saw Dain give a sharp nod to the guards holding me, and immediately, they released me, although I had no energy to get up.
Pain still shot through body, feeling as if my wrist, especially, was on fire, and my head was spinning from the sheer agony I was feeling. I could see Dain's smirk glaring down at me, and then, once again, he nodded. If I had any energy, I would've frowned, as I had no clue what he was signalling the guards to do.
I realized two seconds later, when two moved forwards and grabbed hold of Landon, half-dragging him towards the cell door. I wanted to stop them, to stop them from taking Landon away, again, but I didn't have the breathe left to move. I stared in shock as Landon was pulled out of the cell, and the door shut firmly behind him. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, I wanted Landon back.
"Mitchie?" I jumped, quickly steadying myself, as Joe's voice came from beside me. I felt his arm wrap around my waist as he moved closer to me, helping me to move into a sitting position until I was leaning up against the wall, staring back at his chocolate brown eyes. With a sigh, I stared at him, wondering how he could still be so kind to me, even after it was my fault, that he'd had to deal with Dain.
His eyes remained on me, as he offered me a small smile, pulling me closer as he gave me a careful, but much needed hug. I couldn't help the tears that forced their way up, or the sob that caught in my throat, but Joe seemed to expect it, at least, since he only hugged me tighter.
"Are you okay?" I whispered, hardly daring to hear what he was going to say. I heard him take a deep breath before he answered.
"I'm fine. I should be asking you, really." He replied softly, and I turned away, guilt raining down on me as I, once again, regretted all of this. Joe frowned. "What's wrong?" He asked gently, his arms wrapping around me once again as a sob escaped from my throat.
"I'm so sorry, for all of this. I've caused all this - every one's suffering, and it's my fault. Landon, you, Nick and Kevin, and it's all my fault. everything is my fault, and I can't take it."
"Mitchie, this isn't your fault, and you know that very well. What's happened - it's Dain's fault, and notat all yours." I ignored him, knowing fully well that this was, indeed, my fault. Joe sighed from beside me, before he very gently took my wrist into his hand, staring down at me, his eyes filled with sadness. "Landon told me about your wrist, while Dain was..." He tailed off, and I groaned, hanging my head lower as I tried to avoid looking him in the eye.
"Stop it, please." I whispered, pulling my injured wrist from his grasp and ignoring the pain as best I could. Swallowing, trying to blink back my tears, I turned away from him, hoping he wouldn't notice my expression.
I heard Joe sigh, before I felt his hand reach up, pulling my chin around until I was, once again, staring back at him.
"Don't blame yourself, Mitchie." He whispered, his eyes searching mine, and I knew he could see how clearly I was, in fact, blaming myself. How could I not, when I was the one who'd gotten wrapped up with Dain in the first place? How couldn't I, when everything that had been happening, was all because of me? "Mitchie." Joe's firm tone broke me out of my guilt, and I glanced at him, noting the soft smile on his face. His eyes were unreadable, some emotion I couldn't seem to grasp stirring inside, and I closed my own eyes, a soft breath escaping from my chapped lips.
He leaned closer, and I wanted nothing more than to shove away from him, but I couldn't find the energy to push him away, again. I wanted to be alone - I wanted to drown in the feelings of guilt pouring down on me. Joe seemed to know what I was thinking, and refused to back away. Instead, he still came closer.
I stared back at him, unsure of what to think, and Joe offered me a brief smile before he leaned forwards.
I sucked in a deep breath, as Joe kissed me, unsure of how to respond or what to think. I always knew I'd started to develop feelings for Joe, but I hadn't even begun to imagine that he might feel the same way. I wanted to pull away, to shake my head at him, to be left alone, but I didn't dare to.
I couldn't help but give in, as I leaned closer, and I could swear I heard Joe chuckle.
A moment later, something hard was smashed against my head, and I fell back into the darkness.
My head was spinning, reeling, from what Dain had told me. I could hardly dare to try to process this new information, or I knew that my expression would give away my true feelings. Swallowing my emotions, I stared back at Dain, forcing myself to keep smiling and nodding seriously. It was all I could do to keep from giving into the panic that was rising in my chest. It was too soon for this - of course, Dain had warned me from the start of what was going to happen, or at least given me a general idea, but I still hadn't been prepared for this moment at all.
I gripped the back of the chair tightly, hoping that I was doing a good enough of a job of hiding my emotions from Dain, as long as he managed to miss the fact that I'd probably paled when he'd told me of the new plan. Dain's smirk, though, stared back at me, with a triumphant gleam in his eyes.
"So you understand, well enough, what you're to do?" He asked, and I nodded, not able to find the strength to speak. If I opened my mouth, I was afraid of what was going to come out. "Good. And you understand, also, that you're to speak to no one of this plan - not even your brothers, until the time is right?" He questioned, again.
Again, I nodded.
Dain's grin increased.
"Good, then." He smiled, before nodding to the guards on either side of me. "You may take Joe back to the cell now." He continued, and I stood straighter, releasing my death grip on the chair, and moving to stand next to the guards. My heart was pounding, my thoughts racing, as I tried to think about what I was going to do. Of course, I had no choice but to go along with his plan, and follow through on my part of the deal, but I knew I couldn't leave Mitchie to be a part of his cruel scheme.
Giving one last smile in Dain's direction, I turned my back, walking out of the dark room and down the long corridor. I already knew exactly where the cell was located in this maze of prison rooms. A fourth set of footsteps, though, surprised me, and I glanced backwards to find Dain had followed us. I felt my heart leap into my throat, knowing that nothing good would come out of this.
We reached the cell not soon after, and the moment that one guard drew back the large bolt on the door, the other shoved me forwards, and I stumbled, barely able to catch my balance. Nick and Kevin jumped up immediately, looks of worry, and yet some relief, evident on their faces as they rushed forwards, their arms encircling me into a hug. I could hardly focus, though, my eyes darting around the room to search for Mitchie.
It didn't take very long to find her.
"I hate you." I heard her scream before I could realize what she was doing. In one swift motion, she jumped forwards, launching herself at Dain. A look of utter surprise crossed his face, and I wanted nothing more than to reach out and drag her away from him, only for her protection. What she did next, however, made me freeze.
Her fist swung out, and I heard Dain gasp, before he fell. Mitchie's eyes widened as she realized what had happened, and she jumped back, panic evident in her expression. I bit my lip, my heart racing, as I imagined all the horrible outcomes this would have. Dain's guards, looking shocked, jumped, two helping Dain up, and two tackling Mitchie to the floor, landing on top of her in one swift motion. Dain rose to his feel, glaring at Mitchie with such pure hatred that I wanted to jump in front of him, to protect her from what I knew was bound to come next.
He stepped forwards, towering over Mitchie, glaring down at her, his expression dangerous. Without hesitating, he moved forwards, until his boot was on top of her wrist, and I saw as he leaned forwards, putting all his weight down. I flinched, wishing I could jump out and stop him, but knowing fully well that I had no choice of protecting her now, not after the fact that I'd just barely managed to make an excuse for protecting her earlier.
"Just remember, Mitchie, that one way or the other, you won't escape. You will end up dead, if you don't choose to cooperate." Dain snapped, glaring down at Mitchie. I saw the pained expression on her face, as she bit her lip, tears streaming down her cheeks, and I glanced at Landon, who had gone pale and had a look of violence on his face, as if he wanted to choke Dain at that moment. He caught my glance and mouthed "her wrist is broken" to me, and I stiffened as I understood.
Dain finally stepped back, smirking down at Mitchie, who hardly looked conscious. Her eyes were glazed with pain, as he stepped back, grinning. His eyes glanced around the room and rested on Landon, before he nodded slightly. I closed my eyes, sucking in a deep breath, knowing what was coming next.
The guards stepped over Mitchie, ignoring her striken look as they reached Landon, grabbing hold of him and pulling him towards the cell's door. His wild look said enough, and I saw Mitchie opened her mouth, her expression fearful, as she stared at Landon.
Dain smirked, stepped forwards towards me and slamming something down into my hand. I glanced down at the object and understood, my heart sinking into my chest. Nick and Kevin frowned, glancing at me, but I ignored them as I realized just how soon Dain's plan was going to be put into action. I stared down at Mitchie - so helpless, so fragile - and felt my heart break as I thought about what was going to happen.
The door was slammed shut as Landon was dragged out of the cell, and immediately, I pulled away from Nick and Kevin and dropped down beside Mitchie, helping her sit up. Sitting down in front of her, I ran my gaze over her shaking body, as she struggled to catch her breath. Tears were running down her cheeks as stared at me, the guilt she was feeling evident in her watery eyes. She sucked in a deep breath, glancing at the closed cell door, before she returned her worried gaze to me.
"Are you okay?" She asked quietly, and I paused, unsure of what to say. Physically, I was fine, but emotionally, I was about to have a breakdown. I wanted so badly to go against Dain's plan, but I had no choice in the matter.
"I'm fine," I answered, hoping she wouldn't notice the tone of my voice, and quickly changed subjects. "I should be asking you, really." I continued, truthfully, and Mitchie turned away from me, almost immediately, stiffening. I froze for a second, wondering what had happened while Dain had been talking to me, before I gently took her hand. "What's wrong?" I asked, catching my breath as I waited for her to answer. She hesitated, before she glanced back at me, fresh tears streaming down her face.
"I'm so sorry, for all of this. I've caused all this - everyone's suffering, and it's my fault. Landon, you, Nick and Kevin, and it's all my fault. everything is my fault, and I can't take it." She sobbed, and I felt my heart go out towards her. I wanted to comfort her, to hold her, to tell her it would be alright. In truth, I didn't dare to offer her false hope, especially after I knew what was going to happen next.
"Mitchie, this isn't your fault, and you know that very well. What's happened - it's Dain's fault, and not at all yours." I insisted, knowing fully well that it wasn't at all Mitchie's fault, any of this. I sighed as Mitchie refused to look at me, and I could tell really wasn't hearing a word I was saying, all wrapped up in the guilt that she didn't deserve. Instead, I glanced down at her wrist, which had turned a nasty shade of black and blue, and gently touched her arm. ""Landon told me about your wrist, while Dain was..." I stopped, feeling my breath catch in my throat.
"Stop it, please." She whispered, as if she had no energy left to fight back, or do anything, and I groaned inwardly. It was as if she had simply given up, and I couldn't stand to see her so broken. Trembling, I gently touched her chin, turning her head so she was forced to look me in the eye.
"Don't blame yourself, Mitchie." I whispered, my heart leaping into my throat as my body shook, because I knew what was coming next. I wanted to disobey Dain - to try to escape with her, to save her, to protect her, but I knew very well that my best chance at doing so was by going along with Dain's plan - at least until I had the chance to help her get away.
"Mitchie." I spoke softly, but I knew she'd heard me. I offered her a small smile, my heart pounding in my chest as I leaned forwards slowly, catching her unsure expression, and ignoring it as I continued to move closer to her.
And just like that, I kissed her.
She didn't pull away, and I allowed myself to savor the moment for a second, before I did what Dain wanted me to. She was so destroyed, so fragile, and I wanted to help fix her. Instead, here I was, helping Dain, and breaking her down even more. I hated Dain, I hated what I was about to do, but most of all - I hated myself.
My hand travelled down to the object Dain had given me, and I gripped it, my heart pounding in my chest as I realized I had no other choice.
"You can do it, or I will." Dain had told me earlier - and as much as I hated myself, I didn't dare to refuse him, because I knew he would be much more violent and Mitchie didn't deserve any more of Dain's harsh treatment. So, I'd stood up and offered to do it myself.
Shaking, hardly able to imagine what I was doing, I lifted the object and brought it down on top of Mitchie's head, knocking her unconcious.
Her limp body dropped almost immediately, and I didn't hesitate to catch her in my arms, tears filling my eyes as the weight of what I had just done hit me, and I drew her closer to me, leaning down and crying openly while I cradled her body in my arms. I heard Nick and Kevin gasp from behind me, and their scuffling footsteps as they came closer, kneeling down beside myself and Mitchie.
I raised my head, my body shaking, as I met their sympathetic and horrified gazes.
"Dain's... plan." I whispered, heartbroken as I stared down at Mitchie's closed eyes, horrified of what I had just done. "He said..." I broke off, trying to stop from breaking down completely, and explain to Nick and Kevin what was going on. "If I didn't... then he would." I managed to spit out, and I saw Nick and Kevin's wide eyes and shocked expressions. They understood, but still were horrified. I didn't blame them - I had just betrayed Mitchie in every way.
Lifting my head, sucking in a deep breath, I tried to stop the tears from falling down my face and turned instead to face Nick and Kevin, trying to ignore Mitchie's limp body in my arms.
"Dain's plan has just begun."