(I did not reread the book before writing this so I've forgotten the exact details. Sorry if the continuity and details are a little off, but I'll revise it later. Hope you like it)

Part One: Tic

O Jude

She wouldn't do it. Mum. She wouldn't do it. She couldn't. She only wanted the best for me, and she'd never hurt me, not if she thought I had a chance. Unfortunately, I was going to have to hurt her to get my chance. No way would I get out of this room alive if we did this by the rules. The rules had gone out the window. Except for the only concrete rules I ever lived by.

Rule 18: Family you can live without, because you have to.

"Go on then. Make your choice," I snarled at her, and I saw the pain and sadness in her face as I did so.

"Jude please..." she whispered.

"Me, your own son, or the Dagger bitch that ruined our lives!"

"Jude!" mum snapped; she didn't like me saying Dagger, even after all this. She used the same tone that she always did in my childhood, and it shut me up sharp. I was surprised it still had any affect. It was funny that it could still happen in such a dangerous situation. Such an absurd situation.

I sat still and silent, but I carefully turned my head away from my mum in the doorway.

"I have to do this for Callie Rose. She deserves to be free of you," Mum said, barely more than a whisper.

"Leave then," I said to mum quietly, but I was watching Jasmine Hadley, who seemed to be swaying slightly. "You've obviously made your decision already," I tensed in my chair, waiting for the moment. Mum didn't say anything. She couldn't deny that. "but I'll promise you one thing: I'm not dieing here,"

The Hadley dagger bitch had her eyes closed.; maybe she was about to pass out. I certainly hoped so. That would make everything a lot easier. Mum didn't see, because she wasn't looking. She didn't look at me or Jasmine, I think she was using all her willpower just to walk out of the room and close the door; she wouldn't be able to do it if she looked.

I was waiting for the click of the door closing, but it stopped, hanging open a crack. I didn't turn, but out of the corner of my eye, through the slither in the door I could see mum. She gave me a very long, mournful look, and then she said, sounding like she was about to cry. "I love you Jude," And pulled the door closed.

I realised then, how much I wanted to stay alive.

I blocked it out. I couldn't afford the distraction.

I was sat on the edge of my seat, poised, like a spring. The door clicked, and that was my cue. I leaped across the room. I saw Jasmine's eyes fly open in shock, as I rushed at her, and then in one movement I had her up against the wall. Her finger slipped on the switch, and for one heart stopping moment I thought it had gone off, but I grabbed her hand and forced them down to her sides. I pushed myself up against her, crushing her against the wall, so she couldn't move.

It made me feel physically sick to be this close to her. Her body was bony, stick thin, she probably could have caused a lot of pain if she had fought with those pointy elbows, but she didn't fight. She was shaking beneath me. I had her hands held tightly in my own fist, and with my other hand I reached up. There was one wire, I knew. It was a dangerous move. I was off balance and she could have gotten the upper hand if she tried, but I was taking my chances. Now was the time to take risks, and she didn't look capable of trying anything now, but I was wrong.

Her hands twisted out of mine, and scrambled over the jacket. My hand found the wire, and I hooked my fingers into it, but at the same time her finger found the switch. We froze like that. Her about to detonate, and me about to disconnect. I could feel her harsh breathing in my ear.

"Bitch," I hissed softly in her ear.

"I know you want me to die," she said quietly, tiredly, "but the only way you can do that is with this bomb, and that would kill you too,"

"There are a lot of ways I can kill you," I said. She looked me straight in the face then, and she knew I wasn't lying.

Then the fire alarm went off suddenly. The loud bell caught us both by surprise, but Jasmine jumped violently at the sound. And as she did, her hand fumbled once more, and the switch flicked. I swear I heard the tiny click of the switch even over the screaming fire alarm. I tensed, and Jasmine eyes snapped shut again, but nothing happened. Seconds felt like years, and then I exhaled slowly and brought my hand down, holding the wire.

Jasmine's eyes opened wide and she stared at it. "You disconnected it?" she breathed.

Maybe it was the shock, or relief, but somehow I found it unbearably funny, and like a psychopath, I started to laugh. I was shaking trying to hold in the peals of laughter the felt like they were trying to crawl up my throat.

"How is this funny?" Jasmine asked, as I threw myself away from her. I shook my head meaninglessly. Of all the things that I had been expecting today, this was the last.

"What now?" I asked.

Jasmine said nothing. We stood in silence, listening to the endless fire alarm. I had to get out of here before the police came, but she probably wasn't going to let me out of here unless I was in handcuffs. An idea began to form. I started to walk confidently, purposefully across the room. Jasmine still did, and said nothing; she had no power over me now.

"They want a fire. I'll give them a fire," I muttered.

I opened a drawer in the bedside table, and brought out a box of matches. Jasmine sat down on the bed, making the cheap springs squeak, looking exhausted, she wasn't watching me. She didn't seem to care. I selected my match and struck it. The match flared, and flamed up, I trailed it along the edge of the curtains.

They caught fire immediately and the flames quickly ate away at them. Then I kept lighting matches and randomly throwing them into the corners, onto the carpet. The room began to smoke, and soon it would be ablaze. The bomb may not be activated, but explosives were still explosives, fire was still fire, and she was still wearing it.

So all in all I had been kind to her. I wasn't giving her a long slow burn, but a quick sudden death. She sat on the bed, with her head in her hands. She wasn't hiding her pain now, as she groaned aloud.

I wasn't sure if she even noticed as I left the room and locked the door. At the end of the corridor, I couldn't help turning. The do not disturb sign was still swinging on the handle, and black smoke was curling out from the crack under the door. I started running.

I was streets away from the hotel, but I still heard the explosion, and I almost felt the ground shake.