The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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It wasn’t until the party had been going on for a few hours that Madison showed up. She looked tired. Her eyes were sunken back and her hair had been pulled into a knotty ponytail. She was in one of Jase’s t-shirts and a pair of black tights in place of leggings. Janine wondered whether Jase had told her that her time in the house was up. By the looks of things, he had. No more dancing on the tables or girly chats in her room while they were getting ready. A lump caught in Janine’s throat and she swallowed it quickly, knowing if what Sam had said was right, she needed to start detaching now to make everything easier when Madison actually went. It was better if she didn’t think too much about these things.

Jase didn’t say anything to Madison. He sat with his back to her, smoking as he watched everyone at the party carefully. Since Mitch came on the scene, he was unsure who he could trust. Any of the people there could be feeding information back to him.

“You’re Madison, right?” someone asked from across the table, they were sat next to Janine. Madison looked at the back of Jase’s head. He didn’t move but she knew he was listening. She nodded uncomfortably. “Heard you’ve caused a lot of uproar along the underground.” She just shrugged. “What’s so special about you then?”

“Nothing,” she sighed, standing up, trying to weave past everyone in the living room. The guy followed, grabbing her wrist. She yanked her hand away. “Just fuck off, I’m not in the mood,” she snapped and he laughed, entertained. Madison looked towards Jase but he just sat, watching.

He was done with looking weak and that’s how she made him seem. She was on her own again, it appeared.

The guy grabbed her hips and she wasted no time sinking her teeth into his neck. The yell of pain caught everyone’s attention. Jase was out of his seat in seconds as the stranger recoiled, his hands at his neck where she’d very nearly drawn blood. Jase grabbed Madison by her upper arm, dragging her out of the room.

“If any of you fuckers lay your fucking hands on me, I’ll do the same damn thing!” Madison screamed in anger. Jase shoved her towards the stairs.

“Get the fuck up there, now!” he shouted at her so loudly that his throat burned. Everyone was watching, the tension in the air and the music seeming out of place now that the atmosphere had shifted so quickly. So drastically.

Sam remained sat at the table, his teeth clenched in apprehension. He knew Madison wouldn’t go down without a fight. It seemed she was beginning to behave like a cornered animal now that Jase had retracted his guard over her. She was panicking and acting out. Her defiance had put Jase in a position where he’d had to choose her or the house and to what he assumed was Madison’s surprise, for once, she’d lost. But her little stunt had probably also taken Jase’s last straw of patience, well and truly chewing it up and spitting it out. Sam had never heard him so angry. Even he wouldn’t want to have be on the receiving end of Jase losing his temper.

People were whispering when Jase returned, every eye followed him back to the table. He caught a couple of the things being said.

“I guess she’s not so special anymore.”

“Mitch has called him out on his shit.”

“She just fucked up.”

He let them talk, the rumours were no skin off his nose. If anything, they would help. He couldn’t be seen tolerating Madison’s shit stirring anymore. It was done. He was no longer holding her hand and everyone knew it.

“Tomorrow, we talk to Ramon and let him know she’s going to Mitch. We’ll organise a meeting here and he can take her.” Jase said quietly. Sam just nodded. After a few minutes, the party shuffled back to how it had been, people adjusted quickly to drama at the house and the ordeal was more or less forgotten about by everyone. Except from Jase who still looked pretty pissed. Sam watched him flick his knife open and closed. Madison had really pressed a button this time. There was no going back. Jase poked his tongue in his cheek, flicking the blade into the handle and standing up, taking himself upstairs.

Whatever he was planning to do, Sam didn’t envy Madison right now.

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