The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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Eventually, Ja could hear the soft whistle from her breathing once she’d fallen asleep and went to get in the shower himself.

“Where have you been?” Sam asked when Jase came downstairs, his hair wet, stinking of deodorant.

“I went to sleep for a few hours,” he replied, putting two slices of bread in the toaster.


“In my room,” he yawned, turning to face Sam and pulling the chair out opposite him. He lit a cigarette, inhaling deeply and blowing the smoke up towards the ceiling.

“With Madison?”

“Madison was in the room.”

“I hope you gave her a slap for what she did.” Jase looked at him, choosing his next words carefully.

“Charlie deserved it. She’s still learning the

rules, he broke one he knew we had. On those grounds, I’m letting this slide. I think the fear alone of getting a slap has made her pipe down. I’m not wasting time trying to drum it in her head anymore that she fucked up.” Sam didn’t exactly approve but he didn’t make his feelings known, nodding half-heartedly in response.

The toaster popped and Jase finished making the girls their food, taking Madison’s last. There was no way she would refuse to eat today after not eating for a whole twenty-four hours.

“You need to eat. You threw up a lot last night,” he said. She didn’t move, laying on her side and picking at a loose thread on the jumper.

“What kind of bread is it?” his brows furrowed,

“White.” She looked at him and he scoffed, this morning had been stressful enough without her being fussy over toast. “Bunny, you’re not getting special treatment. Last night wasn’t about you-”

“Why do you keep calling me Bunny?” she interrupted and he closed his mouth. He hadn’t really taken into account that he’d unintentionally given her a pet name, nor had he considered how it came across.

“Eat your toast.” She sighed, sitting up.

“I can’t, I’m a celiac, I can’t have gluten.” Jase looked down at the plate, then back to Madison.

“Well, what can you eat then?”

“Anything without gluten... gluten-free pizza-” He was already shaking his head,

“Again, I’m not giving you special treatment.” Madison rolled her eyes at him, looking over to the window. It seemed the fear had worn off.

“Why not? You already let me go once, what harm is pizza going to do?” Jase glared at her and she quickly wished she had kept her mouth shut.

“I would keep that under wraps if I were you, for both our sakes.” The admittance that he would also get into trouble if they found out he’d let her slip before was what she’d been waiting for. She concluded he didn’t want that news getting out hence the reason she hadn’t been reprimanded for her behaviour.

Jase sighed when she didn’t reply, picking the plate up and leaving the room without another word. Madison pulled a face at the door as it closed behind him. Feeling her confidence grow slightly now that she knew she had leverage, plans of how she could use it against him swamped her mind. But the thought process was short-lived. Every idea drowned out by the sound of her stomach growling.

Hungry and bored, she looked around the room, trying to locate something – anything – that would keep her entertained when she spotted the bobby pins resting on the desk. Without hesitation, she pulled the draw out and swept them in.

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