The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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“I can’t believe you’re getting her special bread,” Sam muttered. Jase tapped ash from his cigarette out of the car window, staring at the shops they were parked opposite to.

“She has an intolerance. It’s like I wouldn’t give one of the girls with a nut allergy a fucking Snickers, stop deeping it.” Sam looked at him, unsure.

“Or she’s pissing you about, seeing what she can get away with. Seeing just how far she can push you...” he said. Jase didn’t react, but his words sat uncomfortably in him. If Madison thought at any point that she had the upper hand, she would be profoundly mistaken. He was only out to make his own life easier. “After all, there were no repercussions last night. The only one that suffered was Charlie,” Sam continued. Madison cracking Charlie in the face replayed in Jase’s mind and he chuckled,

“Was a fucking good head butt, though,” He said, looking at Sam who allowed for a smile to creep across his face. None of the boys really liked Charlie which helped all of them overlook Madison’s decision to break his nose.

“Yes, but that’s beside the point. She’s already too big for her boots.” Jase sighed,

“Her bark is far bigger than her bite. You didn’t see the look of fear on her face last night when I took her upstairs.” Sam grunted, and Jase flicked his cigarette butt before heading into the shop. He returned within five minutes, tossing the loaf of bread on Sam’s lap.

“So, when are you going to give her her first customer?” Sam asked.

“As I told you and Adam, when there’s a little less aggression in her,” he replied, pulling away from the curb.

“Some guys like aggression.” They both chuckled as if he’d made a light-hearted joke but Jase didn’t say any more on the subject. He didn’t want to admit to Sam, or himself, that he wasn’t sure getting Madison to work anytime soon was a smart idea. She’d definitely try to fight anyone they put in a room with her, Charlie was proof enough of that.

Benny would soon pump her with all sorts to keep her docile if she carried on. He didn’t want to have to resort to that either. He needed to think of an excuse as to why he wasn’t going to make her work just yet, and he needed to find one before everyone got impatient and started questioning his integrity. Either that or he hoped that she fell apart sooner rather than later to the point where she wasn’t so determined to get out. At least then, she probably wouldn’t even see the point in bringing their little encounter up.

Internally, Jase scolded himself for not just taking her that night she’d bumped into him. Then he wouldn’t be in this mess. It wasn’t even so much that he’d let her go but the fact that she knew his face. He would have risked everyone if she had reported him.

Hindsight was a wonderful thing.

When they got back to the house, Jase took Madison her fresh toast.

“It’s gluten-free bread,” he said, sliding it onto the desk and leaving immediately. They’d already had too much direct interaction as it was, she was getting more comfortable than she should be around him and it wouldn’t bode well for either of them if he let it continue.

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