The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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“Where’s Madison gone?” Janine asked, noticing the anxious youngster hadn’t been there for a good five minutes.

“She went to get drinks,” Jase replied, reminding her.

“She’s taking her time,” Sam said. Jase frowned. Standing up, he went to find her in the corner of the kitchen with Mike far too close for comfort. She was looking at the floor and the room was eerily quiet.

“What’s going on?” Jase asked. Everyone turned to look at him but no one said a word other than Mike.

“You ought to get control of this one,” he said, sneering down at Madison, “a little too comfortable with talking back.” Jase folded his arms and set his feet shoulder-width apart as he narrowed his eyes.

“Madison, upstairs,” he said sternly. Mike didn’t move, she had to squeeze past him, stumbling as she tried to leave the room as quickly as possible. But Jase stopped her, a hand placed just below her chest. She froze, her heart pounded and it wasn’t for the same reason Jase’s pupils were almost double their regular size. He was running on Columbia’s finest and a switch in character was definitely not out of question. With his free hand he lifted her hair away from her face. A red mark was stark on her cheek. She didn’t dare look at him. If it wasn’t for the drugs in her system, she would be crying, at least she had one thing to thank them for.

After a second of examining the handprint, Jase let her go and she ran upstairs, shutting the bedroom door heavily.

“You slapped her?” he said, turning to Mike once he was sure she was out of earshot. Mike smiled,

“Course I fuckin’ did, she tried to tell me you said we weren’t allowed to touch her.” Jase pursed his lips, trying to figure out the appropriate way to deal with him. Logical thinking was an extreme sport with all the substances coursing through his system and his temper certainly wasn’t making it an easy feat.

Sam’s eyes widened when the sound of shattering glass cut through the music and conversation. Quickly lifting Janine off his lap, he hurried out to the kitchen. Mike was slouched against the bottom cupboard, unconscious. Shards of green glass glistened on his chest and blood was trickling down his face. Everyone was watching Jase cautiously as he stared down at Mike’s limp body, the bottleneck still in his hand.

“We have rules here,” he said, tossing the remainder of his weapon in the bin, “you want to break them, be my guest, but that’s how it’s going to end. Someone get this cunt out of here.” He kicked Mike’s leg and two men dragged him to his feet.

“What happened?” Sam asked, stepping to the side so Mike could be escorted out. Jase picked up two of the bottles that Madison had left on the table.

“He slapped her,” he said.

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