The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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Jase lit another cigarette. He knew that if the others found out he’d let her go that night there would be hell to pay. He also knew that if he didn’t play his cards right, she was liable to open her mouth about it. It was just his luck that they’d been paid a hefty sum to bring in a girl and it happened to be her.

Her name tag hadn’t read Madison when he went into the shop to scope the place out. He’d thought nothing of it when they were given a name and address. Now he was in a sticky situation because of an impulsive decision. It wouldn’t be cause to get rid of him but if word got out that he’d let someone go, it wasn’t good for their reputation.

He ignored the kicks and screams as Sam had dragged her up the stairs to the only spare room left, Jase’s room. He would soon see to it that she knew it was in her best interests not to mention anything. Though, when she pleaded for them to let her go, promising that she wouldn’t say a word, he had wanted to believe her. After all, she’d been stupid enough not to report him the first time.

“How old is she, did you find out?” he asked, staring up at the ceiling where he could hear her banging on his bedroom door.

“Seventeen,” Benny replied with a frenzied excitement that made his skin crawl. Jase could hear the delighted grin in his voice and thought about Madison’s age being squeezed through the tobacco-stained teeth that lined his inner jaw.

She was so young.

He decided he’d leave her in the room on her own for a while until she was over the hysteria. The frightened girls were always the most irritating to deal with through that initial stage. They wanted you to feel sorry for them, to frantically search you for any slither of humanity you had but in this line of work, it was a useless feat.

Girls came and went, nothing more than objects. A majority of them were already girls on the street. All they did was replace the pimp. It was rare asked to go out for someone specific because of the price. It was always more of a risk to abduct someone that might be missed. The girls that they’d been paid to bring in never stayed for long, they were sold on to cover traces, get them lost in the system. Any sympathy given was a recipe for disaster, so conversation and contact were kept at a bare minimum until the girls cracked and accepted their fate. It never took long and if they needed a push then Benny had a box of tools that helped convince them along their path to submissiveness.

Jase already knew that the mistake he’d made that night by letting her go caused Madison to believe she was different somehow. However, once a girl was in the house the only way out was via auction on the deep web or in the back of a car, leaving their pulse behind. He would set the record straight in due time. For the rest of the evening, he chain-smoked in the living room and bagged up cocaine before falling asleep in the armchair.

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