The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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“What the fuck are you going to do about it then, Jase?” Ramon asked. Jase and Sam were sat in his home office on an expensive quilted leather sofa. Across from them, behind a rosewood desk, was Ramon in a tailored grey suit.

“We’ll kill him. I’m bored of it now,” Jase sighed.

“And how are you going to do that?” Ramon sat back, intertwining his fingers and resting them on his lower stomach.

“The less you know the better. Right now, you’ve got fed all over you, I’m not disclosing information that could cause you to be suspect.” Ramon looked at each of the men, shaking his head.

“Why didn’t you just kill him the second he said no?” he asked. Jase smiled.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Ramon rolled his eyes, slapping his hands down on the desk.

“This isn’t about fun, Jase. You’ve made a mess of this, clean it up now.” Jase sighed,

“I will. I’ve never let you down before, have I?” He raised his brows and Ramon grumbled.

“I want it over by the end of the month, max.” The men stood up,

“Consider it done,” Sam said.

“So what is the plan?” Sam asked, getting into Jase’s Mercedes. Jase lit a cigarette, rolling his window down but not starting the engine.

“I’ll get someone to find out what car Mitch drives then I’ll have someone hook a bomb up to his engine. The second that key turns in his ignition, he’ll be history,” he mumbled in reply, but his heart wasn’t in it. Since that morning, his mind wouldn’t leave Madison for too long. He couldn’t shift the images of her dancing or lying on the bed. The smile she’d flashed him when he’d said killing people was easy. Jase’s body count wasn’t exactly small, but no girl had made him feel how Madison made him feel.

It was human nature, to desire the unattainable. Like a big red button you were dying to press. She was getting to him, more so than she had before. He had intended on making the rest of her life in the house a living hell but her switch in persona stopped him in his tracks.

They went back to the house but Jase didn’t stay for long, he had shots to drop and a few ticks to pick up. Sam went upstairs to Janine’s room.

“You hungry?” he asked, she looked over from her vanity where she was doing her make up.

“Is Jase in?” she responded. He shook his head. “Can I have some cereal?” He left and returned minutes later with a bowl of cornflakes. “If Jase isn’t in, am I okay to go sit with Madison?” Janine asked as Sam laid down on her bed. He looked at her suspiciously.

“Why?” he asked. Janine shrugged, trying not to arouse too much curiosity.

“Not often I get to make some sort of friend in this place.” It was enough of an answer for him.

“Sure, just don’t go picking up any of her behavioural habits. She’s a bad influence.” He had no idea but Janine wasn’t about to take a page out of Madison’s book, she was relatively comfortable with her life. Picking her bowl up, she went and knocked on Jase’s bedroom door.

“Come in,” Madison called. Her brows furrowed when Janine walked in, closing the door behind her.

“How are we doing?” she asked, sitting cross-legged on the desk. Madison wasn’t sure she wanted to disclose everything with Janine. She was conflicted about how she felt, mostly because she didn’t quite understand it.

“In what sense?”

“With Jase. He was watching you dance last night, and I mean watching.” Madison smiled a little, unable to help it. She sat up.

“You were right,” she said. Janine’s eyes widened.

“I knew it. Men, they’re simple creatures,” she said matter-of-factly. Madison just nodded. “Has he said anything?”

“Nothing substantial. It’s like he knows... I don’t know how to explain it.” Janine was spooning heaps of cornflakes into her mouth, listening intently. “I thought it would make me feel gross, this whole thing but,” she shook her head, “I don’t know how to feel.”

“Powerful.” Janine offered, slurping milk off her spoon, “I know it’s a bit warped, coming from me, but getting the undivided attention from a guy like Jase is a power move. He’s never slept with any of the girls here because they’re not his type. I didn’t even know he had a type but apparently he does and it’s you.” Madison picked up the cigarettes that Jase had left.

“Right, we just have to figure out why.” Janine tilted her head.

“Don’t be dense, Madison. It’s unbecoming of you. We know why.” She waited for her to click but she didn’t. “You challenge him. From the day you got here, you refused to do as you were told. I think a part of him knows that if he does just treat you like the others and start whoring you out then he’ll lose that and he’s not quite ready to give up his party game just yet. He doesn’t want to tarnish you.”

“Well am I playing the part of his plaything or not? If he likes being challenged then eventually, he’ll get bored of that too, surely? If I just do everything he says?” Janine chewed her lip, placing her now empty bowl next to her and pointing at the cigarettes. Madison tossed them over.

“Come on, work with me here, you’re the one that wants to get out, I can’t be the only one putting in the brainpower,” Janine said, inhaling from the cigarette. They both sat in thought.

“I have to push him, see just how much I can get away with,” Madison mumbled, Janine nodded.

“That too but we need to figure out how to keep his attention. You need a balance, don’t make his life too difficult but don’t make it too easy, either.” Janine was buzzing from the scheming. She was almost erupting into giggles. “Don’t roll over to everything. You have to keep testing him, let him know that you’re not easily tamed. What does Jase like more than anything else?”

“Cocaine,” Madison replied almost instantly. Janine laughed.

“Yes, but no. He loves having control. If he feels like he can have a little control over someone otherwise uncontrollable, it makes him look good. You have to match him. Turn into someone he considers worth his time and more importantly, worth the trouble you’re going to cause.” Madison’s brows furrowed.

“Trouble I’m going to cause?” she asked. Janine grinned menacingly.

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