The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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The Xbox lit the living room with the green light from the pitch on the football game Sam was playing. He looked up when Jase trudged in, running a hand through his hair. Kieran and Harvey were sat on the sofa.

“What’s the deal then?” Jase asked, sitting down in his armchair, still half asleep. He turned the lamp on.

“He drives a BMW, three series, we’re working on getting the numbers for it,” Harvey said. Jase nodded, at least that was something. Janine walked into the room with a cup of tea and spotted Jase.

“Can Madison come down?” she asked, like a child asking a parent if their friend could come over. He rolled his shoulders.

“If she’s awake,” he yawned. She put her cup of tea on the coffee table and went upstairs, grabbing several nail polishes from her room.

The boys were talking about work when the girls came back down, sitting on the floor at the coffee table. The smell of weed and varnish overpowered the room. Madison was blowing on her red manicure when Sam got up to answer the door, letting in a vaguely familiar face. She had seen him in attendance at some of the parties.

“Fucking gun’s jammed,” he said, placing a black handgun on the coffee table.

“Jammed?” Jase asked, “how?” The guy shrugged.

“I don’t know, didn’t even know they could jam.” Madison scoffed at his words.

“You probably shouldn’t be carrying a gun then,” she mumbled. Jase smirked and the guy scowled at her.

“What the fuck would you know?” he grunted. Madison raised her brows and looked at Jase, nodding at the gun.

“I can fix that,” she said. He shrugged one shoulder and held his hand out, gesturing to it and silently inviting her to go ahead. At the corner of her eyes, she saw Sam’s hand hover over where his own gun was tucked into his waistband.

The weapon was cold and heavy in her hands. She slid out the magazine, careful not to put her fingers anywhere near the trigger. The slide wasn’t budging. With one hand on the slide, she used her free palm to smack the handle of the gun twice. It clicked, allowing the slide to be pulled back and the bullet that had been lodged in it fell into her lap. She slotted the magazine back into the gun, turned the safety on and pushed it across the coffee table. “If you’re going to carry such a powerful tool, you should probably educate yourself on how they work first before you hurt yourself,” she said bluntly. Jase sniggered.

“She’s right Tommy, you can’t fuck about with those things, they aren’t toys,” he said.

“Whatever,” he mumbled.

Madison and Janine headed upstairs shortly after, leaving the boys to smoke.

“How the fuck did Madison know how to fix the gun jam?” Sam asked, interrupting a conversation about boxing that the others were having. It had been niggling at the back of his head, how she had held it so comfortably. Jase just rolled his shoulders.

“It’s not difficult to search things up on YouTube and considering how smart she is, I’m hardly surprised,” he said.

“There’s something sexy about a girl being able to handle a gun,” Harvey said, leaning over to Sam to give him the blunt, “makes you wonder what else they can handle.” Jase raised his brows, amused.

“A girl that can handle a gun is an accident waiting to happen,” Tommy grumbled, still annoyed with being shown up in front of them.

“A girl that can handle a gun is dangerous,” Sam said, taking three short draws on the blunt and giving it to Jase.

“Madison’s already dangerous,” Kieran said.

“Why is she?” Jase asked, slouching down in his chair in that way only boys sat, with one hand in his jogger pocket. Kieran grinned, picking his beer up from the coffee table.

“Because she’s got you watching her every move and scaring the shit out of anyone that so much as looks at her twice.” Harvey looked surprised at Kieran’s words.

“Jase has laid claim to one of the working birds? What? Is she like your Janine?” Jase chuckled, blowing the thick smoke at the ceiling before shaking his head.

“She isn’t working. I might as well have my fun with her while she’s around.”

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