The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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The high took Madison away again. She was lying sideways on the bed, her head on Jase’s torso and his fingers mindlessly grazing the skin just above her underwear line. They passed their second joint back and forth.

“If you didn’t want me to see what you did to Harvey, why did you call me downstairs?” Madison asked.

“I was going to make you watch me shoot him,” he replied casually. It didn’t take Madison by surprise. She was accustomed to his nonchalance in regards to questionable matters.

“What changed your mind?” She looked up at him. He licked his lips, wondering at which point would he end up saying too much.

“I didn’t need to traumatise you to see what I wanted to see.”

“And what was it you wanted to see?” she asked, accepting the joint he was holding above her.

“Your reaction to the grittier side of things in the house. I wanted to see if you’re worth the pain in my arse that you are.” He squeezed her side playfully, and she giggled, wriggling away from him before he placed his hand flat on her stomach. He had big hands, hands that were capable of breaking things. And yet they were so hesitant on her as if her skin were as fragile as rice paper and would tear if he wasn’t careful.

“And am I?” He dragged his hand up her body, brushing her cheek with his thumb.

“Unfortunately for me, you might be.” A crease formed between her brows.

“Why unfortunately for you?” She sat up, looking down at him in his usual position. One arm behind his head. Madison took a final drag on the joint and passed it back.

“Peter,” he replied. Madison’s heart sank, she’d momentarily forgotten about him. Jase was good at getting her to do that; forget about things. Like getting out of the house.

“I don’t want to talk about him,” she murmured. Jase studied her for a second. Her blonde hair water falling in loose waves down past her breasts, her thick lips glistening after she rubbed them together. She really was very pretty. He finished the joint and stood up as he stubbed it out. “Where are you going?” Madison asked.

“I’ll be back in a second,” he told her as he left. She waited, hearing the front door open and close shortly after followed by his footsteps. He threw a brown paper bag onto the bed. Madison looked at it, confused. “They were the only gluten-free cookies they had so I hope you like chocolate chip.” Her eyes widened and she smiled,

“You got me cookies?” he shrugged, climbing back on the bed.

“You said you wanted something sweet.” She tore the top of the bag, the sugary smell like a warm hug enveloping her. They were soft in the middle kind.

“I didn’t think you would get me anything,” she said, taking one out and offering him the bag, Jase shook his head, refusing the treat.

“Don’t get used to it,” he replied, only half joking. She placed the bag on her nightstand, breaking the cookie off in parts as she ate.

When she finished, she laid down next to Jase. He looked at her from the corner of his eyes and half-smiled.

“You can come here, you know?” She scooted closer and he put his arm around her, picking up his cigarettes with his free hand.

“Jase?” she started once he’d lit one. He hummed in reply, inhaling a lungful of smoke and staring off into the distance. “It wasn’t all an act, those conversations in the early hours of the morning.” Her voice was quiet, as if she even wanted him to hear her. Jase nodded.

“I know.”

Madison fell asleep shortly after, as did Jase but he woke up a few hours later, slipping out from underneath her and heading downstairs. Sam was sat in the living room, playing Xbox. He looked up, acknowledging him before turning back to the screen.

“How’s your hand?” he asked. Jase looked down at it, rolling his shoulders.

“Can’t really feel the cut too much anymore.”

“Madison have much to say?” Jase sat down in his armchair, shaking his head.

“Not really. Said she thinks I should be more careful but other than that, nothing.” Sam’s brows furrowed.

“Thinks you should be more careful? Why the fuck does she care?” he asked. Jase just looked at the back of Sam’s head through his lashes but didn’t say anything. Sam paused his game and turned to face him. “Do you think she does care?” Jase shrugged.

“Doesn’t matter, it’s not like it’ll stop me from doing any of this.”

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