The Cunning (Book 1/2)

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96

The bedroom was cold. The boys rarely put the heating on. Madison stared at herself in the mirror. It had been a few days since her ordeal with Adam and the bruises had started to fade. Jase had left her alone mostly, he was stressed out, that much was evident and when he was stressed out, he got temperamental. He kept his distance from everyone for their own sakes. She knew she wouldn’t be good company anyway. Everything was happening all at once, as soon as there was a positive, her past caught up with her. She was falling apart underneath and frankly, she felt like giving up. Her eyes met in the mirror and she narrowed them.

“What’s your next move, Mitch?” she asked aloud. He was smart, she knew that much, and patient. If he had waited this long, he had been biding his time and gathering resources. And they were totally unprepared. He was getting the better of Jase and it was obvious to anyone taking a good look and a majority of it led back to his soft spot for her. But you couldn’t stop someone in their tracks when you weren’t quite sure what path they were taking. After all of the trauma from the house and now it wasn’t even the obstacle she had to overcome. Even if she did get out, so long as Mitch was on the streets, she wasn’t safe and so long as she had ties to Jase, nor was he. Madison took a deep breath, blinking back the tears.

“Still getting to you?” Jase asked from the doorway, lighting a cigarette. She swallowed, wiping at her eyes.

“I’m just tired, you know? Of all the running and hiding and pretending. I’ve done it my whole life and I’m just tired,” her voice was shaky. Jase tilted his head, taking a drag on his cigarette before looking out of the window and nodding. He knew exactly what it was like to have to look over his shoulder constantly. The paranoia and stress could be overwhelming at points, hence the high drug usage. It took the edge off, sometimes.

“If I could just let you go, I would but I can’t, now more so than ever.” He walked to his side of the bed, sitting on the edge. “What do you think he’s planning?” Madison scoffed.

“I wish I knew. I really wish I could help but I don’t think I’m all that useful right now.” Jase closed his eyes. He was hoping she had more to give him but it seemed they were both lost for ideas.

“Okay... well one way or another, we’ll deal with this. I won’t let anything happen to you.” She looked at the back of his head in the mirror.

That was what had started this whole mess in the first place.

Janine crept into Madison’s room, Jase had told her to go and keep her company. They were having a party tonight, an attempt to carry on as normal. Even though the tension was evidently high.

“Hey, how you doing?” she asked, sitting on the corner of the bed. Madison shrugged.

“Every day’s a blessing,” she mumbled, Janine breathed a sympathetic laugh.

“It’s okay, Jase is going to look out for you.” She reached out, brushing Madison’s arm.

“Yep, I think everyone is aware of that,” Madison sighed, grabbing Jase’s cigarettes and passing one to Janine.

“What do you mean by that? Surely that’s a good thing?” Madison didn’t comment. Not straight away. She took a few drags on the cigarette first.

“If it wasn’t for him looking after me, this whole thing wouldn’t be a problem.” Janine’s brows furrowed.

“Would you rather he was a dick?” She stared at Janine for a moment, rolling her words around on her tongue.

“Do they think it’s a good idea, having a party with everything that’s going on?”

“The boys don’t act in fear. It’s a sign of weakness. If you look weak, you look easy,” Janine replied. Sometimes, Madison decided, Janine had no idea what she was actually saying.

“I guess you’re right.” They finished their cigarettes in silence and Madison covered the rest of the bruises in a thin layer of concealer. Janine’s words were like a broken record. She was making Jase look weak, that’s what this whole thing was about. Mitch was using her as a weapon against her dad and he was going to try and do the same thing with Jase. That’s why he’d sent the picture, that’s why Adam had tormented her, to get a reaction out of Jase to see just how far he’d go to look out for her. And he’d walked straight into the trap.

And he would continue to bite unless she did something.


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we're coming so close to the end! That's so sad but i'm so glad you've all enjoyed it, thank you so much for

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