It was like clockwork. Bed by one, up at eight. The alarm beeped three times. Showered, breakfast, coffee and dressed by ten. At the club by eleven.
Jase opened his eyes.
He’d had that dream again, the one with Sam pointing the gun at him, eyes wide. The wetness of warm blood seeping through his t-shirt almost felt real once more. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes for another five seconds before getting out of bed. The flat was naturally cold. Everything was either white, black or chrome. It was a two-bedroom in North London. £1500 a month, including water, gas and electricity. The neighbourhood was peaceful.
He let the shower run for a few minutes before stepping into the steamy stream of water, lathering shampoo through his curls. It continued to surprise him that he hadn’t gone grey yet after the stress he’d been through.
With the towel wrapped around his waist, he stepped in front of the sink, opening the medicine cabinet and taking out his razor and shaving foam. As always, his eyes flickered over the scar in his reflection, the one on his shoulder. It was smaller than most people would expect a gunshot wound to be. Just the size of the bullet from the glock. Nothing more, nothing less.
After shaving, he made breakfast and sat at the island in the kitchen, reading the newspaper as he devoured four rashers of bacon, three slices of toast and three eggs. When he’d been railing cocaine on a regular basis, he’d never had much of an appetite but now, he easily made his way through a carton of eggs and several packets of bacon in a week to keep up with his gym routine.
The mornings were quiet. The only noise being made was general noise from a population of one. A click from the coffee machine and the sizzling from the bacon. Flipping of newspaper pages and the tap of Italian leather shoes on the grey wooden flooring before he left. That was until he got to the club where the music was playing and it was always night time. Low neon pink and purple lights, girls walking around in their underwear, smiling at him as he walked through. He paid them no mind, heading straight to his office.
“Afternoon, Jase,” Kieran greeted, coming in the second he had sat down behind his desk.
“What’s up?” Jase asked, taking out a stick of nicotine gum. He hated the taste but it satisfied his cravings just enough to remain level headed throughout the day.
“Just came to drop off the money. You spoke to Sam lately?” He shook his head. Sam and Janine had gone on holiday and hadn’t long been back. Jase hadn’t been round to see them yet.
“I spoke to him the day he came back, just to fill him in on the jobs and stuff we’ve got going. He said he’d shift a brick at some point once they’d unpacked and settled back in.” Jase wondered why he needed a whole week to ‘settle back in’ to his regular life but wasn’t all that fussed.
“Sam is coming round for poker tonight anyway. How did you find looking after the house?” Kieran shrugged.
“Easy...” Jase was scrolling through his phone but he noticed the trail off in Kieran’s voice. He looked through his lashes at the man who seemed to have aged exponentially over the past week. But he thought looking after the house was ′easy’.
“But?” Kieran chewed his lip and Jase tilted his head, placing his phone on the desk. He had always liked Kieran, he was softer than the other guys and it was handy having someone with their head screwed on enough that they never acted out of anger. But sometimes, Jase questioned whether he was perhaps a little too soft.
“It’s Ella, I think she’s shooting up.”
“Get rid of her then.”
“In what way?” Kieran asked nervously. Though Jase wasn’t sure why. It had been years since they’d gotten rid of someone in the way he was insinuating.
“Just tell her she’s not allowed to work in the house or club anymore, I’m not having smack around.” Everyone knew it was a sensitive topic for Jase and it wasn’t tolerated in any way shape or form, even if it was one of the boys doing it. They didn’t even sell it anymore. Kieran just nodded, he knew better than to argue for one of the girls. If they fucked up, they fucked up. There was no room for mistakes where Jase was concerned. He ran a tight ship. The only reason they still sold cocaine was because it brought in so much money.
That was all Kieran had to feedback and he left Jase to gloss over the general monotonous paperwork running a legit business consisted of. By three, he finished up, bit down on his third piece of gum and left for the gym. Just something else that kept him busy so he didn’t have to return to the silence that even after two years, he wasn’t sure he liked.