The prison bars he was trapped behind closed with a final clang. The sound reverberated through his jaw and down his back. It echoed down the miles of endless hallways. The shouts and taunts began immediately. “Come here bitch.” “Yo boy, you be my bitch now.” “Hey pretty boy.” “Come say hello to my little friend.”
The cat calls were endless. The tones varied, but all were male. He shivered. How the hell am I going to get out of this? Bars rattled next to his and he jumped. He couldn’t see them, their cells were lined side by side down the long hallway but he had caught a glimpse. Men of all different shapes and colors stared at him. They’d been strangely silent as the guard marched beside him. Their only form of communication, hand signals. And his knees were still knocking from their easily discerned gestures.
The bars rattled again, this time accompanied by a low moan. The moan intensified and was joined by wet kissing sounds. Disgust rose in his throat. How the fuck had it come to this? Sweat was starting to gather on his forehead and under his arms. It wouldn’t be long now. He shivered again. The noise he heard outside of his cell was nothing compared to what he would soon face.
He counted the hours, trying to calculate how long he had before he’d be writhing on the floor. Six hours. At the most. But he could already feel it begin. His legs ached as if the bone marrow was being leached from there very core. And he was getting cold, clammy cold. He reached for the stiff prickly blanket folded at the end of his cot. Wrapping himself up the best he could, he huddled against the cement wall. The bed underneath him felt every bit as hard as the wall he huddled next to. He used his breath to warm his hands. Blowing warmth against his aching digits he tried to lessen the stiffening that had already begun. The blanket was irritating his skin as it prickled his forearms. Closing his eyes he thought back.
He’d been so fucking stupid. And up for days. He started with a wad of cash. Christ he’d been invincible. Or so he thought. He’d scored a shitload of the little pills he had come to love. So many bottles, with the names of their rightful owners torn from their shredded labels. Thinking about her for a moment he winced. He’d been such an asshole. And she hadn’t deserved it. Her only crime had been in loving him. He wondered if she’d been fired. He could see her, the ghost of her image haunting. The look in her eyes as she sat in the courtroom staring up at him. She was never one to hide her emotions. They were written all over her. Shock, disbelief, and confusion surfaced on her beautiful face. These first emotions fleeting, leaving behind a portrait of pain and hurt. It was these last two that’d caused his adams apple to bob.
He wished she would have screamed and hurled insults, or slapped him like he deserved. He would have welcomed that. Thanked her even. But she hadn’t done any of those things. Instead she’d just sat, looking at him. Her eyes wet with tears, her lip trembling. And he was left with her ghost. A ghost that carried the most wounded eyes he’d ever seen.
The sound of a voice interrupted his thoughts. “Hey! Pretty boy! Watcha doing in there? You want some company?” Laughter filled the hallway. It wasn’t a comforting sound.
Another voice joined the first. “Hey pretty boy why so quiet? Cat got your tongue? Wish I did!” More laughter, followed by beating of the bars.
The noise closed in on him. The room closed in on him. Decklan closed his eyes trying to will his headache to a more tolerable throb. It didn’t work. He opened them again. It was definitely starting. Looking around the room he wondered if there was anything he could find. He was pretty sure he’d need something. A weapon of some kind in which he could use, either to protect his life, or to end it.
He scanned the room looking for odd shapes or protrusions. It had to be something sharp or pointy. The room held the cot he was sitting on, a sink, toilet and shelf. A window placed high on the wall. It was so small you’d need to squint to see out of it, if you happened to be over seven feet tall.
The noise outside his cell increased. Men called to each other and the prison guards. “I’m hungry! Let me outta here!” Complaints and jeers echoing through the corridors.
The prison bars rattled up and down the hallways. The stark reality of being locked up too much to handle. The incarcerated- minds bored, behaviors wild. Animals, caught in cages and he was one of them.
Miranda’s wounded face surfaced again. He wondered what she was doing right now. Who she was with. Even feeling like shit, he twitched. He could still smell her. She had an exotic fragrance. Clean like fresh air with just a hint of citrus and something sexier. He’d never smelt anything like it before. And it was addictive. He’d only needed one whiff. He was pretty sure if she could bottle her scent the boys would be lining up, all eager for purchase. Christ they’d laughed. In the beginning, that was all they ever did. He’d been high as a kite just being around her. Her smile floored him. And she’d been so good, so trusting. Fuck!
He wondered if his mom knew yet. Maybe they’d let him use the phone soon and he could call her. She was always bailing him out of something. She was a good mom but she was so gullible. She’d believe anything he told her, and he’d told her some doozies! It was hard to respect someone like that. She was always trying too hard. As if to make it up to him, like somehow it were her fault that he’d been given up for adoption. Christ you’d think it’d be the other way around! He knew he owed her better than he’d given her. But she just made it so damned easy. He didn’t like the way she kept rolling over. Still, he was fully prepared to take advantage of it. Again.
If only he hadn’t gone there. It had been hilarious at the time. He’d always gotten away with everything he did. And if ever he did get caught, well there was always mom – mom to the rescue. It’d be almost be funny – if it weren’t so fucked up. It never even entered his mind anyways. Consequences were something that happened to other people. Not him, not ever.
He remembered when they use to fly kites, when they’d still been a family. Back years ago, before all of this ever happened. He knew he’d been spoiled, protected even. As if ordinary rules just didn’t apply to him. And in a way they didn’t. His mother had always given him so much love. Maybe too much and it always felt so clingy, so needy. After a while his skin crawled with it.
He wondered where his dad was. His adoptive dad that is. He’d been a good dad. He really tried. But his mother overrode any attempt at disciplining he ever made. He watched as a little boy, the tired look on his father’s face, and his exhaustive efforts in trying to get his mother to stop spoiling him. The joy, that he used to see when his father looked at him fading, to be replaced with one of caution and wariness. And finally resentment.
He shook his head. His brain slogged inside his skull. It pounded in rhythm to the beating of the bars. His stomach cramped. His bowels churned. He used the blanket to swipe the moisture from his face.
“Pretty boy…… oh pretty boy, I can smeellll you!” The falsetto voice reached inside his cage, adding to the pounding in his head.
He wondered how long he would have to be here for. The judge had said two years but that didn’t mean much. He didn’t even think he would make it through tonight.
The falsetto voice spoke again, this time the threat was palpable. “Pretty boy….. I’m coming for you! Better not close your eyes!”
He pulled the blanket tighter hoping to ward off the sound of the freak in the next cell. His stomach rolled. Nausea churned. His legs throbbed. His bowels twisted. His head pounded. And he was so fucking cold.
His teeth chattered, sending knife like pains shooting through his jaw. He bit his tongue – swallowing his screams. Looked like he was wrong after all. It wasn’t going to be six hours.
It had already started.