Home > Into Temptation (Deliver Us From Evil #2)

Into Temptation (Deliver Us From Evil #2)
Author: Monica James

 


Freedom.

Seven letters which, on their own, aren’t anything special. But when strung together, can change a man’s life forever.

“We couldn’t let ya leave without a proper goodbye.”

Punch to the jaw.

Kick to the ribs.

Nothing hurts anymore. My mind, as well as my body, is numb to the pain.

As the officers continue kicking the shite out of me, I lie on the cold floor of my prison cell, using their violence as fuel. Each strike simply feeds the demons inside me. They’ve had time to mature and grow into the ruthless, callous beast I am today.

Once they’re done, they spit on my broken body, laughing happily. The door to my cell slams shut, and I’m swathed in darkness—my only friend.

My muscles burn as I drag myself along the floor to lean my back against the wall. Clutching my side, I measure my breaths because I’ll be free in a few hours. However, I’ll be escaping one prison, only to be sent to another with invisible bars.

“Forgive me, Cara, I needed a fall guy, and that guy is Punky…our son.”

Slamming my fist against the floor, I squeeze my eyes shut, unbelieving of the words I read in Sean’s journal. I wish they were a lie, but they’re not. The only person I ever trusted in this world has betrayed me.

Sean fooled me in every way possible. I’ve spent the past ten years believing his death, as well as Connor’s, was my fault. I thought the Kelly name was dead and buried because of my reckless actions. I believed I ruined my family.

But I was merely a plaything, a chess piece for Sean to win his devious game.

He used everyone to get what he wanted, not caring who he had to deceive and kill. I cannot believe I am his son. And I cannot believe he killed my ma.

The door to my prison cell opens, and when Officer Grenham sees the state of me, he sighs. “Those fucking bastards. Come now, let’s get ya cleaned up. Ye’ve a big day ahead.”

Officer Grenham was the officer who changed my life forever six months ago. He was the man who told me Hannah was waiting for me, waiting to tell me the truth. If it wasn’t for him, I would never have agreed to see Hannah, and I would never have been free.

Hannah shared with me that Darcy Duffy was now some big-shot lawyer who was certain she could overturn my conviction. She was right.

I don’t know how she did it, but thanks to that fucker Chief Constable Moore being a corrupt bastard, Darcy was able to convince the courts to set me free. I didn’t want to know the details or see her because if this proved to be another ploy, I feared for my already fragile state of mind.

But Darcy did it.

Officer Grenham knows better than to help me. I come to a stand on my own, pushing aside my injuries because the ones inflicted on my conscience are a lot worse. He cuffs me one last time before leading me to the bathroom.

The scalding water helps wash away some of the pain, and once clean, I dry off and dress in the clothes Hannah provided for me—black jeans and a white button-up shirt. I tie my laces on my black boots, marveling at the simple task because it’s been ten years since I last wore shoes with laces on them.

Looking at my reflection in the mirror, I run a hand over my face—how time has aged me.

I’m no longer the Punky I once was. That person was merely a boy. Now, I’m a man, intent on one thing and one thing only—and that is revenge.

“D’ya want to shave?” Officer Grenham asks, watching me as I gawk at the face I barely recognize anymore.

“Naw,” I reply, my voice hoarse.

My hair is similar in length to when I was first thrown into prison. But my beard is now thicker, longer. My nose and lip piercings are long gone, but looking at the cross tattoo on my wrist and my ma’s name across my knuckles, that’s something that has remained the same, as has the meaning behind them.

“All right then. Whenever yer ready, I’ll take ya to see yer lawyer. She has some paperwork ye need to sign, and then…yer free to go.”

Taking one last look at my image, I turn to Officer Grenham and reply, “I may live outside these walls, but I’ll never be free.”

He nods, understanding that a place such as Riverbend House never lets you go. Not only has this place robbed me of my freedom; it’s robbed me of my humanity. The small shred I clung on to was destroyed the moment I set foot into this hellhole.

We don’t speak further, and Officer Grenham gestures we’re to go. He doesn’t cuff me. I know this is against the rules, but Officer Grenham wants me to take this first step as a free man.

I need to relearn how to walk without being shackled because being bound has been my norm for ten years. Freedom is now the foreign world I need to once again learn.

We walk slowly as I take it all in. Officer Grenham opens a door, and a parful woman dressed in an expensive-looking trouser suit stands when we enter. Darcy Duffy has grown. As we all have, I suppose. I’m still finding it difficult to wrap my head around it. I’m expecting to see the people of my past as I remember them, as I left them ten years ago.

But we’re not those people anymore.

“Punky. Oh my God, yer face,” she says, staring at me, her shock clear.

“Bout ye?” I reply, not sure what to say because a simple thank you seems so inadequate.

My curt response clears her emotion, making way for why she’s here.

“Please, sit.” She gestures to the plastic chair at the table. I do as she says.

Her hands tremble as she rummages through her brown leather briefcase. Is she nervous? Or afraid?

When she finds what she’s looking for, she slides a piece of paper across the table. “I just need ye to sign this document. It’s the terms of yer release. We can discuss anything if ye have any questions once y’ve read it.”

She offers me a pen, and it rests heavy in my hand as I accept it.

Once upon a time, this would have been an extension of me as I used to love to draw, but now, I can’t even remember what that feels like. I can’t imagine sitting in front of a blank canvas and drawing what’s inside my mind because all that’s in there is blackness.

“I don’t need to read it,” I state, signing along the dotted line.

“Oh,” she says, surprised as I slide the document back to her.

I know I make Darcy uncomfortable. I don’t know what she’s expecting. A happy reunion, maybe? But this is my happy face.

She clears her throat before signing under my signature. “All right. We’re done then. I’ll file this with the appropriate parties, but now, yer a free man.”

If Darcy is expecting tears or some sort of emotion, she’ll be waiting a long while.

Nodding, I come to a stand, watching the way Darcy’s chest shudders with the deep breath she takes. Before this happened, she was interested in me, and from the scarlet of her cheeks, I think those feelings still linger.

“Thank you, Darcy,” I say, hoping she understands how thankful I am.

“No bother. I’m sorry it took so long.” She wrings her hands in front of her.

“Y’ve nothin’ to be sorry for. I owe you my freedom.”

She smiles, but it’s not in vain. Rather, she seems genuinely happy she could help. I don’t understand why. I wasn’t awful nice to her.

“Some people are waitin’ for ya,” Officer Grenham says, breaking the sudden silence.

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