Home > Caught by the Convicts

Caught by the Convicts
Author: Jessa Kane

 

Chapter 1

 

 

My heart is lodged in my throat.

With every step I take into the penitentiary, my legs liquefy a little more.

Every instinct inside me is screaming for me to turn around and sprint for the closest exit. Though it would be no easy escape. I’d have to wait for the steel door to be unlocked, wouldn’t I? Not to mention the three doors preceding it. The goal of a prison is to keep people locked inside, after all. I’m sealed within these cinderblock walls with hundreds of dangerous felons now—and there’s no turning back.

I came here with a purpose and I knew it would be hard. Knew I would probably shake in my kitten heels the entire time. But it will be worth it. That’s what I told myself when I called in this favor with a client to meet with one of the prisoners. And it’s what I told myself over and over on the drive to the state penitentiary this morning. Taking ownership of my fear will make this scary situation worthwhile.

“Last chance to turn back,” the guard croons over his shoulder in a sugary Louisiana drawl. “Some of these men ain’t seen a lady in over a decade. You’re like a bone being tossed into a pack of hungry dogs.”

“That’s very flattering, thank you,” I mutter, running a hand down the front of my white silk blouse to make sure all the buttons are secure. “If they want to yell obscene things at me, I can handle it. As long as they remain locked in their cells while I’m meeting with my…” I trail off before I can say the word father. “Mr. O’Casey.”

The guard hums, jingling the ring of keys in his hand. “This isn’t the usual procedure, you know. People meet their incarcerated loved ones through the glass partition in the secure visitors’ center. They don’t simply waltz into the holding area—”

“Thank you. I’m aware this isn’t typical.”

“Why are you insisting on doing it this way? Ain’t you scared?”

Of course I’m scared. Sometimes I think I was born afraid. But for too long, I’ve allowed my fear to rule me. Keep me in a box. I’ve had a lot more time to overcome the feeling…and I can’t. Maybe this will be the closure I need to leave the past in the past. I call on every ounce of bravery in my body now as the guard unlocks the final door and gestures for me to enter the prisoner holding zone.

There is a slight hesitancy in my step before I venture over the threshold, but I force my shoulders back, chin up, when the cells come into view. When the sounds reach my ears. Shouting, moaning, the groan of bars, a mad whisper threading through all of it.

Worth it.

Worth it, I repeat internally.

I need to see my father behind the bars. If I see him there, if I know he can’t get out, he’ll stop haunting my dreams. I’ll stop looking over my shoulder every time I’m in the supermarket or walking through a parking lot to my car. This is hard, but necessary.

Mentally, I rehearse my speech to keep my mind off my surroundings. Or I attempt to rehearse it, anyway. It becomes nearly impossible to concentrate when the smell reaches me. Unwashed men. Filth. Rotted food. It’s so overpowering, I check the urge to throw the crook of my elbow across my face to cover my nose.

The guard laughs at my expression. “Having second thoughts, Miss O’Casey?”

I swallow with determination. “No. Lead the way.”

I’m pretty sure I hear him mutter the words crazy bitch under his breath, but I’m too captivated by the structure of the prison to call him out. The holding area is three levels, consisting of long rows of barred cells. Down the center is a concourse dotted with picnic tables, but no one is occupying them at the moment. The prisoners are all in their cells.

Murderers, most of them.

As if a switch is flipped, they all become aware of me in their vicinity.

At once, bodies in orange jumpsuits surge toward the bars of the numerous cells, dirty hands wrapping around steel, faces pressing through the openings to leer at me. There are cat calls, which I expected. But they’re not your average construction site whistles and propositions. They’re even cruder in nature than I’m used to. Still, their words don’t cause me to hesitate moving forward through the concourse, eyes fastened ahead. It’s only when a sound—a desperate, sickening sound—begins to echo off the walls that goosebumps lift on my arms and the toe of my shoe hits a crack, causing me to trip a little.

I look to my left, which turns out to be a huge mistake.

A prisoner is there, jumpsuit peeled down, his hand working in furious strokes on his exposed manhood. I’ve never seen one in real life before, so I flinch, shocked. Teeth gritted, sweat pouring down his face, he stares at my backside while he performs the intimate action and I pick up my pace immediately, causing the prisoners to laugh at my expense.

“I think he likes you,” chuckles the guard.

“I’m glad you’re amused by …”

My sentence hangs in the air when two men come into view just ahead to my right.

Prisoners.

They are in a cell, side by side. And they couldn’t be more different.

One of them flat out doesn’t seem to belong in this setting. He’s…gorgeous.

Tall, fit, square jawed and handsome, his whiskey-colored hair casually tousled. He winks a blue eye at me as I pass. An honest-to-God flutter in my belly catches me off guard. I can’t help but look back over my shoulder, and this time, my attention settles on the second man. Now he looks like a prisoner. Unshaven, black hair hanging down in curtains around his face, tattoos rioting across his thick, prison yard muscles. His intensity settles on me and inflicts a very different kind of flutter than his counterpart.

These men are night and day. One terrifyingly masculine. Dangerous. One devastatingly sexy, a twinkle of charm in his eye. Who are these men?

Why can’t I seem to tear my attention off them?

“See something you like?” drawls the guard.

My face flames and I keep moving, doing my best to refocus on the task ahead. I’m not here to study the prisoners or wonder what heinous deed landed them behind bars. I’m here to finally confront my father. To strip away his power over me once and for all, so I can move on with my life. So I can trust that he’s locked up forever and maybe, just maybe, I can attempt to be happy. Perhaps I can even have a healthy relationship someday built on trust, something I’ve always found extremely difficult.

I’ve just about regained my determination when the prisoners start to grow rowdy.

Beyond rowdy, really. There’s a surge of energy around me, a cacophony of sound. Excited hollering, the shaking of bars, the slamming of metal on metal.

“What’s happening?” I ask the guard.

“I don’t know.” He unclips the radio from his shoulder and speaks directly into the static, his eyes slightly nervous as he scans the rows of cells. “Control center, I’m going to need some backup in concourse three. I thought it was the hot blonde making them extra rowdy, but it appears to be something else.” When there is no response from the radio, he looks down at the device in confusion. “Control center, do you copy? Come in, control center.”

A layer of ice is forming on my skin.

Something is wrong.

For some odd reason, my gaze shoots to the cell holding Night and Day.

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Sweet Temptation
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Den of Vipers
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)
» Angry God (All Saints High #3)
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Serpent & Dove(Serpent & Dove #1)
» ENEMIES
» Credence
» Archangel's War