Jailbait:A Secret Baby Bad Boy Romance(10)

By: Alexis Angel



"Immature—but you know something? You remind me of someone."

"Who's that?" I ask.

"My father, actually."

"Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?"

"Neither. It is what it is. He had a way of putting his foot into his own mouth—like you."

"I only put my foot in my mouth when I'm around beautiful women."

"Does that line work often?"

"It's not a line. I mean it."

"Sure, Mr. Stone. Look, I know guys like you. They flatter you one minute and walk out the next. My father walked out when I was young. He had his faults, but he had his kinder, tender moments too, like the night he decided to sacrifice his booze money on a Barbie doll, or when he'd let me ride around on his shoulders at the local mall when my legs were too tired to walk."

Her honesty surprises me, and I feel like I should be honest too. I say, "You're right. I'm far from perfect. I've fucked up in a lot of ways. I've hurt people. I'm not proud of that, but I'm working on it, you know?"

"Good. At least you recognize that. Let me ask you a question. What constitutes a 'perfect' day for you?"

"Easy. Any day not spent in this prison."

"No, I mean, outside of here."

I find myself looking at the kindness of her face. The way the corner of her mouth is turned up in the beginning of a smile. Her empathy. Her soft blue eyes and her red hair burning like a perfect halo around her head. She's the first person in this place who seems to give an ounce of shit about me. I take a deep breath, and wrack my brain for the right answer before responding.

"Let's see. If I'm honest, I don't need much to have a perfect day. A roof over my head, a warm bed, a good meal—maybe a woman next to me, kicking my butt in a game of Uno or something." I say this and laugh. "I just mean that I'm happy with the simple things. Being in here has put that into perspective, you know? I bet you think I've gone soft or something."

"No, no I don't. I get it. After my dad left my mom and I, I felt the same way. I mean, any day that I wasn't worried about filling up the bathtub with water because our utilities were getting shut off was a good day. So long as we had a roof, a meal, and a bed, I was happy. Of course, I always envisioned having a man by my side too, but I've leaned that's a ridiculous thing to hold onto."

I notice that we are now both locked into each other's gaze. I can't believe she's opening up to me like this. I mean everyone in this place keeps a healthy distance—the only thing I ever hear coming from people's mouths are either rules or insults, so this is different. I take a quick look around the room and notice that we are alone. The guard is gone, and so is everyone else. So, I lean a little closer. I notice that she seems to be leaning into me as well. We are so close now that I can feel her breath on my upper lip. I want to touch her hair, her cheek. But just as I'm about to touch her lips with mine, a guard runs in and we both snap our bodies back like rubber bands.

For a moment, I'm worried that he saw us, but judging by his frantic entrance, I can tell that he hasn't. His mind is on something else.

"Kerri, we need you! There's a lot of blood!" he says.





7





Kerri





The guard looks frantic. His hair is disheveled and he is acting panicked. His shirt is has come partially untucked. I wonder if it's a true emergency, or if he's overreacting… he's new here. How long has it been, maybe a couple of weeks? In any case, he hasn't seen it all yet. He's as green as they come, so that wouldn't surprise me.

"Kerri, we need you! There's a lot of blood!" he says.

"I'll be right there," I say, and then I look over at Lucien Stone. My mind is flopping between the current emergency and this man sitting in front of me. His soft, brown hair and his broad shoulders are just begging me to touch them. Did we almost just share a moment? He was leaning into me—and I was leaning into him, but I'm not sure where we were going. And to top it off, he's an inmate. What am I even thinking? I can't believe I'm having these thoughts. What are you doing? I ask myself. You'll get in serious trouble. Now is not the time to compromise your career. Do you really want to go and mess everything up now? My pep talk seems to help, but looking at Lucien—his strong arms, and his soft, full lips, and—I-I don't know. He stirs feelings in me that I thought I no longer had, at least not since Jonathan. But my mind snaps back to the present and what I do know is that I have to leave him right now, and follow the guard.

"I'm sorry, I need to go. Just uh—t-take it easy, OK? Don't overextend that arm and I promise you'll be fine. Give it time, and stay off the weights. Bones don't heal overnight." I watch as he just looks at me, unable to find anything else to say, and I have no choice but to turn away and leave him.

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