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Authors: J.D. Lowrance

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BOOK: Caged In
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Charlie

Cage
looked exactly how he said he would . . . famous. He never mentioned the strung
out, too skinny part, but damn if that did not add to the mystery that was now
Cage Matthews. This just made every woman want to help him, fix him, hell . . .
be by his side for the five minutes of fame you got from it.

His
dirty blonde hair was haphazardly sticky up all over the place as if it was on
accident, but I know some stylist probably spent an hour getting it to look
that way. At six feet tall, Cage was always a looker with a voice that could
tempt a nun to sin, but now add the bad-boy rock star to the mix and he was
potent.  His dream of being in a band and making it big not only came true, but
at a rate that was unprecedented.

My
pieced-together heart became to splinter seeing him right now with his penis
hanging out of his pants, laying out a line of coke in a dirty bathroom
backstage of some music award show. I had just announced Single of the Year and
was coming backstage when I saw Cage shamelessly excuse whatever piece of ass
he had just finished.

Now
I felt his navy-blue eyes, glazed over and blood shot, burned a hole in my back
as I ran from him, needing to put as much space between us as possible. Our
memories together came rushing back to me filling the space as quickly as I
moved through it. I could not breathe. The air was too thick, the area too
small for us to be under the same roof. I quickly turned down a hallway,
spotting the door to my freedom from dealing with everything Cage when I felt
an arm around my waist stopping my flight.


Charlie.

He made my name sound
like a prayer on his lips. He was so close I could feel his warm breath across
my neck. My body portrayed me, showing my reaction to him as goosebumps rose to
meet his words.


Don

t go,

he begged, pulling me harder against his too lean frame.

Or take me with you,

he continued. The world melted away with the need I heard in
his voice. It spoke to a part of me that I thought was dead.


Cage,

was all I said as thoughts, memories, feelings swirled in me.


Cage.

His name repeated by a deep
voice behind us.

Stop molesting that poor girl and get your arse over here.


Fuck off Linc,

demanded Cage.


Hey ass whip, its Locke.

Cage loosened his hold on me and I turned to see who had
joined our little reunion. It was none other than Lachlan O

Malley, bassist for Caged
In. I would recognize him anywhere as the ladies loved him almost as much as
they loved Cage. Locke was the funny man of the group with his bright stock of
red hair and Irish accent. We shared the same eye color, but his was more of a
dark green and mine was the color of grass. Although he was the same height as
Cage, he was much thicker in the shoulders. Locke was built where Cage was
lean.


Holy shit
sham
. .
. it

s her.
It

s your
feek
. I can

t fucking believe it. It

s actually her. You

re Charlotte Moore.

The man was so giddy, I actually smiled as I watched him jump
up and down.

I mean, the picture in your wallet, the one in your
guff
,
every magazine you have . . .

Pictures? What pictures? What was this crazy Irishman saying?
Between his excitement and broken English I could not make out half of what he
was trying to say.

Caged In

s name got called again.

You are going to
lash
with us later?

Locke looked directly at me, so I guess he meant me. I
shrugged my shoulders, my brain still too fuzzy to follow what he was asking
me.

You know . . . drink,

he clarified.

Could I? Could I go and have a drink with this crazy Irishman
and his gorgeous bandmate who also happened to be my childhood best friend and
first and only love? The thought both scared and thrilled me at the same time.
My lips quirked up at the thought of spending time with Cage as I snuck a
glance his way.


There you guys are.

Relief evident in the voice of the newcomer. I got a better
look to see Linc, the other guitarist in the band.

Come on. The execs are
pissed. They had to go to an unsche
duled commercial
break.

He waved them to come on.

Oh yeah. I found this for you Cage.

I held my breath as Linc placed a
small container of white powder in Cage

s shaky hands. I did not want to stick around to find out if the
shakiness was from shame, rage or withdrawal, so
I
reached out savoring the warmth I felt when I touched his arm. Leaning over
ever-so-slightly I pressed my lips to his cheek silencing whatever line Cage
was about to feed me. Not waiting to give my heart the opportunity to object, I
turned and walked out the door, not allowing myself to look back even once.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Cage


Can
I . . . can I sleepover?

 
Her
voice hitched as I opened the screen in my window and helped her in. She had a
welt on the side of her cheek and she was trembling despite the mid-summer heat
in the air.


What
happened?

At ten, I was not
sure if I was supposed to get help or not.


Nothing
really, just a misunderstanding,

she
explained. Her shoulders were slumped forward as she went to work pulling the
comforter from the foot of the bed.


Here,
let me help.

I pulled it off and
folded it in half before laying it on the floor next to my bed.

You
take my bed; I

ll
sleep on the floor.


No
Cage, it

s your bed. I am
just happy to have a safe place to sleep.


Safe?

I
questioned.

What is wrong with
your house?

She
shook her head almost as if she did not realize what she just told me.

Nothing.
I

m just tired, ya
know.


Ok
Charlie, whatever you say.

I
tossed a pillow at her as I climbed into bed and she laid down.


Cage.


Yeah
Charlie?


Thanks
for being my best friend.

She
paused like there was more. I leaned over the bed so I could see her.

I
love you,

she whispered before
rolling over so she faced away from me.

I
had no idea what to say back so I acted as if it did not happen.

Good
night Charlie.

 

I
love you, Cage.

Those fucking words.
That fucking voice. I just needed my brain to switch off for ten fucking
minutes so I could get a break. I moved back and forth as tremors rocked my
body. A chill quickly followed as sweat dripped from every pore. The pain of
withdrawal was unbearable, driving me borderline insane.


And
these fuckers won

t give me shit for them,

I
screamed into the emptiness. Rehab during the day was tolerable, but at night,
as the darkness crept across the floor so did my memories until they found me
huddled in the corner of my room. Anxiety and depression warred with my
exhaustion as everything I snorted to forget came back ten-fold.

It
was her thirteenth birthday and my mom made Charlie her favorite dessert, lemon
meringue pie. She was so happy as she opened her two presents from my family. A
new dress my mom picked out for her and a heart necklace I bought her.

“Thank
you so much Mr. and Mrs. Matthews for everything. I had a great time.
” Charlie
said as she was leaving.

I
followed her out the front door onto the porch like I always did. I reached out
to touch her. Something I found myself doing more and more since the start of
eighth grade.
“You can stay longer if you want. There

s no rush.
” She shook her
head in response.

“My
mom promised that she would be home tonight for my birthday. She got a new job
and everything.
” Her voice trailed off as if that explained everything,
but her big green eyes stayed on me, begging me for something I did not quite
understand.

“Ok
Charlie,
” I finally said as I took a step closer to her.
“Come
back over if you need to,
” I murmured,
“or if you want to. The
window is unlocked.


Thanks
Cage . . . for everything. I love you.
” My gut
clenched like it always did when she said it and I didn
’t. But I never
got tired of hearing it.

“Yeah,
yeah.

I laughed
, trying to be cool, as I
turned back into the house. My body craving hers with every extra second I
spent with her alone.

I
stayed up well after my parents waiting for her to come through the window. Promising
God that when she did I would say those three words back to her. Then at
midnight and still no Charlie I went to sleep, feeling both sad and happy that
she was not on the top bunk that my parents bought me for my eleventh birthday.
My last thought before I fell asleep was that they had to know it was for
Charlie. Mom never locked the window when she cleaned my room.

I
woke to the sound of a sob as Charlie was crawling into bed with me.

“Charlie,
what

s wrong?
” She never got in with me.

“Nothing,
just go back to sleep.
” Her voice cracked bringing me fully awake. She
was trembling and her left hand was grasping the front of her shirt together so
tight her knuckles were white.


Damn it Charlie, just tell me.
” I sat up and reached for
the light when she pulled me back.

“Please
don

t. I don

t want anyone to know where I go,
” she spoke so softly.
Too softly.
“Please leave the light off. He

ll
know.

“Who
will know?
” I did not understand what was going on, but I felt like I
had to take on the world to keep her safe.
“Charlie, what is going on?

My voice got lower as rage started to set in. This was not normal even for her.
Something was seriously wrong, and I was going to get an answer this time.

“My
mom

s new boyfriend,
” she finally responded.
“Cage, please, just . . . just hold me please.
” I could hear the
tears in her voice, stripping me of my rage and replacing it with a heat that
ran fast and furious through my body.

“Ok
Charlie, ok.
” The lump in my throat was the same size as the one in my
pants as I turned towards her. She lifted her head and shoulders so I could
slide my arm under her and my other arm over her.

My
grandmother
’s underwear. Needles. Baseball. Coach naked. Getting a shot.
Throwing up. Anything but this beautiful girl in my arms.

Then
a whimper filled the silence and any need I had vanished as I pulled her
tighter to me as she quietly sobbed.
“Please Charlie, tell me what

s wrong,

I begged
when the
silence became unbearable.
“I hate this. Your crying is killing me.

I placed a kiss into her hair.

“I
can

t. You won

t love me when I tell you.
” She buried herself deeper
into me.

“Charlie,
nothing could stop me from loving you.

“I
wish that were true,
” whispered Charlie into the dark, as she started to
turn away from me.

“I
love you Charlie.
” My voice a plea to get her to tell me what was so
wrong.

“You
shouldn
’t,
” she cried.

“AAAAHHHH!
Make it stop. Please someone. Anyone. Please.” The pain, both physically and
mentally, were becoming too much.

A
line, that was all I fucking needed. Just one . . . and . . . and . . . I knew
I could get through the night. I would get the break I so craved.

Just
one.

My
rocking intensified as the thought of what one line would feel like. The
numbness, the relief, the rush as my blood raced the energy . . . the spark I
craved throughout my body. My mind drifted to how easy it would be to call my
dealer once I left.

Left.

Yes.
I voluntarily checked in and I could just as easily check out.  Yes!

Out.

That
was where I needed to be. Out of here. Out of this hell of memories and regrets
that haunted me. Coke was the key to forgetting. Of being so fucking wired and
hyper and happy.

Happy.

That
was all I wanted to be. Not fucking rocking back and forth like an addict
waiting for his next fix. That wasn’t me. That wasn’t what I signed up for. I
just wanted Charlie back.

Charlie.

Just
one.

Charlie.

Just
one.

“Just
one,
” Charlie giggled,
“I promise. Just one more time. Please,

she begged, standing up on her tippy toes to touch her lips to mine. How could
I refuse?

“Fine,
one more time,
” I sighed, drawing out my dramatic response to her
request to ride the damn Ferris wheel for the third time. Charlie danced her
little, happy dance; wiggling that fine ass.
“But only because it
’s
your birthday.

“Well
aren't you the gentleman. Perfume, flowers, and now another ride on the Ferris
wheel,
” Charlie said in the worst Southern-belle accent I had ever
heard.

I
chuckled then said,
“Oh, I plan on giving you another ride as soon as we
get out of here.

“I
’m
ready,
” she teased back as she grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the
ride. Once on I copped a feel and stuck my tongue anywhere she would let me
every time we got high enough for no one to see. A moan here and a groan there
had me hard as a rock by the time the carnie yelled
“last time
‘round.

“Babe,
we gotta stop,
” I said as she reached for me with eyes so full of love
and lust I almost came in my pants.
“I need to calm down before this
ride ends.
” I pointed to my junk that was trying to poke through my
pants to get to her.

“Just
one,
” Charlie pleaded as she scooted closer.
“Please baby,

she begged.  There was no point in saying anything but yes, so I gave a quick
nod as she pushed herself completely against me teasing me as she ran her
tongue over my bottom lip.

“I
love you,
” whispered Charlie, giving me a wet, but chaste kiss.

“Ditto.

My tagline since we entered high school a year ago. She buried her face in my
neck as she murmured,
“I can
’t believe I am leaving tomorrow for
six weeks. I am going to miss you . . . this so much.

“Nothing
to miss babe. I
’m going to be here when you get back from being a big,
bad camp counselor.
” I felt Charlie nod. We rode the rest of the ride in
silence, both lost in our thoughts.

By
the time we got to the bottom I was beside myself with an energy I never felt
before. A need so deep for her that it both scared and invigorated me at the
same time. As we exited the ride, I practically dragged a giggling Charlie
behind me as we made our way to my beat-up old pick-up. I needed to be as far
from the lights of the carnival as possible so I could have my way with her. A
few hollered greetings and questions met our abrupt departure, but I did not
care. Nothing was going to stop me from being where I needed to be, buried so
deep in my girl that I could not tell where I started and she began.

If
I had only known that would be our last night together I never would have
stopped driving.

“Please,”
I shrieked. “Make it stop. I am begging you. PLEASE.” Tears ran down my face as
I pounded my fist against the wall, then the floor. Giant, ugly sobs filled the
space as I took to ripping at my clothes, my chest, my hair as her face, her
smell, her body assaulted me. A door opened, followed by shuffling all around
me but I was too far gone, too far lost to memories to know what was happening,
to care what they did.

A
slight pinch and then pressure as fire erupted in my arm and warmth slowly
crept through my body. I opened my eyes to blurry versions of several people
huddled around me, as I was lifted and placed on a bed.

“When
did he get so skinny?”

“I
didn’t realize it was this bad.”

“How
did this happen?”

All
the voices sounded familiar, but nothing was ringing a bell until . . .

“How
can I help?” It was Charlie. I was sure of it. I tried to talk, to make her
realize I was doing this for her, but my tongue was too thick in my mouth.
Drool was the only thing that ran from my mouth; the words stuck in my head
like always. My heart raced as blackness began to creep across my vision.
No!
I needed to stay awake to explain.

BOOK: Caged In
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ads

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