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Authors: J.D. Lowrance

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BOOK: Caged In
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More
murmurings and shifting of people as I tried to find which one was her. Then a
hint of Happy played with my nose; turning towards it I took a deep breath at
the same time as a warm, soft-as-silk hand came on my cheek.

“Charlie,”
I tried to say it, but it came out more like a grunt.

“Shhhh,
it’s ok.” In that moment I swore if an angel had a voice it would sound just
like that. “I got you.” And I finally let go.

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Cage

Flo
Rida

s
GDFR (Going Down for Real) blasted from the speakers as I stood at the top of
the landing, trying to find my Super League compatriots.
Why the
fuck did I agree to come to this lame ass Halloween party? I knew it was a bad
idea the minute my bandmates brought it up. Now I was stuck with a house of
drugs, drinking, and sex wearing a fucking Batman costume, cowl, black cape and
all.

I.
Am. Batman! Christian Bale ain

t
got nothing on me.

How
had Locke talked me . . . hell the whole band into these stupid ass costumes?
He was Flash, Lincoln was Superman, and Shutter was the Green Lantern. At least
as the Dark Knight I could hide behind the mask and not deal with everyone
knowing who I was. We decided as a group to lay low after I checked out of
rehab six months ago and this party was our way of announcing that we were
back. It was also to prove to everyone, including my manager, Hogan Reynolds,
that I could deal with people in my face and was ready to get back on the road.
Our American tour started in a couple of days.

I
scanned the living room, not seeing any of them. Linc

s
place was packed with people of all shapes and sizes, wearing some crazy
costumes. I took it all in as I descended the steps. I outright laughed
watching Mickey Mouse try to hit on Malibu Barbie. At the base of the steps I
realized just how many people were here. They were fucking everywhere even
though it was a Sunday. No one worked in this fucking town. I laughed at the
ridiculousness of my life. Miami was supposed to be different than LA, but the
only thing that changed was the humidity level. Everyone here was practically a
celebrity, in one form or another, and I was already ready to call it a night.

And
then . . .

POW.

BAM.

BOOM.

Holy
smokin

body,
Batman! It seemed like a Batman themed kind-of night. The Catwoman before me
sported the sexiest body I had ever seen wrapped tight in a one-piece black
body suit and thigh-high black leather boots. Damn! Just. DAMN.

Her
hips moved with the beat of the music, as I agreed with Flo Rida.

It

s
going down for real.

The
very sight made me think of how she would move when she was riding my cock.
 

Lift
it, drop it, shake it, pop it.

Hell
yeah!

My
eyes moved further up her body to her back, and even though it was leather-clad
I could tell it was just right. I bet she had the two lower back dimples. Did
her spine hide or did every rib and contour break the surface of her creamy,
smooth skin? Were her shoulder blades rounded or sharp? Did she arch back when
she was cuming or did it curve in as pleasure pulsed from her core? I groaned
as I adjusted myself in my over-the-top outfit.

I
needed a fucking drink. Drugs were definitely off limits, but a man had to have
a vise. And since all women, except one, were off the menu, I needed something
to ease this ache. Making my way through the crowd, I spotted Linc heading in
my direction. I did a quick about face and slipped through the back door onto
the balcony. I did not need a babysitter.

The
warmth of the night greeted me as I walked over to the bar.


Hey
man. I heard you were a part of the Super League that was throwing this party
and I wanted to say thanks.

A
voice from behind me said. I turned to find none other than Nate Maxwell
standing in front of me.


Nate
Maxwell,

I
said in greeting. He was still a douche bag as he came to a Halloween party
wearing his own professional football jersey.

How
ya been?

We
shook hands, but with the mask Nate had no idea who I was.


Been
doing great actually,

as
he took a swig of his beer, staring at me to try and figure out who I was.

Do
we know each other?

He
leaned against the railing, eyeing me up.


Cage
Matthews.


No
fucking way,

he said as
recognition dawned.

Hey bro. How are you? Do
you live in Miami?

A genuine smile graced
his face, which I found surprising as we hated each other in high school.


Yeah.
Me and the guys decided to make it our home base. We aren

t
fans of the LA scene anymore.


That

s
right. Rehab. I remember hearing about that. Well that

s
fucking cool bro. I looooove your latest album,

he
said as he scanned the crowd. It was obvious that he was looking for someone.

The
Green Eyed Monster is my favorite track. I get how jealousy and love lost can
turn into a wicked beast. I went through some of the same shit.


Thanks
man.

He
had no clue. Hell no one did except my band mates. That song had nothing to do
with people being jealous of the band or our fame, and everything to do about
the green-eyed beauty of my dreams turning into the nightmare of my life.

I
saw you signed with the Dolphins. I guess you

re
making
Miami
your home now too, huh?

 


Definitely
during season,

he replied as a
large grin spread across his face, his eyes on the crowd.

The
rest depends on if this beauty will ever decide she wants me the rest of the
year.

As
if Moses stood before the Red Sea, the crowd parted as Catwoman walked right
into the arms of fucking Nate Maxwell.


There
is my gorgeous girl.

He
put an arm around her shoulders and kissed her temple. The lightest whiff of
Happy by Clinique teased my nose. I took a deep breath trying to keep it,
wondering where it came from. Nate and his pussy cat no longer held my interest
as I looked around trying to find the source of my favorite perfume. I needed
to confirm that the scent did not belong to Charlie. I did it every fucking
time and it was never ever her . . . at least not yet.


I
would like to introduce you to Caged In

s
front man . . .

Her
eyes, covered in an eerie, yellow contact, widened only a fraction of a second
before they
went blank
and she shook her
head. Her face was completely covered by the mask she wore.

What?
This
fucking chick was blowing me off. Never in my life had that happened. Who the
hell did she think she was? I was the fucking front man of the biggest band and
. . . She. Did. Not. Want. To. Meet. Me?

Nate
pulled Catwoman closer to his body as he tried to recover from the awkwardness
that settled over the three of us.

Well
then I guess we

ll be moving on . . .

His
voice trailed off as he gave me a head nod and turned to leave, pulling her
with him. Her body so tense she was like a stone version of herself. She
continued to stare at me.


You
guys know each other?

he
asked, looking from me to her. Confusion, then recognition dawned in his muddy
brown eyes.

That

s
right . . .

Before he could
finish Catwoman grabbed his hand and pulled him through the crowd.

What
the hell? Did I know her? Now she was running away. Well nothing turned me on
faster than the view of her back, even if it was walking away.

Game
on pussy . . . cat.

 

Charlie

Holy
shit.
I could not believe that Cage Fucking Matthews was
standing in front of me talking with Nate. His navy blue eyes were as clear as
I had ever seen them, not blood shot and heavy with drugs like the last time I
saw him. I could only imagine his dirty blonde hair disheveled and messy to the
point of sexy under his cape crusader costume. I was shocked senseless as Nate
tried to introduce us. Shaking my head no, Cage

s
surprise was evident in his widening eyes and grunt of disapproval.

Oh
well! I was screwed if Cage knew it was me. Caged in was what I would be if I
heard my name on his lips. Then it finally dawned on Nate that maybe Cage and I
knew each other since we went to the same high school.
Knew each other?
That
was the fucking understatement of the year. We lived, hell breathed, each other
since he moved in next door to me when I was ten years old. The only person I
ever said I love you to. The only person who knew me, ugly home life and all.

And
what did he do?

He
left! He left like I meant nothing to him. No note, no good-bye, no contact
since my sixteenth birthday. Well he was never getting that chance again. I
grabbed Nate

s hand and led him through the crowd.

I
needed to get Nate and me out of there as fast as possible. I needed space. I
needed to pretend I just did not run into Cage. I needed to . . . I needed to .
. . run away. So why was my heart breaking all over again? How could he still
affect me? I swore when I found Cage that night at the music awards that he
would never get that chance again. So why was my heart aching for me to go back
to him? Why was I so reckless when it came to him?

 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

Charlie


Will
you please slow down?

Nate
pulled me to a stop in the middle of the dance floor.

Charlotte,
why are you in such a rush?

 
I
was not ready to share with Nate why I needed to put space between me and Cage.
Just knowing he was here was enough to make me want to curl up in a ball and
cry, or run to him and beg him to be my everything again. Neither was really an
option as I would never rely on him or anyone else again for my wellbeing and
happiness. It was just me.


Talk
to me,

Nate
pleaded as he pulled me into his body and started to sway to the music.

Did
you know Matthews at Middleton High?

His
cheek came to rest against my temple.

I
nodded and whispered,

Yes.

The
admission did something funny to me. I felt relieved and anxious at the same
time. Shining any kind of light on my past only led to more questions.


How?


Neighbors.
Best friends.

This was the most
I ever shared with anyone on my connection to Cage, even with Nate. I refused
to talk about anything that happened prior to when I went to live with Nate and
his family the summer going into my junior year in high school. By then my home
life had deteriorated to the point that the social services got involved. My
body trembled as if I could feel the ghosts of my past brushing against my
skin.


It

s
ok,

Nate
assured me.

Nothing from back then can hurt you
now.

Although
Nate was just trying to help, he had never been so wrong. I did not have it in
me to tell him that it never stopped hurting, I was just better at covering it
up than I was when I was younger.

Do
you want to go?

I
looked Nate over. His worry lines were in full effect, and even a hint of his
stress lines were peeking through. How could I have missed them? So caught up
in myself I did not even realize until now how hard the move from San Diego was
for him. Four years of college and then four years of pro ball and now he was
transplanted across the entire country.

Of
course not,

I said, pushing
his concern aside.

Didn

t
you say your teammates were going to be here?


A
few,

he
answered, looking at me suspiciously. He loosened his protective hold over me
and said.

We can go.


No
Nate. We just got here.


Are
you sure?


Yes.
I will just avoid every superhero that roams this place and I will be good.

I
faked a smile hoping Nate would buy it.

He
stared at me for another second as I made my body relax.

Ok,

he
tentatively said.

How about one more song and
then we go get a drink and find some of my teammates?


Works
for me.

I
smiled for real this time, knowing that no matter what, Nate always had my
back. His return smile was known to melt girls

panties
for miles and miles. I chuckled, because to me it was just his goofy, happy
grin that told me he got what he wanted and was happy.

Although
I tried to pretend I did not rely on him, he was always there for me. His
family was my family. His home was my home ever since I left for my first photo
shoot six years ago. And now I had some time off with nothing to do and nowhere
to go. Nate saw to it that a first-class ticket in my name was waiting for me
when I landed in California from Bali. So how could I say no to sunny Miami for
a little while? I couldn

t, so now here I was
dressed up like Catwoman at the Caged In
Halloween
party. Not what I expected when I boarded that plane two days ago. But here I
was and I was going to make the most of it to help make Nate happy.

The
music grew louder right as one sound melted into another.

Ready?

Nate
asked right as the Flash came to stand next to us.


Can
I cut in?

His Irish accent
told me it could only be one person - Locke. I really liked him, even though I
associated him with two of my three worst memories of Cage. He seemed like the
break in the storm clouds, the eye of the hurricane that was Caged In.


I
don

t
know,

Nate
answered.

It

s
not the best time.

I
hugged Nate to me silently thanking him for being there for me at the same time
as I whispered,

It

s
ok.


You
sure?

He
asked, taking a step back to look me in the eye. I nodded. Nate slowly let his
hands drift off my body as he took a few more steps back. Immediately Flash
took his place.


So
what

s
a
feek
like you dancin

with
a
gimp
like that, when you could be with a
ride
like me?

Locke
placed his hands on my hips, holding me to him. We started to slow dance even
though a techno beat filled the room.


Does
anything you ever say make sense?

I
teased.


Oh,
I see. You

re
ossified
already
.

His
spandex Flash outfit covered his entire body but the lower part of his face. He
pursed his lips together in an attempt to show how upset he was. I laughed in
spite of myself.


What
are you saying?


He

s
saying your drunk.

Holy
shit! I jumped slightly at the deep voice that was too close. I knew who it was
without looking, having heard it every night in my dreams and every day in my
heart.


May
I?

Locke
nodded yes as he started to step away from me. Involuntarily my hands tightened
their hold on his arms keeping him in place. Both guys looked at me as I felt
and fought the enormous need to run.

Please,

Cage
added, as my body relaxed at his please and his hands replaced Locke

s
on my hips.

Dragging
me against him, my heart skipped a beat as

Stay
With Me

by
Sam Smith started playing over the noise of the crowd. Swaying to the music,
Cage began to hum along hitting every note perfectly.

My
heart felt like it was in fight or flight mode as it pounded against my rib
cage. Of course my body betrayed my mind as I trembled in his arms and a need
for this man sparked to life. My breathing quickened as every inch of my body
that touched his was alit with longing . . . and desire. Even ten years later
my body knew its perfect match with just the lightest of touches.

I
felt him take a deep breath.

What has you smelling so
good pussy cat?

I shrugged, half afraid
that he would recognize my voice and the other half scared to death that he
would hear how much I wanted him in that moment. Cage turned me in his arms as
our bodies continued to move together. One of his hands moved from my waist to
cup my face. His thumb rubbed across my lower lip.

Cat
got your tongue?

I
shook my head no as I made eye contact with him.

Then
can I have it?

Goose
bumps exploded down my neck and across my chest as I felt his rumbled words all
the way to my core. It clenched as he pulled me harder against his body,
rubbing me in all the right places. The arm around my waist turned to steel as
I was caged in to his body.


Don

t.

My
hushed demand went unnoticed. Cage

s
head dipped ever so slightly as he closed the small distance between our lips,
giving me plenty of time to stop him if I wanted. With each second that passed
the regret I knew I would feel after was replaced with the desperation of
needing him right now.

 

Cage

What
started out as a game to see how far Catwoman would let me go quickly turned
into an epic display of restraint on my part. I wanted nothing more than to
hull her up and over my shoulder as I bounded up the stairs to my room where I
would keep her caged in until I had my fill of her. Her silence was only making
me want her to shout my name even louder as I drove into her over and over
again.

Her
smell was wreaking havoc on my senses. She carried the barest trace of Happy
along her neck and down into her costume. All I wanted to do was rip off her
clothes and follow that scent wherever it led me. Charlie always put it on the
back of her wrists before she would trail it down her neck and across her
chest. It left the best happy trail that I would follow whenever she would let
me.

Charlie
. . . the first time in a long time I had not thought of her.

Damn
it! I just want her out of my head!

This
beauty in my arms gave me a reprieve that I had not been able to find anywhere
else. I needed to see this through to see if I could finally move on. My cock
was thick and throbbing as I closed the distance between us.  When my lips
finally touched hers everything else ceased to exist. She was it. She was the
salvation I had sought for the last ten years to fill the void of Charlie.

Did
I care that she was with Maxwell? Hell no.

I
traced my tongue along her bottom lip, trying to slow myself down. My blood
raced in my veins seeking an outlet as her perfect, bow lips opened allowing me
my first taste of her. Sweetness danced across my tongue as I touched mine to
hers. She deepened the kiss, eliciting a groan of approval from me. My hand at
her cheek grasped the back of her hooded head holding her to me as I continued
to explore every inch of her delectable mouth. 

When
we finally slowed, my forehead came to rest against hers as we remained close,
sharing the same air. The old voice in my head telling me how much of a fuck up
I was tried to come out and play, but I quickly shut him down knowing this was
the most peace I felt in a long time. In this moment it was more about keeping
this feeling than getting her in my bed. My throbbing cock would just have to
sit this one out.


Want
to get a drink?

I
asked as I stood up straight. I hoped that by slowing this down I would finally
get her to talk to me. She shook her head no, biting her bottom lip sending the
rest of the blood in my body south.

Then
what do you want?


You.

Her
first word to me and the only one I wanted to hear. And I wanted her as long as
she could keep my mind off the one person who mattered.

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