Authors: Jaime Reese
Tags: #contemporary, #gay, #romance, #mystery
A Hunted Man
Copyright © 2014 by Jaime Reese
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or in any means—by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise—without prior written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Published by Romandeavor, Inc.
(Kindle edition) ISBN: 978-0-9914570-4-5
(ePUB edition) ISBN: 978-0-9914570-5-2
(Paperback edition) ISBN: 978-0-9914570-6-9
First Edition, April 2014
Printed in the United States of America
Edited by Jae Ashley
Cover art and formatting by Reese Dante
Licensed material is being used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted in the licensed material is a model.
After surviving ten years in prison, Cameron Pierce is attempting to put the past behind him. He tries to adjust to his newfound freedom with a place at the halfway house and a job. But one lesson he learned in prison keeps him guarded: hope is a dangerous thing.
Hunter Donovan, Assistant State Attorney, is a man of justice who loves a challenge. After a lifetime of putting his career first, a milestone brings him to a harsh realization—he's lonely.
Hunter's world changes when he meets Cam. The wary young man intrigues him and awakens a desire unlike anything he's ever experienced. When Cam's past resurfaces and threatens to rip them apart, their budding relationship is challenged and Cam's hope for a future begins to dim.
These outside forces hunting Cam will stop at nothing to send him back to prison. But they'll have to get past Hunter first.
If you were with me today, you'd simply say…
"I knew you could do it."
I miss you.
The author acknowledges the following trademarks for company names and/or products mentioned in this work of fiction:
: Ferrari S.p.A.
: Google, Inc.
: US Marine Corps, a component of the US Department of the Navy
: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
: Starbucks Corporation
: Universal City Studios LLC
: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
: Google, Inc.
You can fear her,
but she will never abandon you
when you need her most.
Cameron Pierce didn't really know what to expect when the entire nightmare began days before his eighteenth birthday, but here he was, standing behind a large metal door waiting for it to open and grant his freedom. Nine years, eight months, two weeks, and five days of hell. Even though he had to stay in a designated halfway house for the next few months, at least he wouldn't have these bars or barbed wire fences to constantly remind him of his nightmare.
He fidgeted. In exchange for almost ten years of his life, the prison system gave him a hundred bucks for expenses during transfer, and a plain, standard-issue cardboard box containing his personal items—a watch, ten bucks, and a pack of gum. Everything broken or useless, which pretty much mirrored his existence. He ditched the box and everything else then pocketed the cash.
The gears of the large metal door ground as they inched open. Cameron shifted his weight from foot to foot, waiting for just enough space to squeeze through the door. He looked over to the guard and concluded he'd be better off attempting to walk out of this prison with a little dignity. At the pace these doors opened, he figured he'd age another decade in the process. He closed his eyes and counted, begging for a little patience to come his way. He finally heard the grinding stop and opened his eyes.
There, in the middle of the empty parking lot, Sam leaned against a car with crossed arms and a smile.
Cameron groaned as he finally exited the prison gates.
Mr. Samuel Issacs, rehabilitation officer, also secretly campaigned for sainthood every chance he had. His job was to help a group of assigned inmates rejoin the world with others but his
was to mentor them. Sam wanted to talk, help, and offer support. Cam, on the other hand, knew better than to open his mouth, and he damn sure wasn't going to risk Sam becoming some form of collateral damage.
Cam had learned that lesson the hard way.
"Hey, Sam," he said once he arrived where Sam was parked.
"Hey, Cam. I thought I'd give you a ride to the halfway house instead of having you take the bus," he said as he opened the passenger side door of the car.
Cameron waited, not sure if sitting in a car for hours with Saint Sam was a good idea.
"C'mon, Cam. I can guarantee you the drive with me will be better than a busload of people coming back from Universal Studios with stinky feet and a crapload of gas."
Sam laughed. "Besides, I already filled out the paperwork so you're stuck with me. Get in."
Cam didn't say a word. He climbed into the car, sat in the passenger seat, and then closed the car door.
"Buckle up, it's the law."
"Are you kidding me?"
"Nope, state of Florida, it's the law."
"Just strap in so we can get out of here."
Cameron groaned again as he pulled the belt and clicked it in place. He hated the way it cut into his damn shoulder. Who knew what else had changed while he was in prison. Just another reminder of things he had missed. He shifted in his seat only to have his movement limited by the seat belt restraint.
Here he was, finally out of prison, yet somehow still found a way to be constrained in a small enclosed area. Hell, this was even smaller than the six-by-eight cell he'd called home for almost a decade.
* * * *
"Wake up, sleepyhead."
"Are we there yet?" Cameron mumbled as he tried to rub the sleep out of his eyes.
Sam chuckled. "Nope. We should be there in a few hours," he responded before switching off the car. "We're just taking a break right now, stretch our legs and grab something to eat really quick."
Cameron turned his head side to side to try to stretch his neck a bit then exited the car.
"How long have we been on the road?"
"A few hours," Sam responded as he came around the car to his side. "C'mon, I'm hungry," he added as he started to walk toward the rest stop entrance.
Cameron followed at a slower pace, still trying to wake up as he stretched his arms. When he walked into the building, he stopped. His senses were assaulted by the sounds of pounding music, loud people bumping into him from all sides, coffee machines hissing, the mix of smells coming from the different food vendors, and the voice through the speaker informing someone their order was ready. He screwed his eyes shut and lowered his head. He tried counting, hoping to calm his breathing. Prison wasn't quiet but at least he knew what to expect.
"Cam, you all right?" Sam asked.
Cameron looked over to him and noticed the worry crease between his eyes. "Yeah, it's just culture shock, I guess. I could have used a warning."
"Sorry, I didn't realize there would be so many people here. It's probably from that tour bus out there." Sam offered a comforting hand on Cam's shoulder. "Let's start with some food," he said, guiding him to the least busy food store farthest away from the gift shops.
After placing their orders, they sat in a quiet booth by the window in the corner. Cameron looked around, observing every detail, comparing the current with what he knew a decade ago. They had TV in prison that allowed him to keep up with the national news. He knew cell phones were smaller and cars were bigger. He knew Obama was president and that people wore those flashing blue light things in their ear for their phones. What he had lost was the instinctive knowledge of the world that was closer to him. New sauce bottles, photos on the wall he hadn't seen, these damn sippy cup things for coffee everyone had in their hand.