Home > Gun Shy(7)

Gun Shy(7)
Author: Lili St. Germain

So I made him angry, he got drunk, climbed into his car, and drove that car through a safety barrier, into a creek, with my mother riding shotgun.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

 

LEO

 

 

NOW


Lovelock prison, ironically, doesn’t contain a lot of love.

At least, not the kind of loving I’m looking for. The kind of “loving” your cellmate tries to lay on you when you first arrive. Some of the men here have been in prison for decades - multiple. They’ve long since compromised on what they stick their dicks into.

Not me. I might not be the most built guy compared to some of the other prisoners here, but I am quick on my feet. My grandfather taught me how to rumble when I was a kid before he died, and I’ve never lost a fight yet.

Which is handy in a place like this. Because I like my asshole untouched very much.

“Bentley!” a guard barks from the cell door. I roll my eyes, sliding off the lower bunk in my cell and getting to my feet. I share this cell with three other guys on the sixth floor of Lovelock penitentiary, and it’s no accident that I have the best bed, the most cigarettes, and have never been touched by another male prisoner.

My fellow prisoners learned my name the day I arrived here, just shy of eight years ago. Some motherfucker tried to make me his bitch. I took his eye out with my toothbrush. One-eyed Al, we call him now. People at Lovelock know the name Leo Bentley, and they don’t fuck with me.

I saunter up to the guard, taking the cigarette from behind my ear as I do. We aren’t supposed to smoke here, but rules are made to be broken, right? The fucking guards here are just as bad as the inmates. Worse, in some cases.

Martinez, one of the less abrasive male guards here, waves an envelope through the small hole in the door. My heart leaps into my chest for a moment.

Is it from Cassie? Did she finally respond to one of the letters I’ve been writing her while I’ve been stuck in this hellhole?

But then I see the official typed font on the front of the envelope and my hope fades. Of course, it’s not from her. It’s probably from my parole board hearing. I’m not expecting miracles. When you drive off a bridge with the wife of a sheriff in your car and basically kill her, even though she’s not technically dead, people don’t take too kindly to your good behavior record. Mine’s flawless. Nobody ever snitched on me for Al’s missing eye, and he claimed it was self-inflicted. I don’t think he wanted to rat on me for it in case I took the other one while he wasn’t looking. Ha! Jesus. My sense of humor is terrible.

“Good behavior,” Martinez says, rolling his eyes. “Good one, Bentley. You sure fooled them.”

I grip the envelope tightly in my hand. “Huh?”

Martinez lifts his chin towards the envelope in my hand. “Early release for good behavior. You got somewhere to go, boy?” It’s ironic that he calls me a boy, because I’m twenty-five years old now, and I haven’t been a boy for a very long time. Hard time makes you grow up. If you’re not a man when you enter prison, you’ll sure as hell be one by the time you get out.

“Uh…” I can’t string a sentence together. I feel like I’ve just had the shit knocked out of me. As I tear the letter open and scan down the print, I can barely understand what it says. It could be written in Chinese, for all I know. Not because I can’t read—I was a straight-A student in high school, even though I was a little prick to my teachers—but because I can’t believe what Martinez has just said.

I’m finally leaving this shithole.

I’ve been granted parole.

Cassie. For a moment, I imagine seeing her again. Kissing her. Fucking her in the backseat of my car, sucking on her neck as she made those little sighs of pleasure beneath me. The way her eyes used to light up whenever she saw me.

Then I remember her in the hospital, the last time I saw her before they arrested me and dumped my sorry ass in jail. Her eyes didn’t light up for me as our gazes met over her comatose mother. Jesus, Cassie, if you knew how fucking sorry I was, for everything.

 

Saturday, I’m out of here. In three days.

Part of me feels like I’m not ready. Even though I want out of this hellhole, the problem is where I’m going after this. I’m almost considering stabbing somebody in here just so I don’t have to go back to Gun Creek and face Cassie and Sheriff King.

Guard Ramsay is sitting across from me, a fifty-something weed of a guy with thick glasses perched on his nose and liver spots on his hands. He looks as bad as I feel, and that’s saying something.

This place’ll break you if you let it, or if they keep you here for long enough. My sentence for felony DUI causing injury was nineteen years, so the fact they’re paroling me now is a fucking miracle. I haven’t even served half my sentence.

As far as luck goes, I’m pretty much all out, but the one glimmer of hope in my case was the fact that, even though my dumb, drugged-out ass plowed off the road and into the creek at high speed, with an unrestrained passenger, I had a clean record. No priors.

Sheriff King pushed and pushed the courts to give me the maximum sentence, and I don’t blame the guy. Technically I killed his wife, but she’s still locked in some vegetative state where she can’t eat or speak or do anything. She can’t even kill herself to escape what I did to her. She’s just a bag of bones now, bedsores and bedpans, because I was dumb enough to get behind the wheel, drunk and high, and fly down the highway.

Guard Ramsay clears his throat, looking at me over the Coke-bottle-thick glasses he’s wearing as he takes a bite of his sandwich and chews. “You got something on your mind, boy?”

I shake my head. “No, sir.”

He leans back in his chair and takes his glasses off, rubbing the bridge of his nose. He looks dead tired. He’s old for his age. Old and worn out from being in a place like this. His sandwich smells like greasy, old lunchmeat.

“Have you read through the conditions of your parole?” he asks.

I nod, scrubbing my hand across my face. The razors in here are always fucking blunt. There’s no point shaving when you’re still left with a five-o-clock shadow, but by the same token, if you don’t shave every day you end up with a bushy fucking beard on your face. Nobody wants any more hair than absolutely necessary here. I’ve seen guys with pieces of scalp missing because they wouldn’t give up their cigarettes and someone decided to rip their hair out of their skull.

“You go home. You get a job. You check in with the sheriff’s department every week. And if you don’t, son, your ass is gonna be back in that cell so damn fast, you’ll think you dreamed getting out of this shithole.”

I nod, clenching and unclenching my fist.

“Most people in your position would be a damn sight more excited right about now,” Ramsay says.

I shrug. “Most people didn’t kill the Sheriff’s wife.”

The blood drains from Ramsay’s face as he glances down at the papers in front of him. “Says here you’re in for DUI and bodily harm. Not murder.”

“Wasn’t murder. And she’s not dead. Not yet, anyway.”

“What the hell kind of statement is that, boy? You threatening that she might die if you go home? You got a grudge against this woman?”

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