Draped in trickery and disguised in deceit, Luke is the devil in human form. Now he is back with an agenda. Not only will he drag Manson Angola back to the prison where they first met, but he'll also make a few demands. This time, Manson will love him and let him go or he'll take Luke's hand and join him in the only place he can call home.
Manson isn't guilty but he's behind bars all the same. An innocent man, he'll serve out a life sentence, one brought upon him by someone who loves him too much to consider letting him go. After three years apart, Manson realizes he can't live without Luke but the devil has temptations to overcome and those temptations unravel with unexpected consequences.
Manson had almost come to terms with the horrors of his incarceration. Unlike the time he’d served before, Manson didn’t have an ‘out’ and so far, he hadn’t been quick to make friends. It had been a few years since he’d been locked up but three years wasn’t that long when men were serving life sentences in maximum security prisons.
He should’ve seen recognizable faces or seasoned guards. No one looked familiar and the longer he was in there, the more he came to terms with a possibility.
He might just spend the rest of his life in prison.
Manson’s cheeks—upper and lower—tightened as he thought of the reason he hadn’t exactly dreaded a return to the penitentiary. When he’d received the phone call at home, he hadn’t tried to run.
When the cops had arrived, Manson went willingly. He never even thought about evading police or plotting his escape. There was no point in putting up a fight.
He had his reasons and every last one of them involved Luke.
Now three months into his sentence, Manson stood at the metal slabs of shelving located next to the nondescript bare wall. When he had been incarcerated before, perhaps he’d taken the small things for granted. His old cell housed a frosted glass window with a concrete seat, one he and his cellmate Benson had used for a reading area. It gave the illusion of light and that false impression allowed optimism to seep into an otherwise dark and shadowy reality known as imprisonment.
Prompted by his memories, Manson paced the eight-by-ten space and wondered why he’d been transferred from Cell Block D down to A. Considered the prison projects, Cell Block A was a dangerous place.
Prisoners often ended up in solitary confinement because they’d pick fights with the guards or do everything in their power to provoke an assignment to the hole and an expedient transfer out of CB-A.
The only reason Manson hadn’t considered throwing and playing that card was because of the past. Manson remembered all the lessons he’d learned in the horrifying privacy of a cell built for one.
A fellow named Tiger and another dude, a guy he couldn’t remember by name now, had prepped him. They’d prepared him for a life beside a Dom, a very powerful man in the West Virginia prison system.
As it turned out, Luke wasn’t a man at all. He was a supernatural of sorts.
“Head count!” A guard’s bellowing interrupted his thoughts. Heavy footsteps soon followed, along with a click-clang racket that sounded like spurs. A few minutes later and a guard walked by his cell, rapidly clicking his automatic counting device.
What followed then was a drawn out buzz.
“Lights out!” Another guard stopped in front of Manson’s cell. His upper lip curled and he showcased a couple of gold teeth. “Got a problem with that?”
“No.” Manson sat on the lower bunk with his back against the wall. He knew better than to argue with the guys in charge. Most of them enjoyed fighting and if they thought they could rough up a ‘pretty boy’ which was what Manson had been nicknamed right out of processing, then they took their chances and called them quick opportunities. The guards were anything but selective.
“Ain’t ‘cha curious?” The brute swung his keys and grinned. After a few seconds, he seemingly forced an even wider smile.
Best guess, the guard had some past experience stretching his mouth for someone. Luke came to mind.
“I asked you a question, boy!” The guard slammed his nightstick against the bars before he haphazardly holstered it again.
“Okay.” Apparently Manson had no other choice but to play along. “Why are you shutting off the lights early tonight?”
“You bit.” He worked his swagger then, thumbing the butt of his club as he inched closer to Manson’s cell. He grunted, grabbed his package, and lowered his gaze. “Hmm. Hmm. When I heard you were riding with Luke, I should’ve guessed you were a pretty young thang.”
Manson took a deep breath, awaiting the worst but hoping for the best. The guard had let him know more than anyone else since he’d arrived there.
Luke was back and he was coming for him.
“Somebody sent word. You’re getting tucked-in tonight.”