Hello everyone! Today I am so pleased to welcome author Jaime Reese to the blog. Jaime is here as part of her blog tour for A Hunted Man. She has brought us an exclusive excerpt to share, as well as details on a great giveaway. So please join me in giving her a big welcome!
“What did it?”
“What?” he asked weakly.
“What caused you to panic?”
Cameron winced. He’d always dealt with the panic attacks on his own. Sometimes they’d make breathing difficult, the bad ones would knock him out completely. The panic attacks started shortly after he went to prison. They didn’t happen often, only when a tiny glimmer of hope dared to surface among his hell. Then that hope would be strangled by desperation and hatred of his reality and he’d be left gasping for air. My problem. He knew better than to think things would change while he was inside. He was the idiot who dared to want something more. No one cared in prison and certainly no one gave a moment’s interest to try to find out why one of the inmates could barely breathe or move. He had always gotten through them on his own, dealt with it the best he could.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Cam said weakly, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“You’re a horrible liar.”
Cam looked up and saw the green-eyed guy staring intently at him as if waiting for a better response.
Cam shrugged. “I’m fine.”
My problem and I’ll deal with it on my own just as I have for so many years.
The man pursed his lips and arched an eyebrow. He extended his hand in greeting. “I’m Julian.”
“I figured,” he mumbled as he shook the offered hand. He glanced over to see Matt standing in the doorway with a concerned look on his face.
Julian turned to look over his shoulder. “He’ll be fine,” he said to Matt. “He just got out after ten years. He’s entitled to a little freak-out.”
Matt nodded and forced a smile, the worry still evident in his expression. “I need to finish some paperwork,” he said before leaving the room.
“Thanks,” Cam said quietly, pulling at a string on his jeans.
“No problem. So, what caused you to panic?”
Cam sighed and glared at the stubborn man who took a seat next to him on the bed.
Julian sat silently for several nerve-wracking minutes, waiting for a reply.
One thing Cam had learned while inside…shut the hell up and don’t say a word.
Julian exhaled heavily after a few more minutes. “If you live under this roof, you’re going to have to learn to talk,” he said as he stood. “Talk, not yell. Understand?”
Cam looked up and nodded. He could follow instructions.
“We’ve got a counselor available if you prefer to talk to a pro. Otherwise, you’re going to have to talk to Matt or me about whatever the hell is getting you worked up.”
Cam nodded again.
“Silence is not an option. Talk, write it down, draw a picture, use sign language…I don’t care. Pick one that works for you.”
Cam stared back at Julian without a response.
“We’re here to help you, Cam, whether you believe it or not. If you don’t talk, you go back inside or to a different Community Corrections Center. We don’t have as many rules as the other centers, but this is one rule we are strict on. Understand?”
Cam nodded and tried to swallow past the knot in his throat. I’ll do anything to not go back to prison.
Julian walked to the door and turned before leaving. “One more thing. You ever scare Matt like this again—”
“I’ll have to deal with you,” Cam said. The message conveyed in that glare was loud and clear.
Cam knew a lot of guys in prison who could talk a good game and used empty threats to establish their ground or walked around as if they owned the cellblock. It was all a façade, just a strategic way to avoid getting confronted and appear as if they were more than they actually were. He’d seen enough of these guys to know who the fakers were. He looked at Julian. He was the quiet guy, the one you watched out for, the one who didn’t bother to talk about it. Rather, they were more men of action than words. Tall, well over six feet, with a frame built from manual labor, his entire presence was just intimidating and exuded a don’t-fuck-with-me attitude that made you stop and turn the other way, if you could.
Every ounce of common sense told him not to piss off the man staring back at him.
“Good. I’m glad you understand my language. So you don’t have an excuse to avoid the talking requirement. Dinner’s at six. Don’t be late,” he finished with a glare as he walked out of the room.
Cameron stood by the window again. He was finally out. He breathed in the hot afternoon Miami air, so different from that of prison. It was pure, raw city magnified by the heat and humidity—a far cry from the stale sweat and urine aroma he’d experienced serving his time. He reached out and let his hand extend past the window frame. No bars, no wire mesh on the glass. He flexed his fingers and watched the play of shadows against his palm.
Cam smiled. He was out of prison.
One step at a time.
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.
Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5828499.Jaime_Reese
- Website: http://www.jaimereese.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.jaime.reese
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jaime_Reese
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/jaimereese
Jaime is offering up a great giveaway for her tour. Check out the Rafflecopter link for more details.