Title: Caged Jaye
Author: Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Erotic Drama
Page Count: 176 pages
Reviewed by: Natalie
It’s Jaye Larson’s nineteenth birthday, and all he wants is to spend time with his boyfriend and his mother—the people he loves most and who make life worth living. But, faced by his mother’s demons, the imperfections of his relationship with boyfriend, Kris, and dangerous, homophobic strangers, one by one, all of Jaye’s dreams are soon derailed. Plunging into a waking nightmare, shortly after going to bed alone, he wakes in an alley, pinned down by two men with slow, bloody rape and murder in mind. It’s just the start of Jaye’s fight for his life, and his sanity, as time and time again, he’s forced to make impossible choices and survive, no matter what it costs. (See publisher’s website for content labels.)
Cash had one of the most crucial abilities for any tattoo artist to have. He could draw a straight line. More than that, he could cleanly capture an image without having to stencil it onto the skin first. Everything Cash did was freehand, and he was good enough at it that his subjects trusted him completely.
Cash had even done the tears on his own face, which had impressed Jaye more than the clock with no hands on his left forearm, symbolic of the long prison sentence he’d been given, and the meaninglessness of the passage of time behind bars. The open tears were small, requiring a very steady hand and attention to detail.
With his work complete, Cash sat back and admired Jaye’s tear with a tight nod. Then he started to pack up his stuff so he could hide it in the electrical outlet box again.
“Take a look in the mirror. Leave it alone for an hour or two, then wash it off with soap and water. Just keep it clean.”
Jaye climbed down from the bunk, slipping his foot onto the metal bar step in the frame. He was a little afraid to look at himself in the small mirror above their sink. Whatever he’d see when he did would be something he was stuck with for the rest of his life, however long that would be.
He didn’t hesitate, though. Heart beating harder, he stepped up to meet his reflection.
As soon as he saw it, he started to smile.
For months, Jaye had been weighed down by his circumstances, and it showed in his expression, his posture, and his body language. The tear slipping from the corner of his left eye was a symbol of his misery. Somehow, seeing it there, permanently, lifted some of the responsibility from his shoulders. It spoke for him—that he’d been through hell and he’d fought his way out, all on his own.
Sure, maybe it was ugly, but his life was ugly too. There was no reason to strive for perfection or normalcy anymore. He was in the wild. The tattoo was his war paint.
He fucking loved it.
After admiring the new ink, he turned and said to Cash, “Thanks. It’s awesome.”
In response, Cash clutched his chest and acted choked up, saying, “My little boy’s all grown up.”
Jaye couldn’t help but laugh. Biting his lip to hide the smile he felt all the way down to his toes, he said, “Shut the fuck up.”
Cash climbed down from his bunk, quickly hiding the tattoo gear.
When he straightened up again, he asked, “Can I tattoo my name on your ass next?” Cash grinned crookedly, chuckling a little, too, to let Jaye know he wasn’t serious.
The funny thing was, Jaye could totally imagine it. Shaking his head and holding up his hands, he said, “Nope. No fucking way. My ass is worth more than my face. Plus, the last thing I need is the word ‘Cash’ written on my butt when I’ve already got people calling me a whore.”
“Oh, come on,” Cash teased. Drawing a shape in the air with his hands, he said, “Then how about a portrait of the original J.C.?”
Jaye burst out laughing. He couldn’t help it. “You’re not drawing Johnny Cash on my ass, you crazy fucker!” Jaye laughed again, kicking at Cash’s leg.
Cash caught Jaye’s waist and came at him. Pressing him back against the wall behind Jaye, Cash gave him a hard, deep kiss.
Jaye was too shocked to react at first. They’d never kissed before.
Once the fight response faded away, he began to kiss Cash back, brushing his mouth lightly with his lips and moaning softly. Cash angled his head to go deeper, palming Jaye’s ass and slipping Jaye his tongue. Shivers shot down Jaye’s spine and through his legs. The affectionate intimacy and passion he was feeling from Cash started to make Jaye hard.
“Knock it off!” a guard yelled at them. After a quick glance, Jaye saw it was Coleman, a short, stocky, homophobic guy, and a big stickler for the rules.
Cash backed off, still watching Jaye’s mouth. It was clear from the look on his face that they weren’t done. Not by a mile. And that was fine with Jaye.
Arctic Absolution Series
Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it’s body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over seventy works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.