Jamison Clark stepped beyond the iron gates, and then sighed when they clanged shut behind him. Holding the small plastic bag that held what little he owned in it, he looked around. He took a huge breath of freedom. Jamison was still reeling from the fact that Conrad had gotten his Manslaughter sentence reduced to Justifiable Homicide. Fifteen years too late, but Jamison would have happily rotted in prison as long as Blythe was safe. Jamison would have died to keep Blythe Erickson safe. He was brought out of his musings by the honk of a car horn. He twisted around and grinned to see his little sister waving enthusiastically at him out the window of her car. He strode over and climbed into the passenger seat. He chuckled when Shelby nearly crawled onto his lap to hug him tightly. “Oh Jamie! God, I am soooo happy for you!!” Shelby gushed, then settled herself back into her seat, pulling her seatbelt on. Jamison pinched her cheek playfully. “Let’s go sis. I want away from this place.” He said. Shelby beamed and drove off.
Jamison planned on staying with Shelby and her husband until he could find a job and get his own place. Jamison wasn’t sure how Parker felt about that, but it was better than going home. Jamison’s parents would not talk to him. He’d been crushed at their rejection. But all the angst that had come out in the trial was too much for them to handle. Jamison would have felt sorry for them if it wasn’t for the fact that him being gay seemed to be their motivating factor in shutting him out of their life. Only Shelby ever believed in him, supported him, harassed Conrad and came to visit him regularly. Without Shelby, Jamison wasn’t sure he would have survived the last fifteen years. And the tenacity of Conrad Edwards. Jamison owed that man his life. A life he was hoping he would be able to get acclimated to, though it would be hard. He’d entered prison at eighteen and freed at thirty three. It was going to be a long, tough road. And a lonely one. Not once, during the whole trial had Blythe looked at him. His love had sat between his parents, frozen, his head down, face unreadable. Jamison had never told Blythe how he felt about him, but the act that had sent him to prison in the first place should have made it abundantly clear. It sure was to everyone else.
“Jamie? Want to grab a bite to eat before heading home?” Shelby cut into Jamison’s thoughts. “Not really, Shelby. I’m tired. Having my freedom without any strings is a heck of an emotional overload, if you know what I mean. Can we just grab something at your house?” Jamison asked. He watched Shelby give him a compassionate look. “Sure, Jamie. No problem.” She said then concentrated on her driving. Jamison stared at his baby sister while she drove. She was barely twenty, had married her high school sweetheart Parker Garring, worked at the police station and was one of the strongest people Jamison knew. He’d adored her as a child, and loved her more as an adult. Outspoken, stubborn and with a volatile temper, she was a mini female version of himself, in personality anyway. They didn’t look much alike physically. Shelby had taken after their mom with her dark fiery red hair, alabaster skin and pale blue eyes. Jamison looked exactly like their father. Tall, at 6’2”, with naturally golden skin, dark brown hair and dark blue-green eyes. They had joked in their younger days that Jamison had ended up with the light smattering of freckles across his nose and cheeks, when Shelby was the one with the red hair and no freckles. Jamison smiled at the memory. He felt a small hand on his knee. “You ok?” Shelby asked as she turned into her drive and shut the engine off. “Yea, sis. Just thinking. Did a lot of that. Wasn’t much else to do.” Jamison said. He stared at Shelby when she laughed. “Sorry. Except for work out. Jesus, Jamie! You’re ripped! All muscle.” Shelby said as she gestured for him to get out of the car. Jamison shook his head. He needed to quit waiting for orders, guidance or instruction. He wasn’t in prison anymore. He could do what he wanted, when he wanted. He didn’t even have parole or probation. Conrad had explained that Justifiable Homicide was not considered a crime and there was no laws for punishment. It had taken days for that to sink in at the appeal hearing. Jamison was too skeptical to believe it. Till he walked out of those prison gates…a free man in every sense of the word.
Jamison followed Shelby into the house, thinking on what she’d said. Yea, he’d been withdrawn in prison, keeping to himself and having way too much time to think. And he’d worked out. He’d started prison life as a scrawny eighteen year old. It hadn’t taken him long to figure out that if he wanted to protect himself, he was going to have to get bigger. So he started lifting weights. It had taken a long time for him to reach the size he was now. And for a while, it had not stopped some of the inmates using him for sex. He was just glad he was gay, or the emotional ramifications probably would have killed him. He glanced at Shelby as she led him to the spare bedroom. Shelby didn’t know Jamison liked men. He’d never had the courage to tell her. Her good opinion meant too much to him to risk losing it. She’d once boldly asked if he was being…raped. He lied and told her no. What was the sense in making her feel bad that he’d endured such torment? And, as he saw it, he’d not really been raped. He liked men, so what happened to him was more along the lines of rough hook ups. Not that he’d had any such things before being incarcerated. The only thing he didn’t like about the bouts of sex was the ridiculous feeling of cheating on Blythe. He knew his feelings for Blythe would never be returned. Shelby had been too young, only five, during the trial and didn’t know why he’d done what he’d done. They had talked about it, the details, but never the motivation.
“Ok, Jamie. Here we are. Your room until you are back on your feet. I’m off to the grocery store to get something for dinner. Have anything special you want?” Shelby said, looking up at her brother. Jamison gave Shelby a grin. “Steak!” He exclaimed with enthusiasm. Shelby laughed. “Yea, I suppose you didn’t get much of that in there.” She said. “Try never.” Jamison answered. “Then steak it is.” Shelby said. She stood still for a moment, and then gave Jamison a hard hug. “I am so glad you are here.” She said softly. Jamison hugged her back, being careful not to squeeze too hard. Just last week, Shelby had said she was expecting and Jamison sometimes didn’t know his own strength. He waited until Shelby left and then went to take a shower….alone. God, it was so nice to be by himself and not have men eyeing him or forcing him into a corner to service them, or fucking him. Of course, that hadn’t happened in the last five years or so when Jamison had exceeded even the biggest men in general population. Jamison had ended up being one of the largest men on his cell block. Then he started getting propositions from the smaller, younger men to service him or have him fuck them. He never took advantage of that. His heart belonged to another and he wasn’t willing to betray that, despite it being a lost cause.
When Jamison came out of the bedroom, freshly showered and hungry, he saw Parker was home. “Hey.” He said awkwardly. Parker stared at him for a minute, and then smiled. “Nice to see they saw the light and let you go.” Parker said. Jamison could feel the tension leaving his shoulders. He hadn’t been sure what Parker would do, or say. Shelby had said she never told Parker why her brother was in prison and Jamison really didn’t want to explain to the younger man. “Yea, it’s good to be out.” He replied, stifling a moan at the double innuendo. Jamison followed Parker into the kitchen, but kept silent. He didn’t know what to say to the younger man anyway. He still felt awkward to be in his sister’s and her husband’s home.
“Care for a beer?” Jamison asked, pulling out one for himself and turning to see if Jamison wanted one. Jamison started to say no, but then realized, he could have a beer and nodded. Parker pulled another out and handed it to him. Jamison had never had any alcohol. He was incarcerated at eighteen. He twisted the top off and took a swig and promptly began coughing, his eyes watering. Parker looked at him, obviously torn between sympathy and amusement. “I guess you’ve never had a beer.” Parker said rhetorically. Jamison was still trying to get his breath back and just shook his head. “You might want to take it easy then.” Parker added and walked out of the kitchen.
When Shelby came home, it was to find her husband and her brother sprawled out on the couch in front of the TV watching a game. “Parker, can you go get the grocery bags from the car?” Shelby set her purse down on the counter and removed her jacket. She hurried out to the living room and dropped down next to her big brother. “So, I see you and Parker are getting on.” She grinned at Jamison. Jamison smiled back. “Yea, but I still want to move out as soon as possible, sis. As grateful as I am for you allowing me here, I need to find my own way.” Jamison said, rubbing his sister’s head in affection.
Shelby swatted at his hand. “I know Jamie. I’ve got a call into my friend Carson. He hasn’t called me back, but I’m pretty sure the bouncer job is still open at Mysteries.” Jamison nodded. Shelby had told him she thought her friend Carson could get him a job once he was released. Jamison wondered if Shelby knew that Mysteries was a gay club. He wasn’t about to bring it up though. He didn’t need his sister questioning his sexuality, not that she would.