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Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:
Jakes and Camello arrived to take him to his next session with Demory. Starks’s was surprised at how much he was looking forward to it: it was time out of solitary, and in a more normal environment, even if the counselor usually annoyed him.
He’d have to pass by the gang member’s cell again, so fixed his face into one absent of expression. Whether or not the man was waiting for him to walk by, or was even in his cell this time, it was smarter not to appear frightened or intimidated. And it wasn’t just the gang member he needed to show this face to, it was for every inmate who stood by to watch the show. Enough eyes focused on him that he wondered if tickets were being sold.
Starks sat in his usual chair in Demory’s office. As soon as the guards closed the door, he leaned over with his elbows rested on his knees. He took several shallow breaths then looked up. The doctor was watching him.
“How’s it going?” Demory asked.
“I’ve had better days.”
“Want to talk about it?”
“Not really, Doc.” Starks leaned back, glanced around.
“I’m not a doctor.”
“I know. If it’s all the same to you, I’ll use the moniker.”
“Fine with me.” Demory sat forward, pen poised over paper. “We’ll get straight to it, then. Did you give any more thought to what we discussed last time? Feelings? Forgiveness?”
“Until you walk a mile in my shoes, Doc . . .”
“I can’t help you if you won’t talk to me.”
“Help me to what? Forgive? Screw that. You have no idea what I went through in the past few years.”
“I will, if you’ll tell me. I have an idea that it was traumatic in order to cause a man of your intelligence and reputation to end up sitting across from me. Starks, c’mon. A violent attack on the outside. A violent attack in here. Attempted suicide. That’s a drastic change for a man like you. If for no other reason, satisfy my professional curiosity.”
Starks dropped his head into his hands and moaned.
Demory tossed his pen onto his notepad. “Start somewhere.”
Starks stared at the restraints around his wrists. “I worked my ass off to give her and our children everything. Other than the long hours, she has no idea what it took for me to really build my first business then the satellite businesses, and to keep them profitable. She helped me at the start, sure. But at the first sign of success, she wanted more. I just never realized how much: Personal trainers for her and the kids, live-in nanny, Ferrari, mansion, expensive clothes and jewels—got them all. Stress-free life for her, burdens out the ass for me. Look how she repaid me.”
“How did she repay you?”
Starks slammed his hands on the desk, ignoring the dents the wrist cuffs made in the wood, and the fact that Demory jumped back. “She lied and cheated with not only Ozy but with other employees at her job. Yeah, they worked in the same office. According to Ozy, every man in his firm had his turn with her. More than once. Who knows how many others she was with who didn’t work there.”
About the Author:Nesly Clerge received his bachelor’s degree in physiology and neurobiology at the University of Maryland, and later pursued a doctoral degree in the field of chiropractic medicine. Although his background is primarily science-based, he has finally embraced his lifelong passion for writing. Clerge’s debut novel, When the Serpent Bites, will be available in 2015, with the sequel to follow in 2016. His debut novel explores choices, consequences, and the complexities of human emotions, especially when we are placed in a less-than-desirable setting. When he is not writing, Clerge manages several multidisciplinary clinics. He enjoys reading, chess, traveling, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with his significant other and his sons.
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