In a Gilded Cage
Publication date: October 21st 2016
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance
Lucci Grimley is indeed alluring—crowned with a mane of long blond hair, and blessed with an enchanting musical talent that draws a brave rescuer to a high tower hidden in the forest.
However, this modern-day Rapunzel is a young man, sold as a child to the wealthy and childless Damien Gotham for the price of a fast car and a pile of cash. And Lucci’s heroic prince is William “Prin” Prinzing, a handsome college student and star soccer player, hired to care for the grounds of the lavish Tower Estate. Prin climbs an extension ladder rather than a long golden braid to gain access to Lucci’s second floor bedroom window, ultimately penetrating the secrecy surrounding the cloistered young man.
Friendship, and soon romance, blooms. The tower captive eagerly gives his loving innocence to his brave rescuer, which sends the strict and reclusive Gotham into a frenzy of jealous rage. With Prin, Lucci gets a taste of real life, and he wants more. Together, the young men must face Gotham’s ruthlessness and pay the price of liberating Lucci.
Father pushes forward his untouched plate of eggs, toast, and sliced melon. It is rare that he does not break his fast with enthusiasm, and I am further perplexed. “Last night, when I held you, I did not miss the stiffening of your back. You did not relax against me … your hands did not curl into mine.”
He is correct.
“Your behavior … insulted me.” His glare burns the skin of my face. I keep my eyes averted, as is expected.
Again, I am unsure how to reply so I do not.
“Your diet will be severely restricted until I feel that you have changed your attitude.”
Guilt floods my mouth with illicit strawberry sweetness. I swallow deeply. “My attitude, Father?”
“Yes. You will improve your response to … to me … in the same manner you improved your attitude toward your music.” He looks distinctly uncomfortable. “I will provide proper motivation to help you accomplish this.”
We are moving onto disturbing new ground in our relationship. Where controlling my behavior has satisfied Father to this point, he is now making an attempt to manage my emotions. I am shaken by a cruel premonition of what I will be forced to endure in his effort to correct my apathy.
“Can you think of several words of affection to start us on our path toward increased emotional intimacy, son?”
I am literally unable to speak. My throat is dry and parched, and I reach for my glass of water.
“No water. I will tell you when it is time to drink.” “Yes, sir,” I croak. “I believe I requested a verbal expression to prove that you are open to making this necessary change in our future interaction.”
I swallow deeply and scramble for words to express that I am eager to be emotionally extorted.
Shall I tell him I missed him when he was away? I did not.
I could assure Father that I enjoy our physical closeness while we sleep. A blatant lie that would likely encourage more of the same.
I search the dark corners of my mind, but come up with nothing that will not further my suffering. My hands tremble on my lap.
“You are finished with breakfast, Lucas.” This is no loss. My plate is nearly full, but I have no appetite for eggs. “Return to your suite and consider what we have discussed.”
A tiny voice in my mind suggests that we had no discussion at all. It tells me that once again, Father has attempted to impose his will upon me, and I have failed to respond appropriately, for which I will pay a high price.
“Yes, Father. Am I excused?”
He nods, but refuses to look at me. I have disappointed him.
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.