#1 Life beyond the bars
I first started writing Naughty Nathan on Patreon, but I recently decided to publish it on Inkitt!
In the first chapter of this book, Nate is 20, and he’s 61 in the last chapter. You will relive scenes from “Sweet Caroline”, “Blooming Rose”, “Jealous Jagger”, and many other books. All from Nathan’s perspective! On top of that, there are many new scenes, both before and after Nathan met Caroline.
We all read how Caroline met Nathan, but how well do we really know Nathanial Storm? This is Nathan as we’ve never seen him before.
The first chapters, we follow Nathan through his twenties and into his thirties, starting on the day he got out of jail. Of course, his best friends Angelo and Sean will be in the book, as well as their wives Gina and Jillian, and Nathans family. After all that, he finally meets Caroline. We’ll see familiar scenes through his eyes, but there are also lots of “unseen bits”.
“Naughty Nathan” is a companion novel to “Sweet Caroline”. We already know they end up together, but how did Nate get there? How wild were his twenties? Why did he ever marry Elise? And when did he know that Caroline was the one for him?
This story is a little different from my other stories, mainly because (1) we already know how this story ends, but the ride there will be a wild one. And (2) there will be lots of time jumps. To make it clear where we are in the timeline, each chapter starts with Nathan’s age. You’ll get to see snippets of different parts of his life that eventually lead up to his love story with Caroline.
Enjoy the first chapter!
#1 Life beyond the bars
Name: Nathanial Storm
Location: one step outside of the prison gates
Has the sky ever been this blue? Have the birds ever sung quite so beautifully? Even Angelo’s battered old car looks amazing. Him and Jennifer are leaning against it, pushing off the second they see me walking through the gate.
It’s over. I served my two years, and now I’m finally free to go.
“Nate!” Jennifer calls out, just the sound of her voice is enough for me to know she’s crying. I still need to cross the street before I’ll be by her side. It only takes a few seconds, but it feels too fucking long. The moment I’m in front of her, she jumps me, her legs going around my waist as my duffle bag hits the ground with a loud thud.
Jennifer came to visit me as often as she was could, so I have seen her quite often, but it’s different actually holding her now. I know she’s my older sister, but after everything that happened, I kind of feel like her older brother instead of her baby bro. She’s crying so hard she doesn’t seem able to catch her breath, and I hold her close, fighting my own tears.
“I’m so sorry,” she gasps, her nails digging into my shoulders. “I’m so sorry.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” I assure her for the millionth time the past two years. “I’m out. Everything will be okay now.”
“Jen, could you maybe let go of him for a sec so I can get in a hug as well?” Angelo asks, his deep, gruff voice sounding pissed as ever. He almost always sounds like he wants to beat you up, even though he’s one of the most inherently loyal and good people I know. He is even more pumped up than he was two years ago, and his hair is shorter, but other than that he’s still the same Italian douchebag who vowed he’d break me out of jail if anyone ever tried the dropping the soap thing on me.
They didn’t, in case anyone is wondering. Somehow, I managed to give off a vibe that I’m violent, dangerous, and unstable. Might be because I got in a fight on my second night here. The guy thought he could take me, but turned out he couldn’t. Not even a little bit. I wasn’t muscular before prison, but I sure was pissed. Anger made me tougher than I looked, I guess. I beat him into a bloody pulp before the guard pulled me off him.
A few other guys tried to see if they could take me, but when it became clear that I would bite, claw, hit, and kick until they had scars anywhere I could reach them, the assaults stopped. They called me Kid Storm, for my last name, and for the fact that I was only 18 when I was incarcerated. The name didn’t sound scary to me, but somehow, it carried weight with the others. When word spread the reason I was in there was for attacking a rapist, that got me some added grudging respect.
It was exhausting pretending to be some scary criminal when really, I was just a kid when I got locked up. I was terrified the whole time. The entire two years. Not all the prisoners were bad people, of course they weren’t, but there were enough rotten apples to make everyone feel on edge. I hit it off with a few other younger guys, and we stuck together until they were released, and I stayed behind. They vowed to stay in touch. They didn’t.
I hated them for that at first, but now, only two minutes out of that hellhole, I get it. I’m not gonna stay in touch with anyone either. I just want to move the fuck on with my life and forget any of this ever happened.
“Jen?” Angelo asks, grabbing her around the waist and pulling her off me. “Give the guy a break, will you?”
She lets him put her back on the ground, and wipes her eyes. “Sorry, I just…”
“I know,” I assure her, pulling her in for a brief hug. “It’s okay, Jen.”
When she gets ahold of herself again, Angelo finally steps in to give me a tight hug, slapping my back forcefully.
“Damn, you really got buff, Storm,” he grunts, holding me at arm’s length to inspect me, so to speak. “Couldn’t drag your scrawny ass to the gym before, but I guess there’s not much else to do in there than lift, huh?”
“You look like a motherfucking gorilla,” I reply, frowning down at him. He likes to act like he’s my big brother, but he’s only a year older than I am, and way smaller. Well, smaller in height. He’s still broader, even though I’ve indeed put on quite a few pounds of muscle in the past two years.
“Thanks,” he replies, reaching behind him to open the door of his car for me. “Hop on in, princess.”
I roll my eyes at him, but do as I’m told anyway. I throw my duffle bag in the trunk and ride shotgun, with Jen in the backseat and Angelo driving. I immediately roll down the window, needing to feel the wind on my face.
Freedom, that’s what it feels like. Sunshine and rainbows. All that shit. I’m free. Finally.
“We’re gonna drop off Jen first, and then you and I have some business to attend to,” Angelo tells me, lighting a cigarette while driving and blowing the smoke right in my face. Bastard.
“I’d actually like to go home,” I reply, not really feeling up to whatever Angelo has planned. Home is my parents’ house, and while I’m happy they weren’t the ones to pick me up – they get way too emotional and shit when they’re at the prison – I do want to see them.
“Did I say you had a choice?” Angelo chuckles. “Dude, I think you forgot how this works. I tell you to do shit, you say no, we do it anyway, and you love me for it. Just because got your ass thrown in jail doesn’t mean I’m suddenly going to act different around you.”
“You left me with his sorry ass for two years,” Jennifer tells me from the backseat. “He’s offended every single one of my friends multiple times.”
“It’s what he does best,” I agree.
Still, I’m grateful for him. My girlfriend broke up with me when I’d only been locked up for five weeks. In a letter. After we’d been together for two whole years and lost our virginity to each other. None of my friends ever came to visit me, aside from Angelo. Everyone just moved on with their lives, went to college, fucked and partied and studied, leaving me behind. Angelo stuck with me through it all, and he promised me he’d take care of Jen for me. That’s true friendship.
That’s why I don’t complain when we drop off Jen at her apartment. I haven’t been here before, since she moved out of our hometown not long after I got locked up. It was for the best at the time, with her rapist still on the loose. I felt better knowing they weren’t in the same town, and with Angelo looking out for her.
She hugs me for a long time, cries some more, and makes me promise to show up for dinner at Mom and Dad’s house later. I was already planning on doing that, so I vow to be there. Finally, Angelo drives off, and turns up the radio.
“Really? Country?” I ask, rolling my eyes.
“Don’t mock me, Storm. Country is the shit.”
“You’ve gotten soft while I was gone, Russo.”
Angelo tosses the bud of his cigarette out of the window and lights another one. “Me? Soft? Never gonna happen. On that note… ready to piss on a grave?”
That gets my attention for sure. “Where are we going?”
“I think you know,” he tells me with a knowing look in my direction. “Couldn’t exactly take Jen there. That’s why we dropped her off. She has only been there once, to make sure he’s really dead. I had to basically carry her out of there.”
I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t surprise me. “Thanks for looking after her.”
“She’s family,” Angelo states simply.
She’s not truly his family, genetically speaking, but he’s like a brother to me, so that means Jen is indeed his bonus sister. Angelo grew up in the foster system, bouncing from family to family because he was already 12 when his mother and father lost their parental rights due to mental illness, and he wasn’t exactly an easy teen. We met at the start of high school, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Yeah, he’s rude, mean, and unpolished, but he’s without a doubt the most loyal person ever.
It takes over two hours to get to the graveyard, but it’s actually nice to go on this little road trip with the only friend I have left. My best friend, the only one that didn’t drop me like the plague.
“You still single and miserable?” I ask. Yeah, we’ve talked the past years, but he didn’t give me many details about his life when he came to visit. Angelo isn’t one to pour out his heart during visiting hours.
“Single? Yes. Miserable? Fuck no. My best friend just got released, after all. I’m getting my wingman back.”
I laugh at that, because in no universe have I ever been Angelo’s wingman. I was in a relationship from age 16 to 18, up until I went to jail and Marry-Ann’s parents convinced her to break up with me. I’ve never been much of a ladies’ man. Not like Angelo.
“What’s the plan?” he asks me, sounding genuinely curious. “Job? College? Living in your parents’ basement like a sad sack?”
“Probably college.” My parents feel really strongly about that, and I have no plans whatsoever for myself, so might as well do what they want. College might actually be a good idea. Get an education, live in the dorms, maybe finally fuck again.
I’ve missed sex. A lot. I’ve only been with Mary-Ann, and now I’m 20 with two years of my life filled with nothing but my right hand to satisfy me. I’m so fucking ready for a hot girl in my bed. Or just a bed, really. A bed not in a cell. I’ve been fantasizing about soft sheets and my favorite slow foam pillow for two years now. Even more than I’ve been fantasizing about sex.
Angelo pulls up at the graveyard and gets out, motioning for me to follow him. He knows where to go and leads me right to the grave in question. It truly is his name on the tombstone. The guy who raped my sister and got away with it. The guy I beat to a pulp, which was what landed me in jail. The guy I was prepared to kill, but I didn’t get a chance to finish it. Someone else did, though. When Angelo told me about his death six months ago, I couldn’t believe it at first. Dead. Finally. Killed by the older brother of yet another girl that got assaulted by that sick bastard.
“See?” Angelo tells me, snuffing out his cigarette on the grave. “It’s real. Jake is dead. I’m sorry it wasn’t me to put him in the ground, but I knew that if I did that, Jen wouldn’t have anyone to look out for her anymore, and I promised you that I would be there when you couldn’t.”
I put an arm around his shoulder, my eyes still glued to the tombstone. “This is better.”
And it is. This way, Jen is safe, and Angelo and I are both free to do whatever the fuck we want. If Angelo had ended up in jail with me, I would have never forgiven myself. I made him vow to protect Jen not just for her sake, but for his as well. I knew he’d be tempted to do something stupid without me there to reel in his rash nature.
“So?” Angelo asks, stepping away from me and undoing the button on his jeans. “Are we pissing on his grave or what?”
Despite everything, I laugh. “We can’t just whip out our dicks, Russo.”
“Sure we can, Storm.” He’s already freeing his penis from his pants, causing me to look away. Two seconds later, he’s truly doing it. He’s pissing on the grave.
“Come on, Nate, live a little,” he tells me when he’s done. “You know the bastard deserves way worse than this.”
He does, but I’m not about to drop my pants in a graveyard. Instead, I spit on his tombstone.
“Fine,” Angelo sighs. “I guess that will do as well. Jen was the same way. She kicked his stone and spit on it before she started bawling her eyes out. I pissed on it back then as well. I’ve been pissing on his grave every single week since he died.”
That’s weird as fuck, but sweet too, in a strange way. That’s my best friend for you.
“Let’s go home,” I decide, turning away from the grave. “I’m sure my parents must be wondering why you’re taking so long to drop me off at their place.”
“Sure,” Angelo replies, joining me in the walk back to his car. “We’ve still got some time until it’s dinner time, though. I was thinking I might take you somewhere else first.”
“First, tell me yes,” he orders, getting into his car again.
“I’m not agreeing to something without knowing that it is, Russo.”
Angelo laughs. “Come on, Storm. You’ve only been around men for two years straight. Where do you think I’m taking you?”
“No hookers,” I warn him.
“What about strippers?” he asks, smirking. “I sure feel like seeing some nice tits.”
“Fine,” I agree, secretly excited at the prospect of getting to see naked women. I’ve never been to a strip club before, since I had only just turned 18 when I went to jail, so… seems like an interesting way to spend my first day as a free man.
“Hell yeah!” Angelo turns up the country song that’s playing on the radio. “You, me, a shitload of booze, and some nice titties. And then dinner with your parents.” He laughs. “I forgot how easy it was to talk you into shit. It’s good to have you back, Nate.”
It is good to be back. It really is.