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Cain: A Friend's to Lover's Romance (Out of the Cage, Book 1)

Cain: A Friend's to Lover's Romance (Out of the Cage, Book 1)

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Everyone asks me why I’m so angry all the time. Let me count the ways.

I threw away my dreams when I was forced to fight and beat men bloody for her, but she doesn’t even know it.

Whenever I try to protect her, she pushes me away.

I’ve been in love with her for three damn years, and she only sees me as a friend!

After one monumental f*ck up, nothing will ever be the same between us, and I know that I only have myself to blame.

Main Tropes

  • Possessive Hero
  • Friends-to-Lovers
  • Running from Danger



During Gabrielle’s first night, I’m not at all surprised by the sniffles coming from across the hallway. Everyone cries their first night here, even me. Not because I was scared but because I was in so much pain and kept hearing the screams in my head…

Hearing Gabrielle’s sniffles turn into sobs is almost as agonizing as that night when I picture the tears running down her beautiful, angelic face.

Ivan and Knox don’t appear to notice since I can hear both of their soft snores from their bunk beds, but mine is closest to the door. 
Climbing out from underneath the sheets, I tiptoe down the hallway and into the room that’s empty other than Gabrielle. There have only been two other girls over the few months that I’ve been here and they both just turned eighteen.

That means that now they’re working at the club. Neither wanted to leave, knowing what future was ahead of them, but there’s no choice once you walk through the doors here. Scarfone owns us, even pays good money for pretty girls like Gabrielle. So as soon as we become adults, we have to pay him back for giving us a place to stay and feeding us. There are no exceptions.

“Hey,” I whisper when I step into the dark room. “Go to sleep. Those tears won’t do you any good here.”

“I don’t want…to be here!” she hiccups from her bed, curled up in a ball with her back to me.

“Did Ivan or Knox say some shit to you?” I ask in concern. “Don’t listen to Knox. He’s always screwing off and joking with everyone.”

“No. I just…wanna…I just wanna go home,” she answers.

“This is your home now. It’s not bad, and it could be worse,” I tell her, knowing from experience.
“I’m scared,” she whispers.

“And I miss Robbie.”

“Robbie your brother?” I ask as I approach her bed just to keep her talking instead of crying.

“Yeah. He’s nineteen. A few months ago, we ran away from home in Columbia, South Carolina and came up here, but then he couldn’t find any work…” 

“When was the last time you ate a whole meal before you got here?” I ask her. 

“A few days ago,” she mumbles softly.

“See, that’s one thing we’ve got going for us. Here you can eat whatever you want whenever you want it. There’s always tons of food, and Mrs. Engle might be slow but she can cook,” I point out to try and cheer her up.

Honestly, the endless supply of food was my favorite part when I walked through the doors. I was emaciated, fed only scraps and forced to drink spilled water from the floor like a dog before I ran away. 

“Robbie’s gonna save some money and come get me soon,” she tells me, regurgitating whatever lies he obviously told her.

“Look, not to be an asshole, but don’t get your hopes up,” I reply.

“No one gets to leave this place, at least not until you’re eighteen.”

“No! That’s not…he won’t leave me…” Gabrielle argues before she begins crying again even harder.

“Please stop crying,” I beg when I grab her shoulder.

“You’ll wake up Mrs. Engle, and she’s old as fuck. She’ll probably break a hip coming up the stairs.” The old bat can’t hear worth a shit. But as much noise as this girl is making, she’ll get up to come check on her. Just last week, Ivan found her sprawled out on the kitchen floor after she slipped and fell.

“Shhh, it’s okay,” I keep telling Gabrielle until her whimpers begin to die down. “Go to sleep,” I whisper before I pull my hand away from her to return to my room. 

“Wait,” she says when she rolls over and grabs my arm.

“Will you…will you stay with me tonight?” 

Eww. This girl wants me to sleep in her bed with her? Knox would give me so much shit if he found out…

“Please?” she begs so sadly that my decision is instantly made for me. 

“Will you shut up if I stay?” I snap.

“Yes,” she agrees. I hesitate a few more seconds before I lift the covers and slip into her twin bunk bed. Gabrielle slides over toward the wall to make room. 
She’s still facing me once I lay my head on my half of her pillow.

Grabbing a handful of the front of my shirt in her fists, she clenches it tightly before her puffs of breath in my face begin to slow and she drifts off to sleep. 
That’s when I know I could pry her fingers off my tee and sneak back to my bed, but I don’t.

She’s so close I can feel the warmth radiating from her body, and she smells sweet like flowers.
I must drift off to sleep fast, because the next time I crack my eyes open the sun is rising outside the bedroom window. It’s unfortunately not the only thing rising. I definitely need to leave before anyone else wakes up and catches me in here or Gabrielle wakes up and slaps me. 

The sad girl is no longer grasping my shirt. Instead, she’s facing the wall and I’m molded to her backside with my arm thrown over her waist. 
That’s not even the most embarrassing thing. 

My dick is pressed into the swell of her curvy bottom and it’s rock hard. I’m surprised Gabrielle hasn’t yet noticed or complained about how it’s trying to drill its way inside her.

When she squirms in her sleep, causing friction on my hard-on, I nearly come in my athletic shorts. The pain is so excruciating that I can’t take another second of it. 
I jump up out of bed and go straight to the shower where I touch myself to make it go away. 

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