Stealing Serenity Banner, title in the center, raised, arms of a white man bound in white rope on the left, cherry blossoms on the right

Welcome to Stealing Serenity, a stand alone, erot­ic con­tem­po­rary M/M roman­tic sus­pense. This novel­la is releas­ing one scene/day (week­days) on the blog ahead of pub­li­ca­tion. All chap­ters will be avail­able for free until the book is pub­lished, then they’ll be removed. If you sim­ply can’t wait, the com­plete ebook is avail­able now on the web­store. Paperback and Subtle Cover alter­nate com­ing soon. Expected pub­li­ca­tion: July 5th

July 20, Wednesday—6:15 p.m.

428 Magnolia Ln, Seaside Court

Gated Community, National City

At the door­way to Kearin’s stu­dio, every­thing appeared the same. And yet things were dif­fer­ent. He knew Kearin want­ed him, knew they both were going to enjoy what fol­lowed. He didn’t know if Kearin would let the night end the way Daniel sin­cere­ly want­ed. He hadn’t touched him­self, and two days had nev­er been so impos­si­bly long. He was wired like a junkie: breath short, twitchy, every­thing on the sharp edge of anticipation.

Totally unhinged in Kearin’s presence.

Kearin walked away, deep­er into the stu­dio, and Daniel watched him move—all long lines and total con­fi­dence. Like a big cat. He turned, pulled his hand out of the pock­et of his slacks, and put it down on the flat gleam­ing sur­face of a steel table. It wasn’t just Kearin’s hand ruin­ing the line of those slacks.

Daniel burned. He was hon­est­ly sur­prised he didn’t just fall to ash on the spot. He’d nev­er felt this kind of desire before. But then, he’d nev­er let any­one tie him up or tell him what to do, either. God, the pho­to he was after, the amount of work he’d put into this; none of it mat­tered when faced with the kind of force Daniel knew the two of them could be togeth­er. He just had to make Kearin see it too.

Daniel approached the table. Kearin watched him with hunger naked in his eyes. When he spoke his voice was rough like grav­el. “Your clothes.”

Daniel stripped and fold­ed them on the stool as before. He sat on the cold table and when Kearin instruct­ed, stretched out on his stom­ach. Oh, it was nice. The chill brought his arousal away from the brink; it let him focus a bit. When he looked up at Kearin it was with a bit of dis­tance, the weight of his true goal hang­ing beside the deeply per­son­al desire to win Kearin. The dri­ve to find and steal one of the most expen­sive pho­tographs on the plan­et was a strong one. But what kind of mas­ter thief would he be if he couldn’t steal into a man’s bed on the way?

Kearin held a length of rope in his hands. “Nothing in this room hap­pens with­out your con­sent.” They were the same words he’d used last time, words that helped calm Daniel down when he’d thought about turn­ing tail and run­ning. This time they felt more like rit­u­al. “Are you ready?” Kearin asked.

Daniel met his eyes and hoped he would be more dif­fi­cult to mas­ter than Serenity. “Yes, sir.”

Kearin walked to the back of the table and dragged one hot hand down the back of Daniel’s calf. His firm fin­gers stood Daniel’s feet up on their toes, and a brief pres­sure told him to hold that posi­tion. Daniel resist­ed the urge to look back. He low­ered his head to the steel table and closed his eyes to focus. The table shud­dered under the weight of the rope Kearin dropped on it. When the line crossed Daniel’s skin it felt smooth. The wrap start­ed just below his knees. Kearin’s focus filled the air with even breaths that Daniel felt him­self fol­low­ing. Slow, like meditation.

Daniel couldn’t be sure, but this knot­work felt dif­fer­ent than the pat­tern Kearin had used for his arms. Last time the first pass from his fists to his biceps had been fair­ly quick, but this progress from knees to ankles took much longer. The rope passed around his calves and through itself sev­er­al times in rhythm. Daniel felt him­self drift­ing. The emp­ty space in the room made them feel iso­lat­ed, and the entire world shrunk down to a line of rope, a sin­gle steel table, and the two of them. When Kearin final­ly tied the rope off and tucked the ends, Daniel knew he had found that space of calm. A not-real­ly-here but not-real­ly-asleep state where his stress and wor­ries float­ed about, real but dis­con­nect­ed. Kearin looped a rope over his wrists that tugged slight­ly when he ran it over the edge of the table. He tied it off on the underside.

Kearin touched Daniel’s shoul­der soft­ly. “Lean up on your fore­arms. Put your elbows direct­ly under your shoul­ders to take your weight. Clasp your hands.”

Daniel shift­ed so he knelt on elbows and knees, but only bare­ly. The rope kept him stretched out. There wasn’t enough slack to pick him­self up. His arousal hung down far enough to lie along the steel, but the table had warmed with his body, and it no longer kept him focused. Daniel knew he was spread like a feast, and the idea had his whole body throb­bing with heat.

Kearin left him there and spent sev­er­al min­utes adjust­ing his cam­era and the stands to reflect light. He fid­dled with the light­ing for a while, adjust­ing the bright white to a more sub­dued tint of tan. Then he reached out and let his hand come to rest on the small of Daniel’s back. Daniel’s breath left in a rush.

I want you to hold a plank for as long as you can. Lift your knees off the table and keep your back com­plete­ly straight. Tighten all your mus­cles here.” Kearin’s hand drift­ed low­er, his fin­gers brushed across the crack of Daniel’s ass.

Daniel tight­ened every mus­cle, and not because the pho­to would look bet­ter that way. His knees came up off the table.

Good.” Kearin stepped back and Daniel heard a dial change on the cam­era. “A lit­tle high­er. I want to see your cock off the table.”

Daniel gasped his air in a sur­prised rush, and it was as much the pulse of his arousal as the ten­sion in his mus­cles that gave Kearin what he want­ed. The cam­era snapped. It took Daniel all of five sec­onds to real­ize this pose was noth­ing like the relax­ation of the first one. Holding the flat plank required total engage­ment of every abdom­i­nal and ass mus­cle he had. His arms fatigued in the next heart­beat, and he real­ized his entire back would need to hold him up if this were to last even a full minute.

Thankfully Kearin seemed to real­ize what kind of effort he demand­ed. The camera’s shut­ter clicked like a car blink­er, image after image all the way around Daniel and then around a sec­ond time. Just when Daniel’s thighs began to shake, Kearin stood back. “Take a rest.”

Daniel knelt on the table and let his arms fold in relief. His cock throbbed against the steel, trapped under his body. He breathed in big sighs until he real­ized the ten­sion was as much his arousal as mus­cle fatigue.

The rest didn’t last long, but that was prob­a­bly best. Daniel brought his knees off the table, engaged every mus­cle down the full length of his spine, and breathed deeply through his nose. Keeping his breath slow and even was the per­fect thing to con­cen­trate on and the next break came soon­er than he expected.

The third plank put Daniel per­fect­ly deep into that med­i­ta­tive head­space where things felt like a dream. With his back ful­ly engaged, the weight of his tor­so didn’t fatigue his arms. Between abs and ass, his toes were sim­ply a con­tact point on the table. Daniel’s breath kept him cen­tered. He heard the cam­era at a dis­tance, and the plea­sure of being watched—of being on dis­play and wanted—made his body flush with pride. He let his head fall for­ward and saw down the entire length of his own body.

Kearin stood at Daniel’s head and said tight­ly, “You are beautiful.”

Daniel hadn’t ever con­sid­ered him­self in the con­text of beau­ty before. Beautiful was for com­plex irony or mas­ter­ies of art. But in Kearin’s voice, Daniel heard awe of beau­ty, and in that moment, Daniel saw it too.

His entire body throbbed. They watched a pearl of liq­uid bead at the tip of Daniel’s erec­tion and slide for­ward. It fell to the table, a sin­gle per­fect dot.

Kearin’s hand entered Daniel’s line of vision. It hov­ered just under his chest. Slowly Kearin low­ered his palm over that sin­gle drop and wiped it up with his thumb. He retreat­ed with­out touch­ing Daniel’s skin. Daniel tracked that hand up until it was a breath from Kearin’s mouth. Kearin’s eyes, wide and dark, all pupil. His oth­er hand held the cam­era down at his thigh, for­got­ten. Daniel stared hard at Kearin’s thumb.

Kearin said, “Call me sir.”

Sir,” Daniel voiced in a breath.

Say please.”


Please, what?”

Daniel trem­bled. “Please taste me, sir.” Oh god, please. He couldn’t look away.

Kearin pressed his thumb to his lips and took the dig­it in. His eyes flick­ered like the taste was more than he expected.

Daniel’s entire body tensed, squeez­ing a whine from his lungs he couldn’t sup­press. He’d seen absolute­ly noth­ing more erot­ic in his life.

From low at his hip, Kearin snapped a pic­ture. The sound broke Daniel’s head­space, and he blinked at the cam­era like he’d nev­er seen it before. The plank exhaust­ed him all of a sud­den. He let his hips fall to the table and groaned. Kearin looked at the cam­era, back at Daniel, and frowned. He set the device’s strap around his neck and pulled the knots hold­ing Daniel’s hands togeth­er. The ropes fell over them­selves with free­dom. Daniel lay down ful­ly on the table and rel­ished the warm stretch in his arms.

Kearin began the slow process of unknot­ting Daniel’s legs with the kind of detached inter­est that sig­naled he was lost in his own head. He wasn’t rough, but his hands were noth­ing but prac­ti­cal. When the final tie gave Daniel up, Kearin turned from the room. “Follow me when you’re ready.”

He didn’t have to ask twice. Daniel hopped off the table and fol­lowed as he was, his half-arousal bob­bing along. There were marks on his wrists and legs. Not painful, but red and dif­fer­ent. Daniel pressed the back of his wrist against his lips and enjoyed feel­ing the ridge of the rope, the dif­fer­ent tex­ture of his unmarked skin beside the smooth com­pres­sion left behind.

Kearin led him to the office. He half turned in the door­way and did an abrupt dou­ble take at Daniel’s naked­ness. His expres­sion rapid­ly flipped from sur­prise to arousal then shut down entire­ly. He’d expect­ed Daniel to get dressed. Daniel smiled against his wrist.

I want­ed to go through the pho­tos with you right away.” Kearin lin­gered in the door­way for a sec­ond longer than strict­ly necessary.

Daniel let his wrist fall and fol­lowed Kearin into the office. His thief’s eye scanned the space in the breadth of a sec­ond, but noth­ing appeared he hadn’t seen already. One win­dow, one door. The walls cov­ered in pho­tographs, com­plete­ly wall­pa­pered with push pins hold­ing black and white images of every size. A long file cab­i­net under the win­dow was his best bet for infor­ma­tion short of the com­put­er. The entire space, like most of Kearin’s life: minimal.

He turned his back on the desk and peered at the pho­tos on the wall. They were chaot­ic, just pinned where there was space and min­i­mal over­lap on oth­er pho­tos. Daniel lift­ed one with a fin­ger and saw a title and date, just like every oth­er pho­to Kearin had ever brought into the office.

Hundreds of them.

None were erot­ic. Daniel won­dered if this was a new inter­est. The way Kearin tied him up said it wasn’t. So the ques­tion was where did he keep those photos?

Here.” Kearin turned the flat monitor.

Daniel was not shy about lean­ing on the desk. Time had made his erec­tion flag, but the pic­tures remind­ed him of Kearin mak­ing him beg, of Kearin lick­ing his thumb to taste Daniel for the first time. They hadn’t even kissed yet.

Daniel point­ed at a pho­to. “That one.” Kearin had tak­en it just as Daniel low­ered his head. His eyes were half-closed, and his posi­tion was a per­fect­ly straight line. The pho­to itself was tilt­ed, though, as if Kearin had hit the shut­ter with­out look­ing through the lens. Daniel liked the slight­ly off-bal­ance effect it had.

I agree,” Kearin said. “Although, I real­ly like this one as well.”

The last pho­to. The one where Daniel looked up and watched Kearin taste him. Daniel saw raw desire in his own eyes and remem­bered exact­ly how that felt. His blood throbbed. He had to clear his throat to speak. “Put it with num­ber twelve from the pre­vi­ous set.” The pho­to of his own drip­ping cock.

Kearin turned the mon­i­tor back toward him­self. Daniel saw his nose flare with the next breath out, the only sign that he was pleased with the idea.

Daniel turned back to the pho­tos on the walls but they didn’t hold his inter­est like before. His head was full of oth­er things. Did Kearin keep the pho­tos in his bed­room per­haps? Where he could page through them and… take his time?

Daniel let his breath out in a rush and cap­tured his hands behind him to keep them safe­ly away from his renewed need. Kearin made a soft noise like stand­ing. Daniel turned. He raked Kearin from bare feet up, saw the bulge in his pants, saw the dila­tion in his eyes. The ten­sion between them was like red wine—as enjoy­able to see and smell as it would be to taste. Eventually.

Don’t expect what I won’t be giv­ing you,” Kearin said.

You don’t ask your oth­er mod­els to call you sir,” Daniel said qui­et­ly, enjoy­ing the small widen­ing of Kearin’s eyes and increase in his breath­ing. Kearin could hide the biggest signs of what he felt, but Daniel had years of prac­tice read­ing the details of a per­son. Kearin wasn’t get­ting away with it this time. “So, please, don’t pre­tend you don’t want this to go where I’m expecting.”

They stared at each oth­er. Daniel decid­ed there wasn’t enough air in the room with both of them burn­ing like this.

But Kearin spoke first. “We’re done for today.”

Daniel smiled. “Yes, sir.” He turned away from the fire he’d ignit­ed in Kearin’s eyes, and it was the hard­est thing he’d ever done. His steps felt shaky, but Daniel had to repress a gid­dy laugh. Being under Kearin’s rope was very nice. Turning the tables on him made things even more fun.