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 13, Wednesday—6:07 a.m.

1276 Howard Ave, Apt 221

Safe house 4

Around six in the morn­ing, Daniel woke to a buzz from his phone. He pulled it off the night­stand. An alert said sim­ply: Connected. Kearin had got­ten into work ear­ly. Of course he was a morn­ing person.

Daniel dragged him­self out of bed and shook the mouse of his desk­top. His screen looked noth­ing like the scat­tered mess of fold­ers and files he knew. Instead, he saw Kearin’s mouse flick across a back­ground as sparse as his desk. Good. The small device he’d plant­ed last night was trans­mit­ting Kearin’s com­put­er screen to his. Daniel was record­ing the entire thing which meant he could go into work today with­out wor­ry­ing he might miss some­thing impor­tant. Tonight he could review all the footage. Daniel shrunk the peep­ing tom win­dow, ver­i­fied his pro­gram was copy­ing data as intend­ed, and head­ed for the kitchen to start his day.

He microwaved a bowl of oat­meal and debat­ed briefly between orange juice or milk. He went with the juice. A sim­ple break­fast for the sim­ple role he played: Daniel Mason lived in mid-cen­tu­ry ren­o­vat­ed apart­ments, had an OKCupid pro­file, a cou­ple of high school friends on Facebook, and liked to eat at the Chinese place a few blocks down the road. He paid his tax­es on time, had a bor­ing list of office jobs on his resume, and had nev­er trav­eled out of the country.

Daniel was a per­sona, one of sev­er­al dozen, that he could pull on at will. A cos­tume with a set his­to­ry and man­ner­isms, every­thing from social con­nec­tions to a paper trail. But Daniel was more than just a role for a play, he became Daniel, because he was Daniel. Like a method actor who nev­er left character.

So while he ate a bowl of oat­meal, it did­n’t cross Daniel’s mind if he even liked oat­meal. This was the break­fast he had every morn­ing and that was that.

On his way out, Daniel swung by the lap­top to check his pro­gram and near­ly spat his cof­fee all over the desk. Kearin was surf­ing porn at work. Daniel sat down. A toned blond man stretched across Kearin’s screen, bound head to toe in com­pli­cat­ed ropes. His eyes looked angry, but his erec­tion said some­thing was going right. It was shock­ing to see. Kearin sim­ply had­n’t struck Daniel as a par­tic­u­lar­ly sex­u­al­ly dri­ven per­son. And know­ing what drove peo­ple was a spe­cial­ty of his. It was eas­i­est to con peo­ple when Daniel gave them what they wanted.

The image panned and anoth­er one took its place. The same man, dif­fer­ent knots. What was going through Kearin’s head? Daniel would have giv­en up an entire stor­age unit of stolen goods just to know a frac­tion of the thoughts Kearin kept locked up inside. He was a sto­ic man on the best days, and com­plete­ly focused. Another image panned across the screen. Another. They were all of the same man. Kearin wasn’t surf­ing for porn; he was col­lect­ing sets of it.

Of course. This had to be relat­ed to that gallery show­ing Daniel had attend­ed a few months ago. Kearin had curat­ed the pho­tographs. This must be a new mod­el that had sub­mit­ted their port­fo­lio. Frankly, it did­n’t have the same feel at all. Too aggressive.

Snorting to him­self, Daniel thumbed his mon­i­tor off and walked away. Was he a con­nois­seur of porn, now? But the images spun on repeat in his head the entire trip to work.