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—6:30 a.m.

Gerard Photography, San Diego

Kearin dis­missed the roll of pho­tos from his screen for the sec­ond time this morn­ing, resist­ing the frus­tra­tion that tried to rise every time he saw them. He was just tor­ment­ing him­self, now. The mod­el had left, Kearin had paid for his time, and the pho­tos had been deliv­ered for Zach’s per­son­al port­fo­lio. It was just so dis­ap­point­ing they were use­less for Kearin’s.

It was time for a dis­trac­tion. The office was still emp­ty this ear­ly in the morn­ing, which allowed him to focus on emails and paper­work that nev­er seemed to get done in the after­noons. Kearin sort­ed briefly through sev­er­al com­plet­ed project fold­ers Kathy had col­lect­ed for him yes­ter­day. Her atten­tion to her cowork­ers’ progress was start­ing to resem­ble a man­ag­er or super­vi­sor. She was per­fect for the role and with the addi­tion of Daniel to their team in the last few months Kearin’s employ­ee count was up to nine, now. He opened his cal­en­dar and found a morn­ing lat­er in the week where he could dis­cuss a title change and pay raise with her. She was already doing the work, it was only fair she be rec­og­nized for it.

An email pinged on his screen dis­play­ing a name that tight­ened Kearin’s entire body with nerves: Phillip Bonett.

Just after the near­ly-dis­as­trous encounter at the gallery, Kearin had fol­lowed up on the hope Justin had giv­en him: that Phillip want­ed to see some orig­i­nal work. He want­ed to draw the col­lec­tor into con­ver­sa­tion, maybe even dis­cov­er more about what had drawn him to that first pho­to­graph at the gallery. Phillip was known to be stand­off­ish to the point of rude, which did­n’t endear him to Kearin, or many oth­ers, but his col­lec­tion rivaled muse­ums in scope and qual­i­ty; he had made and bro­ken careers by wield­ing his atten­tion like a weapon. There were pow­er­ful peo­ple in Phillip Bonett’s cir­cle that the man guard­ed jealously.

Which lead to rumors and spec­u­la­tion of the wildest kind, as mys­te­ri­ous peo­ple often did. The one rumor Kearin cared about most, though, was some­thing that had been whis­pered through art cir­cles for almost a year now. Phillip Bonett was prepar­ing to sell off the vast major­i­ty of his col­lec­tion at auction.

Kearin want­ed Bonett as a client for his com­pa­ny, Gerard Auctions. The com­mis­sion alone would set their prof­its at an all-time high, but the atten­tion his com­pa­ny would receive in busi­ness and respect from the rest of the com­mu­ni­ty would keep them busy for years. The future of Gerard Auctions would be estab­lished and secure in an indus­try prone to wild swings in sales volume.

But he could­n’t just walk up to Phillip and sug­gest he sell his col­lec­tion at Gerard Auctions. All that would get Kearin was a stink eye and maybe a scoff. Phillip need­ed to be han­dled with much more del­i­cate gloves, which was exact­ly why Kearin want­ed to pur­sue the pho­tog­ra­phy port­fo­lio angle instead. If he could prove to Phillip that Kearin’s atten­tion to detail was pris­tine, Phillip would be assured his work would be in good hands with Gerard Auctions. Nothing short of the future of Kearin’s com­pa­ny was at stake.

He opened the email.

Provide a sample.

P. Bonett

The one line did com­pli­cat­ed things to Kearin’s insides. He’d failed to draw Phillip into any kind of con­ver­sa­tion despite pro­vid­ing sev­er­al prompts in his let­ter. But Phillip want­ed a sam­ple! That was great news. Another inch in the right direc­tion. He would climb this entire moun­tain by inch­es if he need­ed to.