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 15, Friday—1:27 a.m.
428 Magnolia Ln, Seaside Court
Gated Community, National City
Daniel perched on the roof of Kearin’s three-story condo, number 428. The corner unit provided an excellent view of the entire property, and with the exception of a few night owls, everyone dozed through the early morning.
Of course, Kearin had to be one of those night owls. From a fingertip-sized sensor stuck to the outside of the home office window, and transmitting to his phone, Daniel watched Kearin at the computer hour after hour. Unlike his boss, Daniel didn’t have all night. Another glance confirmed Kearin hadn’t moved, so as the clock pushed one thirty, Daniel decided to go with plan B.
He didn’t particularly like breaking into the place while Kearin remained awake, but he didn’t want this trip to be a total loss, either. Daniel secured an anchor to the roof and lowered himself over the edge. He passed the office window on the right and rappelled down to the floor below where he could reach a bathroom window.
Popping the lock on a window? No problem. Climbing in without waking a snoozing orange tabby cat on the toilet? Another issue entirely.
The cat’s ears twitched and it sat up in alarm. It hissed. Daniel tried to coo at it while he unclipped from the rope. The feline wanted nothing to do with him, and jumped off the toilet to run from the room. At least cats didn’t bark and fetch their owners. He’d had enough of dogs to last a lifetime. Daniel pinned his line to the outside of the building so it wouldn’t fly around in the wind, then closed the window, and checked his phone. Inside and undetected. Kearin still typed away on his computer. With luck, he’d stay there.
With efficiency and silence, Daniel moved through the condo. He placed two sensors in the kitchen, one in the stairwell leading down, two in the garage at the bottom, and another in the wheel well of the Audi parked there. He greeted the cat with better success on his way back up to kitchen level and checked his phone. He froze on the steps. Kearin was not in his chair in the office. That was bad. Daniel’s gut quivered. The cat purred against Daniel’s ankle.
Daniel retreated to the garage and resolved the signals from all his new sensors. He had somewhat grainy video and passable audio from each little dot transmitted along Kearin’s wireless network, the one he thought was secure, straight to Daniel’s phone. No Kearin in the kitchen or the hallway and that covered most of the landing. He was probably still on the top floor. Probably. Daniel crept up the stairs with caution, ears straining for any sign of his boss. Straight ahead he spotted an open door. There was a bedroom on this level he hadn’t checked yet. As if psychic, the cat sauntered right in. He didn’t saunter back out. Daniel slipped a sensor around the doorframe and checked the room on his phone for any sign of life.
Not a bedroom, a library. And empty of Kearin. Daniel retrieved his sensor and replaced it in a more secluded joint of wall and shelving. He added two more in opposite corners of the room. Kearin still hadn’t returned to the computer. Was it finally bedtime? Daniel spotted the cat’s upright tail wander through the video feed of the office.
Daniel’s hair stood on end like someone watched him. It was time to go. Even without additional sensors on the top floor, he’d have more insight to Kearin’s behavior with the ones he had already placed. Daniel slipped into the bathroom just as he heard footsteps on the stairs. He opened the window, clipped into his line, and climbed out of the condo. Daniel saw the cat swish its tail from the bathroom doorway as he closed the window behind him. What an unnerving creature. Daniel climbed up the wall of the building and paused at the office. He eyed the camera sticker on the corner of the window and considered bugging the room. His phone showed Kearin busy in the kitchen.
Then he saw the cat scramble up the stairs and watch him from the doorway. It swished its tail. Daniel decided against breaking in again. Shaken, he climbed to the roof and repacked the anchor into his slim backpack. For a moment, he took a seat on the roof. He organized his new influx of data by room and watched Kearin climb the stairs back up to the top floor. Probably back to the office. Good thing Daniel wasn’t in there to get caught.
Satisfied his bugs worked, Daniel exited the gated condo property via a well-groomed oak tree. He didn’t quite breathe until he slid behind the wheel of his car two streets down.
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