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 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.