Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Gin & Jazz by Morticia Knight

Books 1-4
The 1920’s are filled with gin, jazz, and the promise of easy money. When the young and innocent Jack heads to Hollywood with his best friend and lover – he believes that everything will be magical for them. They just need to stick together, no matter what.

The celluloid kingdom demands a hefty price from all who want a piece of the dream. Sacrifices must be made if you want to be a part of the glitz and glamour. Flappers, screen idols and the men behind the star-making machine all conspire to interfere with Jack’s happiness. Along the way, many of Hollywood’s players discover that unfortunately, sometimes dreams do come true.

Books 5-7
Hollywood continues to roar in the 1920’s as the men from Gin & Jazz search for love and meaning in the town of broken dreams. A studio chief wishes for a man to dominate, one that he doesn’t believe exists. A director can’t see the actor in front of him who was meant to be his. A fallen screen idol is lost in his own despair until a new playwright shows him the way to true happiness.

These are the men who struggle and work hard to make their mark upon the silver screen. The one thing they all have in common is the need to be loved, and the hope that someday love will find them.

Hollywood Bound #1
Jack and Nick seek fortune and adventure in the silent film era of Hollywood. But their newly-expressed love is threatened by the heady allure of fame, gin and easy money.

Sweet and innocent nineteen year-old Jack has loved the older and more street wise Nick from almost the first time he met him. Nick has taken care of him ever since Jack arrived in New York after he was beaten and thrown out of the boy’s orphanage for messing around with one of the guys there. They share a passion for silent films and have dreams of heading west to make their fortunes building sets for the studios. If only Nick felt the same passion for Jack, and wasn’t already engaged to a gal back in Philly.

Nick’s temper sometimes gets the best of him, but that’s only because he worries about Jack – Nick is all the poor kid has. But he’s also terrified about the way he’s been feeling towards Jack lately. They’re the kinds of feelings he should be having for his fiancé—Penelope—and never for a man. His only goal is to get them both to Hollywood, where he’s sure they’ll be rolling in the dough in no time, and where everything will all work out the way it should.

Hollywood isn’t exactly what they’d thought it would be. There are plenty of gin joints, jazz, money, parties and sex—but everything comes with a hefty price. Everyone they meet—from Trixie Fox, the ditzy up and coming starlet, to Bernie, the foreman who gets them their first studio job—seems to have a hidden agenda. Can the newfound love between Jack and Nick survive the tawdry mess that makes up the glitz and glamour of the celluloid kingdom, or will their own secrets tear them apart forever?

Reader Advisory: This book contains mild BDSM elements, drug use, and sex-for-hire scenes.

Very hard for me to write a review for Hollywood Bound without any spoiler reveals so I'll just say that I can't help but love Jack, I just want to bundle him up and transport him to the present day real world so I can smother him with hugs.  And despite how certain circumstances play out, my heart goes out to Nick, I may not agree with all his decisions but I could definitely sympathize with his motives.


Razzle Dazzle #2
Jack is on the verge of silent film stardom, but Hollywood glory won’t heal his broken heart. But the seductive screen idol—Roman Pasquale—sweeps Jack away, and makes him his own. Will Roman’s obsessive love finally bring Jack true happiness?

Jack is devastated by the loss of Nick, his best friend and lover. His only other friend, new Hollywood star Trixie Fox, comes to his rescue. What he doesn’t know, is that she’s also helping Roman Pasquale in his carefully planned seduction of the shy and innocent Jack.

Suave film screen idol—Roman Pasquale—has been obsessed by Jack Stone from the moment he spotted him at a Global Studios party. He will stop at nothing until the golden-haired young man belongs to him. An expert at getting what he wants, Roman plans every wicked word, look and move to bring him closer to achieving his prize.

Jack is on the brink of stardom, and can’t believe that his movie star crush, Roman Pasquale, is taking an interest in him. But he resists the older, more sophisticated man’s attempts at seducing him. After all, he still loves Nick, and just isn’t ready to try again with anyone else. But when Roman turns on the charm, Jack is tempted. Can Roman replace Nick in Jack’s heart? Or is the magical world of the great Roman Pasquale all an illusion?

Reader Advisory: This book contains drug use, a reference to a prior rape not shown and a scene of M/M/M/M. This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Once again I want to wrap Jack up and protect him from the big baddies of the world but I also want to shake him so he can see them for himself.  I miss Nick and I know Trixie is doing what she thinks is best, and Roman has the best intentions inside his heart but the problem is his brain and actions don't exactly mesh with his heart.


Tarnished Glitter #3
Jack and Roman’s love grows seemingly stronger as Jack’s star rises, and he is determined to build a life with the sexually overwhelming screen idol. But hiding from the truth doesn’t make it any less real.

Jack has given himself completely to screen god Roman Pasquale – body and heart. Jack forces himself to let go of the promise of what could have been with Nick, and focus on the enchanted moments with his film star lover instead, despite Roman’s jealous and controlling behaviour.

Roman’s paranoia and fear about losing the much younger Jack threatens to destroy the only real happiness Roman has ever had. Jack is a wonder and a gift to him, yet he can’t seem to just accept their charmed life together – he is determined to make Jack into the perfect partner. He believes that constant sexual attention, lavish gifts, and declarations of love will ensure that Jack never has a reason to leave him.

The pressures of being on the silver screen and being the lover of a demanding movie idol is difficult for the sensitive young man to handle, and Roman’s increasingly erratic behaviour only adds to his stress. Unwanted attention from other men and a startling revelation from movie star Trixie Fox add to Jack’s confusion. All he’s ever wanted was true love, so how can he give up on Roman and the star’s promises of forever?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of drug use.

Another great entry in Jack's ongoing struggle to find happiness in the world of 1920s Hollywood.  Revelations and truths finally bring things to a head for Jack and watching him deal with them is amazingly well written and very believable.


Starring Role #4
Alone once again, Jack believes that he will never have lasting love. But a tragedy unexpectedly paves the way to more happiness than he would ever have thought possible.

No longer held prisoner by Roman Pasquale’s obsessive love, Jack struggles with being truly alone for the first time in his life. The only thing he is certain of is his desire to get away from Hollywood as soon as possible. But first, he has to make sure that his loyal driver Juan is provided for, and understands that the two of them can never be together. Then, once he finishes his latest film he will finally be free of the town of broken dreams.

Right as Jack feels that his future is looking brighter, a terrible tragedy occurs. But out of his despair a new hope is born. Jack is given a second chance—one he never would have thought possible. As Jack’s blissful new life unfolds with his lover by his side, an unexpected visitor from the past threatens his new-found peace.

It’s time for Jack to make his final choice.

Reader Advisory: This book contains BDSM, reference to drug use, and a scene of violence.

No spoilers but watching Jack's world finally come together is not easy nor is it all fun and games but it is very entertaining and that's all I'm going to say.


Studio Orders #5
The head of Global Pictures Studios, Vincent Franklin, promised Jack Stone that he would take care of Jack’s loyal driver, Juan. But for a dominant man like Vincent, Juan’s natural submissiveness causes him to long for much more from the shy young man.

Juan is devastated when his only friend, film star Jack Stone, leaves Hollywood for good. Lonely most of his life, the shy young man has dreamt of love, only to have his heart broken repeatedly. Before he left, Jack made certain that Juan would be taken care of by asking his ex-boss, studio chief Vincent Franklin, to hire him on.

Vincent Franklin is an incredibly controlled and meticulous man. Not given to emotional outbursts and unnecessary flights of fancy, his temperament is ideal for the stressful and demanding job as head of Global Pictures Studio. He leads a carefully concealed private life, his only social outlet being the S&M club to which he belongs. When Jack introduces him to his handsome chauffeur Juan, he is struck by how naturally submissive Juan is. He wonders…

Soon, Juan is falling for the elegant, older man that is his new boss. He’s also thrilled when Vincent asks him to be his personal valet. But there are things that Vincent demands of a lover that Juan knows nothing about. Things that could make him run away from the man that would do anything to protect and care for him.

Reader Advisory: This book contains strong elements of BDSM.

I wasn't sure if I really was going to be able to get into Studio Orders without Jack at the center of the story but he does make a couple of appearances and offers good advice to his friend Juan.  By the time I was 3 or 4 chapters in, I was sucked into both Juan and Victor's side of this new entry of the Gin & Jazz saga.  As with most stories, miscommunication or lack of communication, is at the root of most of the drama and you want to just shake the characters and tell them to open up and be honest but of course then you wouldn't have much of a story to read.  Juan and Victor may not be Jack, Nick, or Roman but they still captured my heart.


Casting Call #6
Will Carmichael, an impossibly handsome silent film star, longs for the broodingly intense director André Chenard. Can they find their way to one another despite the hidden perils of the prohibition era?

Will Carmichael lives a carefree and fun-filled life as one of Global Studio’s most popular motion picture stars. Young and stunningly attractive, he could have any man he wants. However, the only one he has any interest in is the only one who won’t have anything to do with him.

André Chenard is Global Studio’s newest director. A proponent of the newly introduced Russian method of acting, he aspires to create true art through the films he directs. Not interested in wasting his time on frivolous pursuits, he spurns Will’s constant attempts to catch his attention. Although André can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous man, his initial meeting with Will leads him to believe that he is too shallow for serious consideration.

Resigned to the fact that André will never be his, Will is determined to enjoy himself to the fullest at his favourite speakeasy and pansy club. When his carousing becomes out of control and he’s injured, André steps in to help. As a result, they each discover that there is much more to the other than they had originally assumed.

Right when it seems they have found their way to one another, an outside threat drives a wedge between them. As a result, they may have more to worry about than lost love—the threat could be to their very lives.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of male ménage à trois.

Another new couple with more obstacles to overcome, some are of their own making and others are from outside sources.  Watching Will and André navigate the course before them captured my heart, sometimes breaking it and other times warming it but all the time had me never wanting it to end.


Play Acting #7
Former screen idol, Roman Pasquale, struggles to survive in Hollywood as the silent film era comes to a close. But a fresh new playwright is in town and he wants Roman to be more than just his star.

The past few years haven’t been kind to fading film star, Roman Pasquale. But then again, he was never very kind to anyone else either. He’s had time to reminisce on his mistakes and to accept responsibility for how he hurt others. Now that Global Studios has turned its back on him, he’s had to sell his grand estate and start over in a modest apartment.

His former co-star, actress Maude Simons, suggests that he meet with new playwright, Max Vogel. Not only will he get the chance to be the star again, Roman can really use the money. What he doesn’t expect is how strongly he’s attracted to the easygoing, confident young man—and the very wicked thoughts he has about him.

Playwright and director, Max Vogel, is delighted that the great Roman Pasquale has agreed to star in his play. What he was unprepared for however, was the intense physical spark that ignited the moment they met. He’s been warned of Roman’s reputation for being difficult to work with, but he’s willing to take the risk—even though his career depends on the success of this one play.

Max needs to coax a heartfelt performance out of Roman, and Roman needs to live up to his resolve to be a better man. But maybe the real issue is whether or not the director and actor can resist the passion they have for one another, a lust so strong that it catches them unaware. Is their lust really love? Or will the drive for success destroy any hope for a happily-ever-after?

I won't lie, I really didn't want Roman to find happiness after the way he was with Jack but time has passed and it wasn't kind to him.  Before long, I was finding myself cheering for Roman and Max and seeing how the pair intermingled with Will and André was very interesting considering how their paths had crossed in the past.


Overall Series Review and Rating:
As a series, Gin and Jazz is first rate fiction.  Some people might not care for the cliffhangers of books 1, 2, & 3 but I found the cliffies to be perfectly fitting for the 1920s Hollywood setting.  Even though Hollywood Serials didn't really come into favor until the 1930s I found Jack's story to be the epitome of the serial(minus the action/adventure) cliffhanger and would have been disappointed had the author not gone that route.  As for books 5, 6, & 7, each book is a standalone as it centers on a different couple but it really needs to be read in order in my opinion.  Although I have featured Morticia Knight on my blog before, this is actually the first of her writings that I have read but it won't be the last.  As for the historical aspect, I loved the attention to detail that the author has done, it really helps add to enjoyment of the series.


Hollywood Bound #1
"Nick. Give me five cents. I need a cuppa joe before we head to the theatre."

"Who am I? Rockefella?"

Jack smiled and elbowed Nick in the ribs. They were at the far end of the counter on the swivelling stools Jack loved so much. Every time they had a few extra cents in their pockets—which wasn’t often—they would head on over to Huyler’s Diner in midtown. It was close enough to the vaudeville theatre where they worked, just off of Broadway.

"Would ya quit spinnin’ around on those things? You’re acting like a kid."

Jack frowned at him. Nick was four or five years older than Jack, but he acted like he was really something. All worldly and such. At the same time, Jack really admired him. He knew about things and always watched out for him. Nick had been there for him after he’d been kicked out of the boys’ orphanage in Buffalo. He’d only been sixteen and hadn’t known what to do or how to take care of himself. Nick was the best friend he’d ever had. And since he had no family, he guessed Nick qualified as that too.

"I ain’t no kid. I just turned nineteen. I’m a man."

Nick snorted and took another drag of his cigarette. "A man. Sure ya are, kid. Here’s a nickel, get yourself some coffee. It’ll be a late night. We have to tear down all of the sets, and put up the new ones. The next show starts tomorrow."

"Aw, shucks. I was hopin’ we could go out tonight to the Red Head. I know someone who’ll let us in. Plus, Mr Pearson swore he’d pay what he owes us from the last show."

"Shee-it. The last time we went to a speakeasy, the place got busted. You wanna end up in the black mariah again? We’re supposed to be savin’ every penny to make it out west. I know it’s hard when everyone else seems to be living the easy life, but we have a chance to make it really big out where they make movin’ pictures—just like we’ve been dreamin’ about."

"Geez, Nick, I don’t know. I still think we got a good enough job here. We make all right money. And I don’t know nobody out there."

"You’ll know me, won’t you?"

"Yeah, but what about that gal you’ve got back in Philly? What if you decide to marry her and leave me behind?" Jack’s voice got softer. "You always said you’d have to do that someday."

Nick didn’t answer. He looked straight ahead at the mirror behind the diner’s counter, worry etched on his brow, a cigarette held to his lips. Finally, he seemed to snap out of it.

"Yeah, well, I don’t wanna talk about it. I’ve put her and my folks off this long. They can all wait a little bit longer."

Jack motioned to the waitress and asked for some coffee. He didn’t want to bug Nick about it, but it bothered him a lot. One time Nick had said that he would send for her when they got out west, but then he’d never brought it up again. Jack worried that once Penelope got in the picture, Jack would be out of it.

But it’s only right, ain’t it? Every guy has to get his own family one day. We can still be friends.

If only friendship was all that Jack wanted from Nick. He had been in love with him for a while, but didn’t dare say or do anything about it. That was the kind of stuff that had got him pushed out the doors of the orphanage. If it hadn’t been for Father O’Malley intervening, he might have been beaten to death by the other kids. He’d been half-beaten as it was.

He and Stanley had been playing with each other since they were both fourteen. That was what Jack had called it, and Stanley had said he thought it was okay because they weren’t going after girls. Stanley wasn’t super smart, so one day he’d told the other boys about his and Jack’s playtime when they were complaining that there weren’t any gals around. It had got Jack a one-way ticket out the front door. But not before he’d received a good beating too.

Father O’Malley had told Jack to head to New York City.

"You go out to the big city, Jack Stone. Things’ll be much better for you there."

He’d said that there were places like pansy clubs that accepted guys like him. These were modern times, he’d explained. Nineteen twenty four—people would be more open and liberal from now on.

So far, Jack agreed that it was much better in New York City, but only if you hung out with the right crowds and went to the right places. But that was only from what he’d heard. He knew Nick didn’t go in for that sort of thing, and he wouldn’t dare do anything that Nick didn’t like.

He’d met Nick at the bus station when he’d first arrived. Father O’Malley had given him just enough money to get to the city and to buy a couple of meals. Jack hadn’t had a clue how he was going to survive beyond that. Having just arrived from Philadelphia to work over the summer with his uncle who ran a vaudeville theatre, Nick had quickly taken Jack under his wing. Jack still thought of it as the luckiest day of his life. Within a few short days, he’d had a job as a set-builder and painter at the Atlantic theatre run by Nick’s uncle, Fred Milton. As it turned out, after the summer ended, Nick suddenly didn’t want to go back to Philly, although he never really had a reason why.

But more than anything, it seemed Jack had Nick’s support no matter what. Tall, lean and with muscles born of hard work, Nick also had brown wavy hair that parted at the side and swooped down over his hazel eyes. Jack thought he was very handsome. Sometimes he fantasised about what it would be like if there was no Penelope, and Nick wanted to be with him like a woman. Sometimes he even thought that he could see it in Nick’s eyes, the way he stared at Jack, then quickly looked away.

"Here you go, honey."

"Thank you, miss."

The young brunette waitress placed a cup of salvation down in front of him and winked. He’d had plenty of days where he’d lived off of just coffee and cigarettes. He’d stir in cream—not because he liked the taste—but so he could convince himself he was getting something more, like real food. Besides, it was free. The worst had been when Nick’s uncle had died. The theatre had been shut down, and he and Nick had ended up on the streets for a couple of weeks. It had been a very frightening time. Besides not having jobs and running out of money, Nick had started hinting around that it might be time for him to head back to Philly and take up with his betrothed. That had been over a year ago, but Jack still shivered when he thought about it.

Luckily, Mr Pearson had bought the closed theatre and rehired most of the people who had worked there before. In addition to set-building, they were also stage hands during the shows. It was terribly exciting, but more recently, he and Nick had become obsessed with silent films. They’d spent more of their money than they should have to go and see such wonders as Sherlock, Jr. and The Love Nest with Buster Keaton, and Jack’s favourites, The Thief of Baghdad and Robin Hood. That was where the seeds of the idea to head west had been planted.

Razzle Dazzle #2

No matter how many times he chewed on that word in his head, it still spat out the same. Almost a week had passed since Jack had arrived back at the motel he and Nick had shared upon their arrival from New York—only to find that he was no longer there. Sure, they’d had an awful fight that evening, but they’d had some really horrible arguments before. There was no reason that this last one should have negated everything they’d been through together. Nick had always been his guide, his protector and finally, his lover. He was his best friend in the entire world, and Jack couldn’t envision his life continuing in any meaningful way without him.

Unless he comes back. Or I find him somehow—and bring him back.

The idea that he could make everything okay again had consumed Jack’s thoughts for days. He sat in their Hollywood motel room that lately felt more like a tomb, and conjured ways in which he could find him, and make Nick love him again. Because if Nick had really loved him, then it would have been impossible for him to leave. It was like the orphanage all over again. He’d been dumped there too because no one had loved him enough to keep him. Then, he’d been kicked out for loving the wrong gender—one of the boys there. Maybe it hadn’t been a real and true love—like what he had with Nick—but it had been something good.

Jack wiped his eyes. The lids were chapped and sore from all the crying he’d done in the past week, and he felt completely used up. He’d barely eaten, and might not have at all if Trixie hadn’t stopped by with a burger and some colas. He hadn’t been interested in her cajoling and prodding to try to cheer him up. Instead, he had begged her to get him some cigarettes—the only thing that sounded appealing. When she’d returned, she’d given him an envelope with a fancy seal. The paper was like parchment, and coloured with the faintest shade of lavender. An elegant handwritten script spelled his name—‘Jack Stone’.

He hadn’t opened it.

He didn’t care who it was from, even it was some fantastic news regarding his burgeoning career in moving pictures. If it wasn’t from Nick, then he wasn’t interested. His Nick had been a regular guy. He would never use fancy stationery with pretty colours. He was hard-working, loyal, protective and loving—in his own special way. Nick had made sure Jack had all that he needed, whether it was food, shelter, work and, in the past few months, unbelievably intense sex. He had belonged to Nick. His man had sacrificed everything to provide for Jack. Nick had tried to shield Jack from the seamier aspects of surviving in Hollywood. But once Jack had discovered that Nick had sold himself to get them work and a paycheck, everything had seemed to fall apart.

But it was really much earlier than that. The minute we got here. It was already on its way to being over.

Desperate to keep another bout of weeping at bay, Jack forced himself to his feet. He badly needed a shower. He also marvelled at the strength of the August heat, and wondered if it would ever end.

I need to pull myself together. I’ll never find Nick if I don’t.

The first few days after Nick had left, life hadn’t seemed real. Jack had patiently waited for Nick to reappear. He must’ve gone off to a gin joint. Maybe he had checked into another motel, and would come back after he’d cooled down. He had just been mad, so he had grabbed his things and left. Then, after he’d thought about it, he’d realise just how much he loved Jack, and return.

Didn’t he know how much I love him too? I told him over and over, even when he didn’t tell me.

That last thought was like an even deeper wound in his already damaged heart. Maybe that really was the reason. Nick had never told him he loved him—because he didn’t. It was that simple. But it still didn’t make any sense. How could Nick have sacrificed so very much, and taken care of Jack all those years, fucked him with such ferocity, brought him to California, left his fiancé behind…

Oh God. Please no.

The subject of Penelope hadn’t been brought up for the last couple of months. She had always been Jack’s greatest fear, but once they’d begun their new lives in California, she had just never been mentioned again. Was it like his musician friend back in New York had warned him about—that guys played around with other guys for a while—and when it was out of their system, they got a gal and settled down? If Nick had headed back to Philly, Jack would never be able to find him.

He doubled over, the pain building up in his chest again, threatening to break him in half. He threw himself on the motel bed and curled up into a ball. Fresh sobs wracked his body and he buried his face in the pillow to muffle them. The aroma of Nick that he had clung to was no longer there. Jack had simply cried it away.

He must have dozed off, because when he opened his eyes again, shadows were beginning to form, and the sunlight no longer streamed through the window. He leaned up on one elbow and tried to will the cobwebs in his brain to go away. His eyes were crusted over from the last spell of crying he’d done. An insistent tapping at the door made him turn over. Had it been stronger, and less feminine, hope would have built in his heart.

What now?

“Who is it?” he croaked out.

“Come on, Jack, it’s me, Trixie. I’m tired of ya lockin’ yourself in there. Open up! You’re breakin’ my heart, sugar.”

Trixie’s nasal voice sounded desperate, scared. He’d never heard her like that before. She was always filled with so much confidence and life.

“Okay, hold on.”

Keeping up with grooming and washing hadn’t been high on his list that week, so he went into the bathroom of the small room to at least rinse his mouth, and wipe his face with a cold cloth. He took a sniff of one armpit and wrinkled his nose. He didn’t even have a clean shirt he could quickly change into—he and Nick had always done all of the everyday chores together. But now there was no Nick…

“I’m gonna get the coppers up here if yas don’t open up!”

“All right, all right!”

He reached the door and yanked it open. His only remaining real friend—new movie star Trixie Fox—stood in the hall in a stunning red satin sheath that went just past her knees. Long fringe attached at the bottom tried to make up for the rest of the dress that should have covered her black shimmering stockings. A red velvet cloche hat featuring a large white silk flower adorned her short auburn hair. She also looked very worried.

“Oh, Jack!”

She ran up to him and threw her arms around his neck. She cried against his chest. Jack hesitantly reached up to embrace her back, but this was unusual for them. Despite being very close friends—and even working together doing sex-for-hire jobs—their physical contact had primarily been like brother and sister. Not to mention that Trixie wasn’t given to fits of emotion. She was a practical girl, and everything she ever did was a means to an end. She didn’t have time for regret. This was a new side to her.

Tarnished Glitter #3
I can’t lose him again.

If Juan wouldn’t stop the car, he would simply jump out. Jack grabbed the vehicle’s door handle and jerked it open. Juan slammed on the brakes, and Jack lurched forward, smashing against the seat in front of him. A loud horn sounded behind them, and Jack struggled to pull himself up from where he’d been thrown onto the car floor.

I have to hurry.

He tumbled from the Rolls-Royce, and ran up the block to where he’d seen Nick waiting to board the trolley. He waved his arms furiously, but the Red Car Line was already in mid-turn and heading up Broadway—taking Nick from him again. Jack spun his head around, frantically searching for a cab, Juan, anything to chase after the man he loved more than anything on earth.

Jack spotted the Rolls pulled over near the pier, and raced back to it. By the time he reached the car, he saw that Juan was standing on the runner looking all around, a hand shielding his eyes. Undoubtedly, he was searching for Jack.

Jack yelled out, “Here—I’m here! Let’s go!”

Juan saw him, but stood frozen, seemingly unsure what to do.

“Get in! Start the car!”

Jack reached the vehicle right as Juan pressed the floor button to start the engine.

“Sir, I don’t under—“

“Turn around. Go back.”

“But there’s nowhere—“

“Figure it out!”

Why? Why would I see Nick now?

Juan expertly pulled the car out of the cramped spot he’d had it wedged in, drove to the next street, made a left and turned it around.

Too late. He’s going to be too late.

Jack could see why Roman had Juan as his driver, however. He was very handy behind the wheel.

Roman. Oh, God…

His breathing increased, and beads of sweat broke out on his upper lip and forehead. He bit one of his knuckles in an attempt to stem the panic and fear in his gut. Soon it would rise like the whistle of a tea kettle, and he wouldn’t be able to catch his breath at all. He needed to stop it—to think. He would try to catch up to Nick first, and worry about anything else later.

Just breathe…

Juan was saying something. He should listen to him.

“Which way, sir?”

Jack looked up and saw that they were passing Broadway.

“Fuck! Go back up that street!”

Jack could tell that Juan was completely confused. He shook his head, but did as he was told. Jack was back in the present. There was a back-up of cars on the highway, and Jack closed his eyes to keep himself from getting riled up again.

Breathe in, breathe out…

“Would you like me to continue on this street, sir?”

“Yes. Please.”

Jack tried to calm his voice. It wouldn’t do to have Juan reporting back to Roman that Jack had been acting crazy and yelling at him. Once Juan had them heading up Broadway, Jack squinted to see if he could spot the trolley in the distance. He assumed that it would stay on the same street, but he really had no idea what route the Red Car Line took. He eyed the tracks, but they passed some that turned off onto other boulevards and avenues. Each time they drove over a curved track line, Jack would whip his head around to see if the trolley had gone that way. There was also the possibility that Nick had already reached his stop. So Jack watched for him walking along the road as well.

After driving another ten minutes, Jack could see a trolley car pulled over.

“Over there. Stop.”

Jack indicated where he wanted Juan to go, and he quietly did as Jack asked. In their current location away from the excitement of the beach and the pier, there was much less in the way of traffic. Juan had barely rolled to a stop when Jack hopped out. He had always been able to move fast, and he used that to his advantage. The Red Car was dinging, and just getting ready to pull away, but Jack leapt aboard. He wasn’t completely sure this was the one, but he had to take the chance—he hadn’t seen any others.

“I need a dime, son.”

Jack dug around in his pockets for some change. All he had were large bills in his Louis Vuitton wallet—one of the many gifts that Roman had got him for his birthday—but no coins. He gave up, and stuffed a ten dollar bill into the receptacle. The operator shrugged, but didn’t say anything. They jerked forward, the ‘ding-ding-ding’ warning people to watch out for the electrified train. Jack held onto the pole and surveyed the many riders. Nick was nowhere among them. Jack stifled the urge to cry right there in front of everyone. It was too cruel to have been so close.

I wish I hadn’t seen him at all.

“Hey. Aren’t you Jack Stone?”

Jack looked down into the questioning eyes of a fortyish man, trying to figure out how they might know one another. Maybe he was someone on the crew at the studios and Jack was being rude by not knowing him or his name.

“Yes. I’m sorry. I can’t remember your name.”

The man burst out laughing.

“Why would you know my name? I ain’t no movie star! I saw your picture in one a those magazines. You’re in that new picture with Roman Pasquale, right?”

Jack noticed that the attention of everyone was now on him, many whispering and staring.

Oh shit.

If Trixie were there, she would relish the attention. If Roman were…

That’s ridiculous, Roman wouldn’t be caught dead on public transportation.

He was going to be sick. That would be a great story for the scandal sheets. He had experienced the whispers and stares, but only in Roman’s presence. That had obviously been for Roman. How could it ever be for him?

“What’s a big movie star doin’ on a trolley anyway?”

Jack couldn’t tell if the man was just curious or being mean.

Starring Role #4
“I can’t do it, Juan. It’s too hard.”

“Yes you can, sir. It’ll just take some getting used to. You’ll really like it once you do.”

Jack shook his head. “I don’t think so. And, if we’re going to be together like this, I want you to call me Jack. No more ‘sir’.”

Jack didn’t have to turn his head to know that Juan’s jaw was probably tense and twitching the way it did whenever he was uncomfortable, or wanted to say something but forced himself to stay quiet. And no matter what Juan said, trying to teach Jack how to drive was pointless. He wasn’t strong enough to turn the wheel quickly, and his feet barely reached the pedals, which made it very hard to engage the clutch.


Jack glared at Juan. They were on the studio lot, way in the back where there was little activity—and lots of open space. The Model T Ford Jack had purchased the day before had been delivered to him earlier, and he had asked Juan to show him how to drive it. Jack had seen the sadness on Juan’s face. Jack was sure he’d assumed the worst—that Jack no longer needed him and would be getting rid of Juan altogether.

“Juan. I mean it. I’m just Jack. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. Not Mr Stone, not sir, not Roman’s pet—just Jack.”

He wasn’t sure where the remark about Roman had come from, but now that he was back to work finishing the film with Andrè Chenard, he was also back to random thoughts and feelings springing up out of nowhere.

“Okay. Jack.”

Jack laughed. Juan said his name as if it was a dirty word. Juan scowled a little.

“I’m sorry, Juan. Geez, it’s just the way you said it. Like it was something horrible.”

Juan had a pained expression on his face. “I’ll be right back s…Jack. I need to use the washroom.”

Jack watched as Juan got out of the car and walked down the dirt road, head down, proceeding towards the buildings of the studio. He sighed.

Jesus. I’m gonna need to deal with this sooner or later.

So far, it had been later. Ever since Juan had helped Jack to escape Roman’s clutches—forfeiting his job at the same time—Jack had avoided the whole subject of Juan’s obvious infatuation with him. Part of it was Jack’s embarrassment—he was always shocked when someone took an interest in him. But the other part was he hated having to hurt anyone’s feelings. There had been too much sadness for everyone lately.

He really cared about Juan as a friend. But he didn’t have any other interest in the handsome and masculine young man. Even if he had, Jack was at the point where he wondered if he would ever again be capable of feeling love towards another man. The intensity of the relationships with both Nick and Roman had used him up inside.

Could he ask Juan to only be his friend and to not expect anything else? That was really the part that he was so selfishly worried about. If he told Juan there was no chance for them, he would probably leave.

Jack couldn’t be alone right now. His nerves were erratic and unpredictable. It had been a little over a week since he and Juan had left Roman Pasquale’s estate for the last time, and Jack was having a difficult time adjusting.

The first night in the hotel in Santa Monica where they still stayed, it had all seemed as though it was some weird dream. He had felt empty. Like nothing. Jack had performed one task at a time, moving him and Juan through the motions of getting through the rest of that day, and settled in for the night. It had been a relief to have Juan by his side through it all, the same way Juan had always seemed to show up at the right time when Jack was in trouble and he needed him.

I can’t keep using him like this. It’s not fair.

The one thing he didn’t have to worry about any longer used to be the only thing that had ever concerned him. Gone were the days of wondering whether he would have enough money to pay the rent and not be thrown out on the streets, or if he would be able to eat that day. Or the next. Now he not only had enough money to take care of himself but to make sure that his devoted driver was cared for as well.

Ironically, after all the years of abject poverty, money was the least of his troubles.

If only I could have done this for Nick the way I’d dreamed of.

Jack wiped the sweat from his brow. It was getting hot again, and he wasn’t looking forward to it. It was close to the beginning of May. It was about this time last year that he and Nick had prepared to come west and make their fortunes. And now here he was. No Nick. No Roman. No idea what he wanted to do next.

Once the initial shock had worn off, an insidious fear had seeped in. Jack had told himself that he was afraid of what his obsessed ex-lover might do, and what sort of dramatic campaign he would employ to get Jack to change his mind and go back. The studios still felt the need to protect Jack from any attempt by Roman to get to him when he was there. So far Roman had no idea where Jack was staying. Jack had made sure to use another name.

Nick Gerard.

But once Jack had returned to the estate to retrieve his belongings, the truth of the fear became evident. Jack was afraid of himself. It had taken every ounce of resolve that he had ever possessed to run out of the house after seeing Roman by the pool—after sharing that one last look.

I miss him.

Jack was smart enough to know that what he really missed was the world that he and Roman had created for one another whenever they were alone. A place that could be so passionate and glorious, but that had been steadily eroding away as time had passed. Especially as it had become all too clear that Roman had wanted Jack to sacrifice more and more of who he really was. That realisation was what had given Jack the strength to stand up to Roman and tell him exactly how he’d felt. And not to listen when Roman had begged him to stay.

Jack put his face in his hands. There was something else. A new problem that had been created after Jack had left. It had never occurred to him that it might be an issue.

He ached to be touched. Roman had caressed, kissed and stroked him on an almost constant basis every time they’d been alone. Jack had always craved affection—long before Roman—and once he had experienced an overwhelming supply of warmth and care, it was difficult to be cut off so abruptly.

“Sir?” There was a phrase muttered softly in Spanish. “I mean, Jack. Is everything okay?”

Jack lifted his head and laid it on the back of the seat. “Truthfully, Juan? I’m not sure. But can we forget about the driving lesson for the day? I just want to get away from here right now. Do you mind doing the driving?”

Jack turned to consider Juan. He looked ridiculously happy. No doubt because he could serve Jack again. That was one of the other reasons why he questioned if they could remain friends. Jack was determined not to have people wait on him anymore. He hated it.

Studio Orders #5
“Mr Franklin, Mr Pasquale is insisting. He seems rather…desperate and claims he’ll come over here and not leave until you speak with him.”

Vincent regarded Miss Platt, his secretary and receptionist at Global Pictures Studios. The worry etched on her brow and the flush in her cheeks indicated how rattled the typically stoic young woman was by Roman’s likely hysterical manner. Vincent had chosen Susan Platt as his secretary precisely because her demeanour was as controlled and unflappable as his own. But screen idol Roman Pasquale was a challenge on his best days. And the past several days had not been his best. They had probably been among his lowest.

“Is he on the lot?”

Miss Platt looked as distressed as he’d ever seen her which—in addition to her facial expression—amounted to her rubbing her thumb reflexively on the door jamb.

I wonder if anyone has ever tried to dominate her?

Vincent cleared his throat and mentally kicked himself. He had stayed away from the club for too long. However, his prospects there had been rather dismal as of late.

“He said he’s nearby and could be here in ten minutes.”

Musso and Frank’s.

It was the very grill that all of them from the studio regularly haunted and where Roman had met his now ex-lover, Jack Stone. It was there that Global Studio chief Vincent and his associates, director Marvin Holst and casting agent Herbert Goldstein had been meeting with the beautiful young actor about signing a film contract with the studio the previous year. His angelic good looks had already captured audiences in a small movie role he had been in with his close friend, Trixie Fox. Nineteen twenty-four had been a great year for discovering new talent. But now that it was the spring of twenty-five, Vincent was on the verge of losing some of his best players.

So much has changed since then.

Roman had shown up unexpectedly at the luncheon and after joining them, had spent the majority of the meal fucking Jack with his stare. Vincent still regretted that he hadn’t stepped in somehow to save Jack from Roman’s clutches. At the time, Vincent hadn’t been able to fathom how the young man could truly have such a sweet disposition and be so innocent in spirit—especially anyone who had been in Hollywood for more than five minutes.

“Sir? He’s waiting on the line.”

Miss Platt knew that Vincent demanded a certain level of respect and behaviour from her, as he did with anyone he associated with. She had to be quite flustered by Roman to push him to answer her.

“Fine then. Might as well get this over with. Tell him he has ten minutes to get here, otherwise I’m leaving for the day.”

His secretary looked relieved as if she had just exhaled with her entire body.

“Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.”

She left the room, carefully shutting the door behind her so that it didn’t make a loud noise. Vincent realised it had been a rough couple of weeks for her and that she had handled it admirably, the way she did most challenges that arose from working at one of the top motion picture companies in the world. From the moment Jack had broken free from Roman for good, the devastated film star had been voracious in his attempts to get to Jack through the studio. Susan had been the one to deal with the brunt of Roman’s angry and frantic efforts to find his ex-lover. The young man had been very careful to keep his whereabouts hidden when off the lot—no doubt with his driver and fellow escapee, Juan, helping him in that regard.

Vincent made a note in his calendar to order some roses and theatre tickets to be sent to Miss Platt at the office.

What I need is a valet.

He didn’t dare. There wasn’t a chance he would trust anyone in his home. Vincent’s life outside of the studio was a carefully constructed secret. There was a housekeeper who came in a few days a week and only when he was there. He never allowed anyone access to his private residence unless they had been expressly invited. His driver Tommy arrived in the morning from wherever it was that he resided and tended to Vincent’s transportation needs. He was on call for premieres, meetings and other engagements—but never to the club.

To maintain the confidentiality of the club of sadomasochism and its members, special drivers were employed to transport the attendees to and from the lavish mansion in San Marino, right over the hill and to the east of Hollywood next to Pasadena. There was a common area for the male patrons who desired to socialise, view special showings or to meet new submissives. Only the dominant men could initiate any interaction. Once a twosome or threesome desired privacy, they would check into one of the many specially appointed and equipped bedrooms to engage in whatever activities everyone agreed upon.

It had been almost a month since the last time he had partaken of his home away from home. If ever Vincent had needed the dynamic of dominating another man, revelling in the joy of his submission as they surrendered to his masterful touch—the past couple of weeks had been it. Yet, he hadn’t bothered going. No one there had the potential to connect with him on a long term or—what he barely allowed himself to hope for any longer—a permanent basis.

Ten years before, he had loved a man deeply who had seemed to be the perfect counterpart for him. But his young lover had only been experimenting. He had lied to Vincent about his circumstances, eventually returning to his hometown back east to marry his fiancé.

Sighing, Vincent prepared himself for the raging storm in the person of Roman Pasquale that would soon come thundering through his office. Practically on cue, Miss Platt buzzed him on the intercom.

There was no point in questioning what she wanted. “Send him in.”

Casting Call #6
“That’s him, isn’t it? That director fellow you’ve taken a shine to?”

Tensing at his friend Oliver’s words, Will took another sip of his gin fizz, then set it down. He schooled his expression before casually glancing over his shoulder to see André Chenard strolling into the speakeasy.


Will turned back around then shrugged his shoulders.

“He’s quite delicious, but I wouldn’t say I’ve taken a shine to him as much as I’d considered allowing him to take one to me.”

“Ah. So it’s been a dismal failure then.”

Trying valiantly to glare at his old university chum, he instead collapsed into hearty laughter, his friend joining in. André picked that exact moment to walk past their table, his gaze drawn by their noisy revelry.

He thinks I’m a fool.

Locking eyes with André for the briefest of moments, Will merely arched one eyebrow as if the man’s presence had no effect on him whatsoever. As if it hadn’t cut him deeply when he’d been tossed off the director’s film set earlier. He had merely wanted the opportunity to be noticed by André and had asked Jack Stone—an actor acquaintance—if he could join him on the set. Will’s laughter had drawn the director’s gaze then too, but not in the way Will would have wished. Beginning nineteen twenty-five as one of Global’s top motion picture stars appeared to have had little effect on André’s opinion of him.

The jazz drag band chose that moment to begin playing in the large smoke-saturated room. Soon the pansy club filled with boisterous music and men dancing happily. The bar was located underneath a haberdashery that was run during the day by the speakeasy’s owners. These were the same two men who ran the respectable business that hid their lifestyle, as well as the illegal hooch they sold at night. It was a world within itself and something Will never could have got away with had he stayed back east with his ever-watchful rich society parents. He shivered a little at the thought.

Trying not to be obvious, he allowed his gaze to flit around the room, tracking where André was and—more importantly—if he was there with anyone. A long and elaborately carved mahogany bar stood at the far end. Rumour had it that it had once graced an elegant hotel before prohibition had threatened its destruction. Behind the bar, a Victorian designed mirror reflected back the interior of the club, making it appear even larger than it was. Several round tables surrounded with walnut bentwood chairs filled the parquet floor. On one end was a dance area with a corner reserved for the various bands that played.

One of the more alluring aspects of the club to many of the patrons were the cordoned off areas at the rear of the establishment. Oriental screens with intricately inlaid designs guarded those spaces. Behind them were plush sofas and chairs, as well as privacy for those who required it for a brief time. Will had never availed himself of those parts of the club. He wasn’t driven to such outlandish behaviour. It wasn’t particularly respectable and besides, he had an image to maintain as a film star.

He spotted André at the far end of the bar near the hallway that led to the washrooms. His friend, Oliver, startled him out of his reverie by clapping him on the shoulder.

“I see Leonard is here. Wish me luck?”

“Of course, old bean. You shall sweep him off his feet!”

“You are a dirty dog, Will Carmichael. I shall roger him once just for you.”

Will laughed again, letting it free, the piano, horns and drums shielding him from André’s judgement.

Not that he’d ever cared one whit about what others thought of him—except for André. Everything about the older man appealed to him. His trim, yet strong physique, calm and thoughtful manner, as well as the large and expressive hazel eyes shielded by round wire-framed glasses. And his hands were a marvel. Will tried not to be obvious as he watched André comb his long, slender fingers through his wavy brown hair. The director’s adamant refusal to wear the pomade that was all the rage was yet another part of André’s rebellious personality that attracted Will.

In addition, he was brilliant. The one long conversation he’d been lucky enough to have with him had involved Jungian theories, classical literature and whether humankind would ever be able to accept free love among all genders. Despite graduating with honours from Harvard, he felt like a dolt around André. What made it all the more endearing was that the man wasn’t the least bit condescending about it.

But he’d been quite unhappy the day before when Jack had sneaked him onto the set. Will hadn’t been able to keep himself from a robust chuckle when Jack had made an unwitting joke about the way in which Will would like to be alone with the director. André had been less than amused.

After calling Jack over to discuss something with him, he’d sent the young actor away and approached Will. There had been a fluttering in his chest as André had walked towards him. It was a sensation he’d never experienced before and there had been a passing fancy that it might mean something important about the two of them together. That notion had been decidedly dashed to the ground as soon as André had spoken to him.

“I’m terribly sorry, Will. But this is a closed set. Jack didn’t realise that when he invited you to be here today. I hope you understand that I must ask you to leave.”

So humiliating. He had sputtered some nonsense about wanting to witness Andre’s artistic genius and had only succeeded in making himself appear even sillier in front of the genuinely gifted man. As much as Will made light of everything and took the stance that life was to be enjoyed and not mulled over, he recognised and appreciated intelligence and vision. André was a spectacular man.

Will pushed his drink away. It had lost all its appeal in the same way the club had for the night. Typically, it was his home in a way that his luxury apartment could never be. His parents had been mortified that he hadn’t at least purchased a house in a more fashionable area—they had insisted that his trust fund could more than adequately provide for such an expense. However, Will preferred the place on Los Feliz Boulevard that several of the other actors and a few of the actresses used.

Although it was close to Global Studios where they all worked, and had both a doorman and a concierge, he could never let on to his family the real reason he stayed there. All of the tenants lived the same lifestyle he did. There was also security so that no one was allowed in the elevator except those who lived there. He never had to concern himself with bringing a man back to his place—they all did. He chuckled to himself.

Except for the women, who wouldn’t be caught dead bringing anyone other than another woman back home.

Play Acting #7
“Really, Roman. Must you cling to these trinkets of the past?”

Roman grunted. It was a rather uncouth noise, but he’d stopped giving a shit about many social niceties quite a while before. “I would hardly consider an original Guy Rose painting a ‘trinket’.”

Roman considered Maude Simons, a fellow film star whose glimmer was fading at an equally rapid rate to his own. Despite his efforts at remaining in top physical shape, Hollywood was ever brutal toward those who had the audacity to age. As he was pushing forty, he was frankly surprised he’d been able to hang onto his dashing hero status for as long as he had. It didn’t make it any easier to embrace, but it had hardly been a shock.

“You know what I’m referring to, darling. Don’t attempt being coy with me. I know you better than anyone.”

Looking away from her, he sucked on one of his Turkish Murad cigarettes. It was one of the few luxuries he still insisted upon despite his hastily diminishing film star income. He’d had to reduce the amount he consumed, however.

“I am a grown man, my dearest Maude, and furthermore, I am quite capable of deciding which items I wish to keep and which I am willing to liquidate for this dreadful move.”

His tone had taken on that icy edge that had once made everyone scurry to do his bidding back when he’d been the King of Hollywood. But even then, Maude hadn’t been intimidated. She was well-versed in iciness all on her own. It was part of the reason he’d always preferred her company to anyone else.

Except for my sweet Jack.

He clenched his jaw and balled his other fist before taking another long drag on the Murad. The boy had almost been the death of him. At the same time, he’d already come to terms long before that he was the one that had been completely at fault for everything that had transpired between them. He’d even offered a feeble apology a year and a half earlier—all that his damnable pride had been capable of at the time—when he’d sought him out in his new home far away from Hollywood. His motives hadn’t been completely altruistic—he’d hoped for a reunion after he’d pleaded his case. However, Jack had been happily settled with his new lover, and Roman had been left in despair once more. The crushing agony over losing the one good and pure love of his life had finally settled into a dull ache, and he’d managed to carry on. Somewhat.

He would never admit to such sentimental drivel to anyone—especially not to Maude—but he had the right to indulge in it on his own. There was also not the slightest chance that he would ever confess to her how relieved he’d been when he’d seen how well Jack had been doing, that his ex-lover had found joy and contentment in his new life.

Maude stopped fiddling with the items he’d placed on the large mahogany rococo dining table, the ones that he had decided to keep that still needed to be packed. She sat next to him in one of the elegant matching chairs.

“Roman, darling, I’ve watched you punish yourself for almost three years over your broken love affair. Thank Christ you’re no longer wasting away in your bedroom and refusing to see or speak to anyone. That was tiresome enough. But you’re off the joy powder, you barely drink anymore—”

“Who can fucking afford it?”

Maude sniffed. “Regardless, it’s nineteen twenty-eight, the beginning of a new year. You’re starting over in a new home—”


“Fashionable address in a tony area. Don’t let your ghosts follow you there.”

Roman still refused to meet her gaze. The dratted woman was right, but that didn’t mean he had to give her the satisfaction of letting on that he agreed. She’d been right about so many things, yet he’d still chafed at her admonishments that true love was complete and utter hogwash and that the only thing that really mattered was enjoying life. It didn’t reconcile with the fact that the only time he’d really enjoyed life was when he’d been sharing it with Jack.

However, there was one point she’d been spot on about and that she’d reminded him of over and over. Even when he’d still clutched at the fantasy that he could win Jack’s heart back despite having overwhelmed the sensitive young man with distrust and controlling behavior, she’d insisted that it was too late, that Jack had irretrievably moved on. Roman was left with deep remorse at how his own insecurities and desperation had clouded his judgment in the same way his cocaine use had.

Thanks to me, we were doomed before we even began.

“Yes. Well. I suppose if I don’t begin working again, my tony address will change to Poverty Row.”

“Oh don’t be so maudlin, Roman. There are plenty of film roles still available to you.”

At last Roman met her gaze. He fixed her with his legendary blasé expression.

“Yes, I was just telling myself how delightful the part of the hero’s father in Marvin Holst’s latest extravaganza would be. All three of the scenes that I’ll be featured in for a total of ten minutes for the entire film.” He couldn’t help but sneer. “If I’m lucky. I refuse to display myself as the old afterthought while some vapid pretender attempts to rival my charisma and steals my place as the leading man. ”

“It’s a paycheck, darling. However, I’ll admit my ego has taken a bit of a bruising as well. That’s why I’m branching out into other areas.”

“Fashion thing going well is it?”

When things had begun to deteriorate in Hollywood as they’d both been overthrown by younger versions of themselves—and the talkies had begun to take over—she hadn’t wasted any time. She’d transformed her love of fine clothing and accessories into a potential business venture. If he had any sense—which he’d already concluded that he didn’t—he would have done something similar. But acting was all he knew.

“It’s been wonderful. I plan to open a boutique of one-of-a-kind gowns on Hollywood Boulevard rather soon. Louise has been helping me get everything ready.”

Maude glanced his way surreptitiously before looking away again. She knew he thought Louise beneath her and he couldn’t help but be suspect of their romance. Louise had never shown any interest in women prior to declaring her love to Maude. Roman knew all too well how easy it was to become obsessed with a younger lover who showed you unabashed adoration.

Maude stood, seemingly ready to end their personal discussion for the moment. Neither one of them was particularly fond of long, soul-baring chats and he imagined she’d reached her tolerance level for the day. She strolled over to the table and picked up a well-worn folded piece of paper. Roman tensed. Perhaps she wasn’t finished poking into his soul quite yet.

Author Bio:
M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, Doms and subs, rock stars or bikers - but they're all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.

When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms and The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey's story from Rockin' the Alternative.


Hollywood Bound #1

Razzle Dazzle #2

Tarnished Glitter #3

Starring Role #4

Studio Orders #5

Casting Call #6

Play Acting #7

Xs: The Interview by JC Clarke

Title: Xs: The Interview
Author: JC Clarke
Genre: Erotica
Release Date: September 2, 2015
Cover Designs: The Graphics Shed
Editor: RE Hargrave
His name is whispered behind the hands of many gossiping women.

The way he pleasures a body leaves you craving his touch, his words, and his breath. The way his eyes bore into yours, you want to look away, but you can’t. He controls every part of your being while you’re in his domain. And when you leave, you feel bereft, but sated.

Who is this man they speak about?

Megan Brayer has the chance to interview this elusive gentleman. Will the answers he gives to her questions satisfy her curiosity?

This is the first book of many short stories. Each story will tell its own little story and can be read as stand alone.

Xs: The Interview is just over six thousand words.

“Not really. Miss Brayer, take away the fact that we have morals, societies, et cetera, and what we’re left with is nothing more than basic human instincts. Animal instincts. Men still like to congregate around a fire. We’re the heads of our households and when it comes to the bedroom, our instincts really come out. Do you know why most women like their hair being pulled?” he asked, and Megan shook her head, trying not to be pulled in by the feral look in his eyes as he gazed at her over the small table. “Because animals bite and pull hair when they’re mating. Nearly all mammals do that. It’s to get a good purchase on their mate for stability and to make sure the female can’t run away to another male. The females also like it because it’s makes them more submissive to the alpha. But we’re getting off track. My point is, being a man, it’s in our DNA to please, to procreate, and to give pleasure. Some men, like me, listen to their bodies, others are just idiots who are out for a quick fuck and that’s it, not even thinking about their partner.”

Author Bio:
J.C. Clarke lives in the heart of the New Forest in England with her husband and four children. Never a dull moment, her full house provides no shortage of inspiration which fuels her writing. She loves reading and writing a variety of genres in addition to dabbling with graphic art to create book covers, swag and more.


Xs: The Interview

The Northern Gate


Never Settle

If it’s a PAIN in the Ass, Then You’re Doing it Wrong

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