Monday, June 30, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 22

"Damn it, hold still. You were fantastic tonight. The critics will have nothing but rave reviews for you." Ross grabbed Kirk's shoulders to keep him in place.

Kirk smiled weakly. "It's not so much that as the party. You know how I am about them."

"Yeah, you glower and hide in corners. Well not tonight. Tonight you're the star. Deal." Ross shook him gently. "Just—pretend you're on stage again."

"I'd rather just go home and fuck your brains out to celebrate."

Ross laughed. "Trust me we're going to do that too, but not yet." After giving Kirk a kiss that curled both their toes, Ross took his hand, tugging him gently toward the door.

An hour later Ross was smiling indulgently from across the room as he watched Kirk fending off the females. He wasn't quite as happy when he saw his lover whisper something to Hildie and then glance at one of the doors leading out of the hotel ballroom. It took Ross all of two seconds to cross the intervening space and put his arm possessively around Kirk's waist.

"Looks like you lost your fear of crowds," Ross murmured a bit caustically.

Kirk smirked. "I had to do something to get you over here. You keep watching me from a distance like a mother hen."

"I don't!"

"Yeah you do." With a grin, Kirk turned to Hildie, saying, "It worked."

She winked, kissed his cheek, and strolled away.

"You're an ass. You know that don't you," Ross growled.

"But I'm your ass, so quit grousing." Nodding towards the spread at the far end of the ballroom, Kirk said, "Let's go get a drink and something to eat. I'm suddenly starving." 

"I'm with you on that." Keeping his arm firmly around Kirk's waist, the two men headed in that direction, stopping on and off so that someone or another could congratulate Kirk on his performance. "You know," Ross said after they reached to food-laden tables and were deciding what to eat, "we're really damned lucky."

"How so?"

"I was just thinking about Otis. There was no way he could have gone to that opening night party with his Charles and acted the way we are tonight."

Kirk nodded. "Which is sad."

"What's sad?" Chandler asked as he joined them. "Not the food because it looks fantastic."

"No. We were just talking about, umm, an article we'd read on how repressive it things were for gays a hundred years ago, even in the theater. Being out was not an option unless you were very famous, and even then you'd be putting your career at risk."

"So I gather," Chandler said as he started filling his plate. "I remember seeing something"—he frowned momentarily then his face cleared. "It was in the library at the theater. There's a whole section about its history including some handwritten personal remembrances. I looked at a few of those. There was one, if I remember correctly, from an old man talking about his younger years there and how his lover had run away rather than taking the chance that their affair would come to light."

"Holy hell," Ross murmured so softly only Kirk could have heard him. Kirk nodded, wondering the same thing Ross was, if that old man had been Charles.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Out today! 'Sins of the Fathers'

When ex-priest Mark Collins is suddenly catapulted to fame as a super-model he discovers there is more to it than he expected. With the help of Paul, his boss's assistant he manages to weather the promotional gigs. Then there is his blossoming involvement with Angelo, a police detective he met soon after arriving in the city.

Everything is thrown into disarray when he finds out his boss may be trafficking with the Mafia. When he's attacked, his life soon becomes a game of who to trust. Will it be Angelo or the very appealing FBI agent who puts him into protective custody to keep him alive until he can testify?

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

    With his arms crossed on the pew in front of him, Mark stared at the altar in the ornate chancel. He'd been kneeling for he didn't know how long, as he pondered Mr Phillips' offer.

    As a servant of God and Christ, albeit a fallen one at this point in the eyes of the Church, his mission had been to serve those who needed him.

    That had ended when one of his parishioners had let him know she wanted to have a very personal relationship with him. He had rebuffed her, kindly at first then more firmly as her demands intensified. Finally she had backed off -- or so he thought.

    She hadn't. Instead, she went to the bishop, claiming that Mark had seduced her several times in his church office. The bishop then ordered that he go on trial and in the end, because his only defense was one he was unwilling to use, he was found guilty and defrocked.

    I did serve to the best of my abilities. I was a good priest, a caring one. But would I return to the priesthood, given the chance? Probably not. I was betrayed by the very people who were supposed to support me. My parishioners, those who defamed me. The bishop ... he knew the charges against me were false because he knew what I am and yet he let them stand. I dedicated my life to my calling, only to have it torn away. At this point in my life, would it be so wrong to think of myself for once?

    It would be a challenge; he was well aware of that. It was one thing to stand in a pulpit, preaching to the congregation. It would be quite another to stand in front of a camera while trying to sell the image the client wanted to portray about their clothing.

    Am I talented enough to do that? Do I have the confidence in myself to pull it off?

    All those thoughts had run through his head, and many others. He needed to do something more with his life than being a waiter. An honorable profession he knew, but still…

    He jumped when a kindly voice said, "Are you in need of counseling, my son? You've been here for more than an hour, just staring at the altar. If you wish to talk, I'm here to listen."

    Mark sat back on the pew, his knees protesting the move, to look at the gray-haired man wearing a clerical collar who was standing in the aisle. Shaking his head slightly, he replied, "I was trying to come to a decision about my life."

    "And have you?"

    "I ... think I have." He nodded slowly and smiled. "Yes, I know I have."

    "Not to put too fine a point on it but is it the right decision?"

    Mark chuckled. "For me, yes. And don't worry, it's perfectly legal."

    The priest laughed. "I wasn't worrying about that. As long as it makes your life better in the eyes of God and harms no one ..."

    "Believe me," Mark broke in, getting to his feet, "I wouldn't hurt a ... well to be cliché, a fly. As for the 'eyes of God', at this point in my life I really have my doubts that He cares." When the priest looked at him in dismay, Mark said, "Sorry, Father, but that's the truth, and I should know. I was a priest once myself."

    Without another word he strode away.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 21

"Tell us what happened the night you were killed," Kirk said, holding out the notepad.

With a deep breath, Otis took it, leaning on the cutting table to write. Kirk shifted so that he could watch as he did, and Ross came up to Otis's other side to do the same.

Otis paused, frowning, then wrote, "It was opening night. I was playing Laertes. Hamlet was him."

Kirk shot Ross a look of surprise even as he said to Otis, "The bastard?"

Otis nodded, continuing to write. "Was strange night because Charles' father was there. In the audience." He shivered. "We reached the fight scene. I got stabbed." He looked at Kirk who nodded, and then wrote. "It was real, not play."

"You actually got cut?" Ross asked, knowing what the answer would be.

Otis gave a sharp nod in reply. "I was shocked, but not scared. It was just an accident. I thought. We finished. It was later. When I was in the dressing room. I felt sick. Weak. I thought it was just nerves and sadness because Charles' father had swooped him up. Taken him away."

"You were poisoned, and any one of our suspects could have done that. I gather you died in the dressing room, without anyone knowing."

"Yes," Otis wrote. "Everyone was gone to party."

"Well someone stuck around long enough to move your body," Kirk pointed out. "Or came back later."

Ross tapped his chin thoughtfully. "I wonder if that party made the gossip columns of the day, if there were such things. It would be interesting to see who attended, and who didn't or made a fashionably late entrance."

"Excellent idea. Now we just have to find the time to get online and do a search. And that will not be tonight, Ross," Kirk added sternly when his lover turned towards his desk. "Tomorrow is going to be as bad as today and it's not going to ease up until our opening night is history."

"But we promised Otis we'd help him," Ross protested.

Otis held up a hand to stop the impending argument. Grabbing the notepad again he wrote in big letters, "I waited this long. Can wait a bit longer."


"He's right, Ross. For him, a couple of weeks more are nothing in the grand scheme of things." Kirk turned to say something to Otis and realized he'd vanished. "That's still weird," he muttered as he put one hand at the small of Ross' back, urging him towards the door.

"I'm going, I'm going," Ross said with a small laugh. "But the second we open, we're going back to work on finding Otis' killer."

"Absolutely," Kirk agreed as he flipped off the lights.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 20

"Next question," Ross said, getting back to business. "Did either of your families know that the two of you were gay?"

After tapping his own chest and nodding, Otis pointed to Ross and shook his head.

"You're certain?" Ross asked. Otis nodded. "Okay and what about the people who worked in the company? Did any of them know, and maybe object to you because you were gay? I know that was rarely accepted back then, if at all."

Otis paused, obviously thinking, then began to write. Ross watched, mouthing to Kirk after a couple on minutes, "He's writing a novel I think". When Otis was finished, he handed the pad to Ross, who immediately went to stand beside Kirk so that they could read it together.

"No better or worse that I would have expected for back then," Kirk muttered unhappily when he was finished. "I'm sorry you had to go through that, Otis. Someone should have castrated and then shot him. I can see that telling anyone what he was doing to you would have cost you dearly, but damn, Otis, there have to have been other theaters that would have hired you."

"But he would have had to go without Charles, since it was Charles' father who owned the theater," Ross pointed out, tapping a line in what Otis had written.

"Ahh, right. Which brings up another question, Otis, why did his father even hire you since he hated your family?"

Otis smiled craftily, miming, "He didn't know."

"That you were the son of the man he detested? How come?"

Taking the pad back, Otis wrote, "Different name. I was a good actor too. Dyed hair." He shrugged, adding, "Stayed out of his way. Was only money to him, money and power. He was not there much at all."

Kirk frowned in surprise. "He didn't even come to the shows?"

Otis shook his head.

"Weird. All right. So," Kirk continued, "that bastard actor who forced himself on you knew about you and Charles, since he used that as leverage. And a couple of other people knew you were gay, but not that Charles was, you said. Knowing theater people though, I'd be willing to bet the word got around. That could be why the assistant director started making your life miserable."

"This gives us at least a small list of suspects, that actor, the AD, probably Charlie's father if someone dropped a word in his ear about who you really were," Ross said. "I'd bet my bottom dollar you spent time in the costume shop with Charles, more than would be warranted for just another actor at the theater. People notice things like that, even if you thought they wouldn't."

Otis stared down at his feet, nodding slowly, looking so sad that Ross was tempted to give him a hug.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 19

Between intense rehearsals for Kirk and the rest of the cast, and the final fittings of the costumes that left Ross feeling like murdering a couple of the cast members just on general principals, both men were tense and edgy when Kirk finally arrived in Ross' domain at the end of the day.

"If we hadn't promised Otis we'd meet him here…" Kirk grumbled as he hopped up on a cutting table, lying down with one arm covering his eyes.

Ross smiled, slowly running one hand up Kirk's leg. "If we weren't expecting him any second now I'd ravage your sexy body."

Moving his arm so that he could look at his lover, Kirk grinned. "Sexy, huh?"

"Very." Ross played his fingers over the burgeoning bulge in Kirk's jeans.

Kirk groaned low, then yelped when Otis appeared, sitting cross-legged at the end of the table, watching the two men. "You into voyeurism?" he asked, sitting up to glare at the ghost.

With a shake of his head, Otis jumped down, getting the pad and pencil to write, "If I were, wouldn't have shown self."

"Good point I guess." Kirk chuckled as he swung his legs over the edge of the table. "So, we have some questions for you."

Ross took the carefully folded list from his jeans pocket and opened it. "First, Otis, did you work here?"

Otis nodded. Then with a flourish, he mimed that he'd been an actor.

"Should have guessed," Kirk said with a laugh. "You've got a flare for the dramatic."

Bowing melodramatically, Otis grinned before turning back to Ross, eyebrows raised in question.

"Next, well two questions, what was your boyfriend's name, and did he work here too?"

Otis went back to writing, handing the pad to Ross when he'd finished.

"You are so kidding." Ross looked at him. "Is that why…?"

Kirk glanced between them. "What? What's going on? Don't keep me in the dark damn it."

"His boyfriend was the costumer for the theater company."

"Damn. Okay." Looking at Otis he said, "So you were just waiting for someone like us, who matched the two of you, you and…?"

"Charles Mayes," Ross told him.

"You and Charles. Any particular reason for that, other than the synchronicity?"

Otis shrugged and shook his head, then nodded. "Felt right," he wrote after Ross gave him back the notepad.

"So you waited until it 'felt right' before deciding to ask for help." Kirk smiled. "I suppose that makes some sort of sense."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 18

Kirk and Ross remained pretty much locked in their own thoughts, and their own exhaustion, as they made their way back to the apartment. It wasn't until they were undressed and in bed that they finally started talking about what had happened, both of them suddenly more awake than tired.

"What good is it going to do to find out who killed him?" Kirk asked as he lay staring up at the ceiling, hands behind his head.

"If there's any truth to all this ghost stuff, he can't find final peace, I guess, until he knows what happened. He seems to know why already, just as you said, not who."

Kirk nodded, turning to look at Ross. "How do we do this, then?"

"I suppose, research for starters. See if we can find out anything about him. Hell, we should have asked if he worked at the theater back then. If so, there could be some record of him in the files."

"That's a long shot, even if we can find them. We should search for his name online too. It would be interesting to find out if this feud he was talking about was important enough to make the news back then or if it was just some 'my family hates your family' thing."

Ross rolled over to get a pen and paper from the bedside table then sat up, stifling a yawn as he did. "Notes of things to find out from him," he said when Kirk cocked an eyebrow. "Ask if he worked at the theater, if the families knew that he and whoever the other kid was... and we need his name"—he paused to write that down.

"Knew what, that they were gay? I sort of doubt they advertised it back then."

"Exactly, so if someone found out—and from what little he put down about what happened it sounded as if someone might have—that would be a definite motive for murder, more than their just being friends."

Kirk shuddered. "If that was the motive to kill him, well it makes me damned glad we weren't alive a hundred years ago."

"You and me both," Ross agreed as he yawned, and yawned again.

"Let's get some sleep," Kirk suggested, taking the notepad away from Ross, leaning across him to set it on the nightstand and turn off the light.

"If I had a bit more energy." Ross wrapped one arm around Kirk, kissing him.

"If it was three hours earlier." With a chuckle, Kirk returned the kiss, rested his head on Ross's shoulder, and promptly fell asleep. Ross smiled as he drifted off as well.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 17

Otis led them deep down into the bowels of the building. Ross doubted that even the maintenance people had been down here, or at least not in the near past, considering the number of cobwebs lining the dimly lit corridor. Only one light bulb in five seemed to be working.

Finally, they reached the end of their journey. Otis pointed to the brick wall in front of them and then to himself.

"Your body is behind that?" Kirk asked.

Otis nodded.

"This should be fun," Ross muttered before he had a sudden thought. "If it's back there, how did you get your skull out?"

Kneeling, Otis tugged at one of the bricks, pulling it loose, and then a second one and a third, until there was a space that might, barely, had accommodated the girth of the skull.

"Now I really wish we'd remembered to bring a flashlight," Kirk commented as he lay down on his stomach, trying to peer into the opening to see what was behind it.

"Here," Ross said, handing Kirk his lighter.

Kirk shot him a look, growling, "I thought you quit."

"Mostly, more or less," Ross replied somewhat sheepishly. "So, what's behind there," he asked, wanting to change the subject before Kirk decided he needed another lecture.

After flicking it and turning up the flame, Kirk stuck the lighter into the hole. He was quiet for so long that Ross almost wondered if exhaustion had taken over and he'd fallen asleep. Finally, Kirk sat up, handing the lighter back to Ross.

"There's bones, sort of covered with dirt and other stuff I'd rather not think about. They're laid out pretty neatly all things considered." Kirk looked up at Otis. "Were you dead when you were put in there?"

Otis nodded.

"We're going to have to tell the police, you know," Ross stated.

"And just how do we explain finding this? They're for damned sure not going to believe that a ghost led us here."

"Well, umm, yeah. Good point." Ross ran a hand through his hair. "At least we know about it, which is a start. Let's get back upstairs and…"

"Go home. Do you realize what time it is?"

"Late," Ross told him. "Very late. Otis, are you going to be around tomorrow? Hell, rather a stupid question."

Otis smiled, pointing to himself and then the wall.

"That's where you hang out? Ouch, but I suppose it makes sense. Alright, how about you show up in the costume shop tomorrow night once everyone is gone," Ross told him.

Pointing to Kirk, Otis looked at him in question.

"Yes, I'll be there too."

Otis nodded once, and then vanished.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 16

Otis stood very still, sizing up Kirk apparently, and in a very interested way. Ross watched and shook his head. "Oh no, he's not up for grabs, Otis."

With an amused look at both of them, Kirk agreed. "I'm not into ghosts, even if they are fairly solid."

Otis's expression saddened for a moment and then he shrugged, reaching for the pencil and paper. He wrote a few words before handing the pad to Ross.

"Otis Curtis Johns. March twenty-first, nineteen eleven," Ross read. "Do you have any idea at all who killed you?" he asked.

Otis shook his head.

"Was there any reason for someone to want you dead?" Kirk queried.

With a small frown, Otis took back the pad from Ross, hopping up to sit on the edge of the desk so that he could write more comfortably. It took a couple of minutes, with many pauses, before he gave it to Ross.

Ross read it, with Kirk leaning over his shoulder, doing the same. When he'd finished, Kirk snorted. "Guess he knows his Shakespeare. Romeo and Romeo, come on."

Otis scowled at Kirk, grabbing the pad back to write, 'NO!' boldly across the bottom of the page.

"Give me a break, Otis. Two families who hate each other, two lovers trapped in between? That's pure 'Romeo and Juliet', or the Hatfields and the McCoys. And, on another note, why choose Ross to solve the murder? You've had a hundred years to find someone to do that."

Otis pointed to the two of them and crossed his fingers.

With a quirked up eyebrow, Ross said, "This is a theater; there have to have been other gay men here you could have approached, if that's what you're trying to tell us. Speaking of which, another question, are you stuck here? That's what always happens in ghost stories."

With a nod, Otis drew a finger across his throat.

"So you were killed here," Kirk said, getting more into what was happening by the moment. "Is your body buried here?"

Otis nodded again, and then beckoned them to follow him.

"Oh boy, this could be interesting," Kirk murmured as he and Ross followed the ghost.

Monday, June 16, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 15

"What's wrong," Kirk asked from the door of the costume shop.

Ross spun around to look at him. "Otis here just told me he was murdered."

"Who?" Kirk walked over, looking at Ross warily. "Who's Otis?"

"He the young man…" Ross frowned when he realized Otis had vanished. "You didn't see a guy standing here when you came in?"

"Nope. Just you, talking to yourself." Kirk rested one hip on the corner of the desk, staring at Ross.

"I was… Hell, this is weird." Ross checked the desk and sighed softly in relief, picking up the pad of paper, handing it to Kirk.

"Okay," Kirk said after reading the words. "You're saying this Otis person wrote this?"

"Yes! He can't talk, but apparently writing's allowed." Ross went on to explain to his very dubious lover exactly what had happened.

When Ross had finished, Kirk shook his head in disbelief. "So you're telling me this Otis was murdered and now he's a ghost." He smiled slightly then. "I told you he was after the first time he showed up, but I was just kidding."

Scrubbing his hand over his face, Ross sighed. "I don't know what to believe. If this is a hoax, why? On the other hand, if he really is a ghost, and I'm having a hard time believing that, what does he want? Why show up now after all these years?"

Kirk was about to reply when he gave a shout of surprise. Something pulled the pad of paper from his hand, placing it back on the desk, and then the pencil rose and scribbled across it. They both looked at what was there, and then at each other.

"Find my killer," Ross said quietly.

"A bit hard to do, since whoever it was must be dead by now," Kirk commented.

"Besides which, we don't know who was killed, other than a first name, or even when it happened."

Kirk looked at Ross and chuckled. "You're really believing this and thinking about doing it."

Ross shrugged. "Maybe."

There was a brief stir in the air and Otis reappeared. Kirk jumped in shock then studied the young man. "He's kind of cute, you know," he told Ross.

"Only you—" Ross shook his head in amusement. Turning to Otis, he said, "I think you heard what we were saying. If we're going to find out who killed you there are some things we need to know."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 14

Ross groaned as he finished detailing the Polonius costume. He knew he could have left it for one of his crew to do in the morning, but since Kirk was still in rehearsal he'd decided to make use of the extra time to get the last bits done. Final fittings were on the roster for the next two days to catch any minor problems before dress rehearsals began.

After hanging the costume back on the rack, he plopped down at his desk, making last minute notes on what needed doing in the morning. Then he dropped his head down on his arms and closed his eyes. If he fell asleep, Kirk would come down to find him and wake him up.

He didn't know how much later it was when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Sitting up slowly, he turned around. "What time is it?" he asked a bit fuzzily, rubbing his eyes. He immediately realized it wasn't Kirk standing there. It was the young man he'd seen a few days earlier. "Who are you?" he asked, for some reason not feeling a bit afraid or threatened. "And why are you hanging around, and why the practical jokes, if that's what they are?"

The young man shook his head.

"Come on, you can tell me." Ross suddenly realized the young man was wearing what looked like a costume, though not one of his. His breeches were Renaissance in cut, gathered just below the knee. His shirt was similar to the ones Ross had created for the show, but a deep sepia in color. "Where did you get those clothes?"

Again, the young man shook his head. Then he stepped closer to the desk, frowning before reaching for one of Ross' sketching pencils that sat in a cup on one side of the desk. Ross watched, and then slid a pad of paper to him, asking, "Are you mute?"

The young man smiled slightly as he wrote one word on the pad. "Dead."

"Yeah, sure. Hate to tell you this but if you are, you're a ghost, and I don't believe in them. So what's your game? Oh, and what's your name?"

"Otis," the young man scribbled on the pad.

"Well, Otis, as I said, what's with the game you're playing? Messing with my costumes, the skull. What's going on? And where did you get it by the way?"

"Mine," Otis wrote.

"Uh huh. You have a collection of skulls? This is a hobby of yours?"

Otis shook his head before writing. "No. Mine. Dead." He touched his face. "Mine."

"Whoa up a minute. You're claiming that skull is, was—it's your head?"

Otis nodded. Leaning over the desk once more he scribbled, "Murdered."

"Bloody, fucking hell! Seriously?"

Friday, June 13, 2014

Another cover reveal

'Yin and Yang'

Coming soon from Totally Bound

Neal, a young boy, abandoned on the streets by his mother, is found by policeman Kenyon Hagerty and instantly bonds with him. Social worker Teo Marino becomes involved when the boy is placed in the care of Human Services. Then the body of the Neal’s mother is discovered, murdered, and later Neal’s father tries to kidnap him from the Home where he’s now living.

Kenyon is a man looking for real love while Teo is the consummate playboy, moving from one man to another as the spirit moves. And yet these two men, truly yin and yang, are drawn together. It takes a misunderstanding to force them to face their feelings for each other.

When Neal runs away, looking for Kenyon who he believes will adopt him, the two men must make a decision regarding Neal’s life, and their own.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 13

"It can't be morning already," Kirk groaned when the alarm went off.

Ross agreed. "Two more hours, please."

"Or a day off maybe?"

"Pfft, as if." Rolling over, Ross looked at his lover and laughed, running his hands through Kirk's already very tousled hair. "You going up for the lead in 'Young Frankenstein'?"

"'Fronkensteen'," Kirk replied without batting an eye.

"'You're putting me on'." Ross grinned. It was one of their favorite flicks and they could quote some of the lines verbatim.

Kirk grinned back as they worked it down to, 'You must be Igor.'

"'No, it's pronounced 'eye-gor'.'"

"'But they told me it was 'ee-gor','" they both said at the same time, breaking into full-blown laughter.

Once they'd calmed down, Kirk sighed as he got out of bed. "Someday we'll be rich and famous and not have to go to work until noon."


"Promise." Kirk bent to kiss Ross before heading to the bathroom.

"One can only hope," Ross muttered tiredly.

A bit over an hour later, the two men were entering the theater, take-away breakfasts in hand. Chandler and Micah were standing in the lobby, talking to one of police officers from the previous day. Several cast and crew members were lurking in the background, trying to find out what was going on. Chandler waved Ross over and Kirk followed along.

The officer quickly filled them in. "The only fingerprints that we could raise on the skull belonged to Mr Vilaró, as well as one of Mr Rolnick's property people, a Miss Swanson, and Mr Jones who is playing one of the gravediggers."  

"So whoever brought it into the building must have been wearing gloves." Kirk said. "Did it come from a graveyard, do you know?"

"That's the presumption at this point. As I was telling Mr Chandler, our experts have tentatively concluded that the skull is at least one hundred years old."

Ross started to raise his hand, realized what he was doing, and dropped it with a wry smile before saying, "Shouldn't that make it easier to find out where it came from? I mean how many cemeteries in the city have been around that long?"

"Two; and we're in the process of checking them out. So far none of the older graves seem to have been tampered with."

Micah chuckled. "Maybe the person who left it here dug it up out of their basement. I mean since there was still dirt on it, it can't have been some souvenir or part of a med school skeleton, right?"

"Correct," the officer agreed as he closed his notebook. "All right, I'll leave you to what you're doing. I just wanted to give you an update."

"And let us know that three of us are suspects since our fingerprints are on the damned thing," Kirk muttered.

"Anything is possible," the officer said with a tight smile. "However, considering Mr Ross's nocturnal visitor, I don't think you should be worried that we'll be arresting you any time soon."

"Let's hope not," Chandler replied before telling everyone to get to work. "I don't want to be replacing my lead at this point in the game. It's only a little over two weeks until opening."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cover reveal for 'Majors' Folly'

'Majors' Folly'

Coming soon from Wilde City Press

Thane Major's lover, Ian Philips, sees Majors' Folly, the mansion Thane has inherited, as a 'monstrosity'. Thane believes otherwise. To him it is fascinating, not a monstrous. He hopes.

They soon learn about several disappearances from the Folly. Then they spot someone trying to break in. They wonder the person is responsible for the Folly's troubles and decide they have to find out exactly what is happening before they too disappear. 

Will the arrival at the Folly of two strange males, offering their help Thane and Ian, lead to revelations about the disappearances, or to Thane and Ian's untimely deaths? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I could a tale unfold - 12

The police officer picked up the skull with gloved hands, turning it enough so that he could examine the interior. "You're correct, sir," he said, speaking to Micah. "There is definitely dirt still clinging to the inside." Turning to the others he asked, "How many people would have handled this besides you, Mr. Vilaró?"

"Good question," Kirk replied. "Whichever prop person put it there for starters, right Micah?" Micah nodded. "And, I suppose anyone else who was around today, though why they would have is the question."

Chandler added, "The two men playing the gravediggers could have. Probably did actually."

The officer almost smiled. "Maybe I should ask who wouldn't have handled this. I guess we'll fingerprint everyone on the premises and go from there." He carefully bagged the skull, saying as he did, "I suspect it's just someone playing a prank, thinking it would be cute to try to scare you, Mr. Vilaró."

"Then he failed, because he didn't scare me, though it did throw me a bit. If he wanted the full effect he should have waited 'til opening night."

With a nod, the officer asked Chandler if he'd gather the cast together so he and his partner could get fingerprints. Then they'd deal with everyone else in the building.

* * * *

When a police officer appeared in the doorway of the costume shop, Ross' first thought was that for some reason security had called them in about whoever had been messing around there after hours. So that was the first thing he asked the officer. The man shook his head, requesting that Ross to explain.

Once he'd finished, Ross of course asked why he was there. He frowned as he listened, asking the office when he was done, "Could it be the same person doing this?"

"It certainly makes sense to think so," the man replied as he got ready to fingerprint Ross and his crew.

When he'd left, fifteen minutes later, Beth came over to Ross, asking softly enough that the others couldn't overhear, "Do you think this is aimed at the two of you for some reason?"

Ross looked at her in surprise, about to reply to the negative, and then paused as he thought about the question. "Interesting idea," he replied after a moment, "Although I don't see why anyone would have it in for us, even in a joking way."

"Jealousy?" She smiled slightly. "Maybe I read too many romance novels but this is the kind of thing the bad guy would do to try to mess with your heads."

"Then he's SOL because we'd be more likely to pull together than split up."

"I know that, but some people live in hope and have no brains to back it up. At least in the novels. I guess in real life it was probably all a coincidence."  

"I'm sure it was. Someone thinking they're being cute is all. It's almost too bad Chandler called the cops. If we had ignored what happened, whoever is doing this would probably see it wasn't worth continuing."

"Or they'd up the ante," Beth countered before going back to work.

"God I hope not," Ross muttered. "I've got too much to do as it is, without worrying about some nutcase."