When Zachary Hall leaves Utah for a job in Washington, it’s finally his chance to live as a gay man and maybe find someone special. In a bar he meets Thomas Scarborough, a man who seems perfect in and out of the bedroom. But Thomas never dates. He never even sleeps with the same man twice. Despite their instant connection, he can offer Zachary only his friendship, and Zachary is looking for more.
Thomas is tempted to break his own rules, but years before, he became the victim of a stalker who nearly destroyed his life. Even though his stalker died, Thomas obsessively keeps others at a distance. Despite his fascination with Zachary, he is unable to lower his barriers. Frustrated, Zachary accepts he will never have what he wants with Thomas and soon finds it with another man.
But young gay men in Washington, DC are being murdered, and the victims all have a connection to Thomas. Once again someone is watching Thomas’s every move. Can it be a coincidence? When the depraved killer turns his attention toward Zachary, Thomas must face the demons of his past—or lose his chance to open his heart to Zachary forever.
~ Indigo MD
Guest Post: Another Perspective on the First Meeting
By Robert Winter
In Chapter 1 of Every Breath You Take, we see the first meeting of Zachary Hall and Thomas Scarborough from Zachary’s point of view, as he enters a gay bar for the very first time. I thought it would be interesting to show the same meeting from Thomas’s perspective.
Alternate Scene – Chapter 1
Thomas Scarborough slid onto his usual bar stool at Mata Hari, the gay bar run by his best friend Randy and in which he also held an ownership stake. Randy finished serving some customers and then, with nothing more than a questioning look to Thomas, poured him a Johnny Walker Platinum, neat.
“Hey, brother,” Randy said as he slid the glass in front of Thomas. “How are things on Capitol Hill?”
“Ah, the usual,” Thomas murmured. He took a sip of his scotch. “All the Dems hate all the Republicans, and vice versa. Nothing much gets accomplished because everyone is focused on campaign trail points for the next election cycle.”
“I remember,” Randy said with a small grin. “That’s why us Secret Service types always wore black shades when we stood at the back of a room. So no one could see the eye rolls.”
Thomas chuckled at that. “I wish I could wear sunglasses into my committee meetings.” He shifted on his stool while they talked, and was therefore in a position to see a newcomer walk nervously up to the bar and wait for Randy to acknowledge him.
The man looked young, maybe not even legal, with a baby face under slightly messy, blond hair that curled around his ears and almost down to his neck. He was tall, lean and broad-shouldered in a white Oxford shirt that was flattering to his complexion. There was an innocence to the newcomer that Thomas quite liked. From his tightly controlled stance and stiff shoulders, Thomas would guess he was completely out of his element in Mata Hari, but whether it was because the place was a bar or because it was a gay bar wasn’t obvious.
The kid happened to turn his head and meet Thomas’s eye. A lovely red flush spread up his neck and suffused his cheeks before he dropped his warm, wide-set brown eyes to the counter.
Yep. Gay. So it was more likely that he was uncomfortable being in a bar at all. Thomas’s dick was paying attention, though, even though the kid looked too young. Control yourself.
“Randy, you have a customer,” Thomas said, and his friend moved down the counter to serve the kid. He watched Randy look at his ID and heard his deep chuckle before he made him a drink. Good sign. He’s at least twenty-one then.
Thomas’s friends Joe and Terry joined him at the bar then and the three joked for few moments. Joe was a short, white-haired man in his mid-sixties with sparkling blue eyes. Terry was many years younger, but he palpably adored his husband Joe and kept a hand around his waist as they all chatted.
When Randy stepped over to serve Joe and Terry, Thomas couldn’t resist. “So how old is the kid?” he asked in a low voice.
Randy rolled his eyes and delivered a wry smirk. “Like I don’t know your taste by now. He’s twenty-seven and has a Utah driver’s license.”
Twenty-seven. Game on. Thomas hadn’t planned to pull anyone to play with when he came to Mata Hari that night, but there was something about that absurdly young and innocent-looking man that drew his attention and whetted his interest. That blush … what would he look like spread on Thomas’s bed? Would he flush as Thomas drove into him?
He rotated on his bar stool to track the young man and found him over near the piano. Their eyes met briefly and Thomas felt a surge of desire responding to the raw hunger he spotted. The guy broke their glance quickly and looked at the floor, clearly embarrassed or overwhelmed. Oh yes. This is going to be fun.
The stranger focused on the piano and Thomas saw his lips move as he joined in with the people gathered near the piano who sang along with Miss Ethel’s playing. He had a generous mouth, and his lips were a delicate shade of pink. Thomas watched those lips moved and imagined how they would feel to kiss.
How to approach him? The guy looked so nervous he might bolt if Thomas walked up to him directly. Luckily, he had a secret weapon he wasn’t shy to deploy.
If there was anything Joe hated, it was to see someone looking unhappy or ill at ease in a bar. He had an inveterate need to make sure everyone was as happy and content as possible, and a young man on his own was Joe’s kryptonite. Thomas inclined his head toward his friend. “Do you see that young man standing by himself near the piano?” Joe looked around quickly and spotted the man Thomas meant. “He looks lonely, don’t you think?”
That was all it took. Joe scurried away and across the room to take charge of the guy and drag him over to join their group at the bar.
Terry laughed next to Thomas. “I see what you’re up to, Tommy. Using my Joe that way. You’re shameless.”
Thomas grinned back at him. “What can I say? Joe would never forgive me if he realized later this guy was by himself and I didn’t point him out.”
“A selfless prince, that’s what you are.”
“What a delightful name,” Joe was saying to the kid as they reached the bar, “Now, allow me to introduce my husband, Terry. Terry, this is Zachary, and he has just moved to Washington.” Joe had a lilt in his voice that Thomas knew was from his excitement at bringing new people together.
Terry shook hands with the kid Zachary. “Welcome. I see my Joe has collected you, but I assure you he’s harmless as a box of kittens.”
Zachary chuckled. “I was happy to be collected. Thank you for coming over, Joe.”
Joe smiled at him, and his eyes twinkled in the light. “I just hate to see anyone standing by themselves. Now, Thomas, this is Zachary,” he said, and as he turned to introduce them, Thomas smiled, stood up, and reached out a hand to shake.
“Good to meet you, Zachary. I’m Thomas Scarborough. Do you need a fresh drink?”
I hope this scene has you intrigued. You can find out more about this book or any other writing at my website.
Eventually the head nodded forward and then jerked up. When it happened a second time, the creature turned off the TV and then the lamp and headed to bed.
The man waited for another half hour with his back pressed against an alcove formed where two brownstones met. The street was quiet. Almost no one walked by, and the lone person who came down the street failed to notice him in the shadows.
The man felt his breath grow hoarse, and blood rushed in his ears as his heart began to pound. He cultivated that sensation as he reached into his coat pocket for the screwdriver that rested there and made himself imagine the creature’s hands touching the Beloved’s face. Stroking his body. He curled his fingers around the screwdriver and then clenched and unclenched rhythmically. Its thick handle felt rough against his palm because of the grooves and sharp edges he had chiseled into it. He had ideas for other implements that would serve his purpose, but for now, this would do just fine. This would make his point.
His throat was dry, and his eyes burned from focusing on the darkened window, but he felt invincible. The tension in his body climbed exquisitely, and when he could take no more, he slipped across the street and stepped down to the locked gate. It opened easily with his small set of picks. The gate made no noise when the creature went through it earlier, so he was confident and quick and didn’t bother to lock it behind him. Child’s play, he thought as he worked the lock on the apartment door.
The tumblers clicked into place.
He stored his lockpicks, slipped inside the darkened apartment, and then closed the door behind him as silently as he could. Streetlight came through the slatted blinds the boy had failed to close completely. He waited quietly until he heard a faint snore from the back and then removed his glasses and tucked them in an inside pocket of his jacket. The scarf his quarry had been wearing caught his eye, and the man bared his teeth as he lifted it off the coat tree and tugged it tightly between his hands. It was well made. It would hold. He smiled.
He slid through the gloom toward the room where the creature lay sleeping. He was hard, and the blood in his erection pulsed in time to the pounding of his heart. That boy had dared to touch his Beloved. He had probably even been fucked by him. But that wasn’t enough—oh no. He came back for more.
It had taken the man so long to find his Beloved and interpret his subtle clues. He finally understood what was required of him. The undeserving gnat must be chastised, and he would be the Beloved’s angel of retribution. He was conscious of the weight of the screwdriver in his pocket, the scratch of the wool scarf in his hands, and the power in his arms.
He reached for the boy on the bed.
About the Author & Links:
Robert Winter is a recovering lawyer who likes writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants.
Robert divides his time between Washington, DC, and Provincetown, MA. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.
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