Sneak PeekThis is the year I wanted to organize my time so I could write and publish more. As such I’ve been working on a couple short stories. I’ve got one that’s nearing the end of the beta read process, so I thought it was time to give you a sample.

First off, here’s the blurb for the currently untitled story.

Harry Moore’s been single for over a year following a break up that left him in the city he wanted to be in with the career he loves. Now the San Francisco-based voice over artist is doing what he needs to so his business moves to the next level. He’s hired Diego Ramos’ to renovate a room in his loft so it becomes an office and recording studio.

Harry and Diego hit it off immediately and Harry soon wants more than just a client relationship with Diego. Is that practical though? He already lost a relationship because of different business goals. Plus, Diego has more responsibilities than just business to consider.

Can Harry and Diego design a sound future for themselves?

And now here’s a look at a part of the story’s first scene (As I mentioned, this is still a work in progress, so please excuse any typos that haven’t been caught yet):

Work in Progress
Scene One for “Untitled”

Harry had put off cleaning out this room as long as he could. The contractors were coming within the hour and he still had shelves and cabinets to empty. He’d meant to do it over the weekend but always found something else to do instead. While a part of him was eager to transform the home office he once shared with Charlie, there were memories everywhere which made any change difficult.

The room was spacious, and had worked perfectly for them. They were both freelancers. Charlie worked with many San Francisco area theater companies on sound and lightning design. Harry did voiceover work and could be heard on some local commercials and was gaining momentum narrating audiobooks. He also just starting to get TV and film work form outside the Bay Area. 

Charlie and Harry parted ways nearly a year ago when Charlie moved back to Toronto to be the technical director for a large theater. Even though he’d been making a lot of progress establishing himself locally, it was an opportunity he simply couldn’t pass up.

They knew the distance would make things difficult, but not necessarily impossible. After three months, and a couple of trips back and forth, they ended up and called it quits. There were just too many miles between them.

After the breakup, Harry threw himself into his work, and soon realized he wanted to make some changes. Now that office was all his, he decided it was time to invest in a home recording studio and customize the office space. He’d worked with a contractor for a couple months on the plans and they were finally going to start today.

The room was a good size with plenty of potential. In the old setup, Harry and Charlie had desks on opposites sides of the long room, which kept distractions to a minimum, especially when they were on the phone at the same time. The exterior wall had windows that looked towards the Bay Bridge, while most of the remaining wall space was lined with a mix of shelves, cabinets and artwork. In the middle of the room, they’d set up a comfortable seating area that could be used for client meetings or relaxing.

All of that was about to change, however. The remodel was ambitious and came with a hefty price tag. Harry knew though that if he kept booking work at the rate he had been in the past year, he’d have the studio paid for in twelve months, maybe less. Plus he could work whenever he needed to, instead of having to constantly rent studio time.

Harry looked down at his watch. It was almost eight. He’d been up since four and hand’t made much progress. The books and stuff from his desk were packed, but the cabinets were untouched. They were full of mementos, photos or items he and Charlie had collected on their travels, and he wasn’t quite ready to deal with them yet.

The intercom buzzer chimed. The contractor was right on time.

“Oh well, so much for getting this done before they showed up,” Harry said to the empty room. He got up from his seated position on the floor in front of a cabinet. He stood up slowly as he’d been sitting for a while and walked over to the intercom which buzzed again before he could reach it.

“Hi,” he said into the grill.

“Good morning, Mr. Moore. It’s Diego Ramos. I’m here with a couple members of my team.”

“Right on time,” Harry said, “come on up.” He pushed the button letting them in downstairs, where they’d take the elevator right up to his sixth floor loft. He pushed a second button for the one-time elevator unlock.

He grabbed his lukewarm mug of coffee off the kitchen counter and went to the foyer to meet them. Just as Harry arrived, the elevator doors opened and three people stepped out.

“Good to see you again, Mr. Moore.” Diego said, meeting Harry’s hand for a shake. “This is Manny and Sara. They’ll be working with me most days here.”

“Please, please call me Harry. I didn’t expect you to be doing the work yourself, that’s a pleasant surprise.”

“With me leading the team, we’re able to start sooner. Plus, you were recommended by Giorgio, so I wanted to take care of it personally.”

Giorgio owned one of the studios Harry used a lot. He’d been the one that planted the idea that an in-home studio would be a good investment. Diego’s company, DR Sound Designs had done a lot of work for Giorgio as his studio expanded, so Harry knew he was in good hands. He’d met Diego when they were planning the project and doing the deal, but he certainly hadn’t expected the owner to do the work.

“I appreciate that. Sara, Manny, nice to meet you both.” Harry quickly shook both their hands. “I’m afraid I’ve got to pack up a few more things so you can demolish the cabinets and shelves. I’ll stop sorting and just pack it for now.”

Harry gave them a brief tour as they walked past the kitchen and guest bedroom and bath before entering the office. He didn’t take them to the opposite end of the loft where the living room and master suite were. When Harry and Charlie bought the space, they’d invested in creating a mid-century modern vibe in both furniture and colors, except in the kitchen, which was ultra modern and stainless steel.

“You’ve been busy in here,” Diego said as they entered the office, which was strewn with plastic storage containers.

“Not busy enough. Just a couple more cabinets and it’ll be emptied out and I’ll get the bins into the room next door. The desks are already cleared out and a friend is coming to claim them later this morning.”

Diego nodded as his team looked around the room, checking the windows and the cabinetry. “We can help you pack this stuff, if you want. Divide and conquer. That way we can stay on track for demolition today.”

“I should be able to finish up in less than a half hour. What’s the plan look like?”

“We want to rip out all the cabinets and shelves and tear out the dry wall on the interior walls so we can get the electric taken care of. Tomorrow we’ll start work on window replacement. Here,” said Diego as he opened his messenger bag and pulled out a folder of papers, “this is what we’re working towards.”

He held up the master floor plan for the office and there were several renderings behind it showing the new desk with the audio editing equipment, a revamped seating area, including an area for a table and chairs for meetings. There were also drawings of the new cabinets, which maintained the same style as the rest of the loft. A couple drawings also showed the inside of the studio and its equipment.

Seeing these again excited Harry. It would be a blast working in this space. And with the soundproofing that was going in, he’d be able to work without any extraneous noise seeping into the recordings.

“We’ve made one slight change to the plans,” Diego said. Bringing the detailed drawing of the desk to the top of the stack of papers. “We’d like to extend the desk by a foot. Given the dimensions of the equipment you’re putting on the desk, it’ll make it less crowded.”

As Diego stepped closer, Harry caught a whiff of the man’s cologne. Harry already had a small crush on Diego, which was a throwback to his first crush. He reminded Harry of the lumberjack from the label on the paper towels his mom always bought when he was a kid. That brawny man, in his red-checkered shirt with the beard and broad chest was Harry’s signal that he liked boys.

Ever since his first meting with Diego, Harry appreciated the man’s easy going sense of style. He usually wore good-fitting jeans and either a long sleeve or short sleeve t-shirt and work boots. The t-shirts were always bold colors and emblazoned with the company logo. Something about the woodsy-ness of the cologne today, made Harry take another look at Diego.

The t-shirt revealed a fit upper body, no doubt honed from days construction work. Harry subtly breathed in his scent and immediately wished he hadn’t as his cock leapt a little in his jeans. He hadn’t been with anyone since Charlie, so it didn’t take much to arouse him.

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