The excerpt below is based on an idea that just dropped into my head one day. I thought it would be intriguing to open a story with the main character literally caught in the middle—the past is behind him and his future a completely blank page.
Following the death of his employer, Harvey St. Onge—a local gay man with a reputation for attracting handsome young men and throwing wild parties at his country estate—Griffin Andrews is literally on the outside looking in. Harv had promised to take care of Griff, but when the lawyer shows up and Griff is paid off and shown the door with the rest of the staff, he figures Harv “forgot” his promise. Now, Griff may be stuck in the country, miles from anywhere with no transportation and no proof of Harv’s promise, but he’s a survivor. So he packs what he can carry and starts walking.
Partway into his journey, however, a handsome motorist stops and offers Griff a lift. Shane Walker says he’s just going as far as Peninsula Heights. But by the time they get there, Griff’s life has done a fast one-eighty. He has a new friend, the promise of a job, and a place to stay. It all sounds too good be true.
Now Griff has to wonder—is Shane really Griff’s proverbial “white knight in shining armor” riding to his rescue, or something else?
The steel security gate clicked shut behind me. The good life I’d had was over and here I was, stranded on a stretch of dusty country back road. In spite of all that I wasn’t particularly worried. When one thing ended another turned up. It always did. It might take me a little time and patience to get resettled, but I had both in abundance. What I no longer had was a chauffeur-driven limo at my disposal or enough cash to keep me going for more than a month, six weeks absolute tops. I’d have to rely on my feet to get me to my next destination, or hitch a ride, which in this cruel, uncertain world was something I avoided like the plague. All of which made my first priority finding another job, fast.
I adjusted the straps of my backpack and settled it comfortably in place while I considered my options. A right turn and a five-mile walk would take me to Peninsula Heights. Turn left and about thirty-five miles later I’d reach the steel mills of Hamilton. Two small blue-collar towns that didn’t promise much in the way of lucrative employment opportunities. At least not the kind I had in mind. For those I had to head somewhere a tad more sophisticated and cosmopolitan.
Another forty miles on from Hamilton was Toronto, where I’d met Harvey, my most recent and now late, lamented employer. In the other direction, less than ten miles beyond Peninsula Heights, lay Niagara Falls, tourist mecca and home to a couple of world class casinos.
A fast, two-second internal debate, and I turned right. The Falls was the closest. A week or so checking out the action should get me back on track moneywise and from there I’d figure out my next move. Montreal? New York? L.A.? Or if my luck was really in, maybe a trip to London, Paris or Rome as a change of pace.
Oh, sure. Like that would happen. But right now I needed to think big. And the bigger the better.
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