The Knights Club
Stoney Whitecastle watched as his friend Xavier Knight signed the last of the documents the lawyer had spread out before them. When Xavier signed the last paper, the club would be his. A season of Stoney’s life would be over. In the bar below the office they sat in, he knew men were meeting other men. Some were looking for love, others only wanted a quick fuck for the night. Some danced, others shared a drink and talked quietly. Things would go on just the same with Xavier at the helm.
He was just twenty-five when Stoney opened the club. The years since had changed many things for gay men. More men were living openly in their communities, at their jobs and within their families. In the deep south, there were still stigmas associated with being gay, but Stoney admitted it was better.
Not like when Stoney had first realized his own inclinations. At that time, it was all back alleys and cheap seedy hotels. One offs with men you never even had a name for. It was dangerous and an adrenaline rush at the same time. That was until, men started dying.
Stoney had lost count of the men whom he had counted as friends, who had lost their lives to HIV and AIDS. He knew he was damned lucky that he’d survived without experiencing the touch of death’s hand. For a man his age, passing the sixty mark, he was healthy and fit, but alone. He hadn’t planned on that.
He missed Ian. The two-year anniversary of his partner’s murder was approaching. The first year after Ian was gone, Stoney didn’t come to the club. His assistant manager had taken over and ran everything. He traveled for a while. Anything to stay away from the places that reminded him of Ian.
After a while, he had to come home and face reality. The house he’d shared with Ian in Miami wasn’t home anymore, so he sold it. The condo in Atlanta held fewer memories, so moving back into it made more sense. Justin Warfield and his brother Peter invited him to the Warfield Hotel often, but he just couldn’t face going to the place where Ian had been killed.
Time had healed a lot of the pain. When he thought about Ian now, it was more about missing him in the everyday little patterns of their lives. Stoney knew he was too old and not lucky enough to find that kind of love again. Selling the club had been the last piece of Ian’s life that he had been holding on to.
“So, what are you going to do now,” Xavier asked while the lawyer arranged the papers into three piles.
“I’m taking a Pacific Ocean cruise. It’s leaving from San Francisco next Friday and I won’t be back for three months,” Stoney answered.
“I’m going to spend a few weeks in several different locations. Maybe I’ll write a book.” Stoney laughed.
“Here you go gentlemen.” The lawyer handed each of the men a folder with the papers neatly stacked inside. He shook hands with Stoney and Xavier before he left the office.
“Have a drink?” Xavier asked. “It’s on the house.”
“Thanks, but I’m going to pass and go down the backstairs, if you don’t mind,” Stoney hugged Xavier as he spoke.
“I’ll take good care of her,” Xavier offered, as they broke their embrace.
“I know you will.”
Coming September 2018
This will be series of 5 books. Each one about a different character who works at the club. This is a diverse and mixed bag of people. They are all novella length, approximately 25,000 words. Contemporary Gay Romance with extra heat. I am also planning a FM story in the mix as well. I plan on releasing one book a month starting in September as strictly e-book format.