Sometimes I think perhaps I’m this weird and obsessive person who is probably, given the chance, a bit stalkerish. Just look at two of my latest releases. First was A Midnight Caller, and now this one, A Single Black Rose. There is one similar theme in both stories: stalking. I just hope people won’t be thinking the same with what I think. After all, I just wrote those stories with characters that are quite disturbing.
In A Single Black Rose, the stalker is Gene Scott. He worships an actor, Sean O’Reilly. He doesn’t only follow Sean around; he also has a blog dedicated completely to Sean and writes things about him and Sean that only happen in his mind. One day he starts sending flowers to Sean, as Gene finally decides he’s got to have Sean.
Next, there is Simon Scott. He is Gene’s brother. Simon knows there is something wrong with his little brother, but he helps him anyway. Simon has his own reason to do that.
Our protagonists are the couple Sean O’Reilly and Nate Matthews. The stalking problem leaves both of them troubled, not only Sean but also Nate who does anything he can to stop something bad from happening to his boyfriend. When it happens anyway, Nate knows there is nothing else he can do but find Sean before he loses him forever.
A Single Black Rose
When actor Sean O’Reilly receives a flower bouquet containing a single black rose on set, he assumes they’re from his boyfriend Nate. But they aren’t. Flowers keep arriving for him after that, each with a black rose in the arrangement. Soon other things arrive as well, such as photos and a recording of Sean’s voice. As the number of flowers dwindle with each bouquet, Sean begins to worry they’re supposed to be some kind of a countdown … but to what?
Fan Gene Scott worships Sean. He maintains a blog dedicated to the actor and writes out all his fantasies there. He wants Sean to belong to him, and only him, and he’ll do anything to make the actor his own. He can’t accept the fact that Sean has a boyfriend. To Gene, Nate might as well not exist.
Despite increased security and all efforts to keep him safe, Sean vanishes, and Nate feels as if his world has come tumbling down. When the police response is too slow for him, Nate enlists the help of his producer and bodyguard to find Sean. Will he manage to find his lover before Sean disappears forever? Or will Gene finally get what he’s always dreamed of, and make Sean the love of his life, instead?
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
Gritting his teeth, Nate hisses under his breath. He is standing in front of a cop, giving his statement on what has just happened. Not that there’s much to say. His mind keeps replaying that scene when Sean turned to him, his face ashen, and Nate wishes with all his heart that he was the one who had opened the door, the one who found the flowers instead of Sean, sparing him the shock of seeing the seemingly innocuous pink bouquet with its single black rose.
Nate is angry with himself, feeling like a failure even though he knows what happened wasn’t his fault. There was no way he could have predicted that the pervert was going to put the flowers inside their SUV. He runs his fingers through his hair, ends his statement, and turns to go to Sean who is sitting slumped on the pavement with Osborn by his side. Sean is staring ahead of him, his face expressionless, his hands clenched tightly into fists. Osborn is talking to him but Sean seems to not be aware of him, or of anyone else around him for that matter.
“Excuse me, Mr. Matthews.”
A man stops in front of Nate, a reporter, judging by the tape recorder he holds in his hand, and Nate feels his temper rising. This is so not the time for an interview and how in the world did the media get to hear of this so quickly anyway? Fucking reporters.
“Yeah?” Nate asks impatiently.
“Scott, Eugene Scott from The Vancouver Daily.” The man is tall, almost as tall as him, and Nate rarely meets someone who is the same height as him here in Vancouver. “Are these the first flowers Sean got from the stalker?”
“We don’t know if he’s stalking Sean or not.”
“But it’s obvious that he is, right?”
Nate frowns, looking at the reporter more closely, “No, it is not obvious that he, or she, is stalking Sean.”
“Oh, it’s just — but back to my question –”
“No, they’re not,” Nate cuts him short. He really wants to get this over with without being downright rude.
“These are not the first flowers.”
Scott nods. “Any weird thing?” he asks.
“What do you mean?”
“You know, if there’s something strange with the flowers or –”
“They’re just flowers, okay? Look. I’m tired and I really don’t have anything more to say. If you’ll excuse me.” Nate walks past Scott, going toward Sean who is still sitting at the same spot, alone. Nate glances over at Osborn who is now with the police, presumably giving his statements to them.
“Sean,” he says softly as he sits beside Sean on the pavement. He puts his hand on Sean’s knee, stilling it.
“Nate –” There’s a tremor in Sean’s voice.
Nate turns his head toward Sean who is looking even more agitated than before.
“Hey, man.” He puts his arm around Sean’s shoulders, pulling him close, kissing him on the temple. He can feel Sean shaking. “I’ve got you.”
“They found a picture,” Sean says abruptly. “Inside the flowers. The police showed it to me.”
“What picture?” The police didn’t say anything to him about that. Nate’s stomach sinks. Sending flowers is one thing but pictures? Of Sean?
“It’s one of me. Sleeping. Inside the house.” Sean’s voice is bordering on the hysterical now. “Whoever it is must have used a long-lens camera or something. How could they get through the gate, Nate?”
“Ssh, baby.” Nate tries to put as much reassurance as he can in his voice. Someone has to remain calm even though Nate is feeling anything but. He puts both his arms around Sean, can feel him trembling, and holds him even tighter. “Breathe with me, c’mon.”
Sean stills and takes a deep breath. “Can we go home now? Have the police finished with us?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I think we can go home now.” Nate stands up and holds out a hand to pull Sean up. They hold each other tight for a moment longer, both of them unaware of a pair of eyes watching them from a distance.
About the Author
Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.
Another thing Iyana loves is kitties. Right now she has five of them. Their names are Larva, Nyil, Cil, Mermood, and Horus. When she doesn’t write, she plays with them, or they would play with her when she writes.
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