GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 34,337 words
When ex-priest Mark Collins is suddenly catapulted to fame as a super-model he discovers there is more to it than he expected. With the help of Paul, his boss's assistant he manages to weather the promotional gigs. Then there is his blossoming involvement with Angelo, a police detective he met soon after arriving in the city.
Everything is thrown into disarray when he finds out his boss may be trafficking with the Mafia. When he's attacked, his life soon becomes a game of who to trust. Will it be Angelo or the very appealing FBI agent who puts him into protective custody to keep him alive until he can testify?
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.<
With his arms crossed on the pew in front of him, Mark stared at the altar in the ornate chancel. He'd been kneeling for he didn't know how long, as he pondered Mr Phillips' offer.
As a servant of God and Christ, albeit a fallen one at this point in the eyes of the Church, his mission had been to serve those who needed him.
That had ended when one of his parishioners had let him know she wanted to have a very personal relationship with him. He had rebuffed her, kindly at first then more firmly as her demands intensified. Finally she had backed off -- or so he thought.
She hadn't. Instead, she went to the bishop, claiming that Mark had seduced her several times in his church office. The bishop then ordered that he go on trial and in the end, because his only defense was one he was unwilling to use, he was found guilty and defrocked.
I did serve to the best of my abilities. I was a good priest, a caring one. But would I return to the priesthood, given the chance? Probably not. I was betrayed by the very people who were supposed to support me. My parishioners, those who defamed me. The bishop ... he knew the charges against me were false because he knew what I am and yet he let them stand. I dedicated my life to my calling, only to have it torn away. At this point in my life, would it be so wrong to think of myself for once?
It would be a challenge; he was well aware of that. It was one thing to stand in a pulpit, preaching to the congregation. It would be quite another to stand in front of a camera while trying to sell the image the client wanted to portray about their clothing.
Am I talented enough to do that? Do I have the confidence in myself to pull it off?
All those thoughts had run through his head, and many others. He needed to do something more with his life than being a waiter. An honorable profession he knew, but still…
He jumped when a kindly voice said, "Are you in need of counseling, my son? You've been here for more than an hour, just staring at the altar. If you wish to talk, I'm here to listen."
Mark sat back on the pew, his knees protesting the move, to look at the gray-haired man wearing a clerical collar who was standing in the aisle. Shaking his head slightly, he replied, "I was trying to come to a decision about my life."
"And have you?"
"I ... think I have." He nodded slowly and smiled. "Yes, I know I have."
"Not to put too fine a point on it but is it the right decision?"
Mark chuckled. "For me, yes. And don't worry, it's perfectly legal."
The priest laughed. "I wasn't worrying about that. As long as it makes your life better in the eyes of God and harms no one ..."
"Believe me," Mark broke in, getting to his feet, "I wouldn't hurt a ... well to be cliché, a fly. As for the 'eyes of God', at this point in my life I really have my doubts that He cares." When the priest looked at him in dismay, Mark said, "Sorry, Father, but that's the truth, and I should know. I was a priest once myself."
Without another word he strode away.