Graham Warren is a vet, an adventurer, and man who dresses his own way and lives by his own rules. He’s suddenly inherited his own company, and attends a RAW Materials conference to change his personal image, but nothing seems to be working.
Edward Vincent has looks, style, and attitude. He runs RAW, the private coaching and personal enhancement empire targeting wealthy corporate clients. Edward Vincent believes anyone can completely transform to someone entirely different. After all, he’s done it himself.
When Edward Vincent offers Graham Warren some very personalized coaching, he can’t resist. After all, he’s drawn to Edward Vincent and knows there must be secrets behind those cryptic glances and finely pressed suits.
Can both of these men leave personal motivation behind to find the motivation to love each other?
Available Sept. 28th from Changeling Press
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Edward took a deep breath. He straightened his back, he rolled his neck, did a little two-step like a boxer ready to enter the ring. He had this. He was in control.
Nortrice turned and gestured to him, stretching her arms out as if greeting royalty. Edward remembered. This was his kingdom. He was royalty in this room.
Edward Vincent strolled out on that stage with a wave and a smile. He glanced at the audience, repressed the urge to blow kisses, but kept up the smile. He reached Nortrice — one foot away to indicate intimacy and friendliness — gave her a handshake. No hugs. This was about professionalism. This was about polish. Nortrice was top notch at her job in making sure RAW got its message across.
Edward grabbed the microphone in one swooping movement. “Welcome,” he said.
The crowd went into defeating applause. Nortrice had worked her magic in getting the crowd pumped up.
“Refinement. Attitude. Wealth,” he said as the crowd repeated, “These are the raw materials of life,” Edward said feeling more confident with each passing second. More like himself.
He scanned the crowd. Nortrice had coached him not to speak to the whole crowd. Speak to one person. Find that one focus that you want to reach. Talk only to them, and the power and intimacy translates in your words.
Edward had the words. He needed the focus. The one.
He scanned the audience.
Eager faces. Pleasant smiles. Well-dressed, business-oriented with nice suits, power ties, power shirts. Good make-up and neat haircuts. At a $3,000 price tag for this conference, this was hardly a surprise. RAW taught that the best investment was an investment in yourself. And these were people who invested in themselves. They had bodies courtesy of personal trainers and faces courtesy of plastic surgeons.
Edward focused on one.
A man he’d seen around the conference, sitting toward the back at lectures, standing aloof at the mixers. He’d been here before. Edward had spotted him briefly at a gay bar in town last night. He was tall and broad-shouldered with a purposeful stance that screamed ex-military and probably not in the distant past, even if his brown hair was cut too long. A tattoo snaked out from the side of his neck. He was dressed in a throwaway suit that didn’t quite fit. And he wasn’t in his seat. He was leaning on the wall to the side, arms crossed.
The name came to him.
Edward fixed on him and at the very moment that man met his gaze. Their eyes were locked on to each other. Edward pushed the other people out of his mind; let their chatter fall away from his notice, and spoke as if he were talking to this man only.
“When we take the power over our own lives, when we mold ourselves, we can reinvent ourselves to be anything we want. A street wise kid becomes a corporate CEO. The pauper becomes the prince. The ugly duckling becomes the swan.”
About the Author:
Echo Ishii loves to write stories of the fantastic — from high fantasy to high tech and everything in between. She is a long time science fiction fan, as well as a fan of all things fantasy and paranormal — classic sci fi movies, shows, and even radio dramas.