With Proper Maintenance
With Proper Maintenance
With Proper Maintenance under pen name C.V. Madison
gay erotic romance steampunk novella
Release Date: 10/6/2014
Length: 11,000 words/30 pgs
Cover Art by Valerie Tibbs
Named the youngest head engineer in the history of his company, Ethan Cole’s first voyage on the Platinum Bow is his chance to stand out from his father’s shadow. His dream is dashed by the roguish Cecil Goode, promoted to Ethan’s position just before the ship sets sail. When the Bow is hijacked by pirates, Ethan and Cecil have to work together to bring the pirates’ nearly wrecked ship to safety. Will they make it to port before the ship plummets from the sky? And what will become of the combustible passion between them? Will it outlast the pirate attack?
Ethan signed the bottom of the requisition form and gave the list another once-over. Accuracy was the key to a clean, tight, steam-powered airship. All forms were submitted in triplicate with neat, easy to read handwriting. Two copies would be on the captain’s desk within the hour, just as promised.
Three sharp raps brought him from his work as he finished the final pen stroke. Ethan set aside his quill, careful not to spill ink or make a mis-mark on the copied requisition forms, and pulled open the door.
Captain Quinn, a tall man with a head of thick black hair, a lantern jaw with a cleft chin and, presently, five-o-clock shadow, filled the doorway. He wore no coat and tie, his shirt was unfastened three buttons down and his trousers hung wrinkled. Ethan hoped he covered his shock at the captain’s attire.
“Good evening, Engineer Cole. I hope I find you well.”
“Indeed. What might I do for you, Captain?”
“Have you walked through the engine compartment? Is everything satisfactory for departure?”
“I found a few pieces in need of attention. I am duplicating requisition forms now, sir.”
“Requisition form?” The captain’s thick fingers pinched the corner and plucked the crisp page from Ethan’s grasp. “I can’t even read this.”
Ethan’s cheeks heated. How could he have been so foolish as to keep the original in hand when he answered the door?
“I will make the submitted forms legible.”
“Tut, tut, tut.” The captain wagged a stout finger and leaned in, his cologne mixing with the bourbon on his breath. “You come highly recommended. I have no worry. Go, find what you need, stop off at the office on the way back and give them your forms. I can’t exactly allow them to see me like this and expect to keep my job, now can I?”
Ethan shook his head and took a step back. The captain weaved in the doorway and, thankfully, returned from whence he came. Once the pervasive odor of stale bedsheets and hair oil dissipated, Ethan drew a breath of relief. If the captain didn’t dry out, Ethan would be certain they wouldn’t leave port. A captain should keep his wits about him at all times. At any point a mechanical failure or invading ship could kill an entire crew. Ethan would not become another casualty of piracy.