Mr. Hideaway by R.W. Clinger is now available!
Pittsburgh filmmaker Josh Hideaway feels he’s lost his mind at thirty-five. After his psychiatrist recommends a summer off at his family’s cabin for some heavy duty rest and relaxation, Josh leaves the city and heads north.
Following a warning from park ranger Zeth Mandell, his muscular and attractive neighbor by the lake, Josh learns that a pack of dangerous coyotes is causing random havoc in the area. The coyotes fail to stop Josh from his goal, though: clearing his mind and finding a mental balance.
Unfortunately, Ranger Zeth needs to heed his own advice when an emergency transpires at the lake. A helpful Josh comes to the hurt hero’s rescue. Will something more than friendship blossom between the elusive Mr. Hideaway and the ranger? Sometimes hiding out is the only way to fall in love.
After unpacking, Josh decided to cut the yard. Thick grass was ankle-plus high; a plush green that looked more like a quilt than God’s given vegetable. A tiny shed sat in approximately three hundred feet away from the cabin. Inside were tools for keeping the property shipshape: shovels, a pick, machete, chainsaw, five-gallon plastic tank of gasoline, two containers of 10W30 oil, lawn mower, and ceramic garden gnomes with cracked faces and missing limbs. The gnomes needed to be tossed in the garbage; a task that maybe Josh would get around to during the next month. Maybe not, though. As for the lawnmower, it was new, used just a few times last summer, and shiny red.
Josh checked the mower’s oil. Not fine. Almost empty. He added new. Then he filled the Lawn Boy with gasoline. Good to go now. Amen to that.
The day turned warm and he removed his shirt, showing off a sturdy chest of blond hair that matched the curls on his head. He squinted his dazzling blue eyes, wishing he would have remembered his sunglasses in the cabin.
No, he couldn’t spend an hour on the grass without his shades. After bitching at himself, “Too bright,” he made the walk to the cabin, fetched his men’s Polos from the kitchen counter, decided a bottle of water also went well with the sun, and snagged one from the refrigerator.
Zeth Mandell met him outside on the rear deck that shared a stunning view of the lake. Zeth’s green Jeep was parked on the grass, next to the cabin. The guy also wore sunglasses, protected from the sun. Zeth was decked out in an olive green uniform, a matching ranger hat with a narrow chin strap, brown belt, and worn Danner boots caked in dried mud. He had a Colt .38 strapped to his right hip. A six-star brass badge with a pine tree in its center decorated his chest. The shield read, Penichowaba Ranger.
Damn, he’s a good-looking guy, Josh thought. Handsome as hell for all the right reasons.
They didn’t shake hands. Instead, Ranger Zeth moved up to Josh, went in for a hug, collapsed their chests together, and …
Josh believed that the man with the gun actually brushed his lips against Josh’s neck, ever so slightly, without any force whatsoever, but with intention. And then Zeth patted Josh on the back, adding a swirl with his right palm and fingers. He pulled away from Josh, grinned from ear to ear, and said, “Nice to see you made back to these parts. I’ve been watching your place since you left last fall.”
“Thanks, guy. Nice to see you, too.”
Zeth’s dark-dark eyes danced in the June sunlight and his white teeth reflected with a commercial-perfect shine. Acting forward, he patted Josh’s left pec with an extended palm, checked him out from head to toe, and said, “You’re looking good. It’s nice to know that a man takes care of himself. The movie business is doing you well.”
Truth told, Josh hadn’t worked out since last summer and he didn’t watch his sugar or carb intake. God had just been nice and given him a good looking body that he didn’t have to properly maintain much. He told Zeth, “I can’t lie. I really don’t lift weights or watch everything I put in my mouth. I should exercise, but can’t find the time.”
“Well, whatever you’re doing, it’s working. Keep up the good work.” Zeth paused, dropped his eyes to Josh’s chest for a few seconds, checked out the beefy movie producer’s sweaty pecs and lines abs. Then he lifted his stare to the city boy’s intoxicating blue eyes. “So, tell me how the movie business is going?”
Executive producing short films for private investors had taken up the last fifteen years of Josh’s life, ever since he graduated from Temple and moved from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Various city companies paid Hatch Films a bundle for Josh to produce the flicks. Such companies entailed city colleges and universities, medical facilities, financial institutions, and drug companies. Most of the films ended up on the Internet or were used as selling tools. Other films were for educational purposes with their private foundations.
Savior Realm, Harriet Dawn, and Umbrella Love were just a few “genre-inspired” films that Josh and his filming crew made in the past two years. Other movies included The Silent Brothers, Spells of Euphoria, and Bixbey Lane.
Anyone who really knew Josh and his team was familiar with Edward Calling. The two-hour film won the Visual Effect Society Award, putting Hatch Films into Hollywood’s eye, offering Josh Hideaway and his crew fame, and money. Edward Calling just happened to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and three other awards in 2012, but lost. Still, the movie had drawn a lot of attention in the film world and proved to be a contender with talented filmmakers, Josh included.