A Most Personal Property (Ganymede Quartet Book 1) is available for preorder at Amazon for download on September 24.
Here is the first of the main series books in the Ganymede Quartet.
In the heat of August 1900, Henry Blackwell—rich, handsome, and painfully shy—anticipates the purchase of his companion slave, that most personal of properties, with equal parts excitement and dread. There are limits to what a gentleman might do with his slave and still remain a gentleman, and what Henry craves goes far beyond what’s allowed.
Martin, a slave from House Ganymede, is the most beautiful young man Henry’s ever seen, and he’s ready and willing to do as Henry commands, but Henry’s afraid to ask him for what he really needs. A master needn’t care what a slave thinks or how he feels, but Henry can’t help wanting Martin to like him anyway. If Henry could be certain Martin wanted the same things he does, he might be bold enough to reveal his secrets.
Unfolding against a backdrop of progress, privilege and turn-of-the-century amusements, the four installments of the Ganymede Quartet present an erotic coming-of-age fantasy of Gilded Age New York in which young men from the richest families form intense bonds with the slaves who serve them.
After breakfast, outside in the cool of the morning, waiting for the carriage to be brought around, Henry was full of nervous energy and stood bouncing on his toes. Father looked Henry up and down and frowned; perhaps the green suit had been a bad idea—Father disapproved of what he saw as Henry’s dandyish notions. But nothing was said, and in any event it was too late to change. Jack drove up in the Clarence and Henry climbed in after his father to sit on the rear-facing seat while Timothy sat at Father’s side. Henry’s stomach was in knots and his hands twisted and fidgeted in his lap. Father champed on a cigar and looked sharply at Henry’s twitching fingers until Henry realized what he was doing and forced himself to stop.
As the carriage began to roll, Father cleared his throat in preparation to speak, and Henry sat up self-consciously straight in order to hear him. “About today, Henry…it’s important to choose the right slave for the job, son,” Father began. “Especially important when it comes to the companion slave. It can’t just be a pretty face, you understand.”
Father paused here, a long pause before Henry recognized a response was required and hurriedly said, “Yes, sir.”
“You want a slave who’s clever and shows initiative, of course, but not one who’s going to challenge your authority. He’ll be with you for the rest of your life, so of course he must be someone whose company you’ll enjoy. You’ll necessarily be close, but you must never allow your slave to feel that he is your equal, Henry. You must never allow him to be overly familiar with you or make a joke at your expense.” Again, Father waited for Henry to respond.
Henry cleared his throat. “Of course not, sir.”
“Boys your age…I know there are, er, certain aspects of ownership that you’re particularly interested in,” Father said, reddening and fixing his gaze at a point somewhere beyond Henry’s left ear. “That’s to be expected, but there are limits, and you must work within them. There are…certain intimacies that must be avoided.” Father cleared his throat and looked away. “Kissing is reserved for the marriage bed, no matter how caught up in the moment one may be.”
Henry flushed a horrified red. “Father! I know this!”
But Father had apparently prepared a speech and was going to get through it. “There is nothing improper in a slave deriving pleasure from performing his duties, but a master must never do anything toward satisfying a slave’s needs. It may be an intimate relationship, son, but it is not a romantic one.”
“I understand, sir,” Henry mumbled, head down, eyes averted, cheeks burning. He felt he could sink through the floor of the carriage.
Father turned to Timothy, seeming relieved that the uncomfortable portion of his talk was over. “Tell him what you think, Timothy. What should he be looking for today?”
Timothy gave Henry a mild-mannered smile. “Well, Sir, most important, I think, is that we choose a boy who appeals to you. Someone whose looks appeal, someone with similar interests. All of the candidates will be of exceptional quality, well-educated and of good temperament, or they wouldn’t be offered as companions.”
“We’ll go to Ganymede, of course,” Father said. “We’ll have to see what the others are offering, I suppose, but every male slave in our household thus far has come from Ganymede.” Father patted Timothy’s arm. “I have no complaints.” Timothy gave Father a fond smile.
For a long time, Henry had been squeamish about the idea of his father and Timothy being…together. Father was so fat and florid, and Timothy was so proper and mouse-gray, and the few photographs he’d seen of them as younger men didn’t make the idea any more palatable. However, Henry had recently learned that Father didn’t buy Timothy until he was in his twenties, a grown man. Father had been born into poverty, and it wasn’t until he had made a great success of himself that he’d been able to afford to have quality people around him. So it was possible, even likely, that Father and Timothy had never had an intimate physical relationship. Henry did believe, though, that Timothy was his father’s closest friend, despite what everyone said about slaves not being real friends.
Preorder A Most Personal Property @ Amazon