Cupcake Kissin’ 68 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 68 – Alex Ankarr

And upon careful consideration, it seems that what he actually thinks is that he has maybe been a little bit harsh with Mack. Not that he’s committing himself to definitely believing and supporting Mack’s version of events, his account of how he feels about… things. But he’s not… not doing that, either.

Caspar is starting to think that he maybe, sort of, needs to make amends, for some pretty casual treatment of Mack, up until now. (That is, if Mack meant everything that he had to say, in that interview. And, for that matter, if he has meant everything he has done and said, in his strange quasi-courtship, since breaking up with Adam. Caspar isn’t one hundred per cent sure about that. He’s about eighty-eight per cent sure, which is still pretty sure, for most non-sure things in life. He thinks maybe that Mack is capable of being an asshole, here and there. But not that he’s an asshole as a matter of course, a matter of free choice, not with people he knows and likes.)

Caspar also, after pondering the issue at a reasonable amount of length, arrived at the sound deduction that his amends need to be of some concrete nature. Hasn’t Mack himself made solid, real, tangible manifestation of his pursuit, his affection, his unspoken avowal that, hey, he likes Caspar? (He likes Caspar. It seems pretty much unarguable at this point, even to Caspar, who isn’t really the kind of guy to take someone else’s affections on trust, and never has been.) He has given Caspar flowers, has given him soft toys (however ridiculous that might be as a gesture.) Has written real actual poems, with fountain pen ink on nice expensive paper. (Ridiculous also. But everyone deserves a few ridiculous romantic gestures in life, Caspar feels. Including him. Especially him. He hasn’t had an over-abundance of them up until this point.)

He likes Mack. Mack likes him. It’s so simple, really, although they have perhaps enjoyed complicating it more than strictly necessary. Caspar figures that he’ll figure it out in the morning. He’ll figure out what kind of a gesture is necessary, and what to do about Mack. He sleeps pretty well, though. And he goes off to sleep with pleasant thoughts of Mack’s eyes in that interview, looking out at the camera, out from under thick soft lashes, his green eyes light and lucent and soft with mischief of a gentle kind.

***

What he thinks in the morning, is that it’s not much more than forty-eight hours until the party, and maybe that’s the time to make a gesture. (He also thinks about how he’ll feel if he’s totally misread the situation, and Mack has a plus-one at the party, turns up with someone who is, well, not Caspar. And, thinking of it, he figures that he’ll deal with that if it comes up. He’s been spending most of his life doing the right thing and making sensible decisions. It’s not so bad, he thinks, if perhaps he makes this single unwise choice, in the name of trying to get what he wants.)

It’s a startling thought, maybe the first full admission he’s made to himself. He wants Mack. Is willing, even, perhaps, to risk looking a fool, trying to get him. It’s worth a shot, at least.

There’s only the issue, then, of deciding what his own grand gesture ought to be. Mack’s made enough of them, has seemed quite willing to look a fool. Caspar certainly owes him one back. He’s perhaps silly enough to let himself discuss the matter with Sandy. (Silly, he feels instinctively. Isn’t it crazy to discuss pretty much anything with Sandy? She’s a small blond attack dog with no discretion and no inhibitions, after all.)

In this particular case it seems as if it isn’t such a terrible decision to talk to her, though. What she comes out with, as she’s kneading the dough for the bagels in the electric industrial blender, is a little too obvious to be surprising. And yet Caspar is surprised anyhow, maybe just because it’s so obvious and yet he hasn’t thought of it at all. ‘Cake,’ is what she says, short and succinct, as she’s loading up the trays and greasing the pans. She doesn’t even have her eye on him, as she bustles, adjusts her apron, tuts as she cleans out the refrigerator shelf. Perhaps it does indeed seem just that obvious to her.

‘Cake?’ Caspar says quite stupidly in reply. He does get a look at least for that, as well as a roll of her big brown eyes.

‘You may be a total noob as far as the baked goods in general are concerned,’ she says, ‘or at least compared to the rest of us.’ And she gives a sniff, because it’s true, basically. Caspar has picked up an awful lot, over the months it’s been now (months!) since he inherited and, technically, ‘took over’ the bakery. But even so, he’s not yet up to the same standard as even the newest other member of staff, and he knows it. But Sandy, it seems, is willing to make a concession. ‘But you’re not that bad, at this point,’ she concedes. ‘As long as they don’t let you loose with the fine icing or the double-bakers or sourdoughs. You could put together quite a nice cake – something original, give it a nice romantic name. Or if your version was crappy, the rest of us could help you out.’ And she perks a smooth pencilled eyebrow at him, knowing exactly how cheeky she’s being with the guy who pays her wages, or pays an accountant to pay her wages.

‘Thank you so much, Sands,’ Caspar responds with the most utter dry wryness, too, but he doesn’t resent her rather brutal assessment. ‘But I’d sooner do it myself. You can audition the end result yourself, before I get into gear and court and seduce my man via calories and simple sugars.’

‘Not as if you don’t already know he’s a sucker for that approach,’ Sandy notes thoughtfully. ‘Maybe make it coffee flavoured, too?’

Yeah, he decides, this could work. He’s going for this. Mack is definitely getting a cake shaped, and flavoured, simultaneous apology.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

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Cupcake Kissin’ 67 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 67 – Alex Ankarr

It’s kind of hard not to take it personally. Caspar has about reached the point where he’s not going to pretend to be unaffected. (Especially not with his current crass and loud companions hooting and catcalling at him, pretending to play violins and throwing cushions, asking him why he’s such a cold-hearted asshole and why his heart isn’t just melting at this point.) In fact he’s so much affected, that he can’t tolerate this kind of company during it, or any kind of company at all – not even to yell at them about respect and who’s paying their fucking wages. And he scrams, not runs but certainly walks pretty damn fast, gets himself out of the immediate area and into the kitchen. And although there’s no door and it’s all open space, there are at least partitions that shield him from present company, and he’s glad of them, mighty glad.

There are audible murmurs that follow him, though, about what to do now, and presently Sara follows him in there. It’s not as if he’s crying or anything, because he’s not exactly that kind of stirred up, though he is pretty damn stirred up anyway. But he’s affected enough that he’s got his back to her, and he’s standing with his hands gripping the edges of the work-surface. He doesn’t even bother to fight her off when her arms come about him from behind, clasp at his shoulders and pull him into a light hug.

But he doesn’t give her an opening. Instead he leaves it up to her to open things up. ‘So, what are you going to do about it?’ she asks, and it doesn’t leave him a lot of leeway. He might have pretended to be in a state of uncertainty, not to know exactly Mack’s meaning, if she’d been at all willing to play along. However, it’s clear, quite clear, that she’s not.

He doesn’t at all have an answer, or nothing that’s likely to satisfy the likes of Sara. He doesn’t know, really, what exactly he thinks about it, or what exactly he’s going to do about it. He’ll think about it later. When the work is done, and he’s got rid of his nuisance asshole companions. When he has at least a little time alone.

***

He does get rid of the whole pack and boiling of them, eventually, and he manages to do it without committing himself to so much as an opinion on the subject, despite their best efforts. And that means that he can get himself home and consider the whole issue, determine for himself what he actually thinks about it.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 66 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 66 – Alex Ankarr

‘Come on, there, Mack, it’s not a difficult question. Come on, what do you say?’

‘Yeah, the trouble is we all know the answer, right?’

‘You are or you aren’t, man. You are or you aren’t.’

And all of it is accompanied with a lot of sly looks his way, which isn’t remotely necessary or helpful. Caspar feels his heart in his mouth, or at least a lot as if that’s where it’s trying to jump up into. He doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. At least he refuses to know what’s wrong with him, anyway.

And Mack’s response seems to require a lot of gesturing, or at least he’s waggling his hands around with his mouth open, beginning upon words and then abandoning them, eyes travelling all over the studio in search of aid, in search of the one true answer, maybe. Finally he does get some words out. ‘Not exactly,’ are the words, and they meet with groans – in the studio, and back in his apartment from colleagues, assistants and catering staff.

The host is clearly intrigued, though, and leans in closer, fixes him with an eye that is clearly not going to accept anything less than the utmost detail, none of this evasion and shilly-shallying. ‘Not exactly, huh? And what does that mean… exactly, Mack? Come on! I’m sure a lot of guys and girls out there would just love to know!’

They would. It’s a certain fact that they would, and a certain portion are standing right behind Caspar, and making their feelings known. But in response, all that Mack has to say is, ‘Well, I’m trying. There’s someone I’ve been interested in… for a while. But I’m not sure how far I’m getting with him. I think maybe I’m just annoying him, maybe I should stop bothering him and get the message. Sometimes it’s just hard to do that, you know?’ And he looks up, right through his criminal lashes, into the camera.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 65 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 65 – Alex Ankarr

Caspar doesn’t want to see Mack on the show, doesn’t not want to see Mack on the show. (Really his preference would be for putting his viewing off until later, when he doesn’t have company, an audience. He’d like to watch the show alone, so no-one can see him bite his knuckles and re-wind and re-wind and re-view, and analyse every word and every move and every glance, until he’s sick of doing it, and sick of himself too.

Everybody slows, everybody lingers around the screen. And that, even though there’s plenty to be done and no excuse for idling around as if they haven’t got a deadline staring them down, or staring Caspar down anyhow. And Caspar does his best, his utmost, chivvies them along and flat-out abuses and yells at them at points. It’s not much use, because there’s not much work he’ll get out of them tonight and he knows it perfectly well, at least until the show is over. It’s not as if he’d normally grudge them a bit of skiving – he’s done enough thankless service jobs himself, including in his own business lately, by old Gertie’s decree.

It’s more about not wanting to see that expanded, super-sized, beautiful face say things to make his heart sink or flutter, not with everyone around. But they’re all set on catching every millisecond, so he half gives up the effort, and at least concentrates on what he can control. That’s to get as much done as he can, with their very half-hearted and minimalistic assistance, and to stay as far away from the screen as he can manage. He hovers in the kitchen, finds reason to go upstairs to get fresh cushion covers, new table linens. All of it up until the point that Mickel the host actually announces Mack as the next guest on the show. And then Caspar finds himself forced to stray over, to watch him run up the stairs onto the set, enthusiastically embrace the presenter, crack a few jokes and laugh at Mickel’s rude funny intro for him, then lounge around on the couch in front of Mickel’s desk. (Much like Caspar’ supposed help and staff for the night are by now mostly lounging on the seating area units, sly and shifty, sliding eyes around to check whether he’s clocked them, and whether they’re liable to be reprimanded over it. But Caspar has given in, by that point, on that issue.)

After his first involuntary skitter inwards, to see the beginning of the interview, though, Caspar makes himself scarce again. Or at least as much as possible. Even though the loft is stupendous in size, so is Mack’s screen and media system and his speakers, so it isn’t really so very much possible to evade completely everything that Mack has to say, and glimpses of his shifts and mannerisms blown up to more than life-size on the screen.

And Caspar feels his heart squeeze and flex many a time, over and over, and wishes he was somewhere else, mostly. Further and further away he manages to find excuse to loiter, until he’s right on the other side of the loft pretending to press some serviettes into fancy shapes. Almost out of earshot, and that’s how he wants it. But not quite far enough out, not to hear a sharp, unanimous sucked-in breath, at something Mack or the host has just said, although his mind has thankfully been wandering and he doesn’t know what it was, to get such a reaction.

He doesn’t want to know, but for some reason it causes Sara to jump up from her sprawled position on the couch, and to run over hell for leather towards him, and catch him by the shoulders. He isn’t having any initially, and pushes her off. But she’s so insistent in dragging him over to the screen, to quickly see the rest of the show, the interview, that he gives in. Because it doesn’t after all seem worth descending into a brawl with a female over. He has a little too much dignity for that. Well, possibly, anyway.

But Sara gets him over there in front of the screen impressively quick-sharp, hissing in his ear as they stumble over, clasped around the hips, ‘Mickel asked him if he’s seeing anyone. See that!’

And she flings her arm out at the screen, as they get there, stood a little ahead of everyone else. Caspar is quite uncomfortably aware that everyone, all of his idle bunch of work-shy loafers, they’re all watching him. Sure, they’re discreet enough about it, or making some effort to be. But just the same, he’s under plenty close observation, and it’s uncomfortable. What on earth do they think he’s going to do?

But it’s not enough to distract him from the main event, the star of the show, who is as always, Mack. Because – given the speed at which Sara has hauled his ass across some considerable acreage of expensive cedar flooring – Mack is still, it seems, considering his answer to the original question set him by his host on the show. In fact finding an honest – or perhaps just a suitable, or funny, or tactful – answer to the question, seems to give him a more than ordinary measure of difficulty. He’s pulling all kinds of funny faces, and Caspar’s companions seem unable to prevent themselves from commenting, from speaking to him as if he was present and could hear them.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Stepbrother Landlord – Sexy Gay Romance!

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When aspiring writer Stevie loses his job and his apartment the first time, he’s grateful that his step-brother Rory lets him an apartment at a reduced family rate, with only a few hints and a little suggestiveness. Because Rory is a little bit sleazy, and has always had a thing for him. When Stevie loses his job a second time, though, and needs a break on the rent, he thinks about what angle to work and what advantages he has. And decides to see what he can do, to persuade Rory to cut his rent down to zero…

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Cupcake Kissin’ 64 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 64 – Alex Ankarr

For himself, he’s obsessing more. You always want someone more when you figure they’re losing interest, right? He’d stopped marathoning past seasons of Mack’s show, but he’s back to that, even, now. He tries to stop, but he figures he needs some kind of support group to manage it, a sponsor, and he hasn’t got that kind of free time.

It’s closer and closer to the party, now, four days, three, and the evening he’s setting up the glassware at Mack’s apartment, Mack doesn’t even bother to show up, to hover, to make suggestive remarks and force drinks on Caspar and make his presence felt. It feels like a decisive moment, because he’s got used to that level of intrusive attention, used to rolling his eyes at it and making out like it’s some kind of nuisance. Used to the flattery of it, the stroke to his ego, certainly.

And he’s got Sara and Sam both with him, as well as three of the bakery staff and a few agency temps, to get the cake displays and glasses in place, all of them practically hog-tied in his ‘volunteering’ of their services. Sam puts the big screen TV on, while they work, and when Caspar moves to turn it back off again, Sara just wrestles him down in the seating area. (Her bumping and grinding as she does it are pretty damn perverted. And considering his senior supervisory position in the current ad hoc work group, his shouts of, ‘Sexual harassment! Sexual harassment lawsuit, you hear me, Sara? You paying attention to what I’m saying to you?’ really ought to command both more sympathy and more respect.)

She does it because there is at least a nominally official reason why Mack isn’t around tonight, to hover without excuse, without seeming to feel he needs one. (Not that official reasons have ever prevented him before, these latter weeks and months, from being around to linger and harass Caspar. It still feels an awful lot like neglect.) But Mack is busy promoting the new season of the show, or that’s his excuse anyway. He’s supposed to be appearing on a talk show, up and coming and a hotbed of hot talent, so they say. It’s called Sneak le Peek, and the host is young and funny and hot , and has a reputation for having no brake on his mouth.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 63 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 63 – Alex Ankarr

Everyone thinks it’s pretty funny, though. It provides a lot of entertainment, and someone records it and puts it up on the net, and Mack just comes up and gives him the most casual one-armed hug when it’s done. ‘Just funny, man, relax. I’m getting the message, give me a little more time,’ is what he says, and it’s hard to understand, to digest. It’s all he gets in explanation, anyhow, because Mack abandons him at that point, and heads for the craft table, where he begins to work his way through a lot more cake than his usual single caramel-dark-choc, and mainlines the coffee too. And that’s all the notice he gets out of Mack. All the rest of the cast and crew seem barely to notice the lack of contact beyond the initial display. Or how dejected Mack is, beyond the overt good humour and teasing.

Caspar isn’t sure. Is that really dejection? Is he responsible, or is that vanity? (He might have been guilty of vanity, at certain points over the last weeks. He’ll own it.)

Sara comes up behind him, and slings her arms around his neck, drags him in, in what looks like quite a friendly embrace. It’s not as friendly as all that, not as friendly as it looks, and that’s what he finds out for himself. ‘You’ve let this go on for way too long,’ she says in his ear. It’s not a soft murmur, not friendly or kind. She makes it sharp.

And that’s all she gives him, because she doesn’t even linger long enough for him to argue. Across the set he spots Sam, too. Who just shakes his head, then disappears. Sam doesn’t come over – seemingly doesn’t even want to talk to him, and that’s coming down from a point of them dating, making out even a little, to colluding and conspiring and Sam manoeuvring him into a courtship he had no readiness for. Now Sam’s mad at him – is he? – and he can’t quite account for how he’s let it get this far. Along a route where he doesn’t have a map, or know how to get back to where they were days and weeks ago.

***

Mack’s still texting him, still calling him. Still flirting, in a mechanical way, still pursuing him even. It just seems all a little done by rote, without passion or light-heartedness or actual feeling behind it. Rather as if Mack has come around to changing his mind, without notifying his super-ego to modify his behaviour, to abandon a gentle pursuit that hasn’t borne fruit.

And Caspar can’t help but wonder if he’s been silly enough to leave it too late. But if so, then there’s nothing to be done about it. He gets on with the things he needs to get on with, and he tries not to fret. He has plenty to occupy his mind. But it’s amazing just how much it does hinder his free thought, and unclouded action. Especially since, superficially at least, nothing has changed. Mack is still pursuing him just the same. Except it’s not at all the same. In everything except technical details, it feels entirely different, a game and a casual, perfunctory run-through, not a real felt wish and desire.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 62 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 62 – Alex Ankarr

Except he doesn’t want to do that, and he’s honest enough with himself that there are no prevarications about it whatsoever. He doesn’t want to, and that’s simply that. No, he wants to leave things as they are just a little while longer, and enjoy being courted that little time extra, and get this damn party arranged properly. And then, maybe… almost certainly…

Provided Mack is still interested by that time, of course. Suddenly he isn’t quite as certain of that outcome as he was only half a day ago.

***

But he gets some kind of a hint the next day, when he gets the job of delivering the usual Honey Bunny delivery to the show’s set. Because they’re a little short-staffed, and Millie and Horace both have some variant of flu, and – yes – if he’s honest, because he wants a chance to catch up with Mack, a little bit. Or at least to exchange hiya’s and chit-chat a very little, eyeball him and judge if Mack has begun to lose interest in him on the basis of getting damn-all encouragement.

Yes, he wants it both ways. Doesn’t everyone?

He gets a damn sight more than he bargained for, when Sara yanks him into the break room once he’s made his delivery, snickering. And he gets serenaded, by some highly incompetent version of a barbershop quartet, with renditions of doowop tunes that are as loaded with sugar as any cupcake. Including a re-written lyric going thus:-

Caspar honey won’t you let me

Sweeten your coffee what do you bet me?

And Mack slides to his knees in front of Caspar as he sings it, and it’s silly and sweet, and clearly mostly a joke, because everyone on set now knows that Mack likes Caspar. His eyes don’t look so very amused, though. They look a little bit hurt and sad. They look like Mack has given up on getting Caspar to take him seriously, and has decided to just treat the whole thing as a joke himself. Which isn’t exactly – or indeed, not remotely – quite what Caspar has wanted. He only wanted a little more time, and to be chased after a little more earnestly and hopelessly.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 61 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 61 – Alex Ankarr

Caspar doesn’t know exactly what to say to that, so he just avoids answering altogether. He only reminds Mack that the party is at the end of the week, and that he’ll be the one delivering the blown sugar cottages the next day. Then he rings off, vague and hurried, but not as hurried as he’s pretending to be, like any coward.

Then he sits and thinks for a while, lounging on his own bed and cuddling furry!Mack, about what exactly an honest answer to that question of Mack’s would have been. He thinks – on carefully assessing the matter – that a flat-out, ‘No, don’t stop,’ would have been the most strictly truthful response he could have managed. Except that it would have been incomplete by itself. For full detail and relevance, it would have required the disclaimer, ‘But you’ll have to keep going for a while. So that I can decide at what point I’m going to give it up, after torturing you and making you work for it.’

Yeah. And he’s been operating on the basis that that’s kind of a reasonable modus operandi, a non-shitty way to behave, with someone who’s something of a friend as well as a client. At least, it is, after Mack has been kind of entitled about Caspar’s company and person and affections (and attentions), and maybe hasn’t given him at all points the full respect and esteem he knows (at least at this point in his life) that he deserves.

Except, now when he explicitly states his intent to himself, even if not out loud, even with only furry!Mack listening, it doesn’t sound so good.

Maybe he should give Mack a break, invite him over. Except he’s still working on the party, and if it doesn’t go well, or there’s bad feeling – or if Mack drops him like a hot potato, although he’s kind of got over that phobia and fear at this point – then that will make finishing off the project and getting it done, adding to the healthy bottom line of Honey Bunny’s and creating something that’s a credit to their reputation and will bring in further business – well, it’s probably not a good idea. Not just yet.

Alternatively, of course, he could tell Mack that yes, he’s just an annoyance, that it’s no go, and to stop bothering him with unwanted advances and jokey romantic gestures. (They’re not so very much of a joke. It’s not as if Caspar can’t work that one out for himself at this point.)

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.