Billionaire Bad Boys Club(10)

By: Emma Holly

From then on, whatever it took, she’d be a real parent.


The Night They Met

THE last four years had been the best of Zane’s life. Finally free of their fathers, he and Trey had gotten into Harvard. Zane’s way was paved by a football scholarship, Trey’s by a special economics prize. Trey might have been more surprised than anyone that he’d won it. His essay on the correlation between macro and micro markets had been submitted by one of his teachers at Franklin High. Though Zane wasn’t stupid, when he’d tried to read the doorstopper of a paper, he’d understood one word in two. The experience taught him an important lesson about his friend.

Trey Hayworth’s smarts were easier for him to downplay than his sexuality.

Zane didn’t hesitate to say yes when Trey tentatively suggested they room together off campus. Not only was this convenient for their continuing sexual hookups, but if Zane got lost in his classes, he had a built-in tutor. The arrangement turned out better than either predicted. For four years they worked and played with equal fervor, each one giving the other whatever hand he needed.

No longer a social outcast, in the university’s broader atmosphere Trey blossomed into the king of the eccentrics. His gentleness attracted people . . . and his big brain. He brought his coterie of geeks and Goths to cheer Zane on the gridiron, in return for which Zane made sure every one of them was welcome at jock-thrown parties. Zane discovered his own knack for economics by starting a lucrative bookmaking enterprise. Obviously, he couldn’t make book on Harvard football, but what his scholarship didn’t cover, his sideline did. Even professors placed bets with him, his reputation for always paying off a matter of pride with him.

As far as it was possible for two individuals to rule a place like Harvard, Zane and Trey did. They were a familiar sight strolling Harvard Yard’s leafy paths, generally shoulder to shoulder. They both liked clothes, though not the same styles of them. Zane favored Tom Ford suits while Trey was more Abercrombie and Fitch. Because Trey was Zane’s odds maker, once their extracurricular work took off, they could afford to shop. They didn’t pretend to be privileged; they just naturally looked it. They learned about living well by doing it—living free, they called it. From the best place to eat scallops to the best place to ski, they were interested. If they didn’t know, they researched. Before they’d been on campus a month, people mistook them for grad students.

Neither ever went home on breaks, and both were aware they weren’t missed.

Rumors cropped up now and then about the true nature of their friendship, something they chose not to comment on. Girls they enjoyed aplenty, though none of them lasted. By mutual if undiscussed agreement, the only men they slept with were each other. That source of gossip cut off, too many females heaved too many sighs over torrid trysts for anyone to conclude precisely what they were.

That was the way Zane liked it. What he felt for Trey, what he did with Trey, was his business. Well, his business and Trey’s. Somehow they’d never got around to spelling out the rules exactly.

He assured himself that was his preference too.

At the moment, contrarily, he wished their association were more defined. Graduation was a week away, their classes finished, their futures twinkling brightly in front of them. Trey had accepted a position at a prestigious economics think tank in DC. Zane had played decently for the Harvard Crimson, but not at a level to turn pro. He was moving to Seattle, having been headhunted by an alum to help start a chain of fitness clubs. The work would be exciting, the responsibility more than most of his peers could boast. Nonetheless, from the moment he’d said yes to the CEO, depression had gripped him.

He didn’t want to work for other people. He had his own dreams to chase. The fact that Trey didn’t seem to mind them parting increased his dejection. He actually tried to turn down Zane for dinner, claiming he had a mountain of packing to start on. Zane had to coax him a full five minutes to get him to accept.

“We haven’t tried this place yet,” he said, physically tugging the moving box out of Trey’s hold. “Boston Eats gave it a five-fork rating.”

“Fine,” Trey huffed. “But you’re picking up the tab.”

Zane had planned to. He always did when the restaurant was his choice. Grumpy enough to bite more than food, he grabbed the keys to his Mercedes CLK and his portfolio.

“Oh no,” Trey said, attempting to yank the leather case from his hand. “If I have to quit packing, you’re not bringing along work.”

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