Billionaire Bad Boys Club(2)

By: Emma Holly

He was out of the house in seconds, striding down their front walk on jerky legs. Probably he wanted to walk his upset off. Trey had done the same lots of times. As he went, a circle of streetlight lit up his chiseled face. Trey winced. The cheek Zane’s father hit was bruising. It made Zane’s expression seem even more set and grim. His eyes were a blue so bright it was electric.

He looked like he might do anything.

Despite suspecting it was a bad idea, Trey swung out of his bedroom window, hung by his hands, and dropped the remaining distance onto the lawn. Because he was no champion athlete, the landing stung.

By the time he’d rounded the house’s corner, Zane had reached the end of their cul-de-sac. Still reluctant to call out, Trey sprinted as stealthily as he could after him. If Zane intended to throw himself off a bridge, Trey was going to stop him.

Mr. Martin’s head jerked up as he dashed past in his half crouch, startled from the engrossing task of watering his boxwoods in his robe and slippers. Trey nodded as if everything were normal. Thankfully, the surprised neighbor didn’t say anything.

God, this was stupid. Zane wasn’t a bully, but—just on principle—he’d beat Trey senseless if he caught him stalking him. The guy was a beast, 6’2” already and solid with muscle. He was quick as well, or he’d never have pulled off playing quarterback. He’d make mincemeat of a sparely built guy like Trey.

Zane didn’t seem to know he was being followed. He didn’t look around as he led Trey out of their suburban neighborhood and along the shoulder of the two-lane blacktop they took to school. Zane’s hands were shoved in the pockets of his dark blue hoodie, his long strong legs apparently tireless. Though Trey ran a couple miles most mornings, he was beginning to get winded.

Then again, his breathlessness might have been arousal. Masochist that he was, he’d had a boy crush on Zane for years. The occasional glimpses he’d caught of his neighbor changing spurred more fantasies than a truckload of underwear models. Trey knew for a fact Zane woke up with morning wood.

As he’d expected, Zane turned in at the high school’s grounds. He headed for the track, which was empty at this hour. The chain link fence that surrounded it wasn’t tall, and Zane vaulted it easily. Empty or not, the track was lit. If Trey wanted to follow his example, no way could he miss being seen.

He hesitated in the darkness. Zane unzipped his hoodie and pulled it off, revealing his monster shoulders under a white T-shirt. He crouched down to stretch his thighs. He was going to run—an activity Trey could conceivably join him in.

His heart drummed behind his ribs as he told himself not to pussy out.

“Hey,” he said like he’d only then walked up and noticed Zane. “You come out here to run?”

Zane turned his head and snorted. His blackening eye confronted Trey, managing to convey sarcasm in spite of swelling up. “Don’t be a tool. I knew you were tailing me since you climbed out of your window.”

Trey hadn’t known his cheeks could blaze quite that hot. A second later, a fierce sexual tingle streaked up his spine. If Zane had known he was there, why hadn’t he stopped him?

“I was worried,” he said as steadily as he could. “I heard you and your father fighting. I didn’t want you to do anything crazy.”

Zane let out a ragged laugh. “I guess Horny Hayworth knows a thing or two about crazy.”

The nickname wasn’t Trey’s favorite. He wasn’t as big a slut as that. He just tried not to waste opportunities. But at least Zane wasn’t saying to take a hike. Trey approached the fence, stopping when he was close enough to grab its top rail. “You want to talk?”

“Fuck. What is there to say?”

“Nothing. Anything. Who cares as long as you know you’re not alone?”

This might have been too touchy-feely. Zane dropped his arms and frowned. Still he didn’t tell Trey to fuck off. “Your dad hits you too?”

Trey pulled up his flannel shirt to expose a fading bruise. It crossed his ribs in a purplish stripe. Maybe it wasn’t appropriate to compare right then, but Trey was aware his six-pack wasn’t as ripped as Zane’s.

“Shit,” Zane said. His fingertips touched the fence as if he’d reach through and stroke the mark. “I never hear him yelling at you.”

“He’s quiet. Likes to tell me I’m going to hell in a ‘rational’ tone. Also he doesn’t drink. He avoids leaving bruises where they might show.”

Zane grimaced at the reminder of his black eye. “I’m going to have to stay home from school until this looks better, and I’m already too behind. I’ll lose my football scholarship if I’d don’t graduate. Stupid guidance counselors are starting to give me looks. I know my dad will drag me to some other town if they confront him. This shit is so close to being over. I only have to get through this year.”