The Italian's Ruthless Seduction

By: Miranda Lee

I SHOULD BE HAPPIER, Sergio thought as he snapped off the shower, stepped out onto the luxuriously soft bath mat and reached for an even more luxurious bath sheet. Today I became a billionaire. Today, my two best friends became billionaires as well. If that doesn’t make me happy, then what will?

Sergio frowned as he dried himself vigorously. Why wasn’t he happier? Why wasn’t he thrilled to pieces with the four-point-six billion they’d been paid for the Wild Over Wine franchise? Why did signing that contract today leave him feeling just a little...empty?

Wise people did say it was the journey that gave the most satisfaction, not the destination, he conceded with a resigned shrug of his broad shoulders. The irrefutable fact was that the three members of the Bachelors’ Club had now reached their destination. Well...almost. None of them had turned thirty-five yet, though they would soon. His own thirty-fifth birthday was just over a fortnight away.

Sergio smiled a wry smile as he recalled the night they’d formed the Bachelors’ Club. How young they were at the time. Not that any of them had realised it back then. They’d felt incredibly mature, older at twenty-three than a lot of the other students at Oxford in their year. More confident than most as well, each of them having been blessed with good looks as well as above-average intelligence. They’d also been very ambitious.

At least, he and Alex had been ambitious. Jeremy—who’d already had a private income—had just gone along for the ride.

It had been a Friday night, several months after they’d first met. They’d been in Jeremy’s room, of course. His room had been so much bigger and better than the one Sergio and Alex had shared. They had all been more than a little intoxicated when Sergio—who had a tendency to become philosophical when he drank—had asked the others what their goals were in life.

‘Definitely not marriage,’ had been Jeremy’s rather scathing remark.

Jeremy Barker-Whittle, youngest son of a British banking empire that went back generations. Perhaps because of their excessive wealth, his family was littered with divorce. It had not escaped his two friends that Jeremy was somewhat cynical when it came to the institution of marriage.

‘I’m not interested in marriage either,’ Alex Katona, a Rhodes Scholar from Sydney with a working-class background and a near-genius IQ had agreed. ‘I’ll be too busy working to get married. I aim to be a billionaire by the time I’m thirty-five.’

‘Me too,’ Sergio had concurred. Although Sergio was the only son and heir to the Morelli Manufacturing Company, based in Milan, he was well aware that the family firm was not doing as well as it once had. By the time Sergio inherited the business, he suspected it might not be worth inheriting. If he wanted to be a success in life, he had to make it on his own. Which meant no marriage as well. Not for ages, anyway.

And so the Bachelors’ Club had been born, their rules and goals laid out that night with great enthusiasm.

Rule One had been somewhat sentimental—and optimistic—for three young men in their early twenties.

To remain friends for ever.

Of course they had been very drunk at the time, having consumed quite a few bottles of Jeremy’s seemingly limitless supply of fabulous French wine.

But, rather amazingly, they were still the best of friends over a decade later, despite going into business together, which would usually spell the kiss of death where friendships were concerned. Sergio didn’t question why their friendship worked, but he was grateful for it. He couldn’t imagine anything ever happening to spoil the bond between them.

Sergio had to laugh over Rule Two, however, which was To live life to the full.

Translate that to mean they were to sleep with every attractive girl who looked sideways at them. Which the three of them had managed very well during their years at Oxford. Since their graduation to real life, however, they’d become a little more discerning. At least, Sergio had, preferring the company of women who had more to offer than just their willing bodies. Women with careers and class and conversation. Often older women, unlike Alex, whose girlfriends seemed to get younger as he got older.

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books