Kipp Llewellyn, the proverbial poor little rich boy, can have whatever he wants, except the one thing he wants most: his father's love. When the opportunity arises to obtain it, Kipp jumps at the chance, even though it means breaking a date with "Ham," the man he's sure he's falling in love with.
However, the opportunity turns out to be an arranged marriage with his father's biggest competitor. Even worse, Kipp discovers his proposed groom is Hyde Wyndham, the man of his dreams. Having lived in a gilded cage his entire twenty-one years, Kipp refuses to settle for anything less than love and walks away from both his father and his future husband.
Hyde didn't achieve his position in the financial world by taking no for an answer, however, and he'll do whatever it takes to make Kipp realize he's wanted for himself, including wooing the young man he intends to marry, prenuptial agreements be damned. He's certain he's succeeded, until Kipp learns something that puts an insurmountable barrier between them.
Will Hyde be able to overcome Kipp's doubts, and will Kipp realize that some things are worth the sacrifice?
NOTE: This edition includes the short stories What You Will, Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, and Whether Granted or Denied.
Andrew Scott was in our room, once again lounging on my bed. He'd obviously gotten lucky; his eyes had a sated look, while the unfastened collar of his shirt revealed a hickey below his Adam's apple. How could someone go out to take a final and come back smelling of sex?
He looked me over. "Wow. You clean up pretty good. Where've you been, Kippers?"
"I had dinner with my boss."
"Oh, yeah? My boss never did that."
"Scott, you don't have a boss."
"Well, I did back home. And besides, it's the principle of the thing."
I shook my head and pulled out my duffel bag. "Mind getting off my bed?" Since the dress code at Armand was so relaxed, all I'd needed were a few pairs of jeans, some sweatshirts, T-shirts, and jogging shoes. I'd pack all my casual clothes and keep out a clean dress shirt and what I was wearing for tomorrow. Sir wouldn't be pleased if I appeared in informal clothes.
Grudgingly, Scott got to his feet, the sated look replaced by something more petulant. "Did that pathetic old queer try to get in your pants?"
"That fag you're working for. Everyone knows he's gay."
"In the first place, he's not old." Hunter was maybe in his mid-forties. "And in the second -- so what?"
"What do you mean, 'so what'? He was probably just waiting to nail you in the stockroom."
"Is that a euphemism for ass?" I found a couple of plastic grocery bags and stuffed both pairs of my jogging shoes into them before packing them in the duffel.
"Hunter never made a pass at me." I took a handful of underwear from the top drawer of the dresser I'd used all year. "I think my feelings are hurt."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes. I'm a nice-looking guy, wouldn't you say? Why didn't he come on to me?"
"Are you crazy? Did you want him to ... to ... to touch you?"
"No, but that's only because I'm sort of involved with someone else. Hunter is a nice guy."
"He's a homosexual!" He spoke slowly, in case I couldn't understand the word otherwise.
"Scott, you're an asshole." He shied back. I'd never said "boo" to him before, but it had suddenly occurred to me that I was tired of all his bullshit, and I wouldn't have to put up with him anymore after this evening.
"I'm just trying to be a good friend to you."
"Why? You never bothered before. Or is it that you just discovered who my father actually is?"
"Who ... what ... uh ..." But he turned a dull red, and I wondered who'd spilled the beans and if he wished he'd been nicer to me.
"It doesn't matter to me, anyway," I told him. "Hunter was a good boss, and I'm going to miss working for him."
There was a perfunctory knock on the door and then it was thrust open. Riley Tarleton, a friend of my roommate's, stood there, grinning. "Hey, Scottso, the party's already underway. What's the hold up?"
"Llewellyn's a fag!"