Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Suede Delray
Word Count :69731
Publication Date :2018-08-17
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-1969-1
Lucas is beneath him, yet Ezra can’t stop wanting him.
Ezra Ross belongs to one of the richest families in the United States, and at the age of nineteen, it seemed his life was all mapped out for him. Home from boarding school, all Ezra wanted to do was goof off for the summer before heading to Yale in September. However, the arrival of one of his aunt's artist friends was about to throw a wrench into his plans.
Lucas Falcon Alfaro found fame with his painting in Spain. Unfortunately, at only twenty-four, he also found heartache. When his American friend, Maggie Ross, mentions that her brother wants the family portraits painted, Lucas seizes the opportunity to escape his persistent ex.
Ezra doesn't care much for Lucas. He considers the artist to be beneath him. However, he can't deny he is sexually drawn to the man. As beautiful as he is talented and intelligent, Lucas Alfaro isn't put off by Ezra's insults. When the two embark on an affair that neither of them expects, or wants, is it only for the summer?
His mother was still talking. To say that she had the gift of gab would have truly been the understatement of the year. She’d once talked a foreign prime minister into changing his shirt to match his tie before giving a press conference.
Anyway, Ezra had tuned her out about five minutes into the conversation. He’d just gotten off a plane from Switzerland and was suffering from jet lag big time, not to mention indigestion after eating one of those substandard meals they serve first-class passengers.
“If your father hadn’t been using the private jet”—his mother was saying now—“you wouldn’t have had to fly commercial, you poor dear. Just because they’re in first class doesn’t mean they aren’t riff-raff.”
He forced his eyes open. Had he dozed off? He didn’t remember doing so. There wasn’t time for a snooze. It was only about twenty miles from the San Francisco Airport to Woodside—a town located on the San Francisco Peninsula, midway between San Jose and San Francisco. It was a small, wealthy community of about five thousand of the best the country had to offer. They’d managed to keep out the riff-raff, as his mother so aptly referred to them. Although they did need servants and people to run the businesses along the main street. There were a few restaurants, a grocery store, and a bar. A lot of people kept horses in Woodside, so there was a hardware store and a horse tack store. A home and garden center, hair salon, post office, and cleaners completed the scene.
Ezra always joked that it didn’t matter what businesses were in Woodside because the infamous San Andreas fault line ran right through the town so probably they’d be swallowed up by the next earthquake like the one in nineteen-o-six.
The driver picked him up at the airport. Ezra sat back against the seat and sighed as he glanced out the window at the trees. He’d missed them. The Douglas fir dominated in the western hills. The oaks and eucalyptus reined in the lower areas. He’d also missed the beaches. San Francisco Bay lay to the east, while the Pacific Ocean beaches were to the west. The Santa Cruz mountains separated Woodside from the ocean and extended down to Monterey Bay about forty miles south. He loved driving his silver-blue Lamborghini convertible along the coastline down to the beach. But that would wait a few days because, as their private road came into view, all Ezra wanted to do was crawl into his bed and sleep for three days.
He’d already been accepted to Yale so this summer could be spent relaxing, swimming in the pool, or playing a lazy game of tennis with his eccentric Aunt Maggie. She’d be spending the summer, probably getting over some man she’d met in Europe or something.
The driver turned onto their private road, opening the electronic gate with his remote. He waited until the gates completely opened and then drove through, checking his mirror to make sure they’d closed again behind them.
The family estate—estimated worth at a cool one-hundred-ten million—was now in view. It had been modeled after sixteen-century Japanese architecture, complete with a man-made three-acre lake. Ezra loved to swim but always opted for the pool. The pool was heated.
The car swerved up the paved road between the sculptured lawns and perfectly landscaped flower beds, then the driver pulled the limo to a halt at the front door. The driver got out and came around to open the door for him.
“Bring my bags up to my rooms, please.”
The driver bobbed his head. “Yes, Mr. Ross.”
The first person Ezra saw as he walked up the path was Amelia. She was the head housekeeper, and his nanny when he was younger. She practically raised him.
She stood on the doorstep, arms open. “Ezy!”
Ezra had to smile. She’d always called him that.
He permitted the hug, noting that his mother had not ventured outside to greet him. He didn’t really expect her to. She was like a vampire, always shying away from the sun. He returned the plump housekeeper’s hug, and they walked inside together.
“You have to tell me everything,” she said.
“Well, not that much to tell. It’s done now.” What was the point of speaking about the past?
“Come on. What did you learn at that fancy school?” She looked at him.
“I learned to speak French and play the violin.” He’d discovered he detested both, but one had to pick a foreign language and an instrument to complete the required courses.
She smiled. “Good. And you made some friends I hope.”
And some enemies. Ezra glanced down at the black and white floor tiles. In them, he could see the wispy image of a tired looking young man.
He looked back at Amelia. “None that I care to keep in touch with.” Forcing a smile, he added, “I need to sleep.”
“Of course,” Amelia replied.
Straight ahead of Ezra was a beautiful stain glassed window, featuring a samurai in full armor. Given that his family’s fortune had germinated post World War Two with the steel industry, all the Japanese décor was fitting somehow. Ezra’s grandfather had forged great alliances with the Japanese during that period, developing a liking for Japanese artifacts, which his son had also adopted. Now, the family ran the greatest steel empire in the world. The samurai was their emblem.
“Where is everyone?” Ezra asked while he eyed the long flight of stairs with the rounded gold handrail he would have to climb.
“Your mother had one of her headaches and is taking a nap. Your aunt went shopping in L.A., and your father is still in France. He’s expected home this weekend. What would you like for dinner? I’ll tell Cook. It is your first night home, so it should be something special.”
The driver came in with his bags.