Eight years at an exclusive Swiss boarding school have given Jordy Valentine an impressive education. But the things he really wants to learn-like how to make friends, fit in, and find a lover-have eluded him. He's hoping college will change everything...
From the start, Jordy is intrigued by the Beta Kappa fraternity-especially by handsome rush chair Chad York. Dazzled by Chad's flirting, Jordy is crushed when Chad cruelly rejects him on Initiation Night. But if Chad doesn't want Jordy, plenty of other guys do! Especially once he begins to work out and transform his body. Suddenly Jordy is free to indulge every deep desire he's ever had-from illicit locker room trysts with his personal trainer to fun, frenzied encounters at the local dance club and his frat house to exhilarating, uninhibited online hookups. In time, Jordy will have to decide what matters more-revenge against Chad, or the chance at an incredible connection that satisfies in every way.
Intensely erotic and irresistibly real, Games Frat Boys Play is a delicious initiation into the ways of lust, love, and raw desire…
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May 31, 2011
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Excerpt from Games Frat Boys Play by Todd Gregory
This, reflected police detective Joe Palladino, is an awfully nice apartment complex for a college student to be living in. How the hell does he afford it?
The Alhambra Apartments, he knew, started at a mere $1,500 per month for a studio, and went up--way up--from there. When they'd opened a few years earlier, his then boyfriend, Sean, had wanted to take a look at them. Joe had failed to see the point--there was no way they could afford the rents there, even with their combined incomes--but Sean had insisted, and it was easier to give in than have an argument. And yes, the place was gorgeous--you had to be let in by security, and there were fountains and tennis courts and swimming pools conveniently placed throughout the complex. Each building had a laundry facility, and near the clubhouse was an on-site dry cleaner. There was even a fully equipped workout facility with state-of-the-art equipment that put Joe's gym to shame. The apartments themselves were large, full of light, and luxurious--but after the tour, Sean had pouted all night long because they couldn't afford to live there, as though it were somehow Joe's fault. But everything had always been Joe's fault, which was why he'd dumped Sean shortly after that. There is, after all, only so much complaining that anyone can put up with. Sean wanted everything but didn't want to work for it--and Joe eventually tired of being compared to Sean's previous, much older boyfriend and being found wanting. Sean was young and handsome--and so thought everything should be handed to him. He didn't like having to work, and he didn't like that Joe's income wasn't enough for him to live a life of luxury and idleness while being supported.
"I don't know what you ever saw in him in the first place," his older sister Margie had sniffed in her patented condescending way after he'd broken up with Sean. "He has about as much depth as a dog dish."
He'd opened his mouth to answer her but had closed it again. There wasn't any point in arguing with her, because she was right. Sean had always wanted more than Joe could offer him. The three-bedroom house in the subdivision on the north side of town hadn't been enough for him. He'd always wanted the most expensive things--a car he couldn't possibly afford, the most expensive clothes and colognes and vacations. Joe had practically bankrupted himself trying to please Sean--but nothing was ever enough. And besides, Margie wouldn't understand even if he tried to explain how his heart had always swelled up whenever he looked at Sean, or that just touching Sean's skin had gotten him aroused. It had taken him a while to understand it all himself, but the truth was he'd really loved the way Sean looked and had hoped his love would change Sean somehow.
But, he reflected again, people change only if they want to. And you can't build a relationship on sex when you have nothing else in common.
It was a hard lesson to learn. And while he'd never admit it to anyone--least of all Margie--he still hoped Sean might come back home someday.
Sean was now with a surgeon about twenty years his senior and lived in a big house on Van Ness Avenue in the richer part of town. He'd run into Sean and his surgeon a few weeks earlier at a restaurant. Sean had put on a little weight and didn't look very happy. Joe couldn't help but feel a small sense of satisfaction at the obvious misery on Sean's face, which in turn made him feel small. I shouldn't be happy that someone I once cared about isn't happy, he'd thought at the time, and then shrugged it off. If he seemed happy, that would have upset me, too. I couldn't give Sean the fabulous life he always wanted, and now he has it and it's turned out not to be what he wanted after all. Maybe he's just not meant to be happy. I certainly couldn't please him. I don't think Sean has ever known what he really wants, anyway.
He shook his head as he waited for the gate to open for the car in front of him, and tried to shake it off. Sean had left two years ago and wasn't ever coming back. A memory of Sean's lean, naked body lying in bed waiting for him flashed through his mind, and in spite of himself he felt his cock stiffening inside his pants. He shifted in his seat and watched the car--a black Porsche--drive through the gate before easing his own foot up off the brake and drifting forward.
He flashed his badge to the security guard and waited for the electric gate to open again, pushing thoughts of Sean out of his head. Two years, he reminded himself. He hadn't been celibate, either, but he had yet to meet someone, either in a bar or online, that he wanted a second go-round with. Sex without love felt like a more complicated masturbation-- fun at the moment but ultimately unsatisfying.
Get your head back on the case, he reminded himself. Not that it was much of a case. This was just a routine interview. He wasn't going to be making an arrest, unless the kid confessed. No one else had seen what happened, and there was really nothing to go on. His partner, Grace Rivera, was at the hospital waiting to talk to the kid who fell out of the window, and so he had headed over to this expensive apartment to talk to the only real witness to the incident. It was all just routine, nothing out of the ordinary, probably just a major waste of time.
But it beat hanging around the emergency room.
The gate finished opening, and he drove around the complex. The apartment he was looking for was, he knew, in one of the back buildings, having checked the Alhambra Web site before leaving the station. He drove past landscaped lawns and palm trees, splashing fountains and tennis courts deserted in the midafternoon heat. Even the sparkling blue swimming pools weren't in use, and the sun's reflection off the water was almost blinding. He found the building he was looking for and pulled into the parking area just behind it. He turned off the car and checked out the other cars in the lot. His Honda Civic looked out of place with the BMWs, Porsches, and Lexuses. There was even a black Hummer parked across two spaces in the far corner of the lot.
The unseasonably early heat wave that the entire San Joaquin Valley was suffering through blasted him in the face as he got out of the car. The temperature was to hit a high of 110, and Joe thought he could feel every degree of it. If it's this hot in May, what is it going to be like in July and August?
It was so hot and dry, his sweat evaporated almost as soon as it appeared on his skin. He put some ChapStick on his lips, grabbed his bottle of water, and headed for the staircase. All the apartments opened into breezeways in the center of each building; the young man he was looking for lived on the second floor of Building L. When he reached the second-floor breezeway, a gust of hot wind coursed through, tinkling the chimes hanging outside some of the apartment doors.
He checked his notes again to verify the apartment number and knocked on L225.
Footsteps approached the door, and it swung open. "Yes?"
Joe caught his breath, glad he hadn't removed his mirrored sunglasses. He somehow managed to keep his face impassive. "Jordan Valentine?" he asked.
"It's Jordy. No one calls me Jordan," the young man replied. "May I help you?"
Joe pulled his badge out and flipped it open. "Detective Joe Palladino, Polk P.D. I need to ask you a few questions. May I come inside?"
"Sure." Jordy opened the door wider and stepped aside.
"Come on in. Can I get you some water or tea or coffee or something?"
"I'm fine, thank you," Joe said, stepping into the air- conditioned cool of the apartment with relief. Jordy shut the door behind him. There was a hallway to the immediate left, and Joe remembered the layout of the two-bedroom apartments from his tour. That hallway led to the master bedroom, and as he walked farther inside he saw his memory hadn't failed him. There was a small kitchen to the left, with a bar opening into the large living room. The dining area was just off the living room. There was another door, just beyond the dining room table, that he knew led to the balcony. Another short hallway opened, that to the right off the living room. Second bedroom and main bathroom, he thought. "Do you live alone?"
"Yes," Jordy replied with a slight shrug. "I use the second bedroom as a study." He walked into the kitchen and started rooting around in the refrigerator.
"Ah, okay," Joe replied, wondering again where the money was coming from. His parents must have money, and a lot of it. The two-bedrooms went for twenty-five hundred when the complex opened; the rents might have even gone up since then.
"Have a seat, Detective." Jordy waved him into the living room. Joe walked on, looking around and taking it all in. The walls were painted cream, and the artwork on the walls looked to be originals--and expensive. The dining room set looked like mahogany. The living room set had also cost a fortune, and there was a gigantic flat-screen plasma television mounted on the wall opposite the couch. He sat down on the couch, sinking a few inches into its plush softness, and waited for Jordy to join him.
Jordy walked into the living room opening a plastic bottle of Coke. Joe removed his sunglasses and took another good look at him, and inwardly shook his head. Can't let him see he's having an effect on me.
Simply put, Jordy was one of the best-looking young men he'd ever seen in his life. Sean had been good looking, but Jordy Valentine had the kind of looks that stopped people in their tracks and made other guys just give up. He was tall, maybe an inch or two over six feet. Light brown curls with blond highlights cascaded around his face, framing it. The sunlight reflecting off the highlights created a halo effect. His olive skin was smooth and darkly tanned, and his grayish green eyes were almond shaped. Long, curly lashes set them off underneath the dark arch of his eyebrows. His lips were thick, pouty, and red over perfectly even, white teeth. He was wearing a pair of red CSU-Polk sweatpants, and his white tank top showed thick, well-defined muscles. His shoulders were broad, and the muscles in his back rippled beneath the tight white cotton as they tapered down into a narrow waist and a thick, round ass. He sat down in a wingback chair that probably cost more than Joe made in a month and curled his legs up underneath him. His stomach was completely flat, even when sitting down. "I suppose this is about Chad York," Jordy said, recapping his Coke and placing it on a brass coaster on the table next to his chair. He sighed. "I probably should have stayed at the house, right?" He turned his head and gazed out the window. It faced the parking lot and the swimming pool just beyond it. There was still no one at the pool in the oppressive heat. "I just didn't want to deal with it." He shrugged. "If it makes me look bad, I don't care."
Interesting. Joe simply nodded. "Would you say the two of you are friends?" He kept his voice neutral.
"Friends?" There was a hint of amusement in his voice. Jordy ran his left hand through his curls. "No, I wouldn't say we are friends." He laughed softly. "Do you know what a frenemy is?"
Joe shook his head. "No, I can't say that I do." He'd been out of college for over thirteen years, and the world had changed a lot since then.
"It's someone who's both your friend and your enemy at the same time," Jordy explained. "That would probably be a more accurate description of how we feel about each other. Does that make sense?"
Joe didn't respond for a moment, thinking. "You mean he was someone you knew, you moved in the same crowd, you were friends of a sort, but if you failed at something he'd enjoy it? And vice versa?" I've got some of those in my life, he thought, smiling inwardly.
"You nailed it." Jordy's voice was cold. "It's worse than that, actually. A frenemy always undermines you, roots against you, and not only wants you to fail but will actively try to make you fail. A frenemy will sleep with your boyfriend and pretend to be sorry later, but he really isn't."
He looked down and swallowed. "He is okay, isn't he?" he asked in a very small voice.
"He hasn't regained consciousness yet." Joe pulled out his little notepad and flipped through the pages of notes from the fraternity brothers he'd talked to, keeping his eyes down. He's gay, this gorgeous guy is gay, he thought to himself, trying to maintain his professional distance. His cock began to stir again inside his pants. He swallowed and cleared his throat. "You were there when he fell." It wasn't a question.
Jordy nodded. "Yes, I was."
Professional--stay professional. He's a witness and a possible suspect. Forget about fucking him, forget about what he looks like under those sweats. Joe looked straight into those gray-green eyes and decided to go for a shock. "Would it surprise you to hear that some of your fraternity brothers think you pushed him?"
The reaction wasn't what Joe was expecting.
Jordy stared back at him, his gaze never faltering for a moment. He opened his mouth, closed it again, and then a smile began to play at the corner. He bit his lower lip, and then gave in to the impulse he was fighting and started laughing.
It was a nice laugh, deep and hearty and full of mirth.
"No," Jordy finally managed to get out, struggling to catch his breath and put a serious look on his face. "It doesn't surprise me at all. But it's not true. I didn't push Chad. Chad fell." His eyes glittered. "Beta Kappa is a fraternity of frenemies, Detective--a real viper's nest." He shook his head, curls bouncing. "The biggest mistake of my life was pledging that place." He turned and looked back out the window. He laughed again.
"You think this is funny?" Joe fixed his sternest "I am the law" stare on Jordy. Damn, he's good looking, Joe thought to himself again, careful to keep his face impassive and stern.
I've never seen him in any of the bars. But maybe he doesn't go to bars. He might not be old enough. He swallowed and tried to get his thoughts under control. He's good looking, but he also might be a criminal. Don't forget that.
He closed his eyes for a moment and visualized his sergeant naked. That always worked.
Jordy stopped laughing, forcing a serious expression onto his face. "Actually, I do. I suppose that seems heartless to you." He watched Joe's face for a reaction. Getting none, he went on. "I wasn't laughing about Chad falling. I was laughing because some of my so-called brothers are a bunch of mean-spirited assholes always ready to believe the worst." He rolled his eyes. "I was laughing at the hypocrisy, Detective. I spent an entire semester getting the ideals and mission and all this other high-minded bullshit about integrity and brotherhood shoved down my throat, and the worst part is, I believed it. I believed every word of it, and it was all just a bunch of bullshit. My so-called brothers don't have the first fucking clue as to what brotherhood is, or what the fraternity supposedly stands for. Were you in a fraternity, Detective?"