Seduction in Session - Shayla Black


Martha’s Vineyard

Twenty-one years earlier

From the foot of the old pier, Connor Sparks watched his friends’ revelry farther down the beach. After tonight, would he ever feel like one of them again? In a few days, everything was going to change, and it killed him. Since his first year at Creighton Academy, way back in the seventh grade, he’d known his friends would be a part of every single day—usually a big part. Since they’d formed a friendship in prep school, the “Perfect Gentlemen,” so named by a sarcastic counselor, had been tight. That first Christmas, Dax had asked him what he was doing for the holidays. The conversation had ended with him accepting an invitation to spend two weeks with the Spencer family. In fact, he’d managed to worm his way into spending every summer break or holiday with one of their families for years. He wouldn’t be lucky enough to continue that tight-knit shit during college.

What the hell was he going to do now?

Connor looked out over the beach where his buddy Gabe Bond had started a massive bonfire. It crackled and the embers promised warmth. The moon hung low, and Connor could hear their laughter, practically smell the hot dogs they were roasting. That wouldn’t be the only thing smoking out there, but he rarely touched anything harder than a beer. He couldn’t. He was a scholarship kid, which meant he had to prove his worth every second of every day or he would be right back in the trailer park.

Now that they had graduated and prep school was in their rearview mirrors, Connor refused to go back to that sad-sack single-wide with the cracked linoleum and broken stairs. But he also wouldn’t be joining his buddies at Yale. Of course, they had no idea. All they knew was that he’d gotten his acceptance letter at the same time as the rest of them.

He alone had been forced to wait for more information to see if he could actually attend. Unfortunately, his financial aid letter had not been quite as cheerful. In fact, that letter had slapped him with the reminder that no matter who his friends were, he lived in a different world. He’d merely had a four-year reprieve from having to deal with that truth.

“Hey.” Dax Spencer clapped a hand on his shoulder. He dangled a six-pack from his other hand. “Why are you hanging alone up here? The party is on the beach, man. Well, unless you’re Roman, and then the party is in Gabe’s parents’ bedroom. I am not cleaning that up. What the hell is he thinking, taking twins in there?”

“Double the pleasure?” Connor quipped.

Roman had actually offered him one. A beautiful blonde from their sister prep school who would likely be headed straight to Yale and pledging a sorority closely tied to Skull and Bones. Hell. That wasn’t exactly accurate, was it? She would serve the men of Skull and Bones because they would run the world one day.

No one ran the world from community college, and they didn’t run it from where he was going, either.

There would never have been an invite to Skull and Bones in Connor’s future, even if he could have afforded the Yale tuition. Bonesmen came from the elite. No matter how closely he was associated to these men, Connor could never forget where he came from. Neither would anyone else.

Dax winced. “I’m a realist, man. I think it’s just double the trouble—even for a night. I’m with Scooter. I kind of wish Gabe hadn’t sent out that invite. It’s our first night of freedom. It would