The Fraternity - Book cover

The Fraternity

Ronja T. Lejonhjärta

Age Rating


Harley thought she hit the jackpot with four platonic male friends in college. But when she finds out all they want from her is her honey pot, it starts her down a path of vengeance. She’ll give them what they want—then rip it away. It’s what they deserve. Or is it? As she plays with their hearts and minds, Harley wrestles with the growing realization that maybe it was her who jumped the gun. Do these guys truly feel the way they claim? She is determined to find out, one way or another. And if she has to break a few hearts along the way, then so be it. But what if it’s her own heart that she’s breaking?

Age Rating: 18+

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6 Chapters

Friend Zoned?

Kai pockets his phone and looks at the three anxious faces watching him. “Okay, she’s on her way. Is everything ready?”

“Are we sure about this? I mean, what if she gets mad?” Trey nervously fluffs a pillow on the couch and organizes his pile of Star Wars books on the coffee table. The picture frames across from him look crooked.

He’s itching to fix them. Maybe even give the entire bottom floor a once over, which makes his roommates smirk. Suddenly, he’s turned domestic when he’s usually the biggest slob around.

It’s a good thing, though. After all, they have a house. Trey still can’t believe it. So what if it’s a frat one?

They were lucky to find it before classes started. An opportunity to bypass the dorms and get away from the other freshmen who only go to university to party or avoid their families was a huge score.

Kingston, or King, pauses his game and looks up at them from his giant beanbag. He’s especially grateful for the house. Otherwise, he’d still be living at home with his mom and siblings.

“We can’t stay virgins forever,” he says. “She tolerates all of us, so what could go wrong?”

“She could report us to the dean,” Henry shyly points out from the doorway. The dean of engineering makes him shiver. They could get kicked out of the university. They could be blacklisted or ridiculed.

“She wouldn’t. Really, she’s too kind for that.” Kai tries to reassure them but fails to reassure even himself.

They’re at a huge disadvantage, being the only four members of their fraternity and engineers. Girls look at them and see only nerds. Kai turns his back to the rest and looks out the window.

“Kind?” Trey echoes. “She would kick all of our asses, even yours.”

The usual cracks at their sizes don’t work. He and Henry are shorter and smaller than Kai with his Pacific Islander genes, and King, with his mixed African American heritage. They both work out, and their physique shows it. Not that Trey and Henry aren’t fit…for skinny gamers.

Each of them has something to show: Trey is taller than the average man, and Henry has the advantage of an amazing metabolism and toned muscles without even trying. So who’s the real winner here?

“Stop worrying. Everything will be fine,” King says, although he doesn’t really believe it. Behind his words, he’s shitting his pants.

Henry shakes his head and stands up. He fidgets with his pockets. “It’ll be so awkward. We have to study with her for another three years.”

“If she doesn’t report us and we all get kicked out, that is,” Trey jokes.

“Why would she go for any of us? She’s gorgeous and smart as hell. She has the pick of the campus, and we don’t.” Henry’s voice grows more anxious. He’s a moment away from tossing in the towel and going to his room to rub one out.

“Yet she spends all of her time with us.” Kai rests his hand on Henry’s shoulder, and the smaller boy sits back down.

“Why, though?” Henry starts, but he’s interrupted by the doorbell. He leaps to his feet and starts to pace again. “Oh, fuck.” He swallows the lump in his throat. “Oh, fuck.”

“Calm down,” King barks. He stands up as well. “We don’t want her to run off before we’ve even suggested it, do we?” Glaring at Henry until he’s seated again, King walks with as much composure as he can to the entrance.

The door flings open, and Harley is met by a smiling King. She fixes the shoulder strap on her heavy backpack and returns the smile. “Hey, King.”

“Harley…hey.” Suddenly, he feels as foolish as Henry. He’s floored by the way her long brown hair bounces in perfect ringlets, how her plump, rose-shaded lips always seem to smile, and how her big green eyes sparkle.

Her heart-shaped face complements her hourglass figure perfectly, and the dress she’s wearing does nothing to relieve his hard-on. At least he’s not wearing gym shorts.

“Kai texted me,” she says, stepping in. “I’m not early, am I?” She turns around, hugs King close, then walks past him.

“Where’s everyone?”

“In…” King clears his throat. “In the living room.”

“Oh, we’re studying in there?” Harley bounces forward and puts her backpack down with a thud. “Hey, guys.”

“Hey.” Kai pulls her into a bear hug.

Trey awkwardly hugs her next, and when it’s Henry’s turn, he stays seated and looks down at the floor while blushing. “Hi,” he quietly says with a small wave.

“Hey, Henry. How’s Radion?”

Henry scratches the back of his neck. “Erh, good,” he murmurs, flushing red. He can’t believe she remembers his pet project, the robot he started in high school.

“Glad to hear it.” Harley rummages in her backpack, digs out her computer and textbook, and sits down next to him.

King returns, folding his arms and leaning against the doorway. No one knows what to say next. Harley’s eyes bounce from guy to guy, but none of them are looking at her. Where do they begin?

“Let’s start with the stats of mechanical engineering,” Kai finally suggests, and everyone groans.


“Have you ever seen those posts asking what book made you cry, and people will say Bridge to Terabithia or ~The Fault in our Stars~? Well, they’re ~all~ wrong. ~This~ is the book that can make anyone cry.”

Harley slams the engineering textbook shut, leans back, and rubs her temples. Her feet lift onto the coffee table.

The four boys exchange glances ranging from surprise to anxiety to anticipation.

“Want to take a break?” King suggests.

“Please,” groans Harley. Her hands fall to her sides. “A snack break.”

Henry volunteers to find the snacks. King catches Kai’s eyes and jerks his head toward the vacant spot. There’s no need for words. Kai slides in beside the girl as King taps her on the shoulder, keeping his voice low.

“Turn with your back to me.”

“Why?” Harley asks, but she does it anyway.

King places both hands on her shoulders and presses down, rubbing circles with his thumbs. For half a second, she stiffens. Then, her muscles melt as she relaxes to his touch. Her eyes close, and a giggle escapes her.

“Oh, yes, please.”

Kai reaches around on her other side. His fingers land gingerly on her temples.

Matching his effort to King’s, he begins to rub.

“Oooh,” Harley moans, and both boys pause without her noticing to readjust themselves. “That feels heavenly.”

Kai shoots a furtive glance at King, who nods. Leaning forward, King drops kisses down her neck, watching as Kai’s hand travels further down her chest.

Trey scooches closer, drops to his knees, and rubs her feet. After a few moments of her blissfully moaning, he starts rubbing circles up her leg. One hand slowly lifts the fabric, and he reaches into the humid darkness.

Harley moans louder. Then, as her dress moves higher, her eyes fly open. She jumps up and backs away. “What are you doing?”

Before they can answer, she stumbles over Trey’s legs. King catches her. Yelping as if burned, Harley recoils from his touch and twists away. Her chest rises and falls, and all three boys can’t help but stare.

Harley’s eyes dart from Trey to Kai to King, widening at the nervous smiles they give her. Are they happy? Unbelievable.

She takes another step backward. Her feet can’t move fast enough.

Then, she hits something solid.

A grunt rises behind her. Harley swivels on the balls of her feet, taking in Henry, then the tray of snacks that don’t quite hide his burgeoning erection. Her lips part. Are they all in on this?

“What—what are you doing?” she repeats.

“Making you feel good,” Kai says matter-of-factly.

She turns around again. He rises and takes a step forward, but Harley backs up, glancing over her shoulder as if to make sure the front door hasn’t moved.

“All…all four of you?” Her lip quivers. Is it disbelief or excitement? Or anger?

Anger, definitely. Harley bites her lip to hold back the tears.

She used to think their lack of girlfriends was surprising. After all, good-looking and nice were, in her experience, a winning combination. But maybe they aren’t as sweet as they pretend to be.

Her teeth chomp down. How stupid she is, thinking she could finally find a kind and sensitive boyfriend instead of the idiot she normally went for. Well, life sure showed her. These four are just as idiotic as the rest.

A tear slips down her cheek. She grabs her computer and textbook and shoves them into her backpack. Forgetting to zip it, she turns and heads back out to the front as the boys scramble after her.

“Harley, please don’t go. We’re sorry,” Trey exclaims.

“Leave me alone.” She flings her backpack over her shoulder.

She grasps the doorknob, but King skids to halt in front of her before she can turn it. “Let us explain.”

“There’s nothing to explain. You’re just like everyone else.” She wipes another tear without looking at him.

“Everyone else, who?” Kai’s frustrated voice makes her jump. What right does he have to be angry with her?

“Every guy I’ve ever dated,” she retorts, sniffling still. “At first, they’re sweet, and then it turns out that all they ever wanted was sex.” She dabs her eyes.

The boys shift uncomfortably around her, shuffling their feet and staring at the ground. Harley’s voice rises.

“You know, guys always talk about being friend zoned, but no one ever talks about how it feels for a woman to think she has a friend, only…only to find out that he just wanted to fuck her.”

“That’s not…fuck. You’re right, but it’s more than that.” Trey takes a step closer but stops when she holds her hand up.

“Please let me go.”

“I will, in a moment,” King says. “But I can’t let you leave thinking that we only wanted sex.”

Harley tilts her head, wondering what syrupy poison he’s about to lay on her when an interruption arrives in the most unlikely form: Henry.

“You are a dream,” he shyly says.

“What?” Harley sniffs again.

“Any guy would love to be near you, and we’re lucky enough that we get to. It scared the shit out of me. Just think about it.” Henry taps his head and smiles slightly.

“Here we are, four nerds who still haven’t found the right girl to lose our virginities to, and then we finally do. Imagine our surprise when we found out that it was you.”

Harley glances up, eyes red-rimmed. Henry swallows and steps closer.

“It’s true that we would love for a chance to be more with you, but if you say no to all of us, or to one, two, or three, then we’ll accept it and be happy for your friendship. Assuming that we still have it,” he adds.

The tears break out again, and so do Harley’s arms. Wrapping them around Henry’s neck, she buries her face into his shoulder, sobbing quietly.

Henry slides his arms around her waist, holding her without clinging, eyes on the floor. He has no idea how long they stay like that, only that he misses it once she lets go.

Not a word is spoken as she gathers herself, silently accepting the tissue Trey hands her to blow her nose.

The four guys look at each other, worry etched across their faces. Did they just screw up the only real thing they had going for them outside their program?

“I…” All eyes snap to her. Harley clears her throat and takes a long look at each of them. “I need some time to figure out where to go from here.”

“That’s fair,” Trey says.

King opens the door, and four pairs of eyes watch her walk away. She doesn’t look back.


A week later and nothing. No texts, calls, or sightings. Even videogames are losing their appeal. They’ve lost twenty games straight, and on the twenty-first, Kai swears and throws his controller on the floor.

“I’m gonna call her,” he announces.

“Don’t,” King warns.

“She needs time,” Henry quietly adds.

“How much time? A year, is that enough?” Kai spits.

Trey’s lips turn down. “As much time as she needs.”

“Let’s face it. At this point, we should just be glad she didn’t report us. Four classmates prepositioning her for sex? That’ll go over well,” Kai snorts.

“That’s not what we did…is it?” Henry asks. “I mean, I made it clear that we like her, didn’t I?”

King shrugs, and Kai tosses his head back in frustration. Trey stares at the paused TV screen.

A phone chimes. Fingers jam into their pockets to see if it’s Harley. Trey groans when all he finds are notifications from spam emails, his mom nagging him to visit, and reminders of late work that he needs to complete.

King shoves his phone back into his pocket, and Kai slams his on the coffee table. Nothing but alerts and social media notifications. But to their right, Henry gasps.

Everyone’s heads whip around. “What?”

“She texted me. Harley texted me!”

“What did she say?” Trey scoots to the edge of his seat. He can’t remember a time he’d been this nervous. Is this when they lose her for good, or has that already happened?

Henry’s smile widens. “She says that I need to be ready tomorrow night.”

“That’s it?” King stomps over, thinks better of it, and turns to pace around the couch, his brow furrowed. Kai and Trey bear similar expressions, but none of them want to voice their disappointment at Harley’s choice.

Henry practically bounces from excitement. “I’ve got to go get ready!”

He whistles happily as he goes upstairs with a laundry list of chores to do, knowing the others would give anything to be in his place. The gym, Kai’s kink videos, even Star Wars.

Trey slumps back, defeated. “Now what?”

“Now we’re happy for him,” Kai says simply.

Trey sighs, and King puts his head in his hands. That’s the last thing any of them want to do.

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