Kept - Book cover


Michael BN

Age Rating


Ashton is still coping with the recent loss of his father when a new classmate captures his attention. What he doesn't know is that Lucas has already become a part of his life.

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Chapter 1

One line for the fact that my dad committed suicide less than three months ago.

Another for the fact that it turned my mother into a secret alcoholic.

One more because today I had to go back to school after having refused to speak to anyone all summer.

Frankie had dropped by the house five times but never got past the concierge. I was sure that she must hate me with all her passion, but at the time I couldn’t have cared less.

They say that cocaine is bad for your health, but I believe that fucked-up family situations are far more destructive.

I was only seventeen years old, and I felt like I’d been living through this insane nightmare for an entire lifetime.

The funeral had hit me the hardest. There had been people crying everywhere, and all of them had insisted on asking me how I felt.

Like fucking shit, of course! My only two friends were coke and heavy-duty painkillers.

Up high and down low were a hell of a lot better than the empty black void that my dad’s death had left in my heart, my head, and our house.

Just like any other kid my age, I also binge-watched TV. Some of the shows portrayed ultra-rich kids’ parents as either absent, abusive, or in some cases, utter psychopaths!

My dad was none of those things. He’d inherited all of his wealth and never really worked a day in his life. Despite all of his expensive hobbies, he always made time for me.

I considered him the most loving father one could ever have wished for.

When I’d figured out that I liked guys, he was the first person I’d told. Even my mother didn’t know yet. Obsessed with image and decorum, I was sure that Mom would find it scandalous that she of all people had a gay child. Dad hadn’t confirmed nor denied my suspicions but encouraged me to tell her when I felt the time was right.

“All the money in the world will never make you happy if you use it to build your own prison,” he’d said.

From then onward, he went out of his way to be supportive. He’d take me to my secret obsession—the Ballet, even though he hated it. During intermission, he would ask me which guys I liked.

For my birthday he’d taken me to Luz de la Luna for lunch. He actually sent a drink to the guy I’d been eye-fucking from across the room. When the pretty boy looked in my direction, I ducked. The tablecloth and everything on it went with me.

We laughed all the way home.

“If you ever need some privacy, use this,” he’d said, handing me a brand-new credit card. “Not even your mother knows about this account. Do with it as you please.”

Why did you do it, Dad? Why?


“Ashton! You bastard!” Frankie screamed at me.

“I’m sorry,” I said wide-eyed, almost bouncing in my shoes.

“Are you high on the first day of school?” she asked, with a lopsided grin.

“Yeah! My grief requires management,” I said by way of excuse.

“Bullshit! You’ve been ‘managing’ yourself with that shit way before there was any grief involved!” she hissed.

“Fuck you!” I said.

“Fuck you too!” she spat, punching my arm hard. “How are you holding up?”

“I’m managing,” I said, tapping the side of my nose.

Frankie laughed as we walked into first period. I didn’t think that I could survive the day without her.


Again, those long faces! Everyone looked at me with pity yet said and did nothing.

I sat down and pulled up my collar. It didn’t cover more than my neck, but I definitely felt safer. Frankie squeezed my hand, and I knew that I would be okay. At least, until the coke wore off.

Mr. Greer walked in and made us all settle down. It was a hard task, but he was an asshole, so…

Fuck me, who was that?

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to present your new classmate, Lucas Santos. I’m counting on all of you to make him feel welcome.”

Priscilla stuck up her hand and said, “There’s an empty seat right over here, Mr. Greer. I’d be more than happy to help Lucas acclimatize.”

I’m sure you would, you soul-sucking harpy! There’s a reason that seat is empty! Bitchilla had tried to seduce me, and I refused her. Then, she told everyone that we’d hooked up at Mandeep’s party but that I came within six seconds and cried until she left.

I hated her with all my passion even though the rumor had temporarily halted the gossip about me drooling over Gabriel Vega.

That one was actually true.

Gabriel had always gotten me hard, especially during swim class. Nobody wore Speedos quite like him. In all fairness, I probably wasn’t the only one. He dropped out of school last year to model Vero underwear.

Enough about Gabriel! Let me check out the new guy. Hmmm, my height, dark-haired crew cut, and shoulders from which clothes hang beautifully. Athletic but not overly strong, and those eyes! Like chocolate.

“Close your mouth or the drool will drip on your desk, fuck face!” Frankie elbowed me hard.

“Go fuck yourself!” I hissed.

“I would but the class has started,” she said with a grin.

I watched Lucas as he hesitantly sat down next to Satan incarnate. Could he smell evil?

“Before we start, I’d like to convey my sincerest condolences to Ashton,” Mr. Greer said, extending his arm toward me. “Your father was a valued member of our community and will be sorely missed.”

Back to the long faces. Everyone except for Lucas. He was looking at me in open shock.


“What’s it with you and the new kid?” Frankie demanded during lunch. I stabbed my fork into my salad to make it look like I was eating.

“Did you not see how he reacted when Mr. Greer said my name? He looked like he’d seen a ghost!” I answered, my dilated pupils fixed on Lucas sitting next to Sebastián and Olivier.

The twins were very cute but utterly brainless. Luckily, their parents were richer than God. They definitely wouldn’t survive a day outside their pampered little bubble. Then again, I probably wouldn’t either.

“Sure, that’s why!” Frankie barked. “It has nothing to do with the fact that you mentally undressed him the moment he stepped into the classroom.”

She wasn’t wrong.


A message from Mom? She usually never bothered me; something must be up. I walked into the living room, just as the sun was slowly setting on the Park.

Our home consisted of six apartments, including the penthouses, that had been merged into one. We had more space than we knew what to do with and ever since Dad died, the place felt utterly lifeless.

“I’d like you to meet Cynthia, our new housekeeper.”

“Nice to meet you,” I mumbled. I made an effort to be kind to our housekeepers; they always ended up knowing all our secrets.

“Cynthia and her son will be staying with us until they’re able to find their own place.”

What?! The housekeeper was staying here? And who was this son?

“Mama! Have you seen the size of our bedrooms!?” A familiar voice echoed through the hallway.


“Nice to meet you,” I said, shaking his hand with an overly firm grip.

“Didn’t you two already meet at school?” my mother asked in surprise.

“Lucas was a bit overwhelmed today,” I said, looking him in the eye. This explained him staring at me in shock this morning.

“I’m eternally in your debt, Mrs. Brandenburg. I’m sure Lucas will not waste this precious opportunity,” Cynthia said, giving her son a stern look.

“Lucas’s grades more than surpassed the school’s scholarship requirements. I merely put in a good word,” Mom said with a genuine smile.

What the actual fuck?!

“Ashton, why don’t you show Lucas around? I have some things to discuss with Cynthia.”


“Why didn’t you say anything today?” I asked as we walked toward my room. Lucas was clearly overwhelmed by the size of our home.

“I presumed that someone like you wouldn’t want to be associated with the housekeeper’s kid,” he said with a shrug.

“I’m really not like that!” I said, stopping to face him.

“I asked your classmates about you. Priscilla, in particular, had a lot to say,” he countered with a cheeky smile.

“Don’t believe a word that snake says!” I spat.

He laughed. It was very cute.

“She used the exact same sentence!”

Only one day of school and the Devil had already dug her claws in deep. I would have to slowly undo Priscilla’s brainwashing if Lucas and I were going to live under one roof in harmony.

“This is my room. Please, excuse the mess.”

“What the… And I thought the one I’m staying in was big. You can host a frickin’ banquet in here!”


“I was a banquet server in the Elysium Resort in Cancun before coming here,” he clarified.

“Well, this is me!” I sighed. “Big rooms, amazing views, more money than I can spend in multiple lifetimes and I’m still fucking miserable.”

“Why?” he whispered.

“Because without my dad, it all just seems meaningless.”

“I’m sorry,” he said, the first person in hundreds that actually sounded like he meant it.

“What about your dad?” I asked carefully.

“Don’t know him,” Lucas replied matter-of-factly.

“What?” I asked in confusion.

“I’m the result of an old-fashioned one-night stand. My mom ‘met’ my biological father only once,” he said with an honesty that I wasn’t used to.

“Not sure what to say to that,” I admitted.

“Nothing much to say. It is what it is.”

So, he was cute and interesting. I should be careful not to get too attached.

“Can I ask you for a favor?” I said, needing to change the topic.

“Will it hurt?” he asked with a smirk.


“Let me prove that I am not who Priscilla says I am,” I said confidently.

“All right. How much coke do you do?”


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