Darien wanted to bang his head against the steering wheel. He had shown his hand too quickly to Zach.
He just hadn’t been able to control his feelings of annoyance when he had seen Zach talking to Austin for so long through the front window of the flower shop. They had looked happy together and well, he’d always had something against Austin.
Why had the dim blond decided to open his damn flower shop so close to his offices? It wasn’t even like he could bribe Austin to leave, the blond was rolling in money.
He could tell that the intern was annoyed with him for saying those things. There was a tight set to Zach’s jawline and he felt very sorry already.
He knew Zach wasn’t in love with Austin, he hadn’t looked flustered with the blond at all from what he had seen. He had the air of a person putting up with someone dumb. He also knew that Zach had no intention of going against the contract by asking Austin out.
He knew all that, yet he had done h
Zach was confused by the sudden hand holding. Darien came across as a person who didn’t like to be touched and here he was holding his hand.Then he saw the look of complete pain on the billionaire’s face and he softened. Clearly Darien was holding onto him for help. Spicy noodles weren’t something Darien could withstand.He slipped his hand out of Darien’s grip and patted his head.“I’ll get you something cold,” he said. “You can give up now, I’ve clearly won this challenge.”Darien nodded weakly and Zach smiled to himself. He was most likely to be the only person who had ever seen the billionaire in a state as fragile as this.He quickly grabbed the tub of ice cream from the freezer and two spoons. The shop he had visited to get the noodles hadn’t stocked the largest selection of ice cream due to the time of the year so he had just picked the one he expected Darien to despise the l
Darien couldn’t believe that he had the bravery to invite Zach around to his multi million pound house. No one aside from his personal assistant and cleaner had ever been there. He poured himself a glass of milk from the fridge and drank it in one shot. His tongue was still tingling from those demonic noodles and he had only eaten two mouthfuls. How it was considered a fun pastime was beyond him. Maybe he was out of touch with the youth now. He had been so set on becoming the perfect leader of Harper Publishing at 22 that he had tried to be more mature to make business dealings easier. Now he knew he should have appreciated his youthful years more. At least he had managed to have some fun at university before everything had gone downhill. There was also the making out with a stranger at a masked ball two years ago, but he didn’t like to remember that. Darien’s kitchen contained every modern device possible from an airfryer, an instant boiling water ta
Zach was undeniably flattered to know that he was the first person to have an invitation to Darien’s mansion. It made him feel special as he was getting to see even more aspects of Darien’s private life.It was the most special he had felt in his life.Darien walked down the long hallway and turned left at the end. Zach was shown the two reception rooms, dining room, gym, the sun room, the indoor swimming pool and the display room which was full of empty glass cabinets and lifeless white walls.“The idea was to have a place to display anything I might collect. I’m not into antiques or anything like that so it’s stayed unused,” the billionaire explained after seeing his questioning glance at the empty cabinets. “Maybe I’ll start collecting something when I eventually retire.”The tour continued and the kitchen was next. It was everything he could have dreamed of and it of course had a waffle maker stand
He didn’t deserve Zach. He had bound him into a legal contract and had put him under all kinds of restrictions. He also had too much baggage in his life for someone happy and optimistic as Zach. “You’re good at following instructions,” Zach observed. “That always makes for good teamwork.” Darien smiled gently at him. “You’re good at giving orders, that helps a lot.” He carried on eating. Croissants, eggs, cheese and ham shouldn’t go together like that, but they did. Darien had believed from all the fancy food he had grown up eating that he had already experienced a wide range of food. Now he knew that wasn’t true at all. It was nice to try new things with someone else. “I was going to ask if you like it- I can see the answer though,” Zach asked and carried on eating. Darien was already nearly at the end of his second croffle. He tried his salad and beamed at the taste. He could tell why so many people took up cooking as a hobby
Of all the things Darien could have offered him in that moment, Zach would have never guessed that Darien would invite him to stay the night and in such a casual manner. He was the first person to be invited around to his house and now he was the first person to be invited to stay the night. Today was certainly full of surprises. “It’s late,” Darien continued. “I have lots of spare bedrooms and neither of us have work tomorrow. It’s easier for you to stay the night.” The billionaire’s logic was hard to refute. There was definitely no shortage of spare bedrooms on the top floor and the next day was Saturday so it wouldn’t matter that he wasn’t at home. It was just very unexpected. “...Okay,” he said hesitantly. “Are you sure it won’t bother you?” “It certainly won’t,” Darien assured him. “All the spare bedrooms have ensuites and I’m sure there’s amenities in them. I can lend you pyjamas if there’s none in the wardrobe.” Zach was more in
The time for Zach to leave came all too soon for Darien. He had thoroughly enjoyed his time with Zach and wanted him to stay even longer.“I’ll drive you back,” he said. “I’ll take one of my discreet cars.”“As long as it doesn’t inconvenience you,” Zach replied.Darien assured him that it wasn’t going to inconvenience him in the slightest and drove him back in his most average car. As he had chosen an inconspicuous car he was able to drop Zach right in front of his apartment block.“Thank you for putting up with me for so long and letting me mess up your kitchen,” Zach said. “Let me know when you next want to meet. Bye.”“I will and you really didn’t bother me,” Darien said.Zach smiled and closed the car door before turning away to walk towards the building. Darien felt a wave of sadness as he watched Zach walk away from him. He didn&rsquo
Zach stood with his friends outside the venue that was being used for the masked ball and shivered. It was a cold night and he wasn’t dressed for it. Emilia patted his back comfortingly. “We’re nearly at the front of the queue. Have you got your ID handy?” That was Emilia all over. She was always the organised student in their group and probably the most caring. Zach readjusted his mask on his face so it was comfortable and took his ID out of his pocket. As it was an informal ball he had skipped wearing a tie, but was wearing black trousers and a tucked in white shirt. It was the dress code that a lot of other male guests had adopted by the look of the other groups in the queue. “I’ve got it handy,” he assured her. “I’m not going to lose it.” His best friend gave him a knowing look. “Just let her mother you,” Tom stage whispered. “She enjoys it. She’ll ask about everyone’s ticket in a few seconds.” Emilia pinched his side and Z
Zach walked to the kitchen the following morning feeling more refreshed. He really had gotten over the masked ball incident. It had always been at the back of his mind for the past two years so he was glad to realise that he was finally over that moment from his past.“You’re happy,” Emilia commented as she trudged in behind him. “Work called so I had to pull an all-nighter and I still have to go in this morning.”Zach hadn’t noticed Emilia come in late as he had slept very heavily. He was feeling guilty about that now.“What did they want you to do?” he asked with concern. “Is it going to be a regular thing?”Emilia ruffled her hair and yawned.“Staking out some celebrity to get photos of him meeting with his girlfriend. My supervisor advised me to buy some thermal clothes so I’m getting the impression that it is going to be a regular thing.”Zach had previously c