Home > Fallen Heir (The Royals #4)(15)

Fallen Heir (The Royals #4)(15)
Author: Erin Watt

“What girl?” Felicity narrows her eyes. “Do you mean Claire? Because she was telling Melissa the other day that you guys are back together—”

“We’re not back together,” I interject. Fuckin’ Claire.

“Oh. Okay. Good.” Felicity looks more than a little relieved. “Anyway, about the party, you don’t have to text that you’re coming or anything. Just show up. You’re always welcome at my place.”

“Yeah, maybe,” I say again.

She reaches out and curls her fingers around my upper arm, lightly caressing my biceps over my shirt. “No maybes. Please come. I’d love to spend some quality time with you.”

As she flounces off to rejoin her giggling friends, I have to wonder if there’s even a bonfire. Maybe it’s just a scheme to get me over there so she can have her way with me.

But Felicity’s party is what Val and Ella are talking about when I walk up to our usual table. I knock fists with several of my teammates before sinking down in the chair next to Ella.

“I already told you, I don’t want to go,” she’s saying to Val. “Felicity’s fake sweetness gives me a toothache.”

Val laces her fingers together. “Me too, but you’ve got no choice. You have to make an appearance, especially now that we know what they’re up to.”

“What who is up to?” I ask with a frown.

Val glances over at me. “The nobles are planning a revolt against the crown.”

My frown deepens. “What do you mean?”

Ella notices my worried expression and reaches over to squeeze my arm. “Ignore her. She’s being melodramatic.”

“I am not,” Val maintains. “Easton, back me up here.”

“I would, babe, but I still don’t know what we’re talking about.” I stick my fork into my beef empanadas and take a huge bite.

Connor Babbage, who plays cornerback for the Riders, pipes up from my other side. “That chick you were just talking to—Felicity? She wants Ella’s head.”

“Does she?” I turn to grin at my stepsister. “You gonna beat her up after school, little sis?”

“Hardly,” Ella says in a dry voice. “But, according to Val, that’s what Felicity wants to do to me.”

I shrug carelessly. “Don’t worry. You can take ’er.”

“Catfight after school?” Babbage says hopefully.

“Keep it in your pants, Con.” Val waves a hand at him before refocusing on Ella and me. “This isn’t a joke, Easton. I sit behind Felicity and her bitch coven in art history and all they do is whisper about how Felicity is going to put Ella in her rightful place.”

“How’s she going to do that?” I ask.

“She’s not going to do anything to me,” Ella insists.

Val shakes her head. “Babe, these girls don’t like that you’re the Royal in charge. It’d be different if it was Easton.”

I fold my arms across my chest. “I’m way too lazy for that.”

Val goes on as if I hadn’t spoken. “But you’re the interloper. The one who got Reed. The one who tamed Jordan. The one who reunited Gideon and Savannah.”

“I had zero to do with Gid and Sav,” Ella protests.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s all perception. They don’t like being upstaged by you,” Babbage chirps before wandering off to return his empty tray at the counter.

I slouch lower in my chair. Fucking Reed. No. This is all Gideon’s fault. If he hadn’t started ordering people around in his senior year, the Royals wouldn’t have to do anything for Astor. We could pretend to be as blind and as oblivious as the majority of these students. Instead, because of Gideon’s stupid interference, the entire school thinks we’re all wired like him—ready to lead.

I want to fly, drink, fight, bang hot women. Probably in that order. “Why are we wasting our time talking about stupid people? Can’t we just enjoy our senior year?”

Val kicks me under the table. “No, you can’t. You and Ella should do something. Make the kids afraid of you. It’s better to be feared than loved. Yadda yadda yadda.”

“You want us to tape someone up to the outside of the school?” I say, referencing something that Jordan Carrington, Queen Bitch, did last year.

“No. Just throw your weight around. That’s why I think Ella needs to go to Felicity’s party. You too, Easton. You guys should start rounding up your allies now.”

“We’re not NATO, Val. We don’t have to get allies and enemies.”

She sighs. “God, I’d expect Ella to be naïve, but I thought better of you, Easton.”

Whatever. I have no desire to get involved with the social politics of this stupid school. I’ll back Ella up if she needs me, but from the sound of it, she doesn’t want to deal with this crap, either. Can’t say I blame her.

As I take another bite of my empanadas, my gaze drifts to the huge patio doors. Hartley’s still sitting outside. I can’t see her tray, but I doubt she’s even made a dent in her mountain of food.

“What are you looking at?” Ella’s curious gaze follows mine. Then she laughs. “Has she agreed to go out with you yet?”

“Of course,” I lie, but both girls see right through me—they smirk, and I cave. “Fine, she hasn’t. But whatevs. It’ll happen. It’s just a matter of time.” I focus on the back of Hartley’s head, noting the way her jet-black hair looks nearly blue in the sunlight. “Besides, I’m not in chase mode. I’m trying to figure her out.”

Ella frowns. “What’s there to figure out?”

“I don’t know.” I chew my lip in frustration. “She goes to Astor, right?”

Val mock gasps. “She does?”

“Quiet, woman.” I swipe Ella’s water bottle and take a long swig. “So she goes to Astor, and I know for a fact her family’s got money. I’ve seen their house.”

“I’m not following,” Ella says.

“So if she’s got money, then why does she live in a shoebox on Salem Street?” I furrow my brow as I think of Hartley’s suffocating, crappy apartment. She doesn’t even own a bed, for chrissake.

Ella and Val look startled. “You were at her apartment?” they say in unison.

“When?” Ella demands.

I wave a dismissive hand. “That doesn’t matter. All I’m saying is, she lives in a rathole while her family lives in a mansion. It’s weird. And when we were in line before, she got like three lunches’ worth of food. You’d think she hasn’t eaten in days.”

Beside me, Ella starts chewing on her lower lip, too. “Do you think she’s in trouble?”

I hand over the water bottle. “Maybe? But you guys think it’s weird shit, too, right?”

Val nods slowly. “Yeah. Kind of.”

Ella’s expression conveys worry. “It’s definitely weird.”

The three of us turn our heads in Hartley’s direction again, but sometime during our discussion, she got up and left. Her table is empty and her tray is gone.

Chapter 9

I don’t see Hartley for the rest of the day.

She’s not in photography, so I’m stuck there alone—and I’m not even enrolled in the damn class.

She’s not in Music Theory, leaving me to sit beside Larry, who chirps to me about how I’m in lurrrrrrve. And when he’s not talking about love, he’s talking about those stupid Jordans. Fuckin’ Larry. Also, who the hell takes music theory? What kind of class is this, anyway? There are physics to sounds? I zone out after a math equation for the relationship between wavelength, frequency, and speed is thrown up on the whiteboard.

And she’s not in Calc, a class she was so desperate to get into that she personally begged the teacher for a transfer.

Not gonna lie—I’m worried.

After I’m done with my strength and conditioning session with the Astor Park trainer, I decide to text her and hope that she doesn’t ask how I got her number.

Skipping out on classes is my thing. Where ru? - E

Hot Series
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
» The Iron Druid Chronicles read online
» A Shade of Vampire Series read online
» The Sullivans Series read online
Most Popular
» The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1)
» Save the Date
» Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #2)
» Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)
» The Death of Mrs. Westaway
» The Lying Game
» A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashe
» From Twinkle, with Love
» When Dimple Met Rishi
» The Speed of Sound (Speed of Sound Thriller
» The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and th
» In a Dark, Dark Wood