Home > Broken Prince (The Royals #2)(2)

Broken Prince (The Royals #2)(2)
Author: Erin Watt

Say something, I order my uncooperative vocal cords.

My lips won’t move. I feel a cold touch against my neck and flinch.

Say something, damn it. Don’t let her walk away—

Too late. Ella flies out the door.

The loud slamming snaps me out of it. Sort of. I still can’t move. I can barely breathe.

St. Patty’s Day… That was more than six months ago. I don’t know much about pregnant women, but Brooke’s barely got anything going on. There’s no way.

No. Way.

No. Way. That. Baby. Is. Mine.

I shoot off the bed, ignoring the wild trembling of my hands as I lunge for the door.

“Really?” comes Brooke’s amused voice. “You’re going after her? How will you explain this to her, sweetie?”

I spin around in fury. “Swear to God, woman, if you don’t get the hell out of my room, I’m throwing you out.” Dad has always said that a man who raises a hand against a female lowers himself beneath her feet. So I’ve never hit a woman. Never had the urge to until I met Brooke Davidson.

She ignores the threat. Continues to taunt me, spelling out all my fears. “What lies will you tell her? That you never touched me? That you never wanted me? How do you think that girl will respond when she finds out you screwed your daddy’s girlfriend? Do you think she’ll still want you?”

I glance toward the now empty doorway. I can hear muffled sounds coming from Ella’s bedroom. I want to sprint across the hall, but I can’t. Not when Brooke is still in this house. What if she runs out there, butt-ass naked, saying that she’s pregnant with my kid? How do I explain that to Ella? How do I get her to believe me? Brooke needs to be gone before I face Ella.

“Get out.” I turn all my frustrations on Brooke.

“Don’t you want to know the sex of the baby first?”

“No. I don’t.” I take in her slender, naked body and see a slight mound on her belly. Bile fills my mouth. Brooke’s not the type to get fat. Her looks are her only weapon. So the bitch isn’t lying about being pregnant.

But that kid isn’t mine.

It might be my dad’s, but it sure as hell is not mine.

I wrench the door open and run out. “Ella,” I call. I don’t know what I’ll say to her, but it’s better than saying nothing. I’m still cursing myself for freezing up like that. God, what a fuck-up I am.

I skid to a stop outside her bedroom door. A quick survey nets me nothing. Then I hear it—the low, throaty sound of a sports-car engine being revved. With a burst of panic, I sprint down the front stairs, while Brooke cackles behind me like a witch on Halloween.

I lunge at the front door, forgetting it’s locked, and by the time I get it open, there’s no sign of Ella outside. She must’ve sped down the driveway going at Mach speeds. Shit.

The stones under my feet remind me I’m wearing jeans and nothing else. Spinning on my heel, I take the stairs three at a time, only to grind to halt when Brooke steps onto the landing.

“There’s no way that’s my baby,” I snarl. If it was really mine, Brooke would’ve played this card a long time ago instead of holding it tight until now. “I doubt it’s my dad’s either, or you wouldn’t stripping down like a cheap whore in my room.”

“It’s whoever’s I say it is,” she says coldly.

“Where’s your proof?”

“I don’t need proof. It’s my word against yours, and by the time any paternity tests arrive, I’ll already have a ring on my finger.”

“Good luck with that.”

She grabs my arm when I try to brush past her. “I don’t need luck. I have you.”

“No. You never had me.” I shake her grip off. “I’m leaving to find Ella. You stay here as long as you want, Brooke. I’m done playing your games.”

Her frosty voice stops me before I can reach my bedroom. “If you get Callum to propose to me, I’ll tell everyone the child is his. Don’t help me, and everyone will believe the child is yours.”

I pause in the doorway. “The DNA test will show it’s not mine.”

“Maybe,” she chirps, “but DNA will show it belongs to a Royal. Those tests don’t always differentiate between relatives, particularly fathers and sons. It’ll be enough to put doubt in Ella’s mind. So I’m asking you, Reed, do you want me to tell the world—tell Ella—that you’re going to be a daddy? Because I will. Or you can agree to my terms, and no one will ever know.”

I hesitate.

“Do we have a deal?”

I grit my teeth. “If I do this, if I sell this-this—” I struggle to find the right word, “—idea to my dad on your behalf, you’ll leave Ella alone?”

“Whatever do you mean?”

I turn slowly. “I mean, you bitch, that none of your bullshit ever touches Ella. You don’t speak to her, not even to explain this—” I wave my hand at her now clothed body. “You smile, you say hi, but no heart-to-hearts.”

I don’t trust this woman, but if I can bargain for Ella—and, yes, for me—then I’ll do it. Dad’s made his rotten bed. He can roll around in that filth again.

“Deal. You work on your father, and you and Ella can have your happily ever after.” Brooke laughs as she bends to pick up her shoes. “If you can win her back.”

 

 

2

 

 

Two hours later, I’m freaking out. It’s past midnight, and Ella isn’t back.

Would she just come home and yell at me already? I need her to tell me that I’m an asshole who isn’t worth her time. I need her in my face, spitting fire at me. I need her to scream at me, kick me, punch me.

I fucking need her.

I check my phone. It’s been hours since she left. I punch in her number, but it rings and rings.

Another call and I’m shuttled to voicemail.

I text, Where RU?

No response.

Dad’s worried.

I type out the lie hoping that it gets a response, but my phone remains silent. Maybe she’s blocked my number? The thought stings, but it’s not totally crazy, so I run inside and go up to my brother’s room. Ella can’t have blocked us all.

Easton’s still sleeping, but his phone is charging on his nightstand. I flick it on and type out another message. She likes Easton. She paid off his debt. She’d answer Easton, wouldn’t she?

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