Kate was forced to live with her uncle when she was little and was kept locked away. Then one night she found out her uncle was going to use her as collateral in a bet, and she knew she had to break free. But when she did, she never imagined she"d run straight into trouble with the king.
James is ruler of all that"s around him, and he has to keep the peace in his kingdom. When a trespasser is brought before him, he isn"t prepared for what happens next. He"s ready to stake his claim and take what he wants. He"s the king, after all.
Warning: This obsessive ruler is just what the palace ordered! Grab your tiara and get ready to celebrate the Royal Wedding with some fluffy, fun insta-love.Books by Author:Alexa Riley Books
"Move, boy!" The guard shoves my back, pushing me forward. I stumble into my Uncle Jack, who stops me from falling to the hard concrete floor. His hands tighten on me for a moment. I look up into his dark eyes and know he"s telling me to keep my mouth shut. He pushes me back away from him. I stagger but find my footing.
"Move!" the guard barks again. I drop my head down, wanting to keep my face shielded as much as possible. My gaze falls to the floor, and I let the hood I"m wearing mask even more of my face. I"m thankful that I have it on to begin with. I"m taken it to not only keep my warm but to also hide that I"m a girl. That seems to be working so far. They keep calling me boy and I haven’t corrected them. The only problem is that it"s heavy and almost two times bigger than me. I keep tripping over it. I hadn’t counted on needing to run. I thought I"d be sneaking away slowly in the night. Thinking I had hours to make my escape from my uncle’s house.
I"d been wrong. He found me missing within minutes. He had to have been checking on me. I wonder how often he did that without me knowing. Why he came at such a late hour, I have no idea. But he had. When he came flying out of the house screaming my name, I"d run as fast as I could. It wasn’t fast enough. Not only had he caught me, but I"d made a grave mistake, one we were both about to pay the price for. I"d gotten lost when I"d run and somehow stumbled onto the king"s land. We both were picked up for trespassing by five armed guards. I knew I should have stuck to the road, but I was sure I would get caught buy him faster if he was looking for me. It was clear it hadn’t mattered. My uncle wasn’t going to let me go without a fight. I belong to him. I"m his property.
He"s ingrained that into my head over and over. He has the right to do with me whatever he likes. I should be thankful to him for how good I have it with him. Things could be worse.
Let"s not forget minor assault I"d committed. I might have punched one of the guards when he grabbed me. That ended with me getting a hard backhand. My cheek is still throbbing. Along with my hand. I reach up and touch my face, wincing when I make contact with it. My uncle tried to argue with the guard to let us go. He told him I was his child and he was just chasing after me. He wasn’t having it. Our hands have had been bound in front of us and we were loaded into the back of some large vehicle that didn’t have a top on it.
I"m not sure what I want, to be honest. I don"t know which of the two would be a better choice for me"a cell or a place back in my uncle"s home. I hated it there. I hated it from the moment I was forced to move there after my grandmother passed. She raised me since I was a little girl. I never knew my parents and only ever heard of an uncle. Then five years ago I was sent to him. Sent to what felt like a whole new world. It might have only been another country, but everything I knew about my whole life was gone.
I was left with a man who seemed to hate me for no real reason at all. To him I was free labor. I"d been counting down the days until my eighteenth birthday. Where I grew up, you became an adult when you turned eighteen. I"d assumed the same was true here. I could be wrong.
But I"d been hoping that was true and that I could finally be free of him. Where I"d go I had no idea. He never let me far from the home. I was isolated. Then last week during one of his weekly drunken poker games he has at the house I heard my name come up.
He gambled me in his bet. He won. I"d never been so thankful for being with my uncle than in that moment. Better the devil you know, I"d thought. But I also knew I had to get out of there because he might not win next time. I"d seen the way the men that came to his games looked at me. I"d even seen my uncle"s eyes roam over me a few times.
So last night at midnight when I turned eighteen, I ran. Apparently, I"d run the wrong way. Not only had I dropped my bag with everything I owned, I ran right into a bunch of the king"s guards. Now it looked like I would be going to jail. Maybe that would be better than going back to my uncle"s. It would certainly be better than being given away like a piece of property. That couldn’t be legal. Right" One would think, but I honestly didn’t know. It"s not like my uncle sent me to school. The only people who even knew I was there anymore were they people who came to the house, his friends. He referred to me as the housekeeper to them.