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Fallen Heir (The Royals #4)
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These Royals will ruin you.
Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.
Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.
Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.
She might be right.
Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.
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“Remember that no matter what function you choose, the sum of the differences is controlled by the first and last,” Ms. Mann concludes, just as the bell chimes to signal the end of class. It’s the last one of the day.
Everyone starts packing up. Everyone but me.
I lean back in my chair and tap my pencil against the edge of the textbook, hiding a grin as I watch the new teacher desperately try to hold the quickly disappearing attention of her students. She’s cute when she’s flustered.
“Parts one-a and one-b for tomorrow!” she calls, but nobody’s listening anymore. They’re all racing out the door.
“Coming, Easton?” Ella Harper pauses at my desk, her blue eyes peering down at me. She’s looking thin these days. I think her appetite left her around the same time my brother did.
Well, not that Reed left her. Big bro is still head over heels for Ella, our kinda sorta stepsister. If he didn’t love her, he would’ve chosen to go to some fancy college far, far away from Bayview. Instead, he’s at State, which is close enough that they can visit each other on the weekends.
“Naah,” I say. “I got a question for Teach.”
Ms. Mann’s slender shoulders twitch as my words register. Even Ella notices.
“East…” She trails off, her pretty lips forming a frown.
I can see her winding up some lecture about how I need to clean up my act. But we’re only a week into classes, and I’m already bored out of my mind. What else do I have to do but mess around? I don’t need to study. I barely care about football. My dad has grounded me from flying; at this rate, I’ll never get my pilot’s license. And if Ella doesn’t leave me the hell alone, I’m gonna forget she’s my brother’s girl and seduce her just for the hell of it.
“See you at home,” I tell Ella, my voice firm. Ms. Mann has been flirting with me relentlessly since the first day of school, and after a week of exchanging heated glances, I’m going for it. It’s wrong, sure, but that’s what makes it exciting—for both of us.
It’s rare for Astor Park Prep to hire young, hot female teachers. The administration knows there are too many bored rich boys in here looking for a challenge. Headmaster Beringer has had to cover up more than one teacher-student relationship, and I’m not even relying on the rumor mill for this, since one of those “inappropriate” relationships was mine. If you consider making out with my nutrition teacher behind the gym a relationship. I don’t.
“I don’t mind if you stay for this,” I drawl to Ella, whose stubborn feet are rooted into the tile, “but you might feel more comfortable waiting in the hall.”
She gives me a withering look. Not much escapes her notice. She grew up in shady places and knows shit. Or she just knows how deviant I am.
“I don’t know what you’re chasing, but I doubt you’ll find it up Ms. Mann’s skirt,” she mutters.
“Won’t know until I look,” I quip.
Ella sighs and gives in. “Be careful,” she admonishes in a tone loud enough to carry to Ms. Mann, who flushes and stares at the floor as Ella walks out.
I tamp down a swell of irritation. Why the judgment? I’m trying to live my best life here, and as long as I don’t hurt anyone, where’s the harm? I’m eighteen. Ms. Mann’s an adult. So what if her occupation is currently “teacher”?
Silence fills the room after the door closes behind Ella. Ms. Mann fiddles with her pale blue skirt. Well, hell. She’s having second thoughts.
I’m slightly disappointed, but it’s all good. I’m not one of those guys who has to bang every girl I meet, mostly because there are so many out there. If one girl isn’t interested, you move on to the next.
I bend down to grab my backpack when a pair of pretty heels show up in my line of vision.
“Did you have a question, Mr. Royal?” Ms. Mann asks softly.
I raise my head slowly, taking in her long legs, the curve of her hip, the indentation at her waist where her prim white blouse is tucked into the equally modest skirt. Her chest heaves under my examination, and the pulse at her neck flutters wildly.
“Yeah. Do you have any solutions to my in-class problem?” I place my hand on her hip. As she gasps, I run a finger along the waistband of her skirt. “I’m having a hard time concentrating.”
She takes another deep breath. “Is that right?”
“Mmm-hmmm. I think it’s because every time I look at you, I get the feeling you’re having problems concentrating, too.” I smile faintly. “Maybe because you’re fantasizing about getting bent over your desk while everyone in Calc watches.”
Ms. Mann gulps. “Mr. Royal. I don’t have the slightest idea what you’re referring to. Please remove your hand from my waist.”