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Eden O'Neill

Brutal Heir

Brutal Heir

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 2112 5-Star Reviews

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Never trust a campus god.

Knight Reed is a devil heir with a chip on his shoulder. The arrogant a-hole I love to hate.

His name may be Knight, but that armor is black as coal. He’s a beautiful god with a wicked heart. I know because my mom used to work for his family. An act of brutal violence in the woods and he gets my mom fired, ultimately leaving us homeless. That was the last time I saw him face-to-face.

At least, until recently.

He’s frat boy royalty at my new university, a campus god amongst the rich and elite. There’s little interest in a freshman like me.

But then I cross him, putting an end to me being invisible here in his world.

At a party, I see something I shouldn’t have seen. Now, suddenly, the campus god has me tackled on a bed with his hand around my throat. He tells me to forget what I witnessed. Do that or the end result will be bad for me. He’s hellbent on crushing my little dove wings and all I see is that cruel boy from the woods that day.

When it comes to Knight, I can’t seem to stay out of his way or keep my trap shut around him, no matter how hard I try. He tells me my little mouth will get me in trouble, but I think he’s wrong.

I’m not afraid what will happen if I spill his secrets. What terrifies me is how badly I want to see what might be beyond all that coal-black armor...

It’s possible that, to some small measure, I’m tempted to give in to the only devil I’ve ever known.

The dark knight himself.

Warning: Brutal Heir is an NA bully romance that contains dubious content and situations some may find triggering. It’s recommended for readers 17+ and is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger. It’s book one in a series of standalones titled Court University, which is a spin-off series about characters featured in Eden O’Neill’s Court High books. Reading the Court High books first is not necessary for the enjoyment of Court University. The characters origin stories merely begin in Court High and can be referred to at any time if the reader so chooses. Enjoy!

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Chapter One

Greer - age 19

The water in the sink shifted to red, deep and crimson like a vision pulled from my memories. My thoughts traveled back to the past when I’d been nine, a bleeding dog before my eyes and a boy with a dark and sinful stare looking at me. Wicked, he peered on with nothing but a pointed gleam at me.
Just like he did now.
I was aware of that same gleam hovering over me at the present, lingering as I scrubbed and scrubbed at the skin stained red. The friction of the wash burned, my skin threatening to come off as I washed it so hard. All the while that glare found me, a large presence following as the boy with the brown eyes made his way into the bathroom with me. He was no longer that boy, but a man of size and firm stature. He was a man of presence and heat that did nothing but make my heart race.
If only it could be for the right reasons.
A slow reach and Knight Reed tugged at my sleeve, exposing skin covered in the same red I was attempting to rub away. It’d made it everywhere, even up my sleeve.
“You’ll miss your arms,” he said, and I found his eyes again. They immediately swallowed me up in their ebony depths, a dark sea as rigid and harsh as when we’d been kids. He’d had so much anger as a child, and that same anger stared right back at me through the mirror. Those eyes shifted, and mine did too, to me this time in the mirror. It seemed I’d missed some of that red I was attempting to wash away...
The blood coated my face like freckles.

Earlier that night

Chapter Two


Behind a drink, I saw her, remembered her.
And she still managed to get mixed up with pricks.
Greer Michaelson couldn’t help getting herself in trouble, even after all this time and all these years. My frat brother Bryce’s arm was around her, the king of the entitled douchebags that roamed the halls of our frat house. I didn’t have to like every motherfucker here, and I especially didn’t like him, a special place in hell reserved for him and his lot.
I sipped at my beer, the brother guiding Greer around. Holding her like arm candy, he didn’t even acknowledge her, bumping fists with other brothers and friends. Had he actually seen her, he’d see her and sure as fuck wouldn’t be looking away.
I fucking wasn’t.
White blond hair curled a little at the ends, a pert nose and pink lips like a sweep above and below. Her chin round and her face oval, she flitted those wide eyes of hers innocently around the room. She hadn’t seen me yet and may not even recognize me, a far cry from that eleven-year-old with knobby knees and hair that couldn’t be tamed for shit. I also hadn’t lifted a weight until junior high, and needless to say, that scrawny-ass kid had filled out in the years since. I had trouble fitting through the frames of most doors these days, height or width.
Smirking at how much Greer had changed too, I drew off my beer. Curves and supple tits she hid behind a long sleeve crop top and acid-washed jeans sitting well above her navel. The things were basically grandma cut and went well with the whole nineties MTV video thing she was trying to pull. She definitely didn’t fit in this place, definitely looked like a freshman, and that was probably a big reason the second biggest guy in the room outside of myself preyed on her. He thought he could take advantage of that little white dove, pure and innocent as she pranced around the room with him. I hadn’t seen her in over ten years, but the memories had hardly left. I mean, she fucking lived in my house, she and her mom since her mom used to clean my grandfather’s manor. He basically raised me, and I saw that little dove often.
I shifted as Bryce guided Greer around, barely even speaking to her. The growl low in my throat, I recalled some of the last moments she’d been in my life. Things hadn’t been pretty toward the end there, and even being eleven I’d known that. Grandfather had tried to hide a lot of things from me growing up, shelter me, but even he couldn’t scrub away the real reason Greer and her mom had ultimately left. It’d been very much because of me and my grandfather’s need to keep drama out of my life. I’d been very fragile back then…
Veering my attention away from Greer and the spectacle, I transferred it to another blonde who vied for my attention. Melrose pushed her slender arms around me, a model outside of her college work, but even still she couldn’t reach my height. I folded an arm around her, an attempt to blend in and keep my attention off Greer fucking Michaelson. I couldn’t help but be intrigued. After all, I hadn’t seen her in so long and had been curious. Needless to say, a working model beneath my arm with her perfect tits pressed up against me proved to be enough to bring my head out of the past a little.
“Knight Reed. You can’t say hi to your fucking bro?”
That was until the clouds opened up and douchebag rains fell in, Bryce Coventry with the blast from my past under his arm.
“Bryce. Bro.” Ignoring Greer, I pounded the guy’s fist, very much aware that eyes that sparkled like sapphire cut jewels lingered in my direction. I couldn’t discover if Greer had put two and two together that she knew me yet, but she was definitely looking at me. Easing my arm back around Melrose, I tipped my chin at the girl with me. “You know Melrose.”
And did Bryce know her, his eyes mischief as he smoldered and grinned at one girl while holding onto another. The guy was just a tool like that, the pair of us cut from the same cloth in a few two many ways, but that was different since one of those girls today was Greer. I knew her.
And God did she know me.
Her lips parted in the most stunning of ways, her nervous lick across them inducing all kinds of fucking images and shooting them straight into my cock. My dick strained at my fly like I’d never had a pussy before, making me uncomfortable enough to hold tight onto Melrose. She might have to take care of me a little later, and with my digits brushing against her shoulder, she definitely got the point. She put a hand on my chest. “Bryce, who’s your friend?”
His friend was currently staring at me too. Like I said, she knew me. She knew our history, and the way her blue eyes bored into mine before finding Melrose told me that. She put her hand out to Melrose. “Greer Michaelson.”
“Melrose Andrews.” Her hand returned to my chest. “You’re new? I haven’t seen you around here, the campus or anything.”
“Just started actually.” Greer blinked, her attention shifting again. Oh, yeah. She definitely knew me. Her gaze drifted back to Melrose, and when she smiled, it did appear genuine. “I’m a freshman.”
“But sexy as fuck.” Bryce twirled her around, and the growl rumbled deep in my chest, more unnerved than I should be. I shouldn’t give a fuck about Greer Michaelson.
So why the fuck were my fingers digging into my beer bottle?
Maybe it was because I didn’t want to see someone so clearly pure and innocent being gobbled up by the king of the pricks, my ring restlessly tapping my beer before bringing it up to my lips. I eased the alcohol down in a thick lump, other images clouding my vision. I’d made the mistake of coming to this girl’s rescue before, something that had ultimately gotten her and her mom kicked out of my house in the first place. I remembered that thing with the dog well, my meddling well, and I brushed my fingers against Melrose’s shoulder. “I know you. Don’t I, Greer?”
Since I did, I might as well acknowledge it, and she appeared relieved that I had. At least, we wouldn’t have to pretend anymore, and she placed a hand on her chest, nodding at me. “Right. It’s been, what?”
“Ten years.” And I knew them well, my smile small. “How’s your mom doing?”
That’s when her smile fell and shifted to something else, what? Annoyance? Disdain? Honest to God, the line traveled so thin, but I couldn’t make it out. I just knew thoughts of our history were definitely playing across her mind, and whatever they entailed wasn’t making her happy. “She’s fine. Works on campus actually. That’s why we moved back here.”
And so my blast from the past had returned, her mom no doubt getting her a free education. No way could she afford the private tuition of Pembroke University, this school full of nothing but blood the pure color of blue. I was amongst that elite due to my familial ties, as most of the guys in this frat were.
The majority of us had been funneled over from my small town more than two hours away. Maywood Heights was a city of nothing but sin and the darkest elite, a brotherhood known as the Court the main reason why. Basically a boys’ club, it bred our fathers and grandfathers into some of the most powerful men in this country, not just our small town, and was the reason why myself and many others in this room wore the very rings on our fingers. It had a gorilla pressed into the chrome finish, and though there may be miles between us and Maywood Heights, that didn’t mean the values stayed behind. I liked to think I rose above some of the riffraff that came out of there, but even I wasn’t innocent. I had a past just like everyone else, and this girl before me had seen some of it.
I nodded at Greer, what she said, and when Bryce exchanged a glance between us, I smirked at him. “Greer’s mom used to work for me.”
“His grandfather,” she cut in, a little fire cat to that innocent image she portrayed. It turned me on more than I’d readily admit, her smile wide on me. “He’s actually the reason she got fired.”
“Fucking yeah?” Bryce balked, then slapped his hand against my chest. “What did you do?”
“Nothing worth noting now.” I shifted my attention to Greer. “It’s been a long time.”
It had been a long time, and though I’d been a snot-nosed little kid last time I’d known her, the reaction she elicited out of me now I couldn’t so easily lock down in the past and pass off as a little brat kid with an infatuation with the first girl his grandfather threw in front of him. Greer Michaelson unnerved me, was under my skin, and I felt that each time my slime ball frat brother rubbed her shoulders and pressed his nose into her white blond hair. She wasn’t in his league—at all—and that was because she was better than him. Better than all this.
“How do you two know each other?” I fought heat in my voice staring at them, trying to distract myself with Melrose and her perfect tits as she pressed her pebbled nipples up against me. They strained at her top and everything, the girl hungry for me as she lazily drew fingers across my abs through my T-shirt.
Greer noticed when I glanced over to her, frowning, and though she opened her mouth to speak the douche prick wouldn’t let her.
“Just met at a club tonight,” he crooned, the girl basically fresh meat under his arm. He jiggled her, the ass hat basically trying to fondle her when he moved his hand around and brushed his fingers against her side boob. Greer immediately tried to ease away, clearly uncomfortable, but he kept her there.
My hand squeezed glass, and complacent, she let him hold her. He was in a position of power, and she allowed it, probably not wanting to be rude. With a tap against his arm, she did eventually push away though.
“I’m going to get a drink.” A breath pulled from her lips, clear relief from no longer being fucking fondled. But with a move, Bryce got back right into that.
He brought her to him by the hips, then pinched her chin. “Get me a beer?”
She nodded, again I think to keep the peace. She passed me barely a look, and before I knew it, I was telling Melrose to follow after her.
“Get yourself something,” I told her, wanting to talk to this cocksucker alone. If he was going to be talking to Greer, he wouldn’t be fucking with her. I raised my bottle. “And me one too.”
Melrose more than wanted to oblige like most girls in her position; being in my hometown gave me power. Then coming here, a new elite made up of people from where I was from and similar places around the globe, the same. Pembroke University had its own caste system, and as far as myself or anyone else in this fucking room was concerned, I was the king. My grandfather and my family basically funded half the programs on this campus, a building named after my family and shit. That was something I was about to let Bryce Coventry know and started right in on it the moment I asked for some of his time. It was a request mostly out of formality. The dick would do anything I fucking wanted if asked.
We ended up taking our talk upstairs and out of earshot of the party beneath. I didn’t know how loud I’d get, and it would get loud if this guy fucked with me.
In his room, Bryce immediately started texting someone, and I closed the door. He had a bar set up like most of our rooms in a house meant for the privileged, so I decided to help myself to scotch.
“What’s this about, brother?” he asked me, still texting when I turned around, and after I asked him about that, he smirked. “Just telling Greer where we’re at. Want me to get her up here?”
Curious, I took my drink, lounging back against the wall. “Why?”
“I don’t know. Thinking you, me, her.” Waggling his eyebrows, he went back to his phone, then after, he tossed it on the bed. “I told her to go ahead and come up. We can have a good time with her. I bet she’d be game, and if she’s not…” He reached over to his end table, pulling out a little bag. Clear, there were several pills inside, and it didn’t take a scientist to figure out what he held.
He stalked over to me, cool as a fucking cucumber, before simulating dropping the pills into my glass of scotch.
“A little something to relax her, eh?” He nudged me, smile wide. “It’ll be too easy.”
Yeah, real easy, and clearly, there was no hope for this guy.
My anger only momentarily contained, I slid my glass onto the bar. “I need to talk with you.”
“What about?” Back on his phone, the little fucker. His eyes danced suddenly, and with them, he pumped his fist into the air. “She’s coming up, bro. Let’s get a drink ready.”
“What?” Like a fucking gleeful-ass kid, he quickly worked up a drink before turning down the bed. He really was going to do this, fuck with Greer, and I saw nothing but red, Bryce suddenly on his phone while he lounged back against sheets. He was texting with nothing if not violent delight, no doubt texting her, and before I thought better of it, his phone was in my hands. “Dude—”
It crashed, like literally in a million fucking pieces, when I threw it against the wall. Bryce’s face shot up with red, and in an instant, his hands were on me, shoving me.
Guy had a fucking death wish.
He was immediately on the floor, one punch sending him there. I hadn’t had to do much, outweighed him by at least fifty pounds, and he hit the floor like a two-ton weight.
“What. The. Fuck.” His hand on his face, that red knob formed against his temple. It started to swell the moment he pulled his hand away, but I wasn’t waiting for him to get his bearings.
I came for him, but quicker than me, he dashed onto the other side of his bed. Before I knew it, he was reaching inside his dresser drawers.
The nine millimeter was in my face.
I stopped right away, not wanting to fuck with that when I put my hands up. “Bryce, calm down.”
“Calm fucking down?” He came around the bed, came at me while waving his gun. “Not so tough, huh?”
More like I wasn’t an idiot and didn’t particularly want to get shot. Honestly, I just needed a quick move and another punch to overpower him, but I wasn’t stupid enough to take the chance. I raised my hands. “Put the gun down. We’ll talk about this.”
That’s how I had wanted to start this, but this motherfucker was obviously crazy. I would say I hadn’t meant to actually hit him. My bad on that, but he gave me no choice. He threatened Greer. Physically threatened Greer, and though I felt I owed her nothing, it wouldn’t be on me that she got hurt. I’d done that to her before.
I just didn’t want to do it again.
I had a conscience, and that was what this all was, nothing more. Bryce Coventry was a new breed of asshole, even for me and all my sins in the past.
His hand gripped around that gun like a vise, his arm shaking. “What’s this about?”
I didn’t have much to talk him down with, this guy completely unhinged. I mean, he pulled a fucking gun on me after only getting hit, so I knew trying to talk to him rationally at all when it came to Greer might be ill done. If anything, he might get closer to her just because he knew that was what this was about.
“I found out about some things,” I said, reaching for something else, and his eyes narrowed.
“What kind of things?”
“Things about you.” I lowered my hands, but still let him see them. I tipped my chin. “I heard about that stripper, bro.”
I nodded. “I heard about her and what you did to her.” The act was merely amongst the list of dark deeds that went on in his house, but this fucker? He took the cake. He not only raped her from what I heard but bragged about it to more than one guy around here, guys he clearly trusted but who didn’t have his confidence. I raised my hands. “Now lower the gun or others are going to know about it. People you don’t want to know.”
“Well, maybe I should just blow your fucking head off.” He honed the gun in on my head, that fucking stupid. “Maybe I should just pull the trigger now.”
“You do that and someone will find the pictures.” A bluff, nothing more, but he didn’t know that. I lifted my chin. “Pictures of what you’ve done will be everywhere. I’ll make it happen, and you know I will. Pulling that trigger won’t stop it.”
He should fear me, fear who I was, because even in death, I had capabilities. That was something he and all the other guys around here knew. We all came from powerful families, this guy no exception. Even still, he didn’t have a lick on my life, new money from the south as far as I knew. He walked up on this campus like he owned the place, had with his big dick complex since freshman year. It was like he was trying to prove he was one of us, but what he was doing now showed me he wasn’t. Had it been me, I already would have shot the fucker to get him out of my face. Not lethal, but yeah, I would have shot his ass. If anything, to prove something, who I was.
“And they’ll find out about the other pictures,” I threatened, bluffing more. “All the other things you’ve done.” A God complex, this one, but even still, me lowering my hands and coming straight toward him had Bryce backing off, backing way. He moved with every stride I took. I smiled. “You know all the other things you’ve done.”
And he did, whatever he was coming up with in his head making him back away more. A fear in his eyes elicited by nothing but threats from me. I’d heard about a lot of the shit Bryce had gotten into, but outside of the stripper, there wasn’t enough to ruin. Clearly, he was finding something else, though, something in his eyes that brought a true terror within them.
He backed up against the door, shaking his head. “You wouldn’t. I…” Eyes wild, he shook the gun, his complete body fucking quivering. “I didn’t do nothing with that girl, and I don’t care what she says.”
Hesitating, I stayed back, honest to shit unaware of what he was referring to, but that didn’t seem to matter.
Bryce had the gun in a different place now, tapping the handle against his head like he was having a break down. He lowered to his knees. “I didn’t know she was in fucking junior high, bro. I swear I didn’t.”
What the fuck?
“She only told me after. I swear, but she was fucking willing!”
Disgusted, I approached, and he stood, that gun back on me. I lifted my hands again. “Bryce—”
“No. Fuck!” He brought the gun up to his temple, shaking again and my eyes grew wide.
“No, Knight. No!” A blubbering mess, tears shot down from his eyes. “You know the pressure. You know who we are to this place, and I can’t, I…” He stabilized the gun against his head. “I can’t go down for that.”
His finger moved around the trigger, and outside of everything else, even when I had that gun pointed toward my face, I hadn’t been experiencing the terror that froze me now. It was because I knew what he was about to do…
And what the would mean for me after.


Knight Reed…
Holy fucking shit.
The beer bottles shook in my hands as I made my way upstairs. Bryce said he headed up to his room to get something real quick and I could give him his there, my brain spinning at the course of events. I hadn’t seen or heard from Knight in at least ten goddamn years, not since he’d gone crazy, killed a dog, and basically gotten my mom and me kicked out his house.
He’d really gone fucking crazy. Had to have since he’d killed a dog. I mean, what kind of eleven-year-old boy did that? And had the nerve to look triumphant about it. The whole thing had been sick, and needless to say, it’d scared the crap out of me. I’d told my mom who’d told his grandpa, and though I’d been pretty young at the time, his grandfather’s annoyance at the whole thing had been pure fact. Next thing I knew, my mom and I had been asked to leave Knight’s house, my mom jobless, and later, the two of us homeless. We’d literally lived in my mom’s car until I hit middle school, searching for steady work and a safe place to live that long. There had been no hope in Maywood Heights, not after Knight’s grandpa had gotten through with us. Again, I’d been young, but from what I understood, I’d been a witness to scandal and his grandfather hadn’t wanted any of that for his grandkid.
The golden boy with a chip on his shoulder.
God fuck, had he been smug now, asking all nonchalantly how my mom was like he hadn’t put us both out on our asses so many years ago. My only annoyance was that he’d been fucking hot, large with these big hands that could just…
Shaking all the shit out, I basically gave a little war cry. I could handle Knight Reed. I might not have been able to then, being young, but I could now. In any sense, I clearly was hanging with his friend Bryce tonight so maybe I wouldn’t have to see him anymore.
I forced out the images of a strong back and huge arms that could probably take no effort at all to rail me freaking good. I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with that considering I was a virgin, but my dildo, Mr. Sprinkles, definitely did the job any college guy could do.
At least that was what I convinced myself.
Blowing air through my lips, I forced the thoughts of Knight out of my mind and headed to the second door on the left. Bryce’s text said that was his room. Lifting the bottles, I started to knock, but heard voices, Bryce’s and someone else’s. Muffled, I couldn’t really hear anything, and they might not have heard me knock anyway. After all, they were talking.
Instead, I decided to invite myself in and almost dropped the bottles on the floor the moment I made contact with Knight Reed’s eyes. He was in there, in there with Bryce, and the instant I waltzed through the door, his dark gaze slipped over to me. I had no idea what to make of that until my own gaze shifted over to Bryce. He said something, something about not being able to go down for something.
A pop, just one, and reality as I knew it shifted before me. The beer bottles dropped from my hands as I jumped, something wet hitting my face, and when I opened my eyes, my arms were covered in red. My white, long-sleeve shirt had spots, my hands dotted the same, and when I gazed down, I saw Bryce amongst shattered glass and wasted booze, a flow of blood pooling the floor around his head. He had a gun in his hand, a freaking gun.
My gaze shot over to Knight Reed, eyes the color of a young buck’s coat twitched wide with absolute horror. The expression on his face matched, my body and limbs covered in blood like something out of Carrie.
I fell, so slow and like nothing in the movies. It was like I was outside of myself watching me fall, peering on as Knight called my name again. Things went so, so hazy.
But then they gratefully went dark.

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