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Eden O'Neill

Court Kept

Court Kept

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 745 5-Star Reviews

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The black hole has sucked me in... and I don’t want to get out.

Ramses plan is dark. It can GET dark but not only am I here for it I’m so ready. It’s time to bring some justice in this town. It’s time to open some f*cking doors and be a voice for someone who didn’t have one. My sister Paige didn’t get to tell her story. What happened to her was covered up and I’m going to prove that. My only obstacle is Royal Prinze, the one person who’s plagued me since I got to this seriously messed up town. He’s goading me to see things aren’t what they seem. He’s goading me to see his truth but I won’t be kept.

He’s kept me for too long already.

Warning: This enemies-to-lovers, high school romance contains some dark themes and light bullying. The book is not a standalone and is book three in a four-part series of full-length novels. Royal Prinze is the only hero of this tale... good luck getting him to share.

*Hardcover and Paperback books purchased after 1/26/24 will include author's stamped signature

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Chapter One


“Royal, Ramses put in a request… official and everything. He wants to meet with them. He wants to meet with all of us.”
My hand punched through wallpaper and thick plaster, the burn immediately shooting through my knuckles and causing about half a dozen Court dudes to look at me.
“What the hell are you fuckers looking at?” I gritted, pulling my hand away from the wall. I didn’t check, but I knew I left blood.
I could feel it dripping down my fingertips.
Some looked at that wall, the blood, but others didn’t dare before going back to what they were doing. The wall could be their faces, and they weren’t challenging me.
I panned back to LJ, the one who’d spoken, and with a wave, had him coming with me to the corner of the clubhouse. If we were going to talk about this, I didn’t want any more ears in our direction. He came with me, and seeing us sectioning off, Knight and Jax immediately left their game of chess and came with. They’d been playing by the fireplace, watching over things while LJ and I talked. For the most part, it’d been business as usual at Windsor House, nothing funny, but we weren’t taking any goddamn chances. We had no idea what ears were in here, all of us connected to uncles, cousins, and even fathers and grandfathers. We couldn’t trust anyone, only ourselves at this point.
Hands propped, I waited for the boys to come over. We often chatted to ourselves, the perks of being from some of the original families of the Court. We didn’t make the rules but we basically did. We chose what happened around here, who was in with us like LJ. He wasn’t one of the OGs but if he was with us he was, our friend since kindergarten.
I paced. “What’s Ramses’ request?”
Too much silence, I looked up, handed a white handkerchief from Jax. I had no idea where he’d gotten a handkerchief, but I fucking took it.
My hand burned like hell.
I bound my bleeding knuckles, thankful for the gesture, but there still wasn’t enough talking around here for my liking. If Ramses was putting in “requests” and shit, that wasn’t good.
I saw that all over LJ’s face, the one with the information. The dude looked like a college boy already with his university hoodie on. He’d already heard from and accepted the full ride offer from the top ten school he got into, which was well deserved. He worked hard, took care of his entire family since his dad up and left in middle school. The tall blond a tank, he braced his arms. “I’m not completely sure, but if I had to guess, entry into the Court. I’ve heard whispers about it.”
“Whispers from who?” I growled.
LJ’s sigh was heavy. “Some of the guys around here? The whispers started after Christmas Eve.”
Christmas Eve… a hailstorm all around us, despite not having heard anything since that day. Ramses made threats that night, dark threats that if he weren’t careful would get him in more trouble than he ever realized. He was delving into things that scared all of us enough to make us leave our homes, come here. I hadn’t spent one night in my own bed since after we found out about Paige. That’s when my life had changed.
That’s when all our lives changed.
“He’s going to get himself involved in some seriously messed-up shit,” I said, the reality for all of us. We were all getting in deep, but that was on us. We had to, no other choice. I shook my head. “And if the Court council agrees to see him?”
“They’ll review the request,” Knight chimed in. The dude didn’t say much, but when he did, we listened. He was more knowledgeable about the Court handbook, as his grandfather was on the council along with other senior members. He nodded dark hair. “And if they agree his argument is sound, there’ll be a collective meeting.”
The collective, i.e., us and every other goddamn member of the Court. Ramses’ request would be put to a vote, and if it got that far, he’d win by a landslide. At the end of the day, Court was about power. It was about influence, and Ramses being the son of our fucking mayor only helped his case. They’d all want him on. If only for who he was regardless of the fact he’d denied the Court before.
“He’s trying to pull something,” I stated, facts. He had no interest in joining our members before Christmas Eve. He told us that. My eyebrows narrowed. “He’s opening up a can of worms he doesn’t want to fucking open up.”
Because I’d end him if he got in my way. I’d have to. Like I said, we had all gotten in too goddamn deep. We were invested and we had to be. We owed that to a friend. I owed that.
I owed Paige Lindquist everything.
Ramses believed he’d scratched the surface of something on Christmas Eve, a surface that was not only dangerous for him but all of us. There was a reason we weren’t staying in our homes anymore…
A devil in our house.
“It’s not just that, Royal.”
Jax faced me, looking worried most of the conversation. The guy didn’t smile as much as he used to, jokes long gone. If any of us were kids before all this that happened with Paige, we weren’t anymore. We were dealing with some real stuff here, having to be men if we were ready or not. Jax rubbed his buzzed head. “You know how you told me to watch him? Her?”
I nodded, knowing that well. I’d been on my guard about Ramses and his relationship with December, Paige’s sister, already, but that got so much worse after his accusations at Christmas Eve. I wanted December watched, necessary, and Jax had stepped up to do that for me. “Yeah.”
His jaw moved. “Well, he’s been seeing a lot of her.”
“Define a lot.” I tabled my temper but only at the present.
Jax studied everything but me. “Enough to notice.”
Enough to notice.
“He said he wasn’t seeing her.” A hand came down on my shoulder, LJ’s. I didn’t talk a lot about December, not with any of the guys. But I didn’t think I really needed to. What December and I were or were not wasn’t up for discussion and nobody else’s business.
But that didn’t mean the guys didn’t know anything about it.
“Maybe that changed.” Jax sat on the arm of a chair, his hands coming together. “Or maybe it didn’t?”
But maybe it did, and since I couldn’t guarantee that had nothing to do with what Ramses claimed over the holiday break, I had to assume the worst about his relationship with her. He was up to something, and whether he was seriously seeing her or not was possibly getting her involved in something I had no control over. I hadn’t had control in a long time and God fucking help me if something happened to her too. It’d end me if something happened to her too.
I knew what I had to do, but that didn’t mean I could stomach it. Getting my phone out, I brought Mira’s number up, then gave the phone to LJ.
“Call Mira,” I said, unable to look at him. Instead, I pushed off the wall, facing away. “Invite her over to the House and some other girls too. Make it a thing.”
We’d done all this before… with her and the other girls, but it was different this time. This was post my meeting and relationship with December. For all intents and purposes, Mira was my girlfriend and had been since I put that silver necklace around her neck last fall. But even still, I hadn’t touched her…
Not even a goddamn kiss.
Mira had her own agenda in this town and her own dirty work she was trying to do. She was using me for her own purposes, and since I was using her too, all was fair game. I’d kept her on a short but far-enough leash where I hadn’t had to touch her. She enjoyed being with me, the influence of me, and since that kept her quiet about certain things, I put up with it. It also kept me close to a source I needed, her father.
I swallowed hard as bodies crowded behind me, a shake in my arms. I’d been getting panic attacks lately, even worse than before my mom and sister died. I’d been in a dark place then, but managed to be darker now. I couldn’t help it with what I’d both seen and knew.
It’d prepare me for what I’d ultimately have to do.
We were playing with the big boys now, and anyone who I didn’t want to be around for the fallout couldn’t be. I had to protect December.
Even if I had to destroy her.
“Are you sure?” LJ asked me, and despite asking the question, he had his phone to his ear. He was ready for whatever I wanted to do. All the guys were. They knew the stakes here and weren’t playing around. They knew my need to get December out of here regardless of what I’d told them about her and me, us. They’d help me run her out of this town.
They’d help me keep her out of the flames.

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