Cruel King (Royal Elite #0) - Rina Kent Page 0,1

and navy blue jackets. On their pockets, the school’s golden logo is engraved. The lion in a shield, topped by a crown is a sign of both the power and corruption simmering in the walls of the school.

There’s a reason why uniform-people are alone in a circle, probably discussing books. I would join, but I doubt they’d like it when I tell them that they’re not supposed to wear a uniform to a party.

Even I, a total ‘party terrorist’ — per Dan’s words — have opted for jean shorts, fishnet stockings and a simple blacktop. Oh, I also wore my favourite, white basketball trainers that Mum painted black stars on.

My heart shrinks at the thought. I take a deep breath of the alcohol and the designer perfumes permeating the air.

Fun. This is supposed to be a night of fun.

My idea of fun includes either my art studio or marathoning the latest gory film.

Just saying.

A long howl at the entrance wrenches me back to the present.

The chatter weans and the crowd parts like the red sea did for Moses.

When the kids trip over each other to make way, I’m not surprised when the football team waltzes in like freaking England’s champions. Only, wait. I think they did win a game that would lead them to some sort of a school championship today.

This could or could not be the celebration party for their win.

Another tiny detail that Dan forgot to mention.

I’m not going to kill my best friend.

I’m not going to kill my best friend.

Screw it.

I retrieve my phone and type.

Astrid: You’re dead, Dan. Better start picking your funeral song.

Daniel: Resistance by Muse. u know that. What got ur knickers in a twist?

Astrid: Football party? Give me a fucking break. I’d rather choke on my own vomit.

Daniel: First, ew. Second, did I mention ew? Third, stop being a drama queen, crazy bugger.

Astrid: Where are u?

Daniel: Convincing Laura Davis to suck my dick. Heard she deep-throats like a pro.

Astrid: You’re a pig *disgusted emoji*

Daniel: What? It’s on my list of things to do while I’m still in high school.

Astrid: I’m beginning to think that ur list only has sex missions on it.

Daniel: there’s nothing better than fucking.

Astrid: I’d rather watch gore.

Daniel: Astrid, I love u, but u’re weird.

Daniel: Gotta go, Laura is giving me the look.

Great. I’m really on my own while Dan is banging his random girl for the night.

My head becomes fuzzy, not sure if it’s because of the drink or something else. Even the football team who are fist-bumping the eager crowd and grabbing a random butt here and there become hazy.

All I keep hearing is the multiple shouting of “King!”

There are two of those at Royal Elite School — or RES. According to Dad — sorry, Father — I’m to stay away from anything with the King’s last name.

When I became Lord Henry Clifford’s ‘public’ daughter, he had two rules for me:

You will not disgrace the Clifford surname.

You will stay away from the King surname.

I usually wouldn’t listen, but the two kings of the school represent everything I loathe.

Unrestrained power.

Reckless behaviour.

Corrupted wealth.

They’re probably the ones who own this ridiculously, wealthy mansion. Old money is everything in RES and the King name is the definition of it. Even Dad’s old money and aristocratic blood don’t compare to theirs.

I don’t wait for the team’s grand entrance.

Invisibility 101: Never mingle with the popular crowd.

I make a beeline towards the back hallways of the mansion, but the cheers and the ‘Go Elite’ follow me all the way through.

The obsession with the football team in this school makes me twitchy. I mean, come on, they’re school kids, not the freaking Premier League titans.

But again, sports were never my thing. I’m all for art and creativity. I’m a far cry from being an athlete and Dan always makes fun of how even a small run makes me all breathy and panting.

The more I walk down the half-empty hallway, the more my skin heats. Something fuzzy and disorienting takes over my head. The couple making out near a door become double.

I sway and bump into something.

“Watch it!” Someone grunts and I mumble something in return.

Shit. I don’t feel good.

I reach for my phone to call Dan. The numbers become blurry, wavy lines. I blink and fall against a wall.

I hit Dan’s number and the rings sound like they’re from an underground room. He doesn’t pick up.

Come on, Dan.

I try again, but the more time passes, the hotter my skin becomes. My clothes feel like pieces of