Deviant King (Royal Elite #1) - Rina Kent
They say it doesn’t take long for your life to be flipped upside down.
And it’s all over.
I should’ve known. If I had, I would’ve done things differently.
Maybe I would’ve walked the other way.
Maybe my tale wouldn’t have ended the way it did.
But the thing about ‘maybes’? They’re useless.
I wave at my aunt as I stand on the old, Victorian-era pavement. She waves back from the window of her silver Audi with a blinding smile.
Aunt Blair’s red hair never lost its fiery, natural colour, hanging in perfect waves to her shoulders. She has high cheekbones and a tall, slender, model-like figure that makes my awkward, sixteen-year-old body look like a potato in comparison.
I strive to be her when I grow up. Not only in the looks department — although I’ll never pull off the red hair, but also the hard work and the personality. She’s a partner with her husband in their overflowing business. Their small company, Quinn Engineering, grows tenfold larger each day, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.
“Show them what you got, Elsie!” She honks.
“Aunt.” My face flames as I search sideways, spying for anyone who might have heard. “Elsa. Just Elsa at school.”
“But I like my Elsie.” She pouts in an anime-cute way. Her phone rings in a standard, professional melody. Her eyebrows furrow as she checks the call before silencing it. “You’ll be okay, hon?”
I nod. “You didn’t have to drive me.”
“I wouldn’t miss my Elsie’s first day in this huge effing place for the world.” She motions around. “Freaking Royal Elite School! Can you believe it?”
“I wouldn’t have been here without you and Uncle.”
“Aw stop it. We might have pulled a few strings, but if you didn’t have the grades, you wouldn’t be here.”
And money. She forgets to mention that it costs a fortune and several organs sold on the black market to get me here amongst the elite.
Still, the weight that’s been perching on my chest loosens a little at her contagious enthusiasm. “Teamwork.”
“Teamwork!” She opens her car door and whooshes outside to clasp me in a mama bear hug.
I try to ignore the level of weird my future schoolmates must think of me and wrap my arms around Aunt. The smell of cocoa lotion and Nina Ricci’s perfume envelops me in a safe cocoon.
When she pulls back, her cobalt blue eyes shine with unshed tears.
“I’m just so proud of you, hon. Look at you all grown up and so much like…” She trails off and wipes under her eye with the side of her forefinger.
She doesn’t have to say it for me to catch the meaning.
I look so much like my mum. While Aunt took after my ginger-haired grandfather, Mum took after my blonde grandmother.
Or that’s what I’m told.
The ache that never died resurfaces like a demon from the dark, murky water.
Time heals everything is a big fat lie.
Eight years later, I still feel the loss to my bones.
It still aches.
It still hurts.
It still brings frightening nightmares.
“Gah, I’m being so sappy on my baby’s first day at school.” Aunt Blair gives me another quick hug. “Don't forget your meds and no junk food. Go get them, hon.”
I wait until she gets into her car and shouts something at a slacking driver in front of her. Aunt has no filter when it comes to her precious time. That’s why I feel guilty when she insisted on driving me.
Once her car speeds into the distance, I resist the urge to call and tell her to come back.
Now, I’m truly on my own.
No matter how old I am, the feeling of being stranded isn’t something anyone forgets.
I stare at the massive building in front of me.
The old architecture springs an eerie, imposing feeling. Ten tall towers adorn the perimeters of the school’s main building. Three-storey high, the school sits on a large piece of land surrounded by an enormous garden that’s better suited for a palace instead of an educational establishment.
Royal Elite School is basically its name.
Located in the outskirts of London, the school was founded by King Henry IV at the beginning of the 14th century to provide education for scholars that later served in his court. After that, every king used it to cultivate his best subjects.
The school was later owned by aristocratic families and influential figures. They have the harshest and most closed-off entrance rates in the country. To this day, Royal Elite School — or RES — accepts only one per cent of the intelligent and filthy rich elite.