Home > Broken Kingdom (Royal Hearts Academy #4)(5)

Broken Kingdom (Royal Hearts Academy #4)(5)
Author: Ashley Jade

Sometimes she said she would do things but didn’t end up following through because of her sickness.

However, she never broke a promise.

They were too valuable to her.

She kisses my cheek. “I promise.”

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if I tried. “You’re the best mom ever.”

She secures the hair tie at the end of my braid. “Only because you’re the best daughter ever.”

A frown mars her pretty face when she checks her phone.

“Still waiting for Dad to call?”

That sadness is back again. “Yeah.”

“You really miss him, huh?”

My parents had a love story that could rival a fairytale.

Mom was working as a famous Bollywood actress in India when my dad went there on a business trip with his father.

They were sitting in a restaurant one night when he happened to look up at the table across from him.

It was love at first sight…for the both of them.

A few days later Mom dumped her long-term boyfriend, got engaged to my dad, and left behind her career to move to America and marry him.

Unfortunately, the abrupt marriage created some tension between her and her family.

She hasn’t seen them since the wedding, and for some reason my father forbids us to visit them.

Her frown deepens. “Promise me you’ll never fall in love.”

My parents have their issues and sometimes my mom says things that don’t make any sense to me. Things like—men were toxic, and you needed to destroy them before they destroyed you—but deep down I know she loves my father.

However, her new thing is making me promise never to fall in love.


Usually, I reassured her and vowed to do whatever she wanted, but I’m starting to grow curious.

Every fairytale made it seem like love was the best feeling in the world. I don’t get why my mom doesn’t want me to experience it.

Drawing her knees to her chest, she whispers, “I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did.”

“What mistake—” My stomach knots as it occurs to me. “Am I a mistake? Are Jace, Cole, and Liam—”

“No,” she quickly assures me. “You and your brothers are the best things that ever happened to me.”

That’s comforting…sort of. “Then why is falling in love so bad?”

“Falling in love isn’t bad. It’s who you fall in love with.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You don’t now, but one day you will.” She cradles my face in her hands. “Love gives someone the power to break you…and if you give the wrong man that power…he’ll shatter your heart and ruin you.”

Yikes. That doesn’t sound very nice. “Did Dad do that to you?”

He wasn’t home often because he was always busy with work, but whenever he walked through the door it was always with a bouquet of roses for her.

And he always looked at her like she was his entire world.

Panic claws at my chest. I don’t want my parents to divorce. Megan Frank’s parents did last year, and she said it was the worst.

“Dad loves you—”

“I know he does.”


The sound of her phone ringing cuts me off.

Instantly, her face perks up. “I have to take this.” She must notice my uneasy expression because she adds, “Everything is fine, baby girl. Promise.”

A weight lifts off my chest as she answers her phone.

“Hello, my love.”

I get off the bed and scamper for the door, giving her and Dad some privacy.



Chapter 2






“Promise me you’ll never fall in love.”

My mother’s words reverberate throughout my head as I stare down at my engagement ring.

I haven’t had a memory like that in over eight months.

It’s strange I would have one on the day I’m supposed to try on wedding gowns for the first time.

Almost like a bad omen.


I halt that thought before it has time to take root and fester.

I love Stone and he loves me.

We’re perfect for each other.

Everyone thinks so…even my brothers.

Which is saying something because they used to despise him.

Taking a deep breath, I get off my bed and walk over to the tiny desk in the far corner of the room.

I lucked out when it came to the dorming situation at Duke’s Heart and managed to snag one of the only single dorm rooms on campus.

Of course, that will all change next year after I’m married and I move into Stone’s apartment…with his mother.

I force another breath through my lungs as I grab my knapsack.

It’s the first day of my second semester of college and I don’t want to be late for class.

I’m about to walk out the door, but the glint of my engagement ring catches my eye.

It’s a simple gold band with an equally simple, small diamond. Stone told me we could upgrade to a bigger diamond after he graduates from med school, but I told him not to bother.

I love my ring.

I love him even more.

With shaky fingers, I bring my cell phone to my ear.

“Luxury Bridal, how can I help you?” the woman answers.

I clear my throat before speaking. “Hi, my name is Bianca Covington. I have an appointment to try on wedding dresses later today.”

“Ah, yes. I have you down for five-fifteen.”

I swallow. “Is there any way I can reschedule? Something’s come up.”

“Sure, sweetie. Do you know when you’d like to come in? I have an opening later this week, and another one next Tues—”

“Do you have anything later than that?” I blurt out before I catch myself. “How about next month?”

“Sure do. We can schedule you for February twenty-fifth. Is five-fifteen still okay?”

“Yup. Thanks so much,” I rush out before hanging up.

I love Stone…I really do.

I just wish I knew why the second he placed a ring on my finger and I said yes…

it felt like a noose was tightening around my neck.



Chapter 3






Just one sip—the voice in my head urges. One little sip isn’t gonna hurt anyone.

Slamming the door of the minibar, I walk back over to my bed, recalling what I heard at the AA meetings I’ve recently started attending.

One sip leads to several sips, and several sips leads to a full glass…

Which led to me killing an innocent girl I once cared about and fucking up the life of the girl I still love.

Stifling a groan, I lay down on the bed.

I need to get the fuck out of here.

I got out of jail almost three weeks ago and I’ve been stuck in this hotel room ever since—thanks to my dad.

Or rather, Crystal.

She and my dad are going through a nasty divorce and fighting over custody of Clarissa Jasmine—or C.J. as I like to call her because her real name is not only a shitty one—it’s a mouthful.

I was supposed to stay with my dad after I was released, but Crystal threw a fit over an ex-con being anywhere near her child.

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