Home > Twisted Kingdom (Royal Elite #3)(6)

Twisted Kingdom (Royal Elite #3)(6)
Author: Rina Kent

I have returned to where it all started — and ended. This is the place that can answer all my questions and lead me onto the right path.

I take a deep breath, the scent of jasmine and spices filling my nostrils.

No matter how much has changed, this remains home.

My home.

Maybe, just maybe, this is where I’m supposed to be.









“I’m here. And by the way, I don’t want to be here.”

Levi flops on a seat at the dinner table and thanks Margo for preparing his favourite steak.

She throws one last glance at us with worry etching deep between her brows. Levi, being a proclaimed gentleman, gives her a reassuring nod as if saying ‘No, we won’t eat each other for dinner.’

Margo tells us to call her if we need anything and retreats with brisk steps. The dining room’s double door closes behind her with finality.

It’s just the King men and their screwed up heads.

Good times.

I can’t remember the last time the three of us sat down for a meal. Since Levi started his relationship with Astrid and moved out, he barely shows up anymore, and when he does it’s only with her by his side.

Jonathan and I both know Astrid coaxes him to keep in touch with his family. That’s the reason my father accepted her over time despite the fact that she’s a Clifford.

Newsflash about the Cliffords; Jonathan doesn’t like them.

Her mother killed Uncle James in an accident — in which both of them died. Jonathan being Jonathan still holds a grudge against Astrid and her lord father as if they’re the ones who shoved drugs down Uncle James’ throat that night.

That’s Jonathan in a nutshell. He’s vengeful, and he’s ruthless about it.

He occupies the head of the table while Levi and I sit on each side of him. The chandelier above us casts a white light on the food as if we’re in a cooking show.

I drag the knife over my steak, but I’m neither cutting nor eating.

My thoughts keep spiralling back to how Elsa left yesterday. The numbness on her face still lurks inside me, tying a noose around my heart.

How the fuck could I let her go like that? She doesn’t even have her damn phone. Not that she would’ve answered my calls or texts.

It’s only been a day, but it feels like we’ve been apart for an eternity — and I don’t even believe in eternity and all that shit.

I sit here, wondering when exactly it was she became such an integral part of my life and the fucking air I breathe.

Was it when I claimed her as mine? When I first touched her? When I reunited with her two years ago? Or maybe it all started in the damn basement.

“You’re here today because we have an enemy.”

“You mean you have an enemy.” Levi scoffs, taking a generous bite of his beef and chewing without a care in the world.

“The King household has an enemy, you little punk.”

Levi rolls his eyes but says nothing. I’ve already briefed him about Ethan Steel’s return. Whether he likes it or not, Levi is a King and Jonathan’s precious legacy. He was already a part of the game before he was born.

Like me.

Like Elsa.

“Knowing Ethan, he’ll try to disrupt our formation before attacking.” Jonathan cuts his meat with ease like he’s not talking about attacks and wars.

“You knew Ethan. Past tense,” I say.

“Ethan doesn’t change his attack methods.” Jonathan pauses eating. “Besides, my resources tell me he was in a coma for nearly nine years. The past is all he remembers.”

“Your resources couldn’t tell you that before he made a surprise visit?” Levi mocks.

Jonathan glares at him.

“Stating facts, Uncle. He who only knows himself and not the enemy suffers a loss for every battle won, remember?” He recites the old strategies Jonathan used to shove down our throats.

Levi isn’t even trying to feign interest in the whole thing. He has already built his life as a professional football player. He has his girl and his future ahead. For him, this entire ordeal is a waste of time and he won’t stop reminding Jonathan of that fact.

“I know my enemy.” Jonathan smirks as he takes a bite of his food. “A lot more than I know myself.”

“What’s the plan?” I ask.

“Now we’re talking.” Jonathan points his fork in my direction. “First of all, you’ll stop your idiotic escapades with Steel’s daughter and commit to Silver. Her father and I are friends and go way back. I won’t have you ruin that.”

Yeah, no.

Queens and I didn’t get together because of what our fathers expect. We got together for a different reason, which will soon be eradicated.

“You go way back with Sebastian Queens, as in, you share business interests with him,” Levi speaks without lifting his head. “You know, with how he uses his minister power to let your ships go unnoticed. Oh, and you promised to fund his campaign for Prime Minister. Very friendly of you, Uncle.”

I hide a snicker.

“Am I making myself clear?” Jonathan ignores Levi, focusing on me.

I nod absentmindedly. He doesn’t need to know my move until I make it. After all, he’s not the only one who’s fond of the element of surprise.

He’s not the only one who likes to destroy.

“Perfect.” He points his fork between me and Levi. “We’re invited to a fundraiser hosted by the Rhodes family this Friday. Both of you will be attending.”

“Pass.” Levi feigns a yawn.

“Not interested,” I say at the same time.

Jonathan knows better than to drag us to his friends’ parties and fundraising bullshit. We do attend one gathering once a year, and that’s already happened.

“Listen, you two.” Jonathan slams his fork and knife on the table. “This isn’t just any fundraiser. The Rhodes are aristocrats who have recently returned to business. They’re looking for a long-term partner, and that’s going to be King Enterprises. I’ve been preparing for months for this project, and I won’t accept a loss on such a huge opportunity.”

“What do we have to do with this?” Levi asks.

“You will bring Clifford’s daughter. Those with titles like people who resemble them. If they see a member of the King family in a relationship with a lord’s daughter, they’ll soften.”

According to Jonathan, Cliffords are bad until there’s a use for them.

“And me?” I chew on the food, but I don’t taste much.

“You’re my heir. It’ll put their minds at ease to see the future of the company as diligent as his father.”

Levi rolls his eyes, and I sigh.

I’ll find an excuse to skip the whole thing. If it were under different circumstances, I would’ve put on the show of a lifetime for Jonathan’s friends and persuaded them to sign with him on the spot. If I score my father a huge deal, he’ll leave me alone afterwards.

However, I’m not in the mood to kiss Jonathan’s friends’ arses.

There’s a ton of things I need to do and they all lead back to Elsa, not my family name.

She didn’t show up for school today. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but a part of me hoped she would. A part of me thought she’d confront me and drive me crazy with her stubbornness like before.

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