Home > Enemy Heir (Tattered Royals #2)

Enemy Heir (Tattered Royals #2)
Author: Carrie Ann Ryan





Chapter 1






A royal pain in my…



“In order of badassery, the library fight, from John Wick; The Bourne Identity pen fight; the living room fight from Mr. and Mrs. Smith; and as my John Wick closer, the John Wick club fight.”

Wilder Waterford rolled his eyes. “That’s your final answer? You can’t have two John Wicks in there.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Okay, fine then. Replace one with The Matrix.”

He snorted. “We said in the last fifteen years. Neo doesn’t count.”

I scoffed. “Does too. Honorable mention.”

Wilder’s shoulders shook as he laughed. “You have to follow the rules.”

“We said best hand-to-hand-combat scene in a movie. Those are the best ones. And before you tell me I can’t use Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I’m going to say fight me, because not only did it have great hand-to-hand, it was also funny and sexy.”

He threw up his hands. “I didn’t know those were the criteria.”

I shrugged. “Let’s just call it a woman’s prerogative.”

“Sparrow, I swear to God. I’ll give you The Matrix. I’ll give you John Wick. But Mr. and Mrs. Smith?”

“Fight me.”

There was something about the way he laughed, a flirty undertone. “Hey, there’s a fantastic gym here anytime you want to spar.”

I sized him up. “Well, you are a prince, so I’m pretty sure it’s against the law to kick your ass.”

His chuckle was low and mellow, pleasant sounding. And it did absolutely nothing for me. Wilder was exceptionally handsome. Sadly, he gave me brother vibes. Not that I had time for a personal life. I was too busy with work. And, if I was honest, I wasn’t even in that frame of mind.

And he’s not the brother you want.

I squashed the thought of Breck Waterford the moment it popped into my head. I loathed him. He was the literal worst. If there were something worse than loathing, that might encompass the breadth of my feelings for the prince.

Also, you think he’s fuckable.

Shit. That too.

“Well, I mean, I know you’ve been injured recently, so I wouldn’t want to hurt you,” Wilder teased.

I lifted a brow. “Anytime, Your Highness. Anytime.”

He grinned, knowing it would get my hackles up. “All right, I hear you. By the way, I’ve got a clearance for the rest of your team should they get into trouble—a diplomatic pass. Is there anything else you need?”

“You mean besides you finally admitting that my list of movies is far superior to yours? No, I’m good.” I glanced toward the window and frowned. The clear blue sky had given way to a pale purple hue. “What time is it?”

He inclined his head toward the clock behind me. “Just past seven.”

Damn. I needed to get out of there. Dinner was first on the agenda. I hadn’t eaten a bite since breakfast. “Geez. I was supposed to make a phone call. I’d better get home. Thank you for this meeting, though. I’ll be back to go over the other security protocols.”

“My doors are always open for you.”

“Thanks for making this easy on me, Wild. With Kannon and London on vacation, you’ve really helped me see to it that things go smoothly as we get ready for the company’s official European opening. It’s easier with your help.”

“Anytime. Besides, we’re practically family now,” he said with a shrug.

I wrinkled my nose. “Wait, does this mean I inherit Breck too?”

He laughed at that. “Yes, sadly. The whole family comes with Breck and Roman.”

I wrinkled my nose even more at that. “Fine, we can keep Roman. He’s okay, but can we put Breck up for adoption?”

Wilder snorted. “Roman’s very taken with you.”

“Ah, he’s just a big grizzly bear. I know how to handle guys like that. I mean, he’s a king, so that’s a whole other level, but at the core of it he loves his family, loves his people. He just likes to roar, and you have to show that you’re not going to hide from the roar. Then you can be friends.”

“I wonder how he would take it if he knew you summed him up so easily.”

I shrugged. “He’s not an easy read, mind you. But my whole job is to read people.”

“That’s hardly your whole job.”

“Maybe not my whole job, but there’s a lot of that.” I pushed out of my chair, and my stomach growled and rumbled.

“Oh, damn. I should have fed you. Sorry. We got to work, and I lost track of time. Do you want to stay for dinner?”

I considered his offer. I had a standing call date with my friend Onyx that night. I could call her later, but there were some things that I needed to do in the office first, anyway, and eat. “No, that’s okay. I’ll go home. I’ll have a glass of wine, throw on some yoga pants and really let my hair loose, and then I’m going to go over the schematics for the new building.”

He clutched a hand to his heart. “Oh God, you’re speaking my language with all that schematics talk.”

“I know. Clearly, I have no life. I just want everything perfect by the time Kannon gets back. You know, so he’ll see his faith in me isn’t misplaced.”

Wilder’s light blue gaze met mine. “He’ll know that. I promise. I can see it. You’re more than capable enough. You could be running this company.”

“No. Kannon’s the leader. But while he’s gone, I will hold down the fort.”

“You do that. Thank you for the company as always. You know, terrible movie choices notwithstanding.”

I rolled my eyes. “I know you’re a prince, and you’re used to getting your way. But sooner or later, you will just realize that I’m right. We need a tie-breaker.”

He crossed his arms then. “Who would I approve of as a tie-breaker?”

We met each other’s gazes and laughed and nodded our heads as we both muttered, “Kannon.”

“Let’s regroup at the end of the week. And if you need anything else before then, just text me.”

I gathered my folders and slid them into my shoulder bag. “I will. Thanks, Wild.”

“Later, Sparrow. And just in case you were wondering, I’m glad you’re here. At least there’s someone else I can finally chat with. Breck hardly has any interest in security, and Roman only cares about the end result. So you’re a breath of fresh air.”

“I aim to please.”

“Do you need a map out of here?”

I narrowed my gaze at him. “Too soon,” I muttered while laughing. My first time in the palace, I’d gotten turned around. I was always getting lost, never seeming to find the right way back to where I was trying to go. Which was how I’d run into his brother Breck, shagging two women, in what I thought was my bedroom.

I’d turned around and found a different path toward my room. It turned out they were in a spare guest room and not the one that had been assigned to me. The passcodes were always the same in that sector of the palace for the guest quarters. I’d been less than thrilled and, I had to admit, a little awed by his flexibility, when I found Breck screwing two women on what I thought was my bed. Except, it hadn’t been my bed. So that had been awkward to say the least.

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