GET IT NOW
Julian showed up with the nanny early the next morning. Fortunately I was an early riser and had just
finished changing into my day clothes.
He held out a spare cup of coffee. “You ready? We have to be quick to get out of here before anyone
çast him a doubtful look. “Before anyone notices?“”
His smirk came too easily, like he always had one ready. “Did you want the cameras to follow us?”
I didn’t, but, “Isn’t that just part of the game?”
“No wonder you always got along so well with Nicholas. He sticks to the rules, too. Don’t you find that
boring? Where’s your sense of adventure?”
He watched me with a piercing gaze, almost like he could see straight into me, down into the secret
parts I tried to hide.
“Piper, when was the last time you let yourself live a little? I mean, really cut loose and let go?”
I didn’t have an answer. It certainly had not been in the past three years where breaking the rules had
meant potential homelessness or sickness. I hadn’t had the money for anything thrilling.
When everyday was a struggle for survival, the desire for anything beyond food, water, and shelter felt
like a novelty that I couldn’t afford.
Julian’s growing smile was dangerous because it was so convincing. Trust me for a good time, it said, though made no promises for afterwards.
I hadn’t forgotten Nicholas’s warnings. Julian was a playboy. But I wasn’t eloping with him. We were
simply going on our date.
“Live on the wild side, Piper,” he said.
I checked behind me. Elva was still sleeping. The nanny settled into a chair, ready to needlepoint.
I looked back at Julian and the excitement he proposed.
“Okay, I said, and he laughed in delight.
in led me down the servants‘ passages, routes rarely covered by the guard. His Beta, Brian, played ance for us once or twice, stopping to ask guards questions while we slipped behind their becki
Brian was likely used to Julian’s antics. He didn’t even need orders to catch up to us afterwards, or to
then scope out the hallways ahead of us.
When we finally made it to the massive garage, I was amazed by the vast collection of cars stored there.
I didn’t know much about them, but they were beautiful and shiny. Mostly sports cars and convertibles,
they must have been incredibly expensive.
“This one’s mine,” Julian said, leading me to a sleek red convertible with a black top. The inside was
covered in black leather upholstery. When Julian turned over the engine, it purred.
I fastened my seatbelt just in time, because in the next moment, Julian was flooring it. The car went 0 to
60 in 3 seconds. The tires screeched on the garage floor.
I held on for dear life.
Quickly we were through the door Brian had shoved open and outside. We served around the oval
driveway, kicking up gravel as we made our way to the exit.
A camera crew was shooting something there, maybe a promo. It was entirely ruined as we flew threw it.
Then, we were out on the street, with the palace and the responsibilities that went with it well behind us.
“You can slow down now,” I said, when it was just us and the open road.
“Don’t become a bore, Piper. We’re just getting started.”
He made a sharp corner and I squeezed my eyes shut.
“I’d like to live to see the rest of my life,” I said through clenched teeth.
With a dramatic sigh, he finally lifted his foot off the pedal, and the car slowed to an acceptable speed.”
I released the seat I’d been gripping, white–knuckled, and returned my hands to my lap.
Maybe at one point in my life, I would have been impressed by such antics, but that had been before I
had a daughter waiting for me to come home.
I’d thought my answer might displease Julian, but he just laughed.
as wonder you and Nicholas ever broke up,” he said. “If he was here right now, he’d probably throttle
or putting your into any kind of perceived danger,
My heart can “He doesn’t care about me like that anymore