Home > Tempted Heir (The Heirs #7)

Tempted Heir (The Heirs #7)
Author: Michelle Heard

 

 

Chapter 1

 


DASH

 

Dash – 20; Christopher – 22

Looking at Josh, I wonder what I ever saw in him. Sure, he’s attractive, and he comes from a good family, but that’s where it ends. His demands and need to control my life is suffocating.

Turns out he’s nothing but a narcissist.

“Just leave,” I bite the words out. Josh has been going on and on about my friendship with Christopher, and it’s the one subject that’s not open for discussion.

“Leave?” He laughs as if it’s an absurd request. “You have no fucking idea what you’re doing. Don’t push me, or I promise you’ll regret it. We’ve been dating for a year, Dash. You’re willing to throw that away for Christopher? It just proves my point!”

Crossing my arms, I glare at him.

Josh claims guys and girls can’t be friends. Considering that my best friend is a guy, I disagree.

Actually, Josh has a problem if I talk to any guy. At first, it felt good to have a guy be jealous over me, but I can’t stand it anymore.

“Christopher is my best friend,” I snap. “You knew that when we started dating. I will not be told who I can and cannot be friends with. You’re controlling my entire life, and I won’t stand for it.”

“I have to control everything you do because you keep fucking up. Christ, you’re choosing Christopher over me after all I’ve done for you,” he says again, his features tight with anger. “He’s brainwashed you. It’s because I love you that I’m trying to help, baby. Why can’t you see that?”

This is why the fight started while we were having dinner at a restaurant. Now we’re back at the suite I share with my friends while attending Trinity Academy, and I just want to end things with Josh.

Lately, our relationship only revolves around us fighting about Christopher. It all started when Josh told me he didn’t like the fact that I was sharing a suite with three other guys. One of them being my cousin, Ryker, mind you. He said it was only a matter of time before I cheated on him.

Things just went downhill from that point.

Don’t wear that, it makes you look slutty.

Don’t eat that, you need to watch your figure because you know how much I love it.

You’ll study in my suite so I can make sure you’re actually studying.

Wear your hair up, not down.

Those shoes make you look too tall, wear flats.

Little things became big things, and here we are.

I’ve had enough. Screwing with my life is one thing, but I won’t have Josh insult Christopher.

“I won’t stand here and listen to you badmouthing Christopher. You forced me to choose,” I defend my actions. “Let’s see…” Exasperated, I hold out my hands. “The guy I’ve been dating a year who’s trying to control me, or my best friend since freaking birth?” The front door opens, and Christopher and his brother, Tristan, come into the suite just as I say, “That’s not a hard choice to make, Josh. I’ll choose Christopher a million times over the likes of you.”

A slap reverberates through me, sending me sprawling over the tiles. In absolute shock, my hand flies to my throbbing cheek, and only then it sinks in that Josh actually backhanded me.

Oh my God.

Because of the shock, I can only blink as I watch Christopher lunge at Josh. Christopher’s fist connects with Josh’s cheek, making his head snap back from the force. Tristan is right there with his older brother as they begin to beat the living shit out of Josh.

I’ve seen Christopher and Tristan angry before, but right now, they look downright murderous.

Ryker comes out of his room and runs to where I’m still on the floor, stunned out of my mind. Taking hold of my shoulders, Ryker pulls me up to my feet, and then his arm wraps around me. I gasp as the reality sinks in while Josh grunts from the fierce blows Christopher and Tristan are delivering.

It’s the first time anyone has hit me. I’ve never even had a spanking from my parents.

Ryker begins to pull me down the hallway as he asks, “Are you okay?”

I can only shake my head as pin-prickles creep over my skin, making my cheek sting more.

Ryker ushers me to my room, and when he shuts the door behind us, it mutes the sounds coming from the living room.

He rubs his hand up and down the length of my back. “What happened?”

My tongue feels numb, and again I lift my hand to my tender cheek. “He hit me.” The words sound weird, as if they don’t belong on my lips.

I feel Ryker tense, but before he can say anything else, the door to my room bursts open. The moment my eyes lock with Christopher’s, the bubble of shock pops. A sob escapes my lips, and I begin to shake my head, unable to believe what just happened.

Christopher grabs hold of me and wraps me against his chest. I gasp against his shirt, and my body begins to tremble. Lifting my arms, I fold them around his waist.

I can’t believe Josh hit me.

It’s absurd.

“I’ve got her,” I hear Christopher say to Ryker. “Go help Tristan get rid of Josh. Make sure that bastard leaves Trinity tonight.”

“Okay,” Ryker answers as he squeezes my shoulder, and moments later, I hear the door shut behind him.

Christopher has seen me at my worst, but this is… the lowest point of my life.

Another relationship went to hell because of my friendship with Christopher. Every guy I’ve dated felt threatened by him.

How do you explain to potential boyfriends that your best friend is a guy? No one can understand that, and it makes dating near impossible.

“I’m sorry,” Christopher murmurs, his arms tightening around me.

I shake my head, taking deep breaths of his earthy scent to help me calm down.

Pulling a little back, I use my fingers to wipe the tears from my cheeks. My breath quivers over my lips as I say, “It’s not your fault.” Shrugging, I can feel the tears building again. I take a couple of seconds to breathe through them. “It was bound to happen.”

Tonight was also not the first time Christopher beat up a guy because of me. It’s as if it’s becoming an unhealthy pattern. I meet a nice guy, and before I know it, he turns into a bastard who Christopher has to fight off.

I’m so done with it all. None of this is worth the chance of finding love.

Christopher moves his hand up to my face, his fingers brushing softly over my cheek. “I meant I’m sorry I didn’t react quicker.”

Glancing up, my eyes lock on his brown ones. They’re still dark with anger, and his mouth is set in a harsh line.

Again the shock of what happened vibrates through me. Unable to believe it, I whisper, “Josh actually hit me.”

Christopher’s hand slides behind my neck, and leaning down, he presses a kiss to my cheek. “He’s an asshole. Okay?”

Feeling Christopher’s tender kiss makes me feel small and vulnerable. All I want to do is hide in his arms where I know I’ll be safe. It feels as if the foundation my life has been built on has been shaken, and he’s the only stable thing left.

“Take a shower while I make coffee,” he says. When I don’t move, he takes hold of my hand and tugs me toward the ensuite bathroom. “Shower, Dash. Put on comfortable clothes. It will help you feel better.”

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