Paper Princess Page 77

“No, that dickweed Scott.” Reed’s features harden. “Nobody’s allowed to talk to you like that. I won’t let them.”

Reed Royal, my very own dragon slayer. I smile and bend down to kiss him again. “Maybe this says something about me, but I think it’s hot when you go all caveman on me.”

He grins. “Just say the word and I’ll knock you over the head with a club and drag you into a cave.”

I burst out laughing. “Aw, that’s so romantic.”

“Never said I was good at romance.” His voice thickens. “I’m good at other things, though.”

He totally is. We stop talking as our lips meet again, and then we lie there kissing, while his hands run up and down my body. When his finger slides inside me, I forget all about the club and the bookie and Easton’s plea for me never to leave. Hell, I forget my name.

Reed is the only thing that exists. Right here, right now, he’s the center of my universe.

* * *

The weekend passes quickly. Callum comes home on Saturday morning, so Reed and I are forced to sneak off to fool around in the pool house. And on Saturday night, Valerie and I go out for dinner and I finally cave and tell her about all the dirty things I do with Reed Royal. She’s thrilled about it, but points out that we’re still not doing the dirtiest thing of all and proceeds to tease me about being a prude.

But I don’t mind the slow pace Reed has set. A part of me is definitely ready to cross that final hurdle, but he keeps holding back, almost as if he’s afraid to go there. I don’t know why he would be, considering we’re getting each other off on a daily basis in other ways.

On Monday, Reed drives me to work, and to my dismay, the school day flies by. Today is the will reading, but no matter how hard I beg my watch to tick slower, the final bell rings before I’m ready and then I’m walking down the front steps toward the waiting Town Car.

Callum doesn’t say much as Durand drives us into the city, but when we reach the gleaming building that houses the law offices of Grier, Gray, and Devereaux, he turns to me with an encouraging smile.

“It might get rough in there,” he warns. “But just know that Dinah is all bark and no bite. For the most part, anyway.”

I haven’t seen Steve’s widow since our first meeting at her penthouse, and I’m not looking forward to the reunion. Neither is she apparently, because she sneers the moment Callum and I enter the fancy office.

I’m introduced to four lawyers and ushered to a comfortable sofa. Callum is about to sit beside me when one of the lawyers shifts his body and a familiar figure steps out from behind it.

“What are you doing here?” Callum snaps. “I specifically ordered you not to come.”

Brooke is unfazed by his tone. “I’m here to support my best friend.”

Dinah steps up beside her and the two women link arms. They could be sisters, with their long blonde hair and delicate features. I suddenly realize I don’t know anything about their history, and I probably should have asked Callum about it a long time ago, because obviously the two of them are super tight.

If we’re choosing sides, then I guess Brooke and I are occupying opposite corners. My loyalties are with the Royals. By the disdain in Brooke’s eyes, she knows it. I guess she thought I’d be with her. That she, Dinah, and I would team up against the evil Royal males and now I’m betraying them.

“I asked her to come,” Dinah says coldly. “Now let’s get started. We have early dinner reservations at Pierre’s.”

We’re about to sit down to hear her dead husband’s will and she’s worrying about missing her dinner reservations? This woman is really something.

Another man separates himself from the group. “I’m James Dake. Mrs. O’Halloran’s attorney.” He offers his hand to Callum, who looks at the hand and then at Dinah in disbelief.

I’m not familiar with this sort of thing but it’s easy to see that Callum is confused and unhappy about Dinah bringing both Brooke and another lawyer.

Callum reluctantly lowers himself on the couch, while Brooke and Dinah sit on the one opposite us. The lawyers seat themselves in various chairs, while the one behind the desk—the Grier of Grier, Gray and Devereaux—shuffles some papers and clears his throat.

“This is the last will and testament of Steven George O’Halloran,” he begins.

The gray-haired lawyer spits out a bunch of legal gibberish about bequests to various people I’ve never heard of, money left in trust to a few charities, and something called a life estate being granted to Dinah. Dinah’s lawyer frowns at this so it must not be good for Dinah. There are also substantial gifts to Callum’s boys, in case, and the lawyer coughs before he recites the line, “Callum has pissed away his fortune on booze and blondes before I kick off.”

Callum merely smiles.

“And to any legal issue surviving my death, I leave…”

I’m too busy trying to figure out what ‘legal issue’ means to focus on the rest of Grier’s sentence, so I jolt in surprise when Dinah lets out an outraged screech.

“What? No! I will not stand for this!”

I lean in to Callum for an explanation of what the lawyer said, and I’m stunned by his answer. Apparently I’m the legal issue. Steve left me half of his fortune, somewhere to the tune of…I feel faint when Callum tells me the number. Holy crap. The father I never even met didn’t leave me millions. He didn’t leave me tens of millions.

He left me hundreds of millions.

I’m going to pass out. I really am.

“And a fourth of the company,” Callum adds. “The shares will be transferred into your name when you’re twenty-one.”

Across the room, Dinah shoots to her feet, wobbling on her impossibly high heels as she swings around to glare at the lawyers. “He was my husband! Everything he had is mine and I refuse to share it with this gutter brat who might not even be his child!”

“The DNA testing—” Callum starts angrily.

“Your DNA testing!” she shoots back. “And we all know the lengths you’ll go to when it comes to protecting your precious Steve!” She spins toward the lawyers again. “I demand another test, one that’s conducted by my people.”

Grier nods. “We would be happy to accommodate that request. Your husband left several DNA samples that are being stored at a private lab in Raleigh. I took care of the paperwork myself.”

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