I came back to Forsyth and agreed to be their Lady for two reasons: protection and revenge.
I put up with the abuse, the degradation, the humiliation, and bided my time. I wanted vengeance and I took it. The Lords give as good as they get and the consequences were fierce, but there's one truth when it comes to Killian, Dimitri and Tristian.
They keep what's theirs.
They wanted to break me, but instead, they molded me into their perfect weakness. They fought for me. Bled for me. Championed for me. I was put through the gauntlet and came out stronger. I earned the title of Lady.
Then they became my weakness.
I agreed to sleep under their roof, but on my terms. No more rules, no more punishments, no cameras or dress codes or sneaking into my bedroom. In return, I'll give them a chance to earn the title of Lord.
Building trust takes time, but with all the threats nipping at our heels, that's a luxury we don't have. We have to rely on one another despite our complicated pasts—to find a murderer, a stalker, and a traitor.
This new life of pain, wrath, and mercy is a confusing maze of twists and turns. Fortunately for us, there will always be one fixed constant, guiding us home:
The Royal we.
WARNING: This book is a DARK/BULLY romance. It contains graphic content that some readers may be particularly sensitive to. If you have triggers or are even remotely unsure, please heed the note at the beginning of this book.
The Royals of Forsyth University is a reverse harem series by Best Selling Authors, Angel Lawson & Samantha Rue.
Lords of Pain
Lords of Wrath
Lords of Mercy
Dukes of Ruin
Release date: October 15, 2021
Print pages: 600
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Lords of Mercy: Royals of Forsyth U
I don’t needto look at the clock to know it’s after midnight. The noises of the old LDZ brownstone keep their own time, from the sound of Ms. Crane’s curses echoing down the hallway to the thumping bass of the weekly frat parties. But those sounds have faded. It’s Thanksgiving break and most of the frat boys have gone home for the week. Ms. Crane is asleep, so it’s just me and my Lords here, filling the dead brick walls with our own signature signs of life. The most telling signal of time is my Lords.
The most present is the shadow crisscrossing beneath my bedroom door, punctuated by the rhythmic creak of the hallway’s hardwood floor. It’s as symbolic as the chiming grandfather clock down in the library.
My stepbrother is pacing outside my locked door, as he is every night, hoping, wishing, preying.
Three weeks ago, we amended our contract. It was a long morning, and I spent most of it stony-faced and refusing to back down from my requests. The Lords spent it pulling at their hair and gnashing their teeth, and slowly—so slowly that I knew I was being taken seriously—accepting the terms that would cement my place here once again.
No more cameras or creeping into rooms uninvited, no more clothing or food demands. No more punishments. The topic of sex was most difficult for me. I’m not so lacking in self-awareness to think I’ll never be willing. But the things that happened to me—things they did to me—things I was forced to do…
It has to be on my terms, when I’m ready.
They may have agreed to my demands enough to put pen to paper, but that doesn’t stop Killian from pacing outside my door, testing the lock, prodding at my makeshift boundaries to see if tonight’s the night I’ve lowered them. I know more than anyone that if he wanted in, he could snap that lock with nothing but a twist, and I wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing about it. To my surprise, he hasn’t. Not yet.
Killian’s never been big on virtue, but patience, least of all of them. That much is obvious from the way he’s itching to get back on the football field despite still being in recovery from the gunshot wound to his gut. Or the way he, Tristian, and Dimitri keep running over vague, vengeful plans to get back at whoever planned the hit.
Ted. Ted planned the hit—whoever he even is.
I roll on my back and stare at the ceiling—or rather, the floor of Tristian’s room. I know for certain he isn’t up there, because I can hear him, too. The steady rhythm of the basketball down on the court below my window has been beating for an hour. His pattern is as clear as the way his hips drove into me when he fucked me. Seven dribbles that echo off the bricks, then he shoots. Sometimes it’s followed by the clean swish of the net or bounce off the backboard, or occasionally… “Motherfucker!” he misses entirely.
I had Tristian go over every inch of my room, unplugging or turning off the sensors. It was an elaborate system, including motion detection and infrared, and it should have stunned me, this knowledge that I’ve been so painstakingly observed. Only, it didn’t surprise me at all.
I don’t think Dimitri or Killian care that much, but for Tristian, not keeping tabs on me, watching me, is clearly a challenge.
After that night at the Velvet Hideaway, I’m done with being on camera.
The ball bounces outside, and the hallway creaks, but there’s one notable absence to the noises of the house.
There’s no music.
Dimitri hasn’t played the piano, or any of his other instruments, since I humiliated him at the homecoming performance. And although we’ve promised one another that we’re okay about what happened at Daniel’s brothel, it’s still been a little difficult to look one another in the eye. I don’t know what it’s like for him, but for me, it’s not about shame. It’s that Dimitri put himself between me and the world, and I’m not sure how to feel about it.
There was a moment when he was inside of me, protecting me, asking me sweetly to come for him, that I felt something click in my heart. But here, away from all that, I’m not sure if it was real or not. What I do know is that Dimitri sacrificed something to rescue me that night. Something big that weighs on his shoulders. I owe him, but I’m not sure what I owe him for. And I’m not sure he’d tell me if I asked.
I toss again, flipping over to my stomach, my eyes heavy despite the anxiety I feel in the pit of my gut. I haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep since that night I walked through the door of my own volition. Not because I needed protection. Not because I was being forced to. Not because I felt threatened.
Just because I wanted to.
In a perfect world, that would have made everything easy, but the reality is a lot more complicated. It’s as if locking my stepbrother out, and then watching Tristian methodically remove every trace of his ability to watch me, has made me feel impossibly exposed. Anything could happen in this room and they wouldn’t know.
Just like every night, I reach for my phone, thumbing it open and going for my most recent contact.
He answers on the second ring, voice quiet, scratchy with disuse. “I think I’m dying.”
I turn on my side and tuck my hand beneath my cheek, fixing my gaze to my dark, empty bathroom. “What is it tonight?”
He sniffs, but the cough that follows belies the haughtiness. “I don’t know. Three blunts and a fifth of vodka? Possibly a Xanny, but maybe that was last night.” After a beat, he asks, “Wait, what day is it?”
I wince. “Jesus, Dimitri. Why don’t you try staying sober for one night?” It’s a stupid request. For one, I’m at least partially responsible for everything that’s wrong in his life right now. For two, his generally being unable to remember these late night discussions is a big part of why I feel so inclined to have them.
“Why don’t you go fuck yourself?” he snipes back, and even though there’s no real heat to it, his muttered, “No more rules about that,” has resentment just rolling off it.
“Don’t feel like it,” I lie.
“You’re lying.” There’s a shuffle through the speaker, rustles of fabric and air. “Nothing wrong with needing a nut to get to sleep.” Dimitri does a good job of acting like we don’t do this every couple of nights. My feigning disinterest. His coaxing me to do what I already want to do. Maybe he really does get so drunk that he forgets, because it always goes the same.
He sighs into the phone, low and gritty in that way that tells me he’s just taken himself from his pants. I worry my lip between my teeth as I listen, hand creeping beneath my covers. I can easily envision him in that dimly lit room upstairs, reclined on his bed or his couch. He’d have the phone on speaker, but kept close. Probably already shirtless, the toned muscles in his abdomen flexing as he strokes himself.
“What panties are you wearing?”
My face heats at the question, fingers dipping below the elastic as I roll to my back. I don’t need to look to answer, “They’re blue.”
He hums over the rustles in the background. “The lacy ones with the white trim.”
My breath hitches at the first touch, imagining that they’re his fingers pressing into my clit. “You probably have all my other blue ones up in your room.” It’s meant to sound admonishing, but the gasp I make when my thighs spread sort of ruin the effect. “And my black ones, too.”
“The black ones are best,” he says, voice imbued with a hardness that tells me he’s stroking himself. Is he already hard? Does he have to coax it to life like he does for me? “I like jacking off with them.”
I pause, trying to reorient my mental image of him on that couch. “Really?”
He answers without a trace of embarrassment. “Only if you’ve already worn them. I like it when you’ve gotten them all wet.”
Warily, I wonder, “And then what?”
“And then I wrap them around my dick,” he drawls, voice falling two octaves. “I jack it until I come, and then I shoot my load in the exact spot that’s touched your sweet pussy all day.”
I breathe a long, stuttered, “Oh.” Come to think of it, I’m not sure what else I was expecting. “Are you…right now?”
I can practically hear his teeth raking over his lip piercings. “That get you hot, baby? Knowing I want it so bad that just busting my nut into your damp panties is enough to do it for me?”
I roll it around in my brain, ultimately deciding, “Yes.”
“This pair is pink,” is his response, and I realize instantly that he’s stroking himself with the pair of panties I wore last night. They’re not as frilly as some of my others—just simple, comfortable cotton. His breaths are coming harder now, shallower. “Something got you wet yesterday. They were fucking soaked.”
I grind my head back into my pillow and buck into my hand, ripe with the knowledge that tomorrow, these blue panties will go missing from my laundry hamper. “Tristian,” I quietly confess, sliding my fingers through my wetness. “We were all watching that movie, and I was remembering—”
“That day he fucked you in the entertainment room,” Dimitri says, grunting. “Fuck, I still remember the way your pussy looked, stretched around his cock.”
It’d been difficult last night, sitting in their presence while some movie played on the screen. I can barely even recall the plot—something with a lot of guns and fast cars—but I vividly remember looking over at Tristian’s sprawled legs and wondering what it might be like to climb into his lap again. Like Dimitri, I can perfectly recall what it felt like to have him buried inside me as the world moved on around us.
“He watched it, you know.” Dimitri’s voice is choppy, and I imagine the way his forearm must look, veins bulging as he strokes himself. Breathlessly, he clarifies, “The video of us, from the pit. I think he might feel bad about it, but I told him—” He makes a low, strained sound. “Told him if there’s anyone who should jerk it to that, it’s them. They’re the only ones who…” His voice trails off, slurring into something indistinct.
My own hand unconsciously syncs to the rhythm I hear in his voice—in the rustle over the speaker. “They’re the only ones who have the right.”
“Yeah,” Dimitri says, his words just as hard as his dick probably is. “Because you’re ours. You can make or take away all the rules you want, but it’ll always be true.”
I always get a little lost when I’m like this. It’s why it has to be Dimitri. The booze and the drugs dull his memory of the things I say. It’s why it has to be over the phone, neither of us able to physically act on it.
But it comes pouring out of me as I rub my clit, chest hitching with my gasps. “Yeah, I’m yours, I’m yours.”
He lets out this deep, tremulous growl. “God, I should come down there and fuck you through the goddamn floor. I should let the others watch. Hell, I should let them get a piece. You’ve got us so fucking crazy for it…”
It’s so hot in here, the fan in the room's corner doing little in the way of cooling my overheated skin. Clumsily, I kick the blankets off, giving me an unobstructed view of my hand disappearing into my panties. Here, in the dark, it could be any hand. It could be Killian’s. Tristian’s. “Dimitri…”
I seize with the force of my orgasm, thighs clamping hard as I ride my hand. Distantly, I can hear the sounds of Dimitri’s grunt, the static-hiss of huffed breaths, but I’m too lost in the pleasure sparking through my brain to care that he’s probably painting the crotch of yesterday’s panties with his come.
Like it always does, the fall is steep and jarring, slamming back to my body with a heaving chest and a damp brow. I can hear my pulse in my ears like a roaring stampede.
Or maybe that’s just Killian pacing outside my door.
As if he’s heard my thoughts, Dimitri’s rough voice comes through the speaker. “You have no fucking idea what you’re doing to us, girl.” His words are slurring worse now, heavy with exhaustion. Idly, I wonder what he’s doing with my soiled panties. “Maybe you should call one of them next time.”
I frown at the bleakness in his voice. “I can’t.”
There’s some shuffling on the other end of line—maybe he’s cleaning himself. “Then maybe you should come up here and actually get a full night’s rest for once.” Dimitri’s sigh sounds just as weary as I feel. “You aren’t fooling anyone. Maybe you sort of hate us, but you need us just as much as we need you. Own your shit, Story. It doesn’t have to be—”
There’s a pause, and then, “Is this like a countdown?” He doesn’t sound impressed.
I pull my hand from my panties before shucking them off, tossing them in the direction of my hamper. For you. “It’s more like…a challenge.”
“A challenge,” he repeats, voice flat.
“Go sober for three days,” I swallow, knowing that I’ll have to commit to this, “and I’ll sleep in your bed.”
There’s more rustling, and then complete silence. It goes on for so long; I worry the call has dropped. Dimitri breaks it with a low, skeptical, “Sleep.”
“Yes,” I stress, knowing I have to be careful here. I can’t promise something I’m uncertain about my ability to give. “Sleep.”
His scoff is loud and full of static. “I can sleep alone just fine.”
Then he hangs up.
I glare at my phone’s screen, unable to really muster any anger about it. Maybe it’s the orgasm, or maybe it’s just that I know Dimitri too well. He’s hoping I’ll sweeten the pot. Even though the four of us are on different terms, they’re still who they are. Killian still wants in, Tristian still wants to watch, and Dimitri still wants to manipulate.
I just know how to handle them now.
Part of me wants to open that door and let Killian come in and make me forget everything but the rough heat of his hands. Or go outside and drag Tristian into the hot tub to ease away the tension and stress. Or I could climb the stairs and force Dimitri to play something for me. To play me, drawing me out, edging me closer and closer in that way no one else can but him. But my issues with sleeping are the least of our problems. We’ve all got something else on our mind. Something we’ve got to get through first.
We’ve been invited to a formal dinner, and for the first time in years, it looks like I’m going to spend it with family.
My mom, my stepfather, my stepbrother, and his two best friends: My Lords.
One, big, happy family.
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