Forbidden French Read Online R.S. Grey

Categories Genre: Contemporary Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 104
Estimated words: 99951 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 500(@200wpm)___ 400(@250wpm)___ 333(@300wpm)
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Once upon a time, Emmett Mercier was the golden boy of St. John’s Boarding School. The crown prince of his father’s vast business empire, unapologetically attractive…oh, and fluent in French.

At school, I kept a picture of him hidden beneath my pillow, a tiny token of my adolescent infatuation, but I might as well have been worshiping a distant demigod. He was hardly aware of my existence. I was far too young, and he was far too consequential—until one day we found ourselves alone together in the dark library and struck up a friendship…of sorts.

But in the years since leaving St. John’s, I’ve no longer bothered yearning for Emmett. What a useless dream. I would have gone crazy trying to keep up with his jet-setting life. Which Parisian hotel is he calling home now? Is there some new lithe model draping herself across his lap today?

My negligence comes back to bite me. I’m ill-prepared the day he strides into my art gallery. There’s only a mere trace of the boy I once knew. Self-assured, handsome, intoxicating—Emmett is more man than I can handle.

There’s no room for him in my gilded cage. My life is planned to a T. From where I go to how I dress, it all depends on the calculated whims of my grandmother. Soon, I’ll even dutifully walk down the aisle toward a man of her choosing.

Emmett can’t stand my obedience. Now that we’ve rekindled our friendship, he’s intent on unearthing my heart’s true motives.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter One

Lainey

I shouldn’t be here, deep in the woods that surround St. John’s Boarding School. This land is owned by the school, but only the southern half of it is open to the public. Students and locals can enjoy the neat walking trails and historical markers. Wooden benches and worn logs make for easy rest stops. The northern half of the forest is closed, though. It’s meant to be a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife. Left alone, nature reigns.

I passed a No Trespassing sign a mile back. Thickets and brambles and overgrown vines block my way as I try to find the path the others have taken. I’m not confident I’m going in the right direction. In fact, I’m more than a little worried I’m wandering aimlessly into the woods never to be seen or heard from again.

A thick spiderweb grabs ahold of me and a shiver of disgust rolls down my spine. I leap and flail my arms like a fool, glad no one can see me trying to fling off the sticky wisps. I heave a deep breath, trying to compose myself. I’m letting the woods get to me. The darkness is hard to get used to. I’m using my phone’s flashlight but have it pressed to my chest, trying to dampen the beam and stay in the shadows.

Another few steps and I see it now, the blades of grass and shrubs worn down from foot traffic over the years. Either the school’s administrators don’t care or they can do nothing to stop the select few St. John’s students who wander wherever they please.

Here, the woods are quiet, but not silent. Peals of laughter and conversation lure me deeper, past where my good sense tells me to stop and turn back.

I see their campfire before I hear it. The burning logs whistle and hiss, crackle and split, sending sparks up into the night. A dozen people sit in ceremony around the fire, some on chairs or fallen logs, a few splayed out on blankets on the ground.

I’m careful as I continue to approach them. I don’t have an exact goal. I think I just wanted to see it for myself: the infamous group in action. Why do they come out here? Why’s it worth the trouble?

I don’t want to be caught. It’s safer if I hover on the periphery, watch for a fleeting moment, and then dash back to the safety of the paved road that leads to the heart of campus.

I slow my pace, edge closer, half concealing myself behind a beech tree.

I’m shaking like a leaf. Worse than the idea of being caught as a loser, arriving at a party I’ve not been invited to, is the sensation of being a witness to a crime. They shouldn’t be here, and I’m privy to that now. What would they do if they caught me lurking like a voyeur?

My imagination is getting the better of me. All the stories I read are winding together in my head, mischievous pirates and spell-casting magicians. It’s like I really expect them to capture me, withdraw a sharp blade, and start performing some sort of blood ritual. Sacrifice the virgin. This group would love to conjure up the wicked—a role they know so well themselves.

My interest stems mainly from the secrecy. Like everything on this campus, any organization worth participating in is exclusive and elitist. Sure, there are the sanctioned school clubs and sports, but placement in this group is predestined.

The upperclassmen at St. John’s are something else entirely. A band of brothers—no, a band of bluebloods so tightknit they’d never break ranks.

I press my hands to the bark and lean against the tree, edging closer as I scan the scene. I only stop when I spot him. He’s across the circle from me, the furthest from where I stand. My stomach squeezes tight, and after a good long look, I continue taking attendance, convincing myself I’m here for everyone, not just him. But who am I kidding?

My fingernails dig into the bark as my gaze drifts back to him, prepared for one more self-indulgent glance.

Except when I look again, he’s spotted me.

Fight or flight.

Now.

Neither.

I’m completely frozen, pulse pounding in my neck, in my stomach, in my hands as they shake against the tree.

He’s the only one who’s seen me, and I wait for him to call attention to my presence, to inform the rest of the group that there’s an outsider among them.

My muscles tense as I hold still, barely breathing as he watches me lazily. A few more seconds pass, and I’m forced to breathe deeply, knowing it’ll have to sustain me if I should need to turn and run.

I’m braced for him to lean forward and wave his hand, halt the conversation, and end this little game we’re playing.


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