The Sunshine Court (All for Game #4) Read Online Nora Sakavic

Categories Genre: Contemporary, M-M Romance, Sports Tags Authors: Series: All for Game Series by Nora Sakavic

Total pages in book: 127
Estimated words: 117363 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 587(@200wpm)___ 469(@250wpm)___ 391(@300wpm)

My name is Jean Moreau. My place is at Evermore. I belong to the Moriyamas.

It is a truth Jean has built his life around, a reminder this is the best he can hope for and all he deserves. But when he is stolen from Edgar Allan University and sold to a more dangerous master, Jean is forced to contend with a life outside of the Nest for the first time in five years. The Foxes call his transfer to California a fresh start; Jean knows it is little more than a golden cage.

Captain Jeremy Knox is facing his final year with the USC Trojans and fifth straight year falling short of the championships trophy he desperately craves. Taking in the nation’s best defenseman is a no-brainer, even if that man is a Raven. But Jean is no monster, just a man with no hope or desire for a future, and when Evermore's collapse starts dragging Jean's hideous secrets to light, Jeremy is forced to contend with the cost of victory.

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Jean Moreau came back to himself in pieces, dragging himself together as he had a thousand mornings before. The cloud in his thoughts was as unfamiliar as the heaviness in his limbs; Josiah generally stuck to ibuprofen when patching the team up, even when it was Riko he was cleaning up behind. For him to step it up meant Jean wasn’t going to like what he was waking up to.

Aside from the stinging ache along his scalp and up to his crown, his cheekbones and nose were a soupy mess of heat. Jean lifted a too-heavy hand from his side and gingerly felt out the lines of his face. Stitches and bandages were a familiar rough texture beneath his fingertips, and the blossoming ache under a bit of pressure confirmed his nose was broken again. The Ravens were going to use that to their advantage the next several weeks to keep him in his place. He’d have no choice but to protect himself against their high and brutal checks, pulling back when he should have been pushing forward.

His neck ached, but the skin there felt unbroken, and in his hazy delirium it took Jean too long to remember what had happened. The memory of Riko’s hands around his throat, squeezing tighter and longer than he ever had before, sent a shiver down his spine when it finally sharpened into focus. Jean had given into fear and forgotten himself, and he’d tried pulling Riko’s hands loose. Riko responded by pummeling his face with unrelenting fists. Knowing the master would beat Riko black and blue after championships for breaking the golden rule—not where the public can see—left Jean queasy. Riko was twice as vicious when he was hurting.

Jean slowly let his hand fall back to his side and struggled to open his eyes. It took a few tries, but what came into focus was an unfamiliar ceiling. Jean was sold to Castle Evermore five years ago; he knew every square inch of that stadium better than he knew his own body. This room was not in Evermore, not with such pale paint and wide windows. Someone had hooked a dark blue blanket over the curtain rod to darken the room a bit, but slivers of burnt orange sunlight still peeked through to stripe across the bed.

Hospital? A bolt of fear had him counting fingers and toes. His hands ached, but he could move them. The lack of broken fingers this time was marginally reassuring, but what had happened to his leg? His left knee screamed when he shifted, and his left ankle flared hot right after it. They were facing the Trojans in a few weeks for semifinals and championships, and this did not feel like something that would heal quickly.

Jean pushed himself up and regretted it immediately. The pain that lanced from his abdomen to his collarbone was so fierce he felt nauseous. Jean sucked in a slow breath through clenched teeth, feeling the way his entire chest twinged with the effort. The memory of Riko kicking him, over and over even as he tried to ball up and protect himself, put ice in his veins. It’d been years since Riko last fractured Jean’s ribs. It’d taken Jean off the court for eleven weeks—and Riko off for one, when the master was done with him. This couldn’t be that again, it couldn’t, but the first press of his hand to his side left him ill with agony.

He nearly bit the inside of his lip to bleeding as he forced himself to look around. The lack of any medical equipment refuted his hospital guess. This was someone’s bedroom, but that made no sense at all. The squat nightstand alongside the bed sported an alarm clock, lamp, and two mismatched coasters. A long dresser ran along the far wall with books and jewelry strewn across the top. Just past it was a laundry basket in dire need of emptying.

Then the only thing Jean saw, the only thing that mattered, was the woman sitting in a short chair at the foot of the bed. Renee Walker sat with socked feet propped on the footboard and her arms folded across her knees. Despite the relaxed line of her shoulders and the calm look on her face, her eyes were sharp as she watched him. Jean stared back, waiting for anything about this to make sense.

“Good evening,” she said at length. “How are you feeling?”

For a moment he was back in Evermore, watching the master tell Riko that Kengo had passed. The master would be taking a private jet to New York for funeral arrangements, and Riko was to keep an eye on the Ravens in his absence. Riko knew better than to argue about getting left behind, but he’d helplessly followed the master to the exit anyway. Jean had had twenty seconds of peace, and he’d wasted them texting Renee a heads-up. He’d known what was coming when Riko collected him and set off for Black Hall, but it wasn’t like he could refuse Riko’s orders.