My Royal Temptation

By: Riley Pine

CHAPTER ONE



Nikolai

IT’S NEVER IDEAL to wake up after a one-night stand to find a European boxing champion glaring at your bare ass. It’s worse if the pissed-off guy in question happens to be a childhood best friend.

Scratch that…former best friend.

“Top of the morning.” I wryly yank the hotel’s satin sheet over my waist. A red thong is bunched on top of the unmade covers, right where I removed it with my teeth around midnight.

If looks could kill, Christian Wurtzer, Baron of Rosegate, would smite me faster than a lightning bolt hurled by an avenging god.

“You really are a first-rate bastard, aren’t you, Nikolai?” He balled his hands into meaty fists, a useless gesture, because here in the Kingdom of Edenvale, it’s illegal to strike a member of the royal family.

And as Prince Nikolai, third of his name, Duke of Westcraven, heir to the throne of Edenvale and our country’s eminent blue-blooded bad boy, I fall square into the “no hitting allowed” category. Rules are often a nuisance in my world, but that particular clause has proved beneficial since reaching my maturity, especially in predicaments regarding the opposite sex.

“Bastard?” I scrub the morning scruff prickling my jaw with a yawn. “But I’m the mirror image of my dear sovereign father, and don’t forget that my poor queen mother was forced to squeeze me out in front of an official court representative to ensure my legitimacy.” There is a sharp localized pain in the vicinity of my heart; the twinge always accompanies a mention of my long-dead mother. She died bringing my youngest brother, Damien, into the world, the first life that banished asshole ever took.

“You’ve gone too far this time.” Christian’s warning growl yanks my attention back to the present moment. “This was my sister. You compromised her virtue.”

Not the optimal moment to observe that he could give the ferocious bear stamped on his family crest a run for its money. Once our people were great hunters, the best swordsmen in Europe, as feared as the Vikings of old. Edenvale might be a small, landlocked kingdom, but we harbored a reputation as ruthless, lethal warriors. These days we’re better known for luxury casinos, discreet banks and glamorous mountain hideaways. Edenvale is a high-altitude playground for the rich, the famous and those aspiring to the same.

“What will I tell my parents?” He rakes a hand through his blond hair, pacing the plush carpet. “Catriona is ruined. Her prospects for a marriage alliance are now nonexistent.”

“Come, come. Ask any trust-fund baby in Ibiza. It’s common knowledge that your precious little sister gave up her virtue well before I sunk my flag.” If his family schemed to marry Cat off as a virgin, they lost that chance years ago. Typical Rosegate sentiment to attach significance to such an inconsequential thing as a hymen. But they are an old-fashioned people. The regional characteristic might be charming if their morals weren’t so fucking medieval.

Catriona Wurtzer stirs, snoring lightly, her pink lips crooked into a satiated half smile. A hot pulse of lust spreads through my sac. That luscious mouth pouts from the cover of three different high-fashion magazines this month alone, and last night it worked over my cock with such deep-throated skill that the interlude nearly distracted me from this morning’s royal duty.

I roll out of bed and slip on my tuxedo pants—commando—and shrug into my dress shirt, not bothering with the twenty-four-karat-gold cuff links on the nightstand. Catriona likes it rough, and the room was trashed during our sleepover. Those expensive baubles will serve as a more-than-adequate housekeeping tip. It’s time for me to return to the castle.

My father, the king, and my hag of a stepmother, the current queen, have summoned me for a private audience this morning at nine thirty sharp. This rare audience doesn’t mean anything good, which is why I guzzled three-thousand-dollar-a-bottle champagne at a gala benefit before burying myself balls deep into the supermodel who happens to be my best friend’s little sister.

“Your family have been loyal subjects for over two centuries. Based on this valued relationship, I shall issue a royal decree. Huzzah, huzzah. All hail Catriona, the realm’s newest countess.” I can’t resist a smirk as I tack on, “A new title for her trouble.” As if bedding me was a hardship. Which it wasn’t. But what the hell? Let her add a castle to her four orgasms. I’m in a generous mood.

“Too kind, Highness.” Christian nearly chokes on his words. He wants to beat my ass into Luxembourg, but the microstate of Rosegate has long been a disputed territory with Nightgardin, the country to the north and our ancient foe. The powerful Wurtzer family has been allied to mine for generations, and he knows—without reminder—three salient facts: