Home > Dark Princess (Knight's Ridge Empire #11)

Dark Princess (Knight's Ridge Empire #11)
Author: Tracy Lorraine








The deep rumble of an engine is the first thing I’m aware of when I come back to.

My body aches and my head is fuzzy as I lie there, my heart picking up speed with every second that passes.

My dad is going to be so pissed.

Probably not the most helpful of thoughts while I’m locked… I assume in the back of a van, but there you go.

He told me to wait. He told me that he’d come.

Did he know this was likely to happen?

Does it even matter?

Pushing my feet against the floor, I fight to sit up, but I soon realise it’s pointless. With my hands tied behind my back and whatever is in my system making my thoughts hazy, my body won’t cooperate the way I want it to.

Rolling onto my front to relieve my aching arms, I let out an almighty scream of frustration.

By some miracle, I manage to drift back off to sleep once more with the gentle rocking of the van as I’m driven fuck only knows where.

My only saving grace is that my phone is in my pocket. Dad can track me. They’ll find me. And when they do, whoever took me is going to be fucking dead.

Of course, that’s assuming I don’t get the chance to do it myself first.

I might not be trained like Stella, or have the experience of a life in Lovell behind me like Emmie, but when it comes down to it, I’ve got Cirillo blood running red-hot through my veins. I refuse to bow down to whoever thinks they’re smart enough to do this.

“You failed,” Stefanos states, his voice cold and hard.

“I couldn’t remember any of it.”

Silence floats up from the kitchen to where I’m stopped on the stairs.

Mum, Dad, Uncle Damien and Auntie Selene are away, so we’re playing at Alex and Daemon’s house. Or at least we were, until I excused myself from Alex’s room to get drinks.

The boys are all playing some dumb zombie game on the Xbox, and I’m bored out of my mind. Well, all the boys but Daemon. He hasn’t come to find us since we got back from school.

It makes me sad to think he’d rather be alone than play with his friends. But I can’t say I’m surprised. He’s always been like that.

“Alex didn’t fail,” Stefanos continues. “When your grandfather hears about this, he’ll—”

There’s a loud crash before Daemon appears in the hallway, but he doesn’t see me. He doesn’t look up at all, too intent on running for the door.

“Nikolas,” Stefanos booms, forcing me into action as Daemon pulls the door open and rushes outside.

“Daemon, wait,” I call once I’m free from the house, but he’s already halfway across the garden, his much longer legs eating up the space as he flees.

My feet pick up speed as he disappears into the trees, into their den.

His angry shout hits my ears before there’s a loud bang and another cry, this time one of pain.

Slipping into the shadows, I gasp when he appears in front of me, tears streaming down his cheeks, blood covering both his knuckles and his chest heaving with exertion.

“Leave me alone,” he barks. But I do the opposite. I step closer.

His eyes widen in shock and a warning growl rumbles deep in his throat.

“I’m not scared of you, Daemon. Just let me help.”

I jolt awake and instinctively try to crawl away from a bang somewhere close to me. I can’t see a damn thing thanks to whatever they pulled over my head when they snatched me.

My heart races and my hands tremble behind my back as deep male voices filter through the side of the van.

“Oh my God. Oh my God,” I whimper.

I have no idea where I am, who took me—although I can hazard a guess to that one—or what they want with me.

I just have to keep banking on my phone still being in my pocket and still being on.

They’ll come for me, I know they will.

There’s another bang that forces my heart into my throat and sends a tremor of fear rocking through me, turning my blood to ice.

A door slides open and light finally filters through the bag over my head, although it’s not enough to allow me to see anything but the fabric in front of my face.

My skin prickles, aware that whoever is standing there is watching me closely before the van dips with their weight and I’m dragged across the floor and lifted out.

The fight I was missing when they first grabbed me emerges and I kick and scream, doing anything I can to hurt someone, to attract some attention.

My foot collides with something hard before a deep, terrifying voice grunts something I don’t understand.

“Figlio di puttana.”

I gasp as confirmation of who’s taken me sounds out loudly around me.

“Get the hell off me,” I scream, continuing to thrash about.

“Enough,” an accented voice booms before I’m hauled to my feet and shoved forward.

The scent of the ocean hits me and when I focus, the sound of seagulls squawking in the distance makes my brow crease.

If I had to guess where they’d bring me, then I’d have said some dark and dirty warehouse in the middle of nowhere. Not the bloody beach.

But then I guess I don’t really know how the men around me operate, seeing as I’ve spent my life shielded from this part of reality, let alone those of our enemies.

Nothing is said as I’m led… somewhere.

The grip on my arms is tight once more, fingertips digging into the sore spots from behind.

Anger burns red-hot in my belly, but what the hell am I meant to do about it? Without my arms, my sight, I’m pretty fucking useless.

So I continue to allow them to push me forward and hope that I’m able to figure out another way out of this once I’m put wherever they want me.

I think of Dad, of Nico, Theo, Daemon. They’ll freak out the second they realise I’ve gone and they’ll raise hell to get me back, I know they will.

Chances are that I’ll be back in my basement by sunset like this never happened.

I hope.

I stumble through a doorway before the light dims and the sound of the crashing waves and gulls lessens until I’m released into a room, whatever is binding my wrists is removed, and a door slams behind me, a lock engaging not a second later.

In a rush, I reach for the bag over my head and pull it free.

I blink a couple of times as my vision clears, not believing what I'm seeing.

I’m in a bedroom. A really nice bedroom.

“What the hell?” I whisper, taking in the huge, low bed covered in pristine white sheets. All the furniture is whitewashed wood, there are shelves with trinkets on, and a couple of ornaments.

I stand there in the middle of it all in disbelief.

This is… this is someone’s house.

Why the utter hell would the Italians bring me here? I’m sure the last thing they really care about is the comfort of the Cirillo princess.

Why aren’t I in a dark and damp cell being tortured?

Why am I—

There’s a loud bang from somewhere outside the door and I startle.

This room might be nice, but I can’t forget the past… however long.

They abducted me. Drugged me. Threw me in the back of a van and brought me to… somewhere a lot more pleasant than I was expecting, but still. That is not the point.

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