Paper Princess Page 64

Valerie picks up one sash and tosses me the other one. “You’re right, Ella. This guy is a creep.”

As quickly as possible, we truss him up like a turkey. With Daniel momentarily dazed, it’s easy for us to secure his hands behind his back, tie his ankles together and then loop a length of sash between the two sets of bindings.

“Too bad we don’t have tape.” I pick up a banana from the floor and toss it in the air. “We could tape this to his ass.”

“That’d be awesome,” Valerie crows.

Savannah scowls. “I have something to stick up his ass.” She stomps over, draws back her leg and delivers the harshest kick I’ve seen outside a movie. Apparently smashing a five-pound candlestick into his skull didn’t quite lessen her anger toward him.

The impact of her delicate foot to his butt is surprisingly hard. It jolts Daniel from his stupor, and he releases a yowl of pain. An ugly smile stretches across Savannah’s face. Valerie and I watch as she bends close to whisper something to him, something that makes him shudder.

Then she straightens up and runs a hand over her hair, smoothing all the strands to lie flat against her pretty head. “I’m ready. I don’t want to spend another minute with this piece of garbage.”

“Hold up,” Valerie says. We turn to see her throwing an apple up in the air.

A grin slowly spreads across my face. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I ask. The plan is so evil. I love it.

Savannah starts laughing and is almost laughing too hard to help us pull open Daniel’s mouth and shove the apple inside, but one dazed, naked boy is no match for the three of us.

“Let’s go.” I run to the door and find Sawyer there. “We’re ready.”

“So are we,” he answers with a grin. “Did you kill him? Because that yelp back there sounded bad.”

“I think Savannah wanted to but we held her back.”

“I’ve always liked that chick,” Sawyer says.

I lean back and gesture for the girls to exit. Savannah and Valerie slip out the sliding doors leading to the beach. Once they’re down at the shore, I hit the lights and the button for the remote control curtains. The Worthingtons made this whole thing easy for us. As the lights flicker on and the curtains part, Sawyer and I haul ass after the girls, who we find standing with Sebastian.

Once we arrive, Seb places a hand on the shoulders of Valerie and Savannah. “Can’t believe we’re missing the show,” he says glumly.

I’m bummed too, but we decided it wasn’t a good idea for me and the girls to be part of the crowd during Daniel’s unveiling. If any of his buddies figure out we were behind it, they might turn on us. The twins are down here serving as our bodyguards in case that happens.

We stand and wait, straining for the sounds that will mark the reveal of Daniel—tied up and on display like a pig at a luau.

The first noises we hear are a chorus of gasps. There’s a shout that we can’t make out and then a moment of silence. After what seems like a long time to me, but must feel like an eternity to the naked and bound Daniel, there’s a shout of “Oh my God!” and “Holy shit, is that Daniel Delacorte?” Other voices join in until it seems like every guest is commenting on the scene before them.

There’s clapping, whistling, and screaming, and for some reason I start shaking. I tremble so hard I have to lean against Sawyer. He puts an arm around me and rubs a hand against my side.

“I-I don’t know why I’m so weak,” I stutter.

“You’re coming off an adrenaline high.” He digs around in his pocket and then hands me a roll of mints. “That’s all I got. Sorry.”

“S’okay,” I mumble and shove two in my mouth. I concentrate on chewing the candies, and whether it’s the tiny shock of sugar that helps or just focusing on something other than the stunt I just participated in, my shaking stops and I start warming up. “Where’s the rest of the Royal crew?”

Sebastian gives me an amused glance as if he knows exactly which Royal I’m curious about. “Witnessing Daniel’s humiliation with the rest of Astor Park and making sure the right story is being spread.”

“What story is that?”

“The truth. He got beat up by a girl.”

“Three girls,” I correct.

“It’s a better story when it’s only one girl,” Sawyer pipes up.

“But don’t you want to take credit, too?”

“Publicly? Naah. It’d get back to Dad and then he’ll be on our asses about the military school thing again.” Sawyer grins. “But we’ll know we did this, and that’s all that matters.”

A commotion at the top of the embankment catches my attention. The three other Royals are coming. Sawyer grabs me by the arm and herds me down the beach. Valerie shouts after us that she’s catching a ride home with Savannah, and I give her a quick wave as I race off with the twins. Their brothers aren’t far behind us.

“You should have seen the look on his face—” Gideon starts.

“Man, his dick is teeny weeny,” Easton crows. “Was that shrinkage or is he really that small—”

“The bruise on his forehead looked nasty. Did that come from you?” Reed sounds impressed.

Three Royal brothers converge on us, all talking at once.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” I raise my hands. “I can’t handle all of you at once.”

“You did good.” Gideon surprises me by ruffling my hair.

“It was perfect,” Reed drawls, and the approval in his eyes makes me feel warm and gooey inside.

Easton picks me up and whirls me around. “You’re a boss, Ella. Remind me never to piss you off.”

A racket of shouts and curses has us turning back toward the Worthington place. Easton lets me slide to the ground as we see a crowd form on the top of the ridge. There’s a splash—did someone just get pushed into the pool?

“He just dunked Penny Lockwood-Smith into the pool!” someone from the party yells before erupting in laughter.

“Here he comes,” Gideon says with a sigh.

He is Daniel, who’s charging through a line of people. Even in the dark blue of the night, we can see that he’s furious.

“Don’t let him bite you,” Easton murmurs in my ear. “He might have rabies.”

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