Chapter 30 - Meeting Jason's only family

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And like him more.

It’s not good, I know that, but it is what it is. And, as long as I keep my feelings to myself, which I intend to do, then everything will be fine.

I can’t stop thinking about his life, how he was raised in two completely different ways.

Thank God for his grandpa.

I was already looking forward to meeting him. Admittedly, I feel a little intimidated after discovering that he’s a lord. An actual freaking lord. And he lives in a castle. I don’t care what Jason says. It’s a castle. But after learning everything his grandpa has done for him, I’m more than looking forward to meeting him.

“So, what do I call your grandpa? Lord Reed or just Lord? Or, like, Your Royal Highness.”

Jason laughs loudly. It’s a really good sound to hear after the intensity of today.

“Sam, Royal Highness is reserved for the monarchy. Kings, princes, that kind of thing.”

“So, he’s not actually royalty? I thought lords were royalty.” Not that I know much about lords or anything to do with the British monarchy—except the Queen is cool, and Prince William and Kate produce the cutest kids ever.

“My grandpa’s title was given to him by the Queen. And he is distantly related to the royal family but way, way down the line. Tenth cousin once removed or something.”

“But he’s actually related to the Queen?”

“Technically, yes.”

“That means you’re related to the Queen.”

He chuckles. “Well, no…”

“Um…your grandpa is your blood relative, and he’s related to the Queen—I don’t care how many times removed.” I stop him when his mouth opens to speak. “So, that means you’re related to the Queen.”

“I guess, if you look at it that way, then, yeah, technically…but not really.”

“Oh my God!” I cover my face with my hands. “I’ve been having sex with royalty!”

“Sam, I’m not royalty.”

I wave him off with my hand. “Oh, you are so royalty! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me this before! I’m so adding that to my list. This…you being royalty…and you and me doing the dirty—like, numerous times—I think this might actually top meeting Chris Martin.”

His brow creases. “So, you have to discover there’s a drop of seriously diluted royal blood in me in order for me to top Chris Martin? God, I feel so fucking special.”

I can tell from his tone that he’s playing with me.

“What can I say? Monarchy just marginally tops rock royalty.”

He laughs again. The sound is so rich and pure that it reaches a hand inside my body and wraps around my heart.

“Anyway, don’t worry, Reed. You already made my list way before Chris Martin did.”

“I did?” He glances at me, the look in his eyes suddenly tender.

“The first thing I checked off my list—kiss a stranger. You were my stranger.”

He reaches his hand over and takes mine. He lifts my hand to his mouth and kisses it.

That theoretical hand he has around my heart squeezes.

We’re coming up close to the castle, and he still hasn’t answered my question.

“So, what do I call your grandpa then?” I ask again.

“Most people just call him Scott.”

“Scott?” I frown. Doesn’t sound very lordlike.

“It’s his name—.”

“You’re sure I should just call him Scott?” Feels weird to address someone of nobility by their first name like that.

“Well, you can call him Lord if you want, but I don’t think it’ll stick. It’s just not him. You’ll know what I mean when you meet him. Now, me, on the other hand? If you at any point want to call me Lord or Sir or…God, then feel free, babe.”

That earns him a jab in the arm.

“Hey!” He rubs the spot I just hit. “Easy there, Sam. I bruise like a fucking peach.”

“Sure you do.” Fighting a smile, I shake my head at his smirking face.

“Still, you pack a hell of a punch there for such a tiny person.”

“Yeah, well, make sure to remember that the next time you have a smart comment ready to roll off your tongue.”

“I’d much rather roll you off my tongue.”

Oh my God.

A shudder runs up my spine, desire suddenly coiling in my stomach.

I love it when he says things like that to me.

Jason brings the car to a stop outside the castle just as a man comes out the front door and heads straight for the car.

Jason’s grandpa.

Lord Reed.

Or Scott.

I can’t call him Scott. It doesn’t seem respectful enough.

I don’t know what I was expecting…but the guy walking over to the car isn’t it.

He’s an older version of Jason. Tall and distinguished, his short hair , face clean-shaven—he’s handsome for an old guy. I bet he was seriously good-looking when he was younger. I can see where Jason  gets his awesome looks.

Looking at Lord Reed, it’s hard to pin an age on him.

Jason gives me a smile and then gets out of the car. I climb out my side and shut the door.

“Been way too long since I last saw you, boy.” He hugs Jason.

Out of nowhere, a lump appears in my throat, and tears prick my eyes. Apparently, I’m an emotional wreck today. I blink furiously to rid myself of the tears.

“I was here only a few weeks ago,” Jason says as his grandpa releases him.

“Like I said, too long.” He claps his hands on Jason’s shoulders. “Have you grown since I last saw you?” His head tilts to the side, his eyes squinting at Jason.

Jason laughs. “I stopped growing a long time ago, Grandpa.”

“You look taller. Maybe I’m just shrinking.” He shrugs.

Then, his grandpa’s eyes come over to me. I’m standing by the hood of Jason’s car.

“You must be Samaya.” He leaves Jason and walks over to me, stopping just in front of me. “So, you’re the one who finally got my grandson to take some time off from that business of his.”

“That would be me.” I smile. “It’s really nice to meet you, Lord Reed.”

He laughs a rich and deep sound. “We don’t stand on formalities here, Samaya. Call me Scott.”

“Okay”—I smile—“Scott.”

He smiles. Then, he hugs me. He actually hugs me.

He wraps his arms around me and squeezes. I freeze.

I’m not sure what to do. In this moment, I realize that, aside from Jason—who mostly hugs me after he’s screwed my brains out—Scott is the only other person I’ve hugged since my family died.

I shake off the shock and hug him back so as not to be rude.

Scott releases me and stares down at me. “Thank you,” he says softly.

I’m not sure if he’s thanking me for the hug or for Jason taking time off work. So, I just shrug and say, “No probs.”

He smiles wide. “I just adore the American accent. My wife was from America—New York. Amazing woman. Far too good for me. So, Jason tells me that you’re from New York as well.” Scott has his arm around me and is now steering me toward the house.

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