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Have Mercy (Mercy Academy, Book 3)

Have Mercy (Mercy Academy, Book 3)

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My relationship with Royal Fitzpatrick has always been complicated and messy. At times, it’s even been incredibly painful.

When I finally decide to stand up to him our senior year, unable to take another second of his bullying, Royal does the last thing I expected – he promises to change his evil ways.

But I’ve been hurt by him for too long. He’s a lost cause.

We are a lost cause.

At least that’s what I tell myself for months until I see him actually become the good, kind man I knew he could be.

Unfortunately, Royal still has secrets, ones he’s intentionally kept from me and his best friends.

So while I was stupidly planning our future together, Royal was just trying to make amends before he says a final goodbye.

Main Tropes

  • Bully Romance
  • Enemies-to-Lovers
  • Opposites Attract



I’m exhausted after a long week on a labor of love. My arms and legs ache so much I can barely lift them an inch, but it was totally worth it to see the faces of the kids in the neighborhood light up with joy at all the new and improved playground equipment. Still, as fulfilling as it was, I can’t wait to get back to my dorm room and pass out after my cold shower. I was too tired to even wash and dry my hair, and every step back to my room seems to take twice as long.

Now that I’m finished, I can just enjoy the next two days off. I’ll probably still try to find some odd jobs around camp, but mostly I’ll hang out in my room alone or outside drawing. I prefer painting, but the supplies are too bulky to pack and bring here. Still, when I have a paint brush or a pencil in my hand, I’m happy and at peace. There’s no one that can take that from me, especially not any of the bitchy girls on campus who still aren’t any nicer after I let Garrett down gently Monday morning. 

Actually, I think I may have been wrong about no one taking away my peace; because when I open the door to walk back into my room, I find it’s now been occupied by Royal Fitzpatrick. 
He’s stretched out on top of my bed, back to the headboard with his legs crossed at the ankles while he casually flips through my sketch pad with a smirk on his handsome face. He doesn’t even lift his head in my direction when I quickly shut the door behind me before one of the counselors sees him in my room and I get into trouble too.

“What the heck are you doing in here?” I whisper to him while clutching the front of the towel that’s wrapped around my chest with one hand and holding my pink shower caddy in the other. “You need to leave!” I hiss at him. 
“Roses? Vases? Dogs? Your drawings are just as safe and boring as you are,” he mutters while still eying the pages. “Can’t say I’m all that surprised, though.” 
“Put that down and get out!” I huff as tears sting my eyes thanks to his harsh criticism of something of mine that’s so private. “Why are you in my room, going through my personal things? Get out, you jerk!” 
“And there it is! Finally,” he says with a triumphant sneer before he finally lifts his whiskey-colored eyes to look at me. For a second, his evil grin falters as his gaze sweeps up and down my body that’s covered by way too little cloth. At least all the important bits are concealed. Not that you would know that based on the way he keeps staring at me like I’m stark naked. I even glance down to double check that my towel is still in place just to make sure. 
Finding everything covered, I set my shower caddy down on the dresser just so I can hold the towel with two hands to be certain it stays in place. 
Wait, what the heck did Royal just say? 
“There-there what is?” I ask him hesitantly.
His tongue swipes over his bottom lip before he clears his throat and looks back down at my sketch book. 
“You got angry and raised your voice. I finally got through that Mother Teresa act of yours.” 
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I reply in confusion. 
“You think you’re holier than thou just like everyone else in this place.” 
“No, I don’t.” 
“Sure you do,” he says as he slams the sketch book closed and looks up at me again, this time right in my eyes. “It’s why you love doing all the bullshit around here with poor, old and sick people.” 
“I do it because I like helping them, not because I think I’m better than they are or that I think I’m better than anyone!” 
“No, you don’t,” he responds like he knows me better than I know myself. “No one likes getting their hands dirty. They do it because they have to or because they get something in return for it.”
“Not me,” I argue. “Now give me my book and get out before a counselor finds out you’re in my room!” 
“Why? Are you afraid of getting in a little trouble? Having your reputation smeared?”
“I’m afraid of getting in trouble for something that’s entirely your fault! If anyone sees you in here and reports it, they’ll think we were…” 
“Were what?” he asks. 
“You know what,” I whisper. 
“Fucking?” Royal says, making me cringe at the derogatory term before I nod my head. “Okay, I’ll give you your book back and leave if you do one little thing for me.” 
“What’s that?” I ask, ready to do almost anything to get him out of here. 
“Flash me your tits.” 
I gasp at his offensive request before scoffing. “No way!” 
“Then I guess I’ll stay, and you’ll never see this book again.” 
When he waves my sketch pad up in the air, I make a lunge for it. I get my hand on it, but Royal, who has two free hands, easily overpowers me and jerks it away, mostly because of my modesty, fearing my towel will fall. He then rolls off the other side of the bed and stands up on the opposite side. He grins from ear to ear before strolling over to the open window and holding my book out of it.

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