We spent one night together – and not even that way. I haven’t been with him. It was one random night in Vegas, driving around in a limo.
And getting married.
It seems like a lifetime ago.
I thought I would never see him again. I shouldn’t have ever seen him again. And how in the world was I supposed to know he was a prince? Or my future stepbrother?
We spent one night together. One kiss. So what?
It was one kiss that I’ve thought about it every day for the past two weeks, unable to shake the way his lips felt pressed against mine.
I should be devastated by my broken engagement. When your maid of honor confesses her affair with your fiancé, it should crush you. It’s supposed to crush you, right?
Except that I’ve been thinking of him instead.
I'm certainly not going to chase Prince Albert – he was Albie to me then, and definitely not a prince -- down a secret passageway.
I count in my head -- ten, then twenty, and thirty before I stand up and walk to the door and do exactly what he told me to do.
Damn it. Prince Albert is totally trouble. I know it in my gut, with more certainty than anything. I know it with all the certainty that I knew it that night.
Albie is going to be the worst kind of trouble.
And this is going to be the worst kind of decision.
The door opens, and she steps inside, looking radiant even in the dim light that shines from the overhead LED lighting in the passageway. The tunnels are an artifact of the palace, a relic from a thousand years ago, crisscrossing underneath the palace grounds and leading outside the gate. There’s a security guard posted at the exit, of course, a necessary precaution – but the tunnels were always my escape to freedom, out from under the watchful eyes of my father.
That was when I was younger, of course. Now, I'm free to do what I want. My father has given up on my being anything but exactly what I am.
The wayward crown prince.
The irresponsible prince.
The prince who lets his cock do all his thinking for him.
And my dick is definitely doing some thinking of its own, as I'm looking at Belle right now, standing not more than a foot away form me in her simple shift dress, an aqua blue the color of the ocean in the Mediterranean that makes her eyes look even brighter than they are.
But she wasn’t Isabella when she met me, half-drunk in Las Vegas. It was Belle then.
“Belle.” The name rolls off my tongue.
“You a-hole,” she whispers, clearly angry. It makes me laugh.
“Come again, darling?” I ask. “Oh, wait, no, there was no coming involved, was there? We never consummated our marriage bed. There are lots of beds in the palace, you know. I’m happy to make that happen.”
“How kind,” she says, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Is this totally a joke to you? You didn’t tell me you were a…”
“An asshole?” I ask.
She glares at me. I can see it even in the flickering light. She looks at me, her dark eyes steeled, her jaw set. “A prince,” she says, her tone imperious. “I gathered that you were an asshole the night we met. That didn't exactly take a lot of detective work."
“And yet, you saw fit to spend the entire night with me,” I say.
“Temporary insanity,” she says. “Obviously, I was out of my mind. And there was a lot of tequila involved, if I remember correctly. Plus, I was running away. But you already know that.”