Prince's Son of ScandalBy: Dani Collins
Carrying the prince’s secret heir!
For one night, reclusive heiress Trella Sauveterre throws off the fear-ridden shackles of her childhood abduction—succumbing to a sizzling seduction, she falls unexpectedly pregnant! Deeply uncomfortable in the spotlight, Trella can’t bear a high-profile pregnancy and keeps the identity of her baby’s father hidden...
Then a tabloid photo of a scorching kiss implicates Crown Prince Xavier of Elazar in the scandal. He’ll do anything to claim his shock child—even kidnapping Trella! Now Xavier must legitimize his son. And it’ll be his pleasure to make Trella his royal bride!
“Feel, bella. Feel how much you’re exciting me.” Xavier moved Trella’s hand all the way under the sash, so the pound of his heart slammed into her palm. “This isn’t anything I’ve ever experienced, either.”
Her scalp tingled. She dropped her champagne, ignoring the delicate break of crystal, wanting too badly to touch him with both hands. She slid her fingers to the back of his neck and raised her mouth, inviting him to kiss her. It was pure instinct and he didn’t hesitate, covering her parted lips as though he’d been let off his leash after being tempted too long.
The world stopped, then spun the other way, dizzying her. She made one whimpering noise, astonished by how thoroughly such a thing could devastate her, wilting all her muscles.
She distantly heard another delicate shatter, then he picked her up, lifting his head to reveal a fierce expression. Victory? Not quite, but there was something conquering there. Something exalted.
Yet his bright gaze asked a question.
She nodded, unable to speak, just gave herself up to it, to him. She knew when to fight her body and when to surrender. Perhaps it was the silver lining to all those years of having to accept that physiology trumped logic. This was bigger than anything she could make sense of.
Six months ago...
WHEN THE GREETER at the ballroom entrance asked Trella Sauveterre for her name, she nearly gave an arrogant “you know who I am.”
She bit it back. Her sister was never acerbic. Not with strangers, and definitely not with underlings. Her twin was perfectly capable of terse words and might even hurl some blue ones at Trella when she learned what she was doing right now, but Angelique’s personality was one of sensitivity and empathy. Gentleness and kindness.
Trella? Not so much.
“Angelique Sauveterre,” Trella lied, wearing her sister’s polite yet reserved smile. She ought to feel more guilty. She ought to feel like an overused cliché from a children’s movie, but she didn’t.
She felt alive.
And apprehensive. Terror could overcome her if she let herself dig deep enough. This was like swimming toward the middle of a lake, where the bottom was too deep to imagine. Who knew what dangers lurked in those dark watery depths? Monsters. They existed. She had met them. Had nearly been consumed by them.
But she wouldn’t think about that.
Nothing in her outward appearance revealed the way her heart bounced and jostled in her chest, fighting internal battles. She moved gracefully, even though her muscles felt stiff and petrified, twitching to run.
Because, along with the trickles of fear, a tumbling waterfall of joy rang through her. It was all she could do to keep tears from her eyes or laughter from escaping her throat.
I’m doing it! she wanted to call her family and cry. Look. I’m in public. By myself. I’m not shriveling like a vampire in the sun.
But they didn’t know where she was and it was best to keep it that way. This was the sort of sneaking out a window she should have done years ago, when she’d been an adolescent. Instead, she’d been a grieving survivor with an eating disorder and more baggage than a passenger jet.
Still was, if these people only knew.
She quashed the negative self-talk and moved like a normal person through the crowd. Gazes lingered, noting Angelique Sauveterre had arrived. Her bodyguard kept anyone from approaching, though. Maybe that wasn’t normal for everyone, but it was for the Sauveterre twins, even the eldest set of brothers.
With her sister’s aloof nod, she returned a few greetings to people she imagined she was supposed to know.
In a few weeks, she would come out as Trella and have nothing left to hide behind. No more walls, literal or technical. No broad-shouldered brothers. No playing her sister to avoid being herself. She had determined, had sworn on the blood she had shed when she nicked her ear cutting her own hair before Christmas, that this was the year she would free herself from the prison she had created.