Loving the Princess(12)

By: A.C. Arthur

“You said you have an appointment with the prince,” Gary began immediately. “Who are you and what’s it in reference to?”

The guy, who looked to be in his early twenties, kept his hands firmly clenched on the steering wheel where Gary could see them. A glance inside the SUV confirmed the passenger seat was empty. He wore a lightweight blue jacket with a striped shirt beneath it and sunglasses covered his eyes.

“I’m interested in opening an account at Serenity Trust,” he told him.

“Then you should be at the bank, not here,” Gary replied.

His hands did not move, and while his head remained turned in Gary’s direction, Gary wasn’t sure the man was looking at him. Something wasn’t right here.

“He will want to meet with me personally,” the man stated.

“What’s your name?”

Rutger had already given Gary this information but he wanted to hear the man say it. He wanted to see if he could tell if he was being told a lie.

“Kendon Arnold” was the easy reply. Too easy.

Gary nodded. “I’ll give the prince your message. If you’re right and he wants to meet with you, he’ll be in touch. But there will be no meeting today, so back this truck up and leave the property. Further sightings of you or this vehicle near the palace without the prince’s approval will result in your arrest. Do I make myself clear?”

There was a moment when Gary thought he was going to have to pull the man from the truck and detain him until the island police could come and arrest him but the guy shrugged.

“That is clear,” he said. Then he put the SUV in Reverse and backed away from the gate.

Gary watched as the vehicle turned and drove down the driveway. At the end of the cement drive, the road split in two directions. The SUV turned to the right and Gary frowned. That direction led back to more winding dirt roads and into the forested part of the island. The same forested part that ran along the back perimeter of the palace.

Gary pulled his cell phone from his pocket and began composing a text message to Kris. The crown prince wasn’t going to like this any more than Gary did, but he needed to know.


Sam watched intently from the front passenger seat of the car. She’d gotten out of the vehicle and moved onto the seat beside Phillipe while Gary had been in the security booth. Yes, it was running away from the problem. But there was no other way, she insisted as she’d avoided Phillipe’s questioning gaze and pulled her seat belt into place.

If she and Gary were going to be close, they would not be able to resist touching each other. She had to put some space between them.

It was a solution. Sam was good at coming up with solutions and acting on them, regardless of whether or not it seemed she was taking the easy way out. That didn’t matter. Only the “out” part did.

When Gary had finished talking to the man in the truck and then stood there for a few moments as the SUV pulled off, she’d had plenty of time to decide what she would say when he asked why she’d changed seats. Of course she wouldn’t say that she couldn’t trust herself not to jump him in the backseat of a moving car. That wouldn’t be at all appropriate—no matter how true it might be.

She also wouldn’t tell him again that she didn’t like his idea of them faking a relationship. That had already been said and overruled. No, Sam decided that she would do whatever was necessary to keep her family safe and out of the scandal spotlight. So she planned to go through with this false relationship until Morty was dealt with and they could all move on. She prayed that would happen sooner rather than later.

He was heading back now, stopping only briefly at the security booth before heading toward the car. Her fingers clenched on her purse as she held it firmly in her lap. She stared straight ahead even though the windows were completely tinted so he could not see where she sat from the outside. The back door opened—she heard barely a sound as she suspected he slipped onto the seat—and then the door closed. A few muted seconds passed.

“Let’s go. We don’t want the princess to be late for the opening ceremonies,” he instructed Phillipe.

He said nothing to her and, for that, Sam was grateful. After about fifteen minutes the gratitude shifted to mild confusion. Why wasn’t he saying anything? Was kissing the only way they could communicate? No, that was silly. Especially since after each kiss Sam was left feeling more confused than ever. Aroused yet still jumbled.

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