Loving the Princess(5)

By: A.C. Arthur

“It’s not an issue,” Samantha told her brother. “At least it won’t be anymore. I’ll take care of Morty and we’ll spin this—” She paused and looked over to Gary. “We’ll make this work to our advantage. I just need to see everyone off for the night and I’ll have a plan for damage control in the morning.”

She would, Gary thought, because that was her job. She was the face of Grand Serenity, the personality that drew in tourists as well as business opportunities. Everything she said and did resulted in a gain for the island because she wouldn’t have it any other way. So Gary had no doubt at all that she would come up with a way to make what had happened tonight work, not only for her personally but for their family. She had no choice.

As for him and the job he’d been hired to do, he would have to be an intricate part of her plan. Whether she liked it or not.


She sprayed a spritz perfume, holding the bottle a safe distance from her body but remaining close enough so that she could still feel the cool mist hitting the uncovered areas of her skin. It was a Wonderlust day, Sam thought as she glanced at the name on the perfume bottle before replacing the gold cap on top and setting it down on her dresser. The smoky-floral fragrance made her feel steady and sexy, just what she needed today. She was about to walk away but then turned back to make sure the bottle was in its correct place.

All the bottles on one side of the dressing table had been aligned according to height. She’d thought about organizing them in correlation to when and where she wore each one, but that may have been a little over the top, even for someone like her.

When she was certain the bottles were straight, Sam caught another look at herself in the mirror. She wore a periwinkle shade of blue today, pants and suit jacket with a sheer white blouse beneath it. Last night her dress had been black because she’d wanted to appear aloof but professional. Stylish but serious. Today things were different. She needed confidence and maturity to face her father and a hint of cheerfulness for the persona she would display later today when she spoke at the grand opening of Detali’s new design shop.

There would not be a break in her schedule until an hour before dinner. But since Malayka had invited guests to join them, Sam couldn’t even look forward to the last meal of the day for comfort. With a sigh she fastened a single button at her waist. She’d told Lucie to leave right after selecting her clothes that morning, so the neat ponytail she wore was her own design. The nude pumps almost blended with the beige carpet in her bedroom, but she dismissed that and continued through the door that led to her sitting room.

Here the floor was tiled, a deep gray color that always made her feel warm inside when she saw it. Her mother had loved dark colors, even though she’d advised her young daughter to always use them sparingly. Sam decided she’d done just that by going with the dark tiled floor and the cameo-white-painted walls. The furniture she’d chosen for the room was what one would call sleek and modern, dark gray leather couches and glass-topped tables. The whimsy came in the bright turquoise pillows resting regally on the couches and the brilliant colorful abstract art on the walls.

With one last look back as she approached the door, Sam confirmed that everything was where it should be and that she had all she needed to head out for the day. Her purse matched her shoes and her cell phone and tablet were in her bag. Gold stud earrings were at her ears and a thick choker at her neck. Her makeup was flawless. She inhaled deeply then turned and placed her hand on the doorknob, pulling the door open before releasing an annoyingly high-pitched yelp.

“Good morning,” he said in his deep voice. “Sorry if I startled you.”

“Why were you lurking outside my room?” she asked immediately as she resisted the urge to flatten a palm on her chest to make sure her heart was still inside.

“Not lurking. Waiting,” he told her pointedly. “Are you ready to go down and meet with your father?”

He was standing directly in front of her, which prevented Sam from simply walking out and closing the door tightly behind her. She didn’t want him looking into her rooms and the last time she checked, she was certain she knew her way around this palace.

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