Loving the Princess(8)

By: A.C. Arthur

It sounded cold and harsh, and so unlike the person Sam really was, that she flinched inwardly at her words. Her emotions were getting the best of her and that was never a good thing. She was taking a deep breath and getting ready to release it slowly when he spoke again.

“If you recall, Princess, you put this play in motion. I’m only suggesting that we capitalize on an event that might otherwise bring unwanted negative attention to the family at the moment.”

He was right and that was perhaps what she hated most about this situation.

“I do not like it any more than you, Sam,” Rafe admitted. “I was not pleased to see my daughter running up to this man and kissing him so wantonly in public. Very unlike you.”

As if embarrassment wasn’t enough, now her father had to add his disappointment to the pile of burdens on her shoulders.

Sam sighed. She couldn’t keep it in and she couldn’t get up and run back to the safety of her room, either.

“Morton Javis has been coming on to me for the last year. In the past few months he’s decided to push a little harder. Last night he was following me around, touching my shoulder, trying to hold my hand. He wanted to do exactly what I ended up doing,” she admitted. “With someone else, that is.”

“You mean he wanted to make everyone believe that you two were a couple?” Kris asked.

Her brother had relaxed his stance only slightly as he looked at her. As for Rafe, his scowl had come as quickly as his hands fisted on the desk blotter where they rested. Her father was a broadly built man with a dark, chocolate-brown complexion and a stern look. To say he was visibly pissed off would be an understatement.

She swallowed and continued. “Yes. I believe that’s what he wanted. He’s told me on many occasions that an alliance between the royal family and a top member of the monarch’s staff would show the people of this island that we see ourselves as one of them.”

“Bullshit!” Gary rebutted before muttering a quick, “Pardon my language, Your Highness,” to Rafe.

“I agree,” Kris immediately replied. “How dare he impose on you in such a way?”

“You should have said something sooner,” Rafe added. “I want him in my office before the day is out and then I want him as far away from this palace as possible.”

“No,” Sam insisted. “That will only play into his ploy. If we fire him now he’ll go straight to the press. He’ll tell whatever he may know about the inner workings of our government and our family. He’s sleazy and he wants attention. We cannot give it to him.”

When they all remained silent, no doubt thinking of a way to go behind her back and handle this on their own again, Sam stood.

“I had hoped that if he saw me with someone else, he would think his chances were lost. That’s why I kissed…um, that’s why I did what I did last night.”

“And that’s why this plan makes sense,” Gary stated. “We can give the press something else to talk about, something better to focus on besides any still-lingering questions about the explosion. At the same time, we’ll be thwarting any attempts on Morty’s behalf to try to discredit or disgrace the princess or the royal family.”

Kris was nodding his approval while Rafe still frowned but did not verbally object. As for Sam, she hated how logical Gary’s plan sounded and more so the fact that she had no one to blame for this new predicament she was in but herself.



Gary nodded to Phillipe Montenegro, Samantha’s driver. He’d already requested Samantha’s complete schedule for the day and was discussing the route Phillipe would be taking into town. It was almost noon and already the humidity was high enough that the idea of taking a dip in the glistening nearby turquoise sea was more than a little appealing.

There was a breeze that Gary noticed weeks ago when he’d arrived on the island. It could be downright blustery at times, aiding slightly in the cool-off, but this was ultimately air-conditioner weather in Gary’s mind.

He’d already rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and knew his sunglasses protected his eyes from the intense rays of the sun as he stood outside the palace.

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