A prince forced to marry to become king, four eligible candidates, but the one he has an eye on won’t marry for anything less than love… A sweet new royal romance is now available from Lauren Runow, and I have a sneak peek for you.
“Do you think this is what I want? To be forced to marry someone I don’t even know just because of who we were both born to?”
The expression on her face says it all. She does. She thinks that’s what’s going on, and it makes me sick to my stomach.
There’s silence between us, and I’m not sure how to continue. I turn to stand with my back to her, looking out on the view of the city.
I hear her stir but don’t turn to see what she’s doing. If she’s leaving then let her. I’d rather be unhappy with who I choose than know she’s the unhappy one in the relationship. It’s my family that’s royal, not hers. Screw bloodlines.
To my surprise, both of her hands reach around my stomach as she stands behind me, resting her head on my back. “If that’s the truth, then why am I here?”
I hold her hand, pulling it tighter around me before turning to face her. “Did you not listen to a word I just said?”
She glances up at me, and her face melts my heart. She’s so pure, so genuine. Something I never thought I would find.
“I heard you,” she whispers, staring at me.
“Then don’t you understand? You’re here because my dream girl walked into my reality the other day, and I want to actually get to know her. Not for them. Not for this absurd expectation. For me.”
Her eyes search mine for something more so I lean in, kissing her, trying to prove my words are the truth.
When her head tilts to the side and her lips part slightly, inviting me in, I take full advantage by wrapping my hands around the nape of her neck and through her hair, holding her there. Every second gets better and I need her to feel this too.
Her warmth pressed against me makes my cock twitch, so I reluctantly pull away before she notices. I want to get to know her before I start thinking with my other head.
I break our kiss and press my forehead against hers, keeping my hands around the nape of her neck. “You’re here because I want you here. I hope you feel the same way.”
“I’m starting to,” she whispers.
I place my lips on her forehead once more before grabbing her hand and sitting back down. I’m not done getting to know her, and even though we just had a big breakthrough, there’s still a lot I want to learn.
“So why have you been going along with these meetings if you were so against them?” she asks, her eyebrows pinching with confusion.
“It’s hard to explain. I’ve fought for a lot of freedoms, but this was the one thing I couldn’t change.”
“Then what have you changed?”
“Unfortunately, nothing in Canterbury yet, but I hope to change everything one day.”
“How so?” She takes a bite of her sandwich, tilting her head with curiosity.
I love the way she’s genuinely interested in what I have to say. I take a swig of my beer, swallowing it before I say, “I lied when I said I was studying business in London.”
“You, the Prince of Canterbury, lied to me?” She mocks offense, making me laugh.
I grin, happy we were able to get back to this playful demeanor we seem to have together. “My parents—no, my dad—is ashamed of what I studied.”
“How can a parent be ashamed of what their child studied?”
“When it’s African cultures and foreign affairs, believe me, he wants nothing to do with it. To him, anyone below the royal family is not to his standards. He thinks someone of my stature isn’t supposed to work with his hands. That’s why I’ve been gone for as long as I have. He didn’t want any of the stories to hit the media here.”
“You’re kidding, right?” she asks in disbelief.
“Wish I was.” I shake my head while taking another drink.
“So that’s what you want to change?”
“Yup. That and so much more. I’ve done amazing things in other countries. I want to do that here. I’ve told my father if I can’t be king the way I want to be, then I don’t want to be king at all.”
“Whoa, you’ve said that?”
I laugh. People may think he never gets spoken to that way, but I guess that’s my job as his son. “Yes, and believe me, it never goes well, but if I can’t stand up for myself then what good am I?”
She nods while continuing to eat her sandwich. “So tell me, what are these amazing things you’ve done in other countries?”
I shrug, trying to downplay it. “It all depends on what they need. I’m actually going to Malawi in a few days.”
She lets out a quick yelp of surprise, covering her mouth, so she doesn’t spit out her drink. “Malawi?”
“Yeah. I’m helping build a maternity ward in a remote village.”
“Can I go?” she asks, sitting up excitedly, surprising even herself.
“You’d want to?” I’m shocked she asked. Not just because we’re going to be in the middle of nowhere, but also because we’d be spending all that time alone.
“Hell yes! I’d love to.”
I nod. My entire heart filling with warmth. Hearing she’d want to go with me just sealed the deal for me. This girl was meant to be mine.