Prince's Son of Scandal

By: Dani Collins



It was easy to spot the Prince’s room. Two guards were stationed outside the door. Her own accompanied her as she approached them.

“Mademoiselle Sauveterre,” one greeted with a respectful nod. “We were notified to expect you.” He stepped inside and invited her guard to sweep the rooms.

Both men behaved with the utmost professionalism, not betraying a hint of judgment about what they must know was a preliminary for seduction.

A smile touched her mouth as she thought about how her brothers would blow their tops if they knew where she was right now, even though they had both been on the Prince’s side of this equation hundreds of times, the hypocrites.

Then she was left alone and she took in the elegant shades of ivory and sage green on the walls and the furnishings. A glass of watered-down Scotch had been abandoned on an end table, ice long melted. She sniffed, then dared a sip, thought about looking at the view, then decided to leave the drapes closed.

The double doors to the bedroom stood open. She stared at the bed, taking another quick sip of liquid courage just as the main door opened. His star power impacted her anew, making her heart skip.

“You made yourself comfortable. Good.”

“This is yours.” She tilted the glass, then set it aside, instantly wishing she’d kept it to keep her hands busy.

“I’ll make you a fresh one. Or, how about champagne?” He moved to the bar. As he peeled the foil from a bottle, the crinkle seemed overly loud.

This was the moment she should have admitted she was Trella.

A very real fear sat within that admission—that he would develop his own misgivings. He would either want explanations she didn’t care to give, or he might jump to conclusions that made him averse to being with her. In no scenario did she imagine this exciting, lighthearted atmosphere would continue.

“You’re nervous,” he noted as he popped the cork.

“You’re observant,” she said, compelled to at least confess, “I don’t do this.”

It was true no matter which twin she represented. Gili running away for a weekend with a prince was as out of character as her being here with this one.

“I already guessed that.” He set two glasses as he poured, canting his head to eye her. “You’re not a virgin, are you?”

She choked. “No.”

True again for both twins, but she had to look away, mind skipping off the dark memory like a stone off the water’s surface.

No, that was another reason she was here. Being alone with a man was another snapped link in the chain that bound her to the past. She was really, really proud of herself right now. Even though her proffered excuse of “I’m just out of my comfort zone” was the understatement of the year.

He brought the glasses across the room to her and offered her one. “Saluti.”

“Salud.”

They sipped, gazes locked, unspoken expectations hovering between them. Her throat grew abraded by the bubbles.

“What if I change my mind about being here?” she asked in a soft rasp.

“Then I will be disappointed.” His intent expression didn’t change.

“Angry?”

“Disappointed. Very disappointed, bella.” His gaze acted like wildfire, igniting her blood as he swept it across her cheek and down her throat.

He turned away to set music playing. The notes were low and sultry, matching the thick feeling in her veins, the sensual throb of her pulse.

“Either way, I’m pleased to have you to myself.” He came back to her, steps laconic, touch smooth and confident as he looped his arm around her. “Whether you want to talk or dance or...pass the time in other ways.”

He swayed them into a dance that was really just the press of two bodies. Foreplay. They both still held their champagne flutes. Held gazes.

“I wasn’t in the mood to fight other men for your attention.”

“Was anyone else even trying? I hadn’t noticed.” She batted her lashes.

His mouth tilted. “I like that wit, bella. I find myself regretting we only have tonight.”

She tucked her chin and gave him an admonishing look. “You’re patronizing me again. I don’t need the rules spelled out. I’m not that green.”

“See? Such sharp intelligence is the sort of thing that holds my interest longer than a few hours.”

“Is that how long your liaisons usually last?”

He stopped dancing, arm remaining across her back, but loosely. “That’s probably not a good topic of conversation.”

“I know.” Bubbles tickled her nose as she sipped, trying to wash away a strange bitterness on her tongue. It shouldn’t matter what his past looked like. Whatever man eventually attached himself to her wouldn’t come to her pristine. She couldn’t expect it when she had such a complicated history herself. “I think I’m looking for reasons not to like you so I won’t feel so...”

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