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Suddenly Royal(4)

By:Nichole Chase



“So?” Jess’s voice cut through my thoughts and I tore my eyes from the screen.

“What?”

“I asked what your big plans were.” Jess frowned. “Quit staring at Prince Yummy and pay attention.”

“Prince Yummy?” Bert pulled off the apron and frowned at Jess. I tried to not laugh.

“That’s what the undergrads were calling him. It’s annoying, but it stuck in my head.” Jess hopped down and wrapped her arms around Bert’s neck. She wasn’t a short girl, but she looked petite next to her boyfriend. I started to leave to avoid their PDA, but she wasn’t ready to let me escape. She leaned back and frowned at me. “You didn’t answer!”

“I’m going to dinner with Prince Yummy’s dear old aunt.” I smiled at her shocked expression and made my way to my tiny bedroom.

I was flicking through the clothes in my closet when my bedroom door banged open. Jess was looking at me like I was crazy, so I just shrugged.#p#分页标题#e#

“You’re serious.”

“Yeah. I’ve got to be at the Parallel in less than three hours.”

“Oh my God. You’re going to have dinner with a duchess? Is Prince Yummy going to be there too?” Her eyes were huge and I frowned. It would be much better if someone like Jess went to this dinner. She was gorgeous and people tended to like her immediately. I, on the other hand, rarely dressed up and couldn’t remember the last time I painted my fingernails. What was the point if I was going to be scraping dirt out from under my nails in a few hours?

“I don’t know about Prince Yummy.” I shook my head. I needed to find out his name so I didn’t accidently refer to him that way.

“Why?” She sat down on my bed and watched as I pulled out the few dresses I owned. I held up a bright summer print and she shook her head.

“I don’t know. Some guy showed up at work and said the duchess wanted to have dinner with me. I guess Dr. Geller forgot to tell me she was coming.” I looked at the dresses in my hands and put the blue back. Black was probably the safest option. That way if I spilled anything on myself, it wouldn’t be overly obvious.

“Some guy said she wanted to have dinner with you. Why do you think this has anything to do with Dr. Geller?” Jess crossed her legs and I realized she wasn’t leaving. “Seems pretty fishy. Are you sure he is who he says he is?” Jess was pretty practical when things boiled down to it.

“I think so. And if not, then I’ll have only wasted one night.” I shrugged. “Why else would a duchess want to talk to me? And she was at the school earlier. Maybe she’s a donor or something.” I laid the dress out on the bed and thought about jewelry. “I have no idea how to talk to her. I mean, do I address her as Duchess? My lady? Your Highness?” This wasn’t something I’d grown up knowing. It wasn’t like I was from England.

“The Internet is our friend!” Jess grabbed my laptop off the bedside table and popped it open. She typed for a moment and then looked up at me. “They are from Lilaria, right? Says here they’re big into birds, so I guess it makes sense.”

“Okay. What about their royalty?” I turned to look back at my closet, realizing I didn’t have an appropriate jacket.

“Just the usual stuff. A prince is addressed as His Royal Highness.” Jess skimmed through the link she was reading. “Address the duchess as Duchess Whatever. But it says you should adopt their type of formality.”

“So, I shouldn’t call him Prince-dude or her Royal-lady?”

“I think you nailed that one on the head.” Jess closed the computer. “You’ll be fine. Just be the charming person I know you can be.”

“Note to self: Don’t eat with fingers or burp in their faces. Got it.” I smiled at Jess and she laughed.

“We’ll save you some chili.” Jess got up and looked at me. “Text me when you get there and let me know it’s legit.”

“Sure.” I smiled at her over my shoulder as I headed for my bathroom. Time to make myself presentable. Thank God, I had time to shower.





Royals in Rags

—The Chicago Gazette





My truck sounded like it was on its last leg as I pulled up to the hotel. The traffic had been terrible, so I didn’t have time to park the thing myself and avoid the embarrassment of valet. Cursing under my breath, I tried to stuff some of the garbage from the bench under the seat before the attendant opened my door. Looking up I smiled at the young guy.#p#分页标题#e#

“Sorry, the Bentley is being detailed.”

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