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Suddenly Royal(6)

By:Nichole Chase

“She looks rather questionable.”

“The ‘rather questionable’ woman is standing right behind you.” You stupid little dildo. I glared at his head, barely registering the people at the table until they stood up.

“I was told the Parallel, and I would assume its restaurant, was used to hosting dignitaries and royalty.” The woman’s voice was calm and cool. “Your tone would be embarrassing no matter who you thought Lady Rousseau was.”

My eyes jerked to the woman and I wondered if the duchess was losing her mind. Perhaps it was appropriate to address people by Lady or Sir in their country. Her mouth twitched in amusement as she watched the man grovel and I decided she must be teaching him a lesson. She might be my hero.

“I’m so sorry, I had no idea….” The Alfred-wannabe was sputtering apologies and it took all my willpower to keep from rolling my eyes.

“No, don’t apologize to me. Apologize to Lady Rousseau.” Her eyes twinkled when she looked at me.

“My apologies, Miss—I mean, Lady Rousseau.”

I bowed my head a little. “Accepted. Perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick to judge next time.”

“Yes, my lady. May I take your coat?”

I shrugged out of my coat and that’s when I felt his eyes on me. Looking up, I realized Prince Yummy had indeed come for the dinner. Jess and the undergrads had been wrong. He wasn’t yummy, he was delicious; a feast to be savored. Dark blonde hair hung a smidge too long, eyes so blue it was like looking into the heart of a glacier. Built like the statue of David; the contours of his suit hugging every delicious muscle. Laugh lines around his mouth and eyes brought him into the realm of humanity, and gave him a personality. As his eyes ran over my face and down my body slowly, heat washed over my skin. When I handed the jacket to the maître d’ I felt naked. There was something about his bright blue eyes that left me feeling exposed.

“Thank you, Alfred.” I mumbled the words, feeling completely off guard by the look I’d just received. The man left without a word, and I really hoped he didn’t do anything nasty to my jacket.

“Alfred?” The prince’s mouth quirked on one side, revealing a dimple, and I wondered if a dimple could kill a person. It was possible I was having a heart attack right now. “Is that his name?”

“Oh, you know. He looks a bit like Batman’s butler, but without the wicked sense of humor.” I winced. I was speaking to a prince, a real live prince, and my first interaction was describing a comic book character. At least I wasn’t a slobbering mess looking at him.

“I vaguely recall something about Batman and his butler.” The princes’ eyes glittered mischievously. I felt my mouth twist a little, relieved he had gotten my ill-timed sense of humor. “I would have pegged him more as Jarvis. Slow, annoyed voice.”#p#分页标题#e#

“Samantha, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” The Duchess held her hand out for me and for a brief moment I panicked not sure if I was supposed to bow over it or shake it. I decided if she was in America I was just going to shake it. Her fingers were dry and warm, her grip surprisingly tight. “I’m Rose.”

“It’s nice to meet you.” Jesus. I should have read that article myself. I had no idea what to say or how to act.

“This is my nephew, Alex.” I turned toward the outstretched hand and hoped my palms weren’t sweaty.

“An honor to meet you.” As soon as the words had left my mouth, I regretted them. Why had I said that? Why didn’t I just say it was nice to meet him? Surely it hadn’t sounded like a come-on. I was just being paranoid. How had I lost control of this evening already? Who was I kidding? I’d lost control as soon as that weirdo, Duvall had approached me.

“The honor is mine. Trust me.” Instead of shaking, he lifted my hand to his mouth and his lips brushed across my knuckles gently. They were warm and full, and my body tingled at the contact. I stopped breathing for a moment and had to remind myself that oxygen was important. When he lowered my hand, his thumb ran over my knuckles. He knew how to affect a woman, that was for sure. Stepping around me, he pulled my chair out. I don’t think anyone has ever pulled a chair out for me. It was weird. What did I do with my feet? The stupid heels caught on the floor and almost came off, so I just lifted them up until he was done.

He moved around to his aunt and helped her into her chair as well. She was watching me with bright, intelligent eyes and I wondered what she was thinking. I felt a bit like she was measuring me. She motioned to the waitress standing off to the side and I was offered a glass of wine. I took it, but only to be courteous. I was already feeling out of my element.