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Suddenly Royal(7)

By:Nichole Chase

“I apologize for that terribly inappropriate behavior, Samantha.” Rose frowned.

“It’s okay, Duchess. I’m sure he was just trying to keep people from bothering you.” I was being generous. I was mentally debating egging the hotel.

“Please, call me Rose.” She smiled at me and I smiled back.

“Thank you, Rose.”

“Are you ready to order?” The waitress was back, her white button-up shirt was undone a bit and she stood close to the prince. The question had been addressed to him and only him. Rose looked at me and winked as if amused, but when I noted his uncomfortable expression I couldn’t help but feel bad for him. His face had transformed from friendly and thoughtful to stony.

“Actually, I haven’t had a chance to look at the selection.” I cleared my throat and picked up the large red menu.

“I’ll give you a little more time.”

“Could you turn the heat up a little?” The waitress started to turn, but his voice stopped her. His blue eyes locked on mine and for a minute I wondered if my clothes had caught on fire. Or maybe his accent had managed to make it hotter without turning up the heat. “I noticed your hands were cold.”

“No, no. I’m fine really.” It was cold in the restaurant, not that I noticed right this minute. Or maybe that was just the dress I was wearing. It wasn’t exactly designed for winter wear, but it was the nicest dress I owned. When my mother passed, it was one of the things I had made sure didn’t disappear. I wasn’t much of a fashionista, but I loved the vintage Chanel.

He looked at the waitress and smiled. “The heat, please.”

“Of course, Your Highness.” At her use of his title, the corners of his mouth twitched down briefly and he looked back at his menu.#p#分页标题#e#

“Thank you, but I really was fine.” I looked at him and narrowed my eyes. I didn’t care for men that ordered food for their women and picked out their clothing. Even if he was hot as hell. Maybe he was just used to making decisions for everyone.

“No reason to be uncomfortable.” He smiled, his eyes moving back to my face. I felt heat creep into my cheeks and I looked away. Squinting, I stared at my menu, not really seeing the words, and tried to crush the odd effect he seemed to have on me. This was a business meeting and it needed to stay professional.

I could feel his gaze like a hot touch and it was getting to me. It had been a while since I had been with a man, but that was fixable. They made toys to replace men. However, I had a feeling Prince Alex would make my toy wholly inadequate.

“Have you been here before, Samantha?” Rose’s voice drifted to my ears and I was glad for the distraction.

“No, this is the first time I’ve eaten at the Parallel, but I’ve heard the food is wonderful.” I smiled over my menu at the other woman. Sometimes there’s a feeling when you meet someone, a sense of understanding and connection. I felt it with Rose. “Dr. Geller comes here occasionally for business lunches. Speaking of Dr. Geller, I wasn’t able to get in touch with him before coming to dinner, so please forgive me for being unprepared. I’m not sure what exactly we’re discussing tonight.”

Rose smiled at me for a minute as if amused. I looked over at Prince Yummy—dang it, Alex, and frowned. His eyes were moving back and forth between me and his aunt, a small smile playing along his delicious lips.

“Let’s order and then we’ll talk about it. I’m starving.” Rose set her menu down, so I quickly looked through and picked something to eat. My mind was racing. Something weird was going on here and I was going to figure it out. I looked for the waitress and smiled, hoping that would bring her to the table a little faster so we could get down to business.

She glared at me as she sauntered back to us and I wondered why the staff here seemed to hate me so much. What on Earth had I done? Shown up to dinner with the duchess and the prince… Oh. The prince. She was glaring at me because I was eating dinner with Prince Yummy. Sheesh. It wasn’t like we were alone. Who brings their aunt on a date?

The thought brought heat to my cheeks—again. I was never going on a date with Alex. We were from different worlds. He wore expensive suits and probably never got his hands dirty. I wore blue jeans and flannel shirts. My hands were always dirty. Okay, not always dirty. I washed them, but I worked with animals and out in the field.

“You’re ready?” The waitress once again turned her body and ample cleavage toward Alex and smiled.

“Ladies first.” Alex leaned forward so he could look around the waitress. “Samantha, what would you like?” My name spoken in that accent made it sound much sexier, but it was the glint in his blue eyes that made my skin hot.