Prince Albert:A Billionaire Stepbrother Romance(4)By: Sabrina Paige
The door swings open and there he is, as if simply thinking about him was enough to conjure him up out of nothing, summoned here by the universe. I silently curse my luck. "Get out of here," I hiss, the words barely coming out, my breath still short.
"Are you having a panic attack or a total mental breakdown?" he asks.
"Neither," I lie. In fact, I might very well be having a breakdown. Maybe I’m hallucinating this entire scenario.
"Good," he says. "I'd hate to think I over-estimated you."
“I just needed a second," I say, my voice defensive. I don't know where this guy gets off talking about over-estimating me. "Leave me alone."
"Not a chance," he says, still standing by the doorway. "Count to ten after I walk out this door before you follow me. When you leave here, turn right and go down the hallway. There's a Monet -- it's the third painting on the right side of the wall. Push on the panel beside it. It's a secret passageway."
A secret passageway? Of course there's a secret passageway. It's a palace. I’ve practically walked right onto the set of a James Bond film. "You’re nuts if you think I'm about to follow you into a secret passageway," I say, my panic turning into disbelief.
He gives me a cocky grin and shrugs. "Don't pretend you have anything better to do, luv," he says. "Unless you're planning to get on a plane and head back to Africa?"
"How do you know I was in -- " Africa, I start to say, but he's already turned around. Damn it.
I sit there in the bathroom, my heart no longer racing the way it was, no longer panicked and anxious. Instead, my heart pounds wildly in my chest for different reasons as I look at the closed door, where he just left. The thought of the way he looks at me, his gaze traveling the length of my body, sends warmth radiating through my body.
We spent one night together – and not even that way. I haven’t been with him. It was one random night in Vegas, driving around in a limo.
And getting married.
It seems like a lifetime ago.
I thought I would never see him again. I shouldn’t have ever seen him again. And how in the world was I supposed to know he was a prince? Or my future stepbrother?
We spent one night together. One kiss. So what?
It was one kiss that I’ve thought about it every day for the past two weeks, unable to shake the way his lips felt pressed against mine.
I should be devastated by my broken engagement. When your maid of honor confesses her affair with your fiancé, it should crush you. It’s supposed to crush you, right?
Except that I’ve been thinking of him instead.
I'm certainly not going to chase Prince Albert – he was Albie to me then, and definitely not a prince -- down a secret passageway.
I count in my head -- ten, then twenty, and thirty before I stand up and walk to the door and do exactly what he told me to do.
Damn it. Prince Albert is totally trouble. I know it in my gut, with more certainty than anything. I know it with all the certainty that I knew it that night.
Albie is going to be the worst kind of trouble.
And this is going to be the worst kind of decision.
The door opens, and she steps inside, looking radiant even in the dim light that shines from the overhead LED lighting in the passageway. The tunnels are an artifact of the palace, a relic from a thousand years ago, crisscrossing underneath the palace grounds and leading outside the gate. There’s a security guard posted at the exit, of course, a necessary precaution – but the tunnels were always my escape to freedom, out from under the watchful eyes of my father.
That was when I was younger, of course. Now, I'm free to do what I want. My father has given up on my being anything but exactly what I am.
The wayward crown prince.
The irresponsible prince.
The prince who lets his cock do all his thinking for him.
And my dick is definitely doing some thinking of its own, as I'm looking at Belle right now, standing not more than a foot away form me in her simple shift dress, an aqua blue the color of the ocean in the Mediterranean that makes her eyes look even brighter than they are.
But she wasn’t Isabella when she met me, half-drunk in Las Vegas. It was Belle then.