Casada Con Un Prncipe: (A Mistake, a Prince and a Pregnancy) | Chapter 9 of 20

Author: Maisey Yates | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1583 Views | Add a Review

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CHAPTER TWO

 

SUDDENLY it was horrifyingly clear why he’d looked familiar when she’d first seen him. He wasn’t just Mr. Max Rossi. She had seen him before. On the news, in the tabloids. He and his wife had been media favorites. They were royal and beautiful, and, by all accounts, extremely happy. Then, two years ago, he’d been in the news for his personal tragedy. The loss of his wife.

She was thankful she was sitting or she would have collapsed.

His dark brows snapped together and she registered concern in his eyes before her vision blurred slightly.

“Are you all right?” He knelt down in front of her and put a hand on her forehead. His skin felt hot and his touch left a tingling sensation behind when he swept his hand down to her hair and moved it aside, exposing her neck to the cool air. She hadn’t realized she’d been sweating until that moment.

“Yes,” she said. Then, “No.”

“Put your head down,” he said.

She was far too sick to do anything but comply. He gently tilted her head down, his hand moving slowly up and down the curve of her neck, the action soothing, his touch shockingly gentle despite the strength of his hand. It had been a very long time since anyone had touched her. There had been handshakes, casual contact during conversations at work, but she couldn’t remember the last time someone had put their hand on her with the intention to comfort. She hadn’t realized how amazing it could feel.

But Maximo’s touch was causing little rivulets of sweet sensation to wind through her, the slight rasp of his firm fingers against her skin a source of pleasure rather than the kind of anxiety she might expect. It was amazing how a man’s hands could be so gentle, yet so firm and masculine. She looked down at his other hand, which he’d settled on her thigh. It was so different from hers; his fingers long and blunt with clean, square nails, his palms wide and strong.

She could feel the warmth from his hand seeping through her wool trousers and she was shocked at how comforting it felt. And something beyond comforting. Something that made her breasts feel heavy and the air seem thick. She’d thought she just wasn’t the kind of person who responded to physical touch. She had never really been tactile or sexual, and that hadn’t ever bothered her. In fact, it had been something of a relief. She had never wanted to have a relationship, had never wanted to open herself up to someone like that, to grow to depend on them. As a result she’d gone out of her way to avoid serious romantic entanglements.

Her reaction to Maximo was due to pregnancy hormones. It had to be. There was no other explanation for why a part of her left ignored for so long should suddenly come roaring to life.

“I’m fine,” she said, her voice sounding strangled. She covered his hand with hers to move it away and the contact sent a shiver of something purely sexual through her. She jerked her hand back and stood up, ignoring the wobble in her vision. “Thank you.”

“Are you sure you’re healthy enough to sustain a pregnancy?” he asked, his voice full of concern, though for her or the baby she wasn’t sure.

“I’m fine. It just isn’t every day a girl finds out she’s pregnant with the heir to the Turani throne.”

Maximo knew there was no way Alison could have faked the way the color had suddenly drained from her face, no matter how accomplished an actress she was. And now, her golden eyes looked haunted, those pretty hands unsteady. After seeing the expression of pure shock on her face he couldn’t really believe that she’d orchestrated anything. She certainly didn’t look like a woman who was watching a carefully plotted scheme come to fruition. She looked like a hunted doe, all wideeyed and terrified.

“It isn’t every day a man finds out he’s received a second chance to have a child,” he said.

“You want the baby,” she said, her voice hollow.

“Of course I want the baby. How could I not want my own child, my own flesh and blood?”

“If this is about producing an heir can’t you find some other woman to…”

“Enough!” He cut her off, rage heating his blood. “Is that what you think? That it would be so simple for me to forget that I had a child in the world? That I could simply abandon him because he was not planned? Could you walk away so easily?”

“Of course I couldn’t walk away!”

“Then why do you expect me to do it? If it is so simple, you have this baby and give him to me. Then have another one with a different man’s contribution.”

“You know I could never do that. I could never leave my baby!”

“Then do not expect that I could.”

“This is… This is all going wrong,” she moaned, sinking into the chair by his desk again and covering her face with her hands.

He swallowed. “Things in life don’t always go as we plan. Things change. People die. Accidents happen. All that can be done then is the best thing possible with what remains.”

She looked up at him, her eyes glittering with frustrated tears. “I don’t want to share my baby with a stranger. I don’t want to share my baby with anyone. If that makes me selfish then I’m sorry.”

“And I’m afraid I can’t let you walk away with my child.”

“I didn’t say I was going to walk away with your child. I understand that this is…difficult for you, too. But you weren’t planning on having a baby. I was, and…”

“I planned on having children for years. It was denied me, first through infertility and then through the loss of my wife. And now that I have the chance again, you will not stand in my way.”

He couldn’t let her out of his sight, of that he was certain. And his course of action after that was still undecided. Marriage still seemed like the most viable of his options, the only way to prevent his son or daughter from suffering the stigma of illegitimacy. And yet the very idea of marriage was enough to make him feel as if his lungs were closing in. But in the meantime, this woman wasn’t going to get any chances to escape from him.

“I have to fly back to Turan to see my personal physician. I’m not undergoing any medical testing in the U.S.”

“You and your wife obviously did your fertility treatments here.”

Yes, they had. Selena had been raised on the West Coast of the United States and they’d always kept a residence in Washington for vacations. It was the place they retreated to when they needed a break from the stresses of life under the microscope in Turan. That was why they had chosen the clinic in Washington to pursue their dream of starting a family. It was relaxing here…a place they had both felt at ease.

“Yes,” he said drily, “but my confidence in the competence of your medical system has declined greatly in the past forty minutes, for obvious reasons. My doctor in Turan will be fast and discreet.”

She nodded slowly, obviously not seeing any point in arguing with him. “When do you think you’ll be able to have the test done?”

“As soon as I arrive. The health of my child is important to me, too.”

She suddenly looked so desolate, so achingly sad, that it made him want to take her into his arms and just hold her, gather her fragile frame against him and support her, shelter her. The sudden, fierce need to comfort her shocked him. Was it because she was pregnant with his child? That had to be it. There was no other explanation for such a burning hunger to keep this woman safe from everything that might harm her. His child’s life was tied to hers and that called to him as a man—as a protector—on the most primal of levels.

Alison herself called to him on an even more basic level. Was it some kind of latent male instinct to claim what now seemed to be his? The ache to take her in his arms, crush those soft breasts against his chest, kiss her until her lips were swollen, to thrust into her body and join them in the most intimate way possible, was almost strong enough to overtake his carefully cultivated self-control.

“I’m thinking of taking legal action against the clinic,” she said softly. “I’m a lawyer and I’m certain we would have a case.”

“I’m certain we would, too, despite the fact that I don’t have a law degree,” he said wryly. “That would mean a lot of press.”

The media circus would be out of control. Sensational headlines for a world that loved nothing more than scandal. And his wife’s fertility issues, his marriage, all of it would be thrust into the spotlight. It was the last thing he wanted, both for Selena’s sake and his own. There was no point in tearing down her memory—not now that she was gone. Some things were best left buried, and the final months of his marriage were among them.

“You do tend to attract a lot of media attention, don’t you?”

“I didn’t think you listened to entertainment news.”

“I don’t. But I do stand in line at the grocery store on the odd occasion, which means I’ve seen the headlines. I just didn’t pay close enough attention to recognize you on sight.”

“Or by name.”

She shrugged. “I only have so much room in my head for trivia. Then I start losing important information.”

A reluctant laugh escaped his lips. He liked that she was able to take shots at him, even in the circumstances. It was rare that anyone stood up to him. Even Selena hadn’t done that. She had simply retreated from him. Maybe if she had been willing to come at him with her anger rather than keeping it all inside…

It was much too late for what-ifs. He pushed thoughts of Selena aside, choosing instead to focus on the problem at hand.

“I would like you to go to Turan with me.”

Her thickly lashed eyes widened. “No. I can’t. I’m busy here. I have a heavy caseload that demands a lot of my attention. Each one of my clients is extremely important and I can’t put anyone off.”

“Is there no one else at your office that can take care of that for you? You are pregnant, after all.”

“There’s no ‘pregnant, after all.’ I have responsibilities. Responsibilities that aren’t going to take a holiday just because you want me to.”

“I see. So your career is so important to you that you cannot manage to take time off to be there in person for the testing? For something that is so important to our child?”

She stiffened, her cheeks suddenly flooded with color, her pert chin thrust out at a stubborn angle. “That isn’t fair. It’s emotional blackmail.”

“And if that doesn’t work I’ll resort to some other form of blackmail. I’m not picky.”

Her lips were pursed again and he wanted to see her relax her mouth, wanted to enjoy the fullness, the temptation that she presented. It had been so long since a woman had tempted him he was enjoying the feeling. He extended his hand and rested his thumb on her lower lip. Her mouth parted in shock and heat shot from his hand to his groin when the action caused his thumb to dip between her lips and touch the wet tip of her tongue lightly.

Desire twisted his stomach. He wanted her with an intensity that shocked him. And he wasn’t certain the pregnancy had anything to do with that. He wanted her as a man wanted a woman. It was as simple as that.

Suddenly his left ring finger felt bare. It was a strange thing to be conscious of since he’d taken his wedding band off after Selena’s funeral. He hadn’t wanted to carry the reminder of his marriage with him.

“We have to work something out,” he said softly. “For the baby’s sake. That means compromise, not blackmail.”

She turned her head and broke their contact. “Why do I get the feeling the commoner will be doing all of the compromising?”

His lips turned up. “Now, cara, you misjudge me. I’m a very reasonable man.”

“I’ll have to conduct an interview of the people you’ve had thrown in the royal dungeon once we get to Turan,” she said, a slight bite still evident in her resigned tone.

“They aren’t allowed to speak, actually, so your interviews will be short.”

He could see a reluctant smile pull at the corners of her mouth. It made something that felt a lot like pride swell in his chest.

“I’ll have to call the office to try to arrange for the time off.” She took a shaky breath and pushed that lovely strawberry hair off her shoulders. “When do we leave?”

 

 

Alison regretted her decision to go with his royal highness almost the moment she agreed to it, but no matter how much she turned it over in her mind, no matter how much she wanted to run from it, she knew she couldn’t.

Standing in the first-class lounge and waiting for his majesty to arrive she tried to calm her nerves, and her morning sickness, by gnawing on a saltine and pacing the length of the room. There was plenty of plush, very comfy looking seating, but she was much too nervous, too edgy, to think about sitting down.

How had everything become so complicated? For the past three years she’d done nothing but plan for this. Everything had been geared toward this, toward the pregnancy. She’d saved her paychecks obsessively, driven a junky car, lived in the smallest, cheapest apartment she could find, in the hopes that when she had her child she could buy a house and stay home with him or her for the first few years. She’d quit her high-stress job at a prestigious law firm in order to better prepare her body for pregnancy. She’d even started a college fund for the baby, for heaven’s sake!

And one phone call had annihilated all of it. When Melissa had dropped the bomb about her receiving the wrong sperm from a donor with missing medical records, everything had shattered into a million pieces.

She had been so determined to be smart, to ensure that the father of her child wouldn’t put the baby’s health at risk. She hadn’t wanted to give up her anonymity, hadn’t wanted to involve the father in any way, and she certainly hadn’t wanted the father to be a man who would claim the baby for himself. It was the worst-case scenario as far as she was concerned.

Maximo had been nice enough to her yesterday, but she sensed ruthlessness in him simmering just beneath that aura of power and sophistication. Even when he was being nice his every command was just that: a command. He was a man who did not ask permission.

He was being civil to her now, working with her, and yet she knew he wouldn’t hesitate to play on every advantage he had if it came to it. But she would, too. He may hold more cards by virtue of his wealth and position, but she wasn’t a doormat. Far from it.

For now, though, civility seemed to be the order of the day, and she was willing to try to work something out with him, even if it was about the last thing she wanted to do. He had a right to his baby, whether or not she liked the idea of sharing custody. He was as much a victim in the circumstances as she was. He was a widower, a man who had already endured loss and heartbreak. As much as she wished she could go back and change her mind about telling him, she wouldn’t be a part of hurting him again.

Alison looked out of the heavily tinted windows that gave the lounge a view of the terminal below. She watched as the automatic doors opened and Maximo strode in, security detail and photographers on his tail. Even with the massive entourage of people, every eye was drawn straight to him. He was as big and fit as any of the men on his security team, his chest broad and muscular, the outline of his pecs visible through the casual white button-down shirt he wore. The sleeves were scrunched up past his elbows, revealing muscular forearms and deliciously tanned skin.

He disappeared from view and a few moments later the door to the lounge opened and he strode in, minus the photographers and security detail.

She couldn’t stop herself from taking a visual tour of his well-built body. His slacks hugged his thighs just enough so she could tell they were as solid as the rest of him. And, heaven help her, she was powerless to resist the temptation to sneak a peek at the slight bulge showing at the apex of those thighs.

She lowered her eyes, embarrassed by her uncharacteristic behavior. She honestly couldn’t remember ever looking at a man there before. Not on purpose, anyway. She tried to tell herself it was nerves making her heart pound and her pulse flutter. She couldn’t quite convince herself.

Maximo approached her and took his sunglasses off, tucking them in the neck of his shirt. Again, totally without permission, her eyes followed the motion and she was transfixed by the slight dusting of dark hair she could see on the tanned slice of chest that was revealed by the open collar of his shirt.

“Glad to see you made it,” he said. He seemed totally unruffled by the fact that he’d just had a team of photographers taking his picture. He was maddeningly self-assured. If she’d had camera lenses stuck in her face she would have been worried that she might have had a poppy seed in her teeth from the muffin she’d eaten earlier.

“I said I would be here,” she returned frostily. “I keep my word.”

“I’m relieved to hear that. You’re feeling all right?” He took her arm, the gesture totally sexless, more proprietary than anything else, and yet it made her heart jump into her throat. He was so much bigger than she was, so much stronger. Something about that masculine strength was so very appealing. It was easy to want to sink against him, to let him shoulder some of the stress, to bear some of her weight.

And the moment she did that she could almost guarantee he would abandon her, leaving her half crippled and unable to support herself any longer.

She ignored the little flutters in her stomach and tried to focus on the nausea. Anything was preferable to this strange sort of attraction that seemed to be taking over the portion of her brain that housed her common sense.

“Actually I feel horrible, but thank you for asking.”

A slight grin tilted his lips. “You can bypass airport security,” he said. “My plane is waiting on the tarmac. One of my security agents will escort you out and I will join you in a few moments. We aren’t looking to create a photo-op.”

She shook her head. The image of herself, pale as a corpse, plastered over a supermarket tabloid was enough to make her shudder.

One of the bodyguards came in and Maximo gestured for her to follow him out. She bowed her head as she crossed the wet tarmac and headed toward the private plane. She thought she might have seen the flash of a camera from the corner of her eye, but she kept her head down, determined not to seem interesting in any way.

She followed the guard up the boarding platform and into the lavishly furnished private jet. It was massive, its plush carpet and luxurious furnishings making it look like a trendy urban penthouse rather than a mode of transportation. But she’d been to Maximo’s house and she’d seen the kind of lifestyle he was accustomed to. She really shouldn’t be surprised that he didn’t do anything by halves. He was the prince of one of the world’s most celebrated island destinations, a country that rivaled Monte Carlo for high-class luxury and entertainment. Maximo was simply adhering to his national standard.

The bodyguard left without so much as a nod to her and she stood awkwardly just inside the door, not really feeling as if it was okay to sit down and make herself comfortable.

Ten minutes later Maximo boarded, his expression grim. “There was one photographer hanging out on the tarmac. But since we didn’t board together it’s likely you might be mistaken for a member of my staff.”

She nodded, not quite able to fathom how dodging the press had suddenly become a part of her life. “Are we the only ones flying on the plane today?” she asked, looking around the space.

“Well, you and me and the pilot. And the copilot. And the flight crew.”

“That’s awfully wasteful, don’t you think?”

His dark eyebrows winged upward and she experienced a momentary rush of satisfaction over having taken him off guard. “Scusami?”

“Conducting an overseas flight for two people, who could easily have flown commercial, and employing an entire staff to serve them. Not to mention the greenhouse gas emissions.”

He offered her a lazy grin that showed off straight, white teeth. It transformed his face, softening the hard angles and making him seem almost approachable. Almost. “When the U.S. President ditches Air Force One, I’ll rethink my mode of transport. Until then, I think it’s acceptable for world leaders to fly in private aircrafts.”

“Well, I imagine it’s hard to get through the security lines at the airport with all that gold jingling in your pocket.”

“Are you a snob, Alison?” he asked, amusement lacing his voice.

“Am I a snob?”

“An inverse one.”

“Not at all. I was simply making a statement.” To keep him at arm’s length and annoyed with her if she could help it. There was something about Maximo, something that made her stomach tighten and her hands get damp. It wasn’t fear, but it was terrifying.

She had never wanted a relationship, had never wanted to depend on someone, to love someone, open herself up to them only to have them abandon her. She had been through it too many times in her life to willingly put herself through it ever again. First with the loss of her beautiful sister. She knew she couldn’t blame Kimberly for dying, but the grief had been stark and painful; the loss felt like a betrayal, in a way. And then her father had gone, abandoning his grieving wife and daughter. As for Alison’s mother, she might not have left physically, but the person she’d been before Kimberly’s death, before her husband had walked out, had disappeared completely.

Through all of that she’d learned how to be completely self-sufficient. And she had never wanted to take the chance on going back to a place where she might need someone else, where she might be dependent in any way.

But she did want to be a mother. And she’d set out to make that happen on her own. Now somehow Maximo had been thrown into her perfectly ordered plans. Everything had been so carefully laid out. It hadn’t seemed as if there was a possibility anything could go wrong. And now those idyllic visions she’d had for her future were slipping through her fingers.

Her baby had a father, not just some anonymous donor of genetic material. Her baby’s father was a prince. A prince whose arrogance couldn’t be rivaled, and whose dark good looks affected her in ways she didn’t want to analyze. So much for the best-laid plans.

“You seem to have a statement for everything,” he said, settling into the plush love seat that was positioned in the middle of the cabin.

Alison took her seat on the opposite side of the cabin, settling primly on the edge of a cream lounge chair. “I’m a lawyer. Making statements is an important part of my job.”

Max couldn’t help but laugh at her acerbic wit. She wasn’t like the women he was used to. She didn’t cling or simper or defer to him in any way. Some men might be bothered by a woman like her, threatened by her strength and intelligence. He enjoyed the challenge. And it helped that he was certain he held the upper hand in the situation. Now that he had coaxed her into coming to Turan with him the power balance would be shifted completely in his favor.

It wasn’t his plan to force Alison’s hand in any way; on the contrary he planned to make her an offer that was too good to pass up, once he figured out exactly what he wanted to do. He could tell that Alison would defend their child to the death if she had to, could see that she would lay everything aside for the sake of her baby. But he would do the same. There was no way he was taking the chance that she might disappear with their baby.

It was a strange thing to him that a woman would be so resistant to the idea of having his baby. He wasn’t a conceited man, but he was pragmatic in his view on things. First and foremost, he was royal and extremely wealthy. He was to be the next king of his country and along with that would receive an inheritance worth billions, coupled with the personal fortune he’d amassed with his hugely successful corporation. His chain of luxury hotels and casinos were popular with the rich and famous, both on the island of Turan, and in almost every other major tourist spot in the world.

In the eyes of most women he would be the golden chalice. A ticket to status and riches beyond most people’s imaginations. And yet Ms. Alison Whitman had acted as though carrying his baby was equivalent to being sentenced to the royal dungeon—which they did not have at the Turani palace, regardless of what she thought.

“And your job is very important to you?” he asked, still unable to understand where a child was supposed to fit into this cool businesswoman’s schedule.

“Yes. My job is important. I’m a court-appointed advocate for children. My law firm does the work pro bono with funding from the government. The pay isn’t what it could be, but I put in some time at a more high-profile law firm and quickly found that handling the divorces of the rich and petulant isn’t very rewarding.”

“You’re an advocate for children?” That didn’t mesh with the picture he’d been developing of her in his mind. He’d imagined her to be a toothy shark of a lawyer. With her sharp wit and obviously keen intellect, combined with her cool beauty, he had a hard time imagining her as anything else.

“It’s what I’ve been doing for the past year. I wanted to make a difference, and I knew that if I was going to get ready to have a baby I couldn’t be pushing myself the way we were expected to at Chapman and Stone. Corporate cutthroat doesn’t really suit me anyway.”

“Then why did you get into law in the first place?”

“It pays well,” she said simply. “I’m good at it… It just doesn’t suit me. But I worked in the industry as long as I could stand, and then I moved into an area of law that was a much better fit. Children shouldn’t have to stand in court and face those who made victims of them. I speak for them. I won’t allow those who defend abusers and pedophiles to revictimize a child so that they can line their pockets with a little more cash.” She offered him a rueful smile. “I am a lawyer, but sometimes there isn’t anyone I hate on the planet more than another lawyer.”

Alison’s cheeks were flushed, the passion that she felt for her job, for her calling, evident in the way she spoke of it. The woman who was carrying his baby made her living advocating for children. Could he have selected better? It was a turnaround from how he’d felt about her before. Instead of seeing a hard-as-nails career woman, he now saw a defender, willing to fight for the right thing, a woman who dedicated herself to the service of others. It only cemented in his mind what he’d already been considering.

Marriage was not a part of the plan for his life. He’d been married. He’d loved his wife. But not even love and respect had made them happy in the end. It hadn’t erased their problems. He hadn’t been able to fix it, and ultimately, his wife had spent that last months of her life in misery. That was something he would bear for the rest of his life.

But Alison was carrying his child and duty demanded that he do the honorable thing and make her his wife. Perhaps there was a different protocol when a woman had conceived through means other than sex, but it felt the same to him.

A heavy ache pulsed in his groin area, reminding him that it wasn’t the same at all. And yet he couldn’t have felt more responsible if the baby had been conceived in his bed rather than a lab. He felt responsible for Alison in much the same way, as though they had made their baby the good old-fashioned way.

And the fierce attraction he felt for her was an added bonus. He hadn’t intended to remain a monk for the rest of his life, but neither had he felt ready to enter the world of casual dating and one-night stands again. He’d been married for seven years and it had been more than nine years since he’d been with any woman other than his wife. It was safe to say his little black book was outdated. And at thirty-six, he felt far too old to reenter that world anyway.

In that respect, a marriage between Alison and him would be beneficial. The ferocity of his attraction to her was shocking, but that could easily be attributed to the long bout of celibacy. Men simply weren’t made to deny their sexual needs for that long and it didn’t really come as a surprise to him that now his libido had woken from hibernation it was ravenously hungry.

The beautiful temptress sitting so primly across from him with her milk-pale skin and flawless figure was what he craved. She was different than his wife. Selena had been tall, her curves slight, but the top of Alison’s head would rest comfortably beneath his chin. And her curves—they were enough for any man. Her breasts were lush enough to fill his hands to overflowing. Lust tightened his gut and he shifted to relieve the pressure on his growing arousal, and to hide the evidence of his arousal from Alison. He didn’t relish the idea of being caught like an adolescent boy who had no control over his body.

“So you like children?” he asked.

She nodded, a shimmering wave of strawberry hair sliding over her shoulder. “I’ve always wanted to be a mother.”

“Not a wife?”

She shrugged, and he couldn’t help but notice the gentle rise and fall of her breasts. “Relationships are complicated.”

“So is parenthood.”

“Yes, but it’s different. A child depends on you. They come into the world loving you and it’s up to you to honor that, to care for them and love them back. With relationships, with a marriage, you’re dependent on someone else.”

“And you find that objectionable?”

“It requires a measure of trust in human nature that I just don’t have.”

He couldn’t deny the truth of her words. Selena had depended on him, and in his estimation he had failed her.

“So you elected to become a single mother rather than deal with a relationship?”

She frowned, her full lips turning down into a very tempting pout. “I hadn’t thought of it that way. My goal wasn’t to become a single mother. It was to be a mother. I wasn’t giving too much thought to the exclusion of a relationship. I was just pursuing what I wanted.”

“And this complicates things.”

“Very much.”

“Is it so bad for our child to have both parents?”

She turned her face away from him and fixed her gaze on the view outside the window. “I don’t know, Maximo. I don’t think I can deal with everything at once. Can’t we just get through the testing and talk about the rest later?”

He inclined his head. “If you like. But we still have to discuss our options at some point.”

“I know.”

“It isn’t what you had planned, I understand that. None of this is what I had planned, either.”

Alison knew he wasn’t just referring to her pregnancy, but to the death of his wife. Finding a woman he had loved enough to marry, and then losing her—she couldn’t even imagine the void that must be left in Maximo’s life.

She didn’t really want to feel anything for Maximo. Already her awareness of him was off the charts, and it scared her. Adding any kind of emotion to that was asking for trouble.

Romantic love had never really appealed to her, and neither had any kind of intimate relationship. She’d seen the aftereffects of romantic love turned sour in her childhood home, watched her parents fall apart and self-destruct. Her mother had simply folded in on herself, leaving Alison to fend for herself.

When her father had left they’d lost their financial stability. People her mother had considered friends had all but abandoned her. Alison never wanted to find herself in that position, never wanted to place so much of her life in someone else’s hands that losing them could undo everything. Those experiences had taught her that she had to make her own way, find her own security, her own happiness.

Every inch of her life had been in her complete control since her disastrous childhood. She could control how good her grades were, and in high school she’d been obsessive about keeping her 4.0 so that she could get scholarships. In college she’d been single-minded in the pursuit of her degree, so that she could get a job that would allow her to remain independent. And every step in her life since then had been carefully planned and orchestrated, down to when and how she would become a mother.

All of that seemed laughable now that she was on a plane, headed to a foreign country with a shockingly handsome prince who also happened to be the unintended father of her baby.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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