Royal Chase(3)

By: Sariah Wilson

It was my marketing plan that had started this. I had decided that putting one of the royal brothers on the show would bring tons of attention to Monterra and boost their tourism numbers. Nico had backed out because he had fallen in love with Kat, and Dante had agreed with one very big condition—that I would be his liaison on the show for the entire six weeks of filming. I’d had to postpone all my other plans to focus solely on him. I’d given up a lot to be here, including seeing my fiancé and planning my wedding. I couldn’t let this woman ruin everything I had worked so hard for. Especially since the royal family of Monterra was my only client. I wouldn’t let it all fall apart. I needed to stop her.

“Have you told anyone besides me?”

“A couple of girls. The producers are doing a really good job of keeping us apart.”

My throat felt too tight. A couple of girls? This was worse than I thought. I had to act now. Fortunately, I’d always been quick on my feet. Lipstick in hand, I brushed past her as she dried her hands with a paper towel and managed to get a good streak on her light turquoise evening gown.

“Good heavens, I am so, so sorry,” I said. She stared at me, confused. I tried to look apologetic. “I got lipstick on your dress.”

“What? No, no, no.” She rushed back to the mirror to look at her hip. “Do you know how much this cost?”

“Here, give it to me. I get lipstick on my clothes all the time. I can get it off.”

“You want me to take off my dress?”

I took off my blazer and held it out. “You can put this on. I’ll go get this stain out and bring it right back. No one will ever know.” I turned her around and pulled down her zipper, hoping she wouldn’t stop me. I needed to keep her in this room and away from all the other hopefuls.

She stepped out of her dress and put on the blazer. She crossed her arms and glared at me. “You’d better bring that thing back to me in perfect condition. It’s worth more than your life.”

I nodded as I arranged the dress over my arm. I had the momentary urge to play the “my daddy owns an oil company” card but refrained. I tried to stay calm.

“Bless your heart,” I said. That got out some of my frustration, as people who weren’t from the South never quite understood the true implication of that phrase and took it at face value. “I will take care of everything. I’ll be back right quick. Stay here.”

She wasn’t going anywhere. She let out a loud sound of disgust and sat on the small couch, still glaring at me.

I pushed the bathroom door closed behind me, wondering if I could lock it. There were production assistants and grips and lighting guys all over the place, and I pushed my way through them to get to the production hub. I had to find Taylor. She would know what to do.

As I turned down an empty hallway, I felt him before I saw him. The air around me became charged, and every single one of my nerve endings snapped to attention. I knew he was behind me. Then he put his hand on the small of my back and walked around me when I stopped short. I cursed my wobbly knees. Someday, somehow, I would learn to control my attraction to him. Keep him from physically affecting me. It was beyond ridiculous that I still acted like a debutante at her first ball whenever he was near me.

It didn’t help that he happened to be ridiculously gorgeous. His Italian ancestry was obvious—black hair, olive skin, and light brown eyes that literally sparkled. I’d never seen anything like his eyes before, and they had a sort of mesmerizing effect whenever he looked at me. And he seemed to look at me a lot. He was tall and built and always had a clean, crisp scent from an obviously expensive cologne that I could never quite identify and refused to ask about.

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