The Prince(8)

By: Tiffany Reisz

Now Nora prayed that where she went no one would have heard of her. Especially Wesley’s parents. Surely, as conservative as Wesley painted them, they’d never even been in the erotica section of a bookstore, much less heard the name Nora Sutherlin.

But it didn’t hurt to ask. She fished her cell phone out of her bag and called Wesley.

“Yes, we’re almost there,” he answered before she even said hello. Every hour on the hour she’d called to him to ask, “Are we there yet?”

“That’s not why I’m phoning this time.”

“Sure about that?”

“Nope. So you never told me what your parents think about me coming to visit.” Nora turned on her blinker as they veered onto exit 81.

“They’re fine with me having visitors. A lot of my college friends came by over the summer.”

Nora pursed her lips. She would have stared Wesley down had he not been in the yellow Shelby Mustang two cars ahead of her.

“Nice nonanswer there, kid.”

“It’s fine.” He laughed and Nora couldn’t help but smile. God, she’d missed that boy’s laugh in the fifteen months they hadn’t seen each other, hadn’t spoken. Wesley’s absence from her life had been a void no amount of sex or money or kink or fame had been able to fill.

“Seriously, Nor. My parents are nice people. They like all my friends.”

“Friends. Good. Let’s go with friends for introductions. Let’s practice. You’ll say, ‘Ma, Paw—’”

“You’re getting my family confused with the Waltons again.”

“Hush, John-Boy, we’re practicing. You say to them, ‘Mother, Father—this is my friend Nora. I used to work for her back at Yorke. She’s come to visit and not cause any trouble.’”

“Not going to be able to say that with a straight face.”

“Which is why we’re practicing, Your Highness.”

Wesley groaned, and now it was Nora’s turn to laugh at him.

“You’re never going to drop that, are you?”

Nora could easily envision him rubbing his forehead in amused frustration.

“I kind of like it—the Prince of Kentucky. Very sexy title.”

“One stupid reporter called me that three years ago in one article—”

“Yeah, in an article about you hanging out with Prince Harry at the Kentucky Derby. Crazy that he’s turned into the sexy one now. Can you get me his number?”

“We didn’t stay in touch.”

“So, if you’re the Prince of Kentucky,” Nora continued, unwilling to drop a thread of conversation that made Wesley so delightfully uncomfortable, “who’s the Princess? Are you supposed to marry the governor’s daughter or something?”

“God, I hope not.”

“What? She a dog?”

“She’s a very cute nine-year-old girl,” Wesley said as the first of the stars showed themselves at the edge of the southern sky. At the pace they were going, they’d be at Wesley’s house within the hour. “She also happens to be my cousin.”

Now Nora had to groan. Of course Wesley couldn’t just be the son of rich horse farmers. He had to be related to the governor, as well. Her poor little intern...he’d once thought had no money, no connections, no nothing...that else didn’t she know about him?

“Well, hey. You know what they say about Kentucky…”

“You’re disgusting.”

“True. But I’m also winning.” Nora hit the gas and passed Wesley’s Mustang. He apparently didn’t take kindly to her doing so on his home territory. Nora glanced in her rearview mirror and saw his car speed up. “Don’t worry, kid. I have no idea where I’m going. You’re gonna win this…oh, holy shit. Was that a castle?”

Nora craned her neck to look at the turreted building they passed.

“No. Sort of. It’s a hotel now. But it is a castle. Some lunatic built it for his wife years ago. Was her dream to live in a castle. She never got to do so.”

Nora frowned. “That’s sad. She died before they finished it?”

“Nope. Divorced.”

Laughing, Nora glanced back one more time at the strange sight of a castle situated in the middle of Kentucky bluegrass.

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