Royally screwed, p.19
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       Royally Screwed, p.19

         Part #1 of Royally series by Emma Chase

  THE FOLLOWING WEEK is blissfully uneventful. I address Palace business during the day, and share my nights with Olivia--which are so much more than blissful.

  During the day, she relaxes like I want her to. She walks the grounds and has found a friend in Franny. They've had lunch together several times, which doesn't exactly thrill me, but at the very least, I know she's safe with Simon's wife. Franny, and her forked tongue, will protect Olivia from the Lucy types looking to wound her with their half-truths.

  On the rare occasions my brother is sober, he becomes increasingly agitated--like he's unable to sit still, to stand his own company, or any sound that resembles silence. Finally he decides to throw a welcome home party for himself.

  I'm in my bathroom preparing for his royal yacht party, just showered with a towel around my hips, scraping the last of the shaving cream off my jaw, when Olivia appears in the doorway.

  I thought she was lovely from the first moment I saw her. But here, now--her bare, soft skin wrapped in a pink silk robe, her face glowing with well-rested happiness...she's magnificent.

  " you guys have like a gift shop or a convenience store around here?"

  I laugh. "A gift shop?"

  She holds up a light blue disposable razor. "I'm out of razors. This one's so dull I could run it over my tongue without drawing blood."

  "Let's not test that theory. I like your tongue too much." I wipe my chin with a towel. "I can have the staff bring one to your room."

  The devil on my shoulder--and the angel, too--smack me upside the head. And they whisper a much better idea.

  "Or...I could help you out."

  Her brows draw together. "Help me out? I can't use your razor."

  "No, definitely not--you'd cut yourself to ribbons." I finger the sharp, heavy straight blade. "What I mean is...I could shave for you."

  Her eyes darken, the way they do when she's right on the edge--right before she comes. And she moves closer to me.

  "Do you...want to do that?"

  My gaze drags down, down, over every sumptuous inch of her body.

  "Oh, yes."

  "All...all right," she agrees, intense and breathless.

  The corner of my mouth drags up, as I gently skim the robe back over her shoulders and slide it down. Revealing pale, full curves and soft, mouthwatering swells. I scoop Olivia up under her legs and perch her on the vanity, her legs dangling off.

  The cold marble makes her squeak and we both chuckle. Then she reaches up for a kiss--but I drag myself back. "Uh-uh, none of that now. I need to focus all of my attention..." I slip my hand across her thigh, cupping between her legs ""

  Olivia's eyes roll closed at the contact and her hips lift up against my palm just a bit. All I want to do is slip my finger into her wet, tight heat. To get her all needy and clenching for my cock.

  I blow out a breath. This is going to be more fucking difficult than I thought.

  I lick my lips as I mix the shaving cream into a warm, thick lather, feeling her eyes follow my every move. I run a hand towel under the warm water, ring it out, and wrap it around her calf, to heat and soften the skin.

  And then I paint her with the cashmere brush. Dragging the bristles up her leg, over the grooves of her sculpted calf, leaving a trail of white cream behind. I breathe evenly, steadying myself when I reach for the razor, scraping it gently over her skin. I rinse the blade, then go back for more, repeating the slow movements again and again.

  After both calves and her knees are done, I get to work on each thigh. Olivia pants and then gasps when the bristles tickle the delicate skin at the apex between her legs. When the razor traces the same path--reaches that juncture--she moans.

  And all I want to do is rip the towel off my hips and fuck her endlessly on the bathroom counter. My cock is aching, weepy, and every muscle in my body is strung so tight it borders on pain.

  I save the best for last. Her sweet, beautiful pussy. I repeat the process--warm towel first--resting it over her and rubbing her clit beneath it, because how can I not? She starts to shift--writhe--and I have to admonish her.

  "Stay still. I have to stop if you don't sit still."

  Yes, I'm teasing her--taunting. Because there's no bloody way in hell I could stop now.

  Olivia grips the edge of the counter until her knuckles are white and she stares at me with shiny eyes glazed over with mindless lust.

  Once she's covered in cream, I toss the brush into the sink. I press the razor against her flesh, at the bottom--those plump, perfect lips. And I pause, looking into her eyes.

  "You trust me."

  She nods, almost frantically. And I slide the razor up, removing barely visible tiny sprouts of hair. I move to her vulva, swiping downward in short, careful strokes--being sure to leave her pretty, soft bush that I enjoy so much.

  When I'm done, I set the razor aside and pick up the still-warm towel. Then I kneel down in front of her. I clean any last remnant of shaving cream from her skin and then I look up into her eyes.

  And I watch her watch me, as I lean forward and cover her pussy with my mouth.

  "Yes, yes..." she hisses.

  I suck and lick and devour her like a man gone mad--and maybe I have.

  She's so slick and smooth and hot on my lips, against my tongue. I could stay here--do this to her--forever.

  But--forever is much too long for my suffering cock.

  Breathing hard, heart pounding out of my chest, I stand up and tear at the towel around me. I push Olivia's knees up, bracing her feet on the edge of the counter near her hands, opening her up to me. So fucking pretty.

  I take my long, hot erection in hand and run the head through her wetness, teasing her clit with the tip, rubbing it over the pink bud.

  And there's no worry, not a single thought of consequences or responsibility. Because this is Olivia--and that makes all the difference.

  "Are you sure?" she asks.

  I drag my cock down to her tight opening, gliding it around, feeling the call to thrust hard and deep.

  "Yes, yes I'm sure."

  Olivia nods and I dip inside her.

  She closes tight around me, gripping and snug, making me moan loudly.

  "Oh, Christ..."

  The bareness--flesh-to-flesh--is amazing. More. The slick slide of tight heat that brings so much pleasure with it. I watch as I push all the way into her, feeling every gorgeous inch.

  It's the most erotic sight I've ever seen. Olivia moans--we both do.

  And I know without a shred of doubt that we are going to be very, very late for Henry's party.

  By the time we actually leave the palace, it's so late that Nicholas has Bridget call ahead to tell them to hold the gangplank for us. He says we'll just be cruising around the bay, but I hope Henry isn't pissed at us for delaying his party.

  I shouldn't have worried. After we board, it's immediately apparent Henry is too drunk to notice--or care.

  He hugs us both sloppily, like he hasn't seen us in weeks.

  "So damn happy you made it!" he howls, throwing his arms out wide. "I love this fucking boat!"

  Nicholas's eyes crinkle with concern. "It's actually a ship, little brother."

  Henry rolls his eyes and almost falls over.

  "Don't you ever get tired of correcting people? Have a fucking drink."

  We do just that.

  I tried to imagine what a royal yacht would look like, but just like practically every other experience on this wild trip, my imagination falls sadly short.

  The "ship" has every luxury imaginable. It's a floating palace--and almost as large. Strings of lights dot the sky above the deck, and some of the guests--also drunk but not quite as bad as Henry--turn it into a makeshift dance floor. They grind and twist to the beat of the music coming from the DJ's speakers at the helm. Kanye West is playing--and I laugh to myself, remembering my and Nicholas's first date.

  It seems so long ago. So much has happened.

  So much has...changed.

>   With our drinks in hand, Nicholas and I mingle. He introduces me to aristocrat after aristocrat--dukes and barons and ladies and one marchioness, whatever the hell that is. We find Franny and Simon and stick pretty close to them.

  About an hour later, we stand against the railing, a slight breeze blowing my hair but not enough to do any damage, while Simon starts to talk about his plans for expanding Barrister's. How he wants to branch out into other products.

  I look over at Nicholas and my heart skips. Because he isn't listening to Simon--his focus is across the deck, at the opposite railing. I've never seen Nicholas look terrified before.

  But that's exactly the emotion that's frozen on his face.

  "Henry," he whispers, but only to himself.

  And then he shouts it. "Henry!"

  He rushes forward, running across the deck, and I turn just in time to see what's scared him to death. Henry's laughing, leaning too much on the railing at his side.

  And then...silently...he goes over it.

  Someone screams. Nicholas yells his brother's name again. A guard makes the mistake of trying to stop him--and he gets an elbow to the nose for his trouble.

  When Nicholas reaches the spot where his brother just stood, he doesn't pause for a second, but grabs the railing of the ship and hops over, feet first.

  And both of Wessco's princes have gone overboard.

  Security men in black suits wait outside the door of the private hospital room. Someone brought Nicholas a dry change of clothes--jeans and a simple black T-shirt.

  He changed after the head doctors gave him and the Queen's advisor an update on Henry. They believe he hit his head on the way down. A mild concussion, with all signs pointing toward no lasting damage.

  But that doesn't make Nicholas feel any better.

  He sits in the chair at the foot of the bed, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, strung tight and tense, jaw clenched. His eyes never leaving his unconscious brother, as if he can wake him up with the intensity of his stare. The room is deathly quiet, except for the sounds of Henry's deep, even breaths and the blip of the heart monitor.

  It's just the two of us, but I don't feel awkward or out of place. There's no desire to offer to get him something to eat or a cup of coffee. Because I know Nicholas only wants me, needs me, right here. So there's no place on Earth I'd rather be.

  I put my hand on his shoulder, kneading the rock-hard tendon. He turns his head, and his eyes meet mine--and God, they're simmering. Awash with sadness and guilt and anger--like he can't decide if he wants to cry or beat the crap out of his brother.

  I'd feel the same way if it were Ellie. I'd want to shake her and hug her and strangle her, all at the same time. So I give him a small smile and a nod.

  And as if he can sense Nicholas's attention isn't solely on him, Henry stirs. His thick blond brows draw together and he moans, then slowly his eyes--so similar to the beautiful gray-green of his brother's--creak open. They're unfocused, slowly scanning the room before coming to rest on Nicholas, growing more alert with every second.

  In a dry, cracked voice, he mutters, "Stupid fucking boat."

  After a moment, Nicholas shakes his head, pinning his brother to the bed with his gaze, his words quiet and ragged.

  "No more, Henry. We're all that's left of them, you and I. And you can't...No more."

  Pain creases Henry's face, chasing away the cheery mask he always has glued there.

  "What happened?" Nicholas asks. "I know something happened. It's eating away at you, bit by bit, and you're going to tell me what it is. Now."

  Henry nods, licks his lips, and asks for a glass of water. I pour him a cup from the plastic pitcher on the side table. After a few long drags on the straw, he sets it aside and rubs his eyes. When he speaks, he looks away from his brother, down toward the far corner of the room, almost as if he's seeing the words play out in front of him.

  "It was about two months before my service was up. They'd kept me far from anything that resembled action--it was like a garden party. You know how it is."

  Nicholas explained this to me. "High-profile target"--that's what he and his brother were. Although their training was the same as the other soldiers', when they deployed they received special assignments, because they were under a special threat. Because the princes would make a very shiny trophy.

  "And then one day, the Dark Suits said they had a morale mission--a publicity opportunity. They wanted me to visit an outpost, still in the safe zone, but outside the main installation. There was a group of men who'd been there for a while--and they needed a boost. A visit from their prince. A reward for service well done."

  Henry scrapes his teeth across his lip--almost biting.

  "We drove out and I met them, about fifteen in all. They were good blokes. One was like a crusty old bulldog--he wanted to set me up with his granddaughter. Another...he was only eighteen..."

  Tears swell in Henry's eyes and his voice bends, then breaks.

  "He'd never kissed a girl. And he was looking forward to getting back home, to change that."

  He scrubs at his face, rubbing the tears into his skin.

  "So I told some jokes, made them laugh. We took a bunch of photographs and then we headed back out. We were on the road minutes...when the first rockets came in. I told the driver to turn around, to go back, but he wouldn't listen to me. What's the point of all this if they don't listen?" he asks in a tortured voice.

  "I punched the lad next to me, crawled over his lap and rolled out of the Humvee. And I ran..." Henry chokes on a sob. "I swear, Nicholas, I ran as hard as I could. But when I got there--there was nothing left. It was just...pieces."

  I cover my mouth with my hand and I'm crying with him.

  Henry gives a long, sniffling inhale, wiping at his face again.

  "And I can't get past it. Maybe I'm not supposed to. Maybe it should eat at me bit by bit." He looks at Nicholas and his voice turns bitter. "Those men died because of me. They died for a photo op."

  At first, Nicholas doesn't say anything. He gazes at his brother with a cauldron of feelings swirling across his face. And then he stands.

  And his voice--that voice--is comforting, but firm. Demanding to be heeded.

  "There are two men outside this door who would die for you. A hundred at the palace, thousands across the city--they would all die for you or me. For what we represent. That's our burden, the payment for the lives we get to lead. You can't change it. All you can do is honor those men, Henry. Try to--"

  "Don't tell me to live for them!" Henry lashes out. "It's stupid--they're dead! I'll go mad if you say it."

  "I'm not going to say it," Nicholas tells him softly. "We can't live for them. All we can do is try to be men worth dying for. We are who we are--when you die, your headstone will read 'Henry, Prince of Wessco.' And if you had gotten yourself killed tonight it would've said, 'Henry, Prince of Wessco--he fell off a fucking boat.' And it all would've been for nothing."

  Nicholas moves closer, crouching down to look into his brother's eyes.

  "There are so few people in the world who have the chance and the power to change it. But we can, Henry. So if you pick yourself up and do something amazing with your life, then those men will have died for something amazing. That's all we can do."

  They both fall silent. Henry seems calmer, mulling over Nicholas's words.

  "Have you contacted the families?" I ask gently. "Maybe...maybe it would help you to help them. Give them support, see how they are financially--"

  "I'm not going to throw money at them. That's crass." Henry shakes his head.

  "You only say that because you have money," I tell him. "When you're struggling--it's not crass at all, but a blessing. And I don't just mean the money. You could talk to them...become a friend...maybe start to fill the space they left behind. Not because you're a prince, but because you're a pretty cool guy."

  Henry thinks about that a moment. Sniffling and drying his cheeks.

"I am pretty cool."

  And I laugh. My eyes are still wet, but I laugh. Nicholas and Henry do, too.

  Then Nicholas sits on the bed and leans forward--pulling his little brother tight into his arms. Just like that moment in the video, on the awful day of their parents' funeral.

  Just like that day, Nicholas tells him that it's all going to be all right.

  THE NEXT WEEK, there's a polo match Henry and I are expected to play in. He begs off, on physician's orders--because of his recent concussion. My grandmother doesn't give him a hint of shit about the "ship incident" even though it's been reported in the press as "Wild, Drunk Prince Henry At It Again." I think she senses he's struggling with something and that, playing or not, he's not up to a public appearance at a polo match.

  I, on the other hand, have no reason to get out of it. And I don't mind so much. Polo is a challenging game--a busy game--strangely relaxing since you don't have time to think about anything else. Though it's sometimes called the game of kings, way back in the day it was used to train cavalry, because in order to play well, controlling the horse has to be automatic, second nature.

  Another reason I'm feeling pleasant about attending is Olivia's reaction to my uniform. I enter her room through the bookcase and her eyes slide all over me--the black and white shirt hugging my biceps, the impressive bulge prominently displayed in my snug pants.

  Without a word, Olivia turns, calf-length, summer-pink skirt flaring out. And she locks the door. It snaps into place with a resounding click and I know without a doubt I'm about to get lucky.

  She saunters up to me and lowers to her knees, laughing as she pulls my shirt from the pants and yanks at the belt buckle. The riding boots present a problem, so she just leaves them on, working me over with those skillful, glorious lips and tongue, making me come so hard in her mouth I see stars. Possibly the light of God.

  Yes, lucky indeed.

  Spectators and press are all over the fields and stands--not only am I playing, but the Queen is here to watch. The silky skin peeking out from Olivia's white crop top makes it hard, but I force myself to maintain a platonic distance from her as we walk toward where she'll be sitting with Franny. Simon's playing too. En route to the stands, Olivia laughs, flashing her phone my way to show a text from Marty--a reply to a photo of one of the horses she sent. "Like looking in a mirror," it says with a red circle drawn around the horse's cock.

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