Prince albert, p.2
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       Prince Albert, p.2

         Part #4 of A Step Brother Romance series by Sabrina Paige
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  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.

  “Belle.” The name rolls off my tongue.

  “You a-hole,” she whispers, clearly angry. It makes me laugh.

  “Come again, darling?” I ask. “Oh, wait, no, there was no coming involved, was there? We never consummated our marriage bed. There are lots of beds in the palace, you know. I’m happy to make that happen.”

  “How kind,” she says, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Is this totally a joke to you? You didn’t tell me you were a…”

  “An asshole?” I ask.

  She glares at me. I can see it even in the flickering light. She looks at me, her dark eyes steeled, her jaw set. “A prince,” she says, her tone imperious. “I gathered that you were an asshole the night we met. That didn't exactly take a lot of detective work."

  “And yet, you saw fit to spend the entire night with me,” I say.

  “Temporary insanity,” she says. “Obviously, I was out of my mind. And there was a lot of tequila involved, if I remember correctly. Plus, I was running away. But you already know that.”

  I bend down to pick her shoe up off the ground.

  Drunken disheveled Cinderella, complete with her high heel – black, classy and simple – askew on the ground.

  When I slide it back onto her foot, my fingers graze the side of her ankle, and I look up at her. My eyes connect with hers and I can’t help what I do next. I slide my hands along her calf, watching as her eyes widen.

  “That's not my shoe you're touching,” she says. She’s objecting, yet her tongue traces the edge of her lip, like she’s inviting me to slide my hands up higher. And I want to go higher. I want to take my hands and move them up her thighs, farther and farther until I’m reaching underneath her dress. I wonder if she's wearing panties.

  “No, it’s not,” I say.

  “People are looking.”

  When I stand -- too close to her to be polite -- she inhales sharply, catching her bottom lip between her teeth. But she doesn’t move. She doesn't step back, the way she would if she didn't like how close I am.

  The look of realization that I’m waiting for, the exclamation – Oh my God, you’re him! You’re Prince Albert! – never happens.

  She doesn’t have a clue who I am.

  "Yes," I say. "Fortunately for you, you ran right into me."

  She laughs, tucking a strand of hair behind her hear. "Yeah, I’m a lucky girl," she says. "You could have mentioned the whole – oh, I don't know -- glaring fact that you're a freaking prince."

  I shrug. "You never talked about your work."

  "That's not even the same thing --" she says, her face upturned. She balls one hand into a fist, obviously frustrated, and the fact that she's at the end of her rope makes her endearing somehow. "I'm not a..."

  "Princess?" I ask. "Well, you're going to be."

  "Our parents are getting married," she says. "And we just got married. In Vegas. You're a prince. Please tell me you understand there's a potential for huge scandal here. Don't you take anything in life seriously?"

  "I try to take all of my marriages seriously."

  Her eyes widen. "There are more marriages?" I pause for a beat, and a look of realization spreads across her face. "That's not even remotely funny."

  "Don't worry," I say. "You're the only woman I’ve married in Vegas."

  "That's hilarious," she says, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "It was a drunken marriage. You’ve gotten it annulled, haven’t you?"

  I shrug. "I had other things to do," I say. Sure I did. Except that's not the whole truth. I could have gotten an annulment. I should have gotten an annulment. Instead, I told myself it was irrelevant. Belle walked away -- and I figured it would be out of sight, out of mind. It was as if it never happened.

  That's what I told myself.

  Except for the inescapable fact that I couldn't get her out of my head, even half a world away and two weeks later.

  A woman taking up two weeks of residence in my brain – especially one I didn't even fuck? That's definitely some kind of record. My style is more of a one and done kind of thing – I prefer not to know the names of the women I screw. Of course, Belle’s name has been on repeat in my brain, playing over and over on a loop. And I didn’t even screw her.

  I married her.

  "You could have gotten it annulled," I say.

  "I was busy," she whispers. "Dealing with my…"

  Her voice trails off, and the way she glances away for a moment sends a momentary pang of guilt rushing through me for giving her shit. Her other wedding is what she was going to say. The night I ran into her – the night we got married in one of those Vegas chapels, by an Elvis impersonator, no less – was the night she found out her fiancé was screwing her maid of honor.

  That night, she was running through the casino, away from her former best friend and all of her bridesmaids.

  She told me everything over tequila shots in the back of a limo as we drove around Vegas – a slurred confession to me, her drunken priest.

  Except that I'm the opposite of chaste.

  And I've had nothing but the most impure of thoughts when it comes to Isabella Kensington.

  "I was busy," she says, clearing her throat.

  "I hope you properly disposed of your ex-fiancé’s body," I say, my tone light, joking, except there's a surprising undercurrent of irritation that runs through me at the thought of that asshole who cheated on her with her best friend.

  A smile pulls at the corners of her mouth, then disappears just as suddenly. "I'm sure you have people that could do that for me," she says.

  "Actually, we do," I say. "There's a secret branch of the military. If you need the ex-fiancé and ex-friend murdered, I'm happy to have it arranged. You are my wife, after all."

  "You're a perfect gentleman," she says. “No one’s offered to have anyone murdered for me before.”

  I reach up to tuck the wayward lock of her hair that keeps coming undone, back behind her ear, and when I touch her, she closes her eyes lightly, moving her face ever so slightly against my hand. Her lips part, just barely, and I think that if she allowed herself to do it, she'd be moaning right now.

  The thought makes me hard as a rock, my cock pushing against the fabric of my pants.

  I lean in close to whisper against her ear. "I'm definitely not a gentleman," I say, tracing my finger behind her ear and down the side of her neck. She tilts her head slightly to the side, and her chest rises as she inhales deeply, the top of her breasts exposed above the neckline of her dress. "Although I always let a lady come first."

  Belle m
akes a strangled sound, and reaches up, pushing my hand away from her. “There’s going to be no coming involved.”

  “Are you saying you’re not a lady?” I tease.

  She narrows her eyes as she looks at me, anger replacing her arousal. “Did you know who I was when you met me? You had to know who I was.”

  “Are you insane?” I ask. “I bumped into you in Vegas. Does that sound planned to you?”

  “There’s no way this was a coincidence – these kinds of things don’t happen in real life. My mother had to have shown you photos, told you who I was.”

  “She did show us a few photos, but no offense, luv, I didn’t really give a shit about what my new stepsister looked like,” I say.

  Obviously, if I had realized how hot Belle was going to be, I’d have paid significantly more attention. I didn't even know she was going to be in Vegas – or that I was going to be in Vegas. It was an impromptu week of debauchery with my friends. I'd tired of Europe, and what better place for debauchery with American women than Las Vegas? I had no idea who she was when I met her – it wasn't until we signed the wedding paperwork that I recognized her last name. And by then, well, I was too drunk to care.

  “How did you know I was in Africa?” she asks.

  I shrug, the gesture more nonchalant than I feel. So what if I did a little research on her after the Vegas trip? It’s not every day that a girl I spend all night just talking to – and marry, no less – ditches me and runs off without so much as a see you later.

  I found out that Belle had been off the radar for two years, doing some charity work in Africa. She’d only been back in the United States for a few days before the infamous Vegas trip. And I found out that she was Sofia Kensington’s daughter.

  “Do you really think I’m not going to check out the background of a girl I married?” I ask, holding up my hand to stop her from interrupting. “I found out who you were after the fact.”

  “But you knew who I was before this announcement today,” she says, a look of horror coming over her face. “You knew that I was your new…”

  “Stepsister?” I ask.

  “Oh my God,” she says, her hand covering her mouth. “I’m totally going to vomit.”

  “There’s no need to be so dramatic,” I say.

  “You think I’m being dramatic?” she asks, her voice going up an octave. “I got whisked away on a private jet, taken to a palace, and told that my mother is going to marry a king. And that the hot guy I spent a night hanging out with in Vegas – and married, by the way – is my new stepbrother.”

  “Hot guy?” I ask.

  “What?” she asks, looking at me blankly, her hands on her hips.

  “You just said I was hot.”

  She looks taken aback. “I totally did not.”

  “Uh, I beg to differ,” I say.

  “You’re completely delusional if you think I said you were hot,” she protests. “You’re hearing things.”

  “I know what I heard,” I tell her. “If you like, I’ll get the security footage and play it back to show you. You called me a hot guy. You should just admit it.”

  Her eyes go wide. “There are cameras on us in here?”

  “Lighten up, luv,” I say, rolling my eyes. “I think you’re the most tightly wound woman I’ve ever met in my life. I was kidding. There are no cameras. My father has a thing about us not being watched – the only cameras in this place are in the public rooms."

  “Don’t do that,” she says, shaking her head.

  “Don’t joke?” I ask. “You’re going to have to get a sense of humor if you’re going to make it in a palace, luv.”

  “That,” she says. “Don’t call me luv,” she says. “Just because we spent a night doing tequila shots in Vegas doesn’t mean you get to do that. You don’t get to give me pet names.”

  “Luv,” I say, drawing the word out more slowly, my voice more gravely than I’d like, the arousal in my tone more evident than it should be. “Luv. I like how it just rolls off the tongue. You’re going to beg me to call you luv.”

  “I can promise you that I’m never going to beg you to call me anything.”

  “And I can promise you that I’m not going to let you come until you ask me to call you luv. Politely, too. Like a lady.”

  “You’re a real piece of work,” she says, shaking her head. But at least she’s smiling. “Do you get slapped a lot?”

  “Is that what you’re into?” I ask, looking her over. “I could have guessed that you’d be into some kinky shit.”

  “Oh my God, I am not into any kinky shit,” she says.

  “I don’t believe you, luv,” I say. It’s always the nice-looking ones, the most straight-laced, prim-and-proper ones, who are the wildest in the sack. Although that might not be true in this case. Little Miss Do-Gooder seems to have quite the stick up her ass.

  “Well, you’re never going to find out,” she says, crossing her arms over her chest as she shakes her head. She looks at me, her nose wrinkling like she’s smelling something bad. “Do women fall for this whole Casanova act?”

  “Works like a charm,” I say. I don’t have to do much actual work to get women to take off their panties. It’s one of the benefits of being royalty.

  Life is a buffet of pussy, and I’m a damn connoisseur.

  “Well, just so you know,” she says. “That is not on the table here.”

  “What’s not on the table?” I ask. “Sex? I wasn’t thinking of fucking you on the table, luv. Not the first time, anyway. I’d take my time with you, the first time. Or maybe not. You seem like you'd like it hard and rough – something public, maybe? The threat of getting caught turns you on, doesn’t it?”

  She interrupts, holding up her hand to silence me. “I just left an irresponsible, no-good, womanizing dickhead. And, well, okay, so I apparently drunkenly married another one in what’s, in retrospect, an extremely regrettable incident. But there’s no going to be no fucking happening here. There’s going to be no coming. In fact, I wouldn’t sleep with you if you were literally the last prince on earth.”

  I can’t help but smile, and I don’t even try to hide it. “I’m going to remind you that you said that.”

  “You won’t need to remind me,” she says. “Because I’m not going to forget it. Why are you smirking? It’s so annoying. I just said I wasn’t going to sleep with you. How is that remotely funny?”

  I shrug. “What can I say?” I ask. “You’re amusing. I enjoy a challenge.”

  I can’t even recall the last time anyone told me no. That’s one of the benefits – or drawbacks, depending on your perspective – of being royalty, too. No one ever says no, no matter how ridiculous the request. You have hundreds of people dedicated to carrying out your every ridiculous whim.

  It sounds fantastic. But honestly, it’s really fucking boring.

  When was the last time a girl told me no?

  When was the last time a girl didn’t know who I was when she met me? Or spent a night with me, laughing and talking drunkenly because she thought she’d never see me again?

  That’s happened exactly once in my life.

  It just doesn’t happen when you’re a prince.

  “That’s so patronizing,” she says.

  “What is?”

  “Calling me amusing. Implying that I’m a challenge,” she says. “I’m not an obstacle course.”

  I open my mouth to say something about exactly what obstacles on her I’d like to climb, but she glares at me, speaking before I can.

  “Don’t even say it.”

  “What?” I ask innocently.

  “You were about to make some disgusting, reprehensible comment,” she says.

  “You’re so observant,” I say. “Don’t you want to know what I’m thinking?”

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