Prince albert, p.22
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       Prince Albert, p.22
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         Part #4 of A Step Brother Romance series by Sabrina Paige

  I tell myself not to panic as Simon opens the car door for me.

  "Need a lift?" Albie grins at me from inside the car.

  "Are you following me?" I try to inject some annoyance into my voice, but I can't. I'm too relieved to see him.

  Albie doesn't answer until the car starts moving. "If you like, I can have them stop."

  "No," I say, exhaling heavily. "Where are you going?"

  "To the children's hospital," he says.

  "You're going with me?"

  Albie shrugs. "Noah mentioned you had this today and that your mother couldn’t attend," he says. "Sick kids are the prince's purview too, you know."

  "You do charity work?" I ask, looking at him.

  "Occasionally," he says. “I do have the capacity to think of someone besides myself.”

  “I’d never have guessed,” I say, my voice dripping with sarcasm. "Wait. Did you come along because of me?"

  "You mean, because I wanted the pleasure of your presence?" he asks.

  I laugh. "No. Did you come with me because you thought I couldn't handle this myself?"

  "I came with you because I couldn't think of anything better to do this afternoon," he says.

  "Uh-huh." I look out the window, watching the scenery whiz by along the countryside. "Well, I'm glad you decided to come, anyway."

  CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

  Albie

  I haven't been inside a hospital since my mother was sick. We had our own royal physicians, of course, and round-the-clock care for her from the best oncologists and physicians in Europe.

  But once, toward the end, things got really bad, and she was brought to the military hospital in our capitol for treatment. There are all of these protocols for something like that, an entire wing at the hospital cleared for a member of the royal family, windows covered in brown paper in the hallways as a precaution in case of assassination attempt.

  During a moment of lucidity, my mother laughed at the irony of security trying to prevent her assassination, given her terminal illness.

  That was the only time I’ve been in a hospital.

  I can still remember how it smelled – antiseptic and stale, the rooms pumped full of so much air conditioning that it almost felt colder inside the hospital room than outside in the chilly winter air.

  I can’t forget the intermittent beeping and whirring of the machines.

  For a moment, standing just inside the pediatric oncology ward, I think that coming here with Belle was a mistake.

  When I see the kids in various stages of cancer treatment, all I can think about is my mother's death.

  Belle is beside me. She meets my gaze and I think she knows what’s going through my head.

  Then she squats down to talk to a little girl, who laughs as Belle reaches out and takes her hand and walks toward a group of kids. And I'm jerked out of my self-pity by a little boy who wants to know if I really live in a palace, and whether or not I own any race cars.

  We spend a couple of hours reading stories and answering questions about royal life (“Do you have a crown?” “Do you have glass slippers?” “Do you sleep on a dozen mattresses?” directed at Belle, who furrows her forehead for a moment before realizing that it’s a reference to the Princess and the Pea fairytale).

  Seeing Belle with the children makes me feel good, even though the setting brings up bad memories. “You’re a natural with the kids,” I tell her as we walk out the door.

  Outside, she immediately tenses when a small group of photographers rush toward us, their cameras clicking away. I pause, whispering to Belle to wave, and she stands beside me, smiles, and waves.

  Once inside the car, she slumps back against the seat. "Thank you," she says, her voice wavering. She clasps her hands together, her fingernails digging into the back of her hand.

  "I told you that you wouldn't have to answer questions," I say. "Just smile and wave."

  "No," she says, turning to face me. "Thank you for that, too. But, I mean, thank you for going there. It couldn't have been easy for you, with the way your mother died. You were really good with the kids."

  I nod. Belle seems to have an uncanny way of anticipating how I feel about things. I'm not sure whether to be unsettled by that or pleased with it.

  When she reaches for my hand, her face forward and not saying a word, I don't even flinch.

  Contentment used to be a strange feeling. Yet, with Belle, it’s somehow starting to become a familiar one.

  CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

  Belle

  “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to make it today, Belle,” my mother says, setting down her fork. “There was an error in the schedule.”

  “Wedding cake disaster?” I ask, only slightly sarcastic, as I sip my cup of tea.

  “Oh, did your stylist already tell you?” she asks. “The chef had flown in from Paris for the afternoon, and it was last-minute, so…”

  “It ended up being fine,” I say, cutting her off. Of course it was a wedding cake disaster. “Albie went with me.”

  “Oh, Albie, you’re a darling.” My mother sips her wine and beams at King Leo. “We did decide on a wedding cake.”

  “Awesome,” Alexandra says drolly, rolling her eyes. “As much as I’d love to stay and chat, I’m going to London with my friends tomorrow, so I’ll need to pack.”

  “Alexandra,” Leo says sharply. “The trip can still be revoked.”

  “Great,” she says, tipping back her glass of wine. “Then I’ll sit here and hang out. These family dinners are becoming the highlight of my day.”

  A flash of emotion crosses my mother’s face, something akin to embarrassment, and she squeezes Leo’s forearm. “Perhaps she could join us for breakfast in the morning,” she says.

  Leo clears his throat. “Fine,” he says, waving at her. “Go. Pack for London.”

  Alexandra leaves the table in a huff, and Albie and I exchange glances.

  Albie shrugs, looking down at his cell phone like it’s the most interesting thing in the world. My phone is on silent, but I know Albie is texting me. When I glance up at my mother and the king, they’re in their own little world, holding hands and making gooey eyes at each other. My mother looks at him with adoration.

  Okay, so maybe I’m starting to be convinced that she does love him, after all.

  Excuse yourself from dinner and go to your room.

  I text back, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible.

  Bossy, much?

  I look down again.

  I have plans for you that I know you’ll like.

  The message sends a rush of heat between my legs. I clear my throat. “I think I’m going to actually skip dinner tonight as well,” I say. “Going to the hospital today was much more tiring than I thought it would be.”

  The king looks at Albie, his eyebrows raised. “Et tu, Albert?”

  Albie grins, shrugging. “I told some of my friends I’d hang out with them.”

  King Leo sighs. “Fine. Off you go, all of you,” he says. “Have fun.”

  Back at my room, Martin stands in the hallway, his hands folded in front of him, looking straight ahead at nothing. “Don’t you get bored, doing this?” I ask.

  “Of course not, Miss Kensington.” He doesn’t move an inch.

  “Well, I’ll be in my room all night,” I say. “I have a headache. I’m going to sleep early.”

  “Yes, ma’am.”

  “You know, just in case you want to get a coffee or take a break.”

  “It would be extremely negligent to leave my post, Miss Kensington,” he says, his expression unchanging.

  I roll my eyes, opening the door to my bedroom. Albie gets Noah, who flips him off, but I get stuck with the most humorless bodyguard on the security team. I wonder if I can request a new version that comes with a sense of humor.

  Albie knocks quietly on the wall by the secret passageway, and I let him in. “Keep your voice down,” I whisper. “Simon is outside.”

  “We’re not staying
here, anyway,” he says. He sets a leather carryall just inside the room.

  “What’s that?”

  “Supplies.”

  “What kind of supplies?”

  A slow smile spreads across Albie’s face. “Greedy little thing, aren’t you?”

  I feel myself flush as he walks toward me and slides his finger under my chin, tilting my mouth up to his. When he kisses me, I melt into him, desire rushing through me as he slowly unzips the back of my dress. It falls to the floor at my feet in a puddle of fabric.

  Unclasping my bra, he tosses it across the floor and then backs up, appraising me from arm’s length. “Much better.”

  “Are you happy now?” I ask.

  “Not quite,” he whispers. “We have places to be.”

  “You’re undressing me, but we have an agenda?”

  Albie steps close to me, running his hands up the middle of my back. His touch makes me shiver, goose bumps dotting my arms. My nipples stand at attention and I press my body against his, craving his touch.

  When he walks away from me, uttering a groan under his breath, my body aches for him. “I have something for you,” he says, turning to open his bag.

  “Should I be scared?”

  He turns, a purple plastic object attached to a harness dangling from his fingers.

  “What is that?”

  “I want you to wear this,” he says, kneeling at my feet. “I want you to wear this.”

  “What is it?”

  “A vibrator,” he says, sliding the harness up my legs, his hands brushing lightly along my thighs.

  “If you think I’m wearing this to another party, you’re out of your mind,” I protest. But I can’t help the moan that escapes my lips when he reaches my pussy. Before he puts the vibrator on me, he pauses to press his mouth against my clit, rolling his tongue over me.

  When I press his head against me, he pulls away, replacing his lips with the vibrator. Disappointment rushes through me. “Not here, luv,” he says. “Don’t worry. I’ll have my mouth on you soon enough.”

  “Are you going to tell me where we’re going?”

  “That would spoil the surprise.”

  “But you’re outfitting me with a vibrator,” I whisper.

  “I’m not done yet, luv,” he says, standing as he flicks on the vibrator with his remote. The buzzing directly on my clit sends pleasure soaring through my body. Albie brushes his fingers against my pussy lips. “You’re wet already. Dirty girl.”

  Dirty girl.

  Albie is definitely turning me into one.

  My inhibitions are being slowly stripped away by this man who seems to have no inhibitions of his own.

  He reaches into his bag and removes a butt plug and lubricant. Arousal rushes through me at the sight of the objects he used on me before. But my lingering sense of propriety makes me protest. “I’m not going out in public with that, Albie,” I whisper.

  “Semi-public,” he says, kneeling at my feet again, his face hovering inches from my pussy. When he brings the toy to my rear, I tense, even with the vibration surging through my clit.

  “Not even semi-public,” I say.

  “It’s just the two of us,” he says. “I promise. Away from the palace. Do you trust me?”

  He grins as he looks up at me, and I sigh. “I’d have to be crazy to trust you.”

  “You do strike me as rather insane,” he says. “Now, spread your legs for me, luv.”

  I don’t know why I listen to him.

  I don’t know why it’s so thrilling to obey Albie’s commands.

  I don’t know why I step a foot to the side, my legs spread, the vibrator teasing my clit.

  I just do it.

  The air feels cool on my wet pussy.

  “God, you look gorgeous from down here,” Albie says. With one hand, he slides two fingers inside me and with the other, he presses the plug against my asshole. He’s gentle with it, slowly maneuvering the lubricated toy inside me while his fingers play with my pussy. The stimulation is almost unbearable, the pleasure nearly too much as he fills me up to the hilt with the plug.

  On the floor kneeling between my legs, he strokes me with his fingers while the vibrator does its work on my clit. The sensation of being completely filled up is almost too over-stimulating. Within seconds, I’m nearly doubled over, clutching his head and clinging to him as my orgasm overtakes me, sudden and violent in its intensity.

  My muscles clench furiously around Albie’s fingers, but he has no mercy. He turns the vibrator off, sliding his fingers from between my legs before I’m ready. I watch as he puts them in his mouth and licks them clean. “I’ll finish this later,” he says. “I’m planning to have you for dessert.”

  “And I’m going to wear this wherever we’re going?” I ask. The throbbing between my legs is distracting, so much so that I can’t think clearly. I’m not sure why it’s so thrilling when he tells me what to do.

  Albie disappears into the closet and returns with an armful of clothing. “You’re going to wear that,” he says. “I want you to be ready for me.”

  “I don’t know why I’m agreeing to this.”

  In fact, I don’t know why I’m agreeing to any of this with Albie. He’s pushing my boundaries beyond what I’d ever considered, much less tried.

  Standing in my royal bedroom wearing a butt plug and a harness with a vibrator is beyond my comfort zone.

  Or so I thought.

  “Because you like it, Belle,” he says.

  When I reach for the simple sundress he’s holding, he pulls it away and kisses my lips softly instead. “Let me,” he says. “I like taking care of you.”

  Then he dresses me.

  Slowly and methodically, he slides the dress over my head. The fabric caresses my skin as it falls over my body.

  I’d never guess that putting clothes on could be sexy as hell, but Albie has a way of making the process of getting dressed more
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