A Royal Temptation(5)

By: Charlene Sands

 She rose then, and as they walked out of the ballroom again with her hand in his, she watched him carefully. She had no reason not to trust him. He would never steer her wrong.

 “In here,” he said.

 He tugged her into a spacious office and shut the door. It was black as coal at first, but the light of the full moon streamed in and his eyes adjusted so that he could make out Portia’s silhouette. He took her gently into his arms and overwhelming sensations rushed through his body. Silently, with a look, she questioned his actions, but with his eyes he assured her she had nothing to fear. Then the orchestra began playing and as music piped into the room through the air ducts, he began to move her along to the beat. She tossed her head back and laughed. “You aren’t serious.”

 He grinned. “It’s the only way I can assure us not being interrupted again.”

 “You are resourceful, Your Highness. We have an entire dance floor all to ourselves.”

 “What would make it perfect would be if you’d call me Juan Carlos.”

 “But you’ve earned the right to be called king.”

 “Tonight, for now, think of me as a man, and not a king.”

 “I’ll try, but you have to understand, after all the adoration, the photos and parades and galas in your honor, it’s not easy for me.”

 He did understand, but pressed his reasoning a little further. “Think of it this way. How would you like it if everyone you knew called you Princess Portia?”

 She gave it some thought and nodded. “I see your point.”

 He drew her inches closer, so that her sweet breaths touched his face, but he didn’t dare do more. Though he wanted to crush her against him, feel her body sway with his, he couldn’t rush her or scare her off. These feelings pulsed through him with near desperation. He’d never been so...besotted. Such an old-world word, but that’s exactly how he felt.

 “How long will you be in Alma?” he asked.

 “I leave for the States in two days. I’m due back at work.”

 News he didn’t want to hear. “Are you working with a client?”

 “Yes, he’s someone very influential and I’m thrilled to have the chance to meet with him for the first time. He’s new to collecting, and I have an interview with him to see where his tastes lie.”

 “I see. It’s a good opportunity for you. I would imagine being Princess Portia of Samforstand carries some weight in your line of work.”

 “I’ll admit, using my royal heritage has helped me attain clients, but it’s my expertise that has earned their trust.”

 “Trust is important,” he said.

 “You have the trust of the entire country right now.”

 “Yes,” he said, sighing. “It’s a big responsibility. I’m sure you take your responsibility seriously.”

 “I do. My reputation earns me that trust and I guard it like a mother would her child.”

 He smiled at the image gathering in his mind, of Portia, mother of his child.

 Dios. He was in deep. How was it possible? He had known her less than a day.

 And already, he was naming their first-born child.


 Stately and grand, Portia’s hotel in Del Sol was just a short distance from the palace. The big bed in her room was cushy and comfy. The morning sunlight streamed in to warm her and the air was sweetened by a bouquet of roses, compliments of the hotel manager. It was all fit for a princess. Yet she hadn’t slept well.

 Last night, as Juan Carlos bid her farewell, he’d almost kissed her. She was sure he would have if they hadn’t been surrounded by his guests. She’d thought about that nonkiss during the night. How would his lips feel against hers? Heavens, she hadn’t had so much as a date with a man in almost a year, and it had been even longer since she was ravaged by a kiss. Which, she was sure, would have happened had they been alone.

 She was thankful that he hadn’t locked lips with her in front of the attendees at the gala. Yet, lightbulbs had flashed and pictures had been snapped of the two of them. It was last thing she needed and she’d dashed out as rapidly as Cinderella racing against the midnight hour.

 When he’d asked her to join him for brunch this morning, she’d quickly agreed, despite her tingling nerves and fuzzy brain.

 Her brunch “date” with the King of Montoro would happen precisely at ten o’clock and he’d promised they wouldn’t be interrupted.

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