The princess swings her long legs out of bed, and walks over to me. The black slip barely touches the top of her thighs. The fabric skims over her body, revealing the outline of her breasts, and her small nipples poke against the thin silk. "Ta-da," she says. "I'm dressed."
"That's not outdoor wear."
"It's summer. It's basically a sundress. It's clothing. Give me my phone."
"You're not going anywhere in that dress," I burst out. The response is automatic, the words flying out of my mouth before I even think about how parental they sound.
Alexandra smiles slowly. "I'm not putting on any other clothes, James," she declares. "So, I guess I'll have to retrieve the phone myself."
I try to suppress the low rumble in my throat at the thought of her doing what she's threatening to do.
Except it's no threat.
Her hands go to my belt buckle, and she undoes it slowly, followed by the button on my pants. Then the zipper slides down, her movements excruciatingly slow. Her eyes never leave mine the entire time.
She slides her palm flat against my skin, right down the front of my boxer briefs. I inhale sharply at her touch, her palm soft and delicate and – holy shit, she's touching my cock. There's no disguising the fact that my cock is as hard as a rock, but she's definitely aware of that. She smiles triumphantly, but I'm not sure if that's about the phone or about the fact that I'm obviously hard for her.
With one hand, she retrieves the phone. With the other, she slides her palm up the length of my shaft and all the way to the tip where pre-cum already drips in response to her touch. "Well done, James," she says, her voice soft. "You're packing quite the weapon."
"Careful, princess," I warn. My voice is thick, and I can't think about anything else except the fact that her hand is where it is right now.
"Why? Is it loaded?" she asks wryly. Then she takes her hand away, zipping up my pants and patting my crotch. "There. Was there anything else?"
Was there anything else?
It takes a minute for any blood at all to go back to my brain so I can answer that question. My head is spinning. "Put on your shoes," I growl.
"Why?" She seems amused by the fact that I've been rendered almost incoherent by her touch.
I clear my throat, shaking my head as if I can shake off the massive hard-on I have for the girl, and button my pants. "I came to get you out of here. You're always up for breaking out of the palace, so don't even pretend like you want to sit in your room and mope around all afternoon."
"You're going to take me out of the palace?"
I pull the keys to one of the security vehicles out of my pocket and dangle them from my fingers. "Come on. If you're a good girl, I'll even let you drive."
She shrugs. "I can't drive."
"What do you mean, you can't drive?"
Her cheeks turn pink. "I mean exactly what I said. I never learned to drive."
"How do you not learn to drive?"
She rolls her eyes. "I've always had drivers, ever since I was a child. None of us are allowed to drive for ourselves."
"It's not that big of a deal."
"Of course it's a big deal. You're a rebel. What if you need to drive a getaway car?"
"Are you insinuating that I might someday rob a bank?" She puts her hand on her hip, which makes the fabric of the slip ride up higher on her thigh.
I try very hard to ignore that fact. "I'm not insinuating anything," I tell her. "I'm saying directly that I'm shocked you haven't planned a diamond heist or stolen a car at this point in your life."
Finally, she laughs. "Well, now you know why I haven't."
I walk toward the bedroom door. "So, let's go rectify that."
"Are you saying we're going to rob a jewelry store?"
I turn around, ignoring her question. "If you insist on going out of the palace wearing that, at least put some appropriate shoes on."
"Why do I need shoes, exactly?"
"Because you're going to learn to drive a car, obviously."
"You're going to teach me to drive," she says flatly.
"Clearly," I say, annoyed at the fact that my boner doesn't seem to want to go anywhere, not with her standing there wearing that. "If you would just put your damned shoes on already."
"Fine." She rolls her eyes and huffs before slipping on a sparkly silver pair of heels.
"You're wearing those to drive?"
"I can put on slippers, if that would be more appropriate."
"Slippers would probably go better with that little slip you're wearing," I retort gruffly. "Just, whatever. Let's go before I change my mind."
"Before you change your mind? You're the one who insisted on dragging me out of bed to drive a car."
"Are you ever not mouthy?"
"Do I look like I'm ever not mouthy?"
"Never mind. I don't want to talk about your mouth," I mumble.
Or think about her mouth. Or her hand. Or what's underneath that slip she's wearing.
Outside at the car, I automatically reach for the back door, only pausing when I realize we're not doing the usual thing. "Get in the front seat."
"Like, up there?"
"Yes, up there. In the passenger seat. Haven't you ever ridden in the front seat of a car?"
She huffs. "Of course I have. I mean, well, I've ridden in a convertible. Those don't have a back seat."
"Other than with Asher," I say darkly, recalling how I pulled her rebellious little ass out of his car and dropped her into the back of the SUV. The idea of him driving her around anywhere – the idea of him doing anything with her – grates on me.
"I'm sure that I've ridden in the front seat of a car before," she says. She pauses when she sees the skeptical look on my face. "Don't look at me like I'm some kind of sheltered, pathetic little thing."
I laugh. "Trust me, sweetheart, there's no way I'm looking at you like you're any kind of pathetic little thing."
"Fine. I'll get in the front seat," she huffs. "Are you happy now?"
I pull open the door and give her a little fake half-bow as she slides inside. "I'm ecstatic, princess. This is everything I'd hoped for in life. It's the fulfillment of years of dreaming and wishing."
"There's no need for attitude, James," she calls as I close the door.
When I slide behind the driver's seat, she kicks one leg up, the heel of her shoe on the dashboard. "So, where are we going?"
"This is your country, princess. You tell me." I drive away from the palace, trying to ignore the fact that she's sitting the way she is right now, with her thighs slightly spread. The black slip she's wearing pools around her hips, giving me an unobstructed view of her inner thighs.
I have to force my eyes to focus onto the road ahead.
"Don't you have a plan?" she asks.
"I didn't have a plan," I realize.
This was spur-of-the-moment, much like everything else that's happened with this girl. I don't do spur-of-the-moment. I don't do impulsive. I don't do rash or ill-considered. Yet, here I am, doing exactly that.
"You always have a plan. Now, you're telling me that we're just going to drive aimlessly through Protrovia?"
I shrug. "We can. Or, we can make a run for the border, hop a plane to the South Pacific, and live on an island under assumed names. I'll go by James, for obvious reasons, and you can go by Bonnie. I didn't have anything else going on this afternoon, so the possibilities are endless."
"If you want, I'll be Clyde. But I thought you preferred James."
She grins at me, tucking her hair behind her ear as it falls around the side of her face. I'm surprised by how good that smile makes me feel. "You're alright, bodyguard. You know that? Sometimes, anyway."
"Well, you're occasionally not completely irritating," I retort.
"Occasionally? Well, then, I'm becoming soft. I'll have to up my game. If there's anything I hate to be described as, it's boring." Her hand runs up her thigh, her fingers playing
idly with the fabric, and my dick twitches at the thought of those fingers in such close proximity to her pussy. I wonder if she's wet.
If I told her to slide her fingers between her legs right in front of me, I wonder if she'd do it.
I clear my throat. "You're definitely not boring."
"You're not as boring as you seem, either, James." She speaks softly and looks out the window like she's fascinated by the passing scenery.
I'm a lot more fascinated by the scenery inside the car.
"I'll take that as a compliment, coming from you," I tell her. And I mean it.
We drive through town in silence, and then I'm heading in the direction of their summer home, out into the countryside. I don't know exactly where I'm taking her, only that I'm taking her away from the palace, somewhere where it's less crowded. She looks out the window, seemingly content to watch the landscape and not her phone for once.
She only speaks when we've been driving in the countryside for a few minutes. "I know that my brother Albie was the one who brought you to Protrovia. Why did he pick you?"
I shrug. "He wanted you to be safe, I suppose."
She's still looking out the window, but I can feel her eye roll without even seeing it happen. "Tell me the actual truth. What did he say about me?"
"He said that you couldn't keep a bodyguard, and that you needed someone trustworthy around you."
Given the fantasies I've had of the princess, it's safe to say that her brother was wrong about that whole trustworthy part of things.
"You were with him in Afghanistan?"
"That's right." We drive through the center of a little town and out the other side, the countryside spreading out before us.
"My brother never talks about Afghanistan. He always says he did nothing over there except get flying hours."
"Well, he was a pilot, so that was his job." I don’t tell her that the prince flew missions over there, just like every other pilot. He liked to downplay what he did. It's one of the reasons we became friends.
"But you two knew each other over there?"
"We were in the same camp for a few months. I got to know him before I knew he was a prince. I knew him as Al."
"Al?!" The princess bursts out laughing and repeats the word a few times in a deeper, manly voice. "Al. That's very … American."
I laugh. "I know. It's terrible. Always made me think of Al Bundy."
"Married with Children?" She gives me a blank look. "Never mind. It's an American TV show."
"What did you do in the military?"
"I was a company commander in the Marine Corps."
"I don't know what that means."
"I was in charge of a hundred and fifty guys."
"Did you – was it dangerous?"
"Why does my brother trust you so much?"
"You'd have to ask him that question," I tell her.
She sighs. "Albie doesn't talk about that stuff."
"Let's just say that I helped get him out of a tight spot once."
"A tight spot, like a dangerous spot?"
"So you saved my brother's life?"
"I wouldn't go that far," I say, trying to explain without explaining everything. "We just helped him out once. It wasn't a big deal."
That part isn't exactly the truth. It wound up being a big deal. Prince Albert flew in to provide air support for us in an operation where we were taking fire, and his helicopter went down. He walked away from the crash with hardly a scratch on him, but he got pinned down near the wreck, and my guys and I got him out. I might have saved his life then, but I owed him, too, which is part of the reason I wound up in Protrovia.
"Obviously, it was, for my brother to have reason to trust you."
"Had reason to trust me. I'm pretty sure I've crossed lines with you already that make his trusting me a foolish decision." Like putting her phone down my pants and basically daring her to retrieve it.
"Hardly any lines," she says softly, her fingers still playing with the fabric on her slip.
My fingers roll over the fabric of my lingerie, over and over until I think I must be rubbing the fabric raw. The throbbing between my legs is so distracting that I want my fingers to be busy there, not with the hem of my lingerie.
"Trust me," he says, his voice thick. "There are lines I haven't crossed with you."
His words send a shiver through me. Do I want him to cross those lines?
My body craves it.
"Really?" I ask innocently. "Like what?"
He doesn't answer. He makes a rumbling sound low in his throat and abruptly pulls the car over to the side of the road. It's deserted out here, a long stretch of paved road that wanders through the countryside. My heart beats faster as my mind immediately wonders if he's prepared to cross any of those lines right now.
He gets out of the car and crosses to my side, pulling open the door. I immediately picture him pulling me out of the seat, bending me over, and fucking me right beside the car. "Get in the driver's seat," he directs me.
I'm not sure if I'm relieved or disappointed that he doesn't order me to bend over. He takes my hand, helping me out of the car, and it doesn't escape my notice that his eyes skim over my body. It also doesn't escape my notice that I seem to have lost the ability to think about anything except the fact that his hand is still on mine as he guides me over the rocky area beside the road and to the driver's side of the car.
"Are you sure you want to be at my mercy?" I ask, referring only to driving, except it sounds like I'm talking about a lot more than that.
"Would you rather be at mine?" He pauses, dangerously close to me. For a second, like it's out of my control, my hand goes to his chest, my fingers on the button of his shirt, and I think about how easily I could just undo it right now.
I could tell him to fuck me right here and now, up against the side of the car, out in the middle of everything.
But the moment passes, and he steps back, telling me to get behind the wheel. Before long, he's teaching me how to drive a car for the first time. It only takes a couple of shaky lurches before I'm on the road and driving.