slides the sunglasses to the tip of her nose, looking over them at me with her big eyes. "Screw the agenda."
From anyone else, a statement like that would sound normal. Angry even. But from Princess Alexandra, it sounds like dirty talk, innuendo rolling off her tongue.
I clear my throat and focus on her face. Don't look down, I remind myself. Don't look down. I repeat it like a mantra in my head. "You're scheduled for lunch with your family."
She sighs. "Those lunches always go so well, don't they, James?"
I don't comment. "There's an interview with a magazine after lunch."
"Well, then. I suppose the reporter can do the interview outside just as easily as inside the house, right?"
I exhale loudly. "As you wish, princess."
"I don't think I've ever heard you use that phrase, James," she says, her voice lilting. "You're not suddenly becoming agreeable and compliant, are you?"
Her hair smells like coconut and she has clear shiny lip gloss on that makes her lower lip look puffy and lush and kissable. It smells like cherry, the kind that girls wear in high school. I want to put my lips on hers and find out whether they taste like they smell.
But I don't. She's purposely trying to rile me up, to get me to bend. It's a power struggle and she's not going to win.
The girl is going to say my name. She's going to moan it. That's all there is to it. Besides, I can make power plays of my own.
I take my finger and trail the tip down the front of her neck and between her breasts, catching the little string that holds the two postage-sized pieces of fabric together. "You haven't been a bad girl, have you?"
"I don't know what you mean," she says haughtily. I can't read her expression behind those damn sunglasses, which I'm guessing is exactly why she chose this particular pair with the dark lenses. But hiding her eyes doesn't do a damn thing to conceal the way her lips fall open to make a little "O" shape as she inhales sharply.
Those responses tell me that calling her a bad girl has exactly the effect I hoped it would have on her.
"Oh, I don't think that's true. I think you know exactly what I mean," I whisper, my finger moving slowly down her abdomen, lower and lower, until it reaches the top of her tiny bikini bottoms.
"I'm afraid I don't." Her mouth curls up at the edges. "I'm afraid you'll have to spell it out for me exactly."
I run my fingertip along the edge of her bikini. I could slip my finger underneath the fabric and right down the front of that swimsuit so easily.
She must realize the same thing, because her breath gets very short very quickly.
I know she's wet by the way she's breathing. That can't be faked.
Her chest rises and falls sharply the closer I get to touching her there, so I push my luck farther, just to see how much she'll let me get away with. "Let me guess," I say softly. "You were lying in bed last night trying to go to sleep, but the throbbing between your legs wouldn't allow you to rest. You were so tired, and it was just too much for you, and you had to do something to help yourself."
"You're always telling ridiculous stories," she whispers but she doesn't move away as I slide my fingertip just underneath the edge of her bikini bottoms.
"You had to get off," I continue. "You had to slide your fingers inside that soaking wet pussy and you had to make yourself come. Does that sound about right?"
"That's completely –"
"Are you really going to deny it? Should I turn you over my knee and punish you for being a naughty girl?"
She pulls her lower lip between her teeth, and when she finally answers, her voice cracks. "You're wrong," she whispers.
"You didn't touch yourself?" I ask in disbelief. "Not even once?"
She clears her throat. "That is none of your business, James."
Voices echo loudly through the hallway. Stepping calmly away from the princess, I cover my very obvious boner with the paper copy of the agenda just as Prince Albert bursts into the room.
"What's with this magazine article, Alex?" he demands. "Wait. Are you seriously ditching out on the family interview to go to the pool?"
I can't see her eyes behind the glasses, but I swear I can feel them roll anyway. "You can send the reporter out to the pool to interview me when he's done with all of you," she huffs. "Although I'm sure that the Ice Queen would be perfectly happy to leave me out of any interviews with the family."
"That's a terrible idea. It's all of us, so you're supposed to be there. Are you going to talk any sense into my sister, Max?"
I laugh. "I'm a bodyguard, not a miracle worker, sir." I move toward the door. "If you'll excuse me..."
Alexandra calls after me. "Make sure you change into swim trunks, James."
Prince Albert laughs. "You're going to force Max to guard you at the pool?"
"You say that as if I'm tormenting him," Alexandra replies haughtily. "He's the one who insists on following me around all the time, even to the places I don't need a bodyguard."
Yeah, places like the library. And underneath her skirt.
"Unfortunately, sir, the king wouldn't approve my request to implant a tracking device in the back of your sister's neck, so I've been forced to keep tabs on her the old-fashioned way."
Prince Albert laughs. "It's your own fault for escaping from the palace so many times, Alex," he says. "Besides, something tells me you don't mind the attention so much."
Princess Alexandra's cheeks turn visibly pink. "I don't know what you're talking about in the least," she insists primly. "And you did not actually ask my father to put a tracking device in me, did you?"
"It's actually an excellent idea," Prince Albert jokes. "I'm sure the royal veterinarian would be happy to microchip you, you know. I'll have to ask our Father to reconsider it."
Alexandra slaps Prince Albert hard on the arm and he stumbles away laughing. "You're an ass, Albie," she calls. "At least people want to microchip me so they don't lose me!"
"You're being micro chipped?" Isabella's voice comes from outside of Alexandra's room, and when she enters, her brow is furrowed. "I mean, I know that there are lots of wealthy people who get chipped in case of kidnappings, but that's not really what royals do, is it? That's pretty freaking creepy, if you ask me."
Alexandra is suddenly mock serious. She walks up to Isabella and puts her hands on Isabella's arms. "No one told you?" she asks quietly. "James, tell her about the chipping. How do you think James is able to find me all the time?"
"Why are you calling him James?" Belle asks, confused.
"Because she's a terrible person," I answer, and Alexandra sticks her tongue out at me. "But I find her because of my mad bodyguard skills. Of course, the chip in her neck does make it a lot easier. It's not even painful. Well, not horribly painful, that is. On a scale of one to ten, most people say it's around a seven, but that's not terrible, is it? You wouldn't think that inserting a chip the size of a thumb into the back of the neck would cause that much pain, but it's surprisingly – oh no, you're looking a little green, ma'am."
"Both of you are terrible people," Prince Albert says, laughing. "We don't get chipped, Belle. Protrovia isn't some kind of dystopian police state."
Alexandra hoots. "The look on your face, though, was priceless!"
"I'm not sure you should be making fun of her, sis. You're the one who was concerned a second ago that dad had approved your being micro chipped like an animal."
"You have to admit, that's far more likely to happen than any of you having a tracking device inserted into them," Alexandra muses. "I could see our Father realistically approving something like that for me."
"Are you doing your magazine interview at the pool?" Isabella asks. "My agenda says that I'm supposed to wear a pastel-colored suit. Are we wearing pastel-colored clothes?"
"Your agenda tells you what clothes to wear?" Alexandra asks, incredulous. "Give me that thing."
She practically rips it out of Isabella's hand, looking over the edge of her sunglasses at the piece of pape
r and laughing. "It says we're wearing matching pastel clothes. Like we're fucking Easter eggs?!? That sounds absolutely heinous. Albie, what the hell are you wearing? My agenda doesn't dictate my fashion choices, does it?"
I clear my throat. "Actually, it does, ma'am," I admit. "But you never read the agenda, so I just skip over that part when I tell you what's on the schedule."
"I can't believe that!" Alexandra exclaims. "When did that start happening? They didn't used to specify our clothing on the agenda."
Prince Albert shrugs. "It's been a while, I guess."
"You mean that it's been since she showed up," Alexandra says. She glances at Isabella. "Not you, I mean. I was referring to your mother. No offense."
"Well, I won't be wearing pastel anything. I'll be wearing this swimsuit, and the reporter can meet me by the pool." She looks at me. "James, are you changing?"
"He can't wear swim trunks to the pool to guard you, Alex." Prince Albert rolls his eyes. "Don't be ridiculous. Where would he put his weapon?"
I bite back a smile as Alexandra's eyes meet mine.
"Where, indeed?" she asks, her gaze flicking downward to my cock.
* * *
The pool at the royal summer house is no ordinary pool, of course, because nothing the royals have is ordinary. I've seen it before from overhead as we passed over the summer house when Prince Albert was flying the helicopter, but even so, seeing it up close like this is a whole different story. It's massive, a winding labyrinth of smaller pools and grottoes and rivers, surrounded by tropical flowers and trees and manmade waterfalls. The whole thing is tiled in blue and white Moroccan patterns that reflect the sunlight and make the water sparkle and shimmer with the sun's reflection.
I wander along a tiled path past a large bar area with enough patios and tables enough to host several hundred people. The place is nicer than a resort and it's virtually empty, except for a gardener tending to plants toward the front and a man wearing a tropical patterned shirt standing behind the bar. I nod at him as I pass, and he points me in the direction of the princess, understanding who I'm looking for without my needing to ask.
It must be nice to have your own full-time pool bar staff just for you.
Princess Alexandra is at the far end of the pool, stretched out on her back on an half-covered oversized circular daybed. I can't see her from the other side of the pool area, only her legs sticking out from underneath the shade. When I'm standing right in front of her, she finally looks up, sliding her glasses down to the tip of her nose. "I thought I requested swim trunks, James."
"I think we decided that it would be difficult to hide my weapon if I were only wearing trunks," I reply.
It would definitely be difficult to hide my weapon in swim trunks – and I'm definitely not talking about my service weapon. It's hard enough dealing with the boner I get every time I look at her when I'm wearing regular slacks.
"Mmm. Maybe I was hoping to get another look at your weapon," she says.
I take my place standing behind her chair, which incidentally gives me the perfect view of her breasts. It's a perk of the job. "You know what you have to do," I tell her. "Say the word."
"James?" she teases.
"Yes, princess?" I ask. Is she actually going to do it? Is she really going to say my name and give in so easily?
"I'm afraid I need you to help me with the suntan lotion," she says, looking up at me with a playful smile on her lips.
I groan. She brought me out here so that she could torture me. "I'm sure that I can get one of the staff to assist you."
"If you insist." She sits up and reaches for the string around her neck, pulling the bikini tie. Then she does the same with the one on her back before tossing her bikini top off the edge of her chair and onto the pool tile. She makes a show of arching her back, her breasts proudly displayed. "I'm sure they'd be happy to help."
Grumbling, I pick up her tote bag and reach inside for her sunblock. Like hell I'm going to watch anyone else rub lotion all over her half-naked body, and she totally knows that.
She gives me a smug little self-satisfied smile as she pulls her hair into a messy bun perched on the top of her head. "Make sure you get the lotion everywhere," she says. "I do so hate to burn."
The leaves rustle behind me, and the bartender I passed when I entered the pool area appears from nowhere. "The princess doesn't need anything," I call, my voice tense.
"Thank you, Martin," the princess says, totally casual about the fact that she's lying here topless.
"Put your top back on," I grumble. "Someone else is going to come in here and see you lying there like that."
"They're boobs, James. I'm fairly certain that everyone's seen a pair of tits before."
"They're your tits."
"And?" she asks, her lips turning up in a playful smile. "This is also my pool and my house, so if I'd like to display my tits, I think it's my right."
I squeeze the bottle of sunblock a little bit too hard, and a giant dollop plops into my hand. Princess Alexandra notices my difficulty. "Now, you wouldn't be just a little bit jealous, would you?" she asks.
"Oh, I don't know," she says. "Any man who might see my breasts?"
I'm irritated by the thought of anyone else seeing this girl naked. "No one is going to look at your tits," I growl.
"You really are a bit of a Neanderthal, aren't you, James? Is that part of being an American?" She doesn't wait for a response before rising up to her knees on the chair. "Now, how would you like me?"
The way she asks the question is breathy and seductive. She's asking where I want her to rub sunblock on her, yet it sounds like an outright proposition. So I answer accordingly. "On your knees, with those mouthy little lips wrapped around my cock."
"I would, but there's just one word that's getting in the way, James." She arches her back, her breasts fully on display in front of me. "You should start here with the sunblock, really."
Max's firm and calloused hands move over my breasts. The sunblock warms quickly in response to the heat of his palms on my body. My nipples are hard at his touch, and my breath come short when he teases me by paying extra attention to my nipples. "We wouldn't want those to get burned," he says, his voice thick.
He's close to me, sitting on the edge of the lounge chair as he touches me slowly. Squeezing more lotion, his hands move across the top of my chest and over my shoulders, then down my arms to my hands. He takes each of my hands in his large palms. I realize how tiny my hands are in comparison to his, and suddenly this feels a thousand times more intimate than I expected.
I intended this to be just about tormenting Max and getting the upper hand with him, since he insists on dishing out commands and denying me until I call him Max. Calling him by his actual name isn't an unreasonable request. Logically, it's the simplest, most benign request possible.
Say the name of the person you're lusting after, the person you want to feel inside you, fucking you into a state of oblivion.
I don't know why I can't bring myself to do it. It feels like more. It feels like a big thing, risky and scary, and it requires letting go of the fear of what it means if I say it.
Yet I'm still right here. He's holding both of my hands, his fingers massaging even though the sunblock is already rubbed into my skin, and I'm still right here, not running away. In fact, I'm beginning to relax, my eyelids lightly falling closed as he moves to my legs with the sunblock, taking his time and working his way up from my calves to my thighs.
When he reaches the tops of my thighs, he pauses with his thumbs on the insides, right where the edge of my swimsuit falls. He waits, like he's contemplating what he wants to do.
My body seems to respond automatically; I find myself arching my back and biting my lip and aching for him to just move his fingers a little bit farther between my legs.
"You want me to slip my fingers right inside that little swim
suit, don't you?" he muses. "It must have been torture before, not being able to come when I had you right at the edge."