Never bend. Never give in. Not even for him.
"Say it." He cups my breast over my shirt, and even though his skin doesn't touch mine, my nipple hardens like a rock immediately inside the fabric of my bra. I want his lips there. I want his tongue flicking over and over my nipple until I'm crying out his name. I want his mouth between my legs, his tongue inside me.
I want him inside me.
"I forgot," I whisper. I'm a liar.
He growls, the sound low and long like a wild animal. "I'm going to fuck you until the only thing you can say is my name. I'm going to make you moan it, over and over, until there's no other word on your lips. Until there's nothing else you can think about."
Inside my room, my heart pounds wildly, arousal flooding my body until the throbbing between my legs is so insistent that I can't think about anything else except getting off.
I don't even bother to lock the door to my room. My hands trembling, my movements shaky because I'm so desperately needy right now, I quickly disrobe, leaving my clothes in a trail on the floor behind me. I pull my vibrator from the bedside table and turn it on.
I don't even make it into the bed. The throbbing between my legs is far too insistent now and my entire body is on edge. With one hand on the bed to support myself, I bend over, my bare ass in the air, and slip the vibrator between my legs. It slides easily into my slick pussy.
All I can think about right now is how badly I want it to be Max inside me. Max standing behind me, his hands on my hips, thrusting his cock deeply into me as he pulls my hair back.
"Say it," he growls, yanking my hair harder and sending a shock of pain straight through my body. But the pain only makes the pleasure more intense as he fucks me harder.
He's bare inside me, his cock so full that I think he's close to exploding. The thought of him bursting and filling me up with his warmth sends me hurtling quickly toward the edge of oblivion. I moan loudly, then again and again with each one of his thrusts.
"Fuck me," I order – as if I'm the one in charge here, except we're both clear on who's in charge right now and it's definitely not me.
He yanks my hair in response, and I whimper. "Tell me you want to come, princess."
I whine now. Do I want to come? It's the sole thing I can think about. My whole body wants to come. It's the only thing in the world I want. "I need to come."
"I can feel you," he says, his voice thick. "Your pussy is swollen so tight, squeezing my cock so hard. I know you want to come. I know you want to feel me fill up that tight pussy."
"Yes," I breathe. I think I might be delirious, heat running through me from my head to my toes, preventing me from thinking about anything except Max and his cock. "Yes, yes, yes."
Then he stops.
He comes to a dead stop, his hands on my hips. I'm pulsing around him, so close to the edge that I think it doesn't even matter that he's stopped short to torment me.
I think I'm going to come anyway.
Max seems able to read my thoughts. He wraps my hair around his hand and pulls harder like it's a leash, or reins on a horse. "You don't come," he says harshly. "Not until you say my name."
He pushes the tip of his thumb against my asshole for emphasis. "Just say it, princess. Say it and I'll let you come."
For a split second, I hesitate. Then he presses his finger against my ass, sending a new wave of pleasure running through me. So I say it.
I say it because I want him so badly. I say it because I want him inside me. I want him to possess me. I want him to own me.
"Max," I whisper.
He moans. Pushing his finger into my asshole, he thrusts his cock deeply inside me at the same time. "Louder," he demands.
I call his name, louder this time. I call his name over and over and over and over and over as I come.
In my room, I'm panting. My breath becomes short, my muscles pulsing a steady rhythm around the vibrator as my head spins. I pause there, half-bent over the bed, catching my breath and trying to come to terms with the fact that I just came while fantasizing about that bossy brute fucking me.
Something must be seriously wrong with me.
* * *
"Well, I guess this should be fun," I whisper to Albie as our new stepsister enters the room. I pop my gum loudly, intentionally acting like an immature teenager. At least I'm dressed for that part. I thought my father's head was going to explode when I showed up to meet the Ice Queen's daughter wearing jeans and a ripped t-shirt and boots. Albie rolled his eyes and said my outfit wasn't going to be the centerpiece in this little meet-and-greet. He wouldn't tell me what he meant by that, but five minutes later, I found out.
We knew we were meeting our soon-to-be stepsister, but she didn't know she was getting two new stepsiblings sprung on her. Or that our parents were even dating. Or that her mother was seeing a freaking king.
I want to hate the girl. I don't want a new stepsister, and certainly not if she's anything remotely like her stuck-up mother. Isabella Kensington definitely appears just as prim and proper and perfect as her mother at first glance. Even worse, my father said she just got finished volunteering in Africa. So now she's thin, gorgeous, and incredibly good, too. It's impossible not to hate her.
I'm already certain my father will adore her. She'll be everything he's always wanted in a daughter. I can tell within the first sixty seconds of meeting her that she'll be the very princess-like, appropriate daughter he never had.
A pang of jealousy runs through me, but I try to squash it. She might quickly become my father's favorite, but it's hard not to sympathize with the girl right now. She looks completely lost, staring at us blankly and blinking as if she expects someone to reveal that this whole thing is some kind of practical joke.
Unfortunately for all of us, it's not.
Sofia Kensington looks enraged that her daughter's reaction is anything except thrilled, when her daughter is obviously totally blindsided. Anger rushes through me at the Ice Queen and my father. How could either of them think it was cool to spring this kind of news on the girl in front of her new "family"?
Then Isabella's gaze rests on Albie, recognition washing over her. Her eyes narrow. "You."
They know each other?
I see the expression on my brother's face. Oh, my God. He likes her. They definitely know each other.
Well, things just got interesting.
The Ice Queen quickly jumps in. "I apologize for the secrecy. Whisking you off to Protrovia on a private plane was designed to make things … efficient. Less messy."
No, she did not actually just use that as an excuse.
I gape at my new stepsister, waiting for a reaction, but she looks like her only response might be to pass out at any moment. Say something smartass, I think, staring at her wide-eyed as if I can telepathically communicate that message to her. Tell your mother that flying you to a palace and springing her engagement on you – to a king, no less – in front of people you don't even know is a total dick move.
But she doesn't. She doesn't blow up. She just stands there quietly, her hands folded in front of her, repeating what her mother just said.
She's in shock. That's the only conclusion that can be drawn here. Or maybe she's not that bright.
I hope I didn't get a stupid stepsister.
Then her mother says something about Isabella's wedding plans. Finally Isabella speaks, her voice loud and firm. "I am not getting married."
Okay, this girl knows my brother (who's conveniently neglected to mention that fact to me), as he stares at her now like a love-struck puppy, and she's just announced she's single?
Maybe this summer won't be so boring after all – and not just because of my feud with my bodyguard. Or whatever you might call it.
My thoughts flicker to the memory of me bending over the bed while thinking about my bodyguard. That was definitely not feuding.
He's made it several more days without quitting, despite my efforts to the contrary. He's stronger than I initially gave him
credit for, unlike me. I've had a hard time preventing my thoughts from wandering back to what it might feel like to have his lips pressed against mine.
My growing obsession with Max's lips – not to mention his hands, or his body, or his dick – is ridiculous.
I want out of this family meeting, suddenly overcome by irritation with myself for even thinking about my bodyguard right now.
The Ice Queen's sharp voice snaps me right out of my thoughts, the equivalent of nails running down a chalkboard. "Isabella Kensington," she says, her icy gaze fixed on her daughter. "This is not the time nor the place to discuss your marriage."
I don't bother to choke back my bitter laugh. That's the height of irony, isn't it? Telling your daughter it's improper to announce her breakup here at a meeting where you sprung an entire engagement on her?
I glare at Isabella. Stand up for yourself, I think, becoming even more annoyed when she doesn't. This girl needs to get a backbone.
This whole situation is enough to push me over the edge. "Well, this is juicy," I note. "At least I'm not the one causing drama for once."
Did I say that out loud?
I almost think I didn't, until my father scowls at me. "Yes, Alexandra, that's certainly a silver lining."
I resist the juvenile urge to stick my tongue out at him. All I want to do is get out of here. I don't want to get to know my new stepmother or her daughter, who seems to have trouble understanding what's happening here. "So the two of you are getting married," I say, crossing my arms. "I think we're all pretty clear as far as that goes. You've been seeing each other all summer. It's not exactly a big secret, okay? We're one big happy family. Smile for the press and all that. Are we done now?"
"Alexandra!" my father bellows. I've gotten used to the yelling lately, but Isabella jumps. "Yes. Sofia and I are getting married."
Then Isabella takes off. She just turns around and runs out of the room, pushing the large door open with a bang.
Albie glares at my father. "Nice job, Dad," he scoffs. He gives me a withering look. "You too, Alex. Way to make her feel welcome."
"I didn't ask for a new stepsister," I call toward his retreating back as he leaves. I turn toward my father and the Ice Queen before I walk away. "Or a new stepmother."
"Would you fetch my coat, James?" the princess asks, her voice sugary-sweet. We're at an afternoon tea – literally, an actual tea, complete with teacups and lacy tablecloths.
I never thought I'd be at a tea party.
It's a charity event of some kind, one that the future queen insisted be added to the princess' schedule. Of course, when the future queen asked if security could clear this event for the princess to attend at the last-minute, I was more than thrilled to comply with the request. After all, the princess has been doing her best to make my life a living hell these past couple of weeks.
Case in point: treating me like her butler in front of other people, in a situation where it would be considered "rude" or "assault" to shove her up against a wall and tell her that I'll get her coat as soon as I'm finished making her scream my name.
It serves the princess right to have to sit through this event that seems to mostly involve her being subjected to a series of conversations with stuffy octogenarians who shame her for her hair color and her choice of attire.
Granted, Alexandra did show up to the future queen's charity event wearing a bright gold bustier that barely contains her breasts and a short puffy black skirt that hardly hides her ass cheeks, coupled with thigh-high boots that might very well have been worn by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
It was a ballsy move, and I can only imagine the look on the future queen's face when Alexandra's outfit winds up all over the internet this afternoon.
"James?" the princess asks. She's talking to a group of dukes or duchesses or whatever their stupid titles are, and they all turn to stare at me expectantly. Alexandra raises her eyebrows. "My coat?"
"Of course. I am but a humble servant in Your Highness' royal court," I reply, my voice dripping with sarcasm as I bow obsequiously. "I'd be delighted to touch the mere hem of your garment."
Alexandra does her best to hide her smile as she nods and responds flatly. "Thank you, James."
"Your butler is well-trained," one of the women notes. "It's so hard to find trained help these days."
Trained. Like a dog.
The princess finds me in the hallway outside of the cloakroom. "Did I hear you bark as you left?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about, Your Majesty." I'm lying. I did let out a little "woof" as I exited the main room.
"It's Royal Highness," she corrects, but she's clearly amused. "I have to disagree with them, you know."
"About what?" I'm holding her coat, this stupid shimmery black shawl-like thing that's not remotely necessary for an afternoon tea. Even I know that much about fashion. It's a distinct possibility that she only brought the shawl with her so she could order me around like her butler.
I guide her through the hall and outside to where the car is waiting. The driver holds the back door open for her, and she pauses to look at me. "You're not very well-trained, actually."
"Sorry to disappoint, Your Majesty," I say. I'm not sorry at all.
She grins. "I'd be disappointed if you were well-trained," she says. "It would be significantly less fun."
"Get in the car," I growl, tossing her shawl onto her lap as she slides across the seat. "I thought you were trying to get me to quit. Frankly, I expected more from someone who threatened me with – what was it? Oh, that's right: war."
I close the door before she can respond. Truth be told, her attempts to get me to quit the past two weeks have been the most entertaining part of my job. Every time I think I have her secured at an event, she's managed to surprise me somehow. My favorite of her escapes so far was the one where she stood on a toilet in a restroom and pulled herself up through a shockingly tiny bathroom window and dropped to the ground outside, wearing heels and a dress that undoubtedly cost more than my car back in Kentucky.
I was standing right there, waiting for her.
"It hasn't even been two weeks, and you're already getting predictable, princess."
She glares at me. "I'll have to up my game."
"Please try. I'd hate to think of Protrovia as being this boring."
That was a lie. There's been nothing boring about this experience at all.
* * *
"Tell me everything. She's a real princess?" my mother asks, her voice going in and out over the phone. I angle myself toward the window in one of the sitting rooms in the palace, trying to get a stronger cell phone signal. "Mail me a picture so I can see what she looks like!"
Mail her a photo, she says. My mother is old-school; she hasn't latched onto the idea of smart phones yet. She even gave me a disposable camera as a going-away present, so I could have photos developed and sent to her.
"You do realize that Princess Alexandra is my employer, right?" I ask, shaking my head in disbelief. "I can't just walk up to her and tell her to hold still while I snap a photo of her to send back to my mom."
"Well, I don't see why not," my mother huffs, then I hear her muffled voice as she talks to someone else. "Your father says hello. He's heading outside to work on the truck. It needs a new transmission."
"Tell him to take it down to the mechanic," I order. "You know Dad's back can't handle crawling under the truck like that."
"Honey, you know I can't do that. Your father is stubborn as all get out. He's not going to spend the money on a mechanic when he can just do it himself."
"Let me talk to Dad."
"He's already outside tinkering around. Besides, he's not going