Tuesday, August 16th
I didn’t realize the time I got off for summer break would end up being literal—that the summer would break me. But when I got to London two months ago, I threw myself into my internship and ran into Augie—well, Prince Augie.
Although I’ve known him for years, we had never spent much time together. Needless to say, he turned my summer around. The last few months have seriously been the best of my life. All because of him.
“I don’t want to leave.” My eyes fill with tears as Augie escorts me from his car to the plane waiting for me on the tarmac.
“It’s only for a few weeks, Arrington,” he says, wrapping an arm around me and giving me a sweet kiss on the cheek. “You’ll be back before you know it.”
I stare at the perfection that is Augie. Six feet tall with a mop of blond curls, pale blue eyes, and a fittingly regal jawline. As the British girls would say, he’s very fit. And when I’m with him, I feel very grown up. Like the woman I’m supposed to be.
“Why do you look so stressed?” Augie asks.
“Because I’m freaking out! Even though I had a great interview with the headmaster, I still haven’t heard from Kensington School. And if I don’t get in, there’s no way my parents will even consider letting me live in London, especially when they have been dreaming about me going to the boarding school they attended.”
“Kensington has equal, if not more, prestige than Eastbrooke Academy,” he counters. “Surely, they will understand that. I’m royal, and I go there. Plus, we have to figure it out because I think I’m in—”
“Augie, if they don’t let me, I don’t know when I’ll get to see you again.”
“No, my little lark,” he says, gently caressing my cheek. “Don’t even let your mind go there. You’re smart, driven, and quite beautiful. Kensington will be begging for you.”
“Somehow I doubt my looks will play into the headmaster’s decision,” I scoff.
“That’s where you are wrong. Your green eyes are mesmerizing. Anyone who looks at them falls immediately in love. They are quite possibly infused with some kind of magic. Not even our headmaster could be immune.”
“You’re silly,” I say with a laugh.
Augie moves closer to me. “No, Arrington, I’m serious.”
And I know he is. Even though I’ve been trying my best to keep things casual between us, it’s been a struggle. Because Augie is dreamy. And we always have so much fun together, whether we’re with friends or hanging out alone.
“You’ve become a really good friend, Augie,” I say, knowing my heart can’t handle being broken twice in one summer. “I swear, I could tell you anything.”
He winces slightly and it makes me wonder if he knows. Somehow knows that when I came to London, I was heartbroken. Or if he knows why and wonders why I didn’t tell him. Of course, I haven’t said anything. I haven’t had much dating experience, but I do know that you don’t talk about an ex when you’re with someone new. And in my case, the guy isn’t even an ex. He was my best friend. And breaking up—so to speak—with your lifelong best friend might possibly be worse than breaking up with an actual boyfriend.
“Maybe I should fly home with you,” Augie offers, the wince gone and his eyes dancing flirtatiously. “We could talk to your parents together. I’ve been trained in diplomacy and can be very convincing.”
“That, I know,” I say, holding back a grin. “But it would be wasted on my parents because I don’t want them to think I want to go to Kensington because I like you.”
He gives me a sexy grin. “But you do like me.”
“I do. But I need to sell them on the school’s merit. Not for them to think I randomly decided I wanted to live in London because of a boy.”
“What about a prince?”
I just shrug my shoulders.
“I’ll have to trust your judgment then.” When I let out a pathetic sigh, he adds, “I promise it will all work out.”
“You don’t know my parents.”
“But I do,” he counters with a smirk. And he’s right. Our parents have been friends for quite some time.
I laugh. “You know what I mean.”
He moves to stand in front of me and tucks the blonde strands of hair blowing across my face back behind my ear, then stares into my eyes. I lift my chin slightly, just in case he might want to kiss my lips instead of my cheek.
But he doesn’t.
And I know why.
People are watching.
Instead, he turns and gestures to his porter, who takes my bags out of the car.
“When you get back, I’d like to take you on a date,” he says.
“Really?” I smile big. Although we’ve never been on an actual date—unless you consider him showing up at my family’s suite at our club, drinking champagne, watching old movies all night, and doing some things I certainly wouldn’t want my parents to know about—we’ve spent a ton of time together. Pretty much anytime I wasn’t working and even when I was.
He looks around, quickly surveying the area, then grabs my hand and pulls me up the airstairs and into the plane.
“Are you coming home with me?” I say with a laugh.
“No, but I saw a man out there with a camera, and I need to kiss you properly before you leave.”
I smile at him, slip my arms around his neck, and pull him toward my lips, eager for a proper kiss. While he’s given me lots of steamy kisses, this one is filled with emotion.
And for some reason, probably the desperation I’m feeling, it causes things to heat up quickly.
He deepens the kiss and pulls me onto the seat with him. I rake my fingers through his curls and let out a throaty sigh. Because I might be slightly obsessed with Augie’s tongue.
Other than some friendly making out with someone this past New Year’s Eve, when I came to London, I had very little experience. But now, I feel … I don’t know … more worldly. Happy.
I unbutton his shirt, sliding my hand down his chest and flitting it around his waistband as my lips trail down the side of his neck and then onto his chest, kissing my way down.
I know we shouldn’t go any further. After all, the crew could walk in on us at any minute.
“Although I really don’t want to stop kissing you, we probably shouldn’t make the crew wait much longer,” I tell him.
Instead of replying, he gives me another steamy kiss and slides his hand up under my skirt.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful of their time,” I add, blowing out a breath of air when he reaches the edge of my underwear.
“You’re paying them for their time.”
“Actually, my parents are, and you’re kind of a mess.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re all disheveled. You can’t go back out there, looking like we just had a quick romp. That would really get the press talking.”
“Maybe we should have one then,” he says with a sexy smirk.
I roll my eyes, get up, and grab a tissue, knowing I need to put some distance between us. Because this isn’t the time or place. “Let me at least get the pink lip gloss off your face.”
“Fine. Fix me up.”
I sit down next to him, swipe the gloss off the side of his face, smooth his hair in an attempt to control his curls, and then button up his shirt.
“I like when you dress me.”
I can’t help but chuckle. “You like when I undress you.”
“Oh, yes. That too.” He pulls me back into his arms as emotion fills his eyes.
I don’t want to start crying, so I lean back and tighten his tie, pulling it up a little too much, squeezing around his neck. “Am I going to have to kick you off my plane?”
“That’s quite possible.”
I move away, grabbing his jacket, then handing it to him. “Shoo.”
“You’re dismissing His Royal Highness?” He gives me a cocky grin. “It doesn’t actually work that way.”
“It does now.” I do an exaggerated curtsy. “Please, Your Royal Highmess, get the heck off my plane so I can go home.”
“Fine,” he says, stealing one last kiss before moving toward the door.
At the top of the stairs, he gives me a peck on the cheek. Because he’s in the public eye, he shows a lot of restraint when we are out together. A kiss on the cheek, a quick peck on the lips, or maybe our fingers brushing—that’s about it.
And there’s something about having to wait.
Because after a night of dancing and drinking, we’d barely get the door closed before he was all over me. The anticipation just adding to the excitement.
I watch as he walks regally down the airstairs, glancing over his shoulder to look back at me every few steps. When he finally gets to his car, he turns around and gives me an adorable salute.
I wave back at him, feeling like a girl at the end of one of my mom’s movies. Only this isn’t my happy ending.
But it just might be the start of a very happy beginning.
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