The Prince and the PA
The Prince and the PA
Fast Fiction Hot - short, sexy readsBastian Van Saant and Karen Roberts have never been anything but a prince and his PA, until one night when temptation gets the better of them. But they must part ways forever in the morning…
The Prince and the PA
Title Page (#u3de5c8e2-42f0-5381-86a1-739dd01a5244)
Chapter One (#ulink_b9c819a7-fdbd-55ba-a952-66e1abfcdec4)
Chapter Two (#ulink_239a39c3-da21-56c8-854c-29cc92eae0f0)
Chapter Three (#litres_trial_promo)
Chapter Four (#litres_trial_promo)
Chapter Five (#litres_trial_promo)
Chapter Six (#litres_trial_promo)
Chapter Seven (#litres_trial_promo)
Chapter Eight (#litres_trial_promo)
Chapter One (#ulink_a6f1e4c7-fcbb-5e4f-9128-b1931e6952be)
“Breathe. Come on, Karen, just breathe.” Karen Roberts stood in the back of the opulent ballroom in the Kyonosian palace, hugging a pillar, using it as a lifeline as she listened to the announcement.
“The wedding will take place in just over three weeks.” King Stephanos of Kyonos’s voice was loud and sure, everyone in attendance held captive by his words. By the promise of a union between Kyonos and Komenia.
Which meant the union between King Stephanos’s daughter, Princess Evangelina Drakos, and Komenia’s prince, Bastian Van Saant—respected ruler, tyrannical boss and the love of Karen’s life—was now set in stone.
It was just stupid to be whiny and soggy about it. Bastian had had four years to wake up and notice that she was a woman. A woman with breasts and everything, which he seemed to like, by all accounts. But he’d never liked hers.
Or at least, he’d never made any show of liking hers.
Well, there was that one time when— But she didn’t let herself think about that. And anyway, since that one time she wasn’t letting herself think about, he hadn’t shown any interest in her.
And she shouldn’t want him to, given their differences. Except she did. And if she couldn’t have forever, she was reduced to wanting at least one night with him, and that was destructive beyond reason. She wasn’t a one-night-stand girl. She was a commitment girl. She’d only had one boyfriend, and that had lasted three years. Then, just after she’d graduated from college, she’d gotten the offer of a job in the Komenian palace, and her enthusiastic “Heck, yeah!” hadn’t gone down well with the man in her life, who hadn’t seen the point of trying the long-distance thing.
Which had worked out nicely since she’d fallen head over heels for Prince Bastian the moment she’d set foot in his office. Her feelings for Bastian had been pointless from the first moment she’d seen him, and they were even more pointless now. But still her body ached for his, and now her heart hurt so bad she wanted to cut it out with a spoon.
She sucked in a breath and turned, walking out the back doors and into the empty corridor. She was shaking. And seriously afraid she might vomit.
She and Bastian were staying here in the palace, and it was lovely. But right now it wouldn’t have mattered if she was here or in a fleabag motel. Because no matter how opulent her surroundings, it didn’t make this whole thing suck any less.
She wandered down the corridor and to the left, stopping for a second, unsure now, with the lights dimmed and the halls empty of servants, if she’d gone in the right direction. It had taken long enough to get used to the layout of the massive palace in Komenia; she could hardly adjust to a brand-new castle in twelve hours. Especially when she was grappling with epic heartbreak.
She took a few more turns but didn’t recognize any of the uniform doors. Or rather, she didn’t think any of them looked particularly more like the door to her room than the others did. Well, shoot. Now she was heartbroken and lost.
She stopped walking and leaned back against the wall, resting her head on the cold marble. Tonight was the worst night of her life. Worse than anything, ever.
But then, a girl had to expect this kind of thing when she went and fell in love with a prince. Especially when that girl was as ordinary as could be. She closed her eyes and she let the old memory play out in her mind, that one time he’d looked at her like a woman.
It had been just after his father had died. She’d been working late in the office and he, unable to sleep, had come in unannounced. She could remember—so strong, so vivid—him sitting on the edge of her desk, pain and sadness etched on his handsome face.
“I hardly knew him, Karen. He was a figurehead, even to me. Hardly a person. I worry sometimes that that is what I’ll become, too. That there will be no one to grieve for me as a human being when I die. They’ll only be grieving for an ideal. Because being a ruler means putting your feelings away. Denying it all for a bigger picture.”
“I know how you feel, Bastian. I mean…kind of. On a smaller scale. I had to leave my boyfriend for this job. It’s not ruling but it’s…the bigger picture.”
“Do you ever worry that it will keep you from finding happiness?”
She looked up at him, and she saw her shot at real happiness. “Sometimes.”
He leaned in, his lips close to hers. “I wonder what it would be like to just forget it all for a while. To do something…something I shouldn’t.”
She’d really, really wanted to be that something he shouldn’t do. But he’d pulled away. And instead they’d started making plans to see his father’s vision for the country through. To make sure his father’s life, his sacrifices, counted.
At the end of that night’s planning session, they’d concluded Bastian needed a good, dynastic marriage to make his father’s dreams a reality. And marriage to the Princess of Kyonos had been discussed even then, while Karen’s heart cracked and bled.
Karen’s head snapped up and she looked down the dim corridor toward the sound of the voice that occupied her dreams.
“Bastian. What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be dancing away with your new fiancée?” She tried not to say the last word like it was poison in her mouth. But it was, and she didn’t think she was all that successful in pretending otherwise.
“Evangelina had to go attend to some issues,” he said.
“I don’t know, I didn’t ask.”
“You don’t particularly sound like you care.”
“I don’t,” he said. “You know I don’t.” And that right there was the thing that sucked worst of all. Bastian didn’t love Eva. He didn’t even like her. He didn’t know her. He was marrying her only because the alliance would benefit his country.
If he’d loved her, well, then Karen could have maybe dealt with it. You couldn’t fight love, and all that. But to see a man like Bastian—a man she knew had so much passion simmering beneath the surface, bound up by honor and duty just waiting to be unleashed—waste it all on convenience…it was unendurable.