Stolen Princess Page 6

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His eyes narrow, and I wonder for a moment if he’s mad I didn’t tell him. What we’ve just done would be considered a disgrace to some families. A princess doesn’t give herself to anyone but her intended husband. Not all kingdoms feel this way, but some are outdated. Some still have laws about it. I’m not sure how my brother would feel about knowing what’d I’d done. But in all honesty, I don’t care. I’ve worried about enough my whole life, and I don’t have it inside me to care what anyone thinks.

“I thought I’d seen every eligible princess there was.” His hand moves to my hip and tightens. “Are you intended for someone?” he growls so deep and low, that even in the room filled with people I’m sure I’m the only one who heard it. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter. You’re mine now. I claimed you.” His eyes roam over me as if somehow looking for a place on me he hasn’t marked as his.

Then a smile pulls at his lips. “You don’t even know who I am and you melted for me. Just like that.” He shakes his head like he can’t believe it. Who wouldn’t melt for him? He says the sweetest things, and let’s not forget about how handsome he is.

“Come. I want to get this over with so I can take you home with me.” He grabs my hand, locking his fingers with mine.

I hear whispers all around us as we move. I catch a few of them and hear people asking who I am. I hear something about a king having chosen a wife. I’d completely forgotten about why I was here tonight. I squeeze his hand in mine, and he slows down a little.

“I’m not sure my father will let me go with you. I mean, well—”

“I’ll handle it, my love.”

I bite my lip at the sound of that. I love the way he is with me.

When we finally get to the front of the room, a beautiful blonde woman jumps up from her chair. Her white dress hugs her gorgeous figure. She looks like she’s ready for a wedding.

“Sir?” the woman asks, looking frazzled. Her eyes go from him to me and then narrow. She sees our locked hands and looks angry. I don’t know who she is, but she doesn’t seem to like me.

“I’m ready,” he tells the woman in a firm, straight voice. Then he guides me over to the chair the woman in white just stood up from.

“Wait right here, my love,” he tells me softly. The stern voice he used with the other woman is gone and now there’s only softness for me.

“She doesn’t like me,” I whisper, glancing at the woman behind him, who is starring daggers at me. He glances over his shoulder at her, and a sweet smile masks what was just there.

“Get her a champagne,” he barks. She keeps her smile in place and nods before leaving us. He shakes his head as if irritated.

He returns his attention to me and his hands going to both sides of the arms of the chair. “I’ll be right back and we’ll go home.”

I try to speak, but his mouth lands on mine, leaving me breathless. He gives me one last look before he turns towards a small stage. His body seems to grow more rigid with each step he takes away from me. The lights in the room flicker, and I wonder what’s happening.

“Did he choose you?” a woman next to me asks. I glance over at her. She’s older, but her smile is kind and she looks excited about what’s happening. I glance back at my mystery man, who is talking to a few people who have joined him on the small stage.

“Who?” I ask, looking back at her.

“The King,” she says, as if I’m joking. “King Karim.”

It’s then things start sliding together. He hadn’t told me his name after he’d seemed shocked I didn’t know who he was. Confusion floods me, and I don’t know how I should feel about this. Does it matter he’s a king? At the time I didn’t care who he was. He seemed to be so perfect—what did it really matter? But isn’t tonight about him announcing who he is going to marry? He’s meant for another woman. The thought weighs heavy on me. Is there a woman in the room waiting for him? Is there a princess here who knew he was going to pick her while he took me in a back room? Will he pick her right in front of me? Oh God, will I be some dirty secret mistress?

“He’s to announce his intended. We thought it might be that blonde Nikki. She’s the one who’s always with him. Everyone is always saying they have a thing and that’s why he hasn’t picked a queen.” She leans in as if to whisper. “Because she doesn’t have royal blood.”

My heart starts to pound in my chest. My eyes go back to Karim, who is deep in conversation with two other men.

The blonde woman comes back and drops the champagne glass down next to me with such force that it splashes onto the table and my dress. I hear the older woman gasp. I glance up and see Nikki looks like she wants to murder me. She leans in next to my ear, and it takes all that I have in me not to squirm away.

“He might choose you tonight, but don’t think that it’s over between him and me. Everyone knows kings have their mistress. I’ll make sure to keep him so satisfied he only has one. You’re welcome.”

With that she turns and leaves me speechless and in shock. I glance over to where the King is standing, and he winks at me. I pull my eyes back to the older woman, who’s now whispering to the other older woman next to her. The lump in my throat grows, and I’m thankful when the light in the room dims and someone takes the center of the stage to introduce Karim. I use the moment to slip from my chair and dart from the room as fast as possible, keeping my head down. I don’t want to know what’s coming next, and I need to get out of here now.

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