Wed to a Prince:A Royal RomanceBy: Sophia Lynn & Ella Brooke
As Emrys pulled Caitlyn to his side with one strong arm, and Caitlyn felt her heart pounding, the colors of the skyline bled together in a twilight smear of pink and blue. She warmed, and not just from the heat of his body against hers. The Seine was to their left as they walked toward the Arc de Triomphe. By the time they reached it, the daylight would be gone and the electric glow of the city would rise around them, casting shadows that danced seemingly in delight at their love.
Emrys leaned over to whisper in Caitlyn’s ear: “Don’t go.”
“I have to,” she protested half-heartedly. “My parents will expect me back—”
“You can call them.”
“And the new semester starts in a week!” Caitlyn protested, pushing her glasses up a little. She was tempted to take them off to clean them, but that would take two hands, and he’d already called her on cleaning them when she didn’t want to face him.
“How can you possibly choose Ohio over Paris? Over me?” Emrys teased in his lilting accent. His R’s just disappeared in every word, and it gave Caitlyn a chill to hear him speak. His dark eyes shone with amusement, but there was an unfamiliar tenor to his voice. Part of him meant the hurt he feigned. It wasn’t something she was used to hearing, not with his strapping build and confident swagger, the man who had swept into Caitlyn’s life this summer and pried her out of her tiny dorm room and made every day an experience.
Their hands swung between them, she in her loose skirt and peasant blouse, and he in ratty jeans, snug shirt, vest, and a beanie over his blond curls. Caitlyn looked up at his sharp jawline, the way his hair fell into his clear blue eyes. He was the most handsome man she’d ever seen in person, though he sometimes had the fashion sense of a turnip. It was still hard to believe that Emrys was real, and even harder to believe that he was interested in a short, shy girl from the Midwest who had barely dared to venture out of state for a study abroad program in France.
“Tell your father how educational it would be,” Emrys suggested. “That always works with my father. Tell yours what an apt teacher I’ve been.”
A deep blush spread across Caitlyn’s cheeks and ears. There was never any hiding it, but she brought a hand up to cover anyway, causing Emrys to laugh that deep, throaty chuckle of his and pull her flush to him. Her head bowed in embarrassment.
“Y-you’ve been an amazing teacher,” she murmured, her voice jumping up higher in emphasis. “You’re a real pro!”
Emrys laughed again and kissed the top of her wispy, strawberry blonde hair. It hung on either side of her head now, but the night before, it had been spread over his pillow. He twirled a finger around one of her long braids and leaned downward to kiss her forehead.
“Hey. Come here.” Emrys lifted her chin with two fingers. “I miss you already. No other woman has ever made me feel this way.”
Caitlyn shook her head. If her father could hear a guy six years her senior calling her a woman…But he couldn’t, and Caitlyn had hardly mentioned Emrys to her parents. She didn’t know what to say to them about him. She’d restricted their conversations’ topics to the academic and cultural parts of her trip. There was something about keeping Emrys to herself that made their affair even more exciting.
Little Caity Durst with an older lover in Paris. No one back home would have believed it! He wasn’t from Paris, or France, of course, but he knew the city like the back of his hand. If anything, she’d felt safer walking the streets with him by her side. He had encouraged her to try her French and find her voice here. He’d shown her places the students’ guide hadn’t even known existed. And then he’d taken her by the hand and shown her everything she’d been missing when she’d stayed home on Friday nights to study.
Now his hands moved again over her broad hips, and he kissed her. His lips were demanding, as always, and she shuddered a little at his intensity. The other people passing by took no notice, just as Caitlyn couldn’t notice them. When she was in his arms, feeling his hands moving over her waist, her hips, nothing else existed but the two of them.
“Stay, Cait,” Emrys insisted again.
“I’m proud of you for being able to say no.” His hand rested on the small of her back, just a hair shy of touching her ass. “I respect that, of course. But I still…I want you here.”
Caitlyn pressed her lips together and frowned. “Maybe we shouldn’t have started this…”
“I wouldn’t give up a moment of you.” Emrys heaved a sigh. “I’ll visit you, though. As soon as I can get away, I swear.”