His Princess

By: Alexa Riley


“Aren’t I always?” I tease her. I walk over and give her a kiss on the cheek and wait as she says hello to Vlad. “Are you ready for dinner?”

My mother lives away from the palace now that I’m King and am to be married. She visits, but for the most part she keeps busy with her gardens and dogs. When my father passed away a few years ago, she said she was finally able to enjoy a quiet life away from social responsibilities, and she was going to make good use of it.

When I told her that I was ready to take a wife, she gave me a knowing smile. I can’t help but think she and Vlad talk a lot more than they lead me to believe. She arranged all of the royal procedures for asking for a bride’s hand in marriage, and she oversaw the agreement. I knew what I wanted, and I was afraid that if I was in a room and someone told me no that the result might not be what anyone wanted.

Part of that arrangement would be the first meeting with my bride-to-be. The wedding is scheduled for a week from now, but this will be the only meeting until then. All the plans for the wedding have been taken care of by people other than myself. I don’t care though. My end result is getting Alena. That’s the only thing that matters.

Tonight will be the last time I see her until she’s walking down the aisle to me. It will be enough. It has to be.

The dinner will be very small—immediate family only in the privacy of the bride’s home. It’s tradition, and one that I’ve thought about breaking a thousand times. Since the ink was laid on the paper, I’ve wanted to go to Alena. But tradition—and a ridiculous amount of self-control—has kept me from her.

I can’t help but allow a little part of me to wonder if she’s happy with the arrangement. Will she like me when she sees me? Will she learn to love me?

“I’m ready when you two are,” my mother says as she slips her hand into the crook of my arm, and we walk out of my office.

Vlad follows closely as we all climb in the limo and ride silently to Alena’s house. The whole time I can feel my heartbeat pounding in my chest as I try to remain calm. I can do this. I can be in the same room as her, and everything will be fine. I remind myself to be respectful and kind. To show her that I’m the right choice, even if she didn’t make it. That I will be her king, her husband, and the father to our children.

When I made the marriage arrangement I had only seen one picture of her. One picture and my life was turned upside down. Surely being next to her won’t be so difficult.

I glance over at Vlad as the limo comes to a stop. He gives me an evil grin and shakes his head.

I can’t fool him. Or myself.





3





Alena





Chapter 3 *Alena*

“You look like a hooker. One of those American ones.” I turn to look in the mirror and burst out laughing because I know she’s talking about her favorite movie, Pretty Woman. I’m not shocked—my make-up looks just like Vivian Ward’s.

Tabby beams from behind me. We are in her room, getting ready. I don’t own any make-up, so I’m depending on her. When I do wear it, Tabby has to put it on me because I suck at it. In fact, I suck so bad at it that she confiscated the make-up I once had. She told me she did it for my own good.

“As long as I don’t have to dress like a hooker, it’s perfect,” I tell her, making her laugh.

“I say keep it simple on the outfit.” Tabby walks over to her bed, where she’s laid a few things out.

“This.” She picks up a dark green dress. It has short sleeves and molds tight at the bust. It flares at the waist, stopping a few inches above my knees.

“I can’t wear that. I’ll have to wear heels.” That’s the reason that dress has been in my closet—unworn—forever.

“Yep. I’ve seen you in heels. You’re a walking accident waiting to happen. So heels it is.” She picks up a pair of black heels and holds them next to the dress.

I get up from my chair, take them from her, and start to get dressed, knowing we have to be downstairs soon. She starts doing the same and finds something to wear.

When I turn around I see her standing there in a tight red dress that molds to her curves, making her golden skin look like it’s glowing. Red has always been Tabby’s color—her dark hair and red seem to go together. We could never share closets. Tabby has hourglass curves whereas I can barely fill anything out. I’m just built small. My giant husband is going to break me.

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