My sister punches my lower back. “Go. You have to.”
Thunder rolls low and my body shakes. My gaze swings to the Escalades and that’s when I notice the flag of Sardones whipping in the wind.
“Do I have time to change, Enzo?” I ask, gesturing to my clothes.
“I’m afraid not, His Royal Highness departs for London in a few hours.”
My heart skips in my chest and collides with my ribs. I’m going to see Nicholas. My first crush. My first kiss. Although, I doubt I was his first kiss.
My sister nudges me. “Kerris, he’s not going to care how you’re dressed. He wants to see you.”
“I haven’t seen him in years. It’s been at least ten years. A decade.”
“This way, Miss Von Roy,” Enzo interrupts.
Swallowing a large gulp of air, I shove my feet into my shoes and grab my purse off the bench in the hallway. Nesryn shoves my navy trench coat into my arms. Seconds later, I’m out the door accompanied by a bodyguard and under an umbrella.
“I’ll tell Mom where you’ve gone,” my sister calls out over the low rumbling of thunder.
Before I know it, I’m settled in the backseat and zipping through the streets of downtown Chicago. How ironic that I’m heading to the hotel that was supposed to be my dream project. All the ugliness from this morning flashes in my brain.
I push it down and focus on my meeting with Nicholas. Shit. Maybe he’s going by Ander these days? But his Instagram is under Nicholas Camran, like he’s a regular citizen and not the future king of Sardones.
My fingers drum against my thighs. Thank goodness I just had a manicure. The subtle pink polish was an excellent choice. Glancing at my reflection in the rearview mirror, I decide that I need a touch of lip gloss. I tighten my ponytail and pinch some color into my cheeks.
When we turn onto Michigan Avenue, my nerves claw at my stomach. I pray that I don’t vomit in front of Nicholas.
What could Nicholas possibly want with me? After all these years, what made him contact me?
The driver pulls up to the parking garage and we sail through, circling up to the fourth level. We pull up to the elevators. When the car comes to a stop, I gather my nerves and push them down. Way down.
Enzo opens my door and I step out. “Thank you.”
“This way,” he instructs, leading me to the bank of elevators. Two bodyguards follow behind us. Enzo pushes the button and the car dings.
As we step inside the car, Enzo inserts his card and the doors close. The two guards stand in front of the doors and I let out a slow deep breath.
Enzo turns to face me. “Miss Von Roy, Prince Ander is very much looking forward to seeing you. There is no need to be nervous.”
I smile. “Easier said than done, Enzo.”
A tiny smile tugs at the corners of his mouth. “Yes, I suppose that it is.”
Moments later the car comes to a stop on the floor for the Presidential Suite. The guards step out and I follow behind Enzo. My eyes take in the ivory-lacquered doors. Right behind those doors, Nicholas is waiting for me.
The heat pricks against my skin and rolls all the way down my spine.
“Go on inside,” Enzo urges. “He’s waiting for you.”
I straighten my shoulders and push through the doors. My breath catches in my throat as the doors open and I step inside. Nicholas stands in front of the windows with his back to me. He’s wearing black pants and light blue dress shirt that stretches across his rounded shoulders. Nicholas is wearing a silk vest over his dress shirt. He’s built, but not too built.
He’s so tall. I mean, he’s always been tall.
“Nicholas?” I say, and step further into the space.
He turns around. His face is lined in the shadows cast from the grey light filtering behind him. Strong jaw. Scruff, the dirty scruff that compliments his perfect mouth.
His green eyes meet mine. “Kerris.”
That accented voice winds through me making my knees weak. His dark brown hair is tousled and wild—it’s begging for me to run my fingers through it.
He approaches me and I’m finding it impossible to keep it together.
“Kerris,” he says my name again, and his lips curl into a sexy seductive smile.
“Hi. How are you?”
Nicholas pulls me into his frame and I crash face first into his broad chest. He smells heavenly—like clean soap and spice.
Instinctively my arms slide up his back—his very muscular back.
His breath fans over the shell of my ear and his whole body relaxes. “My god, it’s great to see you.”
The little hairs on my skin rise and I melt at the words.
He looks good. He smells good.
All my feelings come racing back. Suddenly I’m the teenager with a crush on the Prince of Sardones again.
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