Waking His Princess is one week away!!
I can’t WAIT to share Declan and Aurora with you! Their story is SO sweet, steamy, and… well, okay, it’s really steamy 😉
Here’s Chapter 1, just to give you a taste. Enjoy! <3
“All right!” the voice says over the PA system in the news studio. “Let’s take a fifteen-minute break, and when we get back we’ll bring Stefan out for a few minutes and show him off.”
The overhead lights come up and the bright lights go down. I lean forward on the couch.
“These are wireless, right? I can just go, I don’t need to be unhooked?”
Riviera St. James, the kingdom’s foremost news anchor and interviewer, smiles her giant smile at me.
“You’re all set, sweetheart,” she says. “Just be back in fifteen.”
I stand, carefully smoothing out my official-yet-fashionable skirt suit. Next to me, my cousin Bianca also stands from the couch, and we head off the interview set, our heels clicking on tile.
“I’m glad that’s over,” she says, laughter in her voice. “I’m running out of ways to say ‘I think it’s cool that Grayson and Ella had a baby.’”
“Tell me about it,” I say, keeping my voice down. “I mean, I’m as excited as anyone, and Stefan’s really cute, but he’s three months old. There’s just not that much to say yet. He can barely smile at me.”
“Right? Let me know when he’s solving theoretical physics problems,” Bianca says.
“Well, he is Grayson’s kid,” I point out, ragging a little on my big brother. “He’s a little more likely to go into biology so he can figure out how to drink all he wants and never get a hangover.”
Bianca just grins, then pushes open the door to the ladies’ bathroom. Since we’re at the kingdom’s main TV station, there’s a whole counter lined with mirrors and no sinks, just for checking out makeup.
Which is exactly what we’re here to do, because even though I’ve been doing this my whole life, being the princess of Naralta, television makeup still gets applied with a trowel. I think it’s an inch thick. If I move my face too much, it might crack, even though I know it’ll look normal on camera.
“Does this blush look weird on me, or is it the lights?” Bianca asks, eyeing the overheads in the bathroom.
I study her face in the mirror. She’s only six months older than me, and she practically grew up in the palace, so we’re more like sisters than cousins.
“I think it’s the lights in here,” I say slowly.
“Why do they put fluorescents in the bathroom at a television station?” she asks, turning her face left and right. “They must know that everyone’s going to come in here, pee, and then think oh my God, I look like the living dead.”
“You don’t look like the living dead,” I say, leaning in toward my own reflection. They put fake eyelashes on me, and I’m constantly convinced that they’re falling off, even when they’re not. “Not that much, at least.”
“How about a zombie in the throes of orgasm?”
I stop messing with my eyelash for a moment, just long enough to give Bianca a weird look.
“This shade of blush is called ‘orgasm,’” she explains. “My makeup lady was pretty scandalized by it.”
“I don’t think I know what an orgasming zombie looks like,” I say casually.
“Which part, the orgasm or the zombie?”
“Either,” I say distractedly, poking at my eyelash again, even though I know poking it will only make it come free faster.
Now Bianca’s giving me a weird look.
“You just mean on me, not, like, in general, right?” she asks, her voice suddenly hushed.
I stop poking my eyelash.
“What are we talking about?” I whisper. “Is this about zombies?”
“It’s about orgasms!” she stage-whispers.
I turn pink immediately, staring at Bianca, wondering why we’re suddenly talking about orgasms while we’re on the kingdom’s equivalent of Good Morning, America to talk about how cute my nephew is.
“What about them?”
“Aurora,” she says, her voice still hushed, her face deadly serious. “You’ve had an orgasm before, right?”
I turn an even brighter shade of pink. Bianca’s thrown me for a loop, because I have no clue how we got from this lighting is terrible to Aurora’s never had an orgasm.
Which, no, I haven’t, okay? It’s complicated, and right now is very much neither the time nor the place to get into it.
“Can we go back to talking about the terrible lighting?” I ask.
Her eyes just widen, her fake lashes brushing her eyebrows.
“No,” she hisses. “Aurora. Are you serious? Never?”
I roll my eyes, but Bianca frowns and looks at the counter.
Then she grabs my phone, hiding it behind her back and stepping away.
“Hey!” I yelp.
“Give me my phone back.”
“Tell me! I can help you.”
I wrinkle my nose, and she rolls her eyes.
“Not like that, you perv, we’re cousins,” she says. “But if you need toy recommendations or something, I…”
I lunge for the phone, but she darts away.
It’s nearly time to get back to the studio, and it’s not like Bianca hasn’t already guessed. I just want this stupid game over with.
“Fine,” I say. “I’ve never had an orgasm. Happy?”
She hands me the phone, and I snatch it back.
“Of course I’m not happy,” she says. “But at least now I can help you. Have you tried? Like, with your hands? Do you have a vibrator?”
I’m so red I could be mistaken for a tomato, and I shove my phone into my purse, tuning out Bianca’s questions.
It doesn’t really bother that I’ve never had an orgasm. I’m a virgin too, obviously — I’m the princess of Naralta, so of course my precious hymen has been guarded for my whole life. Hell, so is Bianca, no matter how many toys she has.
Sex just… doesn’t interest me that much. I know about it, sure. I’m well aware of how to get myself off, and even though I’ve given it a shot once or twice, I never managed to follow through.
I always get distracted by something that holds my interest a little more, you know? Like thinking about how to perfect my brioche recipe, or what I’m going to do with the fifteen bushels of apples that just showed up in the palace kitchens.
“No, I don’t have a—”
Suddenly, the door to the women’s powder room bursts open, and Bianca and I whirl around.
My brother Grayson is standing there, hair all mussed and out of place, looking very much of the wrong gender and like he just sprinted here.
“What?” I ask, baffled.
“Aurora, your mic is still on,” he says.
I look down at the short black wire protruding from my collar.
“This?” I ask, still not processing the problem.
Grayson just nods, looking very serious.
“Everyone in the studio can hear everything you’re saying,” he goes on.
Everyone I know — my parents, my sister-in-law and brother, my brother’s hot friends — just heard me tell Bianca I’ve never had an orgasm.
My mother. My father.
Declan. Declan who just started treating me like something besides the bratty kid he remembers. Declan who’s very hot and very, very experienced, who I know I didn’t have a chance with anyway, thanks to my brother, but who I wanted to think I was a grownup.
Now he knows that no matter how much I act like I’m all grown up, I’m totally, completely, and utterly inexperienced. Not that it matters, given how tame my fantasies about him are — they’re all about ice skating and holding hands, not…
…well, not other stuff. Clearly.
I grab the mic, rip it off my shirt, and throw it away in horror as Grayson and Bianca watch.
“I’m sorry,” Bianca whispers, but I just shake my head. She had no idea. “Aurora, really—”
“It’s fine,” I say, shaking my head. I walk toward Grayson, suddenly just wanting to leave. “Let’s get this over with, okay?”
She nods mutely, then follows me from the powder room.
Thanks for reading!
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