A little background… This scene is from about one-third into the book, on the plane ride back to Montovia after Victoria and Andrew left the hospital in the middle of nowhere.
We hope you enjoy it! 🙂
~Renna and Ember~
I walk over to the counter behind where we’ve been sitting and help myself to another glass of alcohol—I’m still not even sure what it is. And it isn’t like it matters—the label is written in French, but I only barely glance at it anyway, filling my glass almost to the rim with the caramel colored liquid.
“You realize how immature this is, Victoria.”
I turn to face him, but I don’t respond. I take a large drink from my glass instead.
He’s standing again, his hands behind his back. He stares at me for another moment before he speaks again. “We both need comfort now, and there is nothing wrong with—”
“Forgive me, Your Highness, but I don’t sleep with celebrities. I’m sure you think I do, but—”
He lets out a short laugh and narrows the distance between us until he’s standing right in front of me. “Perhaps not, Victoria.” He touches the top of my arm as he’s so fond of doing, brushing his fingers over my skin for a second before pulling his hand away again. “But I am not a celebrity. I am royalty and there is a difference.”
He edges himself around me, pouring himself another glass of whatever it is in the bottle before he turns to face me again. He takes a sip before he speaks. “For four nights we’ve slept in each other’s arms. You can continue to deny what this is if you like.” He takes another sip. “But whether you admit it aloud or not, we both know the truth. We can’t be close enough to the other.”
I take a step back before I take another drink from my own glass. I don’t want him to see how much I’m trembling, how my hands are shaking. I set down my now half-empty glass on the counter and take another backward step away from him.
The only reason I’m feeling anything for him is because of my fear—we almost died in a plane crash and then we almost died again of dehydration afterward. I’m certainly not feeling anything for him for any reason besides that. And I’m positive that if we can get through this flight, our fears—or at least mine—will subside and there won’t be any reason for us to have anything more than a professional relationship.
The plane bounces—only barely, and nothing compared to what it was doing a few minutes ago—but we both look at each other, and I can see the same thing in his eyes that I’m sure he can see in mine.
I let out a shaky breath. “Look, Your Highness—”
“For the love of God, Victoria, call me Andrew.”
I press my lips in a line and glare at him for a moment. “Fine. Andrew. Once we’re on the ground—”
His brow furrows. “We have at least eight hours left of this flight. And I’m sure we both know that every time the plane makes any sort of movement, we’re going to feel—”
“What exactly are you suggesting then, Andrew? That we have sex to make ourselves feel better? To distract ourselves from the long flight?”
He nods, rubbing his chin. “That is exactly what I am suggesting. I know you think it reckless—that I’m having some sort of existential crisis. And perhaps I am. Perhaps I am questioning why I have done any of the things I have done in my life at all. Why I haven’t lived more when life itself seems so short now.”
I glare at him again, but it’s hard to argue with his logic. It’s not that I’m questioning my choices in life because of what’s happened in the past few days—I had started questioning my life way before any of that happened.
But he interrupts my thoughts before I have a chance to respond. “And I fail to see why exploring this attraction between us before I take a wife is so out of line. It would be a far greater mistake for us to explore these feelings after we arrive in Montovia, wouldn’t you agree?”
“No. I would not agree.” I back another step away from him. “Look, I get it. You’re having some sort of post traumatic reaction. We both are. I totally get why we need to hold onto each other. But I don’t need you to be…” I gulp, unsure of whether I really want to say this out loud. “I don’t need you to be inside of me for comfort.”
He sighs and takes a long drink from his glass before he sets it on the counter next to mine. “Victoria, I dare say that that may not even be enough for either of us.”
I almost want to suggest that we might both be better off if we see a psychiatrist when we arrive in Montovia, but I don’t. He isn’t wrong—I feel a need inside of me that I don’t remember ever feeling before. But it has to be because of what we’ve been through together, the experiences we’ve shared. Because I definitely don’t want him for any other reason—he’s already told me that I’m not enough for him. That I’m inappropriate and distasteful and a commoner. It isn’t like I have anything for him other than our shared experience—and there’s no way that’s enough to build a relationship around. If we could even get to a place where there could be a relationship. He’s made it clear that we’re going to have nothing more than a professional affiliation. And that’s where we need to draw the line.