Prologue

There are the three things you should know about me:

1. I don’t believe in love.

2. Every night, I dream about finding my Prince Charming.

3. I’m a walking contradiction.

Chapter 1

I was flipping through my museum guide when I walked into him. It felt like I had walked into a brick wall, and I reached out and grabbed his arms to steady myself. “Sorry,” I muttered and looked up as I apologized.

My legs froze and my stomach did flip-flops as I stared at him. With his dark black hair, sparkling emerald-green eyes, and tall, muscular build, he looked like sex on legs.

“Sorry,” I muttered again and attempted a smile.

He looked back at me with an imperious expression. His eyes connected with mine for one glorious second before he looked at my hands still on his arms.

“Oh, sorry.” I stepped back and removed my hands from his body. My face was a deep shade of red and my fingers felt hot like fire.

“Watch where you’re going,” he said finally, and I stared at his lips in a daze. “Are you okay?” His voice was coarser and deeper this time, and I looked up at him and nodded.

“I’m fine. Sorry,” I mumbled again and blushed. Stop saying sorry, Lola!

“Good.” He nodded and then smiled. He looked even hotter when he smiled. I felt a secret thrill run through me as he looked me over slowly and sensuously. “Have a good night.”

“You too.” I swallowed and fumbled with my guide.

His eyes caught mine again and he nodded before walking away. I stood there for a few moments, wishing I had said something else.

“Lola!” Anna ran up to me and grabbed my arm. “I just talked to the hottest guy I will ever see in my life.”

“Oh?” I answered her, but I couldn’t stop myself from looking around the crowded room to see if I could see the hot guy again.

“His name is Max and he’s absolutely gorgeous,” she continued. “I think we’re going to go back to his place and—”

“Wait, what?” I frowned at her and sighed. “You’re not going back to a strange guy’s apartment. You’re drunk, Anna.”

“What’s better than drunk hook-ups?” She grinned up at me and winked.

“No.” I shook my head. “No way, no how. Not going to happen.”

“You can come too. Please? I just want to kiss him.” She puckered her lips. “We’re in London. We’re here to have fun.”

“Anna, I don’t think—” I started, but she cut me off.

“I came to this boring show with you. Why can’t we just go and hang out with Max?”

“Fine.” I rolled my eyes at her and then froze. My body had suddenly tensed up, and I felt the hairs on the back of my neck standing to attention.

A warm feeling rushed through me, and I turned around. The guy I had bumped into was standing there staring at me. I looked into his eyes and he looked over my body slowly and seductively. There was a small smile on his face, and I couldn’t stop myself from smiling back.

He looked like a sex god. And I do not use those words lightly. He really did look like sex on legs. And all I could think was, Whoa, as I stared at him from across the room. And then he winked at me and my face went a deep red—the sort of deep red that you see in vials on True Blood. But it was when he smiled at me and licked his lips that I thought I was going to faint. The sex god is flirting with me.

I wanted to look around and make sure I was seeing correctly and that he was eyeing me and not some other girl. But I didn’t. I was cool, calm, and collected. Well, I pretended to be cool, calm, and collected. Inside I was a bundle of nerves, and I just wanted to scream or text someone. But I didn’t. Instead, I smiled back coyly and lowered my eyes like I’d seen the women do in James Bond movies. Then I looked back up and he was still smiling at me with the most devilish look. He slowly licked his lips again and his gaze fell to my breasts. I thought my panties were going to fall off then and there from his expression alone.

“Lola, are you listening to me?” Anna grabbed my arm, and I looked at her with an annoyed expression.

“Anna, can you just hold on a second?” I sighed. “I was kinda flirting with a guy,” I hissed.

“Ooh, who?” she giggled.

I turned around again to show her the sex god, but he was gone. I surveyed the room quickly and sighed.

“It doesn’t matter.” I shook my head, feeling disappointed. “Who’s the guy you’re talking about?”

“Oh, Max is absolutely delicious.” She grinned. “I’m so excited. He’s even got this cute little accent.”

“Where’s he from?”

“Who cares?” She giggled. “Kisslandia, I guess.”

“Kisslandia?”

“Yeah, the land where he can kiss me all day and night.”

“Anna,” I groaned. “That’s totally ridiculous.”

“What’s totally ridiculous?” a deep voice behind me said.

I turned around quickly with my heart beating fast. It was him.

“Nothing.” I gave him a small smile, not wanting to appear too eager.

“She’s talking about my new boyfriend.” Anna smiled widely, making it very obvious that she also found him attractive. “She thinks it’s ridiculous that we’re going to make out all day.”

“Anna, he’s not—” I started, but the man interrupted me.

“There’s nothing wrong with making out all day.” His voice was smooth. “Though making love is much more preferable.”

“I’ll say.” Anna grinned as my face turned a deep red.

“Enjoy your night, ladies.” He looked into my eyes and then leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Though it would be more preferable to me if I were to see your face turning red because I was making you come rather than making you uncomfortable.” He pulled back and laughed as I gasped in shock.

I wasn’t sure whether I should slap him or shout at him, but he was gone before I could make a decision. I felt oddly disappointed that he had left so quickly. My body was burning up inside, and while I was disgusted by his vulgarity, I was also incredibly turned on.

“He was pretty hot, huh?” Anna grabbed my arm. “If I didn’t have Max, I might have gone for him.”

“You don’t have Max, Anna.” I rolled my eyes. “You can’t go around telling people that some guy you just met is your boyfriend.”

“Who cares?” She laughed.

“What if he hears you?”

“So what?” She laughed louder this time, and I frowned.

“Just how much have you had to drink?” I leaned down and looked into her eyes. “You’re so much drunker than I thought, aren’t you?”

“Stop ruining this for me, Lola.” She gave me a petulant look. “I need some fun. Shit, we both need some fun. Isn’t that why we came to London?”

“We came to study abroad.”

“We came to study abroad and expand our horizons. Shit, if we want the same boring lives we had in Florida, then we might as well have just stayed in Florida. Let’s have some fun. Let’s be wild and crazy.”

“I don’t know,” I sighed while surreptitiously looking around the room to see if I could see the sex god again.

“I’m going.” She shrugged and then stumbled as she walked away. “I don’t care what you say.”

“Anna.” I grabbed ahold of her arm. “This isn’t a good idea.”

“Hello. I’ve been waiting for you.” A tall man swooped in and grabbed Anna around the waist. “We should leave.” He looked around the room quickly and started walking.

“Okay, Max,” she giggled and leaned into him.

I felt annoyed that I was going to have to leave the exhibit before I even got to meet my professor and get to hear him give his talk.

“You owe me,” I hissed as I followed Anna and Max out of the room. I grabbed ahold of Anna’s arm and she smiled at me happily.

“Yay to a fun Lola.”

“I think we will have a lot of fun tonight.” Max’s eyes lit up as he realized I was coming with them.

I was pretty sure he thought he was in for some sort of threesome, but I didn’t bother to correct him. He’d find out soon enough that I had no interest in doing anything with him aside from punching him in the face if he tried anything on Anna. What sort of guy wanted to hook up with a drunk girl anyway?

Every guy, Lola, a voice in my head whispered, and I smiled to myself as I realized what a hypocrite I was. I wasn’t sure I would have said no if the sex god had tried to make a move on me. In fact, I was pretty sure I’d be in a back room somewhere, pulling up my skirt and hoping he’d have his wicked way with me. Not that I’d ever done that before, but what Anna had said was true. We’d come on this trip to live a little dangerously, and steamy sex with hot strangers qualified as dangerous. Not that I was sure I’d actually be able to go through with it. I wasn’t that type of girl.

I stared at my reflection in the big mirror in the foyer of the museum and took in my appearance. I looked the same as ever. Long, light brown hair, light brown eyes, slender-ish body—definitely not skinny. I’d never be skinny; I enjoyed sweet goods too much. My skirt and top looked plain and boring. Though, ultimately, I was happy with my reflection. My makeup had held up well. My eyes looked big and bright, thanks to the mascara and eyeliner, and my red lipstick was killer. I looked pretty, if not gorgeous. And I was fine with that. I wasn’t really one who liked to be the center of attention. Not normally.

Though, I wouldn’t have minded if the sex god had grabbed me and kissed me in front of everyone. That would have been hot and awesome.

I sighed to myself as I realized how pitiful I was being. Anna and her kookiness were rubbing off on me, though at least she had found someone. Even if that someone looked like a sleazeball.

“We shall take a cab.” He pushed Anna into the back seat and then grabbed my hand. “I’m glad you are coming as well.” He smiled down into my face and held my hand for longer than was polite. I shuddered as I realized that he was going to be even more annoying than I had anticipated.

“I’m coming for Anna.” I gave him a defiant look and he laughed.

“Sure you are.” He leaned down towards me and I felt his tongue in my ear.

I was about to push him away from me when I felt someone staring at me. I looked up and my eyes met those of the sex god. He gave me a hard look and shook his head as I stared back at him with wide eyes.

“Let’s go.” Max’s hands fell to my waist and he pushed me into the back of the cab before getting in quickly.

I closed my eyes in anger and embarrassment. Well, that was that. The sex god thought I was a tramp. Not that it mattered. I’d never see him again, but still, I felt empty inside, as if I’d ruined my reputation to him before I even knew him.

“Who’s ready to party?” Max looked at Anna and me in the back seat and grinned as I groaned.

I turned to look at Anna, but her eyes were closed. I resisted the urge to shake some sense into her. Tonight, I’d go along with her craziness, but tomorrow? Tomorrow, I was going to let her have it.

***

His View

I noticed her as soon as she walked into the room. There was a light about her that was fresh and bright. It didn’t hurt that she was beautiful. An innocent beauty as well. She looked around the room with an eagerness that captivated me and I could tell that she was here for the art. Unlike her friend. Her friend looked scatty and on the make. I saw her eyeing Max from the moment she entered the room. Her friend was cute as well, but not as beautiful as she was.

I smiled to myself as I watched them make their way around the room. There weren’t many women under forty who came to art exhibits on Friday night; especially to just see the art.

“Xavier, thank you for donating these pieces. We are blown away by your generosity.” The curator gushed in my ear and distracted me. He was a very wimpy man, small in stature and low in voice. His suit was ill fitting and obviously cheap.

“It was my pleasure.” I gave him a small smile, annoyed that he had made me lose the mysterious girl. “I’m glad to share art.”

“I bet you can’t wait to start your class on Monday. It seems like it will be right up your alley.”

“It should be a good experience.” I nodded and looked around the room quickly, bypassing the stares of the many women who were obviously interested in me. Aha. I felt a rush of excitement as I spotted her again. She was unassuming in a crowd with her brown hair and plain navy skirt and a boring top. Yet her eyes sparkled in excitement and her cheeks were flush from the warmth in the room. Her body was curvy in all the right places, and I admired the long expanse of leg that she had on display.

“So what do you think, Xavier?” The curator asked me eagerly and I frowned at him.

“Later, I have to talk to someone.” I left him standing there and walked across the room. The girl was standing by herself now. This was my opportunity to introduce myself and make my move.

I walked over to a painting about two feet away from her and waited for my opportunity to talk to her. I’d have fun showing her some of the paintings and then I’d take her back to my hotel room for the night. We’d spend the weekend together and then I’d go back to my house and she’d go back to wherever she came from. It would be a weekend of hot sex, and that was just how I liked it. I grinned to myself as I stood there waiting. It was going to be easy as pie.


Tags: J.S. Cooper Finding My Prince Charming Romance
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