“I don’t know. He was gone when I woke up.”

“Oh okay.” He nodded. “Let’s go and have some fun.”

He ran over to the group and gave a couple of girls a hug and then stepped back. “This is Lola, everyone. Xavier’s fiancée.”

“Hi.” I smiled at the group in front of me. There were three boys and three girls, all looking at me with curious expressions.

“Hi,” A tall blonde with beautiful big blue eyes stepped forward. “I’m Violeta. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too.” I froze as her eyes looked into mine with a stony expression that didn’t match her tone.

“So you’re the famous, Lola.” She looked me up and down and smiled sweetly. “Not what I expected. At all.” She stepped back and then walked over to Tarquin and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Where’ve you been Tarq? I’ve missed you.”

“My parents have me at the palace with Aunt Henrietta and Uncle James to help around the palace now that Sebastian’s kicking back in London.”

“He’s so lucky. I can’t believe they let him go.” Another boy with dark brown hair spoke up. “I’ve been working at my father’s law firm for the last six months. I told him that I needed time off to work on the band and he just won’t listen.”

“Mother told me I need to go to Switzerland for finishing school.” A girl with long red hair spoke up. “I told her there’s nothing that needs finishing about me. She said that obviously there was because I didn’t have a husband yet.” She rolled her eyes. “As if I need a husband. At my age!” Everyone nodded their agreement and then looked at me for a quick second with an embarrassed smile.

“How old is everyone?” I asked politely, not wanting to be a bitch.

“We’re all twenty and twenty-one, except for Violeta, she’s twenty-three.” Tarquin answered.

“I’m the odd one out.” Her voice was sharp as she gazed at me. Her fingers played with her long blonde hair and she shook her head back and forth. “I’m not royalty, related to royalty and my parents don’t have any money.” She smiled at me. “You could say I’m the odd one out in the group.”

“Don’t be silly Vi.” Tarquin rubbed her shoulder. “You’re the Queen of the group.”

“That’s true.” She grinned. I stared at her slender figure. She was wearing a pair of short white shorts and a flimsy black top that showed her flat stomach. She stretched and everyone watched as her top moved up her body, close to exposing her braless br**sts.

“How did you guys meet?” I asked curiously. Violeta didn’t seem to be the sort of girl that would normally hang out with someone like Tarquin.

“Well, I—” Violeta began with a huge smile.

“We met through Seb.” Tarquin cut her off and grabbed my hand. “Come, let’s go grab some food. Louisa’s cooks make the best croque-monsieur’s and you just have to try one.”

“Okay.” I nodded and I could see that Violeta was displeased at being cut off. A part of me wondered what she was going to say. Maybe she had dated Sebastian and it had ended badly. Maybe that was the real reason why he’d gone to London.

“So how do you like everyone so far?” Tarquin asked me excitedly, his whole demeanor changed as we reached a wooden table filled with food.

“I haven’t really met anyone. I don’t know how I feel.” I said as I reached for a glass. That wasn’t technically true. I already knew that I didn’t like Violeta, but I wasn’t going to say anything as it would look more like petty jealousy.

“Oh.” Tarquin looked disappointed. “Everyone’s so excited you’re here. We all want to get to know more about you.”

“Get to know more about me or me and Xavier?” I said finally and paused for a second. “If it’s the latter, I’m not sure they’ll be getting the info that they need.” I was starting to feel really annoyed. Was it really such a stretch that Xavier would be with someone like me? It was starting to feel quite offensive. Everyone was saying how lucky I was to get Xavier, but I hadn’t really heard anyone saying how lucky Xavier was to have me. Granted I wasn’t a Princess, but I thought I was a pretty good catch. I was pretty, I was fun, and I was smart. He was lucky that he had me as a fake fiancée. I’m not even sure that Xavier appreciated how lucky he was either, which made me feel even more used.

“I’m sure they want to know about you and also how you and Xavier met and all that good stuff.”

“I’m not in the mood. I’m not going to be talking about Xavier and I.” I shook my head and took the plate he offered me.

“Did anyone ask you to talk about Xavier?” A feminine voice said behind me and I turned around. Violeta was standing there with a disgruntled look on her face. “You’re not the only girl he’s been with and I, for one, doubt you’ll be the last.” Violeta looked me up and down. “I’m sure that you’re just a rebound for him as he’s trying to get over his ex.”

“What ex?” I said, and immediately regret it when I saw Violeta grinning at me.

“He didn’t tell you about his last girlfriend? The girl he wanted to marry?” She raised an eyebrow. “She’s the reason why he went to London to teach.” She smiled and ran her hands through her hair again before giving me an evil smile. “Oh well, least said, soonest mended. That’s what you folks say on the farm right.”


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