“The farm?” I frowned.

“Oh, you’re not from a farm.” She looked at my clothes pointedly. “I thought that was why you had such poor fashion sense.”

“You thought I was from a farm?”

“What other reason would you have for wearing those clothes?” She asked me softly and I froze. I realized she was trying to wind me up and insult me. A part of me didn’t want to take it. A part of me wanted to slap her hard. That would take the satisfied look off of her face, but I knew that that wasn’t really something I could do. I knew that word would get back to the palace and everything would be twisted. It would become a story about me being violent and hitting some poor innocent girl. And that would be just another reason of why I wasn’t good enough for Xavier.

“Violeta, leave Lola alone. She’ll think you don’t like her if you keep that up.” Tarquin frowned at her and she shrugged.

“Oh, I guess we don’t want her to think that now, do we.” She laughed lightly and leaned forward to give him a kiss on the cheek. “You know I’m just a little pu**y-cat.”

“Yes, I do.” He grinned and I could tell from his indulgent look that he was enamored with her. He was definitely not someone I could bitch to about Violeta. I would have to call Anna when I got home. I knew she would understand.

“I’m ready to go whenever you are.” I said pointedly to Tarquin. While, I didn’t want to say anything about Violeta to him, I wasn’t going to lie and pretend I felt comfortable being here.

“Oh,” he looked disappointed, his blue eyes filled with concern. “You haven’t met everyone yet.”

“I want to go home. I can meet the others another day.” I put my plate on the table. “In fact, I’m going to go and walk back to the car. Take your time eating, but I’d like to go home.”

“We can go now.” He sighed and took a couple of quick bites of his sandwich. “I told Xavier that I’d take good care of you.” He gave Violeta a look and she just stood there grinning. Bitch!

“Are you ready now?”

“Yes, let’s go.” He walked towards me. “Do you want to say goodbye to everyone first?”

“No, I have no interest in saying goodbye to anyone.” I said and looked at Violeta. “Let’s go.”

***

I went straight to my room when we arrived back to the palace. I was glad that I didn’t see Henrietta when we got back because I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to deal with her particular brand of snarky, right after meeting Violeta. I knew that I just needed some space. The car ride back had been completely silent and I was glad that Tarquin hadn’t tried to talk to me about anything. It was obvious to me that he knew I was pissed. And frankly he had to know why. Unless he was a dumbass, of course. Which wouldn’t surprise me. I knew many men were dumbasses around beautiful women.

I was glad that Xavier was not in the room when I entered. I didn’t want to deal with any of his sexual innuendos at that moment. I knew I was in the mood where I would go off on him at any moment. I didn’t understand why he hadn’t told me that he’d just come out of a relationship. Was that why he now didn’t believe in love then? Had his heart been broken? That would explain why he was such a jackass when I met him. If he was still reeling from a bad breakup, it would make complete sense. I just wished he’d told me. Another part of me now wondered if I’d been brought to Romerius to make his ex jealous. From what Violeta had said, it seemed like his ex had been the one to break his heart and not the other way around.

I curled up on the bed and closed my eyes. I didn’t want to think about it too much. I was hurt and angry and upset. I could feel my eyes growing heavy with unshed tears. I felt my heart constrict as I thought about Xavier in love with someone else. I didn’t want to think about Xavier as a nicer, more loving guy to someone else. I felt green with envy and jealousy consumed me. It was in that moment that I realized just how much I liked him. I wanted him to like me as well. I wanted him to fall in love with me. I wanted this to be real. In my heart I knew that was the real reason I’d come to Romerius with him. He’d grown in my heart without me being totally aware of it. He was the man that had captured my heart with his first kiss. Maybe even the first smile at the museum. Maybe that was why I’d put up with so much crap. I’d been fooling myself by telling myself, I could have sex and no real relationship. I knew that now. Knowing that Xavier had been in a relationship and he’d loved her was breaking me inside.

“Are you sleeping?” Xavier’s voice woke me up as I felt him shaking my shoulder. I yawned as I slowly opened my eyes and I realized that the room was now dark.

“I guess I fell asleep. Where have you been?” I sat up in the bed and frowned.

“I had some business, then I went to get you a present.” He sat on the bed next to me.

“What present?” I stared at him eagerly and tried to ignore the pounding of my heart as he smiled at me. He was just so sexy. It wasn’t fair.

“You’ll see in a second.” He grinned and stood up. He reached down and grabbed my hands. “It’s time to wake up, sleepy head.”

“I’m coming.” I yawned and stood up.

“Go and shower. Tonight we’re going to a ball and you’re going to wear your red velvet dress.”

“Uhm, did someone make you the boss of me and not tell me?” I raised an eyebrow at him and he laughed


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