Page 2 of Prince Next Door

I gave him a stiff smile. It was far too late for this level of sass. Maybe he was fresh off a plane and it was technically daytime where he was from. That was the only explanation I could come up with to explain his spunky energy.

“I’m sorry, sir. It’s hotel policy.”

“‘Sir?’” He chuckled as he reached into the inner pocket of his navy-blue sports jacket. “You make me feel like an old man, miss.” He pulled out an expensive-looking designer wallet and slipped out an identification card.

I took the plastic card and inspected it thoroughly. The British flag was stamped into its design, along with several printed security features. His picture on the ID definitely matched, right down to his cheeky grin. As much as I wanted to stare at his picture, and maybe even him, I didn’t want him standing at the counter for longer than necessary. The sooner I gave him his room key, the sooner I could get back to doing absolutely nothing and chilling out all evening.

Whilst getting paid, I added mentally.

After ticking a couple of boxes on the computer, I handed his ID back, along with an electronic key card to his room.

“There you are, Mister Laurier,” I said. “Is there anything else that I can help you with this evening?”

He leaned against the counter and winked at me. “Would you mind sending up twenty bottles of your hotel bar’s most expensive champagne?”

The corner of my lip ticked upward. “Do you plan on drinking it all by yourself?”

He laughed. My God, it was a gorgeous laugh. “No. That’d be much too sad. I’m hosting a friend’s bachelor party tomorrow evening.”

I nodded. “I see. In that case, I can have the refreshments chilled prior to sending it to your room.”

“How very thoughtful. Thank you, miss…” He trailed off, sounding like he was fishing for my name.

“Hannah,” I blurted out before I had the chance to think. “Hannah Milch.”

He reached across the counter and took my hand. He kissed the back of it and smiled. “It’s nice to meet you, Hannah Milch.”

On the outside, I was cool, calm, and collected. On the inside, I was screaming my head off because oh my shit who actually did that? Everything about the guy screamed chivalry and properness and etiquette and I just didn’t know how to deal. I wanted to say something, but I didn’t trust my voice enough to get the sounds out.

“What are you doing tomorrow evening, Miss Milch?”

Okay, Hannah. Calm your tits.

All I had to do was answer his question. “Uh, um–” I stuttered.

You go girl.

“Nothing,” I managed. “I’m… Nothing.”

“Would you at all be interested in joining me for the party?”

He asked so casually it was almost startling. I got the feeling he was used to asking women out all the time.

“You want me to… You want me to attend your friend’s bachelor party?”

William nodded. “If you’re interested. I promise it’s not some sordid affair with strippers in cakes.”

“See, now that you’ve said that, I’m totally expecting strippers in cakes.”

He chuckled. “No, I promise. Nothing but cigars, good food, light music, and copious amounts of alcohol.”

“I’ll, uh… I’ll think about it.”

‘I’ll think about it?’ Seriously? Live a little, Hannah. A literal supermodel just asked you to a party. This is why we can’t have nice things, woman.

William offered a charming smile, throwing me another casual wink. “Well, I hope to see you there. You know what room I’ll be in.”

He turned away and walked toward the elevators. The entire time, my eyes lingered on his perfect ass.

Stop drooling, Hannah. You’re slobbering all over your paperwork.

2

William

I lived in a constant state of restlessness. There was just no way I could see myself settling down. A large house, a white picket fence, a couple of kids and maybe a dog or two –it wasn’t my idea of a good time. It was also why I was having so much trouble adjusting to the fact that my best mate, Andrew McMillan, was getting hitched.

I mean, honestly. Sometimes I wondered if this was still the same chap I attended St. Augustine’s School for Boys with. The old Andrew got into trouble every day for trying to ditch class to stare at the clouds. The old Andrew loved to chase the girls with me every Friday evening. The old Andrew could down three pints of beer and still manage to walk a straight line.

But this Andrew was ready to settle down. With an American gal, no less. I liked Carla. She was sweet, kind. I just didn’t expect Andrew to fall so madly in love with her. He gave up his title and his land back home. All for this one woman. For the rest of his life. All Andrew wanted to do lately was drink tea and read in silence by the fire next to his darling fiancée. I would be happy for him, if that’s what he wanted. I wasn’t about to be a dick because I, personally, wasn’t on the same wavelength anymore.

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