When the prince tipped her chin up, she instinctively tried yanking it away, but he didn’t let her. His hold only tightened, and his lips curved at the way she glared at him.
“Are you angry,” he asked silkily, “or disappointed that I’m living up to my reputation?”
She didn’t answer, only looked at him with eyes that were slowly beginning to shine.
He released her chin, saying softly, “You’re about to cry.”
“No, I’m not. Seriously.”
“Yes, you are, and how you do love to lie to me, parthena mou.”
“I don’t know what to think anymore.” Blinking furiously to keep her tears in check, she knew that while she might never see it his way completely, she did understand that he was doing his best.
But at what cost?
She looked at him again, noting the way his gaze remained hooded and how his entire outline seemed shrouded in darkness. “You remind me of Batman,” she said unthinkingly.
He blinked. Well, that he did not expect.
Coloring at the look the prince gave her, she stammered, “Sorry. It just, well…” She gave up explaining, muttering, “Did you expect me to say something profound?”
He inclined his head in assent, saying drily, “Somewhat.”
She turned even redder. “I wish I could think of something profound to say, but the whole time you were just brooding there, telling me about what you need to do to make things right, it was just pure Batman emo, you know?”
The prince could only stare at her.
He was almost tempted to ask her, Seriously?
Biting her lip, Fawn struggled with an internal debate before saying haltingly, “But if I really have to answer your question though, I d-don’t know how I feel about what you’re doing. I don’t think it’s wrong, I just don’t know if I agree you should be doing it. Or keep doing it.”
While listening, the prince did his best not to stare at her broodingly even though it was exactly what he wanted to do.
“There’s got to be an emotional toll every time you see someone almost getting raped – and that can’t be healthy, can it? Isn’t there a saying that when you stay too long in the dark, there might be no going back?”
A pause, before the prince said, “There it is then.” At her bemused look, he said with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, “Something profound.”
“Thank you. I will keep your words in mind.”
His tone was gentle but dismissive, and she knew she was being politely asked to go. “R-right.” Did he think she was being too pushy?
The prince came to his feet the same time she did.
“T-thank you, and I’m sorry.”
The prince only nodded.
She turned to go and walked on shaking legs. A moment later, she almost stumbled, with the prince suddenly walking next to her.
Was all this stealth taught only in billionaire school?
Fawn reached for the knob, not realizing that the prince had done the same thing, too.
Their hands touched, the prince’s hand settling over hers.
And just like that, it came flying back to her. Every embarrassing memory that almost felt too indecent, too hot—-
The prince’s hand tightened over hers just as he moved closer, and she swallowed a strangled gasp when she felt his heat and hardness pressing against her from behind.
“I hope you learned your lesson, too, parthena mou.” He was so dangerously close it was almost like his lips were kissing her hair with every word he spoke.
Her knees knocked against each other. “W-what lesson?” She had a desperate urge to run away, but she couldn’t, knowing that if she moved, it would mean feeling more of the prince’s body.
And she didn’t – couldn’t – risk that.
“The need to follow me without question of course.”
She could feel the prince moving, and then his mouth was once again temptingly close to her ear.
“Because if you don’t—-”
His mouth was touching her ear.
“I’ll have to punish you.”
She couldn’t take it anymore, jerking against him as she turned the knob. As she fled, she felt the prince’s gaze following her, taunting her, promising her—-
It didn’t matter what the prince wished to promise.
She grabbed the ring under her shirt and squeezed it hard.
Grant. Grant. Grant.
FAWN SMILED IN RELIEF as Grant shut the door for her and went around the car to get to the driver’s seat. It had been three days since she had gone AWOL from her job, and even now she couldn’t think about the prince without cringing.
Why had she never felt the same thing with Grant? Did it mean she wasn’t really in love with Grant, or was it because he was the Prince of Darkness that her body couldn’t help reacting that way?
Grant joined her inside the car then, and Fawn forced herself to set aside all thoughts as her fiancé turned to her, saying huskily, “I missed you, luv.”
His smile was both dazzling and familiar at the same time, and the sight filled her heart with so much love and happiness she almost cried.