“The Palace works with both men on various initiatives.”
She fidgets with the roll on her bread plate, tearing it up into tiny pieces.
“You can ask me anything, Olivia—no need to be shy.”
Shyness has no place in my plans for this girl. I want her bold, wild, and reckless.
She munches on a piece of bread, head slightly tilted, watching—thinking it over. And I’m struck by the charming way she chews. Christ, what a strange thing to notice.
After she swallows and the pale, smooth skin of her throat ripples in an erotic way—well, a way I find erotic—she asks, “Why didn’t you kiss his ring?”
I take a sip of wine. “I outrank him.”
That makes her grin. “You outrank the Archbishop? What about the Pope? Have you ever met him?”
“Not the current one, but I was introduced to the former when he came to visit Wessco when I was eight. Seemed like a decent bloke—he smelled like butterscotch. He carried sweets in the pockets of his vestments. He gave me one after he blessed me.”
“Did you kiss his ring?”
She’s more relaxed now, the questions coming easier.
“I didn’t, no.”
I lean forward, closer to her, elbows on the table—Grandmother would be appalled. But etiquette doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance against Olivia’s sweet scent. It’s roses tonight, with the slightest hint of jasmine—like a new garden on the first day of spring. I inhale deeply, trying to be discreet. Two points for me, because all I really want to do is rest my nose in the fragrant groove of her cleavage before sliding down, lifting her dress, and sinking my face between her smooth, creamy thighs. And that’s where I’d stay, all fucking night.
And now my cock strains against my pants like a prisoner in a cage.
What was the question again?
I take another drink and run my palm over the bulge—adjusting—trying to get some relief. And failing.
“I’m sorry, Olivia, what was that?”
“Why didn’t you kiss the Pope’s ring?”
I’ve got a raging hard-on and we’re talking about the Holy See.
One-way ticket to hell? Purchased.
“The Church teaches that the Pope has the ear of God, that he’s closer to God than any other person on Earth. But kings…as least how the story goes…are descended from God. Which means the only person I bow to, the only ring I kiss, is my grandmother’s—because she’s the only person on Earth above me.”
Olivia’s eyes rake me up and down and one dark eyebrow rises playfully. “Do you really believe that?”
“That I’m descended from The Almighty?” I grin devilishly. “I’ve been told my cock is a gift from God. You should test that opinion tonight. You know…for religion.”
“Very smooth.” She laughs.
“But, no, I don’t actually believe it.” Olivia watches as I rub my lower lip. And give her my real answer. “I think it’s a story—the kind that men have always made up to justify their power over the many.”
She thinks on that for a moment, then says, “I saw a picture of your grandmother online. She looks like such a sweet little old lady.”
I give her my real answer on that, too.
“She’s a battle-ax with a chunk of concrete where her heart should be.”
Olivia chokes on her wine.
She dabs at her mouth with her napkin and looks at me like she’s got me pegged. “So…what you’re saying is…you love her.”
At my sardonic expression she adds, “When it comes to family, I think we only insult the ones we really love.”
I dip my head closer and whisper, “I agree. But don’t let that get out. Her Majesty will never let me live it down.”
She taps my hand. “Your secret’s safe with me.”
Our main course arrives—salmon, colorfully plated with dashes and swirls of bright orange and green sauces with an intricate structure of purple kale and lemon rind on top.
“It’s so pretty,” Olivia sighs. “Maybe we shouldn’t eat it.”
I smirk. “I enjoy eating pretty things.”
I bet her pussy is gorgeous.
Throughout the meal, the conversation flows as easily as the wine. We talk about everything and nothing in particular—my studies at university, the work I do when I’m not making public appearances, the behind-the-scenes details of running a coffee shop, as well as what it was like for her growing up in the city.
“My mom used to give me three dollars in quarters every week,” Olivia tells me in a faraway voice, “so I wouldn’t nag her about wanting to give money to the homeless people we’d pass when we were out. I’d try to spread it around. I didn’t know how little a quarter was actually worth—I thought I was helping and I wanted to help as many as I could. But, if they had a pet with them—a sad-looking dog or cat—that always hit me hardest and I’d give them two or three quarters. Even then, I think I understood that people could be such assholes—but animals are always innocent.”
When dessert is served—a frosted airy pastry in a bed of custard and caramel sauce—the topic turns to siblings.
“…and my father put the money from my mother’s life insurance policy into a trust. It can only be used for education expenses, which is good because otherwise it would’ve been gone a long time ago.”