It took three full seconds before Julian realized he had indeed heard Cass right. He said flatly, “You must be joking.”
Cass knew there was an insult in those words somewhere, but it only made her feel like giggling hysterically. She had waited for this day for such a long time, but now that it was happening, she had no idea what to do to convince the prince that they were meant to be together.
She had been very, very stupid. In her silly fantasies, Cass had dreamt of the prince charging into her life to rescue her like a modern-day Prince Charming in a limousine or a sports car. She had dreamt he would woo her with sweet words, flowers, and chocolates.
Obviously, if there was going to be any kind of wooing, it would be something she did to keep the prince from calling 911.
Cass said earnestly, “I know this is hard to believe, but I mean it.”
Julian shook his head in sheer incredulity at the girl’s words. She even looked like she believed what she was saying. “Are you on drugs?”
Cass experienced another overwhelming urge to giggle. The Prince Julian in her dreams was exactly like that. Rude. Domineering. An alpha to the core. And if she were honest, she would have to say she liked that about him. His arrogance made him imperfect, and Cass liked that he was imperfect. It made her feel less insecure about herself, made her more certain that the two of them could indeed be together.
The girl Cass looked like she was on the verge of laughing. Maybe she wasn’t on drugs, Julian thought. Maybe she was just plain old crazy.
Oh Lord, Cass thought, dismayed and helplessly amused at the same time when she saw an image of herself in a straitjacket popping up in the prince’s mind. She really should be worried now, but strangely, she wasn’t. She just knew, deep in her heart, that there would come a time that they’d reminisce about this day together and laugh about it.
But for now, she needed to think of a way to convince him of the truth…preferably without making the prince think of her as either high or insane.
I’ve been celibate far too long, Julian thought. That was the only plausible way to explain why he strangely found the determined look on Cass’ face, coupled with the way she pensively chewed on her lip, a huge turn on. Either that or maybe this island was making him delusional—-
Cass, hearing the prince’s thought, blurted out, “Nope.”
Julian was startled when Cass suddenly spoke out, and he asked stiffly, “Beg your pardon?”
Cass crossed her fingers behind her back. “You were thinking that St. Roch was, umm, giving you strange thoughts and I said ‘nope’?” She paused, telling herself to shut up since her words had only made the prince look at her even more oddly. Another second passed, and unable to help it, she added, “You’re not being delusional, I promise you.” She gave him her most winning smile. “We’re just really attracted to each other.”
Julian didn’t hesitate. “You’re high and you’re mad.” How could this girl be the same one he had been dreaming about for years? She was nothing like the girl in his dreams. That woman had been sophisticated and elegant, graceful and sensible. She was nothing like this…waif, like the fictional orphan Annie, only she had grown up into a sexy as hell brunette.
Cass tried not to give in to the urge to nibble the ends of her hair. Maybe Sunny was right and she shouldn’t be too honest with him. But…she didn’t really want to lie, and especially not to him!
“I’ve never taken drugs, okay? And I’m not certifiable. I just…” To lie or not to lie? She took a deep breath. “I…”
Julian raised his brow. “You…?”
She took another deep calming breath. “I read minds.”
He threw his hands up in surrender. “You have got to be fucking joking. Do you really think I’m the kind of guy who’d fall for that kind of B.S.?”
“But I’m not lying!” An idea occurred to her, a way to convince him that she was indeed telling him the truth about everything, and she said rashly, “Give me a try. Think of something – anything – and I’ll be able to guess your thoughts.” It was a risky gamble, but she was betting on their connection not to fail her. They were destined to be together. Surely it would be easier to read his mind than any of the others?
Julian’s gaze narrowed. “Fine.” Yellow daisies.
“You’re thinking of…yellow…flowers?”
Julian absolutely refused to let himself feel stunned. Just a lucky guess, he told himself as he tried to come up with another random thought. Red velvet cake.
“A dessert, something that’s…” Cass had a hard time remembering the name of the cake she saw in Julian’s mind since she didn’t have much of a sweet tooth. “Umm, raspberry? Strawberry? Just something red on top.”