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Black Market Billionaire - Book 3
The kind of prince that makes her wish for a frog
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I live in a palace, but my prince works at a strip club--for real!
For ten years I’ve played sidekick to a real, live princess. Now she’s getting hitched, I’m turning thirty, and I haven’t even punched my v-card yet! So when I meet the most gorgeous man ever during an airport shutdown, I decide to spend my birthday making sweet love. And she lives happily ever after.
Apparently my “prince” is hiding a few secrets, like the fact that my brother paid him for my night of pleasure. Oh yeah, and he’s also the long lost brother of Her Royal Highness.
Upon learning of my oh-so-tawdry affair, the princess decides she won’t stop until the two of us are wed, and she doesn’t care that my Prince Charming by day is Prince Gigolo by night. My brain says this can’t happen, but my lady parts? That’s a whole ‘nother fairy tale.
Can somebody please bring the frogs back already?
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“Hey, are you Fiona Wallace?”
I looked up, eyes widening as I took in the beautiful man towering over my table. His joggers and skin tight Joan Jett concert tee certainly stood out amongst the classily attired nobles, the tee hugging his massive biceps as he shrugged off his hoodie in a slow, sexy motion.
When, exactly, had I left my reality and landed in one where the words “sexy” and “hoodie” were used in the same sentence?
With curls the color of a sandy beach and eyes as blue as a South American sea, this man was prettier than the prince himself, which was truly saying something. They didn’t call Prince Aaron the Crown Prince of Sexiness for nothing. Not to mention that the prince had the body of a God, something this man also looked to sport, at least if the abs bulging against his t-shirt were any evidence. Not that I liked Prince Aaron like that, of course. That would just be weird. But this man certainly tickled the lady parts.
“Yes, I’m Fiona,” I replied politely, assuming he’d seen me in a paparazzi picture with the princess, or maybe read the recent headlines where Aaron called me “the sister of his heart.” It was amazing how many people wanted an autograph from or a picture with the princess’ assistant—especially Americans, which is what his accent sounded like. They tended to be a bit celebrity crazy in the States. Almost as much as the Japanese. “May I help you?”
The man’s smile made me tingle all over. Dear God, his face was the essence of perfection. Was he some kind of model? His clothes weren’t exactly high fashion, but there was a blizzard outside and an airport attached to the hotel.
“My name is Conner Griffin. I was hoping to spend a night out with a lovely lady, and your brother mentioned you were coming in for your birthday.” He looked down at himself, giving me a sheepish smile. “Please excuse the outfit. I was flying in from New York today and ended up with no bags, so I wasn’t able to dress up to celebrate your special day.”
I giggled, then felt like a little girl for doing so. Clyde really set me up on a date with this gorgeous man? “As you can see from my own look, I’m not exactly a fashionista.” I gestured to my black turtleneck and grey, ankle length skirt. “Personally, I’m a fan of joggers. So comfy. And Joan Jett is awesome.”
“In the words of the goddess herself: I don’t give a damn about my reputation.”
I giggled again—I was such a loser—and gestured to the table. “Please, sit down.”
Conner took a seat then reached for my hand. My eyes widened as he laid a gentle kiss on my knuckles. It wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary for me, considering I lived in a palace, but I’d never met an American man, or any common man, who kissed a woman’s hand in greeting. It simply wasn’t everyday etiquette. Somehow that made it ten times as sexy. Or maybe it was simply the feeling of his soft lips against my skin. That was nice, too.
“Happy birthday, Birthday Girl,” he said, giving me a little wink, and I giggled again, like the fool I was. No wonder I couldn’t keep a man for more than ten minutes.
I meant that literally, by the way. My last blind date lasted a total of seven minutes and fifteen seconds. Apparently my fuzzy pink sweater and purple boho skirt hadn’t impressed him, because he’d excused himself to the restroom and never returned. I liked to think it was my outfit, anyway. Better that than my face, or worse, my personality.
While Conner didn’t seem exactly turned on by my outfit, he didn’t seem completely turned off, so maybe if I could stop acting like a twelve year old out for a milkshake with a boy from the rugby team then we could actually have a nice night out.
“Sorry if I sound like a giddy little girl,” I said. “And for looking like a drenched poodle.” I shook out my still slightly damp curls. “I’ve had a very busy week, and I showed up expecting to listen to an hour or two of my brother’s drunken lectures on the proper application of powdered foundation, sip some whiskey, and head home. This is a loverly little birthday surprise.”
Conner wet his lips, and I couldn’t help but envision his tongue flicking like that inside me.
“While I’m always up for a good debate on cosmetics, how about we skip that part and go straight to the whiskey?” He winked. “Especially since I can see why you don’t bother to use them.”
My brow furrowed as I lifted a hand, laying it gently to my cheek. It was true, I hadn’t bothered to apply makeup today, and I didn’t most days, but what did he mean by that? Was it a compliment, or…?
Apparently the man could sense my confusion, because he added, “You have no need for cosmetics, with that perfect skin of yours. Why ruin it with caked on goo?”
My cheeks warmed as Conner raised a hand to signal the waitress, who made her way over like he was the bloody prince himself. The man certainly had an aura about him. Or maybe she just thought he was hot.
“How can I help you, sir?” she asked eagerly, making it clear that her quick response was, indeed, a result of his perfectly sculpted face. Or other parts.
Conner flashed his brilliant smile. “We’ll take a bottle of your best whiskey, and you can put it on Clyde’s tab.”
Her eyes widened. “Clyde the manager?”
Conner arched an eyebrow in a way that made him seem like a god looking down on his subjects. “Do you know another Clyde with a tab at this pub?”
“N-no, sir. I just—”
Conner’s head tilted to the left, his brow still arched, and the waitress’ words cut off abruptly.
“I’ll have that out right away, sir.”
“That’s what I thought,” he said with a sniff before turning back to me, a grin on his face. “Luthansians are so easy to scam. In America they would have asked for twenty forms of identification and a DNA sample before putting something on a manager’s tab without his permission.”
I burst into laughter, shaking my head. “You know I’ll probably have to save her job. Clyde is going to throw a bloody fit.”
Conner shrugged. “It’s payment for the ten minutes he spent pawing at my abs and squeezing my biceps back at the bar.”
My laughter erupted again. “And you didn’t punch him in the face? Considering where you’re from, I’m surprised.”
“The last I checked, America was much more welcoming to gay men than Luthansa.”
My laughter faded. He had a point. Poor Clyde couldn’t even officially come out of the closet, much less get married. Not that he wanted to get married, even after years spent in a loving relationship, but still… While no one had technically gone to prison in Luthansa for homosexuality in the last twenty years or so, it was still very much illegal.
“You’re right,” I said quietly. “I apologize for that.” My eyes narrowed. “But considering that you’re here with me tonight, I do think I have the right to ask… you do like women, right?”
This time it was Conner who erupted in laughter. “Had a problem with that in the past, have you? Yes, I love women. Though I’m not afraid to admit that I love men as well. Your brother’s simply not my type.” He hesitated, then added. “Does that bother you?”
“Clyde not being your type?” I said, making a face. “Are you bloody kidding me? Could there be anything grosser than the guy I’m out with thinking my middle aged brother is hot?”
Conner chuckled. “I actually meant the fact that I’m bisexual.”
“Oh,” I said, surprised by the thought. “No, of course not. Does that bother some women?”
“More than you’d think,” he said. “The words ‘ew, grooooss’ are used in response quite a bit.”
I rolled my eyes. “It’s not like you’re doing anything that they don’t.”
Conner raised an eyebrow again, making me shiver. He just looked so… in control when he did it. “You like it like that, huh?”
My brow furrowed as I tried to make sense of the comment. “I…” My eyes went huge, and I had to hold back a squeal of horror. “NO! I mean, I don’t know. I mean, probably not? Or maybe? I don’t know, because I’ve never done that. Oh my God.” I groaned, letting my head fall back as Conner laughed, a wicked grin on his face. “You now officially know way too much about me.” Like the fact that I thought it would be interesting to try anal. Talk about way too much first date information.
“I think I’d like to get to know more.” He paused, then added in a husky voice, “Much more.”