Affairs of State - By Jennifer Lewis Page 0,1
over your ears and hope that they go away?”
“Pretty much.” He had a sexy dimple in his left cheek. He was taller than she’d expected. And more strapping, too. His tuxedo stretched across broad shoulders and his elegant white shirt collar framed the sturdy neck of an athlete. “It helps if you travel a lot, then they have trouble keeping up.”
“I’ll have to plan more parties abroad.” He was easy to talk to. Which was weird. Especially with this unsettling attraction clawing at her insides. “I did one in Paris a couple of months ago, and we have one coming up in Russia, so it should prove quite easy once I get the hang of it.”
He laughed. “There you go. I travel to Africa a lot now that I’m ex-military. It’s quite easy to lose photographers out in the bush.”
She chuckled at the image. “What do you do in Africa?” She was genuinely curious. Surely Britain didn’t have colonies there anymore?
“I run an organization called World Connect that brings technology and education to remote areas. The staff is all local so we spend a lot of time recruiting in the local villages and helping them get things off the ground.”
“That must be very rewarding.” Gosh, he was adorable. A prince who actually cared about something other than entertaining himself? There weren’t too many of those around.
“I thought I wouldn’t know what to do with myself once I left the service, but I’m busier and happier than ever. I’m hoping to drum up some donations while I’m in D.C. That’s another challenge that keeps me on my toes. Perhaps you can help me with that?”
“You mean, plan a fund-raiser?” Scarlet would be thrilled if she enticed another royal onto their roster of clients. They attracted other clients the way a sparkling tiara attracted glances.
“Why not?” He’d drawn so close to her that she could almost feel his body heat. “Would you join me for tea tomorrow?”
Her brain screeched to a halt. Something about his body language told her he wanted more than tea. He had a reputation for boyish charm, and although she couldn’t remember reading about any romantic scandals in the papers, the last thing she needed was to give the tabloids more fuel for their gossip furnaces. “I’m afraid I have an appointment tomorrow.” She stepped backward slightly.
Instead of looking angry or annoyed, he tilted his head and smiled. “Of course. You’re busy. How about breakfast? That’s got to be the quietest meal for a party planner.”
She swallowed. Every cell in her body was telling her to run screaming from the room. He was dangerously good-looking and must have years of experience seducing women in far less vulnerable emotional states than herself. But he was a prince, so in her line of work she couldn’t afford to offend him. At least not here, in public. Planning a fund-raiser for his charity would be great for DC Affairs, so Scarlet would kill her if she turned him down. And really, what could happen during breakfast? “That sounds fine.”
“My driver will pick you up at your house. It will be discreet, trust me.”
“Oh.” Somehow that sounded more worrying than ever. If the meeting was to be all business, why would they need discretion? But she managed a shaky smile. “My address is—”
“Don’t worry. He’ll find you.” He gave a slight nod, like an ancient courtier, and backed away a step or two before disappearing into the crowd of well-dressed partygoers.
She wanted to sag against a wall with relief. Unfortunately she wasn’t near a wall, and her phone was buzzing.
“Well, well, well.” Francesca’s voice startled her.
“I’d forgotten you were there.”
“I could tell. You forgot to introduce me to your royal friend. Very hot. And I thought his older brother was supposed to be the good-looking one.”
“His older brother is the heir to the throne.”
“Just think, if the USA was a monarchy like England, you’d be next in line to the throne.” Francesca looked at her thoughtfully. “Your dad is the president, and you’re his only child.”
“Who he didn’t even know existed until a few weeks ago.” She tried to stay focused on her job. “And I still haven’t actually met him in person.” That part was beginning to hurt more and more.
“Liam’s in negotiations with the White House press office about the date for the reunion special. Ted Morrow’s on board with doing it. I’m sure he wants to meet you, too.” Francesca squeezed her arm gently.
“Or not. I was an accident,