Dating the Prince(6)

By: Addison Quinn

“You need backup to handle a five-foot tall woman with a baby?” Libby let out a disbelieving snort. What a disaster. Maybe pennies were only lucky in the United States, because this was a seriously rotten turn of events. She must’ve trigged some sort of silent alarm when she dropped the coin. She was such an idiot.

“You were proving difficult,” Colin said.

“You’re trying to arrest me over a penny!” Libby shot back. She focused on the handsome man, ignoring Colin. “Okay, so leaving it wasn’t my most brilliant idea. If I’d known—”

“Tourists,” Colin spat, his tone furious. “You Americans are the absolute worst. I don’t know why I’m surprised. Didn’t you stop to think how leaving an unknown object in a government building would look? That penny could be covered in explosives for all we know.”

The handsome man dropped his hand from Colin’s shoulder and chuckled. The sound was deep, sending shivers up and down Libby’s arms. “Really, mate, I don’t think this woman is a political terrorist. She’s got a baby with her.”


“That will be all, Colin.” The man folded his arms across his chest, and it took a lot of effort for Libby not to stare. Yes, there were definitely muscles underneath. And that voice. Every time he opened his mouth, her brain seemed to go blank and it took a lot of effort not to drool.

The guard clenched his jaw, making the hat tip back even more, then snapped off a salute and left the throne room.

Libby exhaled with a whoosh. Whoever the newcomer was, he obviously had a lot of influence. Maybe the penny hadn’t completely failed her. “Thank you so much. I really thought he was going to arrest me for a minute. Connie would send me right back to Oregon if that happened.”


“My employer. Kenzie’s mom.” She placed a hand on the baby’s back. The newborn had settled into a restless sleep and kept squirming. “I’m her nanny.”

Was it her imagination, or did his mouth turn up again in a pleased smile? “Ah, of course. So you’ve recently moved to Durham then?”

“Yeah, I guess so. I promised Connie I’d stay for at least six months. If things go well, I’ll stay on longer.” Durham had certainly upped its appeal with this man.

But no, she wasn’t here to date. Cedric had turned her off relationships for a good, long while. Maybe forever. If her parents couldn’t make it work, what chance did anyone else have?

“I’m glad I could save you from being sacked,” the handsome man said. “I’d hate for you to leave Durham with a sour taste in your mouth. Not all of us hate American tourists.”

She laughed, the twinkle in his eye making her stomach twist. She held out a hand. “I’m sorry, I didn’t even introduce myself. I’m Libby.”

He hesitated a moment, then grasped her hand. Warmth sizzled up her arm. His hands were smooth and his grip strong. “Alex. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“I’m pretty sure the pleasure is mine. You probably saved me from a night in jail.”

“Colin’s a bit intense,” Alex said. He walked over to the throne and picked up the lucky penny. “I believe this belongs to you.”

“No, you keep it.” Libby tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and smiled. “Consider it payment for saving me.”

He laughed and stuck the penny in his breast pocket, then patted it. “I consider it money well earned.”

“Seriously, thanks again.” She motioned to where Colin had disappeared. “Are you his boss or something?”

Alex inclined his head to the side. “Or something.”

Were all Durham men this cryptic? She blinked, breaking the spell his voice seemed to weave over her. “Well, I really appreciate it.” The silence stretched between them, an awkward pause that she wasn’t quite sure how to fill. She felt drawn to Alex in a way that made her both exhilarated and uncomfortable all at once. “If you’ll point me in the direction of the exit, I’ll go before I end up breaking a priceless treasure or something. That’d be the perfect end to my day.”

He motioned toward the crown jewel exhibit. “You don’t want to finish the tour?”

“I think it’s probably safest if I don’t.”

“You deserve your thirty euros worth just as much as the next person. I promise that no one will bother you if you’re with me. I’d hate for you to leave without seeing everything.”

Dang. She really, really, really wanted to take him up on his offer. But Cedric flashed into her mind, tangled together with the yoga instructor. “It’s okay, really. Honestly, it’s a relief not to listen to Stan anymore.”