Barefoot Bay: Castle in the Sand (Kindle Worlds Novella) (12 page)

BOOK: Barefoot Bay: Castle in the Sand (Kindle Worlds Novella)
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She dropped her head so he wouldn’t see her tears, but he knew. He already knew she was crying.

“Let me change out of my suit and we can take a walk.” Looking at his security, he snarled, “Alone. We’re going alone.”

“Majesty, I must insist…”

“You can insist all you like, but I’m taking Miss DeMarco out alone. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.” The security agent bowed his head in deference, and Josie noticed some subtle differences between the exchange now and the one the other night. Something had changed.

Drawing her hands to his lips, he kissed her softly. “Don’t cry,
mon ange
. I promise it’s going to be all right.”

She watched as he disappeared into the house, Lucky right on his heels. Nick was pacing and growling like a bear. Lila was watching him, like…like she was
interested.

“Sir.” One of Tony’s security officers stood next to her brother. “I have to search you. To make sure you aren’t armed.”

“You’re not touching me, pretty boy.”

“Sir, I must insist. You did just threaten to kill His Majesty.”

“You and
His Majesty
can fu…”

“Nick! Do as you are told,” Josie snapped.

Her brother lifted his arms and snarled. Just like a dog. He hadn’t changed a bit.

It was Tony who was different. It was subtle, but something about him had changed since he left two days ago.

“You aren’t going to marry him, are you?” Lila asked. “Any man who up and leaves like that can’t be trusted.”

“It wasn’t ideal, but he did have a good reason.”

Tony emerged from the house in a pair of shorts, an untucked button down shirt, and bare feet. He looked gorgeous in his Ray Ban aviators, and when he took Josie by the hand, she went with him without a second thought.

“Watch yourself,
Your Highness
. That’s my sister,” Nick snapped.

“You’ll be able to take as many shots at me as you like as soon as we get back. Until then, stand down.”

Oh. Boy.

Without another word, Tony walked her down the beach. “I can’t believe you rendered him speechless,” she said.

“It’s only temporary. He’ll be running his mouth shortly.”

Josie giggled. “Did you just say ‘running his mouth’?”

Smiling down at her, he nodded. “Your doing, no doubt.”

Josie loved that he was becoming part of her world, but his world was still unknown, and a bit scary. “I was having the most horrible thoughts while you were gone. I kept remembering what you said. To have faith.”

“I needed to hear your voice. I hear you speak and my whole day goes better. Technology isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I guess.”

“I wish I’d been there with you. Is he all right?”

“I know. And I should have explained things better. When palace security came, I knew my father was very ill. But on the way to the airport they told me his heart stopped twice.”

“Oh, no. But he’s going to be okay?”

“He will, in time. But Josie…” He paused, taking off his sunglasses and turning her to face him. “He abdicated. The day after his heart attack. The documents were signed at his bedside by the Prime Minister.”

It took a second for Josie to process what he said. “Oh, my God. Does that mean that you’re King?”

“Only if you will accept me in that role. We have everyone’s blessing to marry, but becoming Queen will change your life in ways you can’t imagine. So this is your call, Josie. Tell me.”

How did she get in the position of having to choose? Of course she wanted to be with him, and she wanted him to be happy.
But Queen
?

He must have noticed her hesitation. “Josie, I want to be with you. If you want me to renounce my title so we can live a more normal life, I will.”

He would give up everything on her say so. She meant that much to him. How could she not be willing to do the same? “I love you, Anton. I’m so glad you’re back.”

“So what do you say, Josie? Nothing will be right if you’re not there with me.”

“I’ll be there,” she whispered. “I will be there.”

The celebratory
whoop!
was followed by spinning her in a circle. “I love you, Josie. We’re going to have an amazing life.”

“Your family is okay with me?”

“More than okay. My mother can’t wait to meet you. Same with my sister.”

“And your father?”

Tony smiled, his own tears threatening. “He wishes us every happiness.”

Three days ago, they were talking about where they might live. Just two weeks before that, he walked back into her life and her heart started beating again. Now Josie looked at the man standing at the edge of the beach, one foot in the water, one foot on land. One part of him promising adventure, the other stability.

“So, are you ready? There won’t be any privacy, our time won’t be our own, we’ll be scrutinized by the press, the public, and politicians. But we’ll meet amazing people, travel to beautiful places, and be a voice for those who need someone to fight for them. But I’m going to say this again. The choice is yours. Just say the word and I’ll renounce.”

His beautiful face promised her the world. He was kind, strong, brilliant. There was no contest. “I’m going to make a lot of mistakes,” she said. “I’ll screw up. Will you be by my side the whole way? Because if you’re there, I believe we can do anything.”

“Of course I’ll be there,” he said. “We’re in this together.”

Pulled into his arms, Josie felt safe. Loved. Happy. “Yes, I’ll marry you, Anton.”

Holding her tight, Anton smiled against her lips. “You need to pack. We have a lot of happily ever after’s to get to, Your Highness.”

“Yes, my love, we do.”

 

THE END

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

When Roxanne St. Claire invited me to be part of the launch of her Barefoot Bay Kindle World, I was thrilled beyond measure and so unbelievably flattered. Rocki and I became friends through our mutual adoration of Jamie Fraser, the Highlander from the book
Outlander
, but I’ve been a fan of her work, particularly the Barefoot Bay books, for quite a while
.
To say I fangirled after she invited me would be an understatement.

Castle in the Sand
is a wonderful reunion story that brings European royalty to Mimosa Key. Reunited with the woman he loved, but thought he could never have, Prince Anton has to convince our lovely Josie that she should take a chance on him again. Not an easy thing to do when Josie’s been burned by the handsome aristocrat once before. It’s a wonderful story with lots of laughter and tears. I hope you enjoy it.

This is my first self-publishing effort, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of all the other Barefoot Bay Kindle World authors, and the incredible team who helped me get this book done. My editor, Lisa Stone Hardt, put me through my paces with this story. Never have I seen such detailed feedback. But her comments were always on point, and she innately understood me as an author. It doesn’t get any better than that. I’m eternally grateful for her patience, her expertise, and most of all her friendship. My cover designer, Lee Hyat, has given
Castle in the Sand
a stunning cover that evokes the romance inside. She captured the book perfectly. Finally, my copy editor and friend, Jennifer Gracen, has helped me polish this book to a sparkly shine. I don’t know if I can adequately express how much I appreciate you.

As always, it takes a village, and I thank all my wonderful writer friends from Long Island Romance Writers for talking me off multiple ledges. You ladies are the best. Lastly, thank you to the Moonpies the best group of readers EVER.

I hope you enjoy your trip to Barefoot Bay and I wish you all many happy ever afters. As always, you can connect with me on social media (I love to hear from my readers!) on my website
http://jeanniemoon.com.

 

Best always,

Jeannie xo

 

 

About the Author

 

Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs and lives in her hometown on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.

 

Books by Jeannie Moon

 

Until You

This Christmas

Finding Christmas

His Forbidden Princess

 

The Forever Love Stories

The Temporary Wife

Unexpectedly Yours

The Wedding Secret

The Second Chance Hero

The Boyfriend List

Because I Love You

BOOK: Barefoot Bay: Castle in the Sand (Kindle Worlds Novella)
5.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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