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Authors: Trudi Torres

Royal Bachelor

BOOK: Royal Bachelor
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Royal Bachelor

 

New Adult Contemporary Romance

(A Sexy and Fun Read Suitable for Readers over the age of 18)

 

© 2013 Trudi Torres

 

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trudi-Torres/327521007365436

Personal Email:
[email protected]

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/TrudiTorres

 

 

All rights reserved.
 
Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the author.

 

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
 
This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
 
If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person.
 
If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy.
 
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This book is a work of fiction.
 
Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental.
 
The characters and storylines are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Table of Contents

 

Chapter One - Luke

Chapter Two - Alice

Chapter Three – Luke

Chapter Four – Alice

Chapter Five- Luke

Chapter Six - Alice

Chapter Seven - Luke

Chapter Eight - Alice

Chapter Nine - Luke

Chapter Ten - Alice

Chapter Eleven - Luke

Chapter Twelve - Alice

Chapter Thirteen - Luke

Chapter Fourteen - Alice

From the Author - Trudi Torres

 

 

Chapter One - Luke

 

 

“What are you smiling about?”

Luke blinked at his drink and then turned his head to face the speaker, a red-headed girl wearing too much eyeliner. Luke tucked his chin in a polite but distant nod and said, “My mother.”

“Oh, you sweet thing!” Her voice was gravelly with cigarette smoke. She was probably his age but looked nearly twice that, due to smoking or the makeup. Was that hair even her own?

“Is something wrong with her?”

Luke frowned in confusion. “Not really, no.”

The girl lost her pout. Pouting for sympathy? And now she seemed stymied. “So you’re not looking for consolation?”

Now Luke looked at the girl incredulously. “If my mother died, would I be here?”

“Well, sure! To forget for a while and be happy.” The girl stroked the pink shell of his ear with a finger. “You look familiar. Have I seen you before, handsome?”

Luke had to laugh at her audacity instead of squirming that she might recognize him. She wouldn’t—and even if she did, she wouldn’t believe it. But Luke knew that if Lucilla died, his world would grind to a halt.

Trust Alfred to make him sit in a club like this. Luke usually didn’t mind, but tonight it was startling. This girl sounded like she would be a very casual and very easy hook-up.

“If your mom’s doing so well, how about we celebrate?” she asked. The girl flipped her hair, a calculated action that caused her trussed-up tits to bounce in cartoon fashion. “I can increase your happiness. Cloud nine, baby.”

Someone to his right snorted, and then started coughing and sputtering.

The red-headed girl flounced off with a glare, probably expecting Luke to chase her. Instead, Luke turned in his stool to face the girl who’d snorted and was now paying the consequences. He reached out and thumped her on the back.

“Ugh, damn, that went down the wrong pipe,” she said. Unlike the redhead, this one had a deliciously husky voice that went straight to his groin. She was probably a singer. She looked up from her handful of tissues and if Luke had been drinking, it would have been his turn to choke.

Her hair was the complete opposite of the current trend of limp, stick-straight locks. It was an unruly mane of curls and colors that seemed to catch the light. She wore smudged, tortoise-shell glasses which immediately placed her as an alien among the bar’s seedy patrons. The dreary yellow glow of the bar gave her skin a golden hue and for a moment Luke was sure he had encountered an incarnated Rosetti painting, one of the prettier ones that jumped out at you after you’ve stared at it for a while.

It was the quiet beauty that revealed itself to patience and a paintbrush. Light eyes contrasted by thick, black lashes, and pale skin shining against dark hair. But unlike the haughty women in Rossetti’s art, her lips had a natural upturn, even though she wasn’t smiling.

Or was she?

“What are you staring at? Do I have olive on my face?”

Nope, not smiling, then. She was the only woman in the place wearing a button-down. All the other girls seemed to be stitched in something tight and skimpy. But Luke guessed that this young woman had hidden curves beneath her loose shirt.

“Sorry,” Luke caught himself before he turned to full ogling. “What’s your name?”

She raised an eyebrow. “
Dared-here-by-idiot-friends
. Yours?”

Luke coughed a laugh. “
Kicked-here-by
...” Luke floundered, unwilling to start such a promising conversation on a lie,
“by-a-cousin-because-he’s-got-someone-in-the-house
.”

“Really? But you’re not relegated to this limbo by something as stupid as a dare. Freedom is yours, why aren’t you leaving? Or chasing after Miss Cloud Nine?”

“Who says I want to leave?” Luke said smoothly.

“Oh. You’re that type of guy, huh? This is less
Purgatario
and more
Paradiso
for your type. I thought you were different. Not many guys come here and then smile about their mothers.”

“Perhaps I am bound by chivalry,” Luke countered, trying to salvage his image in front of this muse, “I can protect you from male versions of Miss Cloud Nine.”

She smiled. Luke inwardly wondered what was wrong with him. He felt as though he had eaten something past its sell-by date. Surely a stranger’s smile couldn’t be that effective?

“I’m Alice. Do you read?”

Luke laughed again. She was incredible. “I’m Luke. Yes, I read.”

“You do? Really? Give me names. Right up front, I’ll tell you that if you mention Dan Brown, I’ll have to ask you to move to that stool over there.” She pointed to the recently vacated stool on Luke’s other side.

“Who’s Dan Brown? I read Dickens, Wilkie Collins, C.S. Lewis, Lee Child, some Rushdie—”

“You had me at Dickens.” And then she blushed. It was a spectacular show. Her cheeks and throat bloomed red, like the flash of a sunset. Luke had to stifle the urge to touch her cheeks to see how hot they were. “I mean, OK, good, we can talk.” She adjusted her glasses over her nose, as if to hide behind them. She also sipped her drink and grimaced at it.

“Are you a snob, then?” Luke signaled the barkeep and asked for a Nuts and Berries for the lady. Alice’s eyes narrowed a little, as if in disapproval, but she didn’t protest.

“In this place and context, yes I suppose I am a snob. I don’t want to waste time on someone I’ll regret meeting.”

“And you will regret meeting someone who reads Dan Brown, will you?”

“Well, someone who reads Dan Brown and doesn’t think his writing is a waste of paper and ink.”

“I see. Then, we share abhorrence for mediocre writers. If they’ll be immortalized on paper, they have to deserve it.”

She grinned. “OK, I’m impressed, but beyond this barstool I’m not really a snob, so you don’t have to talk like that. I acknowledge your credibility and you are free to talk like a normal person.”

“Normal persons don’t use the words ‘abhorrence’, perchance?”

She laughed. “I’ve never heard perchance in conversation before! Stop it. It’s creepy.”

Her drink arrived. She tasted it and raised her eyebrows but that was all. He knew that drink tasted divine: a mixture of hazelnut liquor balanced by sweet forest berries in cream. It was preternatural nectar, inspired by ancestors living off the simple delights of the land. Yet she only raised her eyebrows. Luke found himself smiling with interest. Gods, she was hard to please.

Chapter Two - Alice

 

 

She woke up with a headache that was more a nape-ache, a sign of the impending visit from Aunt Flo. Alice wasn’t the sort to whine over a bit of pain, but it definitely soured things when you couldn’t bend and check just where you’d kicked your slippers without having to groan.

She left her slippers wherever they’d ended up and padded barefoot to her small balcony to sniff at her pots of lavender, jasmine and basil. She gave a satisfied sigh and felt better.

And after downing two Tylenol, she felt ready to actually shower and go to work.

At the shower, she found out that Aunt Flo was early.

Or maybe Alice just never got the hang of how to count.

And shit, she didn’t have any tampons left. She was supposed to buy some today.

It was promising to be one of those days where nothing went right.

Ok, now she had to count, right? This came in threes, they said.

One:
no tampons
.

She padded—bow-legged now—back to her bedroom, dug her phone out from the covers and called Rebecca.

“You better be dying, dammit,” came the sweet salutation from her long-time friend.

“Good morning to you too.” Alice bit her lip to stifle a laugh. Rebecca didn’t like to be laughed at in the mornings. Rebecca didn’t like mornings, period. She hated it more than she hated being called Becky. “Do you have any tampons?”

“Do you have any eyebrows?”

“OK. Please, Rebecca, can you come over and give me one?”

Silence.

And then a click.

A minute later, Alice’s kitchen window rattled ominously.

Alice went there with trepidation and with her keys ready to be buried into an invader’s eyes. But it was only Rebecca, glaring at her from the opposite brownstone, still wielding the broom she’d used to rap at Alice’s window.

“You scared me!” said Alice, realizing too late that a rapist probably wouldn’t scale a sheer thirty-foot wall. She dropped her keys on the counter.

Rebecca mouthed, “Open the window.”

Alice obeyed. And then got smacked in the face by a box of tampons.

“Thank you!” Alice shouted, rubbing her nose.

Did getting whacked by tampons on the nose count?

One:
no tampons
. Two:
tampons on the nose
?

But should she count her headache, too? In which case she had nothing more to fear because she already had her three bad things?

On the way to work, she stepped in dog poop.

And then the rush order of fifteen feet of leather-bound books was cancelled. Then it turned out the customer had apparently closed his account so his credit card bounced. Someone had to shoulder the loss, and that someone was usually Alice and her generous grandfather. She’d owe him a weekend visit, but that didn’t matter, pasta and wine with a rambling old man wasn’t so bad.

Alice sighed. Between pasta and her period she was going to have to dig out the fat jeans just to make it through the month.

BOOK: Royal Bachelor
11.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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