“I was thinking window shopping. It isn’t quite lunchtime and the shops will be less crowded now than they will be in the afternoon,” he explained and she nodded her understanding. He was the alpha prince and needed to not cause a stir with his presence.
“Sounds fun. Kylie usually helps me with my wardrobe. She made my dress for today,” Amelia shared, and he slipped his hand up her bare thigh.
“I think you look beautiful, but it isn’t just the dress. You are gorgeous and your eyes have haunted my dreams since I was eleven.” Amelia looked up into his eyes and sucked in a breath.
“Since you were eleven?” she repeated his words, and he nodded. Leaning over the middle console, he kissed her gently. She closed her eyes and let the sensation of his lips cascade over her. His kiss robbed her of all thoughts. Gently, he danced his tongue along the seam of her lips. She let him in and sighed when his tongue tangled with hers. Too soon he was pulling away before the kiss could become too heated.
“I want you but I want to get to know you more,” he whispered against her lips and she gave a small smile.
“That is the sweetest thing I’ve been told in a long time,” she replied and leaned up to peck him on the lips. Before he could grab her she got out of the car and took a deep breath. The fresh salty air hit her nose, and a cool breeze ruffled her hair. Today couldn’t have been a more perfect day to be on the beach. She turned to see Daniel get out of the car and stopped to admire his athletic build. She could tell he stayed in shape with all the sports he played. The breeze blew his hair out of its combed state and she had to squeeze her thighs closed. He was absolutely sexy with his hair disheveled.
“The ocean air agrees with you,” he told her, taking her hand and walking down to the boardwalk.
“I was thinking the same thing,” she answered and he let out a rich laugh.
“So tell me about culinary school?” Daniel asked, tucking her hand in the crook of his elbow. Amelia launched into her time at culinary school and how she worked her way through paying for each semester. They walked past many shops and Amelia could feel the stares as they passed. She was certain none of these shopkeepers had expected the alpha prince to walk through their town. Two-thirds of the way down the boardwalk, she spotted a pottery store. Hesitating, she kept one eye on the shop as Daniel told her about training to be the next king. He stopped their walk and asked,
“Want to go inside?”
“Yes, if you don’t mind. I have a friend from high school who owns this shop. I promised him I’d say hello if I was in town,” she explained, and he frowned.
“We never dated, he is gay,” she quickly added and felt him relax.
“Do you have a lot of exes?” She laughed and shook her head.
“I’m a big girl, no one wanted me in high school. I had two boyfriends through culinary school and neither of them thought enough of me not to cheat,” she explained, turning into the shop.
“Welcome to. ..” her friend Billy trailed off and gasped seeing her.
“Mia!!” he shouted and wrapped her in a tight hug, ignoring Daniel standing next to her.
“Hi, Billy. I finally made it here. How is business?” she asked, keeping her hand in Daniel’s. Billy turned and gaped at her.
“Alpha Prince Daniel.” Billy quickly bowed and took on a more formal tone.
“Nice to meet you, Billy,” Daniel said, holding out his hand.
“How are you with him?” Billy asked with a look of awe on his face. She turned to look at Daniel, unsure what to say.
“Amelia and I met when she was eight and I visited her at the orphanage,” Daniel explained and Amelia’s heart sank a little. He didn’t see her as his mate if he was introducing her as a childhood acquaintance.
“Doesn’t explain why you’re with her now,” Billy pointed out and Amelia groaned. Leave it to Billy to not let the matter drop.
“I made cookies for his sister and we reconnected,” she cut in.
“I see,” Billy replied, lifting an eyebrow.
“Show me around. I want to see what you’ve been up to since high school ceramics class,” she ordered, trying to get them off why they were together again. Amelia felt Daniel tighten his hold of her hand before following her around the shop. Billy’s skill had massively improved, and she’d thought him amazing in high school.
“How is Kylie? Last I heard she was designing clothes,” Billy commented when they’d finished looking at everything.
“We live together. I’m wearing one of her new summer line dresses. She is showing them next week,” Amelia answered, picking up two serving platters that would work perfectly for her to show at trade shows.
“I’ll take these two,” she told him and Billy laughed.
“I knew you would, you always loved blue. I remember the Naustin family being furious when you dyed your hair neon blue.” Billy laughed, and Amelia blushed.
“Only highlights,” she explained, turning to Daniel. He chuckled and handed his card to Billy.
“I’ll get those,” he told Billy, paying for her platters.
“You don’t have too,” she objected and Daniel bent down to place a possessive kiss to her lips.
“I know but I want too,” he told her and she sighed at him. Turning back to her friend, Billy had a smirk on his face.
“Reconnected I see,” he said wiggling his eyebrows at them. Amelia blushed and glared at Billy.
“Thank you for making her smile, she didn’t do much of that in high school,” he added and Amelia wanted to kill him. Her time in foster care was over and she didn’t want to think about it ever again. Billy handed Daniel back his card and wrapped her two platters. Handing them to Amelia, she hefted the two heavy platters. Daniel quickly took them from her, holding them on one forearm and taking her hand in the other.
“Nice to meet you, Billy. You do beautiful work,” Daniel praised him, and they walked out of the shop.
“Thank you again,” she told him, pointing to the platters.
“It was my pleasure. What are you going to use them for?”
“I sell cookies at craft fairs and farmer’s markets. It is how I make ends meet when I don’t have custom orders,” she explained as her stomach rumbled. Daniel laughed and turned them back to his car.
“Where are we going?” she asked curious why he was suddenly so excited.
“You’ll see. Let’s put these in the car and move on to the next part of our date,” he replied, and they walked back to the car, a comfortable silence settling between them.