When they made it back to his car, Daniel was champing at the bit to spoil Amelia with his picnic. While they were in the pottery shop, he’d texted Nick to set up the picnic under an umbrella. The sun was at its peak, and he didn’t want Amelia to burn. He’d found Billy’s comment about her time in high school interesting. He knew foster kids didn’t always have the best of home circumstances. Many of them bounced homes because of issues. He knew she’d been at one home for ten years, so he figured it was a good home situation. Now he wanted to know about her time with the Naustin family. He hadn’t been impressed with them when he’d asked for her contact information. Mrs. Naustin glared and told him in a nasty tone that Amelia had disappeared and never once contacted them to say thank you for caring for her. She’d made Amelia out to be ungrateful and a pain to care for.
“Prince Daniel?” Her voice pulled him from his thoughts.
“I thought I told you just Daniel,” he reminded her and brought her hand up to kiss her knuckles. Her wide-eyed stare always made him want to do it again to her.
“Da… Daniel, where are we eating?” she asked, and he gestured with his head toward the beach. She gave him a confused look, and he laughed. God, it felt good to laugh.
“Let’s pause at the car and put these in then we are having a picnic on the beach,” he explained and her eyes lit up with excitement. Nick had been right about taking her to the beach. Her reactions over the smallest things pleased him.
“Come on.” He tugged on her hand, quickening their pace to the car. He was genuinely excited to see if she enjoyed what he picked out yesterday. She chuckled and let him pull her along. Quickly but carefully placing her platters in the car, he hurried her over to the place where Nick set everything up. Walking over the edge of the dunes, he heard her gasp. He smiled seeing the large beach picnic set up. A huge blanket sat under an umbrella, with the picnic basket he’d painstakingly packed with care.
“Daniel,” she sighed and he couldn’t resist, he pulled her into his arms and hugged her tight to his body.
“This is so sweet,” she gushed and leaned up to kiss him. He let her keep the kiss light and walked her over to the blanket. Looking around, he could see Nick and Alex settled far enough down the beach they couldn’t hear but could intervene. Thanks to it being the end of April, not too many people were at the beach.
“We never finished our game of twenty questions,” he told her as they settled under the umbrella. The breeze ruffled her skirts, making her have to hold them down as they sat.
“True, we got here before we were done. Give me your next question,” she replied and reached to empty the basket. He stayed her with his hand, and explained,
“I want to serve you today.” He could tell she didn’t know what to say to that.
“Okay next question, favorite movie?” Daniel switched gears, pulling things out of the basket.
“Easy any movie from the Harry Potter franchise.” Daniel looked up to see her waiting for him to laugh.
“Even though they portray werewolves wrong?” he asked, and she nodded.
“What about you?” she asked, taking the homemade sandwich from him.
“Hmm, I like the Fast and the Furious movies.” His answer got a laugh out of her.
“I should’ve known. Everyone knows you enjoy racing cars,” she replied, and he frowned.
“I didn’t think of it like that. Most perfect date?”
“Well, this has been my top,” she answered, and he smiled.
“Okay, where would you like to go next? What places were you not able to go to growing up?” He wanted to slowly pry open the doors on her time as a foster kid. He could sense she hated talking about it.
“Maybe the zoo or a theme park,” she answered, and he filed it away for future reference.
“What about you?” He watched her bite into a ripe strawberry and groaned. He wanted her mouth on him like that.
“I’ve been to a theme park once, they cleared it out for the day and Nick and I got to run around all the rides on our own. I’ve never been to one packed with people,” he replied.
“That sounds lonely in its own way,” she replied, he didn’t know if she knew that her comment revealed a lot about her.
“Was being a teen lonely?” he asked and he could see the hesitation in her eyes.
“I want you to know that you are my mate. The second I saw you again standing in the throne room, I knew it. Your eyes have been in every daydream I’ve had as a kid and adult. I’ve searched for you for a very long time. As soon as I turned twenty-one, I’ve had people out looking for you. There was something about you that day that has never left me. I want you to know I am in this for the long haul. I want you to be my princess and future luna queen of our country,” he told her, taking her hand in his and bringing it up to kiss her ring finger.
“My wolf knew the minute you cleared your throat in the throne room you were our mate. I am scared my past will be a deal-breaker for us. Unlike so many foster kids, I have no idea where I come from. They dropped me at the orphanage when I was two with nothing but my name and a pile of clothing along with a stuffed wolf. I don’t know who I am,” she whispered and without hesitation, he pulled her into his lap and kissed her hard on the mouth. He didn’t like the sadness he heard in her voice. He knew who she was, she was his mate. Releasing her mouth, he put his forehead against hers.
“I don’t care about your background. When a wolf finds his mate, all that matters is they are mates,” he explained, wrapping her up in a tight hug.
“You are unbelievable. I cannot believe my mate is you,” she whispered and pressed a small kiss to his forehead.
“I won’t push you into coming back to the capital with me. I want to get to know you before we introduce you to society. When we do, you will not have a private life anymore. I worry you will feel it isn’t worth it and leave me,” he admitted and was surprised at how easy she was to talk to. He wanted to spill everything in his past with her and have her do the same.
“One day I will tell you about living with the Naustin family, but today I’d like to just spend time with you kissing me and having fun,” she shared and he gave her a lopsided grin.
“I can do that,” he agreed and kissed her. She opened her mouth for his tongue and let him lay her down on the blanket. He straddled her luscious body, mating his tongue with hers. She gave off a soft moan, and his wolf rumbled in his chest.
“You feel amazing underneath me,” he whispered in her ear, nipping gently. Her shudder spurred him on and his hand found her breast. She gasped and wrapped her arms around his neck, lifting her mouth back to capture his. His tongue danced with hers, he was addicted to her and couldn’t get enough. The only thing holding him back from mating her here and now as they were in public.