Beneath the Crown

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Chapter 20

Ash

He looks so relaxed, I thought as we sat on the big black blanket. His mood lifted from when I saw him in the hall, and his eyes held a light in them.

The way he looked at me, however, made my stomach roar to life with butterflies every time our eyes met.

“There is nothing wrong with a boring life. Some can only dream of it.”

“There is nothing wrong with an exciting life either. Every day is different, new and unexpected.”

“Yes, I imagine that is what it would be like.”

I moved my legs out from under me when a pain shot through my knee and stretched them out.

“You don’t have to imagine. You’re a king, how much more exciting can life get.”

“I fear that your idea of what life as a king is like is incorrect. Every moment of my life is scheduled. Every step I take is watched by guards, and every word I say outside of these walls must be carefully selected. There is nothing exciting about being me, I assure you.”

“You know what they say about the grass,” I said and looked down at my legs.

“The grass?” He asked with a confused tone.

“Yeah. You know, that the grass is always greener on the other side. But that’s only because it has more shit in the soil.”

When I met his eyes, he laughed.

At his pure and natural chuckle, I couldn’t help but smile, “You’ve never heard that saying?

He took a breath to calm himself, “No I have not. That is the most accurate statement I have ever heard. Do you have any more?”

“Umm,” I said thinking about all the sayings we used on a daily basis back home, “A fish out of water. That’s kind of how I feel, to be honest.”

“Are you suffocating?”

I laughed, “No. It means that I am in a place I don’t know. A place I don’t belong. Like a fish out of water.”

I met his eyes then, and I could see he wanted to say something but he held it back. I thought about a few more, “A knight in shining armor.”

He nodded, “I understand that one.”

“A man after my own heart,” I said and bit my lip as I looked at him.

“A woman makes the man,” he said with a smile.

“What does that mean?”

“That it is a woman that makes a man the best version of who he can be.”

“I like that.”

He shifted in his place to lay down with his arms behind his head. His body moved under his shirt and as I ran my eyes over him, I bit my lip when I noticed that the shirt had crept up his stomach. I could see the toned lines of his six-pack, his hip bones just above the pants, and the little dark hairs heading down to places I shouldn’t think of.

I realized I was staring when he cleared his throat and my eyes shot up to his. One brow raised, a smile on his face, he licked his lips and looked down at what I had been gawking at.

My face turned red and I shut my eyes, “Sorry,” I breathed out and dropped my head into my hands.

Nice one Ash! I bet he can just smell the desire oozing out of your eyes.

“Don’t be,” He said with a smile in his voice, “If ever you want to see more, just ask.”

I didn’t move my hands from my face as I mumbled through my fingers, “I’m good. I can just picture the rest for myself.”

As my words left my lips, I realized what I had said. I moaned with utter mortification and dropped my head onto my legs.

His chuckles made me feel like running away.

What the hell has gotten into you woman!

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