Stay

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 73

"He said different things in different ways, and it caught her imagination. He was everything she'd ever dreamed, so simply unordinary."
~Atticus


Annalise

One month later…

I sat in my office after finally being allowed back to work when the palace specifically requested that I help organize Will's coronation. By the palace, I mean Patty, but Will and Queen Lillian fully supported the idea. I'd never planned a coronation before, so I talked to Patty and Queen Lillian often, gathering ideas for how it would pan out. I researched past coronations, recent ones, and even those from foreign countries.

During some more of my research, someone knocked on my door and poked their head in. "May I come in?"

"Yes, what can I do for you?" I asked, glancing up briefly. I did a double-take at the sight of Will standing in my doorway, dressed in sharp casual wear. I couldn't help the smile of appreciation from spreading across my face.

Will took notice.

"I should wear a leather jacket more often," he said, grinning cheekily.

"Yes, you should," I agreed, leaning back in my chair. "It's times like these when I wish the public did know about us because I would show you just how much I love your outfit."

"We could always-"

"After your coronation."

Will sighed. "It was worth a shot."

"What are you doing here?" I asked. He shut the door and sat across from me. "You know, people are going to become suspicious about why you're always coming over here, especially with your flimsy excuses."

"They're not flimsy!"

I cocked an eyebrow at him. "Last week, you came because you were in the neighborhood and wanted to see if I needed anything from the store. The week before that, you supposedly forgot your phone and came to tell me our dinner reservations had to be changed because one of Mia's classes got pushed to a later time, despite your phone being quite evident in your pocket. The week before that, you-"

"Okay, okay, I get the picture," Will interrupted. "I'll become a better liar. If it helps, I really did come here with a serious question. I need your help deciding which of these invitations to choose from. I like them both and need a second opinion."

Will placed two familiar cards on the table, both black, but one had silver lettering while the other had gold. I picked them up, studied them, and said, "You do know I created these, right?"

"Yes, and you're incredible at your job because I can't choose which one I like more."

"Hmm… I'm partial to the silver, but that's because I like the color more," I admitted, setting them back down. "However, since we have gold in our flag, I believe you should go with the gold. The silver font I like better, too, so maybe we could use that instead of the current gold one. What do you think?"

"I like the sound of that."

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Are you saying that because you actually agree, or would you agree to anything I said?"

"A little bit of both," Will confessed, taking the cards. "I did want to ask if there's any way we could incorporate our country's colors more. I want it to be patriotic."

"I did consider mixing up the envelope colors to be purple, green, and gold, and use stamps with our flag on it. I meant to run the idea by you, but some other things came up that took priority. Does that sound okay, though?"

"Sounds perfect! You're going to do an amazing job with this celebration," Will said sincerely.

"Anyone coming from a country whose flag is composed of the Mardi Gras' colors should know how to plan an awesome celebration," I replied. "Or, in my case, a coronation."

Will shrugged. "They're one and the same for me."

"On a different note-" I began, slowly rubbing my foot up the inside of his leg, grinning when he jumped at the contact- "are you ready for your birthday dinner tonight?"

"If you keep doing that, we won't make it to the dinner," he responded, catching my foot. "Most nights, I wouldn't mind if that happened. However, tonight's a big night for us."

"It is. You ready for the inundation of questions?""

"Born ready. Literally. I was trained on how to answer questions from the time I could talk," Will said. "What time do you get off work?"

"I was going to leave after I finished this email, but then you walked in and distracted me. Not that I'm complaining," I said, glancing at the clock. "Give me five minutes, though, and I'll be ready."

Will reclined in his chair, allowing me to finish my work. I'm pretty sure he fell asleep for those few minutes, judging by the soft snoring.

Sending the last email, I stood up and stretched before grabbing my purse. Despite saying his name multiple times in an attempt to wake him up, Will continued to sleep. Trying a different tactic, I poked him on the nose. Will jumped up, exclaiming, "I'm awake!"

"Are you not sleeping?" I queried, placing a concerned hand on his arm.

"Not as much as I'd like. I'm stressing over this coronation speech," he said as we walked out of the building, garnering awestruck stares from my coworkers. "I could've hired someone to write it, but I feel like that's cheating. I want what I say to the people to come from me."

"It'll be great; I know it will!" I assured as we entered the elevator. "If you need anyone to read over it, or edit it, you have so many people in your corner willing to help."

"I know I do." Will kissed my forehead. "There are cameras in here. Otherwise, I'd be kissing you here."

He tapped his finger on my lips.

"Guess we'll have to wait until my apartment," I said, sighing. We stepped apart as the elevator doors opened. We strolled to my apartment, updating each other on our day, and talking like it was the easiest thing in the world. We kept a conservative distance between the two of us to avoid any of the lurking paparazzi from snapping photos and spreading rumors about us. Although those rumors would be true, Will and I didn't want our relationship public quite yet. We still enjoyed the quietness of it.

As we were about to open the door, Mia came bursting out, highly flustered. James and Will grabbed us before we knocked our heads into each other.

"Anna!" Mia chirped. "We were just leaving for Donaldson's. We'll see you there?"

"No, I'm going to skip Will's birthday and eat ice cream by myself," I replied.

She stuck her tongue out. "It was a rhetorical question. We'll see you there."

Will and I watched Mia and James run down the hallway to the elevator. When the doors shut, I asked, "You think they know we know?"

"Nope," Will said.

"Think they know about us?"

"Not a chance."

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.