Hold On To Me

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A simple ride

Bella.

I couldn't stop smiling as Prince Matteo had walked me back towards my room before the sun had begun to rise. The clouds in the distance had begun to brighten. His large warm hand had held mine over the uneven ground and when he had stumbled but I had pulled him upright. For the second time I had laughed at him. A full belly laugh that left my cheeks aching. This time he had chuckled with me. When he had helped me climb the trellis I could feel his eyes on my back side. I climbed and sat on the ledge of my window legs dangling out. He was still holding the trellis. His eyes locked to my lips for what felt like minutes but may have been seconds. His face only inches from mine. I had thought he was going to kiss me. To lean forwards and put his lips to mine. Instead he had obviously changed his mind. Giving me a cheeky grin before telling me to behave. Then he was gone. Sleep had come easily. My dreams had been exciting. Mostly involving a certain prince.

I shower washing over my body and cupping my breast remembering Matteo had seen a large glimpse of it. How my nipple had hardened but I had hid it beneath my arm as I covered myself.

I dress in a loose fitting summer dress. Off the shoulder with ruffles and a large amount of material around my breasts and down my arms to my wrists. A flowing black skirt down to the floor covering my brown sandals. A brown belt pulling some of the material in at my waist.

Finn is already waiting to lead me down to the dining room where everyone will be having breakfast this morning. I walk inside and everyone stands from their seats with a small bow of their head. It is Alessandro to leave his chair quickly as Matteo looks like he is about to but stops himself.

"Let me help you to your seat." He says taking my hand and leading me to the empty chair next to him. A stunning blonde haired lady sat at his other side. Matteo sat across from me with a woman looking almost identical sitting next to him.

"Thank you Alessandro." I say as he pulls out my chair and pushes it in as I sit down.

"I hope your first night here wasn't too much Isabella?" Corrina asks sitting at the head of the table beside Caleb who is too busy eating his fruit. It would be rude in my palace but I like that he is so informal.

"It was wonderful. Thank you."

"Lovely. So i assume you are not too tired to join Alessandro for the ride?" She looks at Alessandro. I turn looking up at him confused but he smiles. "He said you accepted his offer of taking a trot this morning? I did say you may be tired but I am glad you'll get to see the grounds. I remember you saying how fond you are of horses and animals."

"Yes of course. It had slipped my mind that I had agreed." I reply politely to the queen before kicking Alessandro beneath the table. He obviously wasn't expecting it as he jumped. His knee coming up beneath the table with a thud and making it bounce with some force. The lady beside Alessandro, drink gets knocked over spilling juice and she squeals about her dress.

I grab my napkin reaching over and placing it on the spilt juice before it could reach her chair. Everyone seems to still, especially Alessandro who I lean over very indecently. A waiter comes over apologising profusely. I hear Alessandro muttering something that I don't understand.

"Please don't worry. Spilt juice will come out and no one's dress was damaged. Just maybe a bruised knee." I say sitting down and squaring my shoulders as I smile while taking a sip of my drink. "Maybe you should have your knee looked at before you consider riding this morning Alessandro. One can never be too careful."

The king fakes a cough hiding his hoarse chuckle. The queen is blatantly smiling behind her pristine china cup and Matteo beams at his brother.

"Don't worry Bella. I have bumped my knee many times and it has never stopped me from riding what I want."

Corrina coughs. "Thank you. Alessandro." Blinking rather rapidly and giving him a stern eye even as she smiles.

I chuckle looking down at picking up a piece of melon on my fork. Deciding to eat and remain out of poking the prince. It isn't until everyone is in conversation that Alessandro leans towards me. Speaking so only I can hear him.

"You've got a bite. I should remember that."

I turn, our faces not even an inch apart. His beautiful hazel eyes with those green specks. "Maybe you should before you find a way to gain what you want."

"You wished me good luck. So what concludes is me doing exactly that. Luck was in my favour and i doubted you would say i had lied to my mother." His eyes hold the glint of mischief and challenge. His hazel eyes sparkling with the idea he has won something.

"Don't count your horses too soon prince. People who fight with fire usually end up getting burnt."

Once breakfast is finished and I have finished talking with those that are leaving this morning. I have worked out the two blondes must be twins. One has a longer face and another rounder but they must be twins. They speak with the princes keeping them busy.

It isn't until I make excuses and excuse myself that Alessandro catches up with me. Finn lifts a brow but more with a hint of a smile than I had expected.

"Do you plan on getting changed or shall I have a side saddle fitted for you?"

I sigh realising he has won this one. "A side saddle would be great. Shall i meet you there?"

"No need. Let's go shall we." It isn't a question as he takes my arm placing it through his. Just for extra measure as though I might try to run. He sits his other hand onto mine. "We wouldn't want to risk one of us suddenly becoming injured."

"How is your knee? That sounded like quite a thud." I bite my lip.

"O it was but no worry. Something so small couldn't hurt me." He is being sarcastic about the difference between our height. I want to bite but I hold back. We arrive at the stables and Finn stands watching us.

"Finn, I will remain on palace grounds."

"Of course. I shall wait for your return." He nods checking my neck for my necklace he gave me. I run my fingers over it with a smile.

He will never have to worry about not finding me unless I was to have this ripped off which would be rather difficult. Is it wrong being tracked? Probably but if it means i am safe and he doesn't worry. Then i'll do it. Wait does that mean he knows i left my room last night? I look at him and find him half grinning. The light that came on? I chuckle, shaking my head earning me a sidelong glance from Alessandro who is preparing Zeus his black stallion.

A smaller horse but just as beautiful is walked towards me. Brown fur. Her tail hair is dark almost black. The stable man comes towards me with a step but Alessandro stops him.

"No need. Here let me help you." He sounds sincere rather than flirting. His hands went to my hips and lifted me from the floor and onto the saddle. It isn't until i am on the horse he seems to realise where his hands are. His hands don't fall away but his eyes travel up to mine. "Erm. Is that comfortable?"

"Yes, thank you." I reply. His hands come away and he swings himself up and onto Zeus with ease. With elegance and obvious practice.

"She is beautifully trained and with you being perfectly capable she will trot happily along with you."

A trot? So boring. But I nod and allow him to lead us out the stables. I smile once more to Finn over my shoulder who gives me a slight incline of his head. The horses trotted as trained to do so. After we clear the first field and through into another which slowly rises to the top of a hill.

"Shall we take a break at the top?" He asks and I nod. He climbs off Zeus and before I have a chance he is taking a hold of me again helping me down from my horse. "Are you not enjoying yourself?"

"I didn't say that."

"You didn't have to. What is it?" He asks his hands still on my waist though my feet are firmly on the ground.

"Ok." I take his hands in both of mine, removing them from my waist. I turn around and unbuckle the straps on my horse. "What is her name?"

"Lady." He says quietly I turn, giving him a disappointed look. His horse and Matteo's have such strong names yet this beauty is expected to have that. She is expected to be a lady. "What are you doing?"

"What does it look like prince? I am freeing her." I smile as I stroke her now free back. The saddle on the floor. Walking round to face her. Her large forehead going against mine like we have an understanding. She knows she is safe with me. "Are you ready to really ride?" I ask her and not Alessandro which he seems to understand as he doesn't respond.

I walk back around wrapping my hand in her thick hair being careful not to pull too hard. With a gentle pull and a big jump I manage to swing myself and the material of my dress up onto her. She moves unsure for a moment but I pat her side gently whispering words of reassurance. Then moving and making my dress comfortable beneath me so my thong won't be on show any moment along with my ass.

"This is how you ride young prince." I smile at him before giving Lady a tap. She takes off and we only gain speed as she runs free.

Alessandro climbs onto his horse calling after me. He will catch up. Zeus is strong and built for speed but Lady is going to run free. So that is what I let her do. Lead me rather than be led. Alessandro catches up with effort.

"Are you always so reckless?" He asks but doesn't look angry?

"I am more likely to be run over by a car walking in the towns then I am for her to hurt me. Have you never ridden bareback?"

He laughs. "Depends which you are asking. But no to both counts."

I roll my eyes at his rude words but still smile and blush. I wonder how many women he has been inside of? Does his experience mean he would be good? Those lean toned legs wrapped either side of Zeus give the impression he'd be powerful.

"Well maybe you should try it. With Zeus I mean. He is so wonderfully tempered yet you hold him back. Weigh him down. Give him a chance and just let go." I say letting go of Lady and putting my arms up in the air.

"What are you doing? Hold on for christ sake Bella." He urges in a concerned voice but I laugh and give Lady another tap with my foot. She begins to speed up again and I keep my arms up with complete confidence in her. "Fuck. Bella." He kicks and Zeus keeps up with us easily.

"Try it Alessandro. Just let go. Trust him not to lead you into harm." To my surprise he shakes his head but finally lets go and places his hands onto his thick thighs.

Digging his fingers in. Nervous of what might happen and hating the lack of control. When he looks at me and notices me watching. He rolls his eyes but I see the smile spread across his lips.

"You called me a young prince. I am seven years older than you. If my education is correct you are one of the youngest princesses of legal age to marry at the moment. That isn't already engaged."

"You are correct. It seems in the past few generations kings and queens are having boys. Over the age of eighteen there is only me and princess Sofia of Greece at the moment eligible. The others are in negotiations, engaged or soon to be of age."

"You've done your research. Does that mean you have also looked into eligible princes?" He gives me a wink and I shake my head. Fool. Yet I smile as I look the other way. I must be a fool too because these italian princes are setting standards so high for others they'll need to learn to climb.

"There aren't many that would fit the criteria I am looking for. Prince Sebastion of France and Henry of England do." A prince willing to rule my kingdom and leave his behind. So one with a brother already in position to rule their own lands.

"You didn't include me and my brother in that. Who would also be one of the best allies you have." He sounds almost frustrated.

I decided to wind him up further. "Well Sebastian is closer to my age and Henry is the oldest. So if it went on the idea of maturity it would be Henry. Or someone closer in age it would be Sebastian. You and Matteo obviously are somewhere in that."

"Is that right?" He smiles now knowing I have been winding him up. "When will you be getting married?"

I bite my lip considering how much I say. Is it wise to reveal everything but does it hurt to? Father always works with holding cards close to your chest and then throwing it all down in one go. It shocks the people and they dislike it. They have no involvement whereas I plan to lead differently. I only hope my country is still intact to rule.

"I will spend two months here whilst hopefully our armies can control the rebellion. When I return, my coronation will be a month later, it's being announced in the next few weeks. If i do not have a suitor before my coronation, my father will arrange one for the month following."

His hands grab the reins and he pulls Zeus to a sudden stop. "You cannot be serious? Yes of course my parents want me to marry a royal but if i didn't they would be ok with it. They would make everything ok. What about you being happy?"

"Was your parents' marriage not arranged?" I pull lady to a stop and gently stroke the side of her neck.

He nods. "Yes but their parents gave them over a year to get to know one another to see if it was what they wanted. It was my father who proposed and not because he was told to. They still had over eight months of their time. They fell in love and he knew he had to have her."

"Maybe so will I. It isn't anything to be concerned about anyway. I have two months to impress prince Henry and his british accent." I laugh patting Lady again as we take off. Alessandro chases us down but Lady weaves around keeping Zeus at her tail. Winding up the young stallion and whenever I look round Alessandro's eyes are trained on me. A wide smile on his face.

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