Twisted Games (Twisted 2) - Page 95

I stepped into Rhys’s embrace, and we swayed to the music while I buried my face in his chest and inhaled his clean, comforting scent.

Our dances would always be ours. Secret, private…forbidden.

Part of me cherished the moments that belonged to us alone, but part of me wished we didn’t have to hide. We weren’t a dirty secret. We were the most beautiful thing in my life, and I wanted to share it with the world the way all beautiful things deserved to be shared.

“Where’d you go, princess?” He skimmed his knuckles down my back, and I smiled through the ache in my heart.

He knew me so well.

“I’m right here.” I tilted my face up and kissed him. We took it slow and sweet, exploring each other with the leisure of people who had all the time in the world.

Except we didn’t.

The kiss, the music, the gazebo…it was the perfect moment. But, like all moments, it couldn’t last.

Eventually, it would end, and so would we.

* * *

“Bridget, wake up!”

The next morning, loud pounding roused me from my sleep.

I groaned, my body resisting movement even as my heart involuntarily galloped at the sheer panic in Mikaela’s voice.

“Bridget!” More pounding.

“One moment!” I forced myself out of bed and threw on a dressing gown before I opened the door, taking in Mikaela’s wide eyes and nervous expression. Her skin was paler than usual, making her freckles stand out like a dark constellation across her nose and cheeks.

She lived only a few minutes from the palace, but she wouldn’t be here so early unless it was an emergency.

“What is it?”

Was it the video?

My stomach lurched. God, I should’ve told Rhys yesterday, but I hadn’t wanted to destroy our time at the gazebo, and then…then…

Oh, who was I kidding? I had plenty of time to tell him afterward. I’d just chickened out like a coward, and now, the chickens were coming home to roost.

Breathe. Stay calm. You don’t know what’s actually happening yet.

“It’s…” Mikaela hesitated. “Bridge, turn on The Daily Tea.”

TheDaily Tea was a celebrity news and entertainment media company that included the country’s most-read magazine and one of its most-watched television stations. Some considered it trashy, but it had a huge audience.

Mikaela followed me to the sitting room, where I picked up the remote with shaky hands and turned on the TV.

“…reports Princess Bridget is in a relationship with her bodyguard, an American contractor named Rhys Larsen.” The Daily Tea host’s voice trembled with excitement. “Larsen has been by her side since her senior year at the prestigious Thayer University in the U.S., and suspicions about their relationship have abounded for years…”

For years? That was, for lack of better words, utter bull crap. Rhys and I hadn’t even liked each other years ago.

I watched, disbelief searing through me, as candid pictures of us flashed on-screen with the host’s voiceover commentary. Us walking down the street with Rhys’s hand on my lower back—to steer me around a puddle when I wasn’t looking, if I remembered correctly. Rhys helping me out of the car at a charity gala while our eyes locked onto each other. Me standing a little too close to him at an outdoor event a few months ago, but only because it was freezing and I needed the body warmth.

All innocent moments that, framed in a certain way and captured at a certain second, made them look like more than they were.

Then the more damning photos surfaced. Rhys glaring at Steffan during our ice-skating date, looking for all the world like a jealous boyfriend. Him pressing me against the car in the parking lot of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Us leaving the hotel where we’d spent that one glorious afternoon, our heads bent close together.

How the hell had someone captured those pictures? Other than the ice rink, we hadn’t spotted any paparazzi following us. Then again, we’d been distracted—horribly so.

On the bright side, there was no mention of the sex tape. If The Daily Tea had gotten their hands on it, it would be the only thing they talked about.

“Is this true?” Mikaela asked, her eyes huge. “Tell me it’s not true.”

“They’re just pictures,” I deflected.

I breathed a little easier. Only a little, because it was still a huge mess, but it was fixable. They didn’t have the video. “We can—”


Mikaela and I exchanged wide-eyed glances as my grandfather’s bellow thundered down the hall.


* * *

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