Her Royal Bodyguard(5)By: Natasha Moore
Her skin crawled at the thought of any of those men touching her again. Now the man standing in front of her, he was another story. Tingles danced on her skin for an entirely different reason.
Rico had been around the palace for as long as she could remember. She’d had a silly crush on him when she was younger. When he’d been her oldest brother’s best friend. Before everything changed and they’d grown up and she’d come to realize what the royal marriage decree had meant. Rico became one of the many men who’d been forbidden to her.
But not anymore. She let herself look at Rico now as a man. A real man.
He had large hands, long fingers that surely would touch her with finesse, not with immature groping or self-important squeezing. And that mouth. Those lips. What would he taste like? What would his lips feel like if he kissed his way down her body? She’d have nothing to compare it to, but she’d love to know.
She moistened her lips with her tongue. She was certain Rico wouldn’t plant a sloppy kiss on her, shove his tongue between her lips before she’d allowed him that much access to her. She shivered as she let her gaze caress his lips.
Angelina blinked. Rico frowned down on her. What had they been talking about? “I’m sorry? What did you ask?”
“Is there anyone else we should talk to?”
“No. No one.” But now that she thought about it, there were several other members of royalty who’d glared at her at the last gathering, her father’s birthday ball. Some who avoided her or…
“No one,” she repeated. None of her girlfriends who’d broken up with boyfriends had them send armed kidnappers after them, and none of the men Angelina had rejected were more than acquaintances. It was ridiculous. “You’d have more luck questioning my father or brother to get your answers.”
“I will be doing exactly that as soon I know you are safe.”
“I’m safe here at the palace. It was built as fortress. No one is going to get me here.” She was done with this conversation. She wanted to get back in her rooms where she wouldn’t look into his eyes and know she was nothing more than a job to him. Nothing more than a problem to solve. She waved him away. “You are free to go.”
“I am remaining until Tony gets here.” There was that commanding tone and forbidding expression. It shouldn’t have made her feel all shivery.
“You are wasting time you could be spending searching for the person responsible for this.”
His gaze darkened, but it didn’t appear to be in anger. “Your Highness, seeing to your safety is not a waste of time.”
She swallowed. “Oh.”
Could that really be attraction she saw in his eyes? It didn’t creep her out like when Phillip, the Duke of the slimy smile and sweaty hands had undressed her with his gaze. Or Prince Viktor, whose smile was slightly evil and whose touch was cold. Or Ferdinand, who was gorgeous and knew it – and let everyone else know too. Rico’s smile held heat and promise.
Before he pulled back and hid behind that polite mask.
Her body was warm now, warm and fluid and aching for something she’d never been able to find. She knew she shouldn’t feel such desire when Enzo and Donato were fighting for their lives. But she could have been injured too. She could have been kidnapped. She could have been killed.
She looked up at Rico. His dark gaze made her all tingly. She saw Rico in a new light now. Did he still see her as Vittorio’s little sister? Or as the young princess? Could he possibly see her as the woman she’d become? What did he see when he looked at her now?
Words flew out of her mouth. Words she’d had no intention of saying. “You know, I’m not a little girl anymore.”
He’d been trying so hard. Rico’s hands curled into fists so he wouldn’t reach out and touch her soft skin. Wouldn’t tuck that wayward strand of long silky hair behind her ear. Hell, wouldn’t grab her around the waist and tug her up against him.
Of course he knew she was no longer a little girl. Rico had watched the princess grow up into a beautiful woman. There was nothing he could do about the desire that had grabbed him by the throat about a year ago. The day he’d acknowledged his attraction to her was the day he began to think about opening his own security business. Getting away from the palace. Away from the royal family.
Away from Angelina.
He’d tried to stay as far away from the princess as he could. And now, when he’d almost made it out safely, here he was about as close as he could be without actually touching her. He was grateful for his suit jacket which hung low enough to cover the evidence of his improper passion.