Her Royal Bodyguard(6)

By: Natasha Moore


Her cheeks had grown pink but her big dark eyes were still locked on him. He cleared his throat. “Of course, Your Highness. You are a beautiful princess.”

“I don’t care what kind of princess I am. I want to know what you think of me as a woman.”

He dragged his gaze away from her, glanced up and down the hallway. Where the hell was Tony? “You are a beautiful woman, Your Highness. Any man can see that.”

Her tongue darted out and made her pretty lips all wet and shiny. “I suppose you’d say that no matter what you really thought.”

He frowned. Didn’t she look in the mirror every morning? “I would never lie to you, Your Highness.”

She frowned back at him. “It was a stupid question. I’m sure you never noticed anything about me one way or the other.”

“Your Highness…”

“I know. I am a foolish child. I’m going back into my room now and leave you alone.”

She backed away and he let his gaze run over her, the slender body, silky hair, smooth skin, wide mouth, expressive eyes before she was gone forever. Rico realized this might be the last time he saw the princess for a long time.

Except in his dreams.

“Angelina…” Her name slipped from his lips on a whisper.

She froze in her retreat. Her eyes widened. Her lips parted.

“Angelina!”

Vittorio’s voice echoed down the hall and Rico started, backed away from the princess’s open door. She peeked around the door frame at her brother racing down the hall. Mia followed on his heels. Rico’s body went on high alert. The prince glanced at his sister, then turned his attention to Rico.

“The king wants Angelina taken away to someplace safe. Tonight.”

Rico’s mind started whirling with options—locations, transportation, manpower—while Angelina reacted as he knew she would.

“What?” she cried, stepping out into the hallway. The narrow space was getting crowded. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m surrounded by security. This castle was built as a fort. No one’s getting in here. I’m not leaving.”

Vittorio calmly turned to Angelina. “Are you going to put more stress on our father or are you going to do as he asks?”

“Not fair,” she mumbled. “Why does he think I’ll be safer somewhere else?”

“It is common knowledge that you are here at the palace,” Vittorio explained. “We’ll slip you out and everyone will think you are still here. Our security team will be on high alert, waiting for whoever it is to make their next move. But you’ll be safe. Because you won’t be here.”

It made sense, but Rico wasn’t sure if that was the best tactic to take. Still, he answered to the king. At least for a few more days.

Mia put her arm around the princess. “Come on. I’ll help you pack.”

“Wait,” Angelina protested. Her wide-eyed gaze met Rico’s for a brief moment, but she let herself get ushered into her suite and the door closed behind the two women.

Rico turned to Vittorio and waited. He had a bad feeling he knew what his friend was going to say.

“I know you wanted to leave at the end of the week. I also know we don’t have any idea how long Angie will have to stay secluded.” Vittorio clasped Rico’s shoulder. “Still, I want you to take my sister and keep her safe.”

No. No. “Your Highness. Tony is highly trustworthy. He will protect the princess with his life.”

“I know he will, but there is no one I trust more than you. I could command you as your prince.” Vittorio’s dark gaze betrayed his desperation. “I’m asking you as a friend. This is my little sister, Rico.”

“I know.” Just as Rico knew there was no way he could refuse.

“This will be your last job for the royal family. I promise. It will also give the rest of the team practice working together without you as they find who is responsible for the attack and apprehend them.”

“The team will work perfectly together.” Of that Rico had no doubt. He had trained them.

“Just keep Angie safe.”

“I will. Do you have a location in mind?”

“It can’t be the family’s beach retreat. It is well known. Away from the coast would be best.”

“Somewhere no one would expect her to be,” Rico agreed. Someplace with no connection to the royal family.

“My father remembers you have family in Tuscora.”

“An aunt and uncle have apartments to rent in a villa there.” Tuscora was a small village at the other end of the country, as far away from the sea as one could get and still be in Mezzano. He grabbed his cell phone. “I’ll see if they have rooms there for us.”