An American Cinderella:A Royal Love Story(14)

By: Krista Lakes


She said it nonchalantly, but it made my blood run cold. I was going to be doing exactly that for my stepmother.

“Got it,” I replied, hoping that my smile looked normal rather than guilty. I hadn’t even done anything yet and I felt bad about it. I needed to come up with a way out of doing this for her. I had to.

“I’ll leave you to it then,” Jaqui said. “If you need anything, you know where to find me. Hopefully I don’t see you for lunch.”

She winked and walked out of the office leaving me with boxes of boredom.



The first few boxes were all unrelated to the Paradisa trade deals. Most of the documents were several months old and pertained to other countries, so I didn’t have to worry about delivering them to my stepmother.

My watch read that it was ten ‘til noon. I was going to give Henry until one to show, then I would go find Jaqui. I hoped that he would come. I hoped he wouldn’t forget. Just thinking about him made me smile.

My phone chirped on the desk beside me as I started in on my third box. I picked it up without thinking and groaned.



* * *



Anything interesting?

-Audrey



* * *



If this was going to happen every day, I was going to go crazy. Not only was she making me do something I didn’t want to do, she was going to hound me every step of the way?

Luckily, today I didn’t have to debate the morals of what I was doing.



* * *



Backlog today. Nothing useful.



* * *



I texted back. I couldn’t help the smug smile that crossed my face. Hopefully, I could just do backlog forever. I didn’t want to give my stepmother a single thing if I didn’t have to.



* * *



You can’t do backlog forever. I expect results.



* * *



I stuck my tongue out at her message and put my phone away. It wasn’t my fault that she wasn’t getting what she wanted. She was the one who put me here.

I sighed and opened up another box. I knew that the backlog wouldn’t last forever. I would eventually get to the Paradisa files and I would have to give her something. It was that or lose my career and my father’s reputation. I didn’t want to think about it. Maybe I could avoid it forever if I really tried.

A knock on my door got my attention. I looked up to see Jaqui in my doorway. I glanced at my watch. It was exactly noon.

“You have a visitor downstairs,” she informed me, her voice sing-song and light. Her eyes sparkled as she grinned at me. “I think he has lunch for you.”

This day just got even better.

I stood up so fast my knees knocked the table and I nearly tipped the scanner onto the floor. Jaqui giggled as I made sure everything was safe on the table before moving out from under it.

“I have to say, you didn’t tell me just how cute he was,” Jaqui said as I grabbed my purse and headed out of the office. “Plus the accent? Hot. Super hot. Where is he from?”

“I’m not actually sure,” I admitted as we went to the stairs. “I only met him for a few minutes.”

“I think it sounds Paradisian,” Jaqui said thoughtfully as we clattered down the stairwell. “It’s not quite English sounding, but it’s not Irish or Scottish either. And definitely not Australian.”

“Just how much did you talk to him before coming to get me?” I asked, giving her a side glance.

She grinned. “Just enough to make sure he was good enough for you.”

“Uh huh.” I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing to have Jaqui talking to him.

“He seems pretty smitten with you,” Jaqui said. “Do you think he has a brother? Or a friend.”

I thought of Andre. He seemed like Jaqui’s type. “I can ask.”

“Please do,” she said, holding the bottom door of the stairwell open for me. “And have fun. I want details when you come back.”

I grinned at her. I had missed working with her. It wasn’t work with Jaqui. It was hanging out with a friend when she was around. She followed behind me, wanting to catch another glimpse of my handsome suitor before going back to her office.

I smoothed my shirt before heading around the corner and into the lobby where he would be waiting. My heart fluttered in my chest and my palms went sweaty, but in a good way. I was excited to see him again.

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