Claimed Princess (Princess Series Book 3)(7)

By: Alexa Riley

“Or maybe someone broke your heart,” Giselle says softly. “I know the look. I had it once, too.”

Karim drops his head, kissing her on the cheek and whispering that he loves her. Karim did break her heart, or so she had thought, having read everything all wrong.

“Do I need to go next door?” my brother asks, standing back up to his full height.

“You can beat someone into loving me?”

My brother stares at me, and I know he’s thinking it over. “You’re always welcome to come home, you know that. But don’t run, Heavenly. Never run.”

He pulls his wife closer, and I’m sure he’s thinking about how she’d run from him.

I glance down at the counter, and I know he’s right. I can’t leave. Not yet. I’ve been bottling up my feelings for Carlos for years, and I’ve either got to let them go or let them out. I don’t want to make the same mistake Giselle did. But I deserve someone who will come and rescue me.

Just like a true princess.





Chapter Four





Carlos





“Open the door, Heavenly!” I shout as I stand outside her grandmother’s house.

I waited until the car that dropped off Romy came back to the palace and I asked him where he took Heavenly. He said he only took her home, and I was so mad I could have punched myself. I figured she would have gone to her brother’s or anywhere but home. But I should have known. She wouldn’t have gone through the orchard because she knew I would have tracked her down there. She threw me off by jumping in the car, and I assumed she’d gone somewhere else.

I’m here to set things right, and I’ll force her to listen if I have to.

Suddenly the door swings open, and I’m shocked into silence when I see Karim standing there.

“What do you want, Carlos?”

At first I don’t know what to say. He looks pissed, and I don’t know why. But then my mind starts to catch up, and I assume that Heavenly has told him something that’s made him mad and now he’s going to take it out on me.

“I want to talk to Heavenly. But I’ll talk to you if you’re going to stand in my way.”

He crosses his arms over his chest, and though I know we match each other in size I have no doubt I would win in a fight right now. Because if I’ve got to go through him to get to Heavenly, then I’ll do it. I would go through fire to be with her, so there’s nothing that will stop me.

“I made the proclamation today. She’s to be my wife on the day she comes of age.”

“On whose orders?” Karim says, raising an eyebrow at me.

“Mine. You forget you’re in my kingdom, Karim, and my word is law.”

“I didn’t agree to the marriage. She’s represented and cannot be taken. That’s the law of all of our lands.”

“Just like the law of you taking your wife before your wedding night?” I throw back in his face.

His eyes narrow, and I know he’s wondering how I know that’s possible. But Heavenly tells me everything, including what her new sister told her.

“Yes, I know you broke the law, so don’t throw that back in my face. Some customs are outdated and meant to be broken. I made the royal decree, so you need to step out of my way and allow me to bring my bride home.”

“It doesn’t have to be like this,” Karim says, uncrossing his arms and letting them fall to his sides. “You mean something to Heavenly. That much I’m sure of. We don’t need to come to blows over this. We can sit and talk.”

“Unless the talk is of wedding arrangements, I don’t feel the need to sit down. I’ve waited long enough for this day, and I won’t have anything standing in my way.”

“I’m not agreeing to anything until I talk to my sister,” Karin says. “I promised her I would let her choose, and I’m going to make good on that promise.”

“Then I’m sorry for the position I’m going to put you in. But you’re about to become a liar to Heavenly.”

Without much thought, I act faster than Karim has time to block. I ball my hand into a fist, reach back using all of my body weight, and then punch him in his jaw.

He falls back, and he hits the floor as if in slow motion. Giselle and Heavenly appear from behind him. Giselle screams and then goes after Karim, and I lunge for Heavenly. She tries to take a step back from me, but I snatch her wrist in one hand and pull her body over my shoulder.

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