From my Princess story (still in early draft form!)
“Why are those people staring at us?”
Max felt a jolt of awareness shoot up his arm as her fingers threaded through his. He glanced at the various townspeople who were indeed staring at them.
What to tell her?
He shrugged, trailing a glance over her figure before turning his best grin on her. “Probably just admiring what a great pair we make.”
Tori smiled and small spots of colour flamed her neck and cheeks, but she looked at the starers. “As nice as that is, I don’t think you’re right.”
Max watched her line of sight and noted she squeezed his hand a tad tighter when one lady pointed and leaned close to her elderly companion.
Perhaps it hadn’t been the best idea to bring her here yet. Someone could say something and completely blow their plans.
“The lady at the shop stared at me like she’d seen a ghost. I had to ask her twice.” He’d seen that too.
He tried to brush it off, shrugging. “Maybe you look like someone she knows.”
“Maybe she knew my parents.” His step faltered and he spun Tori in a circle to cover it.
“I doubt it. They are just astonished to see me with such an enchanting woman.”
She laughed throatily. “You make it sound like such a rare occurance.” Tori paused then smiled crookedly at him. “Just enchanting? Not beautiful?”
Relief mixed with the heady shot of desire through his veins at her barefaced question. “So enchanting just looking at you makes me wish we’d stayed at the castle.” Grinning when she shyly tucked a stray curl behind her ear he bent close and felt her shiver as he brought her body into contact with his. “How can I think of anything else when you look at me like that?”
He obliged her upturned mouth and allowed himself to indulge briefly, running his hands possessively up her sides and moulding her to his body. As much as it had been so wrong to accept her proposition, he wasn’t going to regret it. He’d never felt this happy since the tragedy that had uprooted this wonderful country. She was his anchor, his purpose even as she was the puppet.
Breaking away before he forgot himself and where they were, he placed a kiss on her pert nose and lead the way, pleased he’d diverted her from any possible complication.
400 words exactly: MCA (Minor critique only)
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