🌹🌹The Swedish Prince 🌹🌹
🌸🌸(ROYAL [email protected]ç£) 🌸🌸
Maggie’s Pov ❤️
There’s no time to dwell on that though, not when Viktor is coming by in an hour.
I quic-kly get dressed into jeans and the blousy t©p I tried on last night. It’s silk or fake silk and this brilliant blue and shows off just enough cle-avagewithout being trashy.
I spend time doing my makeup again, putting just gloss on myl-ips in case he feels like k!ss!ngme, and then dry my hair so it falls around my shoulders in long dark waves.
Is it t©uçhable? I run my hands throu-gh it. It’s t©uçhable.
I won’t have any excuses for him not to t©uçh me.
Then it’s time to start on the house.
Because it’s Sunday and I worked all day, the kids have been home all day and I haven’t been here to pick up after them. As a result, the house is an absolute disaster.
I find Rosemary and Thyme downstairs in the living room, both of them on their phones scrolling throu-gh websites, both looking bored out of their minds, and enlist them to help me.
With bribes, of course. They can both choose a meal for me to cook later in the week. It was something my mother used to do. We didn’t have the money for allowances or special rewards so what she would do is bribe us all with food. If we did X amount of work, then we could choose the dinner. As long as it wasn’t steak or lobster or something crazy, we could have it and it always worked. At least for me. I worked my @ss off for my mom’s lasagna.
The twins are easy though, thank goodness, and within no time the entire house has been dusted and vacuumed and tidied. I take in a de-ep breath as I lean against the broom and wipe the sweat off my brow, admiring my work.
There’s a knock at the door.
I immediately shove the broom away and smooth down my hair.
“The Swedish Chef is here!” Callum cries out excitedly from the kitchen. “Bork, bork, bork!”
“Oh my goodness, Callum!” I exclaim. “No. plea-se st©p.”
I hurry past him and open the front door before anyone else can.
Viktor is standing there in a suit.
A fv¢king black suit, white shi-t, black tie.
He didn’t even look like this yesterday when we went out for dinner.
And in his hands are flowers.
Lavender, to be specific, in a small pot.
“These are for you,” he says, smiling at them as he hands the pot to me. “And for me too, I guess. I know our aversion to flowers and lilies now and figured lavender not only smells very different, calming, but it’s an herb as well. My mother has them all over her garden at her…house…and it brings good memories.”
I’ve only gotten flowers once, from my dad when I graduated high school, and yet somehow this little plastic pot of lavender means just as much.
“Thank you,” I tell him, subtly sniffing the purple ends. Their soothing, herbal scent fills my heart and I know this smell will forever remind me of him.
He holds up a tote bag from the local grocery store. “And here is the dinner.”
I step aside and usher him in. I may have been able to ignore the dirty thoughts I was having earlier, but I can’t ignore the way he makes my b©dy feel. How my hair stands on end and shivers roll down my back and how just him brushing past me lets loose the bu-tterflies that were caged in my ribs.
I follow him down the hall into the kitchen, both mesmerized by the sight of him in his suit and the scent of lavender filling the air.
“You look amazing,” I gush.
“And you look outstandingly beautiful,” he says, his eyes drinking me in until I’m squirming on the sp©t.
He places the tote bag on the kitchen table and Callum immediately runs over to him. “Hi! Bork, bork! If you’re ma-king lobster or crab or shrimp, I will die, you know. I will literally die.”
Viktor looks up at me in horror. “Oh no,” he says slowly. “Really?”
“It’s okay he’s allergic “I tell him quic-kly. “Callum can eat mac and cheese.”
“I’m just kidding, Miss America,” Viktor says, breaking into a grin. “I didn’t bring any shellfish of any kind.”
“But I want mac and cheese now,” Callum whines.
“Who says I’m not ma-king mac and cheese?” Viktor says tea-singly to him. He starts bringing out items from the bag, placing them on the table. “Let’s see, we have fresh pasta. We have [email protected] cheddars and parmesan. We have chorizo and prosciutto. Onions, garlic, rosemary and…”
“Me!” Thyme yells from the living room. Obviously eavesdropping.
He grins. “Not quite. Paprika.” He looks at me with the most adorable gleam in his eyes. “You don’t have a sister called Paprika, do you?”
“No, you’ve met them all,” I tell him. Despite what Pike had warned me about earlier, I immediately feel at ease with Viktor. The fact that he’s a prince, that I’ll be interviewing him later, ba-rely crosses my mind.
Well, it does a little.
Enough so that I’m doing a quic-k glance around the kitchen, ma-king sure there isn’t anything out of place. Everything looks tidy and sp©tless, except the fridge, which is absolutely covered with drawings and report cards and calendars and notes with a plethora of magnets holding them all down. For a second I feel a bur-st of pride, knowing that the fridge looked like that before my parent’s died and it still looks like that now. Perhaps I’m doing a better job than I thought.
“Do you need any help?” Callum asks Viktor as he sorts things.
Callum has never asked to help me in the kitchen before.
Viktor smiles at him appreciatively and I’m aware of how charmed they are of each other. It warms my heart.
“Well let’s see,” Viktor says and takes off his suit jacket, hanging it on the back of the chair, and starts rolling up his sleeves. His tanned, muscled forearms pop against the white fabric as he folds it around his elbow. h0t damn. Forget about warming my heart, this is warming up other places.
“What are you good at Callum?” he asks.
Callum taps his f!nger against his chin in thought. “Math.”
“That’s great. I meant in the kitchen.”
“Slicing things,” he says with a big smile. “Or stabbing things.” giggles evilly.
Viktor’s eyes wi-den briefly. “Okay, so we’ll keep you away from the knives.” He looks at me for help.
I shrug. “Beats me, he’s never wanted to help me in the kitchen.”
“Because you’re not James Bond,” Callum says.
“Well sorrrrrry,” I tell him. I can’t blame the kid. Viktor in his suit in our kitchen is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to us.
“Have you ever grated parmesan, Callum?” Viktor asks him while rummaging throu-gh the drawers and finding the cheese grater. He raises it up triumphantly while I silently shake my head, no way. A cheese grater is just a knife with scales.
“Never mind,” Viktor says quic-kly, placing the cheese grater far away from him. “How about you just sit there and sing me songs. I rather liked your rendition of Dancing Queen.”
Oh god. Now that I know “Dancing Queen” was sung to his actual mother the night before she [email protected]£ queen, by ABBA themselves, Callum’s version seems even more crude.
“I forgot the lyrics,” Callum says with a shrug. “But I can ra-p.” He clears his throat like he’s about to sing an opera. “I like big poops and I cannot lie.”
I roll my eyes and give Viktor a warning look. He asked for this.
“Can I help with anything?” I ask coming around the table beside him.
“An apron would be great,” he says. His hands are alre-ady floured from handling the fresh pasta, so I gr-ab an apron hanging in the [email protected]–one that has chickens all over it, my mother was obsessed with chickens–and bring it over to him.
We smile at each other as he lowers his head so I can sl!pthe t©p stra-p over his n£¢k. With his head at my height, I take a moment to run my hands throu-gh his hair un-der the guise of fixing it.
My god. This is what heaven feels like. His hair is so thick and lush and silky, the ultimate s-en-sory experience. I get a whiff of his shampoo, something woodsy and herbal that makes me want to drool. How I want nothing more than to just gr-ab a few strands between my f!ngersand give it a sharp tug. I want to see the easy-going expression on his face become something raw and wild.
He sneaks a glance up at me and I realize how inappropriate I must be tou-ching him like this.
“Your hair was a little messed,” I say quietly, then I go behind him and tie the stra-ps around his lower back. Damn, if Callum wasn’t sitting right there and watching this whole scene, I’d start running my hands up and down his back, feeling every [email protected], taut muscle, and then climb him like a jungle gym. He’s just so tall, his shoulders so broad and wi-de, that I feel like I take up no space at all next to him, like Viktor commands every atom in the room when he’s around.
But Callum is watching, very intently I might add, and whatever intim-acy I had conjured up by putting on an apron vanishes.
I take a few steps back from Viktor and decide to go and tell the girls to help set the table. The pasta shouldn’t take too long. I bring out a bottle of red wine too, for the adults.
When Thyme and Rosemary are done, they sit down at the table and start grilling Viktor as he stirs the pasta and cheese on the stove, asking a million questions about Sweden. At least it prevents Callum from singing.
“What’s Sweden like?”
“Do you have the biggest IKEA in the world?”
“Do you know Alexander Skarsgard?”
“Do all girls have dragon tattoos?”
“Is it snowing there right now?”
“Does everyone have funny names?”
“Do you have a nickname?”
At that last one Viktor laughs.
“Actually, I do,” he admits, grating some more parmesan into the pot. By now, it’s almost re-ady.
“Well what is it?” I ask, hoping it’s [email protected] because it would be nice to see Viktor look flvstered for once. He’s always so poised and regal.
My mind goes back to my fantasy about hair-pu-lling.
He says a word that sounds like “elk” but if, like, a sick person said it.
“What?” Callum asks, scrunching up his nose.
“Älg,” he repeats. “It means elk, but it’s not the elk that you know. It’s actually a moose.”
“So your nickname is moose?” Thyme asks.
“Like in the Archie Comics,” Rosemary says.
“Why moose?” I ask.
He grins at me. “Have you ever seen a moose, especially a young one? They’re all legs with a big head. Growing up, that was just like me. Of course, now that I’ve gotten older this head is…” he trails off and looks at the kids, “well, my head, seems pretty normal.”
“Except what’s in the inside,” Callum giggles.
“Callum, plea-se,” I beg.
“No, he’s right,” Viktor says good-naturedly. “Long legs, big head, a little crazy. Seems like a moose to me.” He takes a step back from the pot and wipes his hands on the apron. “Hey, Callum, how about you add the paprika at the end, the finishing t©uçh.”
Callum looks so proud to be chos£n, he can ba-rely get out of his chair fast enough.
Viktor holds a mound of the red spice in his hand and lowers it for Callum who carefully takes a pinch. For one long, agonizing moment I swear I can see the wheels in Callum’s head turning, evil wheels, ones that are telling him to b!ow the mound of dusty paprika all over Viktor’s pristine white shi-t.
plea-se no, I think to myself.
And Callum actually looks over at me with a tiny smile like he can hear what I’m thinking and suddenly I’m struck by how much he looks like that creepy kid at the end of The Omen.
I swear I hear the demonic Latin chanting, Ave Satani!
Then he stands on his toes and sprinkles the pinch of paprika into the pot.
“Voila,” he says proudly. “Mac and cheese by moi.”
“Your French is very good,” Viktor says. “Now we eat.”
I breathe a sigh of relief and get up to start helping him serve.
“Sit Maggie,” Viktor commands.
“Yeah sit Maggie, woof,” Callum said like he was talking to a dog.
“Not what I meant,” Viktor chides him and then nods at me to sit down as he gr-abs the pot from the stove. “Maggie, plea-se. Just relax for once. There’s no cow on the ice tonight.”
“Cows?” Callum asks.
“It’s, what do you call it, an inside thing between us,” Viktor explains.
I sit down, both loving and hating the feeling of him doting on me. I’m so used to doing everything all the time that to actually just sit and be served food like this makes me feel like I’m royalty here and not the other way around.
And once again I’m reminded that, holy $h!t, he’s a fv¢king prince.
“Where’s April?” Thyme asks, grinning up at Viktor like she’s got a mad crush on him as he doles out the incredible looking pasta onto her plate.
“April!” I holler. I know I heard her get out of the bathroom a while ago.
I guess the strength of my bellow surprises Viktor because he says, “Wow. That’s a set of lungs.”
“Comes with the territory.”
“I’ll get her,” Rosemary says, getting out of her chair and running up the stairs. By the time Viktor has poured the two of us wine and the kids all have jui-ce, she comes back, alone. “She’s not coming.”
I sigh heavily. This hurts. I don’t know why this does in [email protected] but I feel like this is her way of telling me to fv¢k off again. It’s obvious I like Viktor and that this means a lot to me that he’s here and doing this for all of us.
“Should I go talk to her?” Viktor says, poised to get up.
“No,” I say quic-kly at the same time Rosemary says, “Big mistake.”
“I think she’s so-re that you beat up her b©yfri£nd,” Thyme offers.
“He wasn’t her b©yfri£nd,” I tell her. “He was just a big j£rk.”
“That’s one way of putting it,” Viktor says un-der his breath. Then he smiles at everyone and raises his wine [email protected] “Smaklig måltid!” he says. “Which means have a nice meal.”
We all raise our [email protected] and clink against each other’s and I look into Viktor’s eyes as he looks into mine.
I hope he can see just how t©uçhed, just how happy I am, that this is happening. I know April and Pike aren’t here, I know I felt like charity at the beginning but now, now I just feel what it’s like to just be normal for once.
Of course, the food is absolutely amazing. I know you wouldn’t expect too much with mac and cheese but with the spices and the chorizo and the cheese, it’s melting me inside.
“I think you really are the Swedish Chef,” Callum says after a few bites, cheese dripping from his mouth. “Hurdy schmerdy!”
“It’s really good,” Thyme says.
“Can you cook for us every day?” asks Rosemary. She’s serious too.
“Sadly, Viktor has to leave for LA at the end of the week,” I tell them. “He’s flying back to Stockholm.”
In unison, all of their faces fall.
“bu-mmer,” Thyme says.
“But,” Viktor says, wiping his mouth with a napkin, “we still have a lot of time to get to know each other. You were asking me questions earlier, so I think it’s time I ask you the questions.”
And then he proceeds to ask the twins and Callum questions about themselves. Mainly trivial questions, but questions nonetheless. The kids feel important, that much I can tell, and even though the food is incredible, there’s more talking at the table than eating.
The way that Viktor listens so intently to each one, his focus completely on them, makes my ovaries want to explode. Add in the fact that he cooked us this damn meal, he’s wearing a suit, his forearms are golden and rippling with strength and I now know what running my f!ngersthrou-gh his hair feels like, it presses a small ache in between my ribs.
I want this man so much, I don’t even have words for it.
And I’m not sure I’ll even get a chance to have him before he leaves.
He doesn’t belong to me.
He belongs to another country.
And I’ll be left behind in mine.
As if s-en-sing my thoughts, he turns his head to look at me and once again the breath is knocked out of me. He is so damn gorgeous it makes me want to cry.
“And you, Maggie,” he says to me. “What’s your favorite flower?”
Is this where the conversation turned?
But I don’t even have to think.
“Lavender,” I tell him, my eyes falling on the pot I put in the middle of the table. Forever lavender.
When we’re all finished eating I tell the kids to go in the living room and watch some TV while Viktor and I clean up in the kitchen.
They take off like rockets. Usually I have them help me with clean-up but since Viktor is here, I want time with him alone.
“I suppose I should have brou-ght dessert,” Viktor says as he starts filling up the sink with dish soap and warm water. We’ve never had a dishwasher, so you can imagine the amount of dishes there always were to do in this house. “Your brother and sisters would have liked that, maybe a pie of some kind.”
I gr-ab a dish towel and lean back against the counter beside him, re-ady to dry. “You did enough,” I tell him. “Those kids are over the moon with you.”
He glances at me with a sm-irk. “Over the moon?”
“It means to be, I don’t know, not quite in love but…enamored. Charmed. In such a hvge way that the moon somehow gets involved.”
He chuckles softly, the sound spre-ading warmth throu-gh me. “And you, are you over the moon with me?”
Well that puts me on the sp©t.
I give him a shy smile. “The moon doesn’t seem big enough. I might be over the sun.”
He studies me for a moment, his gaze sinking de-ep into mine. I see enough longing and heat in his eyes that I don’t feel silly for my admission. “I don’t think anyone’s been over the sun for me before,” he muses.
“I’m sure they would be if you cooked them a meal like you did.”
“The way to your heart is throu-gh your stomach,” he says with a nod. “I shall keep that in mind.”
You’ve alre-ady found your way to my heart, I think and for once, the thought doesn’t scare me. Tonight, I feel emboldened.
Yet when he hands me a w€t dish, my eyes focus on drying it, afraid to look at him. He’s so close, his elbow and arm brushing mine as he works, that gorgeous scent of his mixed with the lavender and the lemon dish soap are burning a memory in my head. My skin feels ti-ght and h0t and the nerves in my stomach dance in a constant conga line. Every [email protected] of me feels alive.
The fact that I think I’m falling for him doesn’t scare me but what does scare me is what happens after that.
“So, when does the interview start?” he asks after a long bout of silence.
Oh right. That.
The truth is, I don’t want to write about this dinner even though that was his intention. I feel like what I witnessed tonight, the quiet charming moments between him and my family, I want to keep that just for me.
“Tomorrow,” I tell him. “It starts tomorrow.”
“So then what is tonight?” There’s gravity to his voice, the low tone ma-king electricity burn in my stomach.
I look up at him and try to re-ad his gaze. “I guess we’re just getting to know each other,” I say. Because what can I say? That this is a [email protected]£? A [email protected]£ with me and my brothers and sisters? I don’t think so.
He nods in response, hands me another dish.
We work together in silence but it’s comfortable. It’s the kind of silence that lets you be lost in your head without having to explain your thoughts, the kind that tricks you into believing you’re de-ep in the stages of domesticated bliss.
And I am lost in my thoughts. Thoughts about him, the kids, my life, my future, that it takes me a moment to notice that we’re done and Viktor is taking off his apron.
He’s standing right in front of me, folding it in his hands, and staring at me with such intensity that I feel like I might have missed something, like he was saying something before and I didn’t hear him. Something heated. Something I want to hear.
The swedish prince Episode 16
🌹🌹The Swedish Prince 🌹🌹