🌹🌹The Swedish Prince 🌹🌹
🌸🌸(ROYAL ROMANCE) 🌸🌸
He looks at it and squints. “You call that a castle?”
“Hey, when am I ever going to have an actual prince in this situation after this?”
He shrugs. “I’d hope never.”
He takes my hand and we walk over the bridge, the castle getting a lot smaller the closer we get.
“My mother would like it,” he muses, looking around as we go through the entrance and into a courtyard full of shops and children running everywhere, most of them in little princess costumes.
“Oh,” I gasp. “I want one. Do you think they have adult sizes?”
He gives me a funny look. “You want to be a princess?”
“What girl doesn’t want to be a princess?” I ask and then I realize the question probably holds some real meaning to him.
“I mean, growing up, of course you do. It’s a fantasy.”
“Am I a fantasy?”
I look him up and down, looking impossibly handsome as he always is. “You’re my fantasy, yes. Definitely.”
He seems to think that over as we head into one of the shops. “You know, if you came back with me to Sweden, and married me, then you could be a real princess.”
Oh my god.
I stop dead in my tracks.
My heart lurching to a stop.
“You do not joke about that,” I manage to
Oh my god.
What if he isn’t joking?
But I see the sly glint in his eyes, the hint of a smile and he is joking.
Thank god I didn’t take him up on it.
“Hey, I’m not desperate to be a princess, thank you very much,” I tell him, picking up a crown from a display. “Why should I be when I have all that I need to be one right here.”
I can feel his eyes on me, watching me intently. “I think we should buy you a crown,” he says after a moment.
I smile at him sweetly. “You’re really hell bent on making me a princess.”
“Actually I have a better idea.” He ducks around the corner and comes back holding a stuffed version of the reindeer from Frozen.
“Sven the reindeer?” I ask as he puts the plush toy in my hands.
“No,” he says, almost annoyed. “It’s a moose. Viktor the moose.”
“But it’s a reindeer,” I tell him and show him his name tag. “And his name is Sven.”
Viktor takes the animal from me and rips the fabric nametag off his collar, hiding it between a pile of Olaf slippers.
“Now it’s Viktor. The moose.” He shoves it back in my hands. “Now when I’m gone, you’ll still have a Viktor of your own.”
Well, fuck. If this isn’t one of the cutest things ever.
Even though he just vandalized a Disney toy at Disneyland.
I look down into the reindeer’s big eyes and will myself to think of it
After we buy the reindeer–moose–and the clerk wanted to double check with us that we were okay with buying a defective toy, we head over to Splash Mountain, because the wait times seemed somewhat reasonable.
That was a lie, of course. There are no reasonable wait times in the park, so Viktor and I are yet again stuck in a long line.
But I guess stuck is too strong of a word.
The thing is, I’m positively delighted with just standing beside Viktor and doing nothing but waiting. We talk, about everything we can without getting too personal, because who wants to get personal surrounded by a bunch of strangers.
I lean back against his chest and he wraps his big arms around me and we shuffle forward, not wanting to be apart.
He tells me about his pet rabbits he had while growing up, how he was so obsessed with Watership Down at the time that he named them after the characters and was convinced they were going to have an uprising when he wasn’t looking.
I tell him about my family’s tradition of giving weird names. Rosemary and Thyme, and Pike have always gotten the brunt of it, but Callum’s middle name is actually Danger, April has two, May and June, and my full name is Margaret Mayhem.
“Margaret Mayhem?” Viktor laughs loudly, the sound soaring over the crowd and making a few people in line turn their heads. “I’m sorry but mayhem means…”
“Mayhem means a little chaotic and crazy” I say with a sigh. “Apparently both me and Callum were handfuls when we were born.”
“Or perhaps you both grew into your names like, what is it called again? A self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“That might be true for Callum but I am not chaotic or crazy.”
He raises his brow at me. “Well…”
I punch his chest. “Hey.”
He grabs my fist and kisses my knuckles. “You were a little chaotic and crazy last night,” he says in a low, silken voice.
I immediately blush and my body knows all too well. I’ve felt the ache of him between my legs all day and I know I’m walking a little differently.
Even though we end up boarding the log flume ten minutes later, my body is still feeling a bit hot and needy, especially as we end up sitting squished at the very back of the log and my ass is pressed into his crotch.
I glance at him over my shoulder, my eyes turning sly. “You comfortable?” I ask, wiggling my ass into him.
He just shakes his head, his jaw growing tense in playful warning.
As it turns out though, a lot of the ride is in the dark.
Now, I know that the dark in Disneyland is only dark to you. The place is famous for the amount of cameras they have set up, eyes on you at all times. They can always see you clearly, no matter what.
But from the way we’re sitting at the back, so squished together with his long legs bracketing mine, it’s almost natural for Viktor’s hand to be in my lap.
Unbuttoning the top of my jean shorts.
Slipping his fingers into my underwear.
“We could get caught” I turn my head and hiss at him, hoping all the singing from the animatronic animals drowns out my voice from the other people in the log.
Thankfully they are all adults.
“So?” he says lazily, sliding his fingers around and around.
My eyes close briefly.
This is so wrong.
But, god, it feels so good.
“So we could get banned for life.”
“That’s okay,” he says. “I live in Sweden.”
I’m about to tell him to stop, that it’s wrong, that we’re in public and we’re violating laws and probably Disneyland’s innocence but then the log starts to climb up the final hill and the gravity thrusts me further back into him.
And Viktor has skills.
He keeps his fingers going, rubbing me expertly and with the tick tick tick vibrations of the log as it’s cranked up the hill.
I’m coming just as the log flume hits the crescendo.
The world is open and bright in front of my eyes, all of the park in front of me, and my mouth is open, crying out his name.
And then we’re dropping straight down, down, down into the water.
Nothing like a cold splash hitting you in the face to bring you back on track.
After the ride we’re both soaked, me in more ways than one, and we pick up the large photo of us they took during the final fall.
Viktor is grinning like an idiot in it.
It looks like I’m screaming from fear.
Only the two of us know the truth about that photo.
That thing is going up on my wall.
When we finally get back to the hotel from Disneyland, we’re both exhausted.
The traffic from Anaheim to Hollywood ensnared us for hours, so bad that even the Waze app on his phone couldn’t shortcut us out of there.
Our hotel room is freshly cleaned and passes my inspection (a housekeeper always knows what to look for) though I’m sad that the last signs of the lavender flowers have been swept away. I still detect a hint of it in the air, or maybe I’m forever smelling it like a memory that won’t go away.
“Get naked,” Viktor says, taking his shirt off over his head, displaying that hard, bare torso of his.
“You aren’t tired?” I ask him, my fingers already obeying his commands before my mind has a chance to argue.
I take off my tank top, one that says Hakuna Matata that he bought for me in the park and I couldn’t wait to change into, then start unbuttoning my jean shorts. He strides over to the curtains that have been left open and pulls them shut just as the shorts fall to my feet.
“I don’t care if people see” I tell him.
After what happened on the ride, I feel like I’ve dipped my toe into the life of someone else, someone footloose and fancy free. I want to live like I don’t give any fucks. I want to get into a fuck bankruptcy
I want to do that with Viktor, live this whole other life in this hotel room.
But when I lie down on the bed, naked, and he joins me, the exhaustion takes over the both of us. Viktor wraps me in his arms and pulls me toward him, his leg hooking over mine, so that we are a tangle of limbs and warm skin.
“Just a nap,” he whispers into my ear, even though it’s nearly midnight already. I didn’t think I would feel as comfortable just lying here naked with him as I am when I’m fucking him, but in seconds my mind and body start to drift away.
I’m awakened by the scrape of a lighter, a puff of smoke filling the air.
I open my eyes to see Viktor sitting up in bed, smoking.
It’s cinematic, with the light coming in through the crack in the curtains like a spear, lighting the edges of him up.
There’s another light coming from the bathroom but the main one is off and we’re mostly in darkness. I don’t remember turning it off before I fell asleep.
“What time is it?” I ask.
“Sorry,” he says to me, glancing over his shoulder with a warm smile.
“I didn’t want to wake you. But I knew if I went on the balcony, someone would see me. There’s been a party out by the pool all night.”
It’s only then that I notice the dull thump of music and the occasional laughter.
“I couldn’t sleep,” he explains, lying back down on the bed, facing me. “I thought this would help.”
He holds it out to me in offering and this time I take it, looking up at the ceiling as I do so. “Won’t this set off the smoke detector?”
He bites back a grin. “No.”
“But we could get in trouble, I don’t think they allow smoking of any kind.”
He studies me for a moment, his expression soft, amused, content. “We’ll be okay.”
I shrug at that, trusting him. After we gave new meaning to the word Splash Mountain this afternoon, smoking in a hotel room shouldn’t have me so worried.
I have a puff. Hold the smoke in my mouth, probably for a bit too long, probably because I’m trying to show off in front of him, and he has to take the joint back from my fingers.
“And for a moment there I didn’t think you smoked,” he muses.
“I don’t,” I tell him and then start coughing violently. Point proven. “Honestly. Very rarely. Sometimes Pike has some but that’s about it.”
He nods, puffing back. “I understand,” he says, smoke falling from his mouth. “You have a lot to worry about, a lot to be ready for.”
I pull the edge of the blanket over my chest, tucking it under me. I like the whole lying around naked thing but a girl has her hang ups.
“To be honest, I rarely drink. I can’t afford the hangover for one, not when I have to work so early, and I feel like I have to always been on. Like, with my parents, they were always drinking. I mean, not in a bad way, but it was a common sight. I think back now and I’m like how did you do that? How did you let yourself be loose and relaxed and just know that everything was going to be fine?”
I catch myself and then reach out and grab the joint from him as a way to start blurring memories. “Of course, it wasn’t fine in the end, was it?”
“It will get easier, Maggie,” he tells me as I inhale. “I promise.”
I take a moment before I exhale. “How would you know?” I cough.
“I don’t know. That’s what people tell me. I suppose becoming a king and becoming a parent are similar in a lot of ways.”
“I guess,” I say. “But with you, you have a system in place. You have, like presidents or prime ministers or something to actually pass rules and do all the dirty business. If you’re a parent, all that dirty business is on you.”
“You’re right,” he says, taking the joint back. “I can’t pretend to know. I can only say I understand.”
I know he does. We’re in such similar situations. Very different situations, mind you, but similar all the same. Saddled with responsibilities that are bigger than we are, overwhelmed by the change in our lives, grappling with loss.
I sigh and fall back on the bed. The pot is starting to affect me already and I hope things don’t get weird. “Tell me about your brother, Alex.”
Viktor exhales sharply through his nose and I can feel him tense up.
“I don’t mean anything bad” I say.
“Let’s just forget, just for tonight, that we’ve lost them. Pretend they’re still here. Pretend we’re at a party and people want anecdotes about them. What would you tell them? What are some of your best memories?”
The room has grown silent except for the sound of my beating heart and the dull thud of the music outside. Viktor then lies back on the bed beside me and we both stare up at the ceiling.
“Alex was always a bit of a weirdo,” he begins. “But I never had a problem with it. He was totally fascinated by the strangest things. Things like trains, for example. He loved trains. He was obsessed for years. I know it sounds silly, but being my parents and all, we had a massive playroom for all of our toys and at the end of it was his train collection.”
He takes another hit of the joint and lets the smoke float above us like fog.
“He’d spend hours in there, even when I got to an age where toys no longer interested me, he was still fascinated. But it wasn’t the locomotives or the tracks or the romantic quality of trains that kept him going. It was just the wheels. Of all things, there was something he found comforting about the wheels turning. Give him a train without a track and he didn’t care for it. Give him a track and he would spend hours and hours watching it make the rounds around the room. Even now the sound of a toy train brings me back.”
“Sounds like a nice memory.”
He looks at me in surprise, as if it hadn’t crossed his mind. Then a small smile tilts the corner of his mouth. “Yeah. It is a nice memory. It was something about him that I found peculiar but so essentially Alex.”
“What else is a nice memory?” I ask, wanting to know more.
“Christmas,” he says. “Christmas is a big deal in Sweden. As you know, Santa comes from Lapland. We also celebrate Christmas Eve instead of morning.”
“So when do you open your presents? I mean, how does Santa get them to you without you seeing him?”
He smiles. “Well that’s the thing. You have to have a pretty sneaky Santa. And we did. You’d never see him. Until one day I rigged a trap.”
“A trap? You set a trap for Santa?”
He shrugs and then puts the joint out on the notepad beside the bed.
“I was curious. Anyway, I made it so that he would trip over a wire which would then send all these metal things, like the fireplace poker and an ashtray and a tin box, stuff that was hard and noisy, onto the floor. We had hardwood floors in the living area where the tree was, so you would hear it. And I knew that we were always sequestered for some convenient reason in another room the same time the presents would appear.”
“I see where this is going.” I can’t help but smile at the thought of a super curious and devious Viktor rigging a trap for Santa. It reminds me of Callum for some reason.
He nods, still staring up at the ceiling with a dreamy look on his face.
“Oh, yes. So we were all in the study because my mother had to show us something, who knows what, and then CRASH. There was a huge bang and commotion from the other room. So I raced out of there first and my mother managed to hold back Alex, or maybe Alex already figured it out by then and he didn’t care. Either way, I ran into the room to see my father dressed as Santa, a sack of presents at his feet, along with all the other crap I had set up scattered on the floor. Do you know what I did?”
“I looked into my father’s eyes and for once I saw a father. I know that sounds silly, of course he’s my father. But he’s also the king and he often has that mentality first, father second. The fact that he dressed as Santa himself and didn’t have a palace worker or butler do it, that meant the world to me. Meant that he actually cared. So I looked at my father and I said, ‘So sorry to disturb you Santa, thank you for the presents.’ And then I ran out of the room. To this day my father still thinks he had me fooled but the thing is, I wanted to be fooled. I never wanted him to know that I knew, it would take all the magic away.”
“That’s actually really sweet,” I tell him, running my fingers over his chest.
“What about you?” he asks. “What do you remember from your childhood that was good?”
“Honestly? Everything.” I don’t have to think too hard.
“Even though we grew up fairly poor, you know, and yeah I was upset that I didn’t get to go to Disneyland like other kids did, or I didn’t have the toys everyone else had or I didn’t have new clothes, my childhood was pretty happy. I don’t know, it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized we lacked. Even so, I loved my parents and they loved me, I know they loved me, you could feel it, they showed it, you knew, we all knew their love and…”
The tears hit me like a slap in the face. I thought I was going to be fine talking about this. I should be fine by now.
Viktor reaches out and pulls me to him, holding me tight.
“I’m fine,” I say, but I’m not fine. I can’t even find the words to go on, the tears just keep flowing and flowing. “I…I’m…”
“It’s okay,” Viktor says. “I’m here.”
I know you’re here. You’re here for me. And then you’ll be gone. They were here for me and they’re gone. Everyone I love leaves me.
Everyone I love leaves me.
“I miss them so much,” I cry out, sobbing so loudly that it hurts my chest. My mouth is open, gaping as the choked, silent wails try and escape me. “Oh god, oh god. I miss them so much. It hurts, Viktor, it hurts me.”
“My Maggie,” he whispers, kissing the top of my head over and over again. “I hate to see you hurt. I wish I could take this pain from you, I would give anything to do so.”
I dig my fingers into his shoulders, hanging on tight, afraid to let go. If I hold on tight enough, maybe I won’t have to be alone.
“I just want to see them again,” I whimper, my words garbled. My heart is so heavy I’m afraid it might pull me down so low that I’ll never get back up.
“I just want to tell them how much I love them. How much they meant to me. How much I need them. I don’t think I’ll ever stop needing them.”
I try and hold my breath, try to supress the sobs but it doesn’t work.
I cry and I cry, feeling like I’ll never be free of this.
“I don’t think we’re supposed to stop needing our parents,” he says softly, smoothing my hair with his palm.
“I think that’s what love is, always needing someone. Needing doesn’t have to be a bad thing or a weak thing. It’s just part of living. We need air to breathe and food to eat. We need certain people in the same way. In the end it’s what keeps us alive.”
I nod, sniffling in to him.
“Hey, it’s okay,” he tells me softly. “I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.”
“But you are,” I manage to say. “You’re leaving me too. And I need you, Viktor, I need you.”
He exhales, long and shaking.
“I know, Maggie, I know.”
Silence passes between us and the dark of the room seems to press in on us. The crying has dragged the life out of me and suddenly I’m so tired I feel I could sleep forever. Every part of me feels poured in concrete.
I’ve almost completely drifted off to sleep when I hear Viktor whisper into the dark.
“I need you too.”
There’s something different about the way you wake up when it’s a day you don’t want to face.
Even if your first thoughts upon waking are jumbled from sleep, you still know, deep down, that something is going to happen.
It’s like sadness hangs in the air above you, a heavy hand that holds you down and reminds you that you will need all the strength you have to get through the day.
Even though I’m wrapped under sheets, with Viktor’s strong leg hooked over mine, the back of my head resting in the crook of his arm, I’m immediately hit with a pang of sorrow. Any other day and I would wake up blissful after these two beautiful days we’ve had with each other, the fact that I fell asleep, entangled in his arms.
But as safe as I feel with him like this, he won’t be able to protect me from the pain that will come later, a pain that will make this anticipatory one seem like nothing more than a scratch.
“God morgon,” he says to me in Swedish, his breath warm on the top of my head.
There’s something so beautiful and peaceful about his voice in the mornings. Normally it’s so deep and strong and polished. Refined. As it should be. He has a lifetime of public speaking ahead of him.
But in the mornings it’s ragged, raw, groggy with sleep. It makes him seem less of a prince, more of a young man.
“How did you sleep?” he asks. “I passed right out I think.”
“I slept like a baby,” I tell him, turning over on my stomach and facing him.
Yesterday was our last day and we were so exhausted from Disneyland the day before, that we literally stayed in the hotel room and by the pool, only venturing out to Sunset to grab a meal at a trendy restaurant.
The rest of the time, well, let’s just say there was a lot of sex. I am thoroughly worn out but in the best way possible.
“Good.” He gives me a soft smile, his eyes warm as he stares at me, and reaches over, gently brushing my hair off my face.
We stare at each other for a few moments, the moments you know you will remember, the moments that become scenes that become memories. To just stare openly at someone like this, to have them stare at you, to not need words to say, I like this. I like you.
I’m falling for you.
I’ve fallen for you.
Please, please don’t go.
But those might just be in my head. I close my eyes, scared for a moment that he’ll see those thoughts, that they won’t match his.
“Breakfast,” he suddenly says.
“I think we need breakfast.” He sits up and I see him look at the clock.
He doesn’t say anything about the time but we did sleep in a bit longer than we should have. He does have a plane to catch.
“What would you like?” he says, getting up and walking over to the desk.
My eyes are draw to that tight round ass of his, looking extra taut with his slight tan lines. I wonder where he got tanned, where he tans.
Being a prince in Europe, he probably spends winter in the Mediterranean, sunning on giant super yachts .
There’s so much more that I don’t know about him and there’s no more time to find out.
I think I’m going to be sick. My appetite is completely gone.
And when my appetite is gone, then you know it’s serious.
“I’ll just have toast,” I tell him.
He glances at me over his shoulder, picking up the phone. “You sure?”
I nod. “And coffee.”
“Well naturally,” he says then says into the phone.
“Ah, yes, good morning. This is Vik…this is Mr. Andersson in room 219, I would like to order room service. A pot of coffee,” he looks at me and mouths cream? I nod.
“With cream. Some toast with jam and all those fixings and I’ll have two soft boiled eggs and a side of bacon.”
“Soft boiled eggs?” I ask him. “Interesting choice.”
“Very common breakfast at home,” he says as he hangs up the phone. “Served alongside some crisp bread, ham, and of course, pickled herring.”
I scrunch up my nose. “No.”
“Oh yes. Quite good,” he says. “You’d grow to love it.”
I swallow the lump in my throat. I won’t have the chance to.
It’s not long before there’s a knock at the door. Viktor quickly slips on a robe and throws me one and once we’re covered, opens the door for the room attendant.
“I hope you tipped him well,” I say to him after the guy leaves, closing the door behind him.
“What am I, an animal?”
Viktor looks offended.
“No, it’s just, well in Europe you don’t tip, do you? And also no one ever tips hotel staff enough. And also, yes. You are a moose.”
He grins at that. “All of that is true, except that most of us in Europe know how tipping works over here. Do you want to sit on the balcony?” he asks, as he picks up the tray from the room service cart.
I look through the curtains at the bright sunshine, hear the faint splash of people in the pool right below.
I shake my head. “I’d rather eat in here.”
Out there I know I’d be sharing him with the world. We have hours, minutes, left with each other and I can’t bear to not have him all to myself in this beautiful dark world we’ve created in this hotel room.
“Me too,” he says, wincing at the beam of white light coming in through the curtains. “I think I’ve had enough of the California sunshine.”
But have you had enough of me?
He places the tray in front of me and gets on the bed, both of us sitting cross-legged on the messy sheets. He pours me a cup of coffee, then adds a splash of cream.
“That enough?” he asks.
This isn’t enough.
But I nod. “Yes, thank you.” I clear my throat as he hands me my cup and pours himself one, black. “You don’t put cream in yours?” I ask.
His head shakes. “No. We drink it black in Sweden. Puts hair on our chest.” He pounds a fist against his pecs in a mocking gesture. “Apparently it works.”
Viktor does have hair on his chest but it’s the perfect amount, just enough to make him look like some Nordic Viking god, not so much that looks like a caveman.
We both fall silent and sip our coffees and the room seems to hum with this energy of all the things we aren’t saying to each other, of all the goodbyes that loom on the horizon.
“What is it?” he asks me after studying my face for a good minute.
I give a small shrug. “I was just thinking.”
“I can tell,” he says. He brings his brows together until a deep line forms between them and runs his finger along it. “You get this.”
“It’s called resting bitch face here in America,” I tell him.
“I’ve heard about this face,” he muses. “Sounds too harsh for you.”
“What would you call it then?”
He takes an easy sip of his coffee and seems to think about it. “Thinking sexy face.”
“Sexy face?” I laugh. “How is that sexy?”
“Because it’s sexy when you’re all mean looking. Makes me think I did something wrong and you’re going to punish me.”
I roll my eyes. “Stop.”
“It’s true. But I think all your faces are sexy. Especially the ones when you’re calling out my name. Your mouth drops open like a ripe peach. It reminds me of other places. You know what we call a peach in Swedish? Persika. I’m very much in love with your sweet persika.”
I’m blushing. Oh yeah, I’m blushing, probably the shade of a persika. I think he even called me min lilla persika the other night.
Did he just use the L word? It was just to describe a body part–or two–but even so.
I look at him with big eyes but he only smiles at me. If he said something he didn’t mean to, he’s not showing it.
I swallow. “Is that so?” I manage to say.
He leans forward, and with one swift move, pulls the sash around my robe so it opens and my breasts are exposed, and since I’m sitting cross-legged, my persika.
His eyes rest between my legs and I can practically see his mouth watering which makes me wet in return. “If you take a picture it will last longer,” I try to joke, feeling so bare and exposed. Vulnerable. Yet there’s no fear in being this way with Viktor. It’s natural.
“That must be a saying,” he murmurs, his eyes trailing up my stomach now to my breasts and I swear my skin burns in their wake. He moves the tray to the side. “I would love to take many pictures.”
I stiffen at the thought and he smiles gently at the worry on my face. “I’m also taking pictures in my mind. They will be there forever. You know how couples carve their name in the bark of a tree? The sight of you, the smell of you, the sound of you, the taste of you, it’s all etched in my head. It won’t be smoothed away with time.”
My heart swells in my chest, pressing against my ribs.
I won’t be smoothed away.
I won’t be forgotten.
“You know I can’t get enough and I won’t get enough of you,” he tells me, taking the cup of coffee from my hands and setting it down on the tray. “Not with the time we have left, not with all the time left in the world. But I will take my time now, enjoying every inch of your sweet skin while I can.” He then picks up the small pitcher of cream. “Lie back.”
I raise my brows, stare at the cream. What?
He gives me a look that says, just do it, and so I do. I’ll do anything he tells me to.
Apparently even if it involves cream.
He breaks into a carnal grin and takes his time slowly tilting the pitcher, so the cream splashes out delicately onto my breasts.
“Is it cold?” he asks, amused.
“No.” I just think most people would gasp in this situation. I stare at him curiously. “What are you doing?”
🌸T. B. C🌸
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