🌹🌹The Swedish Prince 🌹🌹
SIX MONTHS LATER
Gunfire erupts beside me, my ears blasted by the deafening sound. I scream but I can barely hear it, everything around me is being shaken up and my brain feels like I have rocks rolling around inside it.
I am beyond terrified.
“Get down!” someone yells and I immediately drop to my knees, covering the back of my neck with my hands. A flash bang grenade goes off and I’m blinded.
“Fuck!” I scream. “Make it stop!”
“Sorry Miss but you’re going to need to make it out of here alive,” the man dressed head-to-toe in camouflage, says to me, keeping his automatic rifle at the ready. “Are you able to run to safety?”
I shake my head. Hell no. I’ve lost a shoe somewhere along the way, maybe when I first escaped the kidnappers, and the stretch of gravel between here, where I’m hiding out by the side of an old, blasted building, and the military jeep that will take me to freedom looks like it will be murder on my feet.
I don’t think I have a choice though. This guy next to me looks like he’ll drag me through the gravel if he has to. Not a very nice way to treat a future princess but what can you do.
I quickly slip off my other heel – I hate that this happened while I was wearing heels, so impractical
I can tell we’re about to make a run for it when the man across from me lifts his gun and fires another round of ammunition in the air.
I plug my ears again. “He’s supposed to be on our side!” I yell.
“You need to get immune to the sound,” the guy beside me says.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the sound!”
He stares at me, completely stone-faced. This is just a fun day on the job for him, isn’t it? Gets to rescue the princess from kidnappers and feel like a hero, all the while I’m screaming and yelling and acting like a loon.
Because, I mean, I’m sorry but if I were actually kidnapped, that’s what I would be doing.
I know they wanted me to try and make friends with the kidnappers and all but I think I just ended up annoying them. Which isn’t a bad strategy at all. Annoy them until they let you go. That kind of worked for Bette Midler in Ruthless People.
“Come on,” the guy says gruffly and takes me by the arm and ushers me across the gravel, the stones biting into my feet. A foot bath will be in order after this.
But his parents were very adamant that I do this. In this day and age, you just never know what’s going to happen, whether some crazy royal fan wants to kidnap the princess or queen or if a terrorist takes over the palace or attacks a royal event, like our upcoming wedding.
So for the last two days I’ve been part of this program that they promised would give me some skills and frighten the shit out of me and, honestly, it has. I’ve been fake kidnapped, I’ve been dropped alone in the wilds of the Swedish North for twenty-four hours so I know how to survive if I end up there for some reason (note: bring lots of mosquito repellent – this is more important than food), I’ve had to do drills around guns and grenades and all sorts of crazy shit.
It’s been intense but as I’m booking it across the gravel with Mr. Serious by my side, I know the moment I get in that military jeep and am driven away, that’s the end of it. They’re driving me right back to the palace.
To my home.
“Woo hoo!” I yell as I reach the jeep just before I’m pushed, rather brusquely, into the back of the vehicle. “I made it! I’m alive! Oh god, I am alive!”
Mr. Serious exchanges a look with the other two serious military men in the back. This wasn’t part of their job description.
“Hey,” I tell them. “You don’t want to know what I’d do if this were actually real. I’d probably kiss all of you, Viktor would find out, and you’d be out of a job. So let’s at least act fake happy for me being fake happy at my fake rescue.”
In unison all three men attempt to smile.
“Yaaaay,” Mr. Serious says flatly.
The moment I’m back at the palace, Viktor is waiting for me in the foyer with a bottle of champagne in one hand and a chocolate cake in the other. He knows the way to my heart.
“My god,” he says, looking me over, putting the stuff down on the cart and striding over to me with his arms out. “What did they do to you?” The shock in his eyes quickly turns to flames of anger and he’s getting that tick he gets along his jaw when he’s about to lose his shit over something.
“Calm down, I’m fine,” I tell him. “I can’t hear very well and I need a footbath,” he looks down at my bare dusty and dirty feet, “but I’m fine.”
He’s speechless, shaking his head, that anger not dissipating. “I knew this was a mistake. You shouldn’t have gone. I have been worried sick about you these last few days. They wouldn’t even let me get any updates on how you were.”
It’s touching to see Viktor so concerned. Not that he normally isn’t but we’ve both been so busy lately with the upcoming wedding that we’ve been taking each other for granted. Now, with me gone for two days and getting the wits scared out of me, it feels like this might bring us even closer.
“I told you,” I tell him. “I’m fine.” I pause looking around to see if any of the kids or Bodi are lurking and listening. “Though if you want to help me clean up, I’d be more than grateful.”
Heat flares in his eyes again, this time born of lust and desire. He swallows hard, practically has to loosen his tie. “I –“
“You’re back!” April says from the top of the stairs before running down them.
As much as I love my sister and as much as I’m glad that she’s this happy to see me, she’s also being a bit of a royal cockblocker at this second.
She’s about to give me a hug but she stops and looks me over. “You look like shit.”
“Yeah, well, that’s what happens when you get kidnapped,” I tell her. I then notice that she has a purse with her. “Where are you going?”
“Out,” she says, shrugging one shoulder, back to teenage one-word answers.
“My mother is taking her, Rosemary and Thyme dress shopping” Viktor says.
“Your mother?” I repeat.
“I know,” he says. “But the ball is tomorrow night and this is the first time they’re all going to be officially exposed to high society.”
“I understand that,” I look over at April who isn’t even listening anymore, “but your mother. That’s the part that’s nutty. I can’t imagine the queen going shopping, she must have to close down the whole department store.”
He nods. “That’s exactly what she does.”
“Well, shit,” I say, crossing my arms. “I want to go shopping now.”
“You already have a very lovely gown,” he says, reaching over and picking a piece of plaster or maybe shrapnel from my hair.
“Yeah but it’s like a childhood dream to go shopping in a department when it’s all closed down. Didn’t you ever want to be locked in IKEA over night?”
He frowns. “To do what?”
“I don’t know, bounce on the beds?”
He just grins at me like I’m the most adorable little sprite. “You are far too cute for words. English words, anyway. I have many Swedish ones.”
“You guys are gross,” April mumbles just as Rosemary and Thyme start coming down the stairs.
“Maggie!” Rosemary says as the twins run up to me and give me a hug. “You’re alive.”
“Barely,” Thyme comments as she looks me over. I do a double take with her. Instead of her usual overboard goth eyeliner, her face has been scrubbed clean and her black hair is pulled high into a smooth top not. She’s still all in black but she looks presentable. She looks like a soon to be twelve-year old and not the future bassist for a death metal band, which I know she is at heart.
“You look nice,” I tell her.
“She wants to look nice for the queen,” Rosemary says.
“We should all look nice for the queen,” I tell them and look down at myself. “Obviously I’m in no state to go shopping with you.”
“And anyway,” Viktor says, grabbing my hand. “The girls deserve some one-on-one bonding time with her. You’ve had a lot of that lately, yes?”
He’s so right. Even though it’s late June now and the wedding isn’t until next April, I’ve been having weekly meetings with his mother at the palace. I had never put any thought into getting married before and I have a feeling a normal wedding is super stressful as it is but a royal wedding? It’s insane how many details there are and how big it’s going to be.
Frankly, I would rather concentrate on my Swedish lessons and helping our nanny, Ingrid, with the kids, or continue going with Viktor to all the public events, than give another minute of thought to the wedding. I would like to pick the dress and see what roles my siblings can play in the ceremony (I do not trust Callum to be the ringbearer, that is just a disaster waiting to happen) but other than that, I want to push all decision-making to the queen.
But she really wants to include me and she’s so excited about the whole thing, that really, even with all the bonding we’ve been doing, it’s been worth it. It pains me to think that my own mother won’t be here for this and I often wonder what she’d say or do (probably “Fuck it! Elope!”) but I’m grateful that my future mother-in-law and are getting along. It’s nice to feel like I have a motherly figure in my life again, even if she’s a motherly figure to a whole country as well.
“Girls,” Bodi strides into the foyer, “Her Majesty is waiting for you.”
April, Rosemary and Thyme all look at each other and grin nervously before following Bodi out of the room.
I breathe out a sigh of relief.
“So you mentioned a bath?” Viktor says, wagging his brows.
I reach up and run my hands over the hard planes of his chest.
Then realize my hands are dirty and are leaving trails of dust.
“Helvete,” I swear, trying to wipe it off and only making it worse.
“See, swearing in Swedish is so much better,” he murmurs, leaning for a kiss. His lips barely have enough time to brush mine before the front door opens and Callum comes screaming inside.
“Maggie!” he yells and hugs my waist.
I have to admit, it feels really nice to be wanted like this.
“You’re back and you smell like pee. Did you pee yourself?”
I laugh awkwardly. “I did not pee myself.”
“Callum,” his nanny Ingrid says as she steps in the door behind him and then says something to him in Swedish which I think is that’s not how we talk to your sister. Both of us are learning.
But Callum quickly says he’s sorry in Swedish, so maybe he knows more than I do at this point. He smiles up at me. “Did you get to fire a gun?”
“No,” I tell him, ruffling up his hair which I know annoys him so much. He squirms away from me. “But I saw guns and bombs and a whole whack of stuff that I promise you aren’t that cool in real life.”
I look up at Ingrid. “What did you guys do today?”
Ingrid is in her early forties and is pretty much the epitome of a spinster because of the drab way she dresses and her prim and proper manner but she’s kind, patient with the kids, and, luckily, not Viktor’s type. I trust Viktor completely but when it was between her and a young and pretty Australian nanny, the queen was adamant we pick Ingrid. I guess nanny affairs are a thing here.
“We went to the zoo, walked around the park,” she says in her thick accent, then gives us a wry smile. “He may have had too much ice cream. I’m sorry.”
“Never too much!” Callum yells and then takes off running into the kitchen, probably to get more ice cream. I’m just glad he didn’t see the cake.
“He’s taking the motto too seriously,” I tell Viktor. I sigh. “Well, hopefully he’ll burn it off soon.”
“I’ve got him,” she says. “You go relax, you must have had quite the weekend.”
Understatement of the day.
“Come on,” Viktor says, pulling me up the stairs. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”
We go up to our room and as he draws a hot bath for me, I get a glass of scotch from the bar cart and have a few sips, then get undressed and slip on a robe, opening it to inspect my body for bruises. There are a ton of them, scratches and mosquito bites too, but overall I think I came out better than had it been an actual kidnapping, so there’s that.
“I’ll give you privacy,” Viktor says, holding the bathroom door open for me once the bath is done.
“Thank you, my prince,” I tell him, standing on my tip toes to kiss him before I disappear into the bathroom. As much as I want to reconnect with him, as much fun as him washing me would be, I haven’t had a shower in days and I’m pretty dirty. Somethings are best done in private.
When I’m finally done with the bath and I’ve had a shower, however, I’m feeling sparkling clean. I puff a shimmery, lavender-scented body powder all over my skin and step out into the bedroom.
Viktor is waiting by the bed.
I’m glad we both were expecting the same thing.
And as I hoped, he looks very happy to see me.
I walk over him, trying to look seductive, my dark wet hair curling over my shoulders and breasts and then he’s grabbing me, his large hands running all over my body, over my arms, my waist, my ass. One hand slips up into my hair, the other slips between my legs and I’m already wet.
“I’ve missed you,” he murmurs, his voice thick. “I’ve missed this.”
He reaches down and slides one finger inside me and it’s enough to drive me crazy. Maybe it’s all the adrenaline that’s been coursing through my body these past few days, maybe it was being so far away from him, maybe I’m just realizing what a fucking god my fiancé is, but I’m suddenly starved for him.
And he is for me.
He picks me up, his hands nearly encircling my waist and practically tosses me onto the bed where I bounce, giggling. Then he’s hovering over me and I drink in the sight of his long bare torso, those abs rigid, shoulder muscles straining as he bites and kisses all the way down my body, being more gentle than normal. I guess do look like a wreck.
But I no longer feel like a wreck.
I pull him up to me and kiss him, then push him back onto the bed. Usually he’s the dominant in the bedroom but today I want to give him a taste of my own medicine.
I stroke his long, hard cock and climb on to him like a wild horse and then I’m riding him, my breasts bouncing, and I thrust my hips, his cock buried deep inside, his face staring up at me in lust and awe, like he can’t believe I’m here and this is happening.
Then I’m on my side, my leg lifted over his hip, and he’s driving into me, faster and faster, the headboard slamming loudly against the wall. Sweat drips off his body and onto mine, and the room fills with the thick smell of sex and the intoxicating sounds of my greedy moans and his grunts and his dirty mouth as he fucks me into oblivion. When I come, I’m unleashed, and I’m screaming his name, letting everything go. Every fear, every thought, every darkened part of me.
I’m liquid and sunshine and stars in the night sky.
I’m his princess.
I’m his future queen.
And when he comes, he comes hard and he’s swearing and grunting my name, and I know I make him feel like a king.
* * *
* * *
Tonight’s ball is being held at Drottningholm Palace.
After I flew back to Sweden in January and Viktor proposed (I’m still laughing at the “Will You Merry Me” fiasco, it almost puts my pronunciation of Chopin to shame), I had a whirlwind couple of months. There was a lot of back and forth from Stockholm to California until earlier this month because I wanted Rosemary, Thyme and April to finish their schooling for the year. Only Callum stayed with us right away since he’s young and was going to jump right into Swedish lessons with Ingrid anyway.
So Pike took care of the girls while I was living here, making sure they got to school and finished and then when they were done, they flew back here. With Annette’s help he put the house up for sale and at the moment it looks like it’s almost sold. When the sale goes through, Pike gets the money and he’s going to use it to open up a garage/tattoo parlor in LA. It’s sad not having him here but I totally get why he wants to stay in California. He is going to visit often, though.
But with all that’s been going on, the kids haven’t really been introduced to Sweden in a public way. Yes, the paparazzi are still plentiful and they do follow us everywhere but I’ve noticed they’re far more cautious about approaching us now and go out of their way to keep their distance.
Tonight though, the ball is not only a chance for the kids to dress up and feel part of the royal family, but it’s all for charity.
Over the last few months, the royal family decided to come out with the truth about Alex’s death, to not be ashamed of it. The King’s hopes were that more people will speak up about mental illness and suicide. Sweden has a surprisingly high rate that’s especially rampant in the far north, so it’s something that needs to be talked about, to end the stigma. Viktor especially has become very adamant about spearheading this cause.
I’m proud of my fiancé and the King and Queen for doing the right thing and I think they’re rather proud of themselves as well. It’s creating a change that their country needs.
“You look like a cake, I could just eat you all up,” Prince Magnus says to me with a salacious wink. I look down at my dress. It’s gold with many petticoat layers and a bustier. It reminded me of Belle’s gown, which is exactly why I got it.
“You don’t look too bad either,” I tell him, snapping his bowtie against his neck. “For a Norwegian.”
“What am I? Chopped herring?” Viktor says, looking between the two of us.
“It’s chopped liver,” I remind him.
“But I love liver.”
“You love herring too,” Magnus says, then looks around. “Where oh where are the drinks? I’d like to get a few in me before all the speeches start.”
The ball is underway and I’m standing with Viktor and Magnus off to the side. The King and Queen are about to step out with the kids and give the formal introduction to them and the event.
I look behind me to see Rosemary, Thyme, April and Callum all in a row, holding hands like they’re about to play red rover. They look so nervous, it’s cute.
“You guys look great too,” I whisper to them over my shoulder, even though I’ve already told them they look amazing a hundred times. Callum in a little cummerbund suit, the girls in long gowns. They all literally look like royalty. The queen did good helping to pick it all out.
Callum grins and starts doing a little dance. “I’m so excited,” he squeals. “Bork bork.”
“Callum!” I can hear Ingrid admonish him from somewhere in the background.
Then Dolf Lundgren strides to the front of the area where we are gathered and addresses the crowd. “I’m please to present to you His Majesty King Arvid and Her Majesty Queen Elin.”
The King and Queen, both in formal royal wear, come out to a microphone, his mother doing the graceful “queen wave” and his father nods at everyone.
The King clears his throat and speaks. “Thank you all for coming here tonight. As you know, this event is for our charity, The Prince Alexander Fund, which we created in our son’s honor to help end the stigma against mental illness. Through the tragedy of losing Alex to suicide, we decided that the best way to honor him would be to ensure that no more lives are lost in the same way. We are a proud country and we have a long way to go with treatment and societal expectations, however I believe Alex would be proud of us, of all of you, for taking this first step.”
Everyone applauds. I look up at Viktor and briefly lean against him. His chin is raised high, a loving smile on his lips as he looks at his father and I know that this moment, this journey, has meant a lot to him.
Queen Elin then steps to the mic to speak. “Thank you, Arvid. We would also like to take this time to introduce Miss Maggie McPherson, who is betrothed to our son, and her brothers and sisters who have made Sweden their new home.”
Crap. I didn’t know I had to go out there too.
Viktor holds his arm out and I take it and now I’m gliding across the floor and everyone is applauding us. I know my cheeks are going beet red because I was not expecting this, so I quickly turn to the kids and beckon them over. They’re so scared, they freeze and it takes a nudging from Ingrid (more like a shoving) for them to finally walk out, still holding hands like they’re crossing the street.
Now the crowd is clapping louder and the kids are positively beaming at the attention. Especially Callum, of course he’s hamming it up and doing strong man poses.
“Nice family,” Viktor whispers in my ear as I look them over.
“The best,” I whisper back.
He bites his lip and looks me over. “So when can we start one of our own?”
We’ve discussed having kids before but only in passing. Now he’s asking me with the entire room staring at us. Thank god no one can hear him.
“I’ve made you go red,” he goes on quietly, squeezing my hands. “A royal flush. You know I like that.”
“I know you do.” I raise my brow. “We can start right after this.”
“Give you the royal treatment in the coatroom?”
I grin. “Something like that.”
Something like that.