A/N: Many thanks to @lizzybeth1986, without whom this chapter would not have seen the light of the day. This was just shameless smut until she pointed out the developments in Liam and MC’s relationship by the time of the Derby race and lawn party. Thank you so much, my dear Hana Lee! 😂❤️️ Title cover belongs to @zigbadboy. Isn’t it gorgeous?! Mmm, cronuts. 😍 I am not quite happy with this chapter but I hope at least some of you like it. Thank you very much. 😊
Pairing: Liam x MC Books: The Royal Romance (Book 1), LoveHacks Rating: M (NSFW)
Damn, she was intimidating. Too bad for you, Queen of Cordonia. It took a lot more than contour and a European accent to intimidate Lady Riley Spencer of frigging House Beaumont! Riley watched Queen Regina make her rounds around the lawn party. She was a picture of grace. But not in a Queen of Genovia way. More like Queen Cersei. It was strange to picture her sweet Liam being related to the stoic King and Queen. No wonder he had to be so proper all the time. Anyone would look ridiculous being even slightly informal next to that woman. “And how do you do…”, the Queen was saying to someone. Hell, everybody was stiff and weird here. Something seemed a little off even about that Lady Madeleine. She almost seemed robotic. Or stone cold, like the evil Queen from The Magician’s Nephew. ‘I need to stop comparing real people with fictional characters’, Riley shook her head. At least, she had conducted herself properly in the Queen’s presence. Liam would appreciate that. She became fidgety at the thought of him. His shirtless torso was still swimming in front of her eyes. 'My God, those abs’ And how strong he was! He hadn’t broken a sweat doing push-ups while she sat on him. 'He probably has amazing stamina. Wonder how long he lasts in…’ Feeling goosebumps rise on her bare arms, Riley looked around. It wouldn’t do to be caught daydreaming about her favorite Prince’s body. 'And what a body… damn you, Riley! Pull it together!’
'Cronuts’ Liam shook his head. He was smiling ear to ear. 'Freaking cronuts’, he thought, licking his lips, 'If only I could have tasted the cronut crumbs on her lips’ He and Riley had held hands, returning from their cronut escapade. She looked particularly alluring in moonlight. But what had really pleased him that evening was her confession.
“I’m not a manic pixie dream girl, Liam”, Riley had sighed, “I never defy authority just for the sake of rebellion. It takes a lot for me to break the rules. I always need a good, solid reason to take risks” “Then what made you do this?”, he had asked. “I couldn’t stand the idea of you and your friends not knowing what cronuts taste like” “Our friends”, he had corrected her. And she had smiled in that irresistibly cute way of hers. “Okay. Our friends"
Riley had enough on her plate with all the craziness of the season and the press, but she didn’t let go of any opportunity to make him happy, make his friends happy. That was a good quality in a possible fiancee.
The thought of her bending her own rules for him and his friends was strangely encouraging. Maybe she would adjust to Cordonian customs too for his sake. Maybe the people would see her for the Queen she could be. Maybe he would get to sneak away with her for every day of his life. And maybe he would finally get to watch over her, to protect her himself. He smiled longingly at the thought. There were so many things he wanted when it came to Riley. Holding her hand, kissing her cheek when she was laughing hard, leaving marks on that slender neck of hers… Liam groaned. These were un-gentleman-esque thoughts. He was still trying to make peace with the idea of favoring her. It wasn’t like he was cheating on anyone. Every prince and princess had a favorite during their social season. And Riley just happened to be his. 'Yeah. That’s it' It was such a relief. No one could fault him for following 'custom’ after all. They didn’t need to know that he was in fact following his heart.