A quick look at the first meeting between our plucky heroine, Airie, and her much unwanted fiancee, King Trevalyn, Treb to those he isn’t trying to piss off. He certainly knows how to make an impression … the wrong kind.

Balls deep in … shit, what was her name? Crap, Lara. Right, Lady Lara from London. She was as thin as silk and felt just as good. Fucking Nero, coming in without knocking and acting like he’s king. Nero might not like that Treb was sitting on the throne, but he had no intention of giving it up even though he had to marry some fat American.

Or was she English?

It didn’t matter. The only way to save Paxtonia was money. The only way to protect himself and his people was money.

The only thing he didn’t have was one thing. Money.

By the time he recovered from his grief over the sudden loss of his parents in a freaking avalanche, he was informed by his Exchequer that the country was broke.

Speaking of his Exchequer, he was still standing in the doorway with a blank expression. Beside him was his supposed fiancée who was as pale as a sheet. His eyes moved slowly over her body, horrified at what he was being forced to do. Her hair was a tangled mess, her clothes appeared to have been dragged through the gutter, and she looked lumpy.

Glancing down at the beauty before him, he moved slightly trying to recapture the relief from his grief and shame at how low he’d come.

It was gone.

“Metairie, I’m King Trevalyn, but most people call me Trebuchet. Welcome to Paxtonia.”

“Your Majesty,” she said stiffly.

Great. The only thing skinny about his bride was the stick up her ass.

“This is Lady Lara. Say hi to her, Metairie.”

“Lady Lara,” she nodded stiffly.

Trevalyn realized that Lady Lara had a cloud of pink moving over her skin. What the hell was wrong with her?

“Your Grace,” Lara said. She gave a small push against him.

“Lady Lara is gorgeous, isn’t she Metairie? What do you think of her?”

“You are quite lovely.”

The looks passing between Metairie and Lady Lara were brimming with subtext.

He never did learn how to speak subtext, damn it.

“Come now, Metairie. Isn’t she beautiful? Why don’t you tell her what you think about how she looks?” The expression on his betrothed face was so lethal he almost checked for punctures. “Speak,” he commanded her.

“I think …”

“Yes,” he pushed.

“I think Lady Lara looks most unsatisfied.”


Her head went up, and her spine straightened. At that moment, Trevalyn understood that no matter the exterior, this woman was definitely made to be a queen.

“What the hell were you thinking,” Nero hissed at her.

“I’ll happily repeat it. I was thinking Lady Lara appears most unsatisfied.” Her eyes never left his face. “I really pray you’re a better fiancée than a lover, your Majesty. For from where I’m standing, I have nothing to look forward to.”

“You little—”

“Lady Lara, it is a pleasure to meet you. I do hope you find much more from this encounter than I have.” Her voice changed when she spoke to his lover. It was gentle, charming, and kind.

Now, without a doubt, Trevalyn knew she was made to be queen.

She turned and walked away.

Nero, in the first act of wisdom he’d shown that day, closed the door behind them.

“Well, that was … different.”

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