To Marry a Prince

By: A.C. Arthur

CHAPTER 1

He took her breath away, and for Landry Norris, stylist to Hollywood’s most glamorous women and debonair men, that was no small feat.

That thought caused the very smooth and elegant curtsy that she’d practiced just before boarding the plane to come off with a bit of hesitation. Still, she smiled brightly as she lifted her head and came to a standing position. He—the Crown Prince Kristian Rafferty DeSaunters—stood before her in all his regal and hot-as-hell glory.

There had been a flurry of activity in the last couple of days, all of which had culminated in this moment. Landry clasped her hands in front of her cream-colored peplum top and gray pencil skirt, hoping she had made the correct outfit selection. That was her thing, after all—finding the right outfit for the right occasion and pairing it perfectly with the person who would wear it. Very rarely was she that person. But Malayka Sampson, one of Landry’s newer clients, had changed that.

In her briefcase, which she had left downstairs in the massive marble-and-gold-decorated foyer, was a signed contract between Landry Norris LLC and Malayka Sampson, the woman soon to be princess of Grand Serenity Island. That title and all that went with it had both surprised and impressed Landry when Malayka breezed into her Los Angeles office to share the news. On Malayka’s finger was a huge emerald, while the woman’s face sported a triumphant smile. Landry figured she’d be smiling too if she were wearing that rock.

Before that, Landry had only dressed Malayka for three functions—the Oscars, which Malayka attended with renowned producer Siegmond Elrey, the Met Gala and New York Fashion Week. Malayka was a cold call client, something Landry rarely accepted. One—she wanted to keep her personal stylist company small and intimate so that she could specially cater to her clients. And two—because most of the cold calls meant she had no idea who the potential client was or what type of funds they were working with.

She’d taken a gamble on Malayka Sampson and it seemed to have paid off, in spades.

“Have a seat, Ms. Norris,” the prince said in a low, deep voice that made Landry think of hot baths and back rubs.

She moved carefully to one of the cherrywood upholstered armchairs and gingerly took a seat. Considering Landry was used to being around wealthy people, handling gowns worth more than her childhood home, visiting mansions and attending movie premiers, being a guest in the royal palace on a Caribbean island felt unfamiliar to her. It was new and exciting and just a little bit nerve-racking.

From what she’d seen so far of the palace—it was lavishly decorated and spoke of the wealth and prestige of the people who lived there. Take this office for example, she thought with a quick glance at the floor-to-ceiling windows and grand stately furniture, it was one hell of a space. Roughly the size of the top level of her condo back in LA, the room was meticulously decorated with gold-leaf-framed portraits, Aubusson rugs and a large glossed wood desk where the gorgeous crown prince sat.

“It is Miss? You’re not married, are you?”

She could see his lips moving but had been too wrapped in the wonder of her surroundings to pay attention to what was being said.

“Excuse me?” she replied with a shake of her head, a silent admonishment to herself in hopes she would get it together.

He sat back in that dark leather chair, his honey-brown complexion combined with the pale gray color of his Italian-cut suit jacket providing a stark contrast. Behind him the white plantation shutters that covered each window were opened so that slices of sunlight slipped into the room.

“I asked if you were married.”

He sounded annoyed but his facial expression remained the same.

Dark eyebrows draped dramatically over velvet brown eyes. His jaw, not exactly strong but precise, just like his nose and ears. It was almost as if he’d had his pick of physical attributes and he’d done an excellent job putting them together.

“No. I’m not married,” she managed to finally reply.

A curt nod was the only telling sign that he’d even heard her answer as he immediately reached for a folder on his desk and opened it. He stared down at the papers that she presumed had something to do with her. The amount of paperwork she’d completed before coming there reminded her of when she’d purchased her condo. Grand Serenity Island had a tough security system. She presumed it was that way only for persons who would be staying in the palace, and not for every tourist who wanted to visit this Caribbean haven.

“You’ve been in business for two years. Landry Norris LLC is the name of your company. You’re a personal stylist. So you select clothes for adults to wear?”

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