Christmas is in the air...and so is romance at the royal palace in the Mediterranean island nation of Mirraccino. ;-)
She swung open one of the expansive teal doors and there stood two uniformed men from the palace staff. Each held a cardboard box.
The older of the two men was the first to speak. “I believe you inquired about some extra Christmas decorations.”
“I did. I want to surprise De—erm…Prince Demetrius. I thought he might enjoy a bit of holiday cheer.”
When she’d passed the butler in the hallway the other day, she’d mentioned that the palace looked lovely. And she might have added that it’d be nice to have some of the extra decorations for the beach house. To be honest, she hadn’t thought the man was paying her a bit of attention. Obviously he’d heard every word she’d said. She made a mental note to thank him.
“Where would you like these?” the younger man spoke up.
“I’ll take them.” She held out her arms for the box in his hands.
“It’s okay, ma’am. We’ve got them. There are more in the truck—” “More?” “Sì. Lots more.”
“Oh my. I didn’t expect so much.”
“You did ask for the extras, didn’t you?”
“Um…I did. Come on in.” She stepped out of their way. Luckily the beach house was quite spacious. “You can place them in the living room.”
It took a few minutes for the two men to haul in boxes of all shapes and sizes. After Zoe saw the men off, she walked back into the living room and her mouth gaped open. What was Demetrius going to say when he saw all of this?
She smiled, thinking of the old Demetrius. He would have thought it was great. He loved to find reasons to celebrate. He’d have popped some bubbly, turned on some festive music and been the first one to explore the boxes. Boy, she missed that part of him.
This new Demetrius had her stumped. She never knew what to expect from him. Just like that kiss that had come out of nowhere. What did it mean? Did it mean that he wanted them to start over? Or had it just been a fleeting thing?
Not wanting to dwell on those troubling thoughts any longer, she started opening boxes. There were ornaments, table decorations and wall hangings. But when she came to a pencil tree, she stopped. It was perfect. Now she just had to find a spot for it.
Zoe set to work. She placed the seven-foot Christmas tree next to the fireplace. The tree was adorable with a real bark trunk that was anchored in a red bucket. The short limbs were lined with white lights. All she had to do was plug it in. The twinkle lights lit up, sending a soft glow through the shadows now filling the room.
In another box, she found candles, which she lined along the mantel. After some digging in the kitchen, she found a lighter. With a chill in the air, she decided to go ahead and burn the logs in the fireplace. The apartment she shared with her mother didn’t have such a luxury. And Zoe did love how the light from the fire danced upon the walls while the wood snapped and popped.
Onward she went digging through the boxes, amazed at the variety and quantity of decorations. No expense had been spared. She pulled out her cell phone and selected some Christmas music. She started singing along as she continued to create a holiday retreat.
“What’s going on here?”
Order THE PRINCE'S CHRISTMAS VOW (Twin Princes of Mirraccino, bk 2):
A PRINCESS BY CHRISTMAS (Twin Princes of Mirraccino, bk 1):