e x c e r p t

W I L L I A M  W I N D S O R 

“I should not do this,” William Windsor told himself for the fifth time as he glanced at his Rolex wrapped on his wrist. This was too dangerous. Moreover, he had decided that it was time to act like a Duke and not a rascal. He should adhere to his decision and not let himself be lured back even if it was just for old time sake. Yet as he closed his eyes, he could recall the way her lover, Paris de Bourgh, had stood oh so close that the shape of her unconstrained breasts under the cling of her dress was visible for everyone's eyes. When she whispered saying that it was his for the taking, how could he refuse such temptation? It was almost a sin to turn her down. His body had responded to her enticement with all its former urgency despite common sense telling him that those memories of their entangled bodies between the sheets were best left forgotten.

Still, he fetched a flashlight and began traversing unfamiliar corridors to reach her while hoping that the other members of the house party would be safely tucked in their respective beds. No one would be likely to see him descending from his balcony especially now that he had cautiously changed his light blue shirt to a black T-shirt and leather jacket. If by any chance someone caught him, he could simply inform them that he had been unable to sleep and wished to get some fresh air.

That reason alone should suffice especially when one held a position as important as an Earl and was in line for a dukedom, he finally concluded as he made up his mind and proceeded with his plan.

K A T H E R I N E  B E N N E T

It had been a tiring night having to watch her sworn nemesis, Paris de Bourgh, stealing glances at William. Truth be told, Katherine was not jealous. After all, she had been the one to break up with him. Yet it was still vexing to watch, especially since Paris was already married to her best friend, Jaxon. Did she not have the decency and propriety to act as a married woman?

As she laid on her bed, she could only hope that both Paris and William were sleeping in their own respective bedrooms for she could not imagine how heartbroken Jaxon would be with such blatant betrayal. After a few peaceful minutes, she ultimately drifted to a peaceful slumber.

Although it was not for long. Katherine was not sure what had woken her up. Perhaps it was the chilly wind grazing her exposed skin, almost as if she was not safely tucked under the bedcover. She could swear she had closed the window but why were the pale curtains billowing into the room? Her eyelids were too heavy to remain open so she finally gave in to the tiredness and closed her eyes once more, trying her best to get some sleep.

But then she felt the mattress beside her dip under a new weight and her body instantly froze.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Who is it? Is it a thief?

Strong arms reached out for her, drawing and pulling her body against bare and aroused male flesh and before he could get away, a warm mouth took her by surprise in the kind of deep and sensual kiss. And for one brief, shocking moment, she felt her body arch against him in response. The next second her sanity came back and she tore her swollen lips from him. Swiftly she put both of her hands up on his torso and pushed him away but he was evidently of male sex thus much stronger than her. Growing more and more desperate, she raked my nails down his skin and only then his grasp loosen slightly, giving her the opening to roll across the bed away from him.

“What the bloody hell, Paris?!”

Her right hand blindly reached for the lamp switch and in a fraction of a second, the light flooded the room. Katherine turned back to see him even though judging from his sentence, she could guess who he was.

Standing tall beside the bed was none other than William Edward Harold Windsor aka her ex-boyfriend from her high school days.

Good lord. Why did he have to look that good when she was supposed to hate him for eternity for possibly being the one to ruin her best friend's marriage?

“Kate?” he said hoarsely, the look of confusion on his face was evident. “Why are you here?”

“Um, maybe because this is my room?” Katherine fought the burning sensation she felt on her cheeks and tried her best to remain cool as she leaned down for the sheet, dragging it up to cover her naked breasts.

Damn him!

Once she looked somewhat decent — as decent as one could under the circumstances, she put both of her hands on her hips and looked at him with one lifted brow. “Also, I should be the one to ask you. What are you doing in my room, William?”

Before he had a chance to answer, there was a sharp knock at the door, followed by Patrycia's voice saying, “Are you alright in there, Katherine? The guard said an intruder has been spotted in the garden.”

William closed his eyes briefly while muttering something violent and barely audible under his breath. Then he grabbed his discarded boxer off the floor and put it on while Katherine kept her gaze elsewhere, trying not to look.

“Quickly put your clothes on,” she hasted him as she reached for her own bathrobe.

Yet before William managed to put his pants or shirt back on, the door was unlocked and soon it was swung open, and Patrycia waltzed in. Following closely behind her was Karina aka biggest gossiper in town and Jaxon, her best friend who must have joined the party out of anxiety.

“Well, well, well,” said Karina with a wicked smile and sparkling blue eyes. “What do we have here? Old flames burn once more?”

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