Mandy tilted her head to one side, looking uncertain for a moment. “Don't you know that everyone called him a ‘rake' for a reason? He is the heir of a Duke title. He is an Earl now and his father is a Marquess because his grandfather still holds the Duke title but still, everyone knows sooner or later it will be passed on.”
“I am aware of that but I am not sure I understand what you mean. What does his title have anything to do with the warning you mentioned earlier?”
“Well, obviously every girl wants to be the next Duchess or Marchioness or even Countess. Who would not want to become royalty and marry British royalty? So ultimately everyone tries to date him. But he is not a one-girl-forever type of guy. He is the traveling type, never staying with one girl for long. One could even say that he is such a sailor in a way that he will stop in many docks but he will never stick for a long time. A few weeks at most before he grows bored and makes excuses to break up.” Mandy waved her hand as if she had not just dropped a bomb. She acted as if Katherine had known this all along when in fact, she had not. “You do not need to worry though. Maybe this time it would be different. He looks like he likes you so much and you both look so good together.”
Katherine had been too stunned to answer yet her mind reeling back to her first week in Carlton High. Walking down the corridors, there were girls who had been giving her odd looks and although she had first thought it was strange, she had not really paid any mind to it. She had simply written that off as jealousy because they wanted to be with William but he chose to be with her instead. Now, after getting this bit of information from Mandy, she could see that those could have a different meaning altogether. Perhaps they had been trying to warn her but unsure how to pop her bubble.
Still, Katherine had believed in William. He had been nothing but a gentleman to her. “Tell me who the other girls are. How would I know whether you are telling the truth or simply making this up?”
Mandy seemed to be uneasy and reluctant but in the end, she had called three other girls, “Sarah, Daisy, Lina, why don't you tell Katherine here about Liam and your brief relationship with him.”
“He was fun. Though you could not trust him out of your sight,” said Sarah. “He is the kind of guy who is capable of seducing your best friend right under your nose!”
Daisy protested, “No! He does not cheat! He simply walks out one day and never contacts you again. He broke up with me saying he was sorry but he had fallen for someone new. He kissed my forehead then left. I did not see him until two weeks later when he marched into a party with a redhead in his arms. It sucked so bad but I live.”
“That was more or less what happened to me too,” said Lina, the raven-haired girl. “He is the sexiest guy and he knows his way in the bedroom too. Even though he broke up with me, I regret nothing! He has given me the best sex. He is up there on the list of the best sex in my entire life.”
“I agree!” Sarah nodded eagerly. “He and I are friends now but to be honest, how can I look at him without recalling the time we have spent together.”
“How is it with you, Katherine?” Mandy asked and the other girls shifted their gaze to Katherine.
“It is fine,” Katherine replied curtly. She could not possibly tell them that she had never gone to bed with William. Not when they were boasting about his amazing skills in bed.
“Let me give you a hint,” said Mandy conspiratorially. “You always split up when you go to a party like this, right? Why don't you try to find him?”
Katherine was about to inform her that at a party like this, William had always been with his other friends: Castile, Rafe, Orlando, and Nathaniel. The five of them were known as the CROWN boys and always stuck together.
Yet before she had the chance to, Mandy had interrupted her and said, “Go and find him. If he is tired of you, you could find him with another girl but if he is not then he is probably in the lounge with the other CROWN boys.”
The other girls had nodded their agreement. Lina even commented, “Liam is always like that. He has to find the replacement first before telling you that you have been replaced.”
Even after the girls had finally left her in peace, she could not shake the thought off of her head. She and William had only been seeing each other for a very short time, no more than a month. She was not yet in love with him, but if she was being honest, she was merely wavering on the brink. Now it seemed that she could never let herself fall for him or she would be doomed to have her heart broken so carelessly by him.
It would be her turn next to stand in front of him, hearing him say those words he had said to those girls. Lame excuses and all. And there would be nothing she could do about it because it would be far too late. Except if she would never fall in love with him, if she never let him matter then he could never hurt her. Yet if she went on and continued seeing him, how could she stop caring? How could she prevent herself from falling for him?
There had only been one logical conclusion. She must walk away from him before he walked away from her. She must be the first to leave to be the last to get hurt. As she had gone to search for him that night and eventually found him talking to a girl who had been standing way too close to him, she swiftly made up her mind. It was best to break up with him now before it was all too late. Before he broke her heart and left her to pick up the pieces.
Pushing those old memories away, Katherine went into the kitchen to fix herself something to eat. As she poured tea from the teapot into a cup, she stopped short. Patrycia was bound to have invited Raynald Ambrose since he was one of the people in her social circle.
Raynald always believed that he was in love with Katherine since the day she had defended him in Sociology class back in university, and lately, he was becoming too much. She had tried numerous times to let him down gently but he was being very persistent, convinced that she was the only one for him. He had even once declared that he would make her love him. As if love could be arranged that easily.
Sipping the tea after pouring a splash of milk, she slumped down on the couch, knowing fully well that tonight's party would be tiring but she had to attend nonetheless.
C H A P T E R 3 : T H E T H I N G A B O U T B R E A K U P A N D O L D W O U N D K A T H E R I N E B E N N E T It had been around eight when Katherine was ready to leave for the house party. She had packed her clothes in a small leather bag and brought them down with her to her car. In no less than twenty minutes, she had arrived in Patrycia's place and was being led to the living room where some of the attendees were already there including none other than Paris de Bourgh. On the surface, Paris de Bourgh was brimming with extravagant charm, the very picture of the lovely young wife of a successful man. However having known her throughout university days, Katherine could see that her posture was far too rigid and the hands in her lap were clenched rather than folded. It made her wonder if perhaps Paris was not happy with her m
C H A P T E R 4 : C A U G H T U P O N T H E W R O N G B E D K A T H E R I N E B E N N E T After dinner, Katherine found a newspaper in a rack beneath one of the side tables and took it to a chair on the other side of the room. It was mainly concerned with the stock market, growing business, and other industries. On page nine, there was some news about William's company. This was naturally accompanied by a photograph of him since he was the CEO. In the photo he seated at his desk, his shirt sleeves rolled back over-tanned forearms, and his tie loose. He looked tough, business-like, and, damn him, sexy as hell. The camera was no doubt being operated by a woman. She took a deep breath and tried to stop herself from admiring him. Her mind brought back how horrible of a player he truly was, how he had once almost broken her heart. Then the recent
“Okay,” Katherine Bennet started with a sigh. “Obviously this was just an accident. You thought I was Paris so you came here. So the easiest way to fix this would be to tell everyone that you thought I was her.” When he had not said a word, she looked up to meet his eyes. Finally, he opened his mouth and answered her in his thick British accent, “I can not do it.” “Why the hell not?” “Well, for once, she is married.” She stared at him as if he had just informed her that the planet Earth was round. “So? Did you just find that out now?” William stared at her with an incredulous look on his face. “No, I knew that but I mean, I can not admit it in the open. That would mess things up.”
“Marry me, Kate.” When she did not say anything, he reiterated, “Marry me and it will solve our current predicament.” William looked at his ex-girlfriend and tried his best to maintain the serious look on his face. He fully realized how crazy his suggestion was however he also recalled what his grandfather had said to him a few weeks ago. One more misbehavior, one more bad news about him that would affect the Windsor name, the dukedom of Ashbourne, and he would be forced to hand over his title and would not be a part of the family. In all honesty, William could care less about the money or the title but the last thing he ever wanted was to be disowned by his family. He watched her opening her mouth and then closing it as if she was at loss for words for a few seconds before she finally regained her ability to speak. “Are you crazy? Why would I want to marry you?!" Giving her a mere shrug, he answered, ”Because
The next morning, as if she was suddenly awoken from a deep slumber, Katherine finally realized what had been said and done. She was going to marry her rakish ex-boyfriend. How cruel life could be! She had been blessed and happy being the one that had gotten away and now she ended up pretty much in the same place — only that instead of being his girlfriend, it seemed that she had found herself being promoted to his fiancé. For a long moment, dizzy with uncertainty, she stared down at the ceiling. She knew she should wake up and get ready but she simply could not. She dreaded facing reality. She should not have come to this house party and now it was all too late. Forcing herself, she dragged her sleepy legs to the bathroom. A few minutes later, she walked out of the bathroom and heard a knock on her door. She did not have to check the peephole to know that it was William
Her cell phone rang inside her coat pocket, and without looking at who was calling, Katherine already knew that it was her mother calling again. She had already sent her call to voicemail a few times today, but since it was after five o’clock now, she could no longer use the excuse that she could not pick up the call because she was working. In all honesty, she had no grudge whatsoever against her mother and she actually loved her mother which was why she could not bring herself to tell another lie, knowing fully well that her mother would like to discuss her engagement, or worse, her wedding. She could not tell her mother how much she loved William (which could only explain the rushed engagement) when truly, she had no feelings whatsoever for him. All her feelings were for Jaxon. She could not let her best friend's heart be broken when she could save him from getting hurt. “Hello, Mom,” she greeted and refrained from sighing. “Katherine Elizabeth Bennet,
Katherine could hardly remember the faces that greeted her by the time she had made it to the lobby of the mansion. Yet she could vividly recall Paris, sitting beside Jaxon. Her lips stretched in a smile, but her eyes were burning with anger as William made the announcement with grave pleasure. And when William took Katherine’s hand, glowing with the blue fire of his sapphire, and raised it formally to his lips before putting his arm possessively around her waist, bent her over, and gave her yet another breathtaking kiss, Katherine was quite sure her nemesis wanted to drag her by her hair and push her down the hill. It was indeed an act of sweet revenge, Katherine had to admit. However, lying to Jaxon, her best friend, had been difficult. When he caught her as she walked out of the restroom and asked her what on Earth was going on, she could only smile and tell him, “I am getting married.” “Yes, but to William Edward Harold Windsor?!” He shook his head in disbelief a
Despite her reluctance, William insisted on driving Katherine home and had his driver drive Katherine's car, following closely behind them. “You know I’m perfectly able to drive my own car,” she commented as he was turning on the junction near where she lived. “You don’t need to drive me home.” “I know you’re and I know I don’t need to," he replied as he glanced briefly at her before focusing his eyes back on the road. “Okay, then why did you do it anyway?” The car slowed down until it came to a full stop right in front of her building. “Because I want to.” He undid his seat belt and turned his body so he could fully face her. “You’re my fiancé now, Kate —” “Katherine,” she corrected. “Only my mom calls me Kate.” “Well, I like Kate better than Katherine plus I called you Kate all the time when we were dating back in high school.” He gave a light shrug then continued with his earlier sentence, “Anyway, I was going to say tha