Crazy Fantasy: Part 1-6

Sleep, no matter how Gen insisted I got some, came slowly and morning arrived too fast. I follow Gran around mutely for most of the morning. Only as we started to eat brunch do I start to perk up. Gradually, my eyes open to a more alert state, and a smile begins to play on my lips. Gran notices and smiles at me.

It's odd, but she seems happy that I've found Gen. For the longest time I'd been worried about how I'd get Gran to accept any girl I was interested in. Dad and his siblings had such a hard time finding someone who was ‘good enough' for them. Besides Scott, there seems to be nothing that Gran sees as a problem. Last night Jonathan arrived from England by her orders to protect Gen. That is one of the biggest signs of acceptance I've ever seen from Gran. I wonder how close she expects to get with Gen. Maybe they'll have a good relationship like what Gran and Mom should have had. Gran can be a royal pain in the ass if she wants to be. She has a stubborn streak that the whole family knows. Some of us even inherited it. Gen has the sort of attitude needed to make it with Gran, though. She has a strength that Gran will appreciate. Neither of them will lower themselves for another. She is a woman who earns respect. She'll make a good queen one day. Maybe Gran sees that. She wants me to have a wife who will give the support a king needs, but who will expect me to stand on my own. I don't doubt she sees the distance as an advantage. When Gen and I are married, there will be times when we will have to be apart for long periods of time.

I don't know how I'll do it. Just being without her for the last day has been hard. I don't know how I'll make it through the next few years seeing her only when schedules allow.

When will I be able to see her next? I can't take her with me – the media would have a field day, and Gen has other commitments. That takes me to the end of July back in London. Gen is working at her camp all summer... But she has a week off in the middle of the summer! I'll have to check when it is. Hopefully, I'll be able to surprise her just as she finishes her last week before the break. The next time we see each other won't be under nearly as happy conditions probably I don't doubt that she will come over to England for the anniversary of mother's death, and I'll be coming over for Scott's. It'll be hard on Gen being the first year. Honestly, I'm kind of worried she'll start doubting being with me. She really loves him, and while she says she loves me, I don't know how deep it goes in relation to her loss. I couldn't handle loosing her to a dead guy. No matter how grateful I am. So, I'll have to arrange a flight here for that weekend. Too bad for any classes I'll miss.

Just another ten minutes of this visit. Then I get to get in the limo and see Gen.

* * *

I drop Carlie off at school five minutes before the bell. She isn't exactly prepared for her test, but I quizzed her all the way in so she should do all right. I then drive to my apartments, go for a short run along the river, then shower and change into a pair of wine-colored dress pants (relatively form fitting) and a black shirt. I pile my damp hair on my head in a messy up-do. Mom loves it when I wear my hair like this. I hope Wills likes it. Scott preferred it down, so he could run his fingers through it.

Then again, whether Wills likes it or not, this is a good idea. Makes certain Wills keeps his hand to himself. Somewhat. Not that I don't want them, but with Elizabeth right there it isn't the best idea. I just want to be in his arms again.

At quarter to ten I call down to the door that I am expecting a limo to pick me up and ask them to page me when it arrives. Finally, at half past I get the call and head down.

"Miss Hudson," the older man holding the car door says as I approach. I nod and allow him to help me in. I pause for a moment to allow my eyes to adjust to the dark interior and am surprised to see another person already in the limo. I sit down in the seat by the door and wait.

"Miss Hudson?" he inquires. At my nod he continues, "I am Jonathan Plante. The Queen has asked for me to be assigned as your bodyguard."

Again, I nod.

"You understand that I am expected to be near you at all times?"

"What is the point of a bodyguard if he isn't always there? You know how to ride?"

"Yes. What difference does that make, though, if I may ask?"

"You're stuck with me every single day, you can ask anything you want," I say. "I'm leading a riding camp this summer, so we'll be out almost every day."

"That's why they were looking for someone who could ride. You're French, too, right?"

"How'd you guess?" I ask with a smile.

"I speak it," he says in French. "And your name is very French. Except the Hudson. Is your father English?"

"No. My boyfriend was. He died in October. I was named heir to his parents' estate and took their name."

Jon lets out a whistle. "That's what, eight months ago? You must be pretty serious with Will though for me to be here. You're moving on pretty quickly."

"No. I still miss him. But I have to move on, right? And being with Wills feels right. He is being very good to me, very patient and loving. I feel very selfish, but Wills seems to think I'm giving more than I'm taking. I don't let the press bother me, is all."

"He'll be very grateful for that. He's learned to not put a lot of faith in them," he stops and looks out the window. "Looks like we're here. They've got two cars going now. You, Will, and we unfortunate fellows are in here, and the Queen and Phillip in the other."

"How long?" I ask.

"They're on their way out."

I move over to the other side of the car by Jonathan and try to wait patiently. After what seems like ages, they finally come out of the building and move to the cars. Finally, Wills steps in and sits down. He holds up a finger signaling me to wait as his bodyguard enters and the door closes. Quickly, I move to him and he wraps his arms around my waist, pulling me into his lap. I giggle softly as he kisses my cheek.

"Hello, beautiful," he whispers in my ears. "You look radiant this morning."

"How would you know? You can't see a thing in here!" I laugh, though I do feel the color rising to my cheeks.

"You always look gorgeous," he says then kisses me gently on the lips. I return the favor enjoying the feeling of him holding me so close. However, a couple of wise cracking bodyguards pull us from our little world.

"No wonder they get a car of their own. The queen wouldn't be able to sit through this," Jonathan mutters.

"You didn't see them when they were out riding. If you think this is bad..." Wills' bodyguard says.

Wills sighs into my lips, regretting his next move before he makes it.

"Do you two have a problem?" he asks. I relax into his chest, my butt on one side of his legs, my feet on the other. Wills holds me tightly.

"'Course not Will," his guard says with a grin. "Go on snogging with your girl. You don't get much time with her."

"Thanks for your permission," Wills answers.

I kiss him lightly then say, "It could be worse," a twinkle in my eye, daring them to challenge me. I feel Wills' curious gaze on me.

Jonathan looks at me for a moment and realizes I mean what I say. He challenges my gaze, but backs down when he realizes I know what I'm talking about and will act on it.

"Bah, this show is bad enough," he says, then mutters in a quiet voice I can barely hear, "Besides, we don't need Wills any more aroused."

I force back a laugh and look up at Wills, love shining in my eyes. He returns the look, emotion filling his eyes, turning them a very attractive dark ocean blue. God, those eyes are gorgeous. Our eyes locked, he lowers his head to mine. Just as our lips meet for a brief, gentle moment, my eyes flutter closed, opening again as he moves back, the loving gaze never leaving my eyes. Even slower than before my Wills lowers his face to mine and we kiss longer, more passionately. Again he pulls back, this time only far enough to whisper, "I love you, Gen" before resuming kissing me. Gradually, all my other senses fade, and I am aware only of Wills; his lips, his body against mine, the movement of his hands over my back.

Quite suddenly, we are drawn back to reality as the limo stops in front of the hospital. Wills eases out of the embrace and I slide off his lap to the seat beside him then follow Wills out. Not once do we break contact. Out of the car, in full view of the paparazzi, Wills takes my hand in his and leads us into the building. I smile sweetly and look at Wills lovingly as we go. The noise is nearly deafening, and the lighting blinding, but with Wills by me, it is wonderful.

"You're officially, visibly, in the eyes of the world, my girl," he whispers in my ear as we walk. "I love you."

I feel my cheeks flushing, but whisper, "I love you," back. Wills, much to my chagrin, has better control of his features and smiles lovingly at me. Damn him!

* * *

Gen's whispered "I love you" sends chills down my spine. Though she was the first to say it last night, this is the first time she's said to directly to me. I want to kiss her more passionately than in the limo, but I resign myself to a loving gaze. As I look at her, I notice a flush to her face and smile. At least she isn't immune to my charms. Regretfully, I turn my attention to the crowd and wave to them. Thankfully, Gran doesn't stop to talk to any of them, and though I notice a few girls with teddy bears likely intended for me, I follow her in, Gen at my side.

Inside is an open area with many of the staff standing to meet us. I notice a few curious looks directed at Gen, but most had some state of recognition on their faces as well. Gran gives a little speech, they applaud, and we split to start shaking hands.

"Wills," Gen whispers uncertainly in my ear.

I wrap my arm around her waist, pulling her close to me. "Just make polite conversation and shake hands. I'll stay right beside you."

She nods and we move to the line of doctors to our right. Slowly, we move down to the sounds of polite "your highness"s and "Miss Delarier" or "Miss Hudson"s. Gen wasn't kidding when she said that most people knew who she is. We were nearly at the end of the line when it happened. I had shaken hands with a couple of doctors who were introduced as being from ICU, Gen stopped.

"Gen," the senior doctor says, quietly. "You're looking much better than the last time I saw you. How have you been doing?"

"Quite horribly until I met William," she answers. "Wills," she says to me, "this is Jacqueline and Zack. They were Scott's doctors."

I nod and shake their hands again. I have no clue what to say.

"Gen, if you don't mind me asking, are the two of you -?" Zack asks.

"It's amazing how close you can get with a person in just a few days," she answers with a nod.

"We'll let you get on, but it was good to see you again, Gen," Jacqueline says.

"You too," Gen says and we move on down the remainder of the line. As we begin to walk down the hall behind our guide, I wrap Gen's arm though my own.

"How are you doing?" I ask.

"I could have done without seeing Jacqueline and Zack, but I'm alright. I'm glad I'm with you," she says and holds my arm a little tighter.

"I'm glad. This day is much better with you here."

She gives me a beautiful smile and we continue on in a relaxed silence listening to our guide. Finally, the tour finishes and we move to visit some of the patients. Someone had decided that our party would be too large, so Gran and Grandfather went together, and Gen and I were another group. We get a new guide and continue on to the children's ward. We visit room after room of young patients, having their conditions told to us before we enter. The smiles and grins and looks of surprise on their faces are wonderful to see. Gen just let her love radiate, bringing color and warmth to the sterile, white hospital rooms. We leave yet another room and continue down the hall.

"Why did we leave that room?" Gen asks about a room which had the door slightly ajar and the television on.

"That's Sarah Noftel's room. I'm afraid she is not the easiest child to work with. She is very bitter and cynical. The head of the ward decided not to put her on the visit list."

"It sounds like she needs the visit more than the other children we've seen. May I go in?" Gen asks.

Uncertainty wavers across his face, but I turn and begin to walk back to the room we passed. "What is wrong with her?" I ask.

"Liver failure and she has very difficult characteristics to match for a donor. None of her family is close enough. She is on continuous dialysis."

The poor child.

"She was diagnosed twenty months ago, a month after her sixth birthday. She's been in and out ever since."

This seems to set Gen's mind and she quickly walks strait for the door, I follow right behind her.

"What do you want – huh? You're not a doctor. Don't I know you from somewhere?" I hear here say to Gen before I walk in.

"I'm Genevieve Delarier Hudson," Gen answers her.

"You were Scott Hudson's girlfriend," Sarah cries in recognition. "Why are you here?"

My cue.

"Because I asked her to join me," I say as I move in more from the door, my bodyguards and Gen's and the guide following me in.

"Prince William?" she asks in disbelief.

I smile and nod. Gen giggles.

"I knew you were coming to the hospital, but I didn't know you were going to visit me," she says to me.

"It wasn't planned," our guide says.

"Shut up, Steven," Sarah says. "It's nice to have visitors," she adds, looking at Gen and I.

"We're happy to be able to," Gen says, moving towards the bed. "What were you watching?"

"Arthur. There is nothing good on at this time of day."

"Arthur isn't that bad," Gen says. I have no clue what they are talking about.

"I've seen it three times already."

"That could get boring then," Gen agrees with a laugh. "Any show that many times could get boring."

Gen has sat down on the edge of the bed and I move forward and put my hand lightly on her back. The two talk for a little while longer then Sarah suddenly asks, "Are you two dating?"

"You could say that," I answer. Gen seems to be in shock. "How did you figure that out?"

"How close you stand to her, the way you have your hand on her back, the fact that you would normally be with the Queen, and I saw it on ET last night."

"What's ET?" I ask.

Sarah looks at me as if I've grown an extra head, and Gen laughs. When she calms down, Gen says, "ET is one of the leading Hollywood gossip shows."

"I told you," I whisper in her ear.

"Oh, shut up," she laughs.

Sarah looks at us and smiles. "You look happy together," she says with knowledge beyond her years. "You deserve it."

We both look at her and then at each other. Neither of us have any clue what to say. If it had come from an older person, I likely would be able to respond, but from this child, all the responses I know hardly seem appropriate. So, I gently kiss Gen's cheek, then Sarah's hand and step back. The two seemed to have bonded during our short visit, and I give Gen some room.

* * *

Sarah certainly threw us for a loop. No wonder the doctors find her bitter and cynical. They treat her like a young child, but she has matured extremely quickly. She likely has some emotional understanding that I don't have. She isn't as well educated in some stuff, but still...

Wills gives Sarah a kiss on the hand and moves back. As wonderful as it is to have him at my side, I'm grateful for the space at this moment.

"My mom was worried about you when Scott died. I saw you on the news a couple months ago for something and you still looked really sad. But now you are so happy. I hope I'll get to see your wedding. You both need each other."

"How do you know this?" I ask.

"I'm dying. They say when you're dying you grow up faster. My parents don't want to admit it, so I act like a kid, but I get frustrated with the way they all treat me. You aren't like that. You'll make him happy. He needs someone like you, that doesn't care about anything but the character. He's a little more demanding with what he needs, but you have it, and the strength to keep it.

"Will you come visit me again?"

She is still a child. A brilliant, mature child, but a child.

"I'd love to. Next week, same time, same place?"

"Sure. I like you."

"I like you too, Sarah," I say and give her a hug. "I'll see you at 11:30 next Wednesday."

She giggles and smiles and nods.

I get up and meet everyone else outside the room. Wills smiles at me and I move in close to his side, taking strength in his touch.

"New friend?" he asks.

"She is so lonely."

"Sounds familiar."

"Maybe I can spread some of our happiness," I say. "I'm coming back to visit her again next week. Maybe it'll become a regular visit. I'll tell you more later," I whisper so as to not be overheard.

We visit many more children over the next hour, but none strike at either of our hearts the same way Sarah did. We meet back up with the Queen and Phillip, and a pair of twins who were in the hospital presented all of us with a small gift. Elizabeth got a beautiful bouquet of flowers, Phillip and Wills each got a basket of local maple syrup products, and I am given an adorable little teddy bear. As the children present the bear to me, I give them each a hug in thanks, and they smile shyly. Wills takes my arm in his and, after saying goodbye, we step out of the building.

The crowd has grown since we went in, including massive press coverage. Wills keeps a tight hold on my arm and smiles at me. Then the teens start.

Choruses of "I love you, Will" fill our ears. Wills doesn't smile quite as brilliantly at me, his annoyance just visible in his eyes.

Mocking the hoards, I whisper, "I love you more, Wills."

This returns the smile to his face in full force and after looking at me, he laughs.

"My heart belongs to you," he whispers back. "Only and always you."

I smile at him and to keep the blush from my face laugh lightly.

"You are a charmer," I say. "But I've been warned about you Englishmen; you and your gorgeous, refined accents. They can really deceive a girl.

"And I love it."

"Then I'll seduce your ear off," he says in a husky voice in my ear.

This time I do blush and glare at him, or as best I can without appearing too flirtatious. Wills gives me a puppy dog look, begging for forgiveness and I tap the arm I'm holding lightly and laugh.

"If we keep this up the cameras will have a field day," I finally say.

"You're with me. They already are," Wills says.

We walk the last several meters in silence to the waiting limo and get in. Jon and Wills' bodyguards laugh at us as I beat on Wills with my new teddy bear for having twice embarrassed me while the cameras were flashing. Wills finally grabs the bear from me and passes it to the guys on the other side of the car.

"My teddy!" I cry.

"No weapons allowed," Jon laughs.

"Aren't you forgetting that I don't need physical weapons? I can get even in other ways," I suggest as I move my hands to where I can begin to tickle Wills. Unfortunately, Wills catches on before I can carry out my threat and grabs my hands.

"Give her the bear back," he says. "It suits her."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" I ask.

"You have an innocence that I love. It's very attractive," he whispers in my ear as he gives me my bear. I cuddle it close to my chest and hide my blush as I look down at it.

"Your face turns a beautiful shade of pink when you bush," Wills says, raising my face to look at his. "Are you sure you don't have noble ancestors?"

"Who says you have to be noble to look graceful?"

"No one. You just emanate the characteristics of nobility. The way you carried yourself today is bound to impress Gran."

"I hope so," I whisper.

"She likes you, don't worry," Wills comforts me, pulling me into his chest. "Jon wouldn't be here if she didn't."

We sit together for a moment, comforting the others doubts away about our obstacles when Wills' bodyguard begins to speak.

"The palace has asked for a statement from the two of you to give to the press. And they want to speak with you, Miss Hudson."

"Gen," I correct quickly. I don't much care for that title anymore.

"That sounds reasonable," Wills says. "When do they want the statement?"

"As soon as possible. This afternoon, if you could."

"And me?" I ask.

"We'll look after that later," Jon assures me.

Wills seems ready to protest, but decides otherwise. Then quietly says, "Look out for her, Jon."

Jon nods.

I kiss Wills' cheek and smile. "I'll be fine, don't worry."

"I know, but I still will," he answers quietly then raises my face to his for a long, comforting kiss.

I wonder if he'll ever learn to use tongue? It's not that I don't like his kisses as they are, I mean, he has wonderful lips, but there can only be so much passion without tongue, and we are pushing that border.

Maybe it's a good thing we're going to be so far apart for the first bit of our relationship. We really have connected on a higher level than I've know. Scott and I were very close, I trusted him with everything, but there is something extra here with Wills. I don't know if I'll ever be able to name it.

I love sitting here in his arms. Being surrounded, held by love is a completely unique sensation. It is enchanting.

"We're here, sire," the driver pages back to us.

I look out the tinted windows expecting to see the deli I told Wills about, but instead see that we're at a small but ritzy restaurant that Mary and I often stop at when out shopping. I give Wills a questioning look. He offers me his hand.

We get out of the limo and enter the elegant, colonial building. It looks very similar to the houses out at the landing, and has both the traditional dining room and private rooms. Apparently, Wills called ahead as we are seated on the balcony of a private room where our bodyguards are seated. Wills orders a home-style burger and I try not to laugh. I get a chicken caesar salad.

"I'd heard you liked fast food, but it still seems weird," I say when we are alone.

"Why can't I enjoy a burger? I'm only human too."

"That you enjoy a burger makes me think otherwise," I joke. "A prince eating a burger. And not just a prince, you! It just doesn't fit."

"Then you don't know me nearly as well as I thought," Wills says, obviously hurt.

"I don't know you that well, but I knew you'd enjoy it because it's simple, normal. But with the way you carry yourself, your manner, eating a burger doesn't fit. Especially when we're in front of people with your grandmother," I explain. "Even now you aren't entirely being yourself."

Wills nods, agreeing with me. Forgiveness and regret in his eyes for his earlier comment, but something else, too. It arrived after my last comment. Loneliness. Oh, Wills! Someday I'll fill that gap for you.

"I don't know if I can anymore," he says. I take his hand but wait for him to continue. It is several minutes.

"I'm forgetting who I am. There was once a time when I would put on a face only for the camera, but as I got older, I had to be more and more aware of everything. When mum died, I found myself putting a face more often then as university started it got worse. Since dad – I hardly ever am myself. I'm getting rather sick of it, but it's like a drug. I can't stop myself."

"Do you want to?"

* * *

She asks tough questions.

"I don't know," I say as I look away. That isn't entirely true. I know that I want to be myself without being a politician or actor. But that can only be done if I let down my walls.

"Yes you do," Gen tells me. "You're just not ready to go there yet."

"Why don't you just say I'm afraid?" I ask.

"You're not. You aren't running away from this, you know it's there, and if you had to, you could face it, but you'd rather not. In time, you'll be able to. I'll help you through," Gen explains to me. "Just like you're helping me."

What does she need my... Scott. Of course! She's put up barriers too. Only she's more ready to take them down. She's seen the other side and wants back there. With me.

"I love you, Gen," I say quietly.

Gen was about to respond as our food arrived. She gives me a small smile and we wait patiently until we are alone again.

"Help me be free again," I whisper before she can speak.

She shakes her head. "You aren't ready yet."

"What would make me ready?" I feel hurt that she doesn't have faith in me.

"You'll feel ready to leave the past in the past. And you'll be able to talk to me."

"I already do that."

"Tell me about you then," she challenges. "Wills, I love you. I can read you, but you can't talk about the you I'm getting to know. When you are there, then I can help you, support you, but this a journey you have to make on your own. Are you ready to start?"

"With you by my side I'm ready for anything."

We continue talking on less serious subjects as we eat. Just as we finish our meal, I decide to invite her.

"Gen, I got a call from your province's premier earlier. He suggested that I may want to bring a guest tonight," I begin. Gen smiles shyly, yet reassuringly at me. Guess she's figured out what I'm after. "I would be honored if you'd join me."

"I'd love to, Wills," she says with a dazzling smile. "The press?"

"There shouldn't be too much coverage. It isn't being well publicized."

"Alright. What are you wearing?"

"Tux," I answer. "Simple black and white, though a more modern cut."

A devilish smile appears on Gen's face. "I think I need to go shopping."

"Why mist women collect so many clothes?"

"The thrill of wearing something new and everyone commenting on it. It's a rush. And you have to stay on top of style. Colors change every season. Besides my favorites, I give my old clothes away at the center, though. The girls that are the same size as me are some of the best dressed," she giggles.

"Glad I won't have to worry about the size of your closet, then."

"Don't be so sure. I have three closets full plus a wardrobe full of coats. I won't even go into shoes," there is a warped grin on her face as she says this.

"Mom outdid you at least," I say. She loved clothes too.

"What time do I need to be ready?"

"I'll arrange to have the limo stop at your apartment on the way at around quarter to seven?" I offer.

Gen nods. ‘What about tomorrow?"

"We're going to the museum and are to preside over the changing of the guard. Then I'm making a solo appearance in a park. I can't ask you to join me for the changing of the guard, but if you're available for the rest of the day, I'd like to spend the majority of my last day here with you, even if it is with the press."

"I wish you didn't have to go. When will we see each other again?"

"I don't know. Our tour finishes in Victoria on the last Sunday in July. Maybe I'll be able to stop over here for a week on my way back."

For a moment, Gen had looked extremely happy at the idea, then thought about the date and seemed less cheerful.

"What is it, love?" I ask gently. It's weird saying that, but it feels so right. And Gen seems to like it.

"That's the week I have off," she explains. Isn't that a good thing? "My family and the Hudsons are going out camping that week." Now I see why she was upset. "We've been going together for the last three years. Even though Scott isn't' here this year – we have to go still.

"I wonder if you could come? Do you like tenting it?"

I smile. "It's been a few years, but I spent part of my gap year in South America. We had a good time trekking through the jungle."

"So you should have qualms with the forests of New York," she giggles. I love the sound of that happiness.

"I doubt it," I agree.

"Then I'll talk to my parents and Jim and Mary and I'll let you know if it'll even work on this end. Then we can look into your side."

"Everything will work and we'll get a week together, hopefully with no press."

"No, there won't be any press. We'll spend a week with just us and my family."

"And the three of us," Jon says. "I'm afraid I have to cut this visit short, Will. You have to meet up with your grandparents shortly. Do you have a statement written yet?"

I sigh. "Time flies. I hadn't even thought about it."

"Could we have another ten minutes?" Gen asks.

"I can give you five. Will, have you?" he asks cryptically.

"Yes. Gen's coming tonight."

"And we're going shopping right away," Gen smiles.

Jon groans. Gen laughs. "Get used to it, Hun. I go out shopping on a regular basis."

I send Jon a sympathetic look. I wouldn't mind going shopping with Gen, but I also have a deeper connection with her than bodyguard. Hopefully it won't be too much of a chore for him. I hate shopping with my cousins.

"I'll let you two write that statement," Jon says as he leaves.

"He's going to ask to be transferred back before I see you again," I joke.

"He'll get used to it. Besides, I won't be doing a lot of shopping this summer," Gen smiles. "Shall we get started?"

She pulls a notepad and pen from her purse. "I have no clue what to write," she confesses.

"May I?" I offer.

Gen hands me the pad and pen and I quickly write a brief statement saying that we have found that we share a connection and though we would like to have spent more time together out of the public eye our schedules left us with very little private time on the same continent. At this time, we are not giving interviews, nor will any of Gen's friends or family. I then ask the press to please respect Gen's privacy as they have my own. I hand it to Gen, she reads it and nods.

"You have nice writing," she says.

"Thanks. It took several months of private lessons to be deemed acceptable," I explain.

"What?" Gen asks in shock.

"I have to excel in everything I do. That would be considered chicken scratches by my writing instructor. My writing is near perfect when I try."

"That must have been awful!"

"Not too bad. I've suffered worse torments - etiquette class, for one."

This earns me a spiteful laugh. "I know those days. I have a feeling I'm due for some more soon, too."

"Don't go upgrading for me! I like you the way you are."

I hope she doesn't. I like her just like this. Cultured, yet still rustic, kind of back-woods. And relaxed. I find if you are too cultured, you become too stiff. I don't like the hardness society demands.

"I'll learn enough so I don't look like an idiot when I'm with you. I know English society isn't going to like me, but I'll at least play their game."

"I wish I could say you were wrong."

"It's alright, Wills. We can deal with it when, if it becomes an issue. For now we have to say goodbye before Jon has to play the bad guy again."

"You are so caring, love. That will earn you some points," I say as I get up and help Gen up into my arms. "I love you."

"I love you, too," she whispers, gazing into my eyes. I return her look though it quickly becomes something more. I gently kiss her lips and pull her closer to myself. She has much more experience at this than I do, but I'm learning. I've heard of using tongue, and it seems very appealing with her this close, but with how little we can see each other, I know I should hold back. She gets to me enough without that memory.

I pull away slowly and memorize every feature of Gen's face. She is so beautiful.

"I love you," I whisper. "I'm going to miss this. Holding you like this, having you near me. It's going to be a long month and a half."

"Don't rush away too quickly. We still have tonight and tomorrow. When does your plane leave?"

"Eight tomorrow night. Gran and Gramps leave at four."

"Then I'll be with you right up until you go through the terminal. I'll see you tonight, love."

We collect our belongings and leave the restaurant. I kiss Gen lightly and whisper "I love you" before getting into the limo without her.

All too quickly, the black car disappears down the street and I turn to Jon.

"Ready to shop?"

"If that's what you're doing, that's what I get to do," he says.

"You're going to take all the fun out of it!" I jokingly complain. "Will you help me pick a dress or am I going to have to call up one of my girlfriends for help?"

"I'll see what I can do," Jon says simply, but there is a smile in his eyes.

"Then let's get started."

I proceed to lead my most unfortunate, newly acquired bodyguard around the ritzy high class shops picking out a dress, shoes and getting my hair done. Jon's relief at getting to sit is slightly negated by the feminine conversation filling the parlor, but he should adjust soon enough. The girls at the parlor were looking for any and all details about the new men in my life.

"So what's the deal with Mr. Mysterious?" my normal hair dresser, Joanne, asks.

"He's my bodyguard."

"Since when do you need a bodyguard?" she asks with a touch of her native Newfie accent.

"Since she's dating Prince William," Kelsey, the manicurist says from her stool.

"What?" Joanne looks at me in shock. Thankfully,the curling iron in her hand was far from my head. "Since when? You were in here less than a week ago still depressed over Scott."

"That was the night we started to get to know each other. We've seen each other as much as we could since," I answer.

"Ya-huh..." she prompts for more details. I just smile happily.

"How is he?" Kelsey asks, eager for details.

"He's very proper, but wonderfully romantic," I answer. I know she was looking for more personally details, but I'm not giving them to anyone.


"You've seen his picture. Use your imagination," I lead.

"I've seen more than just his picture. I saw him kiss you yesterday on Extra!" Kelsey says.

"On the cheek, with a child in my arms!" I defend.

"Is he a good kisser?" Joanne asks.

I just sit with a dreamy look on my face. Good thing these ladies know better than to say anything of their conversations outside this building. I hope the reward tabloids are no doubt offering isn't too tempting.

"Is Mysterious taken?" Kelsey asks suddenly.

I blink in surprise and think about it. "I don't know," I answer, then call, "Hey Jon?"


"Are you attached to anyone back in England?"

"Just my niece," he answers. "This job doesn't leave much room for ladies outside yourself."

Kelsey looks happy then disappointed as she figures out what he means. I try not to laugh at her.

"That must be so lonely," Joanne says quietly.

"We'll have to find a girl for you," I declare. "There is no way you should have to spend 24/7 with me. No matter how much of a celebrity I become, I'm not having you around me at all times. We'll both wind up in an institution."

Jon sends me a look which I laugh at then smile reassuringly. Eventually I'll find him someone, and hook them up, but I'll be interesting getting him to be willing to leave me alone long enough for them to go out. And being stuck with Wills and me – he deserves something.

The girls and I chatter on as Joanne finishes my hair. Thankfully, I was able to get them off the topic of Wills, but everything was very girlish chatter. Poor Jon.

We leave the salon with a complete outfit in toe (and a few extras) and catch a cab back to my apartment.

"Hey Jon," I ask suddenly as I'm putting away everything. "Are you expected to be around me all the time, or do I get to say ‘see ya tomorrow', and you leave?"

"I'm expected to be close to you at all times. That generally means me having an apartment next to yours," Jon explains.

"I have a feeling that may be difficult to manage. You mind the spare room when we stay in the city? We can talk to the manager about getting any apartment in this hall if it becomes available. Finding a room at the Hudson's shouldn't be a problem," I joke.

"Do you switch between the two regularly?"

"Not normally. I spend the school year here, holidays at my parents, and now the summer with the Hudsons. This week has just been really messed up."

Jon nods.

"I keep my schedule in a day timer. It's on the counter in the kitchen, I think," I say. "I'm going to get dressed," I add as I look at the clock. An hour an a half.

* * *