Excerpt, The People’s Princess

Excerpt

The First

Morning

The first day of the rest of her life.

It was Laura’s first thought when she woke.

The second was the pain. God, the pain. Every part of her hurt.

Then… the sadness.

Their drive, her bodyguard, and… Sayed.

Sayed was gone.

She allowed herself to cry for him. Sayed, with his ready smile and willingness to make her happy… How was it fair that he’d lost his life because of who she was and how she lived? If she hadn’t been with him, he’d never have been in that car. They’d never have been in that accident and he’d be alive today.

And Hazem… Helping her amid his own grief.

She was humbled by his compassion. By his concern.

She didn’t deserve it. He ought to be berating her, cursing her, for causing the death of his son.

He hadn’t cursed her, though. She owed him. She’d owe him forever for giving her this chance.

Laura swiped the tears away. Right, then. She couldn’t sit here and wallow in self-recrimination, because, really, what good would that do? It wouldn’t bring Sayed back and it wouldn’t change what had happened. The only thing she could do was go forward.

It’d been her mantra ever since the incontrovertible truth that her marriage had been over. That Henry hadn’t wanted her. She’d wanted to collapse and run from the world then, but her boys had needed her and she’d had to carry on.

They would need her now. And she needed to go on. She’d been at the mercy of her role and royal protocol for too long; this was her time. Her life.

She sniffled back the last of the tears. She’d forever miss Sayed and what might have been between them, but she couldn’t remain in the past or her future would be forfeit and everything the doctor and Hazem and David and whoever else was involved had done would be for naught.

She took a deep breath—and cut it short when her ribs protested. She looked around the quaint room. So very like her flat, back in the days, as she’d told David, before everything had gone batty. Back when she’d been just Laura Wilton, not even wanting to use her family title so she’d be like everyone else.

She hadn’t realized then what a gift that time had been. But she did now. And she was ready to jump at the chance to have it again.

~ ~

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