The (Elusive) Princess Bonus Scene
A sneak peek behind-the-scenes at Christmas – and a hint at where Gen’s been!
Katrín stared in the mirror and tried to decide if the shirt made her look fat.
“You’re pregnant,” Ben reminded her from the other side of the bedroom. “You’re supposed to be getting a bit of a stomach.”
“I know, but do I look pregnant or just fat?” She’d never been self-conscious about her weight or shape before, not since their wedding, but for the last few weeks, she barely thought about anything else.
At least the baby announcement had been made before there was truth to the “baby bump or burrito” pics. Since she started showing, even a little, she’d made sure to wear clothes that made her look pregnant, not just heavier than normal.
Ben came to stand behind her, his arms wrapped around her until his hands settled on their growing child. “You look amazing.” He bent down and nuzzled the side of her neck, his beard tickling her ear. “You are amazing.”
“That’s probably pushing it a bit, on both counts.”
“Hey. I’m the king. If I say you’re amazing, you’re not allowed to argue.” He tightened his hold on her. “Understand?”
Katrín grinned as she met his eyes in the mirror. “Yes, sir.”
“That’s better. Now, we need to get downstairs before they start the party without us.” He kissed her neck then let go.
“They’ll start without you? But you’re the king.” She gave him her best wide-eyed innocent look until he sighed, causing her to giggle.
“There’s another king here, plus two former queens, and a whole slew of princes and princesses, plus a bonafide movie star. I doubt anyone would notice if we weren’t there.” He took her hand. “But we’re going anyway.”
A few minutes later, they’d made it down to the ballroom where tables and dinner were set up along the outskirts and games would be played in the middle.
Katrín was going to avoid broom ball this year.
Last year, she’d heard several stories about what a grumpus Ben had been the first year they’d all gathered, the year everyone found out Darius and Esther had been married for months and were expecting twin girls. He’d been much happier the year before and didn’t even complain about not having the best room in the house.
If he had, she would have taken him by the ear and given him a good talking to until he understood that wasn’t a thing he got to complain about. Fortunately, he seemed to have learned.
“Where’s Evie and Pete?” she asked her mother-in-law as she looked around the room.
Eliana shrugged. “They were going to look at a house Pete thought would be perfect for them when they move here in a few months. I’m not sure if they’ve come back, or if they just decided to stay in their room tonight or what.”
Katrín shrugged. It didn’t matter that much to her, though she enjoyed spending time with her sister-in-law. And speaking of sisters-in-law… Genevieve was sitting by herself in a corner.
“Any more ideas on what’s going on with Gen?” Katrín asked softly, knowing how worried Eliana and Ben had both been.
“No.” Eliana sighed. “She won’t talk to anyone, not even Evie as far as I know.”
At that moment, there was a loud banging and then the sound of footsteps pounding down the hall leading to the ball room.
“Where is she?” a voice called.
Thor leapt from his seat on the other side of Eliana.
Justin motioned for him to stand down.
Thor took his seat again but remained tense as the door to the ballroom banged open.
A well-dressed man stood there, his tie askew as he looked around the room. “Where is she?” he asked again.
King Edward, a man Katrín still had trouble convincing herself to call solely by his first name, stepped forward with Ben at his side. “Can we help you?”
The man looked a little crazed, but security didn’t appear to be overly concerned. “I’m looking for Gen.”
Gen? Katrín turned to where she’d last seen the other woman.
“What’s your business with my sister?” Ben drew himself up to his full height, several inches taller than the other man, who wasn’t overly short himself.
“I need to talk to her.” The man continued his visual search of the room. “Where is she?”
“Why do you need to talk to her?” Ben pressed.
The man finally looked Ben square in the eye. “She’s my wife.”