Beyond Titles & Tiaras Bonus Scene
A look behind the scenes at Benjamin and Katrín and his decision to suggest Eliana move to Serenity Landing for the summer :).
Benjamin stared at the paperwork, wishing he didn’t have so much of it and that he’d been able to attend today’s event with Katrín instead. He’d missed the Wheels and Walkers to Wings event the night before thanks to a change in a meeting that couldn’t be postponed again.
He watched out of the corner of his eye as Katrín walked into their suite, stopping as soon as the door was closed to slip out of her shoes.
“Oh, thank goodness,” she sighed, her toes squishing in the carpet.
“Whoever decided women need to wear heels should die.”
“I’m fairly certain he’s already dead.”
The first time they’d had this conversation, Benjamin had tried to insist she didn’t know a man who first proposed the idea of women wearing heels. Katrín had immediately gone into a rant about how no woman in her right mind would do such a thing so it had to be a man.
“Then he should be resurrected and killed again.”
“I’ll get someone right on that.” The conversation played out the same way several times a week.
This time, when she walked past him, he reached an arm out and snagged her around the waist, pulling her over the edge of the couch and onto his lap.
Katrín shrieked and grabbed a hold of his shirt.
“Don’t do that!” She smacked his chest, likely regretting the one time she’d mentioned to him that she kind of liked it when he surprised her – at least once she got over her initial shock.
Benjamin buried his face in her neck, dropping small kisses along the line leading to her ear. “How did the reception go?”
“The same as they always do,” she sighed, melting into him. “Though with considerably more questions about your mother than usual.”
That caused Benjamin to freeze then pull away from her. “My mother?”
Katrín sighed again, this time out of frustration. She slid off his lap onto the sofa and snuggled into his side as he wrapped an arm around her. “I love your mother. You know I do, but this weekend has been a little frustrating.”
“How so?” He pulled her closer to his side.
“I’m glad she went with me last night. It’s a cause she supports, if only monetarily since the passing of her brother. You told me once you thought it was too painful after that.”
“It’s supposition on my part, but a reasonable one.” He rested the side of his cheek on the top of her head.
“I want your mother to be happy. I think Thor makes her happy, and vice versa. He was my first real friend here in the palace, and I want him to find someone.”
Benjamin waited for her to go on, not quite understanding where she was going with this.
“Some media was there when we arrived last night, even more when we left. I don’t think I heard one question about the event, the kids, or anything else relevant. All of the questions were about your mother and Thor.”
“It’s probably because of his sudden disappearance combined with last week’s security scare and the special with the two of them just a few weeks ago.”
“Exactly. She looks tired, though she puts on a better front than I do. They notice. Thor’s gone. Everyone saw the two of them together. It’s easy to come to the conclusion that there was something and now it’s over.”
“Any suggestions on what to do about it?” A thought was already forming in his mind.
“Not really. I wish she’d sort of volunteer to take a back seat as it were until the whole thing blows over, but that’s not really fair to her.”
That was at odds with what she’d told him a few days earlier.
“Remember how you told me not to interfere?”
Katrín twisted until she could look up at him. “What’s going on in that head of yours?”
“She came to me the other day and mentioned moving to a house on the other side of Akushla for the summer with Angelina, Gabriella, and Alfred. She wants them to learn some things the rest of us didn’t. How to cook and clean and stuff I guess.”
“Not a bad plan.” Katrín settled back in next to him.
“Isaac and Isaiah sent me a proposal today. They want to apply for internships at the amusement parks they went to a few weeks ago. It’s too late to apply for this year, but they’re hoping I can use my clout to get them considered anyway. They don’t want to have the internships handed to them. If they get them, they want it to be on their own merit, but they are hoping I can get their applications looked at since the window actually closed months ago.”
“Good for them? I fail to see what one has to do with the other.”
“Even if they don’t get the internships, what if I sent my mother and the others to Serenity Landing instead of locally? My younger siblings will get more of a taste of real life there than here. My nieces are there. The twins might be working ninety minutes away. There are several valid reasons why my mother would want to move there for a couple of months.”
“That would get her out of Akushla until it all blows over.” Katrín sounded thoughtful, but still a bit unsure. “But there’s something else up your sleeve, isn’t there?”
He leaned down and whispered. “Thor is in Serenity Landing.”
Katrín sat straight up and turned to him, her mouth wide open. “You little matchmaker!”
Benjamin shrugged then let his grin get the best of him. “Maybe. But you can’t prove it.”
She rolled her eyes.
“I’m serious. There will be no official reason for them to see each other. I believe I can get her a small house where security is controlled by her team. Thor wouldn’t be involved at all. If they run into each other at church or somewhere else, well, I have nothing to do with that.”
She leaned over and kissed him softly. “And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge you might want to buy.”
He pulled her closer and kissed her again. “I can afford it. Now, which ring should I give him to propose with after he comes to his senses?”
“Ask Genevieve. You might be the only person around that knows less than me about the Crown Jewels. But I do think it’s a wonderful idea,” she murmured against his lips. “Solves several problems all at once.”
“I am king, you know. That’s kind of my job.”
Benjamin was going to say something else, but whatever it was disappeared into the back of his mind as Katrín kissed him. He should probably be doing something else, but with his wife in his arms, he had no idea what it could be.
And that didn’t bother him one bit.