#Chapter 8 I thought he took you away.

“You surprise easily, don’t you?” Prince Martin smiled as he walked in, a familiar sight she started to crave that a bit of kindness around here. Doris pushed her brown hair behind her ear and returned his smile, her cheeks already warmed under his gaze.

She watched as he went to browse the same shelves quietly as he always did. Doris worked up the nerve to follow him and offer her help this time. She was determined to talk to him a bit more than she had been before. Her silly nerves always got the better of her and kept her silent around him—afraid she’d say something that would embarrass her. He was always so kind, she would be so lucky to have him as a friend—

“Why weren’t you here last Thursday?” He casually asked over his shoulder before she could say anything.

The question startled her for a moment until Prince William’s face flashed in her mind. Doris quickly shook her head to clear him free of it. She did not need to remember the disaster that happened last Thursday, or picture that mans face. She hadn’t had a nightmare since he claimed Melody as his new lady, Doris didn’t want to risk triggering new ones. “Oh! Prince William was looking for someone, he had all of the maids called up to be searched. It took quite a long time, almost the whole day to go through all the maids.”

“Hmm,” Prince Martin nodded as if he remembered himself. “Yes, I heard he was looking for the girl he marked. Did he find her?”

“Yes, she’s found.” Doris nervously played with the hem of her apron. Her neck almost burned under her dress, she held her hands still to keep herself from touching it.

“Who was it?”

“The head of maids, Melody Harford.” Doris added, “Lady Melody now.”

his shoulder at Doris. “That’s a

cheeks. She lifted her gaze to meet his eyes. The sunshine fell warmly on the side of his gentle face, brightening his lovely green eyes. Doris cleared her throat and turned away. She truly admired his kindness to maids

lightly and turned his attention back to the shelves. Silence fell upon them once more and she pressed her cold hands to her cheeks in an effort to ward away her

back over to him. “May I help

eyes flickered to her hands but she didn’t understand what he’d meant. “I’m not sure if it’s available,

head in question. “Which book is it? I can find out if anyone

if you’ve finished it, then.” Prince Martin grinned when he turned to

Doris held out the small book

when it’s being enjoyed.” His fingers brushed her own as he accepted

Martin flipped through a few pages before he

in front of her as she

shifted his weight to the other foot before he spoke. “I—I’m glad you’re

in surprise, her lips parted but no response came. Prince Martin

perfectly. She was taller than Doris was, more slender with light eyes. Every move she made was graceful, her long silver gown trailed on the floors behind her as she walked. Doris had never seen Lady Grace up close before, but now she understood all the whispers about Grace’s beauty. She looked like an angel. It was no wonder

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