Posted: 03 September 2006 at 3:38am
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"I thought we'd go to the marketplace and do some shopping," Angad said to Kripa. They were seated side-by-side in the back of a luxury limo. Angad smiled at her. "I know how you women love to shop."
"Actually, I hate it," Kripa replied perversely. She was more nervous than she could remember. Angad was even more handsome this morning than he'd been last night, and she'd have to be a stick of wood not to be affected by the force of his smile.
I shouldn't even be here, she thought. I shouldn't spend a single moment perpetuating this craziness. But, if she were honest with herself, she would admit it was a heady experience. It was hard to believe that after a year of taking care of her mother, her first date was with a prince who'd proposed to her.
"I don't think I've ever met a woman who hated to shop," Angad said, pulling Kripa from her thoughts.
"Perhaps you've been seeing the wrong kind of women."
He laughed. He had a wonderful laugh, deep-bodied and genuine. "Perhaps you're right," he agreed. "Still, I'd like to buy you something special to wear tomorrow night. Something to commemorate our engagement."
"The party at the Woodtowers' house. I understand the Woodtowers throw wonderful parties."
Kripa nodded, remembering Pritvi mentioning something about the party. "Please, I'd rather you not buy me anything. I'm only going along with this engagement business for the next week so you can then tell everyone I was entirely inappropriate."
"But, I don't find you inappropriate."
"You will," she said firmly. She gazed at him thoughtfully. "Why would your father give you a deadline to marry?"
"Because my father likes to control people and things," he replied. "And I will adhere to the deadline because I'll do whatever I must for Edenbourg."
Their conversation ended as the limo pulled up at the curb in front of the open-air market. Within minutes, Kripa was walking beside Angad through the marketplace. She had a feeling Angad was not only handsome, but headstrong as well, and it was obvious he'd paid no mind to her warning that he needed to find another fiance.
She certainly didn't want to be responsible for him losing the right to one day be king of his country, but she wasn't willing to sacrifice herself and her own dreams in the process.
Both Angad and Kripa turned to see a man who was obviously from the press advancing on them. "Could we get a picture of you and your intended?"
"No," Kripa exclaimed in horror. She didn't want any part of this mock engagement chronicled in the daily news.
"Certainly," Angad replied at the same time. "How about a picture of our first kiss."
Before Kripa could protest or knew what was happening, Angad's lips descended toward hers.
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