When delectable Thorn Valmont buys an old palace to renovate on the Mediterranean coast, he never dreams it will cost him his freedom.
Thorn is part of an aristocratic family. He’s a prince and must find his princess to solve a puzzle he inherits from the ancient owners of the Mediterranean palace.
Will he find her in time to stop his loneliness from destroying him completely?
Thorn changed into his faded jeans. He threw together a sandwich and took an apple from the crisper in the bottom of his fridge. As he went down to the beach he ate the apple, his thoughts straying back to the fact he would soon have the stress of strangers staying in the palace. As his worry increased, Thorn couldn’t eat his entire sandwich, and he fed the remains to the crowd of screaming seagulls wheeling low over the edge of the sea.
Early evening approached, but because the darkness of night wouldn’t fall until after eight-thirty, Thorn stayed on the beach walking and thinking until he was far from his home on the hillside. He collected a few pretty shells and skimmed some pebbles in the ocean. He sat down on a rock, lay back, and closed his eyes.
Voices woke him from a short, shallow doze. Two women were walking on the edge of the pale, warm, sea close by.
He sat up to watch them.
An older woman talked loudly as if arguing with the younger woman by her side.
“Don’t stay, Grace … what about your job? This notion of making a living painting has gone too far. How will you afford to rent the holiday villa for a further two months?”
Thorn listened, intrigued. He drank in the sight of the younger woman. She was beautiful. Her dark hair fell down her back to her slender waist. The sea breeze lifted tendrils, and she pulled them from her luscious lips where they rested, to answer the older woman.
“Mom, I have savings. I hate that job and you know it. It was supposed to be a fill-in after college before I got something better, something in my field. Three years later, I’m still doing it and I’m sick of it. I feel so enthused by this coast, so inspired. I’m staying, but I will look around for a less expensive place to stay. I’ll do that tonight. You go home, Mom. I’ll call every couple of days.”
The lovely young woman suddenly glanced at Thorn as they passed. Her eyes were green, the color of new grass on a summer day. She locked her gaze with his and Thorn’s stomach flipped.
He couldn’t stop staring, but she did.
She looked back at her mom as the older woman slipped her arm around her daughter’s waist.
“Okay. Okay. Give it a try.”
Thorn watched as Grace hugged her mom. The two women turned in the shallow water, and waded back the way they’d come.
When they were about ten yards away, Grace looked back at him.
Thorn’s heartbeat sped up. He gazed at the women until they were out of sight around the cove.
The memory of the young woman’s long slim legs and firm thighs filled his head as he walked home. He imagined caressing her. He would trail his fingertips up the back of her thighs to tease inside the cutoff bottoms of her shorts. It was so long since he’d felt the skin of a woman and yet he could almost conjure up that softness at the top of a thigh where it joined the enticing base of her ass.
Thorn sighed sadly and shook his head. He had never come to terms with his lack of sex. Sometimes, after a week or so of ignoring his needs, he would masturbate before darkness fell. He always felt better afterwards and told himself to do it more often, to give himself that comfort, but often sadness stole away the notion and he’d drift through his existence until he suddenly realized he needed the release of orgasm.
Thorn knew that he needed it now, before darkness fell. He practically sprinted up the zigzag path to his home, resolved to ease the pain of loneliness that the sight of the lovely young woman had deepened. Inside his bedroom, he closed his eyes and found it easy to picture her mouth, the plump bottom lip, the way her hair tendrils had stroked there, and then he unzipped his jeans.