Alex sat up as the door to his private office flew open. Brynn Dexter stood in the doorway, one eyebrow arched in silent question. She was trying to look composed, but he could see the tremble in her stiff posture from across the room.
Behind her, Mrs. Agincourt answered her question. “Philippe Alexandre du Charbonneaux, Prince of Laurivenia, mademoiselle,” she said with a puzzled frown.
Belatedly, he realized that he had not informed his secretary of the deception. He was—what was the American phrase? Oh, yes. Busted.
Equal parts anger and embarrassment vied for domination of Brynn’s expressive features. “Prince, is it? Well, I suppose that’s close to principal.” Indignation laced her voice. “I apologize for not recognizing you, Your Highness.”
For a moment Alex wished that she could go back to calling him by his given name.
But that was impossible. If she was going to work for him, royal protocol must be
And in a flash of realization, Alex recognized that he did want Brynn to take the
position. Despite her youth and good looks, despite his wholly inappropriate attraction
towards her, she was the right choice for Carissa. Her experience, her personality, her
enthusiasm made her a perfect match. It would be selfish to decide against her based on
his past experiences. Those mistakes would not happen again.
Now, he just needed to convince her to stay.
She had come a few steps into the office and was standing by the chair opposite his
desk, arms crossed over her chest. “Perhaps you would care to explain why you
pretended to be the principal of the Laurivenia Academy. Was it a test? I guess I failed
Tabloid Reading 101, since I didn’t recognize you.”
“It was not a test.” He slapped a hand on his desk. “And I did not pretend to be the
principal. You made that assumption.”
“I see. So it was my fault. Is that your idea of fun? Making the stupid American look
like an idiot?”
He drew himself up. “I won’t dignify that with a response.”
“Whatever.” She fisted her hands on her hips, glaring at him. “I’d just like to know
why I’m in the office of the Prince of Laurivenia and not the Laurivenia Academy.”
The time for deception was over. He sat back in his chair, crossing his arms. “Because there is no Laurivenia Academy.”
He waved one hand in a dismissive gesture. “The academy was merely a—front, I believe it is called, for the actual position.”
Alex recognized the look on Brynn’s face. Behind the coolly polite expression, she was definitely counting to ten.
“Are you telling me I was hired to teach a fictitious class in a fictitious school?”
"I suppose you could say that.”
She shoved her fingers through her hair, pulling it back tightly from her forehead. “Oh, my God. My mother was right.”
“About what?” he asked before he could help himself.
She ignored him, pacing back and forth in front of his desk. “I quit my job. I flew
halfway around the world. I got in a limousine with a strange man. Men, if you count the
driver. And my dream job doesn’t exist?”
He focused on the last part of her tirade. “Not in that specific form, no.”
“And what, may I ask, is the actual position?”
“Private tutor for my daughter, Carissa.”