Harry took his time getting home. Although he didn’t regret one minute with Elle, his security guards would be less than happy with his being late, and he didn’t want his father to hear about this. The last thing Harry wanted was for his father to INCREASE security. Which was exactly what would happen if he found out.
Harry crept quietly down the hall to his dorm, hoping to catch the security guards between shifts. No luck, as he turned the corner he spotted one of his muscular guards, Sam, standing alert at the door; Harry’s shoulders slumped in disappointment and he walked slowly over, shamefaced. Sam’s eyes bulged at the sight of him and a large vein popped out of his forehead.
"Your Highness! There you are!" Sam exclaimed as he rushed towards him. "Are you aright? I have Jack and Adam out scoring the city for you at this very moment! Where on earth have you been?!"
"Calm down, Sam! I’m only an hour late!"
"You, sir, are an hour and fifteen minutes late!" Sam retorted.
"Oh please, don’t be angry. I’m sorry I’ve put you through all of this, but please don’t tell father I beg you!"
"He has every right to know!"
"No! You can’t tell him! I promise I’ll never be this late again! It’s just… I met a wonderful girl tonight, and I just lost track of time." Harry said, his eyes pleading for mercy. Surprisingly, Sam face brightened.
"Well! Why didn’t you say so?!" The big man shouted with a huge smile on his face, clapping Harry on the back. "Tell me, is she a beauty?"
"In every way." Harry murmured with a wistful look on his face.
"Ah, I can see she quite took your fancy!"
"That she did, she’s absolutely wonderful."
"Ah! It’s about time I must say, Your Highness!" Sam said, overjoyed.
"So you won’t tell father?"
"I won’t say a word. But we’ll have no more of this tardiness, mind you."
"Of course! Thank you, Sam, thank you so much!"
"Ah, you’re welcome sir" He said smiling as Harry entered the dorm. "Oh, and Your Highness?" Harry poked his head back out into the hall with a slightly worried expression.
"Whoever this…girl is, don’t let her get away. I’ve never seen that look of happiness on your face. She must be a remarkable one."
"Oh she is." Harry said warmly. "Good-night Sam, and thanks." He shut the door and walked to his room in a thoughtful daze until he fell face first onto his bed and drifted into dream filled sleep hearing the sweet phrase, "love will find a way…"
As soon as Elle entered her exceptionally large dorm, -she’d paid extra- she was tackled by Grace and Annabelle who were sputtering questions about her evening. At the moment, she didn’t have a roommate because she’d gone home for a family emergency, but the girls still slept on the couch.
"Hey, how was it?!"
"Did he kiss you?!"
"You don’t mind that we left, right?!"
"What’s his name?!"
"Did you go anywhere?!"
"Whoa! Girls, slow down!" Elle laughed. "Hmm let’s see, that’s a great, a yes, a no, a Harry, and a no." She joked. They both chuckled. Annabelle handed her a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
"Taking up men’s fashion are we, Elle?" Grace teased fingering the fine navy coat Elle was still wearing.
"Oh my gosh! I forgot to give it back!" Elle exclaimed, her eyes growing wide. "It was getting cold so he lent me his jacket!"
"Awe!" Annabelle swooned.
"Oooooo, tell me all about it! Don’t leave out ANY details!" Grace said, about to explode with excitement, as they headed to the couch. Elle proceeded to tell them about her night and they sat there starry-eyed hanging on her every word.
"I’ve never met anyone like him, guys;" she said running her finger around the lip of the warm mug thoughtfully, "he’s just so…wonderful." She sighed.
"Well finally!" Annabelle exclaimed, smacking her on the leg. "We’ve been trying to fix you up for, like, ever and then you go off and find a guy like that on your own!" She said with a grin.
"Yeah! Who knew!?" Elle said with a shrug. "I really think this one’s different, you guys. He’s so nice, and so sincere, not just a sweet talker."
"But wait!" Grace said suddenly. "Is he sooo single?"
"Oh! I don’t know! I didn’t really want to talk about relationships, so it never came up!" She said worriedly.
"Oh well, he knows where you live, right? He’ll be back, if he’s as great as he sounds, he’ll be back." Grace said certainly.
"Yeah, don’t worry. He sounds like a real guy; so if he wasn’t available, he probably wouldn’t have taken it this far." Annabelle agreed.
"I sure hope not!" Elle said, a little more at ease. "He just seems, to good to be true."
"Don’t be such a pessimist!" Annabelle said. "I’m sure there is nothing he’s not telling you."
"Yeah, you’re probably right. But enough about me! I saw you both had hotties on your arms tonight!" She said excitedly. Grace and Annabelle proceeded to tell her about Conner, the American smart-aleck, and Knox, the gorgeous charismatic Brit. Soon it got even later and Elle had to get up early for her classes so she headed to bed. When she undressed, she took off Harry’s coat and felt it tenderly. Not being able to resist, Elle brought it to her nose an inhaled the familiar scent of his cologne and sighed. Maybe this one WAS different; she hoped to God he was. Elle gently draped the jacket over the powder-blue chair she’d brought from home, and finished getting ready for bed. She fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow and dreamt of Harry.