Chapter One

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I dash out the front door of my slightly shabby brick townhouse, and sprint to the nearest subway.

I should have left fifteen minutes ago, but I realized the outfit I picked out last night was never going to work if I wanted an actual chance of bribing my way in to the UN today. Though I love polka dots and think they are appropriate for any occasion, I need to look so professional no one would dare think I'm not who I say I am. So I threw on the most serious outfit I could muster out of my loud, colorful wardrobe—navy blue pencil skirt and a white button up top with a bow at the neck. And that is the story of why I'm running late.

Turning the corner of the block and making a beeline for the subway stairs, I have the presence of mind to check my phone to see if there are train delays from Queens to Manhattan. Of course, it's just my luck, that there are on the 7 train. Because there are always delays on the 7 train. I stop dead in my tracks and throw my hand in the air for a cab, not even checking to see if there's one around.

Luckily, there is. And it stops for me. I wrench open the back door and slide in as gracefully as I'm able.

"Where to?" the cab driver asks.

"The UN, please."

"Royal watcher?" he asks, and I'm annoyed that that's what he thought of first when looking at me. I was really trying my best to look professional and serious.

"Media," I say demurely. "I'm running late. If you could get me there in the next fifteen minutes, I'll tip you twenty bucks."

"Aye-aye captain," he says, zooming down the street, hurtling us toward Manhattan.

I pull out my phone to scan my emails, my eyes searching for an official press release or tip from any of my readers about today's itinerary. But there's nothing. I go to Twitter, hoping for more luck there. There's tons of information, but nothing that's new or useful in this particular case.

You'd think that the foremost American blogger about the British royal family would be granted access when the Davenports visit New York for the first time, but every request I put in for a media pass to any of their events while in town was promptly denied.

Apparently running a website that gets at least a hundred thousand hits per day isn't considered serious credentials in the eyes of the royal press secretary, or whoever it is that bestows media passes.

No worries though. I have a plan.

My best friend from journalism school, Oliver McEnroe, works as a correspondent for The New York Daily Intelligence, and actually has a media pass to attend the United Nations Summit on Human Trafficking, which the Davenports, as well as presidents, ambassadors, dignitaries, and various celebrities, are attending. Olly promised that he would give me the extra press pass he nabbed from another journalist who owes him a favor.

The cab turns onto 59th Street after crossing the Queensboro Bridge, and traffic is stopped dead.

"Dammit," the cab driver curses. "I knew the Midtown Tunnel was backed up, so I thought maybe this would be clear."

"It's okay," I say, even though it isn't really. Stupid outfit change. I should have just worn the polka dots.

My phone buzzes in the seat beside me and I see a text from Oliver. Where are you???

In cab, I type.

Tell the driver to step on it. I have to be seated in eight minutes.

Traffic hasn't moved at all. There's no way I'm getting there in eight minutes. I sigh and type Can you leave the pass for me at will call or something?

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