Chapter One

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Prince Harry stared outside without a doubt in his mind that it was beautiful for early November, though he looked through windows of his apartment in Kensington Palace. There was a laugh beside him, and he glanced back. Lucy gave him a quizzical look before turning her attention back to the newspapers in front of her. Sometimes, Harry thought, Lucy liked to look through the newspapers in case she showed up at all. She never did. Both of them were happy for that, especially as they entered their third year of dating.

As Harry's grandparents got older, they told him to find a wife. He dismissed the idea, but with Lucy sitting and reading the newspapers, perhaps she would be good. Some people wouldn't enjoy Lucy, he knew, when they would look down upon her for being an American or the age difference between them, which was thirteen years. However, Lucy was twenty-one now and Harry was thirty-four. Lucy, though twenty-one, appeared and acted much older. It sometimes took some badgering out of Harry to get her to act younger, but he liked her the usual way: with her quick wit and strong personality.

Harry sat down across Lucy at the table while they ate breakfast. His blue eyes glanced up at her, to try and get her attention, but she was engrossed in whatever article she read. He tried to be less subtle about it, and Lucy's eyes didn't even flicker to her. Finally, he let out a sigh, which usually got a response from her. None came.

"Luce?" he asked.

Her face had gone white, like a ghost, and her eyes were wide. Behind her nice eyes, wheels turned in her head as she pieced together something, and she didn't like it. There was some sort of anger and perhaps sadness. Harry wished to not be on the bad end of it, but whatever it was, it caused her trouble.

"Lucy, what are you reading?" Harry didn't go so far to take the paper from her but he thought about it.

Finally, her eyes came up to him. In the light, sun rising from the east, her scars blazed, light against her still pale skin. They glittered and illuminated. The scars crossed Lucy's body, which she didn't care to hide as she wore a t-shirt and shorts, like a map, and he wished to explore it. However, the scars crossed her body, and she wore them well. The scars came from one injury or another, and most of them appeared on November twelfth, twenty-thirteen. On that day, one of her classmates opened fire on the high school Lucy attended, killing her peers, parents, brother and boyfriend. In twelve minutes, it took her classmate to kill fifty-six people and wound over one-hundred more. Lucy was part of that over one-hundred.

"Luce, what is it?"

"It's almost been five years." Her eyes fluttered up to Harry. "November twelfth, twenty-thirteen. It's the first of November of twenty-eighteen."

He paused. She had been sixteen then, twenty-one now. Lucy had grown, as a human being and her personality. "Will you be going back to the U.S.?" Harry suspected that she would, a five-year anniversary was a big deal.

Lucy hesitated. She had been getting emails from people in her old life but she never opened any of them. Perhaps they had been planning a five-year anniversary and they wanted Lucy to be involved. She wasn't sure if she wanted to be, when she would be hailed as a hero. Having not been back to the U.S. since she was eighteen, Lucy knew that some things had probably changed, while others undoubtedly stayed the same.

"I probably should," Lucy admitted.

"Did you want me to come?"

Her eyes flashed up. It was nice for him to ask, but they both knew it wouldn't happen. At that very moment, they were in the clear. But even if they were known, Lucy wouldn't have taken Harry with her. This was something she would need to do alone.

Touching his hand, Lucy answered, "No." Her eyes went back to the paper. "Remembrance Day is coming up too. Festivities happen before and after. You'll be busy."

"I care about you."

"Thank you. But, Harry, I can handle it."

"I know you can, Luce." He smiled. "Trust me, I know you can." There was a twinkle in his blue eyes, something mysterious and knowing. Lucy rolled her eyes at him. "What about today?" he asked, referring to what they should do with their Sunday.

"You're busy in the afternoon."

"I'm not busy now." His charm truly shined now, and a smile tugged on his lips. "What would you like to do?"

Lucy and Harry didn't have much of a physical relationship, where some might expect. After three years, it hadn't made it that far. Harry wanted to take his time, in all hope that he would have forever with her. He wanted a life with her, and one night wouldn't do. Perhaps there had been times in their three years together where they wouldn't have had just one night but a while. There had been some weekends and some getaways. Harry had showed Lucy new places around the world, yet she was unknown to the press. Never had they ever spent a night together like that.

It wasn't for a religious reason, and Lucy was well aware that Harry had no problem with her scars. It was the thought that neither of them had to rush. Neither of them were virgins, but both of them wanted it done correctly.

"Harry?" asked a male voice, calling into Harry's Kensington Palace apartment. "Are you here?"

Sighing, Harry called, "In the kitchen." Lucy went back to reading the morning newspaper as William came in, with some distress upon his face. Lucy thought to say Hello but Harry spoke first, "Wills, what's wrong?"

The Duke of Cambridge's blue eyes wandered over to Lucy, and he nodded. "Harry, Lucy, we have a problem."

"That's a great way to start the morning," Lucy muttered, and she stood. "William, would you like some coffee?"

William nodded and then accepted a cup from Lucy as she sat back down at the table. Harry chose to stand but she didn't understand why. Lucy already knew what was coming. William began, "Harry, the tabloids now have pictures of you and Lucy." His eyes flickered over to Lucy, who looked incredibly calm. "They don't know your name and your face is obstructed in most of the pictures, Lucy." William had grown quite fond of Lucy, almost to think of her as a sister.

Lucy spoke, "I also look different when I'm with Harry then when I'm not." She was smart enough to change her appearance with Harry, to have heavy makeup on her face, to have her hair completely straight, to wear high heels and fancier clothes.

"Yes, which will throw them off for a while." William looked to his younger brother, and Harry was angry. "I know you see this an end, Harry--"

"It is, Wills. We won't have the relationship we used to."

"There is more than just you in the relationship, Harry," Lucy said, and his eyes came back to her. "We know this time has been coming for a while, and we should be happy with the secrecy we have." Lucy's eyes came back to William. "Is there a way to keep my name out of the headlines for at least a few more weeks?"

William shrugged. "I'm not sure. Is there a reason why?"

"Remembrance Day is coming up, and it'll be best to keep everything on point for the festivities." Harry's eyes came to her, and Lucy explained more, "Also, I'll be going back to the U.S. because it's been five years since the mass shooting at my high school. There will be lots of camera and reporters."

"No one will stay on the point," Harry hissed.

"Exactly."

William understood. "I'll see what I can do." Lucy trusted that she had at least a few more weeks of freedom before the media claimed her into chaos.



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