Chapter Forty-Five

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Harry's arm was draped over Meredith's body as he curled beside her. A thin piece of cloth covered them. They watched the sunset together from the bed. The sun dipped lower and lower, sparking the world around of brilliant colors. Harry murmured pretty words, kissing up and down her spine. He didn't settle down.

"Your highness," someone called from inside the house, and Meredith jerked up immediately, pulling the sheet closer to her.

Harry put up his hands in peace. "The chef." He laughed. "Is there anything you need?"

"No, your highness. I'm getting started now. Is that all right?"

"Perfect." A smile remained on his face. "We're starving." Harry curled up beside her, kissing her collarbone again. "Do you want to shower before supper?"

"It's probably best," Meredith said, climbing out of bed.

He rolled over. "Do you want company?"

"I think I can handle it."

Harry smiled. "Well, when you get out, I have a surprise for you."

"Is it your penis?"

"It's not that kind of family jewels, but do you have such little faith in me?"

"A little." Meredith winked into the bathroom and turned on the shower.

While Harry might have liked a warm shower, she turned the water to cold and let it cry on her skin. Soaking in the shower for a few minutes, Meredith scrubbed the grime off her skin after a day of traveling and then some fun time with Harry. Her skin had been coated over and over again in sweat.

Getting out of the shower and entering the master bedroom, Harry was out of bed, showing everything, with a long, black bag laid across the white sheets. Meredith crossed the room, still damp, and leaned on Harry.

"What's that?" she asked.

"I was hoping you might wear it tonight." Harry kissed her on the cheek. "It's your choice, but I think it'll look good on you." Going into the bathroom, Harry smiled as the door closed and the shower started up again.

Staring at the bag for a moment, she considered just ignoring it. Meredith was stubborn, after all, but curiosity got to her. Unzipping the bag, Meredith saw what was inside. A light pink, almost a salmon colored, dress sparkled. Lace covered all of it, twisting into the outlines of roses. Her fingers ran across the dress carefully, not wanting to snare it. Beautiful didn't compare. Though Meredith wasn't a pink person, she felt drawn to the dress.

Meredith slid it onto her body, over her curves. It was snug around her chest and tried to keep a straight edge with her wide hips, but it glided down her body like she was petite. Nerves made Meredith scared that she didn't look good, and she feared sitting down when her stomach rolls would be most noticeable.

Thinking about taking it off, Meredith paced the room. Each time, she watched herself in the mirror. She watched how she moved. Though she thought she looked stunning, a nagging noise in the back of her said no, she wasn't pretty enough. Biting her lip, Meredith stared at herself a little longer.

"Fuck it," Meredith muttered and threw her hair up in a bun.

"Fuck what?" Harry asked, coming out of the shower. His eyes widened as he saw her dress and how perfectly he fit her body. It wasn't his choice or his design, but he wanted to give something special to her. "Gorgeous."

Meredith flushed. "Do you like it?"

"I love it."

"Pink's not really my color."

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