Chapter Forty-Seven

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Waking up in Harry's arms was Meredith's favorite feeling. He continued to sleep, but his arms were curled around her. Though she wanted to escape, like she always did, Meredith snuggled up to him. She kissed his chest as it raised up and down. His heartbeat went all the way throughout his limps, all in a steady pattern.

Sun shined in. The sea blinded by reflecting light. Blue waves rolled onto the white sand. Heat crept into the room. Knowingly, the waves made sound, but from inside the house, only Harry's breathing was heard.

Closing her eyes, she tried to fall asleep again. Meredith wanted to spend every moment together, especially when tomorrow she left for cold Minnesota again, where she worked for a week before heading back to university for work and for studying. She went back to the old, boring life.

As much as it was tempting to go back with Prince Harry, Meredith knew she would hate herself eventually. She had more dreams than just marrying a prince. Her dreams may have been changed since meeting Harry, but they had also evolved. Now they included Harry. College was very important to her, and she would finish it.

Meredith opened her eyes, watching his chest go up and down. She felt his heartbeat, and her heartbeat matched.

But it was tempting, to start a new life now, to spend the rest of her life now-- to jet off to London and be with Harry full time. At the same time, the paparazzi would follow her completely and her life would no longer be her own. She would have to act as how others wanted and she would have to follow the rules given to her. Perhaps Meredith wasn't quite ready for that.

The more she thought about it, the more it scared her.

"How long have you been awake?" Harry asked her.

Flipping her hair back, Meredith smiled up at Harry. "Not long. Did I wake you?"

"No." He groaned and tightened his grip on her. "I guess you want to spend more time in the ocean today rather than spending it day."

"I think I know where your thoughts lay."

"What, I can't just want to spend the day with my girlfriend? I don't want to have to compete with the ocean."

"It's not a competition."

"Because I would win."

"Because the ocean would win." Meredith pushed away from him and stood up. The sun hit her with full force, and she thought about climbing under the covers again. Putting up a hand to block the light, she looked out to the rolling waves, which sang her name. She thought about running out there naked, but Meredith didn't have that kind of confidence.

Harry sighed and watched his girlfriend. Rolling to his side, he watched her happily. The sun hit her body just right, and she shined. Already her skin had begun to tan. By the time they saw each other again in late July, perhaps she would be tanner. However, this tan would fade until it grew warmer.

"Are you watching me?" Meredith asked without looking back.

"Hmm...."

Turning around, red blush had started to curl around her body. Meredith flopped on the bed.

"Have you decided to spend the whole day in bed with me?" he asked.

"No. I was hoping to persuade you to come out to the water."

"I'll burn."

"Fine." Meredith kissed Harry on the lips. "I'll go by myself."

"No," Harry groaned, trying to catch her, but she slipped away too quickly. Meredith didn't even leave the room as she dressed in her swimsuit. His eyes never left her for a second, and Meredith didn't blush with the eyes.

"Last chance," she said, holding her arms out.

Harry still didn't move.

"Your loss." She clicked her tongue and left.

The sun hit her as she stepped out onto the patio. It was a mad rush to the sea, the sand burning her feet. Once sliding into the water, she felt home. Immediately, she dipped below the surface, gliding. Brightly covered fish swam away as she slowly became one with her. Coming to the surface, Meredith skimmed the horizon. Another boat was just over the ridge, and someone was outside, looking toward the house. 

Automatically, Meredith turned to the private villa, and Harry was coming out of the house with his swimsuit on. His feet hit the white sand, and he ran toward the water. Meredith started to swim back, but Harry had reached the water. She stood up, trying to block him from prying eyes.

"Harry," she whispered.

Instantly, he knew. "Paparazzi." His hand carefully slid down to his hand, ready to take her inside.

"I think so."

Harry glanced over her shoulder. "We're going to slowly go back into the house and close all the curtains--"

"No. Not yet. They'll know, and it looks odd." Meredith pulled him farther into the water. "Come and make them see."

"Mere, are you sure?"

Meredith kissed him, showing off to the paparazzi whom took photos. Though they were just blips in the distance, she knew cameras watched. They wanted a show, and she was willing to give them. Harry wrapped his arms around her, giving them a show too. Taking a step back, Meredith started to splash around with him, and he did the same. Laughing, Meredith dived back under water, and Harry paddled after her.

Once in deeper water, she floated and then kissed Harry. He followed along with the lead. "Why are you doing this?" he asked.

"I should ask you why you're participating, so why are you?"

"I asked you first."

"Harry, I'm not bothered by paparazzi taking pictures. I expect it, which I know you don't like." Meredith gave her boyfriend a pointed look. "But what are we going to do? Don't fight it, but use it. They wanted a girl," swimming closer, Meredith wrapped his arms around her neck, "they're getting a girl. Let me be all adorable with my boyfriend."

"So this is a show for them."

"Yes and no. I also want to kiss you." And she did. "And you?"

"I trust you, so I just followed you."

"What if I had done something really stupid?"

"Like what?"

"Flashed them?"

Harry laughed. "I probably would've stopped you." He kissed her and then dragged her beneath the water. Meredith kicked back and splashed him. She swam a bit farther away and looked at the boat.

"Do you think I could swim to the boat?"

"I don't doubt it," he admitted, "but let's not." Harry grabbed her hand and brought her close. "Let's go inside, and then do something dangerous."

"Like what?"

"Close all the curtains and hide."

Meredith scoffed and kicked away. "Are you scared?"

"They have their pictures, Mere. Please."

Sighing, she swam back to shore with him. Harry ran to the patio; the sand hurt his feet. Meredith stood in shallow water for a second, looking at the boat for a second. Creating shade with her hand, she looked directly at the boat, challenging them. The boat backed down. Smiling, Meredith followed Harry inside.

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