Chapter Fifty-Nine

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As the day grew on, Edinburgh just became busier and busier. While Calton Hill was a good place to watch it all,  the two hopped down and headed off toward the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. Even though it was a mile and half away, Meredith liked that it was so and that she walked wherever she went.

Meredith followed him through the gardens as all flowers were in full bloom. Leaves stretched high above, a few being as big as Meredith. As the two traveled through the many different variations of the garden.

On the way back across town via walking, they stopped when reaching a fish and chips trolley. They shared as they walked on toward the Grassmarket. "It's not as good as Franco's," Meredith said.

"Nothing is as good as Franco's to you," Harry mocked.

"That's because Franco's is amazing."

"I think you need to expand your horizons."

"I once ordered fish and chips in the U.S. Waiter said, 'Can't go wrong with fish and chips.' He was wrong. They breaded them instead of battered. It was terrible."

Harry watched his girlfriend in amusement. "I think you make things harder than they need to be."

"Definitely. Do you have a problem with that?"

"Absolutely not."

Meredith wiggled her eyebrows. "Good."

Walking on, it was a walk to Mary's Milk Bar, the next stop. Midday had gone. It was a forty minute walk, cutting through Princes Street without going up the Royal Mile. Meredith did her best to keep away from Holyrood Palace, in case someone might notice. Meredith kept her eyes peeled for Bodyguard Bill jumping out from closes.

"It's been a while," Harry said, "since I was outside like this."

"And no one is looking at you?" Meredith asked.

"Yes." He had certainly calmed down since coming outside, but it wasn't by much. Sometimes he felt like someone watched, but by the time he looked over, there was no one. "It's odd."

"It's okay that it's normal." Meredith ran her thumb over the back of his hand. "I wouldn't recommend drawing any attention to us, but it does feel nice."

"We wouldn't be able to get this in London. You may not be able to get any peace in London."

"To be honest, if London is quiet, something is wrong."

That with Harry agreed.

When the couple got to Mary's Milk Bar, it took Meredith five minutes just to look at the flavors. Harry knew his off the bat: double chocolate with a scope out salted caramel too. Meredith ate strawberry ice cream but alone. In the end, she chose vanilla with toffee. Meredith chose toffee over anything.

"Um, excuse me, sir?" one of the shoppe girls asked.

Harry glanced up, growing a little stiff.

"And you Prince Harry?" The girl kept her voice to a whisper, but there was no others in the shopped.

"Just between you and me," Harry smiled, "yes." He put a tip in the jar and grabbed Meredith's hand. "Have a nice day, ladies." Meredith waved.

The sun beat down on them as they walked around the Grassmarket. In the middle area, many tourists lounged around. The Grassmarket stood in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, and it loomed over the entire city. Harry was back to being strict and watching everyone.

Meredith didn't like that, and she gave him a nudge. Harry smiled at her. "More attention on me," she said. "I'm like puppy, I need all the attention."

He scoffed. "No, you don't, but you want to me stop worrying."

"Perhaps, I don't like you looking at other people." She tapped his butt discretely, and Harry blushed. "Eyes on me, Harry."

Leaning over, Harry kissed her on the cheek. After all, he only had eyes for her.

With the Fringe Festival going on, it was a question on where the people would be. The obvious places were the Royal Mile-- up by Edinburgh Castle and down by Holyrood Palace-- or on Princes Street. While there were a few more places, as the sun started to set on Edinburgh, Harry and Meredith headed off to the next destination.

Bread Meats Bread stood on Lothian Road, and besides anything else that brought her back to Scotland, it was Bread Meats Bread. She couldn't put her finger on what made Bread Meats Bread exactly so good, when it came to the sandwiches, malts and poutine. Also, their bacon chips weren't too bad either.

With all the fine-dining that Harry had in his life, Bread Meats Bread wasn't the most impressive. It was certainly good food, not the healthiest but it was good. It was quiet inside the restaurant, and Harry kept his face hidden most of the time. Meredith watched the door and the waiters. 

"Eyes on me," Harry joked.

"Hmm?" Meredith arched an eyebrow, but he knew what she thought. "If you don't work out, I've got to take another look at these Scottish dudes. I think they'd look nice in a kilt."

"I look nice in a kilt."

"The last time you wore a kilt, you were five."

"Three," he corrected, "and I looked very nice."

When the bacon chips came, along with Meredith's poutine and Harry's burger, it became quiet at the table. It didn't stop from Meredith glancing around Harry, but it wasn't at the waiters. The last time Meredith was here with Harry, so was Jack, and he stood outside the door. It had been weighing on her mind since she had returned to Scotland, even before she came. Some part of her hated being here-- she was too close to Jack. Yet, she needed to get over it.

"Mere?" Harry asked.

Her eyes came back to him, and she smiled happily, taking another bite of her poutine.

They were stuffed full by the time they left, and the sun had gone down, hidden behind the buildings. The mile and half walk was good for the soul under the streetlamps. Harry held her hand, and Meredith held the leftovers that would be a good snack later. His arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer, and Meredith blushed.

Getting back to Holyrood Palace, the park and tourist attraction was closed. Coming through the back, Bodyguard Bill waited for their return. His anger shone under the lights.

"I brought you food," Meredith offered.

"No, thank you, ma'am." Bill put his eyes on Harry. "Inside, your highness."

Good, she thought, I didn't really want to share with you anyway.

Inside the palace, Bill had some choice words for Harry, all because of Meredith's shenanigans. She tried to take the fault, but Harry didn't let her. Bill's words were still held back because Harry was a prince-- his boss, but Bill still spat them out with ferocity.

"Let's not do this again," Bill stated. No question-- he wouldn't allow this to happen again.

Yet, with people like Harry and Meredith, again was just a question of when.

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