Chapter Eighty-Seven

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After the Invictus Games wrapped up in Sydney, it was back to England. Summer was starting to wind down, which meant Meredith heading back to Superior, Wisconsin, to finish up university. It was only a semester, and when Harry and her met again in December, she was going home with him. London was home then.

The Queen had commented on how Meredith handed herself in Australia, and Meredith had done well, except for a few errors. At that point, Meredith didn't find herself caring enough. There was training coming, and for now, she acted the best she could-- yet it was a challenge. Meredith had to think a lot more, which meant no swearing. She fucking hated it.

Back in London, it had been quiet. Most days they spent going somewhere else. Some days they just spent in day. Those were the best days. Somehow she was always most tired after those days.

Sitting on a small hill in a jeans and a jacket, the English wind hit her with a force. Wearing sunglasses helped even when it wasn't sunny. A chill was in the air, yet Meredith was warm. It wasn't dull moment. If she wasn't trying to watch Harry play polo with William, she was too busy trying to speak with Catherine or have William's children climbing all over her.

The rules of polo had been explained to Meredith numerous times, but she found herself having a hard time following. There was a ball, a pole, a horse and a man. That was as far as she got. Meredith cheered whenever everyone else she cheered. Her eyes chased Harry across the field.

George brought other rocks over to Meredith, and she did her best to answer them. Her only past with rocks was a geology class she took her sophomore year of university. Catherine didn't seem to know the difference, and George didn't know.

"You have rhyolite," she pointed, "because it's red. And this is peet. You've got some besalt too."

"George," Catherine called, "look at Daddy." He dropped his rocks and focused on his father, who had the ball. Meredith wasn't sure how anyone was able to tell the difference.

When Meredith's mobile peeped, she glanced at it. Kyra sent her a link, stating Prince Harry to get Engaged to Meredith Rogue Soon. Meredith did her best to ignore these things, and Kyra never sent them so it peaked her curiosity. When the horses slowed for a second, Meredith clicked on the link. Her eyes skimmed over the article, who stated the facts that Meredith was being paraded around at Balmoral and then in Sydney. Here, at the polo match, it was another public place for her to be seen.

However, the article went onto say that while Prince Harry was willing to give Meredith Rogue the ring, it was a chance she wouldn't take it. Meredith's interested soared again. For the reasons why Meredith wouldn't take the ring, it summed it up Meredith hating the life she would always have from Harry, how she was meant to be free and not in a prison, while she could do better than Harry. Meredith was unsure why Kyra sent her this article until she got to the last line:

"While Meredith Rogue can do better, in all chances, she won't because she loves Prince Harry and Prince Harry is completely invested in her, even if it causes problems for the monarchy or the rest of the country, which would be nice with Prince Phillip in retirement and we need something to make up happy again. 

"Cheers to the happy couple, and long may they laugh."

Rolling her eyes, Meredith turned back to the match. To her left, paparazzi snapped photos, a few more showing up.

"I'm going to take them back," Catherine said, standing up.

"Do you want help?" A creeping feeling crossed her skin with the paparazzi staring at her. There was something that just made her feel gross.

Catherine nodded.

Meredith followed the Duchess of Cambridge behind big white tents, where the two children played without much fanfare. Usually paparazzi watching didn't bother her, but the article pushed a few buttons. Was she just a joker? Was it the same with Harry? Were they only there to entertain? Meredith wanted to believe she was here for more.

Turning her gaze back to Catherine and her children, Meredith smiled and sat down behind the large tent. Neither of the children noticed the difference from their surroundings. Catherine and her bodyguard were concerned with other things. Meredith glanced around the tent, watching the field as horses rushed up and down, pushed to their limits.

When the match finally ended, Harry and William came around the tent, and the children hurried to their father. Harry came to Meredith, dipping her head back and kissing her on the lips. A blush ran up her cheeks.

"Did you enjoy it?" he asked.

"I think I might need a few more goes to understand."

"That can be arranged." He kissed her again. "Come on." Taking her by the hand, Harry led her toward the parking lot. It was more public than where she had been hiding earlier. When she was among other people, she didn't mind. Cameras watched her, and in her head, it was like she heard the clicks. "Mere?"

Meredith slid her arms around his body, pulling him crushingly close, and she put her lips to his. It was harsh and needy as she drank him in. For a second, Harry was taken off. His lips stayed puckered, but he knew Meredith had never kissed like this. He questioned why here and now, yet his arms snaked around her body. He kissed her back, giving what she gave.

When Meredith rocked back on her heels, she smiled pleasantly at him. "Congratulations on the win."

"Apparently I need to win more often," Harry replied. His arm stayed hung over the shoulders of his girlfriend. His pointer finger drew circles on her shoulder. Meredith's eyes found Harry's face, seizing his features like at any moment they would all be taken away. Leaning over, Harry whispered, "Is everything okay?"

"Everything is perfect."

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