Chapter Twenty-Five

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The next day is torture.

Because it's the day that my boyfriend returns from his work trip Kenya. The day where I'd like to meet him at the airport so that I can hug and kiss him nearly as soon as he and I are standing in the same country, breathing the same air again.

But on top of not being able to do that because my boyfriend is fourth in line to the British crown, I may not even see him today.

That was definitely not the news I wanted to wake up to. But in my inbox was an email from Liam saying that as soon as he landed he'd be going to a meeting with The Firm and he didn't know the rest of the day's itinerary.

Which I assume means that the meeting might take all damn day.

And also that the Queen might not be so pleased with how her line of succession has been acting lately.

I do my best to pass the time productively instead of anxiously watching the clock and my phone. I send the email about Ascot to the HuffPo editors, deeply hoping that neither of them asks about Liam (though I'm fairly certain at least Rachel will). I double-check all the reservations I made for when my dad arrives tomorrow to make sure everything is good to go. I check the RSVPs for my reader meetup next week and when I see that it's over 100, I call the bookstore to let them know that there may be more people than I expected. I clean.

And when my phone finally rings, I make myself count to 10 before picking it up even though it's in my hand, and then frown when I see that it's Alistair and not Liam.

"Hi, Alistair."

"Maggie, hello," he says. "I have an assignment for you."

I take a deep breath, preparing to hear him tell me to write a tell-all about my relationship Liam Davenport.

"That's great," I say, wracking my brain for what's coming up soon that might be insignificant enough for me to cover.

"It's an event that was just added," he says. "An appearance by the Oxfords at a mental health hospital."

"Oh," I say, my stomach dropping to my feet. "That's great."

"It's a bit out of town," he says. "A couple hours by train."

Suddenly, my brain catches up and I remember that my dad arrives tomorrow afternoon.

"Right," I say. "What time?"

"You'd need to be here to pick up your press credentials by 10am, and at the train station at 11am. I expect full social media coverage during the entire engagement—Twitter, Instagram, Facebook live, the works—as well as a piece to be submitted before you arrive back in London. If anything huge happens, do call it in so we can have the news desk do a breaking story."

"Okay," I say, trying to work out if I'll be back in time to meet my dad at Heathrow.

Given the time frame, I think it'll be impossible. I've been so looking forward to seeing him and welcoming him to London—a place that I know is important to him since his parents met here and he hasn't been back since he was really young—I feel myself starting to tear up.

"Great, so I'll see you tomorrow morning," Alistair says.

"Yep," I say, my stomach twisting.

We hang up and I start to panic. I have to call my dad. I have to arrange for his transport and for someone to let him into my apartment in case there are delays. I have to—

My phone rings again, and this time I don't wait to pick up.

"Hello?"

"Well, hello," Liam says. "I'm at your front door."

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