“Marry you? Are you insane?” Lyla screeched into the phone.
“I need to produce an heir as quickly as possible, and you are the most logical woman for the role of queen,” Mark said.
“Logical? Produce an heir? You are insane!”
“No, wait, Lyla, let me explain,” Mark said, gathering courage. “I was intrigued by you from the moment you fell in that pool and then wrapped your arms around my shoulders. The water droplets clinging to your eyelashes, the way your hair became darker when it got wet. The way you challenged me on everything I said. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone.
“Did you hang up?”
“No, I’m still here.”
“Speaking of, are you still at the resort in Dubai? I’d love to come visit with you and we can plan our future together.”
“I’m still at the resort, but, Marcos, we don’t even love each other.”
“Love grows over time,” Mark reasoned.
“I feel like you’re just trying to hire me for sex,” Lyla said.
Mark scoffed. “Trust me, if I were just hiring you for sex, it would be a lot less expensive than a royal wedding.”
“How dare you!” The line went dead.
“She hung up on me?”
“You offended her in so many ways I can’t even count them all,” Collins told Mark.
“You weren’t supposed to be listening to my conversation,” Mark said.
“You pay me a large sum of money to stand beside you through all your waking hours,” Collins said. “It is my job to listen to your conversations.”
“You will not stand outside my door once I’m married,” Mark insisted, pointing at Collins with mock anger.
“Ugh.” Collins noticeably shuddered. “I’ll be on the opposite side of the palace, pretending I don’t know what you’re doing.”
“Good, because just the thought of you listening gives me the creeps.”
“How about if we hop on a jet and go find your princess, apologize to her profusely, convince her to marry you and bring her home to your palace,” Collins suggested. “Then I can have a night off once in a while.”
“You’ll have every night off if I have any say in the matter.”
“You won’t have any say in the matter if you don’t convince her to marry you, so let’s go.”
“Fire up the private jet, my eavesdropping adviser.”