Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Against the Odds - Chapter Seventeen


Alex got home very late and more than a little bit tipsy but she didn’t care. She’d had a wonderful night with Charlotte, Beatrice, and Eugenie. She had been nervous, but they were both so welcoming when she and Charlotte arrived that she immediately felt at ease.

They were both full of questions about her and Harry, but they also contributed to the conversation, telling many, many embarrassing stories about him that she locked away in her mind to tease him mercilessly with when he got back.

They had all bought rounds of drinks and then hit the dance floor, where they had a blast until the club was about to close. At the end of the night, Eugenie had been the first to shove her phone in Alex’s face, telling her that she had to program her number in so that they could get together sometime. Beatrice did the same and Alex felt so glad that these wonderful, supportive women were in Harry’s life.

Now, as she locked the door behind her in her empty apartment, she couldn’t help the smile that was on her face. She kicked her heels off, and immediately went into the kitchen to dig for good drunk food.

She was just putting her frozen pizza in the oven when her phone rang from her clutch. Hoping it wasn’t Molly calling with an issue with Emma; she quickly popped the clutch open and pulled the phone. Seeing that it was a number she didn’t know, she almost didn’t answer, but by the third ring something inside her just made her press the answer button.


“Hey you,” came the soft, deep voice across the line from thousands of miles away.

She gasped and her hand flew to her throat. “Harry?”

The chuckle that came across the line confirmed it for her. “Yeah, it’s me. You sound awake. It’s so late there.”

She forced back the tears in favor of actually being able to talk to the man calling her. “I…I was out. I just got home. I can’t believe you’re actually calling me. I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. Oh, I miss you so much.”

He grinned as she rambled out her sentence. “I didn’t expect to be able to call so soon. I miss you too, my love. And out? Where did you go?”

She sank down into a kitchen chair, feeling more at ease now that she was hearing his voice. “Some fancy club in Mayfair with Charlotte…and Beatrice and Eugenie.”

“Really? She introduced you to them? That’s wonderful. What did you think?”

“Oh Harry, they were amazing. They were so sweet and funny and…a lot like you come to think of it. Same sense of humor, a lot of the same mannerisms, same Windsor charm,” she said, smirking at her last words.

He laughed. “Windsor charm, huh? I thought that was unique to me.”

“Harry…” Alex said softly, her voice low and husky, her blood warm in her veins from the alcohol and hearing Harry’s voice.

His heart immediately beat faster at the tone in her voice. “Yes?”

“I’ll write all about meeting your cousins in my journal, but I don’t want to talk about them right now.”

“What do you want to talk about, Alexandra? I’m open…”

She closed her eyes, picturing his face in her mind. “I want to talk about you. Are you okay?”

“I’m perfectly fine, love. How are you? How’s Emma?” He said, his voice growing wistful as he asked after both of them.

“Emma’s good. She’s at Molly’s tonight. She misses you and talks about you all the time. I think we’ve sent you a letter a day since your first one came to us. Every day she comes home from school and that’s the first thing she wants to do. You should start getting them soon.”

Harry’s heart swelled thinking of that and he couldn’t help the grin that was plastered on his face. “I can’t wait, Alex. I can’t wait to see what both of you write me about. You didn’t answer part of my question though. How are you doing?”

“I’m doing okay. Better than I thought. If you want to know how I’m doing right now though…” she trailed off, waiting for his response.

He could detect the playfulness in her tone and it caused his lips turned up at the corners and the cockiness to creep back into his voice. “I’d love to know how you are doing right now…”

“Right now…I’m a little drunk.”

She heard him crack up laughing down the line and she couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her lips.

“How drunk?”

“Remember the night in front of the fire at Balmoral?”

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget that,” he responded, the pride evident in his voice.

She giggled again. “I’m way drunker than I was then.”

“Ha! Is drunker even a word?” he asked, teasing her.

She shrugged. “Don’t know. You know what I do know though?”


“I wish you were here. I can’t have sweaty, just got home from the bar, rip each other’s clothes off, drunk sex without you.”

He sucked in a breath of air and glanced around him, making sure no one was within listening distance. “Alexandra Mae…” he said in half-warning, half-desperation.

“Henry Charles Albert David…”

His voice dropped low. “Is that the kind of sex you’d like to have with me?”

“I’d like to have every kind of sex with you…but at this moment, that would probably be the kind that I would go for, yes…” She couldn’t help the satisfied grin that tilted her lips at the thought of the look that was gracing his handsome face right now.

“Alex, as much as I want to continue this…topic of conversation…anyone could walk in here at any second; so you are going to have to knock that off.” His voice was husky with the reactions her words caused in his body.

“Boo,” Alex whined, sticking her bottom lip out even though he couldn’t see her.

“Write me a letter about it,” he suggested, only half-joking.

She perked up. “Like, a dirty letter?”

He laughed. “Sure.”

She thought about it for a second as the possibilities raced through her mind. “Nah,” she said finally. “I think I’ll just save it all up in my head for when you come home.”

Harry groaned. “You are killing me here. Okay, enough of that. I’ve got a limited amount of time here. Tell me about what you have been doing. How was your first class?”

They spent the next few minutes catching up on the big stuff, although they both purposefully left little things out, things that were written in their journals or in letters.

Then Harry’s heart fell as he was given the signal and his time was up.

“Alex, I’ve got to go, they’re cutting me off now,” he said quietly.

She instantly blinked back her tears and held her phone a little tighter. “Okay. I…I’m so glad you called. Be safe, Harry.”

“I will, baby.”

“I love you, Henry Charles Albert David,” she said, her voice hoarse with unshed tears.

“And I love you, Alexandra Mae.”

And just like that the phone call was disconnected and the many thousands of miles between them opened back up. Alex pulled her phone down from her ear, looking at it desperately, wishing she could somehow get him back on the line.

She sat like that for several minutes, replaying their conversation in her head over and over again. It had been good to hear his voice. She loved the way he talked to her, so loving and appreciative of the connection they shared.

And then Alex’s mind strayed from the conversation when she smelled something…burning.

Her eyes got big and she jumped out of her chair.

“Oh shit! My pizza!”


“Man, look at that cocky ass grin.”

“Kiss my ass, Geoff,” Harry smirked at his friend as he sauntered back into the tent that housed their bunks.

Geoff was on the Xbox and Harry went and plopped down next to him, picking up a controller. Geoff switched over to two player mode so Harry could join in.

“Talk to your girl?” Geoff asked as they game started up and their thumbs and fingers immediately went flying on the controls.

“Yep,” Harry said with a grin.

“How was she?”

“Drunk,” he said with a chuckle.

Geoff’s head turned towards Harry, which gave Harry the chance to swoop in and win the battle they were currently on. “Drunk?”

Harry pumped his fist in the air in victory and then looked towards Geoff. “She had been out with a friend of ours and two of my cousins. It was the first time she’s met Bea and Eugenie. They must have liked her if they got her smashed. She sounded happy though.”

“You sound happy, Wales,” Geoff observed. “Hell, you’ve got a picture of you cuddling with her kid. You are so done. Just invite me to the wedding, okay? That’ll score me some big points with my old lady.”

Harry scoffed. “Maybe you wouldn’t need to get big points if you didn’t refer to her as your ‘old lady.’”

Geoff rolled his eyes. “I would never call her that to her face.”

“Unbelievable,” Harry chuckled as he shook his head.

“I’m just messing,” Geoff said, leaning over to nudge Harry’s shoulder with his. “But in all seriousness man, I’m happy for you. If she’s half as great as you say she is, and half a good-looking as that picture of you two makes her out to be, then you are a lucky son-of-a-gun.”

Harry leaned back into the small couch, his fingers reaching up to scratch the scruff that had been growing on his face. “She’s amazing, man. She’s so fun and full of life. I…I don’t know…I just can’t wait to get back to her. It was too soon to have to leave her like this.”

George nodded. “What about the kid?”

“Emma,” Harry corrected with a big smile.

“Okay, what about Emma?”

Harry sat in silence for a few moments, trying to decide how to put what he wanted to say. “She’s like a little miniature version of her mum. She’s so much fun. She’s smart and hilarious and I adore every second I spend with her.”

Geoff nodded. “Okay. Can I ask you a personal question?”

Harry cocked a brow. “And this hasn’t been personal?”

Geoff chuckled. “True. This question is a little…deeper. It kind of digs into your royal life as well.”

Harry shifted in his seat. He was not usually comfortable talking about his royal life when he was on military duty. But, Geoff was the closest to him of the squadron and someone who he made a point to keep in touch with back home. “Out with it,” he finally said.

“If this girl is it for you, how does her daughter factor in?” Geoff asked, a little nervous with his line of questioning.

Harry took a deep breath. “I really don’t know. I mean, obviously she’d be a part of the family and she’d be treated as such. It’s tricky though…she would still be Emma Morgan, unless I adopt her, in which case she would take the family last name of Mountbatten-Windsor. She would be considered Lady Emma, but she wouldn’t be titled as any future children we had would be…you know, Prince or Princess…” Harry stopped and looked at Geoff who was listening but with a sort of amused smile. “Bit more than you were looking for there, huh?”

“The ‘she would be part of the family’ bit was all I was looking for. You’ve given this some thought though, yes?”

Harry ran a hand through his hair, which was badly in need of a haircut. “Probably too much. Hell, I’ve only been with Alex for a little over two months.”

Geoff shrugged. “Meh. When you know, you know,” he said softly, thinking of his own wife and young son at home.

Just then the alarm rang out, signaling that they were needed for a mission. Both Geoff and Harry were up and on their feet instantly, running off to their stations, their topic of conversation pushed completely to the backs of their minds for now.


“He called you that night?” Beatrice squealed over lunch with Alex one afternoon later that month. They were at Beatrice’s flat as they didn’t want any paparazzi attention if they went out in public together.

Alex laughed. “Yes, and I was so drunk.”

“Ha! What did he say about that?”

“He laughed and teased me. I told him I had been out with you, Eugenie, and Charlotte and he was just delighted that I had gotten to meet you,” Alex said with somewhat of a shy smile.

Beatrice shot her a wide smile, her famous big blue eyes adopting that same playful look that Harry’s had so often. “We wanted to meet you before he left, you know. I think our lovely Henry was intent on being selfish and keeping you to himself.”

Alex smirked. “I don’t doubt it. He did introduce me and Emma to Charles and Kate though.”

“I heard,” Bea said with a nod. “Kate said that you were lovely and that Harry couldn’t keep his eyes from you. She also said that Emma was a doll; very sweet and polite.” She stopped and took a bite of her food then she winked at Alex before saying, “Oh and there was the part when she got all teary eyed telling us about Harry carrying your sleeping daughter out in his arms.”

Alex grinned. “It’s so odd to me that she said that. Kate was very nice, don’t get me wrong, but she was very…” she trailed off, not knowing the right word to describe Kate that night.

“Reserved?” Bea offered.

“Exactly,” Alex chuckled.

Bea sighed. “I hope you didn’t take offense. She is an observer. There is this preconceived notion that she’s dumb and just waits for William to tell her what to do, but nothing could be further from the truth. She always has her eyes open and William tends to lean more on her than the other way around. But, I’m telling you Alex, she saw what you and Harry have, and I’m more than a little jealous that I haven’t gotten to witness it yet. We’ve been waiting years for Harry to find the right one.”

Alex blinked, completely and utterly startled. “I’m sorry…did you…I don’t…we’ve only been together a few months. I don’t know how you could possibly say anything about me being the ‘right one.’”

Bea laughed. “Are you denying that you are in love with him?”

“No,” Alex shook her head. “I’m just…it’s a little too soon be saying ‘The One’ and all that.”

Bea shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t think so. Not with what we’ve all seen in you. Besides, when you know, you know, right?”

Alex offered up a small smile, not wanting to give too much away. It was funny, for however private these people were they were in regards to the public and the media they were, for the most part, completely comfortable talking about her relationship, with or without her present. It reminded her quite a bit of her own family; always ready to give their opinion and their assessment of a situation, not really caring if they were butting in.

“Can I ask you something, Beatrice?” Alex said softly, ignoring Bea’s previous statement.

“Of course, and please, call me Bea.”

Alex smiled. “Okay, Bea. I’ve met you, Eugenie, Kate, and Charles so far, and everyone is just so open and accepting of me, when I really haven’t been in Harry’s life that long. Plus, I’m not naive, I know that the fact that I have a daughter is…could be…an issue.”

“I heard all of that, but what is your question?” Bea teased when Alex finished.

She really was a lot like Harry and Alex couldn’t help but laugh. “Sorry. I guess my question is…why are you all so accepting? And how come no one brings up Emma and the problems that could cause?”

Bea sighed and leaned back into her chair. “We are accepting because Harry accepts you. Despite the fact that we are a closed knit bunch, if one us brings you in, it is the job of the rest of us to make you feel welcome. We aren’t here to make you prove yourself. You’ve already done that with Harry.” She stopped to take a breath and to think for a second how to address the topic of Alex’s daughter.

She sat up straight and looked Alex dead in the eyes, making sure her new friend knew she was being as honest with her as possible. “The thing about Emma is that it’s never really been done before in our family. Yes, Camilla has two children, but they were grown and had their own lives when her and Uncle Charles married, so the issues of titles and all that never came up. But here is the other thing Alex; so many things are changing. Will and Kate lived together before marriage. Camilla is divorced but will still be Queen someday. Things that would have never been accepted thirty years ago are perfectly fine now.”

After listening to Bea’s reasoning Alex felt the rush of air leave her lungs, not even realizing she was holding it in. “Okay. I’m good with that for now. Even if it were to become an issue, it wouldn’t be for a long time. I don’t know why I needed that reassurance.”

Bea tilted her head to the side. “Because you love him, you need to know that you aren’t getting into this for nothing, and I suspect you want to protect your daughter more than anything.”

Alex looked at Bea gratefully. “Thank you for this.”

“Anytime,” she said. “Now, when can I meet Emma? Everyone says she’s the cutest thing ever.”

“She is absolutely the cutest thing ever,” Alex confirmed with a wink. “Anytime you’d like.”

“Oh, I’ve got it!” Bea exclaimed. She clapped her hands and rubbed them together.

“You’ve got what?” Alex laughed.

“Another girl’s night, except this time…we are going to have a slumber party.”

Alex’s mouth dropped. “A slumber party?”

“Oh yes! We used to do them all the time. That way we can have girl’s night and Emma can join,” Bea said excitedly. “Come on, Alex. It will be fun.”

“Okay, you win,” Alex laughed as she relaxed back in her chair. “When should we do this said slumber party?”

Bea thought about it for a second, doing a mental inventory of her calendar. “Two weeks? The second Saturday in May?”

“I’d say it’s a date.”

Bea squealed and then leaned over and hugged Alex, who was taken by surprise at the show of affection. Still, she hugged Beatrice back, thankful for the wide new circle of friends that was beginning to form in her life.