Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Against the Odds - Chapter Nineteen


Harry had been dreading this day for a while.

The interviewer and the camera crew from the BBC had just arrived and Harry’s mood was deteriorating quickly.

“Captain Wales?”

Harry turned around to see who was addressing him. “Yes?” he asked the young soldier standing at attention.

“Sir, your presence is requested in Building One. You have a phone call.”

Harry’s brow furrowed. A phone call? Who on earth would be calling him all the way in Afghanistan?

“Thank you,” he told the young soldier before moving from his tent and briskly walking the short distance to Building One.

When he stepped into the building, one of his commanding officers was there and motioned to Harry over the where the secure telephone line was set up.

“Sir?” Harry asked when he stepped up to him.

“Captain Wales, you have a telephone call from you father,” his Commander said, handing him the heavy receiver.

Always practiced at hiding his emotions, Harry kept the surprise off of his face as he took the receiver. He nodded to his Commander who stepped away and motioned at the others in the room to do the same to allow Harry his privacy.

Harry hit the button to open the line. “Dad?”

“Hello son, it’s good to hear your voice,” Charles’ deep voice came through the line.

“Is everything okay?” Harry immediately asked. His thoughts spun through the reasons he could think of that his father would be calling him here. None of them were good.

Charles chuckles. “Calm down son, everything is fine. I am actually just calling to offer you moral support.”

“I’m sorry…moral support? For what?” Harry asked, completely confused.

“I know that the BBC crew arrived today and I know how much you dislike that they have to be there,” Charles said, the sympathy evident in his voice.

“Dad…you didn’t have to call just…”

“Yes son, I did,” Charles interrupted. “I know you were upset when we struck this deal with them, but it was either that or there would have been no media blackout and you wouldn’t have been able to go.”

Harry sighed. “That’s true.”

“Son, just keep calm with them. You know I dislike the bloody press as much as you do, but unfortunately they are somewhat essential to us at this point. Answer their questions fairly and be friendly.”

“I’m always friendly,” Harry chuckled.

“You keep telling yourself that, my boy.”

“Okay Dad, I get it. I’ll play along for the cameras. How is everything going at home? How are you? How is Camilla?”

“We are fine. It’s finally warm enough here that we can go out to Highgrove and enjoy the gardens. And Polo season started last month. We went and watched William play, but missed seeing you out there.”

Harry groaned. “Ugh. You’re killing me here Dad. I’m so bummed I’m missing it. All we get to do here is play video games or play football in the sand and dirt. It’s not terrible, but I miss the green Polo fields.”

“You’ll be home soon enough. Which reminds me, Camilla was finally able to meet your Alexandra,” Charles said.

Harry smiled to himself at Alex being called “his”. It may have been somewhat old fashioned, but he like the idea that he was hers and she was his.

“That’s great, Dad. Did you have her over for dinner? What did Camilla think?” he asked excitedly.

Charles laughed lightly. He loved hearing how excited Harry was over Alexandra, whom he thought was a delightful young lady who would keep up with his son at every step. “Camilla thought she was lovely. She especially enjoyed Alexandra’s sense of humor, which I have to admit is great. She’s got sharp wit.”

Harry grinned. “That she does. Really though, I’m pleased she’s met her.” He glanced up then and noticed that his commander was back and waiting at the door. “Okay Dad, I’m being summoned. I think the media team is ready for me.”

“Okay Harry. Remember what I said, good luck, and we will see you in less than a month,” Charles said. Harry swallowed a lump in his throat at the sadness in his father’s voice at having to say goodbye.

“Bye Dad. Give Camilla my love.”

“Will do. Goodbye son. I love you,” Charles said softly.

“Love you too, Dad.”

Harry heard the line disconnect and replaced the receiver before looking back up at his Commander. “Are they ready for me, Sir?”

“They are, Wales,” came the crisp reply.

Harry nodded and stood, moving to leave the building. He was just passing by his commander when the older man placed a hand on Harry’s arm. Harry looked up at him questioningly.

“Make us look good, Wales.”

Harry grinned. “I always do.”


Harry was charming and friendly as he led the camera crew and the reporter through the camp. He actually had fun showcasing his knowledge and talking about his job once he let go of the fact that this wasn’t his idea and he hadn’t wanted to do it. He managed to find friendly banter with them, told jokes, and was every inch the fun loving Prince Harry that people had come to know and love.

He let them film him playing video games with his friends from his squadron and he showcased his pride when he – yet again – beat the pants off of Geoff in their ongoing video game rivalry.

He had to fight to stay calm when it came time for the sit down interview. He was decidedly less comfortable with this, knowing they were going to ask him personal questions; questions that had nothing to do with his job there. He tried hard to stay loose as they grilled him about his dislike of the media, the Vegas photos, how he felt about William not being about to go to Afghanistan, and how he felt about becoming an uncle.

Then the question came that he had been most nervous about; the question that even as it came out of the reporter’s mouth, he still didn’t know how to answer.

“There are always questions about your love life back in England. Is there anyone special back home waiting for you?”

In the split second that it took Harry to answer that question, about ten different completely acceptable answers ran through his head. At the end of all of those acceptable answers though was Alex. Her face was the final thing that flashed through his mind and the words just came out.

“There is someone who is very special to me back in England. I’m anxious to get home to her.”

The reporter, who was expecting the usual tense and non-committal answer, was stunned into silence for a moment.

“Um…I’m sorry, sir. Are you saying that you are seeing someone?”

Harry’s lips tilted up at the sides. For once he had the reporter at a disadvantage, not the other way around.

“I think the answer was pretty obvious,” Harry grinned. He couldn’t help himself.

And when the interviewer tried one more time to prod, but Harry cut him off with his trademark smirk. “That’s enough on my love life, don’t you think?”

It was then that the alarms went off, signaling that Harry was needed. He glanced back, and seeing his men running to the ready, he stood, ripped off his mic and took off running.

As the interviewer sat and watched him run away though, he couldn’t help but be in shock. He looked towards the camera men and suddenly his face broke into a huge grin.

“Gentleman, Prince Harry just told us he has a serious girlfriend. And I’m so fucking pissed we have to hold on to this for another month before it airs.”


Something was ringing in Alex’s dream and she couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. She searched and searched for its source, but she couldn’t seem to locate it.

Then suddenly her brain snapped to and her eyes flew open. She sat straight up in bed and reached over to her bedside table, fumbling for her phone in the dark. She found it squinted at the screen. Her heart thudded at the unknown number. It was the middle of the night and it was a number she didn’t know. That could only mean one thing.

“Harry?” she breathed into the phone.

“Alex,” he said, his rich, deep voice sending chills through her. “Did I wake you?”

Tears welled up in her eyes but she blinked them back. “You know you did,” she chuckled. “But it’s fine… it’s so good to hear your voice. How are you?”

He melted at her words. “Baby…it’s good to hear yours too. It’s been too long. I’m good. I’m safe and counting down the days. How are you?”

She grinned and sank back into her pillows. “I’m good. I’ve been busy. It’s been good for me though.”

Harry chuckled. “I’ve heard; lunching with my cousins, slumber parties at Kensington, dinner with my father and Camilla. Look at you, you little social butterfly.”

“Hey! You aren’t supposed to be telling me you know that stuff! You are going to know everything in my journal before we read them,” she pouted.

“Ha! Alex, the point of the journals was comparing our days and seeing what you were doing and what I was doing at the same time.”

She sighed. “I guess you’re right. Anyway, yes, I’ve done all of those things and you know what?”


“I love your family, Harry. I mean it. I love everyone I’ve met so far,” she said softly.

He swallowed the lump in his throat at the thought of her getting along so well with the closest people in his life. “So now that you’ve met quite a few of us you are still in this? You still want to be part of my crazy life?”

“Harry, I want to be part of your crazy life more than ever.”

He sucked in a breath. Boy, she was really kicking his emotions in the ass tonight. He took another deep breath. “That’s really good actually, because I’ve got something to tell you. I did something that I should have run by you first.”

“Oh?” she asked, intrigued and a little nervous.

“The BBC sent a team out here to do a story. There was an agreement made through the palace so that I could be here with a media blackout. They were here for two days. They followed me around, getting to know what I do here and then there was a sit down interview and…”

“For Christ’s sake Wales, spill it,” she interrupted with a laugh.

He blinked and then laughed along with her. She was right. He was nervous and dancing around the subject.

“Okay, I’m sorry. Alex, they asked me if I was single.”

She was quiet for a few moments. “What did you say?” she asked in a low, nervous voice.

He gripped the phone tighter in his hand, hoping she wouldn’t get freaked out. “I said that there was someone special waiting for me in England and I was anxious to get back home to her.”

He heard the rush of breath leave her mouth. “Did you…I’m sorry, did you tell them who I was?”

“No Alexandra, of course not,” he quickly assured her.

“Harry…” she breathed. “That’s…the whole nation…the whole world will see that? When will it air?”

He could hear the wheels beginning to spin in her head and he suddenly felt bad that he had to do this over the phone. He wanted more than anything to be with her in that moment so he could soothe her and stop her mind from spinning.

“A week or so before I get back,” he answered her. “Is this all okay? I can try to get them to trash the footage if…”

“No,” she interrupted. “Harry, I’m not mad…I’m…you said that in an interview? You don’t usually do that.”

He grinned. “I never do that. When they asked though…it just fell out. I don’t know, Alex. I was just so proud in that moment to be able to say that.”

“You love me,” she said quietly, fighting back tears.

“Of course I love you. And Alex, they don’t know your name. We’ve been so careful. You have been so careful. I doubt they will be able to figure it out, and I’m not going to lie, I kind of think it’s funny that they don’t have any idea. But, they’ll dig and they’ll watch me closely when I come home. We will just have to figure out how to handle that and how we want to make it known that it’s you,” he said, rambling somewhat.

“It’s me,” she whispered, still somewhat in shock and in disbelief.

He laughed. “Baby, it’s always been you.”

She groaned. “You are killing me, Wales.”

He chuckled. “I do love you, Alexandra. And…God, how did I not even ask? How is Emma?”

Alex giggled. “Emma is…” she broke off as Emma, with incredible timing, pushed open Alex’s bedroom door, peering in with sleepy eyes at her mum.

“I heard you talking,” Emma mumbled.

Alex smiled and motioned her over to climb up on the bed.

“Emma is great. In fact, apparently I was talking too loud and she heard me, because she just walked into my room. Do you want to talk to her?”

“Really?” Harry asked. “I would love to. I’ve only got a couple more minutes, but absolutely I would love to talk to Emma.”

“Okay, hold on,” Alex said. She handed the phone to Emma. “It’s Harry,” she whispered, her eyes bright, knowing just how thrilled Emma would be.

Sure enough, Emma went from sleepy to elated in half a second as she took the phone from Alex’s hand.

“Harry?” she squealed.

“Emma!” he laughed. “I’m sorry that we woke you up in the middle of the night, but I’m excited I get to say hello to you.”

“Harry, when do you come home? I miss you! I have a whole list of things to do just like you asked. Have you gotten all of my letters?” Emma rattled off quickly.

Harry laughed. “I’ll start from the beginning, Em. I’ll be home in less than thirty days. And, I’m glad you have a list going. I still promise to do everything we can. And…yes, I’ve gotten all of your letters, silly girl. I’ve written you back every time, remember?”

Emma giggled sweetly. “I know! I was just making sure. I can’t wait until you come home. It is summer and I don’t have school. That means you can see me more.”

Harry cracked up and heard Alex shout her laughter in the background as well. “Honestly Emma, I am dying to spend more time with you,” he said. He glanced up then and saw that he was being given the signal. “Okay Emma. I’m out of time. Can you hand the phone back to your mum now?”

“Okay,” Emma sighed. “I love you, Harry.”

He was pretty sure his heart skipped a beat. “I love you too, Emma,” he responded, his voice hoarse with emotion.

“You’ve made her amazingly happy,” Alex said when she got back on the phone.

Harry swallowed the lump in his throat. “Well, you both make me amazingly happy.” He took a breath. “But, I’m out of time. I’ll see you soon, love; less than a month.”

She grew teary at the thought of having to hang up and the thought that she would be back in his arms so soon. “You will. I love you.”

“I love you too, Alexandra.”

The line clicked and Alex blinked, forcing the tears back before she looked up at Emma, who was beaming.

Alex clapped her hands together. “Okay Emma, since we are up, how about we go raid the kitchen for some cookies?”


Harry was on cloud nine as he made his way back to his tent. Less than a month and he would be home. His deployment had gone smoothly so far and, even with the rash of insurgents they have been fighting in the past few days, they were doing their jobs well and handling them as they were supposed to.

He was only feet from his tent when he caught the lights out of the corner of his eyes. The lights that that signaled there was a soldier down and being brought back to the base and medical personnel were waiting for him there.

Harry had a sinking feeling. There hadn’t been one single casualty since he had been there. There hadn’t even been anyone wounded.

One of the men in his regiment went flying from the tent then and Harry caught him by the arm. “Portman, what is going on?”

“Wales,” Portman said, his eyes shifting nervously from Harry to the lights yards and yards away.

Harry’s heart thudded. “You know who it is, don’t you?”

Portman gulped. “Captain Wales…”

“Don’t give me the bullshit, Portman. Who is it?”

“It’s Geoff.”

“Fuck!” Harry yelled as he immediately spun and ran off in the direction of the lights. He got there just as the rescue helicopter appeared overhead and he stood there, refusing to listen to the medical personnel who tried to move him away.

“He’s my God damn soldier!” Harry yelled at one particularly pushy nurse, who immediately threw his hands in the air at the shout from the captain.

Harry’s chest heaved and he fought his impatience as the helicopter dropped slowly. Finally, it touched down and the medical team rushed forward, pulling a form attached to a board from the helicopter. Harry stayed back as long as he could, wanting to assure that they medical team did have him as a distraction as they triaged Geoff’s injuries.

It was when they slowly stepped back, one by one, that Harry’s head began to spin. He bolted over, looking at them as he passed, witnessing the looks in their eyes.

But it wasn’t until he stepped up next to the body on the stretcher that he let himself believe it. The burned, disfigured form on the stretcher was Geoff.

Geoff was dead. Harry’s friend, a person he trusted and was close to, was dead.

Harry’s mind spun. Geoff wasn’t originally on shift that night, but had offered to trade with Harry so that he could call Alex. Harry was supposed to be in that helicopter, but because he wasn’t his friend had died; his friend who had a wife and young child at home…was dead.

Harry hit his knees in anguish.

He would never forgive himself.