Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Fifty

Alex’s second summer with Harry had been busy and full of so many moments. The Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday, Dave and Bea’s wedding, their trip to Texas, and the drama with Matt and Charlotte had made for a very full and very busy few months.

And as the summer wound down and the air grew cool, they stayed busy.

Harry met a new career goal, qualifying as an Apache Commander, the culmination of a lot of hard work and the determination that he seemed to have in spades. He was also taking on more royal duties than ever. He even made a quick, three day tour of Australia, with a stopover in Dubai on his way back to attend a Sentebale fundraiser.

Alex kept herself busy as well. Emma was back in school for the year and so was she; resuming her university courses that she had taken a break from over the summer. She was in her second to last semester before graduation and so she was into the real meat of her coursework. She loved it.

They were busy but as always, they made time for each other. They were solid and comfortable in their relationship and inching closer and closer to a turning point in their lives together, their life as a family. They knew it, everyone around them seemed to know it, and the press was all over any bit of engagement talk they could find.

And once again, as it had the year before, the papers stepped up their coverage and the paps were more intense as September rolled around and Harry’s birthday was approaching.

It was, after all, his thirtieth.


I’m having major Déjà vu,” Alex chuckled as she watched the scenery fly by outside of her window.

“Yeah?” Harry chuckled from the driver’s seat, tossing a glance in her direction.

“Mmhmm,” she murmured, throwing him a smile before turning back to the window. The leaves were beginning to fall and the colors were bright, various shades of red and orange mixing with the lush greenery. It was Harry’s birthday and, similar to the year before, he had told her that there was something he wanted her to see with him. Later that night, once they were back in London, she had an entire evening planned for him, but he had asked for this part of the day and she had gladly given it, although she had no idea where they were going.

“What’s Déjà vu?” Emma called out from the backseat.

Alex turned and smiled at her daughter who was looking at her expectantly. Gus was sprawled out across any bit of seat that Emma wasn’t occupying, fast asleep and enjoying the car ride that he had been lucky enough to have been invited on.

“It’s when you are doing something and you get a feeling that you have been in that exact place doing the exact same thing before, even though you haven’t,” Alex answered.

“So you felt like we’ve been on this exact same trip with Harry before?”

Alex smiled. “Well, I said it as more of a joke; to tease Harry.”

Emma’s head tilted to the side. “Why?”

Harry chuckled from beside her, and Alex couldn’t help the feeling of warmth she got from the entire conversation, how much they felt like a family, and it made her smile even wider. “Remember last year on Harry’s birthday when he took us out into the country?”

“Yes!” Emma brightened, a grin breaking across her face. “That’s when we met Miss Susannah and then went to stay with ZaZa and Auntie Mikey.”

“Yep,” Alex nodded. “That’s why I said it was like Déjà vu, because he’s taking us out into the country but not telling us where we are going, just like last year.”

“Ahhh…” Emma nodded, her little face growing serious as she thought over the new phrase.

“Alright,” Harry called out from the front seat. “We’re here.”

His words turned Alex’s attention back to the front of the care as he steered the Range Rover around a curve in the road and then slowed, before turning into a drive and up to a gate. His detail, following in the car behind them, pulled in and waited as Harry pressed the button on the call box for the gate.

“Where are we?” Alex asked, taking in the beautiful drive in front of her. It was obviously an estate, and a huge, beautiful one at that.

“Althorp,” Harry said, his voice low and full of emotion. He turned his eyes to Alex just as she swung her gaze toward his, her eyes wide as realization washed over her.

“Your mother’s family home,” Alex breathed. “She’s…”

“She’s buried here,” Harry finished for her. “We’ve come for a visit.”

“Harry…” Alex began, although she didn’t really know what to say – what she could say – that would convey just how special this was to her. But right then the speaker on the call box crackled to life and any words she could have possibly come up with faded out as Harry turned towards the voice calling out through the speaker.


“It’s Harry,” he called back to the voice.

“Yes sir, you’re expected.”

The speaker clicked off, followed by a buzzing sound, and then the ornate gates in front of them began to swing open.

“Harry, this is where your mummy lived?” Emma called from the backseat as they moved slowly down the drive.

The corners of Harry’s lips turned up and he glanced in the rearview mirror at Emma. “When she was growing up, yes.”

“Does your whole family have humongous houses?” Emma asked, clearly impressed with the size of Althorp.

Alex snickered and Harry grinned. He loved how plain spoken children were and that they had no qualms about asking the questions that everyone was really thinking.

“Quite a few of them do,” he answered with a chuckle.

They reached the end of the drive and pulled up in the circular drive in front of the house, if you could really even call it that. The huge, ornate front door opened as soon as their car pulled to a stop, a testament to how these estates worked when visitors arrived. Even with family it was precise and formal.

Harry’s detail exited from the vehicle behind them and with that, Harry and Alex both opened their doors. Alex opened Emma’s door while Harry took a moment to make sure Gus was attached to his leash before he let the dog jump out and handed the leash to Emma, making sure she had a good grip on it as Gus was desperately excited to explore the new surroundings.


They all turned at the deep voice and Harry smiled at the tall, handsome, older man standing at the top of the stone steps that led up to the door.

“Uncle Charles!” Harry called back in greeting. He moved around the car as Charles Spencer made his way down the steps to greet his nephew. The two men kissed each other’s cheeks and share a hug.

“Happy birthday, Harry,” Charles said with a wide smile and Alex couldn’t help but think that Harry resembled his uncle a bit.

“Thank you,” Harry nodded and then he turned to Alex. “Uncle Charles, this is my girlfriend, Alexandra Morgan and her daughter Emma Morgan,” he said, gesturing towards each of them in turn.

Charles lifted a warm smile to Alex and leaned in to kiss her cheeks. Alex had to suppress a giggle; she always teased Harry about his Windsor charm, but she now realized that a good portion of it must come from the Spencer side of the family.

“It’s lovely to meet you, Alexandra,” Charles said.

“Please, call me Alex,” she smiled in return. “And it’s lovely to meet you as well, Earl Spencer.”

“Call me Charles,” he insisted, squeezing her hand kindly before he turned towards Emma, kneeling down to take her little hand. “And Emma, you are a very pretty little girl. You look just like your mother.”

“I know,” Emma grinned and then her eyes widened and she tossed a glance up at Alex, whose lips were twitching slightly. “I mean…thank you,” she tried again.

Charles laughed and stood, patting Emma’s shoulder affectionately. “So you’ve come to visit her on your thirtieth birthday?” Charles asked Harry, going straight to the point.

“Yes sir,” Harry nodded. “Thank you for letting us come out.”

“Of course,” Charles waved a hand in the air. “Although you must know that you three are having tea with me and Karen first. And, I believe your youngest little cousin will be up from her nap soon.”

“Absolutely,” Harry replied, a wide smile pulling at his lips. “We would love it.

Charles clapped his hands together. “Fantastic. Come on inside then.”

“Wait!” Emma called out, bringing the attention of the three adults swinging to her. She pointed to the happy dog at the end of the leash she was holding to tightly. “What about Gus?”

Charles chuckled. “He can come in to. We have two labs ourselves. They can play.”

“Phew,” Emma sighed dramatically, bringing a laugh from the group before they all made their way inside.


An hour later, after a lovely tea with Charles, his wife Karen, and even a little visit with their two year old daughter Charlotte, Harry, Alex, and Emma made their way out onto to the grounds of Althorp. Harry’s uncle declined to join them, wanting Harry to share this visit with Alex and Emma alone.

“This is so beautiful,” Alex sighed as they walked away from the main house. It was chilly outside, but the sun was out and shining and fall colors everywhere gave their walk a warm, cozy feel.

“I know Mum loved growing up here,” Harry nodded. “But we didn’t visit much when we were kids.”

“Why not?” Alex asked. She moved closer to his side and he moved an arm around her, tucking her close to his side. Their eyes stayed forward, watching Emma who was several yards in front of them. They had left Gus at the main house with his uncle’s two dogs, letting him enjoy the playtime he was having.

“You know how the media is always all over Kate and Will for spending so much time with the Middletons and having Henry spending time with them as well?”

Alex rolled her eyes. “I hate that.”

“Me too,” Harry nodded. “They conveniently forget how little time my mother spent with the Spencers after she married my father and how little time we spent with them growing up. And don’t get me wrong, my father’s side of the family is wonderful and we both love them all immensely, but that’s how it was. Will was always determined to not have that happen with Kate and her family. It takes a huge support system to be part of our family, and sometimes the best support system comes from outside of the family, from people who know life outside of being a royal. It keeps you grounded.”

She peeked up at him with a small smile. “So you mean I’ll be allowed to keep my family?”

Harry’s head tipped back with laughter and then he pulled her tighter against him, pressing a kiss to the side of her head. “You are amazing, you know that?”

But before she could ask him what he meant, they turned a corner and Harry’s smile grew a bit sad. Alex turned and saw it, the big, white stone memorial that had been built for the public to be able to come to Althorp and pay their respects to her.

“Emma!” Alex called out immediately, catching her daughter’s attention and then pointing to the memorial.

“Wow,” Emma said, her eyes growing wide. “What’s that?” She stopped in her place along the path and waited for Harry and her mum to catch up. “Is that your mummy’s grave, Harry?”

“No,” Harry shook his head. “Her grave is actually much more private. This was built so that people who weren’t family or friends could come and visit her. A lot of people loved her, even if they never met her.”

Emma turned wide eyes up to Harry. “Can we go see?”

“Of course,” Harry smiled, reaching out for her hand.

He lead them up to the ornate white stone structure with its tall, grand columns. They spent several minutes there while Harry explained the reasoning behind the architecture and how popular it had been for tourists until it closed to public a couple of years before. And then, with a deep breath in, he turned towards the lake, towards the island in the middle where his mother was buried.

He always felt this way when he went to visit his mother, but this time it was deeper. He was bringing Alex and Emma with him. In a way, he was introducing them to her. It was something he wanted but it made him sad in a way that he knew would never go away; sad that his mother would never meet Alex and Emma.

He turned back towards them, tried to push the sadness back, and pulled the warmest smile he could to his face. “Come on, ladies. Let’s go visit her.”

With Alex tucked firmly into his side and Emma’s little hand in his, he led them down to the path that ran around the lake. The fall leaves crunched under their feet as they followed the path around until they came to a small walking bridge that would take them out to the island at the center of the lake.

“After you, ladies,” he smiled, holding his arm out for them to proceed in front of him. Emma went first so that Alex could watch her as they crossed and Harry followed behind, the last one to step onto the solid earth at the end.

And as fast as that, the melancholy was back, washing over him as they walked through the short clearing in the trees and stepped in view of his mother’s grave. The beautiful white stone column rose from the ground and, shrouded by trees with just sunlight streaming in between the leaves that hadn’t yet fallen, it really was beautiful.

Emma was quiet, this kind of moment entirely new to her, but Alex let out a small gasp and tears immediately sprang to her eyes. She squeezed Emma’s hand tightly in hers and the both watched as Harry took his moment took look over his mother’s grave.

“She would have adored you both,” he finally said, turning towards them. His voice was heavy with emotion.

“Harry,” Alex whispered with a shake of her head. “You don’t have to…”

“I know,” he interrupted. He stepped closer to Alex and Emma and took Alex’s hand in his, squeezing it gently. “And I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t absolutely true.” He stopped for a moment, glancing towards the grave for a moment before he turned back to her, a soft smile on his face. “She would have loved you.” His eyes dropped to Emma and he laid a soft hand to her cheek. “And she would have loved you too kiddo.”

“Really?” Emma asked, her face a mixture of surprise and delight at the thought and it brought a wide smile to Harry’s face.

“Absolutely. She would have adored your spunk and your sass and that big heart you have.”

Emma bit her lip and blushed a bit at his words, and Alex sniffled trying her best not to cry at his words. He had a way of doing that to her.

“And you…” Harry addressed Alex and she shook her head, blinking back the tears in her eyes.

“Don’t Harry…I can’t…”

“I have to, Alexandra,” he said, squeezing her hand again. “She would have loved your kindness and your strength and that very same heart that Emma has. And she would have loved how much you love me, how much you’ve done for me. I wish you both could have met her.”

Alex wiped at her wet eyes and took a deep, steadying breath. “Thank you, Harry. I really wish we could have met her too.” She leaned up and kissed him softly. “I’m sure we would have loved her.”

“I inherited my portion of her estate today, you know,” he said after a few quiet moments.

Alex nodded. That wasn’t something they had talked about – money wasn’t a comfortable subject for him – but she had still seen the talk in the papers, splashing his inheritance amount around as if it were any of their business. She didn’t even consider it her business.

“I would give it all away if I could just talk to her one more time,” he whispered, his voice breaking a bit. He hadn’t gotten this emotional over her in a very long time, but something about sharing it with his girls was bringing it all crashing to the surface.

Emma’s head tilted up to him at his words. “You can talk to her anytime, Harry.”

Harry’s head tipped to the side and then, incredibly interest in what she had to say, he knelt down to her level. “What do you mean?”

She shrugged. “A long time ago I asked Mummy if she ever missed talking to my daddy. She said that she still talks to him because he’s in a place that she knows he is listening no matter what. She said I could talk to him too.”

Harry flashed a wide grin up to Alex, who blushed slightly. This topic had always been between just her and Emma, not that she minded sharing it with Harry.

“And what do you talk to your dad about, Em? If you don’t mind me asking of course,” Harry asked quietly.

Emma glanced up at Alex then, deciding at the point that maybe she should make sure that sharing that information was okay.”

“Go ahead,” Alex encouraged her daughter.

“Well…” Emma said, drawing the word out slightly. “I don’t do it all the time, mostly when something important happens that I think he’d like to know. But sometimes I just tell him I love him, because all daddies like to hear that, right?”

Harry took a deep breath, the ache in his chest easing a bit. He thought it was amazing how the words of a seven year old could bring him as much peace as Emma’s words seemed to. “You are absolutely right, kiddo.”


After leaving Althorp, they made their way back into London. They stopped to drop Emma off at Molly’s for the night and then the car headed towards Harry’s place so that they could get ready for dinner with Harry’s family that evening and then out for a night that Alex had planned with all of their friends.

Alex could feel the intensity radiating from Harry the second she had slid in next to him in the backseat of the Range Rover. He had handed over the driving duties to one of his RPOs in favor of wanting to be as close to her as possible and instantly he made it his mission to do exactly that, be as close to her as possible.

He took one of her hands in his and, his eyes never leaving hers, he kissed each fingertip softly before moving his hand to his leg and pressing his hand over it, holding her hand tightly to him. His other arm was wrapped tightly around her and kept her tucked into his side as if he thought he might be able to get her close enough into him that they would meld together. And finally he tilted his head toward hers and pressed his lips to hers with such passion that a low moan left her mouth before she could stop herself.

“Shhh…” he breathed against her mouth, his hand moving from her shoulder up into her hair, cradling her head for him. He pressed his lips to hers over and over again, kissing her so deeply and with more intensity than she had ever felt from him.

And he stayed at her mouth for long minutes, just like that, his tongue and lips pushing and pulling at everything she had. It wasn’t until Alex heard the crunch of the gravel under the tires and felt the car pull to a stop that she even remembered that they were in a car at all, she was so completely lost in him.

In what seemed like a blur, the car doors were pulled open, Harry’s mouth pulled from hers, and before she could cry out at the loss, he was pulling her from the car and towards his cottage. She wasn’t really sure how her legs were working, but somehow she made it up the path with him to the door and Harry immediately pushed it open, pulled her in, and moved her back against it, his body pressing hers into the dark, solid wood.

“Oh God. Harry,” she moaned, right before his mouth crashed down on hers again and his hands moved to her body, pushing up under her shirt, groaning as his fingers met the hot flesh of her belly.

“Alexandra, I have to be inside you. Right now,” he demanded in a low, husky voice.

“Yes,” she breathed, completely wrapped up inside this moment with him and how much he needed her.

His hands instantly moved up under her skirt, found the band of her tights and he tugged sharply, yanking them down with her panties off of her long legs and tossing them to side along with her shoes and then he was moving back up to her, reaching down to free himself from his pants and his boxers as he went. He groaned as his cock sprang free and his hands moved to her waist, lifting her and pushing her back against the door as she wrapped her legs around him.

He reached in between them and guided himself to her. She whimpered as the tip of him found her wetness and his eyes flashed to hers, the heat and emotion so heavy between them that she felt like she could almost smell it in the air. And then, without much preamble he leaned in, pressed his forehead against hers, and thrust himself all the way into her.

“Fuck!” he groaned out, his world growing hazy at the way she felt around him.

“Please…” she responded, the need he was consumed with overtaking her.

And because he couldn’t resist that plea for anything, he moved a hand into her hair, tugged her head back, covered her lips with his, and began to move against her.

It was quick and rough and deep and everything that both of them needed right in that moment. There had been so much emotion that day, so much they had shared, that both of them needed this; needed the moaning and the groaning and the release that only they could give each other.

Harry pushed into her over and over again, hitting the very back of her, making her cry out in pleasure with every thrust he gave her. It wasn’t long before she felt the burn begin deep in her belly and she gasped, her eyes flying open to find his already watching her, taking in every single detail of her in that moment.

“Yes,” he nodded, lifting another thrust into her. “Come on Alex…I want to come with you…”

“Oh God…” she gasped, her entire body beginning to tighten around him. And then, because she wanted more than anything to share her release with him, to feel him pulse within her as she clenched around him, she pulled his lips to hers and went, crying out into his mouth with the intensity of it as it slammed into her.

“Alex…” Harry groaned as the first wave of her released pulsed around him and, just as he had told her he wanted to do, he thrust once more into her and exploded, a shudder rolling through him at the feeling of his release, intense and so utterly needed.

It took several minutes before either of them could take a solid breath, before either of them could form a coherent thought. Eventually though, the storm calmed and Alex opened her eyes, finding Harry’s already watching her, his look a mixture of love, wonder, and satisfaction.

“Damn Wales, at least we know you haven’t lost your touch now that you’re an old man,” she teased, a slight giggle leaving her lips.

Harry’s head tossed back in laughter and he gathered her into his arms and away from the front door. He lifted her off of him and she moaned at the loss, her lips pulling into a slight pout.

“Aww love, don’t worry. The day is far from over,” he grinned as he turned them towards the stairs.

“Ahhhh…” Alex sighed, her body relaxed after the sex they had just shared. “I love birthdays.”

Harry chuckled as he moved up the stairs, loving her humor. “And I love you, Alexandra.”

She grinned wide. “And I love you, Harry. Happy Birthday.”