Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Fifty Two Part One

Harry’s eyes swung straight to Alex when she stepped into the doorway of her bedroom with a small smile on her lips, watching him as he relaxed on her bed, her eyes bright and full of love.

“She’s asleep,” she said with a bit of a chuckle. “Passed right out. I think all of the excitement got to her.”

“Yeah?” He chuckled when she nodded slowly and then he held out his hand for her. “Come here.”

She bit her lip and then she stepped into the room. She shut the door softly behind her, locked it, and then she moved straight to him, climbing onto the bed and crawling up his legs until she was over his lap. His hand moved to her hips and he pulled her against him.

“Hi,” she said in a low voice, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Hello my love.” He smiled and reached up to brush her hair from her face.


The skin around his eyes creased as his smile grew wider. “Hmmm?”

She pulled back just a little bit and looked at him with wide eyes. “The ring…”

“Yeah?” His eyes never left her as he reached for her left hand and pulled it to his lips, his fingers running over the diamond she now wore.

“It matches my earrings,” she murmured. “The earrings you got me for Christmas last year.”

“You noticed,” he grinned.

“Of course I noticed. I wear those earrings all the time.” She laughed softly before her eyes grew slightly more serious. “Have you had this since then?”

“Well…” His hands moved over her, running along her arms, over her shoulders, and down her sides before they rested on her hips. He took a deep breath. “I consulted with the jewelers after we got back from Texas after Thanksgiving last year. We came up with a design and they rushed the earrings out for me so I could give them to you for Christmas. The ring was done and approved a month or so later.”

“Henry Charles…” she breathed, her eyes soft and sweet. “You’ve been planning this for that long?”

“Longer.” The word was quiet but packed with meaning. His hands moved up her back and he pushed her closer to him. “You’re really going to marry me, Alexandra?”

She nodded her head slowly. “I’m going to marry you. I’m going to be your wife.”

“I really like that sound of that…” His lips curled up and his fingers twisted up into her hair, pulling her face closer to his. “Say it again.”

Alex giggled and she sank further into him. She tilted her head so her lips were so close to his that a deep breath would bring them brushing against each other. “I’m going to be your wife,” she whispered, her eyes dancing with the words.

And that’s when it hit him; every single hope and want and wish he’d ever had about his future was sitting on his lap, completely wrapped around him.

And she had said yes.

Harry couldn’t help the groan that fell from his mouth as he pulled her lips to his. And when her mouth opened under his and his tongue tipped out and into her mouth, the feeling that surged through his body was indescribable.

“Harry…” she moaned into his mouth as she pressed herself closer to him. “I want you.”

He grinned against her lips. “You have me.”

“You know what I mean…”

The kiss grew deeper, hotter. And then, before it could move into something more, Harry – pulling strength from somewhere he didn’t know existed – pulled back from her slightly. His body pulsed at the pouty look on her full, pink lips but he took a deep breath and held steady. “I want you too, Alexandra…but…”

“But?” Her eyebrows raised and her lips pulled into a smirk. “Henry, don’t tell me you’re going to start holding out on me now.”

“No,” he shook his head with a laugh. “I am definitely…” He pulled her lips to hers again. “Not going to…” The kiss deepened, their tongues stroking hot and firm together. “Be holding out…” His hands tightened on her and his brain began to haze over. “On you now...” But then he snapped back, pulled away from her with a heavy sigh. “But…” She groaned in disappointment and he chuckled, his shoulders shaking with it. “It’s just that there are a few people…your parents, my dad and Camilla, Molly…who might be delighted to get a phone call right about now. And if I get all tangled up in you…”

“Where is your phone?” She interrupted, holding her hand out to him with bright eyes and a wide, excited smile.

Harry couldn’t help the shout of laughter that left his lips and he shifted her from his lap and back onto the bed. He pulled his phone from his pocket and handed it to her. “You want to call your parents first? I believe they are expecting the call.”

“Expecting the…” Her forehead scrunched in confusion for a moment before understanding washed over her face. “They know?” she whispered, her face soft and full of emotion.

Harry nodded. “They know. I flew to Texas a week ago to ask for their blessing.”

“You did?” she whispered, her eyes widening. “How in the…they called me earlier to wish me a happy birthday and they didn’t even let on.”

“Of course they didn’t,” Harry smirked. “It was a secret. Molly knows too. I snuck over there to talk to Emma before you picked her up a few days ago.”

“Wales!” Alex laughed, leaning over to kiss him soundly. “You little sneak.”

He smiled wide and watched her as she unlocked his phone and then dialed her parent’s number. Her eyes swung up to his when the phone started to ring and he reached for her hand, playing with her fingers while she waited for the line to pick up. And he wasn’t surprised one bit that when it did, tears immediately formed in her eyes.

“Daddy?” she breathed, her voice catching. “Dad…I’m getting married.”

Harry watched as she talked to both of her parents, the smile never leaving his face. She laughed and swiped at the tears that spilled from her eyes as she received excited congratulations from both of them. She squeezed Harry’s hand in hers when they told her how proud of her they were and how proud they were that they would get to call Harry their son-in-law. And then, when they asked to speak to Harry, she bit her lip, tilted her head to the side, and with sweet eyes, she pulled the phone away from her ear and held it out to him.

“They want to talk to you too.”

Harry grinned as he slid the phone from her hand and pulled it to his ear. “Hello?”


When Harry finally tossed his phone to the side half an hour later, they had called and spoke to Alex’s parents, Charles and Camilla, and Molly to share the news of their engagement. Everyone had been delighted and happy for them and it was wonderful to share their happiness with some of the people who had supported them most throughout their lives.

But as soon as Harry slid his phone onto the nightstand next to her bed, Alex was moving back over his lap, ready to pick up where they had left off before the phone calls started. However, when Harry wrapped his big hands around her arms and stalled her on her mission, a groan of disappointment pushed from her lips.

“Harry…” Her lip stuck out in an adorable little pout.

“Sorry,” he chuckled. “There is just one more thing to talk about and then I swear to you, we don’t have to talk for the rest of the night.”

Alex lifted a brow. “Oh, we’ll be talking, that just won’t be the only thing we are doing.”

His lips curled up and his shoulders shook with laughter at her words. “The soon you have this conversation with me, the sooner I stop talking and start…” His hands tugged at her hips and he pulled her down tighter against his lap.

A soft moan fell from her lips. “You’re killing me,” she sighed. Then, sitting up straight and taking a deep breath, she smiled wide. “You have my attention, Captain.”

“Thank you,” he smirked, before growing a bit serious. “So listen. As soon as I call Granny and tell her that you said yes, this thing becomes official.”

“It’s not official now?” she snickered. “You mean I can still get out of this?”

“Easy…” Harry narrowed his eyes playfully. “What I mean is,” he continued, “when that happens you become officially a future royal. You and Emma will be assigned security and once that happens, every time you go out…”

“Security will be with us,” Alex finished, following his line of thought. “Which would tip off the public in a hurry.”

“Yep,” he nodded. “So, basically I need you to tell me how long you want me to ask to wait until security is assigned. When I go to see her, I can ask that it be held off for a little bit. She knows I was going to ask you, but I do need to let her know you said yes and get her formal permission. I’d like to have it before we announce.”

“She has to give permission?” Alex said, her eyes widening a bit.

“Yes,” he smiled. “But don’t worry. She likes you and she was delighted when I told her I was going to ask. She even offered to take me to the vaults and look for a ring before I told her I already had one designed.”

Alex pulled a face. “The vaults? As in…I mean, is there really such thing as the royal jewelry vault? Is there just…shiny things everywhere?”

Harry’s head tipped back with his shout of laughter and he hugged her closer. “Well, you’ll find out when you have to go choose a tiara for the wedding.”

Her eyes flashed wide and she shook her head. “Okay. Let’s not dive too far into that right now. Back to telling your grandmother.”

“How long do you need? You tell me,” he said. He moved a piece of hair over her shoulder and looked at her with honest, open eyes. “What amount of time do you think you’ll need to be ready?”

“I’m ready right now,” she said in a low voice. “I’d be all for announcing tomorrow if we could. But…I do need to transition out of HFTF. I’ve been working with Susannah in the hope that she would take over eventually, so I’ll need to formally ask her and get her moved into my spot.”

Harry’s smile pulled wide. “Susannah will be great.”

“She will,” Alex nodded and then her eyes grew a bit more serious. “How about two weeks?”

“Two weeks,” Harry nodded. His eyes lit up and his hands smoothed up her back. “You have a deal.”

“Oh wow,” Alex breathed. Her eyes widened. “In two weeks we will tell the world and…”

“And then it all begins,” Harry said, somewhat solemnly. “You become a public figure and the press…”

“Hey. Hold on,” Alex interrupted, holding up her hand to stop him. “Stop that. I know all of that. Don’t make tonight about that stuff.” She stopped and pulled a deep breath and wide smile. “I was going to say that in two weeks we will tell the world and I can be an official part of your life. We can start planning this wedding. Emma and I can move in with you…”

His eyes flashed to her and she couldn’t help but giggle at the look on his face; it was pure giddiness.

“I can’t wait for that,” he murmured. His hands smoothed down her back and to her hips. He pushed his fingers up under her shirt, meeting the warm, smooth skin of her stomach and bringing a gasp from her.

“Yeah?” She leaned in, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Mhhmm…” He bit his lip and his hands moved higher. “I’ll have you both around all the time. I’ll have you in my bed every single night…”

Alex grinned as her fingers moved into his hair and she tilted her head over his. “Don’t you mean our bed, baby?”

“Ohhh,” he groaned. “I absolutely do.”

Her mouth opened up over his and he welcomed it; welcomed the sweet slide of her tongue, the smooth press of her lips, the way she tasted. Then he wrapped a strong arm around her and moved, flipping her over onto her back.

And as he moved in above her, pressing his body against her, the giggles that came from her lips were soon replaced with moans and groans and everything that this night had meant for them.


“Seriously, Harry. You didn’t have to have this catered,” Alex sighed as she eyed the spread laid out on Harry’s dining room table.

Matt and Charlotte were on their way over for a brunch that Harry had pre-planned for Alex’s birthday weekend and as a way to let them in on the engagement. Emma was with Harry’s Aunt Sophie and his cousin Louise at a matinee showing of the big musicals playing in London – an outing that had been planned for weeks – and so it was a perfect opening for a small, intimate gathering for the four adults.

He smiled and moved his arm around her shoulders, pulling her against him. “I didn’t have it catered, love.”

He turned to him and pulled a face. “You cannot seriously think that I believe you made all of this, Wales.”

“Ouch,” he chuckled, playing at being wounded before he winked and continued, “We do have a chef especially for times such as this one, Alexandra.”

“That’s the same thing as having it catered,” she said with a playful roll of her eyes.

“You’ll get used to it,” he grinned. He leaned over and pressed a kiss to the top of her head just as his phone buzzed in his pocket. “That will probably be the gate telling us that Matt and Charlotte are here.”

Alex’s face lit up and Harry couldn’t help but think how adorable it was that she was so excited to share their news with her brother and Charlotte, especially since Matt and Charlotte had seemed to have found their own happiness with each other so recently.

“Well answer it, Captain,” she said, throwing her hand on her hip and looking pointedly at his phone.

“Yes ma’am,” he grinned, offering her a mock salute and wink before he pulled the phone to his ear. “This is Harry...Great…Send them on back.”


Harry waited until everyone had made up a plate from the selection on the table and were enjoying the meal before he looked at Alex and she gave him a smile and a nod, letting him know she was ready to bring Matt and Charlotte in on the secret.

“So Charlotte,” he said with a wide smile as he turned towards her.

“Yes?” She raised an eyebrow and took a sip of her drink as she waited for him to continue.

He took a breath, adjusted in his seat, and tried his best not to look at Alex. He could literally feel her trying to not smile. “I wanted to talk to you about a big project that has come up for next year.”

“Ugh. Do we have to talk about work today?” Charlotte groaned and motioned towards Alex. “It is your girlfriend’s birthday celebration.”

“Fiancée,” Harry corrected softly, his eyes dancing. “It’s my fiancée’s birthday celebration.”

A bright, excited smile spread across Alex’s face as she watched the realization wash over the faces of her brother and Charlotte. Charlotte’s eyes were full of surprise as they swung from Harry to Alex, while Matt’s eyes lifted from his plate to hers, wide and happy and looking for confirmation.

“Harry proposed last night,” Alex said softly, her eyes darting between a shocked Charlotte and her brother, who’s smile was growing bigger by the second. “And I said yes, of course,” she added for good measure, bringing a chuckle from Harry.

“Holy shit,” Charlotte finally burst out, snapping out of her stunned surprise. She turned to Harry and reached out, smacking him firmly on the chest. He yelped in surprise, but she paid no attention. “You finally asked?! Shut the fuck up.”

The table burst into laughter and Matt shook his head. “I believe that’s Charlotte’s way of saying congratulations.”

“Well thank you,” Harry smiled, knowing that Matt was right.

“Jesus Christ, Wales. You really know how to be dramatic about it,” Charlotte laughed, her smile and her eyes bright.

And then she stood and everyone followed, ready to give out hugs and words of congratulations. While Charlotte moved to Harry, Matt came around the table and pulled his sister into a warm, tight hug.

“Congratulations, Boot,” he murmured in her ear and Alex could feel the tears start to prick her eyelids.

“Thank you,” she whispered back, her throat tight.

“You really deserve this. I hope you know that.”

“Stop that,” she laughed, pulling back from the hug to smile up at her big brother. “You’re going to make me cry.”

Matt grinned back down to her. “Well, it’s not like that’s hard to do.”

“Shut up,” Alex laughed as she turned towards Charlotte, who was coming up beside her.

And it was then that Alex really was in danger of crying.

Because Charlotte was crying.

There weren’t tears streaming down her face, but they were definitely pooled in her eyes and Alex couldn’t help the way the emotion bubbled up within her at that.

Charlotte didn’t just work for Harry. She wasn’t just Harry’s friend. She wasn’t just Matt’s girlfriend. She was Alex’s best friend. And right then, in that moment, Alex felt that more than ever and she couldn’t help it, the tears spilled over.

“Damn it,” Charlotte groaned as she pulled Alex into a hug. “I swear that I never cried before you and that damn brother of yours came into my life.”

Alex laughed as she squeezed Charlotte tightly. “I must be rubbing off on you a little bit then.”

“Well, that’s not such a bad thing,” Charlotte murmured as they pulled back from the hug, her voice full of sincerity.

“Why Charlotte Blakely,” Alex smiled. “That may be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.

“Let’s not go too far now,” Charlotte chuckled. She swiped at the tears in the corners of her eyes before she turned to Matt and Harry – who had shared a handshake and a warm, brotherly hug during Alex and Charlotte’s moment – and opened the moment back up to the whole room. “So, I’m assuming this project you’re talking about next year is a wedding?”

Harry smiled wide and his eyes fell on Alex for a moment, tender and full of love, before moving back to Charlotte. “It is.”

“Well,” Charlotte took a deep breath and then clapped her hands together. “I only have one more question then.”

Harry lifted a brown. “What’s that?”

“If this is a celebration, where the in hell is the champagne?”

“Ha!” Harry laughed, shaking his head. “Of course. I’ll just go get some. I suppose everyone else would like a glass as well?”

And the answer was a resounding yes.

The first of many celebrations had begun.

A/N: I split this chapter into two. Don’t worry, the next part won’t take long, part of it is already written, but I figured I’d give you guys the lighter, sillier part of the chapter now and after this we will see Harry and Alex with Charles and Camilla and Will and Kate, as well as the run up to the engagement interview!