Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Sixty Six Part One

When Alex woke the morning after the wedding, it wasn’t the light that was beginning to stream through the heavy draperies that had pulled her from her deep, contented sleep. The hands that belonged to the man behind her were warm and soft and searching as they ran over her curves, rousing her body awake before her mind was.

“Mmmm…” She shifted under his hands and a slow smile tilted up her lips.

“Mmmm…” he echoed with a smile of his own. His hands tightened on her and pulled her closer, his front pressing to her back. “Hi…” he breathed against her ear just before his lips dipped to the curve of her neck and pressed a hot, opened mouth kiss on her sensitive skin.

“Hi…” she sighed, her body arching back against his. She groaned when she felt him against her backside; hot, hard and ready. She bit her lip in anticipation and then, feeling bold and incredibly in love with her new husband, she turned in his arms and then shifted to move over him.

“Whoa,” Harry grinned, his hands moving to her thighs as she settled her legs on either side of his. She was warm and naked and rumpled from sleep and she looked incredibly sexy. “Is this what being married to you is going to be like? Because I have to tell you that I’m completely on board.”

Alex smirked and then with a gleam in her eyes, she reached out and wrapped her fingers around him, making him groan as she ran a hot, slow stroke up and down his length. “I can see that, Captain.”

He groaned and his hands slid from her thighs to her hips, wanting to pull her closer to what she currently held in her hand, wanting to pull her over him, wanting to be inside of her.

But Alex had entirely different intentions in mind.

Her smile was smug as she shook her head and leaned forward, her hands still stroking him into madness as she dropped a too soft kiss to his lips. “Not yet, baby.”

And then her lips left his only to blaze a slow, hot trail from his neck down to his chest. His hips jerked when she reached the sensitive skin of his stomach and her tongue tipped out to trace the lines of his taut muscles. Her eyes turned up to his and she grinned, wicked and full of anticipation.

“Jesus Alex…”

And when her head dipped and her hot, wet mouth closed around him, his eyes rolled closed, a low groan left his lips, and he knew.

She was going to completely take him down.

And he couldn’t think of a better way to spend his first morning as a married man.


Though both of them would have loved to have spent a long, leisurely morning in bed wrapped up in each other, the fact was that they simply couldn’t. They needed to head back to Kensington; there was a small brunch set up at Will and Kate’s place for them with just their immediate family so they could say goodbye before they left on their honeymoon later that afternoon. So after an hour spent together in some rather naughty escapades, they emerged from the tangled sheets of the huge bed in their room at Buckingham Palace and set about getting ready for the day.

When they stepped out of the front doors, the news cameras were there waiting for them. Wide, happy smiles were on their faces as they walked hand in hand to the car that was waiting to take them on the short trip back to Kensington. The cameras captured every moment, including when Harry pulled open the door for his new wife and instead of dropping it to move around to the other door, kept her fingers wrapped up in his as she slid into the car and then he slid in right after her.

“Do you have much more to pack before we leave?” he asked once the car had pulled from the gates and was running smoothly down the London streets.

“No,” she shook her head and smiled over at him. “Everything is fully packed. It was pretty easy actually. I mean, it is our honeymoon…so I figured I could go really light on clothing, right?”

“Ohhh,” Harry groaned into a laugh. “Stop it right now. We’ll be home in less than five minutes and the image I want in my head while I’m trying to talk to your father is not you…naked on a yacht on the coast of Greece.”

“Suit yourself,” she shrugged, her lips twisting with humor. “But you’re probably going to think about it anyway.”

“Ha!” Harry’s head tipped back into the seat of the car, his chest rumbling with laughter. “Most likely.” He turned his gaze back to her, his eyes happy and his smile wide from their banter. “God, I love you.”

“I love you too,” she murmured in return, her smile turning soft as he pulled her hand to his lips for a kiss. Her eyes fell on his wedding band and she couldn’t help but shift her hand in his, moving so she could run her fingers over the shiny, solid gold band. “This looks good on you, Sussex.”

“It feels good on me,” he grinned, his own gaze turning down to it as the car turned into the gates at Kensington.


The brunch was relaxed and fun, a perfect way to spend a couple of hours before they left for Greece.

With the wedding over, it really felt like everything had settled around them for the most part, and they were really able to enjoy spending time with their family without thinking about all of the things that needed to be done.

They thanked their parents and Molly for everything they had done for them and for the time each of them would spend watching Emma while they were away. They laughed and recounted stories from the night before with Will and Kate and Matt and Charlotte and each took turns snuggling the almost two year old Henry before they headed back to their place with Emma and Molly, who would be taking Emma for the first few days.

“Hi Mummy,” Emma sighed as she walked into Alex and Harry’s bedroom and flopped down on the bed, watching Alex as she made a quick check to ensure everything they needed had been packed while Harry gave Charlotte some last minute instructions for while they were away.

Alex turned toward Emma with a bright smile that quickly faded when she took in the way her daughter’s lips were turned down and the way her shoulders were slumped as she picked at some imaginary thread on the comforter of the bed.

“Emma? Hey, are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Emma shrugged, though her voice was small and wavered slightly.

Alex blinked and then immediately set down the magazines she was taking to put into her carry-on bag, moving straight over to Emma and sliding onto the bed with her. “I don’t think you’re okay. What’s going on, honey?”

Emma sighed again and her fingers moved to her lap, twisting around each other for a moment before she shrugged. “It’s stupid, Mum.”

“Hey,” Alex said, her voice soft but intent. Her fingers reached for Emma’s chin and she pulled daughter’s eyes up to hers. “It’s not stupid if you’re upset. Never think that. If something is bothering you and you want to tell me, I want you to tell me too.”

Emma’s lip tucked into her teeth and then she blinked a few times, trying to push tears back and it made Alex’s stomach clench. “I’m sorry, Mummy. I shouldn’t be sad but…” Her face twisted slightly before she swallowed and pulled it back just a bit so she could speak. “You and Daddy just got married and it was so fun to be with both of you yesterday and now…you’re leaving for ten days and I’m really going to miss you.”

“Oh Em,” Alex breathed as her hands reached out for her daughter and she pulled her into her arms.

“Hey, what’s going on?” Harry called out from the doorway, his eyes wide with concern when Alex and Emma looked up to him.

Alex took a steadying breath and squeezed Emma a bit tighter. “Our daughter is sad that we’re leaving her for ten days after the amazing couple of days our family has had.”

Harry’s forehead knotted together and his lips turned down, hating the thought of Emma being sad. He moved into the room and slid onto the bed with them and his hand immediately moved to rub softly at his daughter’s back.

“Do you want us not to go, Em?”

“No!” She immediately sat up straight, her eyes wide as she shook her head. “I mean, I don’t want you to stay home. I wouldn’t want that at all. This is why I felt really bad about saying anything because I didn’t want you to feel bad too!”

Tears pricked Alex’s eyes and she hugged Emma tightly to her. “You know, Emma Rose…you’re an amazing kid. We’re just…going to miss you so much.”

“I know,” Emma sniffed, making both Harry and Alex chuckle.

“And you’ll have such a good time with Granny and Mimi and Poppy and Papa Charles and Granny Camilla. You’ll be so busy you won’t even know we’re gone,” Alex continued.

“Yes, I will,” Emma mumbled with another slight sniff. “But that will be fun. And you’ll bring me back a souvenir right?”

“I’m sure we’ll bring you back more than one,” Harry laughed lightly. He smiled at Alex when her eyes rose to meet his, and even though Emma was a bit better, he could still tell that Alex was struggling just a bit with leaving her daughter while she was sad. “Actually,” he said slowly as an idea formed in his head. There was something he’d wanted to show Alex and Emma for a couple of weeks, but had held off since they’d been so incredibly busy with the wedding. It seemed like the opportunity had presented itself perfectly there though, and he reached out and took it. He stood from the bed and his smile pulled wide, though a bit nervous. “I actually have something that I’d like to maybe give both of you right now; something that we can decide on…as a family, before we leave this afternoon.”

Alex’s peered at him, a bit confused and bit curious all at the same time. “Okay…what is it?”

“Yeah, what is it?” Emma said, her curiosity already pushing aside her sadness for the moment.

Harry grinned, clapped his hands together, and then reached into his pocket for his phone, punched in a number, and then pulled it to his ear. “Yes, it’s Harry,” he said when someone answered at the other end. He took a deep breath and then continued, “Can you have someone open up eight and nine? I’m going to bring my wife and daughter to look at it. Yes, right now if possible. Thank you.”

“What is eight and nine?” Emma asked when Harry hung up the phone and stuffed it back into his pocket.

But Alex didn’t have to ask. She knew. She’d lived at Kensington long enough. She’d talked about Harry’s childhood with him more than enough times to know exactly what eight and nine was.

“Your mother’s place?” she whispered, surprising even herself with the way her voice caught. “Why?”

Harry’s smile softened a bit as he reached out for Emma’s hand to pull her from the bed and then reached out for Alex’s hand as well. He wrapped his fingers around hers and kept them tucked close as he leaned down and dropped his voice low. “I think you might know why, love.”

She bit her lip, took a deep breath, and then nodded as she squeezed his hand. “I think I might too.”


“I just…can’t believe we’re going to live there,” Alex sighed, turning soft eyes up to Harry as he slid into the seat next to her on the private plane that would be taking them to Greece. They’d just boarded and the time they’d spent just an hour before looking at the apartment that Harry had lived in as a child – that they had just agreed to renovate and live in with their family – was still very fresh on her mind.

“Are you sure it’s okay, Alex?” He lifted his eyebrows as he checked with her once more. “It’s not too much…history?”

“For me?” Alex shook her head. “No, not at all. Is it too much for you?”

“No,” he smiled as he bucked his seatbelt and pulled her hand into his and over to his lap. “I love the thought of living there again – with you and Emma.”

“She was so excited,” Alex giggled. “And honestly, letting her pick her room? And then telling her she can start planning it out while we were gone? Perfect distraction. She was already telling Molly all the things she wanted to look up online.”

Harry grinned. “And you? Are you excited?”

“Incredibly,” she nodded. “Thank you for giving us that. It’s beautiful and I love that you grew up there. I can’t wait to make it a home for us.”

“Mmmm…” He tugged her hand, pulling her closer to him and then dropping his lips to hers. “Thank you for giving me a family to make a home for.”

Alex smiled against his lips and then sighed into his kiss, reveling in the softness and the sweetness before he pulled back as the flight crew moved in – the pilots boarding the plane and their cabin stewardess stepping in to offer them beverages before they took off.


It was later in the evening before they landed in Greece and where whisked straight from the airport to the coast, where the luxury yacht that Harry had rented for them was waiting – anchored out in the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

They were taken by speedboat for the quick trip to the yacht and Alex couldn’t help the wide grin that spread across her face when it came into view. “Harry!” she shouted above the noise from the engine of the speedboat. “That yacht is amazing!”

“I’m glad you think so, baby,” he grinned. He tightened the arm he had around her shoulders, pulled her closer into him, and pressed a kiss to the side of her head. He was beyond happy; just at peace and so content with having her with him here as his wife, his partner, his love – and looking forward so much to spending the next ten days celebrating their marriage with her.

When they stepped on board the yacht, a pretty young woman with dark hair and dark features was waiting for them with a friendly smile. She introduced herself as Tanja, and would be their steward for their time on the yacht. Harry and Alex each introduced themselves and their security team as well, who had already spoken to Tanja and all of the onboard staff previously of course; running background checks and going over arrangements for their needs as well. Once Tanja had instructed the officers on where to go for their accommodations, she cheerfully offered Harry and Alex a tour of the yacht while there things were being brought on board and unpacked, which they accepted gratefully.

The staff quarters were on the lowest part of the yacht and above that was the full kitchen and other small working areas for the boat. There was a chef on board who could make anything they requested and could also plan ahead menus for the week if they required it. The next deck housed the bedrooms; the one that Alex and Harry were staying in was beautiful decorated in bright colors with light woods and clean lines. There was a big window to look out over the water and a flat screen TV mounted on the wall. The attached bathroom was well appointed with a large walk-in glass shower, a big bathtub that Alex couldn’t wait to soak in, and two sinks with brightly lit mirrors above them.

The main deck housed a large living area with several comfy looking couches and chairs and another flat screen TV. Through the living area was an informal dining area with a dark wood table and six chairs that could also be converted to a gaming table. Beyond the dining area, a sliding door led outside onto a deck where there was another dining table and a large seating area with couches and chairs all covered in comfortable looking off white cushions.

Tanja led them up to the top deck as the final stop on their tour. The entire deck was open and covered in a mix of the same type of outdoor seating as the deck below, lounge chairs for laying in the sun, and even a lounging area that looked almost like round bed – and Alex almost squealed in delight at the idea of relaxing there with her husband, spread out and comfortable as they took in the Mediterranean sun. The last amenity of the top deck was a full size Jacuzzi, which Tanja showed them how to turn on and off and adjust to their liking. Then, with promises to send a bottle of champagne and some light dessert to their room at Harry’s request, Tanja left the newly married couple alone to enjoy the start of their honeymoon.

“Well, my beautiful bride, what do you think?” Harry asked softly as they strode over to the railing to look out over the water and the lights of the town they were docked at.

“I think…” she sighed as he moved in and wrapped his arms around her waist. His heart swelled as he looked down at her; happy and relaxed and with her hair blowing in the breeze and a bright smile on her face. “I think it’s amazing and perfect and little bit crazy…and a wonderful way to spend my first week and a half married to you.”

“Married,” he grinned. His face was almost giddy as he said the word and it made Alex laugh. “We’re married. I keep having to tell myself it’s not some crazy dream I’ll wake up from.”

“Do I need to pinch you to prove to you that it’s not a dream?” she teased him as her fingers moved to pinch at his sides.

“No no no,” he laughed, reaching quickly for her hands and pulling them away from his body. His fingers intertwined with hers and he moved them around her back, keeping her close against him. “None of your pinching necessary; I know it’s real.” His lips dipped down to hers then, taking her mouth in a slow, sweet kiss there on the top deck of the boat, the breeze and the sound of the water below them the only company they had in the moment.

“Hmmm,” she murmured when his mouth pulled from hers and he began to press soft kisses along her jaw. “C’mon, husband. Let’s go down to our room and have some champagne and cake and then you can have me.”

He chuckled against the soft spot below her ear and a shiver of anticipation ran through her. “What if I want champagne and cake and you all at the same time?”

She giggled and then sighed when he nipped at her earlobe. “I’m incredibly intrigued on just how you would do that…”

“Well then…” His smile was smug as he lifted his face from his neck and found her eyes with his. “I think I need to show you.”

And before she realized what was about to happen, Harry bent and picked her up, making her squeal and giggle as he tossed her over his shoulder and began the short journey to their room below.

Where he absolutely managed to have champagne, cake, and his wife all at one time.