He slowed the horse to stop as he made his way across the long lane leading up to the statuesque castle. Even though he was a royal, the guards still made him get off his horse when he got to the gates. A guard led him through the gates and walked him up to the main entrance of the castle. He lightly petted his horse while waiting for someone to retrieve her.
Within a few minutes, Emma came bounding down the front steps of the castle, her long blonde hair swinging behind her as she pulled the straps of her rucksack over her shoulders.
"Hi," she said almost breathlessly, coming to a stop in front of him.
He noticed all of the guards watching them, and did as was expected of him. He bowed gently and said, "Princess Emma, always a pleasure."
She let out a small giggle, but curtsies nonetheless. "Prince Graham."
He got on the horse and stuck out his hand to help her onto it as well. She waved it off and got on effortlessly.
She leaned in close to him and put her chin on his shoulder. "Let's get out of here."
"What the lady wants, the lady will get." The horse started trotting out of the castle. "Hold on," he warned, and she snaked her arms around his middle right in time, as the horse started galloping.
He felt her smile into his shoulder.
The sun was high in the sky when he finally slowed the horse down. They were close to the little creek he'd found, but there were some low-hanging branches to be considered, so he got off and helped Emma, much to her protesting. He grabbed the reins of the horse and they walked the little path down to the creek.
She gasped when it came into view. "It's gorgeous, Graham."
He was about to answer her with a cheesy remark when she looked pointedly at him, stopping him from saying whatever he was going to. He chuckled instead. He tied the horse to a tree nearby and walked over to Emma.
"However did you find it?" she asked him.
"I got lost," he mumbled.
A large smile spread over her face. "I'm sorry, you whatnow?"
"You heard me."
"I'd like to hear it again," she said, crossing her arms.
"I got lost," he said, clearly this time. He shook his head at her when she tried to stifle giggles.
Turning back to the bag he'd had with him, he was unpacking a blanket when he turned to say something to her, only to find her taking off her shirt.
"What are you doing?" he asked, a little panicked.
The shirt came off and she turned to him, her upper body covered just by her bra. "I want to go swimming."
He wanted to protest, but was frozen by the sight in front of him.
Emma had a cheeky grin on her face, as if knowing what she was doing to him. She untied her boots and took them off while bent forward, giving him a very nice view. Next, she shimmied out of her pants. He gaped at her as she stood in front of him in just her underwear.
"Cat got your tongue?" she teased. She had both hands on her hips and he could just not stop staring.
"I—you, well we—the..." he stammered.
"Apparently it did." She shrugged and turned around, walking on tiptoes closer to the water.
It was as if that spurred him into action because a second later he had an arm around her waist and was pulling her away. "You can't swim there!"
"How would you know? You only found it a few days ago."
"No but. The only way to find out is to try. And let go of me," she commanded. He took his time removing his arm from her, grinning impishly. She rolled her eyes, but couldn't stop herself from smiling.
"It might be dangerous," he said in a last, futile attempt to stop her.
"Life is dangerous," she replied back with a smirk.
He crossed his arms and shook his head. She stood at the edge of a stone, with her back to the creek and looked at him.
"If you're not coming..." she trailed off and motioned to the creek behind her. She noticed he didn't move so shrugged. "Okay then." She turned and was just about to get in, when he called out to her.
She turned back to him and tapped her foot impatiently, one hand on her hip. "Yes?"
"Let me go first," he suggested, already taking off his shirt.
She bit her lip as she watched his upper body move. He was taking off his boots and her eyes were glued to his arms. She had to blink several times when he took off his pants, shaking her head a little to get her brain working again. He was gorgeous.
He passed by her and grinned at her, glad that he affected her as much as she affected him. He slid into the cool water and waited. Nothing happened. The water came up to his shoulders and he walked around the creek a little to make sure it was all safe.
He stopped in the middle and looked up at Emma. She stood on the stone, arms crossed and an eyebrow arched.
"Are you done? Is it Princess-proof?" she taunted.
"It's Emma-proof," he teased back. She stuck her tongue out at him.
Slipping into the water, she let out a content sigh. She dunked her head under water and smoother her hair back. She reached the ground of the creek with her tiptoes, so she swam over to him.
He reached out for her and held her against his side, so her arms were crossed over his shoulder.
"You know what I just realized?"
"What did you just realize, Graham?" she asked coyly.
"I haven't kissed you all day." He turned his head to look at her, and their faces were inches away from each other.
"I know," she said.
"You do, do you?" he taunted, wrapping his arm around her.
"It's been days, Prince. A girl has needs..." She looked away from him and sighed dramatically, making him smile.
"Well then, I have to do something, don't I?" he asked, but didn't wait for her reply.
With his free hand he turned her head to face him and pressed his lips against hers. He could feel her smiling through the kiss. She wrapped both arms around his neck so she wouldn't slip down and drown, but the action made her press her body into his. He groaned and she took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. He had both arms round her waist to keep her steady. She went to wrap a leg around his, but he moved, and they both fumbled, and before she knew it, they were both underwater. She came up spluttering for air. He came up a few seconds after her, and after catching his breath, he laughed. She giggled and went to wrap her arms around him in a hug. When she pulled away, she gave him a quick kiss on the lips before moving to get out of the creek.
"Emma..." He waited for her to turn around and look at him. "You're beautiful."
He thoroughly enjoyed the deep crimson blush that covered her whole face. "You're not too bad yourself," she said, regaining her composure.
"Not so bad?" he asked surprisedly. "Have you seen my arms?" To demonstrate his point, he flexed his left arm. "I know you have a thing for strong arms, Emma."
She blushed again and let out a small giggle. She swam back over to him and clung to his flexed arm. "Your body is lovely, Graham," she reassured him. "You're very handsome."
She kissed him, but pulled away too soon for his liking. With a quick pat to his cheek, she moved away and got out of the creek.
"We'd have cute babies," he commented lightly as he got out himself.
She let out a loud scoff. "Ha! You're funny."
"I'm a funny guy," he teased her.
"If that's what helps you sleep at night..."
He disregarded her comment and grabbed the blanket he'd left behind. He held two corners of the blanket and threw it over Emma so it covered her back, before pushing her up against a tree.
"What's that you were saying?"
"That I like you very much," she said, an impish grin covering her face.
"I like you very much too." He released the blanket, since she was firmly pressed against the tree and the blanket wouldn't fall down. He pressed a light kiss to her jaw, and he felt all her breath leave her in one whoosh. Next he kissed her neck, and then nibbled at her collarbone.
She grew impatient as one hand came up to claw at his shoulder.
"God, Graham, would you kiss me already?" she all but shouted breathlessly.
And really, what else could he do, but obey her?
So he kissed her.