The Keys' Prince (The Royal Heirs)

The Keys' Prince (The Royal Heirs) by D. D. Scott Read Free Book Online

Book: The Keys' Prince (The Royal Heirs) by D. D. Scott Read Free Book Online
Authors: D. D. Scott
don’t tell Emma Lou and Hollywood that, or they’ll both be purchasing one-way tickets to Kristianico,” Auntie Elo said, not a hint of humor in her serious tone.
    “All of this talk of food is making me rather hungry,” Dario said, finishing off the last of the shrimp cocktail and picking up his menu.
    “Me too,” Stella said and did the same.
    Looking back up from her menu to ask Dario what sounded good, the scene taking shape in front of them left her speechless. She’d been preoccupied deciding between the Pompano Lido Key, topped with her favorite blue crab, or the seafood ravioli. Unfortunately, she hadn’t been paying attention to what was happening on the other side of the wrought iron railing lining the restaurant’s al fresco dining area. All she could do was wrap her hands around Dario and Auntie Elo’s arms and squeeze.
    Lined up along the railing and now popping out of the bushes on the edge of the curb must have been at least a dozen paparazzi all shouting at once.
    “Prince Adonis over here.”
    “Why are you in Sarasota?”
    “How long will you be here?”
    “Where are you staying?”
    “Who are you dining with?”
    As if he would look at them or answer any of their questions.
    Before Stella could grab her phone to text for her team, they were there—along with the two men she’d made earlier as part of Dario’s security force. Their teams pulled back each photographer and, in some cases, confiscated their cameras so that no more photos could be taken.
    “If you’ll please follow me, Your Highness. We’ll get you secured,” a tall man with dark shades and an ear piece said to Dario while forcing opening a gate along the iron railing.
    “Stella, this way, please,” Franco, Stella’s lead bodyguard said, coming up behind her and opening the sliding door leading back into the restaurant.
    There were so many lights flashing from the photos still being taken, some while the photographers were being dragged backwards by their jacket collars that, Stella lost sight of Dario.
    Franco had her and Auntie Elo by their elbows, gently guiding them inside the door, towards the kitchen at the rear of the restaurant.
    “Franco, wait a minute. What about Dario? I want to make sure he’s—”
    “We’ve made arrangements with his people to take all of you to a secure location. He’ll be fine. We’ll meet up with him shortly,” Franco said.
    Stella breathed a sigh of relief and mouthed a thank-you. It wouldn’t have done any good for her to have told him out loud. There was no way he could hear her with the noise still filtering in from the obscene ruckus outside the restaurant.
    This is exactly the kind of moment she’d tried so desperately to leave behind when she’d come to The Keys. And she imagined it was the same for Dario. All they wanted to do was escape. To live in peace. On their own terms.
    Worse than the dread of having to be escorted out of what should have been a nice quiet dinner, Stella was terrified that her new cover was about to be blown. And if it wasn’t already, it would be by tomorrow or later in the week, after the pictures that had been taken were sold to tabloids around the world.
    Dario was indeed The Keys’ new prince, but the people here had no idea that they were also sharing this bit of paradise with the wealthiest woman in the world.

    Forget about her cover being blown tomorrow or later in the week. It would be a lot sooner than that. Stella had totally forgotten about the tabloids’ mobile apps. They were already exploding with Breaking News alerts that Kristianico’s Prince Adonis, one of the Top 10 Most Eligible Bachelors in the World, had been spotted in St. Armand’s Key with a mystery woman and what looked to be the mystery woman’s grandmother.
    “I can’t believe they’re saying I’m your grandmother,” Auntie Elo harrumphed, tossing her phone onto the ottoman at the foot of her chair.
    “You could be my

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