The Princess Predicament

The Princess Predicament by LISA CHILDS Read Free Book Online

Book: The Princess Predicament by LISA CHILDS Read Free Book Online
Tags: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
how hard it was to build in the jungle, she was even more impressed with what Lydia had achieved—and with what Gabriella had helped her manage during her stay. “Pull around the back of that hut. That’s mine.”
    He followed her direction, parking the Jeep where she pointed. But before she could open her door, he reached across her. His hand splayed over her belly. He leaned close, so close that she felt his breath warm her face when he asked, “Is this mine?”
    She shivered at his closeness and the intensity in his dark eyes. But she couldn’t meet his gaze and lie to him. So she glanced down and noticed the blood that trickled down his arm. And she gasped in shock and horror. “You were shot!”
    Perhaps it had only been his duty as a royal bodyguard, perhaps it had been his concern for the child he suspected might be his—but he’d taken a bullet that had been meant for her. And after being hit, he’d driven the Jeep over tough terrain to get them to safety.
    “We need to get you inside,” she said, fighting back her panic and concern. During her time at the orphanage, she’d learned to not let the children see her anxiety when they were hurt because it only upset and hurt them more. “And I’ll have Lydia call for the doctor.”
    She opened the door and slipped out from under his hand. Then she hurried around to the driver’s side and opened his door.
    In addition to the blood trailing down his arm and turning the shoulder of his shirt an even darker black with wetness, he had sweat beading on his brow and upper lip. It was hot and humid in the jungle. But she’d heard the other guards talking about Whit’s deployments to the Middle East—usually because she had asked them to tell her about the blond bodyguard—and they had always said how he had never perspired—not in the heat—not under pressure.
    Was he hurt that bad?
    She lifted his arm and slid beneath it, in order to help him from the driver’s seat. But he didn’t lean on her. With a short grunt of pain, he unfolded himself from beneath the wheel and stepped out of the Jeep to stand beside her. Close beside her, his tense body nearly touching hers. He leaned down, so that their gazes met and locked.
    “I don’t need a doctor,” he said, dismissing her concern. “I need the truth.”
    She had given up denying her identity to him. She’d only been able to fool him once, but he obviously had no doubt about who she was now. So what did he mean? “The truth about what?”
    His throat moved, rippling, as if he swallowed hard. And after clearing his throat, he asked, “Is that baby you’re carrying mine?”
    The baby shifted inside her, kicking at her belly, as if he, too, wanted to know the answer. She placed her palms over her stomach again, protectively. And because she felt so protective, she wasn’t willing to share her baby with anyone.
    Not even the baby’s father.
    Whit moved to lift his arms—probably to grab her and maybe shake the truth out of her—but the movement had his handsome face contorting with a grimace of pain. And a groan slipped from between his gritted teeth.
    “Doctor first,” she insisted. “Then we’ll talk...”
    Maybe by the time she had Lydia summon the doctor from the clinic in the more populated town close by, she would have figured out if she was going to tell Whit the truth.
    * * *
    W HIT GLANCED DOWN at the dirt floor beneath his feet and peered up at the thatched roof. The hut was primitive and small. There was only enough space for the double bed that stood in the middle of the room, enshrouded in a canopy of mosquito netting. He sat on the edge of that bed, so he had a clear view out the window and the doorway. To make sure no one had followed them from the airport.
    There was no screen or glass in the window; it was just a hole to the jungle. There was no door either—just the threshold through which Gabby passed as she returned from wherever she’d gone to summon a doctor.
    Her bodyguard

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