The King’s Cursed Bride Sneak Peek: Chapter 74
She hated horses, saddles, and dresses, all of which contributed to her discomfort. The horse’s plodding jolted her with every step. The saddle felt like steel against her backside. And, wearing a dress as she was, she was forced to ride sidesaddle.
“If you leaned against me and allowed me to support you, you’d be less uncomfortable.”
She clenched the saddle horn, staring at a random column of smoke in the distance. Likely someone was burning trash. Or having a bonfire in celebration of the end of the lockdown. “Who says I’m uncomfortable?”
“I did. Just now. Didn’t you hear?”
Carissa huffed. “Why do you think I’m uncomfortable?”
“You keep shifting.”
Children darted past them, and Elon slowed the horse. One little girl had her frost blond hair twisted back into a braid. Her trousers kept slipping down her slim figure as she struggled to keep up with the boys. As her second act of being Queen—the first being refurbishing Iver—she’d normalize trousers for women. Queens could do that, couldn’t they?
“Wouldn’t you be more comfortable?”
She craned her neck to glance at him, the movement causing tingles to shoot down her aching back. It wouldn’t make her more comfortable. Sometimes, she could tolerate his touch. But other times, she could only think of his hands on her, his body against hers, and what they had meant when she was so close to other men. For those moments, it was as if she forgot he was Elon. But how could she tell him that?
He suddenly tore his gaze from hers, but not before she caught a flash of pain.
He hadn’t even given her a chance to say anything. So why did he look so hurt?
She turned forward. “Aleck?”
A dirty figure darted through the crowd, and Carissa slid off the horse. She barely had time to steady herself before he rammed into her, his arms squeezing her waist.
She gasped for air and returned the embrace. “I take it I’m forgiven?”
“Of course, but don’t forget—” he glanced up and flashed a cheeky grin “—I was right.”
She laughed and hugged him tighter. “So you were.” When they withdrew, her dress came away blackened. “What is this?” She lifted her sleeve and sniffed. It smelled like… smoke? “Aleck. What have you been doing?”
His gleeful face grew solemn. He folded his arms, looking into the distance. With the wind brushing his hair back, he almost looked noble. “Dispensing justice.”
She followed his gaze. The column of smoke. A fire. She uttered a rather unqueenly curse.