“I haven’t been released for duty.”
The anger is swift. I want nothing more than to get back to work defending Her Royal Highness, Princess Nina. Protecting the royal family is important, and a joy.
I enjoy it—and them.
But since I was shot in the line of duty a month ago, ruining muscles in my right shoulder and chest, working has been impossible.
I’m coming out of my skin with boredom.
“Good,” Nina says with a definitive nod. “I told you that it was too soon, Nick.”
“It’s been a bloody month,” I mutter and shove my hand through my hair. “I need to resume my duties.”
“You need to heal,” Nina disagrees and props her hands on her hips. “I’m protected. I’m not saying we don’t need you. But for now, I have protection, and I need you to get well.”
“She’s right.” Nina’s husband, Sebastian, says as he walks into the room. We’ve been in the couple’s Montana home for several months now; since before the incident happened.
Neither Nina nor Sebastian has been in a hurry to return to London.
“Sir, I feel fine. I’ve begun to work out again, building up the muscles in my shoulder.”
“And you reinjured yourself,” Sebastian says, raising a brow. “Yes, your doctor called me.”
“So much for patient confidentiality.”
“You shouldn’t have listed me as your emergency contact,” Sebastian says with a nod.
“I don’t remember doing that,” I reply, narrowing my eyes.
“Well, you were unconscious when I filled out the paperwork,” he says, waving me off. “Your health is the most important thing. My wife, the most precious person in my life, is your job. Of course, I want you at one hundred percent before we reinstate you.”
“Of course.” I know that arguing with the prince is futile. I’ve worked for the royal family for several years.
“I know being idle isn’t in your nature,” Nina says. Not only is she my charge, but she’s also become my friend over the past two years. I like her very much. This family has become closer to me than mine. “And you have to be bored out of your mind.”
“But it won’t be forever. You’re going to heal, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.”
“It’s not my feet that bother me.”
No, it’s this motherfucking shoulder that still sings like a bitch every time I move.
“I know you can do this,” Nina continues. “But to make sure, I have some new requirements.”
I raise a brow and wait as she continues.
“You’ll be moving out of the security headquarters.”
I frown. I have to leave the property? Since I came to work for the princess, I’ve been living out in the guesthouse, where our headquarters is located. “I live there. Where am I supposed to go?”
“It’s too tempting to work out with the other guys out there,” she says. “You’re moving into my old lake house just down the street. There’s not a barbell in sight down there. It’s been empty for a couple of months. Someone should use it. It’s secluded and quiet—the perfect place to rest.”
Or the perfect place to rehab alone, where no one can watch me like a hawk and tell me to stop.
“And, to make sure you rest, I’ve hired you a nurse.”
I blink at her and then scowl. “You hired me a babysitter?”
“Call it what you want, but a medical professional will be living with you, twenty-four hours a day until you’ve healed and have been given permission to return to work.”
“So, I’m being punished.”
Nina laughs and shakes her head. “Nick, you get to live in a nice house on the lake. It’s snowy and peaceful, not to mention, ridiculously beautiful. Why are you complaining? Take the time to rest. Catch up on some reading. Binge some Netflix. Let yourself heal. Jordan is an excellent nurse and comes highly recommended. So, you’ll be in good hands.
“You almost died protecting me and my family, Nick. If you think I’m going to sit by and watch you continue to injure yourself, all because you’re too stubborn for your own good, you’re sorely mistaken.”
I turn to Sebastian, but he just nods in agreement with his wife.
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