DISCLAIMER: The Bond universe is the creation of Ian Fleming. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"You know," the Princess poked her head from behind the vanity screen. One printed with wispy bamboo shoots that, illuminated by the evening sun through the windows, projected the Princess's silhouette. She smiled with a sultry smirk. "You're not the first."
Jane Bond flipped a page from the magazine on her lap, disinterested. "I know."
"But," her smile broadened. "You are the first woman I've had."
"Somehow," Jane exhaled. "I doubt that."
M owes me, Jane thought to herself. It had been a punishment of sorts, a demotion as far as Jane was concerned. Bumped from international espionage, fighting terrorists to protecting a spoiled Princess. A favor for the Prime Minister, M had said.
It had been a long way from there to here. The King, before inheriting the throne, had been something of a playboy in his day. Ten years ago, the product of one of his indiscretions, along with her mother and an attorney-proof paternity result, appeared on the steps of the Royal Palace. And the soon-to-be King, and a country recently freed from the stifling yoke of Soviet occupation, became father to the countries first Princess in over 60 years.
It turned the young American into an instant celebrity; more typical California girl than eastern-European Royalty, with her honey blonde hair, hazel-brown eyes and Mall Rat accent, she'd been the scorn of the Royal Court and savior for a disenfranchised youth searching for an icon. As the years ticked by, the gangly frame filled out - the blonde hair and bombshell curves of her mother, the dark eyes, height and temperament of her father.
A temperament that had caused Francesca Adriana Radovan, heir to the throne, to chew up and spit out more bodyguards faster than the King could hire.
Which is how Bond, agent of her Majesty's Secret Service, wound up in the position to baby sit the world's brattiest Royal.
"Jane?" Francesca stepped from behind the vanity, holding a dress in each hand, wearing nothing more than a smile and panties so sheer she might as well have been wearing nothing at all. "Which should I wear? The red or the black?"
Jane barely raised an eyebrow. "The black. It is a state dinner."
"Red it is," Francesca answered primly before disappearing behind the screen. "Tell me Bond, Jane Bond, do you have a boyfriend?"
"I don't do boyfriends," Jane's voice dripped with disdain at the mere mention.
"A girlfriend, then?"
"I don't do girlfriends, either."
"Well then," Francesca stepped from behind the screen, smoothing the lines on her dress as she did. Jane couldn't help but look. Francesca was a lot of things - hard on the eyes was not one of them. "Tell me, what exactly is it that you do do?"
Jane rose from her seat, tossing the magazine back onto the chair. "What I do is escort irritating Princesses to state dinners."
Jane stood on the terrace, hands on the railing, staring blankly out at the night sky. The dinner had been thankfully, aside from Francesca's entrance in the world's slinkiest red dress, uneventful.
She'd taken her position on the sidelines, ever watchful, eyes continually scanning the crowd, heads of state and workers alike. With the dinner winding down, and the guests slowly making their exits, it gave Bond the opportunity to take a breather.
"I brought you a drink," Francesca joined her on the terrace, drink in hand, hips swaying like a deadly weapon as she approached. "Martini, shaken not stirred, right?"
"I'm on duty."
"You're no fun," Francesca rolled her eyes. She took a sip from her drink, peering at Jane over the rim. "You don't like me much, do you?"
"My job is to protect you. Liking you is entirely incidental and a complete non-factor in how I do my job."
Irritated, Francesca exhaled, turned so her back faced the railing then leaned against it. "You know the only reason my father hired you is because he thinks, since you're a woman, he doesn't have to worry about me being seduced by the help."
"The help seducing you? Now there's an interesting perspective," Jane folded her arms across her chest, her gaze examining. "Who's this all for? This spoiled, sex-kitten act? Your father? Your mother?"
"Leave my mother out of this!" Francesca snapped angrily.
"I saw you in there," Jane leaned in closer. "And I don't think there's a dignitary that crossed you path where you hadn't charmed the pants off them."
Francesca brightened at the compliment, her eyes softening with a sultry gaze. "And yet, yours are still on?"
"You'll have to do better than that, Princess," Jane gently pulled the glass from Francesca's fingers, taking a gentle sip before handing it back to her. "When it comes to charm, I am the book."
Francesca smiled. Pulled the olive from her drink by the ornate pick, using it to roll the olive leisurely across her lips, before sliding it into her mouth. "We'll see Bond, Jane Bond. We'll see."
Jane watched Francesca as she stepped away from the terrace, heading back towards the dinner hall. Jane took the opportunity to gaze, a bit inappropriately, at the Princess's retreating form. The way the straps on her dress dipped low, revealing the smooth expanse of her back. How the material clung to her hips and thighs, flowing outwards, rippling down her legs like the surface of a calm red sea.
Noticed the tiny red dot that traveled up the side of Francesca's thigh. Cautiously up her back, traced her spine until ending at her heart.
"Francesca!" Jane bolted towards the Princess as she felt the bullet whiz past her ear. "Get down!"
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