His Royal High Horse

Isabella Swan Is-a-Not-a Swan At All:
Paps Catch Prince Edward’s New Squeeze
on Her Morning Run

The day after news of her relationship with Prince Edward went public, our photographers captured Bella Swan out for an early-morning jog. Well…it’s safe to say no one will ever confuse her with her sister. Makeup-less and wearing stretch pants so old we’re pretty sure they predate the advent of electricity, it’s hard to believe Not-a Swan could catch the eye of Prince Edward—not that it was easy to begin with. Unlike her photogenic sister, Is-a-Not-a Swan is not at all comfortable with the attention that goes with dating the country’s second-most eligible bachelor. For the first twenty minutes we tailed her, she looked behind herself periodically as if checking to see if we were still there.

Eventually, she yelled over her shoulder at us. “Enjoying the view?”

One of our photographers replied, “Not particularly” at which point Not-a Swan made an obscene gesture at us (see pics below).

Even Sourly Mallory has never been so classless. Let’s just say that if Not-a Swan doesn’t start getting more comfortable living in the public eye, it doesn’t bode well for her love affair with The Spare.

COMMENTS (showing 6 of 253)


he can do so much better omg


um, I’m pretty sure they didn’t WEAR stretch pants before the advent of electricity.

hrh princess edward

looks like someone had a great big bowl of bitchy for breakfast this morning! so the paps are following her around. wtf did she expect?

future royal baby mama

OMG her VPL! lmao

Royal Watcher 1

So the girl doesn’t exercise with a full face of makeup and dares to get annoyed when hounded by paps? Bella’s a private citizen. You guys should respect that. If anything, that fact she flipped you guys off makes me like her more. Unlike Esme, BELLA (yes, Bella) seems to have a personality. Good for her.

Assman 11

so what if she’s not as hot as her sister? I’d still do her.

“This is exactly why you don’t have a boyfriend.”

One glass of wine into our weekly tabloid-blog reading session, Esme wasn’t willing to talk about Edward. Three glasses later, he’s the only thing she’s willing to talk about.

“Seriously? You’re going to throw away a perfectly good prince over a non-disclosure agreement and a little bit of vomit? I mean, you went to college—there’s no way that was the first time someone puked on you.”

“Right. Well, you didn’t see the non-disclosure agreement.”

“Bella…” She puts her glass down on the coffee table and turns so she’s facing me. “What makes you think the one Carlisle gave me was any different?”

I study her face. She doesn’t appear to be kidding, but that doesn’t mesh with what I know of Carlisle.

“Have you seen the NDA he sent me? It detailed specific sex acts.”

She shrugs. “The one I signed made allowances for premature ejaculation. What’s your point?”

“Wait.” I blink a few times, trying to process what I think she just said. “Does Carlisle—?”

“No,” she says, furiously shaking her head. “Oh god, no. But he was inexperienced and wanted to cover all the bases.”

“And you didn’t think this was at all presumptuous of him?”

“Are you kidding? I was excited by the prospect of doing anything with him. Granted, we’d had classes together and been out a few times in groups, so we knew each other a little better than you and Edward do—but not by much. In fact, he wouldn’t even kiss me until I signed the NDA.”

I roll my eyes. “How romantic.”

“You know, it actually was. Once we got the paperwork out of the way, I knew it would happen sooner or later. Everything that came next—from the light touches to the deep conversations—it was all part of the build-up to that moment. And when he finally did kiss me, it was…” She shakes her head.

“It was…” I gesture for her to continue.

“You’re going to make fun of me.”

“Probably,” I admit.

“Corny and clichéd as it sounds—and it does sound corny and clichéd—the second his lips touched mine, I knew. Anyway, my point is that if you’d signed the NDA, you wouldn’t have turned around to find Edward opening his trousers.”

Heh. That’s what she thinks.

“Edward isn’t Carlisle.”

Feigning shock, she slaps her hand against her thigh. “You’ve got to be kidding me! Because you know, I had no idea.”

“You know what I mean. Granted, I don’t know His Royal Doucheyness all that well, but based on what I do know, they seem to be polar opposites.”

“They’re more alike than you realize.”

“Oh? So you’re saying Carlisle is a pompous ass who makes you curtsy to him and call him Sir?”

“Only when we’re naked.”

My jaw drops. “You’re kidding!”

“Nope.” She picks up her wine glass and empties its contents in a single gulp. “Now that I’m appropriately buzzed, let’s catch up on the news, shall we?”

I open my laptop and read the top headline on my feed. “‘Esme’s Starving Herself to Fit into Wedding Gown.'”

“Bah! They’ve been saying I’m anorexic for years now. Next!”

I’m scanning the page for something more outrageous when thumbnail photo of me catches my eye. When I click on it, it brings up an article titled Paps Catch Prince Edward’s New Squeeze on Her Morning Run.

I stare at the screen in disbelief. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!”

“What is it?” Esme asks.

“You know, I thought it was odd that photographers followed me jogging this morning, but I didn’t read anything into it. I mean, there’s usually a guy or two hanging around outside my apartment building hoping to get a picture of you, but they’ve never bothered me before. I had no idea they thought Edward and I were…that we were…ugh!” I cover my eyes, groaning.

Esme reaches over and gently takes my MacBook from my lap. Her eyes widen when she sees the article. “Bella, I’m so sorry.”

I pick up my wine glass and brace myself. “Go ahead. Read it.”

“We don’t have to do this.”

“We read the ones about you no matter how bad they are, right?” I shrug. “Why should I be exempt?”

“Because you didn’t choose palace life.”

“No, it just sort of threw up on me.”


I hold up my hand. “Please, just read it to me before I lose my shit.”

So she does.

The sad thing is, the majority of it is nothing I haven’t heard before. Ever since we were kids, Esme’s been the pretty one. It’s never bothered me because I know it’s true. It’s the rest of it—the pictures of me at my absolute worst, the assumption I’m sleeping with His Royal Heinous, the obvious malice toward me when I haven’t done anything but get covered in princely puke and flip off some belligerent paparazzi—that’s what I can’t take.

“What do I do now?” I ask.

“Either stick to the treadmill or put on makeup before you run.”

“You can’t be—” I stop when I hear Carlisle’s voice.

“Give it a few months. It’ll all die down, and then you can go back. You’re acting as if spending time at home is end of the world.”

“It might as well be.”

And that would be Edward’s.

Seriously? Esme promised me he wouldn’t be here. I’m not ready to see him without killing him—or at least without putting on some mascara.

What the hell is wrong with me? I don’t even like the man.

“Come on, Edward,” Carlisle says. “Now you’re just being melodramatic.”

The two princes stroll through the archway into the living room, crashing my tabloid pity party.

“How can you say that? If you had any idea—” Edward rolls his eyes when he sees me. “Great!” He turns to his brother. “This isexactly what I need right now.”

I guess His Royal Heinous just acknowledged me.

Here we go again. Sighing, I rise to my feet. This shit is starting to get old—I swear I’ve done more curtsying in the past seventy-two hours than the principal dancers of the Royal Ballet. I’m so angry my left eye is twitching, but I go through the motions anyway.

Right heel behind left foot.

Bend knees.

Produce saccharine smile.

Repeat until he gets over himself.

“Good Evening, Your Royal Highness.”

“You planned this, didn’t you?” Edward glares at his brother. “My day hasn’t sucked enough already, now I have to deal with her, too?”

“Deal with me? Excuse me, Sir, but do you have any idea the mess you’ve made of my life?”

“That’s enough,” Carlisle says. “Look, I don’t know what’s going on between the two of you—”

“Nothing!” Edward and I answer in unison.

“—and frankly, I don’t care. But Esme and I have enough going on without worrying about drama between the Best Man and Maid of Honor. I don’t know what’s causing the tension, neither of you are leaving until you work through it.”

He can’t be serious.

I fold my arms across my chest. “You cannot keep me here.”

“Really?” Carlisle laughs. “There’s an old law on the books that says I can have the Palace Guard detain anyone for up to seventy-two hours without a hearing.”

“But I have to work tomorrow!” I wail.

“Then you’d better not waste any time.” He lets out an exaggerated yawn. “And on that note, Esme and I are going to bed. Goodnight.”

I look at Esme, silently pleading with her to save me.

She mouths the words I’m sorry then follows Carlisle out of the room. The door clicks shut behind them, leaving Edward and I alone—apparently indefinitely.

Since it’s looking like we’re really stuck here, I size Edward up as I would any adversary. He looks the least royal I’ve ever seen him—not at all like the man who showed up at my office in a bespoke suit. His face is unshaven, his hair messy. If that’s not enough, he’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt that reads Rock is dead and paper killed it.

He almost seems normal.

We stare each other down for about a minute before I decide I can’t take it anymore.

“Oh, fuck it all,” I mutter, flopping onto the sofa.

“Excuse me?”

I roll my eyes. “I said, ‘Oh fuck it all, Sir.'”

As obnoxious as it is to address him formally, it does make things easier for me. I can handle His Royal Highness, His Royal Heinous, even His Royal Vomitous—as long as he’s on His Royal High Horse, he doesn’t appeal to me. What I can’t handle is a repeat of last night—the guarded, vulnerable look in his eyes as he asked me to stay. This time, I don’t think I would be able to say no.

I’d end up hating myself even more than I hate him.

“Is something wrong, Isabella?”

“You mean other than the fact the tabloids think we’re an item?”

His laughter is void of humor. “Really? That’s what has your granny panties in a bunch? Do you find the thought of dating methat repugnant?”

“For the record, I do not wear granny panties! And yes, I absolutely do. The paparazzi used to leave me alone, but thanks to your interest in me, they followed me on my run this morning.”

“Eh.” He plunks himself down beside me. “Most of them can use the exercise.”

I lean as far away from him as I can. “This isn’t funny, Sir. Thanks to them, there are very unflattering pictures of me all over the internet.”

“So I’ve seen. How do you think I know you wear granny panties?”

“You’re unbelievable—especially considering this is all your fault! They never bothered me until you showed up at my office two days ago.”

He throws his palms in the air. “What? So for about an hour this morning you had to put up with what I’ve been putting up with my entire life? You’ll have to forgive me if I’m not terribly sympathetic.”

“Don’t you get it? I didn’t ask for this!”

Making a sound that’s something between a roar and a groan, he turns his body so he’s facing me. “You think I did? Goddamn it, Bella, all I ever wanted…”

The next thing I know, his hands are on my body and his mouth is on my skin. Just as I’m about to push him away, his tongue slides between my lips.

I pull him closer.

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