Pregnant by the Sheikh(10)

By: Olivia Gates

Something twisted in his gut when she called him sheikh. It right.

His arm tightened around her, as if in thanks. “It’s only fair, since you’re that, and more, to me.”

Sharing a smile of expectation with her, feeling as if everything he’d ever wanted was within his grasp, he took her into the elevator.

* * *

As Numair held the door open for her, Jen walked past him on legs that at once had the consistency of steel and jelly.

She was really here. In his suite.

Trying to focus on anything besides the feel of him at her back, his scent and heat flooding her senses, she tried to look around.

Though she’d stayed at The Plaza before, it had never been in such a room. The one-of-a-kind Royal Plaza Suite was on a level of magnificence that equaled Zafrana’s royal palace. Though with the hard times her homeland had fallen on, the state of the two places couldn’t be compared. This suite that sprawled over almost five thousand square feet in the most private area of the legendary hotel, overlooking the most prized views in Manhattan—Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain—was impeccably maintained. With its rich decorations, sumptuous textiles and exquisite furnishings, all inspired by the ambiance of the royal court of Louis XV, it was the ultimate in luxury. While Zafrana’s royal palace, where she’d grown up, was on its way to becoming dilapidated.

Her gaze strayed back to Numair, and she found herself wondering what his home looked like.

Not that she’d ever find out. Whatever was happening here, whatever he was offering, whatever he wanted in return, she had no illusions it would be anything but transient.

Which she was okay with. Anything she’d have with him, anything he could do for her, would be far more than anything she’d dared dream of an hour ago.

Ya Ullah, had it been only an hour? She felt she’d known him, had been in this state of agitated excitement in his company, forever. It felt like days ago when she’d made her reckless request.

She’d more than half expected he’d shrug and move on. His immediate and unequivocal response had been the last thing she’d expected. And it had shocked the hell out of her.

But what else was new? Everything from the moment she’d laid eyes on him had been one shock after another. And here she was. In his suite. What she’d never done with any man. Not even the man she’d once married. She’d always met any man on her turf. She’d dictated the pace, the rules.

She hadn’t even thought of trying to impose those on Numair. Even when he’d made it clear he’d accommodate her every wish. It wasn’t because she needed his help or because he’d promised it. He was just...overriding. And for the first time in her life, she loved being swept away, not being in control of herself or the situation. Numair made what should have been a disconcerting experience, to someone as obsessive about autonomy as herself, exhilarating.

His hand once again burned her waist through her dress as he guided her through a succession of vestibules to a massive space hosting a sumptuous ten-seat dining table and a luxurious sitting area.

Stepping away from his electrifying touch, she sought the refuge of the grand piano at the far corner. Once behind it and taking in the whole scene with him at its center, she felt herself stumble out of the surreal state she’d plunged into.

Numair might have admitted her equal effect on him, but would he consider it equally her right to follow her instincts as it was his? She did trust him not to make any move she didn’t invite, but she suddenly didn’t trust he’d view this whole thing as she did. Could he be so progressive he wouldn’t hold it against her and change his treatment of her?

Well, if he wasn’t, it would be his loss, and she’d be well rid of him. As she had been of her ex.

Striving for an even tone, she asked, “Are you in New York to attend the reception?”

Those amazing emerald-like eyes of his glittered. “I wasn’t invited, no.”

“So you heard royals from your region were having an engagement celebration at your hotel and you simply decided to investigate?”

“Something like that.”

She’d have to be satisfied with that, because he didn’t seem about to elaborate. Not that it mattered why he happened to be there. What mattered was whether he could truly help her.

Before she could reintroduce the subject, he came around the piano. “I detect a severe drop in temperature since we entered the suite. Having second thoughts after all?”

His voice had deepened, calmed, as if soothing a skittish mare. He reached for her hand that lay fisted on the black, polished surface of the piano. His hand was big enough to lose hers in, tough enough it could pulverize brick. Yet the gentleness with which he coaxed her hand open, the consideration in his eyes as he surveyed her no doubt tense face, suddenly made her ashamed of her surge of doubt.

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