Pregnant by the Sheikh(6)

By: Olivia Gates



She had to force the mouth that kept dropping open closed. “Sometimes we’re forced to put up with much, for the sake of what’s more important than our own preferences or what we think we’re worthy of.”

His lips and eyes hardened, clearly disapproving. “Nothing is more important than your preferences. And your worth is not a matter of opinion. Only the best is good enough for you. The only thing you must always expect and get.”

The heart that seemed to have taken permanent residence in her throat expanded at his praise. Even if it was empty hyperbole, it sounded fantastic coming from him.

“Uh, thanks...but you don’t really know anything about me. And it’s clear you have no idea who I am.”

That dismissing wave again. “The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew everything I need to know about you. As for your identity, that makes no difference to who you really are, what you truly deserve.”

“Oh, believe me, it does.”

“Because you’re Jenan Aal Ghamdi, and this is supposed to be your engagement party?”

He knew who she was. And it didn’t seem to make a difference to him.

His next words made that clear beyond a doubt. “It’s all quite irrelevant to me. And should be to you, too. You don’t want to be here. But you want to be with me.”

“I—I do?”

“Yes. As much as I want to be with you.” His words were dripping in arrogant certainty. From another man, it would have been offensive. She’d handed other men their asses over way less. From him, though, it was just right. He had a right to such supreme self-assurance.

His eyes flared in the dimness as they caressed her half-open lips before settling back on her no doubt shell-shocked eyes. “Let me take you away from this farce. I’m the only one who can give you everything you need.”

She gaped up at him. Was she so traumatized by the idea of marrying Hassan that she was having a wish-fulfillment hallucination? Creating this god of a man and making it so she’d had the same instant, inexorable effect on him that he’d had on her?

But nothing she could conjure could be as outlandishly incredible as him. No, he was real. He had really followed her here, and he really was offering...offering...

She didn’t know exactly what he was offering. But anything coming from him sounded better than any fantasy she’d ever had. And more impossible.

Her situation might be irrelevant to him, but to her...

Suddenly, everything inside her hit Pause. In seconds, an urge took her over. A plan. It was rash, probably crazy, but it was all she could think of anymore.

This man was even more powerful than the monarchs she’d approached for help. His power was also unbridled by any of their tribal and political shackles, and it was more than enough to resolve Zafrana’s crisis without her sacrificing herself to this barbaric ritual of an arranged marriage. Of course, a man like him wouldn’t help out of the goodness of his heart.

She had a feeling he didn’t have one.

But if he was as interested in her as he seemed to be, they might come to an understanding.

Even if she couldn’t imagine he was that interested, he’d help with something that major. As a businesswoman, she was used to taking risks. The worst that could happen was he’d decline and just walk away. But since the stakes were so high and he was that tempting, she’d risk far more than his mere rejection.

Before she could think again, she said it out loud, making it too late to back down. “There is something I need.”

“Anything.”

His instant, unqualified statement gave her the last shove of courage she needed to make her request.

“I need you to get me out of marrying Hassan.”





Two

“Done.”

Numair watched the impact of his one-word answer widening Jenan Aal Ghamdi’s magnificent eyes, spreading a deeper peach blush across the sculpted elegance of her cheekbones.

He was again almost overwhelmed by the need to trace that delectable color that kept surging across her face, the testament to his effect on this irresistible creature. And to luxuriate in every line of her masterpiece features, then drag her to him and taste each one before settling on her lush, dewy lips and devouring them.

It again baffled him, his response to her, the intensity, the immediacy of it. This was unprecedented, inexplicable. Yet it was most opportune. He’d come here for her after all.

He’d come knowing everything about her from the day she’d been born to the moment before he’d seen her. He’d compiled a dossier on her thicker than any he’d ever had on a quarry. From photographs, he’d noted her esthetic symmetry, but he hadn’t had any response to it, as usual.

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