Pregnant by the Sheikh(8)

By: Olivia Gates

At the certainty in his words, her gaze flickered again. “But surely not anything.”

He shrugged. “I can do anything I put my mind to. I always have. And I always will.”

Her edible lips hung open for moments before a breathy chuckle escaped them. Her every expression and sound inflamed him. Her every inch, even in that unflattering dress, seemed to be exerting an inexorable gravity on his every cell and sense.

She shook her head in dazed humor, and the silky waves of her hair undulated around her shoulders. “You know what? I believe you can. The universe must bend over backward to accommodate you.” Her eyes turned serious, and he wished to fast-forward in time to when she’d look up at him with eyes blazing with passion as he rode her to ecstasy. “But don’t you want to know what this is all about before you make such a commitment?”

He shrugged again. “All I need to know is that you enlisted my help in escaping a fate I believe is worse than death to you. Whatever needs to be done, I’ll do it.”

“But you still need to know details, so you can decide what needs to be done.”

And he gave in to the urge. He reached out and cupped her face, groaned as her firm softness filled his palm, as her flesh singed him with that perfect storm of chemistry that had erupted between them.

He barely stopped himself from swooping to claim the lips that spilled such an intoxicating gasp at his touch. He groaned. “You can tell me everything you my suite.”

His hand melted down her neck and shoulder before it closed over a resilient arm as he turned toward the French doors to lead her outside.

At her rooted unresponsiveness, he frowned. “You do know who I am?”

She had to. She wouldn’t have asked what she had from someone else. For who else could she think could thwart a king?

But he was suddenly uncertain she knew. After all, nothing so far had followed any logical projections.

She silently nodded, her eyes still filled with that shell-shocked expression.

He pressed. “You’re not sure you can trust me?”

She shook her head, then squeezed her eyes shut. When she opened them again, they blasted him in an even hotter wave of unconscious sensuality. He barely suppressed a shudder.

But her color had become hectic and her breathing erratic. She swayed unsteadily in his grip.

Suddenly anxious, he asked, “Are you all right?”

She nodded again, then groaned. “Hell, I keep nodding and shaking my head as if I’ve forgotten how to speak.”

His eyes assessed her as he took his hand reluctantly away. “Maybe you don’t want to speak to me anymore.”

Her cough was incredulous. “You’re kidding, right?”

“You tell me. It’s clear I’m...agitating you.”

“Oh, you are. But it has nothing to do with not trusting you. I do trust you.”

He surveyed her expression, not sure if he was reading it right. Because even knowing who he was, such conviction should be premature. And she didn’t strike him as someone given to making such serious claims lightly.

He gritted his teeth. “You don’t need to say what you don’t feel to placate me or to be polite. You have no reason to trust me. Yet. But I will give you any guarantees you demand so you’ll feel safe with me.”

A chuckle burst from her lips. “Oh, you have much to learn about me. When I’m not in my professional mode as a multinational business consultant, I lead with my real opinions first and don’t bother asking questions later.”

This did feel like the truth. This attitude suited her, and everything he felt from her.

His lips relaxed in response to her infectious smile. “I would have nothing less than the whole truth from you.”

“Well, you’ve come to the right person for that.”

“I’ll count on it. I have no tolerance for empty etiquette and pulling punches, either.”

“Yeah, I noticed. You tell it as it is, in the most shockingly direct way possible. Welcome to the club.” She grinned up at him, and he again wondered how he didn’t have her pressed into that column at her back and was all over her. She made his condition even worse when she sighed, the sound caressing his every nerve. “But I do trust you. I just know you’d never harm me in any way. And don’t ask me how I know that. It has nothing to do with anything I know about you. I just do.”

“Then why were you so alarmed about coming to my suite if it didn’t occur to you I’d take advantage of you?”

Again that unfettered chuckle. “As if. I bet you bound over women who pursue you begging to be taken advantage of.”

“You’re not women. You’re you.”

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