The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(6) by Susan Mallery
He took a half step closer, which made him way too close. Then he glared at her and growled. Cleo couldn’t believe it. There was an honest-to-goodness growling noise in his throat.
A shiver tripped up her spine and made her shiver. On the one hand she was pleased to know that she could still bug him. On the other hand, being this close to him made it hard to think and to breathe. Not a good combination.
He glared at her, and she glared right back. No way was she going to let him know how much he’d hurt her. There had been at least 120 nights since she’d last seen him, and she would bet she’d cried herself to sleep at least seventy of them. Which made her mad at both him and herself.
The trick was to make sure he never found out that he had ever mattered. Oh, and not to let him know she was pregnant.
“When do you plan to apologize for leaving my bed?” he asked.
The question stunned her. She stared at him for several seconds as the words chased themselves around in her head. Was he crazy? It was a horrible time to suddenly remember she wore panties, a nightgown and a robe. Little protection against Sadik’s masculine charms.
“I have nothing to apologize for. I was ready to end things, so I left.”
The muscle in his jaw tightened. “No woman leaves my bed without being asked.”
His arrogance really got on her nerves. “Apparently that’s not completely true, as I left before you asked. And while we’re on the subject of apologies, where’s mine?”
The tight jaw muscles twitched. “For what?”
He spoke through clenched teeth. It was a neat trick, she thought.
“Why am I not surprised that you don’t get it,” she said more to herself than to him. “It’s so typically male.” She folded her arms over her chest and glared at him. “You gave me jewelry, Sadik. After we made love, you offered me expensive gifts. It’s not like we had an actual relationship and cared about each other.”
Okay, she’d cared about him, but he didn’t have to know that. “It was a little too much like leaving money on the nightstand. I may not be a royal princess, but that’s no excuse to offer payment for services.”
She had the pleasure of seeing Sadik look completely stunned. His jaw unclenched, and for a second she thought his mouth might drop open.
“Those gifts were not a payment,” he said, obviously seething with barely controlled rage. “They were an expression of my honor at the treasure being offered.”
Cleo had to turn that sentence over a couple of times before it made anything close to sense. By treasure did he actually mean sex? “In case you hadn’t noticed, I wasn’t a virgin. There wasn’t any treasure involved. Which you knew, by the way, because we talked about it before we—”
He kissed her. Cleo was unprepared, and Sadik moved so quickly she didn’t have any warning. One second she’d been talking and the next, he took her in his arms and drew her close.
The feel of his strong body against her own caused all the air to rush from her lungs. She gasped to catch her breath, which left her vulnerable. At least, that’s what she told herself when she decided not to put up a struggle as his mouth settled on hers.
It had been too long, she thought hazily, caught in the grip of instant and mind-numbing passion. Every nerve in her body caught fire as sensual heat rushed through her, making her want to tear off her clothes and have him touch her everywhere.
He settled his mouth more firmly on hers, then ran his tongue across her lower lip. Shivers raced up and down her arms. Her extrasensitive br**sts swelled uncomfortably. All this and he hadn’t even put his tongue in her mouth. She didn’t think she would be able to stand that.
He read her mind, she thought, both aroused and distressed as he swept into her mouth. At the first touch she knew she was lost. The familiar pattern of their intimate dance came back to her in a heartbeat. Remembered passion joined present passion, combining, growing, making her strain toward him.
She clung to his broad shoulders, then, unable to help herself, ran her fingers through his thick, dark hair. She could inhale the scent of his body, feel his heat, his arousal. The thought of him being inside of her nearly made her weep with desire.
When he put his hands on her hips, she felt herself drifting away. In a matter of seconds she would be lost. He deepened his kiss as he drew his hands higher, to her waist and up to her rib cage.
Several thoughts flashed through Cleo’s mind at once. That she couldn’t emotionally risk giving herself to him again. That if he touched her too much, he might figure out the differences in her body. After all, he’d spent hours learning every inch of her to a level of detail that had left her weak and breathless. That her hormones were doing their thing and she was about forty-five seconds away from a sobbing meltdown.
None of the possibilities made her feel safe, so she forced herself to pull away.
Sadik’s breathing was as rapid as her own. She was gratified to see the fire of need burning in his dark eyes. At least the wanting hadn’t been all one-sided.
Neither of them said anything. She suspected they were both waiting for the other person to speak first. She knew he was strong enough to outwait her, although she gave the staring contest a try.
“I’m not doing this,” she said at last when it became apparent they could be at it all night. “The only reason I’m here is that my sister is getting married. If you have an itch, I suggest you could find someone else who’s actually interested to scratch it for you.”
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