The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(13) by Susan Mallery
“This works,” Zara said as she pulled the top off the large white box, then withdrew a stunning crystal bowl. The elegant piece glittered in the daylight like a massive diamond.
“Ohh, I’m going to have to borrow that one,” Sabrina said, as she breezed into the gift room. “Am I too late? Did I miss the elephants?”
Zara laughed and turned to greet her half sister. “No elephants. I’m trying to convince myself there aren’t going to be any.”
The two women hugged, then Sabrina turned to Cleo. “I’m so glad you’re back,”
she said, hurrying over and hugging Cleo, as well. “Your last stay was far too short. You must stay longer this time.”
Cleo nodded because she couldn’t speak. Her throat tightened as she stared at the two women. Both tall, slender brunettes with the same wide eyes and smiling mouths. Anyone looking at them would know they were sisters.
Sabrina took the bowl and held it up to the light. “Seriously, this is gorgeous.
And I happen to know they make matching wineglasses.”
Zara laughed. “I thought I’d just steal yours.”
Cleo smiled, but her heart felt heavy. Obviously, in the past four months Sabrina and Zara had become close. It was bound to happen. Although they’d just met, they were in fact related by blood. They were both princesses, and Zara was marrying Sabrina’s husband’s second in command. They would be living in the fabled City of Thieves, several hundred miles from the Bahanian capital.
Sabrina set down the bowl, then pulled up a chair next to Cleo and grabbed the clipboard. “I can’t believe she’s put you to work already. So like her.”
“Hey, I torment my baby sister whenever I can.” Zara winked at Cleo.
Sabrina sighed. “I wish I’d grown up with a sister. I envy you two that.”
Cleo looked at Zara and Sabrina. Not only did they look alike, but they were dressed alike in expensive slacks and silk blouses. Cleo wore a loose cotton dress she should have tossed out the previous summer. “You’re the sisters. I’m just someone Zara’s mother took in. Not a relative at all.”
Sabrina shook her head. “You’re sisters in the truest sense of the word, and I’ll admit to wanting to be a part of that.” Her expression turned serious.
“Cleo, I hope that we can all be close. I’d really like that.”
While Cleo was touched by her sincerity, she also felt a little uncomfortable.
“This is where I remind you I’m the only nonprincess in the group.”
Sabrina playfully bumped her shoulder. “Maybe we can change that. I saw you dancing with a certain prince last night. Things looked intense.”
Cleo could feel heat flaring on her cheeks. “Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s so not going to happen. I’m not in the market for an arrogant prince, no matter how handsome he might be.”
“Oh. So you think he’s handsome.”
Cleo pressed her lips together. Trapped by her own stupid words. “He’s okay.”
“Uh-huh. Sure.” Sabrina laughed. “Zara, we might have to do a little matchmaking with this one.”
Cleo thought about how Sadik was so hot to get her into bed now but hadn’t once bothered to get in touch with her after she’d left. In four months there hadn’t been a word from him.
“No matchmaking for me. Like I said, arrogant princes aren’t my style.”
Sabrina scribbled a few notes about the bowl, then helped Zara collect the wrapping paper and throw it in a trash container at the side of the table. The bowl, along with the letter and the paperwork, went onto a display table. Zara brought over another box.
Sabrina studied the accompanying letter. “This one is from the crown prince of Lucia-Serrat. It’s an island in the Indian Ocean. The crown prince of the island is a cousin of the king of Bahania.” She waved a hand. “Don’t ask, it’s complicated. But this guy is good-looking and a widower with four sons.” She glanced at Cleo. “He needs a wife.”
“Too bad I’m not looking for a husband.”
“You will be eventually. Although now that I think about it, I’m not sure I’d want to recommend my brothers. After all, our father was a bit of a playboy.”
She frowned. “He was devoted to your mother, Zara. And he loved Reyhan and Jefri’s mother, at least that’s what I’ve been told. Of course Sadik has been faithful in his own way.”
Zara opened the package. Inside the box was a flat jewelry case. She opened it and caught her breath. “Can I accept this?”
She pulled out a stunning diamond necklace. Hundreds of glittering diamonds dangled, forming a vee shape. There were matching earrings and a bracelet, as well.
Sabrina touched the earrings and sighed. “Someone has fabulous taste. And, yes, you can accept it. If he’s related to Dad, he’s family, remember?”
Zara looked at Cleo. “At times like this I think about running for home.”
“This is your home now,” Cleo reminded her. Although she had to admit the necklace intimidated her, as well. But she had more important things on her mind.
“Sabrina, what did you mean about Sadik being faithful in his own way?”
Sabrina put the earrings back in the jewelry case. “Just that he’s continued to mourn Kamra all these years.”
Cleo was glad she was sitting down. The room tilted suddenly and her stomach began to flop over. “Kamra?”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online