The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(39) by Susan Mallery
“How does it feel to be Princess Cleo?”
She heard the smile in his voice as he spoke, but his question didn’t feel amusing to her. Instead her eyes burned. “Nothing about this situation feels real, so I can’t answer the question.”
He turned her in his arms. Concern clouded his eyes. “You have the luxury of time to adjust to your new circumstances,” he told her gently. “We are married now. You are my wife.”
Wife. She turned the word over in her mind but couldn’t make it sink in. She didn’t feel like his wife or a princess or anything but a fraud. A pregnant fraud.
“As you can see, I have had the furniture removed from our son’s room. Whatever you require for our child will be provided. There are decorators who are familiar with the palace. There are also several large baby stores in the city, or you may order from catalogs.”
She tried to ignore the ache in her heart and focus instead on the feel of his arms around her. Being close to Sadik always gave her a sense of belonging. If she could capture that sensation now and hold on to it, maybe she wouldn’t be so lost.
“How do you know about baby stores?” she asked.
“I have heard rumors. Also, I checked on the Internet. There is much information there.”
“I see.” She stepped away from him and studied the empty space. “I don’t have any specific ideas yet. I’ll think about it, maybe look at some magazines to get ideas.” She glanced at him over her shoulder. “Do you wish to be consulted before I go ahead with anything?”
“We may discuss it if you would like, or you may make your own choices.”
She figured he knew she was upset and was trying to be sensitive. The problem was that being sensitive didn’t set well on an arrogant prince.
He moved close and took her hand in his. “While we are on the subject, I would like you to redo the rest of the suite. At your own pace, when you are ready, of course. But these rooms should be ours, not simply mine.”
“Of course,” she murmured. His being so darned agreeable was humorous, only she couldn’t seem to make herself smile.
She thought of the boxes stacked in the living room and her few items of clothing hanging in his vast closet. How on earth was she supposed to fit in here? She was so the wrong person for Sadik to have married.
“What are you thinking?” he asked, his voice sounding kind.
He was being nice. Perversely, she almost wished he would go back to demanding his way. At least she understood that man.
“Just that this is all too strange,” she admitted. “I don’t belong here.”
“You are my wife,” he repeated. “You are a royal princess of Bahania. Your place is wherever you want it to be.”
“As long as I don’t try to leave, right?” she said bitterly.
He dropped her hand and rested his palms on her shoulders. “Cleo, we are married. I know there have been difficulties between us, but it is time to put them in the past. Let us begin again, as husband and wife.”
Anger flared inside her, fueled by a sadness so profound she thought it might break her in two. “I appreciate what you’re saying. Of course it makes perfect sense. The problem is I can’t forget the truth. If I hadn’t been pregnant, you would never have wanted to marry me. When I left here, you didn’t give me a second thought. You never called or tried to get in touch with me. I ceased to exist for you.”
What she didn’t say, but was thinking, was that while he expected her to get over the past, he had no plans to do the same. Kamra was still alive and well in his mind.
“What do you want from me?” he asked.
I want you to love me, or I want you to let me go.
Cleo sighed. There was no point in trying to answer the question, she thought.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said, feeling tired.
“It does to me.”
“No, it doesn’t.” She shrugged free of his touch. “I’m not a person to you. I’m a vessel to carry your child.”
“That is not true.” He reached for her, but she backed away. Sadik sighed. “In time you will come to see that you are an important part of my life. You will understand that I have married you with the intention of fulfilling my vows. I will respect you and desire you all the days of our lives.”
She didn’t know what to say, so chose to say nothing. When he put an arm around her, she let herself be led from the room. No doubt Sadik thought the problem had been solved. All would be well now.
She walked into the living room and saw that he’d had food brought in. Several covered dishes sat on a wheeled cart.
“We had dinner at the reception,” she reminded him.
“You did not eat. Come. You will find that I have ordered all your favorites.”
The thought of eating made her stomach turn. “I’m not very hungry,” she said.
“I’m tired, Sadik. I want to go to bed.”
He glanced at her. She figured he would be able to see there wasn’t much of an invitation in her eyes. No doubt he’d been expecting that they would do the wild thing that night—after all, they’d only made love once since she’d come back to Bahania and this was their wedding night.
Sadik saw the weariness in Cleo’s expression. He wasn’t surprised that she was tired. There had been many changes in the past few weeks. But the hopelessness also lurking there disturbed him more. He wanted her happy for the sake of the baby. Too much sadness could not be good.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online