The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(41) by Susan Mallery
She was about to tell him so when he knelt by the side of the bed. Cleo nearly dropped her drink in surprise. But he wasn’t done stunning her for one morning.
Sadik gently pulled down the covers until they rested on the tops of her thighs.
Then he tugged up her nightgown and placed both his hands on her bare belly.
His touch was gentle, his fingers warm. Afraid she would start to like this too much and pant like a dog, she took another sip of her drink.
“I have neglected our son,” he told her, glancing at her briefly before returning his attention to her stomach. “There is some disagreement as to whether he can hear and understand from the womb. As I know our child will be of a superior nature, I believe he knows when he is being addressed. As my firstborn son, there is much for him to know. I will save time by beginning his education now.”
Cleo couldn’t speak. She tried, but her lips wouldn’t move. As she watched, Sadik leaned close to her rounded stomach.
“Welcome, my son. Your mother and I eagerly await your delivery. But as it will be several months until you are with us, I want to use this time to tell you about your heritage, both of the land and the people. You are most fortunate to be born into the royal family of Bahania. You come from a long line of good and wise rulers.”
He cleared his throat. “The written history of Bahania goes back over two thousand years. While that is of some importance, the ruling family of your father first took control of the throne in the year 937. Before that, many nomadic tribes had fought for control of the land that is Bahania.”
Sadik spoke easily of the history of his people and their land. Cleo sipped her drink and listened. She tried to stay detached, but it was impossible not to feel close to the man kneeling beside her bed. How was she supposed to resist him when he acted like this? She felt herself falling even more in love with him.
“Horses have always been important to the desert,” he continued. “There are those who say it is the camel that tamed the wildness, but it was the horse. We will discuss that tomorrow, my son.”
He kissed her belly, then pulled down her nightgown and drew up the covers.
She shook her head. “What if the baby is a girl?”
He dismissed her with a wave, then snatched one of the scones. “I am Prince Sadik of Bahania.”
“I keep telling you that the title isn’t really news. I’m just wondering what you’ll do if we have a girl.”
“We won’t,” he said with a confidence that made her want to both slug him and hold him so close that she could hear the beating of his heart.
She sighed. “I guess I already knew you were an arrogant prince the first time I met you.”
He grinned. “You were charmed.”
He kissed her mouth, then walked toward the door. “You were charmed then, and you remain charmed.”
She couldn’t help laughing as he left. Sadik made her crazy. He made her a lot of things. But the bottom line was—the man did charm her. Darn him.
Cleo rose and showered, then dressed for her first day as a real, live princess.
With the exception of a light mist of rain falling, there seemed to be little difference between this day and the one before. Except for the ring, she thought staring at the sapphire engagement ring nestling against her gold wedding band.
There it was—proof that she and Sadik were really married. The palace was now her home.
Cleo couldn’t even think that sentence without wanting to run for cover. How on earth was she supposed to live it? “Don’t think about it now,” she said aloud.
Instead she headed for the living room where her boxes from her former life sat waiting for her. There were also several catalogs stacked on the coffee table.
She didn’t remember seeing them before, so someone must have brought them in.
She sat on the sofa and leafed through the various baby catalogs. There were cribs and changing tables, dressers, rocking chairs, linens, clothes and dozens of containers, toys and accessories about which she had no clue. The prices were also amazing, but then, the royal set probably didn’t do much shopping at discount stores.
She found a wallpaper catalog at the bottom of the pile and flipped through the pages, wondering if her child would prefer a motif of bunnies or bears. No doubt Sadik would press for a masculine theme. She would have to stand firm that there had to be at least a small chance that the baby would be a girl.
Before she could make a wallpaper decision, the phone rang. Her heart instantly jumped in her chest, making her feel both alive and very foolish. It wasn’t Sadik, she reminded herself, even as she wanted it to be him.
“Princess Cleo, this is Marie. I’m one of the head housekeepers here in the palace. I’m calling to find out your preference for cleaning the suite. I can send a staff member whenever you would like. The time can be flexible or set on a regular schedule. Also, I’ve spoken with the main kitchen. They asked me to remind you that you are always welcome to order in a private dinner, if that would be more to your liking.” Humor and friendliness filled Marie’s voice.
“This is your honeymoon, after all.”
Cleo didn’t know what to think. “Um, I guess dinner in the suite would be great.”
“Shall I have the head chef phone, or would you prefer to contact him at your convenience?”
As she didn’t have a clue as to what to order for dinner, or even what was available, Cleo figured she’d better do some research first. “I’ll, ah, call myself.”
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