The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(45) by Susan Mallery
“You need to join the rest of the world in this century,” she told her husband of one day. “Here’s a news flash—the time of the harem is over. You can’t keep your women locked up anymore. We have gained the right to move around and—” she placed the back of her hand against her forehead and sighed dramatically “—we can even think for ourselves.”
He frowned. “Cleo, I do not find this humorous.”
“I’ll bet you don’t. But here’s another news flash. I don’t care what you think on this subject. Because my touring the library was just the beginning of it.
Hang on to your shorts, Your Highness. I might be married to you and having our baby in a few months, but I’m not willing to be tied down to this palace. I plan to go out and do something with my life.”
Sadik looked as if she’d slapped him with a wet fish. “What exactly are you talking about?”
Each word was clipped shorter than a buzz cut on a new military recruit.
“I’m going to start attending classes. I want to get my college degree.” She leaned toward him and set her jaw. “Don’t try to stop me on this, Sadik. I’m more stubborn than you could begin to imagine.”
She’d obviously caught him completely off guard. He didn’t speak, didn’t do anything but stare at her. Finally he shook his head and turned away.
“I forbid it.”
Figures. “The least you could do is not be predictable,” she said to his back.
“Forbid away. I’m still going to do it.”
He spun toward her, his expression outraged. “You are my wife and will be the mother of my son. That is enough for any woman.”
“It’s not for me. If you’d thought you were marrying some ‘yes woman’ who didn’t have a single opinion in her empty head, you couldn’t be more wrong. You may be my husband, but you’re not my lord and master. I suggest you get over it.”
Sadik didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t surprised by Cleo’s defiance. She had been difficult from the beginning. What did surprise him was her description of the empty-headed female who didn’t have an opinion in her head. Unfairly, he’d instantly thought about Kamra.
Sadik stiffened. He would not have such disrespectful thoughts of Kamra. She had been perfection itself—always deferring to him, never questioning his judgment, always seeking his approval.
A small yet traitorous voice in his head whispered that, with time, Kamra’s devotion might have been tiresome. At least Cleo would always be challenging.
He clenched his hands into fists. He did not want to be challenged. His late fiancée had been the most perfect of women. Losing her had been the greatest tragedy of his life. He had no right to question that.
“I will speak to the president of the university,” he told her. “After that you will not be attending any classes.”
“No, you won’t,” she said softly, despite the fire in her eyes. “Because that would mean admitting you have a problem with your wife, and we both know you don’t want to do that. You’re going to have to control me yourself, Sadik. Which isn’t going to happen, so you’re going to have to get over it.”
He could feel the heat from her body. Her short blond hair was in its usual spiky disarray. While the style wasn’t traditional, on Cleo it looked delightful. He stared into her dark-blue eyes, then lowered his gaze to her full mouth. Even now, when she defied him, he wanted her. He might have given his heart to Kamra, but he wanted Cleo more than he had ever wanted any woman in his life. With a certainty he did not want to acknowledge, he knew that he would always want her, until his dying breath.
He reached for her and pulled her close. Before she could protest and pull away, he pressed his mouth to hers in a demanding kiss.
Surprise was on his side. She instantly softened against him, obviously unable to resist the passion between them. Her arms came around his neck, and her body nestled against his. He felt her full br**sts press against his chest and her round belly pushing against him. Her body had changed in the past few weeks.
Every day he could see the differences as her pregnancy progressed. He remembered touching her stomach that morning, as he had spoken with their child.
But instead of remembering the words, or the healthy movements of their son, he was suddenly able to recall the sweet smell of her skin and how soft and smooth she’d been.
He wanted her.
Cleo found herself getting lost in the feel of Sadik’s mouth against her own.
The man knew how to kiss. He focused all of his amazing laserlike attention on the act of making love, and he loved slowly and with a thoroughness that left her satisfied beyond measure.
Even the simple act of kissing took on more meaning when it was with him. He explored her lips with his, then licked the seam. Before she could part to admit him—or, more embarrassing, beg him to deepen the kiss—he nibbled on her sensitive lower lip. The tiny love bites made her shiver in anticipation.
His large hands moved up and down her back, as if rediscovering her. She felt more than a little awkward, what with being into her fifth month, but she wasn’t embarrassed about him seeing her naked. Sadik had many flaws, but not worshiping her body wasn’t one of them. If she had her way they would—
She pulled back and glared at him. “What exactly do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.
“I was about to start kissing your neck,” he said calmly, as if discussing movie plans for after dinner. “Then I thought I would lick the inside of your ear and bite the lobe. After that I wanted to start undressing you.”
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