The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(48) by Susan Mallery
At least the surprise he’d left her gave her something else to think about. She collected the driver’s license, one of the credit cards and half the cash, dropped the lot into her purse and headed out the door. Ten minutes later she entered Sadik’s office with the intent of putting the man firmly in his place.
She might have been stupid enough to hand over her heart, but she wasn’t about to let him run her life. Not when his idea of the perfect wife was someone who was silent, obedient and fertile.
“Good morning,” he said, rising from his chair and coming around to greet her.
He cupped her face and lightly kissed her mouth. Just the brush of his lips on hers was enough to get her all hot and bothered, although she didn’t want to admit that to anyone—not even herself.
“How are you feeling?” he asked when he released her.
“Fine.” The man had seen her less than two hours before, when he’d delivered breakfast and spent forty minutes talking to her stomach. It was unlikely anything had changed.
When he motioned for her to take a seat, she shook her head. “I’d rather stay standing. It’s easier to work up a good head of steam when I’m on my feet.”
Sadik looked genuinely confused. “Why would you want to be angry with me?”
She pulled out the wad of cash and slapped it on the desk.
“I do not understand,” he said as he frowned at her. “If you require more, you may cash a check from your account. When the balance drops below one hundred thousand dollars, an additional deposit will be made. My desire is that you want for nothing.”
“Which is a sentiment I applaud. But only in theory. You can’t buy me, Sadik.
However much money you leave on the table, I’m still going to apply to the university this morning, and you can’t stop me.”
Storm clouds collected in his eyes. His dark eyebrows pulled together. “You are my wife.”
“Uh-huh, and if you didn’t want stubborn, you shouldn’t have married me.” She grabbed the cash and shoved it in her purse. “I don’t know how much textbooks cost. I might need this.”
He stiffened. “I told you last night, I forbid you to attend the university.”
“And I told you, this is about what I want. I’m willing to follow the rules and be a good wife. I’ll have your children and support your career and attend social functions, but I won’t be dictated to. Nothing about my furthering my education is going to threaten our relationship.”
“What about when we have children? You will need time to be a good mother.”
She rolled her eyes. “All over the world there are single moms doing a darned good job. They are employed, supporting their family, going back to school when able and having something resembling a life. I think that I can manage to raise a couple of kids while living in the palace and surrounded by hot-and-cold-running servants. And, golly-gee, there just might be a couple of hours left over in the day for me to attend a class or two.”
He didn’t looked convinced. “There are other considerations.”
Her gaze narrowed. “Actually, there aren’t. I wasn’t asking your permission, Sadik. I thought you’d figured that out last night. You can’t buy me off and you can’t change my mind. I have the feeling that I’m going to spend a lot of my life having to give in on other issues, but this one isn’t negotiable. I suggest you get over it.”
With that she turned on her heel and stalked from the room. The man was thick as a post and just as unmovable. But she refused to be the one to give in on this issue. It was too important to her. Not only did she want to get a college degree, but she had something to prove to both Sadik and herself. They both needed to learn that she meant what she said.
She headed for the front of the palace where her driver was already waiting.
Sadik would have a heart attack if he knew that this morning she even planned to take the wheel. Driving around town was the only way she was going to become familiar with her new hometown. If the heavens opened because a royal princess actually dared to have a life, then they were all going to have to get used to a little rain.
Sadik found it impossible to concentrate after Cleo left. He muttered something about difficult women, then went in search of his father. The man had been married several times. Obviously Hassan knew how to control women far better than his son.
“She cannot be reasoned with,” he complained when he was shown into his father’s private office. “She defies me at every turn. She is headstrong. I do not know how to bend her to my will.”
His father leaned back in his large chair and motioned for Sadik to be seated on the opposite side of the desk. “If you insist a woman bend too far, you will break her spirit.”
Privately Sadik thought that might improve the situation. “She is planning on attending the university. I do not understand why being my wife and the mother of my children is not enough for her.”
“Have you considered that bettering herself is a far more productive way for her to spend her day than shopping? If she has interests, she’ll be happy in Bahania.”
“She will have our son to care for. That is interest enough.”
His father shook his head. “It is not so simple, my son. I wish it were. Women can be complex creatures.” He turned and stared out the window, at the formal gardens flourishing in the mild, fall temperatures.
“I do not want complex. I want obedient.”
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