The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(52) by Susan Mallery
Sabrina set down her cup, as well. “I get it,” she said sympathetically. “You’re in love with him. I’m sorry I didn’t see it before. I mean I should have guessed.”
Zara looked stunned. She glanced from Cleo to Sabrina, then slowly shook her head. “No, I should have seen it. Oh, Cleo, you went and fell for him, didn’t you?”
For once her hormones seemed to be asleep because she managed to nod without breaking into tears. “I didn’t mean it to happen. Obviously, he doesn’t love me.
He’s still in love with Kamra—he told me so,” she added quickly when Sabrina started to protest. “He gave her his heart, so he doesn’t have it to share with me. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do now. I asked the king if I could leave, but he won’t let me.”
“Of course not,” Sabrina said gently. “You’re carrying his first grandchild. Any child I have will be heir to the City of Thieves, and Zara’s children won’t be in line for the throne. Besides, the king really likes you, Cleo. He’s not going to let you walk away.”
“I found that out.” She spread her hands, palms up. “So I’m trapped. I love a man who won’t love me back. Maybe one of you would like to slap me and tell me to snap out of it. That or offer really good advice about how to make this work.
I figure we’re in the marriage for the long haul. I’d like to make it a happy relationship. If not for us, then at least for our children.”
There was a long, awkward silence. So much for brilliant advice.
Sabrina stood and moved around the coffee table. She sat next to Cleo and took her hand. “Don’t give up on Sadik’s heart. I saw him with Kamra years ago and the thing is, I don’t remember anything. When they were together it was uninteresting. When you two are together sparks fly.”
“At the risk of telling you more than you want to know, that’s just about sex.”
Sabrina grinned. “You’ve had sex?” She touched Cleo’s belly. “No kidding. I think we’re all aware of that.” Her smile faded. “I meant what I said about Kamra. He never looked at her the way he looks at you. There’s definitely something between you. If it’s passion, then that’s something to build on.”
Sabrina squeezed her fingers. “Don’t forget how my brothers were raised. There were virtually no mother figures around. They were shuttled off to boarding school at a ridiculous age. They don’t know how to express their feelings. Sex may be all Sadik is capable of right now.”
“But he loved Kamra.” And he refused to love her.
“Did he love her?” Sabrina asked. “Or does he want to remember loving her? If he builds a shrine in his mind, then he gets to have happy memories. But what I remember is that she was spineless. I don’t think she ever had an opinion of her own. She would have made him crazy in a matter of months.”
“I make him crazy now.”
“Maybe, but in the best way possible. Don’t give up. Not on him or your marriage. I think you have the potential for something amazing.”
Cleo desperately wanted her sister-in-law’s words to be true. Given her current situation, she didn’t have any choice but to hope.
At four that afternoon Sabrina and Zara walked Cleo to the entrance of the palace. Cleo could hear the approaching helicopter in the distance. She supposed that transportation-on-demand was one of the “princess perks.” It beat having to travel to the City of Thieves by car…or even camel.
“Just let me know when the childbirth classes start,” Zara was saying. “I’ll be there. Once you get close to delivery, we’ll have a helicopter standing by. When you’re within a week of delivering, I’ll move into the palace.”
Cleo hugged her sister close. “I know Rafe is going to hate me for taking you away from him, but thank you for offering to be with me. It means a lot.”
“Rafe understands,” Zara promised. “Besides, if he gets lonely, he can always come spend the night with me.”
Sabrina touched her own still-flat stomach. “My big request is that you both lie about how bad childbirth is. I want to hear happy, pain-free stories. Don’t tell me about screaming or blood or anything icky.”
Cleo laughed. “You got it. You’ll get the made-for-TV version.”
As the helicopter touched down, Sabrina and Zara promised to be in touch soon.
Cleo waved goodbye, then headed for her ride. As she approached the buglike vehicle, she was surprised when the door opened and a familiar, tall man stepped down.
Flying in the face of common sense and all that was reasonable, her heart skipped into overdrive. It was as if the silly organ hadn’t figured out it was foolish to fall for a man still in love with someone else. But despite the lecture, Cleo couldn’t help but be happy at the sight of her husband.
He hurried toward her.
“I came to escort you home,” he said, bending down to kiss her lightly, before taking her hand in his. “Had you told me you wished to visit your sister and Sabrina, I would have come with you this morning.”
Startled, she couldn’t help asking, “Why?”
“So you would not make this journey alone.”
Cleo thought about the pilot and copilot who had accompanied her. She’d hardly been by herself. “I was fine.”
He frowned at her. “You are my wife. I expect better than ‘fine’ for you.”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online