The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(57) by Susan Mallery
Cleo turned so she could see the monitor. Sadik moved close, taking her hand in his.
“All right. Let’s check out the royal baby,” Dr. Johnson said as she moved the wand over Cleo’s stomach.
Images began to form. Although Cleo had seen her growing infant before, her heart quickened at the sight of the tiny body thriving inside of her. She caught her breath and clutched Sadik’s fingers tightly in her own.
“There’s the head,” Dr. Johnson said, pointing at the screen. “Spine, arms, legs. Now if we can just get the royal prince or princess to move slightly, we can determine the gender.” She glanced up. “You did want to know, right?”
Sadik shrugged. “We know. Our child will be a boy.”
Cleo rolled her eyes. “Yes. I would love to know if you see anything. Despite my husband’s insistence, I’m not convinced of anything yet.”
Dr. Johnson shifted position, trying for another angle. “I see shadows, but nothing definite. Sorry. It’s impossible to tell.”
Cleo stared at the screen. “It doesn’t matter,” she said softly. She reached out to touch the image. “As long as the baby is healthy and growing, that’s all that’s important.”
Fifteen minutes later they were on their way to the waiting limo. Sadik had his arm around her, pulling her close. Cleo welcomed his attention.
“Isn’t it amazing?” she murmured when they were seated on the smooth, leather seat. “Every time we see the baby, I can’t believe it’s real.” She placed her hand on her stomach. “Life is such a miracle.”
“Our miracle,” Sadik told her, resting his hand on top of hers. “Our child.”
His dark eyes burned with a fire that made her heart race. In that moment they shared something more profound than being married. Together they had formed a new being. Wonder didn’t begin to describe what she felt, but she saw the answering emotion on Sadik’s face. She reached for him at the same moment he drew her close.
Sadik’s mouth was firm and passionate, his lips an inescapable seduction. She supposed that, as pregnant as she was, she shouldn’t want to make love with her husband, but she couldn’t help responding to his desire…or her own. Dr. Johnson had said they could keep being intimate until she told them otherwise.
Sadik breathed her name. His long fingers traced the curves of her face, even as he deepened the kiss. Their tongues stroked and circled. Low in her belly she felt the familiar tension.
The drive back to the palace had never been so long. Despite the raised privacy partition separating them from the driver, she knew that nothing more than kissing would happen until they reached their rooms. Somehow the anticipation made everything even more intense.
Finally they arrived back at the palace. Giggling like teenagers, they raced through the hallways of the palace, heading for their private suite. Sadik opened the door, then quickly drew her inside.
They were pulling clothes off each other, even as they moved toward the bedroom.
He touched her everywhere, arousing her to the point of frenzy. When they sprawled onto the bed, they quickly found their way into the side position they’d been using for the past few weeks. It allowed them to face each other while they made love, without having to worry about her growing belly.
Cleo arched in pleasure as he moved into her. His arousal filled her completely.
One of his hands stroked her intimately, making it impossible to keep from gasping in delight. They stared at each other. She studied the handsome face that had become so familiar to her.
“We’re having a baby together,” she whispered.
His slow, happy, proud smile touched her heart. “I know,” he told her, speaking softly. “I saw him today. We both saw him.”
Yes, she thought even as passion overwhelmed her. They had both seen the baby, and that connection bound them together for life.
He moved his hand faster and she lost herself in her release. Sadik soon followed, calling out her name and clinging to her. When they were finally able to catch their breath, he stroked her face and traced the outline of her mouth.
“You are my wife,” he said. “I am your husband. And so we will be until we die.”
A simple truth, she thought. Inevitable. Why had she been avoiding the inevitable? Her heart swelled with her feelings until she had no choice but to voice them. She kissed his mouth.
“I love you, Sadik.”
He froze, as if he had suddenly been cast in stone. Then his eyes darkened and he pulled her against him.
“I am glad,” he said. “That is as it should be. You will love me well, and now you will be content to stay.”
He continued to talk, but she couldn’t hear the words. She didn’t think she was even capable of breathing. Had her heart stopped? Had she been cast in stone?
Eventually Sadik rose and dressed. He urged her to rest for the afternoon, and because she couldn’t move or speak, she didn’t argue. Instead she lay under the covers he’d pulled up around her and stared at the ceiling. Eventually something warm and wet trickled down her temple into her hair. She touched the spot, only to find tears.
An awful pain filled her chest. Hopelessness overwhelmed her. In that moment, at the doctor’s office, she had opened her heart to Sadik in a way she’d never opened to anyone before. She’d allowed her love to grow until it overwhelmed common sense. On a rush of feeling, she’d handed over her heart. And he had taken it without offering anything in return.
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