The Prince and the Pregnant Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 6)(60) by Susan Mallery
He ignored them and put his foot on the gas. Fifteen minutes later he entered the highway that would take him to the airport.
Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.
The words beat inside his brain, over and over. He tapped his fingers against his steering wheel and willed his car to go faster. In the distance he heard the sirens of the guards after him, but he ignored them. Nothing mattered but finding Cleo.
After five minutes he decided he had better call ahead and see if he could delay her plane. Several frustrating minutes later, he was no closer to getting in touch with the tower than he had been before he had started. His father sought to block his attempts to bring Cleo home. He would have to—
Sadik slammed on the brakes. Tires screamed in protest, the car shimmied, then bounced as he drove it onto the shoulder. His chest squeezed so tight, he couldn’t breathe.
A black car—like the ones used by members of the royal family—lay on its side in a ditch off the highway. Several rescue vehicles crowded around the damaged automobile. It was as if time had bent and circled around itself to bring him back to a moment he had already endured. He had found Kamra in just this way.
Dead on the side of the road.
He brought his car to a stop. Had he been able to speak, he would have screamed out his protest. Indescribable agony tore through him. He wanted to demand justice. He could not live without Cleo. Didn’t anyone understand? How could she be gone?
He did not know how long he sat there. It felt like lifetimes had passed, but perhaps it was only a few minutes before a police officer knocked on the window of his car.
“Prince Sadik? Is there a problem?”
Sadik lowered his window and slowly shook his head. “The accident,” he rasped in a voice that sounded a thousand years old. “The passenger.”
The officer consulted his notebook. “Someone from one of the embassies. He was drunk, of course. Fortunately he only hurt his car and his pride.”
Sadik stared at the man, unable to absorb the words. “He? Not a woman?”
“Just one person in the vehicle, sir.”
Sadik tried to thank him, but he didn’t know what he said. All he knew was that Cleo was not dead. He still had a chance. If he was too late at the airport, he would travel the earth until he found her. He would bring her home—whatever it took to convince her.
He pulled out onto the road. The guards from the palace were much closer now. He could see their cars in his rearview mirror. The police officer jumped back as Sadik sped down the highway, sending gravel flying.
In a matter of minutes the airport was in sight. He circled the main terminals, heading for the private hangar that housed the royal fleet. Up ahead he could see one of the cars from the palace pulling to a stop in front of the small terminal. Behind, the guards gained ground. It would be close.
He floored the accelerator, racing to the terminal. Up ahead Cleo stepped out of the car, then turned toward the noise. Sadik raced as close as he dared, then slammed on the brakes, turned off the engine and sprang from the vehicle.
“Cleo, you must wait,” he yelled as he ran toward her. Behind him a dozen or so guards gave chase.
He was close enough to see the pain on her face and the confusion as she registered that he was being pursued by palace guards.
Cleo stared at the spectacle of her very proper, very princely husband flying toward her as if the hounds of hell were at his heels. Obviously, he’d figured
out she was leaving and expected to stop her. She didn’t know what he wanted, but she knew she was too heartbroken to listen to any logical argument about how they had to stay together for the sake of their child.
She turned her back on him and headed for the terminal. If she hadn’t stopped by her doctor’s office to make sure it was all right for her to fly, she would have been gone by now. His last-minute theatrics wouldn’t have mattered.
The sound of a rifle cocking caught her attention. Cleo froze, then shifted so she could see Sadik. She nearly stumbled in amazement.
Prince Sadik of Bahania, the king’s second oldest son, stood in the grasp of several armed guards. He put up a good struggle and a fourth man joined the fray in an effort to keep Sadik in place. A fifth man aimed a rifle at the prince.
“We have our orders, Your Highness,” the armed guard said. “You are not to interfere with Princess Cleo in any way.”
Cleo blinked. This couldn’t really be happening. Not to her. Since arriving in Bahania, she’d seen some crazy things, but this was…insane.
Obviously, she wasn’t going to have the clean getaway she’d wanted. Sadik was here and determined. She would have to deal with him.
She dropped her carry-on bag to the ground, then walked toward her husband. The fact that it took four guards to hold him still was fairly impressive, not that she would tell him so. She looked at his handsome face, at the mouth that had kissed hers so tenderly. In that moment she wished with all her heart that things could have been different between them. She would have changed the rotation of the earth for him…if only he had loved her back.
“I’m not going away forever, Sadik,” she said softly, trying to ignore the guards standing so close. “I need time to think and to make peace with my life.
I know that we’re going to have a child together. You and I will have to come to terms with that and with how we’re going to raise our child. The king has given me a reprieve, not permission to disappear.”
He stared at her with an expression she’d never seen before. The intensity of his gaze made her uncomfortable, as did the guards. She turned to the one with the rifle.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online