The Sheik and the Bride Who Said No(Desert Rogues, Book 9)(11) by Susan Mallery
She braced herself for an argument or at least a pronouncement that he was the crown prince, blah, blah, blah. Instead he simply nodded.
“As you wish,” he said. And then he left.
Daphne didn’t fall asleep until sometime after two in the morning. She’d felt too out of sorts to relax. While she told herself she should be happy that Murat was finally seeing reason about Brittany, she didn’t trust the man. Certainly not his last cryptic agreement. As she wished what? Was he really giving up on Brittany so easily? Somehow that didn’t seem right.
So when she woke early the next morning, she felt more tired than when she’d gone to bed.
After slipping into her robe, she hurried toward the smell of fresh coffee wafting through the harem. A cart stood by the sofa.
Daphne ignored the fresh fruit and croissants and dove for the coffee. The steaming liquid perked her up with the first sip.
“Better,” she said, when she’d swallowed half a cup.
She sat down in front of the cart and picked up the folded newspapers. The first was a copy of USA TODAY. Underneath was the local Bahanian paper. She flipped it open, then screamed.
On the front page was a color picture of her under a headline announcing her engagement to Murat.
“I‘ll kill him!” Daphne yelled.
She set down her coffee before she dropped it and shrieked her fury.
“How dare he? Who does he think he is? Crown prince or not, I’ll have his head for this!”
She couldn’t believe it. Last night he’d been friendly and fun and sexy with his talking and touching, when the whole time he’d been planning an ambush.
She stomped her foot. He’d kissed her. He’d taken her in his arms and kissed her. She’d gotten all gooey and nostalgic while he’d known what he was going to do.
“Bastard. No. Wait. He’s lower than that. He’s a…a camel-dung sweeper. He’s slime.”
She tossed the paper down, then immediately bent over to pick it up. There, in perfect English, was the announcement for the upcoming wedding along with what looked like a very long story on her previous engagement to Murat.
“Just great,” she muttered. “Now we’re going to have to rehash that again.”
She threw the paper in the air and stalked around the room. “Are you listening, Murat?” she yelled. “Because if you are, know that you’ve gone too far. You can’t do this to me. I won’t let you.”
There was no answer. Typical, she thought. He’s done it and now he was hiding out.
Just then the phone rang.
“Ha! Afraid to face me in person?”
She crossed to the phone on the end table and snatched it up. “Yes?”
“How could you do this?” a familiar female voice demanded.
A choke shook her sister’s voice. “Who else? Dammit, Daphne, you always have to ruin everything. You did this on purpose, didn’t you? You wanted him for yourself.”
It took Daphne a second to figure out what her sister was talking about. “You know about the engagement?” she asked.
“Of course. What did you think? That it would happen in secret?”
“Of course not. I mean there’s no engagement.”
How on earth had her sister found out? There was a major time difference between Bahania and the American East Coast. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”
“Oh, sure. Because I’m going to sleep after this.” Her sister drew in a ragged breath. “What I don’t understand is how you could do this to Brittany. I thought you really cared about her.”
“I do. I love her.” Probably more than her sister ever had, Daphne thought grimly. “That’s why I didn’t want her marrying Murat. She’s never even met the man.”
“You took care of things, didn’t you? Now you have him all for yourself. I can’t believe I was stabbed in the back by my own sister.”
Daphne clutched the phone. “This is crazy. Laurel, think about it. Why on earth would I want to marry Murat? Didn’t I already dump him once?”
“You’ve probably regretted it ever since. You’ve just been waiting for the right opportunity to pounce.”
“It’s been ten years. Couldn’t I have pounced before now?”
“You thought you’d find someone else. But you didn’t. Who could measure up to the man who’s going to be king? I understand that kind of ambition. I can even respect it. But to steal your only niece’s fiancé is horrible. Brittany will be crushed.”
“I doubt that.”
“I never should have trusted you,” Laurel said. “Why didn’t I see what you had planned?”
“There wasn’t a plan.” Except making sure Brittany didn’t throw her life away, but Laurel didn’t have to know about that. “I told you, I’m not engaged to Murat. I don’t know what the papers are talking about, but it’s a huge mistake.”
“Oh, sure. Like I believe that.”
“Believe what you want. There’s not going to be a wedding.”
“Tell that to my heartsick daughter. You’ve always thought of yourself instead of your family. Just know I’ll never forgive you. No matter what.”
With that, Laurel hung up.
Daphne listened to the silence for a second, then put down the phone and covered her face with her hands. Nothing made sense. How could this be happening?
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online