The Sheik and the Bride Who Said No(Desert Rogues, Book 9)(12) by Susan Mallery
She had a lot of questions, but no answers, and she knew only one way to get them.
She stood and crossed to the heavy gold doors.
“Hey,” she yelled. “Are you guards still out there?”
“Yes, ma’am. Is there a problem?”
“You bet there is. Tell Murat I want to see him right now.”
She heard low conversation but not the individual words as the guards spoke to each other.
“We’ll pass your message along to the crown prince,” one of the men said at last.
“Not good enough. I want his royal fanny down here this second. And you can tell him I said that.”
She pounded on the door a couple of times for good measure, then stalked back into her bedroom. Suddenly the phrase “dressed to kill” took on a whole new meaning.
Murat finished his second cup of coffee as he read over the financial section of the London Times. Then the door to his suite opened, and his father stepped in.
The king was perfectly dressed, even with the Persian cat he carried in his arms. He nodded at the guard on duty, then walked into the dining room.
“Good morning,” he said.
Murat rose and motioned to a chair. The king shook his head.
“I won’t be staying long. I only came by to discuss the most fascinating item I saw in the paper this morning.”
“That the value of the Euro is expected to rise?” Murat asked calmly, knowing it wasn’t that.
“No.” The king flipped through the pages until he found the local edition—the one with the large picture of Daphne on the front page. “Interesting solution.”
Murat shrugged. “I said I would have a Snowden bride, and so I shall.”
“I’m surprised she agreed.”
Murat thought of the message he’d received from the guards outside the harem.
Even though he suspected they’d edited the content, Daphne’s demands made him smile.
“She has not,” he admitted. “But she will. After all, the choice of fiancées was hers alone.”
“I told her there would be a wedding, and she said Brittany would not be the bride. That left Daphne to fill the position.”
“I see.” His father didn’t react at all. “Do you have a time line in place for this wedding?”
“Not long to prepare for such an important occasion.”
“I think we will manage.”
“Perhaps I should go to her and offer my congratulations.”
Murat raised his eyebrows. “I’m sure Daphne will welcome your visit, but may I suggest you wait a few days. Until she has had time to settle in to the idea of being my wife.”
“Perhaps you are right.” The king stroked the cat in his arms. “You have chosen
“Thank you. I’m sure Daphne and I will be very happy together.” After she got over wanting him dead.
By ten that morning Daphne was convinced she’d worn a track in the marble tile floors. She’d showered, dressed and paced. So far she’d been unable to make any phone calls because of the stupid time difference. But she would eventually get through to someone and then Murat would taste her fury. She might not be the favorite Snowden, but she was still a member of the family and her name meant something. She would call in every favor possible and make him pay for this.
“Of all the arrogant, insensitive, chauvinistic, ridiculous ideas,” she muttered as she walked to the French doors.
“So much energy.”
She spun and saw him moving toward her. “I hate that you do that,” she said.
“Appear and disappear. I swear, when I find that secret door, I’m putting something in front of it so you can’t use it anymore.”
He seemed completely unruffled by her anger. “As you wish.”
“Oh, sure. You say that now. Where were my wishes last night when you were sending your lies to the newspaper?” She stalked over to the dining room table and picked up the pages in question.
“How could you do this?” she asked as she shook them at him. “How dare you? Who gave you the right?”
“What?” She hated that she practically shrieked, but the man was making her insane. “I most certainly did not.”
“I told you there would be a Snowden bride and you declared it would not be your niece.”
“What?” she repeated. “That’s not making a choice. I never agreed with your original premise. Where do you get off saying you’ll have a Snowden bride? We’re not ice cream flavors to be ordered interchangeably. We’re people.”
“Yes, I know. Women. I have agreed not to marry Brittany. You should be pleased.”
Pleased? “Are you crazy?” She dropped the papers and clutched at the back of the chair. “I’m furious. You’ve trapped me here and told lies about me to the press.
I’ve already heard from my sister. Do you know how this is going to mess up my life? Both of our lives?”
“I agree that marriage will change things, but I’m hoping for the better.”
“We’re not getting married!” she yelled.
Instead of answering, he simply stared at her. Calm certainty radiated from him in nearly palpable waves. It made her want to choke him.
She drew in a deep breath and tried to relax. When that didn’t work, she attempted to loosen her grip on the chair.
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