The Sheik and the Bride Who Said No(Desert Rogues, Book 9)(16) by Susan Mallery
Three women stood together. They were beautiful, elegantly dressed and smiling.
Two blondes and a redhead. One of the blondes—a petite woman with short, spiky hair and a curvy body to die for—stepped forward.
“We’re your basic princess contingent sneaking in to speak with the prisoner.”
She grinned. “Not that you’re really a prisoner. There were rumors, of course.
But now you’re engaged to Murat, which makes you family. I’m Cleo. Married to Sadik.” She rolled her big, blue eyes. “How totally Lawrence of Arabia to introduce myself in terms of who my husband is.”
“You’re a disgrace to us all, Cleo,” the other blonde said fondly. She was a little taller, even more curvy, with big hair and sandals that looked high enough to be a walking hazard, especially considering her obvious pregnancy.
“Hi.” The redhead waved. “I’m Emma. Reyhan’s wife.” She motioned to the pregnant woman. “That’s Billie.”
Billie frowned. “Didn’t I give her my name?”
“No,” Cleo and Emma said together. Cleo sighed. “Billie thinks she’s all that because she can fly jets. Like that’s a big deal.”
“It is a big deal,” Emma whispered. “We talked about it.”
“I know, but we don’t want her to get a big head or anything.”
“It’ll match my big stomach,” Billie said with a grin.
Daphne didn’t know what to say. Just then she heard a rapid clicking sound. She glanced around and saw a small Yorkshire terrier exploring the main salon of the harem.
“That’s Muffin,” Billie said. “My other baby.”
“I didn’t know there were any dogs at the palace,” Daphne said. “Doesn’t the king only keep cats?”
“He’s taken a liking to Muffin,” Billie said. “Which is great because she gets into all kinds of trouble.” She rubbed the small of her back. “Mind if I take a load off?”
“What? Oh, sorry. Please.” Daphne motioned to the closest grouping of sofas.
“Make yourselves comfortable.”
The women sat down. Daphne stared from one to the other, not sure what to make of them. The last time she’d been in Bahania, all of Murat’s brothers had been happy bachelors.
“I read about your weddings, of course,” she said, then glanced at Emma. “Well, not yours.”
“I know,” she said as she flipped her red hair over her shoulder. “We were a scandal. But I thought the ceremony to renew our vows was very lovely.”
“The pictures were great.” Daphne turned to Billie. “You’re married to Jefri?”
The pregnant woman nodded. “I’m embarrassed to say he swept me off my feet, and in the shoes I wear, that’s a trick.”
The women laughed. Daphne sensed their closeness and felt a twinge of envy.
She’d never had that kind of relationship with her own sisters.
Cleo scooted forward on the sofa. “There are five of us altogether. I know it sounds confusing, but it’s really simple. The king has four sons and two daughters. Of the girls, Sabrina is married to Kardal and they live, ah, out of the country. Zara, his other daughter, is married to Rafe. Zara didn’t know the king was her father until a few years ago.”
“I remember reading about that. Very romantic.”
“I thought so,” Cleo said.
Billie groaned. “You think everything is romantic.”
Emma sighed. “These two argue a lot. I think they’re too much alike. The fighting doesn’t mean anything, but sometimes it gets a little old.”
“I’m ignoring you,” Cleo said to Emma.
“Me, too,” Billie added.
Daphne couldn’t help grinning. “Do you three live in the palace?” They could certainly make her brief stay more fun.
“They do,” Emma said, pointing to the other two women. “As I said, I’m married to Reyhan, and we spend much of our time out in the desert. Reyhan inherited a house there from his aunt. Billie and Jefri and Cleo and Sadik make their home in the palace. Billie and Jefri are involved with the new air force. Billie’s a flight instructor. She flies jets.”
Daphne couldn’t imagine the big-haired sex kitten flying anything more complicated than a paper airplane. “You’re kidding?”
Billie grinned. “Never underestimate the power of a woman.”
“I guess not.”
Emma continued. “I’m in town for a few days while Reyhan has some meetings. We brought the baby.” Her face softened as she smiled. “We have a daughter.”
“That’s two for two,” Billie said. “I have a daughter, too. Wouldn’t it be funny if there weren’t any male heirs?”
“Not to the men in the family,” Daphne said.
“Good point,” Billie said. “So Zara and Sabrina will be out in a few weeks to meet you. They said to say hi for them in the meantime.”
Talk about overwhelming, Daphne thought. “You’re very sweet to visit me.”
“Not a problem,” Cleo said. She fluffed her short, blond hair. “Besides, we want all the details. This engagement has come about very quickly.”
“That’s subtle,” Billie said.
“Well, it has,” Cleo insisted.
Emma cleared her throat. “I think what she means is how wonderful that you and Murat have found each other.”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online