The Sheik and the Bride Who Said No(Desert Rogues, Book 9)(22) by Susan Mallery
“Your brain wants me, as well,” he told her. “You resist only to be stubborn. I am pleased the sexual spark has lasted so long between us. It bodes well for our marriage. You will be a good wife and provide me with many strong, healthy, intelligent children, including an heir to carry on the monarchy.”
“And my reward in all this is your pleasure. Gee, how thrilling.”
He refused to be provoked by her. “Your reward is in the honor I bestow upon you. I believe you already understand that, and in time you will grow more comfortable showing me your pleasure in your situation.”
She opened her mouth, then closed it. He could almost see the steam building up inside of her.
“Of all the arrogant, egotistical, annoying things you’ve ever said to me,” she began.
He cut her off with a wave of his hand. “Say what you like, but I know the truth. You’re already begging to love me. In a matter of weeks you will want nothing but the pleasure of being near me.”
“When pigs fly.”
Daphne thought Murat was assuming an awful lot, especially that she was interested in him sexually. Whatever warm and yummy feelings he’d generated a couple of minutes ago with his hot kisses and knowing hands, he’d destroyed with a few badly chosen words.
“I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last man alive. I said no before, I’m saying no again. No. No!”
The infuriating man simply smiled. “Mr. Peterson will be here shortly. I trust you will act appropriately.”
Anger filled her. She reached for something to throw, but there was only her clay statue, and she loved it too much to smash it.
“Get out!” she yelled.
“As you wish, my bride.”
She screamed and grabbed the remaining block of clay. When she turned back, Murat had already walked toward the harem itself. Even though she knew she couldn’t throw that far, she pitched the clay at him and had the satisfaction of hearing it splat on the stone path.
“I’ll get you for this,” she vowed. Somehow, some way, she would come up with a plan, and he would be sorry he’d ever tried to mess with her.
Mr. Peterson might be old and valued but he was also the prissiest man Daphne had ever met.
He was small—maybe five-four—so she towered over him even in low-heeled sandals.
He had the delicate bone structure of a bird, with tiny hands and feet. Next to him she felt like an awkward and ill-mannered Amazon giant.
“Ms. Snowden,” he said as he entered the harem and bowed. “It is more than a great pleasure to meet you.”
She wasn’t sure how it could be more than a great pleasure, but she wasn’t the fancy-party expert.
“The pleasure is mine,” she said as she led the way to the sitting area and motioned to the collection of sofas there.
Mr. Peterson looked them over closely, then chose the one that was lowest to the floor. No doubt he hated when his feet dangled.
She sat across from him and wondered how badly this was going to go. Mr.
Peterson wanted to plan a wedding and she didn’t. That was bound to create some friction.
“We’re working on a very tight schedule,” he began as he set his briefcase on the table in front of him and opened the locks with a click.
She noticed that the silk hankie in his jacket breast pocket perfectly matched his tie. He sounded as if he’d been born in Britain but hadn’t lived there in a number of years. Perhaps he’d moved here with his parents back in the eighteenth century.
“Prince Murat informed me that the wedding will be in four months,” he said.
“I’ll be providing you with historical information on previous weddings, along with my list of suggestions on flower choices and the like. Some of my ideas may seem silly to a modern young woman such as yourself, but we have a history here in Bahania. A long and honorable history that needs to be respected.”
He drew in his breath for what she assumed would be another long speech specifically designed to make her feel like a twelve-year-old who had just spilled fruit punch on a very important houseguest.
She decided it was time to change the direction of the conversation.
“There isn’t going to be a wedding,” she said, and had the satisfaction of watching Mr. Peterson freeze in place.
It was amazing. The man didn’t breathe or move or do anything but sit there, one hand grasping a sheath of papers, another reaching for a pen. At last he blinked.
“No wedding,” she said, speaking slowly. “I’m not marrying Murat.”
“Prince Murat,” he said.
He was correcting her address of the man who wanted to marry her?
“Prince or not, there’s no engagement.”
She doubted that. “So there’s no point in us having this conversation. I do appreciate that you were willing to stop by though. It was very kind of you.”
She offered a bright smile in the hopes that the little man would simply stand and leave. But of course her luck wasn’t that good.
“Prince Murat assures me that—”
“I know what he told you and what he’s thinking, but he’s wrong. No wedding. N-O on the wedding front. Am I making myself clear?”
Mr. Peterson obviously hadn’t been expecting a reluctant bride. He fussed with his papers for a few seconds, then picked up his pen. “About the guest list. I was told you come from a large and distinguished family. Do you have any idea how many of them will be attending?”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online