The Sheik and the Princess Bride(Desert Rogues, Book 8)(55) by Susan Mallery
His mouth found hers, even as his arms wrapped around her body and drew her close. She went willingly, wishing she could climb inside and be a part of him forever. She wanted to feel his heat, his strength. She wanted to know all of him. Even as his mouth pressed against hers and she rediscovered the glory of kissing him, she was aware of his hard body, so different from her own.
Everything felt right, she thought as she tilted her head and parted her lips.
He claimed her instantly, sweeping inside her mouth and touching her tongue with his.
He tasted as tempting as she remembered. They moved together in a dance designed to arouse and incite. She clutched his shoulders, hanging on to keep from falling. He pressed his fingers against her back, as if afraid she would bolt.
Had she been able to speak, she would have told him she never wanted to leave.
That his arms would always be home. But to say the words meant breaking the kiss and that she couldn’t do.
She wasn’t sure how long they stood there, kissing, holding, wanting. Need built inside, but the sensation was bittersweet. Unfulfilled desire added a sharpness to her broken heart. She raised her hands to his head and tunneled her fingers through his hair.
And still they kissed—pressing, rubbing, wanting. He pulled back enough to nibble along her jaw. She sighed her pleasure as he kissed the sensitive skin on her neck. Their breathing increased until they were both nearly panting. Finally he drew back and cupped her face.
“Why do you leave me?” he asked, his voice thick with emotion.
She didn’t ask how he knew she would go. She supposed there were those who would say, “Stay. See each other on the side. No one has to know.” But that wasn’t them.
“You have a life here and I belong somewhere else.”
“The skies?” he asked.
He brushed his thumbs against her cheeks, wiping away tears she hadn’t felt fall. Emotions filled his dark eyes.
“I love you, Billie,” he said quietly. “With my heart and my soul. You have my heart in your possession. Treat it kindly.”
She’d hoped he would admit he cared, but she’d never expected this. Tears flowed faster.
“I love you, too. More than anything.” She sniffed, then stepped back and wiped her face. “This is so stupid.”
She laughed. “No. Me crying. For the first time in my life, a man is telling me he loves me and all I can do is cry.”
“I am touched by your tears. You are not a woman who cries often.”
That was true. “I try to save them for special occasions.”
“I’ve never had an occasion like this.”
She’d always thought that when she fell in love and that man loved her back, things would be happier than they were right now.
He moved close and kissed her.
“You are magic,” he said. “I never expected to find someone like you. Not now.”
Not while he was engaged.
His mouth twisted. He stepped back and clenched his hands into fists. “This is madness. I will go to her and tell her it is impossible. You are the one I want to be with. Not that child.”
The words were exquisite torture, she thought, as the weight of the pain nearly drove her to her knees. That he would offer to do that for her.
She looked at him. More than offer, she thought. He meant it.
“You can’t,” she said, forcing herself to speak the truth while she still had the strength. “She loves you.”
“She doesn’t know what love is.”
“Perhaps, but she cares as much as she can.”
He dismissed her with a wave. Billie grabbed his arm.
“I’ve been spending time with her,” she said. “You are all she speaks about.
Every thought she has, everything she does is for you. She speaks about having your children, growing old with you. She talks about her duty to your country.”
She released him and ducked her head.
“I’ve tried to convince her otherwise,” she admitted. “Just little hints that she could have a different life if she wanted. A career. Freedom to travel. Meet other men.” She squared her shoulders and forced herself to look at him. “I’m not proud of that, but I did it.”
He pulled her close and kissed her. “I’m sure you were kindness itself.”
“I was selfish. But the point is, Tahira was never interested. You’re her world.
You gave your word and we both have to respect that.”
“So the three of us are destined to unhappy lives?”
She didn’t want to think of that. “In time,” she began.
He released her. “In time what? I’ll grow to love her? Knowing how I feel about you, do you believe I could love Tahira? Are there two women more different?”
“You have to try.”
“I see. And what about you? Will you go look for another man?”
Eventually, she thought. “I’ll have to. I want a husband and a family.”
Jefri turned away. She felt his pain because it was her own.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
He shook his head. “No. You are wise. I am the fool. I wish for what I cannot have and refuse to accept anything less.”
He turned back to her and reached into his pocket. “I have something for you. I have been carrying it around for a long time, not sure if I should give it to you. If you would accept.”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online