The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting(Desert Rogues, Book 7)(15) by Susan Mallery
She shifted in her seat and smiled. “It wasn’t easy, let me tell you. My parents really hated the idea of me living on my own, but I knew it was time. I have a good job. I can support myself.”
Reyhan stiffened. “You what?”
His father glared at him. “You abandoned your responsibility?”
“I did not.” He turned to Emma. He wasn’t surprised that she worked. Many women preferred to fill their day with a job, especially when there weren’t small children to tend to. But that she acted as if she needed the money. “You do not need to work to support yourself.”
She stared at him. “Excuse me? How would you know what I need and don’t need?”
“I left you financially provided for.”
Emma leaned back in the sofa, trying to put a little distance between herself and an obviously furious Reyhan. She wouldn’t mind his temper so much if she knew what he was so mad about. Nothing made sense. He hadn’t left her a dime.
“You didn’t do anything when you left,” she said, then winced when he seemed to puff up and get even madder.
“After we were married, I opened a checking account for your personal use. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars were put in a checking account. When the balance reached below a hundred thousand, the account was to be replenished.”
Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars? He’d left her money?
“I don’t understand,” she whispered.
“What is complicated about the information?”
Good point, she thought. But her head was spinning and nothing made sense. “Why would you take care of me?”
Wrong question, she thought as he stiffened even more.
“I am Prince Reyhan of Bahania and you are my wife. You are my responsibility.
When you did not use the money, I assumed it was out of pride and anger. I sent a letter requesting you reconsider, and then funds were withdrawn, as they have been ever since.”
Now it was her turn to get all huffy. “Wait a minute. I didn’t know about any money and I sure didn’t spend it.”
“You knew. When you refused to see me, I spoke with your father. I gave him the account information.”
Her father? “You came to see me?”
No. That’s not how it happened. Emma distinctly remembered being curled up on her bed back in her parents’ house, praying for Reyhan to contact her. But he never had. Not a note, not a phone call and certainly not a visit.
Unless he’d shown up while she’d been…ill.
“I was sick for a while,” she said, telling herself it wasn’t exactly a lie.
There’d been a sickness of spirit.
“I came by several times, in fact.”
Had he? Was it possible her parents had kept the information from her?
She thought they might not have wanted to tell her that Reyhan had been by to see her, but they never would have kept information about that kind of money from her. They loved her. They were devoted to her.
“I don’t believe you,” she said. “Not about the money. If I don’t know about it, who withdrew funds? Not my parents. They would never do that. This doesn’t make sense. You disappeared from my life for six years, only to drag me over here and tell me you want a divorce. Why should I believe anything you say?”
“Because I do not lie.”
She glanced at the king, but he seemed more amused than upset by the argument.
Which was fine. She was upset enough for two people. She turned back to Reyhan.
“Liar or not, you’ve insulted my parents and for no good reason. I don’t know what this game is, but I’m done playing it.”
She stood and walked out of the room.
After fifty feet down the hall she had the unsettling thought that it was probably considered a very bad thing to walk out on the king of Bahania. She paused, not sure if she should go back and apologize, or keep going. Before she could decide, she heard footsteps, then Reyhan rounded the corner and stopped in front of her.
He was obviously furious—tight-lipped and hard-eyed. Without speaking, he took her by the arm and led her away. She didn’t recognize the twists and turns they took, even when they ended up in front of her suite. Reyhan opened the door and hustled her inside.
When he released her, she had the strangest urge not to move away. For a split second she thought about throwing herself into his arms and begging him to hold her. As if his embrace would make things right.
Not in this universe, she thought, taking a step back and bracing herself for whatever he had to say.
His gaze narrowed. “Why do you question what I tell you?”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“Because there is proof of everything. For weeks I kept vigil outside of your parents’ home. I called or came by every day. I returned to claim you as my wife only to be told you refused to see me. I left when I received your letter.”
Emma didn’t understand any of this. “What letter?”
“The one you wrote telling me you regretted meeting me and everything about our marriage and that you only wanted me to disappear.”
He spoke stiffly, as if the words were difficult to say.
“That’s crazy,” she told him. “I never wrote that.”
She hadn’t thought it, either. Not at the time. She’d longed to see Reyhan, but he’d abandoned her.
“You used me,” she continued. “I don’t know why, but you got it in your head you
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