The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting(Desert Rogues, Book 7)(16) by Susan Mallery
wanted to sleep with me, so you pretended to care about me.” She couldn’t say the word love, not even now. “You took advantage of me for a long weekend, then took off. No explanation, nothing.”
It took a lot to get her angry, but once she was on a roll, she liked to keep going. She remembered the pain and humiliation of being tossed aside like a broken toy.
“You promised me things,” she said, her voice rising. “You talked about our life together and I believed you. I trusted you and you just took what you wanted and walked away.”
“I left because a beloved aunt died.”
“Did the funeral take six weeks to prepare? Did you ever once call me? Did you think to tell me what was going on?”
He frowned. “Of course. I phoned nearly every day.”
She rolled her eyes. “Oh, right. And I just happened to be out.”
“That is what I was told.”
She turned her back on him and walked to the floor-to-ceiling glass wall. None of this mattered, she told herself, trying to cool her temper. Soon it would be behind her. She had to remember the big picture.
Reyhan spoke into the silence. “If you think so little of men, you must be pleased to be rid of me. Just a few more days and the marriage will be over. As if it had never existed.”
Fury surged. “Right. Because you can dismiss what happened. Because it didn’t matter.” She spun back to face it. “It mattered to me. Do you have any idea how innocent I was? I’d barely kissed one boy in high school. And then there was you. You didn’t just seduce me, Reyhan, you took what you wanted, without regard for my feelings. I’ll never forgive that.”
His expression turned menacing. “You were more than willing.”
“I was terrified. Now I’d know better. Now I’d tell you no.”
“Are you saying I had you against your will?”
He hadn’t, not exactly, but she was mad. “Yes.”
“You were a child, only interested in chaste kisses and expensive presents. A child who couldn’t please a man.”
That hurt. She tried not to remember how embarrassed she’d been, how awkward and unsure.
“You were a man who couldn’t be bothered with seducing his bride. Instead you just took.”
They were both enraged, breathing hard and glaring at each other. A part of her was terrified, but she refused to back down. Not even when he moved closer still. Not even when he reached behind her and grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up against him.
“If that is who I am,” he said with frighteningly soft menace, “a liar and a defiler of women, then there is no point in holding back now.”
He kissed her. Not the soft kiss of seduction or coaxing, but a kiss of power.
He was a man with something to prove. His firm lips pressed hard against her own, claiming her with passion.
She wanted to protest, to scream, to pull back, but she could not. They touched everywhere. Her body pressed against his, their legs tangled. She put up her hands to push him away, but when her palms brushed against the hard planes of his suit-covered chest, she found herself unable to protest…or even breathe.
Fire consumed her. Hot and hungry, it swept through her, melting her resolve, her reason. Against her will, she found herself moving her hands from his chest to his shoulders. She clung to him because letting go would mean collapsing at his feet. Worse, she kissed him back.
She couldn’t explain it, and given the choice, she would probably deny it, but there it was. A need that grew. Wanting was alive inside of her. In that moment, with his mouth against hers and his hands moving from the back of her head to her shoulders, then to her hips, she couldn’t get close enough.
Emma wanted to surrender, to crawl inside of him. When his kiss gentled and he stroked her lower lip with his tongue, she parted for him and anticipated his more intimate kiss.
At the first stroke of his tongue against her own it was all she could do not to scream. At the second, she ceased to have a will of her own. And with the third, she clamped her lips around him, greedily holding him in place, wanting him to kiss her forever.
She ached. Her br**sts, between her legs, all over. Her skin felt hot and too tight. She wanted to strip her dress off and have him touch her everywhere. She wanted to be naked, vulnerable, offering herself to him.
She rubbed one hand against the back of his neck. He held on to her hips and then dropped his hands to her rear where he squeezed the curves. She surged against him, wanting to rub like a lonely cat. But before she could put her plan into action he broke the kiss and stepped away.
They stared at each other. Loud breathing filled the silence. Emma was pleased to note that Reyhan looked as swept away by passion as she felt.
Perhaps they should call a truce, she thought. Start over as friends. Friends who could bring about the end of the world with just a kiss.
“You have learned much in my absence,” Reyhan said, his cold voice contrasting with the fire in his eyes. “Before you accuse me of more sins, you should look at yourself. A wife who takes lovers. Isn’t there a name for that?”
Her mouth dropped open, but before she could snap back at him, he was gone.
Emma glared at the shut door and yelped in anger and frustration.
“That is not fair!” she yelled into the empty room. “I didn’t know we were married and you know it.”
Besides, there hadn’t been any other men. Not seriously. And she’d never allowed any of them into her bed. If she kissed better now, it was because she was older, and because kissing Reyhan had made her feel things she’d never felt before. Not even with him.
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