The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting(Desert Rogues, Book 7)(23) by Susan Mallery
Fierce gladness flashed through her. Reyhan was aroused. She excited him as much as he excited her. The thought thrilled her then was lost as he licked the sensitive skin under her ear, and she was unable to think about anything other than the exquisite sensations he created.
Heat was everywhere. His fingers burned, his body warmed. She found herself wanting to strip off clothing and bare herself. The large room and hard marble floors offered neither privacy nor comfort, but she didn’t care.
She breathed his name, and when his mouth returned to hers, she was the one to slip her tongue against his lower lip before dipping inside.
He tasted faintly of coffee, with a little sweetness she couldn’t explain. He continued to press against her, rubbing his arousal against her belly. She wanted to raise herself up on tiptoe so he could rub her there and pleasure them both.
One of his hands moved from her rear to her hip, then traveled higher. Her br**sts swelled in anticipation of his touch. She wrapped both arms around his neck and clung to him so that when he reached his destination, she would not collapse at his feet.
Closer and closer and closer until she nearly begged him out loud. At last he cupped her right breast and brushed his thumb against her tight nipple.
Pleasure jolted her like lightning. She gasped, then nipped at his lower lip while he continued to stroke her. She could feel tension building between her thighs, the dampness of her panties and the trembling in her legs.
And then he was gone. He stepped back and stared at her. His breath came in rapid pants. Passion brightened his eyes and tightened the lines of his face.
She didn’t have the courage to glance lower, to see that he wanted her, but she knew.
They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Emma wished she knew what to say, or even how to ask why he’d stopped when they were both so obviously willing. But nothing in her life had prepared her for such a reaction, so she couldn’t find the words.
“I must return to my office,” Reyhan said at last. “You will find your way back to your rooms.”
It was a statement rather than a question, and Emma wasn’t sure she could speak, let alone argue. She watched him walk away, then she staggered a few feet to one of the columns and leaned against it until her heartbeat slowed to normal.
She didn’t understand what was happening with Reyhan. She hadn’t seen him in years. Why was he getting to her? And why did he have to be the only man who made her want with such incredible intensity?
“Too many questions,” she whispered when she could finally think and breathe like a normal person. “No answers.” Just a man who made her burn and a ticking clock that reminded her it would soon be time to leave.
Reyhan didn’t return to his office right away. He detoured through the far end of the palace, walking briskly in an attempt to burn off the passion and need that Emma had created.
Nothing had changed. Emma’s pull over him remained absolute. She could bring him to his knees with just a glance. When she touched him—he would capture the moon if she so requested.
He could never let her know the power she had over him, could never let her know his weakness for her. He paused by a window and stared uneasily out at the view.
He would control this, he told himself. He would stay in control.
In a few days she would be gone and there would be relief. But instead of anticipation, he felt only pain at the thought of his world without her. The ache inside of him deepened.
So much time had passed, he’d hoped that he could face her and not care, not need. But he’d been wrong. Worse, she responded to him with the wants and desires of an experienced woman. She was no longer the frightened child he’d married.
Who had taught her to kiss so expertly? he wondered grimly. What man had tutored the woman who belonged to him? Passion blended with rage as his hands curled into fists. Were that man here now, Reyhan would rip him apart.
No! Control. He had to get control. Emma might be the color in his world, but she was also dangerous. Better to live in shades of gray than risk everything.
Just a few more days. Then she would be gone and he would be free.
The main marketplace was so filled with light and color, it was like stepping inside of a kaleidoscope. Emma didn’t know where to look first. Wooden stalls lined the wide stone street and everywhere she turned there were more wonders to be seen. Bright silks puddling like quivering gems, copper pots of every shape and size, fruits, vegetables and rich, supple leather goods tempted her to step closer and touch.
In addition to the visual display, there were also strange and intriguing scents—sandalwood, coconut, exotic flowers and spices blended with wood smoke and the underlying musk of perfumes. A hundred conversations blended into a unique musical accompaniment with the call of the merchants, the barking of dogs and the laughter of the children racing through the back alleys.
“It’s wonderful,” she breathed, pausing to stare into the eyes of a camel tied up at a corner. “Like something out of a movie.”
She smiled at Reyhan, who nodded.
“There are few sights that compare with an open-air market,” he told her. “We have one of the oldest and largest in the world.”
She smiled at a young woman holding a baby. The woman ducked her head and slowly backed away. Emma knew it wasn’t because of her—no one knew her from a rock.
Instead it was the presence of a prince, and the three large and hostile-looking bodyguards that were assigned to accompany them. The well-dressed and well-armed men kept the other shoppers at least an arm’s distance away and discouraged casual conversation.
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