The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting(Desert Rogues, Book 7)(47) by Susan Mallery
“But the dance isn’t over,” Emma said. “Can’t we finish the dance?”
Instead of answering, he drew her close and kissed her.
She melted into his embrace, parting her lips instantly and clinging to him. She stroked his tongue with her own and moaned softly. Her hands slipped under his jacket where she rubbed his back.
“Better than dancing,” she whispered when he pulled back to kiss her jaw, then her neck. “I’ll give up dancing for kissing you anytime.”
He nibbled the sensitive skin below her ear and made her groan. She reached for his hands and brought them to her br**sts.
As he cupped her full curves, he stared into her eyes and saw an answering passion there.
“Make love with me,” she pleaded.
He knew how right it would feel. How good things would be between them. He knew she was wet to his hard, yielding and aroused. He knew he could claim her, mark her, make her his. And he knew the price he would pay if he did.
Without saying a word, he dropped his hands to his sides, turned and walked away. Emma’s soft cry of pain made him pause, but only for a second. Then he resumed his stride and left the ballroom without looking back.
Emma couldn’t tell how much of the ache in her body came from her champagne hangover and how much came from humiliation. It wasn’t just that Reyhan had left her alone at the party, it was that he’d kissed her and touched her, making her think he wanted her, and then he’d walked away. She felt both hurt and bruised, as if he’d been playing kick ball with her heart.
She curled up in the dining room chair and tried to work up some interest in the breakfast laid out there, but it wasn’t happening. She’d taken a walk on the balcony encircling this level of the palace and that hadn’t helped, either.
Maybe she should shower and see if she could wash away the sense of having been a fool for a man who hadn’t even noticed.
She stood and stretched. The good news is her parents were heading off to have a good time. The cruise was leaving that afternoon. As far as she could tell, they hadn’t witnessed her humiliation, so she wasn’t going to have to talk about it with them. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to stop thinking about it.
She headed for the bathroom. What had gone wrong? One second Reyhan had been kissing her as if he’d really enjoyed it. He’d been the one to pull her into the alcove, he’d been the one touching her. Except she’d brought his hands to her br**sts. Had he disliked her being aggressive? Did he need to be in charge?
She didn’t want to think that was true. He’d never been weird about having to “be the man.” Not that she had a whole lot of sexual experience with him or anyone. Had she freaked him out when she’d—
Emma had been so deep in thought she hadn’t noticed the steam and heat in the bathroom. It was only as she came around the corner and saw Reyhan stepping out of the shower that she realized she wasn’t alone.
He was wet and naked. Water dripped from his arms and legs, from his hair.
Droplets ran down his cheeks. Her gaze met his and she found herself unable to turn away.
In less than two seconds, she went from hurt and hungover to hungry. She wanted to touch him all over and have him touch her back. She was aware of his arousal growing, thickening. As if he was getting as turned on as she was.
She licked her lips. “What are you doing here? You’re usually gone long before I wake up.”
“I went riding at sunrise and came back to shower.”
He was now fully erect. The sight of him made her midsection clench. He obviously wanted her, so why was he just standing there?
He reached out his arm. For one brief heartbeat, she thought he was going to pull her close. Instead he grabbed a towel and turned his back on her.
“I’ll be done in a few minutes.”
It was a very polite invitation to leave.
Emma dropped her head, realized the sudden burning in her eyes came from unshed tears and fled to her bedroom. She closed the door behind herself and leaned against it.
Ten days ago she’d considered the king’s insistence that she stay for another two months a stroke of good fortune. Now it was torture—a prison sentence that trapped her with a man who wanted nothing to do with her.
Reyhan read his e-mail without understanding what any of it said. Instead of words he saw Emma’s hurt eyes and the tears that had filled them as she turned away from him and fled the bathroom. Two hours and three meetings later, he hadn’t been able to erase the memory of her confusion and pain.
He’d caused her that pain. No matter how much he wanted to escape the truth, it remained. He’d never meant to hurt her and the need to make it up to her was strong.
He instantly thought of returning to their room and offering her what they both wanted. That would ease the throbbing inside of him and hopefully bring her pleasure. But he couldn’t risk it for himself and he wouldn’t make her promises he did not intend to keep.
Determined to lose himself in his work, he returned his attention to his e-mail.
An hour or so later, his phone buzzed and his assistant announced that Will was on the phone.
“There’s been a change in circumstances,” his head of security said as soon as Reyhan came on the line.
Reyhan swore. “What?”
“I’m holding Fadl.”
Fadl was the son of a prominent chief. “What happened?”
“He was caught stealing drilling equipment. Two other men were with him.”
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