The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting(Desert Rogues, Book 7)(61) by Susan Mallery
He knew what she asked, what she wanted. He knew the truth—it was better to be safe and alone. Better to walk away.
He started to do just that, but before he did so, he allowed himself one last look at her. He took in her beautiful face, the slight tilt of her eyes and the fullness of her mouth. He memorized the sound of her laugh and how she scowled when she was angry. He pictured her hair up, as she’d worn it to the formal reception at the palace.
His gaze dropped lower to her full br**sts, the tight ni**les that called to him like a siren. Wanting stirred, but he ignored it. Next he studied her narrow waist and the fullness of her hips. He felt badly about the child they’d lost, about the pain she’d suffered alone. Had she been recovering when he’d first tried to see her? Her father had said she was ill. Reyhan had assumed the old man was lying, but perhaps not.
They hadn’t used birth control. Why hadn’t he considered the possibility of her having his child?
A son, he thought with regret. Or a pretty little girl of five who ran through the halls of the palace and wrapped him around her finger as much as he would wrap her around his heart.
Standing there naked, with sunlight filling the room, Reyhan felt the weight of all he’d lost when he’d abandoned Emma, and the weight of it made it impossible for him to stand. He sank to his knees.
She was at his side in an instant.
“Don’t let me go,” she pleaded. “We’ve been given a second chance. Can’t you see how rare and precious that is?”
He clung to her because she was as she had always been—his lifeline. He had tried to live without her. He had convinced himself a cold gray world was a safe place to be, but it was not living. It was an existence that offended those brave enough to reach for what they wanted.
“I am a man humbled by a woman,” he said, taking her face in his hands and kissing her.
“I am the one who is humbled,” she breathed as she kissed him over and over again. “I love you, Reyhan. For always.”
“And I love you. From the first moment I saw you.”
He drew her into his arms then carried her to the bed where he settled both of them on the tangled sheets.
“Stay with me,” he pleaded. “Love me. Have my children, work at my side, fill my nights and my heart.”
Tears spilled out of the corners of her eyes. “Yes. For always.”
He wrapped his arms around her. Emma could feel the steady beating of his heart.
His skin was warm against her own, both comforting and arousing.
There was much to discuss, she thought as she snuggled closer still. Where they would make their home—either here or the pink palace. How often she would be visiting her parents in Texas. What Reyhan was going to say when she told him she loved her work too much to give it up. While being a delivery room nurse would be difficult, she would have to find another way to use her skills.
Last, and perhaps most important, she wondered when she would tell him about the tiny life growing inside of her. She knew with the certainty that had served women well since the dawn of time that they had made a baby that morning. A child who would be the first of many. The new life was their promise to each other—that they would love with all their hearts. Having nearly lost everything, they would hold on to each other while nurturing a love as constant and endless as the desert itself.
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