The Sheikh and the Runaway Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 4)(64) by Susan Mallery
“They’re in here somewhere,” she said, digging through the gold, diamonds and other precious stones.
She opened a second trunk, then third. Finally she crowed in triumph and pulled out a pair of slave bracelets. They were solid gold and intricately carved. They were also much larger than hers—designed to fit a man’s wrists and forearms.
Hassan raised his eyebrows. “I am most impressed with your creativity.”
Still smiling she hurried back to the villa’s foyer. Everyone was still there, including Kardal who remained on his knees. She crossed to him and motioned to the guards to release him.
“I have decided,” she said.
Kardal waited until his wrists were unbound, then he rose and stood in front of her. She held out the slave bracelets. Kardal looked at her, then at the gold symbols of servitude. Without saying anything, he put his arms out straight in front of him. She locked the bracelets in place.
“Just as a reminder that I could have had you banished,” she said, watching his expression. “Although I’ve decided to marry you instead.”
Love and pleasure lit his eyes. He touched her cheek. “Most couples prefer to exchange rings of some kind.”
“We’re not most couples,” she told him.
He pulled her close and kissed her. “I will spend the rest of my life proving myself to you, Sabrina. I am deeply sorry that I hurt you. I did not intend to make you feel that I didn’t care.”
“Then you forgive me?”
“I love you. I don’t have a choice.”
He gazed into her eyes. “You had one today. I would have come for you regardless of my fate.”
“I know, but now you can have me and the city.”
“I have loved the city all my life,” he admitted, “but you will always possess my heart.”
His lips touched hers again. Behind them she heard Cala sigh.
“I am relieved that is over,” her father said. “I really thought she might banish him. And then what would we have done?” He cleared his throat. “Now I must go home and deal with the rest of my family.”
Sabrina raised her head and looked at her father. “Are my brothers all right? Is something wrong?”
Hassan smiled. “Not in the way you mean. I have four sons in need of wives. It is past time they married and still they resist me.”
“I could never resist you,” Kardal whispered in her ear. “Are you ready to go home, my desert bird? We have a wedding to plan.”
She smiled at him. “We have a couple of other things to do as well. One of them is to find the keys to these slave bracelets.”
He laughed. “I will love you forever, Sabrina. I will be as constant as the desert, for all of our lives and into the next.”
“That works for me,” she told him.
They turned and headed out into the bright morning light, ready to begin the adventure of their lives.
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