The Sheikh and the Virgin Secretary(Desert Rogues, Book 10)(15) by Susan Mallery
“So much potential,” Gerald told Rafiq as he looked Kiley over. “I have the list you sent me and several things already picked out.”
Kiley reclaimed her hands and shifted closer to Rafiq. “You sent him a list?”
“Yes. Of events. Via e-mail.”
Of course. Otherwise, how would they know what to buy?
“What can I get you?” Gerald asked. “Champagne? Wine?”
Kiley had a feeling that liquor was a bad idea. “I’ll have a glass of sparkling water, if you have it.”
Rafiq ordered scotch, then leaned close to her. “Sparkling water. You’re so wild.”
“Hey, I got it with lime.”
He smiled at her and in that moment, time stood still. Kiley didn’t know what to make of it. Why did one smile matter? But she couldn’t help feeling happy and a little floaty as he and Gerald discussed her clothing needs.
She took the glass of sparkling water that one of the sales clerks offered her and nearly choked when she heard the word lingerie.
Gerald excused himself to prepare the dressing room. Kiley turned to Rafiq.
“But why?” She shook her head. “Never mind. It’s probably a good idea. I buy my stuff on sale. I doubt you’d be impressed.”
“It is more about the present than the wrapping, but sometimes the wrapping is nice, too.”
She’d never thought of lingerie as wrapping, but she supposed it was. Several minutes later she found herself trying on slacks and blouses, sweaters and boots. There was an entire collection of casual clothes. She put on each outfit and walked out for Rafiq’s nod of approval. He often asked her opinion, agreeing when she liked something, telling her not to get it if she didn’t.
After a half hour or so of casual wear, she moved into cocktail dresses. There were flirty designs with asymmetrical hems and black silk with beading. These were followed by actual formal gowns.
Kiley found herself zipped into one that was strapless, velvet and flowing. The garment swayed with her movements. The strapless style showed off more than she was used to but she didn’t feel exposed. Instead she ran her hands down the velvet clinging to her body and knew this was the one.
“I love it,” she said as she burst out of the dressing room and twirled in front of Rafiq. “Isn’t it the best? Don’t you love the skirt?” She held it out for him, then spun again. “Even the shoes are fabulous.” She held out one foot to show the strappy silver sandals Gerald had brought her. “They hurt, but beauty is pain.”
Rafiq stood and moved next to her. “So you like it?”
“I love it. But seriously, where exactly am I going to wear something like this?”
“To the fund-raiser on Friday.”
“Really? You mean I can get it?”
He smiled. “You are unlike anyone I’ve known before. So very earnest.”
“No. Not earnest. I want to be sexy and exotic and—”
He cut off the rest of her sentence by pulling her close and kissing her. There were no preliminaries this time, no gentle teasing. Instead he claimed her, thrusting into her mouth and taking what he wanted.
Had someone described such a kiss to Kiley, she would have sworn she would hate it, but in reality, she found herself eager to surrender. The act of being taken by a man who knew exactly what he was doing was a short road to pleasure. Blood heated, her thighs trembled, and soon she found herself forgetting about everything but the need to be as close to him as possible.
At last he drew back and rested his hands on her shoulders. “What were you saying?” he asked.
“I haven’t got a clue.”
“Good. We will take the dress because it was made for you.”
He turned her toward the dressing room, kissed her bare shoulder and then gave her a little push.
She moved as if in a dream. Wow, talk about an easy way to cloud her mind and change the subject. He was really good at that whole kissing thing. They should do it more.
But when Kiley walked into the spacious dressing room, she found herself suddenly nervous again. Not because of what Rafiq had done, but because of the lace and silk nightgown hanging directly in front of her.
Oh, my. So, was she expected to, ah, try that on and model it?
She crossed the carpeted floor and stood in front of the lingerie. In theory she could be covered, but the lace didn’t leave all that much to the imagination.
Still, this was for Rafiq and he was going to see her naked eventually. She might as well get used to the idea. Besides, so far all their physical contact had been pretty spectacular.
She removed the evening gown and the sandals, then slipped off her strapless bra. As she reached for the nightgown, she would have sworn the lights dimmed just a little.
The silk and lace slid down her body. The cool fabric made her shiver, but not as much as when the door suddenly opened and Rafiq entered the large dressing room.
He seemed taller, bigger and more dangerous. She’d always known he was a man, but at that moment he seemed even more male. Almost predatory.
She had the urge to cover herself, but instead forced herself to stand still, with her chin raised. She wanted this. At least, that was the theory.
His dark gaze swept over her, settling on her face. “You’re very beautiful,” he said.
“Do you believe me?”
“I want to.”
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