The Sheikh and the Virgin Secretary(Desert Rogues, Book 10)(46) by Susan Mallery
“I will call my parents later this evening,” he said. “I’m sure they will want to fly out and meet you.”
She curled back up in the chair. “There goes my good mood.”
“You will like them and they will like you.”
“Uh-huh.” She didn’t sound convinced. “Then they’re going to want to meet my parents, and even if they don’t, my folks will want to meet them. We’re going to have to have some kind of group parental meeting. Let’s do that here rather than in Sacramento.”
“A brunch,” he said, appreciating the irony of borrowing his mother’s idea.
“Oh, that would work. It’s less formal.”
“We’ll have to make an announcement to the press, as well. That will come from my father’s office, but we must make sure your family knows before they read about it in a magazine.”
“There are other considerations,” he said. “The wedding will have to be a formal state event.”
She practically writhed in her chair. “Yeah, I guessed that was the case. I saw the British royal family’s weddings on television. It won’t be that big, will it?”
“No. There will be four or five hundred guests, about half of whom are dignitaries.”
Kiley wasn’t sure how much more of this she could take. The idea of a formal, state wedding made her stomach hurt. She didn’t want to be a princess, a figure-head or anything the least bit official. She wanted to marry Rafiq, stay in this house and have babies.
But that wasn’t going to be the plan. He wasn’t just some guy she’d fallen for—he was Prince Rafiq of Lucia-Serrat—a fact that had been interesting but not especially important until he’d slid the ring on her finger.
She glanced down at the sparkling diamond. She could never have imagined her dreams coming true this way. The most she’d allowed herself to fantasize about was his extending their affair. But marriage? How did she ever get so lucky?
“I haven’t the faintest idea how to plan a royal wedding,” she said.
“I know. After I tell my parents, I’ll have someone trained in such matters flown out. While the wedding itself will be on the island, we can do the planning from here.”
Which sounded lovely, but she had a feeling that Rafiq was going to be a typical male. There wouldn’t be so much “we” in the wedding planning as there would be “her.”
“There are probably a lot of rules we have to follow?” she asked.
“Some. The ceremony will be in the main church on the island, and the reception is held at the crown prince’s royal residence.”
“At least I don’t have to go hunting for locations.”
His expression softened. “Did you have somewhere special in mind?”
“No.” She hadn’t allowed herself to consider it. Not with him. “I’m okay with tradition as long as someone can tell me what’s expected.”
“I assure you, the wedding planner will be very clear on that. However, you must be willing to stand up to him. There are traditions, but this is also your wedding. I wish you to make it everything you want it to be. Don’t give in on what’s important. I can’t know your mind unless you speak it, Kiley. Tell me if you’re having trouble getting through to him and I will intervene.”
“Thanks, but I’ll be okay.” Dealing with the wedding planner could be her initial princess-in-training test. She intended to pass the first time.
“We have to talk about your job.”
Kiley started to protest, then pressed her lips together. “You’re saying it’s not appropriate for your future wife to be your secretary?”
“Something like that.”
“But I like working for you.”
“And I enjoy having you in the office. To be honest, you’re the most efficient assistant I’ve had in a long time. I don’t want to make a change, but your priorities must be elsewhere.”
He made sense. Once word of their engagement got out, she would be busy with other things. She wasn’t sure what, but no doubt she would find out in time. If nothing else, she would have to learn about Lucia-Serrat. She knew a little of the island by virtue of working for Rafiq, but not enough to represent it as the princess.
Kiley still had trouble getting her mind around that concept. A princess? Her? And yet it came with marrying Rafiq.
While she was on the subject of improbabilities, what about the engagement? As much as she’d fallen in love with him, she’d never dreamed he would return her affection and want to make things permanent. It was as if every dream she’d ever had had come true.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked. “You have the most intriguing smile.”
“Do I?” Her smile widened. “I was thinking how lucky I am. I love you so much and I was heartbroken at the thought of having to leave.”
He stood and moved toward her. “And now?”
She rose. “Now I get to stay forever.”
He reached for her. She went into his arms with a practiced ease. They had made love so many times in the past few weeks that there was a sense of the familiar.
Yet at the same time, everything felt new and delicious.
Even as he began to kiss her, she felt herself needing him. Her body melted, heated, swelled and readied for his sensual assault.
When he tilted his head and claimed her with his tongue, she parted instantly.
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