The Sheikh and the Virgin Secretary(Desert Rogues, Book 10)(59) by Susan Mallery
The wife of the Prince of Thieves offered an incredible Ming dynasty vase collection as a wedding gift without being clear on where it had come from.
Princess Dora of El Bahar exchanged phone numbers with Princess Daphne of Bahania, and Kiley felt as if she’d fallen into the middle of a very exciting, very royal soap opera.
Kiley could have been intimidated by her new friends and relatives, but when she saw the light of love in the men’s eyes, the same love she saw in Rafiq’s, she knew there was nothing to fear. These strong, powerful kings and princes weren’t all that different from other men. They worked, they worried, they loved. The desert blood that flowed through their bodies made them loyal unto death, and she couldn’t wait to be a part of all that.
On the morning of her wedding, her sisters and her mother helped her into her beautiful white gown. There were buttons to fasten, shoes to slip into and a tiara to anchor to her short hair. Rafiq had sent sapphires to match her eyes, rubies to represent his heart and a diamond necklace to bind them together always.
At last it was time. Ann and Heather walked down the aisle first, then Kiley linked arms with her father and they moved toward the entrance to the church.
“You sure about this?” her father joked. “We could still make a run for it.”
She laughed. “I love you, Daddy. I’ll miss you and mom so much, but this is where I belong.”
He kissed her cheek. “I always knew you were a princess, honey. I just didn’t know you were going to get a crown to go with it.”
The tall doors to the church opened, and Kiley and her father stepped inside.
There were nearly five hundred guests in attendance. Music swelled to the high rafters, and sunlight poured through the stained-glass windows. But Kiley didn’t see any of it. For her there was only one person there. A man who waited, who loved her.
Rafiq stood at the end of the long aisle, and she had to remind herself to walk slowly. A bride racing to her groom would give the press too much to talk about.
So she took small steps and smiled at the guests, but in her heart she waited to be with her prince. And when she finally stood next to him, he took her hands and gazed at her.
“I’m going to be saying it for all the world to hear,” he told her quietly, “but I want to say it to you first. I love you, Kiley.”
“I love you, too.” She smiled. “I was thinking about how all this started. With that very unusual question.”
He grinned. “As it happens, I’m not looking for a mistress. I’m looking for a wife. Interested?”
The minister cleared his throat. “The wedding?”
Rafiq squeezed her fingers. “Sure. Let’s do that.”
The old man smiled, then spoke in a solemn voice. “Dearly beloved…”
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