The Sheikh's Secret Bride(Desert Rogues, Book 3)(32) by Susan Mallery
“Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God,” she murmured under her breath, coming to a stop just inside the entrance. “I don’t think I can do this.” She turned to Malik and stared at him. “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been with a man?” She was shaking all over and her voice carried a distinct tremor with the words.
“Years. Not since Chuck and I split up. I’ve been busy. I’ve been distracted. I think my sexual side has been on hold or something. But I haven’t minded very much. Occasionally I’d wish for a man in my life, but then I’d go out on a couple of dates and it was never very exciting, so I would give up until the next time I felt that way. Bethany keeps me busy, and I suppose I always thought I would get involved again when she was older.”
“We’re only going to be in the desert for one night,” Malik told her. “Is that going to make her old enough?”
“You’re laughing at me,” she protested, although she wasn’t really upset.
Malik took her hand and led her over to the bed. Once there he urged her to sit down, then settled next to her. He removed her veil and headcovering, then his own headdress.
“You don’t have to do this,” he said, even as he cupped her face in his hands. “I would very much like to make love with you tonight, but I’m not going to force you or even try to persuade you. It’s completely your decision. Sandy is still in camp and it would be easy for him to drive us back to the palace tonight. You could stay in one of the guest rooms or return to your own place.”
She glared at him. “If you’re going to be logical, I refuse to have this conversation with you.” How was she supposed to explain the conflicting emotions whirling inside herself?
“It’s not that I don’t want to be with you,” she said, hoping she sounded a little less confused than she felt. “It’s just…this is so strange. I mean, look at you.”
“Hard to do without a mirror.”
She made a face. “The thing is, you’re not just a guy I met and to whom I’m attracted. You’re a prince. That puts you way out of my league. I feel like I’m some backwater hick who doesn’t know how to play these games. What if you hate the way I make love?”
Malik stared at her. His hand dropped to his side. “You’re nervous.”
“Of course I’m nervous,” she moaned. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I haven’t made love with anyone in more than two years. Despite what you think about me, I don’t date models and actresses. I’m very careful about who I let into my life and into my bed. If anyone should be worried about embarrassing himself with a poor performance, it’s me.”
Two years? As in he didn’t have a mail-order bimbo of the month flown in to entertain him? “Really?”
He touched her face again. “Of course. I want you, Liana. I have from the first moment I saw you. Everything you accused me of is true. I did take you from the airport, using my position and power to keep you against your will. I wasn’t, as you put it, playing with the hired help, but I was making your life difficult. It was wrong and I apologize, because you deserve my respect. But none of that changes the fact that I wanted you then, and I still want you.”
Liana couldn’t breathe anymore. She’d only ever been with one other man, and while Chuck had wanted her, it had been his eighteen-year-old hormones talking. Chuck had been little more than a boy, while Malik was very much a man.
“You’re one of the most powerful men in the world,” she said slowly. “You could have any woman you want.”
“I want you.”
Wow. Talk about a great line. She didn’t even care if he meant it.
“Okay, but I have to warn you. I’ve had a child. That means my body isn’t perfect. And, well, I kind of never lost the last twenty pounds from my pregnancy, so if you’re imagining someone from a magazine, this is not going to work.”
“Is that a yes?”
She found herself staring at his throat and ignoring the flush on her cheeks. “Yes,” she whispered.
He wrapped one arm around her and lowered her onto her back. “Good. Because I haven’t been imagining being with someone from a magazine. I’ve been imagining being with you.”
And then he kissed her.
She should have been prepared for the impact of his lips against hers—after all, they’d kissed before, and she remembered that each time she’d be left gasping and aroused. But even with the warning of her past reactions, she still found herself falling into the middle of a powerful current and being swept away by the fire that flared inside her at the first touch of his mouth.
It was heaven. It was ten kinds of magic and she never wanted him to stop. Malik brushed back and forth, as if discovering her again. It was the same, and yet it was so very different. For one thing, she was on her back on a soft romantic bed in a tent in the middle of the desert. If she had the strength or will to open her eyes, she would see the tapestries and rugs and pillows. For another thing, Malik was pressed against her in the most delicious way. His body snuggled close to hers, one of his legs resting between hers.
She brought up her arms and wrapped them around him, holding him close even as he angled his head and touched his tongue to her lower lip.
A shiver rippled through her. The flames spread until every part of her was on fire. She found herself opening to him, welcoming him, savoring the tremors and the heat and the glorious melting as her body prepared to be with him. After so many years of denying her sensual side, she found that part of her was wonderfully awake and hungry for satisfaction.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online