The Sheik's Kidnapped Bride(Desert Rogues, Book 1)(49) by Susan Mallery
“Khalil?” she called before she could stop herself. “I’ll come work with you, but not as your secretary.”
He paused in midstride. “I suppose you want to run the country.”
She ignored his sarcasm. “No,” she said as she crossed to stand next to him. “I want to work with the Western companies who have come here to do business. I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the past couple of days.” She motioned to the stack of magazines and books by the sofa. “There isn’t a single department to coordinate the efforts of Western companies interested in setting up facilities here in El Bahar. I want to be a facilitator between the government and the private companies in the West. I have plenty of experience working with corporate America, and I’m learning more each day about El Bahar.”
He stared at her but didn’t speak.
“It makes sense,” she went on quickly, trying to hang on to her rapidly fading courage. “As a member of the royal family, I would be considered more of a figurehead than a policymaker. That will appease men in government. The companies interested in coming here will be impressed that El Bahar would put a woman in such a visible position.”
He opened his mouth, then closed it. “You are my wife.”
“I’m aware of that.”
He turned away. Dora held her breath, then let it out slowly. The idea had come to her in the night, but she hadn’t known who to talk to. She doubted she was much in favor with any member of the family right now. So she’d decided she would just wait for the right opportunity. Was it too soon? Should she have gone to work as Khalil’s secretary for a few weeks first, gaining his trust, before she approached him with her idea?
Too late now, she thought, and didn’t have a clue as to what she would do if he said no.
“You would have to work under the jurisdiction of my office,” he said, not looking at her. He seemed to be studying a portrait of an old man on the far wall.
Her heart began to thunder in her chest. Was he really saying yes? “That isn’t a problem.”
“You would not be allowed to meet alone with any man, and you must dress conservatively. Otherwise my reputation will be called into question.”
“I understand. I have no desire to meet alone with any man, and conservative dress is fine with me.”
He looked at her. She tried to read his expression, but couldn’t. What was he thinking? Why had he agreed?
“For the sake of appearances, we will need to be the happy couple,” he told her. “You will take lunch with me each day.”
Her tension eased, and a spark of hope burst to life. She remembered their working lunches in New York. Some of the time had been spent dealing with business, but much of their conversation had been more personal. They’d argued politics, discussed books and music. She remembered the heated debates, the laughter, the teasing. She’d missed those times so much—had Khalil missed them as well?
“I would like that very much,” she said.
“Good. Then we are agreed.”
He smiled at her, a slow satisfied smile of a male who had gotten his way. Some of Dora’s happiness faded. Please, God, don’t let him spoil the moment by trying to make it more. But God was busy, or Khalil had a mind of his own, for her husband cupped her face in his hands and stared down at her.
“I want you,” he told her.
His words were like a slap. She was a fool to think that anything had changed between them. She stiffened and willed herself to move away, but it was already too late. Just the feel of hands against her jaw and cheeks was enough to melt both her bones and her resolve. She was trapped in a web of her own making—desiring a man she both wanted and hated.
“Don’t,” she said, at last jerking free of his gentle touch. “I don’t feel well.”
Khalil grabbed her by her upper arms and hauled her against him. When she was pressed flush against him, he rotated his hips, grinding his erection into her belly.
“Call me names,” he growled. “Fight me, hit me, hate me, refuse me, but do not lie to me.”
She felt her eyes burning with tears and loathed herself for the weakness. “Of course. Lying is your job.”
Instead of getting angry, he smiled. “I thought I was marrying someone sensible, but a bit boring. Instead I find myself with a feisty, sexual wildcat. Do you bite, little kitten of mine? I know you try to scratch, although your claws aren’t sharp enough.”
“I hate you,” she shouted, struggling to get free. “You are nothing but a manhandling piece of pond scum, and I never want to see you again.” His fingers held on tight and he didn’t let her go. Finally she stopped the fruitless attempt to break free and glared at him. “I will never surrender willingly.”
“So many absolutes,” he murmured, lowering his head and brushing her lips with his. “So many promises. How much energy you waste. And here I was hoping you’d be more aggressive in bed.”
She tried to raise her hand to slap him, but he held her arms firmly at her side and laughed. “I assume your temper means that you feel fine?” he asked.
“I’m not sick, I just don’t want to have sex with you.”
He released one arm and slowly pulled up her dress. She knew what he was going to do and told herself to run, for pride’s sake, if nothing else. But she couldn’t move, couldn’t turn away. She could only stare into his eyes as he slipped his hand into her panties, then moved lower until he touched her waiting dampness. She shuddered as he rubbed against her swollen core.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online