The Sheik's Kidnapped Bride(Desert Rogues, Book 1)(61) by Susan Mallery
“Good afternoon, princess,” he said, grinning as if he had a delicious secret. “Did you enjoy your lunch?”
“Very much,” Dora said, sounding puzzled. “Thank you for asking.”
“Have you been back to your office yet?” Martin asked.
Dora frowned. “No. Why?”
“There’s a surprise waiting there.”
Khalil stiffened. A surprise? If one existed, it didn’t have anything to do with him. Had Gerald shown up unexpectedly? A flash of jealousy cut through him like a knife. He and Dora might have some things to work out but he was not about to let his wife return to that eater of camel dung. Besides, he’d made some discreet inquiries shortly after he and Dora had arrived in El Bahar. Gerald had been fired from his job and had been forced to move back home with his parents. The other man didn’t know where Dora was, nor had he tried to contact her after that single phone call.
Even though he told himself it was nothing that should bother him, Khalil still urged Dora to hurry. Who else would have prepared a surprise for her?
But when they reached the office, her large room was empty of furniture. Eva met them at the door. Her smile was as broad as Martin’s.
“This way, Your Highness,” she said, leading them back into the corridor and on to the other side of the office complex. There, near the office for the prime minister and the deputy minister of finance, stood a man securing a name plate on a wide double door.
Khalil read the words. Fierce pride filled him as he watched his wife study the letters. Emotions flashed across her face—first shock, followed by surprise, confusion, comprehension and joy.
Princess Dora Khan, Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs.
“I don’t understand,” Dora said, turning to Khalil. “The king couldn’t have done all this since we left lunch. There wasn’t enough time.”
Eva laughed. “No, Your Highness. He’s had it planned for several days. That’s why the working lunch lasted so long. He wanted to get your things moved. Oh, and the king said to tell you that he still wants you to act as liaison with Western companies, but that you’ll also be busy with the project of your heart, so he’s going to ask parliament to grant you a staff of a half dozen or so.”
Dora still looked stunned as she turned her attention to Khalil. “Did you know about this?”
“No. And I didn’t talk to my father about it, either. You’ve done this one on your own, Dora.”
She flung herself at him and wrapped her arms around him. He held her close. “Thank you for everything,” she whispered fiercely.
From the corner of his eyes, Khalil saw Eva disappear into Dora’s office, leaving the two of them alone. He hugged his wife and inhaled the sweet scent of her body.
“I told you, I didn’t have anything to do with this,” he said. “You don’t have to thank me.”
She straightened and stared at him. There were tears in her eyes. She impatiently brushed them away. “Of course I have to. You might not be directly responsible, but you’ve made all of this possible.” She raised herself up on tiptoes and kissed him. “I have to get to work now.”
He watched her disappear behind those wide double doors. Dora had accomplished so much in such a short time—both with his country and with him personally. He couldn’t imagine life without her anymore. But as much as he wanted to make this wonderful woman his, he did not know how to make that happen. He knew what she wanted from him, but he wasn’t sure he could give it to her. She asked much of him, as both a man and a prince. Could he learn to bend? Did he have a choice? If he didn’t, he would lose her.
Khalil found himself trapped by circumstances of his own making. And there wasn’t anything he could do but wait and see how it would all play out.
“You will yield to me, wife, or I will know the reason why,” Khalil bellowed as he stood in the center of Dora’s bedroom.
His shirttail hung free of his slacks, and his feet were bare. Dora wore little more than her bra, panties and blouse. They’d been in the middle of kissing, when he’d asked her to finish taking off his clothes. But instead of being swept away by passion, she’d found herself slightly distracted and had refused without thinking.
“You know the reason why,” Dora told him calmly.
Better to fight about this, she thought, than for him to know the reason that she hadn’t been completely involved in their lovemaking. She’d fought against the truth for a long time, and Lord willing, she was going to continue to fight against it. Life was complicated enough without her worrying about any significant changes in the status of her family. She and Khalil had to learn to be a married couple before they could be parents. At least that’s what she told herself with more conviction than she felt.
“I do not know anything of the sort,” he insisted. “It has been nearly four months. Why won’t you admit that you love me?”
His question nearly made her gasp aloud, but she managed to control her reaction. “You want me to love you so that I will do as you wish, but there is more to a marriage than subservience from the woman. I want a partnership. I want us to share and be honest. Those are things you can’t seem to understand.”
“Of course I understand. I don’t want you to be subservient. I want you to admit your feelings.”
That she loved him? She couldn’t continue to live with Khalil, work with him, ride with him and share the most intimate act possible between a man and a woman without loving him, but she would be damned if she would admit it before he did.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online