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The Sheik and the Christmas Bride Susan Mallery 2022/8/5 16:56:46

It was like going home. The sense of belonging and safety. She’d never experienced that before and the sensation was so sweet, so perfect, she never wanted to be anywhere else. Then his mouth was moving on hers and she got lost in the kiss, the feel of his hands moving up and down her back. The heat of them. The way they pressed against each other, her body melting into his.

She put her hands on his upper arms and explored his muscled strength. When the pressure on her lips increased, she parted and was rewarded by the sensual sweep of his tongue across hers.

Somewhere along the way she must have remembered to breathe again because she moaned low in her throat. She felt tense and relaxed at the same time. She wanted this to never stop and she wanted more.

Without thinking, she rose on tiptoe, so she could press herself against him more fully. She tilted her head and kissed him back, teasing his tongue with hers.

His hands moved more urgently. One slipped to her rear, where he squeezed her curves. The contact shocked her, but excited her, too. Instinctively she arched forward, bringing her lower body in contact with his. He squeezed again, then moved his other hand to her waist before sliding it higher.

Anticipation chased away any hint of apprehension. His large hand settled on her breast with a confidence that allowed her not to be afraid. She broke the kiss so she could lean her forehead against his shoulder while he cupped her breast in his hand.

His touch was gentle and slow, but more wonderful than anything she’d ever experienced before. It was as if he knew the best way to touch her, to stroke her. When he moved his fingers across her nipple, she gasped and clung to him.

He moved his free hand to her chin, raised her head, then kissed her again. She held on to him as the room began to spin faster and faster. When he finally stepped back, she wasn’t sure she could stay standing.

His eyes were dark as night, but bright with a fire that burned as hot as the one flaring inside of her. She’d never seen sexual need on a man’s face before, but she recognized it now. Recognized it and knew that somehow she had caused it.

He wanted her. It was magic and filled her with delight and wonder and a sense of feminine power. Now if only she knew what to do with it.

He’d spoken her name dozens of times before, but never with his voice so heavy and rumbling. She wanted this, she thought happily. She wanted this and so much more.

Somewhere in the distance she heard people talking. She remembered they were in his office and she had interrupted his day. The realization made her unsure of what to do next.

“I should, ah, probably go,” she told him, wondering if he would ask her to stay.

“Do not worry about the king,” he said instead. “My father is very pleased with you.”

“How do you know? Have you talked to him?”

“I have no need. You are exactly what he wants you to be.”

What? But before she could ask for an explanation, As’ad’s phone rang. He glanced at his watch. “A teleconference with the British foreign minister.”

“Right. Okay. I’ll see you later.”

She walked back to her room, wondering what it all meant. The kiss, the intimate touch, As’ad’s comment that she was what the king wanted her to be. Did that mean a good nanny? A tidy guest?

Yet more reminders that this was a foreign world and not one she was likely to be comfortable in. She should be eager to escape. Yet there was a part of her that wouldn’t mind staying for a very long time.

“You summoned me?” Lina asked as she breezed into the room. “And don’t say you didn’t. There was a definite command in your message.”

“I won’t deny it,” As’ad told her, motioning to the sofa in the corner and joining her there.

“Am I to be punished?” she asked, a twinkle in her eye.

“You are my aunt and the woman who raised me. I have great respect for you.”

“So I’m in serious trouble.”

She didn’t sound worried, but then why should she? He would never do anything to hurt her. Despite what she’d done, he had trouble being angry with her. Not that he would let her know that.

If he was annoyed with anyone, it was with himself for being too blind to see what was happening. It had been obvious from the beginning and he hadn’t noticed.

“Shall you go first or shall I?” Lina asked.

“I know, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an agenda.”

He nodded. “Please. Begin.”

“I spoke with Zarina the other day. You claimed Kayleen as your own.”

“For the moment. She created a stir in the village. I did not wish things to get awkward.”