But it’s only sex, the broken voice in her head admonished. Sex fixes nothing.
The voice was right. Sex fixed nothing. Not even amazing sex. And this was amazing.
But love...love could.
She loved him.
She gasped at the realisation. Her limbs tightened, her legs curled around his hips, and her core clenched around his mass. Clenching and unclenching, she screamed, noisily urging him to love her faster—harder, because she loved the love of his body. And she loved him.
She made sense with him.
She always had.
Under the oak tree. In front of the TV. In rundown pubs. In helicopters across the desert. In nothing but her underwear on a throne. In a red ball gown. Against the cave wall. In his bed...
She loved the boy he had once been and the uncertain Prince he’d become under the veil of perfection—the persona of the perfect King.
Sex fixed nothing.
But love could.
And this was love, wasn’t it?
And it wasn’t neat or tidy.
‘I’m—I’m—’ She stuttered, because he’d exposed every nerve and she was burning with him in this ascent to the unknown as they travelled deeper into the oasis of their bodies, into their sanctuary—into each other.
He kissed her breasts, her neck, her mouth. ‘Come for me, qalbi. Come now.’
And she did. A sheer blinding light burst behind her tightly closed lids and she let it claim her. The light. The brilliance. The release of love...of knowing she loved him. The shuddering climax was one only he could give her. Sanctuary in his body, and in his touch. The ultimate escape.
He roared, his neck straining backwards as he thrust one last time, filling her with himself. And she roared too. Loud and free.
He collapsed onto his elbows and she held him to her, his heart echoing the rapid pulse of hers.
For a long, breathless moment they stayed locked in each other’s embrace, until their raging hearts slowed. Then he eased out of her and pulled her hips into his from behind, held her to him. He pulled the sheet over them.
Safe in his arms—protected by the security of her love—she did.