His Desert Bride By Demand - Page 13

He sat forward, taking in her paleness, the concealed tension revealing itself in every line of her delectable body. He stood, closing the space between them, and unclipped her seatbelt.

She opened her eyes. Heat and want bloomed inside him instantly. He pushed a long lock of curls behind her ear. ‘Are you airsick?’

A flush appeared on her high cheekbones. ‘I’ve never flown before.’

She wasn’t unwell—she was overwhelmed.

Thrusting an expletive from his mind, he pulled her into step beside him, and for his every large step Charlotte took two.

‘Where are you taking me?’

He noted her breathlessness, the tightness laced through her fingers, as they moved through the next set of doors to a long corridor that splintered off into the master bedrooms.

‘To show you to your room.’

‘Don’t you have staff to do that?’

He stopped and turned to her. ‘You are only to be seen by me.’

He pushed open a door, and with a tug of his wrist pulled her into the room ahead of him. He lingered in the doorway as she took in her surroundings. Her gaze paused on the large bed. His eyes went to it too, and everything in him urged him to move into the room and push her down into the mattress, with his weight firmly between her thighs.

She turned to face him, her back towards the bed. ‘Why can no one see me?’ she asked, snapping him out of the heat pooling in his loins.

‘You’ll enter my kingdom in secret and leave before it’s discovered that you arrived.’

‘I’m to be sneaked in and out?’

‘Of course,’ he agreed.

Not a flicker of indecency haunted the velvet richness of his voice, but he felt it. The sticky fingers of doubt where triumph should be. Because to act so selfishly was close to being everything he did not want to be.

Like his father.

You are your father’s son.

‘Why the cloak and dagger?’ Her brows knitted together. ‘Surely even a king has needs?’

‘My father blatantly took women to his bed, flaunted his affairs and mocked his people with his hedonistic pursuits, because he put his needs before his country—’ He cut himself off. He’d told her too much.

‘And you don’t want to be a king who does that?’

‘No,’ he agreed, and let his lungs fully deflate before dragging in a deep, silent breath through his nostrils. This was nothing like his father’s pleasurable pursuits. This was different. She was different.

‘Why would you risk being seen with me if it would damage your reputation?’Her little button nose wrinkled. ‘It’s just sex.’

It wasn’t just sex. For the price of one night he would be selfish. He would claim his revenge. She had made him get attached. She had made him forget that the only person he could rely on was himself. And he hated her for that.

She was his only connection to the emotional wreck of a boy he’d been, and after their night together—after he’d shown her all he’d become, all he was now—the memory of who he’d been would be obsolete.

That rope wouldn’t pull any more.

She wouldn’t haunt him any more.

Because the last remaining echoes of who he had been—Akeem Ali—would be gone. That boy would be dead. Lifeless. As his father had demanded the first time they’d encountered one another.

‘No one will know, qalbi,’ he assured her. Because his people couldn’t know that his primitive need to have her one last time consumed him.

He would have one night to close the doors on the past, on who he had been, so he could fully embrace his future. He would restore the monarch’s reputation. He would make sure his mother’s sacrifices had not been in vain.

He would have it all.

He would be King.

‘You’re to be a one-night stand—not my future Queen,’ he finished, leaving her in no doubt of exactly where she stood in his future.

Nowhere.

It took every ounce of Charlotte’s self-control not to react to the cruel sting of his confirmation. But it was as if a thousand bees had landed on her body with those words and jabbed at her exposed flesh.

One-night stand.

It didn’t scream opulence. It screamed cheap and throwaway.

Her mouth ran dry. The words didn’t appal her. She’d been made to feel worse. But they made her insides twist and pull.

‘Get dressed, Charlotte,’ Akeem ordered from the doorway when the silence sizzled, and she followed his gaze to some clothes laid on the table.

When he didn’t exit the room, she jabbed a finger towards the clothes and said, ‘Do you want to watch?’

Regret was instant, and it cut deep when he replied, ‘Would you like me to?’

‘No,’ she said.

Tags: Lela May Wight Billionaire Romance
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