‘Myself,’ she husked. Because that was all she’d ever wanted to project. ‘Here, in your country, I can be all the things my dad said I couldn’t be. And all the bad things—’ she grimaced ‘—I believed about myself, I can lock in a box and throw away the key, can’t I? Push it under the bed and only keep the good things. The parts of myself that make me me.’
He didn’t move. Didn’t contradict her. He stared at her. ‘If this is going to work,’ he said again, ‘I want to understand the person you have become. I want to know the why and the how. Who you were and who you are now.’ He extended his hand. ‘Let us know each other again, qalbi.’
She didn’t know who moved forward, but her awareness of his fingers sliding between hers was explosive. Intensity. It was always there—even out there on the balcony. His lips had pressed against hers in the most chaste of kisses. But the first kiss after the plane had not been a kiss from a king. It had been a kiss from Akeem.
And she would find him again.
‘Where will we go?’
‘Every palace has its secrets,’ he said, running a hand through his hair. ‘I will show you mine.’
But would he show her as the man or the King?