The Ice Maiden's Sheikh by Alexandra Sellers

The Ice Maiden's Sheikh by Alexandra Sellers

Author:Alexandra Sellers
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Publisher: Silhouette
Published: 2004-11-04T04:00:00+00:00

Eleven

Later she lay across his dark, damp chest and felt how right it was that she should be there. The memory of pleasure still coursed through her, so that small aftershocks shook her from time to time.

She lifted her head and gazed down into eyes that glowed back at her with satisfied fulfillment at having given and received so much deep pleasure.

After a moment, he picked up her left hand. His thumb stroked her ring finger.

“You were not really engaged to this man?”

“Michael was my insurance policy. My armour against—my parents,” she admitted. She couldn’t say against you.

“How does a man pretend to be engaged to a woman like you, and not wish to make it real?” he wondered softly. “It is not possible. This was a tactic he used. He will want to hold you to it.”

She smiled, because the look in his eyes was intoxicating, and shook her head.

“No, it’s not like that. Michael’s gay. He hasn’t come out to his parents yet. I sometimes go to their family parties and things as his date, because he says he likes to keep his mother happy. So when I needed the return favour…”

He looked as though he hardly believed her, but the smile on his face betokened ill for Michael if what she said was not the truth. Jalia’s voice faded into silence as she suddenly realized she might have taken powerful forces too lightly.

“I hope what you say is true,” Latif said in a rough whisper.

She faltered. “Wh-what?”

“I will hold you, Jalia,” he promised. “I will keep you. You are my woman, and so it has always been.”

Just for one treacherous second she half wished this moment could seal her fate, the way he intended, the way it would have done if life had been different. Just here, and just now, she half believed it might.

It couldn’t, but she wasn’t going to let reality in yet. Tonight was dreamtime. Tomorrow was soon enough to awaken.

“There’s some really delicious food over there,” she murmured. “Are you hungry?”

One dark hand stroked her, and, exhausted as she was, her body sang another chorus for him. “For the food of my valley I am always hungry,” he said. “Just as I shall always be hungry for you, as long as I live.”

Her heart kicked a response so deep she felt tears burn her eyelids, but she smiled and lifted herself away from him. She stood naked in the soft, gentle light, and his gaze in its golden glow felt like honey on her skin—sweet, warm, sensuous.

“Come, then,” she said, for the food was laid out to keep warm on a brazier beside piles of embroidered cushions, artfully arranged by the experts of the valley’s wedding team.

They both pulled on the silk trousers of their outfits, and sank down again on the cushions, he looking like a genie sprung from one of the antique lamps, she like a dancing girl, her bare breasts glowing with the mix of oil and love-sweat.

Roasted eggplant in



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