Impatient now, the sheikh read the last lines of the letter.
Also, I was told the Chamber of History was looking for an intern. I was wondering if I could apply for it?
Thank you for your time.
And the plot thickens, the sheikh thought grimly. In all the years it had existed, the Chamber of History had never sought an intern. He had a feeling his half sister Lady Dezza was behind it. Whatever plans that woman had hatched, he was certain it was meant to cause Ella harm.
A contemplative silence filled the study as the sheikh slowly refolded the letter and took painstaking care to follow the meticulously scored lines.
Since the wedding, he had been playing a dangerous game of duplicity. When official duties forced him and Ella together, the sheikh made sure he was everything from condescending to antagonistic – whatever it took to keep people from guessing the truth.
In public, he was able to ruthlessly keep himself in control.
But in private, the sheikh was unable to keep his passions in a leash. He had a desperate need to feel her flesh under his hands, and he sought to satisfy this desire even if it had to be under the guise of punishment. It was a game he had enjoyed playing, but now that Dezza had made a move, the sheikh knew the time of taking things easy was over.
The sheikh picked the phone and put a call to his secretary. “Have Lady Ella come to my study immediately.”
I’m not excited to see him again. I tried to convince myself of this, but even to my ears it sounded like a blatant lie. As I made my way to the sheikh’s study, I found myself constantly worrying about my appearance.
When I passed by a gilt-edged full-length mirror along the way, I couldn’t resist the temptation. I backtracked and paused before it.
A small curvy woman stared back at me, her honey blond hair up in a simple chignon, her gray eyes sparkling, and a rosy tint to her slightly rounded cheeks. Her skin was fairer than usual, but the dark purple dress complemented it, making her complexion look like ivory rather than sallow. The gown had a high waistline, emphasizing the fullness of her breasts, while its flowing skirt made her legs look longer.
Was I pretty enough for the sheikh? The question popped out of nowhere, and I flushed at the thought.
No, drat it.
I didn’t want to be pretty. I just wanted to be…presentable. That was all I cared about, and I was still trying to convince myself of this when I reached the sheikh’s study.
“His Highness is already expecting you, milady.”
“Thank you, Charles.”
I stepped inside, and Charles quickly pulled the door closed behind me.
The sheikh was seated behind his desk, a document in his hand, and just like that my composure fled.
How had I forgotten how beautiful he was?
His dark hair shone under the light and even with his head bent, his attractiveness was undeniable, his powerful aura unmitigated even when he wasn’t standing to his full height.
The sheikh suddenly looked up, catching me staring at him.
Tearing my gaze away, I sank to a curtsy, muttering, “Your Highness.” I wasn’t so stubborn to repeat the same mistake again.
“Lady Ella.” When I straightened, I found the sheikh on his feet, and he looked even more commanding, more gorgeous this way that I found myself gulping.
And that’s normal, I told myself. He was inhumanly attractive. It was normal for anyone to be affected this way.
“Please sit down, my lady.” He gestured to the seat across his desk.
I thought about telling him I wanted to stand, saw the glint in his eyes, and knew the sheikh was just waiting for me to disobey him.
Since I wasn’t sure I was up to a spanking right now, I said promptly, “Thank you, Your Highness.” I took a seat as ordered.
“Good girl,” the sheikh murmured.
The words should have made me bristle but instead my stupid body heated up, as if the sheikh’s approval was something it longed for.
“Congratulations on completing the course,” the sheikh continued. “I have taken that one as well, and I know it is not easy for a foreigner to finish.”
I mumbled my thanks. It was so unusual and awkward to receive such a straightforward compliment when we had mostly been sniping at each other like cats and dogs.
I should have known there was a catch.
The sheikh clasped his hands behind his back. “I would like to know how you learned about the internship.”
Oh. Even as I wondered why it had to matter, I nevertheless told him about the Sheikh of Layla, who had spoken to me several times during his official visit last week. He had been very friendly and when I mentioned about my interest in history, he told me about the joint project his kingdom had with Kivr.