Page 44 of To Defy a Sheikh

Because she couldn’t hate him now. Not even with the newest revelation. All she could see was what they’d both lost. All she could do was feel the pain of losing her father over again. The man who’d been a god in her mind transforming into a monster who would kill an unarmed woman. And all she could do was let it all come out in a storm of emotion that seemed to manifest itself in this.

At least a kiss was action. At least a kiss wouldn’t end with one of them dead.

Though now, with all of the need, all of the deep, painful desire that had possessed her like a living thing, like a beast set on devouring her insides if she didn’t feed it with what it wanted, she wondered if either of them would survive.

He pulled his mouth from hers, his hands bracing her wrists against the wall behind her head, dark eyes glaring, assessing her. “Why do you not run from me?”

“Because I am owed a debt,” she said, her breath coming in short, sharp bursts. “You stole my life from me. You stole this,” she said, speaking of the need she felt now. “I had never even kissed a man because I could afford to feel nothing for men but distrust and fear. I had to guard my own safety above all else because I had no one to protect me. I could never want, not things beyond food and drink. So you owe me this, Sheikh. I will collect it. I will have you, because I want you,” she said. “It is your debt. And you will pay it with your body.”

“So you want my passion, Samarah? After all I have told you?”

“Is it not my right to have it? If it has been used so badly against me? Should I not be able to take it now, when I want it, and use it as it would satisfy me?” Anger, desire, anguish curled around her heart like grasping vines. Tangled together into a knot that choked out everything except a dark, intense need.

“You want satisfaction?” he asked, his voice a low growl, his hips rolling against hers, his erection thick and hard against her stomach.

“I demand it,” she said.

He leaned in, his breath hot on her neck, his lips brushing against her ear. “Do you know what you ask for, little viper?”

“You,” she said. “Inside my body. As discussed. You seem to think I don’t know what I want, but I will not have you disrespect me so.”

“No, Samarah, I am of the opinion that you likely always know what you want, at the moment you want it.” That was not entirely true, because she hadn’t realized how badly she wanted him until today, when she knew it had gone on much longer than that. “But what I am also sure of, is that sometimes you don’t always want what is good for you.”

“Who does?” she asked.

“No one, I suppose.”

“We all want things that will harm us in the end. Cake, for example. Revenge for another.”

“Sex,” he said.

“Yes,” she said. “Sex.”

“That’s what you want? You want sixteen years of my unspent desire unleashed on you?”

“That’s what I demand,” she said.

He tugged her away from the wall and scooped her into his arms in one fluid movement, carrying her across the room. She put her hand on his chest, his heart pounding so hard she could feel it pressing into her palm.

“Then you shall have what you demand,” he said, depositing her onto the mattress before tugging his shirt over his head and revealing his body to her. So perfect. So beautiful. Not a refined, graceful beauty. His was raw, masculine and terrifying. So incredible she ached when she looked at him. “But know this, my darling, your command stops here. For now you are mine.” He let his finger trail over her cheek, his dark eyes boring into hers. “If you want this, I will give it you. But the terms will be mine.”

“This is my repayment,” she said. “I agreed to nothing else.”

“And that is where you miscalculated, my little warrior. For in this, I am nothing short of a conquerer.”

“And I no less a warrior.”

“I would expect nothing else. But in the end, I will stake my claim. Run from me now, if you do not want that.”

She could hardly breathe. Could hardly think. But she didn’t want to think. She wanted to focus on what he made her body feel. Because this, this release that she was chasing with him, overpowered the feelings in her chest.

This desire won out above all else, and she so desperately needed for it to continue to do so. And she did not want to run.

His hands went to the waistband of his pants and he pushed them down his legs. She did gasp, virginal shock coursing through her, when she saw him naked and erect.

This was different than when she’d seen him in the lake, but she hadn’t been prepared for just how different. Just how much larger he would be.

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