P.S. Damen hasn’t stopped laughing since. He thinks it’s a hoot that you mistook the sheikh for a mob boss.

P.P.S. When did you guys start dating?!

Message received at 2005h from Professor L.

Chapter Seven

The sheikh and I ended up with a detour to the nearest cafe, and I could only sit in stunned silence as he told me how he was able to find out about Dahlia.

“The woman I met was too different from the woman whose interview I watched, and I am not merely speaking about superficial dissimilarities. Even if both of you had the same style of hair and clothes, the differences were still glaring. For one thing, your twin has very hard eyes while you…” A slight smile curved over the sheikh’s lips. “You can try your utmost to hide your innocence, but your eyes will always betray you. They are too soft and pure.”

I grunted, unwilling to let myself feel flattered. This was the sheikh, after all, and knowing him, the SOB would most likely find it a pleasure to corrupt my so-called innocence.

“After that,” the sheikh continued, “it was only a matter of time.” He told me about getting his security team to do a more thorough check on my background. One clue had eventually led to another, but it was only this morning that he had a complete report on his desk, and all the puzzle pieces had fallen into place.

He knew about Judith changing her name to Portia, knew about Dahlia impersonating me back in high school, and he even knew about what Greg had done at his previous company.

“Since I did not see you as the type to merely take things lying down,” the sheikh said succinctly, “the only other plausible conclusion I could draw was that you were being blackmailed.”

Even though he was only stating facts, it still hurt to hear the truth. I was being blackmailed, and even after all these years, my stupid heart still bled every time I thought about how it was my own mother who was holding a gun to my head.

“My team informs me that Dahlia is currently on vacation in the Bahamas…”

I was entranced by the way the sheikh’s lip curled ever so slightly in contempt when he mentioned my twin’s name. All the guys I knew always fell head over heels over Dahlia from the get go. It was my first time to see any man reacting differently, and for it to be the sheikh…

“You are aware of this?” he questioned, and when I nodded, he went on to ask, “Then I think we have covered everything, yes?”

Had we? I felt like we were missing something, but at the moment, all I could suddenly think about was how this completely changed things. “If you know the truth,” I said slowly, “then doesn’t that mean you can no longer force me to…”

I saw him raise a brow, almost as if he was insinuating my question was ludicrous, and I was filled with incredulity.

“You can’t be serious,” I sputtered.

“It is still your name in the contract,” he pointed out.

“But—-”

“There are no buts, habibti. Even if you had the means to pay back the advance – which we both know you do not – it still wouldn’t change a thing. The only way out for you is to get Dahlia involved…”

He didn’t have to say anything else after that. If I got Dahlia involved, Portia would surely make a move of her own as well, and then Greg…

Fuck.

Nothing had changed after all, and I had once again acted with disgusting naïvete, letting myself think for even one moment that the sheikh would’ve let me off the hook in light of Dahlia’s duplicity. The sheikh was an asshole first and foremost, and he was too fucking ruthless to release me from the contract just like that.

But even so…

“Don’t you care at all,” I burst out, “that I never signed your stupid contract in the first place? If you still insist on…on things, then you’d be forcing me—-”

“There will be no force involved,” the sheikh slotted in, “and you know it. I only have to look at you now, habibti…” He suited action to words, his gaze slowly trailing down my body until he was staring at my tits.

“Stop that.”

But still his gaze lingered, his eyes blatantly revealing his desire, and to my utter shame, I could feel my body responding, my breasts once again swelling and aching, and my nipples starting to pout and pucker.

Shit, shit, shit.

I heard the sheikh laugh as I quickly crossed my arms over my chest in a futile attempt to control my body’s reaction.

“You see now how good it can be between us, my Story?”

“Shut up.” But with the way my voice was still faintly breathless, I might as well have told him the truth. Yes, dammit. I knew and had always known it could be so good between us, but…


Tags: Marian Tee Romance
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