And right now, this man had only one thought in mind.

He…wanted…to fuck…me.

Hard.

I could feel my cheeks burning at the realization, and I hurriedly tried to think of something to talk about, just to get my mind out of the gutter. “I…um…” Think, you idiot! “I…I asked the law firm for your name.”

“Ah.” The sheikh leaned back slightly at the words, and I hated the way the increased distance made me feel a little empty. Something was definitely wrong with me, dammit.

“My name is not something you need to know at the moment.”

I gaped at him. “Are you serious?” This man was willing to pay me – I mean, Dahlia – half a million bucks total to impregnate me (no, wait, it’s Dahlia, dammit)…and he didn’t think I – she – needed to know his name?

“You may call me sheikh, whether we are fucking or not—-”

“You really are an asshole, sheikh. The biggest fucking asshole I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet…sheikh.” I made sure to spit the last word out like it was another word for shit, but to my consternation, this only had the SOB smiling.

“I wonder if you’ll continue talking in such a manner,” he mused, “if you can see just how much hearing you cuss like a sailor turns me on.”

When I opened my mouth to say ‘fuck you’, I saw him smirk and realized right away he had been telling the truth.

My potty mouth did turn him on.

Dammit.

I was still trying to think of a way to get back at him when a pair of waiters came to our table and served our first course: a beautifully plated dish of Greek salad, along with a single serving of Japanese sushi.

“Truce for now?” the SOB asked.

“Fine,” I answered grudgingly, mostly because I was starving, having only had cereal for breakfast and nothing else after that.

The entrée that followed was a huge, mouthwatering slab of A5 wagyu, Level 12, and served with Greek lemon rice on the side. This was then followed by a dessert tray: bite-sized pieces of revani along with a colorful assortment of wagashi or traditional Japanese sweets.

“If I tell you I love watching you eat…”

“Then I’ll start on a diet tomorrow.”

“If you do,” he warned with a glint in his eyes, “I’d have to punish you.”

I glared at him. “Just try laying a hand on me—-”

“You can count on it,” he purred, “and you’ll love every second of it, too. In fact, you’ll be begging for more—-”

Yeargh!

My fists clenched.

Don’t punch him, Smarter Side of Me pleaded right away. You can’t afford to punch him, you know that.

And since that was true, my fists…stayed clenched against my sides.

“You have quite the temper, don’t you?”

I refused to answer and made a show of ignoring him.

“You take offense rather easily—-”

Oh, fuck taking the high road.

“Of course I’d take offense, you fuck,” I snarled. “Everything you say and do is offensive, and if you really are a sheikh—-”

“I am.”

“Then you must be the Sheikh of Ass-rabia,” I snapped, “because no one can compare to your asshole-ness.”

“And yet…” His smirking gaze trailed down, and I was horrified at the way I felt my breasts instantly swelled against the tight bodice of my dress. “You are still attracted to me.”

“Fuck you.”

“Soon.”

I opened my mouth to tell him he was probably the Sheikh of Randy Goats, too, when the waiters came by to take our plates away, and I quickly snapped my mouth shut. I could see he noticed this right away, and so I wasn’t surprised when he pounced on this as soon as we were alone again.

“You surprise me, habibti. I would’ve assumed you’re the type to enjoy…”

“Brawling in public?” I asked dryly.

“I was trying to look for a better term, but yes.”

“Childhood trauma,” I answered shortly. “So consider yourself lucky.”

“I’ve considered myself lucky,” he said gravely, “from the moment I watched the video of your interview.”

I was so damn tempted to tell him that I hadn’t been interviewed for anything, but while the truth might let me off the hook, it could also mean creating trouble for Dahlia, which would then anger Portia and have her start threatening Greg again…

“You appear troubled.”

“And that really surprises you?” I couldn’t help asking sarcastically, but this only had his gaze gleaming with amusement.

“You know you truly not want to get out of this arrangement, habibti,” he purred.

“God, you are so fucking full of it—-”

“But it’s the truth nevertheless,” he dismissed lazily. “So there must be something else that’s troubling you…”

Since I didn’t want the sheikh sniffing too close to the truth, and he was not as stupid as I wished he was, I quickly came up with the first lie I could think of. “It’s your…name.”

His brows pleated. “So we are back to that again. It truly bothers you, not knowing my name?”


Tags: Marian Tee Romance
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