He knew he had only to ask, had only to kiss and touch her, and Ella would surrender, would not think twice of yielding herself to him.
But it was not right.
He might be the king’s heir, but his life was fraught with danger and would always be so. He was also the most possessive bastard on earth, and no woman would ever find it easy to have him as a husband.
If he took Ella’s virginity, there would be no going back.
So decide quickly, ukhayyah, the sheikh thought grimly.
Love me as I love you, and then and only then can I fuck you to your heart’s desire.
The Other Sheikh
The sheikh had not called.
Not on the first day, not on the second, not on the third day. When I got to school, the sheikh was still on my mind, and I was struggling with feelings of hurt neglect.
Stepping out of the car, I bid Luke and the chauffeur goodbye. Hurrying towards the entrance, I smoothed my hand down my school jacket and skirt.
I looked up and fought not to show my dismay when I realized it was the same man that had been pestering me for days. He was an envoy of the Sheikh of Layla, and I instinctively looked over my shoulder, but the royal family’s limousine had long driven away.
“Lord Barton, this is really not a good time to talk—-”
The nobleman handed me a letter. “All I humbly ask is that you take this letter, milady. Please.”
“It is only a letter, it’s all our sheikh asks. Surely it’s not too much?”
Alarm bells rang inside my head.
But even so, I reached for the letter.
It was just a letter.
Surely it wouldn’t get me into trouble.
A knock sounded on my door, and I called out, “Come in.”
It was another quiet afternoon after school, and I had spent all of it inside my bedroom. For a change, I was trying to work on the to-do list for female members of the royal family. One of it had been embroidery. I had been at it for over an hour, but I hadn’t improved a bit. The piece of cloth in my hands was stained and contained more drops of my blood than pretty stitches.
Someone knocked on my door.
“Lady Ella,” Charlie greeted me with a bow. “The sheikh requests your presence in his chambers.”
My needle paused mid-stitch as I tried to absorb what he was saying. Did he really say the sheikh was here?
Clearing my throat, I asked, “Did you, umm, say the sheikh wanted to talk to me?” The sheikh…who had promised to call me the moment he arrived at Geneva…but didn’t? Did he mean that sheikh?
I scowled. So I hadn’t heard him wrong then. The sheikh was indeed back.
I set aside my embroidery, fearing I’d end up bringing my needle with me just to prick the sheikh’s lying ass. “Isn’t he supposed to be still in the convention?”
The soldier beamed with pride. “The sheikh was such a great speaker, milady. He managed to make everyone vote for his proposal in just one day. Everyone signed yesterday, and so the sheikh was able to return early.”
“Oh. That’s great.” For the kingdom, I thought, but not for me.
Charles seemed to sense my lack of enthusiasm and frowned. “Is something wrong, milady?” And then he paused, an awkward expression falling over his face.
I knew why, of course.
He had just remembered that I was the only one in the kingdom his beloved sheikh had never gotten along with.
Well, that had changed a few days ago but right now?
We definitely weren’t in good terms.
I CAME TO THE SHEIKH’s private chambers still in my school uniform. No way was I going to dress up for him, not after the way he had treated me.
The sheikh glanced up the moment I entered the room, but I pretended not to notice it. I had missed him terribly, but no way was I going to let him know that either.
Walking further inside, I busied myself taking in my surroundings. It was my first time to be here, and I wasn’t surprised that his suite opened to an office-cum-living room. But while I had expected the usual dark colors and leather found in most men’s suites, the outer room turned out to be intimidatingly and unashamedly elegant, with gilded, cream-colored ceilings, walls enhanced by hand-stenciled artwork, rich damask curtains, and an exquisitely preserved Aubusson rug placed under the L-shaped velvet sofa in the corner.
It was a very functional room, and the only source of recreation offered was the mahogany bookcase in one corner, stacked with business literature and several nonfiction titles in English and Arabic. Classical music played in the background, with just the right volume to soothe the ears.
Something weird struck me, and I blurted out unthinkingly, “There’s no TV.”