His Desert Bride By Demand - Page 20

Eyes as dark as his own widened as they glanced down at his nakedness. ‘Yes,’ he answered, the blush tingeing his cheeks turning from a slight pink to a deep red.

Akeem tutted his disapproval, but he felt his insides snake around his lungs and squeeze. He could not deny or explain what had taken place in the room behind him without making the situation worse.

Immediately, his path became clear. As it had when he’d been eighteen and thrown into his father’s world.

He would not be him. His men deserved more, and so did his people. He would prove that the illegitimate Crown Prince was worthy to be their King. Worthy of the crown. And there was only one way to do it—to keep his reputation intact and make his people believe that he would never give in to his baser instincts like his father.

The scene behind him was not the beginning of the end of his new reign. It was not a replay of his father taking his pleasure without decency or care—

Isn’t it?


Why not?


He couldn’t answer.

In his men’s eyes, it was a replay. A descent into his father’s kind of chaos. In this moment he was just as bad as his father, ordering his men to stay and watch as women pleasured him.

He ground his teeth.

He would fix this.

He made himself stalk closer to his men, and with his voice low and sure he said, ‘Imagine interrupting the King and your future Queen simply to tell him the sky is indeed blue...’

Tension radiated from every taut line of his royal guard’s body. ‘Your Royal Highness—’

Akeem shook his head and halted the stumbling apology with a lazy flick of his wrist.

‘The helicopter,’ he commanded. ‘Fifteen minutes.’

Akeem hit the button, sealing the doors on his fate. He closed his eyes. A decade of ignoring his feelings—his urges—and for what? To risk it all? Jaw rigid, he looked at her then. For her?

She stood, her hair a crown of curls, trailing down her bare shoulders to fall over her breasts, and her skin shimmered as iridescently as the jewels surrounding her.

‘Are you okay?’ she asked.

His heart galloped into a frenzied beat. ‘Am I okay?’

‘Are you?’

Was he?He couldn’t remember the last time anyone had asked. His feelings didn’t matter. Only his blood. Only his duty.

He nodded, but his heart refused to stop its treacherous double beat as she moved towards him.

‘The one thing you didn’t want to happen...’

She stopped in front of him, the scent of her dragging over his senses. What scent? What power did she possess to make a king become only a man before her? To make him revert to his most basic self?

‘And now it’s happened.’

She gasped as the blanket slipped from her shoulders. Akeem caught the falling fabric on instinct, and for a moment everything stilled as her nakedness beneath revealed itself.

He moved quickly, trying not to absorb the sight of her—her skin, her curves—trying not to remember what she’d felt like beneath his fingertips. He took her hand, ignoring the heat of her palm, and thrust the fabric into it. She wrapped the blanket under her arms and tucked it between her breasts.

Her cheeks high in colour, she asked, ‘Does it matter that they caught us? That we—you—?’ She stuttered and shook her head, her crown of curls bouncing on her shoulders.

‘Yes,’ he said, feeling low embers of the fire they’d shared threatening to burst into flame. He would ignore it—as he should have until he had her firmly in his bed, between his thighs. But still he couldn’t resist, and continued, ‘It matters that I made you come apart with my mouth.’

Her hand paused in tucking in her makeshift tunic. ‘Exactly!’ she replied,

But he heard the quiver in her breath as she remembered. Remembered his mouth on her. Tasting her.

She crouched down with her back to him to pick up their discarded clothes. ‘I don’t have a clue what’s happening, or what you’re feeling—’

‘Feelings have no place here.’

Clothes in hand, she turned to face him. ‘Who told you that?’

Every muscle in his naked body turned taut, from the tendons in his toes flattening his feet against the plush carpeted floor to the muscles elongating his throat. ‘The crown must come before feelings or emotion,’ he rasped deeply. ‘One must obey one’s duty first.’

The stab of those teachings still cut deep.

And now Charlotte Hegarty had unpicked the adhesive holding his life together and bared the truth. One misstep had been all it took to reveal that he was still reactive to his primitive urges. Weak.

The silken touch of her hand on his jolted him straight back into the room. Her small delicate fingers held out his robes to him.

‘So they saw me?’ she asked.

In the eyes of his men today he was like his father. But if he did what his father had not... If he married her. Made her his Queen. The people’s Queen...

There was no other choice.

He snatched the robe from her and thrust his arms inside. ‘They saw no one but me,’ he said, because they hadn’t. But they’d seen enough. The unmistakable truth...

‘But you were naked—’


‘So was I...underneath this.’ The green of her eyes, bright with questions, searched his. ‘Thank you for hiding me. Whether it was for you or for me...’ She shrugged. ‘I’m grateful you didn’t let them see me fully.’

‘Do not thank me yet.’

In a single stride he was on her. In her breathing space. Close enough to be reminded of how sweet the musk was lingering on her skin and in the air. On his lips—his tongue. To be reminded of how desire had changed the game and now it was no longer a game of revenge—of getting even. But a game of duty.

‘You may not like what comes next,’ he said, capturing her waist in his palms and scooping her over his shoulder.


The weight of her over his shoulder and her perfectly pert bottom in his eyeline sent a rush of lava through his veins. The temptation to take her to bed returned.

He’d given himself a reprieve—a moment to think and save Charlotte from any embarrassment. But the truth was undeniable. He’d been caught behaving like his father, and he wouldn’t allow himself—his reputation—to be so vulnerable again.

She swivelled on his shoulder. ‘What are you doing?’

He moved towards the exit. ‘I’m taking you back to your room.’

Tags: Lela May Wight Billionaire Romance
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