Widowed queen Aliyah has resigned herself to a life of loneliness until a rough-mannered stranger intrudes on her solitude. A professional warrior and protector, Gibran has kept his distance from the palace he once called home--until his royal half brothers invite him into their midst. By profession and inclination, he keeps his emotions on lockdown, but finds himself falling under Aliyah's quiet spell. Will these two lonely people dare to seize the love they crave?
Her heart pounded against his chest, filled with emotions she couldn't name and had never experienced before. She felt so close to him right now, like she could say anything. "I'm going to miss you when you're gone." It felt safer to acknowledge that this was just temporary. She didn't want her heart to get too deeply entwined with his.
"Who says I'm going anywhere?" His hot breath on her cheek soothed her.
"You. You're always talking about leaving, one way or another."
"I'm not leaving right now." He stroked her cheek.
"No, but you will." Oh no. She hadn't wanted to do this. Hot tears pricked her eyes. She felt so much for Gibran right now that her chest ached. She couldn't bear the thought of him driving off over the horizon, and leaving her here to continue her lonely existence.
His brow had furrowed and she could see his chest heaving. Gibran didn't know his own feelings. In a way this was probably as new and different and scary for him as it was for her.
"What do you think the others would say if they knew?" She whispered as quietly as possible, because she knew the guards were close, somewhere outside the windows.
"They'd be shocked as heck." His chest rose and fell. "They'd think I was taking advantage of you." He ran his thumb over her mouth, and her lips parted. "But I know you're enjoying this as much as I am. Who knows? Maybe they'd approve. I doubt it, though. They see you as quiet, innocent little Aliyah, whose greatest pleasure is reading stories to her children."
She bit her lip. "That's who I was a few days ago."
"I know. Change is scary. I really was comfortable with my little routine existence. A world where anything is possible is a lot more frightening. I think that's why I reacted so strongly to Sam's question about leaving. Limitless possibilities could lead you into limitless trouble."
"Or limitless pleasure."
THE DESERT KINGS SERIES:
Novella: Veronica: Stranded with the Sheikh
(Veronica and Zadir) FREE!
Book 1: Osman: Rescued by the Sheikh
(Samantha and Osman)
Book 2: Zadir: Bought for the Sheikh
(Veronica and Zadir)
Novella: A Christmas Wedding
(Veronica and Zadir; Samantha and Osman; Amahd and Mackenzie)
Book 3: Gibran: Return of the Rebel Sheikh
(Gibran and Aliyah)
Book 4: Amahd: Captivated by the Sheikh
(Amahd and Mackenzie)
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