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The Sheikh’s Christmas Proposal

Written by Abby Green

Chapter Three

Cassidy had put her hand in his and almost jumped backwards at the throb of electricity that had gone straight to her groin. She’d felt a roughness to his palms, noting that they were not the hands of a man who pushed paper around a desk or who did virtual banking.

He’d looked momentarily taken aback, too, and Cassidy had pulled away in shock, disconcerted and suddenly inexplicably fearful of what this strong reaction meant. Too distracted to introduce herself.

He’d recovered quicker than her, though, to say, ‘I’d like to take you to dinner, Cassidy O’Connor.’

She hadn’t had to introduce herself. He knew her name. Of course he did. She appreciated that she was well known, but in any case a man like this would have minions around him to inform him of things like this. Like the name of the woman he’d decided would be his next mistress. Cassidy had recalled hearing that speculation and she could see the arrogance in his eyes. Clearly expecting her to say yes and fall at his feet.

She’d felt jaded in that moment and had realised with a pang of emotion that she wanted more…more than just to be some man’s mistress for a short while. No matter how gorgeous or enigmatic he was.

So she’d ignored the part of her that had wanted to say yes and fall at his feet, and she’d said, ‘Thank you, but I’m tired and I’ve got a long day tomorrow, and then I’m going to Tahiti for a shoot for a week.’

He’d said nothing for a long moment, just looked at her with those disconcertingly intense dark eyes, and then he’d said softly, ‘Very well, Cassidy. For now…’

Cassidy had wondered what that enigmatic adieu had meant, and then she’d gotten her answer when he’d arrived in Tahiti on the last evening of the shoot for Vogue and had found her, eating alone in a little rustic restaurant, away from the raucous crew after-party.

And that had been it… She’d tried to resist, because even though he had made it brutally clear from the start that this was just to be a temporary affair, that he didn’t do commitment, she’d known on a deep level that she’d never connected with a man so viscerally before. And worse, connected with him in a way that evoked all her most secret yearnings for a family, and security, and home.

If there was ever a man more dangerous for Cassidy to fall for, then it was Riad Arnaud. And it was already too late. Because she’d fallen for him. She’d fallen for him the moment he’d revealed why he had rough palms. Because he’d been building a tree house for his seven-year-old daughter, Elise. A daughter she had never met because that part of his life was out of bounds to her, a mere lover.

Every day she told herself to end it…end it before he did. Yet she hadn’t. But she couldn’t keep going on like this as if their relationship wasn’t ripping her apart. This weekend, she thought with a sense of fatalism. I’ll do it this weekend…

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About the author

I spent my teens reading (devouring) Mills & Boon romances. After ...

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Abby Green

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