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The Sheikh’s Christmas Proposal

Written by Abby Green

Enthralled by the Sheikh’s touch!

Six months into their passionate affair, Riad’s and Cassidy’s raging desire for each other shows no signs of burning out. But Cassidy needs more than their intense but temporary relationship—it’s all Riad will ever offer her. Yet when Cassidy decides enough is enough, she finds herself drawn beyond the billionaire’s bed into a part of his life no woman has been allowed to enter. Can Riad finally accept that Cassidy is the only woman he just cannot let go?

Copyright © 2017 by Abby Green

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Chapter One

'You’re sure about this, Riad? It isn’t an insignificant offer, to become the King of Tabat…’

Riad Arnaud responded to his good friend and distant cousin’s question with a dry tone. ‘Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that kingdoms are inherited through the royal family line.’

Sheikh Salim Ibn Hafiz Al-Noury made a rude sound on the other end of the phone. ‘You’re a Sheikh and have inherited your own not insubstantial lands on the borders of Tabat and Jandor. We’re not that far removed, cousin, even if you don’t use the formal title handed down to you from your great - uncle.’

Riad repeated what he’d said to Salim already. ‘I don’t use the title because I haven’t done anything to deserve calling myself Sheikh. There are no people living in Nadar, apart from the workers who migrate in and out to maintain the oil wells. Perhaps if communities do settle there and a city is built, then it might be time to call myself Sheikh, but until then I’m running a business, that’s all. I have no desire to expand my interests in that region and becoming King would require considerably more than that. You know why I can’t, Salim.’

Riad heard his cousin sigh, admitting defeat, and felt for him, but he wouldn’t budge on this. He couldn’t. It was asking too much.

Salim addressed the reason for Riad’s refusal to uproot his life so comprehensively and asked, ‘How is Elise?’

Riad’s mouth curled up into an indulgent smile as he looked out over the stunning view of Paris outside his office window. ‘She’s amazing. The love of my life. You might know what that’s like some day, to be so wrapped around a woman’s finger that your life isn’t your own anymore.’

Salim laughed but it sounded terse. ‘I think the fact that she’s your daughter skews your bias slightly. But, love for her notwithstanding, I expect you’ll be bringing a more adult companion to the party in Tabat this weekend?’

‘That’s assuming I’m still invited?’ Riad said lightly, even as his mind was instantly flooded with images of the woman he’d left in her bed only a few hours ago, before returning to his own apartment as dawn had broken over Paris to be there for when his seven-year-old daughter woke up to go to school.

Long, dark red hair had been spread across the pillow…a lithe body strategically covered by a sheet from her waist down. From her high, perfectly shaped breasts, to her small waist, generous hips and impossibly long legs, she was every inch the supermodel who had dominated the fashion industry for nearly a decade, Cassidy O’Connor.

With irritating predictability his blood got hot, flowing to parts of his body that he’d had little control over for months. Six months. Riad preferred not to think about the significance of that.

He’d taken lovers since his wife had died almost six years ago but none had lasted more than a couple of weeks. Until Cassidy.

‘Of course you’re still invited.’ Salim’s voice broke him out of his reverie and Riad welcome it, not liking where his thoughts had been heading.

‘Then I’ll be there. I can’t do as you ask, Salim. I won’t do that to my daughter, thrusting her into a life of duty she never asked for. But I will support you in whatever you do, you know that.’

His cousin sounded a little gruff. ‘Thank you, I appreciate that. So, who will be your guest?’

Riad felt the slightest moment of uncomfortable awareness of his lover’s significance in his life before pushing it down and saying, ‘I’ll be bringing Cassidy.’ A little voice pointed out that he hadn’t actually asked her yet, but with an arrogance born of coming from one of France’s oldest and wealthiest families, not to mention his status as one of the world’s most eligible widowers, Riad knew the answer would be yes.

Not many turned him down in any sphere of his life. Cassidy had, though, at the start. Until you finally persuaded her into your bed. Riad crushed that memory, too, not liking to be reminded that even now she was the only woman he’d ever been with whose behaviour he couldn’t predict.

It had taken time to woo her, and while that had been refreshing to his jaded palate, he’d put it down to the fact that she was just more adept at playing the game than his other lovers. But that assertion rang hollow now. After getting to know her, he knew she didn’t play games.

His cousin made a whistling sound down the phone. ‘It’s still Cassidy? She’s lasted longer than most…’

Hearing his own thoughts spoken out loud was not welcome. Riad terminated the conversation with a terse ‘I’ll see you at the weekend, Salim.’

Still feeling prickly and irritated, he composed a text and sent it, then threw his phone down onto the table.

Riad walked over to the massive window and told himself that the only reason Cassidy was still in his life was because their chemistry was off the charts, and because they were on exactly the same page. They both knew that this relationship had no future.

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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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