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The Sheikh’s Christmas Proposal

Written by Abby Green

Chapter Eight

As Cassidy lay on the bed in the aftermath of the sensual storm Riad had just unleashed in her body, she still felt that humiliation, yes, but also a fresh sense of determination as she forced herself to recall the words he’d said to his cousin. They’d been brutal and to the point.

All Cassidy had ever wanted, since she’d found out she was adopted as a little girl, was to create a family of her own. To ease the ache in her heart that her own parents hadn’t wanted her enough to keep her.

Riad—a man who hadn’t even introduced her to his daughter—was not in the game of happily-ever-after. She knew his wife had died some six years ago but he never spoke about her. Cassidy had no idea what their relationship had been like, but a man who kept his daughter far away from the women in his life, and who never spoke about his deceased wife, was not a man inclined to change his ways any time soon.

The thought that he might still be heartbroken with grief made her own heart clench.

Stupid heart. From the very start he’d been at pains to tell her that this was only temporary. For as long as they both wanted each other. Or, Cassidy surmised cynically now, as long as he wanted her.

But then something had happened. It hadn’t ended. It had continued. Going so far as Cassidy agreeing to take birth control. Something that she’d foolishly read meaning into when really it had meant nothing at all. Except that it had made their lovemaking even more spontaneous and wild. Like just now.

Cassidy heard a noise from inside the bathroom. He was coming back and she was still lying in bed like a sated wanton. She felt far too vulnerable and defenceless and she grabbed for a robe and pulled it on as she got off the bed.

When Riad emerged with a towel slung around his lean hips, Cassidy almost forgot what she wanted to say. She dragged her helplessly hungry gaze up that delicious torso and to his hard-boned face and those fathomless dark eyes that hid so much. And steeled herself.

‘What is it, Cass? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.’

Cass. The easy way he abbreviated her name almost drained her will to do anything. It would be so much easier to say nothing and just go on…but for how long?

Riad had dropped his towel with total nonchalance and was already re-dressing. The suspicion that he expected them to rejoin the party as if nothing had happened helped her to focus.

She forced her voice to be strong. ‘Riad…I need to talk to you…about…well, about us—’

But at that moment the stridently perky ring of a mobile phone cut her off. He frowned and said, ‘Hang on, that’s Elise.’

He had a special ringtone especially for his daughter, so he always knew when she was calling. Cassidy watched as he answered in a low tone and walked away from her. Because she wasn’t meant to be privy to his private life. Even though she was his private life. One aspect of it anyway. In the bedroom. And when he needed a date for events or parties. But not the other, far more profound parts of it. Where he told her about himself, about his hopes and dreams. About his daughter.

Cassidy realised she was standing there with arms wrapped around herself, watching his back. She took the opportunity to go into the bathroom and have a shower, taking the time to compose herself, because when she came out she was going to tell Riad she was going home, with or without him.

When she emerged from the bathroom in a voluminous robe, though, Riad was fully dressed and pacing. She saw her bag on the bed behind him. His eyes were a bit wild and concern instantly flooded her. ‘What is it? Has something happened?’

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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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