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The Sheikh’s Christmas Proposal

Written by Abby Green

Chapter Eleven

Riad looked at Cassidy. He was stunned. No woman had ever called time on a relationship with him. He would have expected her to be gushing about meeting Elise and raising all of his protective hackles, but instead she was saying…nonsense.

Worse, he didn’t like the sensation of cold, clammy panic. The same feeling he’d gotten when he’d heard Elise crying on the phone a short while ago.

Cassidy stood up from her seat. ‘In fact, I’ll make my own way to Paris from Geneva. I think that’s for the best. There’s no point in me meeting Elise, even briefly. She has no idea who I am and she wouldn’t be meeting me again anyway, would she?’

Her words registered and Riad stood up, pure, white-hot fury locking his muscles tight. ‘To think that I hadn’t credited you with the machinations to use Elise—but you’re no different, are you?’

Cassidy shook her head, eyes wide and very blue. ‘What are you talking about?’

‘You’re obviously hoping that I’d resist the idea of you walking away enough to insist on you meeting my daughter, while making me think that you had her best interests at heart.’

Cassidy was paler than pale now. ‘That’s sick.’

Riad continued, ‘Like I said, I’ve seen the lengths people will go to, using innocent babies to get their own way. Nothing would surprise me.’

Cassidy was fierce. ‘I do not have an agenda here, Riad. I meant what I said. It’s over. Let me leave in Geneva and you’ll never see me again, then you might believe what I’m saying.’

That made something hard and cold lodge in his gut. At every step along the way of this relationship, Cassidy had defied his expectations. And suddenly he wasn’t sure that she wouldn’t just walk away exactly as she was threatening. But everything in him rejected it. In spite of his concern for his daughter, he was not ready to let this woman go. Yet.

He stepped into her space, crowding her. She put her hands up to his chest. She was so tall she could almost look him in the eye. He clamped his hands on her hips and pulled her into his body, relishing that first contact that never failed to fire up his nerve endings. She tensed under his hands, blue eyes fierce.

‘Riad, I might want you but even if we make love again it won’t change anything.’

He recalled then how she’d started trying to tell him something after she’d come out of the bathroom, just before Elise had rung. Had he interrupted this conversation earlier? That unwelcome sense of desperation was back.

‘You know there’s more here than just chemistry.’ Riad heard himself say the words and couldn’t regret them even if he was straying even further into unchartered territory.

She shook her head but he could see feel the telltale softening of her body against his. ‘No, Riad, there’s really not. It’s over.’

Riad kissed her, deliberately avoiding her mouth to trace a path across her jaw, as if he could block out her words and how they made him feel. He trailed his lips down to where it joined her neck and bit at her soft skin gently, ruthlessly targeting all of her sensitive spots, one by one, until the tension in her form dissolved completely and she shuddered against him. The triumph he felt, though, was hollow, as if he knew it was a fleeting victory.

Her body was pliant against his now, breasts pressed against his chest. He pulled back and saw how she opened her eyes with an effort. They were dark blue. Stormy. Aroused.

He had to struggle to control his own breathing. ‘Still ready to walk away, Cass?’

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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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