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Written by Caitlin Crews

Chapter Five

For the first time in my life, I stammered. That was how thrown I was.

“I… I can handle anything,” I told this man who looked like sin and was a literal prince, though clearly felt no particular need to act charming.

I’d felt caught. Seen straight through, and I wasn’t sure I liked it, there on that low, sleek sofa in the middle of a party I’d already forgotten about.

Zain had studied me for a long while. Then he’d nodded slightly and I’d taken that as an invitation to lay out what I wanted: a position in the Desert Oasis.

“You want a job,” he said when I was done, and I couldn’t read that curious look on his face.

“I want the chance to earn the hotel my father should have left me.”

Zain considered me. “And you think that I, a total stranger, should give you this chance when your father didn’t.”

The stern expression on his face made me shivery inside, but I’d scowled at him anyway. “He should have. So should you.”

“You should know that I don’t take orders well.”

I’d shrugged. “Neither do I.”

Zain’s mouth had curved. “Are you sure?”

I didn’t know what that meant. “What? Of course I’m sure.”

He leaned in close, then, putting his mouth near my ear. I could feel him. His breath, his heat. I was burning alive—

“Let’s find out,” he said, dark and stirring. “I want you to obey.”

And when he’d pulled back he’d handed me a card.

“Come to this address at eight o’clock, two days from now,” he said. “Be on time.”

“I don’t actually take orders,” I threw at him as he stood.

“So you said,” Zain replied. And his smile had been enigmatic.

As if he knew that deep inside, I was aflame.

Then he’d walked away.

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About the author

I discovered my first romance novel at the age of twelve. It involved...

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Caitlin Crews

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