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Written by Caitlin Crews

Chapter Twenty

Eighteen months later, I stood out in the lush gardens as another bright desert sun sank into a soft night.

I had come here because I wanted what had been given to my brothers. But I stayed because I loved it. It was New York that seemed like a dream to me now, the girl I’d been there a stranger to me now.

I was in love with a prince of the desert, and though he might spend time all over the world tending to his business interests, he always came back here. To the desert. To this kingdom.

To me.

I felt him before I saw him. The air changed, went electric.

Once I’d joked that my tattoos danced on my skin when he was near. But that was as good a way to explain it as any other.

“Welcome home,” I said, shivering slightly.

He came up behind me, settling his hands possessively on my neck, where I wore the choker necklace he’d had made for me after our first six months.

If anything, he was a more demanding lover now than he’d been at the start. But then, so was I. We hid nothing from each other. The only games we played were calculated to make us both fall apart in the most beautiful ways.

Over and over again.

“Did you forget to tell me something, little one?” There was a dark undertone in his voice, as if I was in trouble, but it only made me smile.

“I knew you were on your way home from Paris. I thought I’d wait.”

“When a man is going to be a father, Angelique, he wants to know this news. Immediately.”

I turned in his arms, tilting my head back so I could look up at that beautiful face of his. Steel, stone.

All of him mine.

“You’re going to be a father.” I was unable to keep the smile off my face.

He made a deep noise that rang in me like a bell.

“Just when I think I can’t love you any more, that it’s impossible, you prove me wrong.” He pulled me close, his expression as fierce as it was exultant. “I love you, little one. So much.”

“Tell me what you want, Zain,” I whispered, making him blink.

Then smile.

He had asked me to marry him too many times to count, but I’d wanted to make sure. Even after a year had passed with things only hotter and better, I’d worried. I couldn’t help it.

But my worries were gone now.

We were going to be a family.

“You know what I want.” He smoothed a hand over my hair, then tugged me closer. “If you want me to marry you, my beautiful love, you’re going to have to ask for it.” He gave me that stern look I adored when I opened my mouth to oblige. “Not like that.”

I knew what he wanted. I wanted it, too.


I sank down on my knees, one hand curling over the child we’d made and would raise, together, out here in these magical gardens surrounded by the enduring sands.

We would endure in the same way, surrendering to each other and making ourselves more powerful every time. That was what love did.

He’d taught me that, too.

I gazed up at him, so forbidding. So delicious.

So utterly mine.

“I love you. I want you to marry me and love me and this baby forever. Pretty please.” My smile was so wide I thought it might crack my face in two. Then I let it go wicked, and used the name he liked best. “Sir.”

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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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