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Authors: Kris Pearson

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BOOK: Taken by the Sheikh
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“Let me—please let me,” she whispered, relaxing her fierce hold on him so her legs slid down against his. She started to back out of the water, tugging at his hand, hoping he’d follow her to the shore. “I want to see you, not just feel,” she insisted. “I want the moon on your skin so I can discover everything about you. Lie down for me, Rafiq.”

He was soon sprawled flat on his back with Laurel pinning him down so her small hands could strip off his trunks and wander where they wanted.

She sat naked astride his thighs and gazed down at him in the dim light, not quite believing she’d found the courage to do this. She ran a finger along the slim stripe of hair on his belly and he growled with barely suppressed passion as her hand finally curled around his hard length.

She stroked and squeezed, enchanted by his smoothness and the way the loose skin slid over the solid core of him.

“He’s like a cat,” she whispered. “I can feel the muscles under his coat.”

She hadn’t expected that. Not the soft velvet surface or the thrilling inner hardness, or the way he flexed in her hand as she explored. He was beautiful. Suddenly her long-held fears seemed childish. She wanted to become a woman—and it had to be with this man.

 

Rafiq groaned when she changed her position and started to slide wetly and deliciously against him.

“Condoms,” he rasped. “Let me up.”

“No—I want you just like this so I’m in charge.”

He toppled her over sideways and wrapped her in his arms and legs.

“So
who’s
in charge?” he demanded, smile brilliant. “I’m not taking the chance of sending you home pregnant.” He pushed himself to his feet and strode the few steps to the car, not seeing she’d slumped down looking devastated until he turned back to her.

“Laurel?” he asked, finding eyes downcast. He tipped her chin up with his hand. “What’s wrong, Miss Kiwi?”

She shook her head. “Nothing,” she sighed. “Just—you said you were sending me home.”

“Of course you have to go home. I’m simply keeping you safe for a while. You must see that?” He kissed her softly. “Safe in every way,” he murmured, pressing the condom into her hand and lying back on the fur throw again so she could continue her tantalizing game.

He presumed she knew the theory, but soon found the practical side of sheathing a man was entirely new to her.

He threw his head back and clenched his teeth. The sensation of her soft fingers! She was devil and angel combined. Who’d have thought a shy little foreigner could have such an effect on him?

“Is it right?” she asked dubiously.

Rafiq swallowed and nodded, trying to keep a tight rein on his self-control as she straddled his hips again and sank slowly and experimentally against him. The slippery heat of her body invited him in, but then he lost the glorious sensation as she rose up again. He grasped her hips and pulled her down. Once more she checked his progress. He stifled his frustration and let her control things as she wished. There was plenty of time, and the sight of her above him, all pale skin and fair tousled hair, was erotic beyond belief. She continued to rock gently backwards and forwards, almost taking him in and then retreating, leaning over so long blonde tendrils slid softly over his chest.

He reached up to her and buried his hands in spun-gold, combing with his fingers so the full length of her hair cascaded down, lustrous in the moonlight. Then he pulled her face close to his for a deep savage kiss.

Laurel caught her breath, and after a moment’s hesitation she pressed down until he plunged through her hymen.

He grunted with shock and sudden understanding. A flood of elation and primal possession roared through him. He was at once proud and humble, sorrowful and delighted. She’d been a virgin and had chosen him to be her first lover. He could find no English to express his emotions adequately; instead he whispered to her in husky Sounamese as she continue her cautious advance-and-retreat. Finally she had him buried deep and hot to the hilt.

He closed his eyes and abandoned himself to sensation. How long since he’d lost himself so completely?

There’d been many women—women who saw a handsome man, or a rich one. Sophisticated socialites who played him at his own game, trading pleasure for pleasure, company for company.

But this little girl seemed to have no such expectations.

He urged her to lean down toward him, and reached up to sift his fingers through her pale moonlit hair again.

“Laurel,” he breathed, “Come lower.” He cradled her soft breasts in his hands and fastened his mouth around each nipple in turn as she hung above him and he drove up into her.

 

Laurel sighed as the sudden shimmering sparkle of sensation spread from her breasts to her womb. Now everything was a hundred times more intense, more blissful.

Yes, it hurt a little, and there was such a strange feeling of fullness each time he thrust deep inside her. But the slippery glide and slide was magic once she became more used to him. And his mouth on her breasts! “More Rafiq, please. Harder,” she begged, surprising herself with the demand.

“Harder?” he queried. “Like this?” He bucked beneath her with steely strength, invading with masterful possession. Then his teeth fastened around a nipple, and he scraped and bit tenderly until she couldn’t hold back her incoherent moans.

The pleasure swept through her in a blinding rush, pulsing and flickering, ecstasy flowing sweet and thick to where their bodies thrust together with ever-increasing slickness. She trembled and gasped as she clenched around him again and again, and she ground out his name with every sensuous shudder.

Finally he pulled her down and wrapped her tightly in his arms so her head lay pillowed against his shoulder and her hair cascaded across his chest. Minutes ticked by, and her heart-rate gradually slowed to somewhere near normal.

“I never thought it would be so beautiful,” she murmured.

 

Rafiq was assaulted by the twin emotions of smug masculine pride and searing hate for any other man who might try to enjoy her body in the future.

Or any
other man who even thinks of touching her.

“Let me make it happen again,” he whispered.  “Again and again—just as good.” He rolled until he lay above her, looking down at her glowing face and tousled hair, and began the delicious journey towards his own release.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he demanded, minutes later.

“Tell you what?” she murmured, eyes flicking open to lock with his.

She looked gorgeously cozy, wrapped in his arms, surrounded by the huge fur throw.

He’d been right about the desert cooling rapidly once the sun went down. Their breaths now made tiny white puffs on the chilly air.

“Why didn’t you tell me I’d be your first man?”

“Oh that,” she said, closing her eyes again.

“That,” he said, “was important. I might have hurt you.”

“But you didn’t. Well—only for a moment.” She slid a hand out from under the fur and traced a fingertip along each of his dark eyebrows.

“This was the first piece of you I saw when you pulled the bag off me,” she said.

“My eyebrows?”

“And your eyes. So fierce and foreign.”

“And now you’ve seen all of me, which piece do you like best?” he teased.

 

The rising sun sent fingers of gold over the big bed next morning.

“Rafiq?” she murmured. “That thing you do with your tongue?”

Sudden shyness appeared to assail her.

He smiled drowsily.

“Yes Laurel?”

“Umm—it was nice.”

“I’m pleased. I meant it to be.” He waited, stroking a hand over her bare rump as she lay half-across his chest.

“Rafiq?”

“Yes, Laurel?”

“Would you like to do it again...?”

He laughed, rich and deep, at her plaintive tone. Satisfaction flooded the length of his body, and he pinched her bottom. “I would be honored to do it again, Laurel, but first—what are we going to do about this?” He moved her hand to enclose his morning erection. “He always wakes up before me, the devil.”

“Always?” Her eyes were huge.

“It seems that way, Laurel. Perhaps we should deal to him first and then, after our bath, I could do that thing with my tongue...?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

 

Ash Winthrop stretched as far as the cramped seating allowed. It had been a long tiring trip, and they’d changed planes twice—first from the international jumbo to a noisy old 747, and then to this smaller and smarter commuter craft. Beside him, reporter Barry Marsh snored softly, having enjoyed an unholy amount of free airline alcohol on the first long flight.

Ash’s brain still spun from the speed of things. After the first TV News item it seemed every journalist in New Zealand (and several from Australia) had besieged Trinity Stud hoping for interviews.

He wasn’t playing ball. The TV channel had promised to fly him to Al Sounam at their expense if he let them have exclusive rights to the story. He’d intended to somehow get there under his own steam so this suited him fine; the airfare he didn’t have to fork out for, and the extra payment they’d offered, would take care of a lot of work around the stud.

The address system crackled on with a message from the pilot. The language was incomprehensible—to Ash’s ears it sounded full of clicks and throat-clearings. He was relieved to have it repeated in curiously correct English.

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. In twenty minutes we will be landing in Al-Dubriz, the capital city of Al Sounam. The weather is fine, with a light breeze from the south, and the temperature there is thirty-eight degrees Celsius—or around a hundred and four for those of you more familiar with the Fahrenheit scale. We expect no significant turbulence between here and our destination.”

Ash settled back in the seat again, unable to suppress his very definite feelings of excitement. In twenty minutes he’d be on the same ground as his grand-daughter, and then the real work would begin.

His movements were enough to shake Barry Marsh from his doze. Barry gazed around blearily.

“On the ground in twenty minutes,” Ash said with satisfaction. “It’s a hundred and four.”

The rumpled reporter cursed, heaved himself upright, and glanced at his watch. “Do we need to go over this once more?” he asked. “We’re here as visitors—no mention of TV or your grand-daughter—and we’re travelling home in a week?”

“Fine, fine,” Ash said evenly. In fact he seethed at the young reporter’s somewhat high-handed treatment—as though he was some old codger in his dotage instead of the well-respected owner of a very fine thoroughbred stud, even if its reputation was now somewhat on the wane. But Ash was wily enough to keep any resentment well-hidden until he’d achieved everything he could. After all, this young pup was currently his best chance of meeting Laurel, and possibly tracking down Debs as well.

“No mention of TV,” Ash repeated, nodding.

They were to be met by a local journalist known to Barry through other overseas assignments, then transported straight to the TV studios where Ash would be subjected to yet another interview. Barry had explained in far too much detail why it was best not to draw attention to themselves ‘in this part of the world’. Hence they’d negotiated to make use of local TV facilities instead of bringing their own crew. The story was advantageous to both networks—some sort of split/share arrangement had obviously been worked out.

“Don’t let the heat faze you,” Barry said. “The cars all have air conditioning. Ditto the buildings. You won’t be out in it for long.”

“I’m not averse to a bit of heat,” Ash snapped. “I worked a few years on an Australian cattle station back in the sixties to get the money together to start the stud. A hundred was nothing there. You young people have it soft.”

Barry’s cocky grin said otherwise. “Right,” he agreed.

 

Yasmina nodded with approval when Laurel arrived in the kitchen wearing a hip-length knitted silk top. The warm pink tone brought a soft flush to the girl’s pale cheeks. The slippery fabric revealed her womanly curves for the master. It was a shame about the faded old jeans, but if they were riding the horses then it wouldn’t matter. The master often wore jeans himself when he rode.

Why had Lord Rafiq not brought his woman proper riding trousers? Using the excuse of turning down Laurel’s bed, she’d made a quick inspection of Rafiq’s purchases the evening before—admiring the colors and fabrics of the swirling skirts and fitted tops. She’d pursed her lips as she turned back the sheets; the proper formalities must be observed, even if there was very little chance the girl would be sleeping there.

That morning Rafiq had directed her to take the tea-tray to his bedroom, and she’d found the girl sitting in bed, looking slightly embarrassed but thoroughly at home. 

Now, after a second night at the lodge, her position seemed even more secure.

Yasmina paid careful attention as Rafiq arrived in the kitchen. His eyes roamed possessively over his house-guest, and he took a few small white flowers from the vase on the table and threaded them into Laurel’s hair.

The master did not do this kind of thing. Yasmina turned away to hide her smile.

 

Once again Muzaffar and Azizah whickered their welcome. This time Laurel leaned against Azizah’s warm side without being coaxed, patting her neck and whispering endearments in her ear.

“Do they like to run?” she asked Rafiq.

“They’re Arabians—the fastest in the world. They’re bred to run.”

He turned aside to gather up their robes.

“But do they
like
to run?”

“They need the exercise. I won’t have them growing fat and lazy. They have no choice but to run if I command it, just as I have no choice about the work I do. It is necessary.”

“And you are commanded?”

“Commanded by me.”

“Because of your lost family or your royal position?”

He smiled grimly. “My family. I have no position right now, Laurel. That’s why I can work undercover. I’m not known. I barely exist.”

BOOK: Taken by the Sheikh
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