“Let us dispense with all the word games and speak plainly from hereon,” Rayyan intoned with curt finality. “Why do you wish to be an intern in my department?”
“La, alshaykh.” No, sheikh. “My desire has always been to be directly under your command.”
Her frankness was disconcerting, but it was her consistently provocative choice of words that made him shake his head with exasperation. “Stop speaking that way.”
She gave him a sad look. “You don’t find it cute?”
“I find it inappropriate, considering your age.”
Her dark gaze turned surprisingly sly. “I’ll be eighteen in ten months’ time, though. Do you mean by that time----”
“Enough,” the sheikh snapped, but this only made the cheeky brat grin.
“I understand, Your Highness.” Her tone was soft and humble, and she was the epitome of modesty as she stepped back and gave him a deep bow of respect.
He watched her turn and walk away, and the sheikh told himself that it was how it should be. Hyacinth Kahveci was a bundle of trouble, and in ten months’ time, she would be a hundred times more so. If he knew what was good for him, he should let this – this insanity – end here and now and put it behind him for good.
But then he saw her fingers reach for the doorknob, and he heard himself say sharply, “Make sure you are at my office tomorrow before eight in the morning. Be tardy for even a second, and you may consider your internship with my department effectively terminated.”
The girl went still, and the silence that followed was so long that it had the sheikh’s jaw hardening. What was it about this brat? Nothing she said or did should fucking matter – and yet it did.
When Hyacinth finally turned to face him, the sheikh was cynical enough to expect a demonstration of feminine triumph: a coy smile perhaps, or a triumphant gleam in her dark eyes. But when she lifted her face to his, it only ended up reminding him that at the end of the day, she was still a seventeen-year-old child, and one whose youth was now unable to keep her from holding her emotions in check.
Her eyes were bright with tears, and a pretty smile was wobbling over her lips.
“Don’t get me wrong, alsyd. I was never in doubt that you would let me work for you. I knew in my heart that was always meant to happen, but---” She wiped away her tears with a delightfully self-conscious gesture. “What I didn’t expect was how happy it would make me.”
The raw honesty in her voice made the sheikh grunt in discomfited acknowledgment of her feelings. She was acting like he had given her the keys to the kingdom, for fuck’s sake, when in truth her internship would only have her paid peanuts.
“You asked me earlier why I wanted to work for you, alshaykh.” She paused to shoot him a look that had the sheikh almost snorting. There was a command in those eyes of hers – a seventeen-year-old girl who had neither kingdom nor fortune, commanding him, one of Ramil’s most powerful sheikhs.
Her sheer audacity was so that instead of causing affront it only made Rayyan shake his head, and he said in a resigned tone, “Fine, majamira.” It meant ‘tiny insanity’, which was exactly what she was. “I shall ask again.” As she had commanded, he thought with self-disgust, and which he was actually heeding for some foolish reason.
She rewarded him with an infectious smile, the sight of which caused such a strange tightening of his chest that Rayyan wondered if perhaps she was not the only insane one in the room.
“Why do you wish to work for me?”
“Because I truly want to learn from you, alshaykh. Actually, I want to be like you.” She spun on her heels, so quickly that the skirt of her abaya swirled about her legs just a bit. “That’s the first of two reasons.”
The last words were tossed over her shoulder, which left the sheikh in a state of incensed incredulity. What the fuck? The first of two reasons, she had said, and yet she was now acting like she was about to leave the room without telling him her other reason for wanting to work for him. Un-fucking-believable. Did this brat really think she could twist him around her finger just like that?
The girl opened the door.
To hell with her, the sheikh thought furiously. She was just a kid, and she could only push him so---
Hyacinth suddenly turned around to look at him again, and his thoughts crashed to a stop at the look on her face. It was surprisingly hesitant, almost shy, but at the same time it was confident in a way that only women could be. It was a look that a seventeen-year-old girl should have been too young and inexperienced to have, and yet it was there. It was real.
“The other reason, alsyd, is because you’re my first love.”
I hope you guys enjoyed this excerpt. Please look forward to its release! <3
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