“Then tell me what you truly think of me,” he invited coolly.
Her lips tightened.
The sheikh’s lips curved into a taunting smile. “Afraid?”
Indignation flared inside of her, and Anisah’s chin automatically lifted. “Of course not!”
“Then why not say the truth?”
“Because it’s the proper---” She caught herself in time, but it was too late.
“Proper to lie, you mean?”
Seeing the way the sheikh’s gaze laughed at her, Anisah’s teeth ground against each other, and she snapped, “All of this may be but a lark to you, but it’s different for ordinary people like me. It’s my reputation at stake---”
The sheikh cut her off, asking, “You are saying that one dance with me can cause your reputation harm?”
His eyes glittered then, and the sheikh purred, “Because you find me that attractive?”
Color burst in her cheeks at the way he had so skillfully twisted in her words, and she gasped, “I did not mean that at all!”
“And another lie---”
“I am not lying!”
Tarif shook his head. “Of course you are.”
She almost stomped her foot in frustration, hissing, “Stop this, Your Highness!”
But the sheikh’s lips only twitched in response at her furious exclamation, and the last vestige of her self-discipline broke.
Oh, curse him!
Anisah found herself no longer caring one bit of what was or wasn’t proper. All she wanted was to get rid of the too cocky look on the sheikh’s face, and this spurred her to say wrathfully, “If you want the truth so much, Your Highness, then I’ll give it to you.”
And after one deep breath, she let loose every single critical thought she had of the sheikh.
I think you’re so full of yourself!
I think you’re undeserving of the king’s trust!
I think you spend too much time fooling around, and I think you’re good for nothing but bringing added but unnecessary glamor to the kingdom!
Words of vitriol continued to pour out of her throat, with Anisah’s rage-fueled rant only ending when she had to gasp for breath.
And when she did---
Horror instead of triumph filled her, and Anisah’s hands flew to cover her mouth in dismayed shock.
Oh dear heavens!
Why had she let herself act in such an inexcusably improper manner and with an Al-Atassi sheikh of all people? How could she have forgotten that she and her sister owed their whole lives to the Al-Atassi family? Whatever happened to her vow to live honorably and properly, the way her father had not?
Tarif was about to speak when to his surprise Anisah suddenly fell to her knees, dark head bowed. “I humbly beg your forgiveness, Your Highness.” Anisah’s voice was hollow, a large part of her still reeling from shock at her sheer loss of control. No matter what she thought of Tarif Al-Atassi, it was no reason for her to disrespect the sheikh, and that she had –
Tarif’s dark gaze remained inscrutable even as his mind shrewdly assessed the telltale play of emotions on Anisah’s lovely face. He should have known that his sweet puritan would be so stricken with guilt over hurling insults at him she would end up punishing herself with something this drastic.
The question now, he thought contemplatively, was what to do about it.
He still wanted her in his bed, but he did not want her browbeaten into it. He wanted her to come to him of his own volition, but how?
As his mind continued to consider and discard one possibility after another, the sheikh was unable to resist the urge to touch her, his fingers gently reaching down to cup her chin. He felt her tremble at his touch, and a sardonic smile twisted on his lips.
If only he could make himself believe her reaction was out of sexual awareness and not because she was suffering in the throes of misplaced guilt and self-reproach.
“Yes, Your Highness?” She squared her shoulders as she waited for the sheikh’s next words, telling herself that she would take whatever punishment he deemed appropriate for her show of disrespect.
“Are you on your knees because you intend to apologize with a blowjob?”
Anisah shoved his hand away as she furiously shot up to her feet, crying out “You abominable---” She stopped speaking the moment she saw the mocking gleam in the sheikh’s eyes, realizing with a start that the infuriatingly perverse man hadn’t meant it at all, and his next words confirmed as much.
“You’re angry,” Tarif purred in approval. “That’s better. There’s no fun teasing you when you’re acting all meek and mild---”
“I am meek and mild,” she said defensively.
“And I’m both a saint and a virgin,” the sheikh retorted, laughing at her face.
For those who have yet to read any of my Desert Sheikh books, here's my suggested reading order:
- When Fangirls Lie
- When Fangirls Cry
- My Arabian Billionaire
- Love You Again