Hidden in the Sheikh's Harem: Christmas at the Castello(10)

By: Michelle Conder

Besides, she had something to prove. This was nothing more than a classic power play and she would not let him see that he intimidated her. Not that he did, exactly; it was just that any animal handler knew that you approached an unknown beast with caution. Particularly a large, predatory one.

Deciding that, like cleaning the privy, thinking about the deed was worse than actually doing it, Farah clenched her jaw and dug the tips of her fingers into the fragrant meat dish. She had to shuffle even closer to him and his male scent rose to mingle with the food. Logically he should have smelt like a pair of damp old socks. He didn’t. He smelt of man and sweat and heat.


What did heat even smell like?

That was about as relevant to her current objective as the shape of his mouth. Quickly, before she could change her mind, she scooped out a portion of meat and rice, careful to keep the bowl close to catch any drips, and leaned forward onto the balls of her feet before raising her fingers to his mouth.

In this position she was almost straddling him and she flushed hotly as unexpected images of the two of them naked and entwined came into her head. A year ago she’d seen a sexy magazine spread of a man and a woman pretending to make love. She’d felt a momentary jolt of curiosity at seeing them but it was nothing compared to the jolt she was feeling now. She’d always viewed sex as a means of procreation, not pleasure. So why had her mind transplanted the skimpily clad models in the magazine with the two of them? It was so clear she could almost picture the prince’s powerful body lying beneath her own; she could almost see herself sitting astride him; could almost feel the press of his ribs against her inner thighs. She squeezed them together unconsciously and heat bloomed there, catching her off guard.

The walls of the tent seemed to draw in around her as she fought to contain her body’s visceral reaction to her thoughts and she frowned as the prince’s firm lips remained resolutely closed. Exasperated, she lifted her eyes to his, the angry tirade she was about to unleash on him dying on her tongue as he chose that moment to lean forward and draw the rice and meat—and her fingers—inside his warm mouth.

As soon as her fingers slipped inside his lips, his tongue curled around them to claim the food. She felt its warm, thick moistness and shuddered at the rush of liquid heat between her legs and the tingling sensation that caused her nipples to tighten. She’d never experienced anything like this and she couldn’t tear her eyes from his.

Dimly aware that she was all but panting, she was completely mesmerised by the way he licked and sucked on her fingers, some deep part of her consciousness trying to tell her that her fingers were now well and truly clean. Still she allowed him to linger, another part of her consciousness urging her to replace her fingers with her mouth. It was so overpowering it was all she could do not to lean in and...

Realising she was about to topple into him, she felt a fire rise up to consume her face and jerked back. Before she could remove her fingers, however, he gripped her wrist and stroked his tongue in between the webbing.

‘I think I missed a bit,’ he murmured in a rough voice that worked like a sanding tool over her sensitive skin. His tongue flicked back and forth, back and forth, in a purely sensual exploration, before gently biting down on her sensitive palm.

A small whimper escaped her lips and her fingers curled against his beard-roughened face, her body swaying toward his. Almost absently she was aware that a warning voice had started clanging inside her brain but his hand was pressing hers closer. His hand that was...that was...

By Allah! Farah’s eyes flew to his as it finally registered that his hands were free, only to find him staring into hers with a knowing gleam. Immediately she tried to wrench herself free and the small metal bowl hit the dirt as she valiantly pushed against him. Unfortunately he was on her quicker than lightning could fork into the ground and she was on her back before she had time to blink.

Slightly winded from the way he tossed her onto the ground, Farah twisted away from him to scream, but the back of her head hit the dirt as his large hand clamped over her mouth. ‘Oh, no, you don’t. There will be no calling the cavalry just yet, sweetheart.’

Farah squirmed beneath the weight of his upper body and knew it was futile to push against him. He was too strong. And it wasn’t just from lean, hard-packed muscle either. One look into his furious face and she could see that he’d leashed his rage so successfully she hadn’t realised how deep it ran. Although she should have, and perhaps she would have, if she hadn’t been stupidly distracted by his masculinity and her own rioting hormones.