Prince Nadir's Secret Heir(9)

By: Michelle Conder



He blew out a frustrated breath. ‘If you’d cooperate and tell me what I want to know I wouldn’t need to use any tactics. Now, my car is waiting at the corner.’ He arched his arm towards a low-slung black beast of a Mercedes. ‘Shall we?’

‘No,’ she bit out, ‘we shall not. Not until I understand what this is about.’

The line between her brows reappeared as she stared at him and a pulse point beat frantically in the base of her throat. A pulse point he still had an inexplicable urge to cover with his lips. His tongue.

He muttered an old Arabian curse and realised what he’d just done. What was it about this woman that made him unconsciously regress to his native language? By Allah... He cursed again. Jerked his eyes back to hers. ‘What this is about,’ he began with a calmness that belied the heated blood pounding through his veins, ‘is that it looks very much like you had my child and didn’t tell me.’

If possible, the line between her brows deepened and he had the stupidest notion to place the pad of his finger against it and smooth it away. ‘What’s her name?’ he asked gruffly.

Emerald eyes darkened almost to black before dropping from his. ‘This is pointless, Nadir.’ Her soft, desperate plea fell between them as insignificant as one of her gauzy dance costumes and he savoured the defeat in it.

‘Pointless for you, perhaps,’ he agreed pleasantly.

A soft moan broke from her lips and his body registered it as one she used to make in bed and it appalled him that he could be so angry one minute and so aroused the next. It was those damned memories of having her spread out naked on his bed that were the problem.

During his more unguarded moments those memories crept up on him like the flu and reminded him that once—once—he had thought he’d found something special with a woman.

A low growl filled the base of his throat. This, he would have said, was not an unguarded moment and yet his control over his body felt tenuous, tangled up in the silken awareness of the female in front of him, who was dressed in nothing more provocative than denim jeans and a red T-shirt.

‘Please, Nadir...’

‘Please what, Imogen?’ he rasped, hating the sound of his name on her treacherous lips and welcoming another shot of anger as it jetted through him. ‘Please forgive you for keeping the birth of my child from me? Because she is mine, isn’t she?’

He didn’t know if it was his words or his tone that brought her chin up but her beautiful eyes glittered angrily. ‘I did not keep her birth from you. You knew I was pregnant and you didn’t want anything to do with her.’

Her voice had grown shrill and a couple of shoppers hesitated before passing them by.

‘I don’t think so. Now come.’

‘You didn’t even believe it was your baby. God,’ she exclaimed, ‘can’t you just forget that we ever saw each other again?’

‘Like you want to?’

She didn’t answer, to her credit, which was just as well because his control was heading in the same direction as his day. ‘Tell me,’ he began silkily. ‘Do you believe in fate, Imogen?’

‘No.’

‘Then you’ll just have to put this meeting down to luck, won’t you?’

She glared at him and pulled her bottom lip between her teeth, which meant she was thinking hard. Not that it mattered. He stepped closer to her, inhaling her wonderful, sweet scent that was somehow the same and yet different. He swallowed against a sudden rush of conscience. He had nothing to feel guilty about here. ‘You’re coming with me,’ he said quietly. ‘Even if I have to put you into that car myself.’

Her brows shot up at that. ‘Not even you would do something so heinous.’

Nadir gave a sharp bark of laughter. If only she knew how close he was to doing exactly that.

‘Then what are you afraid of, habibi?’

‘I’m not afraid. I’m confused,’ she said with bald honesty. ‘What do you want?’

‘To talk.’ He had a lot of questions to clear up; not least of all was how she had hidden herself away so effectively his security team hadn’t been able to find her until now. And then there was the small matter that he wanted to be a part of his child’s life. A permanent part. But he had no doubt she’d welcome that. It would mean money and status and he hadn’t met many people who wouldn’t put that ahead of integrity and self-respect.

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