Sold to the sheikh his i.., p.13
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       His Indecent Proposal, p.13
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         Part #1 of Sold To The Sheikh series by Holly Rayner
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  Mia's shock dissipated with a few heartbeats, and adrenaline surged through her body as she remembered the reason why she had broken off her agreement with Rami in the first place. Son of a bitch had me followed again! Mia's heart began to pound not with panic but with anger, and she turned away from the pier railing, watching as Rami took up a position off to the side, leaning against another piling.

  She strode towards him, trembling with the anger that crackled through her veins, determined to confront him about manipulating her. Wasn't it enough that he called her three times a day? That she felt like a prisoner in her own house? Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Mia gritted her teeth, her hands tightening into fists as she advanced on him. An impulse ran along her arm, to raise one of her hands and let it fly at the back of Rami's head, but she held back. Instead, Mia took a breath and tapped him on the shoulder.

  Rami turned around, looking startled.

  "What, were you just going to pretend like you just happened to decide to come to the pier too? Why are you still having someone follow me? Can't you just leave me alone to think about what I want to do, what I need?" Rami threw his hands defensively, his eyes widening in the face of her anger.

  "No-no. I know you won't believe me, Mia, but I really, genuinely just came here on my own. I know now that it was screwed up to have you followed; no one has been watching you for weeks!"

  "Why would you pick this spot then?" Mia countered, not missing a beat.

  "I just kind of always liked it here. I've always come here when I needed to think," Rami said, shrugging. He let his hands fall to his sides. "Look, I know I was wrong to have you followed. As soon as you went home that night I told the guy I'd hired that I didn't need his services any longer." Mia peered at Rami's face intently. To her surprise, she could see faint lines around his eyes, a puffiness to his face that she hadn't noticed before.

  "Well okay, say I believe you" Mia said uncertainly. "Why have you been calling me three times a day, then?" Rami smiled weakly.

  "Well first of all, because I wanted to try and make amends," he said. "You never gave me a chance! But also, because I do still hope we can work things out between us on the issue of having kids. I still want you to be the mother of my child." Mia shook her head.

  "But what if I just can't conceive? You'd be wasting your money."

  Rami shrugged. "If you can't get pregnant this way, we can take some of the fertilized eggs and just?I guess?put them in a surrogate. Or something. We could go to another country and see a different doctor there." Mia considered the suggestion; with her mother's condition still uncertain, she wasn't sure she could just up and leave the country. But at the same time, she had been working so hard to become pregnant, she wanted to try every possibility before she gave up on it completely.

  Even more than that, seeing Rami in person made Mia realize that she had genuinely missed being around him. The feeling of comfort she had being in his company, the feeling of safety she had been missing, even in her own home, once everything had gone so badly between them, was something she didn't want to lose. The feelings had crept up on her so slowly that she hadn't really given herself the space to examine them; she had pushed them aside, so consumed was she with the need to fulfill her obligation to Rami, so guilty over the money he had paid, that she hadn't let herself realize that she felt better, and happier, just being around him than with any man she had ever dated.

  Acting on impulse, before Rami could say anything else, Mia plunged forward. She closed the short distance between them, throwing her arms around Rami, and before she could even question what she was going to do, pressed her lips to his. Rami stood very still, and Mia felt the first stirrings of low dread start up in the pit of her stomach as she realized she might have crossed an unforgiveable line. But then, just when she would have pulled back and run away down the pier, unable to face the disappointment of knowing for certain that Rami didn't return her feelings, Mia felt his arms coil tightly around her waist, holding her close. He began to kiss her back, and Mia relaxed against him, feeling the firm flesh of his lean body through his clothes, the warmth of him.

  How long they kissed, Mia never knew. She was so content, wrapped up in Rami's arms, feeling his body pressed to hers, that she thought she could have stayed that way forever. They parted, caught their breath, and before a word could be said they began to kiss again. Mia felt her feelings shift from comfort and relief to desire. Her body tingled all over, heating up as Rami's hands moved slowly over her curves, in a lingering, loving caress, as they held one another at the end of the pier.

  "I don't know if I'm going too fast," Rami said, breaking away from Mia's lips and panting slightly. "But can we go back to my place? This is a little public." Mia laughed breathlessly and nodded, more than willing to continue in private. Her knees felt weak as she separated from Rami at her car.

  "I'll follow you," Mia said, smiling. Her whole body tingled as she got into her car, anxious and keen to be alone with Rami as soon as humanly possible. Even before she had agreed to be the surrogate mother of Rami's child, Mia's sex life had been entirely academic, and since she had wanted to make sure any child she carried would be Rami's child, it had been easy for Mia to agree to remain celibate while they were trying. But after more than a year with no more physical affection from the opposite sex beyond a hug or a kiss on the cheek, Mia's body was more than ready to leap at the opportunity Rami had suggested.

  Mia was in such a hurry to get out of her car when they arrived at Rami's upscale apartment building that she nearly tripped over the curb. Rami was at her side in an instant, catching her by the shoulders, pulling her close and kissing her again before Mia could even fully recover from the near-fall. He pressed her against the side of the car, his arms tight around her, his lips claiming hers so thoroughly that she couldn't have broken away to speak even if she had wanted to. She could feel the buzzing hum of anticipation crackling through every nerve, her whole body exquisitely awake, on the edge of completion with all of her clothes still on.

  Rami led her to his private elevator and Mia had to prevent herself tapping her foot in impatience as it made its way silkily through the floors from the garage level to his penthouse apartment. "Oh God," she muttered, still panting slightly from the heady kiss Rami had given her moments before, "it's been a really long time for me." Rami grinned, looking almost wolfish in his delight.

  "Me too," he said. Mia rolled her eyes.

  "Liar. You've been going after models and sycophants this whole time." Rami shook his head, his dark eyes serious.

  "First, I stopped because I wanted to sort of? save myself?for the sperm collections," he said, blushing slightly. "Then I felt bad about having sex with anyone while you had to stay celibate? and then?" he smiled, one of the most genuine, beautiful smiles Mia had ever seen on his face. "I couldn't even think of having sex with anyone but you-and I thought that I would never get the chance, but the idea of anyone else was just?" he shrugged, shaking his head.

  "So then, let's take it slow?" Mia felt suddenly shy, worried that she had somehow lost whatever kind of skill she might have had in the months she had been without experience.

  "As slow as you want," Rami told her, reaching out to take her hand in his as the elevator came to a stop. They both hurried down the hall towards the door to his apartment, and Mia almost giggled, giddy at the prospect of being alone with Rami, of seeing him without all of his expensive clothes-although, on this one occasion in all the months she'd known him, he wasn't in something she recognized to be designer. He was dressed like any guy off the street, but still looked like himself: still handsome, still kind, still beautiful and familiar, even without the tailored clothes and shined shoes.

  The door closed behind them and Rami swung Mia into his arms, kissing her once again. His hands wandered all over her body, and Mia felt herself becoming more and more aroused, her skin heating up and her heart beating faster and faster in her chest. She thought that she might not b
e able to remain upright if Rami's strong arms left her, if his lean, muscled body moved even slightly; Mia clung to Rami as if for life itself, losing herself in the kiss, uncaring of how long they stood there. Rami broke away from her lips and looked into her eyes. "I'm in love with you, Mia, do you know that?" Mia blinked, stunned and momentarily too aroused to process what he had said. When his words filtered through the haze of desire that filled her mind, Mia smiled, relaxing against him almost bonelessly.

  "I think I'm in love with you, too," she admitted. Rami kissed her again and Mia made no move at all to stop him as he began to lead her away from the foyer of his apartment and towards the bedroom.

  * * *

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