Undone by the Sultan's Touch

By: Caitlin Crews

“Kiss me, if you are so daring.”

When Cleo Churchill’s travels land her in the path of Khaled bin Aziz, Sultan of Jhurat, she’s instantly transfixed by his warrior physique, commanding presence and intense eyes. But what would a sultan want with an ordinary girl like her?

Cleo is exactly what Khaled needs—a convenient, yet beautiful bride to unite his warring country. He’ll offer her diamonds and riches but nothing more.

Yet as their marriage plays out in the darkness of the night, the passions unearthed threaten to consume them both!

Khaled would take her from the palace and Cleo would finally, finally be his in every possible way.

That same fire she’d tasted that night three months ago simmered in her at the thought, making her cheeks heat, making her stomach twist in delicious anticipation, making her feel hungry and wild despite all the eyes trained on her.

Almost as if he’d left them both unfulfilled deliberately.

“Where are we going?” she asked when Khaled finally took her by the hand and led her from the banquet to the sound of so many cheers, though the truth was she didn’t care at all as long as he was with her.

“You will see when we get there,” Khaled told her, and then he smiled down at her in a way that made her quiver deep inside, all that dark intent on his fierce face, all of his focus on her, at last. At last. “Though I must warn you, wife, that I doubt you will see much at all outside my bed.”


THE GIRL CAME out of nowhere.

Cleo Churchill stamped on the brakes in her tiny rental car, gasping as the car swerved before coming to a jolting halt in the narrow little alley of a road somewhere deep in the twisting, ancient heart of the capital city of Jhurat.

For one panicked heartbeat, then another, she thought she’d been seeing things. The blazing desert sun was only then beginning to drop behind the ornate historic buildings, making the shadows lengthen and stretch. She’d lost her way in the tangle of old streets and one city looked very much like another after six months of traveling all around Europe and into the Middle East. And more to the point, there was absolutely no reason a girl should dive in front of her car—

But there she was, young and wide-eyed and startlingly pretty behind her flowing scarves, right there at the passenger window—seemingly unharmed.

I didn’t hit her, thank God.

“Please!” The girl spoke through the car’s open window, desperate and direct. “Help me!”

Cleo didn’t think. The adrenaline of the near miss hummed through her with an almost sickening electricity, but she motioned toward the door, aware as she did it that her hands were shaking.

“Are you all right?” she asked as the girl wrenched open the door and threw herself inside. “Are you hurt? Do you need—?”

“Drive!” the girl cried as if pursued by demons. “Please! Before—”

Cleo didn’t wait to find out before what. She’d escaped her own demons, hadn’t she? She knew how it was done. She stepped on the gas pedal, scowling as she concentrated fiercely on the narrow road in front of her, which she dearly hoped led back out of this maze of ancient narrow streets that wound erratically around Jhurat’s central palace, home to its governing sultan. Beside her, the girl breathed heavily and high-pitched, as if she’d been running.

“You’re okay,” Cleo said, trying to soothe her—or even herself. “We’re okay now.”

And then a man stalked out of the shadows, directly into the car’s path, as if daring Cleo to run straight into him. She heard herself gasp out a curse, but her eyes were fixed on him as surely as if he’d demanded it.

He was tall and fierce, forbidding and uncompromising in the loose robes that marked him a local—a wealthy local—and did nothing at all to conceal his markedly powerful form. The sun was behind him and hid his face, but Cleo could still feel the weight of his stare. Like an impossible knot in her own chest.

He stood there in the center of the road, imperious and bold. He crossed his arms over his broad chest and waited—and it wasn’t until she realized he wasn’t moving that she also realized she wasn’t, either. That she’d stopped the car directly in front of him as if he’d held up his hands like a police officer and commanded it.

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