What's a little seduction between friends?
Arya Mokri, the ultimate wallflower, has to stop dreaming of His Royal Highness, Sheikh Javad Shirin, or she's going to lose her mind. She's been crushing on him for months and it's time to move on. If he won't have her, she'll find someone who will...
A consummate diplomat, Sheikh Javad would never dream of sleeping with the woman whose friendship he values so much. But when she arrives at an event in a dress showing too much skin and even more poor judgment, he finds himself wondering what it would look like on his bedroom floor. Worse, his suddenly sexy friend plans an affair with his own brother.
Tonight, he vows, her plans will change. Whether she wants them to or not.
"Excuse me," said a male voice so familiar it stung. "I will speak to Arya. I will bring her back to you."
Javad. Thank God. Rescued. As he took her arm and lead her away from the Aussie, warm relief filled her to her hairline. Except for his promise to bring her back.
"I am not bringing you back," Javad said in her ear, an irritating edge to his voice.
That's right, she reminded herself. She was angry at him. She remembered now, and it came barreling back. He'd practically howled with laughter at the thought of her being the object of a man's seduction. He found the idea of it ridiculous.
Well, he would see how wrong he was.
She wrenched her arm out of his grip, only overcoming his strength because he wasn't expecting it. He reacted with surprise, for him, raising his right eyebrow half a millimeter, an expression no one would notice but her.
Just as she was about to spin away to return to her Aussie, he spoke. "Have you changed your mind, then?"
Changed her mind about what? Wait. Wait, did he mean Darius? Her nerves began to jitter wildly. "He agreed to sleep with me?"
Even she couldn't read his blank expression. He showed no outward clue to what he was thinking or feeling. He simply, with his usual decisive calm, moved to whisper in her ear.
"Come, I'll take you to the place."
His words made no sense. "What?"
"Is there some problem?" Looking away from her, as if they were discussing the weather, he scanned the room methodically. "We can stay here if you like."
"Tonight? You set it up for tonight?" How she managed to get the words out, she didn't know. Was this happening? And was it happening to her?
Javad twisted his wrist ever so slightly, making the watch he loved so much jingle. Usually this indicated some great emotion. Likely he'd been enjoying the party and wanted to stay. "Is there some point in waiting?"
His serious expression confirmed his words. 'Now' really meant 'now.' It seemed so soon. So immediate. So final.
The worst part was that this proved he didn't care for her. This made it all real for her. Javad didn't care if she slept with his own brother, or anyone else. She suddenly felt like she had drunk too much to deal with this. Or not enough.
"I'm not ready." Not ready to sleep with Darius. Not ready to deal with the ultimate rejection from Javad. Twenty-nine years old, and not ready for anything that other people could do easily. The only thing keeping her from sinking to her knees was a lifetime of diplomatic training.
"Nonsense," he told her, and it took a moment for her to remember the topic of conversation. Right, it was her not being ready to sleep with Darius. "You look beautiful tonight. Any man would be lucky. I am tempted to take you for myself."