Authors: Ella Brooke,Jessica Brooke
She grinned and slipped completely out of her clothes, standing there before him in all her glory. With some men, she was aware of how limited her appeal could be. She felt her thighs were too big and her hips too wide. She had some extra around her middle, and while she was a curvy ten—maybe a twelve on bad days—Kelly rarely felt beautiful.
The way a now shirtless Asam regarded her made her feel highly desirable. Hell, the intensity of his gaze made her feel as if she were a preydangling before him and that he was still her raging tiger, ready to pounce forth and claim her.
Heat warmed her stomach and wetness began to pool between her legs. How could Asam have this kind of effect on her? How could he be so utterly delicious and the one man she wanted to ravish on sight, no questions asked? It wasn’t even a sheikh thing. She felt no need to be near Dharr or Faaid, married or not. But with Asam, it was as if she were a satellite and gravity pulled her closer to him.
“I’m yours, my sheikh, and you can do anything you want with me,” she said, running one finger over her chest, bringing her index finger down to stroke her nipple and tease it into a firm, hard bud. She licked her lips and bit her lower one again, staring at Asam through her heavy-lidded eyes. “What will you do to me?”
“Everything,” he breathed, stalking forward like a wild jungle cat ready to tackle his prey.
Every motion was a fluid masterpiece, purely silky and graceful. His body was quite a sight to behold as well—lean muscle gave way to ripped abs so compact and tight the average Hollywood hunk would be desperate for them. A small trail of hair dipped from his belly button under the button of his slacks, promising her so many things to come. He was perfection incarnate and, at least for this week, he was hers to do with as she wished.
Asam was there then, cupping her breast with his left hand and reaching down to stroke her stomach. His fingers trailed over the expanse of her abdomen, reaching down playfully into her belly button as they passed over her. Soon they were working their way through her pubic hair even as his mouth found her perky right nipple. His tongue flicked out over the hardened peak, and it felt like sparks flying across her body, radiating up from her sensitized nipple.
Kelly moaned and spread her legs, encouraging his access even further. His fingers found their way to her hidden lips. Asam stopped there, letting his forefinger and thumb stroke over the sensitive flesh there. She licked her lips and arched her neck back, the mewling noises already rising from her throat. She needed him, had always needed him, and she could allow herself to enjoy this.
To enjoy her
however they’d come to be like that—for the week she had.
“Please, Asam, I need more!”
He wrapped his eager lips around her pink nipple and suckled there. Kelly felt everything then—her heart hammering in her chest, the way the hair of his beard prickled her skin, and even the plane’s bumps and dips.
Unlike sex on the ground, there was an off-kilter craziness to this. The pilots weren’t bad or erratic. However, the jet reacted to the turbulent air around them. It took balance and work to keep herself on her feet.
Not that Asam wouldn’t catch her. Of course, he would. Emotionally, it was so hard to trust him, even for this week. But when it came to his physical strength and his chivalry, she had every bit of faith in the world that he’d never let her fall.
His fingers reached continued their search, no longer content just to stroke her. He thrust two larger fingers deeply inside of her, and his thumb firmly pressed against her most sensitive spot. Asam rubbed her in circles there. She fought her instinct to clamp her thighs around him, and almost failed as he flicked his tongue over her nipple.
Sparks exploded behind her closed eyelids, and she had to slam her mouth shut to avoid screaming his name. Maybe the cockpit was soundproofed, but Kelly didn’t want to test that theory. She’d be mortified if the captain or co-pilot knew what they were doing. She was a good girl, after all. Hell, she’d never been this daring. That was for damn sure.
Maybe that was the old Kelly. This Kelly—who was Sheikha Hassem for a week—
could do anything she wanted.
Asam picked up his pace, and her legs almost gave out from under her as her knees turned to jelly under his ministrations. His fingers filled her core with a heat she couldn’t have anticipated all while his tongue traced patterns over her tender skin. The heat that flared in her stomach earlier was now going nova all around her, and Kelly saw a universe of colors and patterns exploding and reshaping behind her eyelids.
It was all quite the trip, but nothing compared to when she came.
The shock of energy ripped through her, her knees finally collapsed. She felt herself being pulled back up and cradled in strong arms. In Asam’s arms. He leaned down and kissed her cheeks and her lips. His tongue tasted of peanuts from the flight but also of him and the pleasure he offered her. The musk of his cologne and the scent of saffron caressed her nose.
Satiated and feeling light as a feather, she looked back at him and grinned. “That’s definitely the best flight I’ve ever had.”
“I’m glad. We can do whatever you wish. There’s a shower—for one, I’m afraid—and a bed in back. If you need to clean and rest before we arrive in the UAE, I’d more than understand.”
“I think I should,” she said, frowning at how desperately she needed some water. “After all of this, you’ll show me Abu Dhabi? Show me what a ‘jewel of the Middle East’ is supposed to look like?”
, that’s the biggest promise I’ve ever made, and nothing could keep me from delivering on it.”
“I don’t understand. Are you sure you even want this?” he asked, frowning back at the purchase Kelly had shoved into his hands.
She wasn’t perturbed or stopped at all by his reticence. She knew it was a quirky request. After going to the hotel and a first evening spent luxuriating in one another other’s arms, she’d shaken off the jet lag and her hangover and was now ready to see the sights.
They’d started with the Women’s Market. It wasn’t what she’d expected. In her head, she had this image of a long stretch of makeshift stalls with women setting their blankets or tarps up directly in the swirling sands of the desert.
It was nothing like that.
The market was a permanent installation with tiled walkways, trees, and other foliage planted all around. Each stand had a permanent awning. They also had gleaming white poles reaching to an overhanging roof, decorated with cut wood and gold shapes above. Open enough to feel the breeze, but still protected by a roof and tile. The place was a flash of modernity and grace interwoven with the chills and thrills of open-air shopping.
She loved it.
There were various handcrafts—handmade silk slippers, beautiful rugs of varying geometric patterns that one could watch being woven, and of course, gorgeous shawls and other coverings. What she’d fallen in love with as she sat beside one of the weavers, watching the woman’s deft hands move faster than Kelly would have thought humanly possible was...well…both eccentric and probably underwhelming.
She wasn’t earning cool chick of mystery street cred, and she knew it.
“Really?” Asam asked as he stared down at the object, passing it back and forth between his hands. “I’ve come to show you the wonders of the Middle East, everything that you could want at your grasp. There are some of the finest silks in the world here, some of the most beautiful shawls, and even outfits for beneath one’s robes. I show you all of this, and you want a camel?”
Grinning, she surged to her feet. “He’s not just any camel! His name is Carl, and he’s great.”
“Now you’re just putting me on, my sheikha,” he quipped.
Kelly chuckled and gestured to the small model, one carved expertly from wood and adorned with its own miniature, handwoven blanket in a rainbow of riotous stripes. The tiny load he carried on his back, with its white tassels and soft feathers, was too adorable to believe. It would be a perfect addition to her apartment back home, assuming poor Jasper didn’t shred it first. Cats tended to get into everything, like wrecking balls with claws and feet.
“I love it. I’ve never gotten anything gaudy and touristy back in Al-Marasae. I’d be too embarrassed to get something so crazy in front of Alana.”
“But for me, then more camels.”
“He’s so cute, and I have the perfect spot for him on my mantel.”
“Why does an apartment in the desert even need a fireplace?”
“It’s for the effect. It’s romantic, isn’t it?” she asked, then gave a small squeal as he handed the coins over to the small woman before them. “See?” She threw her arms around his neck. “Was it really so hard? Besides, isn’t Carl the best?”
“He’s an acquired taste. I was hoping to tempt you with jewelry and finery befitting my queen.”
“You’re not the heir who rules,” she replied, slipping her arm around his elbow. “Besides, I’m quirkier than you’d think.”
“I saw your pepper pants for work. A whole circus of clowns could wear them.”
“They’re chef pants,” she griped, bringing a hand to her chest in mock horror. “We are allowed to be decorative and have some flair.”
“Sure,” he said drolly, even as he carried little Carl under his arm. She narrowed her eyes at him, hoping Asam knew that humming organ grinder music would be a massive mistake and might cost him an eye. “Very P.T. Barnum, I loved it.”
“Well,” Kelly said, eyeing the colorful array of spices set out before them. “I have the distinct advantage of making anything sexy.”
He kissed her lips, and she loved the way his tongue expertly stroked her own. “I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment, my sheikha.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this.”
“You’ve been to mosque before,” he pointed out.
“Yes, the grand one in Marasimaq is a sight to behold. I’m not saying it isn’t.”
Asam grinned back at her. “Yes, the wonders of my home city must always trump those of the other cities around me. Of course,
, I know exactly how you feel. The first time I ever saw it, I think my jaw hit the floor. There’s a very good reason Sheikh Zayed’s Grand Mosque is called ‘The Pearl of Abu Dhabi.’ There are few wonders of the world more exquisite.”
“That’s not even the half of it,” she said, spinning around in the great expanse of the main plaza before the mosque’s entrance.
The sapphire sky above her was vibrant, contrasting gorgeously with the huge ivory turrets, ones that reached high into the air and ended in brilliant gleaming gold poles. The mosque itself was a huge series of alabaster cupolas, standing high and vibrant against the plaza below.
It was almost as overwhelming as pictures of the Taj Mahal, and Kelly felt dwarfed standing before it. Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the holy place’s plaza and garden was the white marble beneath her feet, which was adorned with sweeping green vines and vibrant yellow and crimson blossoms.
She pulled the long, black veil over her face, deciding it was best to be deferential to the customs within the mosque. Beside her, Asam wore traditional flowing white robes for entering the holy place. He wrapped an arm around her, pulling Kelly close to his side as they passed under the large keyhole-shaped arches. The towering structures rose above them to maybe fifteen or twenty feet. Their tops were covered in layered gold leaf.
She grinned as she stepped deeper into the heart of the mosque. The carpet beneath her was richly woven with a multi-pointed star in red and gold at her feet. It had so many interconnected points that it looked more like an octagon or some other polygon. Everything was intricate and exquisite, from the lovely golden script on the white walls to the huge chandelier overhead made of twisted bronze like snakes curling together with red and green blown glass balls hanging beneath that.
Unlike the church she’d abandoned in her youth, this house of worship was one of the most creatively designed and breathtaking places she’d ever seen. It was truly lovely, and she grinned up at Asam as they both took it all in.
“This is like something out of a fairy tale, even. Yours back home is lovely, but this is like a dream or a legend come to life.”
“Yes, it is. Perhaps Al-Marasae shouldn’t fall behind. Should I suggest to father that we need a Sheikh Azhaar Hassem mosque in Marasimaq? Perhaps we need to keep up with the Joneses?” he asked, arching his eyebrow with devilish aplomb and causing her to laugh riotously.
A few of the older worshippers in the mosque looked at both of them, and she sobered up. The last thing she wanted to do was appear to be a typical American in the middle of all of this.
The large bell rang out throughout the main hall, and the Imam stepped forward to call to prayer. To show her respect, she got quietly to her knees and bowed her head low. In turn, she watched as Asam prostrated himself, honoring the customs of his people. Today, in this one moment, she felt joined with him. It was more about feeling the weight of his culture and his heritage and his trust that he wanted to share this special place with her. It wasn’t attending a ceremony for Gabriel or something more formal. No. This was Asam letting her more deeply into his life.
For that, Kelly was deeply grateful. She kept her head bent and marveled at the fact that for six more days, he was hers.
Kelly leaned back on the blue silk pillows beneath her. The soothing sound of the waves, almost black in the evening echoed around both of them. The beach around Yas Island was alluring, and it looked like the bluest water during the day, like something you’d see in the Caribbean.
The to-die-for infinity pool wasn’t near this corner of the beach. They were away from the rest of the beachgoers and somewhere not far from their own private villa at the island’s hotel.
Behind her, she could a glimpse of the flashing bright pink neon from the hotel’s signs. It made the whole island light up, like some glowing flamingo, but it was exhilarating to be in a place lit up like a festive, Floridian Christmas tree. She grinned back at her husband for the rest of the week. They were on day four, and it had been amazing so far. She remembered the trust and desire she’d first felt for him at that bachelor party long ago. But also she felt bonded from the way they’d explored one another’s bodies, from his very power to bring her screaming with pleasure.