“If I do not take you back—there is only one alternative,” Elias choked out. He glanced at Jaime’s expression. She knew. And she had done it on purpose. He cursed under his breath and looked out the window.
“What is your alternative, monsieur?” she prodded. Oh, she was good. Jaime had not exaggerated her ability to get her way. He should have been furious with her gall, her presumptive nerve—but he could only smile. Jaime Pepiot had clearly orchestrated the entire situation.
When Elias didn’t answer right away, he felt her move from the other side of the carriage to the seat next to him. The warmth of her body radiated against him, making him fully aware of her nearness. “Monsieur?” she asked again, putting a small gloved hand on his arm. He glanced down at her hand, the white glove against his dark traveling suit. Then his eyes traced up the line of her arm to her face until his gaze met her eyes. But she was staring at his lips.
“We shall have to marry, mademoiselle.” He watched her eyes for sign of distress, but her gaze was unwavering. “Today,” he added, still waiting for her reaction.
“Then that is what we shall do, monsieur,” she whispered.
“Does it not bother you that I am nothing more than a servant of the sultan’s brother?”
“No.” Jaime’s eyes met his, a gaze which seemed to bore into his very soul. “It wouldn’t matter if you were the slave of a servant.”
She slowly raised her hand to his face and caressed his cheek. Elias closed his eyes and opened them again slowly, fixing his eyes on hers. Taking her hand in his, he kissed her fingertips lightly, then released her hand and clutched her shoulders, pulling her to him. Her hands slid up his arms to the back of his neck.
When their lips met Elias knew. He knew that this is the way it was meant to be… from the beginning of time.