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Pursued by the Desert Prince

By:Dani Collins

Draped in the desert prince's diamonds...

To ensure his sister's successful marriage, Kasim, Crown Prince of  Zhamair, must stop Angelique Sauveterre's alleged affair with his future  brother-in-law. But when Angelique denies any involvement, Kasim can't  resist the chance to make the feisty beauty his!

Angelique is tempted by Kasim's offer of a fling-always compared to her  twin sister, she's never allowed to just be herself. They couldn't be  from two more different worlds, yet Angelique blossoms under Kasim's  touch and surrenders to the desert prince. But can he give her more than  passion and precious jewels?



Angelique knew she should release him and step back, but she was quite  blown away by the masculine interest that flared to life in Kasim's  gaze.

She wasn't falsely modest. She knew she was beautiful. It was one of the  reasons camera lenses so often turned on her. Men looked at her with  desire all the time.

There was no reason she should react to this man's naked hunger. But she did.

A very animalistic sexual reaction pierced deep in her loins, flooding  her with heat. And yes...it was reciprocal desire. He was looking at her  like he found her appealing, and she certainly found him as attractive  as they came. There might even be something chemical here because her  gaze dropped involuntarily to his mouth. Longing rose within her.

His lips quirked.

She knew he was reading her reaction and was amused. It stung. She felt  raw and gauche. It was the bane of her existence that she couldn't  always stop whatever feelings were overtaking her. This was so intense,  it was unprecedented, touching her at all levels. Physical, mental,  emotional... He held her entire being enthralled.

"We are finished talking," he said while his arm bent against her grip.  His hand arrived at her waist, hot and sure. His other hand tightened  slightly on her arm, drawing her forward a half step, commanding but not  forcing. "If you would like to start something new, however..."

Don't, she ordered herself, but it was too late. His mouth was coming  down to hers and she was parting her lips in eager reception.




Dear Reader,



I've always found the idea of being a twin fascinating. I especially  love the stories you sometimes hear of a particular pair having  subliminal connections even when distance separates them. Or the  smaller, simpler things like a pair inventing their own language or  dressing the same without consulting the other.

I brought all of this to my new quartet, The Sauveterre Siblings.  They're a wealthy family who were blessed with identical twin boys, then  identical twin girls. The press went mad. They followed the children's  every move and only grew worse after the youngest was kidnapped when she  was nine. Trella was returned to them, but they all wear scars.

In this first story, Angelique is still trying to find who she would  have been if her sister had never been torn from her. Kasim has his own  demons created by a lost sibling. Their worlds are very different, but  they're drawn inexorably into an affair that was only meant to last one  night.

I hope you enjoy watching the Sauveterre twins find that special someone who will help each of them heal from their past.

Dani





To my sisters, who often live far away, but remain close, close, close in my heart. Love yous. xoxo




CHAPTER ONE

ANGELIQUE SAUVETERRE PICKED up a call from her exterior guards informing  her that Kasim ibn Nour, Crown Prince of Zhamair, had arrived to see  her.

She slumped back in her chair with a sigh, really not up to meeting someone new. Not after today.

"Of course. Please show him up to my office," she said. Because she had to.

Hasna had said her brother would drop by while he was in Paris.

Angelique didn't know why the brother of the bride wanted to meet the  designer of the bride's wedding gown, but she assumed he wanted to  arrange a surprise gift. So she didn't expect this meeting to be long or  awful. Her day with Princess Hasna and the bridal party hadn't been  awful. It had actually been quite pleasant.

It was just a lot of people and noise and Angelique was an introvert.  When she told people that, they always said, But you're not shy! She had  been horribly shy as a child, though, and brutally forced to get over  it. Now she could work a room with the best of them, but it fried her  down to a crisp.

She yearned for the day when her sister, Trella, would be ready to be  the face of Maison des Jumeaux. An ironic thought, since her twin wore  the same face. As she freshened "their" lipstick, Angelique acknowledged  that she really longed for Trella to be the one to talk to new clients  and meet with brothers of the bride and put on fetes like the one she'd  hosted today.         

     



 

She wanted Trella to be all better.

But she wouldn't press. Trella had made such progress getting over her  phobias, especially in the past year. She was determined to attend Hasna  and Sadiq's wedding and was showing promise in getting there.

It will happen, Angelique reassured herself.

In the meantime... She rolled her neck, trying to massage away the  tension that had gathered over hours of soothing every last wedding  nerve.

At least she didn't look too much worse for wear. This silk blend she and Trella had been working on hadn't creased much at all.

Angelique stood to give a quick turn this way and that in the  freestanding mirror in the corner of her office. Her black pants fell  flawlessly and the light jacket with its embroidered edges fluttered  with her movement while her silver cami reflected light into her face.  Her makeup was holding up and only her chignon was coming apart.

She quickly pulled the pins out of her hair and gave it a quick  finger-comb so her brunette tresses fell in loose waves around her  shoulders. Too casual?

Her door guard knocked and she didn't have time to redo her hair. She moved to open the door herself.

And felt the impact like she'd stepped under a midnight sky, but one lit  by stars and northern lights and the glow of a moon bigger and hotter  than the sun could ever hope to be.

Angelique was dazzled and had to work not to show it, but honestly, the  prince was utterly spectacular. Dark, liquid eyes that seemed almost  black they were such a deep brown. Flawless bone structure with his  straight nose and perfectly balanced jawline. His mouth-That bottom lip  was positively erotic.

The rest of him was cool and diamond sharp. His country was renowned for  being ultraconservative, but his head was uncovered, his black hair  shorn into a neat business cut. He wore a perfectly tailored Western  suit over what her practiced eye gauged to be an athletically balanced  physique.

She swallowed. Find a brain, Angelique.

"Your Highness. Angelique Sauveterre. Welcome. Please come in."

She didn't offer to shake, which would have been a faux pas for a woman in Zhamair.

He did hold out his hand, which was a slight overstep for a man to demand of a woman here in Paris.

She acquiesced and felt a tiny jolt run through her as he closed his  strong hand over her narrow one. Heat bloomed under her cheekbones,  something his quick gaze seemed to note-which only increased her warmth.  She hated being obvious.

"Hello." Not Thank you for seeing me, or Call me Kasim.

"Thank you, Maurice," she murmured to dismiss her guard, and had to clear her throat. "We'll be fine."

She was exceedingly cautious about being alone with men, or women for  that matter, whom she didn't know, but the connection through Hasna and  Sadiq made the prince a fairly safe bet. If a man in the prince's  position was planning something nefarious, then the whole world was on  its ear and she didn't stand a chance anyway.

Plus, she always had the panic button on her pendant.

She almost felt like she was panicking now. Her heart rate had elevated  and her stomach was in knots. Her entire body was on all-stations alert.  She'd been feeling drained a few seconds ago, but one profound  handshake later she was feeling energized yet oddly defenseless.

She was nervous as a schoolgirl, really, which wasn't like her at all.  With two very headstrong brothers, she had learned how to hold her own  against strong masculine energy.

She'd never encountered anything like this, though. Closing herself into  her office with him felt dangerous. Not the type of danger she'd been  trained to avoid, but inner peril. Like when she poured her soul into a  piece then held her breath as it was paraded down the catwalk for  judgment.

"Please have a seat," she invited, indicating the conversation area  below the mural. There were no pretty views of actual Paris in this  windowless room, but the office was still one of her favorite places for  its ability to lock out the world. She spent a lot of time on her side  of its twin desks and drafting tables.

Trella's side was empty. She was home in Spain, but they often worked here in companionable silence.

"I just made fresh coffee. Would you like a cup?"

"I won't stay long."

That ought to be good news. She was reacting way too strongly to him,  but she found herself disappointed. So strange! She took such care to  put mental distance between herself and others. The entire world would  have this effect on her if she didn't, but he only had to glance around  her private space and she felt naked and exposed. Seen. And she found  herself longing for his approval.

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