Pursued By The Desert Prince. Dani Collins
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