But he hadn’t stopped, had he? He had been unable to prevent himself from plunging into her tight, wet warmth and being the first man ever to possess her. He remembered that he had never come quite so many times in one night. That he seemed to have a permanent hard-on whenever he looked at her. Yet his conscience had troubled him afterwards and that in itself was unusual, for he had been brought up to believe that conscience was a waste of time. Had he known on some subliminal level before he’d even kissed her that she was innocent—and didn’t that make his subsequent self-contempt seem a little hypocritical?
The only honourable thing he’d done was to make sure he’d used contraception—even if it had subsequently failed. And then he had left the country.
Had he been afraid that desire would overcome him again? That he would become one of those clichéd men who slept with their secretary and she’d end up knowing everything about him, instead of just the lion’s share? Or was he just afraid that he would hurt her very badly—and someone like Erin did not deserve to be hurt.
But it seemed that he had been regarding her through rose-tinted spectacles and that she had been perfectly capable of her own brand of deception and lies. Her own brand of hurt.
An uneasy silence had fallen again and he didn’t object when she climbed off the divan and bent down to pick up her discarded clothes. He felt more in control when she was away from him and control was vital. Especially now. Because nothing had changed, he reminded himself grimly. She had kept their son hidden from him. She was no friend to him.
The armful of clothes was concealing her naked breasts, but her neck was flushed pink and the dark triangle of hair at the fork of her thighs made his body flood with another powerful wave of lust.
And it wasn’t going to happen, he told himself grimly. There was going to be no more intimacy, no matter how much he wanted it. Because sex with Erin Turner didn’t feel anonymous—it made him feel exposed and weak. And he didn’t do weak.
‘So what do you think we should do now?’ she questioned, her voice breaking into his uncomfortable thoughts.
‘Now?’ He could hear the uncertainty in her voice and it pleased him. It made him feel in control again—even if he had to shift his body beneath the coverlet to hide his growing erection. ‘I shall rest for a while as the doctor instructed—and after that I shall meet with the Sheikh, as was originally planned. I’m sure you can find plenty with which to amuse yourself in the meantime. There is a magnificent library here in the palace, or you could ask one of the servants to show you around the gardens. I believe they are very famous.’ He let his heavy eyelids fall and failed to stifle a yawn as he blotted out the unsettling look of distress in her eyes. ‘But I am weary now, Erin—so let me sleep.’
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