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Malik: Desert Sheikh Romance


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Malik: Desert Sheikh Romance


  Malik

  Marian Tee

  Contents

  Blurb

  Also by Marian Tee

  ABOUT THE BOOK

  Part I

  Part II

  Part III

  Part IV

  Epilogue

  Also by Marian Tee

  About the Author

  Blurb

  They met fourteen years ago. She was a seven-year-old girl. He was a seventeen-year-old sheikh. They were not related by blood, and yet a twist of fate had them living as brother and sister.

  Most people waited a lifetime to find the one meant for them – and they were the lucky ones. But then there were the others, people who never had to wait, people who had just known, soulmates who had found their way to each other before destiny could make up its mind about them---

  Just because you knew someone was meant for you didn’t make that person yours.

  Also by Marian Tee

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  Malik (A Desert Sheikh Romance)

  By Marian Tee

  Copyright 2017 by Streak Digital Publishing

  All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

  All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  Created with Vellum

  ABOUT THE BOOK

  Stand straight and let your breasts thrust out. Cup them. Feed me like you know I’m starving for the taste of you.

  Such were his commands, but even though they made Kyria blush all over and her toes curl, she couldn’t help obeying him. It wasn’t just because she knew that he would reward her with pleasure. Mostly, it was also because of how he looked at her, of how he touched her and made her feel. In his eyes, she was a beautiful, irresistible siren, the only woman capable of driving him wild. She had always hated how small her breasts were, but the way Malik could feast on them for hours eventually got rid of all her insecurities. She used to hate being so petite, but eventually these doubts also whittled away, with Malik often groaning how he loved how her size allowed him to pleasure her in even the smallest and tightest of corners.

  Part I

  Women by John Lennon

  Somebody by Depeche Mode

  She’s Always a Woman by Billy Joel

  Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.

  ~ Michelangelo

  Thirteen years ago

  “Mo
ther.” Malik swiftly crossed the vast hall and made his way to Vanna Al-Atassi. She was known as the youngest and fiercest of the old king’s sisters, but now she looked like she was about to crumple. He knelt down in front of her and took her cold hands in his. “I came as soon as I heard---” Self-contempt surged inside of him out of nowhere, and he broke off.

  He should have been beside her the moment she found out about the plane crash and the sudden loss of the Markides. With his father and older brother away at war, he should have been by Vanna’s side every moment. But instead he was out at another party, whose host he couldn’t even remember, and fucking a girl whose face his memory shunned as well.

  “Maehdina, Mama.” He uttered his apology in a raw voice, wishing he could say more – promise more – but knowing he could not.

  Vanna shook her head. “Oh, Malik.” Grief did not stop one from being a mother, and right now her maternal instincts were telling her that this son of hers was blaming himself for things that no one could control. “There is nothing for you to apologize for, my son.” She gently pulled her hands away and patted the space next to her on the sofa. “Sit by me, Malik.”

  He did her bidding without question, and she ran her fingers through his hair. Just seventeen, she thought, and already he was thinking of things that no young boy should be thinking of yet. She wished she could spare him of it, but she could not. It was the price one had to pay for being born to a royal family – the price that she herself had to pay, and so it was for him and the children he may sire in the future.

  “As you know, the Markides are now…gone.” It was the only word Vanna could bear to use, as even now her mind still shied away from the fact that she would never see her dear friends smile again, never hear them talk to her again. Loyal friends to the royal family were a precious few, and the Markides had been one of those few.

  And now they were gone, leaving behind a precious seven-year-old girl orphaned.

  She saw Malik’s face pale and knew that the same thought had just occurred to him.

  “Kyria,” he whispered.

  She swallowed hard. “She’s safe, but she’s alone, and I’ve decided…to be her legal guardian.” She gazed at him searchingly. “Do you understand what this will mean?”

  Malik didn’t answer.

  “She will be part of our family. My daughter – and your little sister.” And now, it was her turn to take her son’s hands into hers. “May I trust you to help me look after her?”

  His dark eyes became unreadable, and the sight made Vanna want to laugh and cry a little. Silly her, to think that she could pull the wool over his eyes. One look at his now expressionless face, and Vanna knew that Malik very much understood the double meaning of her words. She did wish him to be a good big brother to Kyria. That was true. But Vanna was also hoping that this would serve as his temporary purpose in life---

  A temporary purpose that perhaps could finally make Malik turn away from his reckless lifestyle of drinking and partying, consorting with people from the most dubious of backgrounds and the worst intentions towards the royal family---

  I know you’re searching for your purpose in life, but can’t you do so without tarnishing the kingdom’s name?

  Malik withdrew his hands from her, and Vanna knew right away she had made a mistake---

  She had let her weakness overcome her, and now she had hurt her son.

  “Malik---”

  The knock sounded on the door, cutting her off, and when she allowed them entry, the sight of the Markides’ orphaned daughter had both Vanna and Malik immediately putting aside their family concerns. That could always wait. Right now, someone needed them more – and an Al-Atassi never turned his back on those in need.

  It was the day of the Markides’ funeral, and the atmosphere inside the chapel was somber, with just a slight tinge of shock. Many of those who had come to pay their respects were still struggling with their disbelief, and understandably so. Theon and Laura Markides had been two lovely people, young and vibrantly alive – and just like that, they were gone. Life was fragile, but it was a truth most people preferred to close their eyes to. Life was fragile, and deaths like this made the fact painfully and terrifyingly inescapable.

  Malik’s gaze went to the little girl seated between his parents. The few times he had been asked to babysit her, she had been shy but sweet, delightfully affectionate once a person gained her trust. He remembered how her face used to light up every time she saw him because she knew he would have something sweet for her. A piece of cake, candy, a chocolate bar – he had accidentally discovered her sweet tooth when he found Kyria with her hand in the cookie jar, literally, when she was supposed to be eating her greens. That had been their little secret, and from then on Malik had become her most favorite person. In fact, it had become a running joke between the two families, Malik possibly usurping Theon’s position in the little girl’s heart---

  Careful with my girl’s heart, boy, Theon had even jokingly threatened him once. I’ll kill you if you break it.

  Or at least Malik had hoped it was a joke. And while he would never hurt Kyria, how could he be sure that he wouldn’t do so unknowingly? He had never had a little sister, and neither had his cousins. He had no past experience to draw from---

  But that was what made life fragile as well.

  Things you held on to, people you thought you could have forever in your life---

  All of it – all of them – could disappear in a flash, and life didn’t give a damn what would happen to those left behind. Even if it was just a little girl left alone – life didn’t give a damn about that either.

  As the pallbearers came to carry the coffins out of the chapel, Malik found himself walking towards Kyria. Her big dark eyes turned to him, and he crouched down.

  “Marhava, Malik.” Hello, Malik. Her voice was small but steady, too serious for someone her age.

  Vanna had told him that she had yet to see Kyria shed a single tear, and for one moment he could only stare at her, thinking that she was too damn young – too damn small and frail – to have to hold such grief in her heart.

  “Marhava, Kyria.” And without thinking of what he was doing, he picked her up, and his chest squeezed as he felt the little girl lean her head trustingly against him.

  She remained in his arms throughout the procession, and as her parents’ coffins were slowly lowered to the ground, he said quietly, “You can cry, you know.”

  “I know.” Her voice was still toneless, her dark gaze not moving from the caskets that gradually disappeared from their sight.

  Vanna approached them, flowers in hand, and he took it from her with a nod.

  Kyria stared at the flowers. “For Mama and Papa?”

  Silence, and just when he thought he should offer to throw them on her behalf, he heard her whisper, “I’m scared.”

  His chest squeezed again. Of course you are. He looked straight into Kyria’s eyes. “Don’t be. I’ll always be here for you.”

  Her lips started to tremble. “Promise?”

  “Promise.” His voice was fierce.

  He let her down, but her small hand remained in his as they walked together to her parents’ graves. Malik handed her the flowers, and she clutched them hard.

  “I love you, Papa, Mama.”

  The flowers fell.

  And so did the tears.

  He knelt down, and Kyria threw her arms around him. Her tears wetted the side of his neck, trailing down to soak his blazer, and Malik’s own eyes became wet as he realized what this meant, realized why this little girl hadn’t let herself cry---

  He stroked her back, and she cried harder.

  She was afraid that if she cried…she had no one to wipe her tears away and tell her---

  “Things will be alright,” Malik whispered. “I promise.”

  Eleven years ago

  Dinner in Hadwin’s household was always a noisy affair, uncommonly so, considering they were members of the royal family of Ramil. This, howe
ver, mattered little to him. He liked seeing his older son Altair loosen up and talk about video games, even liked the way his wife was now nagging him about taking a vacation with her.

  Before marrying the king’s sister and becoming a prince overnight, Hadwin had lived the life of a humble soldier. His joys had been simple, his happiness drawn from the little things such as seeing the sun set, having a delicious meal once in a while, and knowing that he had done at least one good thing for the day. Serendipity could only be to blame for a humble soldier to be assigned as bodyguard to a foreign princess visiting his small island town in Greece, and the rest was history.

  Or more specifically, history went the way his willful wife wanted to write it. For her, he had left Greece and moved to the desert. He loved her, and so what she needed, he would give it to her. It was that simple, but most people seemed to find this complex. Even though they had now been married for over two decades, people still asked Hadwin if he cared that neither his sons bore his name, like they truly believed the foundation of a marriage relied on the letters that appeared on his children’s birth certificates.

  He was and would always be a simple man. That his boys had to bear the name of Al-Atassi did not make him any less of a father, or them any less of a son. What mattered was his ability to care for them and put their interests above his---

 
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