The sheikhs secret love.., p.33
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       The Sheikh's Secret Love Child, p.33

         Part #2 of The Sheikh's Baby Surprise series by Holly Rayner

  The sun was setting, and there was just the slightest chill in the air outside. It must have rained when they were in the bar, because there was a slightly damp, fresh smell in the street. The heat and humidity had broken.

  It was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that Juliette stood for a moment by the door, just enjoying the night.

  Then she felt Nico’s hand brush up next to hers, and grasp it lightly. Gently, he began to pull her forward.

  “Where did you have in mind?” she asked, stumbling slightly at his lead.

  “Somewhere beautiful,” he said.

  They caught a cab, and Juliette was struck again by how tiny Italian cabs were. Or, at least, how small it felt with an attractive man beside her that she wanted to sit close to but was afraid to cling to too tightly.

  Speaking in Italian, Nico gave directions to the cabbie, who seemed distracted by something at first, but then agreed. For her part, Juliette could have listened to the directions and destinations, but she very carefully tuned them out.

  Partly, she didn’t want to blow her cover at having understood their words. And partly, she didn’t want to know yet. This was a night for surprises.

  She assumed they would just be going to another bar, or a restaurant, possibly. That was where people usually went at this time on this kind of an evening. All such places would be chock full of students, probably, and Juliette only hoped that none of them would recognize her.

  But the cab didn’t go the way she was expecting. It should have taken a left, back towards the district where most of the parties were. But, instead, it took a right.

  The driver kept making unexpected turns, until they were out of the city. The sun was almost disappearing, now, and the oranges, reds and pinks in the sky lit the hillside magically.

  “Where are we going?” Juliette asked again.

  “You’re not very good with surprises, are you?”

  In the back of the cab, Nico was so close to her, and yet, she was careful to avoid touching him. She wanted to be close to him, sure, but she felt like if she made contact, she might never stop.

  “Tonight has already been full of surprises,” she said. “You were a surprise. Going for drinks was a surprise. This is a surprise. I like it, but I’m curious. How come we’re heading away from the city?”

  There was a long pause, and Juliette readied herself for a line.

  “We’re not heading away from anything. We’re headed towards something.”

  She wanted to roll her eyes. She wanted to say that he was absurd and cheesy and over the top.

  But instead, his words caught her in a way she wasn’t expecting. It must have shown on her face, because he raised his eyebrows.

  “Is something wrong?” he asked gently.

  “It’s been a while since I felt like there was something I was moving towards,” she offered languidly. It felt like a grand admission for a quiet night, but the hum of the car and the closeness of the cab made it all feel right, somehow.

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