The look in the prince's eyes made Zahra's heart flutter. She took a step backward, frightened by the way the prince's gaze lingered on her lips before returning her eye contact.

Because as much as Zahra hated the prince's evil side, she could not deny a strange desire to kiss him. 

And then, Zahra understood. Alexander brought out the bad side in her; Adrian brought out the good. And if Zahra wasn't careful, her bad side could respond to the prince's obvious desire to kiss her. If she wasn't careful...oh, my...

Trying to deny an overwhelming urge to step closer to the prince, Zahra lowered her eyes and clasped her hands behind her back. What was she thinking? Yes, the prince was handsome. Yes, he could be charming. Yes, by all accounts, he treated the women in his life with chivalry.

But Prince Alexander was also a black-hearted rogue without a hint of morals.

Zahra was positive the prince was about to kiss her.

But then, Alexander cleared his throat and turned away. Snapping his finger, he called the attention of one of the attendants. "Bring Xanthe here," he commanded. Within moments, the servant girl who had been trying to impress Alexander earlier was brought back into the room.

Confused, Zahra stepped back, trying to make sense of why Alexander would want Xanthe back.

And then, somehow, Zahra knew. She didn't know how she knew; she just did.

Alexander was not allowing himself to have Zahra, so he was going to settle for Xanthe. He was going to spare one woman at the expense of another.

All the attraction within Zahra was immediately dashed. Disgusted by the prince and his baseness, she turned away without another word. Before she left the throneroom, however, she turned around and said in a bitter tone, "I hope you find all you wish for, Your Majesty."

Zahra fled the room.

The End

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