Zahra's first instinct was to turn and run in the opposite direction. Her second instinct, however, overrode the first.
And Zahra returned the prince's kiss.
For several brief moments, Zahra was drawn into the prince's intoxicating aura. She found herself bewitched completely, unable to find the self-control to pull away. When she finally gathered her wits about her, however, she broke the kiss and fell heavily against the wall, unable to believe what had just occurred.
Suddenly, Zahra better understood all the unfortunate women whom had found themselves unable to resist the prince's affections. For there was indeed something utterly irresistible about Alexander that made Zahra want to kiss him again...
"You are an evil man, Alexander Hale," Zahra muttered, but even as the words left her now-tarnished lips, she felt a deep red blush overtake her face. Cupping her head in her hands, she whispered, "What have I done?"
Alexander, who had remained silent during Zahra's outburst, leaned back against the wardrobe and closed his eyes. If Zahra wasn't mistaken, the kiss had taken even him by some level of surprise.
"I want to go home," Zahra said, voice trembling. "I want to take Imelda and go home now."
"I ought to go check on Adrian," Alexander said softly, and if Zahra had heard him correctly, she sensed a sort of grief in the prince's tone of voice. The prince turned and made a move to walk out of the chambers, but just before he left, he said softly, "I'm sorry, Zahra."
"You ought to be." Zahra closed her eyes and sank to the floor. "You ought to be."
I understand now.