The Return of the Sheikh

The Return of the Sheikh by Kristi Gold Read Free Book Online

Book: The Return of the Sheikh by Kristi Gold Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kristi Gold
Tags: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, fullybook
He hadn’t been celibate by any means, but he had not had as many affairs as what the media had led people to believe. If he had, he would have been perpetually sleep deprived.
    He also recognized that giving in to temptation with a woman like Madison Foster—an intelligent, beautiful and somewhat willful woman—could possibly lead to disaster. Still, he wasn’t one to easily ignore temptation, even if wisdom dictated that he must. And at the moment, Madison looked extremely tempting.
    Zain remained in the open doorway to his suite in order to study her. She stood at the veranda’s stone wall, looking out over the valley below, her golden hair flowing down her back. She’d exchanged her conservative clothing for more comfortable attire—a casual gauze skirt and a loose magenta top that revealed one slim, bare shoulder. He didn’t need to venture a guess as to the color of her bra, since she didn’t appear to be wearing one. That thought alone had him reconsidering the merits of wisdom.
    Zain cleared his throat as he approached her, yet she didn’t seem to notice his presence. Not until he said, “It’s a remarkable view, isn’t it?”
    She sent him a backward glance and a slight scowl. “Why do you keep sneaking up on me?”
    He moved beside her, leaving a comfortable distance between them. “My apologies. I did not intend to startle you. I only wanted to make certain you have everything you need from me.”
    She faced him, leaned a hip against the wall and rolled her eyes. “Are we back to that again?”
    “My intentions are completely innocent.” Only a half-truth. He’d gladly give her anything she needed in a carnal sense.
    She took a sip from the cup clutched in her hands. “Sorry, but I’m having trouble buying the innocent act after your recent admission.”
    That came as no surprise to Zain, and he probably deserved her suspicions. “I will do my best to earn your trust.” He nodded toward the cup. “I gather that’s Elena’s special tea.”
    “Yes, it is, and it’s very good.”
    “Do you have any idea what might be in it?”
    She lifted that bare shoulder in a shrug and took a sip. “I suspect it’s chamomile and some other kind of herb. I can taste mint.”
    He turned toward her and rested one elbow on the stone barrier. “Take care with how much you drink. It could be more than tea.”
    “Too late. This is my third cup, and do you mean alcohol?”
    “Precisely.”
    “Is that allowed?” she asked.
    “Elena is free to do as she pleases, as is everyone else in the country, within reason. We’ve always had a spiritually, economically and culturally diverse population, due in part to people entering the borders seeking—”
    “Asylum?”
    “And peace.”
    She turned back to the view and surveyed the scene. “Then Bajul is the Switzerland of the Middle East?”
    “In a manner of speaking. I might not have agreed with all my father’s philosophies, but I’ve always admired his determination to remain neutral in a volatile region. Unfortunately, the threat to end our peaceful coexistence still exists, as it always has. As it is everywhere else in the world.”
    She took another drink and set the cup aside. “The landscape is incredible. I hadn’t expected Bajul to be so green or elevated.”
    “You expected desert.”
    “Honestly, yes, I did.”
    Another example of inaccurate perception. “If you go north, you’ll find the desert. Go south and you’ll find the sea.”
    She sighed. “I love the sea. I love water, period.”
    He took the opportunity to move a little closer, his arm pressed against hers as he pointed toward the horizon. “Do you see that mountain rising between two smaller peaks?”
    She shaded her eyes against the setting sun. “The skinny one that looks almost phallic?”
    That made him smile. “It is known as Mabrứuk, our capital city’s namesake. Legend has it that Al-’Uzzá, a mythological goddess, placed it there to enhance fertility.

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