The Sheik and the Runaway Princess
you’re my slave?”
    “I would if you’d give me a chance.” She glared at him. “Next you’ll be putting a collar around my neck, the way my father does with his cats.”
    “If you are very good I might just treat you as well as your father treats his cats.”
    “I won’t hold my breath on that one, either.”
    Kardal laughed as he led her into the castle. She followed, her mind whirling with a thousand different thoughts. Too much was happening at once. She was having trouble keeping up.
    “If you’re the Prince of Thieves,” she said, “have you really spent your entire life stealing from other people?”
    “I don’t steal. That practice went out of style some time ago. We produce our income in other ways now.”
    She wanted to ask what, but before she could, they stepped into the castle. Everywhere she looked she saw beauty. From the perfectly even stone walls to the intricate tapestries to the elegant mosaic tile floor. There were candleholders of gold, frames decorated with gems, paintings and antique furniture.
    The main room of the castle was huge, perhaps the size of a football field. It stretched up at least two stories and there were stained-glass windows and skylights to let in the light. She motioned to the candles and gas lamps.
    “No electricity?” she asked as Kardal cut the bindings on her wrists.
    “We generate some, but not in the living quarters. There we live as we have for centuries.”
    Again he took her hand in his, tugging her along. She tried to take everything in, but it was impossible. Everywhere she looked, she saw something old, beautiful and very likely, stolen. There were paintings by old masters and impressionists. She recognized the style but not the subject. There were some she’d seen in books, rare photographs of paintings missing and long thought destroyed.
    Kardal led her through a maze of corridors, up and down stairs, twisting and turning until she was completely lost. People passed them, stopping to smile and bow slightly. If she hadn’t been sure of his identity before, by the time they finally stopped in front of double wooden doors, she was convinced. The Prince of Thieves, she thought in amazement. Who knew such a man existed?
    It could be worse, she told herself as he pushed open one of the doors. He could be the troll prince. With that thought, she stepped into the room. And gasped. When Kardal released her, she turned in a slow circle, taking in the spacious quarters.
    Each item of furniture was huge. The four-poster bed could easily sleep six or seven. There was a fainting couch, covered in the same thick burgundy as the bedspread and a fabulous Oriental carpet on the stone floor. A brilliant mosaic of a peacock displaying for his peahens graced one humongous wall. There was a fireplace as large as her dorm room and books. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of old, leather-bound books.
    She crossed to them and reverently ran her fingers along their spines.
    “Are they cataloged?” she asked, opening an old copy of Hamlet by Shakespeare, then gasping when she saw an inscription dated 1793. On the small table in front of her sat a hand-illustrated text of the Bible. She’d never seen such bounty.
    Still holding the slim volume, she turned to face him. “Kardal, do you know what you have here? It’s priceless. The knowledge and history.”
    He dismissed her with a wave. “Someone will see to you. A bath will be brought, along with appropriate clothing.”
    She could barely force her attention away from her book to concentrate on what he was saying. “Appropriate?”
    Something dark sparked to life in his eyes. “As my slave, you will have certain…responsibilities. To fulfill them you will need to dress to please me.”
    She blinked at him. “You can’t be serious.” She replaced the book and for the first time really looked at the room. At the chaise and the very large bed. Her throat tightened.
    “Uh, Kardal, really. This is a game, right?” She

Similar Books

The King's Dogge

Nigel Green

The Butcher of Avignon

Cassandra Clark

Golden's Rule

Billi Jean

Code Name: Baby

Christina Skye

Last Ride

Laura Langston