The sheikhs secret love.., p.46
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       The Sheikh's Secret Love Child, p.46

         Part #2 of The Sheikh's Baby Surprise series by Holly Rayner
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  As the day went on, they returned to the seating area once more and sat reading quietly for some time. Before long, the sun—visible through the beautiful glass ceiling Ayman had revealed earlier—began to set.

  Sophie sprawled out across the sofa and looked up from the book she was reading. The sun was beaming in streams of colors through the stained glass, adding an irresistibly sexy hue to Ayman’s already handsome face.

  The shapes caused by the light filtering through the intricate patterns of the stained glass reminded Sophie of the chimes her father had put up in his kitchen window after her mother’s death. Those hideous chimes he’d received from a work associate as a reminder to celebrate life. They always seemed somewhat off, to her. But the work associate had been an older lady, very kind, who had put up a similar pair in her own home after her husband had died. Marta was her name. She’d said they comforted her and had insisted Sophie’s father do the same. Sophie had suspected that Marta was putting the moves on her father with the gesture—the thought horrified her.

  “What are you looking at?” Sophie asked suddenly, seeing that the Sheikh was gazing at her.

  The man shook his head and began to chuckle. “It’s nothing.”

  She frowned, growing more self-conscious by the minute. “Tell me.”

  “No, it’s nothing.”

  “Come on!” she insisted, sitting up from her comfortable spot on the sofa.

  “I’m just looking at your mustache,” Ayman said.

  With a growing horror, Sophie realized what he meant; as she was reading, dust particles lit up by the sun were landing on the peach fuzz that rested just above her lip.

  Her eyes went wide and she covered her mouth, her brow furrowing wildly. She threw the couch pillow at him and couldn’t help but laugh. “I do not have a moustache!” she yelled.

  Ayman shook his head as though it were all a big shame. “Looks like you’re going to end up like my Great Aunt Nayyirah,” he teased.

  Of course, Sophie knew who he was referring to. She had seen photos of Nayyirah; she was his very large, twice divorced, very hairy aunt, whom the media had dubbed ‘The Beast’ back in the 1970s.

  “I will not!” Sophie gaped in shock. “You take that back!”

  “I take back nothing!” he laughed.

  “Would you still find me as devilishly charming if I did?” She pouted in defeat as she stretched out on the bed.

  “You think you’re devilishly charming?” he asked, ignoring her come-on.

  She scoffed and stuck out her tongue, demanding, “Give me back my pillow!”

  The Sheikh complied and playfully threw the pillow back at her.

  Suddenly, out of nowhere, Sophie’s mood took a nosedive; the high of laughter and butterflies fluttering through her stomach suddenly crashing down inside of her.

  Despite the unreal circumstances, tonight had been fun, and Sophie had greatly enjoyed getting to know her captor. In fact, in her mind, she had stopped referring to him as such. Ayman was as fun and conversational as he was charming and handsome. But, she couldn’t help but wonder, how long would she be here? Weeks? Months?

  She felt pins and needles rushing through her with a sudden burst of adrenaline. All she wanted to do was get out; to find her mother’s necklace and get home.

  She wondered who would be the first to realize she was missing. Would it be the university, wondering why such a diligent student would be slacking on her research, or would it be her father? She could imagine him checking in with his weekly call, growing frustrated as her phone continued to ring without answer. She imagined him hanging up in defeat and calling again the next day. She felt her stomach sink as she pictured the terror he would feel not being able to get a hold of her while she was half-way across the world. She never missed a call, and now she would miss dozens.

  Fear began to creep in and she wondered, what if he gets sick? What if something’s wrong and she’s not there to hear his call? He’d been so proud of her for getting into Yale, but she would give it all up at the drop of a hat if he called and asked her to come home. She would find a job at a local fast food restaurant and take care of him if that’s what he needed.

  She realized then that she felt more homesick now then she had when she’d first come to Al-Duyan.

  “Something wrong?” Ayman asked, his voice full of concern, as though he could read her mind.

  “I’m just so tired,” she lied, bringing her hand up to her forehead. “I think I’m going to go lie down. Do you mind?”

  “No, no, not at all,” he smiled. He helped her up off of the sofa and led her into the bedroom. “I hope you feel better when you wake.”

  With that, Ayman closed the door and Sophie’s thoughts immediately turned to plotting her escape.

  She looked to the stained glass ceiling, wondering if she could break a panel without alerting the guards. Not the best idea, come to think of it. This was a fortified bunker. The glass was almost definitely bulletproof. Besides, how the heck was she supposed to smash the glass, anyway? There were no weapons in the bedroom. There wasn’t as much as a bedside table to use. So, unless her pillows were made of lead, she would have to come up with another plan, and quick.

  She crawled into the comfortable bed and luxuriated in the feeling of the cool, clean sheets against her skin. She was far from tired, but if for any reason the Sheikh came back, she wanted to at least look the part of a sleepy captive. She laid awake, sifting through dozens of scenarios as she wondered how she could escape her confinement.

  If she could get far enough into the desert, she knew she could at least get some cell service back. If she felt like she was being followed she could always dig. Sophie didn’t know if she was a good digger, but something told her the adrenaline and fear of getting caught would do wonders. If she felt like Ayman’s guards were on her tail at any point, she would dig down into the sand and try her best to conceal her body from them. Once they passed she would continue moving. It was almost nighttime, which meant that under the sand would be the best spot to protect herself from the weather.

  Once she got far enough from the compound she would call a cab and make her way back into the city. All she wanted to do was pick up her mother’s watch and go home. The loss of it from her wrist was sending her into a panic. She would make her way back to The Palais and play the stupid tourist, she thought. Oops, left my watch in the cinema! The owners would be none-the-wiser and the rebels would surely have no reason to attack a random civilian coming in for a lost piece of jewelry.

  The plan was set. Now she just had to get out of the compound unnoticed.

  She figured she could stand to wait a few more hours before fleeing the scene. Plus, Ayman might be asleep by then. She thought about the floorplan and everything the guards and Ayman had shown her from inside the bunker. There was literally only one way in and out of the unit—the living room. If she had any hope of escaping, she would have to get Ayman out of the living room and into his bedroom.

  Luckily for her, she knew what to do to get him there.


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