The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting(Desert Rogues, Book 7)(51) by Susan Mallery
Reyhan stared at the boy. “You wanted to get caught,” he breathed. “You need our help to get out of this mess.”
Fadl nodded frantically. “Prince Reyhan, please. They’re out of control. You have to help me. Help all of us. We’re sorry. We didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”
“Of course you did. But now you’ve got a tiger by the tail and you don’t know how to keep it from eating you.” He looked at Will. “This is your area of expertise.”
“I’m on it,” his security chief told him. “I’ll call in a team from El Bahar and—” he glanced at Fadl “—elsewhere.”
Reyhan knew Will meant the City of Thieves, a secret city in the middle of the desert on the border with El Bahar and Bahania.
“I know the head of security there,” Will continued. “Rafe Stryker and I have worked together before.”
Will started to leave, but before he reached the door, a man burst into the room. He ran to Reyhan.
“She was taken by two Americans. They shot one of the men guarding her and knocked out the other. They have Princess Emma.”
Reyhan went very still and very cold. He looked at Fadl. “If she is harmed in any way, the desert will run red with your blood.”
“So how many millions are you worth, sweetheart?” the man with the tattoo asked as he pushed Emma into the back of a truck.
The gag in her mouth made it impossible to speak, so she could only glare her rage.
“I didn’t know Prince Reyhan was married or I would have planned this better,” the man said with a grin. “Guess I just got lucky today. Don’t worry. No one wants to hurt you. I thought those unhappy kids would be our ticket to the easy life, but they turned out to be all talk. When it came right down to doing the dirty work, they got scared. Said they didn’t want to blow up any oil wells. So I figured I’d wasted my time. Then you came along.”
Emma wanted to shriek her outrage. She couldn’t believe this was happening. If she could just get her hands loose she would claw her kidnapper’s eyes out.
Her anger pleased her. It meant she wasn’t going to be immobilized by fear. She had to stay strong so that when the time came she could escape.
The man fingered a strand of her hair. “I’m guessing your old man is going to pay through the nose to get you back in his bed.”
A knife flashed. Emma jumped back but not before her capture sliced off a lock of her hair.
“Just so he knows I’m not bluffing,” the man said, and slammed the door.
She found herself alone and in darkness. The hum of a motor and cool air blowing over her told her there was an air-conditioning unit. At least she wouldn’t die of heat exhaustion.
Don’t give in to the fear, she told herself. She had to stay strong. She had to be prepared. The men who had taken her weren’t going to kill her. She was too valuable for that. They wanted money, and lots of it.
Feeling her way along the inside of the compartment, she found a bench seat and lowered herself onto it. Her hands were tied behind her. Ropes cut into her wrists and as she struggled to loosen them, her shoulders began to ache.
How long would it all take? She knew that however much Reyhan might want her gone, he wouldn’t ever just leave her like this. She knew he would rescue her.
But when? And how could she hang on until then?
Fadl shrank back in his chair. He looked far younger than his eighteen years. “I swear I didn’t know,” he said as tears filled his eyes.
Reyhan didn’t care. “You are responsible. I should kill you now.”
Will grabbed his arm. “Killing him won’t help. We have a situation.”
He glared at his security chief. “They have taken my wife.”
“I know. We’ll get her back.”
Reyhan felt himself consumed by the fires of rage. He wanted to destroy with his bare hands. He wanted, at his feet, the broken and bleeding body of the man who had dared to take Emma, and then he wanted the opportunity to kill him a second time.
Fear lurked inside him, as well. Fear for her and what she must be feeling. Fear that she wouldn’t believe he would move the rotation of the earth itself to get her back. He’d been so cold, had rejected her so many times. His efforts to convince her he didn’t care had been too successful by far. What if she thought he wouldn’t be bothered?
He clenched his hands into fists and turned to Will. “Find out how much they want. This is all about money.” Will nodded and left.
Reyhan glared at Fadl. “Your attempts to play at danger have cost me something precious. You will pay, as will your entire family. The cost will bleed down through a hundred generations of your people.”
Fadl hung his head. “I’m sorry,” he whispered through his tears.
Reyhan walked out of the room. He needed to move, to act, to do something.
Instead he could only wait for information. In the main security center, a dozen men worked phones and computers. His security chief walked over to him.
“Reinforcements will be here within the hour,” Will said. “Troops are coming in from El Bahar and the City of Thieves. I’ve got my best computer guy working on a special kind of Trojan horse. Basically it allows the ransom to show up in the offshore account, but it’s only good for ninety minutes. Then poof, the money isn’t there anymore.”
“That doesn’t give us much time to get Emma back,” Reyhan said, knowing he would gladly pay any price for her safe return.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online