The Sheik and the Princess in Waiting(Desert Rogues, Book 7)(52) by Susan Mallery
“We set up the exchange so that we’re face-to-face when it happens. We see Emma, we send the money transfer. They get notification of the deposit and they release her. It should only take about five minutes. That gives us the rest of the time to get the hell away.”
“Do it,” he said.
Will nodded. “Just as soon as they tell us how much. We should—”
A young man in uniform came running up. “Sir, we’ve heard. Sixty million in euros. I have the account number.”
Will looked at Reyhan who nodded. “Agree to it.”
The young man swallowed. “There’s something else, sir.” He glanced from Will to Reyhan and back. “A storm. It didn’t look like much an hour ago, but now…” His voice trailed off.
Reyhan’s chest tightened. “Sandstorm?”
The officer nodded. “It looks bad.”
Reyhan stared at Will. “The helicopters won’t be able to fly.”
Which meant the reinforcements wouldn’t arrive anytime soon and Reyhan couldn’t fly Emma to safety.
“We could stall them,” the young man said. “Explain that it takes time to raise that kind of money and—”
“No!” Reyhan’s gaze narrowed. “My wife is not to stay with them one second more than necessary. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir. Of course.” He scurried away.
Will shook his head. “It’s more risky without the backup but we can still make it happen.”
“We have no choice. If necessary, I will fight them all myself.”
The tattooed-snake guy who turned out to be called Billy pulled Emma out of the truck.
“Looks like this is your lucky day, too, sweetheart,” he said as he helped her to the ground. “Your old man is going to pay up. Sixty million euros. Not bad for an afternoon’s work.”
She was stunned. Sixty million euros? That was close to sixty million dollars.
An insane amount of money. She couldn’t imagine there was that much wealth in the whole world. Reyhan couldn’t pay that. Just the thought of it made her sick to her stomach.
“You look shocked,” Billy said. “Don’t be. These prince guys really have a thing about other men hanging around their women. Of course I thought he’d try to negotiate me down a little, but he didn’t. I’m not going to complain. That’s twenty million for each of us.”
She glanced around the camp. The sky had darkened and the air seemed thick, but she could still make out nearly two dozen men. She looked at Billy.
He nodded. “I know what you’re thinking. There’s more than three of us here. But see, these aren’t my guys. They’re those kids who hired us. The ones who chickened out. So I say screw ‘em. Me and my boys will be long gone with the money while these stupid kids take the fall. Good plan, huh?”
She nodded and wondered how she could get the information to Reyhan.
“Hold on,” Billy said, and tugged at her gag. When it was removed, she sucked in a breath of air.
“Better?” he asked.
She nodded, her mouth too dry for her to speak.
He glanced at the sky. “There’s a storm coming. Good for us, bad for them. They would have called in for help, but it ain’t coming in the middle of a sandstorm.
Come on, Princess. Your ride is this way.”
Emma followed the man. As she walked, she tried to figure out how long she’d been held in the truck. She would guess two or three hours at most. With clouds rolling in and covering the sun, there was no way for her to judge time that way. The air was so thick with sand that it was difficult to breathe.
Should she try to escape? If Reyhan had made a deal, maybe it would be better to go along with the plan. But she wanted him to know that the young men they had captured had nothing to do with the trouble.
“Be prepared,” Reyhan told Will. “If things go badly and we can’t get away in time, there could be a fight.”
“Agreed.” Will patted the gun at his side. “My men are ready.”
Reyhan was also armed and determined. He’d given firm instructions that no one was to do anything until Emma was back in his arms. Once she was safe, their side would walk away.
“Is your team in place?” he asked Will.
The other man nodded. “They’ll get behind the trucks and put on the tracking devices. Then when the storm lifts, we’ll send in an armed contingent to take them.” He grinned. “They won’t know what hit them.”
Reyhan’s first instinct was to punish the men immediately, but he had to think about Emma. Getting her to safety was his primary concern. The bastards who had taken her would be brought to justice. He would not rest until it was so.
He checked his watch, then stepped into the open Jeep. The vehicle offered little protection against the growing storm.
“It’s time,” he said against the wind.
Will started the engine and they drove into the desert.
Emma couldn’t see anything. The sand was thick and hot and her face felt as if it were being scraped by sandpaper. She squinted against the windshield.
“How do you know where you’re going?” she asked Billy.
He tapped the compass on the dashboard. “I’ll find the rendezvous. Don’t you worry, Princess.”
She wasn’t worried. Not for herself. Did Billy and his men have any idea about the danger they were in? Reyhan wasn’t simply going to pay them, and if Billy thought he was, the man was a fool.
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