The Sheikh and the Runaway Princess(Desert Rogues, Book 4)(60) by Susan Mallery
“Problem?” Fury filled him. He understood Sabrina’s need to throw things. Right now he wanted to throw both these men across the room. “There is no problem except Sabrina is gone. I wish her to be returned to me, immediately.”
He paused in front of his father and glared at him. “We are engaged. You have no right to keep her from me.”
“The lady does not want to marry you,” Givon said calmly.
“I can’t blame her,” Rafe offered helpfully. “You’re being an idiot, Kardal.”
He stared at the two of them. Had the entire world gone crazy? “I am Kardal, the Prince of Thieves. I have made no mistake.”
“So why did Sabrina leave you?” Givon asked.
“Because she is a woman and prone to hysterics.”
“Then one would think you are better off without her.”
One would think so, Kardal thought grimly. Yet he couldn’t imagine the palace without her. In the past few weeks, she’d become a part of his life. Almost of his very being. He needed to hear her voice and her laughter. She was someone he could talk with. She understood so many things.
“I will find her,” he announced.
“Good luck,” Rafe said cheerfully. “I’ve heard rumors about Givon’s secret palace. It’s way the hell and gone out in the Indian Ocean. You ever try finding an island in an ocean before?”
Before Kardal could respond, there was a knock on his office door.
“Go away,” he yelled, but instead of doing as he requested, his secretary stepped into the room.
“I’m sorry to bother you, sir,” Bilal said, obviously uncomfortable. “However, I’ve just been informed that King Hassan of Bahania has arrived. He says he’s here to check on the welfare of his daughter.”
Chaos exploded upon them. King Hassan burst into Kardal’s office. He was not as tall as Givon or Kardal, but he had about him an air of authority that spoke of many years of being the respected leader of a sovereign nation.
“I heard she’s not even here,” Hassan announced by way of greeting. He paused to nod at Givon, then turned his steely gaze on Kardal. “I trusted you with my daughter and you have misplaced her.”
“She is perfectly safe,” Givon said mildly, walking over to Hassan and shaking his hand. “She and Kardal’s mother flew out a few minutes ago on my helicopter.”
Hassan frowned. “Why? Where are they going?”
“That’s what I want to know,” Kardal growled, thinking that he didn’t need to be dealing with Sabrina’s father right now.
Givon shrugged. “She is going to a private island that I own.”
Hassan folded his arms over his chest. “What is going on here? Givon, why are you in the City of Thieves?”
“I am visiting my son.”
Hassan raised dark eyebrows. Kardal tried to find some likeness of Sabrina in her father, but except for her brown eyes, he didn’t see any.
“I was not aware that you acknowledged your son.”
“I do now,” Givon said.
“It is about time,” Hassan announced.
The three of them were standing in the center of the room. Rafe was the only one who had bothered to claim a seat on the sofa. Kardal thought about playing the polite host, but he found he didn’t care about good manners or what the other men thought of him. He leaned toward Hassan.
“You have no right to lecture anyone on fatherly responsibilities. What about your own failures with Sabrina?”
Hassan stiffened. Anger flashed in his eyes. “You forget yourself.”
“Not for a minute.” Kardal narrowed his gaze. “Your daughter is a beautiful, intelligent woman. You assumed she was like her mother, but that is because you never bothered to get to know her. She could have been the most valuable flower in the garden that is your children, but you ignored her in favor of your sons. You ignored her because it was easier.” He turned to Givon. “Much as you ignored me.”
Givon nodded. “I cannot deny the truth of your words. However, I would remind you that you grew to be a fine strong leader who has done well for himself.”
“That doesn’t erase your responsibilities.”
“Perhaps not, but it explains my choice. You had your mother to raise you and love you. Had I left El Bahar, I would have been required to abandon my children to be raised by ministers. They had no mother.”
Kardal refused to see any validity in Givon’s argument. “What about Cala? Did you ever think about her?”
“Every day of my life. I thought about you as many times. I wanted to be with both of you. Meaningless to know now, perhaps, but true.”
Givon spoke the words with such profound sadness that Kardal almost forgot to be angry.
Hassan waved his hand. “This is all very nice. Now father and son can reconcile. However, my question remains unanswered. Where is my daughter?”
“She has run off,” Kardal said flatly. “Givon won’t say where.”
Givon smiled slightly. “You are leaving out the most interesting parts of the story.”
Kardal shifted, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. “What parts?”
“Tell him about her falling in love with you,” Rafe offered helpfully from his place on the sofa. “And about this afternoon. You know, when you…”
Kardal glowered at Rafe, but his friend simply shrugged.
“I will deal with you later,” Kardal said, then turned his attention to Hassan.
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