Sheikh's Desert Duty(5)

By: Maisey Yates

“Well, exactly.”

“And you know that I’m not James’s biggest fan?”

“Well, clearly not. As he seems to have gotten himself involved with your sister.”

Instantly he realized that whatever else she knew, she knew too much. With an entire newspaper to back her, she would be parlaying this information to interested parties, who would likely do much more digging than he would like done.

“Yes, indeed.” And just like that, he made his decision. He leaned forward and pressed the intercom button on the partition between the backseat and the front seat. “We are not going back to the hotel. We will be going straight to the airport.”


IT TOOK QUITE a bit to rattle Sophie Parsons. She hadn’t gotten where she was in life by being a shrinking violet. But currently, she was feeling extremely rattled. And slightly like shrinking.

She figured it was understandable. As she had just been forced into a limo by a man who stood nearly a foot taller than she did, and who must outweigh her by more than one hundred pounds of lean muscle. And now they were going to the airport, apparently.

She eyed the speedily passing scenery and considered attempting doing a tuck and roll.

“The doors are locked.”

It seemed he was a mind reader in addition to being a kidnapper. Except he seemed to take offense to the term kidnapper. Did she really care? She took offense to being forced inside of a limo and taken to God knows where.

“Right, well, it’s not like I was going to go jumping out of a moving vehicle.” Except she had been thinking of doing just that. “Although you’ve given me no reason to believe that I wouldn’t be better off taking my chances with the asphalt than I am staying here with you.”

“You have nothing to fear from me. I do not intend to hurt you.”

She assessed him, his hard expression, his dark eyes glittering. She had yet to get a good look at his face; from the dim lighting outside, to the even dimmer lighting in here, it made it difficult to assess his features fully. But from what she could tell, he was an exceptionally handsome man. An odd thing to observe about one’s captor, but in her line of work observation was everything. He had high cheekbones, a square jaw and a strong chin. The planes and angles of his face cast into sharp relief each time they passed a brightly lit building, or row of streetlights.

“What do you intend for me, then?” It was important to know. Because if he was intending evil things for her she needed to know whether or not she should be trying to fashion a weapon out of the paper clips and Chapstick in the bottom of her purse.

“It’s nothing you need to worry about.”

“Inconveniently for you, I find I’m exceptionally worried about what exactly a stranger intends to do with me. Even if it is rather mundane. Even if you just intend to ask me about different styles of napkin folding, which I could give you a comprehensive lesson on because I am something of an expert.”

“I do not wish to learn to fold napkins.”

No, of course he didn’t. And she didn’t, for one moment, think he had. But it was a better thought than the others swirling in her head. Because as far as she knew, men only had a few things they wanted from women when they removed them from a place forcibly. None of them were any good. None of them were anything she wanted a part of.

She really was in over her head now. She’d wanted to help Isabelle out, and she still did. But she had not realized that digging up scandal on the Chatsfield family to get Spencer Chatsfield off her friend’s back would end with her being shoved into a car by an angry stranger. No, indeed, she had imagined she would do a little bit of reconnaissance, and catch James doing what James did. He had been, in her mind, the easiest target.

The Chatsfields were currently making it their mission to take over Harrington Hotels, Spencer Chatsfield doing his best to ruin Isabelle Harrington’s life, as if he hadn’t already done enough years ago. That was why Isabelle had asked her to do what she could to dig up the scandal on the family, to throw the press a headline bone they couldn’t ignore and keep the Chatsfields busy scrambling to cover their butts while Isabelle shored up the defenses for The Harrington.

No, she wasn’t exactly a lead reporter for the Herald. She was more lead coffee maker and vapid party summarizer for the society pages. But, given that, she had the authority to run a piece on the Chatsfields.

Though, as much as Sophie loved Isabelle, as much as she wanted to help out her friend, she wasn’t sure if this was what she signed on for. No, she was certain this wasn’t what she’d signed on for.

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