High Treason

By: DiAnn Mills

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS




A HUGE THANK-YOU to Alycia Morales, Edie Melson, Lynette Eason, Emme Gannon, Mary Denman, Vonda Skelton, and Linda Gilden. You are the best!

Todd Allen—Your edits, suggestions, and encouragement helped detail my story. Thanks so much.

Connie Brown—Thank you for brainstorming illnesses for Monica.

FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap—Appreciate how you help keep my writing credible.

Beau Egert—Thank you for helping me with the research and always answering my questions.

Audrey Frank—Thank you for sharing your wisdom about Muslim culture and patiently answering questions.

Julie Garmon—You read every book and provide me with valuable suggestions. Thank you.

Karl Harroff—I so appreciate your weaponry knowledge.

Mark Lanier—Your Sunday morning series of “Why I’m Not Agnostic” was a tremendous help in writing Kord’s search for God.

Richard Mabry—I couldn’t write a book without your medical knowledge.

Dean Mills—Oh, the hours you spent with me researching, editing, and listening to my ups and downs.

James Watkins—Your brainstorming ideas for my plot inspired me to give this story a twist.





FBI SPECIAL AGENT KORD DAVIDSON had survived missions in the Middle East, been detained in Iran, escaped an ISIS death trap, and still walked and talked. His past kept him fueled for the future while adrenaline flowed whenever he recalled the danger—and the victories of working Houston’s terrorist division.

Early Tuesday morning, Kord sat in a Mercedes limo with Saudi Prince Omar bin Talal, his longtime friend and a grandson of the royal Saud family, en route to the Saud mansion in River Oaks. The prince’s mother, Princess Gharam, and his two sisters rode in a limo behind them. Prince Omar had requested Kord for protection detail as an olive branch to the Americans. Smart move, in Kord’s opinion. The strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the US resulting from falling oil prices and the US having less dependency on foreign oil was only part of the problem. Despite being a strong ally to the West in the fight against terrorism, the Saudis disapproved of how the US was handling the ongoing tension in Iran, Syria, and Yemen, and the list went on.

Kord shook off those bleak thoughts and turned his attention to the security detail. “I’m looking forward to catching up with your family,” he said to the prince. “I appreciate the e-mails with your sons’ photos, but I want to know all about them from their father.”

Prince Omar grinned like a boy himself. “They study hard and work even harder at mischief. You and I will have hours of coffee and conversation.” His expression shifted to lines that aged him. “I wish the circumstances regarding my mother were more pleasant.”

“MD Anderson is the best medical center in the world to help her.”

“And Houston has the only facility conducting a clinical trial for her type of cancer. I keep telling myself she’ll be fine, trying to be hopeful. I have an appointment with her team of doctors after she’s admitted to the hospital this afternoon. They want to review the testing from her doctor in Riyadh and explain their proposed method of treatment.” He paused. “I’m glad you’re with me. In case Mother’s treatments aren’t successful, I’ll need a friend.”

“Princess Gharam’s a strong woman.”

“She’s determined to fight the cancer.”

“I see your business plans aren’t on the schedule.”

Prince Omar turned to him. “I’ll give you that once I know about Mother’s treatment.”

“My job is to ensure your safety.”

“We’ll discuss it later. On Wednesday week, I’d like for you to accompany me to Saudi Aramco.”

He responded respectfully. How many of those at the family business were supportive of Prince Omar’s plans to lease ownership in Saudi oil reserves to Americans?

Prince Omar tapped his driver on the shoulder. “Wasi, don’t forget we’re stopping at the Frozen Rock.”

“A little early for ice cream,” Kord said.

“Not on Riyadh time.”

The prince’s press secretary, Malik, laughed. “Prince Omar, I reserved the shop for 9 a.m. before we left home.”