One Night with the Sheik

By: Elizabeth Lennox

Prologue




Rhys Sabad del Isolm, Sheik of Triar glared at his chief of staff, unwilling to give in on the issue the shorter man had brought up. Again. “I’m not ready to settle down,” he announced with a tone that said he wasn’t discussing the issue further.

Adjar rubbed his forehead. “I love you like you are my own son,” he said softly, “but you are the most stubborn man.”

“Regardless, we have things to do. Things that need to get done in the country. Marriage would only distract me.”

Adjar laughed, shaking his head. “Marriage is not a distraction, my friend. Marriage is…beautiful. It is magical.”

Rhys pushed away from the desk. “Marriage is annoying.”

“Marriage is a gift!” he argued right back, one of the few men who dared to argue with the Sheik of Triar. “And one day, you’re going to meet a woman who will prove that to you.” Rhys said nothing, but Adjar read the disbelief in the other man’s handsome features. “Just you wait, my friend. A woman is going to enter your life and you will understand.”

“Understand that women are beautiful and lovely?” he teased. “I already know that. I love women.”

“No,” he argued even as someone entered the office with a stack of papers. “You like women. But soon, you’re going to fall in love.”

“Love is for the weak,” Rhys replied, already distracted by the next item of business.

“Lightning bolts, my friend,” Adjar said, lifting his finger into the air for emphasis. “One day, you’ll feel them and you’ll know.”

“Know that it is going to rain?”

Adjar rolled his eyes. “Lightning bolts are the sign that you’ve found the woman who will make you whole.”

Rhys chuckled. “Right. Lightning bolts. Got it,” and he signed the document his assistant put in front of him. “Don’t we have a council meeting?”

Adjar followed behind the tall, handsome man. Rhys was a good man, a powerful man. Too many women had entered his life and used him. He was cynical, but some day, a woman was going to blow him away.

And Adjar planned to be around when that happened!



Rhys walked into the conference room, dismissing the previous topic. “Joseph! How is your lovely daughter lately?” Rhys asked, shaking his chief engineer’s hand before taking his seat at the head of the table.

“She got the job!” Joseph replied, his eyes sparkling with pride for his only child. “Arianna is now the business manager for a gardening center. She got away from her horrible boss and is thriving with her new job!”

“Excellent! It must be nice to work outside all day long. Is her commute longer?” he asked, knowing that the traffic in the Washington, D.C. area was miserable.

“No,” he laughed, delighted with his daughter’s success. “She moved out closer to her new job. The rent is cheaper and the area is safer.”

“I’m sure you’re relieved about that. Would you like my security team to look into the area to see if there are any unknown problems? I can have them investigate.”

Joseph shook his head. “Thank you. That’s a very generous offer.” His ruddy cheeks turned a brighter shade of red. “I’ve…uh…actually already done that. I hired a security team.”

Rhys laughed. “That’s good! Any parent has the right to ensure their child’s safety,” he said.

Other meeting attendees were entering the conference room now. “Excellent news. When is her next visit?”

“She needs to focus on her job for a while, but she’ll come for a visit again soon.”

“Good! Let my assistant know when she makes plans. I would love to meet her. We’ll have dinner together.”

Joseph nodded, but the meeting began and he focused on giving his boss’s boss an update on the state of the oil fields and production. Everything was good, proceeding along expected plans, production had actually increased after several planned tweaks to the production systems and accidents were down.



Six months later…



“Dad, I don’t think that Sheik Islom truly wants to meet me,” Arianna teased, excited to see the beautiful country of Triar again. It had been a long time since she’d seen her father and it felt good to be in the warm desert sunshine.