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The Sheik's Missing Bride
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Elizabeth Lennox - The Sheik's Missing Bride

The Sheik's Missing Bride
Elizabeth Lennox



Chapter 1

The twig breaking to her left instantly alerted Sarila Tedrum. Her ears were on alert and she sat very still on the beach, trying to hear other sounds. She had been calmly watching the sunset for the past hour. Now it was almost completely dark with the smells of the night starting to creep up onto the beach.

The only thing she heard for several minutes was the waves crashing against the sand and the wind blowing her long, black hair off her shoulders and back.

Sarila hurriedly let the sand the sand sift through her fingers then dusted them off as she stood up, intending to head back to her apartment as quickly as possible. She didn’t think she was in danger, but she didn’t want to push her luck. It was dusk and the beach was basically deserted by now.

Another noise caught her attention, this time from the right. She bent down, trying to appear casual as she pretended to examine a shell. This second sound changed her feeling of unease to one of severe alarm. She could barely hear anything now because her heartbeat was pounding in her ears and the taste of fear rose in her mouth.

She told herself to calm down and concentrate. She couldn’t let the fear take over or she was already through.

Sarila took a deep, calming breath and straightened, trying to figure out where the threat was now. As she rose, she saw a shadow off to the right and she took steps in the opposite direction. Her shoes were on the steps and her motorcycle was only a few more feet after that. If she could get to her shoes, she could then sprint to her motor cycle and get away.

Unfortunately the shadow was too close for her to make it to safety. Whoever it was, they were very large and they were moving with her, starting to close into a circle around her.

“Calm down,” she told herself. “You know what to do.”

Sarila moved cautiously and made sure to keep the shadow in her line of sight at all times. Her muscles tensed in preparation, she looked around and calculated the distance. Every nerve in her body was tingling with fear and anticipation of the fight. She worked her way closer to the shadow, hoping she appeared unconcerned and, even better, unaware, of the threat. Then, without warning, she reached out quickly, kicking hard with her heel, then spinning around at her waist and grabbing the man’s hand, twisting it quickly behind his back. The man landed with a quiet thud onto the sand and oat grass. “What do you want?” she whispered, careful to not alert the others she’d heard a little farther off.

The man didn’t move, nor did he speak to answer her question. She tightened her hold. “What are you doing here?” she demanded more forcefully.

A deep voice laughed softly behind her. “He will not answer you, nor will he defend himself, Princess,” the voice said.

Sarila gasped as the voice moved closer. From the current distance, he was only a very large, very intimidating shadow but she knew that voice. It was from her past. A voice she swore she’d never have to listen to again. And it terrified her now more than the threat she’d been defending herself against only moments earlier.

“Who are you?” she called to the approaching shadow, not releasing her hold on the man who was still face down in the sand and weeds.

“Ah!” the voice said, feigning offense at her words. “You wound me, Sarila. I can’t believe you don’t remember me. I definitely remember you,” the voice said, unquestionably closer now.

The words were teasing and that only confirmed her worst fears. “Kasar?” she gasped, not wanting him to validate that the voice belonged the man she’d been running from for the past six years. “What are you doing here?” she asked, wishing her voice didn’t sound so scared and pathetic.

Sarila’s world started spinning. She immediately stood up and stepped back from the man prone in the sand, her feet tripping over his legs but she didn’t glance down to find out where safe ground was. Kasar was here. That meant nothing was safe anymore.

She watched more closely as the large form became larger still as he approached. His size was overwhelming and she was grateful when he stopped several feet away. Any closer and she would be craning her neck to look at his face, and that was a feeling she didn’t really like to experience. Kasar was extremely tall and muscular and she told herself that she didn’t like men that large or intimidating.

She could see his white teeth in the fading sunlight as he smiled and moved even closer. “I’ve come for you, of course.”

She shook her head, too many awful scenarios screaming through her mind. She tried desperately to hide the fear in her voice but knew it was coming across despite her best efforts. “Why though? And how did you find me?”

The man laughed again and stepped closer. His eyes glanced down to the man slowly getting up off the ground.

Kasar didn’t bother to answer her question as he arrogantly looked at her face, noting the long, black hair blowing in the soft breeze, lifting it and causing it to dance around her face and shoulders. Sarila’s almond shaped eyes were a light, crystal blue and he could still see their color against her tanned face. They stood out against her high cheekbones that had developed in the six years since she’d been gone.

Sarila noted his examination and wondered if he was seeing the gawky, skinny teenager she’d been before leaving home, or if he was seeing the woman she was today. She’d had several people tell her she should be modeling so she assumed that they thought she was pretty although she didn’t put much stock in appearances normally.

When he was done with his arrogant perusal of her features, he looked back at the man flexing his arm and dusting himself off. “You’ve done a number on my body guard. I’m impressed with your skills at self-defense. I don’t remember martial arts being part of your curriculum.”

Sarila glanced away, but only for a moment to see for herself that the man was okay. “No, there wouldn’t have been a need for me to know how to defend myself back home, would there? I’d be surrounded by body guards, just as you are now,” she said, almost to herself. She watched the body guard for another moment, knowing he was embarrassed that he had been taken down by a female. He stood up stiffly and walked quickly away, taking a new sentry post farther from her and Kasar. As soon as he stopped, Sarila noticed the other body guards. They were effectively forming a protective perimeter around Kasar, and probably herself.

Suddenly she was self-conscious of her attire. She was only wearing a white bikini, with a gauzy cover up tied loosely around her hips. Despite the fact that the bikini was relatively conservative compared to some of the others that might be seen on the beach during the day, there was still more skin showing than there was covered. Kasar took that moment to notice her attire as well.

His eyebrows shot up as he took in her bikini and voluptuous curves. “You’ve grown up in the past six years, Sarila. There is more to be impressed with than your fighting skills.”

“Why are you here?” she asked again, crossing her arms over her stomach. She’d prefer to cover her breasts, but he’d know how much he affected her if she did that. Sarila didn’t want to give him any more power than he already had. She could feel the intense magnetic pull toward him. Kasar was the ultimate female fantasy. He was incredibly tall with broad shoulders padded with obvious muscles. Add to his physical attributes were the ability to charm anyone, male or female and an intelligence that could create humor or shred a person to the core with a few well spoken words. It made him a very powerful leader for his country, but also a dangerous man for her peace of mind.

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