Force a girl to marry?
Take her from her home? Carry her hostage across the Atlantic Ocean? Isolate her from family and friends until she finally caved, acquiescing to her father’s desire that she marry…even if the man were twenty years older?
Sheikh Kalen Tarq Nuri had heard worse.
Draining his martini, he pushed the empty glass away, black eyebrows flattening over narrowed eyes.
He was in New York having closed a big deal and was now out to dinner celebrating the acquisition with his top brass, those who’d executed the nasty buy-out. The other company hadn’t wanted to be bought. Sheikh Nuri had wanted the purchase.
Sheikh Nuri got what he wanted. Always.
Tapping the rim of his empty martini glass, Kalen Nuri felt a surge of desire, the desire of a hunter, the desire of a predator. Like the hawks he used to own in Baraka, the beautiful fierce falcons, Kalen was ready to hunt.
To give chase.
There were worse things than forcing a young woman to marry against her will.
There was betrayal. Attempted murder. And the revelation of a plot to assassinate not just the Sultan of Baraka, but the Sultan’s young sons. Kalen’s nephews.
Sheikh Kalen Nuri’s jaw hardened, eyes narrowing to slits of masked rage. No one touched his family. No one would be allowed to hurt Malik or the children. No one. Not even Omar al-Issidri, Malik’s chief cabinet member. Secret agitator.
Kalen had learned that Omar had plans, big plans, plans to consolidate his power in Baraka by marrying his daughter to Ahmed Abizhaid, a radical fundamentalist. A man that also happened to be Malik’s harshest critic.
Omar was dangerous because he was weak. Ahmed was dangerous because he was violent. The two together could destroy the Nuris. But Malik, honest, honorable, noble Malik, refused to believe that Omar was anything less than a dedicated public servant.
Kalen’s fingers tightened around the stem of the martini glass. The marriage between twenty-three year old Kiera al-Issidri and Ahmed Abizhaid couldn’t take place. It was a dangerous relationship, an alliance that would give Ahmed respectability and access to the palace. As well as proximity to the Sultan and his children.
Which is why Kalen had made arrangements to ensure the marriage didn’t take place.
And then someone made a mistake. Botched the job. Someone had been let down.
It infuriated Kalen. If the situation had been handled correctly, everything would have been sorted, settled, the problem contained.
Instead Keira al-Issidri would be flying back to Baraka tomorrow night and into her new bridegroom’s bed.
Unless Kalen did something about it immediately. Personally. And given the circumstances, it was exactly what Kalen intended to do.
End of Excerpt
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