They say difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations and I think this is what happens with Rebecca and Zaid!— find out in the Sheikh’s Secret Son.
Sheikh Zaid is always in control. As the son of the Sultan of Sharjah and the middle of three brothers, he’s spent his whole life being groomed for leadership. When a diplomatic tour from the U.S. comes to Sharjah, he makes it his business to ensure that he makes a good impression, but the surprising return of an old flame shocks him to the core.
Rebecca Reid is a foreign aid representative with no time for ostentatious displays. She wants to see the gritty realities of Sharjah, not the polished façade. But when she finds the diplomatic tour she’s joined is being led by the same man she had a wild affair with five years ago, it complicates matters.
Now, Zaid and Rebecca will have to join forces to save the poverty-stricken residents of Sharjah from a corrupt adviser who is diverting relief funds. It’s time to unearth the flaws no one wants to acknowledge for the sake of the future and their four-year-old son.
“The Sultan will be down to join us momentarily,” Zaid continued, still distracted by the woman now talking quietly on her cell phone. “If you have any questions during your visit or if there is anything you need, let one of us know. You are our guests, even if you are not staying at the palace.”
He lost focus on his welcome speech, nearly forgetting what came next, and jerked his gaze away from the woman in the back, forcing himself to look at the group of government officials and investors in front of him.
“Over the last several years, we have made tremendous progress here in Sharjah, as I’m sure you are all well aware, making great strides towards eliminating poverty and promoting growth in the private sector. We have done this by bringing major companies into the region to provide our citizens with better jobs and more opportunities for growth. We welcome you here today in an effort to continue that progress,” he continued, struggling to keep his train of thought as his eyes drifted back to the woman on the phone.
“Maybe the Sultan’s Chief Advisor would like to add something,” he suggested to Alacabak, hoping he would take over before he completely lost his train of thought.
Thankfully, Alacabak nodded his head in agreement, as he stepped forward. “Thank you, Sheikh Zaid. I want to thank you all for visiting Sharjah. We welcome new business opportunities and investments in our growing economy. You find us at a crossroads where the past is connecting with the future in the Emirate of Sharjah. In all of the United Arab Emirates, really. We take the task of blending our traditions with the modern world seriously; something that will be evident as you move about our fair city.”
The woman in the back turned around, and Zaid finally caught a glimpse of her exquisite face. It was her! Despite the glorious time they’d spent together, the way they’d left things when they parted, he’d thought he would never see her again but there she was. Rebecca Reid. He knew he shouldn’t be surprised to see her amongst the group given her area of expertise, but suddenly seeing her took his breath away and he wondered if she would be equally affected to see him. Trying to catch a glimpse of her left hand, he couldn’t tell if she wore a ring and he itched to stride across the room for a better look.
Catching a quick shot of those sky blue eyes took him back to the last time he’d seen her. He remembered the heat in those eyes as she’d looked into his and the way they’d made him feel, somehow ravenous, as if only she could quench his hunger, and yet protective all at once. The last time he’d seen those eyes, the two of them stood face to face on the balcony behind her hotel room. It had been a magical night, and it ended under the stars.
But their commitments to their respective positions had pulled them apart then, and he figured it might have been for the best. He couldn’t tell if she had seen him yet, so he continued to watch her covertly. If anything, these years were good to her. She was more beautiful than he remembered. She’d always worn her hair in a tight bob, which suited her but he was pleased to see that it was longer now allowing her natural waves to frame her face.
“…and I think that Sheikh Zaid will agree when I say that there is still much work to be accomplished to get us where we want to be,” Alacabak concluded his speech, bringing Zaid’s attention back to the front of the room.
“Yes,” he agreed without hesitation. “There is still much work to be done.” He didn’t know where to go in his speech from there, too busy watching the auburn-haired beauty in the back of the room. It was as if she’d stepped directly out of his memory with her knee-length gray skirt hugging the subtle curves of her petite frame, her gray jacket clinging tightly to her shoulders and breasts, her silky hair, those thin hands that had held his face to hers, and those blue eyes that had pulled him out of himself before. He forgot himself every time he saw her.
“I took the liberty of creating an itinerary that each of you should have received at the hotel when you arrived,” Zaid continued. “It illustrates for you the different parts of the region where we will be visiting. We want to show you the best that Sharjah has to offer and what your investments will be supporting. We tried to include a fair mixture of traditional sights and modern features. We can start your tour of the region today, after we take a brief break to get everyone situated and organized.”
Zaid had worked closely with Alacabak and the tourism advisors to create an itinerary filled with trips to the museum, the desert park and reserve, the finest restaurants, the new conference center, and a few sightseeing tours designed to show off the wealth and modern development prevalent in Sharjah. He figured he would show them everything he wanted them to know about Sharjah, things he couldn’t put into words in order to persuade the investors and government officials to put more money into business development in the Emirate.
While he spoke, he looked for Rebecca again. She was gone, swallowed by the group.
What happens next? Find out in the Sheikh’s Secret Son.