Wifed By The Sheikh (The Sheikh's True Love 3) - Page 8

accepted the course the Sheikh had outlined.

“If you feel up to it, I think we should make a start right now,” Zayed suggested. “First things first, we will need to make sure that you’re adequately clothed.”

Zelda looked down at her simple outfit; while it certainly wasn’t pricey, she had thought it looked all right. But then, she’d been basing that opinion on her old identity. “It’s going to be a long day, isn’t it?”

The Sheikh half-smiled. “It shouldn’t be too grueling. The major retailers in the city all know me very well, and will be happy to provide us with some help. I’ll have to think of what to tell them to explain your current outfit.”

Zelda half-cringed at that. “Let’s just tell them that there was some kind of accident with my luggage,” she suggested. “I don’t want to have to remember too many lies at the same time.”

Zayed gave her a respectful look, and then reached into his jacket pocket once more, taking out his wallet and laying a few bills on the table to pay for their food and drink.

“Then let’s get started, shall we?”


The driver hadn’t so much as blinked at the piles of shopping bags Zayed had brought to the curb when they finished their shopping excursion. Zelda wondered if the man was someone on permanent retainer—a member of the Sheikh’s staff, paid to sit around and wait for him—or if he merely worked for Zayed so often that the sight of so many purchases didn’t faze him.

“He doesn’t speak English,” Zayed murmured to her as they settled in the backseat, waiting for the man to load the last of the packages into the trunk of the limo. “So we can discuss things without any worries.”

“I’m still not sure I needed that many handbags,” Zelda said, shaking her head slightly. She had never owned more than three bags at a time: a black one, a brown one, and one in a color that she could coordinate with other outfits. More to the point, her choices had always been strictly utilitarian, with an emphasis on low cost and durability. Zayed, however, had insisted on buying her five purses in different sizes, with matching wallets to tuck inside of them, to go with ten pairs of shoes and seven belts.

“I thought that most women enjoyed shopping,” Zayed said, looking at her with amusement.

“I’ve just never really had that kind of money to devote to it,” Zelda admitted. “I guess the allure of spending money for the sake of spending money just hasn’t occurred to me yet.”

The Sheikh chuckled. “It’s not just for the sake of spending money,” he told her. “It’s to establish who you are to the people you’re going to be meeting in the coming weeks. You’re a woman of fashion now, Zelda.”

Zelda couldn’t help but laugh at that idea, shaking her head at the bizarreness of it as the driver took his seat and started the car.

In spite of her lingering qualms, she had agreed that it made more sense for her to take up residence at the Sheikh’s house rather than to stay in a hotel. If they only had two weeks to establish their great love for each other, everything they could do to demonstrate it counted, and Zelda had to admit that living under the same roof would help to sell the idea of impulsive lovers. It was as if Zayed was intent on buying her an entire new life, and Zelda had carefully avoided looking at price tags, knowing that if she discovered the cost of everything he was buying her, she would lose her nerve entirely.

The drive from the mercantile section of the city out to the sprawling—palatial, even—home that Zayed owned was shorter than Zelda would have thought; within twenty minutes she caught sight of the grounds, tucked away behind impressive stucco walls, with lush plantings further obscuring the house itself.

The driver stopped at the gate, speaking a few words to a guard there, and Zelda thought to herself that she could never imagine living in such a way as to need a personal guard. A moment later they were inside the walls, following a winding driveway up to an immense house.

An older woman, dressed in a uniform of black, white and gray, her hair concealed under a scarf, greeted them at the top of the driveway, and Zayed stepped out of the car, speaking a few words to her in his native language.

“Hadya will get the staff started on putting away your things in the rooms I’m having set aside for you,” the Sheikh told Zelda, leaning into the backseat of the car. “While they’re working, if you’re not too tired, I’d like to show you around your new home.”

Zelda, still somewhat stunned at the contrast between the lush, verdant grounds around the house and the more arid climate outside of the property, took a deep breath and nodded, sliding across the seat to get out of the limo.

The Sheikh gave her his hand and helped her to her feet, carefully not letting go right away. He ducked his head in closer to hers, and Zelda thought for a panicked moment that he meant to kiss her. Instead, he whispered, “Hadya does speak some English, but she has worked for me for years now, and for my family for even longer; she will not give us away.”

As the Sheikh led Zelda up a walkway and to the front door, she tried not to look as if everything she saw was completely amazing to her; she tried to take it all in her stride, but everywhere she looked, the details added up to a staggering impression of wealth beyond anything that Zelda had ever imagined.

The entryway into the house bore two fountains, one on either side of the doorway, with crystalline water lapping at the marble in a soothing murmur and green plants tucked away around them. The floor was marble tile, laid out in an intricate pattern, cool despite the heat of the afternoon.

As the Sheikh led her through the house, Zelda tried to imagine what it would be like to have grown up in a home like the one she would be spending the next few weeks in; what it would mean to have the earliest memories of her life take place in marble-floored hallways, surrounded by priceless art, with a background of fountains and quiet. It was impossible to wrap her mind around.

“These will be your quarters,” Zayed said finally, leading her through a door off of one of the main hallways. “They are the second best in the house after my own, which seemed appropriate.” A brief look of something like upset flitted across Zayed’s features, but it was gone before Zelda could wonder what had made him sad. He gestured around the room they’d stepped into. “This is your sitting room, for when you need to meet with seamstresses, wedding planners, or friends and so on.”

Zelda neglected to point out that other than him—somewhat—she didn’t actually have any friends in the country.

The Sheikh stepped off to the right of the sitting room and opened another door, and Zelda obediently looked into what she saw was the bedroom, taking in the huge chest of drawers, the opened closet door—displaying many of her purchases already hanging inside it—and a bed that Zelda thought might be as large as her entire freshman year dorm room, flanked by low tables with lamps, perfect for reading into the night. It was a beautiful room, painted a soft, champagne gold that Zelda was sure would catch the light stunningly in the mornings.

“You have a balcony over here,” Zayed told her, walking over to a set of French doors off to the side of the room, the sheer valances pulled back to let light in. “And over there is your bathroom.” The Sheikh hesitated, then, and instead of letting him walk over to open the door for her, Zelda stepped in that direction, opening the brass doorknob and looking inside.

It was hard not to feel daunted by the sight of a bathtub carved out of marble and large enough to comfortably hold two people, as well as a separate shower cubicle with a stone bench built in, and a wood-paneled closet that Zelda recognized as a sauna. This is a desert country, right? Where is all the water coming from?

“My room is just down the hall,” Zayed said, interrupting her train of thought. “As you leave your quarters, all you need do is turn left, and walk for a bit, and you’ll be at my door.” He checked his watch and made a face. “Unfortunately I have to step away now, to start getting things in order, but this will give you a chance to relax a bit before we get started on the pro

cess of making this wedding happen.” Zayed smiled at Zelda slightly and moved towards the door. “If you need anything, there’s an intercom into the kitchen where Hadya should be; I’ll come and get you for dinner in about an hour.”

Tags: Holly Rayner The Sheikh's True Love Billionaire Romance
Source: readsnovelonline.com
readsnovelonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2023