Sold to the sheikh his i.., p.10
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       His Indecent Proposal, p.10
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         Part #1 of Sold To The Sheikh series by Holly Rayner
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  Mia was surprised to see it was already starting to get dark outside by the time she exited the bar. "Jeez, how long was I in there for?" She was barely aware that she'd spoken her question aloud. In the corner of her eye Mia saw a blurred movement off to her left and turned instinctively towards it, only to see Rami appear from round the side of the bar. Mia staggered backwards in surprise, tumbling gracelessly onto a bench. "What are you doing here?"

  "What am I doing here? What are you doing here?! You're supposed to be trying to get pregnant! I spend all this money on fertility treatments, and making sure you have everything you need, and what do you do with it? You come and get shitfaced!"

  "Rami, no. This is the first time I've had anything to drink in-in-I think it's over a year!" Mia's face burned as the blood flooded into her cheeks. She scowled at Rami, feeling guilty and angry in equal measures. "I told you I didn't want you to keep paying me while we took a break. If you have such a problem with me doing this when we aren't even trying to conceive right now you can just-just...go to hell. That's what you can do."

  "How do I even know you haven't been drinking all along?" Rami asked. "You stay at home, but you could've been drinking gallons of wine, or whatever else there."

  "You've been to my house! Did you ever see any alcohol anywhere?" Mia wished the cab would arrive already; she was exhausted and dizzy, and she was fairly certain that as soon as she was safely alone, most of the alcohol she'd consumed would come right back up out of her stomach.

  "And you-how did you even know where I was?" Through the fog that had descended on her brain, Mia remembered other odd instances: the time Rami had appeared when she was having trouble at the pharmacy getting the medication the doctor had prescribed for her mother; once when she had been out shopping and Rami had just happened to be in the same store; and finally the chance encounter at the grocery store that had started her on the path to becoming the potential mother of his child.

  "Did you follow me here?"

  Rami's eyes widened and he looked away.

  "Answer me!"

  "OK, before you start making a scene. The truth is?I've been having you followed," he said quickly.

  "What? Wh-what the hell-why would you do something like that?" Uninhibited, thanks to the tequila, Mia's anger quickly rose to boiling point. "That's sick! What the hell were you thinking?"

  "Well, it started because I wanted to know why you brushed me off when I asked you out," Rami said, shrugging. "Yeah I know it's a little fucked up, but I was curious, so I had a guy follow you around. And when I found out you weren't seeing anyone, I thought?" he shrugged again.

  "You thought what? That I'd be the perfect choice to be your baby mama?" Mia's hands shook and she suddenly wished that she were alone; her stomach was pitching and heaving inside of her.

  "I wanted to protect you, once you-once I knew you were going to be carrying my child. You don't exactly live in the safest part of town, you know."

  "At least no one in the part of town I live in is having me stalked!" Mia stood up unsteadily, looking around to see if the cab would arrive. "I can't believe this. I really can't believe?. No, you know what, I can believe it. I just can't believe I was so stupid that I didn't even think you might be doing this." Mia almost cried out with relief when the bright yellow flash of a taxi appeared in the parking lot, coming straight to the bar. "Don't even try and talk to me right now, Rami al-Hassan. I am so damn furious that I could spit on you, but you wouldn't be worth it."

  "You call for a cab, Ma'am?" Mia didn't even glance at Rami as she nodded, fumbling slightly for the door handle. Rami moved closer, and opened the door for her silently. Without thanking him, Mia climbed into the cab and gave the driver her address. She focused on staring straight ahead, struggling to control her nausea.


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