Sold to the sheikh his i.., p.11
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       His Indecent Proposal, p.11
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         Part #1 of Sold To The Sheikh series by Holly Rayner
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  After her one day of excess, Mia returned immediately to her near-dry lifestyle; the tequila hangover was more than enough to convince her that she didn't want to drink for a long time. The morning after, she saw that she had three calls from Rami and two from her mother. She called her mother back to let her know that she was okay, but couldn't bring herself to deal with either Rami's accusations or his apologies, whichever he wanted to exchange. She felt so violated; the knowledge that he had had her followed for months, and that he obviously didn't see anything wrong with it, hurt her more than she could have expected. Didn't he trust her? "You don't exactly live in the best part of town." The words played in her head over and over as she nursed herself through the hangover, eating toast and drinking tea.

  It took days for her rage at Rami's high-handed manipulation to ebb, and once Mia stopped being so angry with him, she didn't know what to do with herself. She had enough money in the bank to last at least a few months, even with her mother's bills. If she had to, Mia knew she could go back to working at the school. The semester was almost over but she had heard more than once from the administration that they'd take her back, no questions asked. And yet, the mere thought of going back to the grind of grading papers, trying to inspire students who in many cases had already given up on learning, made Mia's heart pound with dread.

  Rami called her every day, three times a day, the first week after their fight. Mia refused to answer, letting the phone roll over to voicemail every time. Initially, afraid of what he might have to say to her, she had deleted his messages unheard. But after a week of avoiding him, her curiosity won out. Rather than simply deleting the voicemail, Mia listened to one that had been left at ten o'clock at night. "Mia, I can't tell you how sorry I am for what I did. I know-I know it was the wrong thing to do, but I really, truly just wanted to protect you. I know you're angry, but I hope you still want to go through with this. Please call me back."

  Mia stared at her phone in shock. Rami wanted her to try again? After everything they'd been through? After that fight? Her mind spun with questions: could she trust him not to have her followed again? Could she handle continuing the treatments, having her body full of artificial chemicals to manipulate her cycle? Did she even want to have anything to do with Rami anymore?

  The next time he called, she didn't let it roll over to voicemail. She answered the phone, boredom and exasperation making her brave. "Rami, I need time to think. Please don't leave any more messages on my phone, I won't listen to them."

  "Mia-can't we just meet up and talk about this in person?"

  "Rami, I'm still exhausted, and upset. I don't know what I want to do. Give me more time." She hung up before Rami could say anything else.

  One week became two, and Rami no longer left any messages, but continued to call her three times a day. Mia answered once every couple of days, and only to tell him that she still needed time; that she couldn't-wouldn't-meet up with him in person. We're supposed to be taking a break from treatment. I'm supposed to be resting and relaxing, not stressing myself out, Mia thought resentfully, every time Rami called.

  Apart from visits to her mom and the occasional trip to the grocery store-looking over her shoulder all the time, trying to discern if someone was following her-Mia basically didn't leave her house for three weeks. The very idea that Rami might still have someone on her tail, informing him of her whereabouts and what she was doing, made it impossible for her to feel comfortable. Even in her own home, where she knew no one could be hiding in a convenient closet (she checked), or sitting outside waiting for her to leave, she felt strangely conspicuous. She told her mother that she and Rami had decided to take some time off from the treatments, to give her body a chance to build back up. Amie didn't question the idea at all, and in fact seemed almost relieved. When Mia checked her bank account and saw a new deposit for one hundred thousand dollars, she nearly called the bank to reverse it. But she couldn't quite bring herself to do something that would so clearly sever what was left of her relationship with Rami.

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