The sheikhs twin baby su.., p.23
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       The Sheikh's Twin Baby Surprise, p.23

         Part #1 of The Sheikh's Baby Surprise series by Holly Rayner
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  When she arrived at her suite, Lucie found it exceeded her expectations, whatever they had been.

  It was gorgeous—nicer even than the luxury hotel she’d started the day out at. Like the rest of the palace, it had an effortlessness to it—everything just worked. Nothing looked like it was trying too hard, or had been designed to impress.

  Like the hotel, all the basics were there: a luxurious bed, an exquisite bathroom, a sitting room. Bizarrely it felt like, here, she was home. It was like she had just stepped out for a few days, and somehow, in her brief time away, the whole life she’d lived up to now had happened.

  Her things hadn’t just been brought in for her; they had also been taken out of her bags and put up in the closet. Her bags themselves were nowhere to be found.

  If this had happened at a hotel, she would have felt violated. She would have wondered which faceless person had gotten into everything she owned and invaded her privacy in such a way. But here, it just seemed… normal. She trusted out of hand whoever it was who had done this. The Sheikh was not a foolish man, and she trusted his judgment enough to trust whoever he had chosen to have in his employ here, in this most private of spaces.

  In addition to her own things in the closet, she found a robe. Her fingers ran across it by accident, when they were running over her clothes; at the feeling of the impossibly soft terry-cloth fabric, her touch had lingered.

  She was very aware of the layer of dust that the day had put on her. She’d thought, when she’d been following along on the tour, that as soon as she got access to a bed she would flop down on it immediately. But now, with the grit and dust that had gotten all over her skin and in her hair, she was more anxious to feel clean again.

  She’d shower now, she thought, as she slipped off her clothes. After all, it would be criminal if by some miracle the storm cleared up faster than expected, and she didn’t get to use the sleek marvel of a shower, with all its showerheads and rainfall-patterned glory.

  When she was clean and wrapped up in the impossibly soft robe, she finally found her way to the bed her body had desperately needed for the last few hours. She slid between the sheets like there was nothing there but air, barely feeling the fine cotton against her skin.

  She should be counting her lucky stars, she thought, that she’d gotten the opportunity to experience such luxury. If her life went the way she was planning, after all, she would be spending most of her time out on digs in remote locations, far from anything approaching the level of comfort she found here.

  But that wasn’t what she thought about as she lay in bed, her eyelids moving slower and slower with every blink. Instead, she thought of Abdul. He was younger than she’d thought. Not in age… she’d known that he was thirty from her research. It was more the way he acted; she’d thought heads of state had to be severe, somehow. She’d expected that he would seem like an old man trapped in a young man’s body.

  But Abdul, he seemed like he actually had a passion for things—for many of the same things Lucie did, actually. The way he’d talked about opening up his country, and changing the way things had been done under his father… it had been as though he was a kid who had suddenly been given the keys to the family car, and had all kinds of places he wanted to go, and was only concerned that he didn’t crash it.

  But he wouldn’t crash it, Lucie thought. He didn’t seem capable of that kind of lack of judgment.

  There was so much that still felt unexplained about him. She felt like she knew him, to a certain degree, from their conversation earlier. But why would a man who was so powerful invite two strangers into his home? Surely a ride to a hotel would have sufficed?

  No, there was something else to him. And it piqued Lucie’s curiosity. And anything that piqued her curiosity had a way of holding her interest.

  And so, as Lucie fell asleep, she didn’t see ruins, books and ancient treasures. She saw Abdul’s face, and heard his voice.

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