Read Sheikh’s Fiancée Online

Authors: Sophia Lynn,Jessica Brooke

Sheikh’s Fiancée

BOOK: Sheikh’s Fiancée
13.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

Sheikh’s Fiancée

 

By: Sophia Lynn and Jessica Brooke

 

All Rights Reserved.
Copyright 2015-2016 Sophia Lynn

 

 

Click here

to subscribe to our newsletter & get EXCLUSIVE updates on all offers, secret previews, and new releases!

 

 

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

ANOTHER STORY YOU MAY ENJOY

The Royal’s Replacement Love

 

Chapter One

Alice Winter leaned her head back against the rim of the porcelain tub and tried to enjoy the fact that she was soaking her sore muscles in jasmine-scented water, and that in just a few short hours, she was going to be standing next to her best friend in the whole wide world as she got married to a man who was arguably one of the most eligible bachelors on the planet. But it was a little hard to do so when she had one woman’s hands vigorously lathering her hair, another exfoliating her face, and a third prepping her nails for a manicure.

According to Sheridan, this was sort of a tradition – maids of honor weren’t necessarily usually part of Islamic weddings, but the bride was always bathed, pampered and primped like this before the wedding, and so Alice was getting similar treatment.

“Are you sure
I’m
not the one getting married?” Alice called, somewhat crossly.

Sheridan’s throaty laugh echoed from the other room. “I’m positive. After all, I’m the one with the engagement ring here.”

“Hmph.” Alice would have said more, but the woman scrubbing her scalp made a gesture for her to submerge her head. Sighing, Alice sank lower in the tub, then tilted her head so that her hairline was completely submerged. The woman’s long fingers slid through Alice’s red tresses, rinsing out the shampoo, and then she tugged her back up again so she could start conditioning it.

Alice sighed again.

Eventually, she was released from the clutches of the Three Furies, as she called them – any attempt at unsanctioned movement was met by ferocious scolding – and by released, she meant that the women stepped back long enough for her to escape the confines of the tub. She was then immediately dried and covered in a fluffy white robe, her hair wrapped in a scented micro-fiber towel to help it dry more quickly.

At least they wouldn’t have to do much in regards to that. Her A-line bob didn’t allow for much styling beyond either straightening it or slicking it with hair gel and styling it into messy curls, and Alice had already opted to go for the straight look. Dubai was more progressive than most middle-eastern countries, but they were still pretty conservative, and Alice needed to look the part. Her hair style was already louder than most, with her fire-red locks and short, bold cut.

The Furies ushered her out into the bedroom, where Sheridan sat at the vanity already dressed in a bright
ghaagra
. The voluminous pleated skirt swept wide across the floor and covered her feet, and the long blouse paired with it was intricately embroidered in gold. Her makeup was already done, her lips painted a bold red and her eyes rimmed in kohl.

“Wow,” Alice teased, as she watched another one of the attendants slip a heavy gold choker around Sheridan’s neck to join the multitude of other gold jewelry dripping from her wrists and throat. “You’re carrying enough bling for a king’s ransom.”

“It’s my dowry, actually,” Sheridan said, sticking her tongue out. “I can’t be coming into this marriage with nothing, you know.”

Alice chuckled. “Oh, yes. Because you’d be destitute without the sheikh’s generosity.” They both knew how absurd that was – Sheridan came from a wealthy family and had made millions of dollars in her own right in the real estate market before she’d decided to sell her business and stand by Kalid’s side as his queen.

Alice wondered if she would ever find someone who loved her enough that she would be willing to throw her career away like that. She’d spent a long time looking, but she’d yet to find a guy who she loved more than fashion… or rather, who was worthy of that love. Most of them weren’t good for more than one-night stands.

One of the attendants tugged at the sleeve of her robe, drawing her away from Sheridan.  They slipped the voluminous folds of her own sari around Alice’s body – a dark green sari embroidered in silver – and wrapped and tucked it until she was properly covered.

As Alice turned to regard herself in the mirror, she had to admit the sari looked pretty damn good on her. If not for the impracticality of the folds of fabric swishing about and draping over her shoulder, she’d consider wearing it again. But on the whole she preferred the tighter, shorter dresses that allowed for more movement.

You know that everyday saris are more practical than this.

That was true. She’d seen enough fashion shows and magazines to know that what she wore now was ceremonial, and not for everyday wear. An average sari would probably have far less fabric for her to worry about.

Why am I even thinking about this? It’s not like I’m moving here or anything.

Alice shook her head as the women led her to the second vanity table – set up just for this occasion – so they could start putting on her makeup. She was just getting caught up in the moment. She would be going back to America shortly after this, back to the fast-paced, hectic life of the fashion industry in New York City, where there was no place for saris or three-day wedding celebrations or anything like that.

But then, the men here
were
surprisingly hot, she decided as she stared straight ahead and allowed the women to powder her face. Yesterday. at the
Mehendi
ceremony – which was basically a bridal shower and part of the traditional three-day Muslim wedding – she’d met Karim, Sheikh Kalid’s brother. Alice’s heart beat a little faster as she remembered his broad smile and the way his pale amber eyes had lit when he’d introduced himself to her. She hadn’t spent much time with him, but he’d been handsome and charming, which was a very good start. If not for the fact that Sheridan had told her he was engaged, she might have flirted with him. But she steered clear of married and committed men – she loved a challenge just like anyone else, but drama was not something she looked for. She’d seen enough relationships destroyed over infidelity, and considering how strict Islamic laws were, she wouldn’t be surprised if having an affair with a Dubian prince would get her head chopped off or something.

“All right,” one of the women said in a thickly accented voice. “You are ready.”

Alice blinked and stared at herself in the mirror. They’d dusted her eyelids with shimmering bronze and rimmed her eyes with kohl, and had lightly brushed blush over her sharp cheekbones. Foundation smoothed out her pale skin tone, and the dramatic splash of red on her lips was strikingly similar to Sheridan’s.

Smiling, she turned to face her best friend. “What do you think?”

“Gorgeous,” Sheridan declared, rising to her feet. The voluminous folds of her skirt danced around her as she moved, and the gold bangles on her wrists jangled merrily. “I think we’re pretty much ready to go, aren’t we?”

“Not yet,” one of the women cautioned. “You still need your
dupatta
.”

They brought out a huge length of red-and-gold fabric that was so long it could have easily been fashioned into a dress on its own. The women carefully draped the fabric over Sheridan so that it sat over the crown of her head and flowed around her body in such a way as to convey modesty while still not covering her hair, face or hiding the wealth of jewelry she wore.

“Wow,” Alice murmured as she stared at Sheridan. She wasn’t sure if it was because of the
dupatta
, which looked so much like a bridal veil, but It suddenly dawned on her, as if for the first time, that her best friend was getting married. Tears burst at the corners of her eyes, and she blinked, hard. “This is really happening.”

“It is.” Tears shimmered in Sheridan’s blue eyes, and a few of them slid over the sides of her cheeks. “It really is.”

“No crying!” one of the woman lamented, rushing over with a napkin to blot up the tears. “I will have to redo your makeup!”

“That’s right,” Alice reminded her, as if she hadn’t nearly cried herself. “And you wouldn’t want to be late for the wedding, now would you?”

“No.” Sheridan sniffed, then squared her shoulders, a determined look on her face. “I’m not going to let a few tears stop me. We’re getting married today, no matter what.”

“That’s the spirit.”

***

Karim checked his watch one last time before he left his rooms to head down to the garden for the
Nikah
– the second day of the wedding and the day in which the actual ceremony would take place. The day his brother and his fiancée would actually be joined from two people into one.

Nerves skipped through his veins as he made his way through the maze of halls in the palace. It was almost as if he were getting married himself – though of course he wasn’t; his fiancée hadn’t even been able to make it for the wedding, so he couldn’t get married today even if he’d wanted to.

No, this day was for his brother, for his happiness and a happily-ever-after that was long overdue.

The murmur of voices led him to a small room directly off the main hallway, where the wedding party waited in the wings for the ceremony to begin. Karim took a breath, and then he entered the room to find Kahlid already there, along with Sheridan’s father and her best friend, Alice Winter.

His breath caught as Alice turned around to face him, her striking red hair swishing around her angular face. Her bottle-green eyes lit as she laid eyes on him. She wore a flowing dark green sari that accentuated slim curves that made his heart beat a lot faster than it had any right to.

“Hello, Karim.” She smiled, her bold red lips curling up at the corners.

“There you are!” Kahlid exclaimed, breaking the spell before Karim had a chance to respond. “Right on time, too,” he added as the music began to play outside.

Beyond the picture window, rows of chairs had been arranged across the garden lawn, and the path between them led up to a lacy white arch. Karim would shortly be standing next to Kahlid beneath that arch, by his side as his brother officially gave his hear to a woman he loved.

“I suppose I ought to go and get the bride,” Sheridan’s father, Daniel Hawkins, said. He was a robust older man with a crown of thick, silver blond hair. Like Karim and Kahlid, he wore a
sherwani
and
salwar
rather than a traditional western suit.

“And you ought to go outside,” Alice said to Kahlid. “It won’t do for your bride to come outside and find that her groom’s not at the altar, will it?”

“Not at all.” Kahlid chuckled and swooped down and pressed a friendly kiss to Alice’s cheek, then slanted his dark gaze toward his brother. “I’ll meet you outside.”

“Of course.” Karim smiled encouragingly. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Kahlid disappeared into the garden, and Karim watched as he walked down the rose petal-strewn aisle toward the altar. The rows of chairs were packed with guests from all over the world – dignitaries from surrounding countries, including the Emirates, as well as family and friends.

Most of those same people would one day come from all over the world to attend his own wedding.

“I think that’s our cue,” Alice murmured, startling Karim. He looked down to see that she was standing at his elbow, staring out at the garden as well. Then he realized that the music had cycled back through another stanza, signifying it was their turn to proceed down the aisle.

“Yes, I do believe you’re right,” Karim told her with a smile. He offered his arm, and Alice accepted, curling her wrist around to place her palm on the inside of his forearm. Her tricep brushed against Karim’s side, and his heart jumped again.

He wondered if this would have happened if his fiancée had been here.

Turning his thoughts away from that, he guided Alice out of the room and down the hall, to where Karim waited. He felt the eyes of the crowd on them, and especially on Alice, male eyes roving over her dress. In response, he tucked her a little more protectively into his side. The curve of her hip brushed against him, but he kept his eyes fixed firmly on his brother, ignoring the impulse to glance down at her.

Finally, they reached the arch, and Karim released Alice with a small sigh of relief. He joined his brother on one side as Alice took her place on the other, and then they all turned toward the entrance to watch as Daniel Hawkins gently guided Sheridan through the doors to meet her future husband. Kahlid’s indrawn breath tugged a smile from Karim’s lips – he was stunned by his bride’s beauty, as he should be. She looked stunning in her bridal
ghaagra
and
dupatta,
and her blue eyes shone with the brilliance only love and happiness could inspire as she approached Kahlid.

BOOK: Sheikh’s Fiancée
13.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher
Christmas Catch: A Holiday Novella by Cameron, Chelsea M., The 12 NAs of Christmas
The Hanged Man by Walter Satterthwait
The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris
Muerte en las nubes by Agatha Christie
Miguel Strogoff by Julio Verne
A Gathering Storm by Hore, Rachel