Authors: Eve Jordan
Loved by the Sheikh
by Eve Jordan
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 by Eve Jordan
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced, scanned, or distributed, in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author.
"Thank you for your time, Sheikh Zahin."
Though the interview had been a complete waste of time, Sadiq forced a smile as he shook the reporter's hand. "Anytime," he lied and cursed himself inwardly.
He shouldn't have let Rishi talk him into doing the interview, but his assistant had been strangely adamant about it. Unfortunately, instead of talking about his company's acquisition of Grocer Dan, the reporter had asked a series of senseless questions.
How did he like his coffee? If he was stuck on an island...
As if the way he took his coffee would endear him to the American people.
I start the day with a cup of coffee as well. I guess the Sheikh can't be all that bad.
He would've loved to give this "reporter" a piece of his mind, but he couldn't. Ever since his purchase of the grocery chain, he'd been vilified by the media and a mad reporter would only fan the flames.
Apparently, the American people would rather have their beloved grocery chain file bankruptcy than be owned by a Middle Eastern. Never mind the fact that he'd lived in America for more than half of his life and that Grocer Dan's board had been the one to approach him.
He opened the door to guide the reporter out and saw a petite brunette who was busy with her camera just a few feet away. As if sensing them, she looked up her, her brown eyes locking with his.
He didn't know where the thought had come from, but he had to have her.
She smiled as she straightened. As if his legs had a mind of his own, he walked towards her.
"And this, as you've probably guessed is the photographer, Jenny Carr."
Sadiq stopped to look at the portly man. For a second, he had already forgotten the ill-fated interview.
"For the article."
Okay. So maybe the interview hadn't been such a bad idea. Agonizing through an hour long interview was nothing if it meant that he got to spend some time with this beauty.
He smiled inwardly. His assistant had stock photos of him that could be used for the magazine, but the idea of this beauty with all her attention focused solely on him for an hour or so had an allure all on its own.
"Jenny, this is Sheikh Sadiq Zahin."
"Call me Sadiq," he offered as they shook hands.
"Jenny. Nice to meet you, Sadiq."
His grip tightened at the sound of his name on her lips. If things went his way, she'd be moaning his name over and over again that night.
She opened her mouth to say something else, but the damn reporter interrupted her. He was about to chide the man for showing such a lack of respect to a woman before he heard the wonderful words that came out of his mouth. "I actually have to leave now. I have an appointment at noon. It was nice meeting you."
They shook hands again, but this time Sadiq was in a much cheerier mood.
"George isn't usually like this," Jenny said apologetically after he left. "He's just excited about this lead he has."
"I hope that he asks the right questions this time."
Jenny scrunched her nose. "Did he ask you the coffee question?"
"Yes and his other questions weren't any better."
"And they were all about you, weren't they? Nothing about your Grocer Dan acquisition?" He shook his head and she shrugged. "Well, at least he didn't touch on anything too personal. I know it sucks, but George is just catering to our readers."
Sadiq couldn't explain the sudden bout of jealousy that rose inside of him at her words. What exactly was her relationship with George that she should be defending him so?
Oblivious to his thoughts, Jenny continued, "Especially since you're royalty. People would rather hear about you than any of the businesses you run."
"I'm not really royalty," Sadiq corrected. In the olden day, yes, but the new Atal presidential system had no room for kings and queens.
She laughed. "Your grandfather was the king and your father is now president. Your not being technically royalty is more of a family decision than anything else." She tilted her head towards her camera. "Where should we start?"
, he quickly thought, but as soon as the image of her body tangled up with his entered his head, he regretted it. Considering their conversation, he doubted that she was thinking along the same lines as him. Yet.
"In my office. Let me help you with that," he offered, picking up the case that contained the rest of her equipment.
"Thank you," she said, flashing him another one of her smiles. He had a strange feeling that he would never get tired of those smiles.
Her blue skirt stretched deliciously over her ass as she set up and he could just imagine how it would feel in his hands. He knew that he should offer to help, but he was enjoying the view too much.
His selfishness was rewarded when she bent over to pick up the stand for the lighting box and that skirt rose a couple of inches. He groaned inwardly when she stopped. If she had just bent a little bit more, he would've known the color of her panties.
"Do you have a shot in mind,?" she asked over her shoulder as she set up her soft box.
It would be so easy to just approach her from behind and grab that delicious derriere of hers... He forced himself to snap out of it. "What do you recommend?"
She straightened and walked around the office as she pursed her lips. His chest tightened at the way the sun's rays glinted off her hair. She was beautiful.
"I really like your view of the city. Maybe we can have a shot of you looking out the window." It took a few more minutes for her to prepare for the shot. "I'm ready whenever you are."
Thankful for something to finally do, Sadiq walked over to the window and leaned against the wall.
She frowned. "You look too uptight. Loosen up a little bit."
"Perhaps if you loosened a couple of buttons."
"Ha ha, but that gives me an idea. Take off your suit."
Intrigued, he did as told and set it on the chair.
Her frown deepened and he resisted the urge to flex as she started towards him. The smell of sweet strawberries engulfed him as she stopped in front of him.
His imagination spiraled when she began loosening his tie and collar. He could just imagine her soft hands running through his chest and her kissing his throat. He stifled a groan.
Stepping back before he embarrassed the both of them, he undid the tie himself. "I think it would be better if we started with me sitting behind my desk."
Jenny's cheeks flushed as she took the pictures.
She couldn't believe how brazen she'd been! She'd only mean to undo a couple of buttons, but once she'd gotten a glimpse of his dark curls, she hadn't been able to stop.
"Have you been doing this long?"
His voice sent shivers racing down her spine. She could easily imagine that voice in the bedroom, commanding her.
She licked her lips. "A few years."
It had been three long years since she'd quit her job as a teacher to become a landscape photographer. If she'd known then how hard it was to get a break in photography, she would've never quit.
"You must meet a lot of people."
"Only when we're doing one on one pieces like yours. I don't usually get to talk much to people at the parties. I'm always going from table to table."
But that didn't stop her female co-workers from envying her. They thought that these photo sessions were the perfect way to meet wealthy and powerful men.
Since she'd had a boyfriend, she'd never really thought about it. And after she'd caught David with her sister, she'd pushed all thoughts of men out of her head.
That was, until today.
She couldn't believe all the fantasies her mind had conjured up since meeting Sadiq. How could she be this attracted to someone that she barely even knew?
"Do you have any plans for tonight?"
She tapped her camera lightly. "Narrowing down these pictures to show to George and our editor." She was going to have a hard time taking even one of the pictures out of the running. She had a feeling that he was going to look yummy in all of them.
"Would you like to have dinner?"
Jenny straightened to look at him. He was interested in
No, it wasn't possible. Men like him could have their pick of anyone they wanted. He certainly wouldn't go for her. Though she wasn't ugly, she was certain that men like him went for models and actresses, not plain Jane's.
But when she saw that he was serious, she considered it.
Just because she didn't believe in happily-ever-afters anymore didn't mean that she couldn't have fun.
And she would have fun with Sadiq.
Just his voice alone aroused her more than David had ever. What more if they actually hit the sheets?
But she barely knew the man,
a voice reminded her. The idea of spending the night with someone she barely knew was crazy. Even with everything that was running around her head, she was still Jenny. She didn't do night stands, which she was pretty sure what Sadiq was after.
Unsure, she looked back at his handsome face and just knew.
She wasn't going to let what happened with David and Sarah dictate her life. She smiled. "Sure."
She was way in over her head.
Jenny groaned inwardly as she looked over the menu. The prices of some of these entrees were her salary for a whole day.
Feeling like a fraud, she wanted to leave, but Sadiq had been so kind.
Trying not to think about their obvious differences, she put down her menu. "So, how's the takeover of Grocer Dan going?"
"You're interested in my business holdings?"
She couldn't help but smile at the skepticism in his voice. She would've thought that he was the type of person who always talked business. "I'm interested in Grocer Dan," she corrected. "My family's been shopping there since I was a kid. I figured that since you agreed to an interview, you wanted to talk about Grocer Dan and not about how you take your coffee." She left out the part about hearing George say that Sadiq was getting a killing in the press because of the acquisition. It didn't seem fair that he was being discriminated against because of his race.
"Yes. I wanted to use the interview to get the point across that I'm not going to change Grocer Dan."
Jenny grimaced. "You probably haven't read any of our CEO Spotlights, have you?" At his blank stare, she nodded, understanding. "I'd give your assistant or whoever booked you the interview a good slap on the head for wasting your time."
His eyes darkened as he leaned towards her. "Oh, I wouldn't call it wasted."
Though she knew he was just flirting, her cheeks flushed.
Thankfully, the waitress came to take their orders before she could respond.
"So, tell me about yourself," Sadiq asked after the waitress left.
Surprised, Jenny blinked. He wanted to know about her?
She had naively thought that the thrill of one night stands was about the anonymity, but perhaps she was wrong and it was about the
of being in a meaningful relationship.
"There's not much really. I'm an aspiring landscape photographer and a business magazine's in-house photographer by day."
"What's wrong with taking pictures of me?" he asked indignantly.
She laughed. The man was incorrigible. "Nothing, but it's not like everyone I get to take pictures of is as gorgeous as you are."
She rolled her eyes when he grinned. He knew what he looked like and he certainly didn't need her to stoke his ego. "Besides, I want to do more than take pictures of people. I want to go to exotic places and bring back a part of it to the people who don't have the means or time to go to these places." She shrugged. "Sort of how a movie or book gives you an escape for a few hours."
Sadiq nodded understandingly. He knew how important it was to have an escape. He often let his mind drift back to the private beach his family owned in Atal when he was having difficulties.
All he had to do was close his eyes and there he was, the salty wind brushing against his face as the crystal clear ocean glittered back at him.
He always came out of the daze re-energized. It was as if he'd just taken a trip back home.
Without the politics and family drama.
Smiling wryly, he forced the thought out of his head and thought about the background check he had run on this Jenny Carr.
After an incident with an angry husband, he no longer took a woman's marital status on her word, but for the first time, he wanted more information about a woman than just what was in the report.
"How about your family?"
"My mom and dad are both retired and live in Brooklyn and my sister, Sarah, lives in Manhattan as well."
She had never told her parents about what Sarah had done and had no intention of ever doing so. As the head of the marketing division of Century Today, Sarah was their pride and joy and she hadn't wanted to burst their bubble.
Besides, it wasn't as if she had anything to show for it instead. She could still remember their faces when she'd told them that she'd quit her job as a teacher. Outwardly, they'd been understanding and supportive, but she'd seen the disappointment in their eyes.