The Sheik's Beautiful Intruder

Elizabeth Lennox - Friendship #3 - The Sheik's Beautiful Intruder

The Sheik's Beautiful Intruder (Friendship #3)
Elizabeth Lennox


Chapter 1

Nikki braced herself, prepared to have huge, beefy men grab her arms and carry her back out of the hotel’s ballroom. Were her actions illegal? She had no idea, but they probably were. After all, she was entering a secure environment with stolen press credentials.

The guard stopped in front of her, waving his hand to indicate she should open her bag. Nikki held back a bit, not sure what this next level of security might be for. “I’ve already gone through the x-ray,” Nikki said, trying to assume an air of assertiveness when, in reality, she was quaking inside.

The man’s eyes narrowed and Nikki realized that she might be kicked out before the “party” even started. With a grimace, she opened the bag she’d snagged from Brianna’s apartment that Nikki had “borrowed” for this venture. Brianna was one of Nikki’s best friends, and the only reason she’d shown up at a boring press conference was because she suspected this man had something to do with her friend’s disappearance. She knew almost nothing about him, except that he controlled an enormous portion of the oil produced in the world.

“Nothing but notebooks and pens,” Nikki said as the man peered inside the bag.

When he nodded, allowing Nikki to move inside the rapidly filling ballroom for the press conference, she breathed a sigh of relief. She took a seat off to the side, not sure what she might discover here today. But this was her only lead.

Brianna was missing, Nikki couldn’t reach Rachel, she and her new husband were still out of the country doing something wonderful, and the only link Nikki had to Brianna was an e-mail she’d received just recently. It was from Brianna and showed the Sheik of Yafar’s family crest in the corner and some questionable wording. Unfortunately, Nikki had no idea where Brianna was or even how the e-mail with this man’s family crest was connected to her friend’s disappearance.

The other reporters were walking around, talking with each other as they waited for the press conference to start. Nikki stood over on the sidelines, watching, trying to figure out the mystery of her friend’s disappearance. She was more worried than she wanted to admit; her mind kept going over the words of the e-mail. Brianna hadn’t gotten a good picture of it, so only some words were visible, but they didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Just a bunch of words that related to markets and oil prices.

Shoot! She wished Rachel were here! Rachel could figure this out, Nikki was sure of it. Of the three of them, Rachel was the one who understood math, markets and logic. Nikki was a high school English teacher. She felt like this whole situation was way out of her league, but the police wouldn’t do anything! They didn’t believe Brianna was missing since, apparently, Bri’s editor had given her a long weekend. But Nikki knew that Bri would have called, told Nikki what was going on, probably even asked Nikki to do something with her. Bri was the sweet, quiet one. She preferred cooking a meal at home and inviting people over versus going out to a restaurant. None of them liked the loud bar scene, but Bri was especially eager to avoid crowds.

Someone came to the podium at that moment and Nikki looked around, trying to find a seat. The chairs quickly filled up and Nikki just plopped down in the first one that was vacant. Unfortunately, it was in the front row. Nikki would prefer to be sitting in the back, observing the scene, trying to connect the dots.

She twisted slightly, trying to see if there were any seats behind her. Unfortunately, since this was such a highly anticipated press conference, the room was packed. She could either sit right here, or she could stand up and move to the back where the reporters and photographers were already standing five or six deep, shifting in an effort to find enough room for themselves and their equipment.

So instead, she chose to stay where she was and observe. She could be quiet, she told herself. She wouldn’t interfere no matter what the man said. She rolled that thought around in her mind and had to cringe inwardly. Perhaps being quiet and unobtrusive wasn’t exactly her forte, but she could do it. This was too important to mess up. She had to find out what happened