The Sheik's Dangerous Lover Page 0,1

through the servants’ entrance instead of the main doorway. She suspected the sheik and his entourage were waiting at the bottom of the staircase, greeting each of the guests as they were introduced.

With a smile of delight, she peered down the hallway, excited to have snubbed the sheik in such a way. It was small and possibly petty, but with such a powerful man, it wasn’t a good idea to snub him blatantly. So these small rebellions were all she could safely contrive.

She stopped at the corner, then turned slightly and peered down the hallway, trying to figure out if it was safe to enter through this hallway or if she should find another.

Malik Badri del Rahal, Sheik of Kanaan, spotted the flash of silver out of the corner of his eye. Raising his hand, there was immediate silence from his aide who was walking beside him.

If there hadn’t been numerous attempts on his life recently, he never would have agreed to this weekend. But even Malik accepted that the best way to stop the assassination attempts was to marry quickly and produce an heir. Or several heirs, as he had been advised on numerous occasions.

Malik had resisted the idea, preferring to concentrate on keeping the country growing. The idea of taking the time out to marry and produce an heir seemed like a ridiculous waste. But after the fourth attempt on his life, Malik knew that something drastic had to be done.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like the company of women. No, he definitely enjoyed that part of life. With great relish, even! It was just the idea of being tied down to one woman that bothered him. His advisors had told him over and over again that being married didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy variety. He’d just have to be more discreet about it.

The idea left a bad taste in his mouth, but he’d gone along with the marriage idea. And the most expedient way to accomplish the task was to gather as many eligible women to the palace and simply select one that would get the job done. This was the third such weekend, and so far, no woman had captured his attention. At this point, Malik was willing to just point to one of them and have the decision over with. It seemed crude, but he was tired of these weekends filled with balls and elaborate dinners. He had things to do, and taking time to socialize with a group of overly made up, primped and starved women just didn’t seem like a good use of anyone’s time or money.

The flash of silver disappeared down the servants’ hallway and Malik walked quickly in that direction, determined to capture whoever was sneaking into the ballroom. He knew it wasn’t a servant, since they were in gold and maroon uniforms.

The thought crossed his mind that, if he could capture the silver flash, perhaps he could get some answers on the plot to get rid of him. If he could find out who was trying to kill him, he could eliminate the threat and there wouldn’t be an urgent need for him to marry and produce an heir.

Malik knew that his aide was following, uncertain as to why they weren’t heading towards the ballroom. People were gathering already, eager to see the sheik and present their daughters for inspection.

But what he saw as he turned the corner was more fascinating than any criminal intent. The curved, lush bottom pointing in his direction caused his body to react with unexpected interest. Why would someone send a female to kill him?

When the cute bottom disappeared under the voluminous ball gown, he watched with rising interest as a long, slender leg protruded from the front. The woman pulled the silver material over that leg but Malik didn’t mind since that only drew his eye up higher. The lovely, enticing view of the woman’s breast captured his attention. He could only see the side, and most of her breast was covered in the fabulous dress, but there was enough of a glimpse to capture his interest.

So the evening wasn’t going to be a total bore after all, he thought with relish.

Malik slipped down the hallway, signaling to his guards to get ahead of the woman by the parallel hallway but not to catch her. They were to stand down while he figured out what she was up to.

While he watched, the silver clad beauty tip toed down the hallway. Why she was trying