A haughty young heiress for whom the world is a playground…
A savage son of the Sahara who knows no law but his own…
When pride and passion vie for supremacy…
Blistering desert days are nothing compared to the sizzling Sahara nights…
My eyes tracked upward to rest on his sun-bronzed and lightly bearded face. Harsh and angular in the lamplight, it was at once the handsomest and cruelest face I had ever seen. He regarded me fiercely with scornful eyes. Those eyes! I had seen them before.
I gasped. It was him! The man from the party who had eyed me with such insolence. Even now he gazed at me as no other man had ever dared to—in a way that made me feel like a slave exposed for sale in a public market.
"Who are you?" I asked hoarsely, speaking in French without thinking.
He replied in French as well. "I am the Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan."
The name conveyed nothing. "Is it money that you want? Are you holding me for ransom?"
He regarded me for a long and silent moment with an expression of contempt. "I have no need of your money."
"What then?" I demanded, but deep down I already knew it was not a question of ransom. The way he looked at me was far too revealing and made my stomach churn. "Do you think that you can keep me here, you fool?" I lashed out in growing panic. "Do you suppose I can vanish into the desert and that no notice will be taken of my disappearance? That no inquiries will be made?"
"There will be no inquiries," he answered me calmly.
"There will be inquiries." I choked out. "I am not such a nonentity that nothing will be done when I am missed. The English authorities will make the French Government find out who is responsible, and you will pay for what you have done."
"Pay?" His amused look sent a cold feeling of dread through me. "I have already paid… in gold that matches your hair, my gazelle. Besides," he continued, "the French Government has no jurisdiction over me. There is no authority above my own."
My trepidation was growing more terrible every passing moment. "Why have you brought me here?"
"Why have I brought you here?" He repeated with a slow and heated appraisal that made me acutely, almost painfully, conscious of my sex. "Bon Dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?"