The Sheikh's Stolen Bride-To-Be

By: Holly Rayner

I kept wondering if I should have stayed in Vegas a little longer. After tasting the finest the world had to offer, my life as I knew it felt a little stale. I knew I wouldn’t always feel this way. The contrast was only so stark now because it was still so fresh.

Yet, for now, part of me felt like I’d cheated myself out of a good time based on guilt. Not even just a good time—the best time. A once-in-a-lifetime kind of happening that I was sure lots of women would have killed for.

But then I reminded myself that Jalaal probably had a weekend like that every weekend, just with a different woman. Las Vegas was a revolving door of fresh company. We had both gotten what we’d wanted out of our time together. It was pointless to keep thinking about it.

Except I still wanted more. Of him—only him. Not having to worry about money was nice. The luxury was fun. But really, it was Jalaal that I was missing.

I lugged my suitcase up to my apartment, wishing Sam’s smiling face would be there to greet me. He always made me feel better. He didn’t even have to try. Some days it felt like he just instinctively knew when something was on my mind and exactly what I needed to make me feel better.

I wondered what Sam would do if he were home now. He’d probably insist that I go right to bed. He hated bedtime, but he knew how much I loved it. He still didn’t understand why I didn’t need a story read to me before bed, but since he couldn’t read yet, he let it be.

I missed Sam, so much. I missed my dad too. They were coming home on Tuesday, which wasn’t too far away. I would probably be too busy at work to miss them too much. Maybe if I tried really hard, I could just sleep until I had to go to work tomorrow afternoon.

I pretended Sam was there with me, telling me to take care of myself. I was too tired to think of doing anything other than rolling into bed, so I left my suitcase by my bedroom door and crawled under the sheets. They smelled like home.

It shouldn’t have been so disappointing.

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