Servicing the Sheikh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 30 (v.1) - The pain behind her smile

Submitted: January 03, 2011

Reads: 3243

Comments: 20

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Submitted: January 03, 2011

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AN - so that no one else gets confused, this chapter is the lead in to the next novel. There are only a few more chapters left to this one, so I will not be going in depth with Sharif and Akila I am afraid. This just gives you a taste of what the next novel will hold before i continue on with the rest of Ali and Sarah's story :)Enjoy!

Standing in front of the long gold gilded mirror in her room, Sarah’s vision misted over as she looked at her reflection.

Her dress was finally finished, and Grace had wanted Sarah to try it on in case any last minute adjustments were needed. Being the day before the wedding, the energy in the castle was purely electric. Servants and organizers were running around making sure each and every single detail was going to be perfect for the following day.

Ali had promised Sarah two surprises on her wedding day, but despite her pleading and begging, Ali had only kissed her on the forehead and told her “Patience little one, you will be rewarded soon enough.”

Sarah still could not believe the perfection that Grace had created with her dress. While it covered her modestly, Sarah knew she had never seen a more perfect gown ever.

The dress was made of the softest ivory silk, and even though it trailed behind her with its full length skirt, and had full sleeves, the fabric felt like the gentlest kiss against her skin.

The cut of the fabric was divine as it skimmed down her body, gently accentuating her breasts, hugging her waist and highlighting the slimness of her hips yet flaring out delicately over her swollen belly. The gown graced the floor, and flowed to a long train behind her. From the middle of her waist, and down the full length of the train at the back, tiny diamond like crystals were embedded into the intricate lacework, sparkling magically in the light.

Grace, who had been standing slightly behind Sarah, and carefully watching Sarah’s expression, smiled as she noted the welling of tears in her eyes.

Stepping forward, she lightly touched Sarah’s shoulder. “Would you like to see the veil as well Sarah?”

Sarah’s eyes snapped up to look at Grace in the mirror “Yes please, I would love to.”

Grace walked around in front of Sarah, then using a couple of jeweled clips, she snapped it in place on Sarah’s head, then let the veil float gently down over her face.

The veil was so sheer, the fabric, whisper soft and edged with more crystals.

Sarah’s breath caught as she took in her appearance.

“Of course you will be wearing your hair a little differently tomorrow as the Royal Tiara will be delivered just before the ceremony, but this will give you an idea” Grace told her as she fiddled with the veil.

“Tiara?” Sarah asked a little confused.

“Oh yes…didn’t anyone tell you? The Tiara is a tradition within the Royal family, It is generations old, and is worn by every Royal bride. King Sharif will be delivering it from the Royal Vault at his palace when he arrives tomorrow morning.”

“Oh…I feel a bit like I am being carried away in floodwaters at the moment. Like everything is happening so fast, and I can’t catch my breath” Sarah looked down. “What if they don’t accept me?”

Grace put her arm around Sarah “They already have Sarah, the people love you, well wishes are flooding the palace everyday. Poor Khalil has taken to sitting and reading them to Maya. They answer them each day on behalf of your husband, but there are so many that they do it all day long each day” she laughed.

Sarah took a deep breath in, then looked back at her reflection “I don’t know how you have done it Grace, but I look at myself in this dress, and I see a Fairytale. It is living art, absolutely perfect”

Grace lent over and hugged Sarah to her, “And it has been an honor to have been able to create it for you sweetie.”

==============================================

Sharif strode purposefully along the long cool marble hallways of Ali’s palace, hurrying to get to his destination before he was too late.

Ever since meeting Akila, her eyes, her face… she had haunted his mind.

After tending his bruised head and ego weeks earlier, he had been swept up with business dealings and the non-stop political juggling act that was needed to keep the country functioning smoothly. Her face though was never far from his mind. The way she had gently cradled his head as she had held the ice pack to it. The softness in her touch, and the rosy blush that flamed up her cheeks as he had reached out and tucked a stray lock of her hair behind her ear… she captivated his every thought.

Knowing that she was currently checking in with Maya as her nurse today, he was hoping to catch her before she left to go back to the hospital. He needed to see her again, hear her voice drift over his mind with its soft lilting tones.

Although he knew that she probably thought he was too old for her, he had to try, had to see if she returned his interest.

Taking the final turns toward the employee’s quarters, Sharif had to skid to a halt as Maya and Akila came out of a door in front of him.

“Whoa there your Highness, is the palace on fire?” Maya asked, a grin curling up the edges of her mouth as she raised an eyebrow, taking in the slightly breathless and sweaty image in front of her.

Color flared high on Sharif’s cheeks as he found that now that Akila was in front of him, a curiously amused look spread on her face as he struggled to think of what to say to her.

Even though he had known that he must see her again, he had never thought far enough to plan what to actually say when he finally met with her. Now, he felt like a young teenage boy trying to ask a girl on a date for the first time.

His mouth went dry, his heart started racing and his palms became uncomfortable sweaty. Wiping his hands on his dress pants, Sharif cleared his throat, and looking Akila in the eye. Summoned all his courage he took the first step.

“I ah, was wondering if you might grant me the pleasure of your company at the rehearsal dinner tonight Akila? I have found myself unaccompanied, and would be honored if you would grace my arm for it.”

Akila’s face drained of all color and she swayed on her feet slightly. Sharif dove forward, gripping her under her elbows to steady her.

“Akila? Are you feeling all right?”

Maya chuckled, her gaze switching from Sharif to Akila and back. “I think you just took her breath away Sharif. Such an offer is bound to make a girl swoon you know”

Sharif looked back at Maya, his mouth hanging open in shock.

“I...I can’t accept your offer Your Highness, I am not fitting for such a thing, and it just would not be right” Akila told him so softly that he had to strain to catch her words stumbling out.

“Why ever not Akila? I think I have made my interest in you obvious, and I would like to spend some time with you. Let us get to know each other in a setting that will not compromise you or your family in any way.”

Akila turned her head toward Maya, her forehead wrinkled in a frown as she looked clearly clueless as to Sharif’s meaning.

Maya put her arm around Akila. “He means that he would like to court you in a way that no one will question your virtue and honor sweetie. Sharif here is a very traditional man, and would not place you at any risk whatsoever. Take him up on his offer Akila, I have seen the way that you look at him also you know, you both have that look in your eyes.”

Akila looked back to Sharif, and was met with a warm smile as he waited for her answer.

“This is not some sort of joke for your amusement?” Akila asked, her face still pale, her eyes wide open, reminding Sharif of a deer caught in a hunter’s target.

Leaning forward, Sharif took Akila’s chin, tilting it upward slightly so that her gaze was forced to look up and into his.

“I do not joke of such matters. If you would find it fitting, I am sure Maya here will consent to by your chaperone? I would just like the chance to get to know the woman behind those enchanting eyes.”

Akila nodded, a sadness filling her eyes as she did so.

“I shall have to get my father’s blessing, but I am almost sure he will not allow it.”

Sharif let go of her chin, but straightened his shoulders and took a deep breath. “Would you like me to ask him personally for his permission?”

Akila’s eyes went wide, her breathing immediately picked up pace as she started trembling. “Oh no! please do not do that. I...I will ask myself” she begged.

Both Maya and Sharif stared at Akila, her reaction seemed too extreme to settle well on Sharif’s shoulders, and from the look in Maya’s eye as she looked at him over Akila’s head, she agreed with his assessment. There was something very wrong between Akila and her father… and he intended to find out what.

“Ok… I will await your answer tonight, and will hopefully see you then.” Sharif turned, and strode off, so many questions burning into his mind as he quickly strode away. Pulling out his cell phone from his pocket, he dialed his office, demanding to speak to his secretary.

“I need to have a full background on one of the nurses at the hospital. Her first name is Akila, although I do not have any other details on her. I want a full background on her, including family… especially her father. I expect to see this on my desk in one hour.”

Snapping his phone shut, his mind raced. “What could have possibly put that scared look on Akila’s face?” he thought. Whatever it was… he was going to get to the bottom of it.

An hour later as Sharif arrived at his palace, he was greeted by his secretary with her full background report into Akila’s family.

He sat down at his polished Oak desk and listened.

“Miss Akila Habiti, born 26 February 1985. Daughter of Jaffa and Akila Habiti. No siblings or dependants, and her status is unmarried.

Named after her mother who died during childbirth, Akila was raised by her father and still lives with him today. She completed her nursing training at age 22 and has been working at our hospital ever since.

There is no background criminal records on any of her family, and nothing else notable bar her medical records.”

“Medical records? What is wrong with those?”

“Well your highness, she has quite an extensive file listed.”

Sharif’s eyebrows shot up, ‘Explain please”

“Of course your Highness. Up to the age of 13, Miss Akila seems to have a normal medical history, vaccinations up to date, and only the usual tonsillitis, ear infections, viruses that you would expect on a normal growing child, but from her thirteenth year, her record paints quite a different story.”

Sharif’s secretary pulled out a thick file and opened it, sifting through the pages.

“In 1998, not long after her thirteenth birthday, Miss Akila was hospitalized for a broken cheekbone, broken wrist and multiple bruising and cuts. The reason given was a fall down a set of stairs.

In 1999, she was hospitalized twice more for contusions, concussion and broken bones in her wrist and arm. The reasons these two times were sporting related.

In 2000, Akila was admitted with broken ribs and punctured lung, as well as bruising to her face. Cause listed as another fall. Later that year, she was admitted for further bruising and a burst eardrum. Reason… a mugging assault, yet a police statement was refused to be given.

In 2001 Akila required Dental caps on her two front teeth as they were snapped off, and her jaw was dislocated. No reason supplied this time.

2002 saw Akila visit the emergency department five times, all occasions involved bruising and swelling on her face. A mixture of broken ribs, arms and nose. On one occasion, it is listed that her right eye was so swollen that they feared her retina had detached as she was unable to see for 2 weeks from it. On all occasions, the reasons were listed as sporting mishaps.

In march 2003, Akila was rushed into surgery suffering broken ribs, a perforated spleen, and internal bleeding. She also suffered massive bruising and was in a coma for 2 days. The reason this last time, was listed as an automobile accident.”

Sharif was pale, sweating and shaking as he took in the list of injuries Akila had endured. Holding up his hand, he stopped his secretary.

“Wait… Akila suffered all this, and no one thought to do any kind of check on her home life? No person could possibly suffer so many accidents” he spat out outraged.

“Are there any further incidents listed?”

“That was all that was listed during the time she was at home your Highness. Miss Akira left for college shortly after that, and spent four years living on campus through a scholarship. After her return home however, there are more listings. Carbon copies of the earlier ones, and all with the same unacceptable reasons listed.”

Sharif’s knuckles were cracking under the pressure as he clenched his fists so tightly, trying to restrain the last fragments of his control.

“And were there any incidents during the four years she attended college?”

His secretary lowered her thin gold rimmed glasses and looked into Sharif’s eyes, “None your Highness.”

Sharif ran his hands through his thick black hair. “The facts speak for themselves. While she was at her family home, she was being repeatedly assaulted. And with her fear of her father, it is safe to assume that he is the culprit.”

Taking the file from his secretary, Sharif flipped through it until he found the address and phone numbers.

“I think it is time that I met Mr Jaffa Habiti personally.”


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