Saturday, 26 November 2011

Romance in Arabia...

In some of the lighter and more pleasant moments of my time in Dubai, I could appreciate that the place had a certain mystical allure. When we went out on desert safari, there was certainly a romantic atmosphere, being in the desert with belly dancers, camp fires and starry skies.

Here is an extract from a contemporary romance novel set in the Middle East called "The Royal Sheik" written by Katheryn Lane. It is available on Amazon.

Sheikh Rafiq clasped Clare tightly around the waist and whispered into her ear, “Hold on tight”. With his free hand he pulled off the cord wrapped around the cloth on his head and used it to whack the camel, yelling out in Arabic as he did so. With a great lurch forward and then backwards that made Clare pull Rafiq’s arm more tightly around her, the camel arose and broke into a run.
They speeded off into desert and Clare could feel the hot wind against her face and bare legs. After several minutes riding, she began to get used to the lumbering motion of the camel and loosened her grip on the Sheikh’s arm. He yelled out again in Arabic. The camel stopped and dropped to its knees, making Clare resume her tight hold on Rafiq’s arm. He stepped off the camel and grabbed her around the middle. His large hands almost spanned her waist. He lifted her off and for a brief moment it was as if she was floating on the hot desert air.
“Here is the site of your building,” he announced.
“It’s your building, not mine,” she corrected him, as Mark had done earlier.
“No, it’s your creation. I will just be lucky enough to live in it once it’s built.”
She could smell salt in the air and was sure that she could hear the quiet lapping of waves breaking on the shore. She looked around and could see a deserted beach behind her. The moon had come out and it cast just enough light for her to see it reflected off the sea. It was beautiful. She wondered if he brought all of his women here.
Her defences rose again. “You only asked me to design the building, so that you could get me into your apartment.”
“Can you blame me for trying to find a way to get to know you better?” He sat down on the sand. She sat down next to him, slipped off her shoes and let the waves splash against her toes.
“Do you treat all the women you know like this?” she asked.
“I’m not sure what you mean. I am nice to you and you back away. I try to treat you like a business associate and you accuse me of ignoring you. How do you want me to treat you? What exactly do you want?” He looked hurt.
A pang of guilt struck Clare. “I don’t know. I just don’t want to end up as another one of your conquests,” she blurted out and started crying. And for the second time that evening, Rafiq held her in his arms and tried to comfort her.
Slowly her sobbing receded and he took her face in his hands. Tears still glistened in her sea-blue eyes. He looked deep into them and lent towards her. She could feel his breath hot on her skin.
“You have been honest with me. Maybe it is time that I was honest with you,” he said caressing her hair. “When I first met you Clare, all I saw was an exceptionally beautiful woman that I longed to know better.”
He twisted a long strand of her hair around his fingers. “When I saw you the next day in the cafe, I couldn’t believe my luck. I desperately tried to think of how I could stop you from slipping away again.” He pulled the strand of her hair a little tighter, drawing her towards him. Clare’s heart lurched along with it.
“I admit, asking you to design a house was just a way to see you again,” he said. “I didn’t really think you would come up with something I could use. Remember, all I’d seen of your work was a few sketches on the back of a catalogue.”
“You’re right,” she admitted, “it wasn’t much to go on.”
“However,” he said, letting go of her hair and staring at the sea before him, “when you came up with those designs, I couldn’t believe it. It was my dream house. The one I’d always wanted, but could never conceptualise. You understood my vision; you made it real.” He grasped her hands in his.
“You still haven’t told me why you ignored me,” she said. He gently squeezed her fingers, sending tingles shimmering up through her arms.
“I thought that was what you wanted; a business friendship.” He stood up, lifting her up with him and together they paddled along the gentle surf.
“I was scared of loosing you. Also, I was a little caught up in the excitement of the project.” He gave her a broad smile. They walked a bit further, his body moving nearer and nearer to hers with each step.
“Do you swim?” he asked, looking longingly at the sea, or was it her?
“Yes, why?” she replied, excited but anxious all at the same time.
“Come on then,” he said and slipped off his robe, letting it fall onto the sand at his feet.

1 comment:

Katheryn Lane said...

Hi Chris,

Thank you so much for posting the excerpt from my novel. The desert certainly does have 'a certain mystical allure'. I'm sure I won't be the last person who has been inspired by it.