Sexy Sheikh Bundle

By: Sharon Kendrick

Sharon Kendrick & Trish Morey & Lynne Graham




Exposed: The Sheikh’s Mistress

The Sheikh’s Innocent Bride

Stolen by the Sheikh





Exposed: The Sheikh’s Mistress


by Sharon Kendrick




CHAPTER ONE




IF ONLY there had been some kind of warning…storm clouds gathering on the horizon, perhaps, or a sudden chill wind which iced your skin. Like an omen. But the day was sunny and golden with not an omen in sight, and ‘if only’ were the two most useless words in the language—Sienna knew that more than anyone.

And even if she had known—what could she have done that would have made things different? Nothing. She was as powerless as a leaf torn from its branch by a cruel autumn wind.

Yet her mood was light as she slipped into the back entrance of the Brooke Hotel, via the garden. The ivy-covered walkway was her favourite way into the building, for when you stood in the secret courtyard it was difficult to believe that you were right in the centre of London—with the hubbub and bustle of the busy streets only a stone’s throw away.

Here the sounds of the city were muted and softened by the tall, waving branches of trees which acted as a haven for all kinds of birds. Bees buzzed drowsily around the flowers and little ladybirds landed on your bare flesh and sometimes nipped it if you weren’t looking. These days she was essentially a city girl, but this place reminded her of a country childhood which seemed another world away.

Sienna loved the Brooke. It was where she had fled to. Where she had been promoted. Where she had made the slightly scary decision to go freelance—but the hotel still provided the bulk of her work. As an events organiser, she organised weddings, birthday parties, book launches and bar mitzvahs—and her name was becoming well-known on the busy London social circuit. From fairly humble and untrained beginnings, she had certainly landed on her feet.

And if she ever stopped to think how she’d got here…Well, that was the whole point—she didn’t ever think about it. Thinking never got you anywhere. It took you to all kinds of dark and disturbing places and in the end it changed precisely nothing. In life you just had to learn from your mistakes. To get through the bad times in the hope that there would be some good ones waiting round the corner. And there were. Of course there were.

Today, the dark onyx reception desk was massed with startling orange Bird of Paradise flowers mixed in with black irises and red lilies. It was a dramatic look, and not one favoured by shrinking violets—but then those kind of people didn’t tend to stay here.

Money and power and a hungry desire for something ‘different’ were the driving forces behind the screamingly influential clientele of the Brooke. Film-stars. Entrepreneurs. Royalty. Anyone who was anyone.

They all flocked to the converted eighteenth-century mansion where there was never an empty room. Where, as a client, you paid through the nose for luxury and discretion.

Sienna rode up in the penthouse elevator. She was meeting a Mr Altair, and before she met a client she always allowed herself a little daydream about just what kind of party they would want. A themed affair, perhaps? Like the time she had decked out a marquee to recreate a French circus—and had only just managed to persuade the trapeze artist not to flounce off in a huff because he hadn’t had star billing!

Or the time she had crammed a ballroom with a thousand red roses for one of the most over-the-top engagement parties she had ever had a hand in.

Sienna smiled. Her job required that she had the organisational skills of an army general—combined with the smooth tongue of a career diplomat.

As the lift doors slid open, the door to the penthouse was opened by a tall, olive-skinned man. Some sixth sense should have told her then—but why would it? With his black eyes and the expensive suit which didn’t quite disguise the gun in his breast pocket the man looked like any other foreign ‘minder’. Which she supposed was the modern word for bodyguard—and she came across plenty of those in this line of work.

‘Hello.’ She smiled. ‘My name is Sienna Baker and I have an appointment with Mr Altair.’

A flicker of something she couldn’t quite put her finger on passed over his impassive features, but he merely nodded and pushed the door to the apartment open. He stood by to let her pass but did not follow her inside, and as the door clicked shut behind her Sienna felt inexplicably apprehensive. As if she was closed in. Trapped. Though agoraphobia would be the last thing she should be suffering from in a room of these dimensions.

She looked around her, her senses swamped by the sudden crowding of different sensations which began to jostle for supremacy in her mind.

For a moment she was dazzled by the sheer impact of the light which spilled in from the enormous windows, and she screwed her eyes up in confusion as the faintest trace of a disturbingly familiar scent began to drift towards her. The exotic smell both tantalised her and began to make her stomach twist painfully, and she couldn’t work out why.

And then she saw the man standing completely still with his back to her, silhouetted against the London skyline—tall and dark and lean and proud, as if he had been carved from some black and unforgiving rock—and Sienna felt the blood drain from her face as he moved, like a statue coming to life.

She sucked in a breath of disbelief as her eyes flickered over him, her mind screaming out its protest as she began to register every detail about him. The slick black hair with the faint wave to it. The broad shoulders and the long legs. The arrogant and autocratic stance. Oh, please, no. Please. No. But now the scent which pervaded the suite became more understand-able—and wasn’t smell supposed to be the most evocative of all the senses?

Did she whimper or make a sound? Was that why he had begun to turn around? And now the breath caught in her throat as she began to issue a silent and heartfelt prayer. She prayed like she hadn’t done for a long, long time, since she had been begging some mysterious presence to take the pain away. If no one had been listening then, then let them be listening now.

Don’t let it be him. Oh, please don’t let it be him. But her heart plummeted like a stone as he turned to face her.

Hashim surveyed her with cold and glittering black eyes, acknowledging the heavy stab of desire in his loins with a grim kind of pleasure, remembering the splayed abandon of her legs the last time he had seen her, and the aching only increased.

He had long denied himself this moment because he had told himself that he could, but in the end desire had proved irresistible. Hashim despised the weakness which made him want her, yet he embraced it, too. And he intended to savour every moment of it. This woman who had deceived him would pay, and she would pay with her body!

He let the narrowed ebony gleam of his eyes linger on her figure, to see if time had marred its perfection, but it was as firm and as lushly slim as a prized young Saluki—the silky-sleek hunting dogs much favoured by the tribes of his native land.

It was hard to pin down what made her quite so desirable—for hers was not a fashionable look. She was too petite and curvy for modern tastes, yet her body was to die for. And if you added to that the ingredients of innocence and sensuality…

Innocence!

Hashim’s mouth hardened as he thought of what a sham appearances could be.

He let his gaze drift upwards, to her face. How white her skin was, he observed with impartial interest—and how contrasting the deep rose of her lips. Ah, those lips! One of the very first things he had noticed about her had been her natural pout, which some women spent thousands of dollars at plastic surgeons trying to recreate.

Now those same lips trembled under his scrutiny, and he longed to crush their petal softness beneath the hard, seeking warmth of his own. But that would have to wait…and the waiting would only increase his eventual pleasure.

‘Sienna,’ he murmured as the warm throb of blood beat between his legs.

The way he said it took her back to somewhere which was out of bounds, and her heart buckled with pain as she stared at the man she had once believed herself to be in love with.

He was both ugly and beautiful, his face unique—defined by hard contours and the ravages of warfare. An exotic, foreign face. The cruel beak of a nose and harsh slash of his mouth only added to his allure, and those clever black eyes could make a woman feel as if he was slowly stripping her bare…

Seeing him again was a moment she had lived out in her mind over and over again—though not much lately, it was true. But wasn’t it simply human nature to wonder how she would react if ever she saw him again? As time had passed she had convinced herself that the sobbing wreck of her early days had been replaced by a confident woman who would give him a cool smile and say, Hashim! Well, long time no see!

How wrong she had been. How very wrong and how very stupid. As if any woman could look at a man like that without wanting to melt into a helpless puddle of longing at his feet. But the longing was eclipsed by another emotion, and that was wariness…or was it fear? What the hell was he doing here?

‘Hashim,’ she whispered, like someone waking from a long dream. ‘Is it really you?’

‘It really is.’ His hard eyes mocked her, enjoying her discomfiture in a way he had not enjoyed anything for a long time. ‘You seem surprised, Sienna.’