In Love With a Dark Stranger
By Imari Jade
Just Released by Midnight Showcase
Ebook - $6.49
Paperback - $12.65
“Stop them,” someone shouted in broken English.
Bethany looked up just in time to see four men on horseback headed her way. Thinking quickly, she jumped backwards, upsetting a cartload of perfume, and narrowly escaping a group of children as they scurried out of the way. The first two horses, two magnificent beasts neared. Their riders were masked, making identification impossible. She, on the other hand, stood out like a sore thumb in her dark American made pantsuit, sunglasses, and a straw hat. Had it not been for the fact that she needed appropriate climate-friendly clothes, she wouldn’t be caught dead outside in such an outfit. She got up, apologizing to the vendor, just as the two horses approached. The rider on the first horse looked down on her as they rode by. For one fleeting moment, their eyes locked. He winked and then rode off with the other man, leaving behind a mob of angry shoppers, venders and two very slow police officers who gave up the chase.
“Damn bandits,” one of them said as he dismounted and came to her rescue. “Are you injured?” Their uniforms were a khaki colored tunic, pants, and cap. He lowered his gun and put it back in the belt holster. Like most of the men there, he wore a stylish beard and goatee.
“I’m fine,” she assured him, even though she didn’t know how much English he knew. Her Arabic was horrible.
“We are sorry for your inconvenience.”
His English was passable. “Thank you. Who were those men?”
“Common criminals. We have been chasing them for some time now. They rob the tombs of their treasures and sell them for profit.”
Bethany frowned. “Outrageous. I hope you catch them soon. I came all the way to Egypt to see those treasures they are pilfering.”
“Are you here on vacation?”
“No. I’m an archeologist. I’m here to participate in a dig near the Valley of the Kings.”
He smiled. “Welcome to Cairo. I hope you don’t let this incident spoil your visit.”
“Thank you, and no, it won’t.”
The other officer called to him. He bowed and mounted his horse. “Have a pleasant stay.”
Bethany bowed respectfully. “I will.” The two officers rode off, leaving her a bit perplexed about how to make restitution to the perfume vendor.
“It’s okay,” the woman said to her. “Nothing is broken.”
“Thank you. I’m not usually so clumsy.”
She smiled and waved Bethany on. “A wink from Al-Shar Khan would make me clumsy too.”
“Who is Al-Shar Khan?”
The woman fanned herself with her hand. “Al-Shar Khan is that big strapping fellow that almost ran you over, whose kisses are so passionate that they’ll sweep you off your feet.”
Bethany smirked. The woman sounded like she had firsthand knowledge of the cur, which Bethany doubted since the woman was probably old enough to be her mother. “Thank you,” she said after finally making a purchase. She waved goodbye and walked through the crowded streets of Wekala-Al-Balqa. There were people everywhere hawking their goods in a language completely foreign to her. She had only been in town a couple of days but she had fallen in love with the historical place. Like the United States, Egypt was a mix of cultures…Egyptians, Muslims, Berbers, Bedouins, Nubians, and an American here and there.
Talk about tourist attractions. They were everywhere from the pyramids to the desert. She was only supposed to be there a couple of months and would not get a chance to see it all. But if it was up to her she would never leave. “Kisses that would knock me off my feet,” she repeated as she sat down for a cool drink at a local café. The thought nearly made her swoon. To be kissed senseless by a man was what she always desired, but unfortunately, she never found anyone who cared enough to make her feel special. And Mark was the worse. Funny, it had been five months and the hurt was still deep. This trip to Egypt was meant to put him out of her mind forever. So, she planned to bury herself in her work until he was just a memory. Sudden feeling cool from the fruity orange drink, Bethany rose, grabbed her packages and decided to call an end to her shopping excursion. She had too many packages to walk back to the hotel with, so she did the next best thing…she hailed a taxi.