Sheik by Connie Mason

Book: Sheik by Connie Mason Read Free Book Online
Authors: Connie Mason
lord,” Zara agreed sweetly. “Send me away. Your wager is all but lost, and I will be free shortly anyway.”
    “What wager?” Saha wanted to know.
    “Enough of this bickering,” Jamal ordered. He preferred not to divulge the terms of the wager he’d made with Zara. He was having such dismal luck seducing her that he’d rather it didn’t become common knowledge.
going to punish Zara, aren’t you?” Saha asked, clinging to Jamal as she stared meltingly into his eyes.
    “Aye, Zara will be punished according to her infraction,” Jamal intoned grimly. “Come with me, Zara.”
    Zara wondered if she had gone too far. She didn’t relish being punished, but the look on Saha’s face when she’d dumped tea in her lap was almost worth it.

Chapter Six
    How angry
Jamal? Zara wondered as she followed him to his chambers. Angry enough to use the bastinado on her? She shuddered. Would she be able to withstand the excruciating pain of being beaten upon the soles of her feet? Allah help her.
    Once inside his chamber, Jamal rounded on her. Zara’s fear escalated when she noted the fierce expression on Jamal’s face.
    “What are you going to do?”
    “The bastinado seems an appropriate punishment for your insolent behavior toward my women, don’t you agree?”
    Zara swallowed visibly. She had seen the damage done by a bastinado and it wasn’t pretty. “No, I do not agree. ’Tis much too harsh for my minoroffense. Your women are a lazy lot whose brains are situated between their legs.”
    Jamal couldn’t help it. He burst into laughter. Zara’s canny assessment of his women was accurate. His new slave was truthful to a fault. Unfortunately, she must be punished for her disobedience. He couldn’t have her upsetting his household with her disruptive behavior.
    “Perhaps you’re right,” Jamal agreed, “but ’tis not your place to judge my women. I did not acquire them for their intelligence.”
    “That’s obvious, my lord,” she said sweetly. “You think on the same level as they do, only
brains are in that appendage between your legs.”
    Jamal’s expression turned from amusement to anger in the blink of an eye. “You go too far, slave! If you do not curb your tongue I will have it cut out. ’Tis back to the stables with you. Obviously, you would rather wallow in dung than take your ease in comfortable quarters.”
    Through some kind of silent communication, Hammet appeared at Jamal’s elbow.
    “Fetch Zara clothing that is more appropriate for work in the stables, Hammet. She is to resume her chores there until she has learned humility. Take her away; she offends me.”
    Back to the stables, Zara thought dismally as Hammet escorted her from Jamal’s chambers. She supposed she deserved it. Her sharp tongue had pricked Jamal’s anger and she must pay the consequences. But at least she’d been spared the bastinado. She tried to convince herself that the stables were better suited to her tastes than the harem, but it didn’t work.
    Hammet plucked a set of rough clothing from a nail just inside the stables and thrust it at her. “You can change in an empty horse stall while I find Ahmed and tell him you’re back. Be quick about it.”
    Zara stumbled into an empty stall and quickly donned the shirt, baggy pantaloons and
, feeling more at ease in the familiar robes that all but obscured her figure than in the fancy harem clothing that displayed far too much skin. She had just pulled the
over her head when Hammet pulled open the stall door.
    “I have spoken with Ahmed. Your duties will begin immediately. They are the same as before.” He handed her a rake. “I personally don’t think this is woman’s work, but the master isn’t a man to be crossed. You have a vicious tongue, Zara. Learn to curb it and you can become our sheik’s favorite. You have more brains than Saha, Leila and Amar put together.”
    Having had his say, Hammet turned on his heel and left

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