The Sheikh's Accidental Bride

The Sheikh's Accidental Bride by Holly Rayner

Book: The Sheikh's Accidental Bride by Holly Rayner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Holly Rayner
front of his eyes. “It’s this.”
     
    He held the tie as well, and his fingertips grazed hers. Even though they’d touched casually many times today, the accidental touch still made her blush.
     
    “It’s Armani. What’s wrong with it? It’s a good tie!”
     
    “It’s a tie ,” she said, reaching over and beginning to loosen it for him. “There are no ties at Rudy’s. Unless, weirdly, you’re a girl. Or you’re not wearing a shirt.”
     
    He let her take his tie off. “Well, I’ll keep my shirt on. And I’m not a woman.”
     
    “Thank you for clarifying,” Nadya said with over exaggerated relief, drawing a chuckle from him. “Better take your jacket off, too. Where we’re going, we don’t need jackets.”
     
    He obliged, as the elevator reached the ground floor, and the made their way through the bustling lobby. The clientele of the hotel was a spectacle in and of itself. Nadya felt out of place in the clothes she’d chosen. It was a Friday night, and the rich and famous were out in force, heading for the great stage for debauchery and performed indulgence that was New York City on a weekend.
     
    She felt Salman give her hand a squeeze, as if to reassure her. She tried to seem as though she was more at ease. The other Nadya – his Nadya, she must remind herself – wouldn’t be so overwhelmed by it all. They left the jacket and tie with a very confused receptionist, along with very clear instructions not to send it back up to their room.
     
    As they left the lobby, the smell of New York in the summer hit Nadya like a racing train. She’d been so sheltered from it the last couple days, and she’d forgotten what a misery it could be.
     
    “So, where to now, captain?” Salman asked her.
     
    She liked the joy in his face. He had such an openness – so different than she’d ever imagined a man in his position. It was like he was a boy, heading out on an adventure with an imaginary friend and a toothbrush, never intending to return.
     
    “Can we walk to where you have in mind?”
     
    Nadya chuckled. “Not if we want to get there anytime soon.”
     
    “So, a taxi?”
     
    “No,” Nadya said, feeling bold and ready for the entertainment. “We’re going to take the subway.”
     
    They walked a block and a half to the station, and the way he slowed as they descended the stairs confirmed Nadya’s suspicion: he’d never ridden the subway before.
     
    “Don’t worry,” she reassured him, “It’ll be cooler on the train.”
     
    He still held her hand, she noticed. She was amazed at how normal and how strange it felt, all at the same time. Only a day together, and they’d settled in. She felt closer to him now than she ever had her last boyfriend, though there had been a time she’d really thought that he might be her future.
     
    They didn’t have to wait long before Nadya could feel the breeze from the train they’d be taking. At the first stirring of the air and vibration beneath her feet, Nadya snuck a sly look at Salman. She wished she could feel it again for the first time, the way he was now; the surprise at the strength of the rush of the air, and the relief that the train had come and the cool that it would bring them.
     
    The train was crowded, and there was only room for one of them to sit. Salman gave it to Nadya, and leaned against the post next to her. She should tell him it was bad etiquette, she knew, but she was too enjoying the feeling of having him near her, leaning just close enough that she could feel the heat coming off of him in the cool, dry air of the car.
     
    They didn’t speak. Instead, Nadya looked around at their fellow passengers. She barely looked at other passengers in the subway anymore. She hadn’t for years, not since she’d gotten to the point where she felt like she’d seen them all, or versions of them all before. Looking at them now, she saw them through his eyes.
     
    It embarrassed her. The crowd in the lobby of the hotel had been

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