The car she was in felt tight and stuffy because she had to ride with Taheem. His presence made her feel vulnerable, made her feel like a prey caught by a hunter's trap and left out in the open for the predators picking, so when the car continued driving past the car Omar was in, heading to the back of the mansion, she panicked.

"Get down." Taheem had said when the car came to a stop as he himself got down, but Megan who had been thinking up the different ways they could butcher and hide her body, hadn't heard him at first.

They would let me live for Omar's sake. I can', can't be killed. The Sheikh had promised. I'm not.... where is Omar!

Her mind swam wildly and her heart beat was so loud she felt she would have a heart attack. She panicked, she needed to breathe and there was no air in the car, her hand came to the window as she struggled to find the handle.

Taheem, who had stepped out since and was already heading for the back door, stopped when he noticed the American wasn't following him. He turned back to the car and from the windscreen, he could  see her still seated in the car. He gritted his teeth, wishing he could drag her by her hair and out the car. He rounded the car and came to the other side, throwing the door open.

"Out!" She heard him this time because his hand was squeezing her arm and pulling her out of the car. She obeyed in a rush, bumping her head as she tried to get out. She rubbed on the spot.

When Taheem had yanked her from the car and into the house from the back door, she had expected to be shoved into a dark cell, with damp cold floors and mice and lizards and crawling insects for companion. She had expected to be locked up with no blanket for warmth and given stale bread to eat and water to drink. So when he had led her upstairs and into this room, she had stood rooted and scared, wrapping her arms around her body and eyeing him from the corner of her eyes. What was he going to do?

"The Sheikh wants you here, the doors won't be locked but you are not allowed to step out. Consider the Sheikh's kindness as something rare to come by and do not expend it." He began to walk out the room.

"Ermm.. excuse me." She called.

Taheem paused and fixed his eyes on the girl, he wasn't supposed to engage her in talks but he wanted to know what she had to say.

"I am sorry but am I to ermm... To stay in here? In this room as a prisoner?"

Taheem narrowed his eyes on the American, was she deaf? Did she not hear what he had taken his time to explain? And as much as he understood her concerns about bring kept in this lavish room despite being a prisoner, he did not see any reason why he should have to explain any more to her.

Megan shuddered under his gaze and bowed her head in apology. She had heard what he had said but she was a bit confused and fully grateful that she wasn't locked up in a cell.

"I'm sorry, but..." But the room was too large and quite too fine for a prisoner to be kept in. 

And now that she thought of it, she couldn't believe she was now a prisoner in another man's house and in a foreign land. She half expected the strict looking man to maybe caution her but he only walked out and shut the door behind him.

Megan stood a while without moving, afraid that he mighg return soon but the only person who came back was a servant who walked in to bring her dinner.

"Excuse me, but could I get a change of clothes?" Her clothes clung to her body, wet from all the sweating caused by the desert's heat and she desperately needed to bathe and change into something else.

"There are clothes you can change into in that wardrobe over there." The servant pointed to the large wardrobe that stood in the corner which Megan hadn't taken notice of. She thanked the servant and watched her leave the room.

Megan took her time to shower and change, she stepped out of the bathroom refreshed and into the room. She walked to a corner of the room and looked out the window, surely things hadn't gone as she had planned and she felt like she should have known. This wasn't America after all where freedom of choice was as common as the air one breathed.

Studying her new surrounding, she came to sit on the bed which was king sized and rubbed a hand over the fine soft covering. She smiled, if she was to be a prisoner here, then at least she was sure to be having sound sleeps and waking up without cramps. Her eyes landed on the food which she had left untouched in the middle of the table, she had decided not to eat for fear of poisoning, but her grumbling stomach and the rich aroma that constantly assaulted her nostrils was just about enough temptation. 

She groaned and sat down at the table, picking at the food with the fork and turning it around in the plate. 

"You're overthinking this Megan  It's not poisoned, it couldn't possibly be poisoned." She repeatedly told herself but still she just could not bring the food to her mouth.

"Megan..." She cautioned again but she still couldn't. Her tummy grumbled again, loudly this time.

The door was suddenly thrown open and she flinched, moving her gaze towards the door. Omar stood at the door for a second as his gaze scanned the room briefly before they landed on her, she stood up when he walked in and he rushed to grab her in his arms. She sprang forward from her seating position, running into his open arms and melting into his hug. She began to cry.

"Hush now." He patted her head.

"Omar, I am so scared."

"I'm here now, am I not? Nothing to be scared of." 

"You are here now but for how long? You will not be here forever, you are going to marry her! What am I to do?"

"Hey, you do not have to do anything."

"I don't have to do anything? Nothing?" She pushed him away, her eyes stung and her anger built. "What can I do anyway? I stay here and watch you get married to the goddamn princess and then what next?? Huh?"

"Megan..." Omar called, stretching his hand towards her. She swatted it away.


"Just listen, please."

"Listen to what?!"

"Do you regret coming to Saudi Arabia with me?"

"I..." No, she didn't. She couldn't possibly regret it but this was a bit too much. "No, I don't."

He reached out and pulled her gently to him. "I need you to trust me, do you trust me Megan?"

"I..." She shook her head and looked down.

"Megan, look at me. Do you?"

"Omar," she looked into his eyes, darting from one eye ball to the other and then back. "I love you, I trust you, but this... It's not something I'm used to, not something I want to get used to."

"Me neither." He held her close and lowered his voice. "Father has set the engagement and marriage eight days from now."

"Oh Omar..." She wept into his chest.

"Shhh... I promise you I won't let that happen."

"What will you do? What can you do? He is using me as bait. I can't help but feel helpless, I've made you helpless."

"No Megan, you haven't. Just trust me. I love you."

"I love you too."

She hugged him tighter, never wanting to let go and Omar held her in that position till she calmed down.

"You haven't touched the food yet?" He asked.

She shook her head negatively.


"I'm afraid that it might be poisoned." She sniffed.

Omar broke out into a laugh and disengaged from the hug, holding his stomach. Megan looked away in embarrassment.

"Ohh my, you're so cute! Come on, we will eat it together, I'm starving as it is."

He sat her down and pulled up another chair for himself opposite her and they ate together with Megan telling him of how she had twirled the food around in the plate, thinking it was poisoned. Omar laughed at her silliness, assuring her of her safety. He stayed a while before he left and Megan went to sleep with the hope of an something changing. She prayed for Omar, prayed strength for him, she prayed for herself patience and she prayed that the Sheikh would have a change of heart or a heart attack.

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