“Ruth, this is Nick,” he spoke into a recorded message. This was the fifth time he’d left a voicemail asking to speak to Adele. “Please, I’m desperate. Please help me get in touch with Adele. Call me.”
He received a text within a few minutes.
Look, I don’t know who you are or why you keep leaving me voicemails. I don’t know who Ruth is, and I don’t know who Adele is, and I don’t know anyone who lives in Dubai. If you don’t stop calling me, I’m going to block this number. I might just do that anyway. Goodbye, Nick. Good luck finding your girlfriend.
“It’s the wrong number,” Nick whispered, then turned and called out to his brother, Sam. “He gave me the wrong phone number.”
“What?” Sam trudged out of his suite with a towel around his neck as if he’d been working out.
“Prince Jared gave his brother the wrong number for Ruth and that’s why I can’t get a hold of Adele.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Sam turned to head back into his suite.
“Wait,” Nick called after him. “I need you to go with me to Jerusalem.”
By nightfall their private jet had landed at a little airport outside Jerusalem within a few miles of Daniel’s estate. They called for a limo, and Nick bit his fingernails all the way up their drive.
He ran up the porch steps to the elaborately carved front door, Sam trailing behind. A doorman let them in, and Daniel soon joined them in the grand foyer. Nick remembered Adele’s comment about being a simple girl from Jerusalem and chuckled. Her family was almost as rich as his.
“What is it you want?” Daniel asked, folding his arms across his chest. His brawn was intimidating but Nick didn’t back down.
“I need to see Adele,” Nick pleaded. “Please, sir.”
“Your family has done quite enough, thank you very much,” Daniel said, then turned to walk away. “You’re not welcome here.”
“Adele!” Nick called as loud as he could, hoping the sound would reverberate in this vast space and reach her in the far corners of the mansion. “Please, Adele, I just need to speak with you!”
“Nick,” Daniel looked back at him. “Go home to whatever resort your vagabond family is living in these days. Leave my family alone.”
Nick’s shoulders slumped in defeat as Daniel turned and walked away, leaving him standing there by the entrance to the estate.
“She’s not here.” A small voice spoke from beside them. Leanne stood there, tucked into one of the alcoves in the foyer, her arms crossed and a sad smile on her face. “Hey, Sam.”
“Hey,” Sam answered, shuffling his feet and sticking his hands in his pockets.
“Do you know where she is?” Nick asked, grasping Leanne’s shoulders.
“She’s working second shift at the hospital this evening.”
“Oh, thank goodness.” Nick turned to the door. Sam didn’t follow. “Come on, man.”
“Gimme a minute,” Sam said. “I’ll meet you at the car.”
“Come on—” Nick spoke through gritted teeth.
Sam pulled him aside and whispered harshly. “If this were Adele standing here, and I was rushing you out the door, how would you feel?”
“Take as long as you need,” Nick mumbled and left the house, trudging down the stone stairs to the waiting limo.
True to his word, Sam was out the door in barely a minute, and traipsed down the stairs, looking down at his phone. He tucked himself into the car and pulled the door closed, then held up his screen for Nick to see. “Got one of Daniel’s daughters’ phone numbers anyway.”
“Good for you, man.” Nick patted his brother on the shoulder. “Now let’s go find another one.”
Book Club Discussion Question: What do you think Adele will have to say when Nick shows up at her work?