“Crown Prince Jared Sayid of Madain Saleh passed away last week following a tragic motorcycle accident,” the news anchorman said.
“Turn that up,” Sam told his brother, Liam. The television was mostly background noise in his office, but that announcement caught Sam’s attention. The newscast continued as Liam reached for the remote control.
Liam was lounging in Sam’s fine leather executive chair as Sam unpacked supplies transported from his old office in Jerusalem to his new penthouse suite of offices in a high-rise downtown Dubai. Another newly acquired real estate venture their father had purchased the following year.
“He is survived by his wife, Princess Tayma, and their son, Prince Omar.”
“Yeah, right,” Liam said. “Jared’s lover is probably more upset about his death than the princess.”
“You’re probably right,” Sam said.
“There are rumors that Prince Jared’s younger brother, Prince Marcos Sayid intends to challenge the throne from his nephew, claiming a five-year-old is too young to hold the title as Crown.”
“Dude, seriously?” Sam’s mind whirled through possibilities. A five-year-old crown prince? Yeah, that wouldn’t work. Someone needs to be ready to take over the kingdom if King Sayid dies. But Prince Omar would be next in line for the throne. Sam wondered how they would make that work.
“The king has yet to release a statement regarding the matter.” The background behind the reporter changed. “In other news, Wall Street stocks rallied after last week’s announcement that Cohen Enterprises would be acquiring the struggling shipping company, Calwell Industries following weeks of negotiations.”
“Hey, we made the news,” Sam said. Guess they couldn’t keep things under wraps for long.
“A spokesman for Calwell Industries told the Associated Press they were honored to be working with the international conglomerate and expect an amicable transition.”
“What!” Liam called out. “There was nothing amicable about that hostile takeover. They’re such liars.”
“I’m sure Trahan didn’t want the world to find out what a terrible businessman he was.” Sam chuckled.
“Not everyone was meant to run a business.” Liam leaned back and kicked his feet onto the desk in front of him and laced his fingers behind his head.
“Present company included,” Sam grumbled. “Why don’t you get over here and help me unpack these schematics.”
“Don’t we have people for that?’ Liam asked.
“I don’t trust anyone with my engineering plans.” Sam allowed the scent of the familiar ink and paper of his engineering drawings to replace the new carpet and fresh paint smell permeating his office.
“And yet you would trust me?” Liam chuckled.
“No, not really.” Sam realized Liam had a valid point. He switched topics, knowing the only reason he hadn’t kicked Liam out of his new office yet was because he was getting up the nerve to ask him the important questions. “Have you heard from Rachel?”
“Yeah, we text all day long, but she hasn’t mentioned Leanne if that’s what you’re really asking.” As if to confirm his statement, Liam’s phone binged with an incoming text and Liam grinned as he responded to the message.
“She won’t return my calls,” Sam admitted.
“That ship sailed before you climbed on board,” Liam said. “Might as well find someone else. Leanne’s way too boring anyway. She’s such a geek.”
“Watch it, that’s my future wife you’re talking about.”
Liam threw his head back and laughed. “Yeah, right. She’s gonna want to marry a professor or something. She needs someone with a little more intellectual stimulation than you, little brother.”
“Hey, I’m smart. I can design a complete mining plan to refine potash and extract potassium salts without a stupid degree.”
“That’s the real issue, though. She’ll want a guy with a degree.”
“You think?” Sam’s shoulders slunk along with his hopes.
“Yep.” Liam popped his p for emphasis.
“Well that just sucks.”
“If you really want to win Leanne’s heart, get yourself a nice pair of glasses, an Oxford sweater vest and a pocket protector and meet her at the library at her university.”
“Come here, little brother.” Liam stood from the chair and stepped to the floor to ceiling windows of Sam’s office. He draped his arm around Sam’s shoulders and gestured out the window. “See that city? Dubai is filled with thousands of beautiful women. Take your pick.”
Sam shrugged out from under his brother’s arm. “I don’t want thousands of women. I want Leanne.”