“They’re getting married!” Kadin barged in the door of Eli’s suite, out of breath. He must have run from whatever meeting he’d attended. He leaned forward, resting his hands on his knees.
Who is getting married?” Eli had barely left his suite in months because all he wanted was to spend time with baby Ethan and Savannah. He came down to his office every day to get a few things done but always returned quickly with a longing to be there for every little milestone. He knew his idyllic world would be shaken soon because he was planning his first trip to New York City to meet with the UN Security Council. But that was weeks away.
“Jared is involved in some twisted plot to marry off his daughter, Princess Nimrah.”
“Okay… she’s of marrying age,” Eli said. “What’s the problem?”
“She’s marrying Ahmed.” Kadin sneered.
“But… but he’s old enough to be her grandfather.” Eli’s stomach churned with disgust. He strode to the door of the suite, glanced both ways down the palace hallways to ensure they were alone, then closed and bolted the door.
“Do you believe me now that he’s involved in the plot to murder your father?”
“I never doubted you.” Eli felt the lie as it fell from his lips. “Okay, maybe a little. How does the princess feel about this?”
“One, she doesn’t have a choice. If her father wants to give her to some creepy old man as a bride, she will do as he says.” Kadin stood to his full height, finally gaining control of his breathing. “But here’s the strange part. The marriage was her idea.”
“Why?” Eli shuddered at the thought of a sixteen-year-old wanting to marry a man as old as Ahmed.
“She wants to help her father get closer to Prince Omar in order to take down the monarchy. What better way than to go through his advisor.”
“And has Ahmed agreed to go along with this plan?”
Kadin snorted. “Who wouldn’t? Have you looked at the princess lately? That girl is officially a woman if you know what I mean.”
Eli folded his arms across his chest and scowled. “Maybe I should start attending these meetings with you.”
“Your Highness, I would appreciate that. I can’t be this go-between. I forget what information I’m supposed to know and what I’m not supposed to know, and who I’m supposed to tell what. You’re the prince, not me.”
This was exactly why Eli had never shared his opinions about Mark with his advisor. He hated keeping secrets from the man who was supposed to be his confidant, but if Ahmed could so easily turn on Omar, who’s to say Kadin might not turn on Eli.
“When’s the next meeting?” Eli’s low voice was almost a growl.