Home > The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(5)

The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5)(5)
Meg Cabot

Therefore the noise during any period of high foot traffic (such as lunch and dinnertime) can get to be a little much, thanks to the voices of so many high-spirited young people mingling together at once, not to mention the pinging of the electronic scanner as they slide their ID cards through it to gain access to the building, and the bark of Pete, behind the security desk, telling everyone to “Slow down, it’s not a race,” and “Have your ID card ready or you’re not going anywhere, no way, no how,” on top of the constant dinging of the elevator doors as they open and close.

But the noise in the hallway increases to a level I’ve rarely heard before, and it doesn’t take long to figure out why when I hear Isabel and her friends whisper excitedly, “Oh my God, he’s coming this way! It’s . . .”

A second later, a tall, dark-haired boy dressed in skinny jeans and a camouflage-print sports jacket—shoulder seams nearly bursting against its owner’s sizable muscles; sleeves pushed casually to elbows to reveal a dazzling diamond-and-platinum watch—strides into my office, followed by a retinue of young women and hulking bodyguards.

“Prince Rashid,” breathes Isabel and her friends, starstruck.

“Please,” His Highness Crown Prince Rashid Ashraf bin Zayed Faisal says, with a wink and a modest tip of his fedora, followed by a slow smile that reveals all of his perfectly white, even teeth. “In this country I go by my American name, Shiraz. Because like the wine, I’m best served chilled.”

3

Falcons, Ferraris, and a Big Fat Inheritance:

Just a Day in the Life for Rascally Rashid of Qalif

What’s Crown Prince Rashid Ashraf bin Zayed Faisal got that you don’t have? Everything.

A competitive tennis player whose father boasts the largest fortune in the Middle East, Prince Rashid never walks. Why should he when he can take one of his gold-rimmed Escalades?

Twenty-one, Rashid’s already earned his country’s only gold medal in the Summer Olympics, but that’s not enough for “Shiraz.” No, now he wants to try to earn a college degree in the good ol’ U.S. of A., right here at New York College.

Don’t worry though, fellow peasants, the Express is on the case. We’ll keep you apprised of all his daily dealings, and let you know if we see him in the dining hall eating spaghetti and meatballs like us proletarians.

New York College Express,

your daily student news blog

The door to the hall director’s office is thrown open. Sarah takes one glimpse at “Shiraz,” his biceps nearly bursting out of his camo sports coat, and looks as if she might follow our boss’s example and lose her breakfast.

“You have got to be kidding me,” she says.

“Well, hey there, pretty lady.” The prince lowers his dark, sooty lashes and flashes an even more dazzling smile, the one that’s caused the press to dub him “Rascally Rashid.”

The smile has no effect on Sarah.

“What do you want?” she growls.

“Me?” The prince seems surprised by her hostility. “I don’t want anything.”

“Then why are you here?”

“Sarah,” I say in a warning tone, worried about the suspicious looks Rashid’s bodyguards are giving her.

While it’s true that most of the New York College community has welcomed Rashid with open arms, a small minority hasn’t been particularly thrilled by the young prince’s enrollment, despite the massive donation his father—His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Faisal, crown prince and deputy supreme commander of the armed forces of Qalif—made to New York College’s School of Arts and Sciences.

This dislike could have something to do with the fact that Prince Rashid is rumored to have scored pretty dismally on the SATs, well below the already minimal average required for admission to New York College.

But it probably has more to do with the fact that Qalif, though famous for its beautiful beaches and architecture—and prodigious oil production—does not allow freedom of the press or religious expression, and its government (led by Prince Rashid’s father) is said to repress women, homosexuals, and the poor.

At a supersecret administrative staff meeting—to which Sarah hadn’t been invited because she’s only a graduate student, not a full-time employee—we’d been told that there’ve been threats on the young prince’s life, some of which may have come from members of the New York College community, who are calling the money Rashid’s father donated to the school “blood money,” and the school’s president, Phillip Allington, “a traitor to his country” for having accepted it.

Fortunately, protecting visiting royalty falls under the responsibility of the U.S. State Department (thank God; the last thing we need is Pete from campus security thinking it’s his duty to keep the heir to the throne to Qalif safe, in addition to forcing all seven hundred of our residents to sign in their guests to the building), so they’ve set up their office in our conference room.

But all that really means is that if Sarah doesn’t watch out, she’s going to find herself getting arrested by the U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security . . . if one of Prince Rashid’s bodyguards doesn’t kill her first.

“I’m here with her.” Rashid points at a young woman who’s gotten off the elevator along with him.

“Of course you are,” Sarah says with an unpleasant laugh. “You know in this country, unlike yours, Your Highness, women are not legally required to walk behind men.”

Prince Rashid looks even more surprised, and a little hurt.

“Miss.” The larger of the two bodyguards narrows his coal-black eyes at Sarah. “Do you have a problem with the prince?”

“No,” Sarah says. “I have a problem with his entire country, starting with the way his people treat my people, and by people I mean the people of Israel—”

As the bodyguard takes a step toward Sarah, I rise from my desk, certain that an international incident is about to occur right in the Fischer Hall director’s office.

But Rashid raises a hand to calm his security man, saying something in swift Arabic that ends with, “So chill out, okay, Hamad?”

Hamad doesn’t look very chill, however. His broad shoulders beneath his impeccably cut charcoal suit jacket are tense. I can’t help noticing a subtle bump in the side of his suit jacket beneath the left arm that I know from living with a private detective indicates a firearm.

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