Turk stood up and moved to the darkened window. The night had descended over the capital city hours ago and he still wasn’t able to sleep. There was something…he couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but something didn’t feel normal. A feeling, a heaviness maybe. Even the crisp, cold air tonight felt strange.
A sense of…anticipation.
It wasn’t that something was wrong. But something wasn’t quite right either. He could feel it.
What could possibly be happening? He had no idea.
Peace had been reigning over the country for years. There were minor skirmishes from rebels who wanted to overthrow his brother’s government, but Turk wasn’t about to allow that. His family had been ruling this country for centuries. As Minister of Defense for Kilar, he wasn’t going to let that change. Not on his watch.
Something was going on though. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something was definitely…disturbing.
Maybe it was just that everything had been so peaceful for so long. Perhaps he was simply itching for a real battle, a fight that would allow him to work off some of this restless energy that kept stirring inside of him. He felt hyper aware tonight, of the darkness, of the silence broken only by a few chirps, and even by the brightness of the stars tonight. Everything was still, silent and…strangely unmoving.
Yes, that must be it. He hadn’t had a good fight, a tough battle in months. Everything had been too quiet. The rebels had been silent for too long which was unusual for them. They normally stirred up trouble in one way or another, but there was no chatter from his teams about any activity.
His older brother would say that’s a good thing. Hell, so would his younger brother. Good for the economy and good for business.
Turk agreed with them, but he still wouldn’t mind a good fight.
Stretching his muscles, he thought about going to the gym and pounding the weight bag around for a while. That might get some of this tension out of his system.
But the silence of the night air called to him, made him want to be a part of it, to be in it more thoroughly.
He imagined himself taking off and hitting the desert streets for a long drive…yes, that sounded like exactly what he needed. He wouldn’t go far. But it would be nice to get out into the desert and have a bit of freedom. He’d been cooped up in the palace for too long, needing some action.
Not that he’d get it at two o’clock in the morning, he told himself as he pulled on a pair of black cargo pants, sliding knives and a few other weapons into the hidden pockets. He never felt fully dressed unless he had weapons on his person. Perhaps that was strange, but he didn’t question it. Too often, he’d needed those weapons so he never hesitated to put them on.
After pulling on a black tee-shirt and black boots, he stepped out of his private quarters. Immediately, his bodyguards surrounded him. “I’m going for a drive,” he told them. “Alone,” he added when one of them started to speak into his radio, alerting the other guards of his plans.
The captain of his guard opened his mouth to argue but Turk lifted his hand, stopping the argument before it could be uttered. “I will be fine,” he told the man. “Don’t be an old lady. It’s the dead of the night.” His captain really was a worrier, he thought.
There was rarely a moment when Turk wasn’t alone except when he was in his private apartment or with his brothers. He’d accepted this as part of his life. Growing up, he’d learned to accept the good and bad of being a prince, but that didn’t mean he liked it. He vacillated between calm acceptance and burning irritation about the burdens of being a royal.
Tonight though, he was going to venture out on his own into the night and feel the breeze on his face as he sped along the darkened streets of the desert. He was going to feel a small bit of freedom, clear his mind and try to figure out what was really bothering him.
Minutes later, Turk was in the garage, ready to speed out on a motorcycle, and feel the cool, night air on his face. The anticipation to feel free, to ride out into the night without any cumbersome guards trailing after him was pushing him to get out of the palace garage faster. He understood the necessity for the bodyguards. Hell, he’d imposed a massive guard on his older brother, the Sheik of Kilar as well as his nephew, Badri, the future sheik.
But Ramzi and his son were more important, he told himself. Ramzi was the face of the country, the hopes of all of the citizens of Kilar. If anything happened to Turk’s older brother, the people of Kilar would be worried. And Badri? Well, he was just an adorable little guy who loved to laugh and chase after Zeus, the German Shephard that Ramzi had given his wife, Mia, after Badri’s birth. Those two were inseparable and Turk appreciated the extra security the canine provided Badri. Hell, the dog even slept with Badri at night, not allowing anyone to come close except family members.
Keeping his family and Kilar safe was Turk’s highest priority. Since Badri was in line to the throne, the little man had to be kept happy and healthy.
Not to mention, if anything happened to his older brother, Turk would have to take over as sheik and that was something he definitely didn’t want to happen! He guarded his older brother like a protective mother lion just so that he wouldn’t have to take his older brother’s place.
Turk was determined to remain third in line to the throne. Rais, his younger brother, felt exactly the same way, not wanting anything to happen to either of his older brothers or nephew. As the financial manager for both the country and the Samara family fortunes, the man was perfectly matched to his role. Rais was a genius when it came to financial matters. And if Rais was coming dangerously close to being able to beat Turk in the boxing ring, well, so be it. It just motivated Turk to train harder. There was no way Turk was going to let his desk-jockey, younger brother beat him.
Looking around the packed palace garage, he chose one of the faster motorcycles, dismissing the armored limousines or SUVs and not even glancing at the fabulously expensive cars like the Ferrari or Lamborghinis on the side wall. The underground garage was a car buff’s fantasy world. There were several million dollars’ worth of cars parked down there, most of them never used because of the security risk.
But they were collectibles and, when possible, exhilarating to drive. It took several minutes for all of the bomb-proof doors to be opened, but when the last one was behind him, Turk blasted off, zooming through the cool, night air, whipping out of the palace grounds and into the desert beyond.