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Charlotte Lamb the Silken Trap

Charlotte Lamb the Silken Trap

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Published by: 3dodo on Feb 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Silken Trapby Charlotte Lamb
CHAPTER ONEThey had flown in low over a blue sea, the wingtips of the giantplane seeming almost to beabout to touch the white roofs of a jagged row of skyscraperswhich fringed the yellow sandsbefore it veered sharply, losing height, circling slowly until itstraightened and came down on thesmall airfield. Claire leaned against the window, staring out.Andrew touched her hand brieflyand she turned her head to smile at him.'Safely down,' he said, his voice amused.She laughed. 'I'm sorry. Was my alarm that obvious?''You should be used to flying by now,' he told her, his brown eyeskindly. 'You've done it oftenenough before.''Yes,' she agreed, the slanting green eyes flickering away. Sheknew there was no point inarguing. However many times she flew she would still feel thesame terror, the ache in the pit of her stomach which came from the moment she walked up the stepsinto the plane, the grindingagony of waiting for an expected instant of knowledge. One day,she thought grimly, it wouldhappen. They would crash: she was convinced of it.
Andrew was watching her averted profile. She had worked for himfor a year now and they kneweach other very well, yet there was an enormous gap in what heknew about her of which she wasaware but Andrew was oblivious. He thought her cool, efficientand charming
his attitude toldher as much even if he had not made it plain in words.She turned her head again to smile at him. 'I'm fine now,' she saidlightly.'You're very brave,' he told her in a firm voice.She felt colour flare in her cheeks. 'I'm not!''Very,' he repeated, nodding. 'Only someone with courage couldface flights again and againfeeling as you do.'It surprised her. She had not thought Andrew realised how badlyshe felt about flying.Embarrassed, she unclipped her seat belt and stood up, collectingher belongings as the otherpassengers began to file past them.As they walked into the airport lounge Claire noticed a youngsoldier in Arab headdress lyingfull length inside a sandbagged barrier, a machine gun trained onthe airfield. Startled, sheglanced round at Andrew who, catching her glance, lifted his wideshoulders in a shrug. 'Antiterrorists,'he muttered between tight lips.The new glass and concrete building seemed to shimmer in thenoon sun as they slowly passedthrough it, scrutinised closely by the airport staff, their passportsstudied for what seemed endlessmoments.
At last they took a taxi to the hotel, relaxing against the seats, theirclothes already beginning tostick to them in the fierce heat.'It's already changed since I was here a year ago,' Andrew said, hisbrown eyes on the buildingsthey passed. 'They've put up several new hotels since then.; Keraviis growing like a mushroom.'The bright, glass palaces built to foster the new tourist trade stoodout among the low, flat-toppedlittle houses like a sore thumb.Much of the little port remained the same, the narrow whitewashedstreets winding up thehillsides from the sea, the languorous shuffle of Arab women intheir loose dark clothing, thepiercing of the sky by minarets, the clouds of dust which eachvehicle threw up as it swishedpast.Andrew was one of the directors of a travel firm who ownedshares in a new hotel at Keravi.They were hoping to put the little Arab sheikdom on the touristmap in England. The presentruler was friendly to Britain and eager to welcome British tourists.His country was tiny, largelycomposed of desert sands, but' had a small fringe of coast to offer,an untouched area of gloriousbeaches and blue water which they all hoped would attractholidaymakers.This was Andrew's first visit since he had finalised the details of the new hotel. In his absence ithad been built rapidly by new building methods. As Claire staredout of the window it came into

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