The night’s sultry, filled with carnal promise as Tessa participates in an agency event to raise money for charity. She’s chained and bared—as women were once displayed for a sultan’s harem—her sweet looks and full figure offered to the wealthy and powerful men.
Music swelled, drums drowning out what had sounded like flutes and a female voice trilling something. Blood pounded in Tessa’s ears, muting it all. With her face lowered, all she could see was the purplish sheen of her cape. She sensed the panels in front of her parting, the stage displayed. Beyond it were a series of steps descending to a stone walkway flanked with splashing fountains, which eventually led to the crowd…the one man who was supposed to win her for an evening.