The sheikhs twin baby su.., p.18
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       The Sheikh's Twin Baby Surprise, p.18

         Part #1 of The Sheikh's Baby Surprise series by Holly Rayner
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  Part of me felt guilty that Mirah’s grandsons wouldn’t be as close to her now, but with Sajid’s family moving into the main palace, I knew she would be kept busy helping to raise Jarah and the girls. We promised that we would return often to visit as the boys grew up; plus, with technology nowadays, she didn’t have to miss a moment, and I told her to expect dozens of videos and photos. She asked for hundreds.

  We chose our first destination together: South America. Omar had never been, and I had only visited Brazil, on a short conference trip during med school.

  The day before we were to leave for our new life, as the sun was setting, I found him in the greenery of the royal garden. He was cooing at the birds in their gilded aviary, his shoulders heavy, his eyes a little sad.

  When I approached, he looked up and smiled. “Remember the pink dress you wore out here on our first date?” he said. “I love that dress. You should wear it tomorrow.”

  “I think I will,” I replied, leaning in to kiss him. I rubbed my palm on his back. “Are you okay? I know it must be hard for you to leave here.”

  Omar nodded. “It is hard. It’s hard to accept that something so ugly would be the cause of me finally chasing my deepest wants. I’m still very sad about Sajid’s behavior.”

  “I know. I know he hurt you. But people seem to think he’s going to make a competent ruler; that’s something, isn’t it?”

  “He will make a fine king,” replied Omar. “Sajid is an intelligent and hard-working man. He has always thrived off the responsibility, the rushing about, the chaos. It’s why he has successfully launched so many different projects and companies over his career. Kingship will be good to him, and as long as he can remember to keep his heart open, he will be good to Al-Thakri.”

  I put my head on Omar’s shoulder. “You have a legacy here too, you know. Because of you, Al-Thakri will have its first queen in thousands of years. You’ve granted great power to his eldest daughter, and who knows what amazing things she will do for her country?”

  Omar gave me a small smile. “Do you really think that?”

  “Yes, I do!” I assured him. “No matter what Sajid does now, it will be because of you in the end. You made room for him, and in turn, for change in Al-Thakri. You have saved Sajid’s children from going through the very same torment you’re going through right now. They won’t have to fight each other because the succession will be clear as crystal.”

  “Thank you, my love. You always know how to lift my spirits when they’re down.”

  “Your other great legacy will, of course, be the wonderful sons you’re going to raise with me,” I smiled. “I can’t wait to see what our boys grow up to be like. Maybe one of them will want to be a doctor. Maybe one of them will save the world.”

  Omar laughed and pulled me by the waist against his body. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he kissed me deeply. “Whatever they become, they will have a treasure of a mother to love them and teach them how to be extraordinary men. They are already blessed with that.”

  “And I’m blessed with you,” I said, nuzzling into his face. “I can’t imagine my life without you and the boys. When I was pregnant, I often thought about where I would be if I hadn’t accepted your job offer.” I shook my head as if I could shake out the unattractive thoughts. “I would be in a much different, much worse place.”

  “Come now, you love being in worse places, that’s where all the patients are,” he winked.

  I gave him a playful slap on the chest. “You know what I mean! I wouldn’t have this beautiful future that you’ve given me. Omar, I never imagined I could meet a man like you, or find love like this. I never imagined I’d be a mother, never mind the mother of twins.”

  “I should have mentioned they run in the family,” he snickered.

  “Well, I know that now. And I’m glad for it. I can’t imagine life without either of them.”

  “Will you still be saying that when we’re chasing their furious toddler legs around the beaches of Thailand? Or dealing with their tears because they sneaked a bite of our African-spiced food?”

  I laughed. “Yeah, I think I will. Probably even more so. I dreamed so long about having children and being able to show them the world. I never thought it would come true.”

  Omar leaned his head down on mine and kissed me again. “It’s true, my love.”

  “And I know from experience that nothing will ever fully take away the pain of being away from your home,” I told him. “But that just means we have to visit more often, since we’ll have the money to do it. This won’t be the last time you walk in this garden, Omar. And your sons will know and love it, too, just like you did.”

  “I would love that,” admitted Omar. “And when will we be taking them back to Ohio?”

  “Oh, as soon as possible,” I told him. “My mother’s chomping at the bit, and I can’t wait for my old high school friends to meet my handsome, royal husband and our gorgeous sons. In fact, maybe we should swing by there on the way to South America.”

  Omar chuckled and hugged me tightly. Together, we walked through the gardens of the palace, taking our time to smell the tropical flowers and listen to the birds call as we passed. The sun was setting behind the sandstone palace walls, and on Omar’s reign as Sheikh, but it was only just rising on our lives together.

  I couldn’t wait for this new day to start.

  The End

  Holly Rayner

  And now, as promised, enjoy the first few chapters of my previous novel, The Sheikh’s American Baby.


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