Sold to the sheikh his i.., p.6
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       His Indecent Proposal, p.6
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         Part #1 of Sold To The Sheikh series by Holly Rayner
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  "How are you feeling, baby girl?" Amie asked. Mia sighed as she sank down onto the couch, wincing as a pillow pressed up against the injection site on her buttock.

  "I'm tired," she admitted. Mia had been prepared for the fact that IVF would be demanding on her body, what with all the hormones and the monitoring, and Dr. Farber had given her fair warning. But she hadn't counted on just how exhausting it would all be; how much the injections would hurt. Mia had avoided telling Rami about it in too much detail because she wasn't sure he could handle the reality of the process-and she didn't want him thinking she wasn't up to the task.

  "How long do you think this is going to go on for?" Her mother inquired, hesitantly.

  Mia licked her lips and shrugged, shifting so that her weight was more on her other hip. "The doctor says it can take multiple cycles. Even with everything?" she shrugged again. "It's not perfect. Sometimes the implanted eggs don't take, sometimes they can't get the eggs out in time."

  "But you're being careful." It was almost a question.

  "Oh absolutely. Dr. Farber said she wants to make sure I'm still able to have babies of my own after this is done." Mia laughed bitterly. "Because surely if I'm resorting to IVF now, I'm going to be able to have babies of my own later on the natural way, no problem." Mia's mom bit her bottom lip.

  "Have you and Rami considered that?"

  Mia blushed. "No, we're keeping it strictly business between us. If we did it that way it'd feel like?" Mia squirmed.

  "Like prostitution?" Amie cut in.

  Mia nodded. "Well, you know? some women try the artificial way for years and then give up?and find themselves pregnant the old-fashioned way."

  "I just?sometimes wish I knew about my birth parents," Mia said, looking down at her hands in her lap. "Not because I care about them or anything-I don't even remember them, or know?" why they gave me up before I even had a chance to know them, her mind finished-though she didn't say it out loud. "But I mean, my bio mom had to have conceived me naturally, right? If she was fertile?"

  "Sweetheart, if your birth mother was able to conceive, you'll be able to conceive."

  Mia laughed again, shaking her head. "I don't know that, and neither do you."

  "It's your first cycle, baby girl. Give it a good chance, a good few times, before you start worrying."

  "But Rami is paying me so much money for this. If I can't even get pregnant?" Mia's eyes stung with tears. "I'll feel like a failure, like I wasted his time."

  "And what does Rami say?"

  Mia took a deep breath and sighed. "He says that if it doesn't work out, no harm done," Mia replied. "That he would just consider it an investment that didn't pan out." She frowned, picking at imaginary lint on her jeans. "But that doesn't make me feel any differently. If I can't have kids this way?maybe I can't ever have kids." Mia's mom gave her a quick hug.

  "Well, if that happens, like your Dad and me, you'll adopt. And you'll make some little girl or boy's life as special as you can, and give them love." Mia nodded, resting her head on her mother's skinny shoulder.

  "You're right," she replied. "It won't stop me from feeling like I basically robbed Rami, but at least?if I can't get pregnant?at least it's another option."

  * * *

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