Soraya acts tough, but the truth is she melts when she’s around Amir. She has never felt such a strong attraction before, and no matter how much she tries to fight it, she can’t resist Amir’s playful charms. Similarly, nobody had ever seen Amir care so much for a woman. Even his brother, Tariq, is beginning to think that Amir, an infamous playboy, is falling for Soraya.
Sara’s bond with Tariq strengthens everyday. When he is near she feels feverish, like she is on fire. Just his touch or a smell of his cologne raises her heart rate. To everyone else he is stubborn and intimating, but his tough exterior disappears around the one’s he loves, especially Sara and their child. With another Botros baby on the way and a wedding day on the horizon, their relationship grows even more intense.
But will the Botros Brother’s relationships be able to sustain the trials ahead?
Fiddah, the mother of the Botros brothers, invites the whole family to visit Salma City, an exotic paradise located in the heart of the desert. However, when they arrive a woman from Amir’s past is waiting with a secret that could tear the whole Botros family apart.
Approximate length: 22,000 words (a novella)
“Amir, we are going to be late,” Soraya whispered against his mouth. He groaned in response and pressed a small kiss on her neck. Soraya sighed with pleasure and closed her eyes. He trailed kisses from her neck down to her chest. He caressed her back as his hands continued their languid caress around her hips before he cupped her bottom. He loved how firm it was. He slipped his hand under her dress and caressed her thighs.
“Okay… we… really…” Soraya was struggling to string a sentence together. Pushing him away, she jumped up from the sofa and cleared her throat. She blinked a few times before she said anything. Amir was still sitting on the sofa looking at her with so much desire in his eyes. “We have to go,” Soraya finally managed to say.
“Do we?” Amir asked as he got up from the sofa and walked towards her.
“Yes,” she said and ran out of the room. Amir laughed. He was pleased he could affect her so much. Not long ago, it was difficult to get a simple smile out of her. He straightened his tie and slipped his suit jacket back on.
Moments later, Soraya re-entered the room. She had adjusted her makeup and managed to put herself back together. They had to be at Fiddah’s charity fundraiser dinner party and were already running late. By the time they arrived, everyone was already seated inside. They joined Sara and Tariq at their table. Amir kissed Sara on both cheeks before he took Leylah in his arms. Her face lit up when Amir picked her up. He kissed her and she laughed in response.
“You guys are so late,” Sara pointed out.
“Blame him,” Soraya said. Amir raised an eyebrow at her. Sara laughed.
“She just threw you under the bus,” Sara said.
Malik joined them at the table. He greeted everyone before he pulled out his chair and sat down. He pinched Leylah’s rosy cheeks. Turning his attention to Amir and Soraya, “Why so late?” he asked.
“Traffic,” Amir said.
The waiters served the starters. Sara frowned and pushed her bowl of soup away. Tariq held her arm gently and asked her if she was okay. “Smells awful!” she complained. Tariq laughed softly and asked the waiter to remove both their bowls.
“And the pregnant journey begins once again,” Amir said as he smiled at Sara. He enjoyed teasing her over how soon she became pregnant after having Leylah. Seemed like her and Tariq could not take a break from each other. Sara rolled her eyes. Some moments were not so pretty about being pregnant. She was not looking forward to it at all. Then there was her supercharged sex drive. It was ridiculous how she was easily aroused when she was pregnant. That was Tariq’s favourite part. He liked seeing her in that state and begging for attention.
“How are you coping so far?” Soraya asked Sara.
“Morning sickness is already screwing me over,” Sara complained. She sighed and reached for her glass and drank from it. Malik gave her a sympathetic look and rubbed her hand.
Halfway through dinner, Fiddah made a speech to thank all the donors. They had managed to raise a lot of money. She also informed them about future charity events. She delivered the speech with such poise and elegance. Everyone clapped their hands after her speech.
Music filled the room and people started dancing. Sara got up to make her third trip to the bathroom within the hour. Tariq rubbed her back before she left. He turned his attention to Amir who was still holding Leylah.
“I’ll take her, you and Soraya go dance,” Tariq said to Amir. Amir looked at him wondering what he was up to. “Ley,” Tariq called out. She turned her head in his direction and smiled as she stretched out her arms toward him. He took her from Amir and kissed her. She smiled and touched his face.
“She’s so adorable,” Soraya said as she smiled.
“We can have an adorable one too,” Amir said and winked at her. Malik and Soraya both frowned at him.
“Slow down,” Malik said. Tariq couldn’t help but laugh. His brother’s humour wasn’t always warranted. Amir simply smiled and held out his hand to Soraya.
“May I have this dance?” he asked her. She did not respond right away. She looked up, as if she was thinking about it. Amir kissed her on the cheek. “She always makes me work for it,” he said before he helped her to her feet.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Soraya said.
“As if you don’t want to dance.”
Snaking his arm around her waist, he guided her to the dance floor. Giving him a sour look, she placed one hand on his shoulder and the other in his palm. Their bodies moved to the rhythm. Amir was looking at her with such intensity. Being so close to her set him off. She was so beautiful and everything he wanted in a woman. He could not stay away from her.
Soraya avoided his gaze. She acted all tough but the truth was that she melted in his presence. She tried to hide it from him but she was not always successful.
“What are you thinking about?” Amir whispered in her ear.
“Nothing,” Soraya replied.
“You’re thinking of me.”
“Absolutely not,” she lied. All she could ever think about these days was him.
* * * *
“Sheik Amir, there is someone here to see you,” the servant said.
“Who is it?” Amir asked.
“She would prefer to tell you herself.”
Amir raised an eyebrow, as it sounded rather dodgy. Sara looked up, she was suddenly curious. Why so cryptic? Amir motioned to have the guest join them in the courtyard. Sara’s jaw dropped open when she saw the green-eyed woman from the restaurant. She was wearing a white silk camisole with a see-through lace back, high waist beige shorts and black shoes with red soles. Her hair was tied up in a high messy bun. Amir looked up, he recognised her immediately.
He had not seen her for years and was not sure what kind of response to give. She stood in front of him and said, “Hello, Amir.” Her voice was calm and seductive. Sara raised her eyebrows. Soraya and Aaliyah were looking at the green-eyed woman with curiosity.
“Hello, Tariq,” she greeted him. Sara whipped her head in Tariq’s direction. His face wasn’t expressionless for once. He looked awkward.
“Hello,” Tariq replied. Sara narrowed her gaze at him and returned her attention to the mysterious woman.
“It has been a while,” she said to Amir. He stood up to greet her, as he kissed her on both cheeks.
“I trust you have been well?” Amir asked. She gave him a small smile.
“How have you been, Tariq?” she asked. Sara was curious and uncomfortable. This woman was beautiful and the Botros brothers were completely awkward in her presence. Of course they would be, as she was beautiful. She also spoke to them informally, which meant that she was quite familiar with them.
“He is fine,” Sara answered and stood up from the table. The woman looked down at Sara. She was much taller than she was. “I am Sara, his wife,” Sara added. The woman laughed.
“Wow, Tariq, you actually got married. Congratulations.” She crossed her arms over her chest and poked her hip out. Tariq laughed softly. “Oh my, Malik? You have changed,” she said. She walked over to them. She kissed both Tariq and Malik on both cheeks. Sara felt dismissed. The woman clearly had not gotten her point when she introduced herself as his wife.
“I have not changed that much,” Malik said with a smile.
“Who are you?” Sara could not help but be blunt. No one else was asking and the guys seemed to know her very well. The woman turned and looked at Sara.
“An old friend,” she replied. Sara was about two seconds from browbeating her or physically beating her. She was being cryptic and it was working her nerves. Sara turned and looked at Amir with a you-better-talk-now expression.
“Her name is Faiza,” Amir said. Soraya and Aaliyah continued to watch the interactions. They were as curious as Sara was. Who was she and why was she all mysterious.