The Sheikh's Pregnant Employee (Almasi Sheikhs 3) - Page 33
“She sounds like a bore,” Layla said, her throat tightening. “Probably wouldn’t want to be with her.”
“No, I do.” Zahir took her hand in his, sealing her in his grip. “I want to be with her more than anything.”
Layla’s breath hitched. “How did you find me out here?”
“My spy, Marian.” He scooted closer to her.
“What will the board members say?” Her brain swirled like a cyclone. She couldn’t believe she even had the capacity to speak right now.
“I have no idea. I’ll find out later.”
Layla shook with restrained sobs. This was unreal. It was too good to be true. But maybe Marian had been right. She had to be willing to imagine the future before it could even happen.
“Do you even want to be a dad?” Layla swung to look at him, the tender expression on his face slashing her in two.
“I never thought much about it, other than I would know when it was right.”
Layla laughed through more tears. “Is this right?”
“The rightest decision I’ve ever made.” Zahir leaned closer, nudging her face with his nose. “Layla, will you be with me? Not in the dark or in secret. Be with me so I can hold your hand in public and we don’t care about what the newspapers say.”
She drew a raggedy breath. That sounded like heaven. “Yes. And the only difference will be now we won’t care about what the newspapers say.”
Zahir laughed. “That’s right. I held your hand in public already.” He ran his fingers up the sides of her arms. “Layla, I love you.”
She crumpled into his arms at the words, heat searing through her, making her dizzy and blind. “I love you too, Zahir.”
His arms encircled her and she wept into his embrace, relief and adoration sweeping through her. This man, the man she’d been attracted to the second she saw him, was hers in a way she’d been too terrified to even hope for. Their baby had been the greatest blessing of all.
And now all she had to do was take the leap and go with it.
“Where do we go from here?” Layla asked into his chest. “We went from hooking up to coworkers to parents. I can’t predict the next step.”
“I think it’s where you move in,” Zahir whispered. “And you wake up at my side every day. And I’ll make you breakfast and rub your belly, and we live life exactly how we want.”
Layla tilted her head back, getting lost in his gaze, and then pressed her lips to his in a kiss so hard that she saw starbursts.
Zahir paced the waiting room of the hospital. Omar gnawed on a fingernail in a chair, while Imaad bounced his knee wildly. Marian leaned against the wall in the far corner, her own belly just starting to show. They’d been occupying various positions in this waiting room for five hours, waiting for some update.
Annabelle arrived a moment later, her arms full of snacks, a delighted look on her face. Her own belly was round and prominent, stretching her sweater thin. “I brought food!”
Imaad grinned, coming up to her. “Are you sure it isn’t mostly for you, my dear?”
“Hey. I’m eating for two,” Annabelle said, ripping into a chocolate bar.
“And you’ll be the next one in there,” Marian said, nodding toward the swinging double doors Layla had disappeared behind, hours ago.
“You would have been the first in there,” Imaad said.
“Hey, it’s not a race,” Zahir said sharply, lookin
g at his brothers. “But if it were, I would remind you that I’d be winning.”
Imaad cracked a grin. “Of course you’d find a way to cheat the standings, brother.”
Voices approached the waiting room, followed by a giggle. The brothers turned when their father’s trademark rumbling voice sounded. “My sons! And all of their beautiful wives.”