The Sheikha's Forbidden Lover

By: Leslie North

The Tazeem Twins Series Book 5

Chapter 1

“You know what would make this better?” Adilah asked, licking the icing off her fingers and grinning at Cassie. “Eating this off some washboard abs.”

Cassie raised her eyebrows as she stared at her friend in surprise. “Really?” she asked as she laughed. “Now that sounds like something I would say.” She picked up one of the cupcakes that Adilah had iced, dipped her finger in the icing and licked it. “Hmm, what’s in this one? They have a different taste.”

“Normally, the main ingredients are prepackaged, but I was able to get roasted nuts and fresh fruit from this little market on the other side of town. It makes a big difference in the taste.”

“What other side of town?” Cassie asked as she nibbled on the cupcake.

“The area is a little rough but it’s so worth it.”

Cassie froze looking at her friend in shock. “You cannot be talking about the Zuhur market?”

“I am,” Adilah replied as she mixed the ingredients in the bowl.

“Adilah, please don’t go to such places. Not too long ago, there were reports of terrorism there.”

“I am aware and it saddens me. That marketplace is hundreds of years old and still so beautiful. I hate to see acts of terrorism ruin the beauty of the place.”

“You and your brother love these historical places,” Cassie commented as she shook her head. “It really is a shame that so many of them have been vandalized.”

“Ah yes, he took you sightseeing on your first date,” Adilah giggled as Cassie laughed with her.

“As we both told you, it was not a date; I was hoping that it would help me regain my memory after bumping my head, which it didn’t. He probably wanted to kill you for making him go with me. Why on earth would you think that sightseeing would help me regain my memory?”

Shrugging her shoulders, Adilah gave Cassie a cheeky grin, “Well…let’s just say that regaining your memory wasn’t my primary motive. And really, he should be thanking both of us. That was the first time he took a day to do something like that since he was a teen. He is always so fixated on work; he would not have done it if part of him didn’t want to.”

Cassie giggled as she blushed. “Hussain,” she mumbled to herself as Adilah looked at her.

“You are so smitten,” Adilah flicked icing at Cassie who tried to dodge the sugar but some of it still landed in her hair. Both of them laughed as Adilah reached out to help her remove it.

“Can you blame me? Once we got past his need to control everything and I got my memory back, it all felt so right even if it did happen so fast.” Holding up the frosting, “And I might want to take some of this with me to test your theory about it tasting better on washboard abs,” Cassie added as she grinned mischievously.

“I cannot believe you just said that about my brother!” Adilah said, looking aghast.

“What? For a guy who works all the time, he is in fantastic shape. I really don’t know where he finds the time to work out.”

“T. M. I.” Adilah responded as Cassie stuck her tongue out at her.

Adilah could not be happier for her brother now that he had someone like Cassie around him. She was good fun and she was a sweet girl. Hussain had dedicated himself to his work long ago when he should have been out having fun and that made it difficult for him to express his feelings much less contemplate a relationship.

“So, do you miss home?” Adilah asked. Since coming to live with the twins, Cassie had returned to the States only once, but she didn’t stay long and found herself longing to return. While she still worked for Hussain as his assistant, they were very much in love. So much so that he refused to allow her to live anywhere other than his home. Something that caused his sister to tease him mercilessly about but she had to admit that she loved having another woman around. Especially since it was Cassie.

“I only miss silly things, like Starbucks and Chipotle; however, I prefer it here. There is good weather, there is good food, there is you.”