The Sheikh's Rebellious Bride(57)By: Cara Albany
Zoe laughed. "Don't be silly. I won't break."
Tariq gazed into Zoe's eyes. "You know what this means, don't you?"
She squinted at him. "No."
"You're coming back to the palace with me. For good," he said. There was a flicker of uncertainty in his eyes. Did he doubt that she wanted to be with him? After all that she had just told him?
Zoe smiled at Tariq and reached across to move those fetching locks of dark hair away from his furrowed brows.
"I am coming back, Tariq. And, in eight months, we're going to have someone very special to look after."
Tariq grinned and reached across, laying his hand gently on her belly. "That sounds wonderful."
"I think this will put to rest any doubts your family might have been having about us. Don't you think?"
Tariq nodded. "They're going to be very happy."
"But not as happy as we're going to be, my love," Zoe said.
Tariq shook his head and smiled. "We're going to be happy forever, habibti," he said. She recognized that word, knew the significance of it to him. Zoe was his love. That much she knew for sure.
Tariq stood and looked down at Zoe. "Are you well enough to come with me to our home?" he asked.
Zoe gazed up at him, taking in the sight of his handsome figure, his even features, his adoring gaze. She reached up, and he took her hands, lifting her gently to her feet.
They stood face to face, gazing into one another's eyes, knowing that their love had triumphed.
And then, Tariq turned and started to lead her toward her new life, the only life she had ever wanted.
By the side of her beloved sheikh.
ONE YEAR LATER
They stood on the balcony of their bedroom in the palace. Zoe held their baby in her arms and gazed across the desert landscape. It was going to be another beautiful day.
Next to her stood Tariq, his arm curved around Zoe's back, holding her close. He gazed down at his son, Kamal. Named after Tariq's father. The little boy smiled up at Tariq. He had the same bright eyes as Tariq and those little fists looked like they were ready to take on the world.
Pride filled Tariq's heart. How good it felt to be here with the woman he loved and his recently born son. They would be happy here; he would protect them both as if his life depended on it. In fact, he realized that wasn't far from the truth. Tariq owed his life to this amazing woman standing alongside him. If she hadn't come back into his life, demanding that he marry her, holding him to his long forgotten promise, then none of this would have come true.
It was like a dream.
He owed her everything, and he loved her dearly. She was his desert princess, and she had given him two priceless treasures.
Love and family.
"It's a beautiful day, isn't it," Zoe said gazing up at Tariq.
The baby gurgled in agreement, and they both looked down at him, wonder and love filling their eyes.
Zoe lifted her head and looked up at Tariq. His eyes narrowed in that sweet way they always did when he wanted to make sure she knew he loved her.
And, when he dipped his head toward her, she opened her lips and welcomed the soft, tender kiss, knowing that she and Tariq and Kamal would all be together forevermore.