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The Sheikh’s Christmas Proposal

Written by Abby Green

Chapter Nine

Riad stopped pacing. ‘Elise has been staying with her grandparents in Switzerland for the weekend but she’s not feeling well and wants to come home. She’s homesick.’

Cassidy’s heart clenched for the little girl and at the way Riad was so obviously worried. ‘Of course, what do we need to do?’

He said, ‘We’ll leave within the hour and return to Paris via Geneva.’

All thoughts of holding a conversation with Riad were forgotten as Cassidy hurried to pack and get dressed, drying her hair roughly. Soon they were leaving the palace and its revelry behind.

When they arrived at the small airfield filled with the private jets of the rich and famous, they were dropped at Riad’s, where the pilot and staff were waiting and ready to go.

Even though Cassidy had been travelling with Riad on his private jet for six months now, she’d never gotten used to it. She came from a solidly middle-class background—her adoptive father was a GP and her mother was a stay-at-home wife and mother. Unable to have children of their own, they’d adopted Cassidy when she was a baby but then after five years they’d miraculously had twins of their own, Tom and Rosie.

They’d never for a second let Cassidy feel anything but loved and wanted but there was no doubting the special bond between parents and their own flesh and blood. Cassidy loved Tom and Rosie as much as her parents, but to her shame, she’d always felt a tiny spark of jealousy, that they knew where they were from. That they weren’t filled with questions and feelings of inadequacy. It was one of the reasons she’d left home so young—when she’d been just seventeen, after she’d been scouted in her local supermarket by a modelling agent.

‘Miss O’Connor?’

Cassidy turned from where she’d been looking out the window as they left Tabat behind. The steward was asking her if she wanted anything. She shook her head, aghast at how easily she’d slipped down memory lane.

She looked over to Riad, whose head was turned as he looked out his own window. In that moment Cassidy felt the gulf between them keenly. He was probably regretting not having arranged separate transport for her, because she’d never met Elise before.

But when she saw the tense lines of his body, she felt compelled to say, ‘Riad, I’m sure she’s fine. She’s very lucky to have a father who’ll drop everything to go to her.’

Riad tensed even more when he heard Cassidy’s husky voice. He’d just been cursing himself for not having thought this through properly. He’d always been so careful to keep his lovers separate from his life with Elise, but now they were going to collide.

Yet, he knew instinctively that Cassidy wasn’t someone who would manipulate meeting Elise for her own gain. Unlike some of his other lovers, who had seen his daughter as a means to try and obtain a deeper commitment. Still, he was suddenly very nervous about Cassidy meeting Elise. As if on some level he sensed that their meeting would blow apart any illusion of control he had around this relationship.

‘Riad?’

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About the author

I spent my teens reading (devouring) Mills & Boon romances. After ...

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Abby Green

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