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The Sheik's Secret Twins
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Elizabeth Lennox - The Sheik's Secret Twins

The Sheik's Secret Twins
Elizabeth Lennox



Chapter 1

“No, Jacob, you can’t eat Sam’s fruit. It doesn’t count even if you are twins.” Glancing at her watch, Siri Michaels realized they were again running behind on their morning schedule. As she put the milk back in the refrigerator, she caught a suspicious movement out of the corner of her eye. “Sam, you can’t hide your fruit in your pockets. You did that last week and forgot about them. I found them when I was doing the laundry and it was disgusting.”

She almost rolled her eyes when her twin three year old boys laughed delightedly at rotting fruit in their jeans pockets. Were all boys fascinated by anything disgusting? Or were hers just abnormally enthralled?

“Come on guys. We need to hurry up. Just finish your milk and gobble up those apples.” She shoved the files she’d been working on the previous night into her computer bag and looked around, stepping over Legos and narrowly missing a toy fire truck. Thankfully, she was still in her slippers because if she’d changed into her heels for the work day, she’d have been a gonner. In the midst of making a path, she remembered one very important question. “Sam, did you put on underwear today?” Why she even had to ask was beyond her but the tike liked going as free as a bird.

She wasn’t looking at him but since there was no response, she glanced back and found two dark, curly heads bent close. As much as she loved these little guys, that pose was never good. And she’d learned the hard way that silence was bad. Generally, very bad.

“Sam,” she called out from three feet away and waited until she had his full attention. When he looked up, the guilt in his eyes told her she’d caught them doing something wrong, but the trick was figuring out what that “something” might be. Had it already occurred? Or was their mischief imminent? She had to maintain a straight face under these circumstances, otherwise, they would consider her humor as encouragement in whatever they had planned. “Sam, do you have underwear on?” she asked again.

She couldn’t help it when the chuckle escaped as he looked down and pulled his pants away to check. How could he not know? It seemed to her like underwear was an essential piece of clothing and the absence of that piece would be bothersome and uncomfortable.

Siri knew the answer to her question when he looked up with that devilish grin. “Go put some on,” she commanded.

The little guy scrambled off his chair before racing full speed to the bedroom and Siri was grateful that he was still at an age when he would obey her.

She couldn’t take a break to ponder the future at this point in the morning. With Sam out of the picture, that left Jacob alone. Together, the twins were as thick as thieves. Separate them though, and she could usually get one to confess. “What are you guys planning?” she asked, bending down so she was at eye level with Jacob. They were fraternal twins, but they looked so similar it was extremely difficult for strangers to tell them apart. Siri could because she knew them and loved every tiny freckle on their faces.

“We’re not planning anything,” Jacob whispered, and he placed a chubby hand on both sides of her face. “I promise, momma. We’re innocent.”

Siri knew she was in trouble then. “Jacob, if you let me in on the secret, maybe we can have ice cream for dessert tonight.”

Jacob’s eyes widened and he smiled excitedly, showing his tiny white toddler teeth with gaps in between because not all of his teeth were in. “Momma, Sam has a surprise for you.”

Siri’s stomach churned with those words. The last time Sam brought her a surprise, he was covered in mud and had two little kittens under each arm. He’d “rescued” the kittens from someone else’s backyard. How he’d done that, she had no idea since her back yard was fenced in with a gate that only an adult could handle and there weren’t any kittens, much less mud, in her backyard. It had taken a week and several lost kitten posters posted around the neighborhood before the original owners had been found and kittens returned. “Jacob, you know I love surprises,” she lied and felt no remorse, “but I also know that sometimes Sam’s surprises can be a bit scary. Can you give me a hint?”

Jacob was torn because he didn’t want his mother to be scared, but he couldn’t reveal the amazing surprise. “This won’t scare you. I promise. It’s a good surprise.”

Sam was coming back down the hallway by that point so there wasn’t anything else Siri could say to convince him at the moment. But she’d have to work on him a bit later, her stomach churning at the idea of whatever these two extremely intelligent children had devised. “Okay, don’t tell him I know there’s going to be a surprise, okay?” It would make it easier to work on Jacob if Sam didn’t reinforce the “surprise” aspect of the treat they were creating for her. At least she hoped it was for her. The idea of her boys devising something for someone else, where she wasn’t able to run interference, wasn’t a scenario she relished.

Jacob nodded happily, then jumped down off his chair himself and caught up with his brother. She cringed when she saw their heads immediately bend towards each other.

“Get your shoes and coats on,” she called out and looked at the news on her computer screen, surveying the headlines on the Chicago Tribune website. Elections coming, check. Jobs report getting better, check. Weather, rainy. Not check, not good.” Put on your rain coats,” she called out again. Oil prices down, for how long?

She started to put her computer to sleep, but something caught her eye. Oil prices down because….No! That simply wasn’t possible!

In her panic, she couldn’t even ensure that the boys were following her instructions. Her eyes skimmed the text, then re-read the first paragraph over again since her panic was diminishing her ability to absorb what the words were explaining. He’s divorcing?

She sat down heavily in the kitchen chair and clicked on the screen to get the full article. As she read through the words, only the message that Sheik Malik bin Saqqaf was in the midst of a divorce and pressure was mounting for him to re-marry quickly in order to produce an heir, something that hadn’t happened in his first marriage and his advisors were becoming worried about an end to the dynasty. A dynasty that had been extremely good for Duban.

Why was a divorce necessary? Why wasn’t he just marrying another woman, she wondered? Couldn’t he have several wives? The idea actually made her stomach ache so she slapped the computer shut and turned around, only to find several sets of eyes staring at her.

Sam and Jacob were in their rain coats and shoes, although Sam had his shoes on the wrong feet. To the left of Sam were their two dogs, “Rover” and “Boy”, neither canine having a very celebrated parentage and to the right of Jacob was “Kitty”, a white, short haired feline that loved shedding on Siri’s black slacks. All three animals had not been her choice but had shown up at various stages in her sons’ short lives and become part of the family. Sam was the animal lover and any creature that crossed his path needed to be adopted and “loved” by her adorable little son. He brought home animals even when they had owners, and she had to return them, sometimes with a very sad boy on her hands because, in his mind, no one could take care of animals and give them enough love like he could.

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