Forbidden by Faith

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Valor Lennox

Valor Lennox


She turns around and lift her top. There is all kinds of scar. Long, fading belt buckle marks and something that I felt earlier. What the fuck? Did someone brand on her skin?

My blood is boiling with anger. I am going to kill the fucking bastard whoever did this to her.

I trace her back that's filled with scars and she flinch like she's is pain. No wonder she instinctively covered herself and hid in the corner of study room earlier when I moved towards her in anger.

"Do you still want to go on that date? I don't mind if you change your mind."

What's she talking about? Why would I back out of our date?

"Sweetheart, why do you think I don't want to go on a date with you?"

"Because I am hideous and now you have seen it."

"Do you really think so less of me? Am I that shallow?"

This isn't about me. This is about her insecurities and the way she was probably made to be felt. Who would do this to her?

"I...."

"Baby. No matter what, you are beautiful. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. To me, you are the most beautiful woman walking on this fucking earth."

She just looks at me with those beautiful brown eyes.

"Who... who did this to you?" I am trying so hard to control my anger. The monster is about to unleash. He is upset too. And he's angrier than usual. But I can't unleash it on this beautiful woman sitting right in front of me.

"It... It doesn't matter."

"Sana."

"My... my family."

What the fuck? Family is supposed to protect each other. Not this!

I run my fingers lightly on her back, afraid I may hurt her.

I stop when I reach that odd mark that looks like a branding on her skin.

"That... That's the punishment for drinking beer. My cousins found me and took me home."

"They branded you for drinking a beer?" Ah fuck! I feel like a shit now. I remember her being upset when I chuckled thinking of her as a cute drunk.

"Don't get me wrong. I believe in my religion. I love my family and have obeyed everything they say without any questions. If I did raise question, it never ended well for me, as you can see."

She laughs trying to lighten the mood, trying not to show any weakness. But her eyes says it all. I silently listen to her, not wanting her to stop.

"I just wanted to live a little. You know? I don't think it's the religious thing that got them mad. It's always their reputation. Their fucking reputation."

My heart breaks for her. I literally feel it bleeding out. But she also surprised me by saying f word. I don't think I have ever heard her use it before. She's always been polite and sometimes sarcastic. Never rude. But she's letting it out.

She should let all her hurt out. It's one way to heal. But it didn't matter if they were her family or not. I wanted to destroy each and every one of them who hurt her.

I wanted to break every fucking single bone from their body. Or better, strip away everything they hold dear.

"The day I met you, you were running. Why?" I question her and notice her being hesitant to answer me, so I continue, "After you took my taxi, I saw some men running around and they were holding swords. I thought it may be linked with..."

"It is."

I look at her. Thank fucking God she took my taxi. I can't imagine what would have happened to her if I wasn't there at that moment.

"You saved our life that night."

Her hand again moves to her stomach. What did she mean by "our"? Should I ask? Do I even want to know the answer? Is she pregnant?

"It is called honor killing. The code of honor has different standards for men and women in our religion."

What the fuck?

I have heard of it, but surely who believes in all that crap now.

"My older brother was disowned for marrying a woman outside of our religion."

I pull her in my arms. This is lot to take. I don't want to stress her anymore. I can't see tears in her beautiful eyes. She have cried enough.

"Don't you want to hear the rest?"

"It's alright baby. You take rest for now. We will talk tomorrow. We have a date too."

"I love your tattoos."

See? This is how brave she is. This heart breakingly beautiful little thing has been through so much in life and yet she thinks she should lighten up the atmosphere. She still puts on her brave face like everything is alright with this fucking world and sun is bright and flowers blossom kind of attitude. She doesn't want anyone to see her weak.

"Which ones baby?"

Her lips curl into that innocently beautiful smile that would make the field of dead flowers bloom back to life.

"Haven't explored all of it." These are the comments my little vixen... No, not a vixen; my brave lioness makes, which makes me hard to control myself.

"Would you like to?"

"Soon. Not today. But someday soon."

"So, say a week from now?"

She just blushes and flings her arm on my chest lightly. And I couldn't help but laugh.

"You said earlier that you too liked to paint."

"Yes, I do."

I remember the paintings I have done over years. But the last few I did were last month. I had locked myself in my estate as I couldn't get her out of my head and had tried to paint her. Her eyes, to be specific. Painting those gorgeous eyes is what kept me sane for the last month while my men were searching for her.

"So what have you painted so far? Any recent work?"

"You'll see."

"So I have heard you are a famous photographer."

"That I am."

"Did you stop that work?"

"No. I had to retire from that as I had to take over business. I thought I would keep doing it during the weekends, but I am not sure anymore."

"Why baby?"

Did she just call me baby? I love the sound of that. "What did you just say?"

"Why?"

"No. After that? What did you say after 'why?'"

"Baby?"

"Say it again."

"Baby."

"I wanna hear it again."

"That's it for today."

"Please." I look at her with puppy eyes.

"Aww... Baby."

It might have been a mistake to give her a puppy eyes look. Now she's rubbing my beard and rubbing her fingers behind my ears like how you'd usually do it on a puppy.

I am trying to give her a stern expression, but I am unable to keep a straight face and I burst out laughing. I don't mind being a puppy for her.

"So why are you not sure of photography anymore?"

She's still wrapped in my arms, tracing my tattoos. That slight innocent touch from her is soothing me, letting go of all the pain. I wish I could make her feel that way. I wish I could make all of her pain fade away.

"I took onto photography because I always felt I was missing something in my life. I felt hollow and empty inside. There was this need to reach out and find that something that makes my heart race with excitement and kept me grounded. That need to wander like a nomad did good, until I found you. Now I feel that I am home."

She looks up at me, her beautiful brown eyes brimming with tears.

"You always say such a sweetest thing. I don't know why people think of you as a monster."

I remember her friend from boutique earlier this week, insisting that I am dangerous.

"First Christina and then Matt."

He fucking did what now? Christina, I know of, as I was eavesdropping in their conversation.

"What did they say?"

"Something about how you are a playboy and a very dangerous man."

"And are you going to listen to them and stay away from me?"

"Not a chance."

I chuckle at her admission. She's stubborn as hell too. Her friends are just looking out for her. These people only knew her for a month, and they are willing to do anything to protect her. Like my fucking lawyer and the way he threatened me. Something about her makes people want to protect her. My first instinct the first time I met her was to protect her with all my might.

"What changed your mind?"

"More like who did. I spoke to my brother earlier this evening and then I came knocking on your door."

I know that she believes in me when I told her that nothing happened between me and Violet. But every time she talks about it, she sounds upset.

I think it's better not to dwell on it. I should probably change the entire setting of the master bedroom first thing in the morning. Or better, burn down the house and build a new one, just for her.

"The brother who was disowned by family?"

"Mm...hmm."

She yawns. It's her nap time and we have to go out on a date tomorrow. She's going to be cranky when I wake her early morning.

"You sleep now, sweetheart. We have a big day tomorrow."

"Mmmm."

She just rests her face in the crook of my neck and falls asleep. I don't know how long I was staring at my little lioness before I fell asleep.

At some point, in middle of the night, I wake up and find her sleeping on top of me. I am very careful not to disturb her from her sleep as I wrap my arms around her and go back to sleep again. I can get used to this.

***********

It's 10.00 am in morning and she's still asleep and snoring lightly. I have been awake for last hour and I have been back to my room, got showered, got dressed, called interior decorator to have room refurnished ASAP. I am back here in her little room. She's still snoring. All that noise downstairs where the helpers are getting furniture is annoying my angel now. She groans in her sleep.

Still eyes closed, she moves her arm to the side of bed where I was sleeping last night and when she didn't find me, she jerks up from sleep.

"Hey. I am right here." She looks up at me and jumps to hugs me tightly.

"I... I had a nightmare. They were here."

"Hey. There's no one here. Look around. It's only me. And they can't reach you. No one will reach you. I promise."

"Thank you."

"Since you are awake now, get ready so we can start that date?"

"Can't we stay here all day and I can sleep?"

"Miss Sana. If you don't wake up, I will carry you."

"But I get only Sunday to sleep off."

"Why?"

"My boss is very demanding, and I have to work other days, all week." She pouts giving me her puppy eyes look. She looks fucking adorable.

"Tell me who your boss is baby. I will make him disappear." I give her 'I am very serious' look.

"You can't do that."

"Why not?"

"He's my eye candy. Easily the handsomest man in any room. I wouldn't want to work there if it was not for a pleasure of watching him all day long."

She stretch her arms and yawns, while licking her lips. I don't think she knows what that little action is causing me.

"Eye candy, huh?"

"Absolutely. I wonder how he taste though."

Is she trying to kill me? "Why Miss Sana. You sound very dirty."

"You don't know half of it baby."

"You're driving me crazy, woman. Go get dressed unless you want me to lift you and carry you on my shoulder."

"You wouldn't dare."

I move to pick her up, but she's quick. "You are very old, Mr. Lennox." The sound of her laugh is all I hear before she gets in bathroom to get showered and dressed.

I know we have a huge age gap of 9 years. I hope that doesn't matter to her or does it? I guess I need to have another conversation with her.

It must have been difficult for her to open up about those things last night. Who abuses their own child like that? I need to call Maddy later in order to look into her family. I hear those anklets, drawing me out of my thoughts.

Why is she not coming outside? She keeps making sound with those anklets.

"What is it baby?"

"I... I forgot to take my clothes inside and you're still sitting in here. So I can't come out."

I make a motion of getting up slowly and walking outside her bedroom.

"Will you finish walking today and reach the door already?"

"What?" I pretend to cough like an old man as I speak. "I thought you said I am too old."

"Fine. Do what you want. Looks like you don't want that date anymore and I can go back to sleep."

That made me pick my pace and walk out of her room. How is it possible that this little creature has me wrapped around her fingers? I am sitting in her living room now, admiring her paintings. Every single one of them shows the pain she have endured. Not anymore. I won't let any harm come to her ever again.

I am pulled out of my thoughts when I hear her question me. "Is there any specific place we are going?"

"Just wear something casual."

"Okay."

Then all I hear is her hum and sing Hindi songs while getting dressed.

"How do I look?" She was wearing a jeans and Orange floral top. I am knocked out of breath. She's so fucking beautiful that it hurts.

"You look beautiful, as always."

She lowers her gaze, looking down at her feet. This is the same girl who was so brazen few moments ago.

"Thank you."

"What are you holding those shoes for?"

"So I can wear them."

I know she doesn't wear shoes inside home. At least not the ones she uses outside. I did notice her fluffy unicorn shoes that she wears around the house in case she gets cold or else she's always barefoot.

"I thought women love heels." She just shrugs at me.

"I do. But it's too much pain and with shoes, I can run, no matter whatever situation it is."

This is what's so great about her. She doesn't fake or lie and deceive. She's just wild and doesn't require any taming and yet, she is innocent and pure, like vanilla.

"Are you planning to run away today? From me?"

"I am not planning on it, as long as you can keep up with me old man."

"Old man? I am not that old!"

"Okay, let's have a quiz. What's your favorite show growing up?"

"Friends."

"What's that?"

I look at her with shocked expression and she burst out laughing.

"Look at your face. I know what it is."

"Not funny."

"I am sorry." She comes close to me and run her fingers on my cheek, and just like I melt under her touch.

"If you keep touching me like that, you can call me whatever the fuck you want." She giggles.

"Come now. Let's leave."

I hold on to her hand, never letting go. When we reach downstairs, I reach to open the car door for her.

"Tesla?"

"Any problem?"

"No. I was just hoping for another motorcycle ride." I am surprised as to how much she likes motorcycles.

"Why?"

She moves around me and hugs me from behind, wrapping her arms on me.

"I can't do this when you're driving car."

I let out a ragged breath. Is it even possible to feel this strong about someone so soon? She's my drug and I am getting addicted.

My head is foggy, and I am trying to respond to her. I turn around and kiss her on lips and move my lips along her neck. "I can't do this from motorcycle."

"You... You can't do that even from car."

"I can. This car has auto-pilot."

Kiss.

"Once we reach..."

Kiss.

"Where we are going, I promise..."

Kiss.

"I promise to give you motorcycle ride."

"Mmmm." I love those little moaning sound she makes. I pull away from her and she groans, looking irritated.

A date. Finally a fucking date. I am nervous and excited. I hope she loves what I have planned for her.

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