Forbidden by Faith

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There comes a time in life when you regret having annoying little siblings. To me, that time was now. I am going to fucking murder my brother. I was finally doing some progress with Sana when he barged in.

I groan in frustration before looking at Sana. She looks flustered.

"Do you not know how to fucking knock?"

"I... Um... sorry to interrupt." Replies Andrew.

"Why are you i?" I ask, trying to control my anger.

"I thought you'd be miserable and alone." He winks.

That's it. "Well, as you can see, I have a company. Get lost now."

"Can I leave now? I can check these files at home." says Sana.

"No." I say right away.

"I think I should be going then. The weather looks bad outside. Do you want me to drop you, Sana?" Asks Andrew. She looks at Andrew and then back at me. The fool has a wide grin on his face while I am glaring daggers at him.

"No. Thank you, Andrew." I don't realize my fist was clenched and I was holding my breath until I hear her response.

After Andrew left, we are going through all the files as we prepare for upcoming presentations. Every now and then, when I try to get close to her, she would stiffen and change the topic back to work. It's almost night time now.

I watch her as she gently suck on the end of pen while being occupied with work. She lifts her head as if she knew I was watching her. She might have put on a brave face, but her eyes are still bloodshot from all the tears and lack of sleep, perhaps.

"So, this is it. We are all set, and I've completed everything you asked for." she tells me.

"Okay." I tell her as my mind keep thinking of ways to stop her from leaving.

"Is that all?" She asks.


"Alright then, I will leave." She is about to leave.

"Sana, wait. Can we please talk?"

"No. I have nothing to say to you."

"I want to know the truth."

"Valor." She sighs, looking defeated. "I will tell you everything you want to know, if you tell me what exactly happened with your ex-girlfriend."

"I..." I want to tell her. How foolishly I was in love with my ex and believed everything she had to say while all she was doing was making me look like a fool.

"Val... there is no point in trying this..." she says as she wrings her hand between us. "...whatever this is between us if you don't trust me." I was at the complete loss of words.

"Well?" She raises her eyebrow at me. I want there to be no secrets between us and at the same time, in the back of my mind I was back to being twenty-year old gullible boy.

"Sana..." I whisper, closing my eyes, as I try to move past the pain which keeps flashing in front of my eyes. I had promised myself that I wouldn't ever let anyone get close to me and not let anyone play with my emotions again. "Trusting any woman after that incident was impossible for me. And then, I meet you. So innocent and pure."

"I see that you don't want to talk about it. I will not force you." She says, turning around to leave and the huge part of me that wants her is desperate for her and I know in this moment, it is she who matters the most.

"She was pregnant." I say abruptly, halting her in her tracks. I continue, "It wasn't mine. She cheated on me."

She turns around and walks up to me. "Oh, Valor. I am so sorry. You didn't deserve it." I look at her and she looked genuine, not unlike those I have encountered over the years who assumed the worst of me.

"I blindly trusted her. She fooled me. Filed a lawsuit. I am forever labeled as 'women abuser'. I know that no one dares to call me that to my face, but I see it in their expression."

"Valor," she interlocks her fingers with mine as she brings her other hand on my face, grazing lightly on my jaw, forcing me to look at her. "You are not women abuser. I know what an abuser is like. You can never hurt any women. How did you find out that she was cheating on you?" She asks softly.

"I caught them together at my place." I tell her. "I wanted to marry her. Her deception destroyed me. Until you came along, I was fine burning my way through women. With all the flings I've had over the years, it seemed simple enough." I knew she believed me, unlike others, who believed juicy gossips over the truth.

"Valor, you deserved better."

"I don't know about that. Baby, I know you deserve someone better than me. But I am selfish, and I want you for myself. I can't let you go. I promise to be better person for you." I tell her. I pull her along with me and direct us to couch in the study.

"Sana, I told you everything you wanted to know. Now, it's your turn."

She sighs. "Okay. I guess you deserve to know. What is it you want to know?" She bites on her bottom lip nervously, an attempt to stop it from quivering.

"Everything from the start." I tell her.

She takes a deep breath while her face is blank. I can't really describe the expression on her face. She is here physically, but her mind and soul is elsewhere.

"My parents arranged my wedding. I had just finished my studies and wanted to have a career and other experiences in life. I didn't want to get married right away. But that wasn't an option for me." I listen. I can feel that she's reliving this as she says.

"Baba never appreciated a girl interfering in a decision made by men in our family. And me being me, so stubborn and all, we never saw eye to eye, but I always respected and loved my family and agreed to everything they asked for. They wouldn't decide anything that's bad for me, right? And my whole life was planned by my parents and elders."

Her eyes were welled up with tears as she is living the memory. I know the tough part is yet to come. I was an ass to leave her and walk out on her.

"Baba convinced me the man they chose for me is a very nice person. He worked here in States and I was to move here, along with him after wedding. I was reluctant at first, but he won me over, said I should pursue my career after wedding."

"I only met Saif twice before wedding. He seemed sweet and caring. He didn't want to wait or have a grand wedding. He said sharing this memory with only families would be nice. My family agreed. No questions asked."

I didn't dare to interrupt her, as I calmly listen. "Bhai was already disowned. He was not invited. He wasn't even in country. He called baba and begged to wait. Bhai thought something was fishy about this entire charade. And no matter how friendly Saif was, I just didn't feel anything for him. There was only this gut-wrenching feeling I would get, that it wasn't meant to be. But my Ammi said that I will eventually like him, and marriages are built on hard work and trust and the story or movie love wasn't real. I always dreamt of marrying for love. I wanted to wait until bhai was back in the country, but I was married off before that happened."

The rain had started to pour, but inside, it was dead silent, and I could hear her breathing.

"Why didn't you disagree?" I ask her, knowing it was pointless. I had seen her scarred back and I can definitely add things up.

"Who said I didn't? The marks you saw on my back were the result for arguing with their decision." My blood runs cold with her admission, confirming what I knew all along.

Her expression is hollow. She's merely a shell of girl I fell in love with. Giant brown eyes are staring blankly at the wall. She's completely fucking broken now and I'm worried about her, terrified that I'm not enough, my love will never be enough to heal her.

"It was all sham. The marriage, his words were all sham. Since he said he had a job here, that was the only reason my parents agreed to have my passport made. They gave him all share of my property and money. Or as you may know - dowry. I wonder how many girls he have used and if I was even his first victim."

"What happened?" I am dreading to hear what comes next. But no matter what she says, I am prepared this time.

"After wedding, he was a complete different man. He..." she fiddles with her fingers as she stares down her lap, tears running down her face.

I move closer as I see her shiver, holding her now freezing hand in mine, I circle my thumb against her skin, lazily. "What did he do, Baby?" I ask her.

She continues, "...He was a changed man. He would get mad at little things. I had to bear the wrath of his anger. Within few days after marriage, he had sold all property and left me. Later we found out that the wedding wasn't even legal. He had specifically requested that he brings the person who officiates the wedding. I wasn't allowed to question anything or check any paperwork related to wedding nor property."

Her words were ringing in my ears. She was cornered by her family into marrying someone she didn't want to. Her so called 'husband' was no better than her parents. Anger flares inside me. The monster inside me was tearing me to pieces and right now I wanted to inflict pain on everyone who had hurt her. I wanted to hunt down the man who had hurt her and tear him to shreds. Holding off my temper, I focus on her. "Didn't you file a complaint against him?"

She lets out a cold harsh laugh. "My family... they said forgot about the wedding. We hadn't invited anyone. It was easy for them to cover it up and not cost any gossip or embarrassment."

"After a week or so, my parents found out I was pregnant. They wanted me to abort my ..." She was crying. I pull her into my arms, and she doesn't protest. "I couldn't do it, Valor. I don't care what or how it happened. This was mine. I didn't want to commit the sin of being a murderer."

"So you ran away."

"Yes. I grabbed whatever I could. I sneaked out of house same way I did million times with my brother when we were kids. My family found out. As I disobeyed, my cousin brothers were asked to probably make sure to make it look like I never existed." Her revelations showed how hard the life had treated her and how complicated and messy things were. But she was too strong and dealt with it all alone and stood for what's right and I admired it about her.

"I got almost caught too." She breaks the silence as she traces her finger across the long scar on her arm.

"This I got from sword that night. My cousin... did this to me. We ... we played together when we were children. We spent our youth together. And they forgot all of it when it came to family's honor. They were supposed to protect me, their one and only sister in the whole family. The only daughter in my family."

"Oh baby." I am in tears now. I may have never cried in my entire adult life. But I broke down listening to everything she has endured. As I listen to her, I get the feeling that what happened to me all those years was nothing compared to what she had to endure all alone. She was so brave to go against her entire family and fight for what she believed in.

"And guess what? This is not yet over. They are still looking for me. Every now and then, they all go barge in my brother's home to harass him and his wife." I get a realization of why she don't want her pictures clicked.

"That's why you don't like pictures clicked."

"Yes. They can't find me Valor."

"I won't let that happen, Sana." I try to assure her. "I am so sorry for what you have endured."

"Don't... Don't pity me. Despite of all this, I am not broken."

"I know you're not." I cup her face with both my hands, wiping away her tears. "What you see in my eyes is an admiration for you, not pity. You are a fighter and survivor. You are my warrior queen. Why do you think I always call you my little lioness?"

"Baby. I was an utter fool. If you let me, I will spend rest of my days trying to gain your trust back. Of all people, I should have known how it feels to have the trust broken."

She absentmindedly grazes her fingers along my cheek. What is she thinking now?

She gets up from her seat, leaving me empty and hollow. "Valor... I... I appreciate you understanding my situation but I... I am quitting my job and I don't think we can go back to dating like we did before."

"What? Why?" I walk up to her, pulling her in my arms. "Can you please forgive me?" I ask her. "I promise I will work on my trust and anger issues. I don't want to ever hurt you again or lose you." I close the distance between us and nibble on her ears.

"I forgive you Val. I am sorry. I just need to look out for myself and I have baby on the way. My life is already complicated."

"Then let me uncomplicate it for you." I tell her. I feel the knots in my stomach as the fear of losing her grips on to me.

"I don't want to complicate your life, Val. Dating you would mean being in the limelight. I cannot take that risk. For a moment there, I allowed myself to follow my heart and it didn't end well. I can't do that again. Please."

I let my grip lose. I want to argue but I don't want to press the issue. She needs space, I am willing give it to her.

"I am so sorry to put you through all that heartache. I said things..." I remember the horrible things I accused her of. "I know you aren't like what I accused you of, Sana, but I said them anyway, assuming the worst and didn't let you clear the things."

"It's alright. That's in the past. I want to move forward in my life."

"Come on. I will drop you back to where you're staying." I tell her.

She rolls her eyes at me. "It's called home, Valor."

"No Sana, this is your home. I am giving you your space right now. We are not done." For a moment, it looked like she is about to argue, but then decides against it. The rain is still pouring. I am not sure if we should be even going out at this moment.

We drive in silence. The rain has stopped, having done its job of washing the air and leaving the city smelling cleaner. I see her rolling down the window as she inhales the sweetness and that beautiful smile appears on her face, resulting in that dimple on her right cheek and makes my heart squeeze. I've missed that smile so much. I am tempted to lean forward right now and explore that cute little indentation with the tip of my tongue.

I am drawn out of my thoughts when I hear her say. "Can you please stop the car here?"

"Why? Your place is few blocks away."

"I want to stop by an ice cream place."

"Right now? It just rained and it is cold outside."

She thrusts out her lower lip in a sad pout, arms crossed under her breasts. That innocent action plumps up her cleavage. I try not to stare and keep focused on her face.

Her pouty lips turn up and my dick hardens even more. "That's what baby want." I can't help that my lips curl into a smile.

"Okay then. That's what baby gets."

I get out of car and move around to open the door for her. She doesn't protest. These are little gestures on her part, but I know it's her way of putting her faith back in me.

After going through all flavors of ice cream, little vixen decides that she wants a snow cone. I don't complain. I like her relying on me and not being on edge. We get a snow-cone from a sidewalk vendor.

She slurps on her snow cone and heaves with pleasure, smile curving on her lips. How can someone find so much joy in a snow-cone? I have never known a girl who would like a street food and don't want to fine dine.

We are close to her home now. I don't want to let her go.

"Well, this is me. Thanks for the snow-cone and dropping me home."

I find myself leaning down to her giving her an option to back away, but she doesn't. I bring my hand to her jaw, cupping her face as my lips meet hers. Oh, how have I missed this feeling. My fingers tangled in her hair and the kiss becomes intense.

She drapes her arms over my shoulders, deepening the kiss and sliding her tongue along my lower lip. She's driving me crazy and I need to rein it in unless I want to take her right here, on the street.


"Yes." The way she moans is not helping. I restrain myself with great difficulty and pull away.

"Sweetheart, if you don't stop kissing me like that, I'm going to take you to bed and have my way with you."

Her eyes flew up to meet mine and a furious blush rose in her cheeks. She licks her lips nervously and my gaze dropped to them briefly before returning to her eyes.

"Are you not wearing your anklets?" I ask her.

"No". she replies back, still looking flushed from our earlier kiss.

"Why?" I ask as I lean forward, running my knuckle lightly down her cheek and feel her shiver at my touch.

"I... I... can't think straight when you do that. Please stop."

I see that her eyes closed. "Why aren't you wearing them?" I repeat again as I run my tongue along her neck, nibbling the skin over there. I can't believe I fucking messed up and was away from her for two fucking weeks.

"It... it reminded me of you. So I took it off."

"Will you please wear them back?"

"Y... yes." I pull away to watch her biting her bottom lip, her eyes fixed on ground.

"I want to take you out tomorrow. Is that okay?" I ask her, fully aware this might fire back.

She seems to think about it as my heart beats violently in my chest, afraid that she would say 'no'. "It doesn't seem like a good idea." She tells me. It wasn't a 'no'. I could see she was fighting her feelings, trying to keep them locked while those eyes told a different story.

I never had to put any efforts with women before. But I knew this timid looking woman in front of with the strength of lioness deserved everything I have. I was getting addicted to her in every possible way.

I know I would do anything to keep her close. She had me intoxicated. "I have some unfinished business with the photoshoot contracts tomorrow that I signed before taking over the company. I will send the car." I blurt out knowing she wouldn't make any excuse when it comes to work.


I was hoping she wouldn't fight this. "We are still working together, Sana."

"Yes. Right." She sounds disappointed. "Do you mind if I come by noon though?" she asks poising her face as she wrap arms around herself. "It's Sunday and I have made an appointment to check up on baby." She says quickly.

"What time?" I ask her. We are interrupted as the front door opens and Christina comes out. At this point, with all the interruptions that was my family and her friends, I just wanted to whisk her away somewhere far and keep her for myself.

"I was really curious about how long you are both going to stand and gaze at each other like idiots. But I am losing my patience as I have my favorite show to watch. You-" Christina points at Sana, "get in or get out. And you-" she points at me, "She'll be there tomorrow. And if you ever hurt her again like that, I am going to fucking murder you."

I just nod at Christina. I like that Sana has friends who would love to do anything for her.

I drove back to my empty mansion. The guilt of accusations I laid on her was eating me up. She deserved so much better, but I was selfish, and I cannot let her go. I just have to be better for her. I wanted to show her that she meant the world to me. I wanted to find a way to tell her that I love her. I shower and get into bed and decide to text her when sleep doesn't take over. "Hello."

I immediately get a response. "Hey."

"Were you asleep?"

"No. I couldn't sleep."

"Why?" I text back.

I didn't get any respond from her, so I shoot another text. "Are you okay? Is baby okay?"

"What time is your appointment?" I get worried when I don't get response. Why was she not responding?

"Hey. Sorry. Battery died. I am okay. Baby is okay. Appointment is at 10.00 am. okay. Calm down." I didn't realize I was holding my breath waiting for her response.

"Okay. Sweetheart. You take rest now. Love you."

The moment I hit send, I realize what I had just sent her. What the fuck? Did I just say her "love you" for very first time in text?

I wait anxiously for her reply, it never comes.

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