Forbidden by Faith

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Sana Khan


The day definitely hadn't started well with my boss calling me in to work on a weekend, but it did end well.

I can't believe that he was so patient with me. All of my secrets were out in open. He didn't judge, didn't pity. I so wanted to give in to my feelings and finally tell him that I loved him. But I couldn't be selfish anymore and I didn't want to complicate Val's life in all this.

I know I will be quitting my job and I also told him that we can't go back to dating. But Val stood his ground. I sigh and smile curves on my lips as I get into my apartment. I have never ever felt so important to anyone before. But Val treats me like I am the most important thing in his life.

"So.... what did you do?" asks Christina teasingly.

"Nothing."

"Val and Sana standing on the street. K. I. S. S. I. N. G." She teases again as she wrap her arms around her body, imitating the kiss.

I feel my face heat at her comment. "That doesn't even rhyme."

"So?" We go sit on the couch while we speak.

"I told him everything."

"Everything? And he didn't panic?"

"No. He was so sweet and patient with me, and somehow I feel all my burdens are lifted."

"That sounds good."

"I know. But I told him that I am quitting the job and it's probably the best if we don't see each other."

"Why the fuck would you do that? I thought you liked him." Christina points out the obvious.

I did more than just 'like' him. But I don't tell her that. "Christina, he's been through a lot. I can't complicate things for him. I will be having a baby soon."

"And do you think he missed out on that information? Sana, Valor knows everything and yet he wants to be with you. Just give him a chance and see where it goes. You owe it to yourself. Maybe what you both need is each other."

Christina was probably right. I remember how stubborn he was about 'not letting me go' part. I probably have these dreamy eyes and I can't stop smiling.

"Was he that good in bed?" I hear Christina ask.

"I..." I am sure that she can see my face redden.

"What? You didn't have sex with him yet?"

"I... No."

"Shut up." She has her mouth hanging open. "You do see that hunk of a man, right? Those tats and piercings... yum... Have you at least seen where those tattoos end?

"Are you not dating someone right now? Stop gawking at what's mine." I tell her.

She bursts into a laughter. "You are so fucking jealous. I thought you broke up with him. Make up your mind woman."

"I am going upstairs."

"What about food?"

"I need to get showered and changed first." I leave her still laughing. I go to my room and get showered and changed into my nightwear. I am very tired; I feel nauseous and my stomach hurts and I cannot sleep. I miss Val.

As I wonder if I should text him or not, my phone chimes with a text from him. "Hello."

I smile to myself. It's like he read my mind. I immediately reply back. "Hey."

"Were you asleep?" I get another text.

"No, I couldn't sleep." I chime back. Great! My phone's dead. I plug it to the power bank and head downstairs to check on Christina.

"Are you okay?" Christina asks as she looks up from doing the dishes.

"I feel nauseous and my stomach hurts." I tell her.

"At this stage, it's normal. Don't worry." I look at her blankly.

"What? I am studying to become a doctor." She shrugs off.

I am preoccupied by my own thoughts and Christina calls out my name. "I am sorry. So what were you saying?" I ask her.

"We were supposed to move out this weekend remember?" She asks.

"Allah. I totally forgot about that. We paid deposit already. What's the rush? We can do it during the week or the next weekend right?" I shrug.

"Easy for you to say! Every time I bring over a guy, Matt hovers and scares them off." I laugh at her comment. That was brutal to watch indeed.

Finally my phone restarts. And along with that, comes the string of messages. As I scroll through the messages from Val and respond to him, I am interrupted by Christina. "Did you even listen to what I was saying? Are you sexting?"

"Christina, I wouldn't come to kitchen and sext in front of you. I would do it from my bedroom." I wink at her. "Besides, you were complaining about your love life." I tell her as I hit send, replying to the last text I get from Val about appointment time.

"Why you little devil. Didn't know you had it in you. He's making you bold." Christina teases back as she snatches phone from my hand as the phone blinks again with text. I try to reach and get my phone back, when she accidentally slips it in the sink filled with water.

"No... no... NO. Christina!"

"I am so sorry. I didn't mean to."

"Text him from work phone. Your personal cell was old anyways. Now you get a reason to buy a new one."

"I can't text him from work phone Christina. That's very inappropriate. What if it's monitored?"

"Girl, you are in love with your boss. You can't top 'inappropriateness' more than that."

The moment she utters that, I stare down at my feet. "Oh my! You're in love with Valor fucking Lennox."

"Shut up, Christina."

"Hell, No. I am so happy for you." She says as she smothers me with a hug, her hands wet with soapy water.

"You are not going to lecture?" I ask her.

"Nope. That's for Pooja. And if she pisses you off, I am back on table for an opportunity of being a God mother. Besides, you will not listen to anyone no matter we have to say because you're in love. All I want is you to be happy and we are all here if things go down the drain."

"Wow... that's good and bad. Thanks for having my back." I hug her again.

I go back to my room and search for my work phone. But I can't seem to find my phone. Dammit. I left it at Val's. Allah. How will he contact me tomorrow? I keep worrying about it when sleep finally takes over.

It's morning and although I am not a morning person, I wake early and excited. I finish my morning prayer and get dressed into something bold. I know I have to be at my appointment before I go to Valor's place for work, and I am not sure what time he will be sending the car.

Also, I was not sure how to bring up the subject of us getting back together. I thought of what Christina said last night and I wanted Val in my life. I couldn't imagine a life without him. I understand now what he said when he accused me, it was all the insecurities he felt after the pain he had been through with his ex and it was time that we left our past behind and moved forward in our lives.

I decide to go bold with an off-shoulder blue dress with black polka dots and a flowy girth. I know blue is Val's favorite color. I wasn't allowed to dress this way back home and I feel exposed and excited. I was also curious to find out Val's reaction. I remember him asking me to wear my anklets, so I do.

I get out of my room and Christina's mouth is hanging open. "Would you stop doing that?" I ask her.

"You look fucking hot. Valor is gonna lose his mind." She teases. Well... I do hope so. As I didn't have my phone, I didn't know what time he would send the car.

We head downstairs as we hear the doorbell ring. I ask Christina, "Where's Matt?"

"I believe he left early in morning." She says as I move to the living room to open the door. "Sana, he seems a little disturbed. I am worried about him although he can be such a prick at times."

"I will talk to him." I assure her. Matt was an amazing friend and he deserved so much. I feel sad knowing I am the cause of his shitty mood lately.

"Don't leave without breakfast." Christina yells from kitchen. I open the door to see Val waiting outside, holding on to his leather jacket with a finger over his shoulder and bouquet of red roses in his other hand. He was wearing half sleeved white t-shirt pairing it with a ripped jean. For the past couple days with our fight and everything else, I had missed the feeling of being close with this Beast of a man I was in love with. Deeply and fiercely; His expression changes when he sees me.

My eyes sweeps from his face to his chest. His tattoos were clearly visible with that shirt. He clears his throat and my eyes immediately move back to his smirking face.

Suddenly, I feel my throat go dry. "Hi... Christina snatched my phone while we were texting and it was broken and I left my work phone at your place, so I couldn't text you. I am sorry. Why are you here, Val? Why the hell am I rambling?" I mutter the last part to myself, but I'm sure he heard it.

He smiles and pulls me into a hug, placing a feather like kiss on my lips, making me shiver. "Baby, calm down. Take a deep breath." I start to relax against his huge frame when he whispers in my ear. "First of all, you look breathtakingly beautiful. I literally do not remember how to fucking breathe. What are you doing to me?" He says as he hands me a bouquet of Roses. Those piercing green eyes burns through me and I feel exposed. I am contemplating my decision of wearing this dress now.

"Thank you and thanks for the flowers." I finally manage to utter some words, with uncertainty of why he was here at this time. "Val, why are you here?" I ask him.

"I came to pick you up for your appointment. I tried calling you, and I couldn't reach to your personal cell. Now I know why." He says. "What was the last text you got from me?" he asks, and I feel he is kind of being on edge.

"The last text I got from you was you asking me the time of appointment." He looks relieved. I wonder what he had texted after that. "I... Thanks. You didn't have to come." It was so sweet of him wanting to be a part of this. I realize he had other commitments for today. "What about your photoshoot?"

"I rescheduled it for later today. It can wait. Sana, you both are more important." He says, as he moves his hand to my tiny baby bump and my heart starts going frenzy with those little flips again. "No matter how long it takes you to take me back, I am staying."

"Thank you, Val."

"Did you have breakfast? I know you are not an early bird and you have a habit of skipping meal." He knew me too well.

"No, I didn't eat anything since last night. I was having stomach ache." I tell him.

"Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you call?" That frown on his forehead was back and seems like he is about to carry me bridal style.

"What are you doing?" I ask him, backing away.

"Carrying you to car. You're in pain. You said it yourself."

"I am fine now. I can walk. Besides, I stay with two people out of which one of them is a very successful doctor." His eyes shoot up to my face, with a concern and a flash of hurt before he masks it away.

We stop for breakfast on our way to hospital. Once we reach, we wait in Matt's office.

"How's my ..." Matt trails off as he sees Valor there. "What's he doing here?"

"Have you considered any other doctor who's more efficient?" points out Valor. This was a bad idea. A very bad idea. With Val here, I couldn't talk to Matt to clear air between us.

They were already at each other's throat, now sneering at each other, not backing down. Matt had disadvantage of height and built while compared to Val, as he towered over him. I am afraid if I didn't do anything sooner, the sweetest doctor on this planet would be beaten to bloody pulp. "Valor. Matt. Please be civil." I tell them. It was not working.

When they don't back down, I insert myself between them, placing my hand softly on Valor's chest. His face softens as he looks down at me. "Baby, please" I tell him.

"Sure, Hun." He says placing a kiss on my cheek.

I turn to Matt, "Matt, play nice. Please." He just heads inside and comes back with a gown I have to change into, for my sonography. "Do what you want. It's your life." He says before taking his leave.

Once I am changed into a gown, I go lie down on Obstetric table like usual. Matt applies some lubricating gel on my abdomen and glide a transducer over it with mild pressure. The image on screen appears. Valor's been on my side this whole time.

"That's the heartbeat." I state the obvious as fresh tears roll down my eyes. My baby. I know I have heard it before, but it still felt like the first time. I know I got friends who treats me better than my family ever did. Nevertheless, this wasn't how I dreamt of living the joy of motherhood. I wish I had a family to share this joy with. I didn't know how serious Val was about staying by my side. It would be different if he loved me, but did he?

Valor seems to have noticed it. He holds my hands firmly, before bringing my hand to his lips and kissing the tip of my fingers

"Actually, it's heartbeats." Says Matt.

"Obviously, it's mine and baby's right?" A smile appears on my face.

"No silly, It's twins. We may have missed it in last sonography. If you remember correctly, the heartbeat was not so strong during last checkup. Would you like a picture?"

"Yes, please." Val tells before I can as he kisses my forehead. I watch him as he eagerly looks at the screen. "Are they healthy?" he asks Matt.

"They are perfectly fine and healthy."

"Why is her bump not growing? Shouldn't she have a little bigger bump by now?

I watch back and forth as their conversation continues. These two men were the same people earlier at each other's throat. I am amazed to see Val asking all these questions. I know he cares a lot, but this concern was whole another level.

"It's normal. Some mothers won't show anytime soon. Just don't let her stress out anything. Okay?"

"Sure. When can we find a sex of the babies?" asks Val. He sounds so excited.

"She's 12 weeks now. After 6-7 weeks from now, we will be able to find the sex of twins. I am writing down some prenatal tablet for her. Make sure she takes it on time. She also needs to eat healthy and on time." Matt was a complete professional and there was no hint of their earlier scuffle. They looked much like best friends.

Once finished with checkup, I change back into my dress. I come to find only Matt inside his office. "He's waiting outside." He says as he writes down my prescription.

"Matt..."

"I have another patient coming in." He says, his attention back on his laptop. I walk out, feeling upset. Tears threat to fall. Matt was here for me from day 1 and I feel hurt by his behavior towards me and I know I am the cause of his rudeness.

I see Val's still on his phone. He turns around and I see him smile. He ends the call and walk up to me. "Is everything okay?" he asks, worry taking over his handsome face.

"Yes." I tell him. I am glad he doesn't push the matter. We take my prescription and head out to his car.

"Val, do you have my office phone?" I ask him.

"No. I left it at home. I thought you would come to collect it if you didn't want me to come along for your appointment or in case you decide to stop working for me right away." He says.

"Why would I want my work phone if I quit?" I raise my eyebrow at him. Before he could reply, we are interrupted by the security guy waiting on parking barricade and Val takes out his wallet to get the parking validated. I see he has the sonography image in his wallet and there's my picture in there too.

My heart thumps so loud that I can hear it. "Where did you get that picture?" I ask pointing at my picture.

"Sweetheart, I have my ways." He winks as he scratch his scruffy beard. "Now tell me what that pretty boy said to hurt you?"

"It's nothing. I don't want to talk about it." I tell him. "Can I borrow your phone? I need to check on Christina to see if she's okay to move out her stuff or if she needs my help."

"Sure. Where's she going?" Val asks as he hands me his phone.

"Oh. We rented apartment together and we were supposed to move out few things today. But work came up." I see him smile at the last part. I see the screen has the wallpaper with our picture on it.

Once I talk to Christina, I end the call and hand his phone back. "So you rented out new place?" he asks, that frown popping up again as he keeps his eyes on road.

"Yes. It didn't feel right to stay with Matt. It was Christina's idea in the first place. She took me there when she saw me wandering, away from mansion searching for Uber that nigh." I regret the instant I say it. Great. I wanted to tell him how I felt about him and instead I ended up hurting his feelings for sure.

Once we reach his mansion, he asks me to get inside and head out again, saying that he has some last-minute work that needs his attention.

It is an outdoor shoot. An entire place was bustling with people, busy setting up the light settings and few other photo shoot equipment.

I didn't know anyone here, so I find myself a corner and stay there, hoping to go unnoticed. Unfortunately, I wasn't so lucky as the most beautiful brunette walks by, asking me to fix her hair and do her makeup. "Please tell me you are not my make up person." She says rudely.

"Oh, believe me. I am not." I assure her. With her attitude problem and the mood I have been in lately, I will probably shave off her head for pissing me off. It's almost an hour before Val is back. I would have walked up to him, but he looks busy, letting the model know how she should pose and how her hair should look. This man is multi-talented. He is CEO, chairman and president of his company and by the looks of it, he is a brilliant photographer. And my mind wanders to how much of a good kisser he is and a magician with his long fingers...

I am interrupted from my thoughts when he looks around, his eyes searching for me. He waves his hand at me and I feel giddy as a school girl. He walks up to me, excusing himself from the skinny legs from earlier.

"I am so sorry. I didn't think it would take so long. Can I get you something to eat?" he asks.

"I am not hungry. It's alright." I assure him.

"You can head inside and rest if you want." He says, pulling me against his larger frame. I loved feeling him this close to me.

"And miss you in action? No ways. You want any help?" I ask as I place my hand on his chest and watch him close his eyes.

"No. Just stay by my side."

"So you love photography. Why would you want it to be last one?"

"As you know, this passion helped me travel around the world. I don't need that anymore. I want to be grounded now. I have found what I have been looking for." His eyes are burning flame within me. I get these butterflies in my stomach.

Our little bubble of ecstasy is burst when a lean brunette from earlier walks in and drapes her arms around Val. I glare at him. He looks panicked. Good! He untangles her arms from around him.

"What's wrong babe?" asks the brunette still trying to cling to Val.

I was starting to get very much irritated now. Is there anyone in here he didn't sleep with? I hear a familiar voice from behind, that I haven't heard in ages. "I just fucking land and you call me for photo shoot."

I turn around and there he is. "Madhav?"

********
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