Forbidden by Faith

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Valor Lennox

Chapter 6

Valor Lennox

Last night, when I heard the explosion, I was filled with panic. What if something had happened to her? The woman is so stubborn. Couldn’t she just say that she didn’t know how to cook.

I was so fucking worried. She reached out softening my frown. I didn’t want her to stop touching me. I ended up kissing her.

Now I knew few things about her. She still wouldn’t talk about her old injuries. She didn’t say why she was running from her home. And I will not force her.

Now she’s in my study wearing a simple white Indian attire and she’s absolutely breath-taking. How can someone look so beautiful and pure? My voice is struck in my throat. I want to say something. It’s just that I can’t…

I know she’s been standing there for a while now. So it’s not just me. She too have started to catch feelings. Hopefully. So I say the only thing that comes to my mind.

“Are you gawking at me, sweetheart?”

She blushes furiously before changing her demeanour to complete professional. And then she greets me by saying, “Good morning, Mr. Lennox.”

I thought we were past that. Are we back to fucking ‘Mr. Lennox’ now?

“You make me feel too old.”

“Well, how old are you?” I didn’t expect her to ask that. Then I hear calling herself stupid and I cannot contain my laughter anymore.

“Didn’t you google me before applying for a job?”

“No, I haven’t. Are you supposed to someone very important?” I am surprised to hear her say that. Everywhere I went, people knew me. This was refreshing though.

“I am thirty-two. And to answer your second question, I suggest you really check that out for yourself.”

“You are old.” She mutters to herself but I heard that. When I look up at her, she covers her mouth with both her hands.

I have a strange feeling that she’s trying to distance herself from me. She seats herself opposite to me, out of my reach.

Once we discuss all the work, we call it a day and she says she’s going shopping.

She refuses to take my credit card, again surprising me. I felt disappointed when she didn’t want me to come along. She’s been avoiding any eye contact with me since this morning. This woman is so different from the ones I have met before and she’s driving me crazy.

It’s just been about an hour or so, I feel lonely sitting here all alone at home. I feel restless not having to hear her anklets making any sound.

What is she doing to me?

I go to my garage and get into my Ford pickup truck and drive to Violet’s boutique.

Once I reach there, I just go looking for Sana ignoring what Violet is saying to me. That’s when I hear the conversation.

I don’t see Sana. I think she’s trying out the dresses while having conversation with her friend seated outside.

I hear their entire conversation and how Sana was defending me although her friend was trying to warn her about me. I notice that Sana looks annoyed when she pops her head out of dressing room, defending me yet again to her friend.

“It doesn’t matter, he is a nice person.” Says Sana.

I am surprised to hear her say that. No one in the world would define me as a “nice person”.

I feel this weird emotion welling up inside of me. The way her eyes sparkled when she spoke about me and defended me. It seemed like her friend bad mouthing me offended her more than it would ever offend me.

What her friend said was true. But I don’t want to be like that anymore. I wasn’t the same from the time I had met her. I wanted to be worthy of her.

From the time she’s bumped into me, even without her being present or being close to me, she made me want to be better. She had made an impact on me.

Now I know what I want. All I want to be her everything and I want her to be mine. All these years, that restlessness, that feeling of emptiness I was feeling seems to be evaporating since I have met her.

I slowly move away and walk up to the hallway. I stand there waiting for her to come out.

I can’t stop smiling, thinking about her. I look up to see the large brown eyes looking at me. And her friend had her mouth hanging open. Sana reach out and close her friend’s mouth.

“Took you long enough.” I say, addressing Sana.

“I… What are you doing here?” Her voice is stern.

“I... I had some business close by. I thought I would drop by and save you taxi fare.” Yes, I am lying and probably she knows it too because I see those huge beautiful eyes narrow at me.

“Mr. Lennox. As you can see, I am out with a friend. You didn’t have to come here.”

I hate to hear her call me Mr. Lennox. It sounds too formal. Today, the entire day, she was behaving distant and addressing me Mr. Lennox. I don’t like it.

I completely ignore her and introduce myself to her friend. After all that, we go to billing section. The girl at the counter takes cash from Sana and hands her the bill.

Violet comes outside and drapes her arm around my neck.

Violet’s an ex. Now I regret coming here and sending Sana here to get the things she needed. I jerk back unlocking her arm from my neck the moment she tries to kiss me.

“What is it babe?” Violet asks trying her sultry tone.

“Violet. We ended our arrangement. A long time ago, if you remember.”

“Then why are you here if it’s not for me?”

I look at Sana and she has this ice cold expression on her face. But her eyes don’t seem to agree with her “I don’t care” attitude. I walk up to her and hold her chin in my hand, making her look at me.

“Why of course. My girlfriend was shopping and I came here to pick her up. Isn’t that right darling?” I was worried that she wouldn’t go along with it. But surprisingly, she did.

“Of course, honey bear.” Honey bear? That’s nice!

I lean in for a kiss and lightly brush my lips against hers. She relaxes in my arms and it feels all real in this moment.

We walk out of there, holding hand in hand. She doesn’t say anything until we reach my truck.

“It was fun to watch her squirm, Mr. Lennox. But don’t you use me again like that. Shielding you from your play toys is not in my job description.” She was trying so hard to mask her feelings and it would’ve work too, if not for those beautiful eyes of hers. They cannot hide anything from me. They had mind of their own and they spoke to me everything she wanted to hide.

“She’s an ex and she was coming on to me. I didn’t want you to think that I am a sleaze.”

“Mr. Lennox. What you do and who you do is not my business.” Again with fucking Mr. Lennox.

She moves away from me and starts walking to God knows where. I grab her hand and pull her around, locking my arms around her.

“Why?” I ask her.

“What why?” she looks confused.

“Why is it not your business?” I ask her, clarifying the question for her benefit.

“….”

“Sana.” I know I hint a warning in my tone.

“I…”

I am inches away from her face. I can feel her rapid breath. She smells like a meadow and sunshine and flowers and my favourite smell – Sana.

I lean closer to her ear and I brush my lips lightly against her skin causing her to shiver and slowly whisper, “I want to be your business.”

“This... this is highly inappropriate.”

“Why?” I ask her.

“I… There’s so many things about me that you don’t know.”

“I don’t care.” I wanted her more than the air I needed to breathe. I know we don’t know anything about each other and it’s been only two days since we met. But I felt like I’ve known her forever.

“You say that now. But you’ll probably end up hating me. I come with lot of baggage.” She says as she struggles to get out of my arms, her both hands pushing against my chest and making my heart pound in the process.

“I will never hate you, sweetheart.”

“Please. You wouldn’t understand.” She looks down defeatedly.

“I want you sweetheart. I want to make you mine.”

“We can’t do this. This is not right. We cannot be anything more than a boss and employee.” She’s pleading now. Her big brown eyes well up with unshed tears. A sudden anger flares up and burns brightly inside me.

“So you have made up your fucking mind to not even give me a chance?” I yell at her before I release her from my arms and walk back to my truck.

I know I shouldn’t be leaving her there alone. I sit there in my truck trying to calm myself. She doesn’t want me? Fine. I can be cold to her like I am to others. Why the fuck was she affecting me so much?

I look in rear view mirror to see that she’s taking a cab. I was really hoping that she’d get in my truck.

“Son of a bitch!” I curse myself.

I drive off to home. I know she’s there inside. The only way I can tell is that I hear her anklet sound occasionally. I don’t know what she’s having for dinner. She doesn’t know to cook. I remember that she didn’t eat anything since last night. Why the fuck am I caring so much?

I go get showered and go to sleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night from all the nightmares. They are back. I can’t sleep anymore. I get dressed and go downstairs, starting my Harley and go for a ride to clear my mind.

I want to know why. Why wouldn’t she give us a chance? It was first time in last twelve years I felt this way. The entire weekend goes by and now it’s Monday. I haven’t seen her since Saturday evening when I left her outside Violet’s boutique. I was hoping to talk to her while I drive us to work, and reason with her. But she’s gone to office so fucking early in the morning.

When I reach office, I notice that she’s already working, typing away on her laptop. She is sitting in her cabin, next to mine. The moment she sees me, she gets up from her place and comes to my cabin.

“Mr. Lennox. You have a meeting scheduled at 4.00 pm with John Cooper. These are all the details.” She hands me a file.

I know what bloody important deal it is. Uncle John may be family friend, but that old man was pain in ass when it came to business. That’s where Kevin got his drive and thrill for business. There was one difference between Uncle Cooper and Kevin though. While Uncle Cooper was polite, Kevin crushed his rivals in business. He was ruthless businessman. Maybe catching up with him and Dominic would help my situation. Why the fuck am I letting my life effect by this one girl. I don’t want to care, but I do.

She is not even looking at me. “Is there anything else you need, Mr. Lennox?” she asks, still not meeting my eyes.

Yes, I want you. I don’t say it out loud though. “I want you there in the meeting.”

“But…” I cut her off right away.

“There’s no ‘but’ Ms. Khan. The very first day I told you what this job will require. And we have a fundraiser event to attend coming Saturday. Add it to the calendar. It’s at 8.00 pm.” If she can be professional, so can I.

“Alright, Mr. Lennox. If that’s all you need.”

She leaves my office just like that. No argument, no fight. Well. This is what she wanted right?

********

At 3.55 pm

We go to a conference room. I am glad to see Andrew here. He pulls a chair for Sana. But she smiles at Andrew and politely declines him, and walks up to sit next to me. I get jealous and happy at the same time. Why? I am fucking jealous that she gives away that amazing one sided dimpled smile to everyone at office, but me. Yes, I have noticed her dimple only comes on the right cheek. And yes, it’s her first day and people already love her. But my heart is now jumping with joy as she sits next to me.

She opens up her laptop. Uncle John comes inside conference room and introduces himself to my team.

“Enough with the introductions. As you may know, I happen to have thousands of stores internationally. I want to get in more customers. Bring in the ideas kids.”

Uncle John was in his late Sixties, still exploring new ventures like a true businessman. He is the reason Kevin got his insane controlling issues and the extreme drive for business.

The team starts pitching in ideas on how we can make sure more customers get attracted to offers and visit the stores. I look at Sana from the corner of my eyes. She’s analysing what everyone’s saying. Every now and then, she opens her mouth and then shuts it.

Then she interrupts out of nowhere. I should have known. I want to hear what she’s gotta say.

“Sorry for interrupting, but why don’t you offer online deliveries? We can even design the app to your liking.” She turns her laptop and show us the statistics of online shopping compared to people going to store and buying groceries.

“About 80 percent of Americans shop online. Our main target should include people who are busy in day to day work, students who stay away from home and need groceries. And as for elderly people who find it difficult to navigate online, you can offer them a contact centre number where they can call and set up the order with the time they are available to have it delivered.”

“I love the idea. Why wasn’t this told before, Val?” He asks me and I am speechless, still surprised with Sana.

“You got the deal, Val.” He says as he gets up from his seat. He shakes my hand before pulling me into a hug.

He turns to look at Sana. “What’s your name dear?”

“Sana Khan, Sir.”

“Beautiful and unique, my dear.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“Val, I want her to lead this project.” If it was someone else telling me what to do, I would probably ask them to shove their opinion where sun don’t shine. But this was Uncle John and I’ve known the old man since I was a kid.

“Of course, Uncle John. After all, this was her idea.” Everyone from the team takes their leave. Andrew goes with Uncle John to walk up to his car. I am left alone here with my beautiful personal assistant who looks like she is still trying to wrap her head around the entire rendezvous.

“Uncle John is a family friend.” I say, trying to have an excuse to have her here, close to me.

“Okay.”

Any other person would have waited eagerly for a praise from their bosses, but this little vixen behaves like it’s not a big deal. She closes her laptop and walks away from me, out of the conference room.

“That was a good pitch.” She stops at my voice, slowly turning around, her hand still at the door handle of the conference room. This woman is killing me, slowly and in the torturous way possible, not just with the way she looks, but by her so innocent attitude. And the worst part is she has no fucking clue about it. All I wanted to do was to grab her and kiss her hard and do so much more, right here, right now in this conference room.

“Thank you, Mr. Lennox.” And then she opens the door and walks away.

The entire week goes by and we haven’t spoken about what happened last Saturday. I try to, but apart from being my assistant, she’s also leading a project for Cooper Industries now.

We are slammed at office. Sana is putting in extra hours with the team and spending lot of time with Andrew. That fucker keep sending me pictures. All she does is avoid me. I don’t get a chance to speak to her in office. She leaves early morning before I wake up and even though I stay late at office, she slips out without informing me. Every day, one or the other team member informs me that she already left. I am glad it’s Friday today. Finally, we all can relax.

I head to the conference room to see the progress of my team on the project, not so much eager about the project and honestly speaking, I am just desperate to see her. The little vixen, or should I say the beautiful witch, had me tangled in her spell. I notice she’s not in the room. I know she gives me an update every morning. I was just hoping to see her. Did she leave early today?

“Hey brother.” Says Andrew the minute he sees me.

“Hey”. I reply back, my eyes still searching for her.

“She already left.”

“Where to?” I ask and he hesitates to answer me.

I turn to my team, “Where’s Sana?”

“She already left. She had a date tonight.” Says one of the team member and for the love of God, I can’t remember her name.

I feel like someone pulled a rug from under me. A date? A fucking date? When she wouldn’t even give me a fucking chance? What the fuck?

Why the fuck am I trying to talk things over and try to reason with her when she runs off and avoids me on every chance she gets. I know what I had to do. I need to get rid of this pain radiating in my chest.

I drive to the one place I have been going since the first time someone broke my heart and where I swore off falling for someone else ever. A pub called Party Favours.

By then, the club owner and one of my friend since my days in Harvard, Mason Harper walks by with two brunettes on his arm. Now, he was the playboy material. He had no morals whatsoever.

“Hey. My man. It’s been a long time since I saw you here. I thought you were dead.” He says and I just let out a harsh laugh at his jest as I down my strong whiskey.

“Like anything you see?” he asks, his eyes still locked on one of the brunettes. A lady from his right arm moves forward and gets herself seated on my lap. She’s about to kiss me when I stop her. In past twelve years, the only woman I kissed was Sana. I can’t do this. Kissing was too intimate to me and I didn’t want to do it with some hussy. I don’t have a fucking clue why, but I can’t do this. I felt like I was cheating on Sana, although nothing happened between us more than a kiss and she was currently on a fucking date, probably kissing her date the same way she had reciprocated to my kiss. I grab a whiskey bottle and down it in gulp. The taste and the burn of whiskey subsides the pain I feel in my fucked up heart.

After few more hours of drinking and no whoring around, I book Uber to go home. Yes, I drove here and I cannot drive back in this state.

I can’t see fucking steps to get inside. My vision is blurry and I trip. I am waiting to hit the ground and it never happens. Instead, I hear a soft voice, calling my name – Val.

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