Warning: This is the last chapter til this evening – I’m going out for lunch with a friend today 🙂
Six months. Daaem had been married for six months. Because of this, Daaem had been celibate for six months – something that hadn’t happened since he was fifteen.
He was frustrated. Incredibly so. Worse, there were twice as many women throwing themselves at him as before he’d gotten married.
Daaem had never been the type to cheat. If he grew tired of a woman, he’d let her know and then move on to the next one. His current situation was completely foreign to him and he had no idea how to handle it.
He couldn’t get rid of Aabirah. And he wasn’t bored with her either. If she’d offered, well, he’d be more than willing. But Aabirah was hours away and the last time he’d seen her, she’d made it perfectly clear that she wanted nothing to do with him. Daaem wouldn’t force her and he certainly wouldn’t run after her.
But that had led him to his current problem. He’d somehow gone six months without any female company and his self-control was dangerously weak. Something had to give or he was going to find himself once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
For the thousandth time, he cursed both his wife and his in-laws. The only thing his marriage had done for him was curb his impulsiveness somewhat. He hadn’t gotten the girl, he had more women trying to attract him and his wife’s family were just as bad as she herself.
Worse, people kept asking after Aabirah, wanting to meet her. Daaem knew it was only a matter of time before he’d have to bring her back to the city to parade her around a bit – if she even cooperated.
The thought of Aabirah making some kind of scene and dragging his name through the muck made him shudder. He’d seen what scorned women could do to men’s reputations and he had no way of ensuring that Aabirah wouldn’t do the same thing to him.
On the estate, she was isolated enough that there was no easy way for her to contact the press but in the city, Daaem would have to have her under a twenty-four hour guard if he wanted to make truly sure that she had no chance to ruin him.
He groaned. There was one other option – he could bribe her. The thought made him nauseous. He hadn’t provided her with any kind of allowance but their whole relationship had begun as a result of money and he was reasonably sure that she would cooperate for a chance to wring more of it out of him.
This wasn’t something that could be negotiated over the phone. He’d have to make a trip to the estate and talk to her in person. Daaem huffed irritably before calling for Emma and instructing her to take care of the arrangements. He’d be dropping in on Aabirah for the weekend.
Aabirah was bored. This was nothing new – she was often bored. The estate was only so big and six months with nothing to do had allowed her to get to know every inch of it – thoroughly.
The few friendships she’d had in the city had fizzled out either because of the distance or because of her reluctance to giggle and gush over Daaem. She knew that she came across as spoilt and ungrateful but she refused to admit the truth or pretend that her husband was anything but a pig.
She’d resorted to spending her days in the library or vegged out in front of the TV until her eyes hurt from the strain. There was nothing to do. Her days seemed to blur into one another.
The changing seasons had entertained her for a while but even that got boring eventually. She needed something to do, she realized. She needed a friend or a hobby or something to keep her from going insane.
So far, nothing had presented itself. She wished something new would happen.
That evening, Aabirah cursed herself for wanting excitement. She’d just been informed that Daaem would be arriving at the estate for the weekend.
Dread and panic made her stomach churn. “Did he happen to mention how long he’d be staying?” she asked Holly.
“Just for the weekend, ma’am.”
“Right. Thank you,” she dismissed Holly and began to play with her meal, not hungry and longer.
Daaem was coming. What did he want? She knew better than to think he was divorcing her – he wouldn’t have made a trip for that.
Either he missed the estate, something that she doubted since Holly had mentioned that he hated it, or he had something to talk to her about.
She wasn’t naive enough to hope that it had nothing to do with her.
She couldn’t imagine what had driven him to actually come back. Surely whatever it was could have been discussed remotely? He could have called or emailed…
Aabirah blinked as she realized that she didn’t have Daaem’s phone number. And unless her father had given it to him, he didn’t have hers either.
Maybe he wants… Aabirah pushed that thought away before it could fully form. Daaem wouldn’t travel hours for… physical reasons. He was attractive – it would be easy for him to find company in the city if he wished it.
There was no reason for him to travel all the way to her for it.
Aabirah shuddered and reminded herself that Daaem had assured her he didn’t need to force her into his bed.
She had no reason to believe that he was truthful but she clung to his statement nevertheless, using it to calm herself whenever she felt panicky about being expected to… do things if Daaem was ever back at the estate.
Not for the first time, she cursed her helplessness. Even if Daaem did decide to demand things from her, what would she do? He was bigger than her and he was at least as rich as her father – neither the police nor the media would scare him.
All she could do was cling to what he’d said and pray that he wouldn’t want anything to do with her.