Chapter Fifty One
Her balance was off by several zeroes, Aabirah realized with a puzzled frown. She clicked over to the transaction history and immediately found the reason for the sudden increase.
Daaem. A 5 million dollar transfer made the previous afternoon, probably right after she’d left his office.
A soft smile spread its way over Aabirah’s face and she shook her head ruefully. He’s fixed it. Just like that, he’d handed her a way out. He really was wonderful.
Aabirah froze as the thought crossed her mind. Where had that come from? Daaem was nice – at least, he’d been behaving that way – but wonderful? Carefully, she began to examine her feelings.
Her cheeks warmed involuntarily as she thought of the way he smiled, the sense of humour that had been slowly showing itself as they got more comfortable with one another.
She thought of that day in the library and her blush deepened. Remembered Jake announcing he’d increased the estate’s security to protect her and felt warm.
He was wonderful. He was surprisingly sweet when he wanted to be and he’d been so nice since he’d come back…
Aabirah felt like she’d had a bucket of ice-cold water thrown in her face. She was acting like a lovesick little girl with a crush! Worse, she realized with a dawning sense of horror – she was falling for him!
She was falling in love with Daaem!
Aabirah heard Jake whistling and sprang to her feet. He’d been dodging her questions for far too long. Today, she’d make him give her a deadline – or else. She didn’t quite know what ‘or else’ would be, but she resolved to make it unpleasant.
She yanked open the door just as he raised a fist to knock and faltered.
“Whoa, what’s the rush Princess?” he asked, grinning. “You’re gonna knock someone over if you keep going like that.”
“I wanted to know when,” Aabirah began, only to be cut off.
“When everything will be ready, I know. It’s almost as though you’ve asked me this before or something. Oh wait, you have! About a million times, it would almost be impressive if it weren’t so annoying.”
“Jake, I’m not in the mood,” Aabirah snapped. “Give me a date. I need to know now.”
“Now,” Jake said.
“Yes, now,” Aabirah agreed, irritably. “Right now. Tell me right now.”
“I just did. Now. It’s ready now.” He held up a padded brown envelope in his hand. “Ta da!”
Aabirah snatched it from him and ripped it open. She tipped it over and a card fell out into her hand. “This is it?” she asked, frowning.
“No, this is the last piece of the puzzle. There’s an apartment waiting for you and you’ve got your bags packed. You needed this,” he nodded at the ID, “to be able to fly out of the country. There’s a passport in there too. Without that stuff, we would’ve had a much harder time getting you out.”
“So when can we leave?” Aabirah asked, hardly listening.
Jake shrugged. “Soon as you want to. Just need to book some flights and get going.”
“Tomorrow?” Aabirah asked desperately. “Can we go tomorrow?”
Jake frowned. “What’s wrong? What happened?”
“Nothing, I just really need to go. Now. So, can we leave tomorrow?”
Jake looked unconvinced. “You expect me to believe you just out of the blue decided to up and run?”
Aabirah shook her head. “No. But it’s got nothing to do with you, Jake.” She knew it was the wrong thing to say – it was a lie too. It did have something to do with him, if only because he was the closest thing she had to a friend and he knew it too.
Jake pursed his lips. “Fine, don’t tell me. But just remember, once you do this, there’s no going back. You can’t change your mind in a few weeks and demand to come back – that is way too dangerous and it’ll end with you in the ground. Got it?”
Aabirah nodded, chastened. “Got it. I’m not being hasty, Jake. I’m just tired of waiting.” Her conscience pricked at the lie but she shook it off.
“Guess I’ll go start packing then,” was all he said. “You’ll need to drain your bank account tomorrow.” He paused. “Are you telling Daaem you’re leaving?”
Aabirah looked at her feet, ashamed. “No,” she whispered. “I’m not.”
“Right,” Jake didn’t bother to conceal his distaste. “Then you won’t want to drain your account. Transfer everything instead. I’ll give you an account number in an hour.” He left without another word.
Aabirah thought of the new money sitting in her account. How was she going to give it back to Daaem? She wouldn’t be able to transfer it, not without making him suspicious. Could she arrange for a transfer to be done later, once she’d left? If only there was a way…
The solution occurred to her when she glanced at her bedside drawer. There was a chequebook in there that had been messengered over with everything else that had come with the bank account Emma’d set up for her. It had amused her at the time, she remembered. She’d been so excited to have her own bank account, not just a card connected to her father’s, that she’d kept everything. She’d never actually thought she’d ever write a cheque.
Carefully, she filled in the information, examining the completed cheque to make sure she hadn’t left anything out.
A knock on the door made her jump and she hastily stuffed the cheque in her journal before getting up to open the door.
Daaem stood outside, a hopeful look on his face. “Are you coming down for lunch?”
Aabirah nodded mutely.
“Okay, I’ll see you downstairs.” He smiled at her.
“See you,” Aabirah parroted. She collapsed on her bed once Daaem had left. How was she meant to behave normally for the next day?
She was doing what she’d wanted to for almost her entire life. So why did she feel like she was making a huge mistake?