Fiction: The Art of Mutual Destruction Chapter Thirty One

Chapter Thirty One

Something was wrong. What, he didn’t know, but something was definitely wrong. He could feel it even if he couldn’t see it.

Adam?” Aasia came toward him, lifting a hand as if to touch his face. “Is something the matter?”

He stepped back hastily, avoiding her. “Why do you ask?”

You don’t seem to be enjoying yourself.” She tilted her head to the side. “Is there something I can do to… help you out?”

At first Adam thought that he’d made a truly awful mistake but when Aasia slowly lowered her gaze down and then licked her lips obscenely, he knew he’d been correct.

His mother in law had just propositioned him. What the Hell?

He opened his mouth to decline her… offer – vehemently – then stopped when he heard a man’s scream.

Iman! He’d seen her stepfather get up to follow them but neither he nor Iman had joined them on the terrace. It had been too long to be an innocent delay, and coupled with that scream…

What had happened?

Adam ran, cursing himself as he went. All night he’d been on edge but he hadn’t even noticed when two people went missing.

He’d left without a word to Aasia and he could hear her screeching behind him, furious that she’d been rejected. Adam spared a moment to feel ridiculously grateful for his own mother. Lina could be nosy at times and he’d more than once wished that she would be more assertive. But she was nothing, nothing like this harpy. And thank God for that.

It was no longer a surprise that they hadn’t met before now. If Adam had been in Iman’s shoes, he wouldn’t have wanted to admit to a relation with Aasia either.

He crossed the threshold to the dining room moments later and for a second couldn’t understand what he was seeing.

There were no gunmen or robbers but Adam was less than relieved. Iman lay on the floor, blood dripping from her mouth and her stepfather loomed over her, his features twisted in a scowl.

He had one of his hands clutched to his chest, Adam saw. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. She’d bit him. What had he done to drive Iman – tiny, delicate Iman – to open her mouth and use those pearly white teeth as a weapon?

What is going on here?” He barely recognized his own voice, it was so filled with fury.

Iman let out a sob and struggled to get to her feet. The collar of her dress had been ripped.

She’s just over-excited,” he was told. “Nothing to worry about.”

Iman wobbled on her feet as she crept towards him, carefully keeping out of reach of her stepfather.

Adam reached out and offered her a hand, careful not to touch her without permission and she leaned on him heavily, curling into his chest. She was trembling.

It took everything he had in him to stop himself from killing the disgusting man where he stood.

Did she slip and fall on her mouth?” he asked sarcastically.

He couldn’t let go of her – she could barely stand on her own. And much as the odious man deserved to die, Adam refused to kill him in front of Iman.

It would keep. Right now, his priority was his wife. He made himself smile. “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure whatever happened, she deserved it.”

The pig’s eyes brightened and he had the audacity to grin. “You’re exactly right. Why don’t you sit and let her get cleaned up?”

Adam shook his head. “No, we should get going. Iman’s had enough excitement for tonight.” he said smoothly, not a hint of his ire showing.

The monster looked like he was about to protest, a petulant look on his face. Like a child being refused a toy.

It nearly killed him but he added, “But we’ll be back soon enough. You can have some fun then.”

Iman had gone rigid in his arms. His only comfort was that this would be a short deception. They’d get to the car and he’d be able to explain.

With that in mind, he swept her into his arms and made for the door.

She made a little sound, reaching out, and he looked down. “What is it?”

My bag,” she whispered.

He collected it and then stalked out.

Iman had gone numb.

When Adam had arrived, she’d stupidly thought that she was saved. He’d steadied her and she’d thought that the nightmare was over.

But then…

I’m sure whatever happened, she deserved it.

We’ll be back soon enough. You can have some fun then.

He’d never touched her himself. Never forced himself onto her. She’d let herself believe that he was decent.

You can have some fun then.

She needed to get out. There was no way she’d go back to his apartment with him. She’d jump out of the car first.

But how? He was holding her so tightly, there was no way she’d be able to struggle free.

Surely he’d put her down to get in the car?

He didn’t. Carefully, he balanced her on one arm while he used the other to unlock the car and pull open the passenger side door.

He settled her in and she took her chance.

Iman was halfway out of the car when he caught her, his hands landing solidly on either side of her waist. “Whoa, easy!”

Let go!” she sobbed. “Let go.” She sagged in defeat, unable to break his grip.

And he put her down.

Iman lifted her head and stared at him. “You put me down,” she whispered, unable to believe it.

She waited for him to lift her again, to laugh and snatch away the freedom he’d just dangled.

But all he did was lift his hands and back away. “I’m not going to hurt you,” Adam whispered, glancing back towards the house. “But we need to leave, and soon. Please get in the car.”

Iman hesitated, studying him. “You’re not gonna…” She couldn’t say it.

Adam’s features twisted and she recoiled. “No,” he said coldly. “I am not. I promise you, I’m not going to touch you unless you ask me to. And,” he added, looking her directly in the eyes. “I promise I am going to take every bit of pain you felt tonight out of that disgusting man’s hide.”

Iman got into the car.

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