Chapter Thirty Five
Shaida burst in, clutching a large gun. Iman gaped at her. “Shaida!”
“I heard the screaming,” was all the pregnant woman said in explanation. “What’s wrong?”
“I told Iman where I’d been last night,” Adam explained. “It upset her.”
Shaida scowled. “You couldn’t have waited? Or did you just want to brag about your kill like a Neanderthal.”
“She was scared. I wanted her to know she didn’t have reason to be,” Adam said icily.
Shaida gave a begrudging nod. “Well… I suppose you did the right thing.”
“I suppose I did.”
“You shouldn’t have upset her.”
“I didn’t intend to.”
Shaida turned to Iman, who’d been watching them and fighting an absurd urge to laugh. “That’s all that happened?”
“Yes, Shaida. I’m alright. Don’t worry so much.”
They stood silently for a beat. Adam cleared his throat. “I should go talk to your grandfather,” he told Iman. “Just in case there’s something I missed.” He gave her a final smile and then walked out the door.
Shaida looked between her face and the door. “What was that?”
Iman knew she wasn’t referring to what Adam had said.
“When did that happen?” she continued. “And why on Earth didn’t you tell me?”
Iman shook her head. “I don’t know,” she said softly. “It just… happened.”
She sank down on the edge of her bed. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Shaida snorted. “Good riddance. If your mother could only join him, I’d throw a party.”
“Shaida,” Iman admonished. Even after everything that she’d done, Iman couldn’t bring herself to hate Aasia, let alone wish her dead.
Shaida sighed. “I’m sorry, I know. You still love her, even though she doesn’t deserve a bit of it.”
“Yep.” Iman’s throat was tight. She knew that the person she loved, the version of Aasia she had in her head and heart, was fake. But she’d never stopped hoping that her mother would turn into that better version of herself that Iman wished she’d be. The one who was kind and loved her daughter.
“Just don’t expect me to spit on her if she’s on fire.” Shaida patted her hand. “You’re not stupid for wanting her to be better.”
Iman jumped. “How did you…”
Shaida levelled her with an unimpressed look. “I’ve known you all your life,” she reminded Iman. “I know when you’re thinking dumb things.” She gave Iman a hug then slowly got to her feet. “I’d better go before Fareed decides I’ve jumped out the window.”
Iman watched her go, tamping down on the panic that being alone made her feel. He’s dead, she reminded herself. He’s dead and the dead can’t walk.
For the second time in two days, Adam was squaring off against Ibrahim Khan. He’d wandered until he found a guard then asked them to find their boss, not wanting to go poking through the house until he found the right room.
Now, he sat waiting on a sofa, fighting the urge to yawn. He hadn’t intended to fall asleep while sitting with Iman but that little nap hadn’t been longer than a half hour and he was far from well rested.
It didn’t help that the sofa was so soft either.
Adam shook his head to clear it. Focus. He needed to be firing on all cylinders for the upcoming conversation. He had a sneaking suspicion that he was about to hear several things that would make him furious.
He’d been right. An hour later and Adam was still fuming. He also had a brand new person on his hit list.
He’d completely underestimated Aasia Rahmaan, clearly. The woman had made Iman’s life miserable for years and it seemed no one had been able to stop her. Adam still couldn’t understand why no one had just slit the woman’s throat years ago.
Shaida seemed to adore Iman like her own child and clearly Ibrahim loved her. But none of them had just gotten rid of the problem. Instead, they’d just stood idly by and left Iman to be brutalized.
He’d left without getting any kind of proper answer, too angry to even see straight. Now, an hour later, he’d calmed down enough that he wasn’t in danger of screaming himself hoarse and terrifying anyone, he was on his way back.
His phone rang and he glanced down at it. Ali. What could he want? Adam was still ‘on vacation’ for another fortnight, so it wasn’t likely to be a job. After the night he’d had, Adam was in no mood to deal with his stepfather if he was just bored but he knew better than to let the call go to voicemail.
“I see you still haven’t regained any manners.”
Ali got to the point. “What happened last night?”
“I killed someone.”
“I’m aware of that. You used my staff to help you deal with the fallout of it. Why did you kill someone out of the blue like that?”
“He was a rapist,” Adam explained tersely.
“Oh. You made him suffer?” Ali’s voice had hardened considerably.
“It never is,” his stepfather responded. “Good job.”
“Thanks.” Adam made to disconnect the call when Ali called his name. “Adam… Don’t worry about the fallout from this one. If there is anything, I’ll deal with it myself.”
“Thanks,” Adam repeated. “Was this guy really that powerful?” he asked curiously. “He was a worm.”
“No, not particularly. But he was a politician. That’s always something that needs monitoring. Don’t worry about it, it’ll be taken care of.”
“Keep me updated,” Adam requested.
“Take care of her,” his stepfather instructed him before disconnecting the call.
Adam would, for as long as she’d let him.
He turned into the Khans’ driveway absent-mindedly and remembered the first time he’d done so. He’d thought he was being sent to kill someone, thought that he’d do the job and that would be that.
He’d been ready to kill when he’d heard the truth. And now… Now, he’d killed for the woman he’d almost considered murdering all those days ago. And he was glad of it.