Chapter Thirty Five
Daaem felt violated. A stranger had been living in his home! And he didn’t even have the decency to be ashamed about it.
The door opened and he spun around to see who else had come to bother him.
For a moment he thought he was hallucinating again but the blond man had clearly seen her too.
It was Aabirah. She had a stressed look on her face and she was staring down at her cellphone. The blond man hadn’t been lying, clearly.
How long had she been in the city? The man had said a week…
Daaem tamped down on the hurt that sprung up when he realized that she hadn’t bothered to visit him.
Aabirah looked up and gasped in shock. “Daaem! What are you doing here?”
“I live here,” Daaem said tightly. “What are you doing here?”
“Your father called me to tell me you were hurt. What are you doing out of the hospital? You weren’t supposed to be released til tomorrow!”
“I signed myself out.”
Aabirah sighed in exasperation. “Your father has been frantic, looking for you. I’ve been with him for the past hour, trying to calm him down. We’ve even delayed our flight because of it. That was really irresponsible, Daaem!”
“We?” Daaem asked pointedly.
“Jake and me,” Aabirah explained absently. She looked at the blond man. “Jake, could you please take our luggage down to the car? We’re supposed to leave any minute now.”
‘Jake’ nodded and grabbed a duffel bag and two suitcases that lay at his feet – Daaem hadn’t even noticed them. The big man disappeared out the door and finally, Daaem was left alone with Aabirah.
“You’re in a hurry to leave,” he couldn’t help but point out.
“Well, you’re back now,” Aabirah said, ducking into one of the room. “And you look really terrible. You should probably have stayed in the hospital,” she called behind herself.
Her familiarity with the apartment infuriated him.
“How long have you been here?” Daaem asked pleasantly, once Aabirah had returned.
“Since the day after your accident,” she replied, surprised.
“So, what? You just decided to come on vacation to my apartment?” Daaem’s headache was doing nothing to help his temper.
“What?! What are you talking about, Daaem?”
“I’m talking about the fact that you and your boy toy have been treating my apartment like a hotel for the past week. Am I going to have to fumigate?”
Aabirah gaped at him in shock. “Have you lost your mind?” she spluttered.
“Have you lost yours?” Daaem demanded. “How dare you come into my apartment without asking first?”
“I came to visit you in hospital!” Aabirah cried. “I didn’t know I had to ask your permission to stay, but if you didn’t want me here, why did you give me a key?”
Daaem frowned. “I never gave you a key,” he said, confused.
“Fine, Emma gave it to me. It’s the same thing. You shouldn’t have told your staff to give me a key if I wasn’t meant to be here.”
“You shouldn’t have come here without me being here!” Daaem shouted. “This is my home, it doesn’t belong to you!”
“I came to visit you in hospital! Clearly, I shouldn’t have but your father called and asked me and I didn’t feel up to explaining the sordid tale of our marriage to him so I just came,” Aabirah threw her hands up in frustration.
“You came to visit me in hospital?” Daaem repeated.
“Yes!” Aabirah cried.
“Then why didn’t I see you there? Too busy with the blond?” Daaem asked bitterly.
Aabirah sighed. “I came to see you and you told me to leave. Why would I keep coming after that? And despite what you might think, Jake is not my boy toy, he’s my bodyguard. The one that I asked you to hire because I was afraid of being killed by criminals?”
“Funny, you told me Qasim hadn’t paid him. Did you work out some other kind of payment plan?” The tone of Daaem’s voice made it obvious just what kind of payment plan he was suggesting.
“That’s disgusting, Daaem,” Aabirah said quietly. “And I’m not the one who’s been sleeping around despite being married. That would be you.”
The barb landed home and Daaem’s cheeks burned red. He stared at Aabirah, at a loss for words.
She shook her head, laughing humourlessly. “Guilty conscience, huh? Of course you’d accuse me of your crimes. That’s just so typical.”
She walked to the door. At the threshold, she turned back around and looked at him for a moment. “You should go back to the hospital,” she told him quietly, pulling the door shut behind her.
The adrenaline drained from Daaem as the door shut and he swayed. Unsteadily, he made his way to his bedroom, collapsing on the bed and dropping off to sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.
Hours later, he was woken by a pounding on the door. He reached for a pillow, trying to muffle the noise and winced at the flare of pain that occurred when he moved.
Whoever was trying to knock down his door didn’t leave and eventually, Daaem dragged himself to his feet to go give them a piece of his mind.
He fumbled with the locks for a few seconds before finally getting them open.
Ameer stood on the other side of the door, fury clear on his face. It abruptly changed to concern when he took a good look at Daaem who wondered idly just how bad he looked to elicit that kind of quick shift in mood.
“Daaem, you look awful!” Ameer exclaimed. “I don’t know how you could have been allowed to leave in this state, honestly.”
“I had to sign myself out,” Daaem felt obliged to point out.
“And God knows why you decided to be so stupid,” Ameer muttered. He stepped forward and grabbed Daaem around the waist. “Come on,” he said firmly. “We’re going back to the hospital, right now!”