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SaHil FF: Eternally Yours, Epilogue, P42, Dec14.2016 (Page 20)

darkice7_12 Senior Member
darkice7_12
darkice7_12

Joined: 15 July 2010
Posts: 782

Posted: 03 October 2015 at 3:58am | IP Logged

~*~*~*~*~*~

Chapter 9: Wicked Game

~*~*~*~*~*~

One Week Ago . . .

"Please make her my destiny. After You, I only want to be hers. Amin. . ."

He needed her to be the light in his life. Without her . . . all would be lost. He closed his eyes, his hands covering his face. For a  moment, he let all of his fears and anxieties out. The unpleasant part of falling in love was the worry one felt about losing that precious someone. He had never felt this way, but now fear was his constant companion.

Aahil stiffened when the door slammed open behind him, hitting the wall with a bang. The intruder turned on the room's lights, throwing everything into stark relief. Aahil turned to glare, resenting the disruption. His eyes widened to see the  man standing there. "Rehan? What's wrong?" he asked, his hands falling at his side.

"Aahil bhai," Rehan said softly, coming to kneel beside him.

"What is it?" Aahil asked, placing a comforting hand on Rehan's shoulder. He could see how shaken the other man was. He didn't know what had brought that look into his brother's eyes. Whatever it was, he knew he wasn't going to like it.

"I have my phone on alerts for any news about you," Rehan began. "I was just checking it before going to the gym and saw this." He offered his phone for Aahil's viewing.

Aahil stared at the article. And at the many articles in the queue. His lips twisted, a muscle bunching up on the side of his jaw. His features hardened, a darkness growing in his eyes.

"These same articles will be in the print editions today," Rehan said, his heart hurting at the pain he knew his brother was going through. "Soon, all of Bhopal will know the truth one way or the other."

Aahil said nothing, his voice mute in the face of this revelation.

"Aahil bhai, it'll be okay," Rehan began, fearing the silence.

"No, Rehan," Aahil said with finality in his voice. "I don't know why I thought," he said with a cynical smile, "that the truth could remain hidden. I never," he said, tightening his hold on Rehan's shoulder, "intended for you to bear the brunt of this."

Rehan reached up and clasped Aahil's hand. "I know that. But don't give up. Even if everyone in Bhopal is against you, Sanam won't be."

Aahil just looked at him, a skeptical expression on his face.

"You can't just give up without talking to her!" Rehan continued vehemently. "You have to speak to her. I know a part of you might be afraid of her reaction . . . maybe that fear would make you turn a coward for a moment, but you have to force yourself through those feelings," Rehan encouraged him. "You have to try. I'm sure she'll understand you. I'm sure she'd be willing to listen. I'm sure she'd believe."

Aahil shook his head, turning off the small lamp next to the prayer mat and began to methodically fold the mat. He stood and moved a few steps away from Rehan. "Well the rumors must have been flying around before these articles were written," he said ruefully. "No wonder we got no answer when we asked our neighbors to dinner. That is why Mr. Asad Ahmed Khan was avoiding our calls."

"None of that matters," Rehan said softly. "Only she matters."

"Her family's clear disapproval doesn't matter?" Aahil retorted.

"No. Only what Sanam thinks . . . only how she reacts. That's the only thing that matters."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Today . . .

"Aahil bhai," Rehan called out from behind him, as the other man stared out the office window. The two were standing in the main offices of Ibrahim Corporation in the center of Bhopal. "I have a list of the companies trying to get out of their contracts. What should be Ibrahim Corporation's official response to this?"

Aahil turned to stare at him. "Did the invitations go out?"

"Yes," Rehan responded after a long pause. "Do you really have to do it this way? Can't you just talk to her?"

"Like you've talked to Seher?" Aahil shot back.

Rehan stood frozen, unable to say anything. His unhappiness with the current state of affairs clearly showed on his face.

"This is the only way for me, Rehan," Aahil said. "Now, let's look at those companies. They should know better than to let their emotions get in the way of business. They're not getting free that easily. I'm not going to let the company my grandmother protected above all else to fail because of this," he concluded bitterly, a fire growing in his eyes.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Today . . .

"What's this?" Sanam stared down at the envelope in her hand. Her fingers uncertainly felt the rich material, her eyes focusing on her parents' names written in calligraphy.

"Aahil baba has planned a party," Lateef said conspiratorially. "Everyone is invited. All of Bhopal is coming. He asked that I personally deliver this to your home."

Sanam's hands shook as she quickly opened the envelope. And there it was, the words in black and white. The Nawab of Bhopal cordially invited them to a ball scheduled at their home for the end of the week. "At their home?" Sanam asked, looking up in surprise.

"We have the room," Lateef said, twirling his braid. "We have a huge ballroom that you didn't get the chance to see when you came over."

"But it's such short notice," she noted, wrinkling her brow in confusion.

"Yes, but there's a reason. You won't want to miss it," Lateef said. "They're planning a lot of surprises." She marched off after a final goodbye wave to Sanam.

Sanam stared down at the card in her hands, and then slowly walked back into the living room. She hadn't spoken to Rehan all week. He had gone back to avoiding her calls and texts. His continued silence made her feel like a harasser. But to stop meant . . . what? That there would be no contact at all? That she would give up?

"Ammi," Sanam called out, coming to sit beside her mother, "The Nawab sent this invitation over."

Zoya looked up with interest. "Let me see!" Grasping the card in her hands, she read it swiftly.

"Ammi, can we go?' Sanam asked, looking over at her silent father before glancing back at her mother.

"Of course, we're going," her grandmother stated. "Those boys invited us over. We can't say no! Especially since they have been courteous enough to come to our homes for dinner so many times."

"We are not going!" Asad adamantly said, finally looking up from his newspaper. "I told you all that I wanted no contact between our houses. That man is a murderer!"

"You don't know that!" Seher yelled at him, incensed beyond belief. "How can you make such statements without any proof? And what is this 'between our houses', dad? We are not Romeo and Juliet. I'm warning you, don't make it something like that," she finished snidely.

"Stop it, both of you!" Zoya ordered, silencing Asad before his could open his mouth to blast their daughter. "Seher do not speak to your father that way."

Asad began to smile in satisfaction.

"And Asad do not test your daughters with such unreasonable demands. Notice that I said daughters. They are both clearly unhappy with you, as are both of us," Zoya continued, sharing a glance with her mother-in-law.

Asad looked around at the unhappy expressions on all of the women's faces and his face darkened. He scowled unhappily, shifting in his seat. Reluctantly putting down the newspaper in his hand, he waited for Zoya to continue.

"We have to go to this party," Zoya said softly. "These are our boys. We've gotten to know them and think of them as part of our family. We encouraged them to do the same to us. How will it be if family turns their back on them without asking for any explanations? We have to see. Give them a chance. There has to be some explanation. Right? It can't be true. He can't be a murderer."

Asad saw the desperate hope in his wife's eyes, and did not want to steal that hope away. Zoya had suffered due to a woman's infatuation with him. She had suffered because someone had hated the fact that Zoya was in his life, and he had always felt guilty about that. If she needed to go to this party, then he would go to the da*n party.

"Besides," Dilshad said, "We have to be there. What if no one else shows up?"

"Oh, they'll show up," Asad said cynically. "Despite what the actual truth is, the Nawab is still the primary mover and shaker in Bhopal. Bhopal's elite need him to make more money. They won't abandon ship. They might not like him. They may not trust him. But they like the smell of money."

"Then don't you see?" Zoya uttered with a smile, coming over to grasp his hand lovingly. "We have to be there so that those two know there are people in their corner."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

A few days later, Sanam was standing in his home once more. She looked around the room, her eyes moving over the decorations that had transformed the Nawab's mansion. The Khan family had been one of the first ones in the mansion. They had been escorted to the ballroom immediately, while Lateef lamented their early arrival and warned that nothing was fully prepared. She could see people moving to and fro, anxiously putting the finishing touches on the room.

Sanam looked at the room once more. The color combination for the room was midnight blue and silver. Curtains . . . streamers . . . flowers, everything was in one of those colors. All of the furniture had been removed from the vicinity, leaving only small, round tables, waist height placed strategically throughout the ballroom with delicacies and glasses of wine for the guests' consumption. A stage was set up at one end of the room, with a silver arch placed above the stage.

"What is that about?" she muttered, gazing at the arch. She felt someone bump into her, causing her to bump into a table. The glasses shook gently, the wine sloshing to the lip before settling back into place.

"Oops, I'm so sorry," came a harried, female voice from behind her.

Sanam turned around, ready to smile and say it was fine, but the woman was too preoccupied. It didn't take her long to realize the woman was one of the event coordinators, which explained the stress she could see in the woman's eyes.  

"No, the caterers need to start with the food now. I'm seeing some empty tables. I think we missed them in the first go around. And guests are beginning to come in," the woman barked into her headphone. "I do apologize," she said, turning to Sanam.

"It's okay," Sanam responded. "Everything looks wonderful. Rehan . . . and Aahil will love this."

"Thank you!" the woman replied happily. "Believe me, when Mr. Ibrahim stated through his assistant that he wanted a Starry Night theme, I told him that it might look tacky. But he was very insistent. He wanted lots of stars. He said it was the Nawab's little joke. I don't get it, but you gotta do what the client wants, right? Oh excuse me, work calls."

Sanam watched the other woman hurry away, and then turned her attention to the ballroom once more. The decorations did give the ballroom a feel of a nighttime wonderland. An uncertain smile grew across her face, her heart beginning to beat rapidly. Was this on purpose . . . a reminder of the night that he had confessed his love to her? Could she dare to hope?

Seher was gone. It hadn't taken long for both Seher and Sanam to realize that neither of the men were in the ballroom yet. Seher had refused to wait, leaving the ballroom to go searching for her Nawab. And Sanam was . . . about to reach that point, as well. Ammi was doing a good job of distracting Abu at the other end of the room, along with Badi Ammi, so Sanam had the chance.

The ballroom had begun to fill up while she'd been entranced by the decorations. Abu had been correct about this. The who's who of Bhopal's society had showed up today in all of their glittering glory. The mayor, the city's top financiers and even certain actresses and actors were in the crowd.

She glanced down at her red sari, feeling a trifle underdressed. The delicate work on the clothes and modest earrings adorning her ears made her feel like a poor relative. The sidelong, derisory glances the other guests were throwing her way definitely weren't helping her feel any better.

She ruthlessly tamped those thoughts down. Why was she worrying about what these people thought when she didn't know what Rehan was thinking? Seeing his behavior, she couldn't help but wonder what had changed since he'd opened his heart to her. Why had he looked so determined that morning when he'd left her at the door? His eyes had seemed so empty.

She sighed deeply. The crazy thing was, she hadn't even known why she was so worried. She still didn't know. Even if Aahil had been guilty, why was she dreading the truth so much? What was the Nawab thinking throwing a party in the midst of this scandal? And really, why did it matter what Aahil's past was in terms of their relationship? What did it have to do with Rehan? She clenched her hands into fists, sweat breaking out on her forehead. What was it that she didn't see?

"What do you think ARI gets from forcing us here? What does he have planned?" she heard a man murmur from the table behind her.

"My initials are A . . . R . . . I. My name isn't Air."

"Then . . . what's your name? What's the mystery? Who gives their initials when someone asks for the name?"

"It's Aahil. Happy?"

That dark night . . . and that little boy's voice. Why had that moment come to mind now?

"What's your name? There's such a thing as tehzeeb."

 "Manners. Well, fine. It's Qureshi."

"Is that a first or a last name? Why can't I get a straight answer to a simple question?"

"My name is Rehan Imran Qureshi."

That small smile on his face as he teased her like a little boy was etched into her memory. The way he had refused to say his name, making her demand it still slightly irritated her. She shook her head, dispelling those memories. 'Just what are you thinking?' she silently scolded herself. Just because there were some identical beats between those two meetings, that meant nothing. She laughed at her crazy thoughts and began to move around the room. She'd been here for more than thirty minutes, and Rehan had not come into the room. "Da*n it!" she muttered to herself. "Where do you get off making me wait so much?"

"Oh, Ms. Rajeshwari and Mr. Khanna, a photo for the newspaper?" a voice cajoled from nearby. "Come on. It'll be proof that you were here at this historic event. After all, it's not every day the Nawab of Bhopal holds a shindig. In fact, I think it's been years."

"Fine," Ms. Suman Rajeshwari, the mayor of Bhopal, grudgingly admitted. "The truth is often in the picture, right? Can't deny it. I'm sure the public will appreciate pictures of what their mayor is doing to protect their interests. Even if it's at this person's home."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The proof is really in the picture.

Pictures . . .

Of two little girls . . . seemingly twins . . .

Pictures of Rehan at his graduation with the Nawab standing tall next to him. The two had their arms around each other's shoulders and were smiling happily.

One picture of the Nawab as a younger child, although that picture looked a bit ratty.

And multiple pictures of Rehan . . . always standing with a sullen expression on his face between those two little, twin girls.

She had wondered on seeing the pictures why there were so many of Rehan's pictures on the wall and barely any of the Nawab himself. It had almost seemed as if those really weren't meant to be the Nawab's memories at all. Even Shazia and Nazia had been pictured with Rehan and not Aahil. Where had those pictures gone? She hadn't noticed them on the wall when they were being brought to the ballroom. Why had he removed them? Hide the pictures . . . hide the proof? Hide the proof . . . change the past?

Sanam took a deep breath. Why was she creating and solving her own mysteries when there was no mystery? They had just moved some pictures, darn it! The sound of raucous laughter behind her brought her out of her increasingly confused thoughts. The sound of two incredibly loud women irritated her, making her want to swing around and tell them to zip it.

She sighed loudly. It was time to leave the ballroom. She was tired of waiting for him to come to her. She would go to him. She slipped out without telling her family. She slowly began to climb up the stairs, hoping that she would find him before anyone else found her. After all, how could she explain sneaking around to some stranger?

"Aahil baba, I've got it!" she heard Lateef call out from the far end of the hallway. She turned her head towards the voice, and saw Lateef entering a room.

She raced towards the room, planning on confronting Rehan right now. He would be with the Nawab for sure. Whatever they had planned next, clearly the Nawab would need his friend to be at his side. If she didn't find Rehan there, she would demand that the Nawab tell her where he was. They would talk, and she would not let him close her out any more. He had given her the right to demand answers when he confessed his love to her.

Sidling to the barely open doorway, she peeked into the room. Her brows scrunched in confusion when she saw only Rehan in there. He was getting dressed, his eyes focused on the mirror. Where was the Naw  . . ? Whatever. She shook her head; she didn't care where the Nawab might be. She put out a hand to open the door. Like it or not, she was going to talk to him now and everything else could wait.

The door slammed open, and a figure came out, barreling into her slighter body. "Allah miyah!" she yelped, falling back against the railing. Glaring at the person standing there, she opened her mouth to blast her.

"Just what are you doing here?" Lateef said, raising her chin. "No one is supposed to be up here. Aahil Baba gave strict instructions not to be disturbed."

"I just want to talk to Rehan," Sanam protested, rubbing at her aching side.  "Go protect the Nawab from my sister, instead."

Lateef silently grabbed Sanam's wrist and began to pull her toward the stairs.

"Look, I promise," Sanam argued passionately. "I won't even bother the Nawab. Look! He's just entering the room right now. I wasn't even interrupting the two of them! It'll be really easy to just ask him to leave so he can be alone somewhere else!"

"No!" Lateef retorted, bodily moving Sanam down the stairs. "The two are together now. And I'll say to you, what I said to your sister minutes ago, don't make this harder on yourself."

Sanam opened her mouth to argue once more, but something made her look up. Rehan was standing up there, his eyes focused on her. He wore a tuxedo, expertly tailored for his physique.. He had a beard now, closely shaped to his jaw and encircling his lips. His hair lay softly across his forehead, making her want to brush those strands back. His hands were placed on the banister, and, despite the fact that he could see she was being dragged away, he said nothing.

Lateef cleared her throat to bring Sanam's attention back to her once they reached the bottom of the stairs. She smiled at Sanam sympathetically when Sanam looked at her. "They'll be down in a little while. It'll be better for both of you if you don't associate yourselves too closely with this household."

"But," Sanam began uncertainly, looking back up. He was gone. Had she imagined him standing there?  Would she rather have imagined him than to know that he had been standing there and hadn't come to her?

"No one should see you together," Lateef murmured. "It's for your own good."

"Just what are you saying?" Sanam demanded angrily as they entered the ballroom. "How can you even suggest that I distance myself from someone who is mine?"

"He wants it that way," Lateef responded solemnly. "Now, you two," she said, turning to motion at two guards who had appeared at the doorways. "You're not just there to look mouth-wateringly handsome. Once the guests enter this room, do not let them leave. We can't have them wondering in the house, now can we? Especially, when we have so many reporters here today. Who knows what they will get into if we allow them free access to the house."

Lateef stalked off, with Sanam staring after her. She opened her mouth to call out, but then stopped. Wait. Why had the Nawab been entering the room minutes after she had heard Lateef call out for him?

Aahil baba, you have to try it!"

"Lateef, can you please tone it down?"

Rehan had responded instead of the Nawab when Lateef was urging him to taste the food they'd brought over on their first visit to this house.

"It's nothing, Aa. . .Baba. Here's your juice. I just freshly made it."

Sanam's mind flashed to when she had spied on Rehan swimming. Had Lateef been about to say . . .? She took a deep breath, shaking her head. What was she thinking? Rehan would never . . .

"Aahil baba, please try this sweet! Sawaiyan."

Lateef taking the sawaiyan and holding them out to Rehan to taste. Sanam placed a hand on her forehead, massaging the confusion away. She shouldn't be thinking this way.

"He loves it!"

Lateef telling her how much the Nawab loved apple pie, but no peep out of him when Rehan began to eat it from the serving platter itself.

"Sanam!" her Badi Ammi's voice called out.

Turning, she saw her family, Seher included, come over to stand next to her.

"Where have you been?" Asad asked grimly.

"I . . . I went to look for Rehan," Sanam admitted. "I saw him, but I wasn't able to speak with him."

"Don't wander off alone," Asad ordered her.

"There wouldn't be any point," Seher said from the side. "They've limited us to just the ballroom now. We couldn't leave even if we wanted to."

As she stared at her sister's face, about to ask her what had happened with the Nawab, the world went dark. There were cries of worry . . . and then of wonder. The nighttime wonderland was truly a thing of beauty in the dark. Stars twinkled on the ceiling, sending out little beacons of light. It truly felt like a night sky. She gasped softly when she saw the purpose of those wires above the stage. They mimicked falling stars in the night sky. For a moment, all her worries fell away and she let a smile free.

When the lights came back on, it was Rehan who stepped up onto the stage and took the podium.  The Nawab stood behind him, waiting for Rehan to speak. Sanam's eyebrows rose at that. Why was it Rehan? Their eyes met for a moment, and he resolutely turned them away to gaze out into the crowd.

"What are you two doing?' she whispered softly. "No. What have you done?"

The photographers began to take pictures of both the Nawab and Rehan. The reporters from all of the major news outlets had their recorders out for his next words.


"Thank you all for coming to Ibrahim Mansion for this momentous occasion despite the stories you have read in the newspapers this past week. Your presence here certainly shows us your willingness to continue your ties with the Ibrahim Corporation. It does the Nawab's heart good to realize that the place where his family has lived for generations will still welcome him with open arms," he smiled cynically when he uttered those words. "He remember every one of his homes fondly, and wants to continue calling this place his home, as well."

"Mom said your family had the summer house next door to our uncle when we were kids . . ."

"What? I'm not sure . . ."

"That's not true," she whispered. The Nawab had not remembered his childhood home.

"You remember that house, Aahil. You told me many stories about it."

And Rehan had had to prompt him. Sanam swallowed with difficulty.

"The Nawab came here because he had responsibilities. He feels responsible for the well-being of this city," Rehan said almost facetiously. "If he had to leave . . . if Ibrahim Corporation had to leave this beautiful city, would it have an impact on a significant portion of the workforce? Probably," he continued. "But the Nawab doesn't want to leave. He has made a place for himself here. As he's familiarized himself with the city and its needs, he's realized one thing. Tell me if you disagree. Bhopal needs him. He doesn't need you. He pulls out . .. all of you suffer. So, what next? What should he do? That depends on what you do." His delivery was now completely cold. His words harsh. And his face expressionless.

Sanam stared at the man before her. This was not the man she knew. How could he even say these words. How could he be so cold?

"Anything . . . I'd do anything to make sure that a child won't have to grow up like that."

The memories of Rehan coming to make those donations and connecting with those children were still fresh in her mind. He had cared. Why was he acting like this today?

"What kind of life is that child living now? To wake up every morning . . . every hour of the day spent . . . just wondering if dad will be in a good mood. Will he be angry? But what kind of question is that? He's always angry. Will he be a little bit angry and just yell at you? Or a lot and hit you? If you do this, will dad be mad? If you do that, will dad be mad? Is it okay to eat your fill? Is it okay to sleep? Is it okay to . . . "

She rubbed at her chest, an ache growing inside of her. She had heard desperation in his voice that day. That pain had seared her heart, as if his words were drops of acid falling on her unprotected skin, boring into the deepest part of her. But today,  his words pierced like knives. That man would not have been capable of saying these words. That man had known what abuse was on a personal level. She couldn't stop the thoughts from battering at her, that man had suffered abuse . . . had been betrayed by a parent . . . had survived. She had known it then, but had ignored her instincts . . . hadn't asked any questions because he hadn't wanted her to. How had Rehan known that pain when there was nothing in his past to indicate that? He hadn't said anything. But really . . . how much had he told her?

"You've all heard the rumors, I'm sure," Rehan continued. "ARI, excuse me, Aahil Raza Ibrahim was in jail. The Nawab was convicted of murder. You've all been talking about it. He's dangerous. He's evil. How can we work with someone like that? Some of you have even tried to end your contracts with Ibrahim Corporation. I'm here to lay your fears to rest," he said, a smile playing across his lips. "I'm here to end your wondering of whether those rumors are true." He leaned forward, and almost every member of the audience leaned forward in return to hear his next words. "I'm here to tell you that those rumors are true."

There were gasps around the room, and Sanam's heart fell at that admission. She felt Seher grab hold of her hand, but she could only focus on him. Because . . .

"The Nawab of Bhopal was convicted in the USA. And I'm sure you're all curious about what the conviction actually was. For the first time, the newspapers did something they rarely do. They got the facts right," he stated acerbically. "He was convicted of murdering his father. And he spent five, long years in jail." The look in his eyes was piercing, a darkness flickering there that was hard to witness.

"Even if he did kill his father. There has to be a reason. Why aren't you trying to understand?. . . I wish that we could all live in a world where people didn't have to make these hard choices . . . I wish that we all lived in a world where violence wasn't necessary, but we don't. There are a lot of wishes that we make that don't come true. Sometimes people have to make those hard choices."

He had been so defensive that day. His words had been those of a man who had had to make such a difficult choice. His words were those of a man who had lived through it. As if he had been . . . Aahil Raza Ibrahim himself. That was the missing piece. This is why the truth would matter.

She looked up at him, her heart pounding in her chest. At that same moment, he glanced over, his eyes caught by the disbelief in hers.

"Why won't you admit it? Stop hiding it!"

The echoes of her dreams ran through her head. She clapped her hands over her ears, trying to stop them. But it was no use. The truth was reverberating in her brain. He was the real Nawab. "How could you hide it from me?" she silently yelled at him. "How could you?"

He gazed silently at her, his eyes sparking as if he had heard her silent yells. He looked at only her when he spoke those next words, as if the next revelation was just for her.

"But as always, the newspapers only got half the story. They brought you the scandal, but failed to discover one final truth. That the man standing over there is not the Nawab," he said, pointing his thumb behind him to the other man standing on the stage. "They forgot to tell you who you should all be wary of."

The crowd began to whisper, the shock evident in those whispers. He waited, letting the noise die down. And in that wait, he never looked away from her.

"You'd probably been wondering why the Nawab had remained silent in this conversation. You were also probably wondering why I got to stand up here and reveal all of this. Then wonder no longer. I am Aahil Raza Ibrahim, the Nawab of Bhopal." He smirked at the crowd, seeming to enjoy their shock. He even smiled for the cameras as they went crazy in their photo-taking frenzy. "And . . . I am the ex-convict."

The low murmurs that had been spreading throughout the ballroom became a cacophony of noise that beat at her mind. She wanted to close her eyes and make it all go away. But she wouldn't close her eyes to the truth.

"This man had us fooled for months."

"He's hidden his identity and learned our secrets! I mean who pays attention to the assistant?"

"Clever . . . "

"Scary . . . "

Seher gently shook her, trying to pull her out of the trance that she had fallen into. She stared at Sanam standing there, pale and silent. Reaching out a hand, Seher gently grasped her hand, holding it close to her heart.

Sanam continued to look up at the stage, gazing into his eyes. Nothing else penetrated the shock of discovery.

He hadn't looked away. "I needed to know this city and its citizens thoroughly without any of the facades you would have worn if you knew who was the actual Nawab. After all, who pays any attention to the hired help? Since this information came out and ruined the fun, I thought it was imperative that I protect my employee, Rehan Imran Qureshi. Now, since we've gotten the great confession out of the way, I trust none of this will impact our business relationships?"

There was only silence to his query.

"I do have to reiterate," he said after a pause. "that anything that happened before today will be forgotten. Don't take any of it too seriously. None of it matters."

"There's nothing wrong with dreaming a little bit . . ."

"I'd trust you with my life . . ."

"I'll be with you. That's all that matters, isn't it? . . .

He had made promises. He had made her feel that she mattered . . .

"There is love. So much love that it scares me. Do I have this right? Will you still love me if you find out everything about me. Will you forgive me for my secrets?"

And he was trying to take it all back?

"I trust we're done here then," he continued. "Nothing further needs to be addressed. And no apologies needed." He stepped back from the podium, smiling at the crowd once more. "You are welcome to stay and enjoy the food and wine, but I will be bidding you all a goodnight."  

She moved forward, disbelieving of his planned exit. Was that it? He was going to leave. He stepped down from the stage, and Aahil . . . no, Rehan rushed forward with other employees to  stop the press from moving in on him and asking more questions. He walked through the space they created, moving along easily despite the questions being thrown at him.

Their eyes met once more as he moved through the crowd. He gazed at her quietly as he strode closer, but his eyes said nothing. They were calm pools, allowing no emotion to shine through. He grew closer and closer, and Sanam stiffened at that proximity. But then he was moving past, her, without saying one word, and striding up the stairs.


"Khuda hafiz, meri Jaan."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sanam raced down the front steps, intent on leaving. Her heart was racing, and her skin clammy. Her fingers were still trembling, and she wanted nothing more than to go home and forget all of this for a while. Tomorrow would be another day, and she would be in a better frame of mind to deal with this. But for now . . . she needed to hide under her covers.

"You're leaving?"

She froze. Turning slowly, she gazed at the side of the house, her eyes trying to pick out the figure she knew was there. "Aah-no, Rehan, right?" she called out.

He walked towards her, coming to stand by her in the light. "You're just leaving. Nothing left to say? Nothing left to do?"

"What else is there to say or do? You two decided on what the course would be. You decided on the deception. And you decided on how you would reveal the truth. When was mine or Seher's input ever required? When were our emotions ever considered?"

"Talk to him," he urged, ignoring the words she threw at him.

"He chose not to talk to me. He decided to reveal all of this in front of the world. He lied to me every time I called him Rehan!" she shot back angrily. She clenched her fists,  trying to still the trembling that had started once more. "He hid everything from me. He hid his identity. His past. His name. I knew nothing. But I still . . . there is nothing left to say."

"So you're just going to give up?" he asked angrily.

"What else is there to do? Isn't that what both of you have done? If . . . if we can even believe in the honesty of your emotions, even then you abandoned us. But from what I saw tonight, I have serious doubts."

"You have no questions for him?" he pressed, catching her wrist before she could leave to hold her place.

"What else is there to ask?" she threw back at him, refusing to look at him.

"Has anyone . . . have you ever thought to ask why he did any of this? Doesn't he deserve a chance to tell his side of things?"

||

||

\/

Chapter 10: Kyun . . .


A/N: Here's Chapter 9 for your reading pleasure. I thought I'd take the time to write another one since I was currently on vacation. Hope you enjoyed it. Leave comments if you liked it! Wink

Music Credit: Wicked Game by Chris Isaak



Edited by darkice7_12 - 02 November 2015 at 1:32am

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dpsreddynclshardadevilipika1KKPRIYAZoyaAsad2anju32NoLifeunknown123onlyaahilNanduVijaytazzzLovesahilAnamadyasirani07harshana1siyasharma94Ihopelovealeenaansarizoyazrehanmuskaan17rocksiam_aheli_98Mahu34fatima30jazmeenJShuklaAGirlHasNoNameDarkPhoenix93sahil333AnnzSageflower7IntuitiveShailu..LoveSonu2408chicksoupMs.Sherlockedsoul76

AnnzSageflower7 IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 03 October 2015 at 4:28am | IP Logged
Goodness... what a nail-biting chapter!! 
You've captured the tension and breathless nervousness of the impending revelation perfectly.  I was holding my breath there during the revelation. .. 

So unfair that Aahil heaps all that deception on Sanam and expects her to just get over it and forgive him and accept him without so much as a private word. Just like stubborn men. Ugh. 

Poor Sanam and Seher. But it's all out. .. !

Bring on the angst baby!!Clap

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darkice7_12

NanduVijay Groupbie
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Posted: 03 October 2015 at 4:39am | IP Logged
Amazing update. Aahil in jallad jinn mode completely.
But he should have told everything about him to Sanam first. He wants Sanam to trust him and understand him when he never does that. Really felt sorry for my poor Sanam.
He was quite even when Lateef dragged Sanam away. This is not fair for the Nawab to treat his ladylove.
Poor Sanam till date she was in pain due to his avoidance. Now this truth and we know what will be Asad's reaction.
Seriously, I wanted to slap both Aahil and Rehan for not telling the truth about them to Sanam and Seher first.
Continue soon.

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darkice7_12

Shailu.. IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 03 October 2015 at 4:52am | IP Logged
Awesome update Clap
Truth has come out like thisShocked
Now what will happen
Continue soonSmile

Edited by shailu123 - 06 October 2015 at 1:36am
onlyaahil Newbie
onlyaahil
onlyaahil

Joined: 27 March 2015
Posts: 25

Posted: 03 October 2015 at 7:12am | IP Logged
Finally Aahil revealed the truth!
Excited to see what will be sanam' s reaction.
Nicely written Clap Plz update soon if possible.

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darkice7_12

muskaan17rocks Goldie
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Posted: 03 October 2015 at 8:34am | IP Logged
This was definitely one gripping chapter 
Loved reading it
Finally the trauth is out in the open
Waiting to know whether sanam will take rehan's advice and go talk to aahil or not
Please continue soon 
Will be waiting impatiently Smile

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Posted: 03 October 2015 at 8:35am | IP Logged
Finally Ahil revealed the triuth..wht a dhamaka..
its full JJ attitude..
b4 he said anythng,sanam strtd understanding bt ignr it..her reaction was as expected..poor sanam..
ahil hv his own insecurity..i cnt blame him fully...but wish he at 1st tell everythng to sanam..
&avi tak rehan being tanvir's son wo vi reveal nehi hua...
wht will b sanam's reaction to ahil??wht will ahil decide??
really wnt to knw & waiting 4 sahil's powerpack intense convo...
love it.cnt soon...

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Posted: 03 October 2015 at 8:47am | IP Logged
Dear, what a wonderful and long update it is...AWESOME is the word! Clap

Asad and his daughters is something to look out for. When they are together there are always feisty convos between them. And I love it.

It was very bad of Aahil for not stopping Lateef for dragging Sanam down. What on earth is wrong with him Angry. You don't do that to the woman you love...damn!

And finally the revelation, oh God...I was so nervous myself  Ouch


The echoes of her dreams ran through her head. She clapped her hands over her ears, trying to stop them. But it was no use. The truth was reverberating in her brain. He was the real Nawab. "How could you hide it from me?" she silently yelled at him. "How could you?"

He gazed silently at her, his eyes sparking as if he had heard her silent yells. He looked at only her when he spoke those next words, as if the next revelation was just for her.

I'm glad that Sanam figured it out herself before he revealed the truth himself.

The crowd began to whisper, the shock evident in those whispers. He waited, letting the noise die down. And in that wait, he never looked away from her.

I felt it for Sanam, she must be feeling very small and insulted by him and the truth at that moment.

"You'd probably been wondering why the Nawab had remained silent in this conversation. You were also probably wondering why I got to stand up here and reveal all of this. Then wonder no longer. I am Aahil Raza Ibrahim, the Nawab of Bhopal." He smirked at the crowd, seeming to enjoy their shock. He even smiled for the cameras as they went crazy in their photo-taking frenzy. "And . . . I am the ex-convict."

This must be so hard for him also, but at least the truth is out. It's still not the right way and fair to Sanam though!

Their eyes met once more as he moved through the crowd. He gazed at her quietly as he strode closer, but his eyes said nothing. They were calm pools, allowing no emotion to shine through. He grew closer and closer, and Sanam stiffened at that proximity. But then he was moving past, her, without saying one word, and striding up the stairs.

Gosh...So heart breaking Cry Broken Heart

How can Rehan expect from Sanam to take the first step to talk to him. They both have lied to the girls, geez...!!!Angry   I'm hoping Aahil will take the first step. He was so wrong...

Thx for this Amazing chapter.


Nice VM's and a great song. Have always loved it. His voice...like pleading and sad!




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