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"I called you to come home and you bring to me an American?" Sheikh Khalid spoke to his son with calmness although he could not deny the fact that he was greatly disappointed.
"I am sorry if it upsets you father, but I am going to marry her and I will!" Omar voiced out, his back to his father and his palms in a fist.
"Marry her?!" Khalid fumed and his eyes shot open. "Have you forgotten so soon? You are my son! The only son of Sheikh Khalid bin Aaban! You are Omar bin Khalid bin Aaban, did you forget that you are of a royal lineage and as such can not be tangled up in such... union. I forbid it!"
"You cannot forbid it! She is my choice!"
Megan Walker was his choice, she had always been, right from the moment he first saw her in the large American mall in New Orleans. The small woman had been standing rooted to a spot, her mind had been somewhere else, somewhere painful he could tell that much because she cried. He chose to first watch her from a distance, wondering how someone could be so lost in thoughts, despite the sea of people bustling around her and even with the noise he was sure she could not hear.
He watched her from his position inside the Brit café, sitting at his favorite spot which was by the window. He leaned back on the chair and blew on his coffee, the rich aroma went into his nostrils with every breath he breathed in. He took a sip and fixed his eyes on her, not for once looking away.
She stood facing the gla.s.s walls and clutching the camera which hung on her neck by the strap. Her brown hair was tied up in a cute messy bun, exposing her slender and spotless neck which he had found tempting to bite. He coughed and looked away briefly, blinking away the thoughts before bringing his eyes to look back at her.
She sighed and shifted her weight away from one leg to the other, tilting her head slightly to the right. She wore loose fitting clothes but one could easily tell that the big leopard printed shirt couldn't hide the comfortable swell of her b.r.e.a.s.t.s. The shirt was tucked into matching brown pleated pants that outlined her curvy hips and reached down to her ankles where the brown boots finished her outfit.
Omar studied her face, studied her expression. Her eyes were sad and teary and her lips were slightly apart, so pink and just full enough, she was not on any makeup and yet she could capture his attention while looking so natural. She was indeed beautiful. He noticed a tear glistering in the sun light, it inched its way down her cheek from her left eye and clung to her jaw without her knowing it and she sniffled.
He knew he had fallen in love with her then and he had loved her till the moment she had accepted his proposal and even now that his father vehemently discouraged their union, she was still his choice.
What? A thirty four year old Arabian man couldn't make choices for himself? Why, because he was the Sheikh's son? His only son?
Sheikh Khalid bin Aaban was silent and his eyes now remained closed. Being the Sheikh, there was nothing more to say, Omar was his son by blood and he had to do accordingly to the words of his father's mouth, it didn't matter by hook or by crook, he would have to. He breathed in and out to calm himself because he needed to be calm or he would have blood on his hands. The blood of an American. The blood of a simple American.
When he had called for Omar to return to Saudi Arabia, the reason was to prepare him for the marriage he had arranged, he hadn't told Omar the reason because he felt he didn't need to but he surely hadn't antic.i.p.ated that Omar would bring a woman with him, a woman he claimed he wanted to marry. And she had greeted him nicely in the Arabian manner, something he was sure Omar had taught her to in order to impress him but the Sheikh had been somewhat disgusted.
He had ignored her and allowed them for that day. Now he had told Omar his mind, not for his son to approve but to do as was told.
Khalid waited, a message was supposed to have reached him by now. His frown deepened, he clenched his fist taking much deep breaths. He remembered how easy his daughters had been, how willing, how obedient. He had married them off at the ripe age, all at nineteen.
He could have married them off when they had turned sixteen but for some reason which he wasn't quite sure of himself, he had decided to wait and he had been pleased with his decision. Not one of them had voiced out in rebellion, they knew the kind of man their father was and he would not have thought twice before punishing them.
Omar being the only son he had, had been allowed much more freedom than the girls. He had felt it deserving because Omar was his only successor so he had spoilt the boy silly and he had also sent him abroad to school, it was like another jewel added to his crown. But now this jewel was rusting, the boy had adopted the Western life and forgotten his duties. No worries, he would teach his son so over again. He breathed deeply.
The curtain to the tent was suddenly thrown wide open and a messenger rushed in, stopping in front of the Sheikh and bowing his head to the ground.
"As-salamu alaikom." The messenger greeted the Sheikh. Khalid smiled, the work was done. The family's blood had never in history been tainted by any bond with a non Islam worshiper, not by outsiders, much less not by a simple American. He was saving his family the disgrace and he would never regret his actions.
"Is it done?" He spoke calmly but with a stern voice and without opening his eyes.
"The lady was not found in her tent Sheikh, she's escaped." He opened his eyes now. Omar spun to face his father and the messenger, baffled at what he had just heard.
"Find her and send her back to where ever she came from...." He grabbed the messenger's arm forcefully, "...if she or anyone resists my orders, send her back in pieces if need be. Go."
Omar watched in horror as the messenger nodded and left the tent in a hurry then he faced his father, slowly approaching where he sat.
"You have been hypnotised by the simple American whom you claim to be in love with." Khalid cut him off, speaking calmly and without remorse. "What I do now, I do for the greater good, to preserve the untainted blood of the family. You! will not ruin that. I spit on your unholy relationship!"
"Unholy relationship? She is a human being! What is unholy about that?"
"She is not..." Khalid paused. "You are not allowed!"
"I am a grown up man for crying out loud let me make my choices!"
"A grown up man who knows nothing of tradition! Your choices... are not in accordance with mine."
"They don't have to be! It is my choice to love her and want to be with her. I love her father! Why can you not see that?"
"Love is pointless in the long run. In two hundred years would you remember the youth in her eyes? Or the way she smiled? Or probably the way her touch makes you feel. What you thought is love is nothing but a fling and it's time to end this nonsense charade. You have a marriage to prepare for."
"Two hundred what...?" Omar was frustrated. "Yes father! Yes, maybe I will! I will remember everything, because I know that what we feel for each other is not a fling. I love her, I am in love with her. You will not touch my bride!" He raced out of the tent, he had to find Megan.