“Where to, sir?” the voice behind the darkened partition asks.
“The jet, Jarrah,” Amir says softly, rubbing his eyes and then closing
them as he lays his head against the soft cushion behind him.
“Yes, sir,” Jarrah answers, and slides the partition shut. He doesn’t
ask questions, and it’s been long enough that he barely thinks them
As the car hums along, Amir feels the phone buzz in his pocket, and he
glances at the caller first, before sighing heavily as he picks up and
says, “You do know it’s the middle of the damned night, and by all
rights, I should be sleeping.” His voice is calm, betraying none of
the irritation he feels. Nevertheless, the caller can hear it — can
She’s always been able to.
“You’re alive, at least. I had imagined something far, far worse than
hearing you, angry,” Amirah says.
“I’m not angry,” Amir tells her, his voice blank.
“You can fool the world, brother, but not me,” she quips. “I’ll bet
your pretty lips told plenty of lies tonight. I could taste them. What
is going on?”
“Business, sister,” he says lowly. “Business.”
“Important business, to interrupt your trysting,” she says, and there
is laughter in her voice. If Amir were truly not angry, the amusement
she felt would color his mood; he could let himself revel in it, and
release whatever mild tensions he had. As it was, however, he was
furious, and hurt, and disappointed. When he doesn’t answer, it is
his mood that colors hers, and she hisses, “Father?”
“He’s called me, Amirah,” he says quietly. “He’s called, and he is angry.”
“What are you going to do?” she wonders, anxious.
“Go to see him,” Amir Asad murmurs. “The only thing I can do.”
“You can’t, Amir,” she answers. “You cannot. Wait it out. The anger
will fade. Finish your work here — don’t go now. You won’t come back.
Don’t go, Amir. Think of all you’ll leave behind; what of your
boy? What of John? Certainly he can keep you occupied as he has
“That is precisely why I must go, Amirah. If this thing with Father
is to be settled, it must be settled now. I cannot risk him coming
here again. If he seeks further information on what I am doing, what
do you think he will do to that boy?”
“Amir. There is something you aren’t telling me about him. I feel you
“Am I? Truly? Perhaps I am only hiding it from myself, sister. Can’t
you see it?” he teases quietly, darkly.
“If that is your truth, Amir, then do what you will. If you can deal
with Father, so much the better. Do nothing foolish. And come home,
soon. I love you, brother.”
“I love you, sister. Take care of him for me.”
“…wh–Amir? Amir!” she cries, but the line is dead.
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