Daisy, now a business woman working only with legal ventures, has changed her life for the man she loves.
Idris changed his life for her, as well. But when faced with an opportunity to take on a case with a personal connection, does he keep his word to Daisy or right the hurt from his past?
As a detective who’s moved out of the undercover world, Idris isn’t adverse to danger. In fact, he finds himself seeking it. He just isn’t prepared for what that means for Daisy, and neither is she. Can future hold enough promise that Daisy and Idris are willing to let go of the past?
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THIRTEEN YEARS AGO, BACK IN UAK
“It’s okay. Help is coming. Stay with me.”
“I’m tired, bro. I’ll just rest my eyes.”
“No!” I shake Tariq’s cold body, heavy from the lack of life flowing through his veins. “Don’t you dare close your eyes.” I peel his lids back.
The eyes that stare back do not register me. “Tariq, help is coming.” I stand back from the bed where I found him, a tourniquet bound around his arm, foam escaping his blue lips, and haul him onto his side, pushing his head back and praying that he’ll spew his guts over the black silk sheets he lies upon. I keep chattering away, bullshit words that mean nothing, yet everything.
I lied. I have not called for help yet. I’ve only just found him, haven’t had time to make the call. I was passing his room in our family home. I felt something wrong with the atmosphere as I passed the door, which was ajar. It took me a split second to step back and slowly press open the door enough to see my brother laid out like a corpse on the bed. It took even less time for me to sprint across the space to be beside him and to plead with him and to understand what happened.
I scream at him, my voice louder now, less concerned than angry. “Tariq, do not sleep! Do you hear me, you motherfucker? Stay awake!” I wrestle my hand against his shoulder while waiting for my call to be answered with the other.
This was no mistake.
Perhaps it was an accident.
Who is to say he intended this to be the end result today? But a mistake it was not. Tariq was always too sensitive to deal with what this family threw at him.
Servants are coming now, from all directions. In my highly tuned state, I’m aware of everything going on around me. Their feet scurry on our tiled floor, their voices hushed, sensing trouble. And yet my only focus is on Tariq’s lifeless body, sallow from the poison he forced into his veins.
He didn’t make any rattling last gasps for breath. He just allowed himself to slip away from the farce that is our life. He chose to escape with drugs. He abandoned the future that we are blessed with, and now the responsibility will fall to me. If you ask me to describe how he looks in this moment, the moment when I realize he is dead, I can’t explain what is different from the way he looked five minutes earlier, when my older brother was still alive.
But he is dead.
The life has faded from his heart — the one he no longer cared about enough to fight to keep beating.