(SM) owns Twilight.
(CozItRunsInMyBlood) owns the plot.
(RobzBeanie) is a lifesaver and she beta this.
(GrandeDame) is my soul-mate and per-reader.
It wasn't shock that made me stare at my brother with a gaping mouth, it was confusion. It took me several moments to register what he really said before I asked, "Marriage? Me?"
"Would you please give us five minutes, Sheikh?" Jasper asked the elderly man, who nodded and left the room, leaving the folder behind him and closing the door.
"Marie, it's too important for you to do this. It's a life or death decision, believe me," Jasper pleaded.
"What do you mean, Jasper? You're telling me I have to get married? Right now? Are you insane?"
"No, I'm not insane, it's the only solution."
"Solution for what? You're confusion me. What is this?"
"Listen to me, I can't marry Alice without you marrying Mazen. It's the law."
"Then don't marry her – are you out of your mind? I don't even know the guy, and I couldn't care less about their stupid law!" My voice was getting louder by the second. This was so ridiculous.
"Mazen is a great guy. I would've never agreed to this if I didn't know he'd treat you like a queen. Marie, just marrying him will make you a princess."
"I don't frigging care. I don't want to get married, I'm only twenty-two. I don't know the guy to even like him, and he's an Arab, Muslim! I'd never want to consider him as a remote relative, let alone a husband! And, you're taking my childhood dream of being a princess way too seriously, Jasper!"
My brother left his spot on the sofa and got down on his knees in front of me, his eyes begging me with everything in them to hear him out, to do what he wanted me to do. But it was so insane! I wasn't even ready yet to seriously think about the fact that he was even suggesting it.
"Marie, I'm in love with Alice. I have to marry her, there is no other option," he spoke in a low voice.
"Are you kidding me right now? It has nothing to do with me if you're in love with an Arab with stupid traditions. Who do you think you are? Who gave you the right to put me into this position? Huh?"
"Listen to me," he said forcefully, his voice as low as he could get it to be. "Alice is pregnant. It's mine. If I don't marry her, they'll kill her, Marie, do you understand? They'll kill her and consider her as if she was never born!"
I gaped at him with wide eyes, my mind trying to take in what he was saying. Alice was pregnant? He did it? They'll kill her?
Oh, my God!
"You freaking idiot!" I punched him on the shoulder, not so hard but hard enough to let him know that I was completely upset with him and his actions. "You knocked her up? Where are your frigging manners? Mom and Dad are so ashamed of you, I'm sure of it."
"Marie! We don't have time for this, you have to sign the papers."
"I'm not signing anything; this is your problem, not mine."
"How could you be so selfish? I'm telling you they'll kill her! They could kill me as well!"
"Of course they would! Do you think they'll let the one who caused her death go?"
"Isn't that what I've been telling you, Jasper? Arabs kill people, Muslims do as well. And you go like the stupid man you are and knock up one that is both!"
"We have no time for this," he said again, so impatiently this time.
"Why do I have to marry her brother anyway? Is everyone here married to each other's brothers and sisters?"
"They have to take blood for blood," he said as a matter of fact.
"Blood for blood? What do you mean? Isn't that when you kill somebody? Oh, my God! You took someone's blood?"
"Not the blood you think, Marie. I, uh, I took her virginity."
My eyebrows were furrowed for just a moment after he spoke, before they shot up to my hairline when I understood what he meant.
"You freaking jerk! How could you? How could you?!" I punched him with both of my fists on his chest as he knelt in front of me and took it all with his head down, a look of regret and sorrow covering his entire face.
He should be more than sorry.
"Sign the papers," he said after he reached behind himself, took the folder off the table, and handed it to me.
"I'm not signing anything; you're delusional!" I jerked the folder away, shoving it into his chest and resting my back on the back of the sofa, folding my arms over my chest and looking down at him with disgust pouring out of my eyes.
Minutes passed as we stayed frozen like we were. The only sound around us was our frustrated if not slow breaths, along with the fading music coming from outside with the strange noises the women kept on making every once in a while.
Finally, Jasper stood up, then looked down at me and glared. He seriously had the nerve to glare at me when it should be me doing all of the glaring. Not like I wasn't glaring back or anything, because God knows I was doing it pretty well.
Suddenly, Jasper shoved his hand down into his pocket at the same moment his other hand fisted my hair and yanked it back, hard.
The next thing I knew was the feeling of cold metal pressed into my temple, then a click so close to my ear that my sudden fear of it made the sound almost painful.
My brother had a gun pressed into my head, and he was ready to pull the trigger. To kill me. His sister.
"Jasper!" I gasped.
"I've been begging the fuck out of you to sign the fucking papers for the last fifteen minutes, but no way, you're so fucking full of yourself that you won't even consider saving the life of an innocent girl whose only mistake was falling in love with me."
My eyes widened even more at the tone and the curses my brother was using, a tone I'd never heard in his voice before in my whole life, let alone directed at me – me, of all people. My heart was pounding so hard against my chest that I was so sure it was going to burst out soon. My throat tightened as the tears choked me before falling out of my eyes. I was drowning in disbelief.
"And better yet, you're refusing a fucking prince, someone who could be the next king for this fucking kingdom. He has the money and the power as well as noble blood, but no, you think you're way better than this. You're so fucking selfish, Marie. I can't even find a word for your selfishness!"
"I'm selfish?" I whispered through my tears. "And what do you call the one who's pointing the gun at his sibling here? Me or you? Who promised his sister to someone who's everything she's loathed her whole life just for him to marry the one he loves?"
"It's not about love, Marie, don't you get it? I could live with a broken heart, but not with her blood on my hands!"
I replied with more tears as I kept my eyes tightly closed. I couldn't look at his face, the thing he had in his eyes was something I wished I would never see again. I wasn't even able to stand being close to him when he looked down at me like that.
"Sign the papers, Marie."
"Sign the fucking papers, you selfish bitch!" he yelled at me.
I think at that moment, a part of my soul died at hearing his words. Jasper had never, ever called me a name, never. And hearing him saying that – it broke me.
I couldn't believe my own ears, couldn't believe I was actually awake; this was a horrible dream, a nightmare.
With a shaking hand, I picked up the folder and the pen off of the floor, searching for the blank spot where the man had motioned for me to sign it, and did just that.
I signed my name on five copies of the same contract, each holding my picture and the prince's.
I signed the papers that sold my soul to the devil.
I then was instructed by him to press my ink-smudged thumb to the end of my picture and the start of the paper.
My brother came behind me with the gun still pressed to the back of my head and called for the elderly man to come in, the man said it was not acceptable that I signed before he got to ask me if I agreed. Like that would matter. He then asked me if I approved on marring prince Mazen, and Jasper pressed the hidden-in-my-hair-and between-us gun more to my head.
"Please, speak loud, Benty,"
"I—do," broken plea was out of my mouth as I spoke the words.
When I was done, and the man left, Jasper moved the gun away from my head and let go of my hair. I could see with the corner of my eye as he put it back in his pocket. He then kneeled again in front of me and took my shaking hands in his.
"Thank you, Marie. I'll always owe you, for the rest of my life."
His words brought back Alice's almost-same words into my mind. Did she know about this? Of course she did. But the real question was: did she know I was being forced right now into giving up my life for hers?
I didn't know …
By the time Jasper left the room and closed the door behind him, I was crying hysterically. I fell on my side on the sofa and cried my eyes out, holding my cross beside my heart for dear life, begging God for mercy, to give me the strength to withstand the betrayal of my brother.
I couldn't believe Jasper would really do this. And to me of all people?! What was going on in the world? What is this kind of world anyway?
Oh, my God!
I couldn't register the fact that I had just celebrated my wedding. I had just celebrated my wedding with people I didn't even know! How could I be so stupid? How come I didn't pick up on all of the signs that it was my own wedding party along with my brother's?
They gave me all of those diamonds just like they gave them to Alice. The prince put all of those jewels on me just like Jasper did with her. My arm was hooked to his as we walked to the hall. Just like our siblings.
They wanted me to wear a wedding dress. A freaking wedding dress. Kareen said it was a tradition. Of course it was. The bride should wear a huge, white wedding dress, not a silver one like the one I was wearing!
Oh, my God! She said I had to wax as well? Why did they want me to wax? Was it for the fact that I'd be sleeping with the prince soon? Tonight?
Oh, God! I'd never let that pig touch me!
I shot up into standing position like the sofa was on fire and looked around, finally really taking the room in. The sheets on the bed were white with red rosebuds all over them, shaped like a giant heart.
God! Oh, God!
I felt a bit lightheaded as I imagined myself on that bed doing what they expected me to do.
I ran to stand next to the bed where I saw colored lights coming from a window on the wall beside it. I looked closely, searching for a way to escape from that window but found none since it was blocked by iron bars from the outside.
With hurried steps, I made my way to the door in the corner of the room, which turned out to be a bathroom just like I had expected – a freakily huge one, at that. I looked all over the bathroom for any sort of an exit but all of my efforts came out fruitless.
My hands came to my collar and I yanked the button that held my robe together over my body and let it fall to the floor; it was choking me. I gripped the same hair that my brother had just let go of not ten minutes earlier and groaned in frustration, my tears out of my control.
That was it. There was no way out for me. No way at all.
My eyes caught my reflection in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw. It was a sad girl with black tears running down her cheeks and a broken heart caused by her brother's unfaithfulness.
In my frustrated state, I didn't realize I had picked up a bottle of lotion from the counter and smashed the mirror with it until I saw the shattered pieces flying down to the floor.
Once I saw those broken pieces, a thought crept into my mind: I have to hurt the prince. There was no other way. I'd give up my own life before I gave up my body to him.
After I washed my face and ran a brush through my hair, I sat on the edge of the bed, waiting for him.
I had a sharp piece of the mirror in my hand, holding it securely but carefully so as to not let it dig into my skin, hiding it with the robe I'd put on once again. I had no idea what I was going to do other than I was going to protect myself with it. There was no way I wasn't going to fight him; if it came down to it and he wouldn't be threatened, then I'd just have to hurt him, and I'd run away when he goes down. Once again I didn't know what I was going to do once I left this room, but at least I'd be out of it.
God will help me.
As expected, I heard a knock and immediately my heartbeat sped up. The door was opened just a moment after the knock without me telling him to enter the room.
What I didn't expect though, was that it wasn't a him by the door, but a girl wearing black clothes who looked to be in her thirties or a bit older. She entered the room and closed the door behind her.
"Princess," she said, and bowed her head in a sort of nod.
Princess. I'm a princess now. And not even slightly happy about it.
"I am Mona, your servant. Is there is anything I can help you with?" she asked with a heavy accent, but in perfect English nonetheless.
I wanted to break the news to her, telling her that she'd be without a job soon, but held my tongue.
I shook my head.
"I can help you change your clothes, Princess."
"I'm fine," I said firmly.
"As you wish, Princess. Prince Mazen will be here shortly."
"If you need anything, just call my name," she said before leaving.
I held my breath as I kept staring at the door, waiting for it to be opened and reveal my never-going-to-be husband.
My heart started thumping again in my chest when I saw the knob turning and the stupid door being opened again.
The prince entered the room in all of his royal, handsome glory. I swallowed thickly as I watched him close the door then lock it.
God! Oh, God!
He flashed me a crooked smile that I was so sure had dropped many panties before, but it wasn't going to work with mine. Not tonight.
The prince came closer to me and my breath hitched as he made his way to the bed where I was sitting.
He was my husband and I'd yet to hear one word out of his mouth.
How sad was that!
Once he was standing right in front of me, he reached for me with his hand. I tried my best not to flinch as it came closer to my body, clutching the broken piece of glass in my own hand under the robe.
He kept his hand in the air and I stared at it. He wanted me to put my hand in his, but I wasn't so sure I wanted to do that.
"Princess," he said, his voice softer than velvet – the first word I'd ever heard from him. A word that sent shivers down my spine.
I found my hand reaching for his without any effort from me. Looking up into his face when I was finally on my feet, I found him still smiling that dazzling smile of his. He was even more handsome than an hour ago if that was possible. I found myself wondering how I'd feel about him if he wasn't what he was, if he was something else instead of everything I despised. I could imagine myself easily falling for him, and I was the one who never fell for anybody.
It was crazy, the emotions inside me; it was crazy.
And not fair.
His other hand came up to my face and he brushed a wayward lock of hair out of my face. For some unknown reason, I found my eyes burning with my unshed tears, tears I had no idea why they were there in the first place.
"You're such a beauty," he said in a low voice, genuine admiration in his voice.
For a moment, I felt bad. Maybe he was nice after all, but – no way, I wasn't going to fall into his traps; it was only a mask, I knew it.
"My beautiful bride," he whispered. The thumb of the hand that was now touching my jaw made a soft brush over my cheek, close to my mouth, before his eyes left my own to focus on my lips.
I knew what was to come then. He wanted to kiss me. Well, he could dream as much as he wanted, but it wasn't going to be anything other than that – a dream.
"Isn't that uncomfortable?" He motioned with his eyes to my robe. His English was flawless; you could easily mistake him for a native English speaker, though he had a British accent. His hand that was touching my face made it to my collar and he fingered the slit that held the button in place, his eyes searching mine for permission to go on, really going on when I closed mine, refusing to meet his. Maybe he considered it just bashfulness, but it was nothing but me gathering the will to do what I wanted to do.
Once my robe fell to the floor, I raised my hand that held the blade-like piece and attempted to hurt the hand that was once more touching my neck. But before I was even close enough, his hand held my wrist and squeezed, tightly.
"What the hell?!" He looked at my hand that he held firmly in his with wide eyes and shock dominating his beautiful features.
"Let go of me,'' I screamed, tears streaming down my face. "Let go of me, you animal, I'll never be yours, never! Over my dead body!"
The prince's eyes widened even more at the sound of my words. It took him a few moments as he kept staring into my eyes, bright-green into clear-blue, confusion-filled into anger-consumed, before his other hand let go of my hand that he'd been holding all along. He yanked the broken piece out of my hand that he was gripping strongly, and threw it away then let go of both of my hands.
"Why did you agree to the marriage?" he said in a low voice.
"I never agreed to this, my brother forced me, don't you get it? I'd rather be dead and buried than be touched by your filthy Arabian hands!"
I thought anger would be the thing I'd see in his eyes when he heard what I said, but anger didn't come until later. It was hurt that filled his eyes. Hurt.
I felt a slight tingle in my chest, right where my heart beat and my blood pumped out to my body. Something stung inside me when I saw him looking so wounded in front of me. I had no idea what that feeling was. I had no idea why would I feel that way for a perfect stranger, someone I would never like to even be seen with, at that.
The prince walked away from me, leaving me standing right in front of the bed, and then he sat down in one of the arm chairs across from me.
I watched him as he dropped his head and buried it in his hands, his form screaming: broken. I hated that he looked like that. I hated that I was the reason for it. I hated that I hated it. I knew I shouldn't care, but I did.
Minutes later, I sat down on the edge of the bed again, watching him as he sat with his shoulders hunched and his head bent down. I would've given up an arm to know what he was thinking at that moment.
I didn't know what would I do from there, or what the prince would do after learning I didn't want him, and it was – scary.
Minutes passed and stretched into hours, hours passed as we sat like that, hardly ever moving. The music silenced at some point during the night, and the darkness faded and tuned into the bright light of the morning.
It was a knock on the door that made me aware of how scared I was, because I gasped loudly when I heard it, even though it wasn't that strong of a knock, but a very soft one.
The prince stood up and went to the door, saying a word in Arabic that I didn't understand. Mona replied with her name then he asked her something that she responded to with a quiet voice. His head turned in my direction and I saw anger flashing in his eyes as his nostrils flared, then he replied to her without moving his eyes away from mine.
The next thing I knew was him taking off the thing over his head and setting it on the arm chair. For a moment, I was mesmerized by his hair that I could see for the first time, a dark brown mess of locks that went in every direction when he released it from under that cover, locks that appeared to be so soft that my fingertips wanted to touch.
I woke up from my dazzled mind when he started unbuttoning the gelbab he was wearing. Fear consumed me and filled every cell of my body as I saw him take it off and throw it to the floor as he took a step closer.
Wearing only a white wife beater and white pants, he made his way to a huge serving dish of fruits that was placed beside a vase of roses on a round table in the middle of the room.
My eyes widened as I saw him take the knife that lay beside the fruit dish on the table. He took the few steps to where I was now standing by the edge of the bed, anger coming off of him in strong waves.
He's going to kill me!
Oh, my God! I'm going to die. I'm going to die.
Sheikh = Elder. Used mostly to describe a man with a great knowledge of Islam, like a Priest in Christianity.
Benty = My child / My daughter.
The trading siblings thing does not happen in Arabian countries, not because of traditions anyway. However, it does happen in an Islamic country. Though, it has NOTHING to do with Islam, it's just tradition.
It was a known fact for so many years in some countries that the girl who loses her virginity before marriage gets killed by her family. Sadly, some of it still happens until this day, which is disgusting in my opinion. Again, it has nothing to do with Islam, only sick traditions.
AN: The blog is two chapters ahead.
Reviews would make me SO happy. JS. Thanks for reading.