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BandGeek47: Hello there! thank you so much for reading BOTH my stories. I tried answering your question on your account page, but maybe you can't access it since you sent this in as a guest? But if you can't log in, I can't respond to your questions other than this way. Sorry. But yes I do know the story you mean - but it was never completed. Too bad. It is called The Spark That Ignites The Flame By: PhantomsOpera13

CherryChocoholic: OK...this time the bomb WILL go off...start the countdown! ha ha. And I'm afraid I am of no help in the name changing department, ha ha. Tell Elvis I wish her all the best in discovering her new identity.

ALL GUESTS: This will be the last time I can answer your reviews - thank you for them all in the past and all the ones that might come in the future. Remember, if you don't have an account, I can't respond back to you. See you next story!


Here it is...the final chapter...AGAIN!


Chapter 5



Emily was having the time of her life. Amir was everything she had always believed him to be; suave, debonair, charming, a great dancer and delightfully attentive. She could not have asked for more in a suitor. And best of all, he wished to court her…her! She had been so lost in his dark and dreamy eyes all evening, that she hardly noticed that the party was winding down until the musicians ended their last song and began to pack up their instruments. Many of the guests had already departed and the ones that had lingered began to crowd around to wish the guest of honor farewell, offering kisses and hugs at they said their goodbyes.

Soon it was just her and Amir once again and Emily had no complaints about that. Yet before she had the chance to speak with him, out of the corner of her eye she could see Erik approaching, his long strides eating up the space between them rather quickly…and he did not appear to be happy at all. She watched with wide eyes and a gaping mouth as he strode forth and struck Amir soundly in the face, causing him to lurch backwards and fall to the floor, his hand immediately going to cover his now bleeding nose.

"Erik!" Emily screamed, stepping between her brother and her fallen love. "What has come over you?"

"The light of understanding, it would appear!" Erik fumed. "Though it evidently came a bit late." He once again made for his still prone friend but Emily was too quick for him. Pulling back her foot she brought it forth with as much power as she could muster, kicking Erik soundly in the shin.

"Damn it to hell, Emily!" Erik yelled, limping over to steady himself against one of the pillars as he rubbed his now aching leg. "You are not a child of five any longer! That really hurt!"

"Oh and I am sure the punch you just gave Amir was only meant to tickle?" Emily rebuked as she hurried to Amir's side, pulling out a handkerchief and giving it to him to stem the tide of crimson liquid dripping from his nose. Several drops had made their way to the polished dance floor before he could get the bleeding under control. "Look what you have done to him!"

"I told you that blood would stain this dance floor if you did not keep your inexperienced feminine wiles under control tonight," Erik reminded her, his face still contorted in a painful glare as he continued to rub his shin, knowing for sure there would be a monumental bruise there in the morning. "You may not have known what you were doing but I know for a fact that Amir does and that is what makes this betrayal worse!"

"I never betrayed you!" Amir shot back in defense as Emily helped him to his feet. "And neither did I do anything that might even remotely be misconstrued as immoral towards Emily! Now if you would just simmer down and let me explain!"

"Explain?!" Erik bellowed, taking a threatening step forward, yet once again he was blocked by Emily's protective stance. "Yes please explain to me why I was forced to watch the two of you practically make love to each other with your eyes for the past hour or so? Explain why my baby sister was being exclusively held in your arms when she should have been enjoying the innocent attentions of multiple dance partners? Or perhaps you could explain why my father had to point all of this out to me and then threaten that if I did not take care of this…this catastrophe, that he would personally do so himself?!"

"Father saw us?" Emily gasped, her eyes filling with fright. "He knows we have feelings for each other?"

"I wouldn't be surprised if the whole damn party is now aware of your blatant feelings for each other!" Erik continued to roar. "Now, in the name of all that is good and holy, will someone tell me what the hell is really going on here…not to mention for how long!"

"I love her!" Amir growled, wiping the last of the blood from his upper lip as his nose stopped bleeding.

You could have heard a pin drop as both brother and sister turned to Amir and gazed in surprise at his statement.

"You…you love me?" Emily asked in complete shock.

"You love her?" Erik's voice was a bit more sharp but held no less amazement.

Amir reached out and touched Emily's cheek, giving her a smile that melted her heart.

"I do, my little dove," he assured her. "Though I had not intended to spring it on you so soon, I came to that unavoidable conclusion as we danced tonight. You are my second half, the part I was always missing yet never knew I should be looking for. It is you, Emily…only you."

"Oh Amir!" she cried, leaping forward and throwing herself into his arms. "I love you too!"

"The hell you do!" Erik bellowed, stepping forward and pulling her away from his friend in an attempt to calm the frenzy that had overtaken his mind. "You are too young to know what love is! And you…" he accused, pointing his finger at his friend. "You have not had an honest feeling towards a girl that did not involve a quick roll in the hay since I have known you!"

"Well isn't that the pot calling the kettle black! When did you become such an expert on love that you can stand there and tell me that I do not have such feelings for your sister? A man can change you know," Amir pointed out, looking over at Emily with longing in his eyes. "When he finds the right woman."

"She is just a child!" Erik argued. "And my baby sister!"

"I may be your sister, Erik Morant, but I am far from a baby and no longer a child!" Emily informed him, pulling away from him as she ran back into Amir's waiting arms. "I am a woman now, something you apparently missed due to the fact that you were far too busy chasing and bedding every willing strumpet in a skirt for the past few years!" At this Amir could not help but give a snort of humor. Yet the look of death that Erik shot his way made him sober quickly as Emily continued. "That's right, I am all grown up and I assure you that I know exactly what I want out of life. And I want Amir, just as much as he wants me."

"Oh God, I think I am going to be sick," Erik lamented as he turned away and braced himself against the pillar once more, hoping it would assist him in remaining vertical. "What the hell am I supposed to do with this horrifying information?"

"Accept it, my friend," Amir suggested, enjoying the feel of Emily in his arms, while at the same time pitying his friend for the turmoil this was causing him. He knew Erik to be a fair man and once the idea was not so new, the wound so fresh, he had confidence that he would see reason…or at least he hoped he would. "I know I have never shown a measure of loyalty or fidelity towards any of the women in my past…but I never loved any of them either. I can with all honesty say, here and now, that I love your sister with all my heart. I will not be swayed, my feelings will never alter and heaven help you if you choose to oppose this union, Erik. I will fight for her…die for her if needs be… but I would rather have your blessing than your anger. Please say you will at least consider giving us your approval."

Erik stood there, his back leaning against the pillar for some time, just staring at the two lovers before him. Emily's eyes were pleading with him to accept Amir's words, to relent and give his blessing, while Amir looked at his friend with nothing short of resolute determination. What was he to do? If he said no, he would lose not only the love and respect of his precious little sister, but the best friend he ever had as well. Amir had been loyal to him since the day they had met, standing by his side through thick and thin, joy and danger, and never once had he asked for a damn thing. Well now he had. But to ask for his sister!

To top it all off, his father was keenly aware of Amir's admiration for Emily, as well as hers for him, and that spelled danger. Cedric Morant cared little for them, as his children, but public opinion meant everything to that man and he would not stand to be humiliated in any way. Unfortunately he deemed his daughter being courted by a foreigner an affront to his station and title. Erik knew of many fathers who encouraged their daughters to make lucrative marriages, steering them towards gentlemen they deemed worthy of linking with their family name. And he would not be shocked if Cedric wished for Emily to do the very same thing. Erik doubted it would matter in the least to their paternal figure how Emily might feel on the subject or that she claimed to be in love…that bastard only thought of himself.

With a gasp of horror, Erik suddenly wondered if that was exactly what he was doing as well? While he had nothing against Amir's nationality, he found that his friend's misspent youth – one Erik had joined in whole heartedly – was what had prompted his objections. It made his stomach turn to imagine his precious little sister being taken to a man's bed and even worse to think it was by someone who knew his way around beneath the sheets. He would much prefer it be a love struck young lad, unschooled in the ways of the world, both of them fumbling around not knowing what to do but discovering it all within the innocent ways of young love. Certainly not with the Persian Romeo who had more notches on his scimitar than possibly even Erik himself! But could he condemn Amir for his past? No. For if he did…how could he ever hope to be accepted by some fine young lady when he deemed himself ready to settle down? Besides…if he thought about it, Emily could do a lot worse than Amir Dessan.

"Oh hell," Erik sighed, slumping slightly as if in defeat. And in truth he was defeated. He had no more fight in him and with both of them ganging up on him, throwing their unwavering love in his face as their weapon, he knew he was vanquished. "I suppose…if we keep this a secret from that blasted father of ours…you two might be able to court in secret."

"Do…do you really mean it?" Emily asked, hope filling her eyes along with a few tears of joy. "You approve of us being together?"

"I never said I approved!" Erik was quick to point out. "Yet, I highly doubt I could stop you two, so I might as well just go along with it and do damage control."

"Oh Erik, thank you!" Emily squealed with glee as she launched herself into his arm, kissing his cheek as she thanked him over and over again.

"I am forever in your debt, my friend," Amir said in a heartfelt tone as he approached and shook Erik's hand vigorously.

"And don't you forget it!" Erik warned, yet there was a hint of humor in his eyes. "But for now, I think it best that you leave Summercrest. I am unsure how many of the servants remain loyal to Cedric and I will not have this secret courtship revealed before it can even begin."

"Of course, I understand," Amir assured him as he tuned to Emily, gazing down into her love filled eyes. "I will bid you goodnight then, my love." While he would have liked nothing more than to taste her lips once again, one look at the still nauseated Erik caused him to settle with a chaste kiss upon her cheek. Then with a final shake of Erik's hand, Amir headed for the door.

"I do love him," Emily once more assured her brother once they were alone. "You may think I am too young to know my mind and heart…but I do."

"Yes," Erik sighed, reaching out his hand as he pulled her into his embrace once more. "I believe you. Just don't expect me to be too happy about it so soon. I am going to need time to get used to the idea, as well as dream up a way to keep this from our father. He will not approve and I fear what he might do should he learn the truth." They were quiet for a moment before Erik spoke again. "When did you grow up, little sister? Was I away so much that I missed it? Where did that wild little girl go that I would often have to chase through the house simply to make her sit still to eat her vegetables? Or the adorable child I would read fairytales to and who would make me flower chain necklaces, of which I was loath to wear," he added with a chuckle. "Where did she go?"

"She is still in there…somewhere," Emily whispered as she shut her eyes and buried her cheek into his chest. "But even if I have grown up, that little girl inside me still needs you. For you have always been the best brother in the world to me. No matter what…I will never stop loving you."

"Just as I will never stop loving you as well," he assured her, leaning down and kissing the top of her head. "Even if you have completely lost your mind and fallen for that pesky Persian."

This caused them both to laugh at his good natured joke, yet they did not release each other for a long time, simply standing there in the middle of the ballroom as the last vestiges of their childhood days slowly slipped away.



Later that night, Emily slipped into her nightgown and blew out the candles before climbing into bed. It had been a very long and eventful day, one filled with anticipation and the long awaited fulfillment of a dream come true. She lifted her hand to her neck and twisted the little silver heart in her fingers as a warm smile spread across her face. He loved her! Amir Dessan loved her! She had just closed her eyes when she heard a soft tapping noise from over by the window. Sitting up in bed she saw the shape of a man silhouetted against the moon clinging to her windowsill.

"Amir?" she gasped, throwing back the covers as she ran forward and opened the window. "What in the world are you doing?"

"I had to see you…just one more time before I left," he confessed, hanging precariously from the ivy trellis that grew up the side of the mansion.

"Come inside, for heaven's sake!" she instructed, stepping back to give him room.

"No…it would not be proper," he argued, shaking his head. "What if Erik came up and found us…it is not safe."

"It is far less safe for you to be scaling the wall and hanging on for dear life as you are," she countered, grabbing his arm as she forced him to comply. "Now get in here before you fall to your death!"

Unable to argue with her logic, Amir did indeed climb inside, tugging down on his waist coat and smoothing back his hair when he was firmly standing on solid ground once more.

"What was so all fired important that it could not wait till tomorrow?" Emily asked, stepping over to the table and lighting a candle as it illumined the room.

"Just this," he told her seconds before she felt his lips meet hers in another passion filled kiss. This time there was nothing holding Emily back and she did indeed give herself fully to the kiss. All her young fantasies had come true that night and she found herself even more in love than she could possibly imagine. She was truly in heaven.

When the kiss ended Amir took a cautious step back, watching her closely for any sign that she might intend to slap him a third time that night. And while he knew for a certainty he would once more forgive her, he was rather pleased that no form of chastisement came. Only a look of pure bliss as she opened her eyes and gazed up at him with love.

"I love you, Emily Morant," he whispered, brushing her cheek with the back of his knuckles, enjoying the slight blush that formed where he touched. "I know it is sudden and perhaps a little crazy, but I do so ardently adore you."

"And you will court me like a proper gentleman?" she asked, still finding it all hard to believe. "You will sit with me in the parlor and agree to a chaperone so that no one might say we behaved indecently?"

"I will do all that and more," he vowed, a look of pure joy on his face. "I will bring you roses every day, chocolates and candies if you have a taste for them and even write you poetry if you desire. Your wish shall be my command and your smiles shall be my most treasured form of payment. If you desired the moon I would sail to the ends of the earth to fetch it and hang it in the sky just for you."

"All I need is your love, Amir Dessan," Emily giggled, reaching up with her arms to encircle his neck. "If you promise to give me that, I will never ask for more."

"Rest assured that it will be yours until the day I take my last breath," Amir told her in no uncertain terms. "And nothing…nothing at all, could ever change that."

"Even Erik or my father?" she questioned, looking a bit worried.

"Erik will come around, I am certain of it," he smiled, knowing that she valued her brother's good opinion over anything else. "Your brother might be overly protective of you, and for good reason, but he would never stand in the way of true love. Give him a few days, a year tops, and he will see things our way." His small jest had the desired effect and it warmed his heart to hear her laugh. Yet his next words brought the concern right back into her eyes. "As for your father, I fear he might never accept me as a potential son-in-law. We will need to exercise extreme caution if we wish to keep this from him. Thankfully, many of my visits can be made under the guise of visiting my friend and not the woman I love. We will make it work."

"Say it again," Emily implored, looking up at him through dream filled eyes.

"We will make it work," he once more assured her.

"No…the other part," she corrected. "The part where you called me the woman you love."

"You like hearing me call you that, do you?" Amir chuckled.

"Much better than the little girl you called me earlier tonight," she assured him with a playful grin.

"Those were ill conceived words said in a moment of hurt pride and I will forever beg your forgiveness for them." As if to prove his pledge, he kissed her once on each cheek before claiming her lips once more.

All too soon he pulled himself away with a painful moan, pushing her away from him as he held her at arm's length.

"I must leave you now Emily," he announced. "For if I were to stay I might be tempted to go beyond what I just promised you. I am determined to be your chaste and admirable suitor. I will not allow myself to give in to the desires of the flesh until the night of our wedding, my little dove."

"Wedding?" she gasped, unsure if she heard him correctly.

"Of course our wedding," Amir laughed. "Would that not be the logical conclusion for two people who are courting?"

"Yes…of course…but I didn't…I mean I had not dared to hope…" she stammered, completely taken back by his mention of marriage.

"I will not be asking you now, for I would wish to do so in a much more romantic place and in a proper way. Certainly not in your bedroom while you stand before me in your nightgown!" Amir was forced to take a deep breath and clear his throat as he allowed his eyes to survey her attire in proper detail. "Yet know this, Emily, I want it all. A true marriage, with love, a home and children we can call our own. Does that idea please you?"

"Oh yes, very much," she assured him as she nodded her head vigorously. "And when you ask…I will say yes."

"That warms my heart to hear, my dove," he told her, taking both her hands in his and bringing them to his lips as he kissed the back of each one. "Then, till tomorrow," Amir promised as he reluctantly backed away from her and headed for the window.

"Please take the stairs!" she pleaded, not wanting him to risk life and limb by climbing back down the trellis.

"What? And risk being caught by Erik?" he sounded positively mortified by the idea. "I think I would rather take my chances scaling the side of the building than face him should he catch me coming out of your room at this late hour!"

Emily found it hard to argue with his logic but still held her breath until he was once again on terra firma below her window.

"Good night my fair princess," Amir called up in a loud whisper. "I will see you tomorrow, but for now I must run."

"I should say you better run," came a deep voice off to Amir's left, giving the handsome Persian quite a start. "And if I ever catch you climbing up those vines again I will wrap one around your neck and let your dead body hang there as a warning to all other men who wish to sneak up to see my sister." As he spoke, Erik had come out from the shadows where he had apparently been standing; having seen Amir's descent from Emily's window. He had a scowl on his face and his arms were crossed over his chest in a threatening manner. "Now get going before I change my mind and kill you on principle!"

Not quite sure if his friend was joking or not, Amir blew one last kiss up towards Emily, who was leaning out over the windowsill, before dashing off towards the trees where he had left his horse. Erik watched him go until he disappeared from view, then he looked up and shook his finger at Emily.

"That goes for you too! Now get to bed!" he ordered, hearing his sister give a squeak of compliance as she quickly shut the window and pulled the curtains. Erik then shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair in deep frustration. "Oh God, this is going to be one hell of a long courtship! How will I ever survive?"


"And that was how your mother and I fell in love," Amir finished, staring fondly at his still beautiful bride. Twenty years had not caused his love to fade one bit, in fact it had grown. The wonderful life they had built together was nothing short of a miracle and all the sorrow and pain they had suffered to achieve such happiness was nothing but a distant memory in comparison to what they now shared.

"That was so romantic!" Amy gushed, the shimmer of unshed tears in her young eyes over the tale both her father and mother had just related.

"It was perfect!" both Lillian and Marguerite agreed.

"It was horrible!" Robert shouted, throwing his hands up in the air as he began to stomp around the room. "You have ruined everything Pedar…everything! How will I ever be allowed to court Marie Buckton after what you did to her father?"

"Well, son, it is not as if I did it on purpose," Amir huffed, a bit affronted by Robert's accusation. "How was I to know that dandy would grow up and actually find a woman willing to marry him…let alone produce such pleasant offspring as his daughter Marie?"

"Oh Marie!" Robert moaned. "What must she think of me…of my family. After what she has more than likely heard from her father, she probably thinks I was raised by barbarians!"

"Now Robert, that is quite unfair of you," his mother scolded. "Your father was only doing what he thought was right at the time. Besides, if you should truly wish to court this girl," Emily added, doing her best to soothe her son's ruffled feathers, "Your father will be more than happy to go to the Earl and make amends."

"I will?" Amir asked in a shocked tone, looking over at Emily with a horrified expression. Yet, when she in turn gave him a purposeful glare back, he cleared his throat and turned to Robert. "I mean…yes…of course I will. If your happiness hinges on having this particular girl, then I will do all I can to set things right…even apologize…if I must." As he said these words, everyone in the room could tell that it would be a bitter pill for the proud Persian to swallow.

"Thank you, Pedar," Robert nodded, realizing just what such an act would cost his father and how much he truly must love him in order to offer such a thing. Both he and Amy were well aware that Amir was not their father by blood and the history of their birth had been related to them when they were old enough to understand. They also knew of how their mother had been lost to them for a time due to the trauma of those events and why they were led to believe their Uncle Erik was their papa for so long. However, none of that mattered, for in their hearts, the only father they wanted, or would ever need, was sitting right there on the sofa beside their mother. Amir had more than demonstrated his deep love for them and they never once felt like anything less than his own flesh and blood children. "I am simply glad I never got around to sending her flowers! Can you just imagine the horrendous mistake it would have been to have sent roses to her house?"

This idea quickly had everyone in the room laughing hysterically. The image of poor Blain Buckton's face when he realized a bouquet of thorn ridden roses had been sent to his daughter by none other than the son of Amir Dessan…well that was simply too funny.

"Tell us another story," Lillian begged, bouncing up and down on the sofa as she pleaded with her parents.

"Yes, tell us another one!" Marguerite also chimed in.

"But this time, make it a hunting story," Andrew suggested, having not been at all interested in the one that had just been told. In fact it had almost put the young boy to sleep. "Who cares about kissing and romance?"

"Oh, just you wait a couple years then you might see things differently, little cousin," Robert assured the boy, stepping over to where he now sat and ruffled his hair, causing Andrew to fuss and fume over the childlike treatment.

Yet while the merriment was still going on, Erik saw Christine's eyes suddenly fall upon him and the look he was now receiving revealed that his wife was not very pleased with all the information Amir and Emily had just divulged. While the two had edited their story, intent on keeping it child friendly, many of the innuendos and misdirected statements had not gone unnoticed by his wife's keen mind. It was quite obvious that she was now even more aware of his misspent youth and what had truly gone on that night with Lady Janette. Damn that Amir! Erik knew he would be begging Christine's forgiveness for a month over that wretched Persian's idea of a twisted joke. Well…two can play at that game!

"You want a story, Lillian?" Erik asked, causing his exotic looking niece's dark eyes to light with excitement at his offer. "Well, I have one to tell you. One in fact that revolves around you." This seemed to please the little girl even more, however hearing the tone in his friend's voice, it caused Amir's eyes to narrow in suspicion.

"Just what kind of story is this?" he asked, not sure he was going to like the answer.

"I was simply going to tell Lillian about the history of the sofa she is currently sitting on and just how it came to be moved from my office to where it is now," Erik explained, his tone as innocent as a lamb.

"DON'T YOU DARE!" both Amir and Emily shouted in horror.



The End…again.



Well my dears. There you have it, the TRUE story of how Emily and Amir fell in love.

Sooooo, was Erik a good brother in the end? And then a horrible brother in law at the VERY end, ha ha, shame on him for wishing to tell the sofa story! Although I am sure it was all a bluff. He would never have shocked, scandalized or offended his nieces and nephews like that, not to mention his own children. ha ha.

Thank you again for all your wonderful reviews and support in helping Mystery Benind the Mask top Siren of the Sea. I love it!

I am currenly working on my next full length novel - hopeful shorter than MBTM though - that thing just got out of control, ha ha. It is called Seeing Is Believing and is, of course, a E/C story. I am up to chapter 11 now and hope to keep cranking it out. I won't post till it is all done though, so please be patient.

Till next time!