A Novel Idea--6/28/16


I have decided to participate in the linkup A Novel Idea, sponsored by Skye @ Further Up and Further In and Ashley @ Ashley Aspires. The photo above has the description: Two people, only their hands visible, sit at a table drinking wine and having a conversation. I picked two characters from a WIP I recently returned to;  Rashid bin Mahmoud Al-Sayed and Nasser bin Adil Fakhroo. Seeing as these two characters are Muslim, and prohibited from drinking alcohol, I picked a new photo of two people drinking coffee instead:

So, here goes: 

Rashid looked about nervously, his heart racing. He still hadn't gotten over the shock of seeing Nasser again--in his conference room, no less! He didn't dare to believe that the other man had only coffee and a chat on his mind. He remembered how clever and cunning the younger man had been, and had no doubt that Nasser was as intelligent and ruthless as he had been when both were boys. That was the only reason, or so he told himself, that he was here. So he could find out what the other man wanted, and protect Amal and Mariam. But despite this, when his nervous eyes landed on Nasser's slender yet powerful form striding toward him, he was breathless. The younger man's liquid brown eyes pulled him in, but he was distracted by the half-smile quirking Nasser's full lips, which spread as he noticed Rashid's avid stare. Rashid, embarrassed, flushed and looked down the table, fussing with the utensils until he had regained his equilibrium. Looking up, his hazel eyes resigned, he said politely, 

"As-saláam :alái-kum, Nasser," The other man nodded, responding in kind. 

"Wa :alái-kum as-saláam, Rashid." Relieved they had gotten pleasantries out of the way, Rashid opened his mouth to ask what Nasser what he wanted. But before he could speak the first syllable, a server came to the table. 

"What would you two like?" he asked. 

"Qahwa," the two men said at the same time. They smiled at each other before Rashid remembered, and looked away again. The waiter was smiling slightly as he said, 

"With dates?"  Nasser nodded, and their server disappeared. Putting a hand on Rashid's arm, he asked gently, 

"Would you please look at me?" Reluctantly, Rashid raised his eyes to meet Nasser's, pulling his arm away. Quietly, he said, 

"I will give you whatever you want, just don't shame my family. I have a daughter now, and my company. I have so much more to lose, and unlike before, it won't be only I who suffers."  After saying this, he looked worriedly at the other man's face, but Nasser showed no emotion and was silent. Thankfully, the waiter appeared soon after, placing steaming cups of coffee and a large plate of dates before them. Gratefully, Rashid breathed the sharp smell in, glad to have something else to focus on as he sipped the strong drink. But out of the corner of his eye, he was aware of Nasser rolling one of the dates between his slender fingers as if lost in thought. 

***

Nasser looked down at his hands, bemused. He'd been thinking so hard, he hadn't realized what he was doing to the date. Popping it into his mouth, he thoroughly wiped his fingers, and, taking a sip of coffee, continued to debate how to respond. He had no intention of harming or humiliating Rashid. Yes, he still was angry at the older man for what he had done, but Nasser had recovered, and both had buried anything that would allow someone blackmail either of them. And he couldn't say, that if he'd been in Rashid's position, that he wouldn't have acted in a similar way. Besides, he still cared for the other man. That was why he was here, though he had the feeling Rashid wouldn't be inclined to believe him. But he could work on that. Taking a bigger sip, he smiled.

I hope you were intrigued by this. Not sure if this will ever go into the actual story, but it certainly helped me think of some important details to incorporate. 
                                                                                                          Signing off, 
                                                                                                                   Reike

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