Rashi was quiet on the return journey. Jack had hoped the side of him he’d displayed earlier was buried twenty years before. He had kept certain mementoes from an earlier life in his garden shed, locked in a sealed box. The boots he wore were the last pair issued by the special forces unit he had joined whist serving in the British army. His concentration suffered during the journey, at one point missing a turn and finding himself having to to stop and retrace his steps. He shuddered now at the violence he’d nakedly displayed, even to a point of shame that a young woman had witnessed his violence, especially the assault he’d inflicted on her father. He was particularly angry with Jeera for putting him in this position. They had discussed a plan to bring everything out in the open and he’d sought and got her agreement. Then, she’d changed her mind and what had taken place was the predictable end result. Now he was concerned Rashida would fear him. Scared of his cold, controlled anger. She’d seen him inflict serious harm to three men including her father. Would he be capable of carrying out such violence towards her? ‘Where did you learn to do that Jack. Who are you, you’re frightening me?’ Rashi spoke eventually after the longest period of silence had passed since she had known him. Jack then spent the next few minutes telling her about his army career and how he’d joined a special forces unit when he was her age. How he’d learned unarmed combat and had been taught the sort of methods she had seen used earlier when he had crippled two men and left her father sprawled in the litter infested, gravel car park at the rear of the premises where the meeting had taken place. Rashi had listened in silence. ‘I’m sorry I did that to your father, but he brought those men to that meeting and both came at me with a knife. The second one tried twice. What sort a man knows people like that?’ He paused at lights, then, after they had turned green, he continued. ‘Instead of asking me, who I am, perhaps I should be asking you who your father is? He was taking you Rashi, those two men were there to ensure that happened. Just imagine if I hadn’t been that man, you saw just now and the other night too? Can you spare a thought of what would have happened to me?’ Rashi looked over tearfully. ‘Don’t be angry with me Jack, I don’t want to ever feel frightened of you, it’s just so hard to take in, especially after everything that had gone on between us before.’ Jack began to wonder if the curtain was closing on their relationship. He then looked realistically at what they had, him a divorced man trying to build a new life after years of living in a sterile marriage, she, a girl just out of her teens, brought up in a life so different to his own; living in a different culture with different values. Wasn’t the truth his head had been turned by flattery, by a girl who was infatuated by him, had felt safe with him? Wasn’t that the truth, she HAD felt safe, but now that wall of protection she had felt was gone and was now replaced instead by fear. Fear of him and what he was capable of?
This book is a little different than most of my books in that it is a true love story between a man and a woman. The relationship that developed between Rashi and Jack was somewhat unplanned and unintentional but as I wrote Honour I felt the lovers come alive and I knew their story had to be told.
Honour is still in the editing phase but will (hopefully) be available July 15th, 2021