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Jack left for work the following morning. He felt a reluctance to leave Rashida, especially after such an emotional night. In the end, what had eventually taken place had felt an anti-climax after all the build-up preceding it. Rashida wept, clinging to Jack, begging him not to leave her or throw her out. It came as a surprise to Jack who had always feared the opposite, that she might leave him, once his novelty had worn off. He had woken during the night to pee and as he looked down, he saw thin traces of blood on his leg where she had bled. She didn’t talk about it and he didn’t press her to do so. He knew she would choose her moment to tell him how she felt about the experience. As he got back into bed and snuggled up closely to her warm body, he couldn’t take his eyes off her youthful beauty as she lay in a foetal position sucking her thumb like a contented child. He woke before her, sliding out of bed and making tea which he brought up on a tray.

‘Good morning young lady, do you feel any different?’ Then wondering if it had been wise to remind her of what had taken place earlier. She stretched and yawned.

‘I’m a bit sore but other than that I’m fine.’ Rashi lifted up the sheets and searching for traces of blood and looking disgruntled to find there was none.

‘You bled on me, look.’ He turned his leg to show a smear of blood.’ She looked surprised and Jack suspected even disappointed.

‘I expected more, especially after all the fuss I made over it.’ She replied. Jack laughed.

‘What did you expect, me to have to put on a tourniquet, although for the life of me I can’t imagine where I tie it.’ Rashi laughed too.

‘I wouldn’t have any problems finding somewhere to tie one on you Jack. Anyway, I’m delighted to be soiled goods, a woman no man would wish to marry now.’
Excerpt from Honour

When a man returning home late from a party hears a scream, he feels he must investigate. What he discovers is shocking and sets in motion events which soon spiral out of control, eventually leading to the deaths of innocent people as events play out in the seedy, violent world of drugs and people trafficking. That single, selfless act, brings together two people from different cultures and explores arranged marriage through the eyes of a young woman who refuses to conform; an act of disobedience which puts her own life at risk and all those around her. A fast-moving story follows this young woman's attempts to escape and her love for an older man who saved her.

Honour by Anietta Strong

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