Devil with the Angel's Eyes (16+)

(Based on Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner)

Saria Ahmed is Assef's twelve year old sister, a charming young girl with bright blue eyes, and curly blonde hair. With her girly dresses and sweet demeanour, she comes across as the perfect child. But there is evil lying just beneath the innocent facade, a darkness that is sometimes beyond her control...

Any characters, words or plot devices taken from the Kite Runner are copyrighted by Khaled Hosseini and Dreamworks studios. I do not own them, and no copyright is intended. Saria Ahmed, and any other characters not owned by Hosseini are owned by me.

Please note that this story does contain strong violence, language and mature themes, but it is meant to reflect the violent and sociopathic natures of both Saria and Assef, and is told from Saria's unique first person perspective. If you are under the age, or maturity level of 16, or are in any way squeamish about violence, please do not read this story. Any feedback/ideas are welcomed.

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28. Lost Friendships

In the last chapter, Saria was delighted when Assef gave her the chance to both punish and brand Wali and Kamal. She revelled in the fear she made her victims feel. Now we find she has returned to school but it won't be long before a familiar face returns...

I hear that laugh. That evil, evil laugh. Aarash stands over me, the psychotic glint in his eyes making me shake like a leaf. With obvious amusement at my fear he brings his fist down repeatedly, Assef's screams growing louder and eventually matching my own as searing pain shoots through every nerve in my body. I turn my head, only to come face to face with Aarash.

''You're mine now, bitch,'' he says as he raises his fist. With a whoosh, his fist flies through the air. I flinch, preparing myself for the end when I hear Assef scream. I shot upwards, panting as my eyes darted every which way, disorientated, waiting for the blow which would end my life, only to be greeted by a small hand resting upon mine.

''It's just the school bell, Saria. We can go home now.'' I looked over to see that little cunt Delbar. That's when it hit me. I was sitting in class. No Aarash. No pain. My brother wasn't screaming my name. It was... It was a dream. A fucking dream. The scream I had heard was just the shrill cry of the school bell. A noise that was quickly getting on my nerves. I placed a hand over my chest and breathed out deeply, my whole body shaking. Beside me, that dumb cunt Delbar lent over and gave me a hug.

''Don't worry, Saria. It was just a bad dream,'' she smiled reassuringly at me.

I rolled my eyes. ''Yeah, no shit,'' I snapped in German. She didn't bother to question the strange language I was using. The girls were used to me speaking in German. They just took it for granted that I would do so. Or perhaps it was the venomous look in my eyes that stopped Delbar from speaking any further. She quickly released me and shrank back in on herself, like a tortoise in its shell.

I pushed my chair back, my eyes locking unwaveringly on hers. My heart was still beating one hundred miles per hour. 'Fucking Aarash! Will these fucking nightmares ever stop? And this fucking bell! Couldn't they have gotten something that doesn't make as much noise?' I thought furiously. I clenched my fists at my sides, glowering in Delbar's direction. She was lucky we were in a crowded classroom, or else I would quite possibly have smacked her in the face.

I really needed a human punching bag to take my frustrations out on, since my bitch was nowhere in sight. A good thing for her, if you ask me. I probably would have killed the fucking cunt after what she did. All the pain, the fucking nightmares. All her fault. The thought of that bitch made me shake. Delbar couldn't even look me in the eyes, pointedly keeping her gaze on her hands as she hurriedly packed her schoolbag with trembling hands.

Ha. That will teach the little cunt to stay the fuck away from Saria Ahmed. I smirked to myself in satisfaction at the thought of violently slamming Delbar's head against the desk. Of taking my leaking fountain pen and stabbing her in the eyes. She lifted her head, her eyes meeting mine for the briefest of moments. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and right now Delbar was giving me a pretty clear picture of how terrified she was.

Her little fingers trembled as she struggled to do up the zip on her bright red school bag. I swung my own bag over my shoulder, purposely catching Delbar in the stomach as I did so. She hissed in pain and doubled over, clutching her abdomen. Her dark grey eyes filled with tears. I covered my mouth with my hand and began sniggering to myself at the sight of her. She struggled to compose herself for a few moments before she finally spoke in a timid little voice.

''Um, well, I-I guess I'll see you on Monday, Saria,'' Delbar stuttered. She sniffled, wiping her nose with the sleeve of her dark navy blouse. 'Stupid little cunt,' I thought, glaring at her shuddering form. From the corner of my eye, I noticed Mullah Fahsir Khan looking in my general direction, a concerned look on his face. Had he seen what I had just done? I tried to search his face for the answer. Maybe it was just my mood today but I honestly couldn't read him.

'Please don't let him have seen me hurt Delbar,' I begged the heavens. Now, I didn't care about what I had just done, don't get me wrong. I felt no remorse. The little bitch deserved it, didn't she? My only concern was that I would end up in detention today. I unclenched my fists, the dark glare on my face being replaced with a false smile of childhood innocence.

''I'll see you on Monday, Delbar. Go on home now. That's a good little girl,'' I spoke in a low voice, not wanting to be overheard. She nodded, so frantically, that I thought her head was going to fall off. Ha! That would have been funny.

''Yes.. Yes, Saria,'' she said like the good little dog she is.

I felt smug as I watched her back away from the table, almost tripping over her own feet in her haste to get away from me. She was as good as mine as far as I was concerned. I tried to close up my bag, but the rusty zipper kept getting stuck. Not surprising though, seeing as how it was six fucking years old. Why my retarded parents hadn't bought me a new one I had no idea. It wasn't down to money; we were nearly pissing change.

''Stupid fucking zipper,'' I muttered in German. Mullah Fahsir Khan still stared at me, making me anxious. He had been staring at me for pretty much the whole lessons. I'll admit it unnerved me slightly. Okay, a lot. As the room cleared, I noticed him beckon me over with one finger. 'Oh, what now?' I thought, slowly making my way towards him. I approached his desk, a genuinely confused look on my face.

Mullah Fahsir Khan towered over me like a giant, his thick arms crossed over his chest. I bowed my head meekly, the picture of obedience. The Mullah pursed his lips and surveyed me for a few unnerving moments. I took a deep breath and decided to speak up. ''Um, caa?'' I asked timidly. He took notice of the worried look on my face and his expression softened. He reached out to me, placing a gentle hand upon my shoulder. ''Am I in trouble?'' I asked innocently, taking on the tone of a young child who is about to be chastised.

He shook his head, a reassuring smile on his face. ''No, you're not in any trouble, Saria. Nothing like that.'' He ran a hand through his hair. He exhaled. ''Actually, what I wanted to talk to you about, was Adia.'' The mere sound of the bitch's name sent a wave of fury coursing through my soul. I very nearly frowned at the Mullah. Still, I held my smile.

''What about Adia?'' I asked, hoping to God that he wasn't about to start accusing me of anything. My mouth parted slightly. I was as confused as I looked. Did he know something that he shouldn't? My tiny hands fumbled with the ribbon on the front of my dark green pinafore. I shifted nervously from one foot to the other. When the Mullah eventually spoke, his voice was laced with concern.

''She hasn't been in school lately. And I was wondering if you knew.. anything about it?'' he asked. What the fuck was he accusing me of? I glanced down at my shoes, my toes scuffing the marble floor. The mere thought of Adia made me want to scream. She was very fucking lucky that she was out of school, actually. I shook my head, the blue ribbons on my pigtails moving from side to side.

''No, agha. I don't know why Adia's not been in school lately,'' I told him, craning my neck to look into his eyes. ''Maybe she's sick or something.'' I wanted to steer the conversation as far away from Adia as possible. Mullah Fahsir Khan sighed, placing a gnarled hand over my own. He looked into my eyes. For a brief, insane moment, it felt as though he could see into my soul.

Could he see the dangerous psychopath that lurked beneath the pigtails and childish dresses? What clues was I giving him? ''I just thought you would, seeing as you're her friend and everything,'' he said quietly. I remained silent as I took on the persona of a girl who was deeply concerned for her best friend.

I cocked my head to one side. ''Well, I haven't heard from Adia in a long time. But maybe she's just been having a rough few days. It is coming up to the anniversary of her brother's death, after all,'' I explained shyly. Mullah Fahsir Khan regarded me for a second. The concern he had for Adia was sickening, especially given the fact that the bitch didn't deserve any of it.

He leaned in close to my ear, the putrid smell of his breath taunting my nostrils. 'Get away, you fucking prick,' I thought vehemently. The Mullah whispered quietly to me. ''Thank you for being such a good friend to her. With everything that's happened, Masood's death and all, she really needs a friend like you to be there for her.''

I almost rolled my eyes at this statement. 'And apparently she doesn't feel the same way,' I thought, fixing my gaze on the old grandfather clock that stood adjacent to the Mullah's desk. It was now about 3:45 PM.

I became irritated as I realized that I had been kept here for well over five minutes. I narrowed my eyes darkly at the clock, my annoyance now so great it stretched to inanimate objects. Why couldn't I just go home? Did this cunt think I wanted to talk about Adia? I wanted to leave, to be with my older brother again. Mullah Fahsir Khan must have noticed my impatience, because he clapped me on the shoulder sympathetically. With the broadest of smiles, he reached out and ruffled my hair.

''You're a sweet kid, Saria. You may leave,'' he said, focusing his attentions on the stack of papers littering his desk. I obediently took my leave, as was expected of me. As I peeked out into the hallway, I noticed that it was still full of rowdy students and exhausted teachers. I hesitantly stepped out into the crowded hallway, the straps of my bag digging into my shoulders.

Girls of all ages whizzed by me, their chatter ringing in my ears like the buzzing of wasps. I tried to locate a spot to focus my gaze on as I meandered down the hallway, shoes clicking on the marble flooring. From the corner of my eye, I could just see the middle aged janitor up ahead, sweat dripping from his brow as he diligently mopped the dirty floor. He was a regular sight in these hallways. Paying him no mind, I sullenly trudged my way through the crowd. So far today, nobody had paid much attention to me, and that was how I liked it.

Yet, as of now, that was the last thing on my mind. My ever-wandering thoughts were now focused on Adia, the little bitch who Mullah Fahsir Khan was so concerned about. Why this was, I had no fucking clue. It wasn't even as though she had been missing for long. Only a week, in fact. This really wasn't a cause for concern, was it? I shook my head, trying to distract myself, knowing that if I thought about Adia I would surely go mad.

I was suddenly distracted by the sight of Ahtrai and her friends approaching. The cocky little bitch had a wry grin on her face as she casually strolled towards me. The filthy whore took the chance to have her way with me. As we neared each other, Ahtrai slammed into me, sticking her foot out and pushing me right onto the ground. I toppled over, landing flat on my face. I felt pain shoot through me as I cracked my head off the tiled ground.

''MOVE IT, BITCH!'' she shouted, cackling. The passing students burst out in peals of laughter at me, lying in a heap on the floor, sending another tear through the fabric of my soul. I balled my hands up into fists as my entire body trembled with unbridled rage. 'Not again! Aren't those fucking nightmares enough for me to be dealing with?' I thought irately, turning my head to glance up at the little cunts.

I gritted my teeth, my lips flaying as I snarled like a cornered animal. Well, just what else did Ahtrai expect? She treated me like some wild, untamable beast, so it was only natural for me to lash out at her like one. One of Ahtrai's little clique members, Freba, became visibly unnerved by my sudden outburst. She leaned over to whisper in Ahtrai's ear. With a fleeting glance at my trembling form, Ahtrai and her friends walked away, unsure of how to deal with the situation.

''See you on Monday, Saria,'' Ahtrai cackled over her shoulder.

'Just calm down, Saria. Calm down,' I told myself, clenching and unclenching my tiny fists. A terrible pain shot up through my left knee. I looked down, inspecting myself. My tights had ripped -which pissed me off, since they were new- and I noticed a small cut just above my knee.

''Oh for FUCK SAKE!'' I yelled in German. I winced in pain as I slowly got back on my feet. My eyes scoured the throes of students, looking for anyone I could take my frustrations out on. Some poor child that I could slap or kick. If I was hurting, then everyone should be hurting! My face remained contorted in a furious mask of passionate rage.

The other girls were now making haste to get away from me, their muffled whispers circulating. They were intelligent enough to know when to stay out of my way. ''Always my fucking luck,'' I grumbled angrily. The familiar sound of footsteps told me that someone else was approaching. Feeling a gentle hand upon my shoulder, I turned my head to be met by the grey-haired janitor I had seen earlier.

Luckily for him, I managed to control my temper. The bitter grimace on my face melted into an expression of unfathomable sadness. I really knew how to switch my emotions on and off. The janitor, Houshmand, looked at me with concern in his almond shaped eyes. ''Little girl.. Are you okay?'' he asked. ''I saw what those girls just did to you. Are you sure you're alright?''

I nodded vigourously. ''Yes, yes, I'm fine. Nothing that I'm not used to by now, after all.'' There, it always helped to pull a few heartstrings.

''Well, that doesn't mean it has to keep on happening. I promise I'll look out for you, I really will.'' I appreciated his kindness towards me. Just like my brother. Still, I knew there was no way I was ever going to be ''accepted'' by any of my classmates. I was the black sheep, the weirdo, the 'freak' of the school. Nothing would ever change this.

Houshmand, caring though he was, just didn't understand who he was speaking to. I sighed deeply, trying to look as innocent as possible. Sweet fantasies filled my head of forcing Ahtrai's head under the water of the bucket the janitor used to mop the floors. Just until the bubbles stopped. Houshmand removed his hand from my shoulder, turning back to his work.

''You just remember that I'm here for you, shorty,'' he said.

I nodded. ''I'll remember.'' I was a bit pissed off at his choice of nickname. Yes, I'm fucking short, I can't really control it. Did he need to rub it in? Stupid fucking asshole. Yet again, my thoughts were drifting into the negative. It seemed that was always the case with me. Slowly, and with a heavy heart, I began to make my way outside. The glare of the afternoon sun almost blinded me as I sullenly limped my way down the steps.

My eyes darted this way and that as I looked through the crowd of parents and children for my older brother. I'll admit I wasn't looking forward to his reaction when he saw the state of me. I spotted him casually leaning against the huge, wrought iron gates, his arms crossed over his chest. He was tapping his foot impatiently. I made my way over to him, a forlorn expression on my face.

There wasn't any point in me trying to feign happiness; Assef could read me like an open book. I was met by a warm, kind smile as I neared him. Assef took genuine pleasure in seeing me after a long school day. ''Good afternoon, kiddo.'' I found delight in the sound of his rich accent, a mixture of Afghani and German, which was so much like my own. Assef opened his arms and caught me in a bone crushing embrace, ruffling my hair.

''What took you so long?'' he asked teasingly. I glanced down at my shoes, not answering my brother. The smile disappeared from Assef's face when he looked down and saw the cut on my knee. He narrowed his eyes at the wound.

''Saria, where did you get that cut?'' he asked in a low voice. I mumbled something incoherently, not looking in his eyes. Assef cupped my chin and forced my head up. ''I can't understand you, kiddo. Who did this to you?'' There was a fierce look in his eyes, like a lion protecting his cub.

I threw up my hands, exasperated. ''Ahtrai! Who else?'' I growled. ''She just pushed me to the ground. All I wanted was to leave. That's all I wanted!'' I exclaimed. Assef placed a comforting arm on my shoulder.

''And did you hurt her too?'' he asked.

I shook my head, my arms crossed. ''She's lucky I didn't break her fucking neck! Well, really, there was nothing I could do, Assef! Practically the whole fucking school saw it!'' I breathed in and out deeply, tugging at my curled hair. I stamped my feet in a childish fit of pique.

Assef stuck his arm out, placing a hand upon my chest. ''Calm down now, kiddo. They've all gone home,'' he said. His words did nothing to soothe the vicious torment of my psyche. I glanced around me, certain that Ahtrai and her friends were going to ambush me, to find some way to humiliate me further. What else could I expect?

A lone tear slowly made its way down my cheek. With a sympathetic look in his eyes, Assef reached out and wiped it away with the sleeve of his dark shirt. ''It's okay, kiddo. They can't bother you anymore.'' He took my little hand in his. ''Let's get you home, eh?'' The gentle tone of his voice did little to calm me down.

I nodded forlornly at my brother. Assef began to lead me out of the gates, the feeling of his hand in mine offering at least some comfort. Still, I couldn't get Ahtrai off my mind. What the hell gives that little cunt the right to bully me? Why was it me that she always seemed to lash out at? I hadn't done anything to warrant such cruel treatment.

'Just another Zainab I'll have to put in her place,' I thought. She was pushing me to the brink. Past that point of no return. That little girl was skating on very, very thin ice. Sooner or later, I knew that ice would crack and she would be dragged under. There would come a time when I would no longer be able to control myself. Ahtrai had better hope that she wises up before this ever happens.

I remained lost in a sullen melancholy as Assef and I traipsed down the road, kicking up little puffs of dust. ''You know something, kiddo,'' Assef spoke up, voicing my inner thoughts. ''That little cunt needs to watch her boundaries,'' he said, a vicious edge to his voice. ''If anybody disrespects my sister, they disrespect me too!'' He jabbed his thumb at himself in emphasis.

I nodded. ''Thank you, Assef. You're a great brother.''

He grinned, clapping me on the shoulder. ''Well, you're a great sister.'' We both smiled at each other. Soon, however, I was about to find out that Ahtrai would be the last thing on my mind this evening. That is for me to write about in due time. Sunlight almost blinded me, illuminating both myself and Assef, as we continued our journey home.

I had to make the most of the nice weather, though. The winter months were fast approaching. I could tell just by the slight chill in the air. Now I wished I had brought a fucking coat, but oh well. At least I'd be home soon. I could put all the worries of today behind me. ''Do you have any homework to do, Saria?'' Assef asked.

I shook my head. ''Nope. Mullah Fahsir Khan hasn't been giving us many assignments lately.''

''Well, in that case, how about I challenge you to a game of volley ball when we get home? I'll even let you win this time!'' my brother teased.

''I always win,'' I quipped back, puffing out my chest. Assef turned and jabbed me in the ribs.

''Ah!'' I giggled. We both smiled at each other, all the troubles of earlier melting away like snow. Assef always knew just what to do or say to make everything right in my world. We continued our walk. I remained lost in thought as we passed by the old children's playground that Assef and I spent most of our childhood in.

Normally, such a place would be overrun by screaming children, but today it was deserted, save for a lone figure on the swings. The little girl seemed to be no older than eleven. Her tiny form moved back and forth with the swing. I kept looking at her as we passed by. As I neared the park, the child lifted her head, and her eyes locked on mine. An unimaginable fury like no other coursed through my bones. My heart beat with such vigor I felt it would surely burst from my chest. Adia. The sight of my bitch was enough to make me want to scream in rage. I couldn't fucking believe it! What was she doing here? Assef glanced at me in concern.

''Kiddo?'' he asked. ''What is it?'' His words were lost on me as I began to stride across the park towards my bitch, intent on teaching her a lesson she wouldn't soon forget. Well, that was my intention. This was all but forgotten when I got closer, saw the look in Adia's eyes. She was broken, there is no other way for me to describe it. Her once bright and vibrant eyes were now dull.

That spark often seen in a child's eyes gone forever. She ducked her head down, hair falling forward, but that didn't stop me from noticing the large, mottled bruise on her neck. She was wearing a green polo neck, obviously trying to hide the marks on her skin. Not that it mattered; I could see the hand shaped bruise. The hand that had been raised to strike her moved instead to my mouth. I gasped in shock.

''Adia...'' I breathed. Her little body trembled in fear as I approached the swings. Who had done this to her? I began to feel a surge of uncharacteristic empathy upon seeing the tears staining her cheeks. Yes, she was a bitch, and don't get me wrong, she deserved to be punished for what she did, but Adia was my property. How dare somebody else lay a finger on her? Adia cowered away from me as I neared her.

I could see every single emotion flashing through her charcoal eyes. Fear, shame, humiliation. Everything. She was paralysed with fear, her little body frozen still as a statue. Assef remained quiet by my side as I bent down to Adia's level. I took both of her tiny hands in mine. ''Adia jan?'' I asked softly. She began to tremble, mumbling incoherently. I straightened up, keeping my hands in hers.

I knew I couldn't allow myself to become violent. That was not the answer. ''Come with me, please, Adia jan.'' It was not a request, but an order, although the soft tone of my voice would have anybody fooled. With tears staining her tanned cheeks, Adia got to her feet. I kept my hand in hers as I led her over to a nearby park bench. We sat down and I kept holding Adia's hands.

I knew I would have to remain patient and calm if I were to ever coax an answer from her. ''Adia, can you tell me what happened? Who did this to you?'' I asked softly. Adia began to shake uncontrollably. My poor bitch. ''I won't hurt you, Adia.'' I looked up at my brother. ''We won't hurt you.''

Assef got my drift, smiling at my bitch. ''That's right, Adia. We're not going to hurt you,'' he said. Sometimes it felt as though Assef could read my thoughts. I sidled closer to Adia, a look of genuine empathy in my eyes. I wanted to know who had done this her. What they had done to her.

''Please, Adia, tell me who did this to you?'' I pleaded, laying a gentle hand upon the bruise. She flinched at my touch. I had to know her secrets if I were to ever manipulate her, to punish her. ''You can tell me, Adia jan. Please. Mullah Fahsir Khan has been worried about you now, you know.'' She mumbled something incoherently, not daring to look at me. ''Adia, tell me now.'' She looked up. I gently placed my hand on her cheek.

'Have to stay in control,' I thought. Adia flung her arms round my neck, tears streaming down her face. She began to shake from head to toe. ''I'm sorry, Saria. I'm so sorry. I didn't m-mean to hurt you, so stupid. Stupid!'' she cried. Well, I couldn't argue with her on that one! ''I d-didn't mean to, honest! I'm sorry. You.. You're... I.. Should have listened to you," she babbled.

I remained docile as I rested my head on her shoulder, running my fingers through her crow black hair. ''Please tell me who hurt you.''

The next words from her mouth infuriated me. ''Aarash... Aarash was mean to me.''

Such a childish explanation. I struggled to remain in control of my emotions. Even the mention of that asshole's name was taboo. How dare he lay a finger on Adia? How dare he! Did he not understand the concept of respecting other people's belongings? Nobody gets to hurt Adia! Nobody but me and Assef! I knew I had to remain calm. Adia continued to shake in my arms, her breath coming in short gasps.

My hands stroked her back, trying to provide just some comfort to the broken child. You see, I'm not just a cold-blooded monster, am I? Isn't Adia lucky to have me? ''It's okay, Adia jan. Nay, don't cry, don't cry,'' I soothed. ''Shh, everything is going to be alright. I promise.''

Now, I really had to know more. I needed answers from the bitch. Yet, I knew that I couldn't just ask her outright. I had to play it cool. ''Adia,'' I said gently, pulling away from her. ''Would you like to come to my house today?'' I asked. ''We can go swimming, if you want?'' The little bitch's eyes surveyed my face, searching for any clues as to my true intentions.

Being a true manipulator, I was able to keep that gentle, kind look on my face. Trust me, I wanted to slam her head against the fucking swings! The concern I showed was all just a mask. Adia bit her lip, nodding. ''Okay, Saria. I-I'll come up, but I.. uh, have to ask my parents first, and get my bathing costume,'' she muttered. I grinned smugly; the bitch was still afraid of disobeying me in the slightest. Adia knew who her true master was!

''We'll come with you,'' I said. Assef leaned down to whisper in my ear. For the sake of keeping both our asses out of hot water, he spoke in our mother's native tongue.

''What are you doing, Sar? Have you forgotten what she did?''

I shook my head. ''No, of course not. But I need to know more. I have to know her weaknesses if I am to ever exploit them.''

Assef nodded in agreement. ''Okay,'' he straightened up. My brother gave Adia a warm smile. ''I'll take you girls to Adia's house, so she can ask her parents permission. It's only about ten minutes from here, caa?''

Adia nodded, slowly getting to her feet. ''Caa, agha,'' she mumbled. The fact that she had been so respectful to my brother confirmed to me that we still had control over her. Such a thought warmed my black heart. I kept close to her as we left the park. At a time like this, playing the part was imperative.

If I started giggling, or skipping, or doing anything one would deem inappropriate in this situation, Adia would immediately become suspicious. I had to feign concern. Adia stayed close by my side as we made the journey to her house. She had lost weight, I noticed, and her clothes hung off her tiny frame. Her once bright, vibrant eyes had now become dull. She was like a flower whose petals had been trampled on.

How the fuck had Faraya and Javid not seen anything? Well, at least once I found out exactly what Aarash did I could use it to my own advantage. He would pay for daring to lay a hand on my Adia. That I promise you. Assef stayed a few steps ahead of us as we strolled. It felt comforting to know he was close by.

I kept holding my bitch's hand, rubbing it with my thumb to offer her some reassurance. She needed me. The thought made me want to shout with pride from the highest mountains. As we neared Adia's house, I noticed Faraya looking out the window, a worried expression on her face. I leaned over to whisper in my bitch's ear.

''Dry your tears,'' I ordered. Like an obedient servant, she hurriedly wiped her eyes. I raised my tiny fist and rapped my knuckles on the door. Faraya opened it. A brief look of confusion passed over her face, before she greeted me with a huge grin. I just have that affect on people.

''Good afternoon, khanom,'' I said politely, bowing my knees, the picture of sweet innocence.

Faraya was almost swooning. She placed a hand on my shoulder. ''Good afternoon,'' she said. Adia dropped my hand briefly, wrapping her arms around her mother's waist. Faraya leaned down to kiss the sweet eleven year old's head. ''And good afternoon to you too, baby. Are you feeling better?'' she asked.

Hesitantly, Adia nodded. ''Uh, yes, Mommy. A lot better.'' She looked back at me. 'I still control her!' I thought with a vindictive sneer. Assef stepped forward, taking over the conversation.

''Faraya khanom,'' he said respectfully. ''Saria and I, we just wanted to know if Adia would like to come to our house? Saria wants someone to share the pool with,'' he quipped.

Faraya blinked. ''Well, er, uh, do you want to go, Adia?'' she asked.

My bitch nodded, knowing full well just what the consequences would be if she refused. ''Yes, yes, I want to go!'' She was getting to be a good little actress, wasn't she? Perhaps I was starting to rub off on her. Faraya directed the conversation to my brother.

''Assef jan, who'll be looking after them?'' she asked, concerned. My brother pointed to himself.

''I will.'' Upon seeing the hesitant look that crossed her face, he quickly added, ''Don't worry, I'll take good care of them.'' Assef placed a gentle hand upon Adia's shoulder, drawing her in close to him. ''Adia jan here, she's been Saria's friend for so long, I feel she's just like part of the family.''

''Like sisters..'' I added, gripping the little cunt's arm. I recalled how Adia had wanted me to be that sister figure to her. Yes, I was going to use it to my own advantage. God, aren't I just a master actress? I should win an Oscar for my performances. A brief look of confusion passed Adia's face, before she blinked and gave me a dubious smile.

''L-like sisters,'' she repeated. Adia turned to her mother. ''Where is Daddy?'' she asked.

''Away on business, munchkin, he'll be home this evening.'' Faraya stepped aside, politely allowing us entry to her home. ''Please, come in. Adia, why don't you take Saria jan upstairs and fetch your swimsuit. Your room is clean, isn't it?'' Faraya barked.

''Uh, yes.'' Adia replied. Halfway up the stairs, she turned and gave me a sheepish look. ''It's actually a pigsty,'' she muttered.

''I guess that suits, cause you are a pig,'' I replied in German.

''What?'' Adia raised her eyebrows.

''I said, don't worry; my room is messy too.''

'Yeah right, it's fucking spotless,' I thought. Adia gave me a brief, apologetic look as she opened the door to her bedroom, and stepped inside. ''Fucking hell, bitch, you weren't kidding,'' I muttered under my breath. The place looked as if a bomb had gone off inside there. Stacks of paper littered the floor, her clothes lay strewn in a heap across the unmade bed. 'Ever heard of a clothes hamper?' I thought, stepping over a blue shirt that had orange juice stains running down the front. I wrinkled my nose up in disgust at the sight of it.

Adia was on her knees, crawling amidst the pile of clothes like some common animal. ''I'm, uh, I'm sorry it's taking so long, Saria,'' she mumbled. I remained standing over her, arms folded across my chest. I tapped my foot impatiently. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the ugly cow materialized a bright pink and yellow polka-dot bathing costume. 'Fucking state of it,' I thought, giggling.

I took such genuine pleasure in her discomfort. As I glanced around me, I knew I couldn't fucking stand to be in this room for much longer. ''I'm going downstairs, Adia. Come on down when you're ready.'' With that being said, I left my bitch to her own devices. I turned on my heel and skipped my way downstairs. This was just another childish mannerism I had learned to perfect.

Faraya and Assef glanced up from their places on the sofa as I entered. ''Adia jan will be down in a minute,'' I said, taking a seat beside Assef. He reached out, put his arm round me and drew me in close to him. Faraya glanced over at us, smiling. Who wouldn't adore how close we were? Five minutes, then ten minutes passed before my bitch eventually traipsed down the stairs, a dark green rucksack on her shoulders. ''What took you so long, cunt?'' my brother asked in German. Of course, neither Adia nor her mother bothered to question his foreign tongue.

''Sorry that I'm late,'' Adia murmured, glancing at her feet. I noticed she had turned up the collar of her polo neck, attempting to hide the bruise from her mother. With a smile gracing my lips, I got to my feet, extending my hands on either side.

''Are you ready to go?'' I asked. She nodded, taking my outstretched hand. I squeezed her little fingers, beaming. ''Yay! Yay!'' I celebrated, rocking back and forth on my heels. Faraya stood up, clapping my brother on the shoulder.

''You take care of them, Assef jan,'' she said in a stern tone.

''Always, Khala jan.'' It genuinely surprised me how benevolent the smile on his face looked. Faraya gripped Adia's shoulders.

''Behave yourself, and do what Assef jan says,'' she warned sternly. The little bitch nodded, still gripping my wrist.

''I'll behave, Mommy. I promise.'' Adia shifted from one foot to another. She could sense my impatience.

''Alright then, be careful,'' Faraya warned. As I tugged Adia out the door, I heard Faraya whispering to Assef. ''She's not a very strong swimmer. Please look out for her.'' Assef's eyes met mine, and I knew what he was thinking. All the ways to hurt or scare Adia in the pool.

''Of course I'll look after her. Don't worry about a thing. Come on, girls.'' He led us out the door, hands resting upon our shoulders. I turned and waved sweetly at Faraya, before dragging Adia along the gravel-covered driveway. 'Have to play innocent,' I reasoned with myself. Truly, I felt like a retard for behaving this way. Assef rolled his eyes sympathetically at my little display.

He knew just how difficult it was for me to control myself. How much I wanted to slash Adia's throat. ''Are you coming back to school on Monday?'' I asked, once we were far enough away from the house. ''You know your parents will be suspicious if you keep staying out,'' I warned. Adia gave me a sheepish look, nodding.

''Yeah, I'm going back on M-Monday,'' she murmured to herself. ''Told my parents I needed fresh air, uh, that's why I was out.'' I rolled my eyes. Did she think I cared about that? I had to constantly remind myself to watch my temper. My Adia needed me. And I needed to learn as much as I could so as to best use her ordeal against her. I stole a fleeting glance at her as she trundled along beside me. Every so often, she would fix her jumper, trying to hide the ugly marks.

'That's what you get for befriending a sociopath like Aarash,' I thought. Yes, I know, I can be accused of being equally cruel to Adia, but it's not me we're talking about, is it? Assef smiled in my direction as we walked. He seemed just as eager to punish Adia as me. I found it amazing how we could instinctively tell what the other is thinking. Just our sibling bond, I guess.

My bitch remained lost in her own meanderings as we approached the large, white gate and high walls that enclosed my home, sweet home. Assef fumbled about in his pocket, muttering to himself. ''Fuck, where's the key? I know I put it in here,'' he swore, not bothering to use German. It didn't really matter if somebody heard us now. I skipped up beside him.

''Assef, hurry up, please!'' I said, as he turned his pockets out. Patience is not one of my strong points, as I'm sure you know by now. Assef gave me an irked look, hands frantically searching for the missing house keys.

''Just give me a moment, kiddo.'' He finally pulled it from his back pocket, a triumphant look on his face. "There! Thank God I found it too, otherwise I'd have to climb over the wall,'' he joked. Adia laughed shakily, eyes darting from me to Assef. I kept holding her hand, fingers intertwined with my own. My brother unlocked the gate. It creaked as it swung open on its hinges, allowing the three of us entry.

Gingerly, my bitch followed me up the cobbled path, her eyes surveying the large dwelling with wonder. I felt smug as I glanced back at her. It had been so long since my bitch had come to play with me. I skipped up to the door, waiting patiently for Assef to unlock it. ''Are you looking forward to our swim, Adia jan?'' I asked as we stepped inside. I grinned at her. What one would assume was a look of pure innocence was, in fact, a smile full of malicious thoughts and intentions. Adia was trembling as she stepped inside my home. ''Assef, where are Mama and Papa?'' I asked.

He turned. ''Uh, away on a business trip, kiddo. They'll be home again tomorrow. Why do you ask?''

I shrugged. ''Oh, no reason.'' Business trip? Yeah right, they're probably off in some cheap motel fucking like rabbits. Such vulgar thoughts disgusted me. I rolled my eyes, snickering to myself at this gross mental image.

''Are you going to change into your swimsuit, kiddo?'' Assef asked, leaning casually against the bannister, arms folded. I nodded my head like it was on a spring.

''Give me five minutes, Adia jan and then we can play.'' I trekked up the stairs, grinning from ear to ear. Once I got to the landing, however, the sweet facade was replaced by a bitter grimace. Playing the ''cute'' little girl act drained my energy. I stalked into my bedroom, loudly closing the door behind me. ''At least my room isn't a fucking pigsty like Adia's,'' I grumbled, flinging open the doors to my humongous closet. ''Let's see, uh, swimsuit, swimsuit,'' I mused. ''Ah! Here we go!''

I held the disgusting abomination up to myself. It had ruffled sleeves, adorned with a pink rose petals design. A baby would look ten times better in it than I. This fucking piece of shit was the only costume I owned that fit me, however. I crinkled my nose up in disgust, as my nimble fingers struggled to open the buttons on my checkered pinafore. I finally got them open, and let the dress fall into a heap at my feet.

I took off my tights and balled them up, chucking them on the bed. Here I stood in nothing but my panties. It always baffled me how short I was. How utterly ''naked'' I felt without the girly dresses, the ribbons in my hair. Even Adia was going to grow up faster than I. Still, what good would it do me to worry over something I had no control over? A lot of people would consider themselves lucky to look as young as I.

Adia had been sent into the downstairs bathroom to change. I couldn't wait to learn just what Aarash did to her. I wanted to use it to my own advantage. To blackmail her. Ah, how the suffering of others brought a smile to my face. I pulled the swimsuit on, letting my hair fall in curls that framed my porcelain doll features. Angrily, I bent down to pick up my dress, and hurled it across the room, into the clothes hamper.

'Just some more shit for Hamilra to clean,' I thought. 'God, what is there for me to get angry about?' Time for me to face the inevitable. I took a deep breath and stepped out into the hall, glancing left and right. 'Big smiles now, Saria. Your bitch is waiting.' I knew one day that I would regain full control of Adia. Such thoughts brought me great joy. They lifted my spirits immensely.

With these reassurances in my head, I casually began making my way downstairs. Adia was already dressed and waiting in her bathing suit, bare legs dangling into the chlorine filled water, splashing happily. My brother perched on the edge of a deck-chair, arms folded across his chest. He looked up, waving as I approached. I walked over to Adia, taking a seat beside her. I put my arm around her shoulder, drawing her in close. She was very fucking lucky I didn't push her into the deep end. I kissed her on the nose in a friendly, childish gesture.

''Wanna see me jump into the pool?'' I asked, standing up.

''Are you sure that's wise, kiddo?'' Assef called over.

I waved a dismissive hand. ''It's fine, Assef. I've done it before.''

Assef sighed, concerned. He ran his hands down his face. ''Okay, but please be careful, Saria. I'd rather not have to go diving in after you,'' he warned. I rolled my eyes, leaning forward on my heels. Letting out a whoop of childish joy, I sprung up, landing with a SPLASH in the pool. I laughed as I wiped the water from my eyes.

''Come on, Adia! The water's perfect!'' I gestured. She looked down in hesitation. If only I could grab her legs and draw her under, like a shark dragging their prey into the murky waters.

''Go on, Adia, it's fine,'' Assef tried reassuring her.

''Well, okay then, but I can't swim real good, so let's stay away from the deep end,'' she said.

''Yes, okay, okay, come on!'' I yelped. Adia took a deep breath and slid into the pool, laughing shakily. I could tell she was nervous; I could sense it. ''Stupid cunt,'' I grumbled under my breath. Luckily, she was too busy doggy-paddling in circles around me to hear anything. She was such a retard! I lay back, kicking my legs, content.

''Are you coming in, Assef?'' I asked my brother. He shook his head from where he perched on the chair, legs crossed one over the other.

''No, I'll pass, sweetheart. You girls have fun,'' I beamed.

''Oh, we are having fun,'' Assef grinned at me, a malevolent look in his eyes. From my peripheral, I could just about see Adia splashing about in the corner of the pool. She seemed much, much happier now. It was as if the water had washed all her troubles away. I looked up, squinting at the blinding glare of the afternoon sun. 'What time is it?' I pondered quietly, licking my lips.

At least fifteen to twenty minutes had passed, I guessed. I was getting bored. Feigning excitement was such a chore. Now I had to get answers! I think I've waited long enough, don't you? ''Come and catch me, Adia!'' I exclaimed, beginning to hurry towards the deep end. ''Come on!'' I beckoned with my hand, chortling.

She looked behind her.''Uh, are you sure it's safe?'' she asked. ''Please, let's stay here.''

'Stupid twat, do as I say!' I thought. Forcing a smile, I grabbed Adia's hand and dragged her over to the centre of the pool. We were now treading in water up to our necks. Adia gripped my arm with both of her hands, trembling.

I reached out and stroked her black hair, all the more placid and docile. I wanted to seem protective, the ''older sister'' type figure. ''Adia jan, may I ask you a question?'' She nodded. My voice became soft and gentle. ''Adia, my dear, could you tell me what Aarash did to you?'' I asked bluntly.

''I.. Uh.. I..'' she stammered, taken aback by such a personal question. Her eyes flitted nervously across my face. ''Saria, I..'' How difficult was it to give me an answer? I placed the back of my hand against her cheek.

''Please. You can trust me. I'm not going to hurt you.'' Yet another lie spewing from my mouth. She backed away from me, shivering. ''Oh, don't start now, Adia! I'm just asking a question!'' Tears began to fill her eyes. She knew how easy it was to piss me off. I have one really short fuse.

Grabbing her jaw, I forced her head up. ''I want to help you, Adia, but you're making it difficult. Tell me. NOW!'' Adia jerked backwards, trying to escape my grasp. My calm resolve shattering, I caught her shoulders and whirled her around. ''I've given you enough chances, Adia! You will not deny me.'' With that, I forced her down, pushing hard on her bony shoulders until she disappeared underwater.

I kept a firm grip on her as she struggled, arms and legs kicking and clawing at me for release. ''This is what you get,'' I said, fingernails digging into her flesh. I let her up. She shot out of the water, gasping, eyes rolling back into her skull. She coughed and spluttered. ''Are you ready to talk?'' I asked.

My bitch continued to struggle against me. Fear was evident in her dark eyes. I shrugged. ''Suit yourself, then.'' I once again pushed her down, holding her in the watery abyss for what, to her, must have seemed like hours. The bitch was more willing to talk now, however. I'm so persuasive, aren't I?

''Okay, okay! I'll talk!'' she exclaimed, waving her hands frantically. I drew her in close, bending down so my mouth was close to her ear.

''Talk,'' I commanded her. With tears streaming down her face, Adia began to recount her ordeal at the hands of the psychotic Aarash.

''Aarash, he g-got really mad when I couldn't... When I...''

''When you couldn't burn me?'' I finished.

''Uh-huh. He s-said I was a coward. That I brought him shame. He started hitting me, and c-choking me.'' She gestured to the hideous markings on her throat. ''Aarash, he.. used to do things. Touch me in bad places.'' Adia let out a wail of pure sorrow, falling into my outstretched arms. I was at a loss for words. ''I didn't know what to do, Saria! He made me feel special. It was l like I had my brother back. What could I do? If.. If I did anything, or said anything, he'd kill me.''

I kissed her forehead, soothingly. ''Nay, nay, Adia jan. Dry your tears, child, everything is okay,'' I crooned, fingers running through her dripping wet hair. ''Shh, it's alright. He can't hurt you anymore, trust my words.'' Was this what being a mother felt like? Comforting a sobbing child, being strong for her? I drew back, taking her by the chin.

''Adia,'' I said. It was time for a stern talk with my 'friend'. ''I can protect you from Aarash. We can protect you, but you have to promise me something? Promise you'll never betray me again. If you do, you're on your own.'' She nodded frantically, bangs falling into her eyes.

''I swear, I won't be mean to you again!'' My bitch exclaimed, trembling, whether from fear or cold I neither know nor care. ''Good girl, jan. I'm so proud of you.'' Brushing a lock of hair back from her eyes, I gently drew her head towards me, and lovingly kissed the top of her ebony hair. ''I'll shrivel up if I stay in here much longer, I'm going to dry off. I'll meet you downstairs again.'' Adia nodded.

Pulling myself from the water, I flip-flopped towards the house. ''Back in a minute,'' I told my brother.

''Okay, don't slip.'' Ignoring his concerned words, I trudged and squelched into the kitchen. I shook my head side to side like a dog.

''Fucking water,'' I grumbled. It seemed that even the smallest of things were irritating me today. I glanced behind me to see Adia clamouring out of the pool, dripping water everywhere. She fearfully glanced over at my brother, eyes nervously locking on his, before turning on her heel and running off to explore the garden. ''And I hope she fucking dies of pneumonia!'' I exclaimed joyfully, not caring who heard me. I made my way upstairs, quietly closing my bedroom door behind me.

My feet made a disgusting squelching noise as they came into contact with the soft, dense fabric of the white carpet. Before going downstairs, I had already laid out a change of clothing for myself. It was a hideous lavender dress with poofball sleeves, knee-length skirt and yes, you fucking guessed it, a ribbon at the back. I was going to look a state, but what can I do? My eyes narrowed in disdain.

''Fucking shit,'' I hissed vehemently. Well, there was no use prolonging it any further. The fucking bathing costume clung to my saturated body as I peeled it off, groaning. It fell at my feet, water soaking the carpet. Who gives a shit? Hamilra would clean it up for me later. With that task done, I then vigorously rubbed my body dry. I heard the sound of the kitchen door slamming, followed by the childish laughter of Adia. I'll admit, I was happy that she had cheered up.

Like I wrote earlier, nobody hurts my bitch without my prior consent. I was determined to make Aarash suffer for what he did to her. To both of us. I yanked the dress over my head, cursing as the zip got caught in my hair. Why are all my clothes so fucking old? This particular outfit I had since my ninth birthday. It fucking pissed me off, being this short. I did up the zipper and tied the large, disgusting cute ribbon.

There was no point even bothering to look at my reflection; I knew how grotesque I looked. There was a matching ribbon lying on the right-hand corner of my vanity. This would complete the look. I ran the brush through my tangled locks, fixing it into a half-up style, with the large bow at the back. Stupidly, I decided to try my hand at juggling, causing the wooden hairbrush to clatter onto the floor.

''Fucking hell!'' I grumbled, bending down to retrieve it. As I hunched forward, a sudden change in lighting grabbed my attention. I straightened up, brush in hand. There stood Adia, hands behind her back, a huge grin on her face. I smiled in return. ''Salaam, Adia jan. What have you got there?'' I asked quizzically. She bent her knees in obvious excitement.

''Look what I found Saria! Look what I found!'' My heart almost stopped when she materialised her discovery from behind her back. I felt bile rising in my throat. It was another Alligator Lizard; my deepest of phobias. NO! NO! WHY WOULD SHE BRING ONE IN HERE? Adia started babbling incessantly. ''Isn't he adorable, Saria? I found him in your garden. Do you like him? Maybe we could share him as a pet?'' She held the monster out to me. It opened its mouth, showing its razor sharp teeth.

I could hardly draw in breath from my lungs. I needed air! I NEEDED AIR! I began to cry like a fucking baby. The little beast flicked its disgusting, forked tongue at me. An ear-splitting, blood curdling scream escaped my lips. I trembled all over, calling desperately for my brother. ''ASSSEFFF! ASSEF, PLEASE! I NEED YOU!'' I hollered frantically. The sound of his footsteps thundered down the hall, before his figure appeared in the doorway, concern etched all over his face.

''What? What is it, Saria? What's the matter?'' he asked in a high-pitched voice, frantically rushing to my side. I could hardly speak for crying. Raising my trembling finger, I pointed it at the lizard.

''M-monster, MONSTER!'' I screamed. ''PLEASE MAKE IT GO AWAY!'' Tears saturated my face, as the colour drained from my cheeks. A worried look crossed Assef's features as he stared incredulously at the tiny Alligator Lizard. I shrank back, hyperventilating. Adia's eyes widened in confusion and terror as my brother strode towards her.

''YOU FUCKING BITCH!'' he roared. He drew back his hand and cracked her across the face, sending her reeling to the floor. As she fell, the cunt's grasp on the Alligator Lizard slackened, and the grotesque creature went flying through the air. Three fucking guesses as to where it landed.

Yup. That's right. On my arm. The lizard dug its claws into me as I flailed like a woman possessed. I staggered backwards, tripping over my own feet. My legs gave way as I collapsed onto the floor, smacking my head against the oak vanity desk on my way down. ''GET IT OFFFF! NO! NOO! ASSEF GET IT OFF ME!'' I shrieked. Assef was at my side in an instant. He dropped to his knees, grabbing my wrists. ''ASSEF! GET IT AWAY FROM ME! PLEASE BROTHER!''

My legs kicked out desperately. I seriously wanted to cut my arm off. Anything to get this thing away from me. ''ASSEFF!'' I screamed hysterically. Assef leaned over me, his torso pressing against mine, restricting my movements.

''It's okay, kiddo. Shh, it's okay.'' He gently plucked the disgusting lizard off me, crossing to the open window. ''Look, Saria.'' Eyes blurry with tears, I watched my brother fling the lizard out the window. ''There we go. All gone.'' He knelt beside me, gathering me into his arms. He cradled me like a parent does a toddler, stroking my head. ''Shh, meine Schweister. It's okay. Everything's fine now, it can't hurt you anymore.''

''M-monster... Bad monster!'' I wailed, gripping the fabric of Assef's shirt. I started to dry-heave.

''The monster's gone, honey. It won't hurt you. Nobody will hurt you, kiddo. Now, please, stop crying, you're gonna make yourself sick. There's a good girl, you're alright,'' he cooed, rubbing my back. I began to calm down, though I was still visibly shaken from my ordeal. Assef picked me up, carrying me over to the bed. He squatted down so we were level and held my tiny hands, gripping my fingers with reassurance.

''Shh. All better?'' he asked. I nodded, wiping my running nose with the back of my hand. ''Good,'' Assef responded, kissing my forehead gently. My head was pounding from when I had fallen earlier. Adia began to slip out the door, but the icy look Assef gave her froze her to the spot. He released his grip on my hands and stood up. With a sadistic look on his face, he fished his brass knuckles from the back pocket of his jeans.

Adia barely had time to scramble towards the door. My brother lunged for her, grabbing her by the hair and dragging her kicking and screaming along the floor. 'Don't scuff the carpet, bitch!' I thought. Assef slammed his fist into Adia's abdomen, knocking the breath out of her. ''What. the. FUCK. did you think you were doing?'' he roared, punctuating each word by slamming her head against the floor. ''Huh? ANSWER ME!''

She began to scream with pure agony, tears streaming down her face. Assef hit her repeatedly, his face contorted with pure, unbridled rage. He kicked her in the ribs, knocking the fucking stuffing out of her. Adia screamed in agony with every blow. ''How dare you frighten my sister? How dare you bring that disgusting thing in here?'' He backhanded her across the face, sending to the floor in a crumpled heap. ''You better start explaining yourself!''

Adia could hardly get the words out. She struggled under my brother's vice-like grip. ''I.. I didn't know! Please, I didn't know you were frightened of them. I DIDN'T!'' she pleaded frantically, trying to push my brother's hands away. Her eyes locked on mine. ''Please, PLEASE Saria! Don't let him hurt me! You said you would protect me!''

I let out a sarcastic laugh. ''You know, I wish I could, but you know how protective my brother is of me. Why didn't you think of that before you decided to betray me?'' I asked, glowering at her trembling form. I could see the fear in her eyes. That intrinsic, primeval emotion which so many people often experienced when when Assef and I were around.

Assef grabbed a ribbon from my vanity desk, and wrapped it around Adia's neck. He pulled it taut. Her eyes rolled backwards as she asphyxiated. ''You'd better have a good explanation for this, cunt. Your very life may depend on it.''

Adia began coughing uncontrollably. ''I DIDN'T KNOW! I DIDN'T!'' she pleaded in sheer desperation. Assef unwound the rope. He searched Adia's terrified face, looking for any truth to her words. What he found must have convinced him to believe her, because he lowered his clenched fist.

''Are you telling me the truth?'' he asked, like a parent scolding their naughty child.

She nodded frantically. ''Yes, YES!''

Assef sighed. ''Alright. Then I believe you.'' He glanced over at me. ''But we still need to have a serious talk, you and I.'' Adia once again began to grovel to me.

''Saria, please! Please help me!'' she sobbed. In a furious retaliation, Assef caught her by the throat and pinned her to the floor. He leaned in so they were nose to nose.

''You are making it very difficult for me to keep my temper, Adia,'' Assef hissed ominously. She turned her head away, tears pooling over in her eyes. ''Look at me when I'm talking to you!'' Assef forced the petrified child's head towards him. ''Now hear me and me well. You are disgusting, Adia. Worthless. You don't know how lucky you are that Saria is still willing to be your friend. Nobody else would be so forgiving. I think your little ordeal with Aarash proved that. Didn't it? DIDN'T IT?'' he growled.

She nodded forcefully, struggling to muster up the courage to do so. ''Y-yes.. Assef.. Yes..'' Adia stammered. Assef put his mouth to her ear.

''You have no idea what a violent person I can be. What I am truly capable of. The lengths that I will go to to protect my sister.'' With his free hand (the one with the Knuckles) Assef gently caressed my bitch's face. ''If you ever, ever betray or hurt Saria again, I promise I will do things to you that Aarash could only dream of. I will make you suffer in ways you cannot even imagine. Is this clear, Adia?''

She nodded. Assef cupped her chin. ''One more time, I'll ask you. Is that clear?''

''Yes, agha! Yes, c-clear!'' A dark stain appeared in the crotch of her swimsuit, leaking onto the carpet. She closed her eyes in shame, turning her head away from us.

Assef squinted menacingly at her. ''You pissed yourself. Disgusting, filthy bitch!'' he jeered. I bent over her, slapping her face hard.

''Filthy little animal!'' I mocked cruelly. We both spat on her, jeering at her misfortune. Assef released his grasp on her throat.

He stood up. ''Get up.'' Like an obedient slave, Adia gingerly struggled to her feet. ''Get dressed and leave. I don't want to see you again today. GET OUT!'' She nearly jumped out of her skin as she ran from the room. I heard the thump of her footsteps as she hurried downstairs, eager to get as far away from us as possible.

The venomous glare melted away from Assef's face as he came to sit by my side. I let myself fall into his lap, giggling like a prepubescent monkey. ''I'm glad you cheered up, kiddo'' Assef's fingers danced over my scalp as he leaned down to kiss my cheek.

''All because of you, my brother. You always make everything better, Assef jan,'' I said kindly.

''I try my best, Sar,'' he quipped. I exhaled in satisfaction at the thought of the pure fear and terror Adia was surely experiencing. Yet, this was not enough. I wanted to show her the true meaning of pain. It was always my way with people.

She needed to learn just how violent and psychotic I could become when aggravated. My dear Adia needed to be taught a severe lesson. Payback would be a bitch for her, if you'll permit me to use that pun. Now was the time for vengeance.. Adia.. She had pushed me to the brink.. And now she would regret her betrayal. This I swear...

In the next chapter, Saria's fury begins to boil over as she is once again forced to come to Adia's defense against Ahtrai. But it will not be long before an opportunity arises for her to get revenge on her friend... PMs and reviews much appreciated. :)

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