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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21. Manipulating Amir

In chapter 20, Saria was shocked to learn that Amir had witnessed Assef raping Hassan. Now we continue with the same night...

Every muscle in my body locked into place. My heart began to beat so loudly that I was one hundred per cent certain that it was going to burst forth from my chest, spraying the walls with blood and gore. The thought would have been funny, had I not been so shocked at the moment. I stayed kneeling where I was, half way down the stairs, my nightgown barely giving me any protection against that cool night air. Especially because of the thunder storm that was raging outside.

I shivered, whether because of the storm or what I just heard I don't know, and let out a loud gasp. I immediately covered my mouth with my hands. 'Stupid. Fucking stupid Saria! Be quiet!' I thought to myself angrily. 'Don't make problems for yourself!' I inwardly chastised myself. I glanced about the room, desperately trying to find out whether anybody had seen me. None of the other men, save for my Amir, had stirred, and even he had settled back down to slumber.

The wind howled like an angry wolf outside, loud and furious. I wondered briefly whether anybody upstairs had taken notice of the fact that I was gone. How long had I been down here for? Time seemed to have certainly gotten away with me. I clenched my fists and bit down hard on my knuckles to stop myself from swearing left right and centre. I stared at my Amir as he slept soundly. He was so adorable, twitching in his sleep. I wondered what he was dreaming about.

Another loud boom of thunder nearly sent me tumbling down the stairs in shock. I accidentally hit my toe off the bannister and hissed in pain. ''Ah, fuck!'' I muttered under my breath. I rubbed my foot vigorously, tears welling up in my eyes.

I honestly didn't really know what these tears were actually for. I took another look back up the stairs.''Now why the fuck was I coming down here anyway?'' I asked myself. I thought about it. ''Ah, yes. A drink. Right.'' I got up from my sitting position as I walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. The kitchen sink was still filled with the leftovers of last night.

Bits of food clogged the drains, and dirty plates were stacked high at the side of the sink. I gagged in disgust and rolled my eyes at their disgusting behaviours. ''Fucking pigs. Do they think it would kill them to do even a tiny bit of cleaning?'' I thought to myself in frustration as I attempted to find a clean glass to drink out of.

I'm actually a very tidy person and kept my things spotless. Untidiness and laziness such as I was seeing here irked me to no end. I eventually pulled a tall, clear glass out of a nearby cupboard. The tap hissed noisily when I turned it on, water spraying everywhere. I stamped my feet and jumped up and down in frustration. ''You've got to be fucking kidding me! Does nothing work in this house?'' I swore. ''What, did a fucking Hazara build this or something?'' I thought viciously.

I took my glass, filled it to the brim with water, and began chugging back huge gulps. To be honest, my throat was so dry I thought that I was going to fucking starting choking.I glanced up at the old clock tick-tocking behind me on the wall. 6:45. If I was at home now I quite possibly would have crawled into the bed with my brother. That was often what I did when something troubled my mind and I couldn't sleep. Not that Assef ever minded me doing so. He was always telling me that if I ever had a problem I should go to him.

I wouldn't go to any other person with anything either. Not even my own parents. Assef has been more of a parental figure to me than they ever could be anyway. Yes, it does seem strange that two siblings with only five or so years in age difference between them would have such a relationship, but that was how it had always been. Unfortunately, however, my brother was not here at this time. He was probably sleeping soundly at home, not even worrying about anything. Not in the way that I was right now anyway. I took one last glance at that disgusting kitchen, and made my way out. I made sure to close the door behind me as I did so.

I tiptoed barefoot towards the stairs, my hands clasped right around the glass, hugging it tight to my chest so that it wouldn't spill. I held it as tentatively as one would a newborn baby. Didn't want to get in trouble over spilt fucking water now, did I? Although, perhaps somebody would slip if I did spill it. Perhaps one of those twins would break a limb or two.

I chortled to myself at the thought. I passed by Amir, still deep in his sleep. Little things like the way his nose crinkled and he moaned in his sleep were so endearing to me. I wanted to curl up beside him and hold him in my arms. To hold him and love him the way he deserved. All one day though. I knew that we would be walking down the aisle some day. Or was this just me trying to lead myself into some false sense of security? I truly hoped not. I bent down and gently placed a kiss on his forehead. He didn't stir, and to my betterment I suppose.

I walked back up the stairs, quiet as a mouse and slid back into bed. Nobody else had awoken it seemed. Even the hell twins Fazilal and Karima were both silent. Just how I liked it. I took another huge swig of water and gently placed the glass on the floor by my bed. I lay awake just listening to the sounds of the rain and thunder outside.

Every now and again I would spot a flash of lightning outside the window. I rolled my eyes at the weather. As soon as my head hit the pillow, the thoughts began to race once again. It seemed I couldn't get a fucking break from them. Of course, the thought that was at the forefront of my mind in this time was undoubtedly what I had just heard down stairs. What my Amir had just said. 'I watched Hassan get raped.' The words resounded in my mind, echoing in my brain.

The thoughts were reverberating through my mind. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried to push them out, they just kept coming back in. I tossed and turned in the bed, trying my very best to go back to sleep. Fazilal belched in her sleep, snorted, and rolled over onto her stomach.

''Disgusting pig,'' I mumbled under my breath. I wished once again that Assef were here. Perhaps then I would have been able to sleep. Or maybe not. I closed my eyes. I still couldn't get Amir's words out of my head. Were they true? Had he really been there when Assef raped Hassan? I knew they had to be true. Who would lie about something like that? I can read people very well and I was certain that his words were one hundred percent truth. They were as real as the sun and moon. I bit my lip as I tried once again to process them. Amir must have been there.

And he must have been hiding somewhere in the alley. That must be why neither Assef nor I saw him there. And if he did see it, then WHY didn't he do anything? I mean, yes, he would have faced a dreadful punishment from my brother for standing up to him, but that still doesn't explain the fact that he didn't try to help Hassan. I thought that they were friends. They certainly seemed to be close when I had the unfortunate pleasure of having the two in my home three months ago. It was easy to tell that the retarded Hassan absolutely hero-worshipped Amir. That he cared for him more than anybody else on this planet.

The two seemed to have a much different relationship than the normal 'Master-Servant' relationship. They were most definitely friends, if not closer. Perhaps as close as brothers. I swallowed back bile at the thought. I gagged in disgust. How could anybody touch someone like Hassan, with his Chinese face, his round, bald head and those eyes. I felt like cutting off my hand every time I had to touch Hamilra, the family Hazara.

I honestly couldn't understand why somebody would want to have one of those things as a friend. A servant, yes. That was about the only thing those things were good for. That, and to physically and sexually abuse them for shits and giggles. They were not so much human as they were actually animals in clothing. They were an absolute abomination and should of course be treated as such. That was what Assef had taught me. Afghanistan was the land of the Pashtuns.

It always will be. Hazara people were the alien. The enemy. They had to be wiped out for the sake of Pashtuns everywhere. Now why on Earth would my Amir want to be friends with one of those things? It puzzled me. It truly did. 'But maybe.. Amir doesn't care for Hassan as much as he likes to make out.' I thought to myself. I know that there was no way in high hell that I could ever just sit back and watch if somebody were to be hurting my brother.I would fight tooth and nail to make sure that he was safe. No matter the danger. If someone dared to lay a finger on my brother then they would pay a hefty price for it.

That price being their lives. I would die a thousand deaths to protect Assef, and I know that he would do the same for me. That was what you did when you cared about someone. You risked everything to protect them. If Amir had sat idly by and allowed Assef to rape and torture Hassan in the way that he did, then that only proved my point that he didn't give two shits about the boy. Perhaps he was in the same mindset as me. Would I perhaps discover that my Amir held a heart as cold as mine? That his psyche was just as damaged?

I pondered this for quite some time. Perhaps hours. I debated everything that those words meant. Obviously I couldn't tell Amir that I had heard him. I had no fucking clue as to how he would react. Oh my God, did he see me there? Was that why he had been ignoring me and being so fucking difficult? I shook my head.

No. If he had, surely he would have mention it to me. Or why would he even have invited me up here tonight? I massaged at my temple. This constant worrying was giving me a headache. 'That rape was one of the best things that Assef ever did for me. And now I'm fretting over it? Fuck this. Fuck this. I'm going back to sleep. I'll ask Assef what he thinks when I see him later. He'll know what to do,' I thought to myself.

I closed my eyes and once again fell asleep. It was about nine or so the next morning when I arose to the sound of Karima bouncing on my bed. ''Get up, Saria! Get up, Saria!'' she giggled. I fixed her the cold and deathly glare that I am known for. She grinned stupidly at me.

''Not a morning person, are ya? It's okay. Neither is my mommy,'' she informed me. ''Well anyway, we're leaving in about twenty or so minutes so come on and get dressed.''

I glanced out the window, divulging myself in a lovely fantasy of pushing this bitch out and watching her fall to her death. I do not like being bossed around by a seven year old. I covered my mouth and giggled at the thought of tying both twins together and forcing them to shit in each other's mouths.

Karima cocked her head to the side, her hands on her hips. She actually reminded me quite a bit of Adia when she did this. I wondered how my bitch was doing. ''Um, why are you laughing?'' That cunt asked. As per usual I was able to make up a lie on the spot for her. It wasn't even that much of a lie anyhow.

''I'm excited to go back home to see my brother again,'' I told her.

She nodded at this statement. ''Yes. You must miss him. Amrit, was it?'' Just like with me, she managed to get my brother's name wrong

''It's Assef, Karima, and yes I do miss him quite a bit.'' A brief look of uncertainty crossed her eyes when I said Assef's name. She bit her lip and scrutinised me. I know she was thinking what Adia thought when we first met. That Assef and I looked very much alike with our distinctive hair and eye colour. I was proud of this fact. I liked looking like my brother.

Karima was now sitting on the edge of the bed. She swung her feet back and forth. I reached out a hand to stop her, looking at the half-full glass at her feet. ''Be careful. You don't waht to spill water everywhere. Now, Karima, can I ask a big favour? Will you take this downstairs for me and put it in the kitchen? Do you think you could do that?''

She nodded. ''Thank you. You're such a good help,'' I said in that patronising manner one uses when speaking to a young child.

She bent down and picked up the glass. ''You need to get dressed so we can go.'' Were the words she barked at me before she left me to my own devices in that room.

I rolled my eyes. ''I shouldn't be taking orders from a seven year old. Who the fuck does she think she is?'' I angrily muttered under my breath as I got up out if bed.

''I should jab a pin right through her fucking eyes. That'd teach her to fuck around with me.'' I took out my cream dress from the bag I had packed last night and hurriedly changed into it.

I brushed my hair rapidly. ''Fuck!'' I exclaimed every time that I would come across and tangle in my hair. It took fucking effort to look this good every day. All part of that charming little lie though.

That ploy to seem as sweet as possible. I had to keep it up for obvious reasons. I fixed my headband back on my hair and looked in the mirror. 'Not bad, Saria. Actually quite pretty. Now remember, keep your cool around Amir.' I knew that I would do this anyway. When did I ever slip up? A true sociopath can easily lie and manipulate others. I guess that I fit the bill there.

I slid my blue overcoat on over my tiny frame, placed my rucksack on my bag and left the room. I didn't even bother to make the bed. Someone else would do that. Surely the family had a servant or something like that. I skipped down the stairs, humming to myself. Only two more hours and I could go home. That is, provided that Amir didn't get car sick again. That was something he would need to work on before we got married.

Well there would be plenty of years for that. I entered the living room where everyone was sitting around waiting. ''Ah, so I see that sleeping beauty has awoken,'' some old bat teased. I had no clue who the fuck she was to be honest. She reminded me a bit of Adia's grandmother, Yuri. Or wrinkled cow as I now called her.

I nodded at this woman's words. ''I do hope I wasn't keeping you all too long,'' I said demurely.

Yusef shook his head. ''Not at all, Saria. Not at all. You're a growing girl, you need your rest after all,'' he told me matter of factly. I almost rolled my eyes at this statement.

I looked over at Amir. He gave me a small, sad smile and looked away. I had to figure out what to do with him. I had to. Yusef clapped his hands together. ''Right. Everyone into the truck and we'll start heading for home. It's probably going to take us an hour or so longer than usual because we have to drop everybody off at their homes.''

I honestly felt like throwing a huge temper tantrum at this statement. Not unlike the one I has thrown at Adia's house. An extra fucking hour? Seriously? I just wanted to go home! 'Fuck it. Perhaps I shouldn't have come,' I thought to myself with total frustration.

That was just the way it was with my personality though. Always drifting into the fucking negative. Still I kept my smile. Fazilal however immediately began complaining to her mother. ''I don't wanna have to sit next to Amir. Okay? I don't wanna! What if he gets sick again on my new dress?''

God, did this bitch not have any sympathy? Alright, I know that I can be accused of the same flaw, but I do show caring towards some people. Specifically Amir and my brother. The little bitch of a cunt continued to whine. ''Mama! Where am I going to sit?'' she half-shrieked. She really didn't want to sit next to Amir.

I hurriedly jumped into diffuse the situation. ''Um, you can have my spot. If you like. I'll sit next to Amir.''

''Thank you, Saria. That saves us all a lot of hassle.'' She turned to her daughter. ''Now what do you say to Saria?'' she pushed.

''Thank you Saria.'' I brushed off her thanks with an artificial smile. I just wanted to know what my Amir thought of my offer. Perhaps it was just how I was today but I honestly couldn't read him. I followed Amir out into the blinding light of the sun.

The storm from last night seemed to have let up but that was certainly not the case for the turbulent storm in my mind. Amir and myself hung back as the others all piled into the car. I decided to make conversation with the older boy.

''You haven't been up in my house for a while,'' I stated matter-of-factly.

He shook his head at this statement. ''No. Well, I've just been busy.''

I rolled my eyes playfully at this. ''Well, I know how that feels. But you do have to come and play with me again. You and Hassan of course.''

His mood immediately changed when I said Hassan's name. He bit his lower lip and averted my gaze. I decided I would simply feign concern at this point. ''Oh, um, is everything okay?'' I asked. ''I mean, between you and Hassan. You're not fighting are you?'' I waited for his answer. I have a way of getting people to talk. My charm does that for me.

He sighed deeply. ''Well.. Actually.. We've just not been seeing eye to eye lately. It's nothing really,'' he said.

I placed a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. ''You can tell me if you like,'' I offered. He hesitated for a moment. I knew he was contemplating whether or not to do so.

He shook his head. ''No, I don't know, maybe he's just being difficult. He seems to be bugging me more than usual lately.''

I cocked my head to the side. ''Well... Have you tried talking to him?'' I asked.

Amir nodded. ''Yes I have but he just doesn't seem to understand. I don't know,'' he admitted.

''Well, maybe you just need to tell him more sternly,'' I said. ''I mean, of someone's doing something that makes you unhappy, Amir jan, then you have to tell them, and you have to be firm about it. Even if it's a friend. Don't ever let anyone treat you with less than the respect you deserve. Do you understand this?'' I advised him.

He nodded. ''Yes, yes, thanks, Saria jan. I understand what you're saying. I'm going to have to talk to Hassan. Yes. Just to straighten things out,'' he muttered to himself. We got into the truck. I knew better than to approach the subject any further with everyone else in earshot. Karima leaned across in her seat to give me a hug. I knew that the child genuinely cared for me. She wanted an older friend of sorts to play with and look after her. I could never be that person for her. I hated this child with every fibre of my being. My arms came up from my sides to awkwardly pat her on the back.

I held her in a loose embrace, wishing I could move my hands up and around her neck. That I could throttle her. I entertained the fantasy of smashing her little head against the wall of the truck and watching her bleed out at my feet. I smiled as I embraced the child. Homayoun smiled back at me. He seemed delighted that his daughter had found a new friend. Nobody had any idea that the sweet smile on my face was actually a smile filled with malicious intent.

Filled with horrific, violent fantasies of the things I would like to do to his daughter. Yusef revved up the engine and reversed out of the drive. Karima slid herself out of my embrace and back next to her sister and parents. The bratty twins both stuck their tongues out at each other. Quite childish if you ask me. The air was soon filled with loud, obnoxious chatter as we began to drive down the road. Only Amir and myself were silent. I placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, biting my lip in an innocent and sweet gesture.

I would love to have kissed him. I blushed at the thought of it. I wished so badly that I could kiss him. We would be together one day. I hoped so at least. Amir was deep in silence for the duration of the journey. He simply grunted replies to anyone who tried to ask him a question or to invite him into their conversations. I could tell that Yusef was getting rather irked at his son's rude behaviour. Especially towards his elders who should be treated with utmost respect. But what could he do?

He just fixed his attention on the road and continued driving. Every so often he would look back at Amir in the rear view mirror and click his tongue in disappointment. I just hoped that nobody would bring up the topic of the kite fighting tournament again. We didn't need another car sickness accident.

I can't fucking say how delighted I was when we dropped the demon twins off home. They were the second last stop before mine. Fazilal couldn't wait to get out of the truck and she jumped right out without so much as a thank you. I could hear her father scolding her for this fact as she went cantering up towards her small, white fence.

Karima looked at me, her eyes bright with excitement. She clasped her hands under her chin as though in prayer. ''You'll come and play with us again some time, won't you, Saria?'' she asked.

I nodded. ''Yes, certainly. I would love to!'' I exclaimed in false excitement.

Do I even need to say how much I would loathe having to spend time with either of these girls? Although if I was forced to do so you can bet they'd be as brutally hurt as Adia often is. I smirked to myself at the thought.

After another twenty or so minutes, we finally, finally pulled up outside my home. I genuinely was fucking elated to see it again. Yusef parked up the truck and got out, followed closely by Amir and myself. I spotted Papa watching me from an upstairs window. He disappeared from view and then reappeared a few mere moments later at the front door. He unhooked the latch and opened it to welcome me home. ''Papa!'' I squealed excitedly, hugging him round the waist.

''There's my little girl. Did you have a good time? She wasn't any trouble, was she?'' he asked of Yusef.

Yusef shook his head. ''No, no trouble at all, Mahmood. She was a perfect little angel.''

I placed my right leg behind my left, held out the sides of my coat and dipped a polite curtsy. This elicited a laugh from the adults. ''Thank you for having me. I truly enjoyed myself.''

Yusef nodded. ''Not a problem. It was our pleasure, wasn't it, Amir?'' The boy nodded but didn't say anything.

I turned my head to my father. ''Where's Assef?'' I asked.

''Up in his room. Go on up to him if you'd like.'' I took my leave and thundered up the stairs. I skipped my way to Assef's room. He stood with his back to me. I snuck up behind him and hugged him around the waist from behind.

''Guess who?'' I asked playfully.

Assef let out a slight gasp and turned around. ''God, kiddo you startled me!'' he exclaimed. He bent down and hugged me tightly. I returned his embrace, smiling to myself. ''Did you have a good time?'' Assef asked.

I nodded. ''I have something that I need to tell you.'' He nodded and sat down on the bed. I perched myself on my brother's lap.

''What's up, sister?''

''Well, last night, when I was in bed, I couldn't sleep so I went to get myself a drink.'' I looked up at my brother to make sure that he was listening.

''Yeah, go on.''

''I was going down the stairs and Amir woke up. And,'' I took a deep breath. ''He saw, Assef. He was there.''

Assef looked at me in total confusion. ''He saw what, kiddo? You're going to have to be more specific. I haven't the faintest idea of what it is you're talking about,'' he said.

I sighed deeply. ''Amir saw you rape Hassan. He said so himself.''

Assef raised an eyebrow at this statement. ''Well now, that's certainly interesting, isn't it? So he didn't even bother to help his little fucktoy? Ha, maybe he's not as much of Hazara lover as I'd thought,'' he mused.

''He was ignoring me for pretty much the whole evening yesterday. That I don't like.''

Assef nodded sympathetically. ''I know, kiddo. You don't let that boy disrespect you. He needs to learn boundaries. You know that.''

I nodded. I hopped off my brother's knee. ''Wanna go and take a walk?'' I asked.

Assef nodded. ''Sure.'' He took my hand as we walked outside. Papa was still talking to Amir and Yusef.

''Oh, are you two going for a walk?'' asked Papa.

Assef nodded. ''Yes. We'll be back in about an hour or so. Nice to see you, Amir jan.'' Amir looked fearfully up at my brother but didn't answer him. His fear of Assef was so evident in his eyes. I thought it was actually quite endearing. Assef and I both walked away from the frightened young boy and out into the street.

As we walked, I thought about Adia and what she was doing right now. I wanted to find her and cause her pain just for the fuck of it. It was just how I was feeling today. ''Ara's gone to a special class,'' I told my brother. ''Adia told me yesterday.''

Assef's face fell slightly. ''Really? That's a pity kiddo. It would have been nice for you two to catch up.''

I giggled at this statement. As we passed the cafe that we normally ate in after a just because, I noticed a boy of about seventeen or so sitting staring at us. He was a few inches taller than Assef, with dark eyes, and a stocky build. I don't know why but the way he was looking at me sent a chill right up my spine.

I turned to Assef. ''Who is that?'' I asked in German.

''Farsef's brother, Aarash. He goes to school with me but he cuts class nearly all the time,'' Assef replied also in German.

I bit my lip and looked again at Aarash. He had really cold eyes. ''Come on,'' Assef told me in a gentle and loving voice. He drew me in close and led me away from Aarash. The boy genuinely sent chills right through every core of my being. I didn't know why this was. I decided that I would just forget about him from now on. Assef and I continued to walk. I held tightly to his hand and smiled widely, delighted to be spending time with the person who I loved and cherished most in this entire world.

Assef seemed happy to be spending time with me too. The sun blazed high above us in the clear blue sky. ''The fucking thunder storm kept me up half the night last night,'' I grumbled.

Assef smiled sympathetically. ''I should have come too. Then you could have stayed with me.''

I nodded. ''I wish you had been there. I would have had a much better time,'' I said truthfully.

''Your Amir probably would have had a fit!'' Assef joked.

''Those bitches Karima and Fazilal really got on my nerves too,'' I told my brother. ''I think Karima wants to be my friend or something. Not that it's ever going to happen.'' I rolled my eyes at the statement.

''Oh, but you can never have too many friends, little sister. Too many bitches.'' I bit my lip and began to laugh uncontrollably. We trekked up the hill where the pomegranate tree was. As we were about half way up, I noticed Amir and Hassan sitting at the tree.

I put my hand out across Assef to stop him from waking any farther. ''Huh? What is it, kiddo?'' he asked. I looked up at the two boys ahead of us.

''Amir and Hassan,'' I said by way of answering his question. There were some bushes near to where we were.

I grabbed onto Assef's hand and we both ducked down, hiding from view. I strained to make out what my Amir was saying. He had a book in his hand and seemed to be reading to the illiterate Hassan. Every fibre of my being itched to torture that Hazara in ways more gruesome than a normal human being could possibly imagine.

If only I could. I peered through the bushes, all my focus on the boys up a mere twenty or so feet ahead of me. Amir bent down and picked up a pomegranate. He bounced it up and down a few times, but not once did he eat or attempt to eat it.

Instead he held the pomegranate out towards Hassan. ''What would you do if I hit you with this?'' I heard him ask. Hassan didn't have a response for this. He just stepped back from Amir, his eyes showing the obvious and total confusion that he felt.

I bit down on my tongue in anticipation that things were about to escalate. And escalate they did. Amir stared at Hassan head-on. ''What would you do?'' he asked again. When he didn't get a response, he hurled the fruit right at Hassan. Hassan gasped slightly, but other than that there was no reaction.

No anger or frustration towards Amir. Amir picked up a handful of pomegranates and began throwing them one by one at Hassan. ''Hit me back!'' He yelled in utter desperation. ''HIT ME BACK GODDAMN YOU!'' I felt tears of absolute joy make their way down my face.

I shook with laughter and latched onto my brother's arm for support. Assef's attention was completely fixed on the boys up ahead of us. Again and again Hassan did nothing as Amir pelted him with fruit. ''You're a coward!'' Amir scolded his servant. ''Nothing but a goddamn coward!''

At this, Hassan stepped forward a bit, bent down and picked up a pomegranate. He walked towards Amir. 'Shit is really about to go down now.' I thought to myself. But Hassan didn't throw the fruit at Amir. Instead he opened it and crushed it against his own forehead, red fruit juice dripping down his face like blood.

''What in fuck's name?'' I heard Assef whisper to himself beside me. Amir swayed back and forth on his heels like a drunkard.

''There!'' Hassan croaked. ''Are you satisfied?'' he asked. ''Do you feel better now?'' With that, he walked calmly down the hill. Assef and I ducked further into the bushes, hiding ourselves from view.

Amir's legs finally gave way as he collapsed to the ground in tears. He rocked back and forth, hugging himself round the middle. ''What am I going to do with you, Hassan?'' he asked himself. ''What am I going to do with you?''

'I can think of a few ideas,' I thought devilishly. Amir stood up after a few moments and made his way down the hill after Hassan. Assef and I also took our leave. I was trembling with laughter as we made our way back home. Perhaps I was overreacting but that was honestly the funniest fucking thing I had ever seen in a long time.

As I sat once again in the confines of my brother's room, I couldn't stop thinking of what I had just seen. The day had long since turned into night and I was now dressed for bed in my long white nightgown. I rubbed at my eyes sleepily. I honestly couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. Maybe Amir doesn't care for Hassan at all? That was certainly how things were looking, wasn't it?

Or maybe it was my talk with Amir that had forced him to do this. I could give two shits either way. Amir needed to learn that Hassan was nothing more than a filthy animal. Yawning, I slid into Assef's bed. He looked at me in confusion. ''What are you doing?'' he asked.

''Going to sleep,'' I replied. Assef nodded, and got up to turn off the light.

''Alright, kiddo. You can sleep in here with me tonight if you want.'' He switched off the light and climbed back into bed. I snuggled up to my brother and wrapped my arm around his waist. ''I love you, Saria,'' he told me, kissing my forehead.

''I love you too, Assef,'' I replied. I snuggled closer to the one person I would ever truly love and care for, as I let my mind go blank of any thoughts. Easier said than done, mind you. I fell asleep in my brother's arms, content for once in my life.

In the next chapter, Saria is invited to Amir's birthday party, but will Hassan be there, and can she and Assef keep calm if he is? Please leave reviews and feedback. Thank you to my readers :)

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