Ronan stood at his bedroom, looking out. It was hard to tell there had been a thunderstorm if it weren’t for the wet spots here and there. The sun was shining, giving the place a clean and pristine feel. The day promised to be a beautiful one.
He hadn’t slept well, though and felt tired but there wasn’t anything he could do about that except take a cold shower which would rejuvenate him. He had a busy day at the office today. He would prepare and have breakfast first and shower afterwards. Perhaps, he should check on Tiana before heading down to the kitchen.
He moved away from the window. After pulling on his dressing-gown and pushing his feet in his slippers, he left the room. He walked down the long corridor until he came to the guestroom. He knocked.
“Are you decent?” he asked. The last thing he wanted was to find her still wearing his pajama shirt.
“Yes, I’m decent,” came the resentful answer.
He opened the door and went inside. To his relief, she was dressed and standing at the window. The pajama shirt was lying on top of the neatly made bed. “Are you hungry?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“I’ll go and fix breakfast now. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.”
“All right. I’ll be in the study looking at the books. I’m curious to see what interesting books you have that I could borrow.”
“Sure. Feel free to borrow as many books as you like.” He turned and walked out of the room.
Shortly after she left the room and headed for the study. As she browsed the shelves, she wondered if he slept well last night. She didn’t and it wasn’t because of the storm. For a long time, she lay there on the bed, staring up at the ceiling, thinking…thinking about him in his room. She wondered what would have happened if she had gotten up and gone to his room. Instead of knocking, she would push open the door and go in. What would have been his reaction? Would he have scolded her as if she were a child and then send her back to her room? What if she had refused? Would he have picked her up and carried her back to her room? She grimaced. It was exactly the sort of thing he would have the nerve to do.
Did he wear pajamas to bed? The pajama shirt he lent her was expensive–real silk and it felt nice on her skin. Did he wear the bottom for it last night? Was that all he wore? The thought of him being half-naked, made her body react. Muttering under her breath in frustration, she reached for a book but it was a little high so she had to stand on tiptoe. She managed to take hold of the book but when she pulled it down from the shelf, she lost her balance and felt herself falling backwards. Two strong arms caught her. Her breath caught in her throat when she realized that Ronan was holding her. She could feel his firm body against hers. She closed her eyes, her heart and pulse racing. How she longed to lean against him…
“Are you all right?”
She reluctantly opened her eyes. “Y-yes, I’m fine.”
He released her and she turned to face him. “Why didn’t you wait until I came to get you? I would have reached the book down for you.”
“It’s not a big deal.” He had arrived just in time or she would have ended up on the floor.
“Is that the only book you want to borrow?”
“Yes, for now.” She glanced down at it. It’s unusual color was what had attracted her to it. Now, she had a good look at it. “Daughters of Rahab.” She turned it over and read the back cover. It was about Chadia Khatib, a former prostitute who found love and salvation when a Christian missionary introduced her to Jesus Christ. Chadia decided that she would rescue Jordanian girls and women from prostitution. She founded the non-profit organization, Daughters of Rahab. Why Rahab? Rahab was a prostitute who had heard about the true God and feared Him. He rescued her and her family from destruction of Jericho and consequently, delivered her from a life of prostitution. She ended up marrying Salmon, a Jewish man and they had Boaz was the great-grandfather of Israel’s king David. Rahab’s story was one of faith, deliverance and redemption. Chadia wanted the girls and women she helped to know that the same God who rescued Rahab from her life of prostitution wanted to rescue them too. “This looks very interesting. I love reading stories about victims who help other victims.”
“You will find her story harrowing and inspiring. I met her when she was the guest speaker at a charitable gala a couple of years ago. She was very engaging.”
“And beautiful too,” Tiana remarked, looking at the photo of a woman with jet black curls framing a swarthy heart-shaped face.
“After the gala, I bought a copy of her book and when we met for coffee, I was able to get her to sign her autograph.”
Tiana opened the book and her eyes fell on neatly written words on the first page. Dear Ronan, thanks for your support. It means the world to me and to the many girls and women I have rescued so far. Whenever you’re in Jordan, look me up. Shalom, Chadia. Tiana pursed her lips and closed the book. “So, are you going to look her up?” she demanded tightly.
“On if I decide to go to Jordan.” He moved away from her and walked over to the doorway. Turning, he faced her with his hands in the pockets of his robe, watching her.
“So, what did you and she do beside meet for coffee and her signing her autograph?”
“Nothing. We had a nice long chat and then, we parted company. I haven’t been in touch with her since then.”
“Did she give you her number?”
“Yes. It’s in my phone book. Now, breakfast is ready and unless you like it cold, we’d better have it now. Besides, I have to go to work and you have classes today, don’t you?”
“Yes. My first class is at 10:30.”
“Let’s get a move on, then. I’m sure you don’t want to be late for university any more than I want to be late for work.” He turned abruptly and strode out of the study. She followed him, still bristling over the fact that he and Chadia Khatib had been on such friendly terms. And she wondered if he were being honest when he said that they hadn’t been in touch since they had coffee together. She didn’t want to press the matter or he would assume that she was jealous. Well, you are jealous aren’t you? A traitorous voice said. She had to admit to herself that she was. And that she hated it. She hated being jealous. How would he like it if she were to make him jealous? He probably wouldn’t bat an eye. Damn him!