Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cold Fire - Black Keys Outtake

Title: Cold Fire

Author: Rose B. Mashal

Rating: M

Copyright © 2015 by Rose B. Mashal
All rights reserved.
This submission or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a review.

Cold Fire

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Cold was the expression I’d been forced to wear in all cases and under any circumstances since I was a little kid.
Cold was how everybody had to see me behave toward anything and anyone so they wouldn't find a point of weakness in me.
Cold was the one of the few feelings I couldn't feel towards her.
Cold was the water I was showering with to get back on track after I almost lost it.
But … inside of me there was fire. Wild fire. Controlled fire; it was cold.
Marie …
The name of the woman who had touched my heart with a tight grip since the very first moment I looked into her mesmerizing blue eyes.
The name of the woman who never failed to surprise me with a new thing with every new day.
The name of the woman whom I felt things for, things I'd never felt toward anyone before.
Marie …
The name I couldn't find the power to say out loud, because something in me felt as if it would burn my tongue with the passion of all of the emotions I felt for its owner if I dared to call it.
Marie … my princess, my beautiful princess.
God only knows how long I spent under the showerhead, trying my hardest to block out my thoughts about her, but failing in doing so like I'd never failed in doing anything before.
The guilt I was feeling … the guilt was so high, it was nearly touching the sky. I hoped that it was enough to make God forgive me. That was what bothered me the most, that I had failed my God as a Muslim, almost crossing the last line and committing adultery.
Astaghfero-Allah. I prayed silently, asking God for his forgiveness, wishing that God would find me honest enough for Him to forgive me.
After I showered, I went straight to the closet, completely avoiding eye contact with Marie. I couldn't even imagine what was she thinking of me now. Whatever it was, I couldn't imagine it to be good.
She’d hardly ever thought something good about me, anyway …
I shrugged the thought away. I was hurting enough by my own doing, without thinking of something that would hurt even more: the impossibility of winning Marie's affection.
But … today I felt as if– … as if she felt something for me. I felt like she could finally see me for who I am and not what I am. Though, I couldn't help but think she might have done it to please me, or maybe she was scared and thought it was what I wanted? Or worse, it might just be something she thought she felt about me, because she was in an alien world, surrounded by strangers, and I was one of the few who’d shown her kindness.
If she had any feelings for me, they might all be fake, even if she didn't realize it herself.
What wasn't fake though was what I felt for her: Passion. Strong, powerful passion. It was like fire.
Fire like what I felt when I was with her, drowning in the bliss that was touching the softness of her body.
I couldn't have those thoughts about her – she wasn't even my wife.
I spent the majority of the night praying, thinking about her, then praying, and then I would think about her with a new thought, new feeling, new emotion … and the process would start all over again.
She was simply filling my mind … and my chest.
Control. It was all about control when you want to learn how to be a strong man. That was what I'd been taught all of my life. To control everything: My acts, my anger, my happiness, my sadness … and even the way I love and hate – my feelings.
I used to be so good at it, but for the past six days I’d felt like I was losing it – my mask of coldness and my tight grip of control felt like they weren't the same anymore.
All because of her.
Just one look into those beautiful eyes of hers and I was a goner. I'd been trying to remain in control since then, but – it was like she was turning me into another person. I'd never felt the need to prove myself as good like I did with her. But with just one smile of her lips, it all became worth it.
She was worth it. All of her. Be it a smile, a laugh, or just a look of compassion in her eyes. They all made it worth losing myself.
And to be honest, I liked it. But I knew I had to keep myself in a check. That was what made a strong man. And I was going to be a king. I needed a bit more than just control. I needed blankness, coldness, and a never-stop-working mind.
I took a deep breath and walked toward the bed, kneeling right beside her side of the bed. Looking at her sleeping form would've brought me to my knees if I wasn't already kneeling. She was utterly beautiful. But that wasn't the thing; it was how pure and peaceful she looked.
If it wasn't for the fact that she might panic if she woke up and couldn't find me, I would've left her to her sleep, but I had to make sure she would be okay with me leaving first.
“Princess?” I called quietly. “Princess, please wake up.”
“Hmm?” she replied, her eyes still closed, and that little 'Hmm' was enough to do things to my heart.
“Princess?” I tried again, bringing my head closer to her, not able to help the inhale of breath that I took just to be able to smell the sweet scent of her hair. “I have to go in a minute.” The truth was, I could stay a bit longer, but I just couldn't take it. I really had to go; being this close– … it wasn't good.
“What?” she asked, seemingly alert. “You have to go?” Her eyes scanned my clothes.
“Morning, Princess,” I smiled, because there was no way I could look at this face without smiling – it came naturally. “Yes, it’s Friday and I have to go to pray,” I explained.
She sat up, the covers falling from her body and exposing her chest to me. She only had her bra on, and all I could do was avert my eyes away and bite the inside of my cheek. “What? Why can’t you do it here?” she asked.
“It’s an obligation, Princess. We must go to pray and listen to a lecture every Friday,” I said, now looking at her once it was safe enough after she covered herself.
The truth was, I didn't even know if I was upset or glad that she’d covered herself away from me.
“What about the seven-day rule?” she asked, sounding a little panicked.
“No rule comes before God’s laws,” was my quiet reply.
She didn't say anything, but I could tell that she wasn't pleased with the knowledge. She was almost terrified, but I knew she would be safe here; there was no reason for the fears that I knew she was having right now.
“It’ll only take two hours maximum, Princess,” I assured her. “There are guards all around the outside of the wing; it’s completely secure and safe. Don’t worry, okay?”
She nodded slowly, not looking very convinced.
“If you need anything, just tell Mona,” I said and got up, her eyes not leaving me. Just because I couldn't help it, I bent down and kissed her hair, filling my lungs with her scent just one more time before I had to go.
“I’ll be back before you know it,” I promised.
Believe it or not, being greeted by someone every two seconds was really trying. And – boring. My mood wasn't the best and I just wanted to get to the masjed so I could clear my mind a little.
I knew I had to talk with Marie about what had happened last night. We couldn't just ignore it; it wasn't something to be ignored. She had to know the truth about why I’d pulled away, otherwise she might think I’d rejected her, which was far from true.
"Prince Mazen!" I heard my name being called.
I froze in my place. I didn't want this, and I knew I could ignore it and act as if I hadn't heard it, but that wouldn't be nice – I couldn't do that. So, with a deep inhale and exhale of breath, I turned around, planting a smile on my face that I was sure she could tell was as fake as her own.
"Mother," I greeted, nodding my head before going to kiss the back of her hand and then the top of her head.
"How are you doing today?" she asked, her eyes telling me that she was already searching deep for my answer, even without me saying it. I knew she would know, that she would be able to tell that I wasn't myself just by the look in my eyes, but I still tried.
"I'm fine, Mother. How about you? And how's my father?" I asked.
She paused before answering. Holding me under her gaze this way was enough to make me uncomfortable, but I still tried my best with the cold face she’d taught me to wear to not show her any of what I was dealing with. "We are fine, Prince Mazen. Is there's anything you wish to tell me?" she asked.
I shook my head slightly. "I need to go to the prayer, hopefully we can talk later." I was about to leave, but then she stopped me, reaching for my collar and fixing it with her hands. It took everything in me not to huff, especially after she reached for the ghotrah above my head and started doing the same.
"I believe they look fine," I commented.
"They do look fine. But it's 'perfect' you need to look, not fine," she replied, her hands still working the lines of my clothes, making sure that it was as perfect as she wanted it to be.
"Perfection is only for God, Your Majesty," I said, taking her hands away from my clothes. "Now if you'll excuse me, the lecture is about to start."
I seriously thought that being in the House of God would help me clear my mind, but I was wrong. Everyone took the chance to greet me and congratulate me on the marriage, even the same people who’d done so a few days ago. It was disturbing.
I managed to sneak away from people just the slightest and then I started praying. The prayer and the lecture were yet to start and people were still gathering. I blocked out everything around me and focused on my prayers, since I had a lot to ask forgiveness for.
Between prayers, I felt something vibrating in my pocket. My first thought was to mentally slap myself for forgetting to switch off my phone before entering the masjed. But then I remembered that I hadn't even had my phone with me in nearly a week.
When I looked down at my pocket, the white of my thawb was changing colors between red, blue and yellow. It only took me a moment to realize what it really was.
Mona had just pressed her panic button.
The device was something that I’d given her just a few days before the wedding. It was when I asked her to serve my new bride for the first week until she chose someone herself.
I knew that Mona wasn't really comfortable being in the palace anymore, especially with my mother treating her like a slave, but she was the only one I could trust to be so close to my soon-to-be wife, at the time. So, I’d given her the panic button, telling her I'd come to her within minutes if she pressed it, and there was nothing to worry about. I knew that the guards were useless when it came to my mother's orders against Mona's; they wouldn't even care to listen.
I had no idea how I left the masjed. I did hear some of 'Your Highness, are you okay?' and 'Is everything all right, Your Highness?' several times, but I was too far gone with worry to even stop to acknowledge that I’d heard them.
My legs took me to the first secret door inside the palace. Using an elevator was out of question, since I just couldn't find in me to stop to press buttons and wait for it to take me up. I ran up the secret stairs that were hiding inside – the ones that lead to my wing on the second floor.
I met a gasping Mona halfway, my eyes widening at the sight of her bleeding lip and bruised cheek. "Are you okay?" I asked, shock and worry consuming me. "Who did this to you?"
"Princess Marie … she needs you!" was all she said, with a shaking voice that was like setting my legs on fire. I ran up the stairs, and in no time I was in the foyer of my wing. And then I heard it.
“No, stop it! Stop it, stop it!”
A million thoughts haunted my brain in the few moments it took me to reach the wide-open door, unable to think about how I would react if she was hurt – but who would dare to hurt her? And if someone was hurting her, why would Mona call for me first and not the guards? A million thoughts in one second, until finally my thoughts were interrupted by a shrieking scream.
“Mazen, please, please, please! Mazen! Help me, Mazen, please!”
If someone had put their bare hand inside of my chest and ripped my heart out then cut it into pieces – it would've hurt less than hearing her screaming that way, begging for help, begging for my help.
It gutted me.
"What are you doing? Get off her!" I yelled as I saw women holding Marie down, pinning her to the bed. My mother was one of them, the one who had her back to me, and with the way Marie was kicking her, and her call for help along with everything else – it was pretty obvious that she was hurting her.
No! She couldn't be doing what I think she's doing! It just can't be!
The shock consumed me even more, filling my every sense, as I saw my grandmother on the floor, with her wheelchair next to her on its side, having seemingly fallen out of it.
My mind couldn't decide if I should go to my grandmother first or to Marie. The split second it took me to make my decision to go save Marie first felt like the longest of years.
"Out! Everybody out! I will deal with you later," I yelled at the servants, something I don't think I'd ever done before – not to the female servants, anyway.  I knew that they weren't to blame, they could do nothing against my mother's orders, but to Hell would I go if I let them stay one more day in the palace.
My mother didn't move away from Marie, so I had to do it myself, trying my best to remain respectful to her even if everything in me told me to yell and curse. But it wasn't the way I was raised. It wasn't the way she’d raised me. Raising my voice at my mother was enough of crossing lines.
But … if this wasn't my mother, God only knows what I would've done.
"What on Earth are you doing, Mazen? Pulling me this way! What are you thinking?" my mother yelled, and it pissed me off even more. Did she really imagine that I would accept what she was doing? Not in a million years. But her tone was like she even thought I'd help her, pinning Marie down for her so she could finish this barbaric act!
"What in the freaking Hell are you doing, Mother? How could you go this far? This is nothing I will ever accept. Over my dead body!"
"She has to prove her virginity. I can't believe there’s any other reason why she wouldn’t let you touch her until now other than she's hiding something!"
"This is none of your business, and I’ve told you before that she's my wife! It's between me and her, nobody else!" I was seeing red!
"Mazen," I heard Marie gasping, and my eyes moved from my mother to look at her. The sight of her all shaking and terrified – broke me. Just broke me. It was a miracle that I was still able to stand on my feet. I couldn't believe that I wasn't even speaking in English after the promise I’d made to her. She must've been even more terrified just because of that.
What a mess!
"Mona!" I called, looking away to where Mona was, seeing that she was trying to help my grandmother up into her wheelchair again. "Four female guards, now!" I commanded.
"What? What do you need them for? I'm not leaving this room until I get the proof of her virginity, if that's what you're thinking!" my mother yelled. I ignored her completely, bending down to pick up the sheet that was on the floor and then putting it around Marie's body – not able to look her in the eyes, not able to see the look of disappointment in her eyes. I'd failed her.
"Take the queen out of the wing," I ordered the female guards once they were inside.
"Oh, really? You think they'll dare touch me?" my mother said, putting her hands on her hips like a spoiled child.
What's wrong with her? I thought. She was acting very strangely, as if it wasn't her at all.
I looked at the guards and saw that they were frozen in place, looking at each other, but not doing anything.
"I said take her out of the wing. Either you do that or you'll be accused of disobeying the Crown Prince – do you hear me? Now!" I yelled, making them move right away, taking my mother out of the room as she struggled and screamed how she would punish them for this.
What she didn't know though was that she would be punished before she got the chance to punish them.
I watched as two of the guards helped Mona put my grandmother back into her wheelchair. Her teary eyes were enough to make my blood boil, and my fists clench even harder behind my back. I still had no idea how she’d fallen out of her chair, but I had a thought. If it was true – then the punishment would be even greater for my mother.
"Hold it together, Mazen. For her sake," were my grandmother's words for me before she was wheeled outside.
I nodded, determined to do exactly that, but when the time came – I would let all of this anger out. But for now – I would be strong, for her.
Control was all I needed.
I took her in my arms, hugging her tightly, kissing her hair repeatedly. She was shaking and crying, and every freaking tear felt like a mad monster was scratching at my chest, hurting and burning my skin, twisting my heart with every sob, killing me with the way she was clutching my clothes.
She was so scared.
I couldn't say a word. I was choking from my throat closing, not believing what could've happened if I hadn't gotten here on time. Marie tried to talk but she couldn't. She was desperate to tell me what had happened, she wanted me to know, maybe to console her even more, but she couldn't speak. I didn't need her to say a word to know how horrible it was.
I took her hand and put it above her chest, making her clutch her cross instead of my clothes. I knew it always gave her comfort and the feeling of being safe. I couldn't. I’d failed her. She shouldn't be considering me as a protector; I was a failure.
Marie went back to holding me again, still clutching the cross in her hand, and I couldn't deny her anything. By this point I had no idea if it was her seeking comfort by hugging me, or it was the other way around,  me hugging her for my own comfort. One thing I knew, it would hurt either way if I let go of her and left the bed.
So, I didn't.
She told me how scared she was, and I told her that my mother would be punished. She cried some more, until I had to whisper some verses of the Quran in her ear, hoping that God would put mercy on her delicate heart and ease her pain. Praying with everything in me for her to be okay, to feel better.
And with every minute that passed, the gut-wrenching decision was making itself clearer: I had to let her go.


  1. I miss this story so much. I can't wait till white locks comes out to get more of Mazen and Marie. I can't wait to see what happens with the queen in WL when they're reunited. My heart breaks reading this as I remember how gut wrenching this chapter was.
    Good job Rose.
    Wendy xoxoxo

  2. Reading this again today just tore at my heart. I can't wait till we get to peer into the lives of Marie and Mazen again. Thank you.

  3. Love it cant wait until WL is out and peer into Marie and Mazen's life.

  4. i miss this story so much.. i miss the updates and your amazing words Rose.

  5. My chest is heavy after reading this. I can't wait to see what in the store for the Queen . Thank you Rose

  6. Loved it, thank you for sharing. I cannot wait for the next story in the series. I miss reading about mazen and Marie.

  7. I cant WAIT for White Locks! I just re-read Black Keys to hold myself over for a while...when can we expect it??

  8. Wow poor Marie & Maze, I had forgotten how strong and emotional this chapter. I can't wait for White Locks..I so want to see how the queen bitch gets what's coming to her. Amazing job like always sweetie. ����❤

  9. I read the book version of this story not to long ago. To hear just this little bit from Mazen just breaks my heart. I feel all those emotion agin. As always, well done Rose. Your words & the emotion that you invoke are a-Mazen-ing. Can't wait to read your new FF story, but please don't make us wait to long with WL. We have to know what happens!!! *on bended knee while biting nails* Lol <3

  10. OMG, this is as heart wrenching as I knew it would be. He's so in love, so loyal and pure, it makes me cry. And here there is hope too, as he doubts Marie's feelings for him because he's just her only ally here, so I wonder how happy he will be when she willingly comes back to him in WL. Unless he's already remarried, which is my biggest fear...

  11. this is horrible. I wish we'd asked for a happier chapter.

  12. could you make an epov of the last chapter when they were saying goodbye

  13. I think my heart broke just like mazens did I feel his pain too. oh god I miss this story so much and I whish for so many updates and I hope there will be more outtakes they are always welcome even if is a small one. Thank you for your wonderful writing and hope to hear from you again soon.

  14. One of my most favourite stories of all time. Cant wait for more.

  15. I can say this is the perfect blog for everybody who read and post here everyday. I dont know why I always visit here maybe its essay writing service
    so nice to read here a interesting topics all day. So ill be back more to check more updates and new comments.

  16. That was an amazing gut wrenching

  17. OMG what an awesome chapter!! i loved hearing from his POV and confirming his feelings or her. when he took her to see the horses. that first horse and he told the story of how he let her go and quoted to her..."if you love something let it go, if it comes back to you it's yours if it doesn't it never was"...that perhaps that is what he may have to do with her but i just didn't want to think that might be the case. it was so good to hear of what he was saying to everyone when he walked into that room. this writing of this story is of epic proportions as far as i'm concerned i have to get the new book!!!! you are truly magnificently talented and just amazing!!


  18. waaaaa.... :( I wanna read the next book.

  19. I've completed Black Keys and White Locks on my phone via Kindle app and am wondering when the 3rd book will be available. I happened to remember your blog here and saw this outtake.. I've enjoyed the series very much and am really looking forward to the 3rd book.

  20. OMW, and how I love MPOV. I see now why and how he let her go. I always wondered how he knew she needed him. Thank you for this POV. I'm in the process of reading WL and can't wait to finish it. Hope the last book isn't far behind. ty again.

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