Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and you say ye love me.

Islam expect every Muslim to do this duty, and if we realise our responsibility time will come soon when we shall justify ourselves worthy of a glorious past.

I paused finally and watched the trees for slashes of light, but saw none. As my heart settled and my ears became less occupied I listened and heard nothing but the thready pulse of the night. And I sensed that the hunt was over. I’d been prey and now I was not. Prey knows this. Prey knows when it has escaped.

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