and shut the door. It wasn’t that he was trying to close Gavin out, he simply wasn’t used to falling apart, and doing it in front of Gavin was unthinkable.
Ali turned on the shower and walked in without waiting for the water to heat. He turned his face up, letting the spray mask his tears. The scope of his sister’s betrayal was devastating.
Although he’d been hurt when he thought Ghazi betrayed him, it hadn’t gutted him like the newest revelation had. He’d looked up to his big sister his entire life. Almas had, in many ways, stepped into the motherly role after his mother had died.
Ali scrubbed at his face, feeling the heavy presence of early morning whiskers.
“Can I come in?” Gavin asked from the doorway.
Ali closed his eyes. He didn’t want to hurt Gavin. “I just need a few minutes.”
“Okay. Yell if you need me,” Gavin answered.
He started to tell Gavin he’d always need him, but stopped himself. He thought he’d always need Almas in his life, but now he was days away from sending her to jail. Jail? Jurru only had a small jail, used mostly for drunken tourists who got out of hand. What would they do with Almas and Naji?
* * * *
Gavin sat on the floor beside the bathroom door. The man he loved was hurting only a few steps away, and he felt powerless to help. Calls needed to be made, plans set in place, but Gavin couldn’t bring himself to even pick up the phone.