Sunday, 30 September 2012

Chapter 4 - The Bridge That Holds Us


~
And there’s no remedy for memory, your face is like a melody, it won’t leave my head – DarkParadise, Lana Del Rey
~


"Did you know Shyam Jha is an alcoholic?" Aman randomly questioned to which Arnav raised an eyebrow.

"No but I don't see how that's relevant," he replied blandly, his focus solely towards screwing a gadget at hand.

"But Arnav in lowe is," NK winked nudging Aman as they both burst out laughing on seeing his murderous growl.

"Seriously? Give it a rest NK! What are we teenagers?" He exclaimed, dropping what he was holding in his hands and abruptly walked off. What was wrong with NK? What was wrong with him? Was he in love? With a stranger? But he couldn't be! The word love did not exist in his life, there was no such emotion. Maybe this Khushi girl, maybe it was her eyes, the startling similarity they had to the girl of his past but that didn't explain what made him become so drawn to her.

"Hey dude! Don't take it personally I was just joking. Plus you know you do have the right to fall in love," NK smiled reassuringly placing his hand on Arnavs shoulder. Maybe he shouldn't have joked about something which seemed to effect Arnav so drastically, maybe he was thinking about something else. Arnav didn't enjoy having his leg pulled.

"So when are you going to Lucknow?" Aman questioned then, walking over and joining the two.

"Lucknow?" NK questioned suddenly, having being completely taken aback by that question, "you're going to Lucknow?"

Arnav nodded back, his eyes still distant as he took his gun out, checking it's bullets as he began his reply, something he did out of habit more than anything else, "yeh it's my parents death anniversary," he replied solemnly then walked off again.

"Oh shit, I shouldn't have made that joke," NK mumbled to himself.

"Don't worry about it man, I'm sure Arnav didn't take it the wrong way," Aman reassured him knowing fully well that his death anniversary was not the issue here. No it was a girl called Khushi Kumari Gupta, who had been one of the invitees to the event held by Shyam Jha. Aman watched as Arnav walked out of the room, his shoulders slack, his mind in a distant place. Aman would be damned if he didn't get to the bottom of this, there was something off about Arnav and he would get to the bottom of it.

"I wonder if she'll turn up," Aman looked up suddenly to see NKs wondering eyes.

"Who?"

"You know her, that Angelica thing," NK replied making a face.

"Shut up!" Aman quickly interrupted smacking NK on the head, "you know what happens to him when we mention her name!"

----

Khushi carried her suitcase down familiar streets and lanes, her eye catching onto every little detail as she balanced the bag by bending her hips to the side. When amma had suggested that she go to Lucknow she had agreed. She needed to get away, from Delhi, from Payal's world, from him, whoever he was. There was a man on the side of the street making tea, sweet shops; her personal favourite jalebis. The fragrance of it assaulting her suddenly and and she felt her mouth water but stifled down the urge to go grab some. She was already later and she didn't want to worry her buaji even further. She felt her feet slow down almost of their own accord, the distances, the pathways all too clear too familiar on her mind and her heart almost stopped as the grim building loomed in front of her, her mind whirring back to times that she tried so desperately to escape.

A little girl being chased by a very angry little boy.

"You know I can't eat them! Is it necessary to stuff them in my face!"

He grabbed her then but she struggled out of his grasp then fled away giggling and making a face. She went behind a tree and hid as his face fell and giving up he started walking away. Another pretty girl, slightly older walked out then.

"Chotey? What's wrong?" She questioned, sending an arm around his shoulder as he stared at the floor glumly. He looked up through the frown and then at her. Her eyes rounded on being caught, but he knew her too well like that anyway.

"Chutki shoved jalebis in my face despite knowing I can't eat them!" He complained.

The other girl made an innocent face, not new to her brothers little temper. "Chotey just calm down hunni. I'm sure chutki was just pulling your leg," she reassured him then led him away.

Khushi walked in to the court yard then, her fingers on the peeling paint of the gate as she pushed with all her strength. It creaked open ever so slightly, only leaving her enough room to slither in. She let her hands roam over the edges of the old gate. Each touch bringing with it memories that she could never escape from, a childhood that had been destroyed so disgustingly, reminding her of people she would never meet again.

Her feet hit the floor slowly as she treaded carefully, gently, still keeping the reverence she had had so many years back. She gulped back tears but they welled up on her eyes and slowly streaked down her face. She could still feel the presence of the innocent souls that had lost their lives in this very place. Her mind whirred back to another time, she remembered how the stars had shone bright.

A little girl, she hopped across the courtyard, a small silver tiffin in hand. Her small hand formed into a fist as she banged on the window, the light streaking out through it telling her fully well that he was not up in his room sleeping, that he was still in his playroom, possibly making up a plan to get back at her. "Idiot! Open the window!" She shouted in a hushed voice, then jumped back suddenly as he abruptly pulled them open. The moonlight illuminating his face as he glared at her.

"What is it?" He growled as she smiled back, a cheeky glint to her eyes.

"I brought you this," she smiled as she pushed the silver tiffin his way.

"What is it?" He asked again, not making an effort to take it, continuing to frown at her.

"Take it! They're jalebis!" She exclaimed, shoving it his way.

She saw his eyes flare up with anger. "You know I can't eat them!" He exclaimed annoyed.

Rolling her eyes she finally priced the tiffin lid open and took an oddly shaped jalebi out. "It's sugar free, I got amma to make the mixture. I made them myself," she whispered softly, pushing one his way as his fingers slowly went around it, as a gentle smile spread across his own face.

Khushi wiped the tears that streaked down her face; now only memories haunted her, memories of a happier time.

****

"Aakash who was that other girl in the red saree with you at the event?" Shyam questioned as he sipped at his scotch, his eyes focused on a building in the distance.

"Sir?" Aakash questioned taken aback by his sudden questioned and completely confused.

"Aakash the girl? In the red sari," Shyam repeated, looking around this time to glower at Aakash, slightly annoyed at having to repeat his question.

A slight smile curved over Aakashs lips. Yes his to be sister-in-law was pretty hot and he wasn't surprised that she had caught his eye. "Sir she's my fiancee's sister," he stated.

Shyam frowned back. Sister? How could that be possible? "Sister?" He questioned then, needing more information, "and what's her name?"

"Yes sir, well adopted sister, she was adopted into Payal's family at a very young age. And it's Khushi Kumari Gupta sir," he stated calmly, his smile brightening at his boss's sudden wonderment for a woman and that too Khushi.

****

Aman's fingers moved expertly over the keyboard, scrolling his way down government data, clicking his way through way too much material. He needed to get to the bottom of what was going on.

"Khushi Kumari Gupta," he repeated to himself, the girl that seemed to be in the center of all of this mystery. He brought back up the previous window, she had beautiful features, a nice figure but that was it, what was so special about her? No it had to be something else. Having watched Shyam's conversation with Aakash he now knew that she was Payal Gupta's adopted sister, so Aakash's fiancees sister. But that didn't explain anything, Shyam; maybe because she was pretty but Arnav? Arnav never took an interest in any woman, so why her? No there had to be something deeper, something which he was not able to see.

He'd looked into her history but that confused him even more. Her records seemed to only date back to until she was twelve years of age, their seemed to be no trace of her life before that. Most peculiarly there didn't seem to be a birth certificate in her name, well at least not in the name of Khushi Kumari Gupta. He leaned back against his chair, his arms folded behind his head, his mind sorting through all sorts of random scraps of information. He'd just have to dig deeper, attempt to connect dots that refused to align themselves together.

****

Khushi made her way towards the back of the house, she hadn't been to Lucknow in years, ever since she had been taken to Delhi and suddenly she found herself lost in tormenting memories. A past that only remained so far below the surface now suddenly around her, in it's very essence reminding her all too well of all that she had lost. She couldn't stop the tears that continued to pour down her cheeks, maybe it hadn't been a good idea in agreeing to come to Lucknow. The place held too many things that she continued to try hard to suppress.

Her eyes caught bright white suddenly, peaking from the back of the large gravestones, the gravestones of her parents, of everyone she'd held dear. She walked over closer, her feet slightly sinking into the still damp ground and her eyes widened instantly. White flowers, fresh white flowers lay at the gravestones; someone had been there, someone still visited the gravestones, someone from her past...

Slightly short update I know. But it is a thriller and I don't want to give everything away in the one go :P. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Chapter 3 - Written In The Stars


~ “It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.”
—  Ally Condie ~


Shyam was still quite shaken when he woke up on the chair he had been sitting on the night before, still not able to comprehend much. Her face kept on flashing across his mind, those large bright hazel eyes, and yet there was something different in them. No it couldn't be her, it couldn't be! That would not be possible, or would it? He could feel it, his fate, it was beginning to play another wild game with him, but he wouldn't let it. No he wouldn't! Shyam Manohar Jha always beat his fate, he had lost only once and that wouldn't happen again. Rubbing his fingers through his eyes and stretching slightly he got off of the chair and walked out, grabbing his towel he entered his bathroom then suddenly stopped. That was it! He'd go through the security footage, find out who she had come in with.

****

Arnav finally sat himself down in a couch at the far side of his room, Shyam Manohar Jha, he thought to himself smirking lightly, you had to give it to him, he did treat his so called gangsters well. He thumbed his phone for a while, re-considering this dilemma that he was now facing. He had never felt this way before, she seemed to have captured his whole mind and soul, all he could see were those mesmerising eyes. "Stop it!" He muttered under his breath, wasn't she part of the enemy? Yes she was, so he had to stop before something worse could happen. Exhaling loudly he finally brought his phone to life then dialled Aman's number.

"Chuck?" He used Aman's codename as he was still inside, "what have you got?"

"I've got the list you asked for and I had to dig through a whole pile of shit to find the real identities of some of these pricks," he chuckled.

Arnav rolled his eyes, it all seemed to be amusing for Aman.

"And that's it sent there so go through it and see, I've attached ID cards with them so you know what they look like," he added in.

"That's great! Thanks. We need a meet up today so connect Dave," Arnav stated then, his mind working through a number of different plans.

"And that's Dave on," Aman said as a beeping sound entered the connection.

"What's up dudes?!" NK's jovial voice could be heard instantly, "I'm so bored man! This shithole has nothing to do, nothing to eat," he started off.

"Dave shut the fuck up please will you!" Arnav growled cutting him off before he could begin yet another one of his rants.

"Alright alright Hawk, no need to have a bitch fit. I was just saying," NK moaned back as Aman laughed in the background. Arnav sighed heavily, not in the mood for any of NK's banter.

"Right so here's the plan, Tutankhamun? In the middle plus 1?" He spoke in code, one recognised only by Aman and NK, all of the code words obviously invented by NK and his oh so genius mind. Tutankhamun was the centre from which Aman worked, hidden in the basement of Arnav's house. And "the middle" was always mid-day, they would always add or take away a number to get to the desired time from there.

"Done boss!" Aman stated smiling to himself as he entered the date into the log.

"Seriously Chuck?" Arnav questioned then, annoyed, raising an eyebrow as he fingered through a file in front of him.

"Oh oops sorry dude! Just slipped my tongue," he apologised making a face to himself.

"What guys? What's happening?" NK questioned confused, scrunching his brows together.

"Nothing nothing, Dave I want you to work with Chuck and find out anything else that we might have missed. We've got an outside job to do today," he added, just in case one of Shyam's men were listening then cut the call off. As they were hired from outside, they weren't bound to a contract with Shyam and therefore were allowed to conduct outside contracts. This gave them leeway and allowed them to meet up and discuss strategies outside of the lodgings, which would work well for the team.

He reached over and opened his laptop, entered his secure masked log-in and clicked open the file that Aman had sent. His fingers already sliding the screen down to an already familiar face. He couldn't seem to escape her no matter how much he tried. Maybe just maybe he could dig in to this a little bit more, find out at least a little about her.

****

"KHUSHIII!!" Payal screamed as she ran after Khushi, her feet against the pavement kicking up tiny floats of dust. "KHUSHI!" She shouted again her hand outstretched as she tried to catch Khushi before it drove off. "Urgh Khushi!" She exclaimed in exasperation, she had reached too late, the rickshaw had left. Payal bent down, resting her hands on her knees, catching her breath. Khushi hadn't even had breakfast in the morning and she'd forgotten the address of the place where she had a job interview. Something was wrong, Khushi had been too distant in the morning, her eyes missing that tiny little twinkle and Payal was sure it would be something to do with incident the night before. Aakash had promised that his life would not touch any of her family members and yet here she was, it was true, you could only ever run from the truth for so long.

****

He was taking a detour, through the busy streets of Delhi, Arnav could easily mingle in with the crowd then head off in the direction of his car and drive to his house without being noticed by anyone who could potentially be following him, although he was sure no one was today. Having worked in the field for several years now his research on Shyam Manohar Jha was extensive, so much so that he probably knew the man more than the man himself. He scrunched his brows together as he pushed through two men, keeping his head low and thought through the events of the night before. Shyam's actions were unusual, why did there seem to be no investigation into how the event had transpired, being a man that masked everything under glamour why did there seem to be such an absence of revenge from his end towards the people who had dared to ruin his night. Arnav's thoughts were a mess, a complete muddle and he didn't seem to be in a position to think straight. He'd need to go home and go over the footage tapes one more time. This time not allow her image to cloud his mind and thoughts completely. He felt himself stop then suddenly, it surprised him, the extent to which he could recognise her features, it was as if she, the person resided inside him. He began shoving people out of the way suddenly, "move! MOVE! GET OUT OF MY WAY!" He shouted as he grabbed a mans shoulder and pushed him out of the way, his eyes trained on the profile of the girl slowly walking towards a speeding car, her movements almost slug-like, as if she was sleepwalking, her eyes distant, those haunting hazel orbs. "GET OUT!" He screamed like a demented man, his arm out-stretched towards her, he skidded to a halt on the final few steps, letting his fingers dig into the soft skin of her arm as he grabbed and pulled her back, letting her body knock off of his as her eyes widened and she began to stare at him for a few seconds, her large dove-like yes unblinking. He felt anger flare through him, take over his whole being, his fingers tightened around her arm as his other hand dug into her other shoulder, his nostrils flaring as he stared at her unable to comprehend what she had been about to do.

She came back to her senses then, gasping as she realised who the man was that was holding on to her and she took a slight step back and scrunched her eye shut, wincing back in pain from his vice like grip on her shoulder.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" He exclaimed through gritted teeth, pulling her towards him and shaking her fragile body, "can't you watch where the hell you are going?! What if you had got run over?!" He screamed, his hot breath on her face as she continued to stare at him in complete utter disbelief, unable to form words.

What had just happened? The only thing to make her feel that this was reality was the painful grip he had on her.

He watched her for a few seconds as she refused to respond, those hazel orbs that evaded his dreams now boring into him, confused, surprised? He almost couldn't place it. He looked around then, a crowd had gathered, his eyes rounded then the pointed fingers made him look down and he instantly took a step back, his fingers on her skin loosening. "I'm sorry," he mumbled but she wouldn't respond. "Hello?" He tried then, waving a hand in front of her face. "Are you okay?" He questioned, his voice slightly more gentle, "are you okay?" He asked again, placing his palm on her cheek when her eyes widened and she snapped out of the sort of trance she'd fallen into.

"Hun?" She mumbled then noticing his palm against her skin, the warmth of it scorching through her, she threw it back, taking a step away from him.

He looked down then, not quite sure what had compelled him to do what he had done. Dropping his gaze to the ground he spun around suddenly, shocking her even more and began to walk away, his actions having left him stunned.

Khushi let her eyes wander around for a few seconds, all that had happened coming to her a bit too late; his anger, his grip, his blazing caramel orbs and finally his perfectly erect body, the back of him, walking away and she started running behind him, her feet moving forward of their own accord. "Stop! Stop!" She started screaming, her arm outstretched to reach him as he came to an abrupt halt. She placed her hand on his shoulder as he stilled beneath her touch, not daring to look back round. "I'm... I'm sorry," she mumbled, attempting to turn him around. "I just got .... I mean... I," she attempted, not really able to find the right thing to say, her mind too frazzled by the weird turn her life was suddenly taking. "I mean..."

"I don't care!" He cut her off sourly, turning back around rapidly to hold her by the shoulders once more as she stared back at him completely shocked, confused, almost frightened of the anger he seemed to be capable of. "I don't fucking care about whatever the hell was going on your mind!" He continued to shout. "You know what? If you can't walk out on the road like a normal person then you should just stay at home!" He screamed, viscously shaking her.

She stared at him dumbfounded for a moment, his furious behaviour making the hairs on her body stand on edge. She opened her mouth to speak but she didn't know what to say. She had apologised hasn't she? He didn't need to be so rude. She'd wanted to know his name, get some insight into the mystery around him but she wasn't too sure anymore. He felt like yet another one of the men Aakash seemed to hang out with, obviously with a bit more decency, but these days who could tell.

He watched her confused expression, those large hazel spheres doing nothing to calm his mind. They seemed distant as she thought through something but he had to stop himself. He had already gone too far! He had a job to do, responsibilities, what was wrong with him. He let go of her shoulders then, pushing her away from him and just as her eyes met his again he dropped his gaze to the floor and turning back around stormed off without so much as a backward glance.

****

Payal was beginning to become extremely worried for her younger sister, she seemed to have shut herself off in a shell. She was too distant, she watched her from a corner of the room then quietly walked out not really sure she could face yet another outburst.

"Maybe we should send her back to Lucknow for a bit," Garima interrupted Payal's thought process, breaking her out of the worry that seemed to engulf her. "You know maybe she's just down because none of the jobs have been working out for her lately," Garima attempted a smile whilst she watched Khushi, the concern evident in her face. "Don't you think bitiya?" Garima asked turning towards Payal as Payal quickly recovered herself and nodded back. She knew the exact reason for Khushi's distance but maybe Lucknow would help she thought to herself.

"Yes Amma I think that would be a good idea," she stated in agreement.

****

"Chuck, switchboard please," he spoke pressing the little bluetooth in his ear, requesting Aman to change the camera screen to one of him just sitting and walking around in the room idly. During the meeting they had managed to hack into the camera footage of all of the rooms and recording the ones of Arnav in the room previously they had decided on using that to mask any of his activities, especially what he was about to do at this moment. He needed to know what was hatching in Shyam's mind, something was off and he had to get to the bottom of it.

"Done," Aman replied as he clicked through several screens, entered codes and finally changed the camera shots, that victorious Aman smile of his firmly planted on his face.

"Thanks," Arnav smiled, a glint in his eyes then cut off the connection. There was a vent at the far end of the room, he grabbed a pouch of tools that were stuck under the bed, and climbed onto the chair. Unscrewing the vent door open he placed his fingertips on the edge of the vent and hoisted himself up, the muscles of his arms tensing as he crawled into the space. He clicked on the bluetooth, this time to NK. "NK I need you to stay in touch with Aman, make sure no one approaches my room and if they do head as back up."

"Got it," NK quickly replied.

"I should be about 20 minutes," with that he cut off the connection, crawling his way through the narrow vent. He would have to hurry, the oxygen in the narrow space didn't seem to be adequate. He turned the bluetooth on again, connecting to Aman, "Aman I need directions, left or right," Aman nodded, tracing the red dot indicating Arnav's position on his screen, "take a right Arnav," he guided him as Arnav squeezed and slid to the right, the damp air make him feel almost claustrophobic. The metal surface was cold against his skin and he could feel nails and shards of metal scratch over the surface of his skin, possibly creating marks but he kept going, his mind too busy working through the plan at hand. He took a pen torch out of his pocket, shining it through the dark interior of the vent, "right or left?" He asked again.

"Left," came back Aman's instruction.

--

"Down,"

"Here?" Arnav questioned.

"Yep there," came Aman's final direction.

"Right stay with me till I get this done." Arnav unscrewed the vent below him open and gently lowered himself into the basement space then bringing his gun out of the back of his pants moved behind a wall. "How many men?" He whispered into the earpiece.

"Two."

"Can I get through without harming them?"

"They are on some sort of tea break, stupid fucks. I mean seriously? Tea break? What a waste of fucking space," Aman began to ramble on suddenly, his disgust for the men clear.

"Aman focus please," Arnav warned, sighing loudly.

"Yes Arnav sorry man," he apologised, getting back to the work at hand and scrolled through the rest of the cameras. "No one else is approaching so I'll crack one of the normal cameras and distract them. You should be able to get a clear shot of jags," he stated, already entering a code to blank out a screen.

"Okay, on three," Arnav took out the little tranquilliser gun from his pocket, turning it on and ebbing to the edge of the wall aimed it at one of the men.

"Go!" Aman instructed just as one of the camera screens went blank and the two men quickly jumped up, one of them began to press at keys as the other moved the screen about. Arnav aimed just on que and fired, letting the jag pierce into the thigh of one man. He groaned in pain and rubbed at his skin then fell to the floor with a thud. The other man turned around just then to watch his colleague fall but Arnav was too quick, he fired another which hit the other man on the arm, his eyes rounded but just as quickly he too fell to the ground.

Arnav ran then quickly, keeping track of the time ticking away.

"Just plug in the USB and I'll take care of the rest," Aman instructed as Arnav turned the socket compartment around and taking out a USB stick from his pocket stuck into the side just as a downloading bar appeared on the screen.

"How long?"

"25 seconds... Right done!"

****

Arnav put on his hoodie, drops of water falling onto his back from his still wet hair, he took a deep breath in as he sat himself down on the bed. Things didn't seem to be as fast as he had planned, he couldn't see himself shooting unknown men for a terrorist, he'd have to make sure that the pace increased. He closed his eyes and laid back on the bed when her eyes flashed through his mind suddenly, hazel orbs, then that beautiful tinkling voice. He pinched the space between his eyebrows with his fingers as he slowly opened his eyes back up. Why couldn't he escape her, she reminded him so much of her. He sat up then, unable to take the pressure of memories, he couldn't go back there, to happier times, they weren't a part of him anymore. Reaching under his bed he pulled out his black bag and unzipping it sent his hand to the depths of it, until he arrived upon the frame wrapped in cloth, he pulled it out. It was still wrapped in a tiny scarf, the only memory he had of her. He unwrapped it slowly, taking care not to put pressure on even a single thread, opening it out to a small frame, silver with small ridges cut into it and let his eyes fall onto the girl in the middle. She looked like a doll, her features gentle, kind, that large bright smile, those beautiful generous eyes. The picture made him think fondly of her, of a time when she had been different, it made him think back to a time when he could have laid his head on her lap and let rest all of his nightmares and fears but things had changed. Leaving the frame on his lap he took the scarf, the material of it still soft, the small netting of the woven thread visible, it was a collection of different hues, of vibrant colours just like he remembered her, just like their lives had been before that fateful day. He took the frame and hugged it to his chest and let his fingers sink into the scarf as a lone tear traced down his cheek, keeping close the memories of two people that had filled his life with love and happiness, of two people that he would never see or know again.

He looked up at the sky then, filled with little twinkling stars.

When people die they become stars

He remembered her small tinkling voice, how she had pointed at the night sky and how he had laughed at her stupidity. But now he tried to imagine that, he closed his eyes and imagined his mother watching over him, imagined that someway or the other he could make her proud.

****

Khushi gazed out at the bright night sky, a crescent moon shone brightly at the side as dozens of stars surrounded it. She watched the brightest one of them, the one she imagined were her parents and wished that they give her strength, wished that she could get the strangers face off of her mind.


Erm yeh so I know you must all be confused but wait and see ;). 


Friday, 14 September 2012

Chapter 2 - Hazel Orbs



I’m going to try and keep my long little comments at the top and the bottom to a low this time as this is supposed to be sort of a thriller and I tend to give way too much away :P. So enjoy.


Arnav lay back on the bed, his arms behind his head. Sleep didn’t come to him easily whenever he started a new mission, so he knew tonight would be yet another late night. Living on the edge of danger this was yet another welcome challenge but today had shaken him. He closed his eyes for a second only for her hazel orbs to flash through his mind, the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen, their presence still vivid in his mind. He kept his eyes closed, revelling in the vibrancy of them, hazel, almost golden, with tiny speckles of brown and green, large shimmering spheres. He sat up suddenly, hands on either side of him as he clenched his fists around the bed cover. What was wrong with him? He couldn’t seem to keep her away from his mind, he scrunched his eyes shut again only for them to reappear in his mind along with her innocent, baffled face. Ever since that first glimpse of her, clad in red, in the middle of chaos his mind yearned to see her again, he felt this burning need for her, a feeling that he himself could not comprehend, it was like nothing he had ever felt before.

His mind flashed back to those last few seconds, her unblinking large dove like eyes staring back at him as another girl pulled her away, her questioning gaze, the tiny pout of her lips. “Snap out of it Arnav!” He instructed himself as he leaned over and poured himself a glass of water and bringing it to his lips downed it all in the one go.
****

“Khushi bitiya! Come inside! It’s really dark and don’t you need to wake up early tomorrow?!” Garima called out from inside the house.

“Yes maa! I’m coming!” She dismissed shouting back. Resting her hands on the back edge of the chair she leaned back, letting the late night swift breeze blow through strands of her hair. She felt an unusual sort of peace. She didn’t know what it was but there was something about the man she had met today; his pure chocolate brown eyes nothing like the mystery that seemed to pour out of him. She could still envision his fixed gaze in her mind, his grip tight on her wrist, tight enough to leave a mark. Bringing her arm in front of her she looked at the pink bruises, his fingers imprinted on her skin and smiled softly, not quite able to understand exactly what was making her feel so happy.

“Khushi? Khushi!” Payal shook Khushi out of her trance like state. “Khushi are you okay? I mean what happened today, I mean,” she gulped, the fact that her sister had seen all of that leaving her completely stricken, “I mean the bullets,” she spoke in a whisper, looking around, not wanting her mother to overhear, “are you okay?”

“Huh?” She blinked several times, Payals words not quite reaching her just yet.

“Khushi?” Payal shook her by the shoulders once more, the irritation clear on her face, “are you okay?” And fear made bile rise up her throat as she witnessed a sudden horrified expression on Khushi’s face.

Khushi had been too lost in thoughts of his perfect face, his penetrating gaze for the events of only a few hours ago to have hit her completely. “The bullets,” Payals words suddenly brought it all forward and she felt fear grip her completely, her hands clenched onto the side of the bench of their own accord as her face contorted to that of deep fear, her eyes widening, her lower lip quivering as tears brimmed in her large eyes. The whole scene flashed before her eyes suddenly. The screams, the bullets, the speed of them as they flew past her, the sudden burst of bodies as people ran in several directions and then the woman she saw collapse to the ground, blood spurting out from the centre of her chest, creating a pool of red on her yellow dress, her horrified bloodshot eyes. Khushi tightened her eyes closed, willing the images to go away as the tears spilled down her cheeks. But they wouldn’t go, they became more vivid, everything happened in slow motion, the screams echoed through her ears, the sounds became unbearable. She tried to close them out by bringing her hands to her ears as her whole body shook from mind-numbing fear.

“KHUSHI! KHUSHI!” Payal suddenly screamed, grabbing onto her as Khushi placed her head on her knees, screaming a heart-wrenching scream. “KHUSHI!” She screamed as Garima ran out of the house, “what what’s wrong with Khushi Payaliya? Payaliya! Khushi! KHUSHI! Payal why is she screaming?!” She yelled trying to bring Khushi up but she continued to scream, her hands still closing off her ears, tears spilling down her cheeks. “Jiji! Jiji stop it jiji please!” She begged as Payal tried to comfort her. Khushi felt her limbs go weak, her whole body felt like it would give way. She opened her eyes, feeling her head spin, a dull throbbing at the back of her head, the fairy lights in the tree in front of her came through to her in sparks, blurring with each blink. She heard Payal and amma from a sort of a distance, quiet and muffled when everything began to dim and then it was darkness as she finally fell.

****

“Sir can I get you anything?” Aakash questioned, popping his head into Shyam’s office. It wasn’t like his boss to spend this late in his office, in fact he had been all too quiet since the parties horrific ending. But the strange thing about it all was that instead of enquiring as to who had been behind it, what had happened, he’d instead retreated into the office, shutting himself off from everything. There was something off, this was not normal. Shyam was a man that was accustomed to spilling blood, not someone who would sit lost in deep thought like this. “Sir?” Aakash tried again.

“Leave me be for now Aakash,” Shyam waved him off as his finger grazed over the picture frame in hand, his eyes distant. He let his eyes move over her face, an oval face framed in dark brown tendrils of curly hair, falling around her in such a way that it made her appear like an enchanting doll, her perfect pink lips, like rose buds covered in dew, her cute button nose and finally her large dove eyes, bright, dazzling dark hazel spheres that sometimes appeared a shade of olive. He closed his eyes, the pain coursing through him finally breaking through his tightly held boundaries.Throwing the picture frame on the table he swivelled around in his chair suddenly, his fingers gripping tightly onto the handles of his chair, the muscles of his face twitching with fury. No! This could not be possible! He took his glass of scotch off of the table and immediately threw it to the ground letting it chatter, shards of it flying in all directions. This could not be possible!

****

“Aman?”

“Yes boss!” Amans jovial voice came through the phone, “what’s up?”

Arnav rolled his eyes, how were people able to stay so happy despite everything that went around them, despite everything that they did on a daily basis? “Aman I was wondering if you would be able to do me a favour,” he spoke quietly as he stood in the darkness amidst trees heavy with leaves, rustling against a soft wind. He couldn’t trust speaking inside the lodgings they had been allocated. Shyam was a dangerous man and Arnav didn’t need any trouble.

“A favour,” he pondered, “as in a personal one?” Aman questioned not really making any effort to hide the surprise in his voice.
“No Aman not a personal one!” He exclaimed, raising his voice ever so slightly, although he would be able to check out something that was bothering him too.

“Oookay boss! Woah! Was just wondering,” Aman chuckled, “anyway whaddaya want?”

“Aman I’ve sent you a list of the guest list, I want you to run a trace through everyone that attended and send me information on each and every single one of them,” he instructed. “And for god sake Aman stop calling me boss!” He exclaimed into the phone in annoyance.

“Okay okay Arnav calm down dude! Was just pulling your leg man,” he laughed back, quite enjoying playing with Arnavs quick temper, “I’ll get that done right away,” he then stated reassuringly.

“Thanks Aman.”

****
Khushi was running, she could hear their footsteps behind her, rapidly nearing her but she knew she had to run. She tried to run faster but she couldn’t! Why couldn’t she run faster? She heard someone scream from behind her, a blood-curdling scream that sent her heart galloping as she tried to speed up but only in vain. They were getting nearer now, she felt a rough calloused hand fall only inches away, grazing her skin ever so slightly and then someone’s hot breath on her back. “Aaaaahhh,” she screamed when suddenly someone’s arm went around her waist, his fingers against her exposed skin, his other hand cupped around her mouth. Her chest heaved with fear as her eyes snapped open to melting pools of dark chocolate.

Khushi sat up in bed suddenly, gasping for air, her whole body soaked in sweat. She couldn’t escape the screams, the blood, the chaos and yet she couldn’t escape his beautiful soulful eyes either.

****

Arnav brought the steaming mug of coffee to his lips, letting sips of it scald down his throat. His fingers tapped away on his laptop as he paused, rewinded and zoomed in on the footage, whizzing through several images and faces. He placed his mug down momentarily, bringing a pen onto a notepad and scribbled several things down rapidly then lifted his mug back up. He was looking for an edge on to what had happened tonight and if that by any chance meant a new development they would have to work on. He scrolled through the images that appeared, a woman in an emerald green dress, large ebony black eyes, a dimpled smile; a tall, slender man, fully shaven, his bright brown eyes foreboding and his face scrunched up as he pondered something, his hand in another woman’s, leading her in. She was smiling brightly, in a vivid purple sari, she smiled gently watching him, her body was more curvy, her hair layered around her face, he observed all the faces quietly, making a mental note of each one when his fingers suddenly stilled of their own accord, his breath hitching in his throat as she appeared before him once again. Her soft confused face, her slightly arched eyebrows, her tender pink petal lips and finally those beautiful hazel orbs....

So there ya go. I know I know, those of you that read A Sprinkle of Stardust will know that this is not the sort of long updates i put up. But this is the longest the chapters of this will be for the time being ;). 
But but but... Another Arshi meeting? Next chapter ;) xx



Thursday, 6 September 2012

Chapter 1 - Clash of Colours




"If I'm being honest, I thought that was me today!" NK shouted from the room as he heard Arnavs shower turn off. "Gone!" he indicated running his thumb against his neck then dropping his head to the side just as Arnav walked in.

"That was one hell of a close call," Arnav admitted quietly as he sat himself down on the recliner. He'd finally managed to scrub the blood and grime off of him, leaving only a few scars that would heal in a few more days, as they always did. Bringing the towel to his hair he began wiping at it as NK stood up and walked towards the bathroom.

"Thank God for back up eh? Though would have done us better if the fuckers had arrived earlier," he added in on his way, then walked in shutting the door behind him, leaving Arnav to his own thoughts.

Arnav finally adjusting himself on the recliner laid back, his muscles against the raised fabric bumps of the chair, the water from his wet locks still dripping down his face. Yes today had been close, too close and he could see the end nearing. Butit was more worry than fear that engulfed him. Fear? He was immune to that, he no longer felt it, no longer felt the need for it and that's what made him stronger; his absence of fear. Things had been off lately and it had to do with a leak. Bringing his hands to his forehead he pinched the space between his brows, he could feel a headache coming on.

“NK! I’m going to sleep! Get up early tomorrow! We have a meeting remember!” He shouted before closing his eyes and drifting off into sleep.

****

“ATB officer Arnav Singh Raizada,” the man spoke as he sat on his black leather chair, his back facing Arnav.

“Reporting Sir!” He stood stock straight, his grey pants and coat perfectly ironed, not a crease on his white shirt, black skinny tie perfectlyin the centre.

Ashuthosh Khurana, the head of the Anti-terrorist Bureau turned around finally to face him. “Arnav we are getting nowhere,” he began.

“I know sir,” Arnav admitted blandly.

“We can’t afford any more mistakes Arnav,” he stated harshly.

“Sir we are trying,” Arnav attempted, “but we are currently down on men and our hunches are either always off or they already anticipate our arrival,” he answered solemnly.

“Yes I’ve also got word of a leak,” Ashuthosh spoke nodding slowly as he leaned his head on his clasped hands, then appraising Arnav who continued to stand perfectly erect, his caramel brown eyes trained steadily on Ashuthosh, he leaned over and took out a file. “Arnav therefore we are changing plans,”Ashtuthosh watched as the young man’s eyes flickered for a miniscule of a second then became bland again.

“A change of plan sir?”

“Yes Arnav, you and NK will be going undercover,” he stated matterof factly, flicking through the pages of the file.

“Undercover sir? But then what about the team?” He questioned, his hard expression wavering as his brows furrowed in confusion.
“The team will still work with you Arnav, from remote locations.But you and NK are the best we have and therefore you two will have to go.”

Arnav nodded silently, still not quite sure what his boss’s next plan was. “So do we have a plan of action sir?”

“Yes Arnav, I do indeed, take a seat for me will you,” he signalled for Arnav to sit down as he dialled up his secretary, “Tina send in NK for me.”

----

NK lifted his right eyebrow as he walked in, silently questioning Arnav as to what was happening but before Arnav could respond Ashuthosh had already begun speaking.

“Right then boys, tomorrow two men will be arriving from Miami, one expert in rifling and the other in bombs.”

NKs eyes widened as Arnav continued to sit quietly, not giving away anything but they both understood the plan even before it could be spoken out. Arnav was the best rifleman ATB had and NK was renowned for his bomb detonation and production skills.

“You’ll both get rid of them as they step out of the flight, take their places and join Shyam Manohar Jha, you will then continue to work with him.” Ashuthosh stood up, bringing out another two files and laying them out infront of the two. “He’s employing outside expertise now, which means he’s planning something big. He already has enough bomb experts so we need to find out why he’s bringing in another.” Arnav flicked through the pages of his file,opening out a little pouch at the side to take out his new ID card and passport. “The drug deals and teenage addiction is on the rise and young men and women seem to be rapidly disappearing so we know that this time it’s going to be huge. So boys,” he turned around to face them, leaning against the table to look down at them, “I want you to find out what he’s up to, to plan strategically and work with your team. Arnav! You’re in charge! Make the decisions and share it only through your team. Don’t even tell me!”NK looked to his boss in shock as he spoke those words, so it was true, there was a leak. “I don’t want any mistakes! Understand?”

Yes sir,” Arnav finally replied calmly, his jaw set in determination.

****
Next day

“So what ya got new boss?” Aman winked and elbowed NK as he awaited Arnavs instructions. Arnav rolled his eyes as he checked his gun.

“Right, so you are pretending to be...” Stuffing his gun into his pants Arnav pulled out an airport ID badge, “Vishal Roy,” he stated handing it over. “Bring them over to this room here and we’ll take care of the rest,” he instructed as NK threw punches into thin air.

----

Arnavs face was almost manic as he struggled with his arm around the man’s neck, every muscle in his body tensed as he tightened his grip, the man’s cries for help escaping him completely. He turned around with him, the man squirming in his hold, a little tighter and crack, he snapped the man’s neck.Dropping him to the ground Arnav walked over to NK who had despite his instructions not to, created two bullet holes in the other man’s head. Giving him a disapproving look Arnav signalled for him to help him dispose of the bodies.

****

“Khushi! Hurry up and get ready! You know Aakash doesn’t like people that can’t work on time!” Payal shouted as she approached their bedroom door.

“Jiji!” Khushi moaned, “he’s not my fiancée so I really don’t care. Besides is there even a need for me to go there!” She continued to pester Payal. She could have easily stayed at home instead, spared herself the drama of another high society party. Urgh! She hated them! Pretentious people, pretentious clothes, having to constantly smile at everyone and pretend to like them. She rolled her eyes as she tucked in the pleats of her sari. If Payal was not her sister she would definitely have stayed a million miles away from such ridiculous events, but her jijis fiancée insisted that Payal attend and her parents would simply not let her jiji go alone.

“Plus who knows, there are some very handsome guys that attend,you could easily go out with one of them,” Payal added pinching Khushis arm softly.

“Urgh jiji, please!” She rolled her eyes, “I’d rather not!”

****

Shyam stood in the centre of everything, making mindless chit-chat with all of his guests. His plan was finally ready to be executed. Being a man of patience he didn’t mind waiting, no no not at all and this time it would beperfect, he thought with a smirk to himself, his fingers tight around the Champaign glass in hand. Half of it was already underway. India was thriving with young adventurous blood, all ready to sacrifice them to the affects of what he had to offer, that would keep them off of his other games. This is how it worked, they wouldn’t know what he had planned till it hit them in the face. He had lost two men recently, two very good men and these two replacements would be perfect for the job.

As he moved with a woman dressed in a emerald green dress, his hand steady on her slender back he watched Hawk, the new rifleman that had arrived this morning, one of the best in the underworld. He had to admit tohimself, the man was very young, but never mind he too had started off from a very young age. He watched as the young man refused the alcohol being served several times, his chocolate brown eyes in some distant place. And that’s when his eyes fell on her, her marble skin sheathed in a red sari and he felt his hands still, as if he had been struck by lightning he felt his whole world come crumbling down on him. But he wasn’t given much time to think as one of his men lunged for him, moving him away moments before the whole room erupted into gunfire.

Arnav ducked immediately as a bullet flew past him. “Shit!” What the hell was going on? His feet were fast against the ground, the blood rushingthrough his veins as he dashed for cover. And that’s when he saw her, crouching down on the middle of the dance floor, attempting to shield herself. And it was as if time stopped, the scene coming through to him in slow motion as she lay in the centre, like a burning fire, everything else grey as his eyes stayed on her, clad in red. He snapped out of it suddenly as NK collided into his back. “Shit Arnav!” What’s going on?” He screamed. “Dave it’s Hawk remember!” He muttered through gritted teeth then quickly coming to his senses ran towards the girl inthe centre, everything else not even for a split second registering in his mind as he pushed through people, all dashing to safety. Reaching her finally, he pulled at her wrist, the sound of bullets reverberating around the room. She turned around suddenly to face him, soft hazel eyes clashing against dark caramel ones. He pulled her closer, away from another bullet as it missed her by inches, whilst she continued to stare into his eyes, completely dumbfounded, shocked, shaken. He watched her closely, taking in her gentle features, her button nose, the arched eyebrows, perfectly shaped, her porcelain like skin, her perfect pink lips when she pulled back suddenly against his arms which had somehow wound around her waist, then jumped back again, hiding her face in the crook of his neck, her arms tight around him as the large chandelier spat chards of glass in their direction. He pushed her back slowly, “we need to get out of here,” he mumbled, taking her hand into his then pulled her away with him...



Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Prologue



So this one is actually very much inspiredby Sajda, the serial that was on Starplus a while ago. I really liked it and although the storyline sort of lost it’s substance later on, the concept was really very interesting. It will however not follow the story line of Sajda too closely, nor will it follow the story line of IPK. 



“Khushi hold on! We can just catch the next bus!” Payal screamed as Khushi ran in front of her, her arm outstretched towards the bus, her feet slightly slipping off of the tarmac of the pavement as she held her little handbag with her other hand behind her. “Stop Khushi!” Payal screamed then collided into Khushis back as she came to an abrupt halt.

“Jiji if you had run a bit faster we could’ve caught it!” She sulked, huffing and puffing for breath as she rested her palms on her thighs.

“Khushi shut up! It’s only a bus!” Payal shouted, stuffing her purse into her bag once more, whilst glaring at Khushi, who at most times didn’t seem to have a care for the world.

****

He leaned against a pillar, blood trickling down the side of his face, hands steady on the gun in hand, his heart knocking off of his rib cage, adrenaline pumping through his veins. NK fell back next to him, panting for breath.

“Oh shit! That was close!” NKs voice was ragged as he brought his gun forward and checked the bullets, “and I’m running out!” There was blood dripping down a side of his mouth.

“Shh!” Arnav suddenly placed his hand on NKs mouth shutting him off as he turned his head round slightly to listen. Drip drop drip drop, came the distant echo of water against the floor and then ever so faintly, footsteps, creeping towards them. His eyes widened slightly and he softly elbowed NK who immediately looked towards him questioningly. He cocked his head to the left, signalling that someone was approaching and both of them were on their feet within seconds, guns at the ready.

“Dude! I have two left!” NK whispered as they stood side by side behind the pillar.

“Just let me do the shooting, keep those for cover,” Arnav commanded as he shuffled over slightly to the left, peeping out to see how far he would be. “Shit!” The man had seen him. A bullet ricochet off of the back of the pillar as Arnav ducked, instantly aiming from his crouching position. Another deafening sound as the impact of his bullet echoed throughout the vast dark room. “Damn it!” He’d missed! He moved back against NK backing away from another bullet heading his way.

“What the fuck Arnav?! Where is he?” NK shouted

“Shut up!” He aimed again, this time crouching behind the pillar on his knees, another shot. He watched as the man staggered then his knees buckling fell to the ground, seconds before he aimed another shot, this time higher and he watched as it seared into his chest, cutting him off completely. The loud thump of his body against the floor reverberated within the room as Arnav stood up again. NK peeked out once more, relief washing through him, but that too was short lived as more sounds erupted from behind them somewhere, footsteps, voices, gunshots.

“Shit!” Arnav spat out, he pressed a button on his Bluetooth, they’d already lost two men and this was shaping out to be a lot worse than they had hoped. “Back up! Back up! We need back up!” He screamed into the earpiece as he ushered for NK to move.

****

He fixed his tie, adjusting his coat as he walked out of the airport terminal. A man behind him pushed his luggage. He snapped his fingers and a man shuffled over next to him, call Aakash he commanded. Then a few seconds later took the phone off of him, placing it to his ear.

“Yes Aakash is everything ready?”

“Yes sir?” Came Aakashs voice, “everything is arranged, we can start as soon as you get here. For now a woman will be waiting to hand over the items you had requested.”

“That’s grand,” he smiled that crooked smile of his and clicked the phone off just as a young woman walked up to him.

“Mr Shyam Manohar Jha?” She asked, her voice soft and tinkling.

“Yes darling,” he smiled appraising her carefully, taking in every curve of her body then gently took her right hand, bringing his lips to it and placed a peck on her soft skin, then brushing his other hand over her left hand promptly took the briefcase from her.