Billionaire Banker And The Chirpy Beauty-
Sam worked hard for the past week in the kitchen. It wasn’t like she had work in her hands except to forget painting. Sigh. It had been weeks too since he turned away from her and never spoke again. He had perched himself in the fifth floor study. Becoming the master of the mansion. She had thought of speaking to him but to no avail. Someone or the other always was put guard at the door.
He was again showing a side she wasn’t aware of. Becoming the person who had been the way he was before. Ignoring her presence. Like as if she wasn’t there anymore. Even if he had been angry with her previously he would just show that to her and never go away. This wasn’t fair to her. She should have a chance to explain at least. But when she thought about that. The gumption left altogether leaving frightened and scared. He wouldn’t listen instead there were chances that he would accuse her of lying again and hate her even more. Whenever she saw him in the corridors he was always surrounded by people but not before he straightened, stiffened and rebuffed her tries to speak to him. He either was in a meeting later or travelling around and out of the mansion. She barely had seen him in weeks. This was his way of punishing her. She had no idea how much longer was he going to ignore her and how much longer still was she going to persist after him.
She cut the veggies with more vengeance and force.
“Whoa! Who are you trying to kill?” Yuvan asked cheerily and laughing.
The extra sunshine in his voice made her cringe as she was down and low and almost in the dumps.
Sam looked and shot him a haughty glance. He backed away instantly with raised hands.
“Whoa, alright. I was only trying to make you smile.”
Ridhi was boiling a broth over a vessel. She gave him a shake of head.
“Don’t joke around her. She had been like that since a week now.” She warned him.
Reeka came around her smiling with another batch of potatoes in a basket.
Her smiled faltered when she glanced at Sam’s face.
“What the…who died and made you a Grinch?” She asked frowning.
Sam sighed heavily. They wouldn’t leave her alone.
“Nobody.” She muttered disinterestedly.
Roshan came about and looked around the kitchen and found Reeka without anything to work.
He raised his eyebrows.
“Do I see you without work?” He asked in a hard voice.
Reeka flustered up suddenly and moved about and the sound of utensils falling off the kitchen counter vibrated the room. There were sounds of cringing all around the kitchen.
Roshan closed his eyes and shook her head.
Sam hurriedly pushed the knife in Reeka’s hand.
“I don’t want to cut the potatoes. Why did you give me your knife.” She said hurriedly and bent down to get something from the kitchen counter.
She got a basket of onions. Great. Her eyes moved up to see Roshan staring at her with narrowed eyes.
“Nice save, Sam.” He muttered irritated and gave a pitiful once over at Reeka.
He turned around and left to the pantry.
Reeka sighed and gave her tremulous smile.
“Thank you.” She breathed and frowned…”He had been a dragon these days.” She muttered.
Ridhi walked around to get the potatoes.
“Affects of a break up. The German model left him for good.” She said wryly.
Both Sam and Reeka gave a surprised reaction.
“What?” They both let out.
Reeka was more in questioning.
“But he had been dating her for weeks now. I thought it was serious.” She said while trying to peel the skin of a potato.
Ridhi grinned evilly.
“Not for her though.” She said deliciously.
Sam and Reeka sighed.
“Aw, poor, Roshan.” They murmured and looked at each other sadly.
Ridhi raised an eyebrow at both of them.
And a second later the girls burst into giggles and laughter.
Roshan came out of the pantry and instantly they stifled the laughter and got back to work. He gave them a long suspicious look before going out of the kitchen.
“He really turned into a dragon.” Yuvan muttered sulkily.
Sam grinned suddenly. She tried to lock her hand around his shoulder but in vain because he really was tall. She just patted his hand in sympathy.
“Aw, I thought he was your best friend.” She asked.
He scowled down at a container.
“I though so too. A woman came in the middle and destroyed everything.” He muttered hatefully and overdramatically.
He slid a glance down at her disdainfully.
“You women are vile things.” He muttered disgusted.
That got him a punch in the shoulder by all three of the girls.
“Hey!” Reeka and Sam reacted.
“Careful there.” Ridhi warned.
“You think, You three girls can bully me into saying otherwise. That is never going to happen.” He took more punches for that.
“Hey, stop it that hurts.” He glared down at Ridhi and rubbed his left shoulders.
“Take back the words.” She warned him again.
He gave her a dramatic answer again.
“Never.” He said vehemently.
Just then a commotion started at the kitchen door and all three glanced around to see who it was.
Of course. Miha. She had a capacity to ruffle up things and make a huge noise about when she arrived.
Today she had this glow about her face.
“Why is she flapping about like a duck?” Ridhi asked.
“Seems like she has great news.” Yuvan muttered and moved far away from Ridhi.
“When did she not have any great news.”
Except the news was always fantastic for others except to them.
“I fear she is going to burst our happy bubble.” She said wryly.
And they were anything but a happy bubble.
Ridhi laughed a little at that.
“Girl, you really upping at the cynical thing. Good work.” She grinned.
Sam smiled shaking her head.
“It’s your company that I learn everything from.” She shot back.
Miha came excited and all happy while they were busy pulling pot shots at each other.
Reeka muttered under her breath.
“And here comes the sunshine in the dark.”
Miha smiled at her anyway.
“I heard that.” She said still grinning wide and giving her look.
But that did not dim the enthusiasm in her voice.
“You know what’s happening in the mansion?” She asked with wide brown eyes.
“Oh, we don’t but now that you’re here we are so eager to know.” Ridhi muttered sarcastically.
Miha gave her an eye roll.
“Yeah, whatever.” She flicked her a once over and careless glance.
Her eyes now trained on each of them with much secretive smile.
“The mansion is hosting a masquerade ball.” She said with even more rounded eyes and excitedly.
Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes held a bright light. Her genial affable nature was very infectious. She brought alot of light around. The genuine affection she portrayed around also brought extra cheer. Except that it wouldn’t work on Rudra. He would always walk away from her poker faced. It was funny to see both of them together.
“A ball?” Reeka asked suddenly, leaving the potatoes.
Sam got interested too.
“As in a ball where we wear awesome happening gowns and move about dancing?” She asked too.
Miha nodded her head vigorously.
“And also find handsome men.” She completed winking her left eye.
Reeka grinned and Sam shook her head.
One handsome arrogant man was enough for her.
Ridhi snickered. Miha scowled at her.
“Nobody is asking you to come, Miss cynic.” She retorted.
Ridhi gave her a wide smile.
“Nobody says I’m coming, sunshine.” She replied back.
“Alright you two stop it.” She intervened.
The sunshine wouldn’t gel with sarcastic at all.
Reeka sighed sadly.
“I don’t think we are invited.” She mumbled.
Miha shook her head in negative.
“We so are invited!” She screamed gleefully.
Reeka joined in excitedly now.
“Oh, my god, really!” She cheered and Sam grinned.
Alright, it was fun really. A ball would be very good for the ruefully sad mansion. It had been too daunting these past few weeks. The walls just looked like they mocked her always.
“But we need the gowns. We don’t own any. Aren’t just any gowns either. They must long and mostly should sixteenth century old.” Miha sighed frustrated.
Reeka’s enthusiasm fizzled at that.
“Oh,then we cant be allowed without those?” She asked.
Miha lost her smile and she nodded a negative.
“We can’t. It’s the dress code.” She said sadly.
Reeka’s shoulders sagged. Sam got thinking. Suddenly she remembered something. When she had travelled out there were several of those large glass windowed vintage clothes stores that her eyes had admired.
“Oh, I know a place.” She blurted out.
Reeka and Miha both gave her shiny happy eyes. Ridhi sighed.
“Seriously you too.” She commented.
Sam shrugged smiling.
“Come on, it would be fun.” She said feeling light already.
This was something that get her mind off certain things. Things that hurt her head thinking constantly.
Ridhi sighed looking at her.
“Alright. What the heck.” She said smiling.
Reeka and Miha cheered even more loudly and Sam started giggling.
Just as they were all happy and laughing from all the excitement of attending a ball, Reeka’s mobile started to ring.
The smile on her face wiped off and instantly she was brought down to earth with a painful thud.
She took the call a little apprehensively.
“Yes, ma?” She asked a little hesitantly.
Crap. She hadn’t called her in weeks and hadn’t had a call from her father for quite a while now. It was better he didn’t call. She kept it a secret. Her doing an apprentice job. She was only here for studies. That was what she told.
“Are you free this week?” Her mother asked without much asking about her whereabouts.
“Actually….I…I have extra classes and….” She started to say but her mother cut her off.
“Well, you aren’t going to classes but coming home.” Her mother decided instead.
Reeka locked her jaw. So, it was decided from the first, huh. Why aske her if she was free anyway.
“Okay. As you say, Ma.” She said meekly anyway.
The call ended there. Even if she was an adult now her decisions aren’t really important. She wondered sometimes even if why the privilege of education was provided to her. That gave her opinion and choices. Goodness, it was a right thing she did. Her paltry chef dream would shock her parents. With engineers and lawyers in the family she would just humiliate everyone. Her eyes watered. Though they had least expectations from her. She was very much less focused in the family and that was really a very good thing. She had more freedom to live here in the mansion. At least she could breath air which wasn’t controlled by her family. She sighed sadly. Most of the brunt went over to her brother and sister. How they coped with the pressure she did not know. But she was afraid if father forced her on taking any other profession than the one she wanted. Dear god, she hoped father wouldn’t focus on her career at all. It would be good bye to freedom and hello going to law school. She cringed. No. Never. It wasn’t at all what she wanted. That wasn’t her calling. She would never be this happy with doing anything else in the future.
She sighed rubbing her forehead. It was a lot of stress these days.
Sam did not know that Roshan wouldn’t take lightly her saving Reeka. Instead he punished her for it and sent her for grocery shopping. All day she had been heckling with god knows how many vendors that her hands got on only with half of the list. Ugh, though the covers were really heavy to carry around. Damn, Roshan. He really turned into a dictator these days.
Her hands ached and hurt while she dragged her legs on the side of the road. She stopped suddenly when a thick water drop fell on her forehead. Oh, no, no, no.
She looked up and was showered more of those and it started raining like hell instantly. Life was even better. God really hates her. She cursed heavily and walked but with her shoes all now feeling heavy with water. She was going to kill Roshan for this.
Her clothes stuck to her body and her fingers all pruned up because of the water. She had walked for more than half an hour from the market. Well, the taxis were all full on a busy Monday. Not one stopped when she tried to get one. Her eyes watered suddenly. What was she doing here? What had she come for and what she was doing? This wasn’t exactly what she had planned when coming to New York. As she was pitying herself and her position the sound of a car honk just fell over her deaf ears.
She looked sideways and froze looking at a familiar black Porsche. It always did never fail to fascinate her looking at it. It was sharp, edgy, mean and quite brazen. Just like the owner of it. It wasn’t ironic how the taste matched with his automobiles. She could never decipher his mood.
She got out of the reverie when the glass window slid down. She gulped hard. He was a sharp suited stranger. From the way she had observed people and their clothes her mind was thorough to recognize the brands and stuff like that. He had on a dark blue William Fioravanti suit on a white collared shirt with dark blue Dolce and Gabbana shades. His appearance really separated them. He was all smooth and looked hard and mean. His jaw and the lines, angels and planes of his face least bothered to move into warmth. A marble statue would be better described if to speak about expressions.
His anger really whip lashed her. He was utterly cold, condescending, condemning, and silently pushed across her his wrath. Her eyes stung and burned. She was in a strange place feeling shitty and self loathing and he was the only home she knew now but he had averted his face long back. Why would he do that? Why would he stop talking to her when he was the only person she sort among strangers?
Goodness, she was going to cry. Thank god for the rain pelting hard on her head and face. It did hide her tears. She looked away before he humiliated by driving off snubbing her.
She stopped dead when the car door clicked open. She glanced back at his face surprised. He wasn’t looking at her but staring front. Her lower lip quivered again and her eyes filled up more. She hurriedly walked around and instantly got into the car beside him. She cringed when the water travelled down and created a river on the floor of the car. The expensive car cover seem to be destroyed now. She flinched again and looked back at his face to find him not glaring at her. He still was looking front. She held the grocery tightly in her hands when it pained her too much. She was usually a lovable person to be with but Neil never was happy around her. She made him look small instead. He suited better with that model he had been with in his study the other day. He smiled and made her feel so bad when she brought in tea in the evening. He was smiling and being genuinely interested in her. It ultimately proved how much far she was even though they were quite closer. Only geographically though. Tear swam in her eyes. His silence humiliated her even more. She couldn’t feel any warmth nor she felt being in any company. She never felt that resentment could be this hurting. She started shivering. He grunted and switched on the heater.her eyes filled up more.
The car drove with her feeling even more smaller than ever. It stopped when the mansion came into view. Sam dared a glance at him but still he wouldn’t look at her. A tremulous breath escaped her lips and he froze. His hands tightened on the wheel and his head turned to look at her. His face instantly into those of breaking. His jaw locked and he seem to gulp hard. His eyes too listed over looking at her eyes but that stayed only a moment longer. He ignored that look and stared front again. His hands whitened over the steering wheel. She stared at his averted face. Even though he knew she was going through tough time he wouldn’t console her at all. It was laughable. He would never do that and she had always these stupid hopes. Sam got out of the car instantly. It was enough humiliation already.
She ran up the porch steps and took a left turn around the mansion and walked fast.
Neil kept looking at her disappearing figure with narrowed. He had his hands clenched over the steering wheel before a desperation took over his mind. He got out of the car fast, and walked in continuous large strides but he stopped right on the second step of the porch. He closed his eyes and shut his mind hard.
His demeanour turned colder suddenly. What the f**k was he doing? He gave out an exasperated breath and glared at the way she ran off too. He stood there for a while but finally his much calmer mind took his walk back to the car. He did not look glance around again but drove around the mansion gates.
He had a hard time focussing on the work at hand. He signed the papers that secretary Lee was directing at without much interested in the lines. The old man seem to ignore the lack of his enthusiasm. Neil smiled wryly at that. He was strict when it came to work matters. He wouldn’t back down pushing Neil to it.
Secretary Lew was a fifty five year old grim looking man. Observing and hawk. His stare through the golden glasses really bluffs the contemporary. He was way too practical and a thorough hard worker. His advices always worked. His work. Clear. Precise and perfection. He had been with Neil since he got the way around the accounts and business of the family. Had always had an appreciative nod when Neil solved a few files and sorted those as a teenager. Lee was more his mentor than a secretary.
Neil sighed. The image of her sad haunting face came at the back of his mind continually. He shook his head again. She wasn’t really important now. He focussed at the papers instead.
After the signatures done were Lee looked on satisfied.
“Congratulations, Young Master. You have three new firms added to the company and three more projects in the line.” He appreciated robotically.
Neil sighed heavily but he did not respond instead he got the tea cup from the table along with the saucer and took a sip of the steaming liquid. He flinched but only a little. Seeing that and having no response and obviously getting his mood, Lee moved back and turned around.
Neil leaned back on the swivelling chair.
“Secretary, Lee.” Neil called back when he reached the door.
“Yes, sir?” He asked passively.
Neil was lost in his own reverie.
“Why is that the taste of success is so bland?” He asked quietly, while looking across at his secretary.
Lee looked thoughtful.
“Maybe you still did not win over something you really wanted.” He said carefully.
The words had profound affect. He gulped hard and his face awashed with surprise at how much it affected him.
Lee looked back at him expectantly. Neil sighed and nodded his head. He leaned and looked at the patterns over the walls and design of the furniture. His jaw clenched and his hand tightened over the chair rest. Everything about here stifled and had a scaffold hold around his neck but he let the suffocation and chill take over his mind. This was what expected from him and this was what he would be until he couldn’t longer hold it in. His eyes burned up more.
Something he really wanted? He chuckled darkly. He wanted to laugh manically. He did until it turned into something else.
Reeka saw Sam rush in with the grocery bag all drenched and shivering. Dear god.
She rushed to her and took the bag from her hand and she muttered a curse at the man responsible for it. She saw Sam looking anywhere but at any of them. She frowned. That was strange.
She though did not go out of the kitchen but moved towards the counter. She grabbed a few things. Oh no.
Reeka turned to her.
‘Sam…” She started to say.
“I’m fine. Nothin…nothing to worry about.” Sam shivered, and took hold of a knife to cut few green veggies.
Dear god, what was she doing.
“Look, Sam, you are all wet. You need to shower and change before you catch a deadly cold.” She reasoned.
Sam seem to ignore that.
“Sam! Really now. You need to stop this.” She said worriedly and little with volume.
Sam finally looked up at her and glanced down at her hands. She stared at down for a while before sighing heavily. God, she was really drenched and looked really cold.
“Yes, you are right. I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me.” She mumbled still shivering.
Reeka sighed too.
“Cold got into you and nothing. It’s fine. It happens to all. Now please go and change before you turn into a frozen statue.”
Sam nodded her head, smiled weakly at her and walked out of the kitchen.
Roshan came in just then and frowned at a drenched Sam. Reeka glared at him.
“Are you happy now making her pay like this for just helping me.” She asked insolently.
She saw his jaw lock hard.
“It must have been you in her place. This is your apprenticeship under me not her.” He fumed angrily….”Look, kid, alot of students would kill to be in your place. I don’t know why the heck I chose you but if you want to slacken instead of working, You don’t get a training from me. Get out before I kick you out.” He got into her face and warned her quietly before walking away in a huff.
The tyrant. The ultimate jerk. Slacken? And her? She had been working hard all these weeks. God knows how much stuff she had kept a secret from her family, mom, dad, bro and sis. Taking alot more than a risk here but he wouldn’t know. Gosh, did she ever think to date this guy and shock her parents? Oh, she relinquished such idea now. She wasn’t liking him at all. He can’t bully her into leaving her career choice. She had come far now and there is no going back. Mean jerks like him wouldn’t bring her down at all.
She huffed and walked out of the kitchen.
Ridhi and Yuvan looked at both Roshan and Reeka who were walking away in red anger. They gave each other quizzical looks. Both were carrying new grocery bags that Sam had half in the list as remaining.
“What happened to those two?” Yuvan asked frowning.
Ridhi slid down the cardboard square box containing the veggies.
“Probably, Roshan being an idiot again.” Ridhi heaved for breaths from carrying all the stuff.
Yuvan put the box down too on the kitchen counter.
“I don’t know what got into him these days. A break up affect wouldn’t be this long.” He murmured frowning.
Reeka got a little irked when Yuvan combined the fruits and veggies together.
“Hey, stop doing that. We aren’t mixing those.” She admonished him instantly with an elbow knock to his ribs.
He winced and rubbed the spot and gave her flippant look.
“I wish to change the dynamics once we get married. Will see who would be the boss then.” He glanced down at her superiorly.
The silly smile over Ridhi’s face dimmed.
“Married?” She asked.
Yuvan gave her shrug still smiling.
“We would get married at some point, right?” He asked while the light in his eyes slowly started to dim too when looking down at her pensive face.
Ridhi smiled in return.
“Of course.” She replied instantly while Yuvan smiled much relieved now and happy.
Ridhi sorted the fruits while thinking alot. The thought of marriage did not close up her throat and made her suffocate in the uniform. She instantly wiped that thought when Yuvan deliberately stole her knife again. When she searched for it on the knife board it wasn’t there.
“Yuvan you are so annoying!” She shouted walking towards the pantry…”Where did you hide my knife? If I don’t find it in a minute I’m gonna throw you down the balcony and I’m not gonna regret it!”
There was a delicious satisfied booming of laughter resonating all around the kitchen for a while.
Neil was sorting through the files but time and again he failed to completely read all the papers. He closed his eyes, leaned back and rubbed his temples with the thumb and index finger of his right hand. He moved back from the chair and loosened his tie. For a bit he walked around the study and kept doing that for another minute. He looked out of the large study window and stared into the ocean. The evening seem to set in the dark as the moon shone above already. It’s silvery light washed around the study bringing in a strained calm. It rained quite heavily in the evening. There was slight nip in the air that he did not like.
He got back to the chair and leaned front. He held the receiver to his ear and dialled one.
“Send the girl to bring in my evening tea to the study.” He ordered curtly and quietly.
Leaning back he waited for the door to burst open in five minutes. The minutes passed by and he heard instant familiar foot step sounds across the corridor. Ten seconds later the door burst open and she came all excited, flushed and with shining face.
His eyes immediately raked over her face and down to her body. She was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. Hair pulled up in a high pony tail she wore little but minimal make up. He frowned and looked for any injuries or hurt. Any scrape or scratch but he found none over her hands, arms and legs. She did not seem to catch a cold from being drenched in the rain. Far from it, she seemed well and he leaned back a little relieved. If that wasn’t the problem for her crying what made her do it in the first place. She wasn’t exactly the one to break down easily. He observed her face. The delicate eyes brows and flushes red cheeks. He observed her eyes instead. The light in those brown had dimmed a little. He stiffened. She was home sick. Yes. There it was.
He shook his head. Keep her around. She was used your company back at home. His mind vibrated an answer. Well, he wasn’t really happy with her though. He did not want to put any ideas into her head again. He wasn’t ready for another round of her presence around his mind and get convoluted but finally to no avail. He thought of something else instead.
“You called for me and I…” She said a little too jubilantly, and put the tea tray closer to his side on the table.
That made him stiffen even more. It rubbed him off wrongly.
“Wipe the floor. Dust the library.” He drawled, and pointed at the far end corner, which was spaced with book filled racks.
A deep confusion took over her face.
“What?” She asked again.
He stared at her but not repeating again. His eyes moved down instead on the papers.
“You heard me.” He replied and looked up to see her still not moving. His eyes narrowed…”Get to work.” He dismissed her curtly.
Her face took an ash colour. She locked her hands in the front.
“That’s not my work.” She indignantly.
Neil looked up and smiled a little but an unseeing one.
“Congratulations then. You have been upgraded.” He said blandly and went back to his work.
He heard her take an angry exasperated breath in.
“Fine.” She retorted and he looked up narrowing his eyes again. She reddened and completed the words as if swallowing a lemon…”Sir.”
The flinch covering her face while addressing him as ‘Sir’ made him almost smile. She dragged her feet more like stomped her feet out of the study. In minutes she came back with a mop and trolley bucket. She glared at him and he leaned back watching her.
At least she wasn’t crying but becoming the old fiery self. Good. Half an hour passed with numerous of his employees coming in and handing him files. He observed the curious gazes flicked to the girl and him but the men never uttered a word.
Secretary Lee came in with new files and papers to sign. He had on even more a grim look. Neil frowned and took the file from his hand.
He leaned front and read the lines carefully. An immediate strained furrow covered his forehead. It wiped away and he looked up coolly.
“Why is the new firm that we bought yesterday not anymore in our company list?” He asked slowly and coldly.
Lee handed him another file without a word. Neil sighed and took it. He went through the numbers carefully.
“New money on the block. S and S Industries. Had bought the shares of our firm overnight. It was quite impossible but I don’t know how it was done.” He explained stiffly.
Disgruntled, Neil looked at the recent points the company did have in market. Damn. Nobody. Not no one, sniffed right under his nose and got hold of his hunt and stole it. And this one did.
He knew about it. The company had only arrived six months before. Stuck to the least of the favoured in the market it slowly upped itself and wormed it’s position under Neil’s. His jaw locked hard and his eyes sharpened. If this keeps happening, mother was going to interfere. She wouldn’t let him surpass her empire nor would she allow any other to overtake her son’s. She was going to smug about this that he wouldn’t be capable of doing anything without her help. He wouldn’t let it happen. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of triumphing over him again. Because he wasn’t her son anymore.
“Buy back the shares of the firm. Money should not be a problem.” He said curtly while handing back the file to Lee.
His secretary seemed a little apprehensive about it but nodded his head anyway.
“And, Secretary Lee.” He called back the man.
Lee came back immediate to his side.
“Sir?” He asked looking at him.
“You have to do one more thing.” Neil said gulping hard.
He looked around the walls and his gaze struck to one corner of the antique furniture. Everything was just the same as it was before. Even the walls, chandelier and the ceiling. Slow derision curled over his spine. His eyes cleared into a vision of the past instantly.
A ten year old boy jumped about excited and happy. His face flushed with a healthy hue of a child.
“Papa?” He shouted gleefully.
He finally got into the study and shouted again.
“Papa, I need to show you something!”
Neil glanced across the study. His eyes took a narrowness looking at his father who was going through a file and as a young Lee stood across meekly.
The little kid moved fast and rammed himself into his father’s leg.
His father pushed the boy hard to floor. Neil almost got up but he gripped the arm rest hard. He saw the boy howl in pain as he fell over his arm.
The boy looked across at his father with tear filled eyes and pain. Neil felt pity for him. All those stupid emotions lead him to nothing. Stupid and foolish boy.
“Insolent, kid. Can’t you see I’m working here!” His father thundered.
Neil saw Lee look across at the boy the same he always looked at him.
His father raised his expensive stick and before he could hit it down on, the kid ran off fast.
The fog of that memory vanished and numerous of those surged up. Neil shook out of it. Lee’s eyes followed his gaze and he stiffened too. Neil’s red eyes caught his.
“Put up this mansion for sale.” He muttered in a hard voice, and looking around.
Secretary Lee for the first time looked a little surprised.
“But…” He started.
Neil did not want anything else of his father’s things in his memory. He had enough of those.
“The mansion. I want it sold off.” He said again firmly.
Lee remained silent and Neil looked up again. Seeing the apprehension so clear in his face he smiled.
“Seems as if, Secretary Lee, you have a problem in hearing. Old age is catching you up fast.” He sneered.
Lee looked unoffended and unaffected.
“As you say, Young Master. I’ll see the procedures for the sale then.” He agreed finally, turned around and walked.
Neil leaned back chuckling.
“Sometimes I wonder, Secretary Lee…” He murmured still smiling.
“Yes, Sir?” Lee asked while at the door.
“If there is a mock in there calling me your Young Master?” He asked a little quietly but with a little steel in his voice.
Lee did not look any more nonplussed than he was.
“You always will be to me my young master, Sir.” He said quietly as well and finally walked out of the door.
Neil’s smile faded slowly and he looked at the empty space for quite a while.
“What did he just mutter?” Neil wondered and then he scowled confused…..”The old man gets more and more sarcastic by the day…”
That thought just cut off when a sneeze, scatter and scuffling of feet made him wince.
A series of curses followed and a slip of something to the floor vibrated around. It made him cringe as the sound resonated across the study walls.
“For god’s sake can’t you clean up shit quietly.” He grunted.
He looked about and tried to find her miniature body somewhere around the study. He found her perched on a long stool. Almost like a regal bird perched on a stem of a tree. She was dusting off the racks and books. Most of those were on the floor.
She glared back at him. She sat there looking all silly with cobwebs in her hair. She had disdain written over her face while a white cloth was tied around her nose.
“I told you that it wasn’t my job.” She mumbled over it.
Neil snickered. Brat. He shook his head and looked down at the papers in the file. He studied carefully each line. A frown marred his face. How is that possible? Only cents difference between there prices. Every damn time. He cannot be wrong about this. He went back to reading again.
He jumped out of it suddenly when a commotion started. He got up from the chair to see the mayhem about. The trolley bucket fell off and she flew across the floor in a drench of soap water with a squeak. He stared frozen with lips parted.
What the hell?
He hurried around the table and looked down at her sighing. Did she know anything at all except falling down and hurting herself. He hadn’t seen anyone as quite a frequent accident prone as her. She was a danger to be around herself.
“I told you it wasn’t my job.” She wailed a little while pushing back her wet hair from over her face.
He offered her his hand instead of replying.
“Oh, what a gentlemen.” She muttered staring up at him belligerently, while taking hold of his hand.
Neil did not really steady her. He stopped pulling her up half way through. She hung in the air and with the help of his hand she stayed locked there. A frown marred her flushed face.
“Do you think?” He asked her slowly.
“What?” She asked confused.
Still holding her half in the air he smirked at her a little.
“That I’m a gentleman?” He asked her again more deliberately.
The confused frown wiped out of her place and a dawn understanding replaced it and she looked down at their joined hands.
“No. No. No. Neil. Don’t let….” She started to warn.
But Neil already loosened his grip on her hand and instantly she fell to the floor hard with a squeak.
“Don’t what? Don’t let go?” He asked her evilly coolly.
His jaw hardened and he looked down at while straightening his tie.
She looked up at his with face scrunched up in pain as she rubbed her shoulder.
“I already let you go.” He said coldly, and walked around her.
His meaning other than exactly what he said because he saw her face redden into an angry crimson shade.
“Jerk.” She muttered under her breath.
Neil smiled on the way to the door.
“I never said I wasn’t.” He shot back over his shoulder before walking out into the corridor.
Neil sighed and leaned back in the bed and he groaned. The work really was taking a toll on his body. He stuffed the pillows and sat up putting his hands under his head.
“Are you there?” He almost shouted with eyes closed.
“Yeah.” Came the dry answer from outside of his room.
He smiled satisfied with that. Even after he threw her to the floor she stuck to his side like a glue. He didn’t know what would make her go away. He was done with all the things that comes with her as a baggage. He wasn’t exactly in the mind of forgiving her this easily. She had the dare to lie to his face and walk out of his apartment to never come back. Even when he asked her about what was the matter she never trusted him with her secret.
“Are there still?” He again asked.
“Yeah! I’m still here, Sir! And it’s god damn freezing!” She shouted back venomously.
He heard a scuffling of feet and abundance of murmuring followed inside. She came in with wearing a baby blue night shirt and pajama pants with hair neatly plaited and she did not look anymore like a teenager.
“What do you want now?” She asked coldly narrowing her eyes.
Neil slid his gaze to the book rack over his right side.
“Get me a book.” He leaned back again smiling.
She looked at the bed and the distance to the book racks and raised her right eye brow.
“You can get it yourself.” She said coolly.
He grinned deliciously.
“Yeah I can but if you are there to get me the things it’s pointless to get myself out of bed, isn’t it?” He asked smiling still, and really liking it to rile her up.
She gave him a flat stare before she dragged her to the rack and came back holding a blue covered book.
Neil took out his reading glasses and went through the pages and surprised to see that she still knew his taste. It was a travel book. He have had read many of those when at home. He smiled ruefully. When at her home.
He glanced up to see her still there with arms folded in the front. Like a good girl.
“What?” He asked quizzically.
“Can I go to sleep now? It’s really late and I’m really tired.” She asked yawning a little.
There were circles under her eyes and she did look tired. A pang of a guilt hit his conscience before he slid it away.
“No.” He said curtly, and went back to read the book.
She groaned heavily.
“Oh, come on now.” She cried out.
Neil sighed heavily. He looked up and shook his head.
“Fine. Sleep on the floor.” He said easily.
The sulk wiped away and she stared at him as if he was crazed. He looked back flatly.
“The floor?” She asked a little disbelief.
“Yes.” He asserted blandly.
“Why not on the bed?” She asked flippantly.
He gave her a severe look.
“I don’t allow servants in my bed.” He replied coarsely.
Her eyes narrowed and her cheeks inflamed.
“An unwilling servant.” She shot back fierily.
He smiled magnanimously.
“Willing. Unwilling. Just the damn same.” He sneered.
Then he tilted his head to the side and sighed leaning luxuriously.
“It’s funny isn’t it?” He drawled.
Her face tautened.
“What is?” She asked very well to expect an insult.
Oh, She had him figured didn’t she. Well, why not give her what she expects.
“Poor old fifteen year Sam still hung up on her brother’s best friend. Stalking me to New York and still running around in circles…” He went gruffly……”Don’t you get insulted or have any self respect or dear old daddy did not buy you a spoilt brat that?” He asked mockingly and apathetically.
He expected for her to run away with tears streaming down her eyes or fling curses at his face for being a class jerk but she did neither. Except staring at him flatly. The smile on his face fade slowly as stared into her disappointed eyes. The opposite of the reaction really did him in. He couldn’t have hit a low blow or made her feel less bad by it. He could tell he hurt but she seem absorb it into the pool of those that he rained at her with. He felt like a sadistic bastard.
“Shut up.” She said wryly, and moved back.
That hit him in the gut. That sad expectation of hers that he could go to the point even lower did not really help him feel less guilty. Damn her. She was one who hurt him.
She silently moved back and searched around for sheets in the cupboard. And later he saw her lay those down and her sleeping on the floor. What was that? He could have insulted a wall for all that he cared.
It seemed like he hurt himself rather him hurting her. His jaw ticked and he glanced down at her turned figure on the floor. Sleep wouldn’t come now. He got off the bed and moved towards her. Looking down he observed her face. It had becomes more smaller than it was before. What was bothering her now? She was the one who pushed him away weeks before when he tried to get closer and now she was expecting something totally different. He wasn’t the one to follow someone this much in his entire life. He sighed and got down on the floor beside her.
His hand went over her head. He caressed her long shiny black hair.
“You should go back home, Sam.” He murmured in a raspy voice.
If she was missing mom and dad then she really needed to leave from here.
Her eyes opened sleepily and she took his hand within hers. He stiffened locking his gaze with hers. Her hand was cold and his was warm. His was rough, tanned and big and hers was soft, pale and dainty.
“You are my home.” She whispered softly, and closing her eyes.
Her breath evened out and Neil let of her hand as if burned.
He sighed and his hand again moved her head sliding down on her hair. He looked at the moonlight night from the window.
“How am I your home when I don’t have my own.” He murmured sighing.
He lay down beside her and moved her head from the hard floor to onto his chest. She burrowed herself closer to his side.
Well, he wasn’t really happy with her. He was still angry and incensed . He wouldn’t put her in the bed though can suffer with her on the floor. Only as a penance for the way he insulted her. Because she wouldn’t punish for it. She slid her leg over his and almost rolled on top of him. Her soft curves all curled around his and his hand went her waist as he let out a hiss of breath.
Correction. She really was punishing him for it. f**k sleep tonight. He cursed and stayed awake for several like that with her all warm and snuggly over his body while held himself patient for a lot of sleepless while. He had to take cold shower in the morning.
Neil jerked up from the restless groaning heavily. His body aches and his shoulder was stiff. He winced and his eyes opened half mast to look around. The sun rays washed in bringing alot of light around the room. His eyes stung to adjust to the light before he opened those slowly and wincing.
He froze when her face came into his foggy vision all sunny and happy. He blinked twice to see her looking down at his knowingly. The hair of hers covering around their faces like a curtain.
He moved back and stared at her weirdly before he understood the look. He was beside her on the floor. The realization on his face made her to smile even more. He stiffened and straightened but not before wincing a little. He moved and sat up craning his neck side to side.
“You should work on you weight.” He muttered gruffly while avoiding her eyes.
Irritated a little for giving her feed he got off the floor and stretched himself a little. Wondering slightly in his head why the f**k did he even care to sleep on the floor beside her when he was trying to make her hate him.
An angry simmer burned into the pit of his stomach.
She cut his walk and stood before him twinkling like a happy star.
“What?” He asked her narrowing his eyes.
“What do you want me do now?” She asked enthusiastically with a new light about her face.
“What?” He asked her again, wondering if he heard her wrong.
Both of her eyebrows raised at that.
“Work? What do you want me to do now?” She asked again slowly.
He sighed and gave her a look.
“Nothing. You can go back to the kitchen.” He gritted.
He turned around her and tried to walk away.
“Aw, why? Isn’t there anything else you want me run errand for?” She asked again petulantly.
He sighed and finally looked at her.
“I wouldn’t be here for a while so it would pointless to make you run for an errand. I have meeting in London and I have to catch a plane so….” He replied stiffly and pushed past her dismissing the conversation then and there.
He walked towards his wardrobe and flung it open. He slid hands through the suits and finally found for the meeting.
“So you wont be here today?” She asked quietly and all the enthusiasm drained out of voice.
He got out a grey suit and a white shirt.
“Yeah.” He answered disinterestedly.
A complete silence befell and glance across her. Her turned into a strained apprehensive.
“How long a while?” She asked again.
Neil straightened and went towards the wardrobe to get out a tie that matched his suit.
“A long while.” He muttered and came back to bed and looked at her carefully….”Maybe I wouldn’t come back at all.”
A hard glint entered into his eyes and she stiffened immediately. He moved around and got into the bathroom to arrange for a shower. When he came back she still was standing there awkwardly.
He walked past her but he stopped abruptly at her voice.
“Why are doing this to me?” She asked quietly.
He stiffened at the lack of emotion behind such words though those carried out well across.
He went about his business searching for his wallet and briefcase.
“What am I doing to you?” He asked blandly.
“You are being mean and cold and turning into this jerk….” Her voice tremulous and shaking.
He turned around to look into her angry humiliated eyes. He powered through a rising emotion and gave a nonchalant shrug.
“Just go back home.” He said carelessly, sliding away her hurt face and giving a cool look instead.
She glared at him.
“I’m not going back home.” She said vehemently.
Neil stared across at her with rising anger now. He fisted the white shirt in his hand.
“Then suffer through this.” He bit out and pushed past her again.
“I did not come here to New York for you, Neil and you know that.” She said angrily…..”You are the who barged into my life. Not me.”
He turned around staring at her unaffected.
“Now I’m not interested anymore to barge into your life. There’s the door.” He slid his gaze to the door….” f**k off.” He gritted out coldly.
She ignored it and laughed incredulously and humourlessly.
“Do you think everything and everyone is at your beck and call?” She asked him bemused.
He ignored that and stared flatly at her.
“Are you done having a hissy fit. I have to catch a flight so…” He said while looking at the door for her to leave.
She nodded her head.
“You know what you do?” She asked him slowly.
The lack of warmth in her voice straightened his spine but he remained silent.
She stared into his eyes with tears in her eyes.
“You make people leave. You try hard, don’t you. Well, you succeed each time.” She said wiping her eyes and pushing her chin up in the air.
That blow went straight to his gut. His hand fisted over the shirt but he remained unmoving.
He smiled through the hurt.
“I’m glad. So are you leaving or do you want me to bring a cab for you?” He asked nonchalantly.
She gave him one final look and turned around.
“I’ll leave myself.” She said stiffly.
“Hope you don’t follow around some other guy like me. Or that find a prey in another rich guy?” He sneered at her while smiling coldly.
She froze by the door and her watering eyes caught his. He caught her gaze and trapped her there until she turned around and walked out of the door.
Neil closed his eyes and his shoulders sagged. He threw the shirt on the bed. He walked over it and sat on the edge. He smiled as his eyes filled up and reddened.
“Congratulations, mother.” He sighed unemotionally….”You got the son you wanted.” He muttered getting up and walking towards his wardrobe.
Sam walked out of the mansion. She moved down the lane crying loudly now. The rude obnoxious idiot. Dare he say that he was done with her when she herself had walked out of his life. Was it some kind of sadistic satisfaction to dump her back when she already did that with him.
Her luggage was still in the mansion. She cant face her friends crying like this. They would start questioning her and she was not in the state to make explanations.
She wiped her eyes and looked around. She started crying hard again. She walked past a limousine and turned to her right. Only because he told her to leave it doesn’t mean that she would. She had found good friends here and he cant force her to separate from them.
“How did I forget the melodramatic Sam…” A voice deep, familiar, bur like and all manly entered into her ears.
Sam frowned while walking. She did not turn around. The voice seemed really really familiar. Ugh, only that she wanted to cry and people interrupt that too. She scowled and wiped her eyes.
Turning around she squinted her eyes as a shiny something caught her eyes. She blinked twice and thrice. Her eyes slit open a little and she could locate the shine of the limousine.
Her arrested gaze though suddenly narrowed. What in the god’s name?!? Was that? Is that? That was…..
A little gasp escaped her lips. That was the most expensive thing in the world. A dark blue Ernmene Gildo Zegna Bespoke suit. That must have cost a bomb. A big bomb. Might be a limited addition in the Italian world itself. That wasn’t what her eyes squinted at. The sun directly fell over and it glinted in the light. The Bentley platinum sunglasses. The rolex watch and the diamond pin buttons of the suit did really fascinate her. She blinked up at the man wearing it all.
“Dev….” She whispered first.
Her mind went numb a little. Not just little because she didn’t know if she was staring at her friend or a was looking at a business baron. No. More like the duke himself.
“What the hell…” She whispered again looking at the limousine and then at the man leaned on it with his left leg perched over the tire.
The jaw line of his face moved and his lips tipped up in a smirk. She knew that smirk well enough to get around who it was.
It was Dev. Smirking at her. Lips spread wide and there it was him. He was still there in those bling clothes.
“Miss me much.” He asked grinning at her.
Sam’s eyes filled more. She walked fast and her feet took pace and soon she started running.
He straightened and braced for the hit. And she ran into his chest hard. His feet stepped back a little but he managed to steady himself and her well.
His chest vibrated when he chuckled.
“Yeah, you missed me.” He murmured while sliding his hand over her back affectionately.
She sniffed and moved back a little to look at him.
“Why wouldn’t I you idiot.” She said now a little steadily.
Her hands spread across his suit. It was soft and very much looked expensive. He wasn’t wearing a camouflage one that they sell on the streets. Cheap identical ones.
“Damn, it is real.” She murmured and looked up into his face.
“Yeah. I ran into some money.” He replied smiling at her reaction.
Sam looked and stared at his face.
“Ran into some money?” She asked snorting a little…”Not even a smuggler would sound so…” She started to say but her eyes widened and a gasp escaped her lips as a new dawn of realization coloured her mind.
Her gaze moved back to the limousine and then at his sunglasses covered eyes. Her hand reached up in a snap.
“Give me these.” She muttered and snatched the glasses.
“Hey!” He protested super annoyed.
Her index finger felt around the platinum frame. Ultimate perfection. The deep blue shaded glass matched the colour of his suit and tie. The confusion turned into apprehension in her mind and it showed on her face.
“Damn, you, Dev, where did you steal these from?” She asked anxiously and looked around afraid that someone could hear.
She looked back at him and whispered. She pointed at the suit by tugging at the lapels of it.
“And this suit?” She whisper hissed and looked back at the gigantic limousine….”And the bl**dy car?” Her voice raised a little high pitch
She gasped visibly.
“Dear god, Dev, have you robbed a bank? Did you kill someone?” She looked around and whispered again cautiously. The anxiety in her tone raised up again with the number of the things firing up in her head. Eyes wide a new idea came into her head and she gasped again…”Did you become a bounty hunter?” She asked in a fitful excitement.
Dev laughed hard but eventually he took hold of her arms when he was done with it. What was so funny? How can he laugh about it when he wearing all added to a million dollar? Or that stolen million dollars? It roiled her stomach imagining him forever in jail.
“Whoa! Whoa, whoa, Hold your horses, will you…” He laughed bemusedly and chuckled looking at her anxious face…”Sweet heart, all that was really entertaining to see and hear. I’m sorry for the wild imagination you have of me but I’m still a boring honourable man. I earned it all.” He said grinning.
She stared at him still looking awfully suspicious and distrustfully. She could be a fool if she believed that. He shook his head understanding well that she didn’t trust him.
New tears formed in her eyes.
“I don’t want to see you in jail.” She wailed a little.
Dev’s dark brown eyes narrowed at that and he sighed.
“When are going to stop being a melodramtic queen?” He asked her now irritated.
She gave him a glare and opened her mouth to protest but he cut her off.
“Let us discuss this someplace not in public, alright?” He asked looking deep in her eyes.
Something changed spectacularly in his demeanour. She couldn’t point her finger but he was looked a lot more refined and mature than he was before. She could see a shadow in his eyes which he tried to put a cover on. It gave him a edgy look.
Sam nodded her head.
“Alright.” She agreed quietly.
They got into in the back of the limousine and he sat across at her looking all but a royal next in line for the throne.
“There is something changed.” She said thoughtfully.
He smiled at her.
“I’m rich.” He helped her raising his eyebrows and grinning handsomely.
She rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, that.” She said smiling back…”But there is something in your eyes.” Her gaze caught his.
The light in his eyes and the smile on his lips were slow to leave and she lost hers too looking at a darker shade of brown settle there. His jaw ticked as he seemed ready say something. Whatever it was in his eyes it really little shook her.
It snapped when his phone started to ring. He broke the gaze and looked away taking the call.
Dear, god, what had happened to him. His face now washed into a mask and the soft planes and angles turned into harsher shadows.
“Have you got the tenders?” He asked curtly.
He seem to listen very carefully. His faced next into something like triumph took over and his features softened immediately.
A slow curl of dread circled around her mind. She hoped that he did not get into some bad company or that had his mind strayed. It was funny but he was grown up but then again she worried about him. What was all that? What got that thing in his eyes? It scared her more. She saw it in Neil’s too. No. Neil had it more heavily veiled. Dev’s looked raw and fresh.
“Good.” He said over the line.
He smiled across at her and Sam rearranged her worried face into a smiling one.
“Great news. I’ve been getting those since you came long.” He drawled thoughtfully.
Sam grinned and frowned too.
“But I just met you now.” She said confused yet smiling.
He leaned back and stared at her and smiled.
“I’m impressed.” Sam appreciated…”You really have done well. But is that it or you turned into a gangster?” She completed narrowing her eyes.
He smiled and looked all over taking in her appearance.
“There is a lot for you get impressed later but what about you. Why are you dressed up as a kitchen’s second help?” He asked her with a raised eyebrow.
Sam sighed looking wryly down at her hands.
“Long story.” She sighed and frowned a little annoyed…”Don’t change the topic. Why have you not contacted me at all these months?” She asked him curiously.
He leaned and smirked at her.
“Yeah.” He replied noncommittally.
She gave him suspicious glare.
“You really did not rob all this, Dev. Right?” She asked narrowing her eyes.
He started guffawing suddenly and Sam stared as he did that for the rest of the ride. The car moved fast and the sun set into a late evening.
She got out of the car sulking.
“Are you done laughing now? Seriously what did I say that was so hilarious?” She asked annoyed and exasperated.
She opened her mouth to argue more about but it remained open as she eyes went toward front and then high above.
“Holy crap.” She whispered, after gawking at the colossal thing.
Dev got around the car and stood beside her. He chuckled at her expression.
“Is this yours or you just rented the place?” She whisper asked again looking at a huge wooden Villa.
It was big, large and spread and was mostly in the ocean water. The air here was more breezy than the mansion. It extended into a big property all across until it reached the woods.
“Yeah, I own it.” Dev replied sombrely.
Her eyes rounded and her head snapped to the right. She looked up at him and punched his shoulder.
“Now you did rob the bank.” She whisper hissed again.
She turned around to leave.
“I won’t be your accomplice in this.” She muttered fearfully.
Dev caught hold of her arm.
“Calm down.” He sighed irritated…”It did not cost much and I swear I did not rob any bank.” He said flatly and sighing.
“You swear?” She asked trying to see through him.
He stared at her and shook his head.
“Yeah, I swear.” He seem to humour with pressing the words.
Sam scowled and moved forward.
“Alright. I trust you.” She said unwillingly…”For now.” A warning coloured tone.
He raised up his hands in surrender and lead her into Villa mansion. Dev got everything out of her and he listened very quietly and grimly. Sam had the largest of the dinners filling her stomach with loads of delicious foods. Thai chicken curry. Rice. Corn bread. Black eyed beans. Fish and chips. Pot roast and every thing. Raspberry ice cream and lot more of the various desserts.
Sam had dinner with all the sixteenth painting and with in the Marshalls staring down at her dauntingly from above. The dinning hall was really spectacular. It was wide and had all the feel of the Victorian era. It wasn’t quite though there was still work going on the top floor so alot of people moved about outside of the hall working on the interiors.
“Oh, I had a lot.” Sam sighed shoving the last spoon of the strawberry jam ice cream.
She leaned back on the chair clutching her stomach.
Dev who sat across her chuckled.
She stared fascinated at a mural. Dev followed her gaze.
“School of Athens.” They both murmured, and Sam looked at Dev see him smiling back at her.
She looked up again at the walls painted with such panache that she bewildered if it was real.
“Raphael.” She murmured.
He smiled back at her.
“You are aware.” He stated.
She gave him a flat stare.
“Of course. Since you were always last in that art class and oh I remembered in the top slot.” She mocked him back.
He looked unimpressed at her cynical reply and she looked up again the walls. The mural painting was so real that she got suddenly jealous of the artist. She looked down at her hands and frowned. Was Neil right? Should she go back home? Was her coming here went into vain? She couldn’t paint like the one perfection reflecting like a glare from the over the wall at her. All these doubts just crimpled her legs to move towards her dream. Damn, she was turning cold feet.
“Had Raphael come back from dead to paint that?” She asked mesmerized again looking at the usage of fine technique of the brush over the wall.
It was precise. Perfect glide. Nothing spilled or smudge. Even if it did, it seemed the way it should be deliberately to make it more real.
Then she bit her lower lip for sounding blasphemous.
He chucked lightly and leaned back on the chair looking all regal and laid back in the surrounding of a king’s castle.
“That could have happened or I painted that.” He muttered quietly.
She snorted and then laughed out loud but he didn’t join along with her.
Sam stared at his face and eyes for a second before her eyes rounded and went towards the mural painting and then at his face. No way on hell that happened that he painted it. Disbelief filled her eyes before she snapped into reality.
“The heck you painted it!” She exclaimed.
He looked across at her and she thought he would burst out in a laugh telling her otherwise but he stayed serious and silent.
“Damn, you, Dev, how many shocks are you going to fling at me now…” She cried out but before feeling envious as hell.
He never showed that his hands were extraordinary over the paper and at the work shop. Radhika and Sam were the top league and he was way far down always. Damn. Maybe, he was the dark horse then as they say. Pulling out the joker card at the last moment of loss and winning high and mightily the whole. People wouldn’t bet on it but then shocking as it is the real winner takes the cake away smirking.
Sam sighed heavily.
“I think, I should go back home.” She muttered giving up.
Dev stiffened suddenly and he narrowed his eyes at her.
“What do you mean?” He asked her curiously.
“I don’t think I’m any good anymore at what I dream of now.” She replied sombrely.
He looked back at her grimly.
“Go back home.” He said bluntly suddenly.
Sam stared at him. Ouch. Way to make her feel good.
“I’m not going to.” She said stiffly….”Maybe, I’m not as good as you.” She said grudgingly…”But I wont leave until I finally give up.” A determination circled around her mind now.
Dev smiled and shook his head.
“There is your answer.” He muttered back.
Sam shook her head.
“But it’s not happening anytime soon and I don’t know anymore…” She said feeling a convulse rise up her throat.
Dev got suddenly and she blinked.
“Where are you going?” She asked bemused.
“Stay here.” He ordered her curtly.
Sam stared as he walked out of the hall in fast long strides.
“Oh, how rude.” She muttered under her breath.
Maybe, he was fed up of her whining. Sam cursed herself. Here she was blathering about herself like a self centred spoilt brat and he being the good friend he was that he listened to her so nicely. She did not even ask if he was well. Well, he seemed good. Better than before but something was amiss here. She couldn’t keep her finger on it but there wasn’t the same person was it behind the bling and the expensive clothes and this Villa.
She was lost in thought while he came walking in. He got around her chair and slid something over the table under her hand. Sam blinked and he sar opposite to her again.
“What is it?” She asked frowning down at it.
His eyes were shining bright and he looked excited while sliding his left leg over his right one and leaning back. He started smiling warmly.
“It was because of this that I tried to find you.” He explained but very vaguely.
Sam smiled back still bewildered.
“Go on. Look at it.” He encouraged her.
Sam flattened the rectangular cut paper. Seemed like a receipt or something. Okay. Not a receipt. She blinked twice at the name and at the numbers.
What the hell?!?
Her lips opened and her lower jaw slid down a little then she closed it as a heavy breath left her lungs.
“I’m gonna kill you with my bare hands, Dev, if you are just messing with my head!” She cried out and stared gasping at his grinning face…”What the….what…what.” She blabbered…”What are half a million dollars written in my name, Dev?” She asked incredulously.
“That’s the money you got for the painting I sold…” He murmured and then ge shrugged…”Well, more or less my advertising sold online.”
Sam frowned surprised.
“My paintings?” She asked…”But…” And then realization dawned on her face…”Oh, the ones I left in your apartment.” She murmured looking down at the check…..”Right.”
A slow tingle of exhilaration wiped out her fired up nerves and a sting filled up her eyes.
“This is so crazy.” She murmured…”I cannot thank you more for finding me today and giving me this gift…” She finished smiling wide as happiness settled into her stomach.
Dev smiled back affectionately.
“Thank yourself and the hard work you put in there, Sam and don’t ever think you aren’t capable anymore.” He said warmly.
Sam nodded her head.
“But you should have contacted me before you sold off my paintings.” She muttered frowning…”Maybe I could have…”
He cut her off right there and then.
“You couldn’t have gotten a thing with that confidence.” He said nonchalantly.
She scowled at him and he ignored that.
“You should more cut off from all those feeling for you to survive in the circle.” He continued in a hard voice….”Or people gonna chew you up and spit you put in seconds.” He warned her.
Sam suddenly grinned and he stared at her.
He sighed when she didn’t reply back.
“Everything just flew up your head, didn’t it?” He asked amusedly.
Sam nodded her head excited.
“Do you know what I was thinking just now?” She whisper asked with rounded eyes.
He stared back at her flatly.
“I was thinking how I could get your beautiful Villa with this money.” She let out giggling.
He stared at her flatly still.
His poker face changed and he burst out laughing when she didn’t stop giggling happily.
He snickered finally.
“With that paltry money you think to…” He started with a chuckle and a mock but his body froze suddenly and the smile wiped out of his face before a serene settled in.
Sam stopped laughing too and looked a weird change come over his face.
“What? What’s wrong?” She asked with a frown.
Dev looked as if frozen on the chair and Sam worried that he had went comatose suddenly.
She kept her hand over his shoulder and shook it hard.
“Dev? Are you alright?” She asked anxiously.
“Oh, my god, Sam, you are f**king genius.” He cried out and she jumped back surprised at his excitement.
Sam slid back on her chair frightened. He grinned at her and a feel like triumph came over his face. His eyes started shining really differently.
She stared real anxiously at him and clutched his hand on the table.
“Dev?” She called him out from his own reverie.
Dev looked down at her hand and then into her eyes. The excitement dimmed and he frowned at her.
“What? What happened?” He asked quietly now.
“Are you sure you are not on drugs? You aren’t high?” She asked again a little worriedly.
He sighed and closed his eyes and shaking his head.
“You wouldn’t give up would, you. Just when I thought you could be a little sharp, you go on and prove that it was just a chance intelligence.” He muttered annoyed a lot now.
Sam scowled at his sarcastic words.
“Hey, not fair.” She shot back hurt…”How do you expect to react when you look and talk very differently than before?” She snapped.
Dev lost the annoyed look before it changed into a grim one. Sam tried to see into his eyes before he shuttered her out and got up.
She opened her mouth to protest but he turned around.
“Good night, Sam. It’s really late. I’m really tired and you should sleep too now.” He muttered over his shoulder dismissing the conversation in the middle of it.
“Hey, Come on, I was talking here wasn’t I.” She retorted.
He kept walking without a care to look back.
“You are very much welcome to take any room, Sweetheart.” He countered instead while walking out of the hall.
Oh, how rude. What was it about her that nobody wants to share anything with her. Something was going on in his life and he couldn’t even include her in it. She was only one whining on and on but these men are just shuttered shut inside like a stuck window. Was she that untrustworthy? Neil wouldn’t talk. Sigh. Neil would never share anything with her. She knew him but she knew least about him.
Alright. She had enough thinking for a day. A yawn escaped her lips and got up too. After much wandering about in the Villa looking about the walls mesmerised, Sam finally found a room. She got into it and before she could lie down properly sleep already took over her tired body.
Neil looked at the study door once again and stared hard at it. His right hand restlessly played with the paper weight on the table. Secretary Lee was explanations away various points over a project. His responsibility was to listen to it carefully but nothing got into his head except straining his mind hard over something else.
“Secretary Lee, what do you think is taking her so long to come up here?” He asked suddenly, while tuning out the lines Lee read out of a file.
Lee trailed off speaking and he stared at him blinking once.
“Sir?” He asked to his question instead.
Neil ignored that and he looked back at the door again.
“What time is it?” He asked quietly.
“Five past ten.” Lee looked down at his watch sighing….”You have asked the times already, Sir.” The old man extended flatly.
He spiralled the paperweight around.
“That’s right. She should have come up by now..” He muttered irritated in a grim voice.
Lee cleared up his throat.
“You may have been a little harsh this time.” He said helping him a little.
Neil let it slid away while moving the paperweight slowly to his left hand.
“I was but she always came except this time.” He muttered to himself mostly and very very grimly.
Lee cleared his throat again.
“You have a meeting, sir. You have already delayed going to London.” He reminded Neil of his duty.
But suddenly he wasn’t interested. It was a three week tour and he wasn’t really into going for work. The thought of being in the bleak rainy weather wasn’t actually his plan.
“Yeah. Cancel the ticket confirmation.” He said getting up from the chair.
He is got other things to do now. Maybe find that woman and rattle her for messing up with his head for good.
“We cannot do that, Sir.” Lee said firmly.
Neil stopped walking and froze. He turned around narrowing his eyes.
“What?” He asked silkily.
Lee straightened but he didn’t look anything much intimidated.
“Mrs. Gordon isn’t going to like it.” He said in a hard cold voice.
Neil stiffened entirely now and his face turned into an angry ashen black.
“Mother knows about this?” He asked in a steely voice.
Lee nodded his head. Trust his mother to interfere into his projects.
“Mrs. Gordon is the chairperson of the meeting.” Lee explained more.
Neil’s jaw ticked.
“I’ll handle mother. You don’t have to worry about that.” Neil said gruffly.
He turned around to walk but Lee called him back.
“This isn’t the right decision, You Master. You’ll losing fifty million dollars for your absence in the meeting.” He warned Neil softly.
Neil’s jaw hardened. So, that was it, huh. He lost his footing. Lost a firm. Lost a lot of money. She interferes and makes sure he would remain steady in the market and that her reputation stays intact with her son right behind her and that he wouldn’t shame her business skills by going down. His demeanour changed into a cold.
“I’ll bear the consequences of it.” He said quietly, and walked out of the study.
Neil walked to and fro around his bed. He sighed heavily and took off his coat. He dialled a number and talked over it for about ten minutes. Half an hour later he changed into a black track pant and grey t-shirt. He kept staring down at the things on bed. A diamond necklace. Box of Swiss chocolates and a bunch of red roses.
He rubbed his jaw and sighed.
The stubborn chit wouldn’t take the diamond necklace. She would throw the chocolate box on his face. He bewildered over the roses.
Yes. No girl would resist roses or flowers.
Neil took hold of the roses and he walked out of his room. He kept walking and finally moved towards the left side and reached her room. It was very easy to find her. The kitchen staff must have retired already at nine and she maybe sleeping now. He almost knocked on the door before he stopped himself.
He looked down at the roses in hand awkwardly. He cursed himself and walked back to his room. He threw the flowers on the bed. Not a good idea. He didn’t want to come like a fool. He wasn’t hearts and roses guy. She had to make do with that.
He walked out and towards her room again. He didn’t have to knock the door because it moved back when he did that. Neil frowned and got inside. When he didn’t find in the hall he walked into her bedroom. His eyes searched for her but the room was empty and the bed was made. Neil looked into the bathroom and balcony.
He walked back into the room again. A sudden dread raised up his anger and he flung open the wardrobe. The clothes were all here. He closed the wardrobe and leaned back on it.
The stupid foolish woman. He gulped hard. An image of her body floating above the ocean scared his mind.
He dialled a number and later called several of those continually.
Neil was tired, sleepless and hungry. He had a five O clock shadow over his jaw because he didn’t shave this morning. Yet he was ready for the meeting which was really important. He had already blasted alot of money yesterday for not going to London. Lee wouldn’t get off his back if he did not attend this one.
He sighed getting on his coat.
“You have to be sure to find her, Lee.” Neil said grimly.
“I will make sure that I do, Sir.” Lee promised him.
Neil nodded his head and walked out of the study. The great hall was where the meeting was held today. Since he could not go far from all the shareholders joined him here.
He walked towards the Elevator and Lee and him both reached the corridor of the hall.
“So, how much is it important. This meeting?” He asked irritated.
“I’m sure your presence would be enough, Sir.” Lee replied.
Neil gave him a dry glance as he opened the doors of the great hall. He looked inside and as soon as he did so, there were rustle of crisp expensive clothes. Movement of the chairs. Enmity. Edge. Awe and respect is what he saw in the faces of these men. Neil did feel the power to create such angst and it felt immensely satisfying. He tilted his head as a sign of acknowledgement and he walked forward with Lee following his trail. Around twenty elite businessmen were gathered around the table for this meeting and Neil walked towards the head of it. He settled down on the plush chair. All the others sat down after he did.
He looked at the power point presentation to see that nothing of a seminar was being taken today. He just have to he here ten minutes of the time before Neil had to move for another round of the meeting in another place. Most of them were discussing the current market postion and the prices of the shares of this moment.
He remembered something else suddenly.
“So, which of these men had got the property? I’m sure it’s Varun Malhotra.” Neil snickered.
Varun was his competitor in the market. He had numerous firms and businesses stretched across the country to prove that. Except Varun was more hungry to get what Neil had discarded. It was more like fighting for a bone that he threw in the bin. Varun could never overtake him. That he learned from the years of striving hard to humiliate Neil. That did not happen and wouldn’t happen at all in the near future. He was like a wounded dog settling for less now. Except that Neil was self made but Varun had got the power from his father.
Lee looked down at his file and frowned.
“It’s not him this time.” He informed.
Neil looked back at the man all confused. His glanced at the direction of Varun’s sulky gaze. Who the hell put such look on the loser’s face. The chair’s back was to his face so he couldn’t see who it was that Varun was looking at.
Neil smiled. Whoever it was had made an enemy of Varun now. Nobody had the dare to take his properties except Varun. The man should watch his back because now he was in the focus. Varun was a dirty player in the market. He was quite dangerous with almost killing his competitors if they don’t agree to sign off their shares and assets.
“It’s someone named Miss K….” Lee murmured frowning still looking down at a file.
Both of his eye brows raised at that. A woman?
Before Lee could clarify more the chair opposite to his across the table turned slowly. He could see Varun freeze and his scowling expression cleared off. Neil shook his head. Now that it’s a woman. Varun surely would persist until she said yes to marry him. The guy was just that awkward silly and very weird with women.
The chair turned fully and Neil straightened. His back snapped up and his eyes narrowed. He stared across at her with realization of dawning over his face. There were sudden murmurs and curious eyes following all around the conference. His muscles stiffened.
The woman had a blue dress that reached her knees adorned with diamond drop earrings and a delicate platinum necklace. Fingers graced with diamonds too her faced shined with minimal make up and wavy black hair. She leaned back staring across at him with a knowing wide smile.
“I’m sorry, Sir, there must have been some mistake.” Lee muttered hurriedly.
“I don’t think you are wrong.” She said out loud and a silence befell.
“Oh, I forgot introduce myself. I’m Samaira Khanna.” She said confidently and looked across Neil still smiling….”The new owner of the Gordon Mansion.”
Neil’s jaw locked.
“It isn’t your mistake. It’s mine.” Neil replied to a grim looking Lee.
Yes. He made a mistake. He was frantic to get rid of the mansion and had pushed Lee to hurry and when the papers came to him, he signed those off carelessly. He never involved himself in it.
Their was rounds of congratulations slid across at her and soon people surrounded the place and it did not look a conference hall anymore.
“Oh, wouldn’t you congratulate me…” She said deliberately slow…”Mr. Neil Gordon?”
The conceited way she was smiling. All fake and made up.
Varun grinned back.
“Yeah, wouldn’t you Neil.” He said through the wide black framed glasses.
The geeky idiot.
Neil did not see else where but her face. He would rather rattle her hard for making him go frantic and worried till now since last night. He almost got up to do the same but sudden murmurs and commotion diverted his attention.
What the f**k was that now?
The murmurs continued still and increased more looking at the door. There was awe and respect in such look and he followed it. His curious gaze locked on the person standing at the door.
His eyes turned flat suddenly. His eyes zeroed in on the expensive looking suit, shoes and the watch.
The man stood there taking in awe and curiosity from all around. Then a realization set in before the murmurs started. The people around seem to know the person well. Varun looked across at the man with a lot of envy and hatred. The way he gave Neil the look.
But Neil knew the person from way long before that. The rustle of the clothes resonated around with people standing up when he entered in. She stood up too smiling wide and Neil’s body grew tense. She vacated the chair and slid to the side one. He walked around before settling down on it.
People sat down too and the whispered conversation started with everyone talking about the business situation again.
“Devansh Thakur. The chairman of the S and S Industries.” Lee him with the information.
Neil leaned back.
“I figured.” He said dryly.
He should have been more careful. Should have seen into it. He must have know who it was that had been bent on to bring him down. Taking over most of his projects and buying up all the shares before he could.
“I regret about the mansion, Sir. I will look on it immediately.” Lee said a little gravely.
“I will see to it. Don’t blame yourself for it.” Neil replied shortly.
It wasn’t really the thing now. The most important was how she got his mansion overnight. He looked on at both of them and he wondered how much deep was the friendship. He knew that she lived in his apartment.
He let go of the thought when the presentation started. His gaze did not move though between the two. An hour later the conference ended with his head steaming with new ideas. Now that he knew there was a lot here to win and get than it was before. Now it was a war.
Lee was going through the papers and reading out notes to Neil. He straightened when she got up from the seat and got around. His eyes zeroed in on her while she walked in those elegant jimmy choo heels. Lee moved back and she came to his side smiling just the same she was before.
“Wouldn’t you congratulate me, Mr Gordon for buying your mansion.” She said slyly.
Neil smiled finally.
“Trust you to fall into the arms of the first rich thing when I push you away. And look at you all made up like a polished doll.” He sneered at looking all over at her.
Her smile dimmed out and she shook her head.
“Your snickering is really getting old, Neil. Get over yourself before you fall flat on your face.” She whispered.
“You are under a contract with me. Don’t forget that you signed the papers….” He started quietly threatening before Dev barged in.
“Uh, sorry to interfere but that gallery across the beach isn’t yours anymore.” He budged in quietly and smiling.
The cocky smirk on his face rubbed off wrong with Neil.
“What?” He asked looking as if to beat the shit out of the guy.
He remained silent and Neil looked at Lee.
Lee looked flushed red.
“The gallery is under the firm which slipped through our fingers last weekend. The shares were brought already. We couldn’t get back the tender.” He informed.
Neil looked thunderous. So Dev was the bastard who took his firm right under his nose without him getting much of a hint. Neil did not show the anger instead he got up holding her arm tightly.
“What the f**k are you doing with him?” He asked angrily.
Lee cleared his throat and left the place leaving only three of them in the conference hall.
She looked down at his hand and then into his eyes. The fearless valiant confidence made him loosen his hold on her arm.
“You lost the right long back.” She whispered, and removed his hand altogether.
She turned around and walked but before he could follow her the man she lead in with came around towards the table.
“Careful there. She can punch you in the face now.” Dev drawled warningly.
He was sat just where he was before but he seem see into Neil’s eyes intelligently.
Neil jaw hardened.
“She is not your problem.” He said quietly too.
He saw the man smile cynically.
“She is not a problem in the first place but a pleasure to be with.” He said back serenely.
Neil could lose his head and punch his face until it got rearranged.
Instead he laughed humourlessly.
“A little money got into your head, didn’t it, kid.” He mocked….” I was with it since I knew how to hold a spoon. I have seen the likes of you come and go alot. Said it before. Saying again. She is not your deal. Back the f**k off.” He gritted.
Dev did not look perturbed but he laughed back. He got up and faced Neil head on.
“I was thinking maybe I wrong about you.” He said mock sympathy….”And then I got to know how could Sam really trust a guy who had made his own mother an enemy. How cold and heartless a bastard can a man be.” He muttered cruelly.
Neil straightened and he looked ready to punch. His eyes narrowed. His smile was slow to leave his lips.
“Appreciative. You seem to have done your home work well.” He said in a steely voice.
“I can do a lot more than that.”
Dev smiled satisfied but his eyes spoke otherwise. He got up from the chair looking all nonchalant.
Neil called him back by saying.
“That’s something I did not know a stray would say.” He said out loud.
Dev froze, got alert and looked back at his face.
“What?” He asked.
“You must be sad not knowing who gave you birth or what dirty woman…..” He started to say but not before Dev marched up and caught him by the collar.
Neil stared into his angry eyes and he laughed.
“Easy there, Kid. As I said, just a little money wouldn’t make you stand in my territory…” He said severely before getting Dev’s hands off his collar.
“And you bet I will just make you a memory in her life.” Dev warned back.
Neil stiffened and gave him a challenge filled look before moving back and leaving the hall altogether.
Neil looked back at her leisurely with hands folded over his chest. He leaned on his desk and watched her beautiful body moving about his place. She had her table occupied in his study. With people moving about her smiling. He couldn’t see the smug satisfaction in her face because she wasn’t to boast about things. He knew that well. She was too awkward for it.
They seem to be glad to have the new owner. The process would take time though for getting fully the acquisition of his property.
She glanced at him numerous time seeming to get uncomfortable and bright with embarrassment while catching his eyes. He saw men giving her appreciative glances while roaming about her.
Having enough of that he walked towards the table and gave a stern look at all of them before they scattered into pieces and mostly ran walked out of the study.
He walked up to her where she was sorting files. He moved closer and watched her get stiff but she did turn into his side. He leaned over the table and kept his right hand on hers before laying his hand over her down her hips. She tensed even more.
He moved closer to her and whispered.
“When I get my hands on this.” His hand caressed her there before his voice got raspy…”I’m gonna spank you so hard until sense got into your head.” He warned her softly.
Heat rose up on her flesh and he could see skin go pink and blushing. He could smell the roses. The familiarity of it calmed his mind that she was safe and sound but he was angry again. Her head turned just slightly and his lips grazed hers. When she tried to move he caught hold of her head from behind.
“What did I tell you about turning your face away when I’m talking to you?” He asked gruffly in a growl.
She stared wide eyed at her and that did it before his lips settled on hers firmly. She struggled to move away but he caught her arm with his other other. He kissed her with more anger than passion.
He moved back to see her lips glistening, red and bruised.
“Now kiss him with this mouth.” He mocked her, while sliding his thumb on her swollen lower lip.
Her face turned into an angry shade before her hand came across his to slap. He caught her delicate wrist before it hit his face.
“You can dish the cake but babe you can’t eat it too.” He said gravely before pushing her hand away.
He straightened his coat, moved back and left the place.
Sam wiped her lips as angry humiliated tears accumulated in her eyes. He would always think worse of her. He accused her again of roaming about with another man. How can he do that. God, she was done explaining things to him and justifying herself. Thinking of it made her more angry and embarrassed.
Never mind, she had her own gallery now. Running it made her more busy in a day already. Her mind was preoccupied with it. Nothing would lead her off the work she had in her hands.
She looked up to see Dev coming in the study and marching upto her. The anger on his face was so evident it bewildered her. Completely confused her. He came to her and took her by the shoulders.
“That is the man you like?” He questioned her gripping her hard and painfully.
“What…what are you talking about, Dev?” She asked bemused and surprised by his sudden anger.
“That vain fool…” He muttered.
“Dev, you are hurting me.” She said trying to free herself.
Dev looked down at his hands and he let go before pulling at his hair angrily. Sam did not understood behind such rage.
“What happened? Why are you so angry?” She asked in a calm voice.
Dev glared back at her.
“The man you claim to love is an asshole.” He cursed.
Sam straightened and her face went tight.
“He is not that bad.” She said defensively.
Something else was the matter here.
Dev laughed humourlessly.
“You are just like him then.” He muttered in a vengeful tone.
The real cold and hatred behind his voice just pulled up her anxiety.
She came around and held his hand.
“Dev, what the hell is wrong? You don’t seem to be well. Something is going on with you….eating you up from inside…” She said anxiously.
Dev cut her off and shocked her to the core.
“I’m adopted.” He said suddenly and very very quietly.
He wasn’t looking at her but far away into a distance and the look on his face just killed her. Such intent hateful glance. Her eyes stung and filled up.
“But I thought your parents…”
“They f**king lied to me.” He gritted….”I was their social ticket so they could boast about having an adopted son.” He said disdainfully and coarsely.
“Dev, I don’t think your parents…” She started to say.
But he snapped at her sharply.
“They aren’t my anything. I have least idea about who my real ones are or even if I was a legal or a bastard or a born to a…..” He almost shouted and his voice trailed off.
The words rang in her ears and her eyes filled up more. Dear god. What was going through his head. It shook her to the core. The hurt. Anger. Shame. Desperation. Pain. Lots and lots of it. Hurt her. Immensely.
Sam couldn’t see though why he hated his adopted parents so much and then she got everything what was going on. He was trying to prove to his mom and dad. She knew that they were rich and he was challenging them. He was really hurt and pained and mostly destroying himself in the process.
“You worked to become this. Trying to prove what, Dev?” She asked teary eyed.
Dev straightened and he narrowed his eyes at her.
“Why don’t you go back home then, Sam. To your mom and dad. You could easily get there what you have here. Why strive for something you don’t think you aren’t capable of?” He asked mocking her.
Sam stiffened and he caught her by the arms again.
“You cant go back right. Hurts your self respect, isn’t it? Going back home with nothing. You need to prove that you did something here. It doesn’t make you any different than me so you stop feeling sorry. It’s pathetic.” He said jeeringly and very very coldly.
She looked into his almost black eyes and hers filled up. He was not Dev. He was someone else.
“But, I don’t have hatred and revenge against my mom and dad.” She said with watery eyes.
“You need to come back from this state, Dev. It’s not doing good any you.” She said softly whole putting her right hand on his chest.
His face cleared off the hate and he looked down into her eyes while his glistened a little. He was holding back all and she feared if the dam broke how much was he going to break. His jaw lost it’s grinding. He looked down ag her hand on his chest before his stiffened suddenly.
“You don’t make me weak. It would work on him. Not me, Sam. Because I wouldn’t let you in.” He said hoarsely while moving her hand away and taking a step back from her.
He stared at her for a second more he left the study. Sam took in tremored breath. What was becoming of Dev? He suddenly was turning hurtful. His words attacked and hurt. Her eyes filled. He was leading into a really wrong path. But thinking if it that he was adopted and the things he went she really didn’t know.
Her eyes filled up. The tears rolled down her eyes remembering the Dev she knew. And how hurt he was now.
Neil had went the through the files again that he had forgotten to go through. He stiffened and straightened and hid hands fisted. He looked at Lee who was standing by his side.
“Arrange the meeting with the staff. Have important stuff to discuss.” He muttered in a hard voice.
Lee nodded his head and in an hour he got all the employees of the company in the conference hall. Lee was very fast to do and Neil was impressed.
He walked in looking all around the anxious employees.
“Gentlemen.” He greeted before he settled on the chair and everyone did the same.
He looked at each of them before speaking out.
“Can anyone enlighten me why this meeting I held suddenly….” He drawled leaning back.
Quizzical looks passed on a few before Rohit, the manager of human resources replied.
“Because of the shares we lost to the rival company.”
Neil nodded his head.
“That’s right. We lost the deal and many of those before.” Neil agreed in.
He looked around.
“Why have we losing the tenders suddenly. It’s so unthinkable. We have been putting efforts…” He counted and got the murmurs of approval….”And selling stocks accordingly….but why…” He murmured thoughtfully.
Geetha the head manager of the marketing agreed in.
“We did work hard for that, sir. But each time we did the S and S company followed right back and got the shares. It’s very bewildering.”
“If I could get a finger on…” He looked around and offered carelessly….”If any one is intelligent enough to get it I would promote the person.” He concluded.
A sudden interest circled around and quiet murmurs and conversations followed.
“Not just that but raise in salary. Incentives…” He offered more.
Come on. Get out of the shadows.
“It’s because their tender prices get low before our hits the market.” Rakesh, the head of the financial department laughed suddenly.
The murmurs stopped instantly and Neil straightened. Each of the heads turned to his face and so did Neil. He laughed too but his eyes turned suddenly cold.
“Very good. Commendable job….” He appreciated….”How did you know that by the way because the price of the tender is confidential before it hit the market or that how did you even know the prices?” He asked in a cool drawl.
The man turned pale and sweaty and the smile on his wiped out. He looked too frightened and shaky.
“Alright. The meeting ends here.” Neil said dismissing the employees.
The man ran off first and the rest also dispersed out.
Neil narrowed his eyes at the door. He now knew the man snooped in on the confidential files and sold off the information to the S and S Industries. That’s the reason for the very close distance in the prices were of both the companies. If he hadn’t been too distracted all these months this wouldn’t have happened. The men of his company worked hard for it. Had worked through day and night along with him. He wouldn’t let it go wasted.
“Get him.” Neil said curtly to Lee.
“Certainly, Sir.” He agreed gravely.
Neil got in the elevator and it moved to the top floor. Lee followed him when he reached the open area. The wind here was very frantic. One can look down from atop of the building and really can be hit by the vertigo. They were almost in the clouds.
He loosened his tie and folded his shirt while looking across at the pale shivering man held by two of employees by the arms. There were more of his men around the place guarding the area.
“Please, sir. I did not do it on purpose…” The man had tears rolling down his eyes.
Neil looked back flatly at the man with no mercy.
“You dare to betray and manipulate the team. Mock their hard work. Steal their profit and sell it off and think that nobody is going to find it out.” He went coolly.
“Too bold, weren’t you.” He drawled silkily.
He put both of his hands inside the pant pockets.
“Just give me a chance, Sir. I wouldn’t do it again.” He cried and pleaded like a little worm.
Neil didn’t look much convinced. It disgusted him more.
“You should have thought that before you betrayed the company and the employees.” He said harshly.
The man wailed more.
Neil had enough. He looked at the men holding the slug down.
“Throw him down.” He ordered flatly.
With that the man flailed and cried even more.
“No. No. No, sir, have mercy. I have a wife and kids…” He wailed.
Neil laughed cruelly and everyone did there.
“Every man present here does have a family. Nobody betrayed with one the company and nobody would dare to after you die.” Neil warned coldly.
He nodded his head and the men dragged the man to the edge with him whining like a dying dog.
Sam had been feeling miserable while at work. She was too distracted with the talk she had with Dev. It was too disturbing. She sorted through a file when she got a call from him. She slid in the receive and put it over her ear.
“Oh, Dev I was just thinking about…” She started to say when he cut in.
“You think so highly about your boyfriend, don’t you?” He asked sarcastically.
“What are you talking about now?” She asked exasperated.
“You should know that he is no good than a killer.” He drawled hinting at something.
Sam shook her head.
“Neil isn’t so bad, Dev. He is just a little….” She started to explain.
“See for yourself. Atop of the mansion. He’s about to kill someone…” He said suddenly and Sam froze.
Goosebumps rose up her flesh and her skin became hot suddenly.
“Dont be ridiculous.” She snapped angrily.
“You need to see before you talk, Sam. Don’t be so sweet always.” He snapped back and cut the call.
Sam opened her mouth and sighed when he really did cut the call rudely. The heck. She stared at the phone and a sudden dread curled all over her heart. Neil wouldn’t do that. It was ridiculous.
Why was Dev so confident? Was that true?
Oh crap. Shit. She almost ran towards the door and made way to the lift. Nausea clutched her stomach and her brain stopped functioning. Dear god, don’t let it to be true.
The lift moved and very soon she ran towards the corridor and ran up the remaining. The wind almost propelled her down and she gulped looking down. Damn. She ws afraid of height and it was very very low. One could fall down and find broken bones every where down there. Or die like swatted fly with blood and all. It turned her stomach.
She looked around and her eyes rounded. There Neil was standing close to the edge with men hanging down a man down the building. It curdled her blood. Dev was right.
“Neil!” She shouted atop of her lungs.
All the men froze and Neil’s head snapped to hers. He looked around and narrowed his eyes. His face got livid and he walked upto her in long angry strides.
“What the f**k are you doing here?” He gritted out.
Sam stared wide eyed at the men and the scene before her eyes. Her eyes filled up. Dev wasn’t wrong. This was Neil? The murderer?
“What the hell are you doing?” She asked half in disbelief and half in tears.
He stared hard at her and unrelenting.
“You shouldn’t be here.” He replied instead quietly.
She stared at him incredulously.
“How can you do that? How can you fall so low?” She asked frantically.
She cannot think of anything now.
He glared at her daggers.
“Do you know what your so called friend did?” He asked her disgustedly.
She straightened and anger coursed her every vein.
“Don’t bring him in this…” She said fiercely….”You just disgust me now…” She said looking around the men….” I just hate you.” She cried hard and moved back.
She turned around and ran.
“Sam! Come back here!” He shouted.
She couldn’t listen to anything now.
“Damn you. We aren’t done talking this through!” Neil shouted again.
He clutched his hair and pulled at it frustatedly. f**k.
The men looked back blinking at him and the running woman.
“We were just hanging him down, Sir. As you said.” They said calmly.
“The woman is stubborn and proud. She wouldn’t listen to me even if I said otherwise.” He said ruefully.
One of his employee laughed.
“She sounds just like you, Sir.” He said chuckling.
Neil looked back at the man.
“Do you want to get thrown down instead?” He asked dryly.
That sobered him down.
“I’m sorry, Sir.” He said quietly and afraid.
The man was whining and flailing still while the men hung him down upside down the building.
Neil sighed disgusted.
“Get him up. I think he learned the lesson.” He said disdainfully.
The men got the man up and he looked around still crying. Neil got him up by the collar and warned him while getting his face.
“Get your f**king things out of the office and don’t show your face ever near the company perimeters. Just wipe yourself off the earth.” He gritted and threw him away.
The man cowered down frightened and ran for his life.
Neil walked around the place and cursed getting alot more angry now. His other phone started ringing just then.
He got it out of his pocket and stared at it. He frowned looking at the unknown number.
“What?” He barked out.
“Whoa! So much anger. Seems like I won.” A smug voice too familiar got into his ears.
Neil’s back straightened.
“Are are you angry that one of your employee sold you off to me or that she saw you hurting someone?” He asked mockingly again.
Neil had enough.
“Just get to the point, f**ktard.” He bit out.
“If I can make her hate you in a second, then just think what else I can make her do…..I can even make her sleep with me.” He concluded serenely and coldly.
Neil saw red and the anger pumped and burst out in his veins.
“I’m going to kill you, bastard! I’m going to kill you with my bare hands…” He roared.
The line went dead before he heard a booming laughter.
Neil flung the phone to the wall hard. He walked to and fro and got another phone from his pocket. It was his personal number.
He typed a message hurriedly.
Sam’s mind was frantic with thoughts. What was going on in her life. It was so crazy suddenly. She couldn’t understand Dev and was very much afraid of the side he had just unleashed. It was really frightening. And Neil. She shuddered remembering him standing there and almost killing a man. Or supervision it. What was happening?
At least she can talk to Dev now. As she had plans with having lunch with him. She can really talk it out with him. Get him off the track of revenge and hatred. She was determined. He was her friend. He had been there for her through high and low. She cannot leave him like that only because he was rude. He was going through a phase and she was afraid he would walk down the lane and never come back. It made her shudder.
She flipped her phone and saw a message arrive on it.
“Meet me at Rivers Cafe for lunch.” Was the curt order.
Her face tautened. Neil. She did not know him anymore. Her inside suddenly turned cold. She shook the thought off. She had worked all through the afternoon. Dev had sold the galleria to her so now it her responsibility to function it properly.
Now, she needed a break. After dismissing the staff she got up sighing heavily. With the purse in hand she got out of the gallery and moved towards the steps. There was a wide road in the front for the people to walk about towards the numerous other stores. Sal was just about to get down when her eyes focussed on Dev’s car from afar. It was very sunny afternoon with the glare just above their heads.
Good. He was here already. She glanced towards the opposite end of the road to see another car zooming fast too.
Neil. What was he doing here?
She saw Dev narrow his eyes before he sped the car. Her eyes widened. What the hell was he doing?
Neil’s eyes narrowed on the car and he smiled. Now it was fun. He pushed the accelerator and watched the asshole drive in fast into his car.
Sam’s heart palpitated and as she looked at the impending doom before her eyes. The cars moved so fast she barely see through the dust. Her widened and her heart leaped to her throat when the car almost collided into each other and broke into bl**dy pulp.
“Oh, my god! Stop it! For heaven’s sake!” She shouted at the top of lungs while her eyes tight shut and putting her hands on her ears.
She opened her eyes to see the car screech to a halt just an inch closer to each other. Gasps of air filled her lungs and the car doors clicked open before the men got out of it and stood beside the door. In a stoic silence and threatening and challenge.
She looked at each of the men’s expensive suits. Sunshades. Watches. Cars. And the calm steely fighting stance of each. Her eyes widened in disbelief.
The bl**dy ruined idiots. Each having the deamons of their own minds and fighting for what she didn’t know. Or would never know. Until the two would destroy themselves in the process. Damn. What the hell was happening here.
She saw Neil slid her a glance.
“Come here.” He ordered her curtly in a deep baritone.
Sam looked back at his face angrily. Seriously. Now he was interested in her. She gave him a look before walking down the steps.
She got down and stopped looking back at Neil. He straightened but Sam walked to the side and turned.
She walked across Dev’s car who suddenly grinned at her. She sighed and shook her head. Everything was a game here. She knew that he was smug that he won but she let it go. He was her friend anyway and he was not in the state of calm. She got out her sunglasses and perched those on her nose.
“Stop grinning like a fool and open the door.” She snapped coolly, and not really looking at him.
“Of course, My lady.” He smiled and opened the car door for her.
She got into the car and she remained silent while he started.
Dev tried to break the tense atmosphere.
“So, what do you want to have for lunch?” He asked quietly.
“Anything. I don’t care for the menu.” She replied blandly.
She was just afraid now of pissing off Neil. He was so unpredictable. She didn’t know what to do anymore. Neil and Dev. Well, they didn’t see eye to eye before though they were alright but now….she gulped hard. Such bad blood between the two. It was too disturbing. Dev seem to categorise Neil in the one he hated now. The rich and vain. Playing with emotions. Like how his mom and dad were. As he thought. As he was poisoned in mind.
Just as she looked out of the window her eyes widened.
Neil’s car. He was rushing towards to the side. Her eyes widened. What the hell was he doing?
“Dev, stop the car.” She said suddenly.
He stiffened instead and looked at the way her eyes were trained at.
“No.” He bit out.
She saw a truck coming towards Neil’s car. He wasn’t seeing it but staring at her instead. Damn him, the crazy guy. She looked around Dev.
“Are you crazy? stop the car!” She cried out.
Dev ignored and he increased the speed.
“Don’t do this now, Dev. Please.” She held his hand over the accelerator.
Dev looked back at her and seem to relent as his eyes softened on her anxious frightened ones.
“f**k.” He whispered and slowed down.
Sam sighed relieved when he stopped the car. She saw Neil park his car to across the road. He got out fast and kept walking towards them.
Sam tried to open the door but it was locked. She stared at Dev who wasn’t looking at her. For heaven’s sake.
Neil felt furious anger colour his blood. He walked towards the car and knocked at the window.
“Get out of the car.” He thundered breathing hard.
He looked at their entwined hands and then at the f**kturd’s cocky smirking face when he made it evident for Neil to see.
He knocked hard on the window.
“Get the f**k out of the car before I break it.” He warned growling.
Sam turned desperate.
“Dev, don’t be a jerk. Just open the car door for heaven’s sake!” She shouted.
He sighed exasperated looking at her.
“Fine.” He let out, and got out of the car fast.
And the car door opened and before she could get out Neil’s hand whipped in and held hers tight. When it did Dev’s hand reached and caught Neil’s hand over hers.
The three stood in the middle of the road with hands held tight. Neil’s on hers and Dev’s on Neil’s hand which caught hers.
“Get your f**king hands off her.” Dev warned getting closer to Neil’s face.
“Get off my face before I beat the shit out of you.” Neil warned back quietly.
Dev laughed suddenly. It was crazy to watch when it wiped and he glanced down at her and then into Neil’s eyes cruelly.
“When your mother disproves of her are you going to make her your whore or a mistress?” Dev questioned drawling serenely.
A gasp escaped her lips. Her eyes filled up sharply as she gaped for air.
“Dev!” She cried out in disbelief.
Did he just say that?
Neil froze completely and let go of her hand before a violence took over his body.
Sam’s instincts took over and she was afraid suddenly. She breathed hard.
“You bastard.” Neil took Dev by the collar….”Have you lost manners suddenly!” He shouted and almost raised his hand to punch him in the face.
“Neil!” Sam cried out and moved towards him and held his hand.
Her eyes filled she implored him to look at her.
“Take me to lunch.” She said ridiculously and hastily.
Neil slowly looked down at her. His eyes blood thirsty and red and he was breathing hard. His eyes never blinked looking down at her.
“What?” He whispered asked, trying to understand if he heard her right.
Her cheeks turned pink.
“Take me to lunch.” She replied lamely.
His eyes lost the speedy look and his gaze settled on her face. His heavy breathing fell over her lips heatedly. He slid his eyes all over her flushed face. His hand loosened over Dev’s collar. Sam sighed relieved inside.
Thank god. There wouldn’t any blood shed now.
He let go off his collar before taking her hand in his. He glared at Dev.
Sam looked back narrowing her at him. He crossd a line today. She never knew he was capable of saying such thing.
“And Dev, stop behaving like a pig before you really become one.” She said tightly in anger.
Dev looked regretfully at her. His eyes spoke so.
She nodded her head.
“I’ll speak to you later.” She said before Neil dragged her to the car.
“You aren’t going to speak to him forever.” Neil growled like a bear.
Sam struggled out of his hold and moved back.
“You can’t stop me. He is my friend and he needs me.” She shot back coolly.
Neil looked down at the way she pushed away from him. But he was pleased though to see the flush on her face.
“Not before I make you mine.” He drawled, before smiling down at her and holding her hand again.
She scowled back turning red.
To Be Contd…..
Credit to: Blue