Hi friends, took a week long break but didn’t rest at all, too many things to do. Here is another chapter, Enjoy……..
Chapter 4 – First Clue
Edward sat on the dining table silently as Tina went on and on about her day, his mind was forced to replay Arjun’s words on repeat and he couldn’t think about anything else but that. He wanted to believe in his heart that Tina had nothing to do with Ajay’s death but his detective brain was stopping him from permanently absolving her of any suspicion and he cursed himself for thinking ill of his wife. His darling wife that had been nothing but good for the last five years, it was a clear case of the mind thinking of the things you don’t want to think about. “f**k” he mumbled a curse under his breath startling Tina.
She chuckled “is the food that bad?”
Her query brought him back to reality and he looked down at his untouched plate having steak and potatoes his favourite, she had made him his favourite food and here he was having negative thoughts about her “sorry, I zoned out”
“tell me to join you next time” she said giggling making him smile.
He took the first bite in his mouth and groaned satisfied with the delightful taste, Tina had always been a very good cook and her special garlic and paprika steak she made for him was exquisite, Edward always thought it tasted heavenly “delicious” he said while chewing and she smiled at that.
“Okay, don’t forget we have an appointment at the clinic tomorrow” she reminded him while collecting the dishes when dinner was over.
“at ten right?” he asked and she nodded confirming the time.
Life was strangely very surprising he thought as he dumped the dirty dishes into the dish washer as Tina cleaned the table. Tina had given up on her child wanting nothing to do with it and today she was going to the doctors so that she could get pregnant again. It had always been his dream to have a family with Tina though Tina wasn’t very keen at first but after two years of marriage she herself stated her interest of having children, unfortunately Tina couldn’t conceive because of some problem she had in her fallopian tube as a result of her first pregnancy, he had suggested that they adopt but Tina wanted to raise her own blood she wanted to get pregnant again so here they were doing treatment after treatment.
The feeling of her soft hands around his torso broke his chain of thoughts, Tina hugged him from the back and he could feel her lips curve into a smile on his back “you seem lost today”
He turned enveloping her in his arms “am worried about you” her forehead creased hearing his words “I have decided that if this time the procedure doesn’t work we will adopt”
She smiled a small one “Dr. Colts is the best fertility doctor in the UK and I have a good feeling about this, I think we will have positive results”
He sighed tiredly “we have to keep our options open still”
She detached herself from his arms “why are you so adamant to raise somebody else’s child?” her tone abrasive.
“because I don’t care whose child is it as long as I get to raise it with you” his voice was a bit higher than usual, he closed his eyes pressing the bridge of his nose “you are what’s important to me, why cant we just adopt?”
She looked at him with deadpan eyes “I would rather stay childless than adopt”
Tina left him and went to their bedroom, he shook his head when she banged the door the shut, so stubborn she was. Her phone beeped with a new message and he picked it up from the kitchen counter to go give it to her, his heartbeat stopped for a minute when he saw Jai’s name on the screen, there was only one Jai he knew existed in Tina’s life but what could he have possibly messaged her about. He looked at the closed bedroom door and then back at the phone in his hands, he knew it was inappropriate to check her phone like that but he did it anyway, swiping it open since Tina never locked her phone with a password he read the message that had popped up on the screen “okay lunch tmr” the message the read.
Jai was meeting Tina for lunch tomorrow? Why would Jai want that and why now? What could be happening between these two? He shook his head discouraging the idea that Tina might be cheating on him “she can never do that” he mumbled as he flung the bedroom door open still holding her phone.
“you have a message” he said forwarding his hand to her. Tina quickly grabbed her phone to read the message, her eyes shone bright as her lips turned up into the biggest smile, she replied the message with the broadest smile still plastered on her face “I was thinking we can go to lunch tomorrow after we visit the clinic”
Her smile immediately got wiped off her face, she nervously tucked a hair strand behind her ear and he knew she was going to lie to him “ I cant, I…um…am meeting a friend tomorrow for lunch” she turned her face averting her gaze.
“what friend?” his eyes glued on her face to catch her every reaction.
She walked to the bed making the already made bed “he…I mean she…she is an old friend” she stammered.
He walked to the other side of the bed “remember I went to watch a game with Chief that day, July 5th..” she nodded “you never told me what you did that day?” It was common between them to share about their day events with each other.
“I…I… went to see a friend that day”
“the same friend you are going to meet tomorrow?”
Her previous smile returned on her face “yes” she replied dreamily.
Edward clenched his fingers into a fist hearing her answer, he looked at her and she was lost staring at her phone screen. He grabbed his car keys and left without telling her where she was going and she didn’t even notice when he left.
Jai put his phone back in his pants pocket as Preeti came back on the table after using the ladies room, he smiled at her and she returned the smile with a bashful one of hers. A waiter came to them and asked if they were ready for desserts and they both nodded, taking their orders the waiter left them alone.
The Ledbury was one of the famous restaurant in London and Jai had taken Preeti out for dinner to get to know her better for he genuinely liked her and wanted more than friendship with her. He had reserved an isolated table for them for privacy, the ambiance and the good food had generally created a good mood for them so far.
“I have been talking a lot about myself, tell me something about you” he said casually.
She let out a soft chuckle “that’s because you are a blabber mouth”
“ha-ha very funny” he said humourless and she laughed “now tell me what have you been doing all these years”
She shrugged “there is nothing to tell, am not an adventurous person, I studied medicine then became a nurse and here I am, end of the story”
The waiter came with their desserts, banana pudding mixed with sweet vanilla custard and cookies topped with orange flavoured meringue for Preeti and the triple chocolate extravaganza for Jai, it was a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and chocolate ganache glazed on top “enjoy” the waiter said with a nod before leaving them alone again.
“that’s a very short story” he said a little disappointed since he wanted to know more about her.
“I know am pretty boring, am a certified nurse but am working at the kindergarten because I haven’t found a job of my profession yet” she sounded a bit dismal.
“but why a nurse and not a doctor?”
“nurses are also important just like doctors” she said defensively.
He rolled his eyes “yeah, keep telling yourself that” Her mouth rounded in a perfect O as his words settled in her mind “what?” he shrugged “doctors save people’s lives and nurses just give patients sponge baths” he added, he chuckled seeing her getting riled up.
She dropped her spoon and folded her arms over her chest “nurses are just as important and skilled like doctors, for your information nurses are the ones handling most of the administering medicines, do you know medicine can kill you if not given in a proper dosage?” he looked at her intently as if trying to digest her words and shrugged a second later like she had said a lie, he was really enjoying her annoyance. “am serious, for instance something like Calcium Gluconate when overdosed it can give a man a heart attack and kill him”
“you just bluffing” he said casually.
“and you are a mean stupid ignorant fool” she replied with her voice raised, thank God they were in an isolated area otherwise all other guests in the restaurant would have turned their gazes at them.
Her nose flaring and her lips in a pout, she was mad but he thought she looked cute, he laughed “you look nice in pink” he told her.
She looked at her sky blue dress and then at him puzzled and he laughed more, that’s when she realised he was purposely irritating her and her face and adopted a shade of pink in anger “you were intentionally making me mad?” he nodded still laughing and she shook her head “you are crazy Jai” she remarked.
Her lips curled up into a mischievous smile, she took his plate and he stopped laughing immediately “hey, that’s mine”
She exchanged their plates and took a forkful of the cake into her mouth “that’s your punishment” she said very well knowing that Jai was a chocoholic.
He shoved a spoon of her pudding into his mouth with a pout “not fair” he said but she just shrugged in return enjoying his cake.
Taste Farm Offices
Priya watched as their office caretaker walk out of Ankush’s cabin with a tray of breakfast she had sent him, he hadn’t touched a thing knowing exactly who would have sent him the food. She knew doubting her husband was a big blunder but she was human too and human do make mistakes. Ankush had left the house without having breakfast citing some urgent work because he found out Priya had made the food, since the day she had asked him about the poison that killed her father Ankush did not talk to her. She wished that he would screamed at her, argue with her or scold her but no, Ankush Kapoor was after all Ankush Kapoor and when something hurts him he stays aloof rather than talk about his problems.
She sighed, now she will have to worry about him all day till he takes something into his belly. She went to Jai’s cabin “how was your dinner last night?” she asked without taking a seat.
“good” he replied with his eyes on his computer screen.
“did you have breakfast?” she asked again and he nodded still not looking at her “do you mind eating again with Ankush?”
Jai’s gaze moved to her “he is still not talking to you?” she curled her lips into a pout and sat on his table, though Priya hadn’t spoke to anybody about her fight with Ankush, she couldn’t keep it from Jai who guessed there was something wrong between them the second he saw her the next day.
“I made his favourite breakfast as a peace offering but that stubborn husband of mine didn’t have it when mom told him I made it so I packed the food and sent it to him but still he refused to have it” she played with his pen holder.
Jai got on his feet “and what do I get in exchange for this?”
“we can have lunch together” she answered happily.
“I cant, am meeting Tina for lunch” he sighed.
“why?” her brows drew together in confusion.
“long story but not important”
Priya peeked from her cabin door as Jai pulled Ankush out of his cabin to go to the canteen and smiled, at least now she wont have to worry about him neglecting his health. Her slightly opened cabin door opened wide seeing Arjun walking towards her, she smiled at him but her smile then vanished recalling that she hadn’t sent him the party video still. She bit her tongue “am so sorry I forgot about the video” she said as he walked inside her office.
“got it already, no problem” he replied and gave her a small hug. “did you learn about the poison from Ankush?” he asked straight without wasting time.
She turned pale “Arjun listen, it’s not what you think…”
“so it’s him” he said confidently noticing her worried reaction.
“he was just reading about some article, it’s just a random coincidence”
“I have to talk to him, where is he?”
“Arjun please” she pleaded, she had already hurt him with her suspicion and didn’t want to worsen the situation with Arjun questioning him.
“it’s procedure, please understand”
Arjun waited till he finished breakfast and came back to his cabin, Ankush passed Priya an accusing look when Arjun expressed the reason of his visit and Priya couldn’t do anything but stay quiet. Locking themselves inside his cabin Ankush stood leaning on his desk facing Arjun who sat on one of the guest’s chair “so you also think I killed your father?”
“No, I trust you” Arjun replied and showed him the video that he had saved in his phone. Ankush quietly watched the video and Arjun silently watched his face but there was no speck of worry or fear on his face “what do you have to say about this?”
Ankush sighed “I will tell you but promise me you wont tell Priya” Arjun nodded and gestured him to continue “it’s sugar”
“yes, my doctor had told me to reduce my sugar intake because I was close to have diabetes and Priya had been behind my back to make sure I don’t have any sugar but I was fed up of the blunt apple juice so I added sugar”
Arjun observed him for a while, if there something he was sure about was his ability to read people and Ankush showed nothing but sincerity besides apple juice does look like whiskey “I will need you to come to the station and make a statement”
“sure, no problem”
He got off the chair “it’s going to be hard, you knew about the poison before the murder and the video further puts you into suspicion but I will try and do something so that you don’t get incriminated in the murder” He slid both his hands into his pants pocket “I would suggest you take advise of a lawyer before you make that statement, we don’t want you to say anything that can put you in trouble”
“Thanks” Ankush said with a smile on his face.
“no big deal, it’s my job”
“your job is to suspect people, thanks for trusting me”
Arjun smiled “dude I know you, you are the most honest guy I have ever met, you couldn’t even still gum in camp”
Ankush chuckled “you remember?” The incident took place many years ago when they were both in boys scout camp, the older boys were supposed to chaperon younger boys so Ankush was looking after Arjun and some other boys when they planned to still chewing gum from the camp leader’s cabin but Ankush was too nervous to accomplish the task “and when I did I couldn’t sleep the whole night and went to return it in the morning” he added chuckling.
“and you expect me to think that you can murder someone?” Arjun asked, Ankush shook his head in negative appreciating the trust he had on him.
Sam followed the trail of red rose petals, her face beaming with a smile and her heart racing with anticipation. Neil had messaged her to come to the terrace and she found the stairs leading to the terrace adorned with rose petals and candles on the sides. Her hand automatically covered her mouth in awe looking at the arrangements Neil had made for them, a candle light dinner for two people was set under the full moonlight with the flower petals surrounding the whole place, it reminded her of the day he had proposed marriage to her. “you like?” came his husky voice from behind her.
She placed her hands over his that were around her middle, he rested his chin on her shoulder and she sagged back into him “I love it” she replied softly. Ever since their scare outside the restaurant Sam has been jittery, she feared to go out so Neil brought an outing to her, he pecked her cheek deep “why do you love me so much?”
He turned her around “tough question” he tapped his chin thinking “do I get multiple choices?”
She playfully punched him on his shoulder “Neil…” she dragged.
“okay…okay…” he sighed “honestly I don’t know, it could be your because of your big kind heart or because you are my best friend or maybe because of your intelligent brain” he snaked his hand around her waist pulling her close and she gasped at the sudden force he used on her, he leaned on her ear and whispered in a smoky voice “or maybe because you an amazing lover”
“Neil…” she trailed but this time her voice was gentle, she wondered how his touch made her mind go haywire even after all these years of living together, sometimes she thought he was either a magician or she was too sensual.
He cupped her face with one hand and tugged her face close to his “will you keep talking or..” he brushed his lips over hers and she wetted her lips in anticipation “eat too, am starving” her face became disappointed and he laughed at her.
She pushed him from her “you are an idiot” she said irritated.
“then that makes you a much bigger idiot for marrying an idiot” he retorted and she had no choice but laugh.
His phone rang and stepped aside to answer the call “it’s detective Ludwig here, am sorry to ring you at this hour but it’s urgent”
Neil turned to look at Sam and saw her already seated on one of the chairs sipping the juice kept on the table “yes, go ahead detective” he answered in a low voice so that she doesn’t hear him.
“am afraid what you suspected could be true, Justin has been out of jail for years now, he was freed for good behaviour after six months of serving his term, he was then seen taking shooting classes at the local range but no one had seen or heard from him in the last two years”
Neil let out an audible sigh, Sam’s former boss Justin Crane who had also attempted to force himself on her years ago was now roaming free, they had managed to put him away and he thought that problem was over but when Ludwig asked if they had any enemies then only Justin came to his mind and he shared the same with the detective without Sam’s knowledge “do you think he could be the one who shot at us?”
“it’s possible, I asked around and people who knew him said he was obsessed about a girl, there is a 99% chance that woman is your wife. I advise you to take care and be alert”
“I will keep you posted if anything else comes up and don’t hesitate to call me if you find something”
“who was it?” Sam asked the moment he sat down.
“Chashni, reminding me about a meeting tomorrow” he lied not wanting to worry her.
Hearing Radhika’s name she recalled her conversation with Piyali the other day “Neil..” she called him nervously and he shifted his gaze from his plate to her “papa has made some bad business decisions and now he in short of money, do you think..?”
“Of course” he replied before she could finish “you dad is like my dad too” she smiled that he read her worries before she could state them “how much does he need?”
“I’ll find out and tell you” she answered quickly and he smiled a small one his mind still occupied with a nightmare called Justin.
Arjun was disturbed, there were a thousand possibilities yet not even a single theory about how his father had died, he was poisoned and the chances were the poisoned was mixed in a drink but who and why would anyone want his father dead that was still a mystery. From the unedited birthday party footage they were able to found out the time when Ankush added the white powdery substance that he claimed to be sugar into the drink that resembled whiskey in appearance to be exactly 3:54pm, but his father had died at exactly 7:12pm and according to the forensic report Ajay Mehra was poisoned approximately an hour or less before his death. With that new found evidence Ankush was cleared of any suspicions in the homicide case of his father.
On the other hand Edward kept refusing them any contact with his wife, though Tina might have had a motive to kill Ajay considering her past he had no evidence against her and his suspicion was not conclusive enough to issue a citation for Tina so that she could be forced to give her statement about the case. He was back where he had started.
Confused, tired and stressed he found himself wondering in his father’s bedroom, everything looked the same as it was when he was alive. He sat on the bed hugging a frame with Ajay’s photograph close to his heart, all he needed was a sign, just a clue and he would move mountains to track the murderer, he knew time was the only thing he could not afford to lose, the more time passes the colder the case would get.
He felt a hand caressing his head and opened his eyes, he had dozed off in his father’s room. Radhika gave him a painful smile, she hated to see him like that, so weak, so helpless “lets go to bed” he nodded and she left giving him some time alone.
He straightened the bedsheets and put the photo frame back on top of the dresser where a few more photo frames were placed. The top drawer of the dresser was slightly open and he could see his father’s wallet, he opened the drawer and took the wallet out to see whose picture his father had inside his wallet. He smiled seeing his mother’s picture “I hope you two are together now” he said caressing the photo. Something else caught his attention inside that wallet, bewilderment transformed his features when he took out Radhika’s ATM card “how did this get here?” why would Ajay have Radhika’s ATM card in his wallet?
Entering his bedroom he saw Radhika walking out of the bathroom, it seemed that she had gone to change into her night dress, standing by the dressing mirror she was brushing her hair humming to some tune “sweetheart your ATM card…”
“you wont believe what happened today..” she cut him in, she took some papers from her purse, handed them to him and went back to brushing her hair. Arjun looked at the papers, it was a bank statement, her bank statement “the bank stole from me” she said in a high pitched tone.
Arjun read the papers, in it they were two transactions highlighted by a yellow marker and one in green marker, all three transactions were in the name of Ajay Mehra “what’s this?”
Radhika put the brush down and turned to him “they took money in my account and say that dad did it, but I only wrote dad one check three months ago when he was going to buy his new car remember? Then who cashed those other two checks in his name?”
Arjun clearly remembered that Radhika had gifted Ajay a new car for his birthday but since she wanted him to get a car of his choice she had given him a check of one hundred thousand pounds. The bank statement showed two more cashed in checks in his father’s name, one of 6 million pounds cashed in two months ago and one of ten million pounds cashed in on July 4th, just a day before he died. First the ATM card and now this, what the hell was going on?
“aren’t they supposed to notify you when a withdrawal is this huge?”
“that’s were I caught them, I asked them the same and they said they didn’t feel it was necessary because he was my father-in-law, such bullshit I tell you”
“so what are they going to do now?”
“they are searching for the CCTV footage of those day and those times to know who cashed in those checks but am sure they will find nothing, they stole from me and am going to sue them”
He held her by the shoulders “you relax, I will look into this”
She smiled “I don’t want to burden you, you already have too much to worry about”
He pecked her forehead “it’s about my father and maybe this relates to his death” she nodded and wrapped her arms around his middle burying her face deep in his chest.
Arjun’s mind was running in different directions, if those checks were actually cashed in by Ajay then his father had forged Radhika’s signature to get the money but why would his father go to such length and if he did took the money then where is it? What did he do with the money? Sixteen million pounds was no small amount that can be spent in a day or vanish without a trace. Is this the clue he was looking for?
So finally Ankush got cleared and Justin could be responsible for the shootout haunting NeSam. Good Job Brin for guessing correctly ???
Now what will this new clue lead to?
Love you guys ?????