Hi friends, how are you all doing? I hope you are having a nice weekend so far. It’s been a long time and I can only hope that you haven’t forgotten this story. Without talking much, I present you with another chapter of chasing destiny. Enjoy……
CHAPTER SEVEN – DESPERATE MEASURES
The morning sun coloured the sky in a beautiful shade of blue, birds chirped their usual greetings and joining them that early was Ankush doing his morning jog. His pace increased with every passing second, he needed to sweat off the bitterness that had crept into his marriage. He hated fighting with Priya but he just couldn’t digest the fact that she distrust him so much as to accuse him of murder and that of her own father. Her words maybe said in grief or confusion had turned him sour towards her nonetheless.
He returned home and jumped into the showers childishly avoiding any face to face encounters with his wife. Though he didn’t like the situation they were in now on the other hand he did enjoy the efforts Priya made to get him talking.
Wrapping a towel around his middle he took out a white shirt from his closet to wear for the day but had to change his mind when he found all the buttons missing. “how childish” he mumbled to himself looking for another option. Like the first shirt he had picked out every single formal shirt in his wardrobe looked the same, buttonless.
Grabbing a few shirts he walked out to find Priya in the kitchen making breakfast, Mala along side Dilip and the kids had gone out early morning for a special prayer at the temple so he had no other choice but to talk to his wife. “this is stupid” Priya crossed her arms over her chest uncaring and he sighed “this is a stupid way of getting me to talk to you”
She smiled “but it work didn’t it?”
Ankush put the shirts in her hands “fix this” he growled.
She threw his shirts on the hardwood floor “not until you forgive me”
His jaw hung law “so you are blackmailing me now?”
She punched him on the arm “blackmail?” She punched him again “you are the one blackmailing me” Her eyes shimmered with unshed tears “you are the one giving me the cold shoulder, do you know how hurtful that is?” A few tears fell from her eyes and she wiped them abruptly “I don’t know if you are mad at me or if you hate me or you.. ”
Rest of her words were swallowed by his lips that moved desperately over hers with all the passion he has been holding back for so many days and she kissed him back with equal ferver. They broke the kiss when it was necessary to breath, Priya wrapped her arms around him “does this mean you don’t hate me?”
He caressed her face with his finger “I can never hate you”
“You forgave me?” She asked naively and he nodded with an assuring smile plastered on his face. She rested her head on his bare chest and he ringed his arms all around her caging her in. “I’m sorry” she said low “I know I’ve hurt you and am really sorry Ankush, I don’t know what got into me that day” She heaved a sigh “I can be really stupid sometimes”
“That you are” he added instantly causing her to pull back but he didn’t leave his hold around her.
“You are calling me stupid?” Her nostrils flared.
He chuckled “you removed every button from all my shirts, that alone says a lot about your intelligence” she laughed musing at her own antics “when did you even get the time to do all that?”
“Last night” she replied laughing.
“Now what am I going to wear to work?”
She gave him a once over “you like nice in this, you don’t need clothes” He raised a brow and she just smiled in return, a soft squeal left her mouth when he picked her up unceremoniously “what are you doing?” She asked clueless though her tone had already given her away.
“Do you want me to spell it for you or just show you?” Her cheeks flustered with his husky voice, wrapping her arms around his neck she pecked his lips as he walked them both to their bedroom. Five years of marriage two kids and still he can make her feel like a teenager. “You owe me a lot than one kiss” he added teasingly enjoying the change of colour on her skin.
With the radio tuned to her favourite channel, the female RJ voice boomed in the house through the speakers while she diligently sliced the onions. Chopping them into finely small cubes she mixed the contents into her other ingredients just as the Dj played ‘what if I’ her favorite song, this is why she loved this morning show.
Humming to the tune and singing along every now and then Tina beat the eggs for the omelette she was going to prepare. Edward standing at a distance from the kitchen observed her with mixed feelings, how can she be so calm and composed with him while she was so desperately begging Jai to take her back just two days ago.
Setting the table she called out to him for breakfast all happy and chirpy, Edward walked to the table and she smiled seeing him “you going to love this new recipe I tried” she sing sang.
He couldn’t keep the charade any longer, he couldn’t just pretend he knew nothing and look at her in the face calmly like she was doing “I know everything Tina” Her brows snapped together “I know you met Jai that day after leaving the hospital and I know all that you talked about” His eyes ran all over her face “I was there” he finished as his face turned grave in anticipation for the outcome of their conversation, will she confess that she doesn’t love him? Will she want to leave him?
Edward was a smart man, he was in the police after all but he was a fool when it came to Tina and Tina knew that fact all too well, she knew exactly what to do to manipulate him to her side.
Her lips pursed “you were following me, you don’t trust me?”
“It’s not like that”
“It’s exactly like that” she shouted “you followed me because you don’t trust me, even after all these years I have given to you and to us you still don’t trust me”
He sighed, there was no point arguing with her and frankly he wasn’t a person to entertain confrontations “do you love him?”
She shook her head astonished “see, you don’t trust me” she accused him “and to answer your question, No. I don’t love him, if I do it’s only because he is my friend” She walked up to him, her eyes glistening with tears “and if I said to him that I love him it was only to gain his trust, I didn’t mean any of that”
“You didn’t mean anything when you talked about being a family?” He countered.
She smiled “I was going to surprise you but you’ve ruined it now” He looked on confused, what’s so exciting about her having a family with another man. “I met a lawyer and he advised me that I can revolt my daughter’s custody I gave to Jai”
“You denounced your rights over that child”
“Yes but at that time I wasn’t mentally stable and I was in prison, my then decisions can be legally overturned” She rounded her arms on his neck “but now am cured and have a stable life, I can get custody of Aria” She pecked his cheek “then we will all be a family, me, you and my daughter, our Aria. You can be a second father to her”
His heartbeats came down to normal, how gross of him to think so low of his wife, he knew Tina didn’t want to adopt and this was a best solution for them if her treatment doesn’t work “what about Jai?”
“Jai will always be her father and I don’t plan to take that away from him but I want to be her mother too”
“And I will be her step father”
She forehead creased “step father sounds so vile, you will be her second father” Edward hugged her tight to his chest in content and she hugged him back “you know I love you right?”
“I know and am sorry for doubting you” he pecked the top of her head “and thank you for giving me a family” Her lips turned up into a lopsided smile, this was so easy for her, drawing his trust towards her was just a piece of cake for her skill. But her words of starting a family were true, a family that will have her, her daughter and Jai, and nobody else.
Mishra Mini Supermarket.
Arjun straightened his shirt and locked his car outside the supermarket, the place was not new to him at all, he had been there several times, sometimes with Radhika and occasionally alone. But today he wasn’t stepping inside as the owner’s son in law neither as a customer, today he was detective Arjun Mehra of the Metropolitan serious crimes and homicide department meeting a civilian for questioning, a civilian that had all the possibilities of being his suspect.
If his father was being blackmailed then some kind of communication was used, he had his father’s computer checked, he went through every single mail and cross checked every number in his phone records but none had any connection with the blackmailer. It was either they used a kind of system he wasn’t aware about or his father wasn’t being blackmailed at all, he knew the latter wasn’t true and he will find all his answers through Dilip.
The sound of the bell when he pushed the door open made the young man at the register turn his eyes from the small TV mounted on the wall and to the door. He knew who Arjun was and smiled upon seeing him.
“why aren’t you in college today?” Arjun knew that Radhika was sponsoring his tuition and that he only worked there part time and in the evening so he could concentrate on his studies during the day, but it was just 10 in the morning.
“I’m fine, thanks for asking” he replied full of sarcasm “and I don’t have school for two weeks”
“I’m only protecting my wife’s investments” he emphasized on the word wife.
“Why do I get the feeling that you don’t like me?”
“Because you right, I don’t like you Karan or chotu or whatever” He huffed “I know you for who you really are Karan, I know for a fact that when you call my wife Di, you don’t really mean it because you have feelings for her, it’s written all over your face”
Karan laughed “so, you are jealous of me?”
“I’m appalled at your audacity” he answered unfazed “where is your boss?”
“In his office but he is in a meeting with a supplier, you should wait” he smirked “that is if you can stand me” he added humorous and laughed again.
Arjun just ignored him and looked around the store, the supermarket was proof of his father’s business skills, his intelligence that’s why he didn’t understand why Ajay didn’t share his worries with his son, if he had known this from before then maybe his father wouldn’t have been dead today.
“Arjun?” Dilip’s voice brought him out of his thoughts, he turned to see him bidding farewell to a man whom he concluded was the supplier Karan talked about. “What a surprise, how can I help you?”
“I’ll like to ask you something about dad’s case, can you spare me a minute?”
“Sure, let’s go to my office” Dilip led the way with Arjun tailing behind slowly “I’ve already told you everything I know though” he added closing the door behind them.
Arjun took a seat first “no you didn’t tell me everything, but no problem I now know all”
Dilip walked to his side of the table holding the top his chair still standing “what do you know?” He asked confounded.
Arjun’s eye didn’t leave his face “everything” he leaned back on the chair “I know that you are Destiny”
Shock transformed his features but only for a miniature second, Dilip pulled the chair and took a seat “who… told you that?”
“Bulls eye” Arjun mumbled an unheard one, he had only fired his shot in the dark but he was able to hit exactly the right target. Being so long in his profession he had seen all kinds of people but what always gets him to identify the liers from the honest is the people themselves, no matter how poker faced a person can be the micro expressions can’t be tamed and that’s what gives them away.
“Dad told me” he answered him “what I don’t understand is why were you blackmailing him?”
“Ajay was my friend”
“The real estate heard him talk on the phone with the blackmailer named Destiny, and dad’s phone record of that day and at that time shows that call was made to you”
“The call was made to my phone but not to me”
“To whom then?”
Dilip let out a deep sigh “to her, Destiny is a woman” Arjun’s forehead puckered as his brain marinated on the new information “Ajay never wanted you to know of this”
“Keeping information from the police makes you an accomplice” He rested his arms on the table “are you, are you an accomplice?”
Dilip looked at him with disbelief, his son in law would have never asked him something like that, but before him was a police officer investigating the homicide of his father. “He met her at the club house, Destiny is a very beautiful woman and the two had an affair”
“A what?” Affair what the last thing he expected to hear about his dad.
“He needed companionship just like anybody else, this is exactly why Ajay didn’t want you know, he didn’t want to be judged” his voice came out a notch higher than how it’s been all this while “she got some compromising pictures of him and started the blackmail, money on exchange of her discretion”
“Why didn’t he seek help then?”
“Because she threatened him to expose the pictures if he told the matter to anyone else”
Arjun shook his head disapproving with him “then how do you know everything, and the phone call?”
“I was in on the secret from the beginning, she’d contact us first in person at the club house and gave us different locations to be at. On the day of the delivery she’d meet me first and use my phone to contact Ajay, she’d then take me to a different location where we would meet Ajay and the exchange would take place, she never used her phone”
Arjun got off the seat, rage radiating from his body “and what stopped you from telling me, if his hands were tied yours weren’t, if you’d have told me about this earlier then maybe I’d have saved him”
“They threatened to kill my family”
“And the only way to save your family was not by keeping quiet but getting her arrested” he shouted.
“Do you think we didn’t try? Do you think we didn’t want to get her apprehended” he replied equally angry “she is not alone, they have a network, a gang that runs these sorts of crimes. We tried following her once and we got surrounded by them. The only reason they let us live was because Ajay was their golden goose”
Silence hovered over them for a few minutes as each composed his temper “I don’t think she killed him, Destiny wouldn’t have killed Ajay when her job was to get money off of him” Dilip said softly.
“That’s my job to investigate not yours to speculate”
“The price was a hundred million pounds and she has taken only 46 million so far”
Arjun still kept a dead expression on his face “you saw her, can you describe her in front of a sketch artist?” Dilip nodded “good, come to the station tomorrow, I need her sketch made as soon as possible”
He turned to leave, he was about to walk out of the door when Dilip called him “son” he halted in his track but didn’t turn around “If I kept quiet it was because Ajay wanted me to”
“That still doesn’t atone your sins, he is gone partly because you couldn’t gather enough courage to call for help for him” with that he left the place, with long strides he got into his car and dialled his team to arrange for a sketch artist as soon as possible. Giving the store one last glance he turned the ignition on and zoomed away.
It was the place to go if you enjoyed taking care of your food, healthy food for a healthy life. Sam had always been health conscious, wouldn’t eat anything that would harm her body and she wanted the same for her entire family though sometimes her meals didn’t live up to the taste buds of others, healthy isn’t always tasty.
For any health meal, fresh unprosessed ingredients are a must and the place to get those was the farmers market. Everything from vegetables to flowers, from meat to fish, from cheese to milk you will get them there fresh from the source. Different stalls with different varieties of food products defined the busy market packed with buyers.
Sam dragged her son through different stands taking things off her shopping list, why did she even bring him with her, he was just a distraction but Kiaan wouldn’t stop crying when she was about to leave him so she gave up and took him along.
“Oh – Oh” he covered his mouth with his palm seeing the mess he had made, his attempt to touch spinach resulted in a couple of the vegetable falling on the ground.
Sam looked at her son who now had the perfect puppy eye expression on his face, the trick he used to get him out of trouble everytime he realised he did wrong “sorry mummy” he said all so innocently.
She turned to the vendor and the man wasn’t happy at all, his bushy brows drew together and his hairy arms popping out of the red overall crossed over his chest. “I’ll take those too” she said smiling sheepishly at the man who quickly packed the greens with her other products.
Paying the bill they walked away only to stop a short distance away to buy some fruits. “mummy, look fish” Kiaan squealed happily looking at the goldfish swimming in it’s glass bowl.
“Wait a minute” Sam replied her mind on the apples but Kiaan wasn’t having on of it. He started tugging on her shirt telling her to see the fish. “Kiaan stop” she raised her voice a bit the boy obliged.
She finished her purchase and turned to him picking up the bags but he was not there, she looked around and only crowds f busy people met her eyes “Kiaan” she called out her eyes searching every corner but there was no sign of him. She turned to the vendor “did you see where my son went?”
“Sorry, ma’am I didn’t” was the reply she didn’t want to hear but it was what she received nonetheless.
She ran to the table selling goldfishes, Kiaan was talking about fish maybe he went there “excuse me, did you see a boy this tall” she showed a distance till her lower thighs “in a green sweater here?”
“Ah! Yes that cute boy, your son?” the young man behind the table replied and she nodded “he looked at the fishes and then ran towards those balloons” he explained pointing to a direction a small stall with balloons was at, Sam thanked him and ran there.
“Kiaan” she called his name panicky, when she didn’t find him there, he was not at the balloon stall nor at the vicinity, where will she even start looking for him “Kiaan” she called out every two seconds looking around, fear of losing him crawling into her heart.
“Mummy” she heard him from her back, Kiaan came running to his mom and Sam squated down to his height and took him in a tight embrace.
“You should never leave your kid unattended, you never know what might happens to him” A male voice made her to look up and the face behind that voice knocked the day lights out of her.
It can’t be, it can’t be him, she tried to tell herself but her mind knew she was seeing the right face, Justin, the man she never dreamed of seeing again stood right before her eyes. She paled, beads of sweat formed on her forehead, her heart started to race. “Somebody could have taken him” he added on his previous sentence, does this mean he was watching her all this time?
Quickly she got onto her feet and holding Kiaan’s hand tightly she ran out of there, she didn’t even care if her shopping was done or not she just dumped everything into the car and secured Kiaan on baby seat. Turning the ignition on she looked back at the market only to see her nightmare standing just feet away from her car with a smirk dangling on his lips, she pressed on the gas pedal and screeched out of there, hopefully she will reach her home without getting into an accident.
So finally I was able to finish this chapter, I was fearing if I don’t write this story any time soon then I’d forget about it.
How was the questioning between Arjun and Dilip?
Tina is dangerous, Justin is stalking, at least Priya and Ankush are okay again. Tell me your reviews, I’ll be waiting for them.
Do vote and/or comment and thank you for reading.
Till next time….