Hello dear friends, here’s another chapter, another attempt to entertain u all, pls do tell me your views and suggestions on this and thank u all so much. Enjoy……
Kensington Police Station
Arjun reached the station before Edward, he drove so fast that it took him 6mins instead of the usual thirty to reach the station. Standing at the entrance he saw Edward’s car approaching him, with long strides he was near him as soon as he got out of the car. Since her interview Arjun had Tina followed bcoz he felt like she was hiding something and so Edward and another officer working undercover as they were doing at stake out outside Tina’s apartment saw her coming back home when a bike stopped just behind her car, the bike rider still covering his face with a helmet walked up to her, pulled out a gun targeting her but the officers apprehended him before he was able to do any harm.
Arjun: “where is he?” and Edward opened the back seat door taking the man in question out, he looked young probably in his late 20s, his face covered in tattoos. As they were taking him inside the station, the man suddenly gave out a loud painful grunt and slumped in their hands “what the hell?” asked a baffled Arjun and looked at him only to find him bleeding and with a bullet wound on his back, he was shot from the back but it was a straight perfect shot to the heart “somebody shot him”
Edward ran to the building near them hoping to still find the shooter while Arjun called for an ambulance, he tried to get some information from him but it was all in vain in just a few minutes the man died. Edward came back panting heavily and Arjun asked him if he found the man “no, I was too late… but I found this” he said as he hand him a white envelope. It was identical to both the one they found at the murder scene and the one Tina received and had the same message inside “YOU WILL PAY FOR YOUR SINS”
Arjun watched a nervous and terrified Tina through the glass window of the interrogation room, they had cross checked her story and it was all true, a bike did come that night and his rider threw a letter and it was the same bike and the same rider who tried to kill her today. Why was she attacked, does she have the same enemy as Amrish or she was attacked bcoz she was a witness to something? he asked himself.
He went into the room and pulled a chair near her “how are u feeling now?”
Tina: “am scared… what if he tries to kill me again?”
Arjun: “he won’t, he is dead” Tina was shocked by that piece of information and he explained further “we traced that bike’s registration number and we found out that his name was Edison Abbey … does that ring a bell?” but she nodded negative. That wasn’t the only information they had found, Edison Abbey aka the stinger was a drug addict and was a member of a former Irish mafia gang, since his gang went down the ashes he was doing small dirty jobs for people who offered him money and he had also been arrested twice for theft but never got any long sentence. Arjun knew that he was probably paid to deliver the letter and attack Tina so the real mastermind was still at large.
Arjun held Tina’s hand “look, I want to help u but I can’t do that until u are completely honest with me… if u know anything please tell me… or atleast tell me who do u suspect, who do u think can try to kill u”
Tina thought for a second and was about to talk when Jai entered the interrogation room. “Tina are u okay” Tina didn’t answer instead she went and hugged tight crying her fears out “what happened to her?” he asked looking at Arjun who told him that Tina was attacked an hour ago.
Arjun wanted to keep questioning her but Jai asked to take her home since she was still terrified about what had happened, Arjun agreed but couldn’t help but ask “how come u are here?”
Jai: “Tina called me”
Arjun: “what’s the relation btn u two?”
Jai: “she’s my friend”
Arjun: “just friends?”
Jai: “yes, like u and Neil or like u and Sam and like u and Radhika, Tina and I are just friends”
Arjun let them leave though he knew Jai was lying bcoz Tina didn’t have her cellphone neither was she granted a phone call at the station, so the story that Tina called him was all a lie but he didn’t confront him, he let him dig his own grave and if he is really guilty he will bury him in that same grave.
Priya brought her dad coffee in his study, she put the coffee cup on the table and started to leave when Ajay stopped her “u do know who to vote for, right?”
Priya meekly answered “yes papa”
Ajay: “don’t yes papa me… tell me who are u supposed to vote for… bcoz if u are still clueless just sell your shares to someone sensible”
Priya: “I will vote for u papa”
Ajay: “good… Arjun isn’t home yet?”
Priya: “no, he will be late… he is out with Radhika” Ajay didn’t look pleased hearing that his son was with the girl he considered his enemy but Priya added “he loves her” and left the study.
Ajay waited eagerly for Arjun to come back, he had found an opportunity in his love interest. Arjun was surprised to find his dad awake “I thought u would be fast asleep by now” he flung the words as he walked towards his bedroom.
Ajay halted his steps with his words “I know u love Radhika, Priya told me” Arjun turned and looked at his father with surprise and confusion “am proud of your choice son, she is a nice girl”
Arjun smiled, it was the first time his dad was proud of him “thanks dad, this means a lot to me” he said and went to hug his father.
They broke the hug after sometime and Ajay spoke “if u want I can talk to Dilip and ask for her hand in marriage… I will do it tomorrow itself”
Arjun chuckled at his dad’s eagerness “dad… relax… Radhika doesn’t even know yet that I love her”
Ajay: “no problem, I will talk to her then… she needs to see me as his father-in-law and support her future family… if the board gets to know that she will marry into my family and she supports me I can be the new president”
Arjun felt like he was hit by a bus, that was his father, the man standing in front him telling him to take advantage of the woman he loved was his very own father “I should have known u never do anything unless it benefits u… u disgust me” he spitted the words with hurt.
Ajay: “watch your tongue Arjun… am your father”
Arjun: “that’s my had luck… and if u dare say anything to her I will walk out on u”
Ajay: “don’t act the victim with me… u are not an ideal son either… I am as much disappointed with u as u are with me” Arjun not wanting to take the matter far just left his house leaving a fuming Ajay behind.
Ice Cream Parlor
Neil called Sam for an afternoon cold creamy delicious treat but his intention was to get her and Radhika talking again, he was tired of watching them sit silently every time they went out together. Sam crushed on the seat tiredly “My God! it’s so hot” she complained.
Neil: “I have ordered your favourite ice cream already”
Sam’s face beemed with glee “that’s why I love u Neil”
Ice cream arrived, Neil had ordered her a big bowl of mango flavoured ice cream and she relished the creamy taste. Sam was enjoying her ice cream when Neil asked “don’t u miss Chashni?” Sam took a deep breath and Neil again said “she is leaving next week”
Sam was surprised “what… next week…?”
Neil: “what happened btn u two, tell me so that I can help u patch up… am fed up with the silent treatment u two are giving each other… what’s the deal here?”
Sam: “it’s my mistake, she won’t forgive me Neil… I have hurt her so much” Neil insisted to know what had taken place btn them but before she could tell him the back story Radhika arrived since Neil had called her too.
Radhika understood why Neil called them both “I have nothing to say to her Neil” she stated and turned to leave but Neil stopped her and made her sit before ordering ice cream for her. “ice cream won’t change anything Neil”
Neil waited till her ice cream was brought to the table and she silently started to dig in causing him to smile “look I have known u two since u were tiny babies” and both the girls rolled their eyes at his statement “u have always been best friends, u are sisters” Sam and Radhika looked at each other and smiled and Neil continued “Sam, when u were bullied in school bcoz of your skin color, who broke those kids noses and got suspended for two weeks?” Sam looked at Radhika who laughed recalling that day when her classmate thought she was possesed with Bruce Lee’s spirit. Looking at Radhika “and Chashni when u were teased for being fat, who wore multiple pieces of clothing just so she could look fat and be laughed at instead of u?” Radhika glanced at Sam who chuckled remembering all the rashes she had gotten after that attempt. “I have many more examples like this… I want to remind u both that your bond is stronger than any anger u might be feeling now… u have always fought but never stayed this long without talking to each other but I have had enough… none of u leaving this table until u have talked out all the issues btn u two” he ordered and went to wait in the car giving them space.
Sam: “Chashni, that day I was angry… I really didn’t think things through and I… ”
Radhika: “and u accused me of being a sl*t … Kabir’s words didn’t hurt me that much as your words did Sam” tears were visible in her eyes “Ridhi di has always taunted me but I never took any of that to heart bcoz I had u… I had a sister I always wanted… but then u turned out like her… Kabir tried to… and u… u supported… ” her voice was breaking, tears were running down her eyes, she was pained thinking of the past she never wanted to remember, a bile rose to her throat and it was getting hard for her to breath, she wiped her tears and left her alone.
Sam who was also crying called out to her but she didn’t pay heed to any of it “am sorry Chashni” she whispered btn her sobs as she recalled how the misunderstanding started btn them.
************ Flashback ************
University College London – 3yrs Ago
There were the last day of college, graduating students were completing the last formalities before the big farewell. Radhika was tired of explaining to Sam that Louis wasn’t a good guy, Sam was stubborn, she wanted to date him but Radhika knew he will just leave after getting what he wanted from her so she decided to take matters into her own hands. Radhika sent a message to Louis calling him alone to the college gym, Radhika wearing jeans short and t-shirt waited for him with a hidden camera ready to capture his misdeeds so she can later show the footage to Sam proving her words that Louis was no good.
Louis like a pervert that he was looked at her attire with lusting eyes “like what u see?” asked Radhika in a seductive voice.
Louis: “u know am dating your sister, right? … but damn! If I wasn’t too haste I wouldn’t have missed this s*xy body of yours”
Radhika pretended that she was also sad “what to do now… we have both missed on what could be a hot, steamy and pleasurable relationship”
Louis: ” but I thought u hated me”
Radhika placed her hand on his shoulder attaching herself to him “I was only trying to gain your attention… why do u think then I am so against u going out with Sam… bcoz I want u all to myself” brushing her fingers along his chest and staring seductively at him “I want ravish every bit of u”
Louis completely affected with her words, looked his arm around her waist “to hell with Sam, I didn’t like her that much any way… I just needed a time pass bcoz I was bored… she is blunt like but u are spicy as a chili… I was going to dump her any way so I will do it sooner, what’s the big deal… I will give her the boot the moment I see her sorry face”
Radhika was so angry at his words that she wanted to punch his teeth out but stopped herself bcoz he deserved a slap from Sam first, she fisted her hand controlling her anger and smiled a fake one at him “good choice, coz Sam won’t be able to give u what I can”
Sam who was standing at the slightly opened door, saw and heard everything but she didn’t know it was Radhika’s plan or that she was recording everything to show it to her later got the biggest shock of her life thinking that her sister and bff betrayed her. She left that place feeling hurt and deceived.
********** End of Flashback **********
Sam wiped her tears and left leaving other customers bewildered at the scene that took place before their eyes.
Taste Farm Offices
Radhika and Trudeau locked themselves in Amrish’s office while Trudeau gave her the dos and don’ts that came with the inheritance since she had asked him about giving Jai the power of attorney. “u can’t hand over the inheritance or part of the inheritance to anyone else … that’s the first clause… u can’t under any circumstances let anybody else manage your inheritance on your behalf… and as long as u are the 51% owner of Taste Farm u can’t desert your responsibities, u have to get involved with the company’s activities… those are the three clauses u have to abide by for atleast three years after accepting the inheritance”
Radhika: “why didn’t u tell me this before?”
Trudeau: “u never asked me before”
Radhika: “I have a job in LA, I have to leave by next week”
Trudeau: “I have already talked to your boss about your transfer and he agreed… u can join their London office by next week and u will have the same position u had in LA”
Radhika: “why are u doing this?”
Trudeau: “am following your grandfather’s wishes”
Radhika: “did he know he was going to die?”
Trudeau: “he did… am afraid he did”
Radhika: “but why me?… why leave everything to me?… if he didn’t want Samrat uncle to inherit this then he could have chose someone else… he could have chose Jai or Sam or Ankush bhai or anybody… why me?”
Trudeau: “I asked him the same and he said Jai is too ambitious and stubborn and might lose everything down the drain… according to him Ankush is emotional and easy to fool… and he didn’t trust Samrat, he thought he can easily manipulate Sam, Piyali or your mother”
Radhika: “and he trusted me?”
Trudeau: “yes, I remember his exact words … he said he named u his heir bcoz u are just like him… strong willed, u don’t accept defeat and u will always do what is right… he trusted that u can make the right decisions” Radhika sighed unsure if she should be happy or sad “for your grandfather this company meant everything… it was his life… and he didn’t want it to go to the wrong hands… have faith in yourself, u can do this”
Tina knocked on the door and informed them that the board meeting was about to start. Inside the boardroom members gave their nominations, Samrat, Ajay and Pranay nominated themselves as expected, Radhika nominated Jai, she could have nominated Neil but just like her Neil wanted nothing to do with the presidency and Ankush seconded her nomination, Mr. Baldwin one of the board members was also nominated and lastly Mr. Iyer nominated Radhika and with that there were six nominees who were given two days to prove themselves capable for the position.
Those two days were spent like a race among the nominees and like a new idea expo for the board, new projects, business expansion ideas, new alliances, every nominee except Radhika came up with something beneficial for the company. After a two days discussion came the decision day, six candidates and twenty board members, twenty votes were cast and now it was time for the board’s choice to be declared.
Neil who had taken the responsibility to look after the free and fair election, read out each vote while Priya kept count. “one vote for Samrat…” and Samrat cynically smiled to his competitors as if telling them that he was taking the throne “one for Jai…” Ankush smiled at Jai he really wanted his brother to win and frankly Jai was the one who had proven himself best. “another one for Jai…” this time Jai smiled too along with Ankush. “one for Pranay…” announced Neil as he showed the piece of paper to the board vanishing any doubts and complaints “one for Ajay…” and Priya kept count.
After revealing fourteen votes, Jai was leading with five votes followed by Pranay with three, Ajay with three and Baldwin with two while Samrat still had his one vote, the smug was already wiped off Samrat’s face only tension was visible now. “one for Radhika…” stated Neil surprising her for she hadn’t even voted for herself “another one for Radhika…” he announced again and Radhika couldn’t just understand why would they vote for her when she had clearly said that she was not interested to run the company “another one for Radhika…” it was the third one and her tension rose and she silently prayed that, that should be the last of it but it seemed as if God was also not on her side as Neil announced the fourth and then the fifth vote that were cast in her favour. Trudeau had taken upon himself the responsibility to make sure she gets elected by personally visiting every board member and informed them that Radhika was Amrish’s choice for the position and that they should trust in his trust.
Nineteen down only one to go, dismay in Pranay’s face and rage in Ajay’s, Samrat felt scorned while Jai was hopeful, Radhika wished it was all a dream and that she would wake in LA and go to work, she suddenly missed Isabel’s gossips “please God I dont want to be here” she prayed silently.
Neil took out the last of the votes and unfolded the small white piece of paper letting his eyes fall on the the handwriting as his readied himself to announce the final vote, Jai and Radhika were tensed beyond the word tension itself, Jai held her left hand and smiled at her she smiled back at him as he gently squeezed her hand. Neil held the paper for everyone to see for themselves “the last one for Mr. Baldwin…” none reacted, it was a tie btn Jai and Radhika. Samrat trying to take advantage of the situation suggested re-election as his last attempt to seat on his father’s chair but he was discouraged yet again and by Neil this time “we dont have the time… we’ve spent too much time already,the company needs a head and now”
Jai: “we can be co-presidents… that’s what the rules say,right?” he asked looking at Neil.
Neil: “yes, according to our board’s rules and regulation, two candidates with the same number of votes can share responsibilities… If u two are okay with it, we will have co-presidents”
Radhika wanted to protest thinking that was her chance to get away but Jai quickly spoke before her “we are okay with it” he announced smiling at her and it was official, Taste Farm had now two co-presidents.
Kensington Police Station
From the cellphone they had found with Edison, the police was able to get the list of calls he had received from the last one month. Among those they had found a number that contacted him a day before the day Tina claimed to receive the anonymous letter and on the day the attempt on her life was made, he figured that number has a connection to the letters and thus the murders.
Since it was a landline number he was waiting for the phone company to send him the address of the house from where the phone calls were made. His wait came to an end when he received a call from the telephone company “do u have the address?” he asked the moment he answered the phone.
“yes.. ” came the female voice with a British accent on the other end “it’s a house in Westminster… the address is 5667… Kylie Avenue… Westminster” she said while he copied down the address on a paper “the house is under… somebody Ken.. A.. ” struggled the voice with the name and Arjun asked her to just spell the name for him “it’s A. M. R. I. S. H. K. H. A… double N.. A”
Arjun thanked her and ended the call “Amrish Khanna?” he said puzzled at the new revelation, his work had doubled, Amrish Khanna was dead but someone had access to his house and it had to be someone from the family. He studied the address again and realised he had been to that house, they used to spend weekends in that house during their childhood, he knew that house very well. His wrinkled eyebrows straightened as his face adopted a eureka moment expression “Samrat uncle” he whispered.
Precap: Still thinking