Azure here with the next chapter in the story.
Let me know if you would like me to continue with the other story instead of this one.
Ria Khanna – Ragini
Shiv Kapoor – Sanskar
Lav Khanna – Laksh
Shikha Lav Khanna – Swara
Sharad Khanna – Shekhar
Jaya Khanna – Janki
Deepak Kapoor – DP
Aarti Kapoor – AP
Arun Kapoor – Adarsh
Preeti Kapoor – Parineeta
Ria’s phone rang. She scrambled to find it in her bag and pulled it out as soon as she could. Before she could do anything with it, a hand snatched it from hers.
She turned to see Shiv disconnecting the call and turning the phone to mute. She tried to take it back, but he tried to hold on to it. The phone almost slipped from their hands for a second, between their tussle, before Shiv caught it, just as it was about to drop down.
They sat frozen for a second.
In a distance someone yelled “I heard something. I think they are here”
Shiv looked at her. His jaws clenched. He was definitely angry. Ria could see it in his eyes.
They could hear footsteps moving towards them.
She quickly pulled the phone from his hands, trying to avoid his eyes. Just then the phone rang again. Thankfully silently this time. She saw the name flashing. It said ‘Mom’
Her mother had the worst timing of all! The call had to come right when Ria was perched dangerously on a high branch of a tree. Trying her best to be silent. And most of all hiding.
1 hour ago
Ria had tried to hail another car – quite unsuccessfully. It seemed that no one had been willing to give her a lift to the nearest town. She was struck. In every way possible. Stuck in middle of no-where.
Standing on her feet in the hot afternoon sun for the past hour and half, in her 4 inch Louboutin stilettoes, had been more exhausting than she had first imagined. She sat down on a milestone marker that she saw a few feet away from her, resting her head on her hands just for a second.
She was disturbed by the sound of a car stopping nearby. She looked up; hopeful. She shouldn’t have; because the moment her eyes fell on the passengers inside the car, she knew it would only spell trouble.
It was a jeep and inside it were 4 men who would have best been described as bulked up goons with gold chains dangling down their necks.
Ria’s hands immediately went to her handbag, searching for her handy pepper spray. Shit! That was the only thing going through her mind the second she realized that it wasn’t there and also the reason why. She glanced over to the direction where she had last seen Shiv. He had her pepper spray and he was no-where to be seen. Double shit!
“Come with us” one of the men said
“I don’t want a lift” Ria told them firmly. She knew she had to be firm. She couldn’t afford to show fear.
“You didn’t hear us properly” another one said “we were telling you, not asking you”
“My answer is the same” Ria remained firm, but she knew she had to do something. They weren’t just going to go away.
Taking a chance, she took a few steps back from them. They got down from the jeep. She expected that. She stepped back some more, still keeping an eye on them, before she ran into the forest a few steps.
Ria’s eyes scanned the surroundings for something, anything, to use as a weapon before they fell on what looked like a sturdy branch. She threw her handbag a some distance away and picked up the branch, turning to face them.
“Come with us. Fighting is futile. It will hurt you more than us” one of them warned her
Ria took a defensive stance, holding the branch firmly in her hand, ready to hit anyone trying to come close to her.
“And I am telling you, back off!” Ria warned them. She knew she might not necessarily be able to stand against 4 hefty men, but she would be damned if she gave up without serious damage to them. “You don’t know what I am capable of”
“She is telling the truth” a voice said from behind the goons.
They turned around. Shiv raised his hands, signaling them that he posed them no threat, as he moved around them, and towards her.
“Look you really don’t want to mess with her. She is a mental case and her brother is a psychopath” Shiv told them, looking sincere
“Don’t call my brother that. Why are you even here? This is because of you. I swear….” Ria ranted
“See!” Shiv cut her “What did I tell you. She is dangerous to the health of any sane person”
“We know how to handle insane women” one of them replied, looking suspiciously as Shiv “You think about yourself. If you don’t want to end up dead, get out of here”
“Hey! Don’t hurt me. I am not with her. I was just trying to save you some trouble” Shiv said
“You jerk!” Ria yelled from behind him
“Look can I tell you something?” Shiv asked them sincerely
The men looked at him skeptically, but he took a few cautious steps towards them. “See the thing is….” Shiv began explaining as they looked at him.
Before they could do anything, Shiv quickly pulled out the pepper spray in his hands and sprayed three of them, in the eyes, with it. The fourth one had quickly shut his eyes, hearing the screams of the other three.
Ria walked towards the one who wasn’t hit with the pepper spray and wacked him between his legs. He went down screaming. The moment he opened his eyes in shock, Shiv sprayed him with the pepper spray. That would keep them occupied for sometime, Shiv was sure.
Ria had other things in mind. She walked over to the next one and wacked him as well.
Shiv turned to look at her with eyes wide. In shock. And not because she was wacking them.
“Great! Why don’t you hit all of them? Take you time. Let them get over the effect of the pepper spray” Shiv said
Ria looked at him and back at them again. She gritted her teeth but threw the branch away. She started walking towards the road
“That’s right. Let’s go to the place where they can easy find us. Perfect plan” Shiv said shaking his head, throwing his hands in the air
Ria paused for a second and picked up her bag, that was lying by her foot “I was picking up my bag” she told him, before walking past him into the jungle. She was fibbing but he didn’t need to know that.
“Right!” Shiv mutter to himself before following her
Ria was striding through the jungle, her hands clenched around the straps of the bag. Her face rigid
“Let walk even more slowly, shall we?” Shiv commented walking past her “That way they will have more of a chance to catch us”
Shiv shot her a look. Ria returned it, her jaw still clenched. Shiv raised his eyebrows in challenge. She shut her eyes for a second before opening them and then breaking into a run. He was right, the goons would find them if they didn’t put some distance.
Shiv shook his head but broke into a run himself.
They reached an open plain in the forest, after they had run for what felt like 25-30 minutes. It was secluded, as was most of the forest.
“I think they are far behind us now” Ria commented, panting
“You think” came Shiv’s quick response.
Ria was itching to respond, but she held back. With great difficulty. Catching her breath was more important than he prick who seemed keen to annoy her. And what was worse was that the run didn’t seem to have made much of a dent on him as it has on her.
“I think we should go this way now” Ria said, pointing to a path that ran parallel to the one they had taken into the jungle. She hoped the goons would have gone by now and they might be able to get back to the road and find a way out of this place
“This way” Shiv commented, pointing to another road, within the jungle. This one would mean they would be walking through the jungle itself, but parallel to the road that they had run away from
“I don’t think so” Ria countered
“I am taking this way” Shiv told her firmly
“And I am taking this one” Ria said pointing to her original choice
“Okay. Best luck” Shiv said with a shrug of his shoulders
Ria looked at him for a second, before storming out along her chosen path. She had barely walked five minutes when she heard them. They were at a distance, but they were coming her way.
Ria panicked and retraced her steps back to the secluded open area. It was just as she had left it. That is except for Shiv.
Ria’s heart hammered in her chest. She was alone. He had left her alone. True, they hated each other, but there were some rules of humanity. But then what could she expect from him.
“Idiot” she muttered as she stood by a tree
“Ahem” she heard someone clear their throat. She looked at the source of the noise and found Shiv. He had not left her alone after all. But what was he doing on the tree?
“Why are you on a tree?” She asked him
“Your fans are following us all the way over here. They are just a few minutes away from this spot. It is either the tree or whatever they have planned for us. Take your pick” Shiv told her
Ria looked at him “I cannot climb a tree in my Louboutins” she stated pointing to her shoes
“Suit yourself then. Best luck with your fans” Shiv told her
“You are going to just sit there while those goons come and get me?” Ria asked shocked.
Shiv shrugged his shoulders “I have no intention of dying at this young age”
Ria was angry. Angry at him. The idiot!
“Ummm. They are going to get here any minute” Shiv reminded her “So either climb up and rush off”
Ria looked around. There wasn’t much out there to hide. Anywhere she ran, she was likely to be out in the open. She sighed and took off her shoes. Shoving the heels in her back pocket, she started to climb up the branches. She had never done this before, she wasn’t sure she could, but calamity teaches a lot and this sure was one.
Both of them had sat together on the branch, in silence, as the goons had searched the place for more than half an hour. The goons had finally been on the verge of giving up and leaving them alone when her phone had rung for the first time.
As Ria looked at her phone, unsure what to do, it buzzed again. This was the third time her mom was calling her.
Below them, the goons had started their search afresh.
Talk about being stuck between rock and a hard place!
Links to previous chapters