Thanks so much for your patience. Sorry I couldnt write the last chapter and post it yesterday. Shoulder is much better now after some pain ointment. So I am back with the next chapter. Thanks for all your love always. Things are heating up in the story now. I hope you enjoy this as much as the romance – Azure
Ragini looked at Sanskar, worry clearly reflecting on her face “Sanskar they are best of friends. Why will he hold Laksh captive?” she asked him “This is a trap to get you. Please don’t go” she said, holding his hand.
“Ragini” he said cupping her face with his free hand “I know that it is very possible that this is just a trap, but I cannot take the chance. How will I face Badi Maa, Bade Papa or the rest of the family, if this is not a trap and he is really in danger?” He told her softly
“I don’t trust them” Ragini told him
“I don’t either” Sanskar agreed with her “But I still have to go”
“Let’s tell Adarsh Bhaiyaa” Ragini told him “He might have some way to help without you having to go”
“He is out. I don’t know how I can reach out to him without Aditya getting to know about it. He told me that he is monitoring everyone’s phone calls” Sanskar told her, gently running his thumb along her cheek
“What about Ranveer bhai?” Ragini said, feeling uneasy with the entire situation
“It the same with him. I cannot take the chance of calling him” Sanskar said “Bade Papa and Papa are out of town today. They will only get back late in the night. I don’t have any choice. I have to go to his farmhouse”
“Sanskar, please don’t. You don’t what he has planned for your there.” Ragini said, clutching his shirt in her hands
“I don’t think he is at the farmhouse” Sanskar told her gently “He wouldn’t have given me the location well in advance if he was there”
“Isn’t that more a reason to be prepared and to be cautious. They could hurt you” Ragini told him, tearing up “If something happens to you, I”
Sanskar cut her off with a finger on her lips “Do you trust me?” he asked her
“Have I ever broken a promise that I have made to you?” he asked. Seeing her shake her head, he continued “Then trust me with this. I promise I am going to come back to you” he told her resting his forehead against her and hugging her tight.
It was a little before half past seven that Sanskar walked down the stairs, along with Ragini, holding hands. He walked outside the house. Ragini held on to his hand, not willing to let go. Sanskar walked back towards her.
“Remember what we spoke about” he said softly, caressing her cheek looking into her eyes. Ragini nodded gently, but didn’t say anything. She didn’t need to, her eyes spoke and revealed what she was feeling “I know you are scared” he told her “I am too” he admitted gently “But I have to do this”
Ragini nodded, avoiding his eyes, as hers teared up.
“You have to be strong. You cannot let any of the women know about this” Sanskar remeinded her.
Sanskar kissed her forehead, before taking her hand off his. He walked away, stopping by his car for a second, before walking back. He pulled her into a deep intense kiss. “To hold me till I come back” he told her, before rushing back to the car.
He asked the guards to let him be and not follow him. He drove out of the driveway, with a quick flying kiss to Ragini. Ragini stood there, watching the car until it would no longer be seen. She pulled out her and made a call “He is on his way” she said before cutting the call. She schooled her expression before going back into the house.
Sanskar drove alone, out of the city, hoping that things wouldn’t go too bad and that he could keep his promise to Ragini. There were really no guarantees, but he had to do this for more reasons than just Laksh. He wanted to deal with Aditya for good.
It was a little before 8pm when he reached the Raheja farmhouse. It seemed deserted. There was so sign of life there. He wasn’t surprised by it, but this put him on the alert. Before he knew it, there was a knock on the side glass of his car. There were some guards who had surrounded his car. They must have creeped on him from behind, he guessed, as he was too focused watching the front. They signaled him to get out of the car.
Not let with much choice, Sanskar got out of the car. One of the guards pulled him away from the car, and shut the door. He frisked Sanskar to ensure that Sanskar wasn’t carrying any weapons.
“Give me your phone” the guard ordered
Sanskar had the mind to resist, but thought better of it and handed it over to the burly guard. The guard promptly threw it on the ground and stomped on it a couple of times, breaking it.
“Your watch” he ordered again
Sanskar shook his head, but handed it over, expecting it to face the same treatment as the phone. But the guard put the watch on his own wrist.
“Nice watch” the other guard commented, to the first one.
The guard nodded before the two of them tied Sanskar’s hands with a rope.
“Look you don’t need to do this. I am not going to run away” Sanskar told them calmly, though he wasn’t feeling all that calm inside him.
“Boss’s orders” the guard said, not adding anything else.
They dragged Sanskar away from the car. Just then a SUV arrived there. The guards shoved him into the vehicle. The driver threw a small black cloth sac over to them. They put it on Sanskar’s face blocking his sight.
Sanskar took deep breaths. The entire experience was leaving him feeling anxious and he needed all his wits about himself right then.
He was in the car for about 20 odd minutes, when it finally stopped. The guards dragged him out of the car and pushed him along, guiding him along the path. He could make out that they had probably entered another place. He couldn’t be sure if it was house or some deserted shelter. He could make out other people/guards being there in this house, based on the limited interactions of the ones escorting him, with others.
A few minutes later, he was shoved inside a room and the mask/sac was pulled off his face. He felt a bit disorientated. Not just because of the sudden exposure to the light, but also because of all the shoving that he had faced. It took him a few minutes to get adjusted to the light.
“So you decided to save your brother after all” Aditya said, while Sanskar was still adjusting his sight.
“Where is he?” Sanskar asked, finally seeing Aditya, who was sitting on top of a side table, swinging his legs leisurely.
“What is the rush?” Aditya asked with a sneer
“I thought that was the reason you wanted me here? To let Laksh go, in exchange for me” Sanskar told him firmly
“Of course! That is the reason” he said with a snort “Get him will you” he ordered one of the guards in the room.
“Untie my hands” Sanskar told him in meantime
“You are really impatient” Aditya told him “Don’t worry, they will be removed in due time as well”
Sanskar looked around the room as he was waiting for the guards to get Laksh. It seems to be a large living room of sorts, but one that was devoid of all but some furniture. The room had two doors, but beyond that, they were pretty much walled in. Sanskar was flanked by two guards and there was other guard in the room, leaving aside the one who had gone to fetch Laksh.
The spent the next few minutes in silence. Sanskar taking in the surroundings while being aware of Aditya watching him closely.
The door on the other side opened and the guard who had gone to get Laksh, along with another one, walked in dragging Laksh with them. The way they were dragging him implied that Laksh was unconscious. They dumped Laksh in a chair and tied his hands to the arms of the chair, with a rope. Laksh seemed to have bruises on his face and blood on his t-shirt.
Sanskar took steps towards him, to check on him, but the guards, flanking him, stopped him.
“Umm Umm Umm. Not so fast” Aditya said, getting off the side table.
“You said that you were going to release him once I came here” Sanskar told him bluntly
“Did I ? I don’t remember using those words.” Aditya said with a malicious smile
Sanskar glared at him.
“I remember saying that I will let him go, in exchange for you. Which I will. Eventually” Aditya told him mockingly “But before that, I need to have some fun”
Aditya signaled his guards and they untied Sanskar’s hands. Holding his arms tightly in their own hands, locking him in position. Sanskar knew what that meant. He wasn’t dumb. But it still couldn’t have prepared him for the punch that landed on his stomach.
Aditya pulled back his hand saying “I always like to at least even the scores, if not better them”
Sanskar felt his breath knocked out, he leaned forward a bit, as much as his guards allowed him to, trying to gulp some air in even as pain started spreading across the area. Before he could recover completely from it, he felt the guards let go of his hands. In the next instance, he felt knocked down by the blows and punches that were being thrown by the guards. He felt down on the ground, only to be kicked by them.
He wasn’t sure how long they kicked him. It must have been a few minutes only, but he felt the impact from those for a long time. He crouched on the floor, trying to regain his breath and some semblance of thought/cognition through the pain that was coursing through his body just then. He was sure that at the bare minimum, he has some really bruised ribs. It was quite possible some might have cracked. He could feel his face throbbing, battered by the punches that had been rained on him.
After what felt like a long while, he found enough strength to sit down, resting against the wall as he looked at Aditya. Aditya was smiling victorious at him.
“You lasted much lesser than Lucky” Aditya told him “For someone who was throwing so much attitude and had the guts to threaten me, you turned out to be a weakling. All words and little action” he said mockingly
“I had the guts to hold your neck all alone, in public, without any help. Neither you, nor Laksh or your mother could free you from my grasp” Sanskar told him frankly “You on the other hand needed to blackmail me into coming here and needed your guards to beat me up. Not much of a feat”
Aditya looked annoyed “Oh you think this is it?” he said anger showing through his face “No. This is just the beginning”
Ragini had been quiet all the time since Sanskar left. She tried to keep to herself to avoid being questioned about anything.
“Where is Sanskar?” Badi Maa asked as they started getting all the food out on the table for dinner.
Ragini’s heart beats increased. Her breath caught in her throat. She looked away from them. Not meeting their eyes.
“Ragini, do you know where he is?” Mom asked
Ragini felt her palms sweat a bit “He has gone out” she said not meeting her eyes “He is meeting one of his friends who is just in town for the day”
“Why did he not tell any of us?” Badi Maa asked
“He told me” Ragini said softly “I forgot to tell everyone. Sorry”
“That is okay” Sujata said, busy in arranging things around the table
“I haven’t seen Laksh all day either. Where is that boy?” Badi Maa said pondering to herself
Just then Durgaprasad and Ramprasad walked in the house. They looked somber.
“You have returned” Badi Maa said with a smile.
Durgaprasad nodded, but didn’t say anything beyond that. He looked around the house “Where is Sanskar?” he asked
“Sanskar had gone out to meet his friend” Sujata told him
His eyes narrowed “That is not possible. He was holding the home ground” he said firmly
“Home ground?” Badi Maa said surprised, concern showing up on his face
“What is going on?” Sujata asked worried
“There is some rumour of sorts. You don’t need to worry. But where is he?” Durgaprasad asked again
“Ragini?” Badi Maa turned to look at her “You said he went to meet his friend”
Ragini felt her heart thumping inside her chest
“Where is he, Ragini?” Durgaprasad asked, coming and standing in front of her. She remained silent for a few minutes “I am asking you something” his voice roared
“He is gone to get Laksh” Ragini said finally after
“Where? Why?” Durgaprasad asked
Ragini looked up at him finally, tearing up a bit as she did “Aditya has Laksh captive. He asked Sanskar to meet him if he wanted Laksh alive”
“What! My son!” Badi Maa gasped rushing to her. She shook Ragini “Where is my son?” she asked as she continued to shake her “You lied!”
“Sujata” Durgaprasad called Mom, signaling her to take Annapurna away.
Sujata made Annapurna sit on a sofa even as she asked Pari to get some sedative and Uttara to get some water. While she tried to calm Annapurna, her own attention was completely on what was being said between his husband, Durgaprasad and Ragini.
“Sanskar went there without informing anyone?” Ramprasad asked concerned
“Aditya said that he had all the phones monitored” Ragini said through her tears “He didn’t want to take a chance of calling anyone. You were out and so was Adarsh bhaiyaa” she explained
“That was still no reason to take that chance and go there alone” Durgaprasad said firmly “It was stupid of him to. Why didn’t you try to stop him?” he asked Ragini
“I tried to” she told him “He said that he couldn’t take the chance if the threat was real” she added softly
Durgaprasad sighed. There was no point getting angry right now. A look passed between the two brothers. “We will handle it from here. You have done enough” he told Ragini firmly
Sanskar looked at Aditya critically “What do you mean” he asked
“I thought you knew me and my intentions” Aditya said with a sarcastic smile “You shouldn’t need to ask, really!”
“What are you planning?” Sanskar asked again, feeling dread at the bottom pit of his stomach.
Aditya clicked his tongue “You should have let Laksh die. It would have saved you some trouble” he said pretending to feel pity for Sanskar
“You would kill your best friend?” Sanskar threw at him
“I don’t like being attacked, you see” Aditya told him, as if trying to explain things to a kid “And your brother here, decided he wanted to confront me with my plans about Uttara. Not just confront, but attack. I cannot overlook something like that now, can I? What will others think? It is question of image you see”
“And what image is that?” Sanskar asked sarcastically “Bully?”
“That is such a childish term, isn’t it?” Aditya commented “I prefer to think of myself as a go getter. I go after what I want and others better not get in the way or they are going to go out of this world” he said with a smile “And I always always get what I want”
“There is always a first time” Sanskar told him “You are not going to get what you want this time”
“You think so?” Aditya asked
“I know so” Sanskar said confidently
“Let’s see, shall we?” Aditya said with a smile, pulling out his phone.
Ragini was standing by one of the pillars in the living room. Durgaprasad and Ramprasad were on their satellite phone. Annapurna had been lying down on the sofa, throwing angry words at Ragini for withholding the reality of the situation from her.
Ragini’s phone rang. She looked at the screen. It was an unknown number.
“Who is it?” Durgaprasad asked
“I don’t know the number” she said honestly
“Pick it up and put it on speaker phone” Durgaprasad said “No one say anything” he said especially looking at his wife “You understand”
Ragini put the phone of speaker “Who is this?” she asked
“Someone you are going to know intimately. Very very soon” the person on the other end said
“Who are you?” Ragini asked again, though she had a very good idea who it was
“The one who holds the life of your husband and his brother, in his hands” Aditya said
“What have you done to them? Where is Sanskar?” Ragini asked worried
“There are okay for now. Bruised. Beaten. But okay” Aditya said
“What? You hurt Sanskar?” Ragini exclaimed
Aditya clicked his tongue “Only barely. I could hurt him a lot worse if you don’t do what I want”
“What do you want?” Ragini asked, dread enveloping her
“You should know that by now, Ra-Gi-Ni” Aditya said “I want you”
“Stop this nonsense” Ragini said despite the fear enveloping her. Durgaprasad asked her to keep him talking. Ramprasad put a gentle hand on her shoulder for reassurance.
“It is not nonsense. If you want me to keep your dear husband alive, you will do as I say. You will come to my farmhouse in 30 minutes’ time. That is how long it will take if you leave now. Don’t be late. And I don’t need to tell you this, but no guards and no family nonsense”
Ragini was quiet for a while
“Did you get that” Aditya asked her
“Yes” she said softly
“Good. See you soon” Aditya told her before cutting the call.
“This is all because of you” Annapurna yelled from the sofa “My son is in danger because of you”
“Annapurna!” Drugaprasad warned her
Ragini felt drained, physically and emotionally. She sagged where she stood. Ramprasad held on to her and made her sit down in a chair that was next to them.
“Sanskar is in danger” she said softly, looking at Ramprasad
Ramprasad held her hand and gave her a small squeeze “Nothing will happen to him”
“What now?” Sujata asked them walking towards them. She glanced at Ragini for a second before turning to her husband
“We will tackle this. There is no need to panic. You hear me” he said looking at everyone, especially his wife “We will get them out of there. Wherever that it. This is not the first time we have faced trouble. We can handle this”
Ramprasad nodded at him, as he got up, from where he was kneeling next to Ragini.
“And Ragini” Durgaprasad said addressing her “You are not going anywhere” he ordered “No more stunts and trying to do things on your own. We elders are still around and capable of handling situations. You youngsters don’t need to jump in.” he looked at her critically before adding “Make sure you understand that”
Ragini nodded but remained quiet, sitting like a statue in her place, lost in thought.
“You bastard!” Sanskar screamed at Aditya, trying to lung at him, only to be held back by two of the guards, who pinned to his sitting position. Sanskar struggled against their grip.
Aditya let out a vicious laugh “You didn’t think I forget about my main target, did you?”
“You will never get her” Sanskar yelled at him
“Is that a challenge?” Aditya asked with a sneer
Sanskar’s expression turned grave “She is not some bet”
“You are right” Aditya told him with a nasty smile “She is a s*xy forbidden fruit that needs to be devoured”
Sanskar made to lung at Aditya only to be held back by the guards again
“You never learn, do you?” Aditya asked him mockingly
“She will never come” Sanskar told him, glaringly
“She will” Aditya said “If she loves you, she will. Does she love you?” Aditya asked him sarcastically.
Precap – Will Ragini go?
Links to the previous chapters
Credit to: Azure