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Hello everyone, sorry for the delay and thanks for your patients, here is another chapter, Enjoy………
Chapter 3. Cumulonimbus Doubt
Surprised to see me back? You didn’t think I will forget about you, did you? How dumb of you to think that. I feel so happy to know that I have burst your bubble.
I must say, you are one lucky bastard. I went to so much trouble, I did everything to precision but in the end my blow ricocheted. An innocent man died because you, why don’t you just drown in that guilt.
But don’t get ahead of yourself because am not giving up, I may be quiet but I will definitely be back. Because Destiny, my dear Destiny; this is war now.
Arjun woke up earlier than usual, his all attention on his father’s case that he would start working on today officially. He came back home after an hour of jogging and went to freshen up, walking out of the bathroom he saw Radhika searching for something in the drawers, she was vigorously examining every content she found in the drawers, shaking the drawers and then push it back in only to take it out again and repeat the same process.
“what are doing?” he asked not able to hold onto to the suspense any longer.
“can’t find my ATM card” she answered him without giving him a glance.
He shook his head in disbelief, all this fuss for an ATM card “check your purse, must be in your wallet” she looked at him biting her lips her eyes narrowed as if in deep thought “you didn’t check any of your purse?” he asked amused and let out a sigh when she denied. Radhika took her purse and dropped all the contents on the bed and started to look through the items on the bed “crazy woman” he mumbled inaudible and got ready for work.
He got dressed, made breakfast but she was still in search of her card “breakfast is ready” he told her but she just nodded and continued with her search “you can look for it later, lets eat I don’t want to be late”
“you go I will have it later” she replied looking inside their closet.
He took his ATM card from his wallet and forwarded it to her “here you can use mine”
She turned to him and sighed “I don’t want to use it, I have to bring it back to the bank to get a new one, they emailed me that it expired and I can’t get a new one until I bring the old one” she massaged the sides of her temple “I looked everywhere but I can’t find it”
“report it missing then” he suggested walking out of their bedroom with her tailing him.
“I would need a police report, can you do that for me please” she dragged the word please buttering her lashes at him.
He pulled a chair for her on the dining table and sat next to her “am a homicide detective” he said in a matter of fact tone and she pouted calling him mean.
“why are you so dressed up?” she asked him when he was about to leave after finishing breakfast, he gave himself a glance and shrugged. She smelled him on the neck “you even wore your favourite cologne” she added suspiciously.
“So..?” he replied checking his phone for emails from Priya.
She folded her arms on her chest “is that sl*t working on the case with you?”
He sled his phone back in his jeans pocket “don’t call her that she is my colleague” she rolled her eyes and he chuckled “Sophia is a smart and reliable detective, I need her skills on the case” he explained.
“she is also a woman who has her eyes on other people’s husbands” he looked at her amused “what kind of a detective wears tight clothes all the time and to flaunt her big boobs to men and talk in that over sugary voice of hers” she added defensively but he retained his amused expression “she into you my wife instincts tell me that”
He burst into laughter holding his tummy “you are crazy” he said wiping the tears from the corner of his eyes as his mirth was reduced to light chuckles.
She picked up an apple from the table “call me crazy one more time and his apple lands on your head” she warned.
He hugged her with one arm “okay, sorry” he parted and looked at her in the eyes “now give me my kiss am getting late” she opened his shirt’s top button and planted a kiss on his upper chest painting him with her red lipstick, he kissed her on her forehead and took the apple from her hands. He walked to the door and turned to her “crazy woman” he teased her and ran out of the house before she went running behind him.
Radhika laughed to his running back “crazy husband of a crazy woman” she mumbled before gathering her stuff and leave for work.
Kensington Police Station
Arjun was surprised to see Neil and Sam at the station, he asked them the reason of their visit and they told him about the shooting that took place last night outside the restaurant. Sam also narrated about her suspicion about the black SUV that was following them and that those bullets were meant for them and not the old man who had died.
Arjun went to ask the detective who was on that case “they are my family” he told him when the detective showed hostility towards Arjun’s interest on the case.
Detective Ludwig gave him the forensic report “three shots were fired straight to the chest from a 9mm with hollow-point bullets, all three shots hit the man perfectly in the heart puncturing his artery. It was an intended murder”
Arjun gave him back the file and sighed “so what’s your take on this?”
“from the distance the gun was fired and to hit the victim with that precision I can only say that the murderer is trained to target, like a police, a military or…”
“an assassin” Arjun completed.
Ludwig nodded “yes, an assassin and if Mrs…” he glanced the report in his hand and continued “and if Mrs. Maholtra’s suspicions are correct then that was a warning to them, their lives could be in danger”
Arjun rubbed his face, what was going on around them that he couldn’t understand. He hadn’t even started on his father’s case and another tragedy fell on his friends “what about the man that was killed?”
“he is clean” replied Ludwig “so far so good, we haven’t been able connect his murder to anything in particular so for now his death is just a random murder but we are still investigating”
Arjun thanked him for sharing the information and went back to his office where he had left Neil and Sam waiting for him “so what did he say?” asked Neil the moment he set foot in his office.
Arjun looked at a worried Sam and walked to her placing his hand on her shoulder for support “it’s nothing serious, just a case of mistaken identity” he lied to her to ease her of tension “you have nothing to worry about”
Sam took a deep breath relaxing “Oh! Thank God, I was really worried” she exclaimed and hugged Arjun.
They walked out of his office after a small talk but Neil went back in alone citing to have left his phone in Arjun’s office “now tell me the truth” he said.
Arjun told him all that the investigation was able to find at the time being and Neil worried “you have to be cautious but I have talked to Ludwig and he assured to be around you both until the culprit is found”
“thanks” Neil said in appreciation of his discretion towards a worried Sam.
“she is my friend too” Arjun replied making Neil smile “take care” he said bidding him goodbye.
Right then his phone beeped a notification. He had received an email from an unknown person, it was the video of Aria’s birthday party. He immediately sent Sam a thank you message and told her that he had received the video. He had found out from Sam that the video grapher of the party was recommended by her since it was someone she worked with so he had asked Sam to ask the guy to send him a copy of the video since Priya wasn’t answering any of his messages. He then forwarded the video to his team to check if they can find anything relating to his dad’s murder in that video.
Prena had returned home after a three weeks long trip to Mali, she had been travelling a lot lately giving it her best to reach the children in need. The charity organisation she alongside Piyali and Mala were running had gone global in the past few years helping more than a million under privileged kids in more than fifty developing countries. Their goal was to make sure that every child receive his or her rights to education to provide a better and secured future for themselves, they were teaching them that the only way they can challenge and change their destiny was by getting educated and Prena loved to meet the kids face to face to give them hope.
“how was your trip mom?” asked Sam when Prena had come out of her room after freshening up.
“life changing” she answered and Sam gave her a cup of hot steaming coffee “you should come with me next time” Sam also helped with the organisation in any way that she could, whether it be helping them raise money or go paint an old school building.
“maybe next time” she replied smiling.
Prena took a large sip of her coffee and heaved a sigh “so rejuvenating” she complemented her and Sam smiled “when is Kiaan coming I miss my baby”
“must be on their way” Sam had left Kiaan at her mother’s in the morning since they were supposed to go to the police station, Neil had left for some important work at Taste Farm from there and she went to the airport to pick up Prena. “that’s must be them” she added smiling hearing a doorbell.
Kiaan ran into Prena arms squealing “dadi”
Prena took him in her arms and showered him with kisses “missed you so much my baby”
“miss you sooooooo much” he replied in his baby voice spreading his arms out.
“do you want to see the gifts dadi brought for you?”
“yes” he nodded and Prena took him with her to her bedroom.
Sam had a grateful smile on her face seeing both Prena and Kiaan so happy to be with each other again. She turned to Piyali who had personally brought Kiaan home “coffee?” she asked her and Piyali nodded taking a seat at the dining table.
Sam entered the kitchen to pour her mother coffee “is everything okay with you?” Piyali asked from across the dining room but Sam could hear her since it was not very far from where she was and she replied with a “hmm” She gave Piyali her coffee and sat next to her with a mug of her own. “and Radhika, is she okay?” Piyali asked again after taking a sip of her coffee.
“yeah” she replied sipping her coffee.
“are you sure? I mean does she have any problems with the business?”
Sam’s brows drew together in confusion “not that I know of, why do you ask?”
Piyali sighed “am just worried about your dad, he has been really stressed lately” she sipped her coffee and continued “your dad did some business that went bad and now he owes people a lot of money”
“but what does that have to do with Radhika?”
“Radhika had promised to hand over the inheritance to Samrat and with that belief your dad went ahead with those business investments” she wiped some invisible tears with her thumb “it’s been a lot of time now but Radhika has refused to give your dad his inheritance” she placed her hand on Sam’s “your dad is too proud to ask Radhika for help and am worried he may go back to his old ways”
“how much does he need I can help him” Sam offered.
“it’s too much money Sam and besides Samrat will never accept your help, he even refused Jai, he will never accept yours”
“so what can we do then?” Sam asked worriedly, she didn’t want her father to go back to gambling because that will never bring him any good.
“talk to Radhika, ask her to give your dad back his inheritance only that can help Samrat” Piyali was in dire need of money for Kabir and she was willing to use any tactic to fulfil her goals.
“it’s her money, how can I tell her what to do with it?” Sam said in a depressed tone. Piyali squeezed her hand pleading to her “are you sure there is no other way?” she tried one last time but Piyali was adamant that only Radhika can help Samrat. With a heavy heart Sam nodded and promised her that she will talk to Radhika.
Mark had taken Arjun out for lunch stating that he wanted to talk to him in private, Arjun also wanted to reprimand him for worrying Radhika unnecessarily so they went to a restaurant that was near the station. They were half way through lunch and none had spoken a word yet, Arjun cleared his throat “you wanted to tell me something?” he asked him.
Mark gave him an innocent look “I know you are mad at me because I talked to your wife so am smothering you with food”
Arjun smiled “now tell me what you want to talk me about in real”
Mark chuckled “the department asked me suggest someone who can take over my position after I retire and I gave them your name” Arjun dropped the spoon he was holding and look at him with disbelief “what?” he shrugged “you deserve this opportunity son so don’t blow it”
Arjun shook his head in negative “no way, if I wanted to sit in the office the whole day I would have followed my father’s steps but I am a cop and my work is out in the streets not in the office”
“am not telling you to stop what you are doing but to slow down a bit”
“But I can’t slow down Chief, I love what am doing”
Mark sighed leaning back on the chair “look son, you are married now and will eventually have a family, it will be safer for you and your family if you do more of the office job than the field job. Think about your wife, the poor girl worries a lot about you”
“Radhika knows what my job is and she is okay with it” he drank his pink lemonade “she will stop worrying if you stop scaring her” Mark raised his hand in defeat “sorry to turn you down like this, maybe after ten years, who knows”
“what are surprise” exclaimed Edward who had just walked into the restaurant and spotted Arjun and Mark, he joined them on their table and greeted them. “how is your father’s case going did you find anything?” he asked Arjun when the waiter had brought his meal on the table.
“not yet” he replied. “But I will find out sooner or later you know I always get my culprits” he boosted.
Edward nodded smiling “that you do” he said and went back to attacking the delicious pasta in his plate. They talked about many thing, it was just like the old times for them when Mark used to treat both of them to lunch.
They walked out of the restaurant and stood outside Edward’s car bidding their goodbyes “we should catch the Man. United game like the last time” Mark told Edward who readily agreed, Arjun looked at both of them questioningly and Mark explained “Ed and I watched the Man. United v/s Liverpool match together weeks ago”
Arjun tried to recall the said match, he too was a fan of soccer and wouldn’t miss a match if Liverpool played. But the game Mark and Edward were talking about wasn’t in his memories, then he recollected that the match was on the same day as Aria’s birthday so he couldn’t have had the chance to watch it live. He had it recorded in his DVR but never got the chance to preview it with what happened to his father. Wait a minute his mind screamed, he turned to Edward “you were here in London on that day of the match?”
Edward agreed “yes, in fact we were here two weeks before that. Tina is undergoing fertility treatment here”
Arjun got into thinking, Edward and Tina have been in Kensington two weeks before his father was murdered. Edward was with Mark on the day of the murder “and where was Tina on that day?” he asked again.
“I don’t know, she” Edward had started to answer absent mindedly but then stopped as a line appeared on his forehead “what are you insinuating Arjun?”
Arjun knew better than to accuse his friend’s wife but he had to clear his doubt “you know what she did in the past and you don’t know where she was during the time my father was poisoned”
“Arjun…” dragged Mark, he didn’t like were the conversation was going.
“she was sick Arjun and there you said it, it was in the past” Edward closed his eyes trying to not get angry at Arjun “I know she did some bad things in the past but she is changed now, Tina is a different woman now and she is my wife”
“then let me question her, let me ask her where she was the day of Aria’s birthday”
Edward chuckled humourlessly “you are out of your mind if you think am going to allow you to interrogate my wife” he opened his car door to leave and then turn to Arjun again “bring me solid proof for you to accuse Tina other than your baseless suspicions, then we will talk” he got into his car and drove off.
Mark shook his head in disappointment “are you happy now?” he shrieked in an accusing tone and walked to his car with Arjun behind.
Ridhima stepped out of her car holding her groceries, she struggled to lock her car since both her hands were full. She put the paper bags down on the pavement and locked her car, she bent down again to pick her grocery bag when she was startled and almost screamed by an image of a man reflecting on her tinted car window. She abruptly turned to see the man and the bags slipped out of her hand seeing a forgotten but familiar face before her.
She blinked repeatedly but the man stay rooted before her eyes, her mind had registered a similar face and recognized him as Kabir but her heart was refusing to believe that she was seeing a ghost. He looked leaner and the beard he had grown made him look different but she could recognize those devilish eyes even in her sleep “Kabir..” she stammered but the man didn’t utter a word, he kept standing firm looking at her.
She squeezed her shut tightly chanting the names of all the Gods she knew, she yelped in fear when she felt a hand on her shoulder “honey, what’s wrong?” he heard a male voice, her racing heart started to go back to normal when she realised it was Hrishant’s voice. She opened her eyes and looked everywhere but it was only her and her husband. “what’s wrong?” he asked again concerned.
“you didn’t see a man here?” she answered him with a question.
Hrishant looked around “no, I only saw you closing your eyes” he gave a gentle rub on her arm “now will you tell me what’s wrong and what man are you talking about?”
“I thought I saw someone” she replied faintly.
“no one” she said shaking her head dismissing the matter then and there, how was she going to tell her husband that she was hallucinating about her ex-husband? Hrishant can be a gentleman and understanding but no husband would like to know something like that about his wife. He picked up the bags that were on the ground and they walked inside. Ridhima before closing their front door looked outside one last time to assure herself that she wasn’t dreaming about Kabir but just like the other times she saw no one.
As the front door went shut Kabir came out of the bushes and smirked “I will make you insane” he said looking at the Dixit residence.
Kensington Police Station
The best way to trace down a murderer is by looking at the last steps of the victim, so Arjun and Sophia sat together breaking down Ajay’s last days on earth. So far Arjun couldn’t recall any problem that his father might have had, he looked through the list of people who were close to Ajay but couldn’t find anyone who would have had a motive to murder him.
“how about money issues, did he have any problem with money?” asked Sophia.
“not at all” he told her.
“okay that day of the murder, what did he do?”
Arjun rubbed his chin thinking “we left him at home in the morning and he said he will be going to the golf club later, from there he came straight to the party” Sophia noted the facts on the white board as Arjun talked “he always plays golf with Samrat and Dilip uncle” he added.
“so we will question these two” said Sophia writing the two names on the board “and at the party, did you notice anything…what he ate or drank?”
“he had whiskey that’s all I remember”
“I found something from the video” said Chris interrupting the discussion, he was a new recruit to the station and knew his way well with gadgets and technology.
Arjun and Sophia watched the video that Chris played for them on the big monitor and all they could see was kids cheering around a piñata that a blindfolded Priya was trying to hit with a bat “what is this Chris?” he asked annoyed, how was a piñata going to help them solve the case.
“don’t focus on the game, look behind the piñata” Chris explained and zoomed the video for them for a better view. Focusing on the slightly blurred zoomed in image they saw a man standing behind a small bar that was temporarily built for the party, the man appeared to be holding a glass containing a light brown liquid similar to the colour of whiskey, he looked around to see if someone was looking at him and getting a clear sign he took out something from his pants pocket and poured what looked like a white powdery substance into the drink unaware of the camera that had recorded the whole ordeal while recording the kids playing with the piñata. Could this be their man?
“isn’t that your brother-in-law?” asked Sophia looking at Arjun who was equally shocked.
“yes, Ankush” he replied his eyes still glued on the monitor. His mind travelled back to the day of the party Ankush didn’t have any alcohol that day, he clearly remembered him saying that he was on medication and couldn’t have any hard drink, then whose whiskey glass was Ankush holding? “it cant be him” he said confidently, he knew Ankush and murder was the last thing he will ever commit especially murder of a father of the woman he loved.
“you know we have to look on all possibilities detective” Sophia said looking at him.
“play that again” he told Chris and watched the scene again and again, his detective mind told him that Ankush could be their suspect but his heart believed otherwise. He recalled Priya’s words, could she have learned about the poison from Ankush.
“yes we should look on all possibilities” he said getting up from his chair “that’s why I want you to investigate Tina and I will handle my brother-in-law” He purposely decided that because he knew it will be insulting if Sophia had to question Ankush instead of him because he will consider their delicate relationship while she wouldn’t.
So what do you think? Another reason to doubt Ankush and now Tina got into the picture, what else do you think the investigation will find?
Love you guys