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Mission 39: The End Game
A tall man with dark aviator glasses entered a small dabba and sat down at a table in the far corner. He waited for a few minutes before a young skinny waiter came up to take his order. "Mango lassi...chola batura," the man gruffly responded. The boy nodded his head and then scampered into the back to tell the chef his order.
The mango lassi came out first and then twenty minutes later his food order came. The man sat there quietly eating his food enjoying the spicy scent of his cultural food. He looked down and spied a white piece of paper sitting underneath his batura and carefully pulled it out. He grinned as he read what was written on the paper. He then tucked it into his pocket and continued eating his food. Once finished he called the young waiter boy over and handed him a thick wad of cash.
He walked out of the dabba and into the hot alley. He adjusted his sunglasses and then chuckled sinisterly to himself. "I have you now and this time I'll make sure the job is done. Enjoy your last free hours Prem."
Prem stood in line holding Heer's hand with a smile. They were going to see an afternoon showing at the movie theater with Preet. "You feeling hot?" he inquired noticing how Heer was fanning herself.
"I'm still not use to this weather," she sighed. "I feel so sticky all the time. I take like two showers every day."
"I know. I do so enjoy those second showers with you," Prem cheekily commented making Heer's eyes widen. She gave him a stern look afraid Preet had over heard them.
"Sorry," Prem quickly replied and held his ears.
"What are you doing?" Preet asked with a perplexed look on his face.
"Tell your Bhabhi not to be so hard on me. I'm still a recovering bomb victim," Prem complained.
"Bhabhi stop being so hard on him," Preet said looking at Heer.
"What?" Heer replied flabbergasted. "I didn't do anything."
"She's lying...lair," Prem childishly taunted.
"Premmm..." Heer glared.
"See," raising his eyebrows, "this is how your Bhabhi treats me."
"Bhabhi you need to learn to be patient with him. I know it must be hard but his IQ is equivalent to a four year old now after his accident," Preet said.
"Preeet!" Prem huffed while Heer laughed and gave Preet a high five.
"No fair why are you two ganging up on me?" Prem pouted.
"Cause she's my Bhabhi," Preet simply stated.
"You're such a good devar," Heer praised making Preet smile.
"I give up," Prem sighed making Heer and Preet laugh.
They three of them were so engrossed with their banter that they failed to notice someone was eyeing Heer's purse. Before anyone knew it Heer was roughly pushed and her purse was snatched away. "What the heck? In board daylight?" Preet murmured.
"Are you okay Heer?" Prem asked with concern as he steadied her.
"Yes I'm fine," she replied. "Wait, where are you going?!"
Prem had made a mad dash towards the direction the thieves had run. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him and had soon caught up to them. The thieves ran down an alley and tossed the purse back hoping to stop Prem but it didn't work. Prem continued to chase after them knowing the purse was empty as the wallet was still in their hands. He eventually followed them through a market and was able to corner them into a no exit walkway. He smirked and commanded, "Hand over the wallet."
"Or what?" one of the thieves grinned. He was the taller of the two and was extremely well built.
Prem held up his fists and waited patiently. The thief chuckled and started his attack. Prem dodge punches and kicks coming his way. He was quite nimble on his feet much to the thief's surprise and to his own. He threw a punch which landed hard on the man's face and then winced in pain at the contact. It felt like he had just punched his hand through a cement block. The thief smiled showing his gold teeth and arched his eyebrows in a taunt. Prem took a deep breath and put his hand back up showing he was ready for another round.
This time Prem attacked first and managed to land some hard kicks to the man's stomach. The second thief who had been idly standing by watching the action decided he was going to help out his friend and get rid of the nuisance. He jumped in and tried grabbing Prem who quickly dipped down and rolled away onto the ground. He popped back up to his feet with amazement in his eyes. He grinned rather proudly and then went back to concentrating on the fight at hand.
Kicks, punches, blocks, and dodges where accomplished in the back alley market fight. Prem lifted his foot up and found himself using the wall to flip over one of his opponents. He landed on his feet wondering why he knew how to do that. "Prem!' Preet called as he entered the alleyway. The two thieves both looked at each other and decided it was time to just run. They tossed the wallet towards Preet's direction and started to make their way pass him. But Preet and Prem weren't about to let the thieves get away. They stopped the two in their tracks and began fighting them one on one. Preet was able to put down the smaller thief in a matter of minutes. When he looked up to go help Prem he saw him holding the guy in a choke hold. The thief tried banging Prem against the wall forcing him to let go but it didn't work. Prem was applying just enough pressure to cut off his oxygen supply and make him pass out. Preet saw the tall thief swoon and then fall to the floor. Prem heaved a heavy sigh and then looked at Preet. "You okay?"
"Um, yeah," Preet mumbled.
"Nothing's missing from her wallet?"
Preet opened it up and checked, "No cash is still here and credit cards."
"Good," Prem smiled and put his hand around his shoulder, "Heer is probably worried about us. Let's go."
Preet started walking but glanced at his friend with some suspicion.
Preet slowly walked behind his friends in a pensive manner. His mind kept replaying what he had witnessed during the back alley fight and he couldn't shake this feeling. He had been relatively quiet the entire evening. Prem and Heer were too engross in their own conversation that they hardly noticed his hushed attitude. Now as they entered the hospital to walk Prem back to his room Preet knew he had talk to his friend but he needed to do it away from Heer.
Heer took her ringing cell phone out of her purse and looked at the number, "Oh...I..."
"Mama?" Prem inquired.
"Yeah," Heer replied with a small smile. She gently placed her hand on his arm and apologetically said, "I'll be in your room a few minutes."
"Sure. It's okay," Prem answered.
Preet was glad that he didn't have to think of a diversion to keep Heer away for a few minutes while he questioned Prem. He followed his friend into his room and closed the door behind them. "So tomorrow? What's the plan?"
"Not sure," Prem said shrugging his shoulders. "I want to see what Heer wants to do. Hey sorry about tonight. I guess you must have felt like the third wheel. Heer and I were talking amongst ourselves a lot."
"No, no...it's okay. I didn't even notice," Preet replied. "I'm glad you two are getting along."
"Yeah, things are going great," Prem replied with a goofy smile.
"Hey I was wondering if we could talk about something," Preet said
"Sure. What's up?" Prem asked as he sat down on his bed.
Preet walked closer to him and gave him a hard look. "You're faking it aren't you? Are you pretending to have amnesia so it will be harder to find you?"
Prem arched his eyebrows at him and looked blankly at him. "Um, sorry I don't follow. Why am I faking having amnesia?"
"You know what I'm talking about. But don't you have any consideration about the people who care about you? What about Heer?" Don't you know what she's been through and you're playing games like this?"
"What are you talking about?" Prem asked with confusion. "I would never intentionally hurt Heer.
"I saw what you did in the alley. You knew what you were doing. So cut the crap and talk to me straight. What is your plan?" Preet inquired.
"I think you got hit a little too hard today. You got knocked in the head right?" Prem replied.
Preet took a deep breath but the anger in his eyes was evident. "I trust you and you know that you can trust me. You think you're the only one who has a right to do what you are doing? You think you can just protect all of us by doing this? You're wrong. You don't know what it was like seeing her mourn when she thought you were gone. And now you heartless b*stard you're going to play games like this?"
"Look I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not playing any games. I really can't remember anything. And what are you talking about plans? What plans? I love Heer and I would never do anything to hurt her," Prem barked back enraged that Preet was slinging accusations at him.
"Oh you love her? You said the same thing before you left and then looked what happened!"
"I didn't wake into a bomb blast for fun!" Prem shouted.
"That girl refused to eat for several days. She was like a walking zombie. She even tried to commit---"
"Preet!" He turned around and saw Heer standing by the doorway with scowl on her face. "I think you've said enough."
"I don't want to hear what you think is going on. He doesn't remember anything Preet," Heer replied. "Just go."
Preet turned and gave a hard look at Prem before leaving the room. Prem stared at the door and then at Heer with a confused expression on his face. "Heer? What was he trying to say?"
"Nothing," she answered.
"Heer," he called and held her arm so she couldn't leave the room. His eyes widened in surprise as she suddenly turned around clung to him crying. "Heer..." The only response Prem heard was her soft sobs against his shoulder. He placed his hand on her head and held her tenderly in his arms. He was confused at everything that had transpired. There was obviously something that had happened in his past that had caused all of this. He was rather alarmed at what Preet was about to divulged to him but he knew right now was not the time to ask such questions to Heer.
Prem simply stared outward as he sat on the edge of the cliff not focusing in on anything in particular as he was too preoccupied with what his mind was thinking. His heart felt heavy from yesterday's events; in fact the events of the last couple of days. Despite the progress in his relationship with Heer he could still feel this strange distance between them. The outburst and fight that he had with Preet made him realize how complicated things had become. He couldn't remember anything about his past and his past was a big part of his future with Heer. He could see it in her eyes even when she tried reassuring him that she was fine. It was further from the truth. He knew she was waiting for him to remember. She wanted him to be the Prem she knew. And he wanted to fulfill her wish and make that happen but no matter how hard he tried he couldn't recall anything. It only made his head hurt and his body tired. There was also the added mystery of what Preet tried to say about Heer's mental stability. It made him feel guilty because he had a feeling he was large part of the cause.
Prem ran his hand through his hair and sighed. "I want to make her happy," looking up at the sky, "All mighty God please help me." He closed his eyes and breathed deeply pacing his breathing trying to calm and relax his mind. After a few minutes he opened his eyes and saw the waterfall gracefully falling from across the way. He instantly remembered that afternoon he had spent with Heer at the waterfall and the steamy hours that followed in her hotel room. It was one of the best moments in his life. His feelings of love for her were true and he was sure of it. It wasn't because he was told that he had a relationship with her or that he was her husband. He felt it in every inch of his body. His soul connected with hers and he felt at peace in her presence. He knew she was the one. She was the love of his life. There weren't any mistakes about that. "Son, ready to go?" Prem looked up and saw Vinod Kumar the security guard looking at him with warm eyes. He nodded his head and got up from the ground. "Thanks Uncle for taking me out here."
"You're welcome. This spot is great for thinking," placing his hand on his shoulder, "But don't think too much. It will come back in time. The mind is a funny thing. She understands."
"I just want to make her happy," Prem replied.
"Be a good man," Vinod advised. "Fulfill your responsibilities, love her, and love her family." Prem nodded his head in understanding as they walked back up the trail to the truck. "It sounds simply but sometimes the simplest things are the best answers to your problems."
"It's great advice Uncle," Prem smiled.
Preet walked up the steps to the outside sitting area of a small chaat restaurant. He sat down at one of the tables next to the railing and signaled to one of the waiters he wanted to order something. Heer sat down in front of him and discreetly scanned their surroundings making sure they hadn't been followed.
"I'll have a Coke, a chai, and an order of paneer pakoras," Preet ordered. The waiter nodded and then looked at Heer.
"Just a Coke."
"It will be out shortly," the waiter said and then left.
A few minutes later the waiter showed up with their items and placed them on the table. Preet and Heer politely thanked him and then started eating. Heer checked her cell phone and reported, "It's 1:05. He's late."
"The traffic here is horrible." Preet and Heer both looked up and saw the guest they had been waiting for.
"Cooper," Preet greeted with disappointment.
"I'm telling the truth this time," he replied. "There was an accident on my way over here," starring at the plate in the middle of the table, "Hey pakoras! I love these things." He sat down and started eating. "Heer can you pass me the chutney?"
"Ordered a Coke for you," Preet said.
"Thank you sir and madam," he smiled as they gave him his things.
"What's the status, Jason?" Heer inquired. Her stomach had been in knots all morning when she woke up and she had this uneasy feeling that something bad was going to happen. This feeling was confirmed even more when Preet requested her to come with him to his meeting with one of their contacts.
The brown haired and boyish looking man swallowed his bite of food and wiped his mouth with a napkin. His face became serious and less jovial. "He's on the move." Preet and Heer's eyes widen at his words.
"On the move? Where? It's confirmed?" Heer asked.
Jason nodded his head and took a sip of Coke. "Yes, Jaywant is on the move. He was last spotted not too far from here." He wanted to say more but his cell phone started to ring. He gave an apologetic look and took the call. His face turned pale as he hung up the phone.
"What's the matter?" Preet asked in a hushed but urgent tone.
"The contact I have been in contact with...he didn't report in this morning. I sent one of our other guys down to check things out. He just told me that Yash is dead."
"Dead?" Preet and Heer gasped.
"Jaywant probably saw him tailing him and killed him," Jason replied. "We don't know where he is going. We don't know if he knows where Prem is. My advice is to take him out of here as soon as possible."
"So you don't know where is right now? The trail on him is lost?" Heer asked.
"I'm afraid so. He could be going in the direction of town or he could be going in a completely different direction. We don't know where he is right now. But he knows we are...were following him," Jason answered.
"We got to go now," Preet said and stood up from the table.
"Get him out of there. I'll make a call to headquarters and inform the higher ups. It's time to tell the doctor," Jason said.
"Thanks," Heer said and then quickly followed Preet to their rental car.
Vinod drove down the roadway at a leisure speed so they could take in the beauty of the surrounding scenery. He glanced to the side and smiled seeing the beautiful rows of wheat fields blowing in the gentle breeze. He was jerked out of his serenity when he heard a loud honk of a car horn and Prem grabbing the steering wheel to pull the car over. "Uncle!"
He looked to his front and saw a jeep filled with a group of college kids joy riding down the road. They had veered into their lane as they took the curve around the bend a little too fast. "D*mn kids!" Vinod grunted. "Watch where you are driving!" he bellowed through the window as they passed by.
"You should watch the road yourself!" they shouted back.
"Is that a way to talk to an elder?" he fumed as he turned his head around yelling at them some more.
Prem's eyes went in alarm and he grabbed the shirt collar of Vinod's shirt forcing him to turn around and concentrate on his driving. "Uncle!" he pleaded.
"Sorry Prem. These kids these days no respect I tell you. Shouldn't they be studying? What are they doing joy riding during this time of day? Where are their parents? Back in my day my father would have slapped me silly for even trying to go across the street to get some chai. Study! He would say. But Dad I've been studying since 2am can't I take a break? No! You study until your head explodes with all that knowledge crammed inside. If I catch you falling asleep I'll slap so hard you'll go back into time and meet the man who created mathematics!"
"Shanti Uncle," Prem meekly replied trying to calm him down. The car was swerving erratically from Vinod's anger and he was afraid that they would get into a car accident. "Watch the road please." Vinod grumbled something inaudible and turned his attention back to the roadway making Prem sigh in relief.
Preet rushed out of the parked car and ordered, "Heer go check on Prem. I'll be there soon. I need to talk to Vinod Uncle."
She nodded in agreement and quickly made her way to room 225. When she opened it she was desperately hoping to see Prem in his room but all she found was an empty bed. Her heart raced in panic and she hurriedly made her way towards the nurses' station. Geet was sitting at the station completing some paperwork. "Geet, do you know where Prem is?"
"Prem? Oh, he went out with Vinod Uncle. I'm not sure where they went though," she replied.
"Do you know how long ago that was?" Heer inquired.
"It's been about three hours or so I think," Geet said checking her watch. She sighed, "Vinod Uncle promised me he would have him back after two hours," shaking her head, "Those two must have stopped at a mithai shop." She studied the way Heer's face looked and realized something wasn't quite right. "Is everything okay?"
Before Heer could say anything Preet came running up and interrupted their conversation. "Vinod Uncle took Prem out."
"I know I just found out from Geet," Heer replied with worry. "They should have been back two hours ago."
"Do you know where they went?" Preet asked looking at Geet with great concern.
"No. Is something wrong? What is going on?" she replied.
"It's a long story and right now we don't have time for that," Preet quickly answered. He looked at Heer and asked, "Do you know where they may have gone?"
"There is one place I can think of," Heer said.
"Come on let's go," Preet replied and motioned his hand for her to hurry and come with him to the car.
"What is going on? Is Prem in trouble?" Geet worriedly shouted at them.
Preet stopped in mid stride and answered, "Whatever you do Geet don't let anyone other than us or Vinod Uncle into his room. It's very important you do as I say. Understand? I'll explain later but right now we need to find Prem."
Geet mechanically nodded her head realizing that something serious was going on. She didn't know what it was but she felt like she had to trust what Preet was saying and do as he told her. "I won't."
Prem sighed and stared at what was in front of them. They had to slam on their breaks to allow a farmer to move his herd of goats across the road. It was taking a lot longer than expected as some goats were being stubborn and wanted to just stand in the middle of the road and not move. "I can't wait to go home," he muttered under his breath. He was looking forward to going to the States and meeting his family members. He had Skyped with them a few times when he was over at Heer's hotel room. The general impression was that they seemed nice and caring.
Eventually Vinod slowly moved the truck forward forcing the few straggling goats to move from their spot and cross the road. They were back on track making their way to the hospital. "What time is it Prem?" Vinod inquired.
"It's about 2:00pm," Prem answered checking his watch.
"We're late. Geet isn't going to be too happy with me," Vinod chuckled.
"It's okay if we get her some mithai from the mithai shop," Prem suggested.
"I like your idea!" Vinod said smiling proudly. "She can't get angry at us now can she? Aahhh, what to get ladoos, barfi, gulab jamun, jalebi, gasgulla, ras malai?"
Prem laughed at the way Vinod Uncle was starting to drool as he talked about the different varieties of Indian sweets. "Whatever you think is best Uncle."
"Let's get barfi and jalebi today," he happily replied.
The two were so engrossed in their conversation they didn't see that a large truck was speeding behind them. It wasn't until it was riding their bumper did they realize it was behind them. "What the?" Prem yelled.
"These drivers today are crazy," Vinod snapped. He motioned with his hand for the truck to move around them. "Go around!"
Prem saw to his relief that the truck seemed to have slowed down but then he watched in horror as it began to speed up. "Uncle, it's not slowing down!"
Vinod did his best and pressed down hard on the gas pedal to make their smaller truck go faster. His eyes narrowed as his gut instinct took over realizing something was a foul. "Prem, are you buckled up?"
"Hold on," Vinod commanded and moved into the left lane.
"Uncle what are you doing? We are in the other lane! There are going to be cars coming!" Prem shouted in alarm.
"Just shut up and hold on!"
The larger truck chased after them switching to and fro from lane to lane on the seemingly deserted stretch of roadway. They were speeding down the hilly roads at an alarming speed. Prem was silently praying that he would make it back in one piece. He had promised that he would never leave Heer again and he didn't want to leave her. After everything they had gone through and how close they were to leaving India to start their new life together he couldn't leave her. Not like this in a tragic accident again. He was going to go out on his terms. "I'm not going to die like this d*mn it!" Prem yelled. "God you hear me?!" He glanced at the rear view mirror and saw the grill of the truck coming closer. "Uncle, do as I say," Prem shouted. "Move over and slam on the breaks. Now!"
Vinod did as instructed and swerved into the next lane and quickly slammed on the breaks. The large truck was barely able to register what had happened and zoomed by them. It slammed on the breaks but because of the sudden force and the weight of the vehicle it tipped over and rolled down the hill below. Prem and Vinod got out of their vehicle to inspect the damage.
"Smart thinking," Vinod said breathing a sigh of relief as he slapped his back. "Smart thinking son."
"What is going on here," Prem replied. "It's like they wanted to kill us."
Vinod turned to look at him to answer his question but didn't get to say anything as he saw a car come speeding towards them. "Look out," he yelled and pushed Prem away.
Preet was driving as fast as he could honking his horn like a madman to warn other vehicles that he was coming. "How far is this place?"
"It's a least a thirty-five minute drive," Heer replied.
"Maybe we will see them heading back to the hospital," Preet said trying to think positively.
They drove for another twenty minutes when Preet started to slow down. They saw large skid marks on the road as if some truck had flipped over and slide down the roadway into the bushes and trees below. They saw two cars parked on the side of the road. The blue car had it's hood propped up. "There are cars up ahead. Looks like someone had some car trouble? Let's see if they've seen anything. Those skid marks look fresh and you can still smell the burning rubber."
"It's not them is it?" Heer asked worriedly.
"No those skids look too large to be something the size of Vinod Uncle's truck," Preet reassured. His eyes narrowed and he exclaimed, "That's Vinod Uncle's truck! The one parked behind the blue car."
Preet parked the car to the side of the roadway and they got out to inspect the vehicles. "Hello?" Preet called out. "Hello?"
"Maybe they went to take a leak?" Heer suggested.
Preet shrugged his shoulders and walked closer to the car. "Nobody," he sighed.
"No one here either," Heer reported as she inspected the truck.
"Hey Preet, pop the trunk to the car." Heer ordered. He opened the driver side door and pulled the lever to the trunk. He heard a gentle gasp and knew right away what it was. "I think I found the driver of the blue car." Preet walked to the back where Heer was standing and saw the driver dead from a gunshot wound to the head. "He saw something all right," Heer stated.
Just then they heard some rustling noises from above and two men came barreling out of the woods. Preet quickly defended himself and blocked a punch from one of the men. Heer did a roundhouse kick knocking the other man into the car. He snarled and got back up charging after her.
"Where is Jaywant?" Preet asked as he held the man he was fighting in a head lock. "Where is he?"
"I don't know no Jaywant," the man heaved.
"Fine, your boss. Where is he?"
"Not here," the man replied.
Preet slammed him into the car making him groan. "Stop being smart. Tell me where he is and I'll make this less painful for you."
The man laughed, "It's too late your friends are gone...haha...down the hill they went...and if they are still alive it won't be for long."
Preet slammed the guy into the car again and grabbed the back of his head and knocked it against the window. The man groaned and slide down the car into a slump. "Heer, he's down the hill. Go...I'll take care of the other guy for you."
Heer dodged a punch and then took off into a run down the hill following the deep skid mark trail of broken tree stumps and branches. She maneuvered to the left so wouldn't get stuck in the soft patches of dirt that had been created from the large truck that had careened down the hillside. She was running rather fast and she didn't want to trip and fall and seriously injure herself on some broken tree limbs. In her caution to be careful of where she was placing her feet, her right foot tripped over a tree root and she went tumbling down the hill.
Prem groggily opened his eyes trying to see where he was. It took him a few seconds to sit up and let his body and mind register where he was. He needed to get up quick because whoever it that tried to run them over was probably still out there looking for him. His head was pounding and his vision was still a bit blurry. He managed to stand up on his own two feet and look around him. "Vinod Uncle," he softly uttered. He quickly scanned around him and started calling, "Vinod Uncle! Uncle?" He limped about the forest looking for his companion. He had pushed him down the hill before the car hit him but had no idea what had happened to him after that. Did he get struck by the vehicle instead or did he also tumble down the hill? "Uncle if you can hear me make some noise."
Prem stood silent for a few seconds hoping to hear Vinod's voice. He knew he was taking a big risk talking and making a ruckus in the middle of the woods. Their enemy was probably out there searching for him and he was making it extremely easy for him to find them. Prem stumble about the hillside searching for any signs human life when he saw a shoe. "Uncle," he murmured. His eyes scanned the leafy floor and spotted a tan shirt. He hurriedly ran towards it and saw Vinod Uncle laying on his back. He quickly flipped him over to inspect him. He could hear faint breathing and was relieved he was still alive. He checked the rest of him to make sure there weren't any serious injuries. He grimaced when he saw his pant leg drenched in blood. His leg was broken. Prem carefully laid the left leg straight and looked about him to see if there anything he could use to make a temporary cast for his leg. He found some medium sized tree branches that he could use and placed them beside his leg. Now he needed something to tie them together. He took off his kurta shirt and noticed that there was a trickle of blood running down the right side of the shirt. He placed his hand up on his forehead and winched. He reasoned that he probably had a gash or large cut on his forehead. He ignored the pain so he could concentrate on patching up Vinod Uncle. He needed something to cut stripes out of his kurta top and started searching the police belt around Vinod Uncle's waist. He found the gun holster empty and realized the gun must have fallen out during his tumble down the hill. He looked down at his right leg and found a bulge. He pulled the pant leg up and found a small backup pistol. He took it out knowing it would probably come in handy later. Prem continued searching for something to cut his kurta top with when he heard some rustling in the bushes. He immediately grabbed the gun and pointed it towards the direction he thought he heard the rustling come from. He swallowed uneasily and waited. He could feel his undershirt clinging tightly to his sweaty body as the tension of the moment seemed to stretch uncomfortably long. He heard the rustling again and then from underneath a bush a little squirrel out darted. Prem lowered his gun feeling relieved. He just stared at the little animal and shook his head.
Heer coughed as she came to and rolled herself over on the ground. She was disoriented and her body was in pain. She sat up and began checking herself making sure she wasn't badly hurt anywhere. "All limbs seem to be intact," she mumbled. She slowly got to her feet and tenderly tested her legs. To her relief she was fine. Her knees hurt a bit but she was able to walk. Heer looked about her wondering in what direction she should start her search. She walked over to the large over turned truck and found the driver dead. "Probably died on impact," she said to herself. She then began moving to the right of the truck wreck. As she passed by a set of bushes she was quickly grabbed from behind. A hard hand cupped her mouth and a deep rumbling voice sneered. "Agent Maan how nice of you to show up. You've made my work a lot easier now." Heer tried struggling against the man holding her captive but all it accomplished was make him tighten his hold on her even more. "You're in such a rush to meet him. Don't worry we'll find him. I'm sure he would come running the minute he heard your voice," he said as he let his hand slip from her mouth. He rammed his gun into her lower back making her grunt in pain as he held her firmly with his forearm against her neck in a choke hold. "Go on call him. Aren't you curious to find out if he is alive?"
"Don't you feel ashamed at what you are doing?" Heer inquired. "You're his Uncle."
Jaywant chuckled, "He's my sister's adopted kid. He's no relation of mine."
"Not once during the years you've known him did you ever loved him?"
"If you are expecting me to suddenly start listening to my conscious and all that crap then you are sadly mistaken. You are talking to a man who killed his own sister. I have no soul anymore. It belongs to the devil," he laughed. Heer felt a deep sense of dread spread through her body. "Now walk," he ordered.
Prem had found a small pocket knife stuffed in the duty pouch on Vinod Uncle's security belt. He was making nice sized strips of fabric from his kurta to use them to tie up the make shift cast he was making for Vinod Uncle's broken leg. He had tied the top and bottom ends and was now ready to tie up the middle portions to make things sturdy. As he was diligently working his ears perked to a faint sound coming from inside the forest. He thought he heard someone calling. He sat back and listened carefully but didn't hear anything. When he went back to work he heard the faint voice again. This time he could make out that it was calling his name. It was a female voice and he immediately got up and starting shouting, "Heer? Heer? I'm over here!" He waited a few minutes to see if she had heard him.
He smiled in delight and started yelling again, "Heer! Heer! It's Prem!"
They continued to call back and forth for a few more minutes. Prem could hear Heer's voice coming closer and closer and knew in a matter of seconds she would be there in front of him. He heard some rustling in the bushes and called, "I'm over here." His face lit up when he saw her emerge through a bush standing not far from him. "Heer!" he exclaimed in relief. But his eyes quickly noted that the expression on her face was one of fear. Something wasn't right. Just as he bent down to grab the pistol laying on the ground he heard a stern voice order, "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
Prem stood up and swallowed hard as he pointed his pistol towards Heer's direction. "Let her go," he commanded.
"I don't think you're the position to negotiate," the male voice replied. Prem's eyes looked on in concern as Heer let out a distressed yelp. It was clear the man was hurting her.
"What kind of coward hides behind a bush and hurts a woman?" Prem snarled. He watched as Heer was forced to walk forward and saw a fifty something looking man stand behind her. His eyes seethed with anger when the man placed the gun up to Heer's head and held her securely to him with his forearm wrapped tightly around her neck. "Who the h*ll are you? What the h*ll do you want?"
"You really don't remember anything? I guess I'll have to tell you the truth about everything," Jaywant replied.
Heer listened with concern at what lies he was going to try to fill Prem's head with. "Don't believe a thing he says Prem!" She cried out in pain as Jaywant tightened his hold on her.
"You need to keep your mouth shut," Jaywant threatened. "You've caused enough problems in our family...for my nephew."
"Nephew?" Prem inquired.
"She didn't tell you I'm your Uncle? What has she been telling you?" Jaywant inquired. "She's not who you think she is."
"No, she didn't tell me about you," Prem replied with curiosity. "Heer, is he really my Uncle?"
Heer looked at Prem dumbstruck that he was seriously going to listen to Jaywant.
"Yes, I am Prem. I'm your Uncle Jaywant on your Mom's side...Kulraj. She," pointing his gun at Heer's temple," has been causing all sorts of issues in our family. Don't tell me she told you she was married to you."
"Heer?" Prem asked with a perplexed look on his face.
"You're not married to her. What did she do seduce you into thinking you two where? She's a lair Prem."
"Don't listen to him Prem. He's lying," Heer pleaded.
"Am I really? He pulled a passport form his pocket and tossed it towards Prem. Check it out for yourself."
Prem cautiously opened the passport and saw the name Heer Maan. He looked up with questioning eyes towards her. "What's this?"
"You want to know the real reason for her coming to find you? Her father killed your real family and she was sent by her father to finish you off," Jaywant said.
"That's not true. Don't believe him. He's the one who's trying to kill you. He's the one who killed your family," Heer explained, "Please Prem don't believe a word he says. I love you. You know that."
"If that is the truth then why didn't you tell him in the first place? Why did you lie about the wedding? There isn't anything registered at the marriage bureau for a Maan and Deshmukh wedding," Jaywant stated.
Prem looked at Heer and who was shaking her head pleading with him to not believe Jaywant. "Why can't you answer me?" he asked. "Are we married or not?" Heer looked at him afraid to tell him the truth. If she said no he would have all the more reason to distrust her. "Heer? Why can't you answer this simple question?"
"Please Prem. Don't believe him," she begged.
Prem raised his gun higher and aimed it towards her head. "You lie. You make me sick to my stomach. You killed my family and now you're trying to manipulate me..." Jaywant sneered as he watched with delight that Prem was ready to pull the trigger on Heer. "You think killing me was going to be that easy? You were wrong...dead wrong. I won't let you kill me...or the person I love the most in this world," shifting his gun towards his uncle, "I remember everything now you b*stard!" Jaywant's eyes widened in alarm but before he could register what had happened he fell limp to the floor. Heer stood there stunned her heart beating frenetically in her chest. She was afraid to move and was frozen to the spot where she stood. Prem ran up to her and hugged her. "Sorry Pumpkin. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."
Heer slowly lifted her arms upward onto his back and hugged him. "Prem?" she cried holding him tightly.
He looked her in the eyes and tenderly wiped her tears away with the pads of his thumbs. He nodded his head, "Yea, I remember. I finally remember Pumpkin." He could see the happiness in her eyes and it made him feel at peace. "I guess the knock on the head when I came tumbling down the hill did it. I remember everything."
Heer hugged him tightly and said with much relief in her voice, "I love you."
"I-lov...you...tooo..." he hoarsely whispered. "Tight hold...Pump-kin..."
"Oh, sorry," Heer replied letting him out of her bone crushing embrace.
Prem took a couple of deep breaths and then smiled. "Smart thinking soon-to-be Mrs. Juneja...telling everyone at the hospital we were married. You wanted to make sure Geet didn't get any ideas didn't you?"
"I don't know what you are talking about," Heer said shifting her eyes away. "It was the only Preet and I could see you and be informed about your medical condition."
"Right," Prem replied clicking his tongue. He then looked down at the body lying on the ground with a bullet wound straight through the head. "He really thought I would buy the whole passport thing? Seriously. If we just got married there is no way your married name would appear on your passport. The marriage license has to get recorded first and then we can file the paperwork for it. Who has time to wait for that to get completed before the honeymoon? It takes a good month for a new passport to get issued."
"Where is Vinod Uncle?" Heer gently inquired.
"He's over here," Prem said taking her hand into his as he led her to him. "He's breathing but just knocked out. His leg is broken. I was trying to make a makeshift cast for him."
"Preet is probably wondering where we are," Heer said. "I hope he's all right. I left him to defend himself against Jaywant's men."
"Preet is perfectly fine and extremely relieved to see all three of you."
"Preet!" Prem and Heer exclaimed.
"I called the police they should be on our way. I heard voices talking and then the gunshot. I just started to run and follow where I thought the sounds came from." He looked over to his left and tighten his lips. "Dead center I see."
"I guess he forgot I use to be on the sniper team," Prem said. "At first sight...dead center."
Preet smirked and then turned to help them take care of Vinod Uncle until the rescue unit came to get him out of there.
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new ff dil ka rishta chpt 2
Author: lub.harshiti Replies: 6 Views: 656
|lub.harshiti||6||656||08 March 2010 at 12:55am by ...Nikhita...|
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