Arjun barged into the ETF headquarters swinging the door behind him. Rathore and Chottu sprang to their feet and walked to him. He looked weary, blood was dripping from his forehead, his arm was bleeding, looked like it had been slashed open.
Chottu walked towards him and offered him a chair. Arjun kicked it away and glared at Rathore, "Shree kahan hai?'
Rathore and Chottu exchanged uneasy glances, 'Woh ek nayi software ki testing ke liye police headquarters gaya hai..'
Arjun clenched his jaw and spoke through gritted teeth, Aur RIYA?'
It was Chottu who spoke this time, 'Woh.. Ri ko bank mein kuch urgent kaam tha, bass aati hi hogi..'
Arjun banged his fist on the conference table that its creaked aloud. Rathore grabbed his arm concerned, "Rawte, baat kya hai?'
Arjun shrugged off Rathore's hand and barked at them, 'Officers? ETF OFFICERS kehte ho apne aap ko?'
Woh dono tum dono ko bevakoof banakar, tumhari naak ke neeche se nikal gaye, aur tum pooch rahe ho baat kya hai?!'
He turned to Rathore, 'Aur aap SIR, aap toh ek seasoned officer hain, right? Aapko toh andaza ho jana chahiye tha.. Woh dono toh hain hi bevakoof!'
Rathore and Chottu exchanged uneasy glances; they were really confused now, but they were certain of one thing, this was definitely bad news!!
Rathore glared at Arjun, 'Bass, ab normal logon ki bhaasha mein batao, hua kya hai?'
The ETF had received a case 2 days ago, wherein a girl working at a popular MNC had committed suicide at a resort. On digging further, they had found out that she had been working at an ad agency part-time to support her ailing father.
However, the owner of the ad agency wasn't a mere photographer. The ETF had found that he had molested girls on the pretext of filming them and later blackmailed them with the same DVD's when they had refused to work for him.
Shree and Chottu had managed to confiscate a few of his DVD's from his shop and they had arrested a few men working there as well. However, it had been too late; since the owner had fled and no one knew his current whereabouts.
Arjun had asked Shree to trace his phone-calls, and he had gone to meet the dead girl's parents.
He had an accident on the way, coz a crazy truck driver had decided to drink and drive. He returned to the ETF headquarters hurt, and habitually happened to peep into Riya's cabin.
She wasn't there! Maybe she was with the rest of the team.
He was about to turn back when something caught his eye; he walked inside and grabbed the bag.
It was full of clothes; party-wear skimpy clothes. He gently sniffed one of those, 'Riya's perfume??' She had tried those on!
He fumbled through her bag and found cosmetics and strappy high heels strewn around.
He spun confused and ran his fingers through his hair, Iss sab ka kya matlab hai?' She never wore these to work? Had she gone on a date?
He mentally reprimanded himself at that thought, You know, she wouldn't!!
He had walked out of her cabin and was about to call her when he happened to glance at Shree's laptop on his desk. Arjun marched towards it and saw, 'The call had been traced!!' He muttered to himself, 'How come, no one called me?'
He thought Rathore must be dealing with it and was about to turn back, when he saw that the call had been traced over an hour back.
He quickly recollected the scene he had just seen in Riya's cabin and now this!!
It didn't take him more than a minute to connect the dots!
He ran down to the parking lot and found Shree's Yamaha R15 missing!
Arjun swore under his breath, 'You freakin morons!!'
And he had sprinted up the stairs to inform Rathore.
Rathore raised his brow in confusion, 'So, iska matlab, Shree aur Riya humse jhoot bolkar gaye hain!'
Arjun shot him an 'unbelievable' look.
They had wasted no time in tracking Shree and Riya's phones.
All three exchanged worried glances when they found three green dots flickering on the screen close to each other; Madh Island it is!
They had literally sprinted towards the parking lot and were already zooming through the traffic.
Rathore banged his fist against the steering wheel; he hated not being in control! 'Chottu, unn dono ke phone try karte raho.. Messages bhejo! I swear, main unn dono ko duty se suspend karva doonga..'
Chottu gulped and tried calling Shree for the 50th time now! Though he was a big and well-built guy, he was generally cool-headed; but today he was furious with his friends! How dare they lie to him?
And Riya, well, Shree and Riya had almost treated her like a baby sister for years now!'
Rathore gritted his teeth and glanced at Arjun. He had thrown his head back on the seat and had shut his eyes!
He saw a familiar pretty face flash in front of his eyes.. Involuntarily a sigh escaped his lips, 'Riya''
His mind went back to the first time they had met, 2 years back. She had mistaken him for a criminal and had attacked him, only to be held captive herself. Arjun had initially despised her for being weak and poking around her nose in everyone's business. But later that had been replaced by pity; he pitied her when she couldn't shoot or when she struggled with a case.
However, gradually he had grown fond of her; he liked spending time with her; looking at her smile, listening to her non-stop chatter, looking at her fret over hygiene. It had become a part of his life.. He had even felt the flickers of attraction between them, and that is when all hell had broken lose!
His analytical brain had concluded that it wasn't right' He had refused to believe his heart and was sure that he couldn't feel that way for anyone but Roshni!
He couldn't betray his dead wife's memories. She was his first love and would remain the only one till his last breath..
And then had begun, the series of heart-wrenching taunts, scornful glances thrown her way, ignoring her presence around him, and in his life!
And he had realized something a few months later, he had succeeded! Succeeded in pushing Riya away from him; she hadn't spoken a single word to him for the last 3 months. She had maintained a strictly professional relationship with him, not over-stepping the boundaries. However, something else had dawned upon him as well!
The spunky, ever-smiling, bubbly Riya Mukherjee was gone! She rarely smiled these days; hardly even spoke more than necessary!
And that had broken him! He felt something pierce his heart; every time she looked into his eyes and he had understood that destiny had once again played a cruel game! His heart had been revived for a short while; the heavens had granted him a second chance at life; but him being the jerk he was, he had blown it up and thrown it away! He had broken her heart and trampled all over it!
Today as he sat in the zooming SUV, a million thoughts crossed his head, and he found himself doing the very thing, he had pledged not to, a few years back!
Arjun Suryakant Rawte prayed!
He prayed for the well-being of his love, his life!
He knew he wouldn't be able to breathe if he let anything happen to her.
He shut his eyes and a tear rolled down his cheek; another pretty face waved at him. This time it was his wife, who was finally happy that he was moving on with his life. She had come to bid him her last goodbye!
Rathore hit the brakes and the car came to a screeching halt. Chottu opened the door of the passenger seat and gently placed a hand on Arjun's shoulder, bringing him back to reality.
They took their positions and decided to enter the bungalow, through different entrances.
Arjun grabbed his pistol in one hand and pressed his back into the concrete wall and prepared himself to jump from the roof onto the 1st floor. His heart was beating frantically. He knew Riya was here.. He felt she needed him!
Chapter 1: Pg. 1
Chapter 2: Pg. 4
Chapter 3: Pg. 8
Chapter 4: Pg. 17
Chapter 5-A: Pg. 23Chapter 5-B & C: Pg. 28Chapter 6: Pg. 35Chapter 7: Pg. 40Chapter 8: Pg. 46Chapter 9: Pg. 52Chapter 10A + Note: Pg. 57Chapter 10B + Note: Pg. 60
More Ariya works here..
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