Jane's Corner: The Jewel of the Maharajah's Eye (Chapter 9)
Thank you all for your kind patience whilst I was in the middle of exams. Samir is back and ready for action now! I hope you have not forgotten him ;)) Do comment and tell me if you like or not.
Bahadhur Singh paced up and down in the reception room of Raani Saheba's apartments glancing at his watch every few minutes.
Where were they? They should have been back by now. Even though Samir had already told him he could look after himself many times, he worried. The fact that his father had left him all his property and wealth which his uncle, aunt and Raghav had thought was theirs, made him a real target. They would all benefit from Samir's death and Bahadhur Singh didn’t trust those three as far as he could throw them and with that in mind, he had sorted something out which he should have done a long time ago.
When Raani Saheeba had died so suddenly he had been away, by the time he had returned from his village she had been cremated. He always had his suspicions that whoever it was, had been waiting for him to go on leave. The late Maharajah had not even bothered to set a mourning period carrying on as if nothing untoward had happened. It seemed to Bahadhur Singh that the only people who missed Raani Saheeba was Samir and himself. He had his suspicions that Raani Saheeba had been poisoned but without proof he couldn’t say anything to Samir.
He glanced up at the beautiful portrait of Raani Saheeba, his eyes suspiciously moist as he vowed to her that he would not let anything happen to Samir or for that matter Persephone. His phone rang interrupting his worries, he fished it out of his pocket and answered.
“Bahadhur Singhji this is Raju the engineer who maintains the Maharajah's plane. Suresh who helps me maintain it, came crying to me just now and told me that he had left the plane unguarded for an hour as someone had paid him to disappear for a while, but now he is distraught that he has done such a thing when the Maharajah has always been so nice to him.” he carried on, “We don’t really know what if anything was done to the Maharajah's plane but I just wanted to ask you what we should do?”
Bahadhur Singh's heart started pounding. Someone had messed with the engines he was sure of it. But which one of them........ he shook his head to clear it, he would worry about that later, first thing to do would be organise a search.
“Raju, I am going to organise a search party. Thank you for calling me straight away.”
“Bahadhur Singhji, knowing what a competent pilot Sir is, he should have managed to land some where. It would be a good idea to start searching for his plane straight away although its quite dark now but in a few hours by the time we get going, it will be morning again. I will go now to the larger airport and organise a fly over the area to see if I can spot anything.”
“Good idea Raju, call me when you get started.”
Bahadhur Singh sprang into action straight away calling the servants together, he formed a search party. He didn’t bother to wake any of the family as he knew it had to be one of them who had caused this to happen in the first place. He called Arunji as he knew he had a formidable amounts of contacts he could muster up as well.
Within an hour they were all headed in the direction that Samir and Perse had said they were flying.
Sunita and Arun had managed to muster up nine of their relatives on various forms of transport ranging from scooters to rickshaws.
Amar Singh watched from his office window with a sinister smile as Bahadhur Singh and the servants ran around like headless chickens. Even though Bahadhur Singh had not informed him, he had his own methods of finding out what all the commotion had been about. He was not overly concerned that his nephew might be lying somewhere in the desert injured or worse.
“Why are you up so late?” asked Choti Raani, startling him.
“I could ask the same of you?” he turned eyeing her warily. She looked quite smug he thought.
“No reason, couldn’t sleep,” she said casually and went to the window he had been looking out off and saying almost to herself. “You can see most of the comings and goings from Raani Saheeba's apartments from here can't you?”
“Yes, you see a lot of things, some surprising things as well.” he left it unfinished.
“What do you mean by that?” Although her tone told him that she knew what he might be referring to.
She turned, her small hard glittering eyes looking at him.
“I have seen many interesting things myself over the years....” she let her cryptic message linger in the air watching his face closely.
Amar Singh met her eyes, silent recriminations passed between them. So much said and even more unsaid. The acrid taste of bitterness, regret and hate was like a living thing between them.
“Where is Raghav?” he asked out of curiosity changing the subject.
“He has gone off with those wild friends of his, said something about a celebration.”
Amar Singh crossed around to his beautifully polished walnut desk and flicked an imaginary piece of fluff off it, saying softly “I guess there is nothing to do but wait.” settling himself into his chair, as Choti Raani went and poured herself a large cognac from his liquor cabinet.
The night had well and truly settled in now. Samir looked down at Persphone and said, “Persephone I want to kiss you....I need to kiss you.”
Persephone smiled up at him, “Are you asking my permission? I don’t remember you asking me yesterday.”
“How remiss of me! Was it only yesterday?”
“Hmmm...” her eyes focused on his lips which were smiling.”I thought Maharajah's always just took what they wanted without asking?” she said smiling back.
“Us playboy, idiot Maharajah's like to think we are somewhat modern in our thinking than our ancestors, but I have to say there are many merits to their way of thinking.” he said his lips a breath away from hers, remembering their first meeting.
“I think that’s why I love history so much.” Persephone replied, a flush of pink rose in her cheeks as she remembered what she had called him.
His lips closed over hers. They teased and tantalised until she opened her mouth to him with a groan. His tongue duelled with hers, seeking out all the sweetness. He didn’t rush as he explored her, nibbling at her lips until she all but melted into a puddle.
“Persephone you are incredible.” he whispered. His mouth closed over hers again and this time his fingers wound themselves into her thick tresses angling her face to his satisfaction.
She had been kissed before but never like this, he was a master sensualist, Persephone felt as if she had been hit by a tidal wave of passion. His hard warmth surrounded her, she pressed up into him, becoming totally lost in his kiss as he responded to her eagerness with feverish need. She lifted her arms to wind themselves around him, completely forgetting under his passionate onslaught that her ribs were injured, a gasp of pain escaped her lips.
Immediately he stopped, lifting himself away from her, his breathing erratic as he took a moment to bring himself back under control.
Gently the fingers that had wound themselves into her hair caressed her cheek and he apologised. “I am so sorry, forgive me, I got carried away and hurt you.” His dark eyes filled with concern.
Persephone reached up and caressed his cheek whispering, “I forgive you only if you promise to kiss me again.”
“No.” Then at her frown.”I mean, not until you are better. You are like a heady drug that I can't get enough off. If I start I may not be able to stop and then I will end up injuring you again.” he told her firmly, his tone told her that he was already unhappy with himself for forgetting her injury. Persephone reached up with her good hand and caressed his cheek, her eyes huge with feeling.
Bereft of his warmth, she shivered as the cool night breeze of the desert went through her light clothes. Turning, he lay on his back and gathered her into his arms as if she were a fragile piece of glass, arranging her gently over him so she could get maximum body heat from him. “We will start out as the sun rises. I am sure Bahadhur Singh has already organised a search for us. Now sleep.”
Persephone groaned, in his arms, like this? Sleep was far from her mind. His heart pounded rhythmically under her cheek and she felt his long lean muscled length against her. Unconsciously she snuggled further into him.
A low moan escaped him, “Are you deliberately trying to torment me?” he questioned his fingers playing with her hair and caressing down her back. “Go to sleep you little torment, otherwise I might lose whatever control I have left. Which is teetering on the edge of dangerously little anyway!”
Persephone chuckled into his chest, “I can't sleep.” she muttered as his spicy tangy scent filled her senses. Trying to distract herself she asked“So, when you are not here being Maharaja what do you do?”
“Have you heard of Sandsoft?”
Balancing her chin on his chest, Persephone looked at him and replied, “Who hasn’t? You would have had to be on another planet if you had not. The CEO of that company just wangled a coup a few months ago that set Wall Street a flutter.”
“Really?” Samir replied. “So my Persephone keeps abreast of the financial pages too,” he said softly to her. “Hmm well …”
Persephone's head suddenly whipped up and he steadied her over him. “You are THE S.Rathor!”
She stared at him as he smiled up at her in that devastating way of his.
“Oh!” Persephone stared at him with her mouth open. He reached up and with a gentle finger on her chin shut it for her. The moonlight reflected over her awe-stricken face. Her mind gathered all the snippets of information she had read about him here and there. Billionaire, but extremely low profile, rarely seen at society events, although the paparazzi always tried to get a glimpse of him and any woman he might be associated with. Supporter of countless charities, businesses worldwide. Superior intellect.
“So now you know.” he whispered up at her. “Your turn.”
After a minute, once she had digested this information, she replied with a shrug. “There is not much to tell. I write books, teach and that’s about it.”
“There is nothing 'that’s about it' at all about you Persephone. The way you handle people, even Bahadhur Singh is under your spell, and trust me he never-ever becomes putty in anyone's hands like this. You don’t want to tell me it seems, but I can wait.” He said settling her against him carefully again, trying to keep her warm. “Sleep now.” he said gently, and she did, slowly drifting off in his arms as his heart steadily beat under her cheek.
Samir however, stayed awake long into the night as he went over what could have gone wrong with the Piper, the only conclusion he came to was that someone had interfered with it. That did not sit well in his gut. Not only had they tried to kill him but Persephone also. His arms gently tightened around her in a protective gesture, because of him she was now in danger too.
The search party split up in several directions that Raju had pointed out to Bahadhur Singh. By now it was almost time for sunrise and they still had no sign or sighting of the plane. Raju called to say he had managed to get a plane organised, and would be able to do a fly by as soon as it was light. Bahadhur Singh had never prayed so hard for the day to begin as he did this morning, sighing with relief at the first signs of sun's rays broke through the darkness.
Persephone woke to a unusual heavy weight over her. Her eyes opened and she focused on Samir's face close to hers. He had protectively tucked her into his side. His long lashes cast spiky shadows against his cheeks, a dark growth of stubble covered his jaw. He looked incredibly sexy Perse thought, she would not mind waking up to him every morning. Unfortunately what he had disclosed yesterday though, put him way out of her league. The mad scatty world that she lived in didn’t fit into CEO's worlds that gobbled up companies and made millions at the blink of an eye. And anyway she only had two more weeks left here and then it would be back to her teaching and writing and this would all seem like a beautiful dream. Samir would go back to his supersonic world and she would go back to the safety of the Oxford.
“Are you just going to stare at me with those incredible eyes or are you going to give me a morning kiss, my sweet Persephone?” he said in a lazy deep voice without opening his eyes.
“How did you know I was staring at you?” Had he said my Persephone again?
“Ahh Persephone I can feel your thoughts...just this moment you were thinking that you would soon run back to your cosy comfortable world and I would go back to mine.”
“Wouldn’t that be the easiest solution?” Persephone replied softly.
“Perhaps.” he said enigmatically. “Now for my morning kiss.” His lips closed over hers and Persephone lost herself completely in his kiss.
He had spent the majority of the night debating with himself whether he should refrain from continuing with their relationship for her safety. Then decided whilst she was in India she would be safer with him and Bahadhur Singh than away from him, especially now whoever it was may have realised how much she meant to him, if they had seen him kissing her last night. Reluctantly he broke off the kiss as the suns rays lit up the sky.
“Persephone you have brought light into my world, thank you.” He said softly. “Come on, we had better start out whilst its cool, its going to be a long walk.”
They packed up water, the medical kit, blanket and a compass and set off in the direction where they had last spotted a road. A few hours walk in the relative cool of the morning. Walking in the sand was hard work and Persephone stumbled quite a few times. By the time they reached a rough road of sorts, she was exhausted and in a lot of pain, biting her lip to stop herself from moaning out loud. He caught her doing that and made her stop immediately.
Pulling out the water, he made her sit to take a moment of rest, gently having a look at her ribs. A hiss broke from his lips as he saw the large and extensive bruising which was rapidly turning blue.
“Persephone!” He raised angry eyes to hers. “Why did you not tell me! You are the most stubborn of women!”
“I am fine, we will get home soon,” she muttered. He opened the medical kit and fished out more painkillers making her swallow them with the water. Packing it all up again he scooped her up in his arms and started on the road.
“Samir!” Persephone squealed, “Are you mad! Put me down this instant! I will walk.” she said struggling against him. “Do you propose to walk all the way to town like this?” she asked, when her futile attempts to get him to put her down failed.
He smiled and said, “I am getting a feeling of deja vu.”
“And I am getting a feeling that you are more like your ancestors then you like to think!”
“You did say that you liked that period, in fact I quite like carrying you like this, it makes me feel like Superman.” he said grinning down at her.
A giggle escaped from Perse's lips as she remembered shouting that at him only a few days ago.
“That's better, I love your smile Persephone” he said tucking her into him tightly. “Now put your arms around me and enjoy.”
“Pay attention to where you are walking Maharajah!” Perse said cheekily.
“I wish Toofan was here.” She said. Recalling that thrilling ride in his arms.
“Toofan! Since when did you become friends with him? You were petrified of him.”
“Since he came and nuzzled up to me and ate my mints, he is my friend now.”
“He has good taste.” Samir's dark eyes twinkled down at her.
They both heard it at the same time. Around the corner came a jeep followed by a car.
Samir's face broke into a grin as he saw Bahadhur Singh. He let Perse down as the Jeep reached them.
Bahadhur Singh leapt out of the car and hugged Samir, clearly emotional to see him alive and well. Placing his hand on Perse's head he was unable to say a word for a moment.
“You are never going up in that plane again Sir.” he said when he was able to speak.
“It was just a accident Bahadhur Singhji, Samir is such a good pilot we landed quite safely.” Perse said to Bahadhur Singh her own eyes moist.
“It was not.......” an accident Bahadhur Singh nearly said but stopped himself as he saw Samir's face. They both looked at each other acknowledging the fact that it was now serious.
© Jane Meme Copyright 27.02.2012