Jane's Corner: The Jewel of the Maharajah's Eye (Chapter 10)
I hope you enjoyed the last update? The story moves on, my poor Samir! Enjoy and do comment please its nice to read what you like and what you dont. ;))
As soon as Samir settled Persephone into the Jeep he asked Bahadhur Singh to call a doctor to come to the palace urgently. Instantly Bahadhur Singh was very concerned and Perse had to calm him down, assuring him she was not in any danger. He called the Doctor and requested for her to come to the palace.
Bahadhur Singh then phoned Arun to say that they had been found, all was well and he was taking them back to the palace, he also called the airport to let Raju know that they were safe, but for him to pinpoint where the plane had crashed as per Samir's instructions, so a recovery team could be sent for it.
“You had a lot of people searching for us Bahadhur Singh at such short notice thank you.” Perse said.
“Madam everyone was most concerned,” he said, “Your friends from the hotel came so quickly.”
“Yes, they are wonderful people I will thank them all later.” Persephone said smiling.
Samir and Bahadhur Singh exchanged a look, Bahadhur Singh nodded his head to indicate he had not notified his uncle, but then they both knew that his uncle had spies who would have told him by now.
By the time they arrived back at the palace it was almost noon. Samir insisted on carrying Persephone to his bedroom where the doctor was already waiting. He insisted the doctor was to examine her properly and advise him if Persephone needed to go to the hospital, he would fly her there straight away.
Persephone rolled her eyes at his over fussing but Samir was not one to back down.
The Doctor looked at her and laughed, “It seems the Maharajah is most concerned about your health.”
“I am fine really, just a few bruises I will heal in a couple of days.” Perse said.
The doctor examined her and she agreed, there was extensive bruising but it would heal in a few days. She prescribed some strong painkillers that would ease the discomfort. As she left she reassured Samir that Persephone was fine, and just needed to rest.
Persephone lay there for a moment taking in her surroundings. The room was exquisite, octagonal in shape, beautiful golden framed windows overlooking the gardens on one side, flooding the room with light. Opulent furniture was placed tastefully mixing French and Indian pieces. She could see several unique exquisite bureaus, tables and chairs. She wondered if Raani Saaheba had bought all the furniture or was it a collection over many hundreds of years of rule. On one of the walls there was a whole series of model cars down to the most exquisite detail, Rolce Royce, Mercedes, Ferraris, Astons and many more. She assumed this must have been Samir's bedroom as a child. He had been brought up in such luxury and yet had forged his own way in life, that was indeed the mark of a man.
She had also seen dark pain in his eyes, especially when he had been talking to his uncle, Samir was an intriguing man. There was definitely something in his past associated with his mother that still caused him deep pain. Luxury surrounding does not necessarily equate to a happy childhood Persephone thought.
Snapping herself out of her thoughts she decided she had better get back to the hotel, she had been enjoying Samir's hospitality rather too much.
He walked back into the room just as Persephone was sliding off the beautiful four poster bed and slipping her feet into her sandals.
“Where do you think you are going?” He demanded his face full of concern.
“Samir, I need to go back to the hotel, will you get someone to drop me or order a taxi please.” She said standing up with a wince.
Immediately he scooped her back into his arms and deposited her like a fragile piece of glass into the middle of it. “You are not going anywhere!” He commanded. “You will stay here until you are well.”
Finding herself back on the bed, Persephone indignantly said, “Will you stop doing that!”
Bahadhur Singh who had knocked lightly on the door and walked in wholeheartedly agreed with him. “Madam, you cannot go anywhere in your condition.”
Perse looked at both of them with a exasperated glare. “Really! I am fine, I need to get back to the hotel and have a shower and do some work.”
“Madam I have arranged for Sunitaji to come with your clothes and work already. She wanted to see you anyway, they should be here soon.” Bahadhur Singh informed her.
She looked at both of them as they stood, arms folded staring at her not budging an inch, there did not seem much point in arguing.
“Fine!” she muttered realising that she was outnumbered.
“Good, that's settled now, we need some food, I am famished,” said Samir. “We have had nothing since lunchtime yesterday.”
“Of-course!” Bahadhur Singh said happily and went off to organise lunch.
Persephone started to slide of the bed again, “Where are you going now!” Samir asked with a frown.
“Samir, I need to freshen up!” She said with a flush on her cheeks, “Just show me the way and don't insist on carrying me there unless you want a broken arm!” she threatened.
Samir chuckled and opened a door that led to the en-suite, walking out of the room with a huge grin.
“You couldn’t even manage to pull this off!” Amar Singh said angrily to Choti Raani as he saw Samir going into his mothers apartments, carrying Persephone in his arms.
“What do you mean? I didn’t arrange it, I thought you did! I am not a murderer.” She replied furiously.
“Don't lie to me! I know you killed Raani Saheeba!”
It didn’t surprise her that he should think that, her husband was a sly cunning man who kept his cards close to his chest, but he was mistaken.
“I saw you coming out of her apartments, at that time I didn’t realise what you had been doing, you watched as she died. She was the only woman who I ever loved.” He said his eyes hard on her.
“You're a fool! She never loved you! In-fact when I pretended to be her friend at your brothers request, I told her that you loved her and do you know what she said to me? She said that she felt sorry for you, she said she knew the pain of loving someone who doesn’t love you back. She felt sorry for you! Do you hear me!” Choti Raani retorted, laughing bitterly.
Carrying on she smiled a bitter twisted smile, “You thought that I killed her all this time? Actually I was just a pawn in the Maharajah's game. He is the one who poisoned her. I think she had learnt that he had killed the brother of a woman he had raped. She was searching for more evidence that she could present to the authorities, she was always one for doing the right thing, even if it meant that she would put her husband in jail.” Choti Raani laughed sarcastically. “I realised that much later. I am sure he thought if got found out he would try to put the blame on me, but nobody bothered to investigate her death especially since he had chosen to do it when Bahadhur Singh was away. I was glad she was dead though, the perfect Raani! She always thought she was always better than me, at least you stopped spending all your time pining for her.”
His eyes closed as he heard those words, “You disgust me! She was a true lady...”
“And yet all this time you thought I had killed her and you never said a word! If you loved her that much why didn’t you get the police involved?”
“What would have been the point?” Amar Singh sighed, “She was dead, nothing would have brought her back.”
“That’s the trouble with you Amar Singh, you are a coward, if you really loved her that much you would have stood up to your father and your brother, instead you did as you were told and ruined my life as well.” She finished bitterly. “Well, now what are we going to do? Samir is no idiot he will realise someone tampered with his plane and we will all be suspects.”
“If it wasn’t you it must be Raghav!” She surmised. “He is such a fool he never gets anything right!”
Completely deflated now Amar Singh sat down heavily in a chair.
“Yes, it must have been him. He hates Samir with a vengeance but Samir is likely to suspect us all, after all we all stand to gain if anything happens to him. With him deciding to stay here we have nothing, we are all at his mercy.” Amar Singh sighed.
Choti Raani looked at the pathetic figure of a man he was, “ I had better think of something to about Samir myself!” She flung at him, waltzing out of his office.
“Sunitaji and Arunji how nice to see you.” Persephone said as she sat up in bed, Samir would not let her out of it. He had even made her have her lunch in bed. “Thank you for helping with the search, I am so grateful.”
“And I.”Samir said walking into the room. He shook hands with Arunji.
Sunitaji looked around the room and said “Perse, this is a beautiful room! You are lucky to be staying in Raani Saheeba's apartments, she was an exceptional and beautiful lady.”
Samir smiled, it was nice to hear that his mother was still remembered fondly by people. They chatted awhile and then left when they saw Persephone was looking pale. Persephone thanked them again for bringing her belongings.
Samir came and sat on the bed next to her saying softly, “Do you want to take a nap?”
“I need a shower first,” she replied sliding off the bed.
“Wait, let me help you,” he said.
“Samir! Perse blushed to the roots of her hair at the thought of him helping her with her shower. “I can manage to get my clothes out of a bag, I am not an invalid.”
He chuckled at her blush, his eyes told her that he knew exactly what she had been thinking. “Indulge me.” He said in a deep sexy voice, his eyes almost melting her bones.
She let him help her set everything up for her in the shower, as the effects of the painkillers were making her drowsy. She had a quick shower and washed her hair somewhat painfully. By the time she put on fresh clothes, roughly dried her hair and came out she was exhausted. Sliding into the bed gratefully as he pulled the covers down for her.
He turned the lights down and watched her for a long time as she slept, her long damp tresses lay across his pillows, she looked so incredible lying there, and so right, had he only met her a week ago? He wanted to make her part of his life, but then again he was not sure if his darkness would kill the sunshine within her, he was not sure if he was ready to open himself to the pain that he knew love could be. He had watched his mother as he grew up, crying, wanting, waiting for the man she loved, his father. He watched as his father slowly but surely killed every hope, every dream his mother ever had for no other reason than that he could. In his darkest thought, his deepest fear was that he was exactly like his father, many in the business world said he was a ruthless heartless bastard, letting no one get in the way of achieving his ambitions. He had never let anyone become as close as he had let Persephone.
“Sir.” Bahadhur Singh's quiet voice interrupted him from the doorway. “I need to you to listen to this.” he said showing him a tape. Samir came quietly out of his room closing the door behind him.
“What is it?” Samir questioned.
Err..I took the liberty of hiding a recorder in your uncle's office.” Then at Samir's frown he said. “Samir your safety and now the safety of Persephone madam gravely concerns me. Once you hear what is on this tape you will realise why.”
The fact that Bahadhur Singh had called him Samir forgetting himself, instantly alerted him. It must be serious.
Choti Raani and Amar Singh's voices came through clearly, as they spilled all the secrets they held deep within for so long. Samir felt as if a knife had been slid into his heart and turned. His uncle had loved his mother, his aunt had watched his mother die and not lifted a finger to help her. Something he could have never imagined, his mother had been murdered by his father and no one had even bothered to do anything about it for all these years. Now they had proof, what Bahadhur Singh had been hinting to him ever since he had been old enough was finally out in the open. And yet he could do nothing about it, the culprit was already dead.
“I am so sorry beta,” Bahadhur Singh said his hand on Samir's shoulder. Tears ran freely down Bahadhur Singh's face as looked up at his beloved Raani Saheeba's portrait and said to her. “If only I had not been away!” He left Samir sitting in the room all alone, as he adsorbed the enormity of what they had learned.
Samir sat all night in the chair as the ghosts of the past haunted his thoughts. Guilt that he would never be able to avenge his mother's death or bring the culprit to justice flowed through him. He knew that his uncle, aunt and Raghav had never liked him, but he had always thought of them as family but now? He realised now why his mother had always kept him away from here as much as possible, the poison that seeped through the pores of this palace could just as easily seep into his soul.
As the morning rays started creeping into the room he decided, Persephone would be better off without him. As soon as she was well enough he would encourage her to go back to
Raghav threw his glass of whiskey at the wall, smashing the expensive crystal to smithereens without a thought. Why wasn’t Samir dead? By rights he should be, he had specifically arranged for a man who knew what he was doing to tamper with his plane. His face twisted into a bitter angry mask, it had cost him a bundle of money too. Drinking straight from the bottle he drank the Black label neat, he took a deep gulp and resigned himself to thinking of other ways to get rid off him, but before that he had plans for that woman who was now staying in the palace for a few days. How was he going to get her alone, he smiled happily at the thought of having her at his mercy, she had escaped him once but not again.
It was late afternoon the next day when Persephone finally had a moment to herself. Both Samir and Bahadhur Singh had been driving her around the bend, thankfully they had left for a meeting advising her again to take rest. Persephone was tired of taking rest, she had been resting a lot with Samir and Bahadhur Singh fussing like mother hens. Something puzzled Perse, since they had come back from the desert Samir had not once tried to kiss her, she wondered why, it was not as if he didn’t have plenty of opportunity. He was there every minute making sure she was fine, but something had obviously happened that made him keep his distance. Perse went back over last night and the morning, but she couldn’t pinpoint what had changed. Perhaps she had thought, he might have decided that their lives were so far apart on the spectrum it was pointless starting a relationship after all. She would have to keep control of her emotions she thought, for the first time in her life, she, Persephone Gupta had fallen in love, head over heels in love.
Dashing the tears of self pity from her cheeks she pulled out her camera and decided she would make the most of her opportunity to take photo's for her book. She went off in the direction of the stables, thinking it was not necessary for Samir to love her back, she could live with the fact that she had actually felt the beauty of love for the first time.
Late afternoon there was not much activity, the heat was slowly easing as she made her way to Toofan's stall. As soon as he saw her he started whining seeking her attention. Gladly, she went up to his stall and stroked his head, telling him how beautiful he was. He loved all the attention, as if he knew exactly what she was saying to him, nuzzling her as she gave him some mints.
“Ms Perse we meet again.”
Toofan gave a loud spooked snort, backing away from the voice.
“Hey! Toofan!” Perse turned to see who had spooked him and saw Samir's brother standing some distance away from the stall.
“Oh its you!” Perse said.
“I hear you have been in an accident? I am so happy to know you and my brother came to no harm.” Raghav said with a charming smile.
Persephone smiled back, “It was a close call but Samir is a very good pilot.”
“Yes, my brother is good at a lot of things, by the way where is he today and your body guard Bahadhur Singh? Raghav asked casually.
“They have gone out to a meeting, they left me only when I promised to rest in bed. But I have had enough of that, I needed to get out and take pictures of this beautiful place before I go home.”
Raghav could not believe his luck, “Then I must entertain you whilst they are away. Let me get you that cool lemonade I promised you a few days ago.”
Hesitantly Perse agreed, glancing at her watch she thought that Samir would be back any time now and would worry if she was not in the apartments. He had been so kind to her the last few days she hoped they would not be too upset she had disappeared, she would have a quick drink, after all she could not be impolite to Samir's brother. He did look a little like Samir she thought but Samir had something about him that his brother did not, although he seemed nice enough.
“Perse,” he said smiling back at her as he led her towards his rooms. “Tell me about yourself. All these pictures you are taking what are they for are you a tourist or is it for some other purpose.”
Perse chatted about her book and told him some anecdotes at his behest about the
other places she had visited. As they entered the palace he curtly told a servant to bring some lemonade to his rooms. Perse noted how different he was to Samir in his manner towards the servants, there seemed to be a vast difference between them.
He led her through the corridors, pointing out various details and telling her anecdotes about the palace leading her to a reception room he charmingly asked her to make herself comfortable. Perse looked around with interest. It seemed Samir's brother loved gold and red. The whole place was decked out in red tones. The furnishings gold and quite garish. She was not sure she liked his rooms at all. There was a knock at the door and Raghav went to answer it. Perse did think it was a little odd as he himself brought the tray in, on the way here he had not even bothered to pick up a chair he had accidentally tipped over, shouting for a servant at the time.
She sat back and sipped the lemonade he served her as he told her about his ancestors,
making her laugh.
Samir finished the meeting with his lawyers early. He had made a will, if anything were to happen to him Bahadhur Singh was to manage his affairs in relation to the palace. Leaving Bahadhur Singh a large settlement to support him and his large family for many generations. He had also made a large provision for building a new school in the region as well many other projects and set money aside for the upkeep of the summer palace under Bahadhur Singh's supervision. The rest of his worldwide businesses he had left to various members of his close team that he trusted. For Persephone he had left his apartment in
and also a large settlement that would see her very well off although he had no
intention of dying yet. The rest he left to various charities that he
As they drove back Samir thought about her. The last two days it had been a major feat not to succumb to kissing her silly. She was such a beautiful person inside and out, her smile her thoughts everything about her drove him crazy, but he kept himself in check, he didn’t want her to be touched by the poison of his past. He could not afford for Persephone to see how much he had fallen in love with her.
Perse was feeling quite strange all of a sudden. The glass remained clutched in her hand, she wanted to put it down, but her hand wouldn’t obey her command. Her thoughts were starting to cloud, she could hear him talking but she was finding it hard to respond. He seemed to
be smiling a lot, but the friendly smile of earlier had been replaced by the sinister
smile she had seen on that day at the party. He reached towards her and removed the glass from her hands.
“It seems, my brother has taken a liking to you,” he said. “But then, so have I and I am not one to
take any ones leavings, I would rather have you first myself.”
What he was saying was not registering properly, what did he mean by Samir liking her but wanting her for himself. She tried to stand up but found herself unable to move. Her mind realised that this was not good, something had gone terribly wrong on this very warm lazy afternoon. She looked at Samir's brother, why was he smiling in that awful way at her and why was he coming towards her?
Raghav calmly walked up and sat beside her, his hand reached out and he flicked at a stray strand of hair casually, “Now let me taste you, I have been wanting to do that for so long.” he reached out and pulled her towards him.
She was feeling so sleepy, but she fought the feeling with all her might. This was wrong, all wrong, her brain told her. His mouth started moving towards her but was not able to do a thing about it.
© Jane Meme Copyright 27.02.2012