Jane's Corner: The Jewel of the Maharajah's Eye (Chapter 13)
Hello folks I hope you are enjoying Samir and Persephone's story? Do comment and let me know what you like and what you don't! Love to read them.
2 Months Later.
Amar Singh sat in the dark. The moonlight flooding in from the window illuminated his dark worried features. Ghosts of the past spoke through walls in the eerie darkness, their anguished voices merging with the cold breeze that flowed through the corridors, casting a distinct chill in the atmosphere. He welcomed their eerie whispers; he had grown accustomed to those voices a long time ago. People like him who conspired behind closed doors had no other choice but to befriend them.
“It was close this time. Samir's team had nearly closed in on him. I am tired of all this constant worrying!” Choti Raani declared walking in to the room, her heels making a loud clacking sound in the quietness, she rubbed her arms in an effort to warm up her body, but no amount of heat warmed her up.
“Why are you sitting in the dark?” She questioned an annoyed look crossed her perfectly made up face. She flicked on the switch and flooding the room with light.
Amar Singh muttered a curse, shielding his tired eyes from the bright light. “Leave me alone! All you do is moan all day. I am the one who is keeping Samir and his men of our track and Raghav's.”
“Why are you even bothering with Raghav? What has that boy ever done for you?” Her eyes spitting venom furiously, she asked him. “All he does is bring us more trouble. I think we should strike a deal with Samir. It is our only option.”
“What kind of deal?” Amar Singh asked his interest piqued, it was the first time she had made a decent suggestion.
“A deal where we get what we want and he gets who he wants. Amar Singh, I do not want to spend the rest of my years scrimping and saving and living like this. I want to be able to do what I want. I think Samir can afford it anyway so where's the harm in striking a deal.”
Amar Singh looked at his wife clad in a designer sari, wearing copious amounts of gold jewellery and wafting of Dior and wondered when she had ever scrimped and saved? Although, he too was getting tired of this chase. He wanted to be able to live in peace not having to think of the next scam to run. Perhaps this was one of her better ideas, he thought.
“I would be willing to do a deal.” said Samir quietly from the door.
Startled, both Choti Raani and Amar Singh stared at him. They hadn’t heard him approach. Samir stood just inside the door. His eyes scanned the opulent room. His eyes strayed to the window from where his mothers apartments could be seen. Bitterness filled his heart, that it had come to this. For the last two months he had tried every avenue to get to Raghav but without success.
They faced each other neither wanting to be the first to lay out their cards. Choti Raani who had never understood the game of poker broke first. Naming what she thought was an exorbitant amount she said, “If you pay up Samir we will give you the whereabouts of Raghav.”
Amar Singh sighed deeply, his eyes closing with irritation, she could never keep her mouth shut when it was important! She had now set the bar too low. Samir's eyes hadn’t so much as flickered.
Samir looked his uncle, it seemed the last 2 months had also taken its toll on him. His normally stiff and upright posture had slackened, he was stooping a lot more, the lines on his face were cut deeper with worry now. He no longer had that fire in his eyes that Samir had seen when he had come to the palace two months ago. His uncle now looked defeated and tired.
Amar Singh looked up at Samir his eyes hard and bitter, that it had come to this begging for money from him was not what he had planned to do. By rights his brother should have left him everything after all, he had spent his life taking second best in the hope that one day all this would be his, only to be back stabbed by him at the last moment when he had signed it all to Samir.
“Five million dollars a year and the property in Delhi and Mumbai.” He demanded, unconsciously holding his breath, Samir he knew didn’t have to give them a single rupee.
Samir coolly watched Choti Raani's face, she looked awestruck by Amar Singh's demand. This was the woman who had watched his mother die and not helped. This was the man who had defrauded him over so many years, did he really want to support them? They had stolen from him and the people of this land, but his need to bring Raghav to justice for Persephone's sake overrode his revulsion at having to take this action.
“Half that and the flat in Delhi. No more. You will move out of here by the end of the month.” Samir quietly replied his tone firm.
Releasing the deep breath he had been holding Amar Singh nodded. It was more then he had hoped for, after what they had done to Samir, and his mother. A exclamation of delight escaped Choti Raani. Only Samir looked sad.
“And that only if you give me the correct whereabouts of Raghav, I am in no mood to play chase anymore.” Samir warned them both in no uncertain terms.
Amar Singh picked up a pen and scribbled an address offering it to Samir. Their eyes met, Samir took the piece of paper, Bahadhur Singh appeared behind him as if by magic, without even glancing at the paper Samir handed it to him and with a last look at both of them he walked out.
Two months, one day, six hours and twenty-three minutes she counted as her glance fell on the clock next to her bed. Persephone lay still, watching the rain striking against the window panes. Not a single word from him. She turned facing the window, remembering that moonlit night when they had become one. His dark love filled eyes looking deeply into hers, she had not known where she had ended and he had begun.
The dancing pitter-patter of the rain on the glass didn’t cheer her up as it usually did, these days nothing much did. She had stopped looking for him in the street, at corners, in the supermarket and on campus. The hope she had held in her heart was fading as the days wore on. The loud peel of the telephone startled her and she got up too quickly. A sudden attack of nausea struck her from out of nowhere, abandoning any thoughts of picking up the phone, she ran to the bathroom just in time to throw up violently. Why had she agreed to going out with the final year students last night? Perhaps the curry she ate hadn’t been too good, she thought.
Groaning, she washed her face and brushed her teeth, looking at the stranger in the mirror. A stranger who looked washed out and ill. It seemed so long ago that she had been in India. The memories washed over her in waves. She watched the woman in the mirror cry a tear, hastily wiping it away as she heard a key in the door.
Dad. Her father who had buried himself in his college and his work since her mother died had taken one look at her since she came back and become her total support. She had cried on his shoulder, knowing he understood the pain of loving someone and losing them. He had asked no questions his dark brown eyes full of pain as he saw how devastated she was.
“Perse! Where are you? You are going to be late!” He said walking into her flat his arms full of groceries.
Perse appeared from her bedroom in her pyjamas, taking one look at the bags she groaned. “Dad stop bringing so much food there is only one of me!”
He smiled at her and shook his head in that typical Indian way, Persephone's heart nearly broke, it was such a sweet smile full of fatherly love. “And that 'one of you' is fading away fast! I have brought fresh rolls, lets eat before you go in, you are hardly eating anything now a days.” he told her.
“I am fine.” she said helping him to put the groceries away and fishing out some rolls. She broke one open and took out the butter from the fridge, putting the percolator on for the coffee.
Her father sat down at the small dining table, and watched his daughter competently sort out breakfast for them both. The coffee done, she placed plates, rolls, and cups at the table settling down to eat but as soon as her father poured the coffee the smell hit her making her queasy again.
“Perse! What’s the matter you look terrible!” He exclaimed, seeing her face go so pale.
“Dad I think the curry I had last night with the final year students didn’t agree with me. I will be fine soon.” she said popping a bit of dry bread roll into her mouth in an effort to stem the rising bile.
“I think you should see a doctor. You haven’t been yourself since you came back.” Concern filled his eyes, he looked at her pale face, so much like her mothers. He had not asked her the details but he knew she would tell him in her own good time. Whoever it was she had fallen in love with had to be an exceptional man he thought, it was a shame that it had not worked out. He would dearly love to see her find a partner as wonderful as he had.
Maybe she should see a doctor Persephone thought. Maybe she had caught something in India and not realised. She would make an appointment later today she decided. They finished their breakfast and went onto campus together each going towards their respective classes, arranging to meet up in the evening.
She still had some time left so she went off to the doctor's surgery on the campus to arrange an appointment, as luck would have it her doctor fitted her in straight away.
She gave her a thorough check up and then asked her something that shocked Persephone.
“Could you be pregnant?”
The test was positive. A baby! Samir's baby! Why had it not occurred to her before? Although Samir had been responsible enough to use protection, accidents happened all the time. She walked out of the surgery looking very pale, another wave of nausea struck her and she leaned against a wall.
“Are you all right?” A man's concerned voice asked Persephone. She studied him, very tall, looked extremely fit, dressed well with dark shades and an earpiece. He looked like a policeman or bodyguard she thought.
“Err..! am fine. Just needed a moment.” she said recovering, she straightened up and thanked him for his concern as the nausea eased.
He nodded and disappeared just as suddenly as he had appeared.
Odd. Perse thought. “Very odd!”
The thought quickly flew from her mind as she just digested the news the doctor had confirmed for her. She was having a baby! Samir's baby! Hope lit in her heart once again, they had created a life, that beautiful, exquisite night through their love. Tears fell freely down her cheeks and for the first time in months she smiled at she thought of a dark haired, dark eyed baby who looked just like Samir.
Later that day.............
“Mr Singh this is Johnson reporting from the team in Oxford.”
“Is everything all right with Ms Persephone?” Bahadhur Singh asked his heart pounding. Samir was away in Mumbai following up the address that Amar Singh had given him.
“Well..I am not sure, that's why I rang you sir. The Maharajah told me to call you if he was unreachable.” Johnson said.
“What is it?” Bahadhur Singh asked fearful that Raghav had managed to reach her. “Is she in danger?”
“Not as such,” Johnson said, “but she has been looking quite ill and she nearly passed out this morning.”
Bahadhur Singh's face filled with concern. “I will be there by tomorrow evening Johnson. Is there any way we can find out what illness she has?
Johnson replied, “Indeed Sir, enquiries will be made discreetly.”
Bahadhur Singh said, “Please keep a close eye on her.”
Samir crouched low behind a wall. The last two months of his life had been spent chasing leads about Raghav from India to Hong Kong to Singapore and back to India. Whenever he got close it seemed that Raghav somehow managed to slip through his fingers. This time however with the aid of the address supplied by his uncle, his security men had finally found Raghav hiding in a bungalow in a suburb of Mumbai.
He had spent the last two months in hell, thinking about Persephone, dreaming about her in his arms, of her smile, of making love to her, but his need to find Raghav and bring him to justice was first and foremost. Every time he closed his eyes he could see that image of Persephone lying on that bed terrified and so still. He could not rest until Raghav was caught.
“Sir he will be along soon, we have verified and we are ninety-nine percent sure its him.” Davis the head of security team who had been on Raghav's tail these last few months advised him. Samir did not move a muscle, he had waited two months for this moment he was not going anywhere.
Almost half an hour later a car arrived, it went up and down the road circling the block first. The team were well hidden. It seemed that Raghav was making sure that no one was about before he went into the bungalow. Finally it drove and entered through the gate.
Davis signalled his men to surround the place. They fell in with his orders quietly slipping into place. This time there would be no escape.
“Sir, it is best if you let us go in first, you could be in danger if he has a firearm or knife.” David said to Samir.
“Davis there is no way I am not going in, I don’t care if he has a bloody tank. Now lets go and get this over with I have been waiting two months for this!”
They slipped in quietly over the wall and through the gardens closing the net around Raghav.
Samir looked through the patio doors, he spied a man walking about but as his back was to him he couldn’t confirm that it was Raghav. They waited, the man turned and Samir's jaw tightened. Raghav! Samir nodded to Davis confirming the ID.
Then it all happened really fast, Davis quietly picked the patio lock as Raghav moved around the sitting room drink in hand. Then he signalled his men to move in. Samir opened the doors casually and strolled in his eyes blazing with anger.
“Raghav, you have led me a fine chase all over the far east, but it was only a matter of time until I caught up with you.”
Raghav turned his face filled with terror. Dressed in black from head to toe Samir looked like an avenging angel.
“S...Samir! Whhaat? I didn’t do anything! Really you have to believe me!” His face was pale and his hands started shaking so much he dropped the glass of whiskey from his hand it crashed to the floor shattering into a thousand pieces.
“It wasn’t for the want of trying.” Samir replied his voice harsh. “If I had not been in time you would have done the same to Persephone as you have done to so many women, but no longer. This is where it all ends Raghav. If I had my way I would happily empty this into you head.” Samir said showing Raghav his pistol. “But that would not bring justice to all those other women you violated and all those people you hurt. You are going away for a very long time.”
Raghav's face turned ugly as he realised the game was finally up. He launched himself at Samir to be caught and held by two of Davis's team. He struggled, swearing and spewing out abusive language.
“I hate you, Samir, you with your proper manners and English ways. You had everything handed to you, I had to fight, connive and steal to get what I wanted. Father never loved me, he didn’t even love my mother for long, I sucked up to the old man but in the end he left everything to you! You don’t even belong here!”
“You know Raghav I feel sorry for you, you are pathetic, I remember my mother always stood up for you, but time and time again you chose the wrong path. It nobody's fault but yours that its come to this, you could have always chosen the right thing to do instead you wanted things fast and easy. Take him away Davis I never want to set eyes on him again.”
As they led him away, Samir stood for a long moment, his thirst for revenge finally quenched. He knew Persephone would never have wanted him to dirty his hands with Raghav's blood. Getting justice for her and so many other women would be the right thing to do. Wearily he walked out into the night. Now that his single minded goal had been achieved, he knew the days and the nights would seem even longer and empty without Persephone.
Bahadhur Singh sat with Johnson in a dark car, watching Persephone and her father walk back from the campus from a safe distance. She did look worn out and very pale. Almost as if the sunshine had seeped out of her, the same as it had from Samir. Now Bahadhur Singh knew why though and a huge smile lit his face. It was time he brought them together.
They watched as her father went inside to drop Persephone to her flat, emerging after a few minutes to walk towards his. Bahadhur Singh slipped quietly out of the car and walked up to him.
“Professor Gupta, my name is Bahadhur Singh, can I please have some of your valuable time? Perhaps we could go to your flat?”
Startled Gupta looked at Bahadhur Singh, seeing a handsome elderly Sikh man.
“Its about Ms Persephone and what happened in India.
Would he be able to tell him about his daughter and the man she had left behind?
“Of-course. Please come with me err.... Bahadhur Singh.” Dr Gupta replied eager to do anything to make his daughter happy again.
© Jane Meme Copyright 27.02.2012