"Kush say bye to mommy." Priya heard a hoarse voice followed by a faint whimper...
"Oh my god," She thought, "Kush is here..." Twisting her lean torso, Priya made a fruitless attempt to get up and find him. But it was as if her body was nailed to the ground, she was rendered motionless. Whoever had done this to her chuckled at a distance apparently proud of his vile accomplishment. She couldn't see his face and even if she could there was no way she would have identified the man given her hazy vision. With nothing more than a prayer left in her deck of cards she pleaded to the man above to send help quickly, atleast before anything happened to Kush. She lay there like a corpse, forced to hear Kush whimper, drowning in his pool of tears. "I am glad you could join us Priya, I must say it took you a while to get here. What led you on?" He asked sarcastically mocking her voiceless state. "Actually," The voice paused clearly feasting on her helplessness. "Hold that thought... I just remembered that I had to call my boss to share this good news. Be a darling and make yourself comfortable..." This man was a psychopath and he had Kush for over 12 hours, the thought alone was suicidal. What had her baby gone through? She was mortified to even imagine the depth of his pain. Priya was paralyzed, numb to the outside world, but the feeling of hate and anger still boiled in her heart on full force. Her eyelids felt weightier as time passed but Kush's soft whimpers helped her fight through the urge to close her eyes. Right now she couldn't hold him in her arms, and if no one came to their rescue fast than perhaps she would never get another chance to. But atleast she could stay with him throughout this nightmare, having missed 12 hours already she was not about to leave him alone.
"Hey Love... What?? No... no... Darling the police have been here since the morning. They don't know that I am holding Kush here... WHAT? That bloody Gupta and his drinking problem." Priya heard the man's ego shatter giving her a morsel of a reason to celebrate. "So what do you want me to do than?... Wait... we have come this far, let me just finish them off than I will leave..."
Priya's heart quivered, "no!!! Please!!" She pleaded in silence not knowing whether she had it in her to hang on. Just than, another ray of hope surged through her when she heard a stampede of footsteps moving closer to her at a rapid rate. "Shit!!" The voice cursed and threatened, "This isn't over Priya..." Despite being as vulnerable as she was lying there, she couldn't take his threat seriously. The way in which this man had attacked her from behind was proof of his spineless character. Priya's vision was blurry and as the time passed it only got worse. However, she knew that the excuse of a man who subdued her had scurried like a cockroach to hide in some corner or crack of the apartment. "It was over..." She thought, as she felt a rush of relief run through her body. "Priya!" The voice vibrated unclearly in her ears.
"Kush, my baby!!" Another voice screeched from somewhere around her and although it was an irritating pitch she found comfort in the annoyance provoked because it was a confirmation that Kush was going to be just fine.
She didn't feel herself letting go until the murky voice from earlier commanded, "No! Priya open your eyes dammit..."
The last thing that she heard before her mind had eased to a shut was "Vikram call a doctor fast... I am going to take Priya downstairs."
Priya could see the glee quite clearly in her husbands' expression as he wrongly inferred her silence. But the fault was not entirely hers, she hadn't said a word to confirm his allegation, of course she hadn't denied it either. Feeling a subtle nudge against the fleshy pad of her index finger Priya sighed silently relieved that the hook of her blouse had finally wrapped around the tiny looped rings on the other side. "No more interrogation" She thought staring at her handsome man in the mirror with lustful eyes and a blissful smile that only his innocence was capable of invoking. Taking an elusive side-step towards the open door, Priya's lips couldn't help but twist and curl in display of her wittiness. However, Ram was the expert of her emotions, the philosopher of her expressions, by now he understood her ways and lived by them as if her life was his cherished bible and he need not have faith in anything else. So if she thought she would get away without so much as a protest from him she had another thing coming. Just as fast as she had dashed towards the door, Ram had quickly clasped her arm and with a tug that wasn't rough but strongly tenacious she was hurled back to where she previously stood. Priya was at a loss for words but her eyes, which willingly drowned in the steamy depths of his deep brown gaze, glimmered like they had something to say. While Ram's hands travelled to the groove where her back seamlessly fused with her buttocks Priya's palms unconsciously made its way up to the sweet, resting spot on his broad chest. Ram continued his journey along the border of her waistband teasing her with a sinister temptation and leaving her with no feasible option other than to surrender. Ecstasy danced on the brim of her eyelids rendering her sight useless and intensifying the pleasure in his promiscuous touch. Tilting her head on an angle Priya left the smooth skin on the arch of her neck at the mercy of his fantasy. Ram knew from the moment that her eyes were lulled shut he was given the silent go ahead. And so with a mischievous smirk on his face to set the tone of his intentions Ram proceeded to unraveling step one of plan payback'. Gently pushing her to rest, without any resistance, on the ledge of the ivory sink Ram cupped her face in the pouch created by his warm palms. He than licked his lips and inched towards hers like a vulture, an enduring, torturous predator. Ram's hot breath splashing against her lips was the sign of the impending kiss for which she had been waiting for what seemed like an eternity. Yet what seemed like a long time coming was about to arrive and so she parted her lips a smidgen in anticipation but to her surprise he simply whispered, "Liar..." and than he traced his fingers slowly down her face before releasing it. "What?" Priya replied breathlessly as she opened her eyes squinting at first to adjust to the light in the room. Ram took a step back with a smile plastered on his face concealing his desire quite perfectly because the withdrawal was as hard for him as it was for her.
Clearing his throat, Ram crossed his arms on his chest and repeated in less of a hushed tone, "Liar, Liar..."
"I don't understand...what did I lie about?" She asked frowningly, the frustration beginning to illustrate in her expression...
"Acha Madam, now I have to tell you that too! Nice try but you know exactly what you did... Leading me on when your real surprise is something completely different...How does it feel to be on the receiving end?" He joked not keying in on her scrunched eyebrows, which was usually the first sign that he was about to have his ass handed to him.
"First of all Mr. Kapoor!" Priya snapped stating the second clue that he was in trouble, outright. Although, he had picked up on her refusal to call him Ram, it was too late for him to intervene before the lecture of how wrong he was to have done what he did, began. "I didn't lie to you about anything... You lied to yourself... I never even revealed my surprise to you but somehow you had made up your mind that you knew with certainty what it was going to be..."
"But you didn't deny it either na?" He opted in his defense trying to be cute with a statement, which he promptly wished he could have taken back, the minute he realized that it had only served to aggravate her further.
Brushing him aside she walked hastily to and through the open door into the master closet. He followed her like a lost puppy unsure of what was going on or anything for that matter. Priya's mind was clearly captive in the dome of her rage as she paced to the trail of clothing on the floor, picking it up and discarding it in the plastic hamper. Ram was like her shadow hovering around her every which way that she turned. "Come on Priya! Are you really angry? Come on yaar... The driver you called has arrived and is downstairs." Much like an inflated balloon with its ends set loose Ram exhaled his worries in one frantic breath flying across the room behind her. Finally clearing the floor of the clutter Priya ignored Ram's sincere request for an answer as she began to make her way into the bedroom. She halted suddenly in her step remembering that she needed to grab her purse from the wardrobe deciding silently to torture him further with the idea of leaving. Having followed Priya like a hawk Ram bumped into her from behind when she had randomly stopped walking. As a result of the collision Priya lost her footing and instead plopped into the caress of soft cushions, which were embedded in the nearby sofa. "Dammit Ram!" She spilled the beans unintentionally of her true intentions. Luckily for her, Ram was to preoccupied trying to figure out a way back into her good books to have noticed her slip up. However, he was quick to capitalize on the fact that she had landed flat on her back, vulnerable, which meant he had some chance to take control of the situation. Within a flash of a second he had propped himself up with his hands on either side of her body not giving her much room to move. And she dared not speak a word staring into the lustful depths of his thirsty eyes, which only she could quench. Sitting beside her, his arms unmoved, Ram brought his upper body closer to Priya's knowing he had won her attention. "Priya listen to me..." His voice was sincere with a soft edge, the kind that was potent enough to straighten every nerve in her body on end. Ram continued, the proximity of their bodies combined with the firmness in his voice churned hot lava in the pit of her stomach. "I am so sorry if I hurt your feelings that is the last thing that I would ever want to do...I love you." He hissed in her ears dropping endless kisses around it. "Is there anything that I can do to make this up to you so that you're happy?" The sweet tone of seduction garnished her eardrums leaving her mind no choice but to shyly take shelter behind her ever so ready heart. Priya was buried in thoughts of his colossal promises, drowning her wits the further she went under. It was beyond control, so much so that when he whispered, "Are you still mad at me?" whilst grazing her skin with the tip of his nose. Priya spoke without a thought, "I was never mad at you to begin with." in a similarly soft voice of her own. Feeling his body stiffen, Priya mouthed, "Shit" realizing what she had just revealed and uncertain of the effect her confession would invoke. She felt his hot breath harshly collide with the side of her neck as he scoffed, before a breeze swept the same spot when he sat up. "Priya dammit!" Ram stood up and ran his fingers through his cutely ruffled hair. Priya simply laid there trying to catch a hold of her breath for a moment before she followed suit and stood up too. Straightening the creases in her saree with her palms Priya was about to voice her defense but Ram was to wound up from the earlier events to allow it. "This is not fair! You always do this to me." Ram whined evidently frustrated but not to the point of being pissed off.
"Did you really think that I would let you have the last laugh?" She joked, thoroughly amused by the enticing blend of frustration and confusion that was painted on his face. "Besides..." Priya began, bottling her laughter. "You started this war now take it like a man..." Priya sidestepped in an attempt to walk past him, anticipating his next move. With much ease Ram tugged her hand pulling her against him until her palms rested on that sweet spot on his chest once more, which triggered his arms to slither along the curve of her waistline. Apparently that was all it took to reignite the fluttery sensation at the pit of her stomach as a million tiny butterflies tussled against it. "So Mrs. Kapoor," Ram spoke in a husky voice, not aiding the least bit in subduing the brewing storm of heedless lust, which stirred inside of her. "You think this is a war that I started? Might I remind you that it was you who teased me downstairs on the sofa? It was you who willingly brought me down to my knees sowing seeds in my mind of unrelenting pleasure, which, might I add, you have yet to fulfill. And than the clothing on the floor... A not so innocent scheme to lead me into thinking something else, isn't that right Mrs. Kapoor?" Ram had a glare of intent in his eyes, this man meant business, running circles in her mind. She was helpless with need; he was able to read that clearly in her eyes. And now that the iron was hot for the striking, Ram struck putting his best foot forward.
Kneading his chest with the pads of her fingers Priya sought for something to grip onto but his shirtless body worked against her in that quest. Ram guided her into his soft yet passionate embrace, setting the tone for the final blow. "Priya." He whispered her name seductively in a way that he knew she had liked to hear it being said. Ram's breath was hot like the desert sun, a kind of chilling heat that urged the fine hair on the back of her neck to stand on end. "Let's cut to the chase..." Shifting at a snails pace from the base of her neck to her ever eager ear Ram nuzzled as he spoke. "I want you!" His voice mimed the boldness in his blunt confession, bringing her closer to losing her wits. "But before we do anything, you need to prove to me just how much you want me too..." Sliding his hands down her back and off her waist Ram observed with a mischievous grin as the full effect of his words sunk in. Shaken from place of pleasure that he had cunningly guaranteed, Priya shook her head in utter disbelief. He had done it again!
"Ram you have lost it I tell you.." She bent her elbows, crossing her arms.
"What?" He screeched excitedly barely containing his amusement. "I am crazy because you are afraid of a little challenge."
She flashed him a sarcastic grin! "Haha very funny! For your information Ram, I called you crazy because you actually think that you have a fair chance of beating me in this challenge." Priya added with a smirk! "That's hysterical!"
"Oye Mrs. Kapoor, no need to get full of yourself! I admit you're cute, in fact you're gorgeous but you're forgetting that I am not far from sexy either, let's see how you can keep your hands off me." He completed his sentence over her laughter.
"Wow Ram, that's the best joke that I have heard in a while!! Now stop before you kill me and go get ready." Ram mocked her amusement with a fake, exaggerated grin. "Laugh all you want now Priya but I will have the last laugh." He started to make his way towards the wardrobe, when he suddenly halted and turned around. "By the way when I win this challenge we will spend the whole day in front of the TV watching cricket as the prize not going on some dumb ride when we could be inside doing something productive." Appalled she opened her mouth to yell at him but keying in on her verbal attack he wisely raced into the walk in closet, closing the door behind him.
Priya couldn't help but yell out. "And hurry up Ram don't take hours getting dressed."
In response Ram yelled back, "Excuse me missy, you never hear me complaining."
"Crazy man!" She muttered to herself, smiling ear to ear.
Ram carefully placed Priya on her bed. By now she was unresponsive, laying lifeless at the mercy of god. Acting on instinct Ram had placed her head on his lap, rubbing her palms in an attempt to awaken her but he remained fruitless through countless tries. Vikram called the doctor whose instructions were valid and clear, "Get her to the hospital. This could be very serious." Once again Ram lifted Priya in his arms, his face pale from fear of loss, a reaction he had no control over. The darned elevators remained lazy as they were, refusing to work. But even if they had functioned Ram was already down two flights of stairs. "Priya wake up dammit! You owe me!" He repeated meaning nothing of the sorts; he just wanted her conscious, fighting with him as she did countless times before. The stretcher was prepped for Priya's arrival, that's the power in Ram's name. They wheeled her in to a room with bland green doors, which shut automatically as the medical team entered. There were a million questions to which only time held the answers. Kush was assessed by the best pediatrician in Mumbai and aside from being shaken up by the incident; he appeared to be just fine. There was not a single scratch on his body and to the Sharma family that was a blessing. However, as Ram watched Kush cause a fuss in Shipras arms he couldn't help but wonder why Priya was the one injured. It was almost as if Kush's kidnapping was a front and Priya was the real target all along. But the pieces in his mind refused to fuse to yield an answer. It drove him insane, not knowing but before he lost it the doctor came out through the set of green doors removing his facemask to reveal a reassuring smile. Before anyone had a chance to ask, the doctor immediately got down to business, reporting on Priya's condition. "Priya is absolutely okay!" The certainty in the doctor's tone was promising as he calmly stated, "Who ever the assailant was must have snuck up from behind her and injected the narcotic into her body to incapacitate her. The needle mark was noted at the back of her neck upon assessment. Fortunately, in this day and age, we have reversals to most drugs and after one dose Priya began responding. It's clear that who ever did this to her did not want to kill her, he wanted her to suffer." Shifting to a more positive note from a drastically chilling revelation the doctor concluded. "Don't worry! Priya is absolutely fine. She is awake, but drowsy, which is expected. We have shifted her to Room 102 you all can see her at your leisure."
As soon as the doctor finished his spiel and walked away, Sudhir paced anxiously down the corroder reading the numbers on each door until he reached 102.
"I need to go find Kush." Priya argued insistently with the nurse who maintained her order.
"M'aam, you have to rest."
"Rest? How the hell can I rest?"
The squabble continued escalating in pitch and at the exact moment in which Priya had decided that she had enough of it, Sudhir entered the room.
"What is going on here?" He yelled in a pitch loud enough to rise above the commotion.
"Sir, I am telling her to stay in bed, she is not allowed to get up just yet but she insists that she must find Kush..." Priya was hush listening to the fitting statement.
"Papa..." She began but was immediately silenced. "Kush is here Priya!" Priya heard the voice of a woman and followed it to the door where Shipra stood with Kush in her arms.
The sight of Kush, an anxious mess, brought bittersweet tears to her eyes. She didn't know if she would have ever seen her baby again. But there he was in front of her, leaping forward in Shipras arms just as excited to see her, as she was upon seeing him safe and sound. Handing Kush over to Priya, Shipra stood witness to the unconditional bond between the pair. There was an aura of relief that engulfed every bit of tension that had prevailed before. Kush was no longer fussy; in fact he was evidently comfortable in the safe haven of Priya's embrace, sucking his thumb while slowly drifting off to sleep. Priya was in a bliss of her own, feeling blessed to have this moment to cherish.
Meanwhile, in the corridor of the hospital outside Priya's room, Ram sat planted on the nearby bench. There was neither lush nor lavish in the setting but Ram appeared uncharacteristically undeterred. Vikram had volunteered to pick up the medication for Priya from a nearby pharmacy figuring his buddy, who was awfully spaced out, needed a little time to think. In fact, he had asked Ram if he had wanted to tag along but it was futile. By now the Sharma's had left the hospital taking sleepy baby Kush with them. Priya waved them off with a brave smile, which expertly sheltered her hospital phobia. Unfortunately, her wise attempts and desperate pleas to the doctor left her a failure each time. There was no way out of it! She had to stay the night under observation and she had to do it with a smile so as not to alarm her already ill papa who would not have left her bedside if he had known. Hospitals equated to loss in her mind, a reality that was instilled in her from such a young age. There wasn't a moment as powerful as the one in which she lost both her parents. The hospital was the same, the walls had been painted over but no amount of colour could spruce up the bitter realities it stood witness to. Priya gazed at the walls in the places where the paint had chipped and suddenly she became unsure of whether the night would ever be over.
Vikram finally arrived back at the hospital with the medication that was prescribed for Priya. It took longer than anticipated but the line up at the pharmacy was a challenge in and of itself. Perhaps it was the snippy bite in the brisk air that had everyone feeling chills. Walking up to Ram he spoke breathlessly, "Damn Ram it took forever. You should have came, things move at the speed of lightning when you're around." Ram remained silent as if he never heard a thing, a possibility that stood a good chance of being true.
Vikram placed his hand on Ram's shoulder. Startled, Ram jumped out of his seat and stammered, "V-Vikram yaar when did you get back?"
"Ram I have been standing here for so long talking to myself." Vikram responded, slightly exaggerating the truth. "What's on your mind Buddy I know that look far too well."
"Nothing, I was just thinking about something."
"Something? Or someone?" That subtle probe earned Vikram the classic raised eyebrow, 'be careful what you say next' look. But as always Vikram blatantly ignored the unspoken threat in his expression... "Priya is okay Ram you don't have to worry! In fact, you should be proud of yourself. It's because of you that she is safe!"
"Oh please Vikram. I don't give a damn about Priya." His overly anxious objection screamed in opposition to the words he had spoken.
"Accha!!! So you don't care about Priya huh? Well in the years that I have known you I have never seen you run up or down the stairs putting aside the fact that you performed this miracle with Priya in your arms."
"Oye just shut up yaar!" Ram quickly intervened knowing exactly where Vikram was headed with his banter. "I was just thinking about what happened tonight. It just doesn't make sense that Priya was the one attacked. You know what Vikram," Ram put his hands in his pant pockets. "It's almost like Priya knows this person... All this time I thought this was about Sheena but what if Priya has something to do with this. After all how well do I know her?"
"Baas Ram!" Vikram objected, his tone of voice vaguely tainted by frustration... "How can you doubt Priya after all that she has done for your brother and his son?"
"That's it Vikram!! She has kept my brother and his son alive as insurance to get to the Kapoor fortune. There must be some reason as to why she even bothered." Ram added, fueling the fire of conspiracy that blazed in his mind.
Shaking his head disappointedly, Vikram spoke as if he had lost hope. "Ram you will never change. Tell me one thing yaar! Why didn't you just go into Priya's room and vent out at her? Why are you sitting out here contemplating theories to disprove her innocence?" He asked rhetorically, not interested in his half ass response. "You know why you are doing this Ram? Let me tell you... You are afraid that finally you have found someone worth trusting. It seems too good to be true and that's why you are making up these stupid stories so that you don't have to trust her anymore. But Ram you need to understand that not all women are like Sheena. Priya is different; she makes you want to believe. Stop finding reasons to hate her and just admit that you are starting to like her."
"Ho gaya?" Ram stated calmly before discharging his frustration with Vikrams blunt accusations, which he was too keen on disproving. "I don't need to talk to her. I don't need to see her. And most importantly, I don't care about her." Ram emphasized the last few words. "I am going home. See you in the office tomorrow!"
"Priya is missing from the hospital and you are telling me this now?"
"Sir we tried calling many times..." The doctor spoke in fear, his voice trembling.
"Yeah whatever... When was the last time you saw her? And have you told anyone else?"
"About an hour ago when we checked on her she was restless in bed. And yes sir we contacted Priya's home first but no one answered."
"Okay, well you keep searching and let me know if anything comes up. I am on my way there..."
Ram spanned the streets surrounding the hospital with his hawk like gaze for any signs of Priya. The worst thoughts rushed through his mind and suddenly the conspiracies he had hatched to hate her was an afterthought that slowly dissipated to non-existence. "Had the man who hurt her return to finish what he had started?" Ram thought against his will hoping he was wrong. But unfortunately the possibility was to strong to disregard and like a broken record that hideous thought replayed in his mind in a treacherous loop.
"I have to tell someone." Ram hit his fist hard on the steering wheel and his foot on the brakes simultaneously. Grabbing his phone he began dialing the commissioners number when he caught a glimpse of a woman that unmistakably looked like Priya. She seemed to have had her right arm stuck out calling for a taxi but to no avail. Much like a machine Ram stepped out of his car, unaware of his actions. He walked towards the figure, blinking his eyes constantly to loosen the raindrops caught in the prison of his eyebrows. As he approached the lady hearing her curse in a familiar voice, he knew it was Priya. Ram placed his left hand on her shoulder and instinctively she spun around with her guard up like any woman alone in the dark night would, until she recognized someone she knew.
"Mr. Kapoor?" Her eyes wandered in search of some excuse to justify her presence on the street and not in the hospital bed where she belonged.
"Maybe he doesn't know that I need to be in the hospital overnight." She thought, sheltering her hope in the fragile walls of optimism. But that safeguard crumbled in his fist when he grabbed her by the arm dragging her to a nearby bus shelter as if a drop of rain was his kryptonite. Tousling his wet hair by running his fingers through it a couple times, he wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. She watched him unsure of how he would react. Luckily for her, she didn't have to spend any more of her time guessing under the gray umbrella of ambiguity. "What the hell are you doing out here?" He finally asked, dusting his suit with his hands as if it would aid in drying it. "ummm..." She stated, starting her lie. "I was just discharged to go home, so I thought I would take a cab or something." She muttered hoping the splatter of raindrops would to some degree dilute her lie making it slightly easier for Ram to consume. But unfortunately for Priya, Ram was well aware of the truth that she was desperate to hide. He stepped close to her and she found herself reversing her steps until her back was nudged by one of the poles that kept the roof upright. "Do you think that this is all a joke? I don't have time for your fu**king games Priya!" At first she was startled by his raw vocal expression but than her response slowly spawned in her mind and she was back in battle. "Than leave... Leave me alone... I don't need you nor did I call you for help. Leave me to do as I please." Acting wisely she decided to leave the shelter first, but just as she took one step away from him, he pulled her right back. "The doctor called me when you went missing. So it is my responsibility to get you back to the hospital. After that you can do whatever you please. Stay there, run away or better yet jump off a cliff. I don't give a damn. Just kindly let the doctor know to not involve me in your stupid stunts..." Ram finished and than immediately grabbed her arm again, dragging her like a rag doll to his car. She hated when he manhandled her like that especially since he had no right over her. Although his hold was tight to a point where it was painful, she still struggled to break free using everything in her power to do so. "Mr. Kapoor, leave me... I am not going back there." She pleaded, commanded, requested and begged but he continued pulling her along with him playing deaf. The rain no longer drizzled, it poured on the nearly abandoned sidewalks. There was no one to call to for help but truthfully, Priya wasn't afraid of Ram, she feared the hospital where he was going to take her and that too for her well-being. Finally, Ram relinquished his hold only to open the door to his car. To her surprise he ordered her to get in the car as opposed to pushing her in, himself.
"I am not going back there, Mr. Kapoor!" She screamed, hoping that this time he heard her. "Why not? Dammit why is this such a big fu**ing deal to you?" He screamed back slamming the door shut with the same momentum. "Because that's the same hospital in which my parents died!!!" Priya revealed her reason, releasing the burden on her heart. Ram gulped, his arms went numb like logs on either side of his body. He wanted to say something to console her as she wept covering her face in her palms. However, failing constantly to come up with words he resorted to following his heart. Priya felt the heat from Ram's body as he slowly took steps towards her. "Priya..." He spoke softly uncovering her hands from her face before whispering. "I am so sorry." Ram wrapped his arms around her tenderly and without a squeak of an objection she rested her head on his chest and wept. "Gosh Ram, you are truly an idiot..." He thought to himself, holding her tighter.
Hey guys I wrote this one really fast so please excuse any errors that I might have missed. What do you think? Is Ram falling for Priya in this story or is this just sympathy?