The first thing she saw as she slowly opened her eyes was a gray ceiling and a white running fan. She continued to stare at the continuously spinning fan with a blank gaze. What version of hell was she in after death? Was she even dead? Maybe not. A dead person may not wake up in a room with the sight of a boring ceiling fan, the sound of beeps and the all so familiar smell of medicines. So, no, she wasn’t dead but certainly, she was in a hell, mortal version of a hell.
And, the first thing Sabrina felt when she tried to move was an unbearable amount of pain jolted throughout her whole body like an electric shock. She closed her eyes as tears gathered around the corners of them.
“Oh, Allah!” A painful scream left from her bruised lips.
Her breath became erratic as she heard shuffling of shoes on the tiles. Soon, a voiced added his glory as someone spoke in a soft caring manner.
“Doctor, please calm down. You are given painkillers. Everything will be fine, just lay steady for a while.”
The young man in a white apron, helped Sabrina to slow down her breathing and relax her muscles.
“There! You are okay now. Try not to move now, please.”
For the first time, Sabrina looked at the man with dark hair and light brown eyes who proudly wore rimless glasses in his softly smiling handsome face.
“W-what is this place? W-who are you?” Sabrina asked through her ragged breath.
“You are in a cabin, Doctor. And, I’m Dr. Siddiqui,” His caring tone vanished as he spoke in a professional manner.
“So, I was right. I’m still in the hell.” Sabrina muttered, mostly to herself.
She heard a sigh.
“Yes, you are... we all are. Anyways, you’ll feel better in the morning. Just rest now,” He curtly nodded before turning around to leave.
“Wait! What time is it and what happened to me?”
“It’s 6:30 in the evening and you have fractured some bones. But with the medicines you are provided, I’m sure you’ll be able to get back to your job in no time. So, please, Doctor, just rest and relax.”
“The job, huh?” Sabrina chuckled humorlessly, “How am I supposed to move without feeling the pain while doing my... job, Dr. Siddiqui?”
“You’ll be provided with a wheelchair. Besides, it’s not like you are doing some hard labor or something. Your job is easier than ours. So, please do stop talking now. I’ve other patients to handle who are in much worse condition... And,” He sighed tiredly, “I am sorry if I am rude. I just... please, Doctor, just rest and don’t talk. You’ll get food soon.”
Without waiting for any reply he rushed out of the door. Sabrina didn’t mind his words. He looked like he had spent much time here than her. Any person would quickly get affected by this place. She, herself, was a living example of that. However, Sabrina still hoped for survival. She didn’t give up on Damien. She won’t until she knew what was wrong with that creature. That’s why she started to think about her interaction with him with a calm and clear mind.
The previous attempts to get through the Damien was rushed and desperate. She agreed that her quick decisions were affected by her starvation and tiredness. Damien wasn’t a regular case. So, regular methods wouldn’t have worked on him, she should have known better. However, unintentionally, Sabrina treated him with regularity, if the desperate act of the moment could be ignored.
So, this time, the approach should have to be calm and collected. Sabrina already thought of a plan, a plan of testing him and his mind in a way she had never tried before. The thought she had was dangerous, very dangerous. It might get her killed. But on the bright side, it might open an unknown door to his secret world of mysterious mind. With that thought, Sabrina took a long, deep breath, easing her mind.
“Tomorrow, either it’s you or it’s me, Damien.”
Sara was lying on her bed, reading the file Grammy gave her. Everything that was written in the file opposed every word of the hospital report she had. It seemed that apparently, the report Sara got from the hospital was a fake one which was probably was used to hide the real truth from the world. No, wonder who’s job it was.
“The one and only dear Daniel Roger,” Sara smirked as she flipped the pages.
According to the new report, Suzan got attacked by a clawed being and she fought against it until her death because there were evident signs of scars on her body. That much information she had already gained from Grammy. The new addition was the cause of her death. She was strangled underwater. There were five finger marks on her neck. And, the interesting thing was those fingers were the size of a regular human.
“So, the thing is, Suzan might have got attacked by both the human and the beast. It’s a pity that she endured such horrific death from her husband, poor lady! But I wonder what more this Roger guy has hidden from me... hmm. I’ve got to check his background as well. Who knows what more beastly information we can get out of the bag. But right now...”
She stood up from her bed, putting the file inside her bag. Then went to the front to look up the Prince Charming. Sara didn’t see him since she had left for Lima’s. Prince said that he had some works to do and he’d be back by the evening. It was 7:00 so she decided to meet him if he had gained any information or not. But as soon as she stepped out into the hall, she heard someone barking loud next to, ruining the peace of the silent hall. It was even more shocking when Sara landed her eyes on the very familiar well-suited man. He looked furiously intimidating in front of a scared looking serviceman.
“Never thought I’d see Prince strip off his charming mask like this. Oh! what a lucky day.” Sara muttered as she casually walked toward the running commotion.
“The fuck with your hotel service! I’ll sue you all. How could one break into my room without my card? Is your security system that low standard?” Prince spat, his face reddened with anger while the receiver’s reddened with embarrassment.
“W-we are s-sorry, Sir. W-we d-don’t know h-how...”
“How what! Call your manager, right now!”
“It’s me. I’m the manager. What happened, Sir?” A man in his thirties said as he rushed to the spot.
Prince transferred his glare at the manager now. The serviceman looked a bit relieved from the distraction. That man was scary as hell.
“You, the manager of this so-called five-star hotel, tell me how did my card got rejected from the entry system? It was just fine this afternoon and now, I’m having trouble. This thing either means you’ve given us a fucking room with a rotten door lock or someone has broke in my room by hacking it. You people seriously have shitty security. I should have known before.”
“But, Sir, you are our regular customer. We never had any trouble with the service before. I don’t understand why now...”
“Just cut the shit already. I’m leaving this place and if I find any of my belongings missing... all of you’ll see what Prince Rahman can do, all of you.” His glaring eyes pointed each one of them.
“Please, Sir, listen. Don’t leave like this. We’ll fix the door this instant,” The manager’s desperate voice echoed the hall.
Prince raised brows at him for a moment.
“You want me to stay? Fine. Get me another room then.” He crossed his arms.
At this, they seemed paled a shade more. When Prince received nothing in reply his cold voice pierced their souls.
“What? Can’t even provide a spare room now, I guess?”
“I-I’m sorry, Sir,” The manager stuttered for the first time, “The tourist season is going on so all the rooms are already boo...”
“I’m done with this hotel.”
Prince turned around to leave. His nose was flaring, jaw clenched and hands in a fist. He looked like he would murder someone at any moment.
“If you don’t mind, share the room with me.”
A voice stopped Prince on his steps and made him look at the pair of chocolate brown eyes.
“Ms. Hussain,” Prince’s voice instantly went down to whisper as if he never just swore like a mad sailor.
“Would you?” She asked.
“Ms. Hussain, I can’t. Let’s leave...”
“I insist, Mr. Rahman. It’s just a room. What’s troubling you?”
“Nothing. I just can’t share a room with...”
“A woman?" Sara raised her brows.
Prince didn't say anything in reply.
"Come inside my room. We need to talk.”
With that Sara dismissed Prince and walked back to her room, leaving the door ajar.
Prince entered the room in complete silence. He didn’t even make eye contact with Sara as he approached her near the balcony. She was leaning against the railing, resting her hands on the smooth metal surface. The loose strands of her hair danced in the rhythm of the soothing salty breeze. She looked beautiful, seemingly careless. But Prince knew well that even in such relaxed state, she was the most careful person and could move with swift reflex if the situation called.
However, a small chuckle broke that silence as Prince shot his head up only to see Sara smiling at the sea.
“You have a pretty sweet tongue, Mr. Rahman. How did I not know that before!” Sara said as she looked at him.
Prince, on the other side, cleared his throat to hide the rising embarrassment before he spoke.
“I didn’t intend for you to see that, Ms. Hussain. But, they deserved it.”
“I agree the management was loose on the security and earned some scolding, you were quite rude with them though.”
“What should I have done then? Praise them? I’m sorry, I may be polite but I have my limits too. But I wonder who could have broken into my room? There were many important files and information there. I’m glad everything’s in its place. But why can’t I be completely assured? It feels like something has slipped my sight.”
Sara hummed as she agreed with him.
“I told you not to choose this place. Luxury doesn’t always bring peace.”
Prince nodded. “You are right. Anyways, you said you wanted to talk? I’m sure it’s about the information. Well...”
“Let’s drop the topic for now.” Sara cut him off.
Prince’s eyes widened with shock while she smiled.
“What? I know I’m dead serious about information, I also know when to let things loose. So, since you are in a bad mood, I won’t ask about any work-related stuff for now. But tomorrow, please don’t expect me to spare. Anyways, can I have your phone for a while? I need to contact someone.”
“Sure, here.” Prince nodded as he handed her his phone.
“Thank you, Mr. Rahman. And, by the way, even though I was generous to offer you the room, don’t expect the bed. It’s already taken.” Sara smirked.
Prince returned the same smile.
“Don’t worry, Ms. Hussain. It’s a gentleman’s job to provide a lady with the best comfort. I’ll take the sofa. Now, am I allowed to enjoy the view?”
“Gentleman? Hmm... quite a gentleman indeed.”
Sara nodded as she discreetly smiled.
“Sure, go ahead.”
With that Sara left him on the balcony and went to the washroom. After securely closing the door, Sara quickly dialed a number on the phone. After a few rings, the person received the call on the other side.
“Hello.” A familiar calm voice said as he made Sara smile.
“How are you, Dad?” She said.
“Sara!” Ravi breathed as he said, “My goodness! Where are you? No contact, no call. I was worried sick for you, you know?”
“I’m sorry, Dad. I’ve been quite busy with things lately. Had I known situation would turn this worse, I’d have called you guys earlier. The announcement must have been hard for you guys to accept. That police officer was very blunt with his imaginative truth. By the way, how is Mom?”
There was an apparent pause in the conversation for the next two or three seconds.
“Dad?” Sara asked as her brows furrowed.
Still, she got no reply.
“Dad, what happened to Mom?”
This time she got a reply.
“Sara,” Another pause for a second. Sara unknowingly held her breath. But she never expected the words that came next.
“Your mother is missing.”