New Kind of Plan
Arup looked up from his laptop to find his smiling girlfriend leaning against the door. He smiled and stood up to rush toward her. He scooped her up and twirled her around. Her squeal filled in the silent bedroom.
By the time he put her down, his lips already found hers and he lost himself in her warmth and passion.
“I’ve missed you so much,” She said after pulling off of him, sending Arup a dazzling smile.
Arup broke into an ear-splitting grin before pecking her lips once more.
“Well, I’m surprised, Tina. When did you come back?”
She pouted. “No ‘miss me too’? Arup smirked as she sighed. “Whatever, Mr. Boring. So, I just got back this morning and straight went home, then freshen up and then came straight for you.”
“You didn’t eat?” Arup frowned.
She just smiled and played with the buttons of his shirt. “I thought we could share the lunch.”
His frown eased as he smiled. “Wait up a sec. I was just about to set a plate.”
He smiled before rushing out of the room. When he came back with two plates, he found Tina leaning over his laptop. He sighed before putting the plates on the table beside his bed.
“I thought I told you I don’t like you looking through my stuff.”
Tina looked up with a smile. “Oh, you mean these zigzag lines and bunch of program files and codings on your desktop?”
“You are not unfamiliar with them. I thought you worked in the same organization as me? Come here.”
Tina smiled before walking to Arup who was sitting on the couch and settled on his lap. He chuckled at her girlfriend.
“You are the most unromantic person, you know,” Tina said as she nibbled on her food.
“Why?” Arup spooned his portion.
“No calls, no text. What? Were you planning on break up?”
Arup remained silent. He hated this conversation. Tina knew very well how demanding his job was. He was her colleague as well as her boyfriend. So, he thought she would understand. But Tina wanted more of his attention.
At any other time, Arup wouldn’t have minded but this time things were serious with the serial killer thing and he barely had time to spare.
“You know about Saravi, right?” Arup felt her go stiff in his arms.
“Yeah? What about her?”
Arup sighed. “And, you know the accusations police announced against her.”
Tina frowned. “Where are you going with this?”
“I’m busy with her matter.”
She kept quiet for a few seconds before slowly nodding. “Okay.”
Now, it was Arup who frowned. “Okay?”
She nodded again before plastering a smile on her face. “It’s okay, Arup. I see you are busy trying to prove her innocent.”
Why doesn’t her voice sound genuine?
“What’s wrong?” He faced Tina who was busy devouring on her food.
“Oh, nothing, absolutely nothing. It’s just I wish you had more time for me. It’s fine. Saravi Hussain needs you now.”
He couldn’t believe her. What the hell!
“She’s my friend, Tina!”
Tina dropped the spoon and got off his lap before facing him.
“And, I, your girlfriend. You should at least be happy to see me.”
Arup scoffed as he stood up as well. “The hell do I do? Dance around that you’re back?”
Tina gasped as her eyes widened at his words.
“The fuck, Arup! We are seriously not fighting and over her of all things. I thought you loved me.”
Arup sighed and ran his hands through his hair before facing her.
“Look, I’m not having this pointless conversation with you. You knew before getting into this relationship that work is my main priority. I love you, I do. But, I also trust you to know that I’m not the kind to show off my love to the world. You make me happy, Tina. So, don’t ruin this over some baseless jealousy.”
Tina just snorted. “So, you think you’re not giving that woman more time than me?”
“If the situation requires that I give Saravi my time of the day then I would have to do that.”
“What about me?”
“What about you? And, where are you even coming in here? I don’t understand. Saravi is your coworker as much as she’s mine. I thought you’d at least show some interest in learning the truth as to why there’s a conspiracy against her.”
Tina scoffed. “She’s fine on her own. She doesn’t need you. Why don’t you understand that?”
Arup was stunned. He couldn’t for the life of him understand why Tina would ever feel threatened by Sara. It was true, Sara was a better spy, best in her field even, if he could dare say. But, she never did anything to Tina as far as he was concerned. It was Sara who helped him realize his love for Tina. She was always a true friend to him ever since they met. Tina had no issues with her either. Then, what happened that Tina started to dislike her so much?
“Tina, I think you should just sit down and relax. We can talk this through, okay. I don’t know what’s the deal between Sara and you but I guess it’s best if you don’t turn your back on her.”
Tina chuckled humorlessly. “Why? What has she done for me? She’s your friend, Arup, and she’s ruining us, believe it or not.”
“Tina-” He reached out.
“Don’t.” She raised her hand and took a long deep breath. “Once you get time, you know where to find me.”
And, she rushed out of his apartment. Arup followed her to the door and tried to stop her but before could reach, he heard the door slam closed. Arup stood there looking at the closed door. His jaw clenched as he punched the wall beside it.
It was getting evening as Sonia stood behind the pillar in that ungodly dark alleyway. She wasn’t a fan these dark lanes and she certainly didn’t like to spend her time here when it was the moment of awakening of all kinds of predators in the streets.
She pulled the jacket closer as the air grew cold around her. She looked up at the dark gray sky through the opening above. It seemed there would be another downpour for them. Sonia hated this time of the year.
There would be rain and thunderstorm all the time and the dark vibe of the environment would make her shudder for no reason. But this time, she had a reason to tremble in fear, a damn good one!
Sonia heard the sound of footsteps approaching. She quickly hid behind the darkness of the alley.
“Here, Miss.” Her heart leaped up in her throat as she quickly got out of the darkness and walked toward the silhouette of a man.
“What took you so long?” She hushed those words out while constantly looking around.
She saw him drew in a long breath.
“Let’s hurry. Quick!”
Sonia snatched the package from him and handed him a handful of cash.
“Ziplock those lips till death, got it?”
She heard him chuckle. “Sure.”
Sonia rushed out of that wretched place as quickly as possible. These streets were not safe during the dark and she could hear a distant thunderstorm. She should have walked faster. Maybe then, a pair of eyes wouldn’t have followed her like a shadow from afar.
As soon as she slipped through the door, Sonia locked it. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves. She all but ran to the sofa in one corner of her room and dropped the package.
She pulled the ribbons off the package and threw them away. Her hands were shaking. She almost didn’t want to see what was inside of the package but she had to. This was her only defense against her actions these past days.
She pulled out these pieces of papers, medical reports to be exact. Her eyes skimmed through the words as her heartbeat drummed against her ribcage. This could be a major turning point of the story if the right person got this paper. But, if the wrong person gets ahold of this...
Sonia trembled and shook her head. She neatly folded the report and put it on the table.
“They will get this over my dead body.” Her eyes flickered with a newfound fire.
It time for them to pay.
“How could you do this?” There was clear disbelief in her voice.
He scoffed. “Don’t be a child, girl. You know why.”
She sniffed. “I thought you cared. At least, you of all people should have cared, Dad!”
He laughed. “I do care, Sweet. Just not in the way you want me to.”
There was a long pause.
“I. Hate. You.”
He chuckled. “There are many people out there who do that. Nothing new here.”
She gasped. His words struck her in the worst way possible. How could he say that to his own daughter!
The air was thick with tension as the silence fell upon the room.
“You will get it.” Her voice was barely above a whisper. “You will know how much special a daughter’s hatred can be, Roger. Just wait!”
“And, what will this daughter do, Ann? Run and scream that her father killed her mother on her fourth birthday! Who’s gonna believe you?” He snorted.
“This,” There was the scrapping of some paper followed by the sound of gasp. “Will be enough.”
“Ann, give it back.” Feets shuffled on the floor. “That’s not a thing to mess with. Give that to me!”
She chuckled. “Why? Scared, Daddy?”
She stopped before speaking in a cold voice.
“Come and get it!”
Cool sweat broke off as Sara opened her eyes. Her vision blurred as a wave of pain crashed against her body in full force. Her ears started to ring as everything in her hurt. She was feeling a distinct headache as well but other parts of her body scream for her attention. But, she couldn’t move a limb.
She knew sleeping was a bad idea. It would reboot her system and Sara would start feeling pain like a normal person. But, she might have forgotten how intense the feeling would have been. And, now, she was paying the price.
Sara tried to move her head which felt like moving a crane with bare hands. She groaned and tried to move while ignoring the searing hot pain in her body. Those medicines were barely working on her.
With a lot of effort, Sara rolled herself to the side of the bed, thankfully, Intruder didn’t argue when she wanted to claim the bed for her. It was a surprise how easily he caved in. Sara couldn’t figure him out sometimes. But then, how long had she known him to judge him?
Sara let one of her legs down the bed. She was leaning on her elbow and moved to sit up when that annoying voice spoke.
“Stop right there!”
Sara groaned but leaned back on the bed. She was out of energy and she just woke up. Sara saw through her hooded eyes that his tall figure was striding toward the bed and lifted off the duvet of her. He bent down to check her forehead and her pulse rate.
“What? Are you a doc now?” Sara said in a groggy voice.
“Shut up!” He swiped some sweat off her face as she chuckled.
He helped her sit up on the bed and went to lift her red top.
“Whoa there, nurse, easy. Where are you touching?” She fixed him with furrowed brows.
He clicked his tongue. “Do I look like I wanna have sex with you? Shut the fuck up and let me check.”
Geez! That mouth! Even a toilet cleaner won’t be enough to clean that shit.
Sara rolled her eyes but stayed still as he gave her body a thorough check-up. When he was done, Sara expected him to leave but he only furrowed his brows.
He shook his head, “I don’t get it.”
Sara raised her brows.
“You were doing fine before. You should be up and running now.” Sara stiffened as he looked at her. “What happened back there?”
Sara looked away. “It’s nothing you should be worried about. I’ll be great in a moment.”
Sara moved to get up but a strong hand held her shoulder in a firm grip. She looked at him, daring him to let her stay and as always, he took the challenge. His grip tightened on her shoulder. Sara flinched at the impact and saw his grip loosen just enough to let her stay still.
What the hell!
Sara sighed. “I’m fine and let me go. I need to see Sylvia-”
“She’s good. Her father is coming to get her during dinner.”
Her father was coming there? How did he...
“How do you know him?”
He smirked. “Seems like Cluster dulled your brain for good, Hussain. I told you I followed you, remember?”
This made sense. But, still, why would he go out of his way to call him in his hideout. What was the point of letting people know where they were staying unless...
“By any chance, you know him?”
Sara was surprised to see his smirk widen.
He shrugged. “He owes me some favor.”
Sara furrowed her brows. “How?”
“Enough talk. I’ll send Mrs. Karzai to help you freshen up and I hope you won’t run away this time.” He motioned to the window.
Sara saw the nature out there. The sky was dark and gray, an ominous combination. She suddenly shivered remembering the dream.
It was another clue about Anita’s case. She knew something, something that could ruin Roger. But what was that? Was it the information she already knew about her mother’s death or something else.
Sara had to find it out. And, tonight was just the opportunity she needed to make a new twist in her plan.