KIARA ran through the crowd, her eyes searching for a face she never knew she will see. A face that used to comfort her and now, was the reason of fear inside of her.
She was sure that the face belonged to her mother.
But her heart was telling that something was terribly wrong. Her mother was dead. She immersed her ashes in the lake with her father's.
She knew that she had seen her mother get in the car during the blast. Her mother was in the car when it was bombed down.
Then why is she seeing her again? Did her mother had a twin?
None that Kiara knew of. But then, she was a kid at that time and her mother's family was least of her concerns when she was growing up.
She ran towards the retrieving figure, not caring the people she was pushing through. They can fuck off for all she cared.
She saw the familiar figure walk out through the exit door and she followed her. There was no way she was going to let this go. It is not every day you see your mother back from the dead.
Her heart was beating wildly and her throat was dry. Her mind had stopped thinking - all she knew was that she had to follow that woman.
She climbed the stairs, still hearing the clicking voice of the heels of that mysterious woman. She climbed the stairs as fast as she could.
She heard a door creak open so she was sure that the woman was on the top floor - the roof of the hotel where the event was being hosted.
She followed her and finally, reached the top floor. Her legs were aching and she was sure that she would have had some splinters on her legs but she didn't care. She wanted answers.
She opened the door and walked into the roof.
And there stood the woman, a smirk on her face and every detail matching with that of her mother's. The same black hair, the same dark brown eyes, the same dimpled smile and the same fair skin that matched with Kiara.
But something was off.
Her warmth was gone. She radiated coldness that scared Kiara.
"Kiara beta. My jaan. " the woman said.
But Kiara just stood there. She didn't rush to hug her mother because at that moment all she felt was anger.
Not love. Just hurt and pain.
"Impossible. You are not my mother." Kiara said.
"You know it, Kiara. I am your mother." the woman said.
But Kiara refused to believe it.
"Give me a reason to believe you." she replied.
The woman sighed and walked towards Kiara. Her features shone against the moonlight and a smile appeared on her face as she looked at her daughter completely. The duo looked so much alike, except the gray eyes she had inherited from her father.
"You have a birthmark on your right thigh. You hated it a lot during your childhood, saying that the black paint won't just get removed from your skin. I still remember you crying over it all the time and your father will bring you a bouquet of roses and lots of chocolates to make you calm. You were your father's daughter." the woman replied with a smile.
And then Kiara knew she wasn't lying. The woman was in fact her mother. But the thought didn't make her happy as it should.
"What do you want?" Kiara says annoyance laced her voice.
"Is that how you greet your mother after 10 years?" her mother snapped at her but Kiara didn't care.
"Yeah. The kind of mother who left her daughters to fend for themselves. Where were you when we cried? Where were you when I thought that I was all alone in the world? Where were you when I became this... this girl who killed people without thinking twice? Where were you when Sejal released her first song? Han? Hiding? And don't bullshit me, mother. You could have come to us. You had a choice, yet you stayed back. So, tell me. What do you want?" Kiara says.
And then, she saw the instant change in the face of her mother. Gone was the kindness. Kiara then and there knew that she never knew her mother.
"You are clever. I have to give you that. Your uncle did a good thing raising you. Now, Kiara, I am here to fulfil my end of the deal." her mother said.
Kiara's eyes snapped at her mother and confusion appeared on her face. What is the woman talking about?
"Your father and I had an arranged marriage. I had a twin, her name was Alia. Your father was in love with her and he got married to her. They were happy - and then, they had you. But Alia fell sick soon after and I took her place to take care of you. Soon after, she died. Your father asked me to marry him so that you can get a mother. But I was reluctant. You see, your father was a very dangerous man. Moreover, I was already in love with someone else. He told me that he would give me all the riches in the world if I became his wife. But I didn't want that alone." the woman said.
She stepped towards Kiara with a smirk on her face.
"I wanted control. Your mother always took away things from me, she was the queen everyone listens to. And I wanted some control over her. Too bad that she died. So, I thought - why not control a part of her? When you were seven, I... sold you. Your father was too ignorant to check over the papers she signed. You, Kiara Kapoor are to get married to Nikhil Malhotra when you turn 21. And all of your assets will get transferred to me and my daughters as soon as you get married." the woman said.
It was like a blow on Kiara's face. What the hell is this woman talking about? She must be joking!
First, she tells her that she is not her birth mother. Then, she talks about a deal no one told her about.
Kiara was sure. The only contract she knew of was the one her father had drafted for her and Zain. This.... this is preposterous!
She wasn't a toy to be played with and thrown at different guys. Did her say meant nothing? It was like her life was decided the day she was born!
"I am a married woman. For your kind information, my husband is Damian Lorenzo who is the most feared don in the entire of New York and perhaps even America. So, don't mess with me. I will not even hesitate to put a bullet through your head, mother." Kiara replied.
"No can do. You are coming with me. Nikhil is a very impatient man and he wants you since the day he met you when you were young. He loves you and will give you everything. So, why are you binding yourself to this loveless marriage?" the woman says.
Kiara's eyes widen for a moment. Her mother was right - Kiara's marriage with Damian was a deal, nothing more. She might feel something for him but he? He didn't even respect her. He didn't care when he took away her company.
He made her feel low.
Yet, she couldn't imagine being with someone else.
"She is not going anywhere. I swear to the Lords I will kill that Nikhil guy with my bare hands if he even touched my woman." Kiara heard a voice behind her.
She didn't need to turn to know it was Damian. She felt a familiar warmth engulf her from the behind and when he touched her bareback, she felt the sparks that ignited on her body.
She unknowingly leaned onto him.
"She was never meant to be yours, Lorenzo. She was signed off to Nikhil when she was seven. That means your marriage means nothing." her mother said.
"No! Kiara is now an adult and no longer under your legal hold. The contract means nothing and she can nullify it anytime. Don't mess with me, woman. I can finish you with the snap of my fingers." Damian replied.
Her mother scoffed, clearly annoyed with the threat. She wasn't scared of Damian and that troubled Kiara. What did she have to possibly not be scared of this powerful man? He was the most feared man in New York.
"We will see to that. Until then, I will prepare your divorce papers. You know what to do, Kiara." her mother said.
"No. I know what to do and that is to stay with Damian. I am not a gift to be passed from people to people. I married Damian at my own will. It was my choice. And what happens in my marriage is none of your concern. You lost that right the day you left us." Kiara said.
The woman's eyes widened and she raised her hand to deliver a slap on Kiara's cheeks. But it never happened since she caught her hand.
"Think before you do, woman." Kiara said as she yanked her hand away.
Her mother scoffed and left the couple on the roof.
Kiara stood silently as she processed what had happened. What truths had been now relieved.
And it scared her - she never knew her family.
She turned to Damian, looking into his ocean blue eyes. They never lied to her - he was the only reason she was holding onto right now.
And she was scared that he might leave her too.
So, she engulfed him in a tight hug, tears falling down. Damian wrapped his hands around her and kissed her on her forehead.
"It is going to be fine. I will never let you go." Damian said.
And Kiara believed him.