Shackles of Desire - The IR Quartet - Book 2

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Chapter 27

Present Day

Annie was pacing the room frantically. Her mother looked at her with worry but didn’t say anything.

Her nerves were boiling with tension with every passing minute. Her father entered the room and she rushed to him.

“Somehow I have managed to get you a seat on the next available flight. We have to leave now.”

She had already packed everything. Quickly she picked up one of the bags and her father the others. Hugging her mother she rushed out of the room.

3 more hours and she would be in Delhi.

And then she will kill that man.

Annie had been trying to call Ishani for the past couple of hours but nothing. After receiving her text in the previous evening, she hadn’t called her at all. But when she called her this morning, her phone came switched off. She left messages but none of them got delivered. By the time it was 8 in the morning every instinct in her said that something had happened to Ishani.

Instantly she had called Subhash Gaikwad and that’s when she got to know what had happened.

Annie curled her fingers in a fist as she remembered what Subhash Gaikwad had said.

“Annie, I have never seen her cry like this.”

Just thinking about Ishani crying made her blood boil with anger.

Rudraveer Sangawat, you are dead.

The moment she reached Delhi, Annie went straightaway to Subhash Gaikwad’s house.

Subhash welcomed her to his study and handed her the letter.

Annie ripped the letter open and started reading.

’Annie,

I know this will come as a surprise but don’t try to find me if you don’t hear from me. I have fought enough. Now it’s time for me to go. I’ll try to keep myself out of harm’s way but if I am not able to, then don’t try to find me. Till the time I am there none of you are safe. So don’t come looking for me. Save the NGO and the children, that’s more important. Nobody would bother you and the NGO; I’ve made sure of that.

Annie, I have trusted the wrong people and that is my biggest failure. Please take care of the NGO.

Ishani.’

Tears rolled down her eyes as the words filtered in. She collapsed on the sofa and clutched one of cushions with effort. With everything in her, she gulped down the tears clogging her throat and got up.

If her instinct had been giving out warning signals earlier now, it was like a blaring siren in her head with blinking red lights in the horizon.

“When was the last time you spoke to her?” she asked looking at Subhash.

“Yesterday evening; when she came to meet me. Is something wrong Annie?”

“Her phone is switched off and she never does that. She hasn’t reached the NGO and she hasn’t informed Jithu, which is completely out of character. She would never ignore the NGO,” she said flicking out her phone to check her messages.

The messages hadn’t been delivered meaning her phone was still switched off.

“I’m going to Sangawat Towers. Are you coming?” she asked Subhash who nodded picking up a file from the table.

**************

Rudra looked at Viman not believing what he was saying.

“You didn’t find anything?”

Viman looked away and then swallowed.

“I didn’t say I didn’t. I said that I couldn’t. Details of the trust are secret and only Subhash Gaikwad knows everything and none of my men were able to reach him.”

Anger flashed through Rudra like a thunderbolt. He strode up to Viman and grabbed his hand by force.

“I don’t care who has the information. I want it right now. If you can’t do then I will.”

He was about to turn away and fetch his phone when suddenly the intercom buzzed.

“Sir!”

“What is it Mayank?” asked Rudra as he looked at his phone contacts trying to locate Arshad’s number.

“Annie Mohan is here and she wants to see you.”

“Tell her to go to hell. I don’t want to meet anyone.”

“I have told her that but she is not budging,” Mayank said, his voice a little muffled against the scuffling in the background.

Rudra fisted his hand in anger and gritted his teeth.

“I believe I said that I don’t want to meet anyone.”

“I think you would want to meet me; at least that’s the notion I got from the people questioning my staff about the trust. I am Subhash Gaikwad,” a heavy baritone sounded through the intercom.

Rudra looked at Viman who stared at him in confusion.

“Bring them here,” Rudra commanded.

Minutes later, Rudra saw Mayank opening the door but before he could usher them inside, Annie burst in and strode towards Rudra.

And before he could react, she raised her hand and struck him hard on his left cheek.

The sound of the slap bounced off every nook and corner of the room leaving a deafening silence all around.

Every sinew in Rudra’s head burst into raging flames just as Annie’s hand stung hard on his cheek. Gritting his teeth, he raised his head and advanced towards her.

Viman watched them with a gaping mouth as Annie stood her ground even though Rudra was almost standing toe to toe with her fuming. Suddenly his brain signalled that if he didn’t diffuse this situation then Annie would surely be dead. Quickly he closed the distance between him and Rudra, and placed his hand on his shoulder.

“Rudra!”

But Rudra was totally out of control. He raised his hand to grab Annie’s neck when she clutched the front of his coat and pulled hard.

“WHERE IS SHE?”

Rudra’s hand froze as the question hung in between them.

“WHERE IS ISHANI?”

Narrowing his eyes, he kept staring at her.

“Tell me where she is or I swear Rudraveer Sangawat you will regret the day you were born.”

Rudra lowered his hand and fetched his phone from his pocket. Going through his contacts, he tried to locate her number and then remembered that he had asked Ram to wipe out all her details from his phone. He flicked his gaze to Viman, who instantly dialled her number.

“It’s coming switched off,” Viman said lowering his phone.

“Yes and it has been switched off more than 2 hours,” Annie said letting go of Rudra’s shirt lapel.

Rudra’s eyes shot to her and narrowed.

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