The knife pierced through the lapels of his coat and shirt and punctured the skin, and drove into his back with forceful intensity.
Pain clutched his brain in its claws and for some seconds Rudra’s mind became numb with it.
But just as the fog cleared, his demons stirred with greater force than the pain coursing through his veins.
Ram’s call of concern fell on his ears but he ignored it completely. His men had already pulled Rajneesh away from him but the knife was still inside him.
Heaving hard, he raised himself on his palms and looked at the woman beneath him.
Ishani’s breathing was coming in short, heavily laboured breaths.
“Annie, get Amar.”
Annie rushed out and within minutes Amar burst into the room with her. He was about to reach out to drag the knife out of him but Rudra’s imploring stare stopped him.
Rudra slowly straightened and then moved away from the bed. As he nodded towards Ram, he and his men took Rajneesh away. He glanced at the bed and then at Amar.
“She will be okay. I’ll take care of her,” Amar said as he started reconnecting the oxygen pipe.
The room was already filling up with other support staff.
Rudra started to move towards the door but Amar stopped him.
“You need me more than she does. My support staff can take of her.”
But as if in a trance, Rudra just didn’t pay heed to his words. He kept walking, crossing the corridor and then finally venturing outside.
And knowing his friend, Amar also followed him.
The pain intensified as Rudra tried to move his right arm. But somehow, as it coursed through his veins, it egged the demons inside his brain waiting to charge. He turned towards the group holding Rjaneesh captive. But before he could reach him, Kabir and Viman blocked his way.
“The knife,” Kabir just said looking at him.
Rudra stared angrily at them but that didn’t affect them at all, they stared right back.
Amar started to slowly pull out the knife trying not to increase the pain.
But Rudra’s patience gave away after a second. He stretched his left hand as far as he could and grabbed the knife handle hard.
And then with everything in him pulled at it.
The second it was out, Rudra’s body convulsed and he collapsed against Kabir and Viman. However, he steadied himself immediately and took off his coat. Moving away from them, he just pulled the shirt lapels apart and threw the shirt away the minute it came off.
“Do whatever you have to do and do it fast,” he ordered Amar, who instantly started working on his back.
“Rudra, you need stitches and this time I’m not doing it without anaesthesia.”
“Then leave it.”
Saying this Rudra moved away from this group and walked to the other one.
Rajneesh looked at him and tried hard to keep a blank face. This man was definitely not Veera. It can’t be.
“In the car,” he ordered.
And instantly Rajneesh was dragged towards a car standing nearby. Manna shoved him inside and sat beside him. And after some time when his wound had been stitched, without anaesthesia much to Amar’s annoyance, Rudra got in and Ram slipped into the driver’s seat and started it instantly.
Amar shook his head as he watched the car speed away. Pain came naturally to his friend. During the entire process of his wound being stitched Rudra had stared at Rajneesh not feeling even the single stab of the needle going into his flesh time and again. He sighed hard knowing what was about to happen.
The minute they reached Genus, Rudra got out of the car and briskly strode inside.
He entered the bedroom followed by Manna and Ram, and the others.
“Take him to the room,” he commanded opening the door of his walk-in closet.
Ram nodded and walked out and started towards the room.
Build right at the end of the hallway connecting the main building to the rear area, the room was a little smaller than a ballroom and larger than a master bedroom. The walls were all black in colour, which not only added character to its imposing nature but also rendered anyone entering it with fear. But he was accustomed to it.
Ram opened the room and looked around. As he switched on the lights one by one, the ceiling lamps tucked in the corners came on. Next, he opened the connecting door and Shastri, Arshad and Chinna entered, followed by Kabir and Viman.
The only furniture in the room was a pair of chairs and a low table. Shastri pulled one of the chairs and aligned it with the table so that both the chairs were staring at each other.
A couple of Chinna’s men dragged Rajneesh inside the room and shoved him into one of the chairs lined with the wall.
As he started to look around, he registered each and every face, and then suddenly it stopped on one of the men standing far away near the door. It widened with disbelief as the man smiled at him.
Then the man turned towards the door and opened it.
Rajneesh shifted in his chair a little just as he saw the looming figure in the doorway.
Rudra entered and closed the distance between them in brisk steps. His eyes narrowed threateningly as he neared the table.
Rajneesh felt those dark black eyes piercing through him. The feeling of severe discomfort slithered down his spine and then settled somewhere deep in his stomach. Every bit of courage and strength slipped out the moment he saw Rudra pulling the chair and sitting down. Not able to look anymore, he averted his eyes.
Looking at Rajneesh, Rudra’s demons smiled and for the first time in all these years, it spread to him.
Rudra’s lips crooked in a devilish smirk as he placed his gun on the table. Then he relaxed a bit in the chair. As his thumb started to twirl circularly on his index finger, he let his anger slowly build. The minute it reached the threshold of bursting free, he clutched his palm in a fist.
“Look at me.”
His command reverberated in the almost silent room like a semi-muted shot.
But Rajneesh didn’t look at him.
“I said LOOK. AT. ME.”
The sharpness of the words stung hard on his skin as if somebody had lashed him and Rajneesh looked up.
“You involved the Mafia?”
Rajneesh’s mind flared with anger as he heard him. Who the hell is he?
“I’ll show you the Mafia. Shastri, Chinna, Arshad.”
The minute all three came and stood behind Rudra along with their men, Rajneesh eyes widened with shock as he recognised some of the men.
“They are all my men.”
“I am the fucking Mafia.”