Shackles of Desire - The IR Quartet - Book 2

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Chapter 44

Ishani was drowning. She knew she would die if she didn’t do anything but there was no hope. Nobody had come looking for her and that was what she had wanted.

She was not giving up but she had had enough. Closing her eyes, she let the water overtake her body. Her breathing constricted and instinctively she struggled.

Then suddenly everything stopped. Her body became light and she floated above the water.

She was out of the box.

Ishani looked back at the box and saw everything covered in an icy cover but that didn’t stop her from recognising her cold and frozen face.

For a split second her face constricted and tears started to gather at the corner of her eyes. And then everything froze inside her.

There was nothing left for her. It was time to go.

Without another glance, she turned and started to walk ahead. Something was beckoning her and right now there was nothing more pleasurable than walking ahead.

The pain was gone along with the sense of betrayal that had gripped her. The urgency, the panic, the worry, the grief; everything was gone.

Her heart was gone.

She was finally free.

She was nearing whatever was beckoning her, its pleasurable peace was settling over her.

Finally Ishani stood before a bright light, which was ready to engulf her. She raised her hand a little and tried to touch it but her fingers slipped through sheer nothingness.


A much-needed vacuum!

Inwardly smiling, she took one step ahead and then suddenly halted. Her hand had finally touched something.

A hand!

And the touch was quite familiar.

Her whole being cried out with pain as the touch travelled through the sinews of her body and settled in a closed corner of her heart. Anguished, she cried out as the deepest confines of her heart started to open up.

She didn’t want the memories. She didn’t need them.

But the touch; it was back again reminding her of her times when her smile had never faded, when she was happy, when she woke up every morning and felt elated seeing the morning sun, when she’d had hope.

When she’d had Veera.

Ishani closed her eyes trying to block the light but suddenly the touch pulled her towards it. Panicked she opened her eyes and saw Rajneesh trying to grab her. She turned and started to run with everything in her.


Rudra stepped inside her room and closed the door. Standing at the doorway, he watched her as she twisted and turned violently on the bed.

She wasn’t dying so easily. He won’t let that happen.

From now on every living breath of hers will be filled with pain.

Even if he had to draw her blood out for that he will do it.

Looking at her right now he felt nothing but supreme satisfaction. He walked towards her bed and stood next to it. Smiling inwardly, he kept looking and memorised each and every flicker of pain reflecting on her face.

He wanted to store each and one of them somewhere in his head so that he could inflict them again.

Ishani kept running but somehow she didn’t manage to even cross an inch away from Rajneesh. He clasped her hand and pulled her towards him.

And then his hands started to close on her throat.

Her mouth opened in a scream but nothing came out. But Rajneesh had suddenly released his grip. Before even she could react he was gone and in his place there was a different image.

An image that had been there with her since her childhood.


Rudra would have turned away if he hadn’t heard the faint cry.

The name just lodged inside his brain like a bullet. Anger flared within seconds and he leant down on her bed clutching her shoulders.

The image in front of Ishani smiled at her and then slowly started to fade. But it didn’t fade fully; the next second it flared to life.

And this time the image in front wasn’t the one she ever wanted to see in her life again. But seeing him again triggered the emotions she never imagined she had in her.

She stared as tears rolled down her eyes slowly. Suddenly she felt his hand brushing away the tears and the touch reminded her of many things. It reminded her of her childhood; it reminded her of the love she’d had; it reminded her of being happy.

“Rudra,” her heart whispered and somehow that call reached him.

He pulled her towards him and wound his arms around her.

“Rudra,” she cried out.

Rudra’s eyes narrowed as he saw her lips move. He closed the space between them and pressed his ear close to her them.


He jerked and looked at her.

“Rudra, they are going to kill me.”

Ishani’s pain-filled cry reached his brain and filled it with images of blood and burned bodies strewn everywhere. Without thinking, he grabbed her face between his hands and leant close.

“I won’t let that happen. No matter what happens, I won’t let you die.”

As tears rolled down her closed eyes, Rudra couldn’t help but brush them off. But as they fell relentlessly, he started to kiss them.

“They are going to kill me,” she whispered again.

And this time, not able to take it anymore, he lowered his head a little more and whispered against her lips.

“Ishi, I’m not losing you again. You are not dying on me.”


It was too much for him.

He lowered his lips and fused them to hers, kissing her with every emotion raging inside his brain.

But seconds later, he staggered back. His demons cried out with anger and hostility. His brain was pelted with images of his family going up in flames.

Rudra clutched the bed handle hard trying to shove the demons back in their confines. As his grip hardened, one by one they retreated.

Calm again, he opened his eyes and looked at the figure on the bed. She was still agitated and he didn’t want that.

He wanted her to wake up.

She wouldn’t know pain when she is unconscious. He wanted her conscious mind to register the torment and agony he was waiting to inflict on her.

Coming towards her, he again lowered himself to her level and whispered in her ears.

“You don’t have the urge to fight me. You hate me but you won’t do anything. I think you don’t have the courage. You are a coward. And with you gone, I can take everything you have. Thanks for giving up so easily.”

“Poor children!”

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