Shackled Exemption

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CHAPTER 8

Asfand got up and swung his legs off the bed. He grabbed his cigarettes and phone after wearing his sweatpants and went to the grand window of his room. Asfand palmed the glass and watched the vast spread of the city below. The lights were looking like tiny dots from his penthouse. In distance, he could hear cars honk and he mused upon people who were active at this hour.

This night turned out to be something.

Asfand lit the cigarette and puffed deeply. He was not a chain-smoker but he sometimes felt like taking a drag. Without breaking away from the view, he called Safan and waited for him to pick up. “Did you find what he was doing here?”

“There is nothing certain about his visit. He left or more like fled before I could get to him.” Asfand ran his hand down his face in agitation. “Do you think elders have something to do with what happened with Thompson? It was total annihilation. You know that fucker didn’t have the stomach. He was a pussy.”

“I don’t think Safan. I am sure he is framed. But elders are not after this.”

“What about-”

“He is not man enough to do something like this.” Asfand walked towards the couch and stubbed his cigarette in ash-tray. “It’s someone else." But who would want to take Thompson down like this?

“What do you intend to do now?” Safan slumped on his bed and loosened his tie with a tired sigh. “It was a big blow. Their stock value has dropped drastically. The business is going to sink completely Asfand. There is no way back to top for Thompson.” Asfand didn’t answer and Safan knew why. His boss was working on the pieces. The pieces that were linked to each other.

“Let me know.” With that Asfand disconnected the call and threw his phone on the couch. He was about to reach for the bottle of scotch on his table when a pair of arms wrapped around his torso from behind. Asfand pulled the intruder towards him with a jerk and his angry glare was nullified upon meeting a pair of hazel eyes.

A very familiar hazel ones.

“Why did you get up?” Asfand watched Dee wrap her delicate arms around his neck and push her bare body into him. You have got to be fucking kidding me. Her seductive smile stirred and pumped his blood, turning it hot within seconds. His body reacted instantly to her touch, making him blind against every rational thought.

She was close but it was not enough. She was naked next to him but it was still not enough.

Asfand always knew. But his hunger for Dee rose to the extent of being insatiable in every way, he didn’t know. Now he understood why Safan wanted him to leave as soon as possible.

This woman became his untamed obsession.

“You!” A gasp left her rosy lips when Asfand grabbed her hips roughly. His free hand wrapped around her delicate jaw and he twisted her face back. “What did I tell you?” He ran his thumb roughly over rose tinted lips with a growl. She moaned and pushed herself into him when his fingers dug in the tender flesh of her butt cheeks. And Asfand’s control slipped completely with her mere gesture.

“You are so sly Mr. Sherzai” He carried her to bed and a certain appendage of his hardened at the sight of her bouncing off with the impact when he threw her on the soft mattress.

“Asfand” He grumbled climbing on top of her. “Call me Asfand.” His skillful hands and mouth roaming on her body elicited moans of pure ecstasy from her. And her pleasure filled sounds only upraised his male ego more.

“Asfand!” She moaned when Asfand kissed his way up her legs and stopped on her navel without leaving any part untouched.

“Fuck!” His name from her lips was music to his ears. “You are heaven” He ascended towards her breasts and left open mouth kisses all the way to her delicate neck. He bit, licked and sucked on her skin hungrily, like a starved animal but it was not enough. He wanted more.

“Please” Her fingers tangled through his hair and Asfand groaned when she pulled on them to raise his head.

“You-”

“What?” The brunette beneath him asked. Not a burgundy haired beauty but a brunette. “Why did you stop Asfand?” She wrapped her legs around his hips when she felt him move away. “Don’t stop now.”

I have fucking lost my shit. Untangling her legs from his body, Asfand fell back with a soft thud and stared at the ceiling. She felt so real. She even smelt same. His closed eyes snapped open indignantly when a weight shifted on top of him.

“What?” Asfand snapped at the brunette. He didn’t even know her name. He just grabbed her in need for a release after Dee walked away from him. It was hard not to follow her. So, he grabbed whatever was available. But he was still unsatisfied.

“Let me help you a little” The brunette purred and tugged at the band of his sweatpants.

Whore. Asfand watched her blankly when she guided his hands to her hips and breasts. What a fucking nuisance this has become now. Asfand didn’t react when she began moving on him. He didn’t feel anything as he watched her touch herself and moan. If any, he felt disgusted.

The moment his eyes closed, a certain face flashed behind his closed eyes and he felt himself go hard inside her again.

There was so much mystery around D. Sahi. Dark and sinistrous. Asfand had an inkling before but now he was sure that everything was interlinked. And the center of it was D. Almas Sahi. Not only this but the way she reacted to his touch. That look in her eyes. Hate and bitter recognition. It was a reminder of something.

What are you hiding, my love? Asfand mused to himself when the brunette collapsed on top of him after reaching her climax. Asfand didn’t bother with her seductive administrations. His mind was preoccupied by a very peculiar woman. A woman who could prove herself a distasteful obstruction to his motives in many ways. And Asfand cannot afford to let that happen.

I need to do something about my little problem.

***********

Her eyes scanned the red roses that were used to decorate the whole room. From the bed she was sitting on to the walls that contained her freedom. Their scent was unnerving her in every way.

She was not a newlywed bride. She was a scapegoat, waiting to be butchered.

Her tiny hands fisted the sheets when the door opened and a man walked in. A man who was her husband. A husband she has never seen and heard of before. She watched him lock the door and turn to her. The veil across her face made it difficult for her to make out his features or face. He was tall, she could tell and very well built as well. Maybe handsome too but she was not sure. She watched him cross the distance between them at leisure pace and her heartbeat skyrocketed when he stopped by the foot of the bed.

For a few minutes, he didn’t say anything. He just stood in silence and watched her. Her hands began to tremble under his heated gaze and she kept her head low to avoid looking at him at any cost. Not out of shyness but fear his powerful presence was invoking in her.

“What’s your name?” his deep voice struck a string inside her, making her shiver uncontrollably. He didn’t know her name? “Are you deaf?” he snapped at her in anger.

“Du- Dua” came her feeble reply. He didn’t say anything again and kept watching her. She wanted to look at him too. To know what he looked like but something stopped her from doing so.

“Dua” her name rolled off his tongue like velvet. “A prayer” he chuckled. Dua tensed up when the bed next to her dip and her husband sat beside her. “My prayer?” She held her breath when he grabbed her chin gently and tilted her face towards him. The veil was still between them but she finally saw him. He was handsome indeed. And his eyes, they were alluring. Her heart started to beat frantically in her chest when she felt his eyes roam over her face through the flimsy veil. “You have beautiful eyes Dua.”

“I-I’m” she kept stuttering under his unfaltering gaze that was turning darker and darker. She felt something shift within him with each passing moment but she couldn’t tell what. She could only feel how sinister the feeling was. “Please-” Her husband stood up suddenly and she stared at the hand he stretched for her.

“You are in my nikah Dua. You ought to trust me.”

Trust him? Can she really? He was her husband, wasn’t he? He promised to protect her through their nikah, didn’t he?

“What are you waiting for?” The irritation was evident in his voice and Dua placed her small hand in his big one hesitatingly. She didn’t want him angry.

“I wa-nt to tell you some-thing.” She finally gathered the courage to look up at him. His expressions were solemn and he was giving his full attention to her. There was a look of understanding in his eyes which encouraged Dua to let him in on her pain. Maybe, he could help her. “They are not go-od peo-ple. They killed my par-ents and have my sister. I am sure they forced you too in this marriage. Please! Help me. Ple-ase.”

“Sshh!” He placed his finger on her veiled lips. “I know. I know everything.” He pulled her roughly towards him and Dua gasped when she came in contact with his hard frame. “You gave yourself up for your sister? How admirable and brave of you.” His cologne invaded her senses and she felt her heart beat again rapidly for a whole different reason. “What a good girl you are, my Dua. But do you know what happen to good girls?” He bent over her to whisper in her ear. “They get eaten by big bad wolves.”

A painful scream left her lips when he threw her roughly on the floor. She looked at him with bewildered eyes and that’s when she noticed. The wrath and hatred. That was directed towards her.

“You fucking bitch” she cringed and whimpered when he grabbed a fistful of her hair through the dupatta and pulled her up roughly. “You fucking ruined everything. They should have killed you instead.”

“Please stop. It hurts.”

“It hurts?” she bit back a cry when he grabbed her jaw roughly. “You know what is going to hurt?” Her eyes widen in fear when he released her hair to pull a dagger out of his pocket and pressed it to her neck. “It will hurt when you will be sold to those awaiting hounds in the brothel.” She shook her head in fear when he sneered at her. “When they will fuck you hard every day and night without stop. That’s when it is going to hurt.”

“No. Please. No” She shook her head but her feeble pleas were turned to deaf ear. “I am your wife. How can you-”

“Wife?” he chuckled “You thought this was a sacred marriage?” he pulled her face closer to his and she winced when the tip of the blade pierced her tender flesh. “It is not a holy matrimony my love. How can you believe what they said after everything you went through?”

“But-”

“It is just a ruse. A ruse to get your signature on those fucking documents. You think they will let you live and leave like this? You are so wrong.” Tears pooled her eyes at the fate that unfolded. Her faith was once again pummeled and now there was nothing left that could help her pull it back together. All was lost. “You are just going to be a bride for the night.”

“Stop. Leave me. Let me go.” Her fists collided with his hard chest feebly. “Monster, animal. Leave me. Let me go. Help!”

“Scream all you want but no one is coming for you.” He threw her roughly on the bed. She wanted to push the veil away from her face but it seemed like the only safe haven from every wickedness around her. “Not your papa, not your mama and not your dead sister.”

“No!” She looked at him in fear when he began to remove his Sherwani.

“I would like to see what I got by sacrificing my part in this bargain.” He grabbed her leg and pulled her towards him before she could even crawl back. “Don’t worry, I will make you scream louder than this.”

***********

Dee frantically reached for the light on her bedside. Once her hand found the switch, she flicked it on and slumped against the headboard. Her heartbeat was out of place and her breathing ragged. She grabbed her robe and wore it over her nightdress before walking out of her room. She came downstairs and walked out and towards her back garden. The night was silent and cold.

Just like the reality.

Her mind reeled back to the events of tonight and she gripped her robe tightly upon reminiscing her encounter with that man who went by the name Anas now. She has not told Haider about him yet. Amber needed him more right now and Dee didn’t want Haider to tread a path that could distance them. They just came close and were still on the road to discovery and recovery. Dee wanted them away from all this, especially Haider. She was not sure what he would have done or will do if he ever came to know about Anas.

When it came to patience, it ran thinner in Haider than it did in Dee.

She was this close to having him. She could have finished him off tonight. If that Asfandyar hadn’t interfered. Her eyes shut tightly when images flashed across them. Images that were enough to set her whole being on fire.

He touched her.

She could still feel his hands on her. She could still smell his cologne. Their proximity and the feeling it brought. She couldn’t get rid of it.

“No” Dee raised her shaking hands to her face. “You cannot feel this way. He cannot affect me like this. I won’t let him.” She balled her fists tightly. There was a lot to do. There was a lot to take. And fear wasn’t one of them. Steeling her resolve once again, she dropped her hands back and gazed at the dark sky.

“Andrew Thompson. This night was just a greeting.” A bitter smile appeared on her lips. “The real thing awaits the morning.”

***********

Ida was placing breakfast before Dee when Xian stormed towards her at hurried pace. Dee knew the moment she saw his expressions that it was nothing good. She raised a questioning brow when he extended his phone. She took the phone and placed it against her ear.

“Had-”

“You need to see this.” The moment she turned, Xian switched on the smart screen. The phone in her hand was completely forgotten when she saw the highlights of the news.

“We didn’t expect them to make a move. The Wang family got involved and the whole drugs and weapon cartel was flipped-”

“Who involved Wang family?” Dee knew the answer to her question but she wanted to hear it from Xian. After all, he held an old history with them. His jaw locked and he watched Dee silently. “I asked a question.”

“Sherzai.” She knew it. “Wang family have political connections and Asfandyar has his connections with them. The whole blame was pinned on Tong. The investigation has been hauled completely and Thompson are free of every charge.” Xian watched Dee closely. “This didn’t come free to Andrew Thompson. He lost everything. Their stock value still dropped and there is no way back. Because of his lecherous activities and previous cases, many took advantage of this and withdrew from-”

“Come straight to point.”

“Andrew sold eighty percent of his shares to Asfandyar Sherzai.” Dee smashed his phone on the floor angrily. After that, it was a total ruination. Everything was on the floor, smashed and broken. Ida and Xian watched Dee silently. There was no point in saying anything right now. They knew of her temper and it was best to let her be.

“Asfandyar Sherzai” Dee balled her fists. “You made a big mistake. I won’t let you ruin my plans. You cannot ruin my plans.” Xian caught hold of her small fist that was about to make contact with the mirror on the wall.

“It won’t resolve anything” Xian stated calmly. “Anger. It will build nothing but it definitely holds the power to destroy everything.” He released her arm and stepped back after making sure she was calm. “You were moving too fast. Asfandyar was getting suspicious of you. He might have anticipated your move. And you reacted to Anas in his presence as well. It will be best to show no reaction at all for time being.” But Dee showed no acknowledgment to his words. “One step at a time Ms. Sahi or your revenge will end up annihilating you.” Dee turned to Xian with a vicious glare. “Yielding at times in a play doesn’t determine the victory of opponent.”

Dee knew Xian’s words held weight to them. She was reckless last night and because of her impetuousness, she could have made a serious mess of things. Dee knew she needed to be careful or she will end up destroying everything she has ardently worked for all these years.

“Did you tell Haider about Anas?” Xian shook his head in negative. “I don’t want him to find out ever. He already has too much on his plate.” He nodded silently. “And about Anas? Did you get your hands on anything?”

“He didn’t go back to Pakistan. Not even once in last seven years. He is constantly on the move.” But for how long he will live on the run? Sooner or later, he will get fed up and frustrated. Dee made sure of it.

“We don’t have to worry about that.” Dee walked past Xian and sat on couch, crossing one leg over other. “Once the bait is out, he won’t be able to resist it.” She raised her hand to see the black stone on her index finger. “None of them will be.”

***********

“Dee!” Amber hugged her tight. “I am so happy.” Dee mused over her beaming smile. Amber pronounced her name differently. Using ‘D’ with the sound of ‘The’. According to Amber, Dee is an endearment for elder sisters. Since she was younger than Dee by two years, she twisted her name and used it to her wish. Dee didn’t mind as well. She loved Amber like a young sister and her acknowledging Dee as one meant a lot for her.

“Anything for you.” Amber’s smile brightened further if that was even possible. “How are you now? Haider told me of the pain. You shouldn’t be out and about like this.”

“It’s just Haider’s baby.” Amber caressed her baby bump lovingly. “He is like his father. Naughty. He just can’t sit in one place.”

“Talking about me?” They both turned when Haider came. “I told you not to run around.” Amber scrunched her nose when Haider hugged her shoulders. She always felt shy when Haider displayed affection in public. “Your aunt was looking for you.”

“Oh, I forgot. She brought gifts and wanted me to help her unpack them. She said she got something special for Dee.” Dee forced a tight smile and gave Haider a silent warning. “I will go and get it.”

“Don’t run Amber” Haider yelled after her when she rushed back inside.

“I told you” Haider raised his hands in surrender when Dee stepped towards him. “It’s not going to be anything good Hadi.”

“Relax Dee.” He gave a curt nod to Xian and they walked towards the mansion. “And if Safeena still said something infuriating, you can do whatever you want.”

“Easy for you to say Hadi” Dee faced him when they reached living room. “Where is Dar-jee?” She was expecting him to be lounging in grand living but he was nowhere to be found.

“A guest is coming to meet him.” Dee noticed the frown on Hadi’s face. “He will be here shortly.” She just nodded and looked around.

“You have new mirrors installed” Dee mused upon the high quality glass pillars of the octagonal dome within the lounge. She walked inside the dome and watched her reflection in mock curiosity. “Whole glass?”

“Yes” Haider answered. “It’s Amber and her fetish with mirrors. So, I got the living redesigned for her.”

“Careful Hadi” Dee walked to the center and looked around the eight pillars. “It’s easily breakable.”

“I- Excuse me” She watched Haider walk away to attend his call and focused her attention back on her reflections.

“Dee”

“I told you she will look beautiful in it.” A high pitched voice spoke behind Dee. Amber beamed at her aunt who came and stood beside her. Amber bore resemblance to her aunt but was complete opposite of her nasty and mean personality. “You covered her face. Lift the veil and adjust the dupatta properly on her head. Let’s see how our beautiful guriya look in this propitious color.” Amber nodded eagerly and began lifting the veil up.

“Khala is right. It is looking so beautiful on yo-”

“What’s wrong?” Safeena faked concern while looking at Dee mockingly. “Did something happen Du-”

“AMBER!” Both women stepped back in fear when Haider stormed towards them angrily and stood in front of Dee. His eyes were focused on his wife who was shrinking under his gaze. Amber didn’t know what mistake she made. Last she saw Haider like this was when he brought her here after marriage.

“Haider beta” Safeena began with a poisonous smile, “We just-”

“I warned you, didn’t I?” He snapped at the old woman. “You will never learn. I shouldn’t have called you here.”

“Haider!” Amber was flabbergasted by his words and actions. He was blatantly disrespecting her aunt before her and for what. “Why are you saying all this?”

“You stay out of this” Haider turned to Dee when she finally broke out of her stupor. Her eyes were red with anger and unshed tears while reaching for the bridal dupatta on her head. She didn’t blink, not even once as she watched the ominous piece of cloth in her hand.

“Dee!” Her eyes found their way behind Haider and the hell broke loose. She lifted the vase from the table by her side and threw it towards the glass pillar facing her.

“Ya ALLAH” Safeena screamed when the sound of glass breaking echoed the air. Dee walked out of there while stepping on the red dupatta lying by her feet. That’s what it deserved. Because in her eyes, it never brought joy but devastation to the one it landed on.

“Dee!” Haider called after her. “Listen to me.” Xian stood up straight when Dee came to him at angry pace. He watched Haider, perplexed but one look at her eyes and it clicked. That woman did something again. “I said stop, didn’t I?” Haider stopped on the threshold. “Dee!” Haider boomed after her.

Something was coming. Something foreboding and Xian could sense it. But before he could turn the direction of bullet, it was shot.

“Dua!”

Xian was stoned upon hearing the name no one ever recalled in last seven years. They were forbidden to. He clearly remember that night. When Dua became D. Almas Sahi. He can never forget it. And if it was in his hands, he would have never let it happen.

“Haider!” Xian stepped in between when he saw him coming towards her. Now was not the right time for confrontation. Not after what Haider has done. Intentionally or unintentionally. “Stay back.” He turned to Dee who was frozen to her very core.

“Dua!”

“Where are you? Just come out or I will tell mama and papa.”

“God! This girl can’t sit in one place.”

“Such a beautiful name you have, my doll. A prayer who will bring joy to those who will come in your life.”

Tears blinded her completely as she relived the memories buried deep within her. Memories that were nothing but acid to her never healing wounds.

“Run! Don’t look back”

“Too bad the flower got caught in the nest of thrones”

“No! Please. Please. Please”

“Run! I said run”

“Ammara!”

“Run kidco”

“You need to get away”

“Mama! Papa! Leave them alone. Don’t do this.”

“Run!”

“DUA!”

“DUA!” She pulled the gun out of Xian’s holster and pointed it to Haider. Gasps, warnings and screams were being passed around but she became blind and deaf to them.

“I warned you. I told you not to call me that. Never to say that name again Haider Shah” She clicked the safety on the lock. “How dare you? HOW DARE YOU!”

And the air was sliced with a shot.


Guriya- doll

Beta- son

Khala- maternal aunt

Hello Peeps :)

So, I am updating again before schedule. Reason? It’s my sister’s birthday and she asked me to give a surprise update for her.

Read and enjoy :) And don’t forget to drop your thoughts about your feelings <3

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