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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chapter 4 - Loss of a Dream

Her eyes widened in surprise. At first it was just two pairs of lips pressing against each other, but as the moments ticked by, the sounds of holiday cheer, ringing Santa’s and flurries of snow faded in the background. His hot breath laced with mild aftershave warmed Khushi from her toes to her ears. She held his arms for support, feeling his bulk pressing on her and shielding her. She felt safe and connected.

Her lips felt incredibly soft. His hands shot up and circled gently around her neck, taking care not to tear the turtleneck, beating a mounting need in him to devour that neck of hers. He had the need to taste her and he flicked his tongue over her lower lip. She closed her eyes and parted hers. Without hesitation his tongue began its invasion when he moaned an involuntary satisfaction. His grunt of approval had her flutter hey eyes open. He realized his mistake and immediately withdrew, leaving her winded and off balance.

“We need to get out of here.” He pulled back wiping her gloss off his lips. Strawberries! She didn’t know what to think so she followed instructions. ASR took on the mantle of dispassionate professional once more, leaving her feeling betrayed to a certain degree. She reasoned he had to do this to save her and not because he felt anything for her. She couldn’t say the same about her.

(play music for the mood)
“The coast seems clear.” He tugged at her hands again. She grabbed her coat and hat, now covered in slushy mud and melting snow, and followed him. They were zipping through the crowd as fast as they could. ASR kept his vigil by scanning the area and making sure they took enough cuts across streets to spot any tailing. Once he thought they were clear, he rushed towards the enclosed parking garage where he had parked his car.
“Where are we going?” she asked. He did not answer.

As they neared the parking structure, ASR hit the stairs and lunged forward two at a time. Not to be left behind, Khushi kept up with him, winning easy admiration from him.

“You didn’t answer me. Where are we going?” she asked again, as they exited stairwell on the third floor. He clicked the remote on his car keys and the car reacted with two flashes of its tail lights. He did not let up the pace as they neared the car. He opened the door for her.

Khushi was behind him, breathless and panting. She had just about had enough excitement for the day.
“I am not getting into the car until you tell me where we are going.” She stood akimbo, straining heavily to catch her breath. A minor frustration rose inside him but subsided with equal speed when he noticed her red as a reindeer nose.

“I didn’t know Rudolph was a Chicago native.” He smirked and motioned her to sit inside the car.
“What! What did you say? No! I am not sitting in that car until I get some answers. Why is the mafia chasing me? Why am I being followed? Why is the FBI on this case? I need some answers dammit! And no, I am not getting in that car without getting my questions answered.” She crossed her arms across her chest looking every bit a stubborn kid.

ASR ran his hands through his hair and exhaled.

“Look, I am not about to tell you how life began on earth, right here in this fucking freezing parking garage. So, get in the car and we can talk on our way to your place?”

She didn’t say another word and got in the car. He had after all saved her life not a few minutes ago and she owed him some gratitude. But I don’t have to be polite. She gruffly pulled the door shurt before he could close it for her. He smiled to himself. Fiesty!  

As he pulled out of the parking structure he eyed her from the corner of his eyes. She sat sulking and looking straight ahead, taking extra pains to avoid him. He flicked the Bluetooth button in his car and commanded, “Call Kevin Calhoun”. The phone rang twice before Kevin picked the call.

“Hi maverick! Where the hell are you? Why, we sent you to talk to the cutie patootie and you disappeared on us. Did ya really like that ass so much?” Khushi’s eyes widened at the obvious reference to her in sexually loaded words. She shot him a fatal look and, as he thought he heard, audibly ground her teeth in anger.
“Kevin, Kevin, just shut up. I have Dr. Gupta with me in the car.”
“Uh Oh.”
“Yeah, so here’s the deal. We were followed by two guys with guns and I think they might be on our trail.”

“I want you to accompany Dr. Gupta and come right away to the office. We will need to take care of this.” Kevin’s voice rose in alarm. Khushi did not fail to notice the panic in the man’s voice. Her own fears resurfaced as she searched ASR’s eyes for quick answers. He tried hard to be unobtrusive because he knew Kevin meant one and only one thing – Protective Custody. He did not want to alarm Khushi.

“Will do boss.”
“Come straight to the barracks. We need to sort this out.” Kevin’s directions were clear. He hung up the phone and called NK.

“Whoa Bro! I’ve been looking for you all morning. A bit unfair you get the pie don’t you think?” Khushi was beginning to hate their shop talk, which seemed to reduce her to nothing more than a piece of meat.
“Yeah, I am driving Dr. Gupta to her apartment. Listen, I need surveillance till we finish there. Can you arrange that?”

“I’ll be on it.” ASR hung up and turned to Khushi who was seething with anger. Her grey-green eyes glowed and suddenly, he felt an intense desire to protect her well inside him.
“You are not safe in your apartment, Khushi. We need to find you a safer place.”
“I can go to my parent’s house.” She was shaking in her seat.
“No, you will be easily traced. I think it would be best for you to be under protection till things cool down a bit.”
“Look, I can’t just drop things and go. I have a life and a job to do.” She exulted like a miffed child. He was afraid she was going to prove difficult about the protective custody arrangements. No one liked it.

“Both of which will be in jeopardy, if you are not alive.” ASR said with irritation. She remained silent and looked out at the passing pedestrians. The city was beautiful. The Magnificent Mile was a sight to withhold during the holidays. Men, women, kids dressed in bright winter coats walked the streets with coffee cups and candy lollipops. Strollers, Segways and bikers weren’t dissuaded by the bone chilling winds of the city. She wished her life were normal.

“So it’s decided. You will gather your things from your apartment. Call your family, say bye to your friends if you have to, and then you stay in protection until we figure this one out.” The announcement brought a lump to her throat. Nothing about her was normal ever. And this just took away that one pleasure she had – working in the hospital.

“What if you guys never figure it out?” She asked blankly.

He could not answer that question. He was thankful to have reached her apartment, as he pulled the car into the underground parking garage. He noticed NK, who was already stationed with two men watching all the entrances and exits to the building. NK waved at them and offered to stay down on watch while ASR assisted her upstairs. The ride up the elevator was quiet and awkward. 

She remained silent and he was thankful for that. Once inside the apartment, she began packing her essentials animatedly. ASR paced around the place almost filling it with his enormous presence. He was edgier than usual and did not quite understand the extra protective instinct she brought in him. He peered out of the windows every so often to make sure they were safe. A frozen Lake Michigan let the howling winds cool over its surface and rock the 30th floor apartment gently. NK was rubbing his hands and pacing the curb.

Tears rolled down her cheeks. Why does everything have to go wrong with me? ASR walked in on her as she paced her room stuffing her suitcase.

“I know this drives you mad.” He tried to make small talk. She ignored him and went around him to the dining room. He followed her. She turned avoiding him when he lunged forward and held her by her shoulders.
“Let go of me.” She squirmed as anger and sadness welled inside her.

“I know you didn’t ask for this but your life is in danger, Khushi. Do you understand?”

She strained to hold her tears back but they spilled anyway. He watched one drop flow down her flawless cheek. He wanted to lick it and then he cursed inside his head for weakening once more.

“You don’t give me any explanations. My life is in danger, I get it. But what’s with the urgency?” she pushed his arms away and sat down on the living room sofa, wiping her tears. He wanted to hold her but he knew he could not weaken, not this time, not again.

He sat across her and clasped his hands together searching for the right words to say to her. He looked out the large French windows and thought for a few seconds.

“The Russian mafia was a dormant force for many decades in Chicago, especially the Jewish wing.” He began, “But lately, their sleeper wings around the world seem to have turned active. Five high profile murders of some very prominent men around the world is attributed to them, reliable sources from Interpol clarify that.”

He sat back on the sofa, and began relaxing a bit. She sniffled and listened carefully.

“We don’t know what connects these murders. The killed men don’t have any past criminal records or connection to the mafia. In each case, the murder happened in their homes and we believe the mafia committed those because of the modus operandi.”

Khushi was trembling with horror. “I am in big trouble, ain’t I?” she asked flatly.

“Do you by any chance own a Sabre?” He rose from the sofa and gazed out the window, ensuring NK was still on the watch.

“No, why do you ask?”

He turned to face her. His heart sank at what he saw was a vulnerable and incredibly beautiful girl thrown into the midst of heinous criminals. What could they want from her? He licked his lip at the memory of the brief kiss. 

Stop, stop, stop! You can't do this to yourself, not again, not ever! 

“We know these murders were premeditated, and, we know only one thing that’s common among these murders. Each had a Sabre stolen from their estates. The Sabre have really no value in the antique market and don’t seem to be historically significant. So the big question is why those Sabre are important to these criminals. What do they want, what is their motive?  We know the mafia is after something powerful and perhaps even devastating. But we don’t know what that is.” He sounded exasperated and angry.

“Do you think its drugs?”

“It’s possible, they do dabble in cartels but I don’t think its limited to drugs. What is the connection with those Sabres?”

She didn’t know what to say. Her head pounded with a sense of loss and she felt weak all over. She needed a glass of water and headed to the kitchen. They both heard the front door lock click.

Both of them froze. He gestured her to stay quiet and hide behind the kitchen counter. He pulled his gun out of the holster and tiptoed over the nearest wall that hid him from the front door.

The door opened slowly. A shadow lengthened by the lights outside entered the hallway of the apartment. ASR held his breath waiting for further movement. The figure walked softly into the dining room about to enter the adjoining kitchen. Khushi was crouched on the floor, her entire body shaking with fear. ASR, walked quietly out of the shadows and stood directly behind the figure. He cocked the gun and pointed it to the back of the intruder’s head.

“Freeze!” he commanded.


  1. Stalker alert! Been hounding your blog since the last 2 hours :P
    Lovely kiss, yum!! Loved it.
    I'm glad we're getting to the edgy, mysterious thrilling part of it. Seems like a fun ride :)

  2. Yay! Been stalking like crazy, update at last!, Arnav feels protective towards her and the Feds dunno why she is linked to the case. Suspense laced with passion, betrayal? Drama romance, Man I can't wait to read ur next!,,

  3. OMG! who is it now? another mafia...or it's Shyam who came to meet Khushi...
    I actually don't have any clue about mafia or underworld so it would be lit difficult me to understand their motives and steps...but Thanks to u SJ...that I got chance to read the story actually different story..
    Mmmmm I'm hoping we will have more scene with Arnav and Khushi and things are slowly going to reveal one by one...
    Loed it.....

  4. Stalking ...

    Cutie patootie ... ;)

    1. “The Russian mafia was a dormant force for many decades in Chicago, especially the Jewish wing.” He began, “But lately, their sleeper wings around the world seem to have turned active. Five high profile murders of some very prominent men around the world is attributed to them, reliable sources from Interpol clarify that.”

      “It is as we had discussed, Your Highness. Eleven Sabres. The twelfth one was to be borne in simplicity. A sabre in spirit yet not quiet.”He signaled and a significantly smaller tray was brought in by another servant. He took a covered box and raised it to the gathering.
      “This brings unity and holds it together. Without it, the Sabres are meaningless. Without Sabres this is meaningless. Together, they hold your power.” He raised the box and walked around the table to bestow it upon a man sitting under the dark shadows of torn draperies in the far corner of the room.
      A murmur of approval sounded in the room as the tall, handsome man stood up, towering in his presence and accepted the box from Mr. Schmid ...

      ..have a feeling that the tall gentleman who was handed the twelfth Sabre ... which holds the power to bind them ... is somehow connected to Khushi ...

      Exciting ...

      Arnav seems a bit disturbed about his attraction towards Khushi ... "Stop, stop, stop! You can't do this to yourself, not again, not ever! "

  5. I am really liking this suspense!! Can't wait to read more!!!
    :) sandy

  6. Cutie patootie and a progress from fuckin peaches to strawberry, I get what you are doing here.

    I hope Arnav just told Gitu to freeze! Bwahahah!

    This was a highly charged interaction.

    I want more but I know I am not getting one till Sunday

  7. Hi! will khushi stay with asr? ASR in action and poor khushi and who was that? thanks for the updt!

  8. i have been stalking this page since last update..awesome chap!!
    the suspense and thriller which you created throughout the chapter was marvellous!!
    I come back from school and find an update..this is bliss!! i know there is loads to this..please try to update a it sooner if it is possible for you..thanks..:) Kriti.

  9. Not stalking..Twitter home page :P

    Loved this part as well.

    I wonder if the person entering the apartment is Shyam?! :S

    The intensity and the action is building up. Protective custody.. hmm.. ;)

    waiting for the next update SJ! :)

  10. Stalking pays.
    I guess it is Shyamu the MCP who is being asked to freeze. What ruckus he will create!
    ASR and Khushi are too aware of each other...protective custody is not going to be easy on either :)
    Can just imagine how Khushi feels on hearing he cops talk in their lingo.

  11. What a kiss...*sigh*...oh yes the rest of the is Khushi involved in all of this? It's...odd but exciting! Now I want to say the person who came in the end was Shyam...but hey we never know...Amazing update!

  12. What a kiss!!! :D :D
    Cutie patootie and pie!!! Haha.....poor Khushi was really angry!!!
    Love ASR's protectiveness towards Khushi!!!
    Wonder what the deal with the sabres are?? And even is Khushi linked to all this???
    Great writing......and the suspense is killing me!!!

  13. Just caught up with all the chapters. Am so glad you are now writing another FF ...that too a crime thriller. Takes me back to the Ludlum days!



  14. I have a feeling it's Shyam. I feel bad for poor Khushi. Well done SJ my stalking has paid off

  15. Shoot! That was nerve the end!

    Loved the update! Did I tell you that you are sooooooo good at thrillers! The pounding in my ears continued throughout the read! Fantastic! And Kevein and NK are hilarious....cutie patootie?! Hahaha!

    Please update soon the cliffhanger is unbearable! Oh and by the way....I stalked and stalked and stalked for the past 3 days...and was thrilled to see the update! Thank you! ;)

    Waitinggg ;)

  16. I'm loving this story!

    I hope that's shyam at the end and ASR shoots him!

    Sometimes I really hate ASR's resolve! Awesome kiss though!

    P x

  17. WOW! what a cliffie!

    arnav thinks, dont remember the kiss, not again.. i'm hoping the backstory of that thought is as interesting as the current story..

    and the sabre.. verry interesting. keep going SJ, i'm hooked!

  18. Thanks, SJ, for the update! I was stalking and hoping for one.
    I am thrilled by this adventure.

  19. biting my nails... sitting at the edge of my seat...wondering what is going to happen next???

  20. This story is getting more and more intriguing with each new chapter. I'm soooo loving it. Poor khushi, felt so bad for her. ASR just can't help himself lol. I'm wondering is it Shyam at the end who walk in to khushi's apartment. I can't wait to find out :D

  21. Hi SJ...
    OMFGGGG, what a KISS..loved the chapter, two hotties in heat ;)
    lol, the BT convo...cute patootie :P
    i'm kinda Feeling bad for Khushi, first..a bossy fiance and ignorant sisters to dull her life.
    And now deadly mafia to finish her off, poor thing...
    Please Run away with ASR my fair lady ;)
    uh-ohhh, the end was intriguing, cant wait to read the next chapter..
    please update soonishhhhh :)
    JIA (Pinkss)

  22. new ff
    man this is so awesome
    aplogies for not commenting the last one
    but y u no pm me???

  23. Just caught up with the previous 3 updates. I'm hyperventilating here & thinking, who needs exercise to get their blood pumping when one can read your FF & get the same result!!!!LOL!! A super hot, uber sexy desi cop in the Windy City....hai *sigh* where can i find one??? The ones that pull me over for traffic violations are, fat, bald & fugly!!!!ughhh!!
    Protective custody, *squels here*, oooo!!, sounds sexy & kinky when it's absolutely not suppose too, but c'mon, K in PC with ASR as her only point of contact (pun intended) sounds naughty! Love how you've infused a sense of danger & urgency in the plot & the fast pace keeps it very edgy. Update soon darling, meanwhile, i'll be on the lookout for hot desi cops in my neck of the woods. LOL!!! :D
    PS - just finished reading a romance thriller, also about protective custody but it was cough, cough....a menage!! hehehe.... i'm not hinting, just saying :D!!

  24. Omg, this story is really interesting SJ! Looking forward to reading more! I held my breath as the intruder entered, but I have a feeling that he is a known person and not one of the followers :)

    Great work so far! :D



  25. Wow, what an update.
    How am I going to wait 2-3 days before the next update. *sigh*
    I know you must be busy.

    Let me do some google searching of some history in the meantime to keep myself occupied. Anyway I am sick and bedridden.......


  26. Hi SJ,.....

    Read all 4 chptrs in one shot n i must say its way more gripping n enticing than filligreed sun....

    U m loving every minute n each chapter is equally gripping...

    Ur fluid writting makes visualizing the era so easy....

    ASR's entry n the chase was breath taking esp ASR's take on seeing Khushi fr the frst time after the accident in the cafe....ur play with words is to die for....

    Literally read the whole thing in one breath n then realized i was holding my breath. Told myself i needed to breath so i can live to continue reading.....

    Oh while commenting on filligreed sun i had requested Avni with Akash.....

    U seems to be pairing Gitu with NK here n ive not seen Akash's entry yet....but if he is a part of this story....then would i make a request to show Avni with him.....pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaseeeeeeeeeee.

    No payal plssssssssssss....

    Ill do anything ....... ANYTHING.....pleeeaaaasssseeeee.

    Looking fwd to next chapter eagerly....

    Avni ( IF : highonshows)

  27. EPIC MUSIC SELECTION FOR THIS UPDATE!!! I LOVE ANYTHING MATT DAMON. Phew, I am done with the caps and the excitement of Bourne :) OMG, you have officially created a new scene in my head for the Berlin Chase Scene with Arnav and Khushi. Ahhh, ESTACTIC :)

    I hope Shyam (my assumption) pees in his pants when Arnav said Freeze with that hot gun of his.

  28. Woahhh wonderful update! Arnav keeps saying 'Not again' I'm curious to know what exactly happened to him....This is Really EXCITING!

  29. read the chapters in a single go..very interesting..arnav is an fbi agent and khushi is a doctor..a welcome and refreshing change..
    there is so much in it..just cant get enough of it..
    will love to read how the story unfolds..
    Jez (IF:daffodils06)

  30. A glimpse into Arnav's past - perhaps a previous relationship with someone he protected that ended badly? So intriguing. You've kept the suspense heightened and I'm so looking forward to next chapter. My best guess is that it's Shyam who's entered Khushi's apartment - doesn't he have keys to the place?

    I feel for Khushi - two attempts on her life and now having to say goodbye to all she knows and loves for who knows how long - I'd be crying too!


  31. Hello
    Just came across your story and read all four updates in a go.. Wow, such a gripping story. Eagerly waiting to read further :)

  32. Cutie patootie that is so our Kushi, they kissed what a kiss loved it
    Great update can't wait for the next update
    Love love love this story

  33. Red four chapter in one go and they already shared a kiss ah ha now thats what i an talking about.very gripping story interesting's's you referred tfs as chicklit not fair.shinaa if

  34. the guy who walk in is Shyam the creeper isn't it...I am soo sure. My heart sank when Khushi though she was just meat to him..poor baby. Curious to know what has happened in Arnav's past!

  35. Protective custody?!? I sense plenty of sexual tension in store for both of them!
    So Shyam entered I'm guessing hence he got past NK?
    Interesting insight into what the Russian Mafia .. intrigued to see how Khushi fits into all of it!

    That was a hot shot kiss and I'm glad there wasn't the usual "How dare you kiss me like that, even though I enjoyed it!" drama!

    ASR's past and the "again" part of it all interesting, so Khushi's isn't his first damsel in distress?


  36. Wow! We jump right in after the kiss too! Protective custody! So much scope for tension, attraction, closeness. And revelations!

    I hope it's not Gitu! If its Shyamu, then fine! H can withstand that trauma o having a gun pulled at him! I'm still mad at him for his chauvinistic attitude and taking her for granted!

    But not Gitu!

    Thank you!
    JerryTheMouse / Sachi.

  37. Stalker alert!
    Cutie patootie.. Wowuch. I can visualize a seething Khushi.
    A lot of turns in this chapter and tell me the intruder is Gitu!
    Off to read the next one.

  38. awesome update!cant wait for the next one

  39. fu**ing strawberries

    I just know Arnav wants to taste them once more and more and more.....


  40. Oh so they kiss and do not talk about it!!!! And why do o feel that the intruder is shyam and he might not be very happy to see arnav in her apartment and will behave like a jerk that he is... Also the mystery seems to be getting interesting.

  41. So the kiss did stir feelings....the undercurrent is palpable....

    I can envision a very infuriated Khushi....

    The attempt on her, must be because of her ancestral connection...

    And, another cliff hanger......Wow!!!


  42. Was waiting for the update anxiously .Te suspense is building up and so is my anxiety!

  43. Great update..from peaches to strawberries..
    A relief from the crap shown onscreen


  44. This is like my dream come true... A conspiracy, action, intrigue, and romance all rolled into one. The action felt so real! Not many writers can rope the reader in and make them feel breathless like the characters. But you hit it right out of the ballpark! Check in again after I read the next few .. It's getting really good now.

  45. I love a thriller! This is awesome!

  46. Loved it, fabulous update!!!

    I suspect it may be Shyam...........looking forward to finding out!!!