Chapter 14

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Arnav stood under the gaze of a gaping Majid, who was manning the security at the hotel gate of Akash Vaghela and Natasha Desai wedding venue. Irritably, he snapped his fingers in the other man's face to bring him out of his stupor.

"Are you done gawking?"

Akash's right-hand man had the gall to grin, "Looking jhakkas, Arnav bhai!"

Fidgeting with the cuffs of his light creme colored Jodhpuri Suit that was accented with gold on the Chinese collar and the breast pocket, Arnav decided to play it cool, "Thank you."

"Never thought I would see you all dressed up, for this occasion especially," Majid confessed honestly as he started patting Arnav down.

"Neither did I," Arnav muttered.

But Khushi was really insistent that he dresses to the nine for her brother's wedding, so he had. She had even selected the ensemble. It seems like he did everything she asked of him. He was starting to have doubts if he would ever be able to really avenge his mother at this rate.

"Aha," the short stocky man exclaimed as he reached around to Arnav's back, near his waistband.

"You didn't expect me to come here unarmed, did you?" Arnav reached back and plucked his trusted Glock 19 out of his waistband.

"The stupid thought didn't even cross my mind," Majid replied. "I was just wondering where have you hidden it."

"Where do you think I could hide it?" Arnav retorted.

Majid looked at his fitted bandh-gala and traditional trousers that were narrow at the calf and loose on the thighs, and stayed there. He grinned again. Before Arnav could bristle, Majid waved a hand and out of nowhere, a saree clad woman appeared and deftly pinned a Kundan studded broach on Arnav's breast pocket.

"That's for every male guest from the groom's side," Majid supplied. He then threw in a piece of advice, "Don't throw it away, it's real gold. And real gemstones."

Arnav looked down at the jeweled piece and scoffed. Putting back his faithful revolver, he asked sarcastically, "Now may I go inside?"

"As fast as you can. Lalaji is one step away from throwing the mother of all fits at your absence. One would think you are the groom, from the way he is behaving."

Arnav bit back a groan.

The other man looked at him understandingly, "He doesn't seem to realize that he is not fooling anyone with his pretense. He is just sweeping the problems under the rug, not solving them."

That made Arnav stop and look at the man who was around his own age, give or take a few years. His relationship with Akash's right-hand man had been superficially easy going, but he had analyzed him enough to know that the man had integrity. That was the reason for his loyalty towards Akash who had promoted him through the ranks in the gang. But that he could see through their bilateral charade so cannily, made Arnav look at him in a different light. He was the kind of man Arnav wanted working for him. He filed away the idea for the time he will become... available.

If at all.

Because if he was planning to give his life up for Akash, Arnav wouldn't hesitate taking it.

Giving him a thoughtful nod, he proceeded towards the decked banquet hall.

Stepping inside, he felt like has entered an alternative reality. The place was so beautifully welcoming that for a moment Arnav forgot that he didn't want to be there. That this was his arch enemy's wedding.

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