Chapter 24

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Akash sat at the woven cot made out of coarse jute at the oddly placed and thus, a deserted tea stall just outside Virar. It was his regular meeting spot with Shetty for the past few months. Like always, the sensible owner of the almost out-of-business tea stall asked if he needed anything and then left the small kiosk quietly. His reward would be waiting for him on the table at the end of their meeting.

He was satisfied how the business in regards to Aman Kirloskar had turned out. Not only had he exacted the revenge from the Bastard for turning his sister against him, he had also cut his crucial arm away. Two birds with one stone. Now what was left was to silently ride this chaotic aftermath. His temper was famous, but his cunning was not and he was going to use it in his favor. He was not going to ever fess up to his role in Aman's murder. He was not going to lose his birthright, his inheritance for anything. That was why he had recruited Satya Shetty's services in the first place.

Satya Shetty. A showman in the heart and empty in the skull!

What was it that couldn't be discussed over the phone, he wondered irritatedly for the hundredth time. Shetty had seemed like a good tool to bring down that Bastard at that time, but however much he liked poking Arnav's eye in retaliation of poking his, Akash was doubting the wisdom of making a deal with the moron. It wasn't like Aman Kirlosker was the first man he had killed. The man had a huge army of killers for hire for fuck's sake. Then why the hell was he making such a big deal out of this job? Petty mentality combined with big greed, he concluded.

Shetty's 'request' to meet had sounded like blackmail or more aptly, like a threat. And he did not want dadu to get any wind, or in this case, a proof, of his hand in Aman's disposal. There were some things one did not want Amarnath Vaghela to ever know, like his hand in his son's death. Or in Arnav's right-hand man's murder. And really, he himself desperately wanted to get out of that house, resenting his grandfather's unshakable faith in the Bastard's ability to hurt him. But it did not sit well with him that he had to do it on Shetty's insistence. He was becoming a pain in his backside that he might need to alleviate soon, he thought grimly. He wasn't getting a good feeling about his association with Satya Shetty anymore.

And speaking of feelings, he felt a really weird prenomination swirl in his gut at present. An ominous chill of the sorts. No one in this business survived for long without that sixth sense to guide them and his was on a red alert today. But it was too late for he was out of the sanctuary of his house already. He tried to tell himself that it was because dadu had him closeted behind four walls for so long and sneaking out of his own house from the servant's gate wasn't sitting well with his pride. But he knew he was kidding himself. He could just sense that something wasn't right here. Why wasn't Shetty here yet?

In order to assure himself, he turned to look at Majid and Birje who were standing guard behind him. To his immense shock, there was no one behind him. He looked around frantically. Both the man had disappeared with nary a sound or movement he could have registered. He turned back with a frown.

Only to find his arch-nemesis standing in front of him. Arnav Singh Raizada.

Dressed in all black and armed to the boot.

"Fancy bumping into you here," the Bastard sneered.

Trying to hide the tension that had gripped him, he made a move to stand.

In a snap, where he didn't even see the Bastard's hands moving, two semi-automatic revolvers appeared in his hands. Fitted with silencers. He had always envied this man's fluidity and expertise with firearms.

"I suggest you keep sitting," he was told in no uncertain terms.

"What do you want, Arnav?" he asked, trying to buy time.

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