Hardcore Manipulation

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Chinna pulls away from the embrace, clearing his throat. He takes a step back from Aarav, his hands inching towards his back pocket. I react before I see the gun, ducking down and covering my head like I was going to attempt to do a head-first somersault into a swimming pool.

I peek up to see Chinna smirking in victory. Fear. He wants me to be afraid. He consumes my fear, drinking in the power of my cowardice.

Too bad, he doesn't know how stubborn I can be.

Okay, not with my close friends or relatives, but I'm still stubborn.

"Nice to meet you again, beautiful." He inhales, as if he was taking in the fresh morning air. "Isn't it a glorious day to take back what rightfully belongs to me?"

The company.

Aniket pushes me behind him, but I step out, growling lowly at Chinna. This is my turf. I have to protect what rightfully belongs to me. "Get out of my hospital before I call the cops." I hiss, glaring at him fiercely with all the confidence I could muster.

"Go ahead. No one is going to come to save you. You see, if you throw some steaks to the dogs, they will be loyal to you for the rest of their pathetic lives." His crooked smirk grows, and he looks like another version of the grinch. More brown and more villainous. I wish he was green.

"Cut the cr—

Aniket's anger has begun to arise again, and I have to find some silver before he turns into a werewolf.

I swipe my fingers across his bicep, signaling him with my touch to keep his silence. His eyes swiftly race to find mine as he recognizes the warning.

"Go with it." I whisper. Aniket gives a slight nod.

Perfect.

I raise my head, looking into Chinna's cruel eyes. Aarav stands beside him, his hands fisted to his sides as if Aniket and I are the villains here.

I guess Chinna's arrogant demeanor attracts men as well as women. I thought Preesha to be idiotic when she showed up with Chinna's baby growing inside of her. I thought Kanya to be a lunatic for falling in love with him. Of all people in the world containing more  lovelier male specimens, why Chinna?

Of course, Chinna was an otherworldly specimen. His good looks probably turned him into a male siren for all the idiots out there who ventured along his deceitful island. Men and women alike hear his sweet song, falling into his melodious trap without another thought in their incapable brains.

He is handsome, to say the least. But he's too muscular, too alpha-male, too chauvinistic for my liking. I guess some dunderheads see those as typical male qualities.

Aniket, however, was sweet, smart, caring, but sometimes his anger gets the best of him. Aniket can be manipulated easily, especially by the sirens such as Chinna. If Aniket loves someone, he trusts them to the full extent, unconcerned about their true spoiled identities. I've seen it first hand. He's been betrayed by everyone around him. If I betray him...

I close my eyes, trying to forget about it.

"What do you want?" I ask in a challenging tone. Chinna glares at me, the absurdity of my defiance shocking him.

"Very simple things actually. I want you to sign the papers for my rightfully inheritable company and I'll leave you alone." His devilish smile makes an appearance again, and I have the sudden urge to puke. "Isn't that simple?"

"I am not the owner, here. Ask your best friend, you traitor." I shove Aniket. He barely moves an inch, but the action reflects on the divide between us. All pretense, of course.

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