Chapter begins ..
Aryan very nearly rushed into the dingy elevator when he noticed it actually wasn't functioning. He turned back furiously to see a sheepish look in the countenance of the middle-aged man from the hotel reception, following Aryan dutifully thus far.
"Oh yes, how can a Hotel Descent have anything elevating?", Aryan grinned his teeth and glanced around for the staircase. He thought to himself, "After all, two damn floors!". The man gestured towards the left and Aryan outpaced the man in getting to the stairs.
Getting onto the first flight of stairs, Aryan turned around and angrily gestured a stop at the man still following him. That stunned the man to an instant stop.
Meanwhile, Shekhar and Jennifer, no longer blessed with a view of what Aryan is up to .. as he disappeared up the stairs, entered the hotel and headed straight towards the stairs.
The already stunned man from the hotel reception, still stranded at the base of the staircase, looked twice stricken now! Unable to even muster words, his glance asked them, "Now what? who are you?"
Jennifer thought to herself, "No, not my cup of tea" and glanced over to Shekhar, almost telling him with her eyes "All yours!".
Shekhar, deciding enough is enough, did not want to waste time in the formalities, as it were.
With a brisk and strong push, Shekhar shoved the man aside, in a whirlwind and grabbed Jennifer and sped up the stairs.
The helpless man from the reception, shoved down and aside so heavily by Shekhar, merely managed to shout out "Room 202" to the literally flying couple on the stairs!
Aryan stunned Cyrus by entering the room locked from within. Cyrus' glance was a potent kaleidoscope, ranging from, "Yes" (assuming a member of the hotel staff could have just entered) to, "Oh dear me, what is this renowned investigator doing here?" (upon realizing its THE Aryan).
Aryan paced across briskly to a now standing Cyrus, shocked and questioning with his glance.
Shekhar and Jennifer spotted Room 202 and heaved a sigh of relief.
They rushed to the door and almost naturally brought their ear to the door, an ear each and each took half the door.
And they were just in time to overhear from outside, a male voice within the room saying, "Yes, I staged Roohi's kidnapping. I had a mandate".
Tara rushed in to face a seething Mr.Gupta.
Tara's eyes, oozing guilt and fear, made direct contact with Mr.Gupta's furious eyes.
Just as Tara forcefully broke the eye contact and lowered her glance, Mr.Gupta yelled, "So, did you think I sent you to college and you fancied a bunking adventure? Your daughter is missing, damn it, and what kind of a mother doesn't turn up at an appointment with a senior police officer?".
Yell hurled at her, Mr.Gupta almost stared his daughter to oblivion, as he waited for a response.
Tara barely moved her lips to start her answer as her mobile phone rang. Pale and petrified, she glanced at her mobile screen that read, "Shekhar .. calling".
Barely had Tara touched the 'answer' button that Mr.Gupta snatched the phone from her and listened in ..
Eager to read the next Chapter?
Here we go .. Chapter 29
If you want to catch up on all the Chapters of 'Circle of Deceit' in Level 1 (a total of 10 Chapters), here is a recap:
Chapters in Level 2 (a total of 10):
Chapters in the Wild Card Entry Round (next level):
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