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MMZ – SERVED COLD (Chapter 1)

Finally finished this, thank you all for your patients and special thanks to Rosie for boosting my confidence so I completed this, You are a darling Rosie and I love you so much ???

Enjoy guys…………..

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SERVED COLD

CHAPTER ONE – TRAPPED IN THE PAST

It was a bright sunny day, Los Angeles was always sunny but the air was different today. It was calm, strangely very calm. The sun rays peeked through the curtain slits and fell on Neil’s face disturbing his peaceful slumber, he groaned annoyed with the nosy sun happily spreading light. After much deliberation he opened his eyes stretching his lazy bones, his phone then buzzed with a message it was his brother Arjun asking him to wake up. Why does everyone think he won’t wake up by himself. He would have been sleeping by now if his brother hadn’t spoiled his day yesterday, forcing him to attend an important meeting for their company and so early in the morning. He couldn’t even enjoy his best friend’s bachelor party for this meeting, he recalled how yesterday’s events took a 180 degree turn without his knowledge.

12 HOURS AGO
Malibu beach was packed with youngsters having a good time. Girls in their bikinis flashing their goods and boys shirtless flaunting their well toned abs were partying their lives away. A group of boys sitting at the bar with a couple of them looking already drunk though the party had just started were having a heated argument, suddenly one boy pushed another “don’t u dare take her name” he warned.

The boy who was pushed smirked “I will take her name whenever I want and wherever I want and u can’t do nothing about it”

“she is my girl” the other boy warned again he was tall and masculine and looked ready for a brawl any second.

“that I can have if I want and am pretty damn sure she won’t have any problem with it” he said with the smirk still playing on his lips.

“fight… fight… fight… fight….” the crowd broke around them, encouraging them and the few tequila shots they had further told them fighting was the best solution and the two boys went at it punching the hell out of each other until their sensible friends broke them apart. “stop fighting for that b***c” said one of their friends “u two are killing each other here while she is out there f**king someone else” added another friend.

With the information they got the two boys along wit their friends and some other people who found the drama interesting stormed into one of the beach cabins and found the girl kissing another guy “how dare u kiss my girlfriend” shouted the boyfriend.

“well, I f**ked her too” said the guy who was caught in the act “and I f**ked her good” he added with a smile adorned on his face spanking the girl lightly who just smiled shamelessly at that act making her boyfriend fume in anger.

“is that Neil Mehra?” asked one of the girls in the crowd “OMG, its him, it’s Neil Mehra” screamed another girl excitedly before pushing the crowd aside running to the man in question “may I have a selfie with u?” asked the girl.

“why just a selfie, u can have more if u like” said Neil winking at the girl who blushed in return. The crowd slowly dispersed for who would want to fight with a Mehra, everybody in LA new how powerful that name was “dinner tonight?” Neil asked the girl who took a selfie with him and the girl nodded in agreement “then don’t forget to bring desert” Neil added causing the girl to blush more. Neil walked to the famous boyfriend “calm down buddy, besides u need to thank me I just did u a favour” looking at the girlfriend “she is not that good and u can do better”

The girl raised her hand to slap Neil but he caught her hand “how dare u say that about me?”

Neil chuckled “am a honest person and I spoke the truth, u need to learn how to give yourself more, u are very stiff darling. Some belly dancing lessons might be useful” she stomped her foot and left embarrassed, her boyfriend didn’t know if he should punch Neil or shake his hand. Neil smiled at him “drinks…?… it’s on me”

“Christian, Christian Ludovic but friends call me Chris” said the boyfriend forwarding his hand to Neil.

Neil shook his hand “am….”

“Neil Mehra, I know lets get drunk” Chris said placing his arm over Neil’s shoulder.

“and we have been friends ever since” said Neil who was narrating the story to their other friends “Chris buddy now that u are getting married I only have one thing to say to” all eyes were glued at him in anticipation “let’s get drunk tonight” he screamed and the men roared “cheers”

Neil Mehra, a handsome charming young man. He has got it all money, fame and good looks plus his million dollar dimple smile that made girls fall on his feet. When he worked, he worked hard and when he partied, he partied even harder. He was famous for two things, his last name and his affairs. He never had a serious relationship only flings earning himself the heartbreaker title in the social media.

Chris gave him a beer “your brother called me, he wants to talk with u he said it’s urgent”

Neil scowled “what the hell does he wants now?” he took his phone out and saw 15 missed calls from him and sighed.

He moved to a quiet corner and ringed Arjun,Arjun answered the call in just one ring “why were u not answering your phone?” he shouted over the phone.

Neil rolled his eyes, at least he could do that to his brother over the phone “no hello, no how are u what are u a caveman?” Neil teased and knew Arjun must have turned red with anger by now, he mentally laughed at the thought “my phone was on silent mode, so what’s up bro?”

Arjun “where are u?”

“at the beach, wanna join?” he teased again, Arjun at the beach, pigs will fly if that ever happens.

“we have a meeting we the new investor tomorrow and u have to attend that meeting, we need one person from the family to represent us” Arjun said his tone strict and canny.

Neil frowned at his tone, who the hell does his think he was and why couldn’t he, wasn’t he family also “I have plans tomorrow” he lied, he didn’t have anything planned for tomorrow he just didn’t like Arjun ordering him, he hated to be ordered around.

“am not asking u, am telling u and I already emailed u details of the meeting. Goodluck” Arjun said and ended the call.

Arrrrgh! what a pain in the neck he was Neil thought, he read his email “f**k” if he thinks I will attend a meeting at 10 in the morning then Arjun Mehra has got a surprise coming “at Chris’s bachelor party won’t wake up till 12 tmr” he messaged Arjun and immediately got his reply “u aren’t the one getting married, get your butt out of there” No, he wasn’t a pain in the neck, he was a pain in the butt. Since the party went till late night Neil booked a room and slept in the same hotel where the meeting was going to take place.

Stepping off the bed he opened the curtains and his eyes got a treat for a view. A girl in a red swimsuit was getting out of the pool, her curves all at the right places, her long brown hair that stick to her body and the water droplets sliding on her soft skin were a sweet treat to his eyes. He watched her without blinking, his breath caught in his lungs. His eyes moved with her every step, she walked to a table and took a towel drying herself and when she was drying her hair he got to see her face. Her beautiful black eyes, her cute little nose and her pink plump lips. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t blink, he couldn’t breath, he just wanted to stare at her for the rest of the day. A man approached her, could he be her boyfriend or her husband, damn you Neil he could be her brother too. The man brushed his fingers on her hand and she jerked her hand off, the man was misbehaving with her. He smiled, that was the opportunity he needed, he quickly changed into track pants and T-shirt he can’t go save her in his pajamas right, sprayed a good amount of cologne on himself and ran out of his hotel room.

He reached the pool side area but a different view awaited him, she was all alone how was he going to be her knight in shining armour if the damsel wasn’t even in distress. “will u just keep staring at me like a douche?” she asked with her eyebrow raised. So much anger and that early in the morning.

Neil cleared his throat and began “I saw a guy misbehaving with u and…”

“and thought I was a damsel in distress and u will be my knight and shining armour, right?” she asked or rather stated the obvious, was she a mind reader. “is this the guy u saw?” she asked moving aside and now Neil saw the guy was kneeling down behind the girl holding his ears like a punished school kid, who is this girl?

Neil stammered “I… I…umh…”

“what are u?” she asked arrogantly.

“excuse me?” he jerked “I think the correct question is who are u”

She scanned him from top to bottom making him concious of his looks “I was right, what are u?” Neil couldn’t believe what was happening with him, wasn’t he supposed to be the lady’s man, wasn’t he nicknamed the heartbreaker due to the long list of his affairs. Girls loved him, every girl wanted a piece of him and here this girl is comparing him to a thing “let me guess, u thought u would save me and then I would be obliged to u. Then u would ask me for coffee… no u don’t look like a coffee person… u will ask me for a drink and I will say yes, we will get drunk and end up having s*x. The next morning u will wake up feeling so manly that u added one more girl to your long list of girls u slept with. Correct me if am wrong”

It was a slap to his face, yes that was his plan all along he confirmed it she was a mind reader. “am sorry” was all that he could say but didn’t know why he even apologized, the truth is he was scared of her.

“of course u are” she said and left him still not able to figure out what had just happened. The man who was kneeling down laughed at him, Neil kicked him on his stomach and went back to his room.

One hour before the meeting took place Neil sat preparing for the meeting. He had to impress the new investor by any means. He got a visitor, it was their company’s marketing manager Gerald Grey. The tall man in his late forties greeted Neil with a hug “thank God u are here double G” Neil said breaking the hug, Gerald just smiled in return “do u know this new investor?”

“haven’t met her in person but it’s a woman u will be fine” Gerald teased. Neil rolled his eyes and got back to work.

“where is Arjun now?” Neil asked after a minute.

“exactly where he should be” Gerald said. So many secrets these two have, Neil thought. Gerald thought of Arjun he knew where he would be now, he recalled their yesterday’s meeting.

18 HOURS AGO
Crowds of passengers coming in and out showed how busy the airport was that day, excitement faces were seen among arriving passengers, sad goodbyes were among the departures, anger and frustration could also be seen among those who missed their flights. Amidst all these Arjun Mehra walked dragging a black suitcase with his left hand with his right in his jeans pocket. His expression stoic uncaring of the eyes giving him attention. Girls turned heads to feed on his handsome features, he was tall masculine and handsome in every sense of the word, not only girls even a few guys had their eyes glued on him but none of them knew he was the Arjun Mehra, son of Siddarth Mehra and MD of Emax one of the world’s best oil refinement company.

He was smart, a quick thinker never bends under pressure, joined his family business just three years ago after his graduation as a simple manager and today he was the managing director and he could proudly say that he earned that position with his hardwork and dedication. But even after achieving so much in a short span of time and at such a young age not many people knew who Arjun Mehra really was. He was not in any social media platforms as the youth of today were, he didn’t party not even for business and didn’t have many friends that is if he had friends at all. He was an introvert and a man of few words, not even his family could claim to know him very well. He was the mysterious prince.

Walking out of the arrival hall he saw a familiar face and smiled, his God father Gerald Grey or double G as many called him was like a second father to Arjun, he was not only his father’s bestfriend he was also Arjun’s friend and confidant. They greeted each other with a warm hug “good to have u back” Gerald said when they broke the hug his eyes full of affection. Wasn’t this supposed to be a surprise, Arjun thought he hadn’t informed anyone about his arrival then how did Gerald found out, as if reading his mind Gerald said “tomorrow is a special day, I knew u wouldn’t miss it for anything” Arjun nodded in understanding, got into his car and they drove to Arjun’s home in Beverly Hills.

“what are u so deeply thinking about?” Neil asked seeing Gerald lost.

“nothing…” he said. Neil let out a sigh, too many secrets this man has he thought.

A few metres away in the hotel’s lobby an earthquake had strike, hearts were beating fast, foreheads were sweaty. The boss was here, these four words were enough to raise panic among them. She was bold, beautiful and a ruthless businesswoman. She was stupidly and filthy rich in her mid twenties. Youngest achiever of the year award recipient for the third time in a roll, owner of multiple businesses including a chain of five star luxury hotels. Nothing ever passed her vision, she never forgave mistakes neither did she gave second chances, she was the kind of woman that every girl envied and wanted to be. The Hawk, She Devil, Iron Lady, Dictator, Boss lady, were among her many nicknames. She was Radhika Raichand.

There were many theories regarding the secret to her wealth, some said she inherited the wealth from her parents but nobody knew where her parents were. Some said she had earned her money by selling drugs and there were also rumors that a drug lord had fallen in love with her and left her his black money when he was captured by the police. The truth is nobody knew the truth about how she got so much money. She was unknown until five years ago when her company came on the news when it had made millions of profit. Nobody knew where she came from, some said she came from London, some said she was South African all they knew was that she was of Indian origin. There was an air of mystery around her that attracted many and she took that into her advantage making herself a name in the business world. Everybody knew the name Radhika Raichand.

Radhika stepped out of the elevator of her new luxury hotel in Santa Monica with her PA behind her. Her Personal assistant Flynn Walker was a tall slender man with long black hair that ran down to his neck and big nerdy glasses, wearing a light purple shirt tucked in black pants with a dark purple tie hanging from his neck. The hotel manager a short woman in her blue suit greeted her at the reception “everything is ready for the interview, u can start whenever u are ready”

“am always ready” she turned to leave then stopped and turned to the manager “where is the new receptionist?”

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The manager gulped “she is…”

“late on her first day of work” completed Radhika. A woman came running, she was the receptionist in question. Seeing her boss she apologized for being late “why are u late?”

“my son is sick he has pneumonia, I had to take him to the hospital and my house is far from here that’s why am late” she explained.

“doesn’t your son have a father?”

“am a single mother, am sorry” she bowed her head.

“well am sorry too because u are fired” the woman couldn’t believe what she just heard, her eyes snapped at her boss “good luck taking care of your son” with tears in her eyes the woman walked slowly outside the hotel. The other employees looked at their boss with fear and hatred. Radhika turned to her PA “Flynn…” and he knew what to do.

Flynn didn’t understand why his boss pretended to be cruel when she wasn’t. He ran to the woman “what does she want now?” she asked when Flynn stopped her from leaving.

“what’s your name?” he asked.

“why, does she want to send me to jail for being late?” she cried.

“what’s your name?” he repeated.

“Cathy, Catherine Springer” she said wiping her tears.

Flynn took out a check book, signed it and tore a check handing it to her “for the hospital bills” Cathy was dumbfounded, was this some sick joke “and yes when your son gets better u can resume work, the boss wants u to take care of your son for now” Flynn walked back to the hotel while Cathy stayed frozen to the ground, she looked at Flynn’s disappearing back and then at the check in her hand 1000 USD. She silently thanked her boss she was an angel in disguise.

Radhika walked into the conference hall where her interview was being held. She was going to be featured on the next issue of a business magazine. The interviewer an elderly man in a business suit was surprised to see Radhika in a simple black jeans and T-shirt. “shall we?” she said and the interview started.

Interviewer “first of all congratulations for the award”

Radhika “thank you”

Interviewer “what is the secret behind your success”

Radhika “if I tell then it won’t be a secret anymore”

Interviewer “tell us a little about your personal life”

Radhika “u said it it’s personal so what makes u think I will discuss my personal life in public”

The interviewer wiped off the sweat on his forehead with his handkerchief, this little girl was making him nervous. In his thirty years career he had never met someone so intimidating as her, she gave her answers cutly her manner straight and forward “we heard u are going to invest in Emax, what is the reason behind that decision?”

Radhika “haven’t made a decisions yet, will meet them then decide”

After a few more questions the interview came to an end, the interviewer shook her hand and spoke “I really didn’t expect u will come looking like this, it’s kind a tradition for business people to wear suit, you know”

Radhika “then why are u wearing a suit? don’t tell me working in a magazine’s business section makes u a business person too” the man shook his head in disbelief, people named her right, she was a devil, she was so intimidating that she could make a grown man cry.

Flynn came to the conference hall and met with Radhika at the entrance “it’s done” he said and she nodded in appreciation. “the next meeting is in your suite” and they both took the elevator to the top floor of the hotel where her suite was. Neil and Gerald went to the meeting place, Flynn introduced himself and escorted them to where the meeting will be.

It was a huge suite, apart from the self contained bedroom, there was a dining room and a lounge area. Flynn took Neil and Gerald in the lounge area where there were two sofas facing each other and one on the side with a coffee table in between them and a small bar at the corner. The huge windows gave the beautiful view of the beach while filling the room with light at the same time. Neil and Gerald took one sofa “she will be here in a minute” Flynn informed standing opposite them.

Radhika came in, she had changed into a royal blue short sleeved jumpsuit with white wedged sandals adding a good three inches to her height, her light brown long hair were loose bouncing with her long strides. Neil’s confidence flew out of the window seeing her, she was the same girl who made him question his looks in the morning, he quickly wiped off the sweat on his forehead with his hand. Gerald looked at him in a questioning manner but he just nodded negative, Radhika smirked at his reaction, it was exactly what she wanted, now she could make the deal in her favour. She took the sofa opposite them, they greeted each other and the meeting began. Neil couldn’t speak a word throughout the meeting, he just kept staring at her, her confidence her attitude they way she discussed every detail deeply and with so much dedication impressed him immensely.

The meeting came to an end, they had come to an agreement both Neil and Gerald were surprised with her on the spot decision “will talk to my lawyer so we could sign on the papers as soon as possible” she said and they nodded in agreement “well, I hope it will be a pleasure to work with Emax” she said while shaking hands with Gerald.

“can I ask u a question?” said Neil who had been quiet the entire time. Radhika nodded giving her approval “in your company logo RR Group of companies the two Rs are facing each each why is that?” Gerald looked at him with an unbelievable look, he kept quiet in the meeting and when he finally spoke he asked such a silly question, he is crazy he concluded in his mind.

Radhika observed him for a second “one R represents me and the other represents my dad who is my mentor so it’s…”

“it’s a daughter who is the image of her father” he completed her sentence.

“who wants to be the image of her father” she corrected him. Flynn was surprised, her boss never talked about her personal life to anyone. “coffee Mr. Mehra?” she asked him when they were about to leave, Flynn with great difficulty had to control himself from gasping out loud in surprise, his boss was on the roll with shocking surprises.

Neil smirked, there it was his confidence came running back to him. Leaning back on the sofa he folded his arms over his chest “I would love to but the thing is miss Raichand am not a coffee person” Gerald mentally face palmed himself at his stupid way of showing attitude.

Radhika smiled “how about a drink then?” that’s it, he was dreaming Flynn thought any moment now he will wake up from this weird dream “later tonight?” she further added and Flynn wanted to pull his hair out so he could wake up but no he loved his hair too much.

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Siddharth Mehra was pacing back and forth in his home office, he was nervous about the meeting with the new investor, it was hours since the meeting took place it must be over by now but neither Gerald nor Neil had called to inform him about the outcome of the meeting. Finally his phone rang, he immediately answered seeing Geralds name flashing on the screen “how did it go?” he asked and Gerald gave him the good news. He silently thanked his stars, they were saved, his company was saved. He ended the call with Gerald and dialled Arjun but his phone was not reachable, where could he be he wondered but then remembered their yesterday’s conversation.

24 HOURS AGO
After a thirty minutes drive Gerald dropped Arjun home, like any other mansion in Beverly Hills Mehra mansion was spectacular in every manner, the exteriors and the interiors all showed how rich they were and why wouldn’t it when they were one of most wealthiest families in the United States. Arjun walked to his father’s home office, Siddharth Mehra the man in his mid fifties was elated to see him “my son what a surprise” he exclaimed and took him into a hug. After exchanging pleasantries they both sat facing each other separated by his desk “how was your vacation?”

“Okay, had time to think on a lot of things” his father nodded in return “how’s work coming along?” Siddarth’s face became pale and Arjun understood “I shouldn’t have taken a break” he said disappointed with himself.

“u deserved a break” Siddarth said “we have a new investor, we have a meeting with her tomorrow” he added then his face brightened with an idea “why don’t u attend the meeting?”

“I would love to, but I can’t” he answered and his face expression showed he didn’t want to be asked why. “I have plans tomorrow” he added when his father looked at him with hope of him changing his decision.

“It’s August 25 tomorrow he won’t work, don’t waste your energy dad” came a female voice from behind Arjun causing him to smile knowing exactly to whom the voice belonged to. Samaria Mehra, the Mehra family’s princess and youngest in the family, the social media queen, bubbly cute and funny and desperately wants to have a boyfriend but her best quality was her heart, she has a golden heart and that’s what makes her the most lovable member of the family. Samaira hugged her brother and spoke “what so special about tomorrow, did someone close to u die that day?” her eyes twinkling with mischief.

Arjun’s jaw ticked his smile wiped off his face, he turned his gaze away from her and Siddhart understood “stop it Samaria” he scolded much to her bewilderment, what wrong did she say, she just asked a simple question, grown ups and their secrets she thought rolling her eyes.

“why don’t u ask Neil to attend the meeting?” Arjun asked.

Siddarth sighed “he went out with his friends, I don’t think he will be in any condition to attend a meeting tomorrow”

“It’s high time Neil should stop partying like a mad man, I’ll talk to him” Arjun said.

Sam who was taking selfies giggled causing Arjun and Siddarth to look at her “no party and Neil, God save us from the apocalypse” she said dramatically before taking another selfie with her mouth wide open adopting a shocked expression “hashtag my sensible brother just said the most stupid thing”

“Samaria…” Siddarth stressed and she ran out of the office, turning to Arjun he hesitantly spoke “tomorrow is…”

“I’ll go talk to Neil” he chimed in and left immediately showing his father that, that was the forbidden topic.

“why the grave expression?” asked Siddharth’s wife breaking his chain of thoughts. Anita Mehra was a sophisticated woman worthy of carrying the Mehra name with a good taste for the finer things in life, she had only one mantra in life, discipline. She had discipline in everything from the way of living to the way she behaved, everything about her reflected how rich and polished she was, she was a perfect example of class. Her elegant designer clothes and shoes went perfectly with her straighten black hair, sharp light green eyes and red thin lips and her refined attitude was another compliment to her medium height slender body “don’t tell me we lost this investor too?” she asked worriedly

“no, she agreed and ready to sign with us as soon as possible” he said still in trance of thoughts.

“then what’s the problem?”

He sighed “it’s August 25 today”

Anita fisted her hand, she quickly rearranged her face raising her head refusing to look affected “so..” she said simply avoiding to sound affected.

“it’s her death anniversary today, don’t u think we could at least…”

“I don’t know who are u talking about?” she cut him “am late for church, excuse me” she said and left banging the door shut behind her. She ran to her bedroom holding her tears, she was panting. Her hands started to tremble from holding back the emotions, her nostrils flaring. The expensive Moroccan vase on top of the dresser crushed into small pieces on the floor with the impact, she had thrown it down in anger. A house maid came rushing in with the sound of the breaking vase “get out…” she screamed making the poor girl retreat fearfully “I can’t believe it, even after all these years u are still thinking about that woman” she hissed as tears drop down her eyes. She took a photo frame that had Siddharth’s and Arjun’s photo and smashed it on the floor breaking the glass.

She wiped her tears after a minute, retouched her make-up and walked out of the mansion looking as calm as ever, all the anger and pain absent on her face.

Another day had come to an end, the sun had gone into hiding while the moon and stars decorated the night sky. In Mehra Mansion dinner was over, every member had retired to their rooms. Arjun sitting on his bed leaning on the headboard had his laptop staring at a photo of a woman, he had seen her during his vacation and had secretly taken her photo. Everytime he looked at her picture he felt calm though his heart was beating fast getting lost in her beautiful black eyes.

Neil without knocking entered his room throwing himself on his bed, Arjun closed his laptop “what’s wrong with u?” he said annoyed with the disturbance.

Neil sprawled on his bed didn’t seem to care “am in love” he announced dreamily.

Arjun stared at him for a second before bursting into laughter, he laughed so hard that his eyes wetted with tears. Neil Mehra in love that’s the joke of the year “Neil April fool is far gone”

Neil frowned “am serious Arjun, am in love. I have met her today”

“let’s wait till tomorrow when u meet another one and another one and another one…”

Neil got off the bed “f**king hater” he muttered and left his bedroom.

Arjun opened his laptop again and stared at her picture till he fell asleep.
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He was running

The road was never ending

It was dark all around

His vision was foggy

He kept on running

His legs were hurting

His lungs exhausted

His breathing was fainting

But he kept on running

Running from the unknown

Till his body collapsed

And suddenly, he got lost

There was darkness ahead

There was darkness behind

It was darkness all over

And he was trapped inside

Piercing sound of his breath

Echoed in his ears

Haunting his racing heart

Suffocated with jitters

Then he saw his terrorist

With a figure hellish

With a voice screeching

Claws cold and demonic

Fear became his second skin

When his muscles betrayed him

Death came to life before him

When the past caught up with him

Siddharth woke up with a jerk, his pajamas shirt sticking on him due to the heavy sweats he had shed, Anita was awaken by his sudden movements. Siddharth was terrified, she placed her hand on his shoulder looking at him with concern. Siddharth leaned back on the bed his chest still heaving up and down rapidly “they are back” he said his voice shaken with fear.

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