Love and Money

#1. The darkest hour

Hector fidgeted, and clinched fast to his sheets. A drop of sweat trickled down his forehead and wetted the pillow. He tossed from side to side, horror  marked on his face instead of peacefulness of sleep. Whatever was torturing his soul seemed too much to bear for him. Just then phone rang, and he woke up with a start.

He went up to the phone and picked up the receiver,his hands trembling from the nightmare.

Still frightened, he spoke into the receiver, “He..ll.o..?”

A muffled and quick voice frightened him even more: “Hector,its me-Norm.Julia is gone, Zyed’s men are out searching her and somebody has taken your name. Run away or they’ll kill you”

“WHAT!? But..but I don’t know anything…I’m at home..!”

I know hector, that’s why I say run away and save your life. Everyone knows of your liking for her. Don’t waste time as I say!!” Then the line went dead.

Then it hit him, maybe that sinister minster was involved …and those wretches suspected him?!

He couldn’t stand upright, his limbs went numb and he fell down on the wooden floor. He buried his face in his hands and wept, out of fear  which still was haunting him and the fierce pain of betrayal by his first and only LOVE. He was too shocked by the sudden turn of events, to think anything logical, to do anything logical than cry.

“I’m sorry” he uttered a faint cry. He was feeling  guilty. Guilty of not persuading her enough earlier that day. Maybe it all happened due to his stupid ego. He wished he had made more efforts to make her realize how deeply he loved her than that rich snob. If he wouldn’t have left angrily, maybe he could have stopped her from doing anything stupid…but did she actually go with him? Could she really choose money over his love? If not,then where was she?

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Story so far:

Hector is devastated because his love, Julia,rejected him. Then he receives a call from his friend  informing him that Julia is gone and he is the prime suspect.He advises him to run away before Zyed’s men catch him. He is shocked beyond words and nostalgically remembers the rose he gave her..could Julia really choose someone over his love?

Suddenly,Zyed’s men break into his abode and take him away in a jeep….what would they do with him?

To read the full first part, click here.

#2.Ominous DAWN

As Zyed’s men pushed him inside,Hector was  greeted by a familiar odor of the car, but  this time the situation was different. This time he wasn’t one of them, He HIMSELF was being taken as a hostage. And when he saw police jeep turn away in different direction from them, he clearly understood what was to come up.  His senses urged him to get out of the mess as quickly as possible. He struggled with all his strength and gave Zyed’s men a tough time handling him, but was eventually overpowered.

“Where is Julia? What have you done with her?” roared Billy, one of Zyed’s men and Hector’s closest friends. He sucker punched him and repeated the question. Hector could only bewilderedly stare at him. Were they the same people he knew, Hector thought.

They kept on hitting mercilessly and asking the same question and hector kept on repeating his truth  but in vain. He looked at Billy with a hope that at least his dear friend would understand but it was as if he didn’t want to hear what Hector had to say, all he wanted was to label him as guilty.

“For godsakes,I love Julia! How Can I do anything to her?? “ Hector bellowed.

Soon the jeep stopped outside a deserted place. This time the devils had more wicked plans. They dragged him inside and hurled him down on the floor. Then began the blood curling torture.  They tied him up and did not hesitate for a moment to use lashes and hunters in bid to make him spew out the truth.They wanted to hear him admitting the accusation. The choice was his own.Either the hunters or the false truth.

Hector writhed in pain, but did not give up.He was wretched to see who was inflicting the pain on him-His own friends, the people he had served all these years with his loyalty and dedication.

At last, they left him to rot in that dark and dingy room. Bleeding profusely, all he could do was to condemn the day he had joined Zyed and his men.He was about 15 at that time. He needed bread to survive and Julia’s father a faithful servant. Hector’s loyalty and obedience  eventually earned him the position of his right hand.

‘I did  all his filthy work with my own hands to see this  day? What did I get in return?? Years of faithful service ,still they don’t trust me at all!’  He was sick and tired of telling them that he didn’t know anything. He didn’t do anything! But what was the use? Julia probably eloped with that wealthy snob and he was left to rot in hell.

Hector was drowned in these  thoughts when he heard some noise outside the room. It seemed Billy was talking to someone and his words were getting louder and clearer. Soon Billy stepped in the room and gave Hector an evil grin.He was talking on his handheld transmitter.

“No sir, he hasn’t spilled it out yet..but he definitely will in a few hours” he tried to calm Zyed down.

Billy was taking full advantage of the situation to get close to Zyed ,to become his coveted right hand man. Moreover, it was getting  as easy as a pie for him, for now he had his only enemy under his control. He gave a shit where Julia was. All he wanted was to get rid of Hector.

Hector had clearly understood Billy’s intentions by then. He was heart broken to see all his beloved relations showing their true self one by one. Yet He was more concerned about Julia’s wellbeing ..these wretches were wasting their time on him and he couldn’t do anything but lie helplessly on the floor. He remembered what she had told him the other day. The shrewd minister had given her some jewels, hadn’t he? But Why her? What could he want from her ? As he reeked in pain, the whole episode flashed before his eyes.

She was sitting in the lawn that day. He went and sat beside her. They were friends for a long time now and Hector used to teach her horse riding.

“Julia, do you believe in true love?”

“Hmm..maybe. But what happened? Why are you asking such a question out of the blue? Something brewing hah?” Julia answered.

“Haha..yeah kind of.”

“What! Really? Who’s she? Somebody I know of?” asked Julia excitedly.

“Hmm know her very well.” Hector said blushing

“Ohh..great. Do Make me meet her. Right now I have to go and get dressed. I and Toby are going out in a while you see, But I’ll surely catch up with you once I come back. Also, I think we’ll have to postpone the horse riding for tomorrow”

Hector was perplexed and cared a damn about a Horse- riding class at that moment. “Toby? How do YOU know him?” He asked.

“Common friends,duh. Anyways,I got to” she started to leave

“Wait! I wanted to talk about something important….I…I brought this for you. ” Hector finally mustered some courage and presented to her the magnificent red rose he had found with utter difficulty. It had a strong scintillating fragrance and looked as fresh as a rose which just bloomed to its full.

“For me?Ohh..umm thanks..” Julia took it hesitatingly

Hector knew if it was a do or die. He could loose his love if he did not act fast. So, in the same instant, Hector fell down on his knees and uttered the three magical words.

“I love you Julia ,from the core of my heart. Would you marry me?”

To say Julia was shocked would be a massive understatement. She was mad.

“Are you out of your senses?!Have you forgotten who you are? “

“But Julia.. ” Hector tried explaining

“No, you listen! I don’t see you anything more than a friend.What do you have to give to me anyway…

She showed him her diamond studded necklace. “Toby gave me this as a token of his love. He knows me, understands me and loves me. So please stop this nonsense before I call someone”  she screamed and started inside.

Hector was shocked beyond words,’Toby and Julia… ?!’ He could not digest it.

“Julia listen to me..Julia?!”

He tried stopping her but His words fell on deaf ears. She  angrily threw the rose ,where it fell into the dirt and got trampled under her feet. To her, the jewels were far more precious than some meager rose.

Hector saw her walking away and stood there angry and heartbroken. All these years he had continued partially because of her. Working with Zyed allowed him to meet the Julia,
to drown in those emerald eyes of hers, to enjoy helping those delicate hands balancing the horse,
to see those feet as white as the waves of the ocean strolling the garden,searching for the roses she adored.

But that maiden had vanished into thin air , nowhere to be found. Not just for Hector but in reality too. Julia’s father had made police seal every nook and corner of the town. Still there was no sign of his precious daughter.

What had happened to her? Where was she?

Go to next part

#3. They found her

Go to AWESOME part one

Go to TROUBLED part two

A barefoot woman was breathlessly running on a deserted street in wee hours of the night. With sweat dripping from her forehead and her hair all disheveled, it looked as if she was running away from something gruesome, away from her death..

“Julia, do you believe in true love?”

His  words were ringing in her ears, torturing her.

“I love you Julia ,from the core of my heart. Would you marry me?”

She couldn’t bear to hear them. They were tearing her apart.

Panting and puffing, she kept running, despite her bleeding foot. But it was becoming difficult with each passing  second , still she couldn’t stop, lest they came after her again.

Suddenly, a blinding light from ahead filmed her eyes. She could hear a jeep coming her way. Was that Toby’s?  Without a second thought, She quickly hid behind the tree alongside the road. She couldn’t afford to caught by his men.

As the jeep passed by her, she got a glimpse of the person driving the jeep. Astonishingly, It was Billy! She felt elated at the newfound ray of hope. She came out from the hiding and  called out with all her might, frantically waving hands and signaling the driver to stop.

As Billy looked back from the the rear mirror, he got a shock of his life.

“Miss Julia?!”

He pulled the breaks in the muddle if the deserted road and jumped out of the jeep. He rushed towards her with a dozen questions in his mind.

“Are you all right? What are you doing here ?”

But before, he could get any answers, Julia fainted. She had already exhausted her last bit of energy on calling him out. Billy caught the falling maiden and put her safely into the jeep. Then he rushed straight to the hospital.

Zyed flied to the hospital as soon he got to know about Julia’s condition. He ran straight to the doctor to enquire about Julia but he didn’t get anything hopeful to hear. Her condition was stated  to be serious. She had already lost lot of blood and her body was not responding to the treatment.

She is still in a state of trauma. Whatever she had gone through has had a profound impact on her. She’s still unconscious. Let’s Hope for the best”  the doctor informed .

Dejected, Her father went in to her room. He saw her lying on the hospital bed unconscious. His heart bled to see her in such a state.
“Julia! My darling what have you done to yourself. My beautiful daughter doesn’t look good this way. Get up dear, daddy’s gonna take you home..” Zyed was crying. His only child-his lifeline was in danger. He could no longer bear to see  dearest part of his heart in pain. He wanted some answers. He wanted to grab that wretched person by the neck who tried to harm Julia and he knew precisely where to go.

“Keep a check on Julia until I come back, understood?” he instructed Billy.

“Yes sir, I will, but where are you going?” 

That’s none of your business. And I won’t tolerate any mistake, get it?” He gave him a menacing look and left.

Billy entered Julia’s room and sat on the sofa alongside the bed and picked up a newspaper lying nearby. He gave one look to Julia, who was still in her deep slumber. Satisfied, he buried Hus head into the newspaper.

Little did he know that everything was not the way it seemed. Julia was not well mentally. She was still in trauma and the flashbacks from the horrifying night were still torturing her in her sleep.

Toby was coming towards her, he was inching nearer with the bloodstained knife..he would kill her too..

“HELP! HELP!!” she started shouting .Billy was taken aback by the sudden screams and rushed towards her. “Miss Julia what is it? What happened?”

But there was no response. All he could do was to see her toss and turn in fright ,Horror marked on her brow. Immediately, he called for the doctor.

She saw him stained in blood approaching her. The knife, it was right there in his hand, and evil grin on his devilish face…

She screamed again,  ” Toby! No ! You love can you..

Billy was shocked. Toby??!

In the mean time, The doctors came in and gave Julia an injection to calm her down. Consequently, She went back to sleep.

But this episode put Billy in an uneasy state. He sat down bewildered and sank into deep thoughts.

“If it isn’t Hector..then all my plans are fowled! I CAN’T LET THIS HAPPEN.. I will have to do something!”

Meanwhile, Zyed had reached his hideout. This was the same place where they had kept Hector. On seeing Zyed arrive, everyone was put on guard and the lock to Hector’s room was swiftly opened.

Hector was lying on the floor, stained in blood.

“What have you done with my daughter? Where did you keep her?” Zyed bellowed as he entered the room.He desperately wanted to know the truth.

There was no reply. Zyed repeated his question. Still there was no answer. Irritated, He picked up the water jug lying nearhand emptied it on Hector’s face.

Hector woke up with a start but was even more startled to see Zyed in front of him. He tried to get up and face him but he could not sit upright. Zyed pushed him up by the neck and roared again, “What have you done with her?”

Hector struggled to get some words out “I ..I did not do anything to her. Sh..e went with him…she told me she was going out with him..look out for that sinister..” Hector uttered with great difficulty, his wounds hurt as he spoke each word.

“Who? What are you talking about?”

“Toby..he..….He’s using her..savee  her from him…”

Zyed was shocked to hear this . “Tobias? Are you telling  the truth?!”

But Hector couldn’t say anything else. He had already fainted. Zyed ordered his men to give him some first aid so that at least he could come in a state of saying something.

But what Hector had disclosed put Zyed into a state of shock and concern. As farsighted and clever he was, he could understand what Tobias would want from Julia or indirectly from him. Tobias’ father was Zyed’s old enemy. Both of them were constantly at loggerheads and after the death of his father, Tibias had to handle the whole political game by himself. Zyed had a hint that Tobias’ party was downsizing. He needed funds to support himself in the upcoming elections.
Toby, on the other hand knew Zyed would never support him or his party. Hence, a big businessman’s gullible daughter would prove to be a perfect bait to get his hunt. All his property was ultimately Julia’s..

Zyed’s blood boiled to think of Toby using his daughter. He rushed back to the hospital. He had to solve this puzzle before it got out of hand. Julia had to speak up before it was too late.

To be continued..
Stay tuned for the next installment!