He knew the very second their eyes locked that she desired him. And that she was his type, the adventurous one. No, they had never met before, never knew of each other’s existence until now. He crossed the whole length of the sprawling lobby, looking at her, smiling his mischievous smile. She took it all in shamelessly imagining what lies beneath his well-tailored shirt.

‘Shall we?’, he said.

‘Sure’, she replied swinging her laptop into its bag and got up to led the way.

Her room, then. By leading, she had decided. Words were redundant when intention spoke louder.

She slid the card to light the room, dropped the bag on the floor but refused to let go of his lips that had stayed on hers from the time they alighted from the lift. His hands were where she wanted them to be feeling her up. She held him against the wall with her body while her hands searched for his zipper.

She knelt.

His moans egged her on.

He pulled her up, cleverly, not wanting to end too soon. His wet tongue played with her earlobes while his fingers efficiently unclasped her brassiere. She gasped in anticipation as his hands searched for more. Each clothing was discarded hurriedly.

They collapsed on the bed, she on top, when he let out a cry.

She unrolled away to find him clutching his chest, face contorted in pain. She ran to the bathroom and returned with a glass of water.

There he was! A stranger, in her bed, naked, dead.

***

“Good God!” was Jisha’s first reaction. “Did THIS have to happen now?”

He was Amar Trivedi, Vice President for the Indian division of Bosch Armaments, one of the oldest Firearms companies in the world. A middle-aged but handsome man, a prize catch now after a messy and public divorce. She only knew him from TV and media. It was no accident that she had caught his eye and followed up with the trip to her room.

After the initial shock of having him die on her, she quickly collected her wits and went through his wallet and briefcase. Eureka! She found it. A copy of the tender of the latest bid by the company for the procurement of firearms for the police by the Government. After all this was what she had her eyes on all through. She quickly scanned the entire document with her high-end phone.

They were prepared for such exigencies, yet his sudden death had thrown her off guard momentarily. The room had been booked under a false ID so there was nothing to connect her to the incident, provided she made a quick getaway. It had also been paid for, with cash. She threw a sheet over the dead body and made a hasty but uneventful exit. This time, she took the Fire Escape and was out of the hotel within minutes. Her head covered with a scarf and huge sunglasses perched on her nose.

~~

Jisha reached her flat and turned on the TV.

Amar’s death had already made it to the headlines in almost all TV channels. They were also looking for a young woman named Kiara.

Amar’s company physician, insisted that he had been healthy and fit except for the stress brought on by a high ranking position. He had regular medical check-ups. He lived in a respectable society in South Delhi. He had just returned from a vacation from Japan last month.

Her phone rang. It was Rishabh Malhotra. Her boss. And friend.

“Are you sure you did not leave any clues?”, was his first question.

“I had taken all precautions as you had taught us,” she replied, “I was wearing the ultrathin latex gloves all the time. I did not order room service or laundry and paid everything in cash.”

“Okay. Good. Leave the phone in the locker. As usual. Book a ticket for Phuket. You are on a holiday for the next 2 weeks. All expenses paid. I will let you know the next assignment after that. Do not contact me till then. Your fees will be deposited in your account soon.”

The line went dead.

Jisha did as she was told. After depositing the phone used to scan the documents in their shared locker in ICICI Bank, she took a cab to the Airport and was on a flight to Phuket by 8 that evening.

~~

Inspector Shivansh Deb was investigating the case of the death of the Bosch executive. He soon found that the mystery girl last seen with the Amar had been smart to cover he tracks meticulously.

“I wonder why?” he mused to his assistant. He was talking aloud. Something did not quite sit right. The Post Mortem report had shown that Amar had died of a massive myocardial infarction and there was no foul play suspected. No one had reported anything missing. His cash and credit cards and Identity cards were all intact. There had been no robbery.

But who was Kiara and why had she gone to such lengths to keep her identity a secret intrigued him. His gut and his years of experience told him there was more than just an affair gone astray.

Karen D’Costa, his assistant, was poring over the CCTV grabs and shots of the mysterious lady when the bag Kiara had over her arm caught her eye.

“Sir, I think I’ve found a clue,” she said excitedly. “The handbag Kiara was carrying that day is a designer one marketed in Bangalore by an exclusive outlet.”

“It’s frightfully expensive,” she added, a tad wistfully.

Karen and Shivansh followed up the lead and found that the bag had been bought by someone called Jisha. The debit card used led them to her bank account. Her financial statements showed regular deposits of large sums of money. The mobile number, Aadhar number and Pancard linked to the account listed her address in Koramangala in a posh apartment complex, housing small time celebrities like TV actors. It did not sit well with her profession stated as a bank clerk.

“I need permission to search her apartment,” requested Shivansh to the DIG Police.

“Granted,” was the immediate reply as the DIG too was under pressure from the media and public to solve the mysterious death of the high profile executive.

The search led them to Rishabh whose number was listed as the Emergency Contact in her profile in the Apartment register.

It wasn’t long before Rishabh confessed to Jisha being part of a call girl ring he used to obtain and extort information from high profile executives and officials to the highest bidder.

~~

“High end call girl ring busted while solving the mysterious death of Amar Trivedi” was the headline carried by The Morning Mail.

“Nexus between arms dealers and the Government suspected” was the headline in The Indian Chronicle.

Jisha was back in India. She was arrested for attempt to tamper evidence and for prostitution. Her contact list included the bigwigs of almost every industry which competed for Government contracts.

She was part of a group that inducted young good-looking girls as honey traps. It was a win-win situation for everyone. The girls were trained well in the art of attraction and seduction. They were handsomely paid. The information they secured was sensitive, critical and ensured a hefty price in the right market.

It had been going on for the past 5 years. Discreetly and anonymously. A pan India racket with “branches” all over the country.

Thanks to a young girl’s vanity and some quick thinking on the part of the police, today, their game was up.

That’s the way the cookie crumbled.

Many heads would roll. On both sides. The Government as well as the commercial giants. The media had a field day. All channels were “Breaking News” on the sensational case in one way or the other.

As the story unraveled, there were also many scared men in the country. Wondering when their own indiscretions would be exposed.

Only time would tell.

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