Avanika knew something was wrong the second she spied his name flash on the screen. It was tempting to ignore the call, but instincts told her she should at least listen to what he has to say.

“Yes?” Her voice was even.

“I need your help, Avni. Come immediately, please.”

“The name is Avanika. What happened?” Judging the desperation in his tone, it was something on the lines she specialized.

“Sorry… Avanika. Please help me. There is a dead body in my house.”

“Whose?” She asked without a change in her tone. She should have been surprised, but she wasn’t.

“I don’t know. I mean, I do. But…”

“But what, Ransh?” She snapped. Despite the situation, Avanika was in no mood to forget and forgive his past mistakes.

He audibly swallowed, “Her face is familiar. I think I saw her two days ago.” Then he added. “At the club.”

Avanika suppressed a curse. It was hardly surprising. He wasn’t the killer type, but anybody could kill when pushed into a corner. And, Ransh was mercurial enough to become a prime suspect.

“Call the police.” She ordered.

“They’ll arrest me! Avanika, I didn’t do anything. Trust me, please. I wasn’t home all night.” He panicked.

Pinching the bridge of her nose, Avanika counted until five. “Ransh, you will need to call the police. Now.”

“But…”

She picked up the keys from her table and walked to the door. “I’m on my way. If you don’t call them, I’ll have to do it myself.”

After a pause, he mumbled he would do it.

“Good. Don’t touch anything until I come.”

Ransh sighed into the phone, relieved. “Avanika, I’m glad you chose your profession over me.”

She snorted. Becoming a P.I was her only ambition. After years of persistence, Avanika was successful.

 

Avanika revved the engine and left for his house. She didn’t require the map as it was where she had turned so cold hearted. She took out a taser and placed it in her overcoat before getting out. She couldn’t trust Ransh again. The last time she trusted him left her shattered. The scars on her shoulder reminded her to take proper precautions. She called him to check if it was a trap. He opened the door and sighed with relief. His trembling appearance made Avanika suspicious. Ransh wasn’t a coward. He could fight wars without the slightest hint of fear. Avanika never saw him tremble till today.

“Have you called the Police?” Avanika asked as she entered the house.

“They are on their way,” Ransh replied in a low voice.

Avanika inspected the room to find some evidence. There was no trail of blood, no weapon, nothing that told how the body got here in the first place. Avanika sighed.

“You said that you saw her two days ago. What do you remember?” Avanika asked.

“She was alone and was wearing a cap. I didn’t talk to her. But I could tell that she was drunk.” replied Ransh rubbing his eyebrows.

Avanika sat on the couch and told Ransh to fetch some water. Ransh was back in a minute holding a glass of water. She checked the glass suspiciously to see if it was clean.

She drank it as Ransh sat on the table next to the couch.

“I swear I didn’t do anything, Avni. I mean… Avanika…” Ransh said.

“Why are you acting so desperate Ransh?” replied Avanika harshly, “What are you hiding from me?”

“I am sorry Avanika, I thought that you trusted me. Guess I was wrong. You shouldn’t have brought a taser with you…” Ransh said with a smirk.

“You son of a—” Avanika cursed as she fell unconscious.

“It’s all right Avni. The cops will take care of her.” Ransh said as he lifted Avanika, “You and me are going on a ride.”

Ransh put her in her car and drove to a safe house out of town. The cops arrived on the scene and started a patrol. Ransh was smart enough to leave his car in the Garage to avoid suspicion.

******

“Good morning sleepy head” Ransh said scrolling through the news.

“You… you son of a—”

“Now before you finish that sentence let me explain,” Ransh said cutting her off,

“I was supposed to meet my client at the bar that night. All she told me about the case was that her life was going to be cut short.

She said she needed my help to sue her husband under a case of harassment and physical abuse. She said that no one would take the case as her husband was dangerous and that I was her last hope.

Now listen carefully, put the past behind us for now. I know I did terrible mistakes but I need your help solving this case. I need some dirt on the guy. He has tried to frame me. I should’ve listened to her words carefully and of course your words too. But help me this once and I promise I won’t cross your path again. Please Avanika…”

“After all these years and even after all those scars you gave me, how could you possibly think that I would trust anyone, that I would ever trust you?” Avanika replied holding her shoulder.

“I knew you wouldn’t. That’s why I did all this. I knew once you hear the case out you would show some interest.” Ransh said.

“Let’s solve this damn thing first. We are already running short on time. The police must’ve already started a search party for you,” Avanika said tying her hair into a bun, “I’ll have my way with you once we are done with this.”

“Yes ma’am.” Ransh replied sarcastically.

“Give me my car keys. I’ll infiltrate his lair tonight. I need my camera for that.” Avanika said.

“Your equipment is in your car. I’ll ping you the location.” Ransh replied.

“I hope the forensics don’t get you. She was probably poisoned. That is for the police to report anyway.” Avanika said leaving.

Ransh held her hand and said “Be careful.”

“You too.” Avanika replied with a hint of care.

******

Clicking photos was never too hard for Avanika. She could get in and out of buildings without even leaving a trace. Being a professional P.I she wouldn’t be charged for breaking and entering.

‘Traces and bills of illegal toxic substances, proofs of harassment, this lady did make a run for her life’ Avanika thought to herself as she looked for evidence.

The door creaked suddenly. Avanika hurried and made a rush for the window. She came down fire exit without being spotted by anyone. One wrong move could cost her her life. Avanika had clicked enough photos to make a stand. She got in her car and drove back to Ransh’s safe house.

The next morning both got the case files ready and went to the Police. Despite the questions raised by the cops Avanika somehow managed to get a plea for a hearing. Ransh was one of the best lawyers available in town.

The court hearing was held within a few days after taking the suspects into custody. The guy was a kingpin. His wife had found out that he was dealing drugs. She tried to get away with all that she had and start a new life. But her husband had found out and had harassed her. She was brave enough to reach out to Ransh. Being one of the best criminal detectives he couldn’t say no to the case. But she was poisoned her dead body was carefully left in Ransh’s house so that the blame would come upon him.

The trial was held and the defence couldn’t justify against Avanika’s evidence. The kingpin was sentenced to jail for a lifetime.

******

“We would make a good team, don’t you think.” Ransh said as he sipped his coffee.

“Even after using me twice you just can’t resist, can you? What makes you think that I would ever go back to you?”Avanika replied. “You did the same thing the man did to that woman. If it wasn’t for her, you would be in jail by now. And this was for drugging me…”

Avanika left along with her Camera.

Ransh sipped the coffee and said “Wait! What did you—”

Avanika looked back and waved with a smile as Ransh fell unconscious.

 

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