She looked at him through the large glass doors. Luckily the place was abuzz with people and noise. She was safe. She got behind a guy in the long line at one of the food counters. As they inched forward, she kept an eye outside. He was still facing the other side, looking sideways. Probably searching for her. And then he swung back. That was so quick, she had to literally hold the shoulder in front of her and duck behind the hapless guy who almost gasped.
"Sorry, sorry.." she muttered as he shrugged and turned to the moving line. She was still behind him, peeping out a bit from the shoulder. Oh no, he was moving to the food court. Her heart raced as she clutched her bag tighter and muttered a desperate prayer. He now stood in the entrance, roving his eyes. And then he turned and walked away toward the escalator.
"God...go, go, go..." She gnashed her teeth.
She spotted an empty table and settled in. The guy in the line spotted it too and approached. She buried her face in her meal and pretended not to see him. She felt stupid holding his shoulder now.
"Uh, excuse me?"
She looked up, pretending as if his shoulder had not existed.
"Is this taken..?"
"Oh no, please.." She moved away a little.
He sat down and started his meal. She avoided his glance. Too late.
"Uh...I don't want to sound nosey."
"But...are you in some kind of trouble, ma'am?"
He seemed embarrassed now.
"Uh..I mean..you hid behind me. From someone, obviously" He rubbed his shoulder. "YOu are quite strong, you know."
She smiled sheepishly. Actually this guy was cute. And yeah, she was a bit tough on the clamping.
"Sorry." She pushed back a lock of hair.
"That guy...well, forget it. It's..it's not important."
"Are you sure? He might be waiting outside, you know."
She stopped eating and contemplated for a minute. He was right. She swallowed her mouthful and pushed back the plate a bit.
"Well, he's..I don't know how to say this..but..he's my fiance."
"Yeah. Strange, isn't it? I behaved as though he were a psychopath or something."
She laughed nervously. The guy didn't talk.
"The name's Atul. You could call me that." He smiled.
"Oh.." she chuckled. "Shraddha."
They walked into the parking lot, Shraddha's eyes looking around in fear. It was almost deserted, except for the security guy at the far end, manning incoming cars.
"I can't believe someone could behave that way with his own fiancee." Atul took out the keys.
They sat in his car.
"I think I'm troubling you a lot.." Shraddha started.
"Nonsense." He smiled and before he could start the car, the passenger door opened and a guy slid in. Then, two simultaneous clicks. From the corner of his eyes, he caught the gleaming barrels, one beside him, and one in the rear-view mirror.
"Keep the hands on the wheel, Atul. And just drive."
"Easy..ok?" Atul said with just a hint of nervousness, easing the car back.
"And don't try to be funny, mister." The fiance growled from behind.
"Ok, ok..please keep the guns away."
The car hurtled down the National Highway.
About fifty miles down, when the highway was near empty, the car swung hard and spun a few times before standing still off the road.
A moment later, two quick shots rang out in the quiet afternoon. The car was soon back on the road, this time headed back to the city.
Atul was panting, but just. In five minutes, he was composed. He looked at the hole in her head and another gaping hole in the guy's neck. "Not bad," he said to himself. He drew up the tinted windows and pushed back Shraddha's seat, so it looked like she were napping.