The Red Dragon's Lair
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An orphan girl Anya, grew up in the slums along with her brother seeing the underbelly of the city full of crime & greed. Her brother intervened when his friends were trying to teach her a 'lesson'. That night she decided she was never going to be weak again. She would be the nemesis of crime. Her most recent case is related to narcotics. Will she survive the dangerous drug mafia that stops at nothing? Andy meets Anya when he has to file a case. He is a handsome guy with the best brains. After losing his job he creates the most successful startup in the country. His funder is connected with the film & drugs industry. What will he have to give up to realise his big dream? His money and Anya's job bring glamour, decadence, and dangerous liaisons into their lives. They come together to create a volatile mixture of passionate love, ruthless crime, base desires, human degradation, death, and devastation where his life hangs on a thread. How much will she go through before she breaks?
CHAPTER 1 Prologue
She ran as fast as her feet could carry her.
She was on the docks, the dark oily sea lapping against the steel pilings on one side while the abandoned warehouses with their broken, mangled structures lined the other end of the wharf. They looked like rickety monsters, with their glass eyes shot out, sporting a toothless hollow grin, dwarfing her.
Her red, ornately embellished wedding dress, slowing her down. Her red dupatta (stole paired on an Indian dress) sweeping the ground, wet and heavy with the slick and rust. With her service Glock 17 handgun, cradled in her sweaty hands, she was quite a sight to look at.
She looked around for a sign. Her trained eyes scanned every nook and cranny. She saw a scrap metal plate lying broken and bent by the side of a warehouse. With swift strides, she walked up to it and used its sharp edge to cut the lower half of her dress unevenly. The hem now hung just above her knees.
She was relieved with the freedom of movement it now gave her. Thank God, she had chosen Bellies. At least her feet weren't protesting. Ditching her stole, she walked towards the shadows between the warehouses and the piles of shipping containers.
She knew that they had to be here. This was where everything had led her. She was sure her calculations were correct. She couldn't go wrong. Not now, when lives were at stake. Lives of people she loved. She knew the kidnappers. They were dangerous assholes who would stop at nothing.
She thought about all the conflicts that she had faced with the love of her life. Many times breaking up and coming together again, until she couldn't take the agony of separation anymore and chose to commit to a lifetime of togetherness.
Just as they were about to get married, he got kidnapped. Along with their friends! This couldn't be happening. She couldn't lose them. Her entire life flashed in front of her eyes.
The shadows were getting darker. The sun was setting out over the Arabian sea and she had to be quick.
As she went around the corner of a shipping container, a sudden forceful punch landed on her belly knocking the wind out of her. She gasped for breath. Before she could take any action, within the next instant, another blow landed on her jaw. She slumped with the impact.
She was losing consciousness as the gun was being pulled out of her hands.
Someone snorted. "We hit the jackpot. The bitch is here in a sexy avatar. Let's show her where she belongs."
No… no… no… this can't be! Please don't let me faint God! Not now, please… she fell into darkness and oblivion.
CHAPTER 2 Where it all began (Prelude)
"Anya! Anya! Your brother is calling you. On the little hill outside the basti (slums)."
12-year-old Anya was washing utensils outside her tiny shanty in one of the biggest slums of Mumbai. Dharavi.
The one-roomed tin shed with an asbestos sheet for a roof was their only possession left behind by their parents. Her brother, Dada, as she called him, was 8 years older and she loved him to the moon and back.
She didn't remember much about her parents. They had died in a fire at the mills compound where they worked.
Anya was only 6 at the time. Her Dada had brought her up. He had managed to do odd jobs and bring in money. Enough to keep their shanty and to bring in food at least once a day.
There were some days when they would go without meals. Those were few and far between and even at that time, her brother managed to get a deep-fried bhajji (fritters) or a cheap bar of candied fruit for her to eat and sleep. She did not have to sleep on
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