The Spoils of War

Lance Corporal Jack Shaw is discharged from the Army after extended tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. He returns to his birthplace of Bradford where he meets Parminder Sherwani in a local bar. Parminder's an attractive, confident University student who's not adverse to a bit of fun.

To date, Jack has 100% record with Asian women. They can never say no to him, but then again Jack's always been a soldier, and soldiers carry guns.

The relationship gets off to a flying start and it seems romance in the air but when Jack's physical advances are met with resistance, the result is serious conflict.

Parminder claims she was raped. Her comments go viral on Twitter. Parminder's brother and his friends hunt down Jack and beat him half to death, leaving him wheel-chair bound. Bradford quickly finds itself reliving the riots of 2001; Asian gangs and students are fighting the English Defence League on the streets.

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2. 2

CHAPTER TWO

 

Parminder Sherwani slipped her favourite baggy tee-shirt over her head, pushed her feet into her slippers, and wandered through to the lounge. "Morning."

"Alright?" replied her housemate with a mouthful of breakfast cereal. "The kettle's only just boiled."

"Cool." Parminder made a thumbs–up gesture and headed off to the kitchen. "Oh bless . . . ," she said noticing the cup with the teabag. "How do you know I'd be up this early?"

"I always stick a teabag in a cup before I go. It's no bother."

"Not on Mondays you don't. You know I don't have lectures on a Monday."

"Is it Monday?"

"Yes, it's Monday. Try to keep up!" Parminder returned with her tea.

"Oh, right. I lose track sometimes."

"Rosie, you know I don't get up early on a Monday . . . and now I'm hungry."

"I went Tescos yesterday. The cupboards are full – knock yourself out."

"I noticed. Let me know what the damage was. I'll give you my contribution as soon as I go online." Parminder slid into the chair opposite Rosie, and stared across the table, licking her lips. "Yum."

Rosie took another mouthful of her breakfast, and shrugged. "What?"

Parminder flashed her eyes and flicked her eyebrows. "What's in the bowl, bitch?"

"My breakfast!" Rosie pulled her food closer. "And I don't even know why you always say that, you don't even like cornflakes."

"Rudegirl, I'm just fucking with you. I'll make my own breakfast." She stretched, then rose. "I'm out of shampoo. Can I borrow your rinse and run stuff?"

"Yeah, no problem."

"Thanks." Parminder turned toward Rosie's bedroom.

Shit. "No! I don’t have any!"

"Yeah, you do."

"If I do, it'll be in the bathroom."

"No, it's not. I borrowed it yesterday, and I put it back in your bedroom."

"Oh, okay. Let me get it for you."

"It's okay. I'll get it."

"No."

Parminder opened Rosie's bedroom door, cursed, and closed it again. "I guess that explains the tea. It wasn't for me, was it? What's he doing here?"

"He came over last night."

"Rosie, this just isn't on."

The bedroom door opened; a young Asian man stood in the doorway. "Any chance of a cup of tea?" he said, rubbing his hands together.

"Fuck off, Ranji," said Parminder.

"You'll have to make it yourself. I'm late," said Rosie.

"Excuse me." Ranji slipped passed Parminder on the way to the kitchen.

With the other out of earshot, Parminder's tone changed to a harsh whisper. "Rosie, this is just so wrong in so many ways. You're supposed to be going away with Steve to work things out. What are you gonna do if he finds out?"

"He won't. It was just a one off."

"That's what you said last time, and the time before that."

Rosie shrugged. "It just happened."

Parminder continued lecturing. "You can't have a boyfriend and be knobbing my brother. I'm not comfortable with it. Steve'll find out. It'll all kick off."

"Technically, I'm not the one doing the knobbing."

Ranji, tea in hand, joined the conversation. "I heard that." He grinned. "And seeing I'm the only man around here, if there's any knobbing to be done –"

"Shut up!" the girls said in unison.

"I'm late," said Rosie. "I got to quickly do my teeth, then I'm gone." She ran into the bathroom.

Ranji sat in the armchair, switched on the TV, placed his tea on the floor, and selected a magazine from the rack.

Parminder snatched the remote and turned the TV off. "Ranji, please get out of my house. I moved out of Mum and Dad's to get away from you. The last thing I want to see when I wake up in the morning is your ugly mug. It's like I'm still living at home. This has got to stop."

"When Rosie stops wanting it, I'll stop giving in to her."

Parminder punched her brother's shoulder. "You're such a pig! You'll stop giving it to her? How about I buy her a strap-on, and she gives it to you."

"Hmm," said Rosie, putting on her coat. "I've never thought of that . . . maybe . . . " She giggled. "See you guys later."

Ranji turned a page in the magazine.

"Get up." Parminder took the publication from his hand and proceeded to search down the side of the cushions. "You really are a pig, aren't you? The poor girl's late for work, and you're going to let her wait for a bus.  Go, call her back, and give her a lift - you idiot."

Ranji reluctantly vacated the chair.

Parminder completed removed the cushion. "Go on. Catch her before she gets to the bus stop."

Ranji paused at the door. "Minda, what are you doing?"

"I'm searching for my Rizla."

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