Sunday, November 14, 2010


Fifteen Minutes later she was all ready, dressed in a sea green tank top and white capris, waiting in the living room, for her husband and their guests to arrive.

She recalled their heated fight and how she told him she was walking out of his life and their marriage. Of couse, she said it in the heat of the moment. She'd die if she really had to do it. It would be impossible to live without him. Moreover, she couldn't do it now! She had a special reason. A tiny blush spread on her cheek. She then recalled how he didn't listen to what she wanted to say to him giving rise to annoyance. She has to make him pay somehow for upsetting her jubilant mood! But then, those cards............ Abhi was right in getting upset about it! And then he'd also overheard Kunal telling her he loved her! But why did Kunal put her name on the card and how did the cards reach her cabin drawer? It all seemed so baffling. She had to speak to Kunal about it.

Just as she was about to dial his number, she heard the front door open. Moments later, she was stunned to see a bruised face Kunal enter, followed by Nidhi her other intern, followed by yet another intern Ayesha and finally her husband stood at the doorway, hands holding the door jamb on either sides. Their eyes met, his eyes dark and sinister.

Nikki looked baffled at the interns. "What's the matter? What's going on?" she asked.

The three had their eyes lowered to the floor. Nikki went nearer to them. She was surprised to see even Kunal wasn't able to meet with her eyes. She noticed the tiny blood clot at the corner of his nose and a bluish bruise on his jaw bone, a courtesy from her jealous and possessive husband.

"Kunal? Nidhi? Ayesha? What's going on guys?" she stared bewildered at them. Getting no response she glanced at her husband who had now sauntered closer to her.

"Sit down Guys!" He told them and they immediately sat down on the three seater. "You'd also want to sit down Nikki," he told her tenderly and gently shoved her into the big leather armchair adjacent to the three seater. He then sat on the arm of her chair and said to her, "Do you really want to know the story behind Kunal writing those cards to you?"

Nikki could only stare confused at him.

"Well Kunal did write those cards," he said, glancing at the three interns, "but, he wrote them for Nidhi!" His eyes were then back on Nikki. " You knew all along he was in love with Nidhi since he kept confiding and taking advice from you!"

"Now the next question is how were the cards addressed to you if he wrote them for Nidhi?" He then dug his hand into his shirt and pulled out the brown envelop. He handed the cards to Nikki. "If you look minutely, the "d" and "h" in Nidhi have been converted to "k's" In Kunal's handwriting "d" has no gap in its circle and with a tiny circle on top of "h" they both became easier to convert into "k". Then every word of the top line was overwritten again, so flaws, if any, got smoothly covered up."

Nikki's hand went to her mouth as she let out a shocked gasp.

"Yes," Abhi nodded his head. "The cards were deliberately tampered! Now the next question is who would do such a thing?" He darted another glance at the interns and back to Nikki.

"The answer to that, its been done by someone who was in love with Kunal but never got reciprocation from him since he's in love with Nidhi!"

Nikki's eyes dilated with shock as she stared at the girl who had her eyes lowered to the floor and fidgeting with the ends of her dupatta.

"Ayesha?" she gasped.

"Dot on Wifey!" Abhi exclaimed proudly. "Ayesha!"

"Why did you do this Ayesha?" Nikki asked, still shocked with the revelation. The girl only kept mum.

"Your senior is asking you a question Ayesha, go ahead and answer it!" Abhi coaxed in a stern voice, bringing fear and tears into the girl's eyes.

"I always wanted to take revenge from Kunal for rejecting my love and also from you for helping Kunal with Nidhi. Since I had a ................." she hesitated briefly before continuing, "soft corner for Kunal, I kept a constant watch on him. I knew Kunal confided in you about Nidhi and was taking your help and advice in expressing his love to her. I also new Dr. Modi knew nothing of it, because I heard Kunal swear you to secrecy till Nidhi reciprocated his love. Everyone was aware Dr. Modi never had any objection on your friendship with Kunal since you knew each other from before, but, I did hear him tell you once to keep a professional relationship with Kunal in the hospital. He wasn't angry then, but, since, I was upset with you for helping Kunal, I decided to make him suspicious of you. It was me who indirectly started spreading rumours about you and Kunal having a relationship which was more than just friendship. Few times this week, I slowly manouevered things in such a way that Dr. Modi overheard the nursing staff gossiping about the two of you. I was hoping your relationship would deteriorate and bring unhappiness for you."

Abhi and Nikki glanced at each other. That explained Abhi's sudden warning to her to stay away from Kunal and their fight on Thursday before he left for Bangalore. She squirmed under his smirking eyes.

"Then yesterday I saw Kunal and Nidhi in the fire escape. Both were confessing their love to each other. Nidhi, then received a call from her house . She told Kunal she had to leave for home and wouldn't be able to make it to the party. Kunal said he would go home with her and then attend the party. In her haste, Nidhi forgot to lock her locker. I then looked through it and found this envelop with these cards. I had already seen Dr. Modi entering Sanjeevani. I didn't want to let the opportunity pass. So I quickly took the kit of coloured pens from Nidhi's locker, knowing she had given a similar set of pens to Kunal which he used in the cards and I changed the two letters. Then, I went to your cabin and put the envelop in your drawer and waited outside till Dr. Modi came, knowing he would pass by on his way to his cabin! I waited till he came upon the envelop and then left immediately."

Nikki looked unbelievingly from Ayesha to Kunal to Nidhi and then up into her husband's face. He darted an assuring look at her and gently pressed her hand.

"Nikki,....... er....Dr. Nikita," Kunal muttered. "I'm going to start calling you Dr. Nikita. I am really very sorry for all the trouble you've had to go through because of me. I feel so bad, I can't even look you in the eye!"

"Me too!" the soft spoken Nidhi seconded. "You were only trying to help us. You definitely didn't deserve this blot on your reputation!"

"It isn't either of your fault." Nikki told them and then stared darkly at Ayesha.

"Yes," Abhi agreed.

"Its good Dr. Modi found out and nipped Ayesha's intention," Kunal said, looking admiringly at Abhi and then glancing at Nikki continued, "or it could have been worse for you!" Nikki and Abhi exchanged meaningful looks.

"Ayesha, I still can't believe you could do all this!" Nikki said sadly to her. "What were you thinking? You would have ruined two relationships and four people in this!"

"I'm sorry Dr. Nikita," she mumbled, her eyes lowered to the floor. "I was too angry and jealous and I thought I succeeded when Kunal got punched by Dr. Modi. I was sure he'd leave you! But, I never imagined, he would look deeper and get into the bottom of the matter! Now I am ashamed of what I did. I am very sorry," she whispered not looking at her.

"Gosh Ayesha, your whole career is at stake now!" Nikki said despairingly.

"Yes, tomorrow we'll decide what to do with her." Abhi replied as he rose to his feet. "Come along Ayesha. Your parents are waiting for you in the car, I'll drop you to them."

Ayesha tearfully moved closer to him, much to Abhi and Nikki's surprise and looked pleadingly into his eyes. "Please Dr. Modi," she said placing her hand tenderly on his arm. "I hope atleast you will understand me. Please give me one chance." Nikki saw the moony look lurking in her eyes, behind her tears and Abhi too, was looking at her with sympathy.

Jealousy sliced into her. Rising abruptly from her chair she said. "Ayesha, we'll settle this tomorrow. For now, I'll drop you to your parents' car." Abhi first looked surprise, then, hid a smile, having understood where her words were coming from.

"Its okay Dr. Nikita," Kunal intervened with a knowing grin, not missing the flash of jealousy in her eyes. "We should be leaving too. We'll drop Ayesha to the car."

Nidhi thanked Nikki for her help and Nikki hugged her in return.

"I'm sorry for that punch, Kunal." Abhi apologized. "You got it wrongly! But honestly, I'd do it again, if anyone says I love you to my wife!" he declared firmly, slipping a possessive arm around his wife's waist. A peeved Nikki quietly dug an elbow into his rib.

"You don't have to keep apologizing Dr. Modi. I fully understand," Kunal smiled. "I would have done the same if I was in your place." Abhi tossed her a smug. "See, I told you so," look and then returning Kunal's grin, shook hands with him. He then dropped his hand from Nikki's waist telling her he'd see the interns to the door. As soon as they were gone, Nikki dashed to their bedroom.


Moments later when Abhi entered the bedroom, he saw an empty suitcase, lying on the bench in front of the bed and found Nikki browsing through her clothes in the open wardrobe.

A tiny smile curved his lips as he ambled towards the wardrobe till he was standing behind her. He could see from the stiffening in her body she was aware of his presence and was getting effected by it.

"What exactly are you doing wifey?" he asked casually from behind.

"Can't you see? I am packing!" she retorted sternly, without turning. She's not going to tell him she's pretending. He had to beg her not to leave!

"Good" he said and she spun around staring at him in
disbelief. He almost laughed aloud, but, afraid she would slug him with the hangar she was holding in her hand, he willed back his laughter. The disbelief in her eyes morphed into hurt and then was masked with a "I don't care" look. "Get Lost!" she tossed at him and turned. Once she hung the hangar on the rod, he blew in relief.

"First lets decide the place we are going to and then pack accordingly." He said coolly. She turned again looking baffled at him. "whether Hot or Cold!" he said, with a raise of a brow, a naughty glint in his eyes. Inhaling an angry breath, Nikki glared at him. Ignoring her glare, he lazily stretched his hands on either side. "Besides, I am feeling too lazy to pack! So promise you'll pack for me too, sweet wifey!"

"Pack?" Oye hello!" Nikki waved her hand in front of his face. "If you forgot? Its me that's leaving! Why should I pack for you?"

"Because Sweetheart, where you go, I go with you!" He said, grinning mischievously. "How can you forget our marriage vows Nikki! Shame on you!" he blinked his eyes, feigning shock.

Nikki was stunned with his accusation! She saw him lift his hand and knew he was about to touch her. "Don't touch me!" she hollered, waving her finger angrily at him "Keep your hands to yourself!"

"Okay! Okay!" he raised both his hands in surrender knowing he was dealing with his adorable spitfire here. He placed his hands on the doors, on either side of the wardrobe, but, his eyes couldn't help ooze with mischief.

"Good, don't move your hands from there!" she told him hotly. "Lets make it a rule to talk properly for once, without you pawing at me, all the time!"

He chuckled. "I don't remember you objecting to it anytime! As far as I know, you relish it!

"Yoouu!" she seethed, waving her finger accusingly in front of his face, her eyes having narrowed angrily.

"Okay!" He raised his right hand in surrender again, though his eyes still carried the wicked gleam.

So what if he was right! Does it mean he should be vocal about it! And did he have to wear that damn red Tshirt which made him look even more sexier and hotter ! Besides, he was standing too close for her comfort! The heat of his body burning into her. Now that's three more reasons to add to the hate list! But damn! Why were her own ammunitions working against her and making her weak under his magnetic presence! She clenched her hands by her side, steeling herself from giving into the traitorous urge of throwing herself at him. Hate Nikki! Trying hating that man! Make him pay for every tear you shed the whole of last night!

"Do you even know anything good in a marriage?" she thundered "You're only good at jealousy and possessiveness, both bad, for a marriage.

"I am also extremely good in one aspect of marriage," he replied, his eyes glittering wickedly. "and going by your response everytime, I can safely say I ace it!"

In went another addition to the hate list! But he's right!" another voice reminded her. 'Shut up!" she smothered it down.

"Will you shut up?" she chided him aloud, gritting her teeth, her cheeks searing hot. "What I meant, I don't want to live with a husband who's ready to punch every guy who's friendly to me!"

"I had reasons for it," he tossed. "firstly, the romantic cards were so blatantly addressed to my wife and secondly I heard with my own ears, Kunal saying he loved you and you telling him you were happy he had courage to say it. I was hurt, jealous and angry. I couldn't think properly. And see even Kunal said he'd do the same thing"

Nikki puckered her nose indicating she'd rather ignore the last line even if it was the truth, which she herself had acknowledged before the revelation.

'God! She's looking so gorgeous!' he gaped longingly at her. 'Her face glowing fresh and soft and her lips'.............oh my god! oooooooooooooh they were so kissable! Damn what torture! He's dying to grab at her, but, she's having him crucified with his hands clamped on either side. Please Nikki, please stop torturing me! Let me kiss you! Just one........only one.........okay a quick one."

"For the past one month, he wasn't able to tell Nidhi he loved her," Nikki was saying. "and I knew right through she was waiting for him to say it."

'Okay, atleast let me touch your face!' he was mentally pleading, then quickly shirked away his drooling to pay attention to what she was saying.

"That's why I was happy he finally had the courage to say it and he, too, was on cloud nine since Nidhi acknowledged his love! Him telling me he loved me was his way of saying he was grateful for my help!"

"I gathered that now!" he shook his head sheepishly. Good! Finally she scored ! She tossed him a smug, triumphant look.

"Poor Guy got punched for nothing!" she harped, wanting to send the dig deeper. "When I am all yours Abhi, how can you get so jealous?"

"I am all yours too, Nikki! Yet, given an opportunity you would have scratched Ayesha's eyes today just for looking tenderly at me.!" Ouch he scored!

"Imagine, if you were in my place and got to read cards containing love declaration for me and caught me happily embracing that same person who verbally expresses the same love words! Rational or irrational, jealousy and anger are bound to escalate!"

Nikki flustered with discomfort. Damn! He scored again! But she's still not going to admit he was right ! Where the bloody hell are my ammunitions! I need to attack!

"You just don't care about me," she pouted, "The whole of last night, you didn't bother to make up with me."

"I was also miserable the whole night, didn't sleep a wink!" he shook his head sadly. Ah! Atleast they were at par on something ! "and I know you'd have been miserable too! But I wanted to give you some time to calm down! You'll agree, I'm not entirely at fault here, but, I'm really sorry for upsetting you! Please forgive me for that! I was dying to come to you, but, I also knew, the state of mind you were in, you just weren't going to listen to anything I said!" Awww! So sweet! Now she wanted to take him in her arms!

"Ah! Yes! I could have always forced my way through and used that one aspect of our marriage which I know never fails us" he winked and grinned. She blushed deep red. "Such a bloody................ What the hell was she thinking, feeling sorry for him!" Annoyed, she punched him softly on the chest. Couldn't she have used some more force! Why worry he'd hurt?"

"But that's not what I wanted to do, since the issue was too sensitive!" Abhi continued. "I wanted the puzzle to be solved as soon as possible! I was absolutely sure you weren't having an affair with Kunal. But then, it did hurt me that you were still all for Kunal when you knew all along he loved you. After you left, claiming you had no proof to prove your innocence, I realized you had no idea about the cards till I showed them to you." So he did believe in her words!

"I then sat down and scrutinized each card, but, I couldn't find answers in them. The entire night, I spent opening, scanning, closing the cards every now and then and then mentally going through the staff, the interns, everyone and the happenings at the hospital. It was literally at dawn, I noticed the slight darker smudge on the letters "k". I then realized it was addressed to someone else and after rummaging my brains for a long time, I suspected it to be Nidhi's name, even though I wasn't sure about it. " He then paused and stared hard at her.

"I really wished you'd given me some hint about Kunal and Nidhi, Nikki! Atleast an indication they had a soft corner for each other, even if you didn't want to disclose they were in love!" Nikki felt a wrenching in her chest at the hurt in his eyes. "If I'd known the name before, I would have figured things out much earlier and this wouldn't have gone this far!" She lowered her eyes, unable to meet his gaze. "Neither do you listen when I keep telling you to keep relationships professional in the hospital!"

"Anyways, thanks to you and the detective work I did last night, I discovered I have an alternate career option!" he grinned. Nikki looked up at him. She couldn't help the tiny grin that erupted on her face.

"Then the first thing in the morning, I called up Kunal and went to his house. I showed him the cards and he was shocked. Said he wrote it for Nidhi, but, didn't know how your name came to be on it. So my doubts got confirmed and we, then, went to Nidhi's place. She confirmed the cards were from Kunal and she left them in her locker. Then, I asked them how many interns were still in the hospital when they were leaving. Nidhi said only Ayesha was there in the locker room, rest everyone left. Kunal then told me of Ayesha's interest in him and how he told her he was interested in Nidhi. I also recollected it was because of Ayesha, I entered your cabin and the moment I found the envelop, she made an excuse and left. And then, I pieced them all together and along with, Kunal and Nidhi, went to Ayesha's place and in front of her parents confronted her. First she refused to say anything, then after I lost my cool, she blurted out the whole thing."

Tears of joy simmered in her eyes. He did it all for her. She won't admit to him, but she could admit to herself she would also have been shattered if she was faced with something similar when it came to Abhi. She wouldn't be able to handle anyone paying extra attention or love to him or he doing likewise to some other woman. She actually wanted to scratch Ayesha's hand for touching him and her eyes for looking so moonily at him. She'd seen some of the female staff at the hospital swoon at him, but, getting close to him? No Way! He belonged only to her! While she cried and drew out her hate list for him, he spent all that time getting to the bottom of the issue! Did he still deserve to be hated?"

"Let's put all that happened behind us Nikki and move ahead," she heard him say shaking her out of her musings. "And now, can I please hold you?" he implored with a heart stopping smile.

She conceded he didn't warranty punishment but still hated to let him go free. She pouted at him and deliberately turned, leaving him gaping at her open mouthed.

"Are you still packing?" he asked calmly, his tone indicating he understood she was faking.


"Before you do, tell me about that truth which you still haven't told me."

Nikki was dying to laugh. "Ah! Now she got the right weapon to tease him a little more!" She was glad she had her back to him and he didn't see the smile on her face. Quickly, she composed herself and keeping a straight face turned to face him.

"What will you do if I walk away from you Abhi?" she asked seriously. "Na Na, let your hands stay where they are!" she rushed seeing him moving his hands towards her. With dejection and annoyance on his face, he placed his hands, back on the doors.

"You can only dream of it Nikki, I am not going to let you go anywhere away from me!" he said with vehemence, his brown eyes having turned darker. " Even if I have to physically tie you up, caveman style, I'll do it and keep you bound to me!"

"I'll stay " she replied softly, stunning him with the sudden change in her attitude. "and I'll tell you the truth!" She saw his face brightening "but, only on one condition." His brows furrowed warily. "Instead of force, I want you to use mush this time to get me to stay with you"

His eyes widened with disbelief as he stared at her for a long moment. Nikki was struggling to hide her smile. Tearing his gaze away, he looked to the floor. After a deep thought, he glanced back at her and then with a tiny smile on his lips, shook his head and went down on one knee. Taking her hand in both his hands, he planted a soft kiss on it, her stomach flip flopping in excitement.

"Nikki, I swear, I can't live without you and will never be able to live without you," his voice was genuinely emotional as he looked her in the eye. "I love you like crazy. So please don't go away from me!" he pleaded.

Her heart dancing with joy, she smiled at him and saw him smile too. One last attempt, she thought, one last attempt to tease him.

Tongue in cheek , she shook her head, pretending she was still unconvinced. He was taken aback.. He stared at her and shook his head like wise, accompanying it with a "not yet convinced?" questioning look which Nikki confirmed with a likewise shaking of her head. He sighed deeply. Then suddenly his whole stance changed. Mischief began to lurk in those sexy brown eyes.

"Please Nikki, Please don't go, Please, Please, " he started muttering, "that's if I let you go," he interjected in a lower tone, but, Nikki had heard it clearly.

"What did you say?" she asked him.

"I'm saying, please don't go Nikki, please, please, please." She could see he was trying his best to hide his grin.

"Such a Devil!" she muttered to herself, laughter bubbling inside her at his pertness. She knew he was confident she'd never be able to leave him. How she hated him for it! But how did it matter! She made the arrogant brute go down on his knee, something which no one could ever get him to do!

With a smug smile, she splayed a hand over her abdomen and flipping a saccharine sweet smile, said, "Hey my little one! How I wish you could see your father grovelling on his knees, just to know the truth about you and keep your mother forever by his side!"

Abhi looked at her as if someone socked him hard on the face! The colour was fast draining from his face, his eyes popped so wide as if they'd soon fall out of their sockets! Nikki couldn't stop the giggles anymore. For the longest moment, he knelt transfixed, unable to come out of his frozen stupor. Nikki chuckled

"Serves you Right darling husband!" she said mentally. "What makes you think, only you'll have the last say in everything!"

With a triumphant giggle, she held his head, on both sides, with tender hands and pulled it closer to her belly.

"Oh my God! A Baby?" he finally burst out in excitement. "We're pregnant!"

"Yes, we are!" Nikki confirmed with a smile, his head still in her hands.

He tossed an exhilarated look at her "When did you know of it?"

"Been suspecting it for the past few days but, had it confirmed yesterday morning! And then I tried telling you last night, but, you didn't let me complete! You pounced on me about Kunal instead!" she sulked.

"Gosh! That somebody else is.................?" She nodded her confirmation "Damn! Damn! what a fool I am!" he fisted his forehead. "I was so afraid you'd going to say that Kunal has also become important to you! I didn't want to hear it ! Never imagined about the baby! Its true isn't it! You aren't teasing me further Are you?"

Nikki laughed.

"Yes, my dear husband," she rocked his head from side to side and then up and down. "We're going to have a baby soon! And for the misery you put me through the whole of last night, you'll have to take special care of both of us, for the whole of the nine months!"

"That goes without saying Sweetheart! I'm going to be a slave to the two of you!"

"We'll see!" she laughed heartily. He saw joy and happiness had sparkled her eyes and her face was glowing, making his chest swell with pride that she was only his!

"God, I love you..........I love you like crazy......... and this little one here" he whispered and went on a rampage of ecstatic kisses all over her abdomen. An overwhelmed Nikki ran fingers of both hands into his hair, her eyes glittering with tears of delight. "I love you too!" she choked.

He then stood up abruptly and pulled her hard into him.

"Abhi, what are you doing? You forgot the rule of not touching me!" she chided with a teasing smile.

"I don't go by rules when it comes to you," he growled "You keep teasing me looking hot and sexy and then expect I shouldn't touch you? Its impossible for me to survive! Gosh! This was the worst punishment I've ever had. Now, I need this badly!" He clamped his lips on hers.

Nikki's giggle got smothered in his kiss. She ran out of all protests and fights. Thankfully, she had the presence of mind to add that No guarantee disclaimer to her hate list. Anyway, she didn't needed it any more! She had him! His love, his trust, his baby! Rapturously she responded to his delightful kisses.

He broke the kiss to say "Congratulations by the way," and before a breathless Nikki could even reply, he was back to kissing her all over her face, her jaw, her neck. And just when she was delighting in his passionate onslaught, he pulled back.

Now what? She wondered.

"Lets celebrate!"

"Huh? Oh ok.. Good idea!" she nodded "What should we do?" Huh? What's going on? Why was he moving away from her" disappointment snagged.

"Should we go out for lunch?" she asked looking puzzled as he dashed to the windows and pulled down the blinds, plunging the room in darkness.

"No!" he replied tersely.

"Then dinner?"

"No!" he replied again, shutting the bedroom door and striding towards her.

"Abhi what exactly are you doing ?" she finally asked wanting to put her confused mind at rest.

"Celebrating!" he said with a wide boyish grin.

"Celebrating?" her brows narrowed closer together. " Here? How and with what?"

"Here! With what we both thoroughly enjoy !" he winked and soon had her lifted in his arms.

Realisation dawned on her, making her flush with bewildered shyness.

"You mean.............?" she asked as he laid her on the bed

"Yes," he grinned, following her down on the bed and kissing her lips. "Do you have any objections?" he murmured against her mouth.

'Objections? Now what could those be?" wondered a dazed Nikki. She vaguely remembering making a list sometime back, but, she couldn't recall even one item on it! Her brains were too fogged by his kisses and her body was already in its surrender mode. And they loved each other! Why bother about anything else!'

"Hmmm? Any objections wifey?" She shook her head in the negative.

"Good! Now, lets spend the whole day celebrating!" he said, his voice hoarse with passion. "Cheers!" he toasted drinking the sweet nectar from her lips.

"Cheers!" an ecstatic Nikki replied, but it was muffled and lost somewhere in the intense fiery kisses he was splaying all over her.



Abhi shrugged out of his jacket as Nikki unlocked the front door and together, they entered the dimly lit foyer.

"Thanks Abhi for making it to the party," Nikki turned and smiled gratefully at him. "I almost thought you weren't coming."

He didn't answer. Tossing her a wry annoyed look , he was passing her to go to their room, but, his hand was tugged from behind by Nikki, making him stop in his tracks. He held his breath.

"You know something? Just because you look even more sexy and handsome when you are angry, you don't have to stay angry all the time!" she teased. "You're still sexy and handsome without it!"

He spun around, the jacket falling to the wooden floor. Shirking her hand angrily away, he advanced menacingly towards her. "Everything between us has now become a joke for you, isn't it" he roared.

"Abhi....." Nikki gasped,her heart sinking rapidly, her eyes wide with incredulity. "Gosh, she's never seen him this angry before!"

His eyes were glinting darkly as he pushed her hard against the wall, claiming her lips in a feral kiss. Nikki whimpered as her knees trembled and began melting like hot wax. His kisses always left her powerless and this one spiked with anger threw her into a free fall! All she managed to do was grab the front of his shirt and with eyes closed, clung on to him, hoping she'd survive the ride.

"Is this also a joke for you?" he growled when he broke the kiss. Before she could even think of a reply, his lips once again captured hers, kissing her fervently.

A tiny thought niggled at her, reminding her, she should be fighting against his anger, but, the expertise with which he was kissing her, wiped away all rationality. She never knew when she arched her body closer into his hard frame and melted into him pouring explosive passion into his whole system, shattering away his anger, leaving him with devastating hunger and need.

He then wrenched his mouth away from hers and stared at her, eyes heavily laden with passion and helplessness. No one could render him powerless and out of control, like she did! With a groan, he scooped her into his arms and strode towards their bedroom.


An enchanting silence hummed into the room. The bedside lamp was dimmed to its lowest, giving a soft warm glow to the occupants of the bed. He was lying on his back, staring at the ceiling, his right hand behind his head while the other was around her as he held her close to him, still relishing in their heated intimacy.

She lay partly over him, the comforter spread loosely over them, her cheek soft against his warm bare chest listening to the rythmnic beats of his heart and breathing. Her body was thoroughly sated from their intense lovemaking. Today, he was something different! Like a man possessed he rocketed her ecstatically over the edge! Unable to stop her profuse blushing, she bit her lower lip and traced her finger on his chest, playing with the tiny curled hairs on it.

Aware of arousal passionately wriggling its way into him, he pulled his hand away from his head and held her finger firmly, preventing another of her overpowering attack on his senses. All along, he'd been wondering which was the softest approach he could use to confront her with his doubts without hurting her feelings and spoiling this beautiful moment they just shared.

He inhaled deeply. "Enough is enough," he thought "There was never any doubt, like their hearts, their bodies were completely attuned together, but there were some questions that badly needed to be answered. Its time for some reckoning!"

"Abhi, I want to say something," he heard her say softly before he could utter a word.

"Hmmm" he forced a mumble.

"Besides you, there is someone else also............"she paused from an acute attack of shyness.

"How could you Nikki?" he stormed, his hand brutally crushing her finger.

His sudden blurting came more from fear of hearing her say something that would shatter his heart, rather than anger. Nikki lifted her head and stared bewildered into his face.

"When we have everything beautiful between us and when you know all about Kunal's feelings, why do you still encourage him?" There was anguish in his voice. Nikki sat upright, pulling the comforter upto her shoulder and continued to stare at him in puzzlement.

"But, what's wrong with his feelings Abhi? He's in love!"

Abhi blinked and then stared disbelievingly at her. "I don't believe this," he muttered striding out of bed and picking up the knee length black dressing gown from the chair wrapped it around him, his back towards her. Nikki noticed their clothes strewn all over the place and hot heat enflamed her face. Glancing around uncomfortably, she saw his shirt lying at the edge of the bed and quickly grabbing it, clad herself in it, revelling in his warmth it carried. He still had his back towards her and she saw him raking his fingers through his hair and shake his head. Then suddenly he whirled around and stared at her. His eyes still gleaming with incredulity.

"Let me get this straight! Kunal is in love and you don't feel anything wrong about it? Amazing!" he thundered, flailing both his hands.

A baffled Nikki climbed out of bed and sauntered closer to him.

"What could possibly be wrong with that?"

He gripped both her shoulders angrily "The fact that he's in love with my wife, that's whats wrong!" he barked,

"WHAAAT........What are you saying? Have you gone nuts?"

"Don't deny it Nikki, you know very well he's in love with you. You have proof of that!"

"Proof? What proof?" Her brows furrowed in perplexment as if he was speaking another language.

With a jerk he angrily released her shoulders and then walking to the bedside table, opened the drawer and pulled out the brown envelop. Then closing the distance between them in one stride, his eyes glinting fiercely, he took her hand and thrust the envelop into it.

With one puzzled glance at him, Nikki then looked into the envelop and pulled out the cards. She browsed through its contents, her pupils dilating in horror as she quickly scanned through each one of them.

"But........ But..........This isn't true!" she struttered in disbelief.

"What isn't true? This isn't Kunal's writing? This Nikki, he has addressed the cards to, isn't you? Is there another Nikki that I don't know of?"

"But how is it possible?" She asked him.

"Search me!" he shrugged.

Her eyes then shot wider, giving rise to anger in them as her thoughts moseyed on another track. "And basis of this, you believe I am having affair with Kunal?

"I didn't say that." He retorted truthfully. He always knew from his gut she wasn't having an affair and her willing surrender and passionate words as she melted under him, few moments back, reiterated her true and intense love only for him.

"All I am saying, you know Kunal is in love with you. You've always known since these cards were with you, then why are you encouraging him?"

" These cards.........with me? Where did you find them?"

"Where you kept them treasured! In your cabin drawer! Now try telling me you aren't aware of this?"

"No I am not!" she hollered

"Oh Come on Nikki, cut me some slack! These cards are proof of his love for you and stop denying you aren't aware of it! The time has come for you to tell me the whole truth, Nikki! Good or Bad, I want the truth!"

"The truth?" she snapped, her eyes flashing with anger as she clutched the lapel of his gown with both hands, the cards all dropping to the floor. "You really want to hear the truth?"

"Well yes, Kunal is in love! But, it isn't me he's in love with!"

"And yes, these cards are addressed to me and they're in Kunal's writing but I haven't any idea about these at all! And I have no evidence to exonerate myself. So bad luck if you cannot believe me. I can't do anything about it." she spat.

"And do you want to know the biggest and bitter truth of my life?" she choked as she jerked his lapels aggressively, her eyes shimmering with tears. "I'm beginning to hate myself for loving you! I know till my last breath and beyond, I'll never be able to stop loving you and I can't help but hate myself for that!"

She released her hold on the lapels with a jerk and walked towards the door, leaving him gaping dumbfounded at her. Once she reached it, she paused and turned to look at him, her eyes teary red.

"Yes there's one truth which I have kept from you and now I'll never tell it to you because there isn't any point. Our marriage is finished! By tomorrow evening, I'll be gone from your life!"

She turned and left, paying no heed to his calling of her name, after her.

Stunned out of his wits, Abhi went down on his haunches and picked up each card and carefully scanned through them.


With a groan Nikki opened her eyes and looked at the bedside clock. It was 10 am. "Gosh!" sleepily she slapped her head. Thank God its Sunday and she didn't have to rush to work. Her head was pounding heavily, result of a sleepless night. She'd been up till late, having cried loads and loads of tears for that pig-headed, insensitive, stony-hearted brute! It shattered her even more that he'd made no attempt to come to the room, after their showdown and mollify her. Tears prickled her eyes.

"I hate him. I hate him," she muttered hoping a continuous mantra of those words would work up the hatred, he so rightly deserved! She brushed her lips against the collar of his shirt which she'd continued to wear to bed snuggling in the feel of him, a tiny sop for the huge craving she had, the entire dreary night, for his presence.

Having brushed her teeth, she decided to get herself a cup of tea from the kitchen, since the help had her day off. She couldn't help detour to their bedroom. She noticed it was wide open and peeked through . He didn't seem to be around, so she entered the room and checked the bathroom. He wasn't there either! "Where did he go?" she wondered She then saw their party clothes, neatly folded and stacked on the chair near the window. She checked through the other rooms, and then entered the kitchen. He wasn't in the house! She glanced at her cell phone hoping he'd left a message for her, but, no luck there either.

"He's really too much!" she grumbled mentally as she switched the kettle on. "He didn't even bother to leave a note for her like he always did, if he ever had to leave before she woke up! Another good reason for hating him! She thought annoyance writ on her face.

Worry and apprehension slowly began to shadow her face. 'Was he happy with her decision? Was he looking forward to her leaving? After all the wonderful moments they've had in this beautiful marriage, didn't he want to give their marriage one chance? Was he ready to let her go so easily?' Her heart splintered at the thought.

Amid flowing tears, she had downed two cups of tea and a toast since she was hungry. A message beeped on her cell. It was a message from him.

"We have guests arriving home in 15 minutes. So be prepared!"

"Look at the gall of the man! Here she was heartbroken, their marriage is on the rocks and he is in a party mood, inviting guests over and ordering her around to fulfill her wifely duties! Oh how she hated his callousness! Another good reason to hate him! By the time he'd arrive home, she's gonna keep ready and signed, a fairly long list of reasons for hating him! She may have to place a NO GUARANTEE policy on them! But what the heck! Right now she needed to find enough ammunition to fortify her stance!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


"You've both been fighting! Haven't you?" Nikki turned hearing Muskaan's voice. After completing their internship, only Muskaan, from their intern gang, stayed back at Sanjeevani. Armaan and Riddhima got married and moved to London. Anjali also moved to London and Atul to Sanjeevani Delhi.

"Its true isn't it?" Muskaan broke through her thoughts.

"He's gone mad!" she replied indignation on her face. "He says I should stay away from Kunal. Can you believe it? On one hand he says he trusts me while on the other, he doesn't want Kunal anywhere near me."

"Hasn't he returned from Bangalore as yet?"

Nikki shook her head. "I can't believe he can ditch me on this day. He knows how important this party is for me!" There was sadness in her eyes.

"If he doesn't come for the party, it will only strengthen the speculation and rumours."

"Rumours? What Rumours?" Nikki looked disbelievingly at her friend who was hesitating to look her in the eye.

"Rumours about your closeness to Dr. Kunal."

"Muskaan, do I have to explain to you too that he is only my intern and that our families have been friends for many years! Even though he is a couple of years younger to me, we've grown up together and that is why we have a closer rapport."

"You don't have to explain anything to me Nikki. I can understand because I'm your friend. But then the staff of the hospital don't understand such things. Besides, the tension between you and Abhimanyu is so visible these days. Today itself, I heard a few nurses saying that your year old marriage is on the rocks and you're friendship with Kunal is the reason for it!"

"But that's not at all true!" Nikki gasped. "Our marriage is not on the rocks. We do have a few minor issues which all marriages do and which can be taken care of, as we both love each other like crazy!"

"I know, but, where is he? Shouldn't he be here for this party since it was your suggestion for Sanjeevani to have an annual party for its staff. As Head of Sanjeevani and your husband, his presence is important to show his support for you and that everything is fine with your marriage. Did he say what time he was coming?"

"He was scheduled to come home at 5pm today, but, hasn't arrived yet. He isn't even answering his phone. I can't believe he'd ditch me today!"


An upset and flustered Abhimanyu leaned back into the cushioned chair in his wife's cabin and closed his eyes. The offending cards, a declaration of love between his wife and her childhood friend, spread smugly on his desk.
This can't be true ! Nikki cannot have feelings for someone like Kunal. Granted she is a bit over friendly and over enthusiastic, but, definitely not the kind to have an affair. Besides, he knew in his heart, she loved him. He could see it in her beautiful eyes, he could feel it in her fervent response everytime he touched her, but then, why has she treasured these cards so preciously instead of thrashing them! And why has she continued her friendship with Kunal, instead of slapping him for harbouring such feelings for her! Why doesn't she stay away from him, She even went to the extent of fighting with him for Kunal, the day before he left for Bangalore!"

Anger exploded into him as he recalled their fight.

"Nikki, all I'm suggesting is, you maintain a professional relationship with Kunal in the hospital. You are a senior doctor now and he is your intern. Keep it at a professional level. Avoid over friendliness."

"Abhi, I am friendly to all my interns. I believe it makes them comfortable having an understanding senior than a strict one. Yes, Kunal is my childhood friend and I am a notch friendlier to him than the others, but, that's about it. It doesn't mean I am having an affair with him! Are you suspecting my character?"

"For God's sake Nikki, stop over reacting! Your over friendliness with him, isn't good for your reputation in the hospital."

"Don't take the excuse of the hospital Abhi! Why don't you just admit, you are jealous and you don't like my friendship with Kunal?"

"Yes, I admit I don't like your friendship with Kunal and I am jealous. That's not because I don't trust you, its just that I don't like any over-friendly men near you. My hand itches to punch them in the face. But, I am not asking you to stop your friendship. I can live with it as long as I know you are mine. Just keep that extra touching friendship away from the hospital!

"You are such a chauvinist pig!" she retorted in annoyance. "You just want to have things your way" she accused.

"Sorry I can't help it!" he shrugged nonchalantly.

"Just because we are married it doesn't mean you can dictate my life, Abhi," she snapped, peeved with his callousness. "I'm not going to spoil my relationship with my close male friends just because you say so!"

"Fine, if you'd rather spoil our relationship. Have it your way!" he told her and walked into the guest room where he spent a restless night, before catching the flight the next morning for Bangalore.

The whole of the next day was a busy one and whilst in a meeting in the evening, he saw her call, but, but was unable to take it. The moment he got free, he called back, but found her cell unreachable. He then called home and was told she called to say she would be coming late as she was having dinner with Kunal.

Jealousy roared through him as his eyes fell on the cards once again. He had chanced upon them when he came in an hour back to the hospital.
The moment he landed, he saw a few missed calls on his cell and had to come to Sanjeevani for an emergency. After checking on his patient in the ICU, he was on his way to his office when he saw Ayesha, the intern standing outside Nikki's cabin.

"You want something?" he asked from behind and saw her start. "I'm sorry," he muttered. "What are you doing here? Its Saturday and I thought most of the staff are home by this time, getting ready for the annual party this evening."

"Er......Dr. Modi, I had left a file for Dr. Nikita to sign. But, since she isn't around, I was wondering if I could check her table for it."

"Fine, I'll come in with you and let her know about it."

While Abhi stood near Nikki's chair, Ayesha began to check the table for the file, but, wasn't able to find it.

"Dr. Modi, can I check the drawer for the file?"

'I'll do it!" he said opening the drawer. On top lay a big brown envelop with Love from Kunal scribbled on it. Abhi picked up the envelop and peeking through it, saw a bunch of cards inside them.

"Er..........Dr. Modi," Ayesha slapped her forehead. "I just remembered Dr. Nikita said she would pass the file to Dr. Keerti. It must be with Dr. Keerti. I'll check with her."

Abhi was too dazed to reply. Ayesha stared at him in puzzlement and quietly left the room.

He pulled out the cards. There were six printed romantic cards hand addressed Nikki my love, signed yours forever, Kunal.

Abhi slumped down into the chair.

He read through the printed words of each card. One well versed card described how from being "Just friends" they graduated into "being in love" Every word, every line of every card speared painfully into him. The worst of it all was a tiny card which was velvety red and blank on the top cover and inside scribbled in rich red inked pen Nikki my love followed by the handwritten words "Everytime you stand in front of me, I can only gape speechless at you. Tonight I hope to find courage to voice the feelings which these cards have been communicatiing to you! Yours forever, Kunal."

Abhi took a deep breath and rose angrily from his chair
"Its time to confront his wife!"


Every person she came across at the party seemed to have only two questions to field at her.

"Dr. Nikita, Is everything alright?"

"Isn't Dr. Modi going to attend the party?"

Muskaan was right. There was speculation about her and Kunal. She could see it in the probing eyes of the staff of Sanjeevani. How did she not see it before! Perhaps Abhi saw it too and tried to warn her, but, she thought he was being jealous and unreasonable. No matter how deeply they loved each other, yet, they were ready to pounce on each other on the slightest pretext! But then never for too long! Passion and desire crushed down every bit of anger and heated words in no time! Oh how she missed him! How much she looked forward to this day.

It was she who put in the suggestion to Abhi, for an annual party at the end of the year for the staff of Sanjeevani so that everyone could use one evening to forget their hectic life and enjoy themselves. She got a signature campaign and showed him how 95% of the staff welcomed the idea. He then agreed and asked her to organize it, since it was her idea. For the past two months, she worked hard with HR and found this beautiful seaside bungalow which was being rented out for weddings and parties, organized the catering and everything else, to make this party a success. And going by the amount of dancers on the dance floor, the party was indeed rocking, but though, everyone seemed to be enjoying the party, she wasn't.

Her eyes kept darting to the entrance hoping for a glimpse of the man she loved, her husband, but, there was no sign of him. Tears of being abandoned, prickled her eyes. Quietly, she walked through the back door till she had reached the tall palm tree on the back lawn. She was glad no one was around and also glad for the darkness, except for the silvery light coming from the full moon

"Where are you Abhi?" her heart thrummed. "I'm sorry for fighting with you. I promise you I won't fight again! Please come to me. I miss you. Please don't let me down" she whispered.

She dialed his number a couple of times and saw it was being disconnected from the other end.

This meant he was still angry. How stupid she was to fight with him! She knew how hot tempered he was and how difficult he could be when consumed with anger and jealousy. Couldn't she have just cleared his suspicions? Why had she let ego take over instead? Secretly she loved his jealousy and possessiveness, yet, those were the very things that also had her fighting against him!

A hand was clamped on her shoulder and her heart leapt with joy!

"Abhi!" she whispered, whirling around in excitement. But, the ecstatic smile died half way through.

"Sorry to disappoint you Nikki,"

"Kunal what are you doing here?" They both said simultaneously.

Kunal grinned at her. His handsome boyish face having brightened up

"I was entering the hall when I noticed you leaving from the back door and so came to check on you. Is everything alright?"

"Kunal, we need to cut down on our friendship in the hospital. There are talks about us and I am not liking it."

"Oh I am sorry. I never realized it."

"Me too. I only knew of it now."

"Hasn't Dr. Modi returned from Bangalore as yet?"

"No, it doesn't look like it." she said sadly, lowering her eyes in an attempt to hide her tears from him.

"Don't look sad. He must have got stuck in something important, but, I am confident he'll be here soon. He knows this party is important to you and he'll definitely be here in support."

"Thanks Kunal, you are a wonderful friend. But, not everyone understand our friendship."


Having gone home and changed for the party, Abhimanyu Modi parked his car in the slot allotted to him in the driveway, some blessings of being the top man! As he climbed up the stairs to the porch, he could hear loud music coming from inside the bungalow. The party was in full swing, but, he was in no mood to join in. Yet, he had to! Inquistive members of the staff would have a watchful eye on him and Nikki tonight. Not that he cared about any of them, but, he did care about Nikki's reputation. Their verdict would be based on his and Nikki's behaviour tonight.

Just then his phone rang. He saw it was the hospital. He climbed down the stairs and moving to the corner of the lawn, answered the call. When he was done and disconnected, his eyes strayed to the back lawn. He could see a couple under the palm tree. He couldn't see the lady's face as she was sheltered by the guy who had his back towards him. He was tall, almost his height and had one hand on the trunk of the tree. Abhi couldn't help smile. Some couple stealing a romantic moment.! How many times he and Nikki did that! He turned to go but just then the lady moved her head flicking her hair back, her face glowing under the glare of the full moon having him transfixed with her beauty, like she always did.

"But, Damn! She was his wife and there was no doubt who the B******d with her was!"


"Yes, I did it!" Kunal smiled.

"You kidding?" Nikki looked disbelievingly at him. "You didn't? you chickened, Right?"

"No I did! And even got an answer?"


"It's a Yes!"

"Yes?" Nikki still looked disbelievingly at him. Then when his words had sunk in, her eyes danced with joy. "Yes! Yes ! Yes!" she repeated ecstatically, throwing her arms around him and embracing him tightly. He laughed aloud

"Thank you," he told her hugging her back. "You're wonderful. I love you!" he told her.

"Finally, you had the courage to say it!" Nikki sighed in relief.

A strong arm suddenly tightened around her waist and before she knew what was going on, she was pulled back into a hard muscled body and saw Kunal being fisted in the jaw, sending him hurtling to the grass below, blood oozing from his lip and nose.

"Kunal!" she gasped in horror and then glancing up sideways, found herself looking into steely chocolate brown eyes which were glinting darkly. "Abhi what have you done to him?"

"Feeling sorry for him? Forget it!" he rasped, gritting his teeth angrily.

"And you!" he snarled at Kunal who was still dizzy with the punch. "the next time I see you anywhere near my wife, I'll kill you."

"You don't understand.........." Kunal moaned, still reeling with pain.

"I meant every word I said. So stay away from my wife!" The "my wife" possessively and deliberately emphasized.

He then swirled Nikki by the waist and taking her hand, wordlessly, dragged her towards the back porch.

"Abhi, stop!" Nikki yelled angrily at him as she was being hurdled up the stairs. "Abhi whats gone wrong with you? What kind of behaviour is that?"

"Shut up and come with me. We've got to go inside and show our faces and also, pretend we are still in love in front of the staff tonight as a damage control for yours and your lover's behaviour of the past few days."

"We don't have to pretend. We do love each other and he isn't my lover .........he is .......

"Just leave it and go along with what I do," he said throwing open the back door. With his arm possessively around her waist he guided her into the hall. There was a loud gasp as the staff of Sanjeevani stared at the beautiful couple. He dressed in a self printed black jacquard shirt teamed with a dark brown jacket and black denim pants and she dressed in a black saree sprayed with silver work all over, with a narrow silver border teamed with a silver beaded string blouse.

"Sorry for being late guys!" Abhi announced. "Hope you're all enjoying yourselves?"

"Yes. Dr. Modi" chorused the happy crowd. "Thank you for the party"

"That credit goes to my lovely wife!" he said darting a cursory glance at her before going back to the others. "It was entirely her idea and she worked hard on it. So she deserves the whole credit and applause."

"Thank you Dr. Nikita" they chorused giving her a thunderous applause. Nikki flashed a smile at them, all the while, her body tingling with sensations caused by her husband's sensuous hand around her waist.

The song Tera Hone Laga hoon started to play in the background.

"Why don't you both join in the dancing Dr. Modi?" someone called out and there was another chorus of "Yes, Yes!"

"Yes, of course!" Abhi smiled at them. He then looked at Nikki, the smile still plastered on his face but not reaching his eyes. "Shall we Sweetheart?" He extended his hand. Nodding her head, Nikki placed her hand in his and followed him to the centre of the dance floor.

As they swayed to the music, he tugged her closer to him, the pull rough and angry. As her body arched and angled against his lean, muscled frame, she felt jitters of pleasure sweeping into her and her senses were beginning to run riot. Oh how she loved the feel of him! How much she missed him. She wanted to throw herself at him, but, the tautness in his jaw told her he was terribly angry with her. How she wished they were not fighting? This time things certainly seemed to have blown out of control. She needed to make him understand there was nothing between her and Kunal.

"Abhi........"she whispered looking loving into his face. "Abhi, there is nothing between Kunal and me, we are just friends........ You shouldn't have hit him like that!"

"There are only two things a husband would do when he sees his wife in another man's arms," he interrupted. "Either he'd kill the B*****d or he'd give up and leave her. But I prefer doing it differently. The punch was a death warning for Kunal and I'll be damned if I let you go away from me, Nikki. I'll fight with all I have but I won't let you go from me." Nikki gasped at his brutal honesty.

"But, I don't want to go away from you, Abhi" She told him. "I love you."

"And that's why you were embracing your so called just friend when he was declaring his love to you, something which you were waiting for !"

"Abhi that's what I want to say ........"

"Leave it Nikki........ Lets not get into this right now. Everyone is watching us!"

"Abhi, please lets not fight!" she whispered gently touching his face. Her touch sent something hot and fierce into him, pushing his anger momentarily at the back of his head, as he stared longingly at the beautiful woman who always drove him crazy. Right now, she was looking even more gorgeous in the saree and he felt desire flare into him. He took her hand he was holding and placed it on his chest. She could feel his heart pounding violently. Then, both his hands snaked down to her back and he pulled her even more closer to him, crushing her body against his. Her hands slithered to the back of his neck and grasped him tightly at the nape, her eyes glazed with desire, her lips quivering with need. "Damn, he wanted to kiss her and he wanted it so bad!"

"Nikki," he whispered in a hoarse groan,

"Abhi" she whispered back, her voice echoing his pent up emotions.

A loud thunderous applause shook them reminding them they were in a crowd and not in the lost private world of their own! With shy, embarassed smiles, they acknowledged the applause and teasing remarks of the gathering.

"Chalo, atleast now the rumours and speculations would be put to rest!" Muskaan told Nikki sometime later when the two were standing alone away from the crowd. Nikki's eyes were on Abhi, standing across the room as he chatted with few of their colleagues.

"When the two of you are together, you are completely lost into each other!" Muskaan teased. " The whole world is forgotten! Isn't it?"

Nikki blushed. Her eyes flipped, once again, to Abhi and saw he was watching her intensely. Their eyes lock. He then turned and walked out through the back door. Her heart sank with disappointment.


Abhi stood on the back porch facing the lawn, his shoulders slightly slouched as his hands gripped the iron railing, his eyes staring into space. The palm tree reminded him of Kunal telling Nikki he loved her and her happiness he finally said those words. Pain and fear ripped through his chest. He couldn't be losing Nikki! He loved her! Damn! Where had he gone wrong? Despair mingled with anger and he thumped his fist on the railing. He was willing not to believe the cards, but, how could he push back their clandestine meeting under the palm tree, away from everyone and then their joyous declaration! Yet, when they were dancing, he could see the love in her eyes. Was that gleam because of her love for him or was it because she was elated with Kunal's words.

The clinking sound of glass bangles brought soft hands around him and before he knew it, he felt her face resting against his back, the whiff of her perfume stirring his senses. Tempted to lean back into her, he braced himself stiff and squeezed his eyes shut.

"Hey," she whispered "Why are you here? Why aren't you inside?"

"I wanted to be alone!" he replied, his voice cold and terse.

"Even away from me?" she teased, ignoring his coldness and leaned even more into him. She then tilted her face up sideways into his face and he caught her gaze which was dancing impishily. "God, he loved her!" he moaned inwardly. "He loved her with every beat of his heart!"

He grabbed her hand and aggressively pulled her in front of him, grasping her tightly in his arms and crushing his lips hungrily against hers. She gasped convulsively under his sudden assault, but, his passionate heat soon had her lifting her hands, scooping them around his neck, her fingers lacing into his hair as she deepened her response to his plundering mouth. Timeless moments later, when their passion had intensified, he pulled back with a low growl and stared into her face.

Can he just push back those latest painful discoveries about her? Can he just pretend they didn't exist? Can it just be him and her and their love and the rest forgotten? But how could he do it! No matter how painful, he had to find the truth from her!

"Lets go home!" he said softly. Nikki blushed. The desire and passion in his eyes gave her a feeling things would be fine between them.

"Let's go in and say our goodbyes," she replied. He nodded his head and putting his hand on the small of her back, led her inside

to be continued......

Monday, May 10, 2010



"Your father drives me Mad!" a frustrated Nikki who was standing in front of the dresser mirror, hollers at her daughter. The cherubic faced doll was sitting on the bed with few pillows propped at her back and sides, babbling and banging her toys that were lying near her.

Realising her mother was speaking to her, she looks up and puts a finger on her lip, as if she was trying to figure out what her mother was saying.

"Even on a Saturday he can't be home early! And then makes big promises "Promise we'll have dinner tonight Sweetheart" eyes flashing with annoyance Nikki mockingly immitates her husband.

"Brshshh" herdaughter puffs, waving her fists happily at her mother. Nikki grins and going to her, tenderly brushes her nose against hers.

"Way to go! We both need to teach him a good lesson!" Nikki winks at her daughter and rains kisses on her fists. An elated Aahana happily blows raspberries showering her mother's face with few a spash of her drooling. Laughing heartily, she wipes the spit from her face.

She can't help ogle at her daughter who is now whole of six months and is looking even more beautiful, her cheeks have gone chubbier, her eyes round and dark like hers and she had the most charming smile like her father. She was able to to sit up and has started lifting her bottoms in an attempt to crawl.

The past six months were joyously heavenly as they began to discover a new world with their daughter. Every little action of hers would bring tears of pride in their eyes. As Aahana settled into a nightly rhythm , she was shifted to her own little room, which was an extension of their own room, partitioned by a sliding door. Both of them took turns to go to her whenever she would wake up in the night.

When Nikki resumed work after four months, the first few weeks were trying times with Aahaana who was gripped with separation anxiety from her mother. Slowly she understood that her parents would be away for most part of the day and she would be in company with her grandmother and nanny.

Both, Abhi and Nikki spent a good amount of quality time in the morning, playing with her, feeding her, getting her into a routine and a happy frame of mind, when they left for work.

Aahana grudgingly accepted the routine and began to enjoy the company of her grandmothers and nanny. However, if she woke up in the middle of the night, she was not ready to accept any other person, but, her mother or father.

She had one fiery temper and most of the time her father had to face her wrath especially if he was not home by her sleep time. On such nights, she would insist he play with her for a while, no matter what part of the night and then snuggle against him and sleep.

A giggle breaks from Nikki as she looks at the sweet, innocence on her daughter's face. No one would believe such an angel could drive everyone up the wall!

Between their work at the hospital and the attention needed to be given to their daughter, Nikki looked forward to those times, when Abhi and she, would try to steal every few precious moments they could manage and immerse themselves into each other. And then, there would also be those times when he would annoy her by committing to her and then backing out due to some emergency or the other. Inspite of understanding him, Nikki couldn't help rue their lost moment of togetherness and be upset with him. She hoped today wasn't going to be one of those bad days!

Her daughter taps her with her favourite rattle bringing her out of her thoughts. Nikki smiles tenderly at her and kisses her hand. Then sliding out of the bed she stands up.

"Okay tell me Sweetheart. How do I look? Tantanan Tan" she does a little twirl on her heels and comes in front of the bed, her daughter looking completely perplexed at her.

Happy to be back to her original figure, she was dressed in a midnight blue , strappy V necklined, chiffon dress. Its skirt was fitting at her slim waist and flowed down delicately just below her knees. An amused smile erupts on her face as as she looks at her daughter whose round dark eyes told her she was completely at loss with her mother's antics.

Mischief playing on her mind, she puts her hand on her waist and haughtily throwing her nose upwards, she turns her right side towards her daughter, lifting her shoulders slightly up. Narrowing her eyes smokily, she asks seductively "Do I look pretty?" Then turning her left side in, she questions, "Do I look sexy?" and then once again facing her daughter wholly, with eyes dancing, she asks, "Do I look beautiful for my Princely husband?"

Her daughter gapes at her, blinking hard a couple of times, reminding her of Abhi whenever she seduced him into silence. Nikki couldn't help the peals of laughter that burst forth from within her

When she was able to control her laughter, she looks at her watch and seeing it was 7pm her face turns glum. Abhi was supposed to be home a hour ago.

"Abhi" she whispers sadly "Please aaja" she calls out desperately.

She then noticed her daughter was beginning to look sad. She recognized that look as it would appear, whenever she sensed her mother was upset. Flashing a wide smile and babbling at her, Nikki tries to assure her everything was fine, but her daughter still looked agitated. Nikki knew she had do something. Draping her black stole that was lying on the edge of the bed, over her shoulder, she decides to amuse her daughter doing a little jig and singing,

Aaja chayi Bahaar

Dil hai Bekarar O Mere Rajkumar

Tere Bin Raha na jaye



Delighted, her daughter breaks into babbling and loud happy squeals, excitedly thumping her hand on the bed. Little did Nikki know, that the squeals were not only for her mother's performance, but, also for her father who had entered just as she had started singing the song. A wide amused grin on his face Abhi stealthily approaches his wife, startling her as he suddenly grabs her around the waist singing

Aasmaan se aaaya Farishta Pyar ka sabak Shiklane

Dil mein hai tasveer yaar ki laaya hoon who diklane,


When she was able to get her breath back, Nikki tries to wriggle out from his grip, but he turns her around to face him and continues with the song

Kaho Pyar hai humse,

Nikki replies Ja Ja

Oh Jaana, kaho pyar hai tumse.

Singing Ja Ja Ja Nikki shoves him away and goes to the bed sitting down beside her daughter.

Abhi follows her down on the bed, his stomach over her legs, he reaches for his daughter and nuzzles his face into her belly bringing loud happy squeals from her. She puts her tiny cherubic hands on his head and pats him happily. He looks up and smiles at her and then looks at his wife who sulkily pouts at him. Putting his thumb under her chin, he sings,

Humdum Mere Maan bhi jao

Kehna mere pyar ka

Are halka halka surk labhon pe

Rang toh hai ikraar ka'


Trying to hide her blushing, Nikki glares at him and grabbing his thumb, squeezes it tightly. She then digs her finger at his throat and sings.

Maar Diya jaaye, Ya Chod diya jaaye

Bol Tere saath ka sulak kiya jaaye

Bol Tere Saath ka sulak kiya jaaye

Abhi laughs and gently tugging at her long hair, sings

Khuli palak mein joota gussa
Band palak mein pyar
Jeena bhi muskhil, Marna bhi muskhil
Aankhon mein ikraar ki jalki
Honton mein inkaar
Jeena bhi muskhil, Marna bhi muskhil

Finding it difficult to stifle her laugh, Nikki slaps his hand away and stands up. Then with a sugary smile, she waves at him, singing

Main chali, main chali peeche peeche jaahan

yeh na pucho kidar

Yeh na pucho kahaan.

Main Chali Main Chali.


Abhi blocks her path with his legs. He then lunges forward and grabs on to her hand, pulling her back on to the bed. Tugging her gently making her fall over him, he looks deeply and seductively into her eyes, he sings,

Is Rang badalti duniya mein
Insaan ki neeyat teek nahin

Niklana na karo tum saj daj kar

Imaan ki neeyat teek nahin


Nikki drums her hands tenderly on his chest, trying to wriggle out of his grasp

"Right now your neeyat doesn't seem to be any good !" she tells him dryly.

"You are looking so ravishing, my neeyat is absolutely perfect, just how it should be!" he tells her, grinning wickedly " See for yourself. Look, look into my eyes and tell me what you see"

Little Aahana was enjoying the little wrestling between her parents. Besides that, her father's head was in between her tiny legs, one of them being folded and his hair felt ticklish against her soft skin. She kept cooing and gurgling joyously.

"Abhi leave me what are you doing? That too, in front of your daughter?"

"I don't think she has any objection? Do you sweetheart?" neck stretched, he looks up at her and was rewarded with a gummy smile.

"See she says she has no objection."

"Abhi you are mad!" Nikki tells him. "Leave me" everytime she would struggle, Aahana would squeal in delight, making Abhi grin wickedly.

"See! she is enjoying it! Now I won't leave you till you tell me what you see in my eyes."

After wrestling with him for few minutes, Nikki rolls her eyes and surrenders to his demand, mumbling "Uffo Baba!" She then looks into his eyes, an obvious mistake because she just kept drowning into their depths making her sing,

"Jadu hai nasha hai madhoshiyaan

Tujko bhulake ab jao kahan

Dekti jis tarah se teri nazre mujhe

Main khud chupa lo kahan

Jadu hai nasha madhosiyaan

Tujko Bhulake ab jao kaahan.

Suddenly there was silence in the room as they were completely lost into each other. As if in a trance Nikki lowers her face and places her lips on his. Clasping her tightly in his arms Abhi deepens the kiss.

Little Aahaana for her life couldn't fathom why her chirpy parents had suddenly gone all quiet. She tilts her head sideways, then up and down, trying to figure out what was going on in between the two bobs of head in front of her face. Few puzzling moments later, all her baby efforts gone in vain, she decides it was best to ask them.

"Hey Guys, What's going on?" she babbles happily, her flat palm patting her father's head and another at her mother's arm that was clinging on to his neck. Abhi and Nikki break their kiss and look at her, broad grins spread on their faces.

Throwing his head back on the bed, with Nikki still in his arms, Abhi blows fish kisses at his daughter. She leans forward and babbling happily, rains tender slaps on his face. Abhi begins to play with her by kissing her palm before it touched his face.

A giggle from Nikki makes her turn towards her mother. Finding her mother bending over her father, she thought perhaps this was some new game as her mother always teaches her different games. Imitating her mother, she too bends over him and opening her mouth, she tries to kiss him. However, she had her saliva driveling all over his face instead bringing a hearty laugh from Nikki she sees Abhi's face damp with their daughter's drooling. Also in splits, Abhi shuts his eyes tightly and moves his face around, trying his best to evade his daughter's drool, especially , it getting into his eyes.

Gently he releases Nikki from his hold. Picking up the box of the tissues from the bedstand, a giggling Nikki puts it on the bed. Laughing heartily, they both set about wiping the drool from his face. Oblivious to the impact of her action, little Aahana kept babbling and gurgling happily. Realising their daughter was not done with him and ready with a fresh set of drool, Nikki decides to rescue her husband from another attack and lifts her up.

"Go get ready!" she tells him. "I'll take her to her room and put her to sleep. We need to be back in a couple of hours before she wakes up again."

"Okay and then we can also ''" he winks at her, his eyes glinting wickedly.

"Will you shut up and go," Nikki tells him, colour creeping in her face. "Or I'll cancel dinner too!"

"Okay, Okay I am going! Don't yell," his hands were raised up in surrender. "It will just take me five minutes."

Standing abruptly, he strolls towards the bathroom. His daughter did not like his behavior at all. After all the attention she showered on him, he casually walks off, without saying a word to her. Deeply upset she wails out loudly startling both of them. As Nikki begins to rock her, Abhi rushes towards them.

"Oh My God Abhi she is upset with you. You didn't speak to her before going." Abhi rolls his eyes in despair. "Good God!" he groans. Apologetically, he touches his daughter's hand, but she shirks it away and wails even more loudly, burying her face into Nikki's chest for comfort.

"Now there is no chance of any escape for you Abhi!" Nikki shakes her head in exasperation. "You dared to go without telling her? There goes our dinner plans too!"

"That's because I was concentrating on you! God! Both of you drive me nuts!" Abhi begins to shudder. He knew how fiery his daughter's temper could be if provoked.

In midst of trying to calm her daughter, Nikki also felt laughter bubbling inside her as she takes in Abhi's face, completely, flushed with anxiety. "Who would have imagined, the fiery Dr. Abhimanyu Modi could be so pertrified by a tiny tot who couldn't even talk or walk properly!"

"You really enjoy it na?" Abhi retorts irritatedly, noticing the glimpses of amusement in her eyes. Shaking his head, he leans over his daughter and proceeds to rain kisses all over her, muttering "I am sorry sweetheart!"

At first he was greeted with stiff resistance. Then her crying slowly subsided to soft whimpers with a throw of suspicious glances at him on and off. Snuggled protectively in her mother's arms, she continued to look askance at him for quiet some time. After a while, Abhi braves an attempt and darting a charming smile at her, he puts his finger in between her palm. She closes her fingers tightly over it, bringing happy smiles from Abhi and Nikki. Nervously, Abhi takes her from Nikki, both looking anxiously at each other, hoping she doesn't start another bout of crying, also knowing, if he didn't do it, she would be sulking badly. Gently he puts her against his chest and she snuggles sleepily into it. Abhi rolls over and lying on his back, rests his head on Nikki's lap. He gently puts his palm on Aahaana ears and soothingly hissing 'Shhh Shhh" softly, he tries to put her to sleep.
She would keep opening and shutting her eyes. Every time she opened her eyes, she would stare at her parents' face, one above the other and shut it again. She kept doing it for sometime as sleep slowly started creeping into her. Looking down at the two precious people on her lap, Nikki is deeply overwhelmed. Gently she puts on hand on her daughter's head who now seemed to have finally fallen asleep and the other she places on her husband's forehead, running her fingers gently into his hair.

There was a peaceful and happy silence in the room. When they were assured their daughter was in deep sleep, they go to her little room. Abhi puts her gently down in the crib, while Nikki pulls the blanket over her.

They stand back and watch her tenderly, Nikki resting her back against Abhi as he held her in his arms.

"Phew!" Abhi sighs in relief. "Looks like I'll be spending all my life mollifying the two of you!" he whispers. Nikki giggles.

"You finished with your daughter right? Now if you don't want to spend the entire night mollifying your wife, you better hurry up for dinner." She hisses, careful not wake up their daughter

"Fine I'll do the dinner, but you promise you'll provide the dessert," he teases, bringing his lips closer to hers, which Nikki stops by clamping her hand over them.

"Not now!" she mutters under her breath


"Because then you don't stop!"

"I promise to be good!" he blinks at her but Nikki knew he was faking it.

"Go" she glares at him "or else you'll be giving company to your daughter and getting baby cereal as dinner for the next one month."

Abhi puckers his nose, making Nikki bite her lower lip as she tries to stifle her giggle. Catching her off guard, he suddenly sweeps down and places a firm kiss on her lips. "This is just to keep me going till dessert time," he winks walking towards the door. Nikki flings a soft cushion at his back which had no impact on him.

"This man always drives me mad!" she grits, rolling her eyes in exasperation.

Then looking down tenderly at her sleeping daughter she smiles. A few minutes ago she had her father quivering with worry and now she looks so angelic in her sleep.

"We both know how to twist him around our fingers, Don't we Sweetheart?" she whispers grinning mischievously. Blowing a tender kiss at her daughter, she walks towards their room.

Its time to to give some attention to her darling husband and demand lots and lots of attention from him. Her cheeks were flushed with an impish blush.


1) This epilogue is on special request from Fahi. Fahi, I hope I did not let you down

2) I have used old hindi movie songs, because I thought the lyrics went well with the scenes. Since I am sure a lot many of you may have not heard the songs, I hv also provided youtube links, just to understand the tunes.......

Thank you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

CONNECTED IN LOVE - Concluding Part

After spending a restless night missing Nikki and his daughter, Abhi woke up early morning and like a man in a tearing hurry, he rushed through everything just to get to them. In the passage, he bumps into Sid and as they tried to make way for the other, they ended up left-right-left-right blocking the other's path. Finally, Abhi roars "Grrrrrrrrrr" as loud as he could, making a trembling Sid turn his face to the wall and stand still, till his brother passed by. As he was rushing out, Rachna insisted he should have some breakfast because once he is in the hospital, he doesn't bother about eating. He protested but then with her scolding, he grudgingly sat down at the table. Even then, he only gulped down two spoons of muesli and dashes out of the house. Looking at her harried son, Rachna rolls her eyes in amusement.

When he entered Nikki's room, he was surprised to see she was already up and feeding Aahaana.

"Missed you," he tells her lovingly as he bends down to kiss her. "I missed you too," Nikki replies, her face glowing with happiness on seeing him. Looking down at his daughter cradled in her arms, they notice she stopped her feed and was staring at him. His chest squeezing with joy, he plants a kiss on her head and whispers "I missed you too Doll!" She immediately reciprocated with happy gurgling sounds bringing a wide grin on Abhi and Nikki's faces.

As she continued her feed, Abhi enquires about Kavita and Nikki tells him she needed a stretch, so she went to the canteen to catch up with some coffee.

Just when Aahaana finished her feed, Nikki's breakfast arrives. Abhi takes his daughter from Nikki telling her to have her breakfast.

"She has to burp," Nikki tells him

"I know, I can do it" he tells her giving his daughter his most charming smile.

He puts her over his shoulder and gently strokes her back till she burps. Holding her in front of him, he then looks down at her face. As Nikki was having her breakfast she fondly watched as he cooed and babbled to their baby who was enjoying every bit of his attention and gurgling back at him. After few minutes, he had her cuddled against his chest. By the time Nikki was done with breakfast she was fast asleep.

Abhi gently puts her down in the crib. Nikki smiles as she sees him watching their baby with tender eyes. She goes near him and removing his hand that was on bar of the crib, possessively makes a place for herself in front of him, bringing an amused smile on his face. As she looks down at their baby sleeping so peacefully, he puts his arms around her waist and rests his chin on her shoulder. Nikki puts her hands over his and they continue to look adoringly at their little girl. After few moments of observing her in silence, they notice her smiling in her sleep and look at each other, their faces filled with amazement.

"She looks so angelic in her sleep. I really can't seem to get my eyes off her!" Abhi mumbles in her ears, bringing a smile on Nikki's face.

"I already had this big distraction in my life," he nuzzles his nose against Nikki's neck making her giggle "Now, I have another! What am I going do!" he groans.

Nikki continues to giggle.

"Don't giggle you naughty imp!" he sways her side to side. "I have a meeting to attend and I am finding it so difficult to leave. I don't want to go."

"Then, don't go!" Nikki replies with a nonchalant shrug.

"I wish it was that simple!" he tells her sadly. "you take care of yourself and our little Angel!"

"No" Nikki shakes her head impishily.

"No! Why?"

"I can only take care of this baby of yours," she tells him, pointing to their daughter."

"And why not this baby of mine?" he whispers, burying his face in her neck, his breath felt warm against her skin.

"Because ," Nikki turns in his arms and taking his face in between her palms, tells him, "this baby is okay only if you are around, do you understand?"

Abhi chuckles. Tipping his forehead to hers, he looks deeply into her eyes.

"I do understand, Sweetheart! But since I have to advance my paternity leave, I need to delegate quiet a few things. That's why we are having this meeting in half hour. Its almost getting to 8."

"I know, but I'll miss you," she pouts.

"I'll miss you too, but I am around. I'll keep dropping in between. Do you think I can stay without you and our little angel for long?"

Nikki still looked displeased. Abhi smiles again

"Okay I can do something. I can give you a sweet dose to keep you going till we meet next."

"Dose?" Nikki's eyebrows narrow in puzzlement.

"This!" he tells her putting his lips on hers and keeps it lingering hotly till she responds. Her senses deeply stirred, Nikki scoops her arms around his neck making Abhi intensify the kiss further. It was with great difficulty, they manage to pull away. "This should keep you going till I give you another power dose, when I come to see you next." his eyes were dancing mischievously.

Nikki laughs. "That won't be possible," she tells him. "We are in the hospital and there is always someone around."

"You think that will stop me?"

"You mean to say you can still do this in a room full of people?"

"Yeah why not! Moreover no one will even notice it!"

"How is that possible!" Nikki makes a wry face at him. "Being in the same room and they won't see? Are you going to be invisible? Invisible Dr. Abhimanyu Modi!" she mocks laughing heartily.

"Don't challenge me! I can do it." Abhi warns.

"Accha?" Nikki is trying her best to control her mirth. "Let me see it, then I'll believe you!"

"Okay, just wait and watch! Meanwhile how about a power dose for me, to keep me going till we meet next? I desperately need one!" he pulls her closer.

Nikki tweaks his nose. "You'll never ever be satisfied Dr. Modi! Will you?" "No!" he mouths. Nikki smiles and kisses him.

"Ah! Heavenly!" Abhi rolls his eyes dreamily.

During their lunch break, Anjali and Muskaan come to visit Nikki and find Simran there too.

"Good Afternoon Ladies," Abhi greets them entering few minutes later. As they reciprocate his greetings, he takes a peep at his daughter who was asleep in her crib and a tender smile spreads on his face. He touches her cheek gently.

"How long has she been sleeping?" he asks his wife walking towards her. He goes and stands near the the window side of the bed.

"About fifteen minutes." Nikki replies. "She should be asleep for a good hour or so."

"How sad yaar! Whenever we come, she is sleeping!" Muskaan tells them.

"Yeah we hardly get to hold her." Anjali agrees.

Abhi and Nikki smile at each other. Then looking intensely at his wife Abhi asks, "How are you doing wifey? I did come in between and saw you both asleep. Did the rest do you good?" She shakes her head in confirmation.

"Haan Nikki, we forgot to ask. how are you feeling?" Anjali tells her.

"Yeah, yeah you guys have forgotten me completely. Whoever comes, their first attraction is my daughter," she feigns hurt. "No one bothers about me, including my husband!" she bats her eyelids at Abhi who grins back at her.

"Nikki, don't say that yaar. Of course we care about you." Muskaan tells her consolingly.

"Di, I hope you are feeling alright. This must be a big stress on you," a concerned Simran also quips in.

"I am okay, but feeling a bit weak. I think I could do with a good power dose." She bites the end of her lip and looks at Abhi, her eyes were sparkling with mischief.

Abhi's lips pucker in amusement. She could see the colour seeping into his face and was thoroughly enjoying his embarrassment.

"Power dose? What powerdose ?" Anjali asks.

"I don't know I just feel I need something strong! Can anyone think of anything?" While the girls look confused at each other, she looks challengingly at her husband. They stare at each other, both, trying their best to hide their smiles.

"Well Hubby Dear, we have a full audience here. I would like to see how you still manage to do it," there was defiance in her eyes. "Better still, I am dying to know how are you going to make yourself invisible to them."

Abhi knew she had him well cornered and was testing him. "Ah ! Ah! Challenge wifey? You know very well, I love challenges" there was cool amusement in his eyes.

"Abhimanyu what do you recommend?" Anjali breaks into their eye exchange.

"I am working on it," he tells them, his fingers scrubbing his jaw, while his eyes were still fixed on his wife.

Then, to Nikki's astonishment, he bends over and brings his face closer to hers. She stares incredulously at him. She couldn't believe he was actually serious about it. She makes eyes at him but he wasn't paying any heed. He daringly kept bringing his face closer and closer. Nikki kept gulping in panic. Through the corner of her eye, she could see the girls were staring at them in confusion and embarrassment. Her cheeks had turned crimson red. She looks pleadingly at him but the determination in his eyes told her it was too late. She knew he was not going to turn back now. Her heart begins to beat rapidly.

Looking deeply into her eyes, he tells her. "Your eyes seem to be clear." He then touches her forehead "And your body temperature seems to be fine." Looking at the relief on her face, he grins mischievously. Her eyes were blazing as she darts a murderous look at him.

"We thought you were going to kiss your wife," Muskaan tells him and then exchanging looks with each other, the girls break into giggles . He turns and grins at them.

"Hey Girls, have you noticed Aahaana smiling in her sleep?" he tells them.


"Yeah," he confirms. "Observe her for good few minutes, you'll notice it."

As they eagerly turn their attention to the crib, he leans closer to Nikki. "And I'll give that much needed power dose to my wife," he mutters in a low tone.

Swatting him on his arm, Nikki chidingly mouths his name. He captures it with his lips kissing her deeply, sending her insides, into pleasurable raptures. However, she realized they were not alone. There were others in the room. Nervously, she drums her hand softly on his chest. "Abhi stop," she whispers shyly. "They'll see!"

"Wasn't it you who desperately wanted a powerdose, right here, right now, in front of them!" he teases bringing colour into her cheeks.

"I should have thought better than to challenge you in this. You are a pro in this field!"

"That's a good observation!" he grins. " Do you want me to make the dose even more powerful? I can. We are still invisible to them!"

Nikki giggles glancing at the girls as their eyes were attentively rapt inside the crib.

"Shut up!" Her cheeks felt hot, flushed from the uncontrollable blushing she was stricken with.

"Wow she smiled!" the girls exclaim ecstastically and turn to look at them.

"Perfect ! Mission accomplished!" Abhi winks at Nikki. She pinches his arm on the quiet and he grins wickedly.

"Oye Nikki, what happened to you? Are you feeling okay? Why are you so red?" Muskaan asks her, concern on her face.

"Yeah, Nikki you are completely flushed," Anjali agrees. "Poor You!" she coos. "Abhimanyu , you have to do something about it. You must work on something extra for her, a nice power dose as Nikki puts it! " Nikki was bubbling with laughter, but, she managed to stifle it.

"As you say doctors, I'll definitely work on it." he tells them, blinking his eyes innocently. He then turns those same innocent eyes towards his wife. The coy, abashment in her eyes clearly told him she was dying to kick him, once again bringing a wide grin on his face. It was Kavita and Rachna's entry that saved her from any further mischievous intention of her husband.

Friday afternoon, little Aahaana was warmly welcomed into the Modi House, blest with a little red tikka on the forehead by her grandmothers at the entrance of the house. There was a kind of festivity in the air, with family, friends, well wishers entering and leaving the house.

In the night, finding herself once again in a new surrounding, the little baby, kept her parents, the two grand mothers and Sid Chachu up for most part of the night with her bawling. The experienced elderly grandmothers were unable to calm her. The fact that her parents were doctors and doing all the right things that had to be done, didn't help either. No amount of feeding, cooing, swaddling, nothing seemed to work with her. As long as she was in either of her parent's arms, she was fine. However, every time she was laid down in the crib or on the bed, she would wake up crying.

Her confused Sid Chachu, kept biting his nails wondering if there was anything he could do! He had just managed to graduate to babbling with her in the day and being rewarded with some sweet gestures and responses from her.

Abhi's heart went out for Nikki knowing only too well she was finding it difficult to hold on to her baby for a long time as she was still recuperating from the surgery. She herself needed to rest. Taking over, he did his best to calm his daughter. Holding her gently against his shoulder, her head lying on his chest, he would softly whisper "love you baby" every now and then, in her ears. After some time, she seemed to have calmed down and finally fell asleep. When she seemed in deep sleep, everyone was relieved and went back to their rooms.

Sitting on the bed, Abhi rests his back against the headboard holding his daughter tenderly in his arms. "Let her settle here for some more time. No point in putting her down, she'll wake up again." he tells Nikki who nods her head in agreement.

Understandingly, she propped up a few pillows and cushions on either side, so he could support his arms. He murmurs his thanks. Climbing on to the bed, a tired Nikki leans her back against the propped up pillows, her head pushed back, she looks up at the ceiling.

Abhi could see she was exhausted and needed rest, but then, he also realized there was no point in coaxing her to sleep. Even if she dozed off in between, she wouldn't sleep properly till she had the assurance her baby was sleeping peacefully. He identified it as a mother's instinct and love. Gently he runs his fingers in her hair. He wanted to make things as easy as possible for her and right now, he was filled with a yearning to pull her in his arms and soothe her to sleep, like he always did.

Looking down at the new occupant lying on his chest, he smiles. Enjoying the feel of his fingers in her hair, Nikki turns on her side and looks at him. Seeing him smile, she realizes he was completely enamoured with their daughter, blissfully asleep on his chest.

"She looks so adorable in her sleep," she tells him, putting her hand over his hand that was holding their baby. "Right now her body clock is completely mixed up. It will take her a while to get into a proper sleep rythmn. Moreover, I think because its her first time here, she is restless. She just needs that comfort and assurance of our arms," she tells him.

"I know," Abhi nods his head. "Even though she slept here while you were pregnant, she was well cushioned inside you."

"Yeah and you always had your arm over us." Nikki smiles at him placing a kiss on his arm.

"Right now, it does look like you too, need my arm to sleep." he teases.

"I do!" she admits, puckering her nose sheepishly "But, I seem to be losing my favourite place to my daughter," there was a tinge of sadness in her voice. "Never Mind! Since its my daughter, I don't mind it!" she smiles again.

However, Abhi does not return her smile. He keeps staring intensely at her for few moments. Her eyebrows narrow together as she looks questioningly at him. He then gently shifts his daughter to the middle of his chest and with a warm smile extends his arm towards her.

"You will never lose your place! I can still hold both of you in my arms."

Nikki's eyes begin to moisten with joy. She moves closer and leaning over him, looks down into his face.

"And what happens if we have another baby?" she teases.

"He or she will be here" he points to the other side of his chest "and you'll always be here," he points to his heart.


"And no more please! " he grins. "Let me get used to handling you two dynamites first!"

Nikki laughs. A tenderness then sweeps over her. Framing his face in her palms, she whispers "Thank you," and places her lips on his. With his free hand, Abhi firmly holds on to her head and hungrily responds to her kiss. When they pull back, they continue to stare passionately at each other for few minutes.

Then caressing her face tenderly, he whispers, "Sleep Sweetheart, don't worry, I am here for both of you!"

Nikki smiles at him and rests her head on his shoulder, her face just above her daughter's head. Putting her hand on her baby's back, she leans over and kisses her head. Then tenderly placing a kiss on her husband's chest, she blissfully closes her eyes and falls off to sleep. A tender smile erupts on Abhi's face as he looks down at his two precious babies in his arms. Some time later, exhaustion overtakes him and he too succumbs to sleep.

A couple of hours later, discomforted with the position, Nikki wakes up and manages to wriggle herself out from Abhi's arm with just a soft grunt from him. Looking at Abhi and Aahana in deep sleep, she knew he would be aching all over, when he woke up. "Abhi sleep properly," she whispers trying to take her daughter away from his arm, but, he was holding on to her tightly and wakes up with a start. Holding their baby with one hand, Nikki soothingly caresses his face with the other, telling him it was time for Aahaana's feed.

Once she took the baby from him, Abhi lowers himself down on the bed and sleepily enquires if she needed help. When she told him she didn't, he went back to sleep. After Nikki had fed and cleaned her daughter, she put the sleeping baby in the crib. When she was ensured the baby was sleeping blissfully, she went back to bed. Feeling the mattress sink in with her weight, Abhi puts his arm possessively over her.

The sleep deprived and exhausted first time parents finally got an opportunity to sleep and so they entered into a blissful sleep!

By the next day, little Aahana recognized her home, her crib, and her family members.

In the afternoon, Nikki's happiness was complete with the arrival of her closest friends Riddhima and Armaan.

"We told you, even if its for two days we would come," Riddhima tells her. "We are lucky, Monday is a public holiday." She winks. They were enchanted to see the adorable little baby.

Taking her in her arms, Riddhima had tears in her eyes, "Hey little doll," she coos. "I was the first to discover you in your mother's womb and its so nice to see how lovely your are!" Everyone in the room smile. Abhi and Nikki who were holding hands look at each other and also smile.

"She is really adorable!" exclaims an elatedly smitten Armaan taking her from Riddhima.

"Hey Sweetheart! Nice too meet you," he tells her She stares at him, putting one fist in her mouth. "You are so beautiful. Absolutely lovely!" he smiles at her.

"Listen carefully to what I say. Don't be khadoos like your father and neither like your mother who is ever ready to fight!" As he winks at the baby, Nikki gapes open mouthed at him.

"Be like me Cool! As you can see I am such a Cool Dude!" he boasts.

"Hey Cool Dude!" Abhi roars, going near him, "keep your coolness away from my daughter!"

Armaan rolls his eyes in irritation. "You always have a habit of tapkaoing in middle!"

"Me or You! You have that habit of butting in the middle,"

While Nikki and Riddhima slap their heads as the two obstinate men begin to argue, little Aahana seemed amused as she kept staring from one to another.

"I tell you stay out of this, Dr. Modi. This is between me and my darling Aahaana. Right Sweetheart?" he smiles lovingly at her.

"If you are going to teach her such stuff, Cool Dude, then you better stay away from my daughter."

"Abhimanyu Modi!"

"Armaan Mallik!"

Little Aahaana found something funny in their argument. She begins to gurgle happily. Fascinated by her sounds, the growling men immediately turn towards her and the scowl on their faces was replaced by enchantment.

"Hey Doll!" together, they call out to her. As she pushes her tongue out at them and kicks her legs, they stare mesmerised at her.

"Dude, your daughter is such a doll!" Armaan tells Abhi

"Thanks. Yes she is! " he replies proudly, giving his finger to little Aahana who held tightly on to it. "Put your finger in between her palm," he tells Armaan. "She'll hold on to it." Armaan does as he suggests and when she holds on to his finger, they both look at each other and grin.

Nikki, Riddhima and everyone present in the room watch in amazement as the two smitten men were busy cooing and babbling to the little baby.

"Nikki, I must say, your daughter definitely knows how to handle them, way better than we do!' Riddhima remarks and they both laugh heartily.

Yes, the little doll seemed to have both men putty in her hands. Everyone had wide grins on their face as they watched them singing her praises. Armaan was happily swooning over her little gestures, while her father was proudly sharing with him all the cute little things she does.

By the end of the day, Aahana Modi recognized her family and friends and there were so many of them! She realized she she was the centre of attraction and basked in the attention and compliments she was receiving. She also knew if she was ever uncomfortable or unhappy all she had to do is wail loudly and her father or mother or both, would be running at her side and wrap her protectively in their arms. It felt so good and safe to be in there!

Later that evening after dinner, when Aahana was asleep in her little crib, the gang Abhi, Armaan, Atul, Anjali, Rohit, Sonam, Rahul, Muskaan and Sid sat on the floor in the living room, playing a game of cards while Nikki, Riddhima and Simran were sitting on the sofa and chatting. Abhi sat beside Nikki, his back leaning against the sofa and shoulder touching her knees.

As she watched the group playing, arguing, teasing and laughing, there was joy in Nikki's heart. She kept running her fingers through Abhi's hair. She felt so contented with life. The worry and stress about her baby right through her pregnancy was now laid to rest as their little bundle was sleeping peacefully in her crib.

At the beginning of her pregnancy she was far, far away all alone by herself. Today, at the end of her pregnancy and beginning of her daughter's new life in the world, she is surrounded with all the people who love and care for her and whom she loves. Above all, she has her loving and caring husband firmly by her side. She looks down fondly at him. While exchanging a sly smile with Armaan, which told her someone in the group was being a butt of their joke, he looks up at her. Noticing an affectionate look on her face, but, her eyes glistening with tears, he raises an eyebrow questioningly. Nikki smiles and shakes her head in the negative, indicating everything was fine. He then takes her hand that was caressing his hair, kisses the inside of her palm and goes back to his game.

The baby monitor alerts them of the baby crying.

"Well guys, I have to go. It's Aahaana's feed time. You guys hang out."

"No even we should be leaving," Riddhima tells them, nudging Armaan.

"Yeah, we'll leave in 10-15 minutes," Armaan confirms.

As Nikki takes their leave, Abhi tells her he would be with her in few moments.

Twenty minutes later, when Abhi entered their room, he was surprised to see Nikki on the sofa.

"Why are you here?" he asks her.

"See Abhi, for good five minutes I am trying to get this madam to burp but she isn't," she tells him wearily "If she doesn't burp, she'll be uneasy in the night. I was feeling exhausted roaming around with her, so just sat down for few minutes.

"Here give her to me," Abhi tells her sitting beside her at the edge of the sofa. Taking Aahana from Nikki, he smiles at his daughter.

"You are a good girl, Right?" he coos at her, flashing his most charming smile. She sleepily sticks out her tongue at him, bringing a giggle from Nikki. "See, she says she'll listen," he tells Nikki with a smile.

He holds her straight, strategically placing her tummy on his shoulder and taking care to hold her head with his left hand, he gently rubs her back with his right.

With three tender strokes. "Burp, Burp" his daughter spits out the air.

Abhi grins while Nikki looks disbelievingly.

"How do you manage that?"

"Lets say I have the art of handling my women!" he laughs wickedly

"Oh thank you so much," Nikki was too relieved to be instigated by his teasing.

"Just thank you, won't do," he tells her "I need to be rewarded with a kiss."

"You'll get hundred of kisses if you do this for me everytime she has her feed!"

"Really? How about a demonstration of it?"

Nikki grins and proceeds to kiss him starting with his lips, then seductively moving to the the edge of his mouth, his chin, his neck and every spot her lips touched, an ecstatic Abhi would dreamily roll his eyes and let out an "aaahh"

"For this I'll do anything, change the diapers, even feed the baby if you want!" he exclaims excitedly

Nikki laughs out aloud. "You do help with changing the diapers and the feeding part, I don't think you can do anything about it, so I'll manage that!" They both chortle loudly.

Then looking at her daughter asleep on his shoulder, a smiling Nikki also lays her head against his chest.

"Ah!" he sighs, looking down at the two women snuggled against his chest, one on each side. "Two gorgeous ladies in my arms! Feels like heaven!"

At that very precise moment, his gorgeous ladies, simultaneously lift their heads up. While his daughter sleepily rubs her nose against his shoulder and goes back to sleep, his wife places a loving kiss on his shoulder and closes her eyes. His chest swelling with pride a happy and contented Abhimanyu Modi, tightens his arms around the two special women, he loved more than his own life.

They are truly and completely Connected in Love.......

Picture is courtesy my sweet Sayru.....Thanks a lot Sweetheart.