The next three days, Abhi was busy in a spate of meetings and dinners. He would call Nikki and check on the progress of her preparation for the test. However, to avoid distracting Nikki from studying, he kept his calls brief.
Friday evening, Nikki was eagerly awaiting his call, but, it never came.
He sent her a message instead, saying, “Stuck in a meeting. Cannot call. Do not wait for me. Sleep early and don’t stress yourself’
“Don’t stress yourself,” Nikki made a face at his picture lying on the bedside table. “Now that you were charitable to say so much, couldn’t you have also let me know you’ll be there for my test or not” She grumbled at his picture.
Saturday Morning, she kept calling his cell, but it was not reachable. As soon as she reached Sanjeevani, she asked the the receptionist eagerly, if Dr. Modi is in, but, the lady said "No, Dr. Modi is scheduled to arrive on Monday. Nikki's heart sank. With a broken heart she made her way to the examination room.
The three hour test was to begin at 12 noon. Armaan, Riddhima and Anjali came to wish the three for their test. Dr. Keerti informed them that they have their vivas first and then the written test. The results of the vivas would be told to them today after the written test whereas they would receive the other result only on Monday. She asked them to go inside the examination room as the faculty member from the management side would arrive any time now.
Completely low in spirits, Nikki joined Atul and Muskaan for the test. Wishing them all the best Dr. Keerti , Armaan, Riddhima and Anjali take their leave. Before entering the room, Nikki swept a searching glance in the corridor hoping for a last second glimpse of Abhi, but, he was no where in sight. Heartbroken, she sat down at her desk. The examiner entered the room and was issuing instructions at them. Nikki wasn't paying full attention.
"Abhi I wish you were here. I miss you, I really miss you." She despaired mentally. Her eyes were getting misty and she decided to to concentrate on what the instructor was saying. A silhoutte of a person at the window distracted her attention and she glanced towards it.
Her heart leapt for joy and her eyes widened as she saw the face smiling at her.
“Abhi” she whispered his name, her heart dancing with joy. She was filled with an urge to run into his arms. Abhi blew a kiss at her and winked. He put hand his heart and made as if he pulled it out and tossed it at her. Nikki understood he was saying "My heart is with you." She acknowledged it with a shy and happy smile.
Raising his thumb up he mouthed “All the Best !" An elated Nikki blinked in acknowledgement.
"Dr. Nikita Malhotra are you interested in giving your test or not?" the examiner’s voice was loud and clear, prompting Nikki to look at him. She nodded her head in confirmation. She darted another glance at the window and saw Abhi had left. But, she did not mind. Her heart was briming with happiness and contentment.
After the interns completed their written tests they were told by the examiner that they have cleared the vivas.
An elated Atul and Muskaan drag Nikki to the canteen where Anjali, Armaan, Ridz were waiting for them along with few other staff members. Everyone were in a celebratory mood. However Nikki was restless as her heart was elsewhere. She was dying to meet Abhi and kept looking at the door, hoping he would make an appearance.
"Who are you searching for?” Riddhima asked her softly. “Abhimanyu?" Nikki blushed. She tells Riddhima to cover for her and excusing herself, she left the canteen and headed straight for Abhi’s cabin. He wasn't there.
“Did I imagine him earlier? Or was it really my Abhi!” she wondered
A nurse was passing by and Nikki enquire about Abhi with her. "Dr. Modi has left for the day!" the nurse informed.
“What? Are you sure?” Nikki asked in disbelief. The nurse confirmed the same again. Nikki was irked and upset.
"You couldn't even wait for me could you Dr. Modi?" she grumbled angrily. “What does he think of himself? I asked him to come, so he had to show, he has done me a big favour. Now he must have gone for some meeting, couldn’t even waiting for me.”
Disgruntled, she kept mumbling to herself till she reached the locker room. Just as she was about to open her locker, her phone rang. She saw Abhi's number flashing. For few seconds, she glared at the phone. After trying to compose herself, she answered it.
“Hey Sweetheart, how did your test go?” his voice was cheerful. "Were you nervous?" Nikki was peeved. How can he sound so calm and cheerful !
"Oh how sweet of you to ask Dr. Modi ! Thank you so much!" she snapped.
Abhi was surprised with the sarcasm in her tone.
"Is everything alright?" there was concern in his voice. "Are you okay Nikki? Aren't you done ? "
"Yeah I am absolutely fine Dr. Modi.” she tells him in calm anger “What can possibly go wrong ? I am here with my friends having a great time. Thank you so much for your concern!"
There was a deafening silence through the phone line.
"Fine, In that case, I think I should leave." He said, there was hurt and dejection in his voice. Abruptly, he disconnected the call.
"Leave ?" Nikki echoed his word. "Leave from where?" she wondered
She opened her locker and found a rose neatly placed over a note. Opening the note, she saw it was written by Abhi
"Missed you so much. Dying to see you. Waiting for you in the car. Please don't keep me waiting for long. Abhi"
“Oh no!” Nikki exclaimed, slapping her forehead. She ran out of the locker room and bumped into Anjali, Atul and Muskaan. They enquire why was she in such a rush. "I forgot something, I'll catch you tomorrow!" she threw over her shoulder as she dashed out.
Reaching the car park she was disappointed to see Abhi's car was gone.
Tears of regret and misery filled her eyes. With a heavy heart she gloomily began to amble on the road.
"Oh why did I yell at Abhi. He did come after all." she was annoyed with herself. "Now I’ve upsetted him. And its so difficult making up to him when he gets upset!"
It began to drizzle.
"Oh Great !” she exclaimed looking heavenwards. “When trouble comes, it pours in plenty !"
A car stops beside her. Nikki recognised the car as the window was being rolled down. A tiny smile erupted on her face seeing, but, when he looked at her, his eyes were completely deadpan.
Wordlessly, they stared at each other. The rain was coming down a bit heavy now. Nikki dashed over to the other side and got into the car. She smiled happily at him as she was belting herself, but he gave her a sardonic stare and started the car.
"Abhi, you've come !" excitedly she showed her joy.
"Oh God, what am I saying !" she mentally chided herself.
"Abhi you waited for me ? How sweet!" she told him, looking dotingly at him.
" Well, I thought since Madam has not got her car today and her experience with autos have always been awesomely bad, I might as well fulfil my Driver's duties, if nothing else!" he said dryly.
Nikki was dying to laugh, but tried her best to stiffle it by biting her lower lip. "Are you upset?" she asked anxiously.
"Me? and upset? “Now why should I be ?" Abhi glared at her and although he smiled, it did not reach his eyes.
"I prepone today's meeting to late last evening, took the morning flight so that I could reach on time for the one person I love deeply and what a warm welcome I get !" His eyes darkened as he scowled at her.
"I am Sorry Abhi!" she said lookingly shame-faced at him.
"Don't say sorry Nikki,” he retorted. “ you can't help being what you are!".
"Are you saying I am bad!" Nikki asked with a frown.
"I never said that.” Abhi replied “You have this problem of jumping to conclusions! Your temper is on the tip of your little nose"
"Really?" Now look who is talking?" Nikki's eyes narrowed in annoyance. "Atleast I come around quickly. Have you seen yourself? Once you are angry its so difficult making up to you. Nothing will get you to budge "
"Yeah that is why I am here after the lovely scolding I got from this sweet innocent lady!" Abhi retorted, tongue in cheek. Shaking his head in annoyance, he looked at the road ahead. Nikki's heart melted. She leaned closer to him and possessively wrapping her hand around his arm, she rested her head on his shoulder, like she always loved doing.
"Accha Baba, I'm really sorry,” she whispered. “Must we fight all the time? We are meeting after three days. Please, please don’t be upset. Abhi darted a loving glance at her, before concentrating on the road.
"Just for my information, what exactly did I do wrong ? I mean what upsetted you?” He asked, a flicker of amusement lurking in his eyes. “I better know so I don't repeat the same mistake in future"
"Don’t get annoyed, but I thought you left without me," Nikki mumbled sheepishly. Abhi rolled his eyes in exasperation.
"Silly Girl! You know I came all the way to be with you, then, what made you think I would not meet you?"
An embarassed Nikki mouthed a sorry at him. He caresses her face with his free hand and planted a kiss on her forehead. Nikki happily closed her eyes snuggled closer to him. For a long time, she was basking in the feel of him. After a while, she realised they had been driving for long and looked out of the window. The road looked different from the city roads.
"Where are we going ? Where are we ?" she asked him, straighteneing up and still disoriented with the outside view.
"Don't you recognise the roads?" Abhi grinned.
She then realised they were out of the city.
"Lonavla?" she asked with disbelief.
Abhi shook his head in confirmation.
"Yeah this time lets see who disturbs our heavenly meeting!" he said with a defiant laugh. Nikki coloured and lowering herself took her position back on his shoulder.
"I planned that we'll go for a long drive, do dinner and go back home. Is that okay with you?"
"Anything, as long I am with you!"
"Even, if it is not okay, we can't help it. Its too late now!" he chuckled mischievously. Nikki playfully pinched his cheek.
Just before the drive up to the Lion's point cliff, they get caught up in a small traffic snarl. Abhi held Nikki's hand and kissed it.
"I missed you a lot." He told her, his gaze intensely warm.
"I missed you too Abhi" she replied. Desire homing into his eyes, Abhi leaned forward to kiss her, but, stopped hearing Nikki's phone ringing. They look at the phone and saw it was Armaan's number flashing. He rolled his eyes and straightened up in his seat. Nikki looked anxiously at him and the phone continued to ring.
“ Why don’t you take the call ?" she couldnt' miss the irritation in his voice.
When Nikki answered, an excited Armaan asked if she was okay. He said Muskaan told him she dashed off in a hurry and he was worried. Nikki was touched with his concern and told him she was fine.
"Why aren’t you answering properly?” he asked “is your majesty there with you ?"
Nikki was dying to laugh at Armaan’s term of endearment for Abhi.
“Yes” she replied, stiffling her giggle.
"Oh ok, then I will not disturb you. Bye" He said hurriedly and disconnected the phone.
She looked at Abhi, trying her best to hide her amusement. “So is everything alright with your concerned friend ,” he asked dryly and Nikki nodded her head.
The drive up the Lion's point cliff was even more enjoyable this time as she happily and possessively clinged on to Abhi. They reached the same edge they had parked the last time.
"Heaven!" Abhi said dreamily.
"Hmmm" Nikki murmured. Abhi was staring at her, his eyes filled with tender love.
"Dr. Nikita Malhotra,” he said in soft seductive tones. “This Dr Abhimanyu Modi loves you very much.”
Nikki was elated and wanted to holler the same at him, but, after a thought, she shook her head in the negative and said "Nah, I don't think so,"
The muscle in Abhi's cheeks contorted in puzzlement. But, her eyes were twinkling impishily as she held his chin in one hand.
"Because Dr. Abhimanyu Modi," she shook his chin fondly, "this Dr. Nikita Malhotra loves you even more"
"Grrr!" Abhi rolled his eyes in exasperation. Nikki laughed loving his expression.
"Such a romantic place, such a lovely moment and here too, you want to argue. Is arguing one of your hobby or its some disorder with you?"
"I don't know about that!” Nikki blinked at him. “and I dont' care as long as you tell me you will still love me even if I argue with you?"
Abhi tweaked her nose fondly and said, in mock defeat. "Guess, I have no choice for I love you just the way you!"
Running her finger up and down his face in a slow caress, Nikki asked seductively, "Will you love me even if you are angry at me and in actuality would want to kill me?"
"Honestly, I wouldn't know now what I'd want to do with you then,” Abhi said with a grin and enjoying her caress “but I promise I'll love you, always"
"Well, one more thing.” Nikki impishily continued. “And you promise you will be the one to end all arguments between us humbly and meekly"
Abhi was bubbling with amusement at her impudence.
“WELL,” he drawled, his eyes gleaming wickedly. "I promise I will be the one ending all arguments between us humbly and meekly.......... like THIS" he kissed her hard and long on her lips.
Nikki was astounded. They were having a decent conversation and was not at all prepared for the onslaught of his sudden kiss.
"You cheat!" she softly drummed her hands on his chest. "You always manage to get your way!"
"Shhh...Shhhh,” Abhi put his finger on her lips. “No arguments. This is the only humblest thing I can do and you don't grumble because we both know how much you love it!"
"Yoooou!" Nikki pinched his arm as her cheeks turned flaming hot. Abhi laughed aloud and gently pushed her chin up till she was looking at him, her face still flushed red. As they look deeply at each other amusement paved way to passion and slowly their lips move closer and closer till they meet and culminated into a long passionate kiss.
"Oh I've had a wonderful time" a delighted Nikki, exclaimed while they were on their way back home. Abhi darted a fond glance at her.
"But I am also very exhausted,”she continued. I slept so late last night because of the test and have been up since early dawn"
"same here, even I am tired,” Abhi muttered, running his fingers through his hair.
When they reached Nikki's place, she refuses to get out of the car. She did unbelt herself, but drew her knees up and cuddled cosily into the seat.
"I am tired. I don't want to get up.” she said.
"Come on Nikki," Abhi chided, unbelting himself. "Go in. Its quiet late!"
"No, I am going to sleep here in the car,” Nikki mumbled sleepily. “ Why don't you also sleep off in the car!"
"No, thank you very much," he replied wryly. "I prefer the comfort of my bed"
“You go if you want. I am going to sleep in the car,” she told him stubbornly. “What are you going to do?" she defied.
"Phew! This girl can be really handful," Abhi mentally reminded himself He rolled his eyes and exhaled again.
He then got off the car and going over to Nikki's side, opened the door. Nikki looked warily at him. He bent down and leaned closer to her his face almost touching hers. Nikki's heart started pounding rapidly. In anticipation of a kiss from him, her face was flushed, but, was taken aback, when he slid one had behind her back. As Nikki looks suspiciously at him, wondering what was he upto, he slipped his other hand under her legs and effortlessly lifted her off the seat.
"What are you doing? I want to sleep in the car.” Nikki kicked her legs vigourously.
"Stubborn Girl!” Abhi chided. “I know you love my car, thank you, but I need it!"
Scooped warmly in his arms, Nikki flung her arms around his neck.
"No, I prefer the Driver, any time" she drawled, seductively caressing his cheek with her finger . Abhi groaned knowing it didn't need much for him to succumb to the gorgeous temptress. He shook his head, shirking her finger away.
"Madam's duty is very exhausting. This driver needs some rest" he said vehemently. Nikki pouted at him. At the front door, still carrying her in his arms, he patiently waited for her to unlock it.
Once she did, he carried her to her room and lay her down on the bed.
"Phew! You look tiny but weigh a ton!" he teased with a grin, straightening himself.
Nikki flung a throw pillow at him. Abhi managed to dodge it. Saying goodnight he turned to leave, but Nikki held o his hand.
"Don't go!" she implored
“Its late Sweetheart," he told her tenderly even though he felt a tightening in his chest at the thought of parting from her. "Go to sleep. Goodnight and Sweet Dreams." he said firmly
Nikki tugged at his hand once again. Abhi smiled down and sat down on the bed beside her.
Taking his face closer to hers, he said in a low, sensuous tone, deliberating on every word, "If you don't let me go now" he paused briefly. "I'll lock you up in the bathroom and sleep on this bed," he said the last line aloud tweaking her nose fondly
Nikki looked disbelievingly at him and he shook his head in confirmation, grinning wickedly. He then slowly caressed her face and lowering his face, gave her a heated kiss. When he broke the kiss and looked at her, he found her looking shyly at him and when she held his gaze, her beautiful enchanting eyes was pulling him like a magnet into their depths. He felt passion once again intensely wriggling inside him and he knew if he gave in to the temptation, he would never be able to stop. Gathering his wits, he abruptly got on his feet. Without a glance at her, he mumbled a quick "Goodnight" and walked out of the room. Once outside he exhaled in relief and made his way towards his car.
TO BE CONTINUED