Noticing Nikki's eyes on him, Abhi turns towards her.
"Are you okay?" he asks with concern. "If you are tired, we could stop for a while."
"No, I am fine." Nikki nods as she pushes her head back into the headrest of her seat and closes her eyes.
"How old is the baby?" Abhi was eager to know.
"14 weeks," putting her hand on her stomach, Nikki informs him.
"14 weeks." Abhi is elated . "Our baby is 14 weeks old'. This means' means.."
His thoughts wander off to Armaan and Riddhima's wedding day.
The first half of the day Abhi was busy with work and then later, he went over to Armaan's to help him. The girls were busy helping Riddhima.
Later on the gang then went over to decorate the hotel room, that Armaan and Riddhima were to stay that night. Abhi noticed Nikki was not with Muskaan and Anjali.
"Riddhima is too nervous and needs Nikki by her side all the time." Muskaan informs him. " So you will have to do without your Nikki today." Disappointed yet understanding, Abhi gives her a feeble smile.
As the baaratis enter the gates of Gupta house, Abhi's eyes immediately searches around. He didn't have to look far.
Amongst the crowd of faces on the terrace, he was captivated by that one face that belonged to him. Dressed in a creamish saree, hair softly blowing by the whisper of the cool breeze, her face alluringly glowing, she stood there watching him. She looked so ethereal like a moon spreading its radiance in a dark sky.
Abhi's heart refused to stay calm. It kept pounding rapidly as he stood mesmerized, taking in her beauty. How he wished there was no distance between them. Catching his gaze on her, her eyes begin to sparkle. His heart swells in pride with the realization she, too, was waiting for him. She lowers her eyes shyly and then lifting them again traces it back to him.
"I love you," Abhi mouths.
The shy smile on her lips light up her eyes even more. Expressing her acceptance, Nikki blinks at him.
"Is it your wedding or mine," Armaan hisses into his ears. Shaken, Abhi looks at him perplexed. "You are looking at her as if its your wedding and she is your bride. Its still 15 days to your wedding " Armaan continues to tease.
"Shut up!" Abhi tells him with a smile.
The wedding ceremony is about to begin. Led by Nikki, Anjali and Muskaan, Riddhima enters, looking gorgeous in a pink and gold lehenga with a red and gold chunni over her head. Everyone's admiring eyes were on her. Standing gaping at her, Armaan did not hear the priest requesting him to sit down.
"If you are planning to back out, should I sit with Nikki and get married instead?" Abhi returns the teasing.
" Abe Chup!" Armaan hits back with a smile.
The Priests recites the mantras. Abhi goes to Nikki.
"You are looking gorgeous," He whispers in her ear. "I feel like getting married to you right now."
As the Priest explains the marriage vows to the bridal couple, looking into each other's eyes, Abhi and Nikki recite the vows in their hearts.
The wedding was an enjoyable affair. Everyone had a rollicking time. Nikki couldn't help notice Sonali's smitten looks constanty on Abhi. It began to annoy her. Abhi, on the other hand, was completely oblivious of Sonali's adoring glances at him or Nikki's irritation because of it.
When they were alone, Nikki broached the topic of Sonali to Abhi. He passed it off as a joke.
"My eyes are only for you and I want your eyes to be only on me," He teased "No one else."
Carried away by his charming, romantic gestures, Nikki managed to push Sonali off her mind.
After the wedding rituals were completed, Abhi and the gang, take Armaan and Riddhima to the hotel. After having fun ragging them for a while, they all finally head for home.
Abhi and Nikki arrive at her place.
As Nikki steps out of the car, her foot accidentally hits against a tiny pointed stone and she howls in pain. Abhi quickly gets off the car and goes over to her. Going on his haunches, he gently puts her foot on his lap. It was dark. He was unable to see clearly. He carries her into the house. Putting her on the couch, he checks her toe and finds blood oozing out from a tiny cut. He cleans the wound and puts a tiny dressing on it.
Nikki is watching him. There is sadness in her eyes.
"Yes?" Abhi was shutting the medical box.
"Soon Armaan and Riddhima will be off. I am going to miss them,"
"I know," Abhi pats her cheek understandingly
"Why do we get so emotionally attached to people and then why do they have to go away from us?" there was heaviness in her voice.
"Well, I guess that's the way of Life, Nikki" Abhi shrugs.
"Well, in my life, everyone I have been close to , had to leave me for some reason or the other." Nikki chokes.
"Same with me too," Abhi tells her sadly.
Taking his hands in hers, Nikki says, " I hope you don't leave me, Abhi. I can't live without you anymore" Fear was written on her face.
Abhi pulls her into his arms.
"Same here, Nikki. Even I can't live without you anymore."
Seeing she was getting emotionally disturbed, Abhi tries to lighten her mood.
"Look, Good or Bad, I am going to be by your side always. I am not going to leave you. So get that fear out of your head"
Nikki smiles at him.
"Are you okay?" he asks her softly
Nikki stands up and says "Yes , See I am absolutely fine." Abhi also stands up and smiles at her.
"Thank you Doctor Sahab," Nikki teases. " What would I do without you?"
"I wonder," Abhi smiles raising an eyebrow.
Nikki smiles back at him.
Drawn by the loveliness in her face, Abhi lifts a finger and slowly caresses it.
"You look absolutely divine."
"Thank you," Nikki mumbles shyly.
Abhi continues to moves his finger towards her lips. Nikki closes her eyes. Alerted by his mind to go no further, Abhi stiffens. He abruptly pulls his hand away from her face. Nikki opens her eyes. She looks questioningly at him.
"I think I should go now," he mumbles awkwardly.
Nikki nods her head in confirmation.
Sadly, she watches him turn and move a step forward. Suddenly, he stops in his track. Then turning slowly, he looks at her. The pangs of separation and loneliness were visible in their eyes.
Unable to control herself, Nikki runs and throws herself at him. Clenching his fists tightly at his sides, Abhi fights himself to resist.
"I love you Abhi," Nikki tells him in a choked voice.
Hearing her words, Abhi knew he lost the battle between his head and his heart. Shutting his eyes , he wraps her tightly in his arms.
"I love you too Nikki, I love you." There was heaviness in his voice.
"If we love each other Abhi, Why is there so much pain? Why is there so much of fear?"
"I don't know Nikki," Abhi whispers with a lump in his throat. "All I know now, it is so difficult to stay away from you."
Swallowed by a plethora of emotions, they cling on to each other.
Few moments later, Abhi looks down at her and wipes the dampness under her eyes.
" Abhi," Nikki whispers as she looks longingly at him.
Cradling her face in his hands, he bends down and wipes away the lone tear on her cheek with his lips. He then slowly moves his lips to her mouth while his hand slowly finds its way down to her midriff. The touch of his hands roaming on the bareness of her stomach, sends Nikki's senses reeling and she gasps in excitement. She wraps her hands tightly around his neck, pulling him closer Raining kisses passionately at her, he slowly and gently pushes her backwards, following her down to the couch.
"hmmmmmm", Nikki murmurs in ecstacy as she meets with the onslaught of his kisses. As his lips move further down to her neck, Nikki digs her fingers into his hair and tugging at it, gives herself up to him in complete surrender.
Nikki slowly opens her eyes. She finds Abhi's smiling face peering down at her. She smiles back at him.
"Oh Abhi," she murmurs dreamily. Abhi's smile widens. Lifting his finger, he caresses her face.
Eyes half closed, Nikki was enjoying him caressing her face.
"Abhi?" her eyes suddenly pop wide. Startled, she attempts to sit up, but was unable to move much.
Recollecting how Abhi and she became one that night, her face turns a deep red.
Abhi watches her intently. Seeing the colour fill then drain from her cheeks, he asks with concern.
"Are you okay Nikki ? Do you have any regrets?"
Shyly she looks up at him. Seeing the concern and love in his eyes, she smiles.
This is the man she loved so much. For whom she could give her life for.
"No Abhi I have no regrets," she rests her head against his bare chest " I love you."
"I love you too, Nikki," he smiles clasping her tightly.
"We are one now Abhi , we'll never part." Nikki tells him.
" Yes Nikki, we'll never part," looking fondly at her face, Abhi assures her. " No matter what happens now, we will always be bound by some tiny thread of love. We will always be connected."
Abhi's words did come true. Putting her hand on her tummy, Nikki gasps.
Abhi stomps on the brakes and brings the car to a halt. Thankfully they were on a lonely road.
"What happened?" worriedly he places his hand over her hand lying on her stomach. "Are you alright Nikki?"
"I am fine," Nikki nods.
Nikki lifts tears filled eyes at him.
Realising she was going through the same thoughts, Abhi becomes emotional.
Moist eyed they keep staring at each other. Their hands were placed together tenderly over their connection.
To be continued.