Abhi is trying his best to banish all thoughts from his mind and concentrate on the road ahead. The proximity of his wife sitting next to him, is not making things any easier for him. After two dreary months without her, he notices she is lookingeven more beautiful than before. He is overcome with a sudden urge to stop the car and pull her into his arms. Sensing his eyes on her, she turns sideways and gives him a cold glance.
'Why is she so angry with me?' he wonders. 'What could have upsetted her so much that she left me without any explanation. I wasn't even around or' he pauses 'was that the reason?'
After going through the worse in life, this reason seemed so petty and trivial for them. He is dying to know. Should he ask her? Dammit, if it weren't for her present condition, he would have grabbed her and demanded an explanation. Now, somehow, he has to keep his cool, he reminds himself.
Trying to wipe away the inner turmoil he was going through because of the cold distance between them, he reminisces on their married life after their family left.
Like the burst of spring season, life took a new turn bringing with it a world of thrills and excitement. Everything seemed so bright and colourful. Perhaps, it was their own happiness that was transcending to their perception of life. As each day passed by, they grew more and more happy and contented as the thought they belonged to each other began to sink deeply within them.
Unlike most newly married couples , Abhi could not spare that extra time for his new bride, but, nothing could mar Nikki's spirits. There was a new glow on her face and her eyes twinkled with happiness . She did not even mind his coming home late. She knew , eventually, he would come home to her. Inspite of the stress and burden of work, he tried not to let it effect the moments they shared together. He would go all out to make her feel on top of the world.
On the other hand, for Abhi, after a stressful day, going back home was such a delight. She would greet him warmly, at times smiling, at times grumbling and sulking because of his coming home late. Watching the different expressions on her face would bring a happy smile on his. When she lovingly caressed his face, Abhi could feel the stress, the tiredness draining out from him.
Joining back at Sanjeevani, it took some time for Nikki to realize that SHE was the other Dr. Modi in Sanjeevani .
Armaan and the gang would deliberately rag her, singing "Good Morniing Dr. Mrs. Modi," or "Yes Dr. Mrs. Modi,"
A blushing Nikki would run after Armaan with intention of spanking him.
"Behave like a married woman," he would chide her to escape her spanking. "Don't forget you are the Boss' wife now," he would tease. Conscious by his words, Nikki would innocently straighten herself. He would then burst out laughing, bringing colour into her cheeks.
After a late evening, two hour surgery help to Dr. Keerti, Nikki was checking with Sonali about Abhi's whereabouts.
" He did not tell me where he is going," Sonali tells her indifferently. "However, he did say he had dinner meeting"
Nikki thanks her coldly and walks away.
There was something about Sonali which annoyed Nikki. She would be on her best behavior when Abhi was around, but, when he was not, she would be cold and curt to Nikki.
Getting into the car , Nikki makes an irritated face.
"How annoying. This is the third late night for Abhi this week and its only Wednesday. I expected, atleast today, he would be home early. He did say he would try." Disappointment was written all over her face as she began to drive.
She enters the house and switches on the lights.
"The lights aren't even switched on. Looks like Pushpa bunked today," she grumbles, annoyed with the constant absence of her part time help.
She treads wearily into the kitchen.
"Abhi having a dinner meeting means he is not home for dinner and I am in no mood to eat." She sighs unhappily
Pouring herself a glass water, she drinks it. Then dejectedly she towards her room and mechanically switches the lights on.
"Ahhhh" she gasps as she finds a grinning Abhi sprawled on the bed.
"Welcome home wifey," he spreads out his arms towards her.
" Abhi what are you doing here?" her eyes brighten with joy as she goes near him and flops herself on the bed.
"I thought for a change, I'll be the one to do the welcoming." His eyes dance with mischief as he pulls her in his arms.
"Sonali said you had a dinner meeting ?"
"I do," he says kissing her lips "having dinner with you."
"You mean you taking me out for dinner?" Nikki is excited with the idea.
"Hmmn, not out," Abhi tells her rubbing his nose against hers. "We'll have it here."
"Oh Abhi," Nikki says wearily "I am in no mood to cook. You take me out for dinner. Don't think you are going to get away so easily. You've got to pay a price for keeping me waiting everyday."
Abhi gently turns her over on to the bed.
"I'll cook us a steaming HOT meal" his eyes were wickedly gleaming. "I have a vast menu planned for you.
"Really?" Nikki eyes him suspiciously "And what is it?"
Bending his head lower, he gently blows all over her face. Nikki opens and shuts her eyes dreamily in rhythm with his blows.
"First dish is Abhi-stirred emotions." he grins
Nikki laughs. "Abhi you are too much."
Then seductively he caresses her lips
"Hmmm Next is Saucy Lips."
"Abhi Shut up!" Nikki giggles, partly amused, partly drawn by desire as his lips threateningly move closer till they are placed on hers, exploring as they force a responsive opening up of her lips.
"Hmmmm Next is Hot and Spicy collar bone ," he whispers huskily as his lips hungrily attack the arena.
"Shut up Abhi!" Nikki calls out with feeble attempts to wriggle away from him. "Say nothing further."
"These are just the starting courses," looking up, he winks at her. " I've even planned the dessert."
"And what is that?" asks Nikki curiously, her cheeks flushed.
"Flambe Passion Fruit." he utters tongue in cheek.
Nikki laughs out aloud.
Lured by the attractiveness in her face and voice as she laughs, Abhi is consumed by passion and desire. He lowers his head and ravenously rains kisses all over her face and neck.
Deeply aroused and burning, Nikki digs her nail into his back as she succumbs to the flames of desire ignited by his kisses.
Abhi, Nikki, Atul, Muskaan and Anjali throw a farewell party for Armaan and Riddhima at a pub. Since the couple are adored by everyone, almost all the staff of Sanjeevani, came to wish them. Everyone was having a great time.
Sonali kept interrupting Abhi and Nikki on pretext of work related issues which irked Nikki. Abhi did not give her interruptions any serious thought, but , Nikki was getting irritated by Sonali's presence near him.
The final straw came when Nikki was looking out for Abhi so that they could leave and she finds him laughing with Sonali. She begins to fume.
Mirth filled on his face, when Abhi lifts his head up , he spots Nikki and smiles at her. Nikki scowls at him and stomps out of the room.
A confused Abhi follows her outside. As she reaches the car, he grabs her by the shoulder and stops her.
"Nikki, wait, where are you going?"
"I want to go home," She tells him hotly.
"Okay, I'll come along too,"
"No need for that," Nikki retorts. " I can go on my own, You stay back. After all you have good company." Jealousy was largely looming in her eyes.
"Good company?" Abhi's eyebrows narrow together in puzzlement. "Who are you talking about?"
" Don't pretend you don't know," Nikki glares at him. "Your favourite Sonali, That Bi......"
"Nikki," Abhi yells. "how can you talk like that? I don't even pay any attention to her."
"But, she keeps looking at you and you allow her to do it."
"What do you expect me to do? Tell her not to look at me because my wife doesn't like it? How can I control if anyone looks at me Nikki. She is just a professional colleague to me and you do know it."
"That is why you were laughing ," Nikki tells him , twisting her face in irritation
Abhi rolls his eyes in exasperation.
"Oh God Nikki, stop behaving like a kid."
Nikki knew he was right. She was being childishly stubborn. Part of her knew Abhi was not to be blamed for it, but she just didn't like Sonali's presence near him.
'Yeah, yeah, all the fault is with me." Nikki shoots back "You find no fault with Sonali."
"I don't care about Sonali, Dammit," frustrated Abhi angrily shakes her shoulders.
"Leave me alone." Nikki tells him, trying to free herself from his grip "I want to go home."
"Okay fine have it your way," Abhi tells her, releasing her. He unlocks the car and seating himself, awaits for her to sit.
Piqued and annoyed, Nikki stands near the car refusing to go in.
Abhi ignores her and stares at the road ahead of him.
After sometime, seeing no invitation coming from him, a displeased Nikki opens the car door and slams it shut as she sits down.
Taking a deep breath Abhi calms himself.
He turns towards her and tells her softly.
"Look Nikki, try to understand. There is nothing between me and Sonali and there never can be. To me she is just a colleague. I only need her so that my office work is properly taken care of whilst I am busy with finding finance for the project. I have no time nor the inclination to even look at her otherwise. So don't unnecessarily read something into it, when there isn't anything."
Nikki is slowly beginning to understand what he was saying, but, irritation and annoyance still blurs her senses. Adamantly, she refuses to look at him.
Shaking his head in frustration, Abhi starts the car.
They drive home in silence.
The silence continues till they have changed into their night clothes and lay down on the bed.
Nervous to face each other, they turn to opposite sides.
Their thoughts wander off to each other wondering if the other has fallen asleep. Holding their own breath, they await for some sound from the other side of the bed..
Unable to bear the buzzing silence, Abhi gets up and walks out of the room.
He sits on the couch and switches on the television. After aimlessly surfing, he switches it off and pushing his head back, closes his eyes. Suddenly he feels Nikki's head on his chest while her hand circles him around the waist. A knowing smile erupts on his face.
"I am sorry," she mumbles weakly. Abhi's smile widens. He loves her change of moods.
"Are you properly sorted out about Sonali or her shadow is still hovering over you?" tongue in cheek, he deliberately taunts her.
"Okay, okay enough," Nikki tells him hotly, as she straightens up and looks at him. "just because you are right don't try to gloat over it. Even I am not completely wrong, Have you seen how Sonali looks at you? I just don't like it."
"Have you seen how many people eye you?" Abhi shoots back. "I don't like it either, but I know your eyes and love are only for me." he smiles confidently "Similarly, Why don't you see that my eyes and love are only for you. Why don't you realize only you have all the rights over me? No one else. Sonali is completely insignificant in my life. Why waste our precious time on her?"
Nikki shifts awkwardly. He can sense her uneasiness in accepting her mistake
"You are such a kid sometimes Nikki," he tells her shaking his head in amusement. "Wonder what will you do when we have our own kid. Will you continue to sulk and fight with me like this?
"Shut up," Nikki tells him indignantly.
"Grow Up You little Kid," he pulls her into his arms. Learn to stop being stubborn, before our kid arrives."
Abhi glances fondly at Nikki's stomach. He itches to touch it. "Hey Kiddo," he speaks in his mind." Will you help me get rid of your mother's stubbornness?" He smiles at the daunting task.
"Oooh" Nikki gasps.
"What happened?" Abhi asks worriedly.
With a deep sigh, Nikki says, "don't know, felt like a brief flutter inside. Its fine now."
Abhi smiles. Telepathy?
To be continued.