Friday, March 26, 2010


"Lets take her to Sanjeevani," Abhi tells them, "Armaan my car is parked right here, can you get it quickly? " he digs into his trouser pocket and throws the keys to him. Then lifting Nikki in his arms, he strides towards the car

The moment Armaan reaches them, he hurriedly, but gently, puts Nikki in the rear seat and sits in beside her. Riddhima also, sits besides Armaan and he stomps on the accelator. Abhi tells Riddhima to call Dr. Keerti to Sanjeevani as she is handling Nikki's pregnancy. After Riddhima speaks to Dr. Keerti, she informs him that Dr. Keerti is at Sanjeevani itself as she had gone for her night rounds and got stuck because of an emergency.

Writhing in pain Nikki screams and biting her lips she moves closer to Abhi, burying her head in his chest. Abhi holds on to her tightly, soothingly caressing her back.

"Nikki, just hang on there! We are about to reach," Riddhima tells her.

"The pain is unbearable," Nikki cries painfully.

"Everything will be fine Nikki," Abhi assures her pushing back her hair. "you've got to be brave." He cups her face and looks tenderly at her.

Nikki can see he was putting up a brave front for her sake. She could sense how worried and panic stricken he was from inside. The cramps were getting unbearable every few moments. Nikki's heart was sinking. She wished she was not a doctor. The doctor in her knew that there was something gravely wrong. She looks up at the man who always stood by her and did everything to make things right for her.

"Abhi,'' she whispers, wincing in between the cramps. "Abhi �.no matter what happens to me, you'll save our baby."

NIKKI!' Abhi yells out in irritation. It was more of a denial.

"Please Abhi," Nikki begs. "Please promise me."

Armaan and Riddhima are choking with tears. They could feel the stress and trauma going through Abhi. How difficult it was for him to answer that!

"Nikki, for god's sake please don't think of such things. You'll be fine," Abhi assures her, there was imploring in his eyes.

"Hey, Nikki, baccha, Abhimanyu is right. Don't think of anything negative," Armaan tells her, keeping his voice light and casual. "Everything will be fine if you keep thinking positive. Remember how you tell this to your patients?" Armaan tries to divert her attention.

"Yeah Nikki," Riddhima tells her trying to help Armaan. "Its just a bit of a stress. I am sure you and the baby will be fine soon."

Abhi was grateful to them, but, it didn't seem to work on a desperate Nikki.

"Abhi please promise me you won't let anything happen to the baby," she adamantly keeps pleading till blackness overtakes her and she faints in his arms. All three are startled. Abhi checks her pulse.

"Pulse is fine," he tells them.

Just then they reach the hospital. Dr. Keerti was waiting for them with the staff and stretcher. "I'll park the car and come," Armaan calls after them.

Nikki is taken to the ultra sound room. Riddhima helps Dr. Keerti in checking Nikki's vitals.

"They all seem fine," they tell Abhi.

Abhi is relieved. "Then it seems the stress has been too much for her to handle. That explains her fainting," he concludes. They agree with him.

Dr. Keerti then starts the sonogram. As she moves the transducer over Nikki's stomach, three pair of eyes watch the monitor with bated breath. They realized even though there was slight bleeding in the placenta, the baby was stable and the placental placement was firm. The heartbeats of the baby were normal too. Abhi shuts his eyes and exhales in relief knowing that the baby was fine.

As Dr. Keerti continues to work on the whole abdomen, her eyes suddenly freeze with shock.

"Oh My God ! No," her frantic voice alarm Abhi and Riddhima.

Opening his eyes Abhi finds, Dr. Keerti pointing at the monitor. What they see, send chills down their spine.

"Oh My God," Abhi panics. "Its ballooning!. If it ruptures we'll loose her!" there was hysteria in his voice.

"Dr. Keerti we need to move her to surgery at once, Just move it!."

"Abhimanyu......." Riddhima was about to speak but he doesn't listen

"Nothing should happen to Nikki, You both understand?" he snaps at them. Understandingly, they nod their heads..

He carries Nikki and runs towards the Operating Room, while Dr. Keerti and Riddhima follow him.

"What's happening?" asks Armaan who was just entering and is stunned to see them running across. He follows them into the Operating Room

"She needs surgery," Riddhima yells out as they walk the corridor of the Operating Room.

"Why?" Armaan asks, but gets no answer as the three enter the Operating Room and the door is shut.

Inside the Operating Room, Dr. Keerti, Riddhima and the supporting staff are hurriedly preparing Nikki for the surgery.

Abhi looks at Nikki. She looked so angelic with her eyes closed, tears well up his eyes. "Only if she knew, the pain and turmoil that he was going through right now!" he thinks. But, he preferred it this way. He rather have himself going through any pain instead of it ever touching her." Lovingly, he runs his hand over her head. Then, taking the cap from the nurse covers her head. Seeing Nikki's abdomen now bared for surgery, he swallows a painful lump.

"Dr. Keerti, my precious lives are in your hands," gripped with emotion, his voice breaks. Dr. Keerti and Riddhima are filled with pain, knowing how hard he was trying to keep himself composed. His whole demeanour was of steel, his jaw was stiff, it was only his eyes and voice that kept betraying his inner anguish.

"I'll give it all I can Abhimanyu. Please hang in there!" Dr. Keerti tells him.

"I trust you completely," Abhi tells her firmly.

After a thought the doctor in Dr. Keerti overtaking her, she tells him, "Dr. Modi, one request. Please don't come in till the surgery is done. I'll come and tell you the status as soon as I can. Please," she urges, "you know its very important,"

Abhi understandingly nods his head. Darting one heart-piercing glance at Nikki, he walks out of the room. A moist-eyed Riddhima also follows him out.

As they walk into the outer area of the O.T., they meet a whole crowd of worried faces. Armaan, Atul, Anjali, Muskaan, Rohit, Sonam, Sid, Simran, Kavita and Jas.

"What happened ? Is Nikki alright ?" Armaan asks them with concern.

"The bleeding?" a worried Kavita asks.

Finding it difficult to utter a word, Abhi shuts his eyes. Placing his hand on the wall nearby, he turns his face sideways, away from them and stares darkly into empty space.

"The bleeding is because there is slight bleeding in the placenta. It's the organ where the baby gets all its nutrients from the mother," she explains for the benefit of the non-doctors. "but the baby is absolutely fine and the placental placement is also firm, So no worries there."

"then why surgery?" Anjali asks.

"We detected abdominal aortic aneurysm," Riddhima tells them with a heavy heart.

"WHAAT?" all doctors gasp with shock.

"We had to operate immediately or else if it ruptures............. " she is unable to continue.

"What does it mean?" a confused Kavita asks them.

"Aneurysm is ballooning of the organ and is fatal if it ruptures. Nikki's was almost on the verge of rupturing. That is why immediate surgery was needed. We just hope Dr. Keerti manages to stop it in time."

"Oh my God," Sonam gasps. "I pray Nikki is okay. And the baby? Will it be fine?" Sonam asks

An uncomfortable Riddhima fidgets with her dupatta . She darts a glance at Abhi. The firm clenching of his jaw and swallowing of painful lumps in his throat indicate how heartwrenching the whole thing was for him.

"Its a very risky surgery," Armaan tells them. "The blood supply to the uterus will be stopped for a short time which means its a very big risk to the baby. The baby can can........." . He chokes and looks away, unable to continue.

"Yeah its too early in the pregnancy to even to have the birth of the baby. If the baby is removed then its sure going to be stillborn. It won't survive," Anjali explains.

The family members gasps with horror. Everyone present had fear and apprehension on their faces.

"I think all of you wait in the waiting lounge. We can't crowd this place." Abhi tells them with a heavy heart. "I'll keep you informed when it is done."

They nod their heads and wearily leave the place.

Armaan, Riddhima and Sid stay back with Abhi.

After few moments overcome with agitation, Abhi paces the place like a restless wild cat. A nurse comes to him with a tray of gauge and medicines, asking him to let her treat the cut on his forearm.

Irritatedly, he brushes it off saying "Just forget it!"

Armaan and Riddhima look at each other. After communicating through their eyes, Riddhima nods her head and takes the tray from the nurse.

Going near Abhi, she tells him softly "Abhimanyu, right now, you need as much as strength you can gather. You also have to keep yourself fit and fine. We don't want any further complications right now, do we?" Abhi looks at her unable to answer. "What answer will we have for Nikki if anything happens to you. The gash looks pretty deep and you've lost a lot of blood already. Please let me treat it."

Reluctantly he nods his acceptance and sits down as Riddhima begins to treat his wound. Seeing the exposed flesh, Riddhima calls out "Sutures," to the nurse. While they were working on his arm, the physical pain did not bother Abhi at all, as much as, he was bothered with fear and anxiety for the two lives who were his heart and soul.

When Riddhima finishes bandaging his arm, he thanks her. Then consumed with anguish and restlessness, he stands up and goes to the door of the operating room.

"God, please let her be okay," he sends up a silent prayer, running his fingers through his hair. He never ever felt so frightened, so helpless, so incapacitated like this before. "Please let both of them be okay," he pleads.

He recollects how exuberant Nikki was talking about the baby a few hours ago.

"I've decided we will have atleast two kids. Two is definitely needed. They will give each other company and I will give all my attention to you!" her enthusiasm rings in his ears and her pleas, "Abhi �.no matter what happens to me, you'll save our baby."

"God! How am I going to face her if anything happens to the baby," he thinks, choking back on the tears. "In the first place, what if anything happens to her? The very thought is so killing!" He sits down and buries his face in his hand.

An assuring hand on his shoulder makes him look up. He sees Armaan looking down at him. Riddhima and Sid are also standing near Armaan, looking consoling down at him

"Everything will be fine!" Armaan assures him.

"Bhai please don't lose hope," Sid sits down beside him. "Nikki Bhabhi will be fine and also the baby."

"I just hope she is okay!" his voice was heavy. Though there were tears glistening in his eyes, his grit managed to keep them suppressed behind. "She has to make it ! She can't let me down!" There was determination in his eyes. However, few seconds later, the same determination once again, helplessly, changes to worry and fear.

Armaan looks at Abhi and tears begin to to cloud his eyes. Here was a man whose guts he always hated. He always wanted to break it. When Abhimanyu Modi was faced with any danger to himself, he looked at it unflinchingly and fearlessly. Yet, today, when faced with the danger of losing the love of his life, his eyes were clouded with immense fear and anxiety. Today his own love has managed to break his spirits.
Armaan could feel his heart ripping apart. This is not what he wished for him. This is not what he wished for his best friend whose own life and the life of her baby, is at risk.

Abruptly, he pulls his hand away from Abhi's shoulder and dropping it on his sides clenches his fists tightly. Abhi looks at him. He can see Armaan's expression change from sadness to anger. There was slight trembling in him because of the ire. With one swift move, he turns and walks towards the door.

"Armaan Stop!" standing up, Abhi calls out firmly to him, but, Armaan ignores him and walks out of the room. Riddhima looks confused at them.

"Riddhima, stop him. He is angry and he is going after Akaash," Abhi tells her.

"B.......But how do you know?"

"Just go and stop him Riddhima," Abhi urges. Riddhima and Sid rush after Armaan

A pall of gloom set in the whole hospital. All the staff were deeply saddened knowing the lives of their bubbly, full of life Dr. Nikita and her baby, were in grave danger. They emphatised with their strict, but, polite and caring boss Dr. Abhimanyu Modi, knowing how much he loved her.

In the waiting room, the mood was equally somber. Kavita, Sonam and Simran had crestfallen faces thinking of the lovely couple and their baby. It was only recently they got close to them and have grown to love them. They were hoping and praying that Nikki and the baby are saved.

Outside the waiting room, Rohit, Atul, Anjali and Muskaan were talking about Abhi, Nikki and her pregnancy. They were exchanging their memories about the first time they came to know about Nikki being pregnant from Abhi and surprised her by decorating her room with tiny teddy bears. They remember how Abhi allowed them to do what they wanted with his room, as long as it made Nikki happy. That was his firm instruction. The normally fire-spewing Abhimanyu Modi, even sat patiently and watched them as they got into a teddy bear fight, making their room look as if it was ravaged by a tornado.

A soft anguished cry erupts from Muskaan who is unable to hide her tears. She recollects how worried Abhi was for Nikki, the night she was attacked at the basketball court. She also remembers how amused she was hearing them fight so fiercely, wishing she could record it and show them that their fight was totally filled with love and concern for the other.

How embarrassed she and they were, when she unwittingly, walked in on them as they were kissing passionately! A pained smile spurts on her face and burying her hand in her face, she cries bitterly, mumbling "they deserve to be happy," A tearful Anjali hugs and comforts her.

Rohit suddenly sees a red-faced Armaan storming towards him.

"Where is he? I want to kill him," he growls vindictively.

"Armaan, what happened?" Rohit asks him in surprise

"Armaan calm down yaar," Atul tells him, holding him around his shoulder.

"Tell me where he is ?" he roars fiercely at Rohit.

At that moment Riddhima and Sid reach there and realize Abhi was right. The rest of the family members also come out of the waiting room.

"Armaan stop, what are you trying to do?" Riddhima tells him.

"I want to kill that guy," Armaan tells her angrily.

Putting a hand on Armaan's shoulder Rohit tells him, "Don't worry Armaan, I'll see Akash pays badly for this. I'll see to it he doesn't get away easily. You calm down." Rohit pats him on the back.

A heartbroken Armaan slumps down onto a bench nearby.

"Look at them," he chokes, his eyes brimming with tears "one is inside fighting life and death and the other is dying outside, hoping and praying, his precious lives are alive."

Everyone present were choking with tears too. Riddhima puts her arms around his neck.

"Armaan I know how you are feeling," She tells him, swallowing a lump in her throat. " We are all feeling the same. But, please calm down. Right now, Abhi needs us and we must not create any more problems for him."

Wrapping his arms tightly around her waist, his cheek pressing against her stomach, Armaan cries bitterly. "I won't be able to bear it, if anything happens to them." .

Watching them, a heartbroken Simran walks away from the waiting room. Sid follows her and tells her to stop. She doesn't listen and finding the exit to the fire escape, she opens it and goes out. Burying her face in her hands she cries bitterly. Sid reaches there and asks why she was crying and she tells him it was all her fault that her Di has landed in this situation.

Putting a consoling arm around her, Sid mollifies her, telling her not to blame herself as she didn't mean any harm to them. She only wanted to see them happy. But, Simran was inconsolable. She continues to sob in his arms and he lets her cry her guilt away. When she is much calmer he takes her back to the waiting room.

Few moments later , after Armaan has calmed down, he, Riddhima, Sid and Rohit go back to the OT.

Just then Dr. Keerti pops her head out.

"Abhimanyu she is absolutely fine, we managed to save her just in time,"

"Thank God" Everyone mutter in relief.

"Can I see her?" Abhi asks.

"We are on the completion process, and will bring her to the recovery room soon. Knowing how worried you are, I just had to come and tell you the news."

"Thanks Dr. Keerti," Abhi tells her gratefully.

"Dr. Keerti, how is the baby doing?" Riddhima asks, the very question, Abhi was dreading to ask.

"Well as of now we can hear the fetal heartbeats and the good news is that the blood was stopped completely for couple of minutes only, so there is a fighting chance for its survival. But........," she pauses looking helplessly at Abhi. "You do know we cannot confirm anything about it as yet."

"I understand Dr. Keerti" Abhi nods his head, with a heavy heart. "You go ahead."

As she goes back, shutting the door behind her, Abhi closes his eyes. His senses had gone numb. He did not know what exactly should he be feeling or what he was really feeling. He didn't know whether he should be joyous for his Nikki being saved or grieve for their baby who may still not make it into the world.

Armaan and Riddhima were going through the same feelings. When they should be happy their friend is safe and out of danger, their hearts were heavily burdened thinking about the baby.

Rohit and Sid go to inform the others about Nikki's condition.

Not wanting to think anything anymore, Abhi goes to the scrubbing area and splashes water on his face and hands. After cleaning and sanitizing himself thoroughly he dons the scrubs, ready to see Nikki. He then sees she was being brought out on a stretcher. He, along with Armaan, Riddhima gather around her. His heart is filled with tenderness watching her so calm and peaceful, unaware of what is happening around her.

"We have still strapped the Fetal Monitor to her" Dr. Keerti tells him. "it will be easy to keep track of the baby's progress. Nikki will gain consciousness soon, the anesthesia should wear off quickly, but, I must warn you, she seems completely exhausted."

Abhi nods his head and follows Nikki into the recovery room.

After the nurses and ward boys leave, Abhi sits beside an unconscious Nikki and stares at her. The tears that had been pent up for so long, begin to flow down.

"Nikki," he whispers, taking her hand in his. "Thank God you are safe or else I don't know what would I have done. I am completely dead without you" Tenderly and lovingly, he caresses her face and plants a kiss on her forehead.

He then looks at her abdomen and thinks of the life inside whose heartbeats he can see on the monitor, but, he does not know how long it will continue beating.

Nervously, he puts his hand over her stomach. He recollects the first time he put his hand at this place when he came to know of the existence of this beautiful creation. He reminisces all the beautiful times, he talked to the baby, seeking solace from it, when he was down, especially when he was upset with Nikki and feeling so soothed and calm. The moments, the times, when a movement from the baby got them so passionately and intimately close. The nights he spent holding Nikki around the abdomen and feeling a sense of pride of having them both in his arms.

"You brought us together baby, you kept us connected right through," he whispers, his voice choking in between "We love you so much. Please hang in there for us. We can't do without you. I won't be able to face your mother if anything happens to you. You've always been there for me before. I desperately need you now. Please don't let me down. Please hang in there for us, Please. We love you!" There was prickling in his throat. He couldn't speak anymore.

Looking at the tears flowing down his cheeks like an never ending stream, Armaan, Riddhima and Dr. Keerti who were peeping through the glassed window of the door were in tears too.

"Abhi," Nikk stirs

"Nikki," Abhi whispers looking into her face. "Nikki how are you feeling?"

"Abhi......I am fine......." Nikki tells him groggily trying to open her eyes..... "but I am feeling so sleepy, I just can't seem to open my eyes."

"Its okay Nikki, you sleep, don't worry,"

Nikki is quiet for few seconds as if she dozed off. She wakes up again and with semi-opened eyes asks him, "Abhi, our our baby okay?" There was earnestness and panic in her voice.

"Nikki the baby is absolutely fine. You don't worry Sweetheart. Just r elax and sleep" he tells her caressing her forehead.

Dr. Keerti enters with Armaan and Riddhima.

"Nikki are you feeling okay?"

"hmmm........ but I am feeling very sleepy."

As she falls back to sleep, Dr. Keerti checks her vitals again. "Everything seems fine with her, We can now shift her into the room," she tells Abhi.

"Fine, lets shift her then." Abhi tells her.

As the nurse and ward boys enter and proceed with their duties, Abhi walks out with the other three.

"Nikki shouldn't know of the surgery and baby," he tells them "I don't want her to worry over it. It will only increase her stress levels and hamper the baby's chances, even more."

They nod their heads in agreement.

When Nikki is shifted to the room, everyone gather outside. Abhi allows them in small numbers to see Nikki. He is surprised to see Simran hiding behind a pillar a little distance away. He looks enquiringly at Sid.

"She blames herself for all that has happened and is not able to face you," Sid explains, there was sadness in his eyes.

Abhi walks towards the pillar and tenderly puts his hand on Simran's head.

"I am sorry Jeeju, I am really very sorry. Its all because of me this has happened." The tears are flowing down her cheeks.

"Hey, Hey" Abhi soothes tenderly, pulling her into his arms. "Sometimes things are beyond our control. What has to happen, will happen anyways, so don't blame yourself. It isn't your fault at all."

An emotionally choked Simran sobs into his chest while Abhi consolingly pats her head.

After few moments, Abhi tells everyone to leave.

"Its almost 3 am. Nikki is fine and she'll be sleeping right through. I am here. Besides, you guys are leaving today," he says looking from Rohit to Armaan and then to Riddhima.

"Only a stranger like you can talk like that," Armaan tells him irritatedly. "What makes you think we can go, leaving you guys like this?" he admonishes him.

"Yeah, you think we can really enjoy ourselves when our heart is so heavy?" Rohit asks him.

Abhi is touched. He is unable to speak. "But....." he manages feebly.

"But......nothing Abhi, we are staying here for another few days, till Nikki gets better," Riddhima tells him putting a tender hand on his arm.

"Yeah, Jeeju," Sonam tells him. "Don't cut us out,"

His heart stirred emotionally by their words, Abhi extends his arms on either side and hugs both of them.

"You are a great bunch of guys," he tells them, darting a feeble smile at Armaan and Rohit.

"Now that Nikki is fine, why don't you go home, freshen up and rest for a while?" Armaan tells him. "We'll stay here ."

"No, I won't be able to be at peace. I have a change in the office, I'll freshen up here, All of you, please go, I'll let you know if I need anything."

Reluctantly everybody nod their heads and leave.

Suddenly Abhi remembers something and calls out to Armaan, Riddhima and Sid, asking them to stay for few minutes. After the others have left, Abhi tells them.

"Guys, will you please go to our place and pull it all down?" To suppress his pain, he averts looking at them.

Knowing what he was referring to Armaan and Riddhima feel their hearts being pierced from within.

"But.....but...." Riddhima stutters.

"Do it either before you go home or first thing tomorrow morning." Abhi interrupts her. "Please" he coaxes in a low tone.

With a heavy heart they nod their heads.

Dr. Keerti comes to him.

"Abhimanyu, everything seems fine at the moment. Even the fetal heartbeats seem strong. So we will have to keep a close watch for atleast 24 hours for any deviation, till we can safely say the baby is fine,"

"Thanks a lot Dr. Keerti, You've given me a new life today. I am here, I'll keep a watch you go home."

"Please don't say thanks," Dr. Keerti tells him. "You know how close I am to Nikki and this baby, especially, since I have been handling Nikki's pregnancy. I am sure the baby will be fine," she assures him. Abhi nods his head.

"Looks like a fighter to me like the parents! " she tells him further. Her words manages to bring a slight smile on Abhi's face.

"You've been wonderful, Dr. Keerti," tears glistening in his eyes, he puts an arm around her and squeezes her arm.

At the Modi's residence, Riddhima, Armaan and Sid have tears in their eyes as they see how beautifully Abhi and Nikki's room was decorated. It was adorned with sweet smelling candles, flowers arranged in baskets and vases on the floor, all along the outline of the room. Over the bed from the ceiling was suspended white transparent curtains bunched on the top and flowing down till they were pinned up against the four posts of the bed, giving the room a sheer warm and romantic look. On the headboard was Abhi's special gift for Nikki, covered behind a transparent white curtain. When the curtains were drawn, fixed firmly right across the headboard was a framed picture of the two of them at Rohit's wedding, the very picture, Nikki had planned to gift Abhi. It was beautifully highlighted with a fluroscent tube giving a radiant glow to the picture.

With heavy hearts the three of them go about putting off the candles, pulling down the curtains and undoing the other adornments. Riddhima recollects how detailed Abhi was when he explained to her, where the candles and flowers should be placed, their colours and kinds.

She stares at the picture on the headboard. Her eyes were brimming with tears. Armaan puts a hand on her shoulder. "Thankfully, the picture is firmly nailed to the headboard. I just don't have the heart to pull it down." She tells him, putting her head on his chest.

Armaan puts his hand on her head and consolingly pats it.

"Don't worry Riddhima," He tells her. "They'll have this special moment again. These are little hurdles that come up in between which only reminds us how important the ones closest in our hearts, are to us. You can see how strong their love has grown. Just wait and watch, everything will be fine with them soon. They'll have lots and lots of happiness from here on." he assures her with moist eyes.

Sitting down on the chair besides Nikki's bed, Abhimanyu Modi keeps a hawk-like watch over his wife and the monitor displaying the heartbeats of his baby. His insides were now much calmer, even though, the fear for the baby has not been wiped out completely. Yet, something in his heart kept nagging him, telling him that he would have both of them in his arms soon. He prays that it happens soon. He just can't wait anymore. His right hand on Nikki's stomach and taking her hand in his left hand, he kisses it tenderly.

"Come back to me my Babies," he whispers. "I need you both so much as much I need my next breath. Please, please come back soon!"


On his way to the kitchen, Sid was passing the living room when he saw Abhi, clad only in a bathrobe lying, on the couch.

He begins to laugh heartily.

Abhi glares "What the hell are you laughing for you Idiot!"

"Bhai you sleeping outside? and that too in a bathrobe?"

"Whats with you?" an annoyed Abhi roars at him. "I am not sleeping in the nude na?"

Sid continued chuckling loudly looking every bit like a clucking hen. It irritated Abhi more and more.

"Will you shut up you idiot or should I give you a good thrashing?"

"Bhai, you got thrown out of your room?"

Abhi looks daggers at him.

"The fact is you scare and rule over everyone but she rules over you! Right? Right?" he instigates.

A scowling Abhi gets up from the couch ready to chase him, but, Sid manages to quickly run into his room

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



"Nikki?" Abhi calls out her name as he looks around the lawn.

An amused Nikki stiffles her giggles. She knew there was no chance of him spotting her as she was in the unlit corner of the lawn. Though she was quiet some distance away, she could sense his agitation at not finding her.

"Nikki, where are you? Are you there?" There was pleading in Abhi's voice.

"Haan Haan, now you know how troubled I am, when you avoid me?" Nikki mutters in amusement, her eyes twinkling with mischief.

"Nikki stop joking and come out !" Abhi calls out in desperation.

The guard comes running to Abhi. "Is everything alright Sir?" he asks.

"Did you see a lady in red?" Abhi asks him. "She is pregnant."

"No Sir, we are on the gates, but we haven't noticed anyone."

Simran and Geeta come out expecting to see the two romancing but are surprised to find Abhi alone.

"Jeeju, what happened ? Where is Di?" a puzzled Simran asks him

"So you girls were playing a prank on me, isn't it?" an annoyed Abhi tells them.

"No, honestly Jeeju, I left Di here myself." Simran tells him, her forehead crinkling in puzzlement.

"Yeah, Yeah, I know you little imps." With a half smile, Abhi shakes his head.

Nikki is disappointed to see Simran and Geeta. She wanted to tease her husband a little more. Seeing the guard has also come, she knew if she did not come out of her hiding, soon there would be chaos all around.

She sees Abhi telling the guard to go back to his duties on the gate and with slight irritation, he walks towards the house. Reluctantly she calls out his name.

However, before her voice could came out, a hand was clamped over her mouth.

Startled and frightened, she digs her nails into the hand of her captor, but, he seemed to be strong and twists her hand pulling it behind her back. He then stomps his foot over her feet, his shoes trampling painfully over her. Her body was trapped completely. She was finding it difficult to breathe as his hands covered mouth tightly and all that she could manage were frantic muffled sounds. Fear, pain and discomfort shoots into her whole body.

She can see Abhi and Simran still talking. Simran was telling him they were not joking and Abhi was not believing her. He continued walking towards the house. She tried her best to call out to him, but her captor was too strong for her.

As she sees Abhi enter the house, Dizziness plunges her into darkness. Her body goes limp into the hands of her captor.

Inside the house, Abhi is looking around for Nikki. Unable to spot her anywhere, he goes to the group and asks them if they knew where Nikki was. Riddhima tells him that Nikki said she was going to the washroom. Abhi is relieved.

A little distance, he sees Simran and her friends talking to each other. Worry and fear were written on their faces. When they spot him, they keep lowering their eyes nervously. He could sense something was wrong. He walks over to them.

"Now what are you girls scheming?" he asks them.

"Jeeju, we looked for Di in all rooms but she doesn't seem to be anywhere."

"Riddhima says she is in the washroom," Abhi informs them. Did you check there?"

"No Jeeju, she isn't there! We checked." Simran tells him tearfully. 'I took Di out and told her you called her there and to wait for you, but she doesn't seem to be anywhere. I am so worried."

An uneasy feeling begins to creep into the pit of Abhi's stomach. It began to dawn on him that the girls could be speaking the truth.

"You girls are speaking the truth?" he asks, still not wanting to believe it could be true.

They nod their heads. Looking at the worry and tension on their faces, Abhi's heart begins to pound violently with fear. He decides not to panic.

"Look, calm down. I know Nikki well. I am sure she is playing a prank on me. Perhaps she is hiding somewhere and watching us. You girls check inside once more and I'll go look outside. Call me on my cell if you find her."

Nikki opens her eyes but is unable to see anything. She thought she had gone blind. There was darkness all around, she couldn't see a thing. She was feeling claustrophobic and nausea was threatening her insides. 'Where was she?' she begins to panic. She knew she was sitting on some bench, its hardness told her so. Her shoulder was touching a wall. She could feel pain in her whole body. She could also sense the restlessness of the baby inside her. Wanting to calm it, she lifts her hand but it wouldn't move. She realized they were bound behind her back. She shifts uncomfortably.

"Shhhhhh, don't do that" the voice, it sounded familiar.

"Who is it?" her voice was very feeble, but there was panic.

Something snaps in front of her and she sees a ray of light flickering from a tiny torch which was barely few inches from her face. Her heart begins to beat rapidly. She can sense danger all over and her worst fear was confounded when she looks straight into those evil gleaming eyes which she always hated.

"Akash?" her eyes widen with shock.

"Yes Baby," his vile smile made her shudder with repulsion.

She remembered seeing Akash in the party, but ignored him. . At one point of time, when she was standing alone, he tried to talk to her, but Nikki told him to get lost and walked away.

"I haven't forgotten your slap gift Nikki," Akash tells her with a diabolic smile. "How could I walk away from you without returning your debt?"

"It was well deserved!" she tells him vehemently. "But looks like you don't learn from your mistakes. What do you think you are doing?" she asks him, lifting her chin up fearlessly. "Leave me at once! Help!" she hollers.

But Akash clamps his hand over her mouth again.

"You better shut up," he tells her. "We are at a place where no one can hear your screams and if you do, I'll harm your baby," He warns her.

Nikki is appalled. Her baby! "Please don't do anything to my baby, please," she pleads.

"Now that's the way you should be talking," Akash shakes his head in triumph. "I only stayed back to repay you and your husband, Nikki" he tells her spitefully "I hired goons to stalk you and it was me who hit your husband on his head yesterday.

Nikki is numbed by his words.

"Akash, if Abhi knows of this, he'll kill you. Have you forgotten what he did to you last time?"

"How could I ever forget it? So I decided, I must return the favour to husband and wife. Shouldn't I?" he bares his teeth with glee. "Now that I have his precious wife and child in my hands, I'll give your husband, something he'll never ever forget for the rest of his life." He chortles maliciously. He kept moving his neck vulture-like and his eyes had deep malevolence in it. There was a kind of beastliness in his whole demeanor.

"What...........What do you mean?" Nikki stutters her heart hammering with fear.

"I have great plans for us Nikki. If you behave properly, we will soon be out from here and then it will be only you and me," Akash tells her, his finger tip caressing her cheek.. Disgusted, Nikki moves her face away.

"You are crazy Akaash!" she spites at him, her eyes telling him how loathsome she found him. "What makes you think Abhi won't find us?"

"Even if he does, I'll make sure he doesn't win this time"

He bends over Nikki who leans backwards repulsed with his closeness. As she did that, she could feel the ligament of her abdomen stretching and grimaces in pain.

"Get off me Akash," she yells at him, "You'll hurt my baby,"

"How do I care?" Akash tells her. "Its not mine!"

A shooting pain in her abdomen, makes her scream "ABHI" stretching her vocal chords to its maximum.

Akaash slaps her from one cheek to another and then cruelly grabbing her hair, he puts one hand on her mouth.
"You Bitch!" he barks.

Pulling out a handkerchief from his pocket, he spins it into a roll and binds it tightly against her mouth.

"Nikki, where the hell are you?" Abhi mutters under his breath, as he agitatedly looks around the lawn for her. His heart was now drumming fiercely. His brains were sending warning signals into his whole system, but he forces himself to stay calm.

"Dammit Nikki why do you play games with me. Please don't' torture me like this. Show up Nikki, Please" He keeps pleading in a continous mumble.

He dials her number but she doesn't seem to answer. Little does he know, that Nikki's phone had fallen to pieces on the ground outside the shed when Akash caught her.

Annoyed, Abhi punches Simran's number.

"Did you find her?" There was desperation in his voice.

"No" Simran tells him. "Check with Riddhima, Armaan and the group," He instructs and disconnects the phone. Simran and her friends were even more distressed. "Hope nothing is wrong with Di," Simran voices her worry. Riddhima who was passing by, overhears her and enquires what was the problem. Simran tells her everything that was happening with Abhi and Nikki.

"Where the hell is she?" disconnecting the phone, Abhi's heart was pounding harder. Rajesh's warning, their attack last night begins to play on his mind. The hair on the nape of his neck and arms begin to stand up, tormented with the thought something could have happened her.

"ABHI," He then hear blood curdling scream sending cold creeps into his whole body. "Nikki?" Panic grips him. Her scream seemed to come from the shed at the other end of the lawn. But, the shed was plunged in darkness. How could anyone be there ? Nevertheless, he sprints towards it.

Trying not to alert any dangerous person, he decides to first have a look through the tiny window.

In the dim light of the shed, he sees a lady being slapped on the face by a man. The man's back was towards him but in the gap of his arm, Abhi could see Nikki's tear stained eyes looking fearfully at the man. Her nose was bleeding. Abhi's whole body rages with fury.

"You Bitch, I told you to shut up, didn't I?" Abhi could not mistake the voice.

Muttering a curse under his breath, he strides to the door of the shed and kicks it open. The lights coming from the lawn flickers into the room making it more visible. Alerted by the opening of the door, Akash immediately drags Nikki up by her hair and holds the knife to her stomach.

Pain and anger makes his whole body tremble as he sees the trickle of blood from Nikki's nose, the gag on her mouth and her terror-stricken eyes. Her whole face reflected the unbearable pain as her hair was being tugged. Her trauma and misery evokes a deep aching in his heart . Yet, when she sees him, he can see her expression change to relief and joy.

"Stay away," Akash warns him thrusting the knife closer to Nikki's abdomen "or you'll lose your wife and child."
Abhi was seething with rage, but, he knew any wrong move from him and Nikki will bear the brunt of it. He cannot let anything happen to her.

"And then what will you do Akash?" he asks him calmly. "How do you plan to escape me? Do you think if anything happens to her, you'll be walking out freely?"

Akash is shaken with the truth of his words. Abhi knew he had him there.

"As long as you keep my wife and child safe, you are safe Akash." Abhi warns him.

Akash knew he was trapped but he wasn't going to give up. "Maybe not your wife Abhimanyu Modi, what if I harm only the child?" he smiles, menacingly pointing the knife closer to Nikki's stomach.

Nikki shakes her head in fright, her protests coming in the form of muffled sounds. Her whole body begins to shiver.

"No na?" Akash tells her fiercely. "So both of you co-operate quietly. I don't want any sound from either of you."

He looks at Abhi. He is surprised to finds his eyes looking at the tiny window behind him. He is puzzled.

"Not from there," Abhi yells.

Akash turns to look at the window. In a couple of strides, Abhi narrows the distance between them and grasps Akash's hand, wrestling with it trying to wield the knife off him. He then bumps his shoulder into Akash's shoulder sending him off balance. Akash loosens his hold on Nikki's hair and the knife falls from his hand. Nikki falls back on to the bench. Abhi fists two punches into Akash's jaw sending him reeling backwards, till he falls to the ground by the window side.

He then goes to Nikki. Apalled by her condition, he pulls her into his arms.

"Are you okay Nikki? Did you get hurt?" he asks worriedly untying the gag on her mouth. Nikki nods her head. She is unable to speak. Tears are flowing down her cheeks. Abhi then fumbles with the ropes till her hands are released.

"Abhi our baby," she cries out in anguish, cradling her abdomen.

"Did something go wrong?" he asks her putting his hand over her stomach. His heart was sinking even more.

"Thank God you came Abhi or we would surely have lost it," she cries bitterly, burying her head into his chest.

Abhi tightens his arms soothingly around her.

"Shhhhhh.............Don't say that. I won't let anything happen to either of you." he comforts her, his eyes were moist.

Nikki was relieved to be in his arms. She didn't expect to be alive after today, to find the comfort of them again. Abhi held her tightly close to him, one hand calming her shivering body, while the other was patting her head. His face was filled with bitter anguish. He hated the fact she was so badly humiliated and hurt. He felt the rush of adrenaline into his system, making his heart pump faster.

"Nikki what happened? Are you alright?" A worried Riddhima enters the shed alongwith Simran and Geeta. Finding the switch at the entrance, she switches on the lonely bulb. She is stunned to see Abhi comforting a tearful Nikki and a man has fallen to the ground by the window. With a groan the man was beginning to stir. Hearing his sounds, a shiver runs through Nikki. She digs herself into Abhi. He comforts her by tightening his grip.
"Riddhima, will you please look after Nikki?" he tells her "Take her inside the house, I'll be there in few minutes." Gently, he leads Nikki out of the shed. Once, they were outside, he hands her over to Riddhima.

"Take care," he tells Nikki tenderly cupping her face and then turns towards the shed.

"Where are you going Abhi?" Nikki asks him holding onto his hand.

"I have some unfinished business to attend to," he glances towards the shed. "Don't worry," he caresses her face lovingly. "I'll be back soon."

Before Nikki could stop him, he strides into the shed and slamming it angrily, locks it from inside.

He was unprepared for Akash who, by now, had recovered and charged at him, just as he locked the door. Abhi reels backwards but manages to keep his feet on the ground. Akash throws a punch at him, but Abhi stops it with a steely grip on his hand.

Nikki, Riddhima and Simran are watching them through the window.

Abhi glares at Akash as if he was going to eat him up.

"How could you hit a woman you Bastard! And that too, inspite of knowing she is pregnant?" he snarls punching him hard on his jaw.

Howling with pain, Akash falls to the ground. He notices the knife lying near him. As Abhi dashes towards him, he picks up the knife and attacks Abhi, hitting him on the arm with it.

Nikki, Riddhima and Simran scream in horror as they see blood oozing out from Abhi's arm.

Abhi grimaces with pain, but quickly turns wrathful eyes at Akash. He kicks Akash's hand and once again, the knife drops to the ground. Consumed with uncontrollable anger , he then knocks a couple of blows into Akash, who is unable to defend himself against the furious man.

"Abhi please stop," Nikki begs "You'll get into trouble, Please stop."

"Abhimanyu please stop," Riddhima also pleads with him followed by Simran who echoes the same pleas to her jeeju.

But Abhi was not listening to their pleas. He kicks and hits at Akash.

In the meantime, Armaan, Rohit, Sonam, Atul,Muskaan and Anjali come charging, having heard from Geeta of what was going on. Riddhima and Nikki ask Armaan to stop Abhi.

"Armaan, please do something," Nikki begs. "Abhi has madness on his head." Taking in Nikki's blood stained face, Armaan is incensed with anger. He peers through the window.

"Finish off that Bastard Abhimanyu," he bellows loudly.

"ARMAAN?" Riddhima and Nikki are stumped by his words.

"How dare he touch Nikki? How dare he!" an infuriated Armaan yells back at the girls. There was tears glistening in his eyes. Looking back into shed, he yells again, "Just rip him off Abhimanyu!"

Through the window, they see Abhi has thrashed Akash badly. His eyes were drooping, blood was splattered all over his face, his hands were slumped on his side, his legs were giving way. If he was standing it was only because Abhi had held him by the collar at the back.

"I cannot bear to see even a scratch on m wife. How could you have hit her so cruelly? How could you touch her? How could you ?" Abhi bellows at Akash. There was savageness in his fury.

Nikki's blood stricken face and terrorized eyes, kept flashing in front of him turning his blood colder and colder. As if a man possessed, he bends down and picks up the knife that had fallen on the bench. Everyone look in horror as he straightens it

"Abhi Stop!" Few manage to yell......... Shock and Fear paralyse the rest into numbness.

Nikki is speechless.

She sees him thrusting the knife towards Akash.

"Abhi, our Baby!" she shouts out loudly. Abhi's hand freezes in the air.

"If not for me Abhi, please stop for the sake of our baby. Please, Abhi think of our baby." She pleads aloud.

Hearing her pleas, Abhi looks towards the window. Seeing the fear in her eyes, he shuts his eyes tightly realizing what he was about to do. Anger had clouded his senses completely. The knife falls to the ground. Slowly he releases his hold on Akash, whose half dead body slumps to the ground.

A nauseous disgust gripping his gut, he kicks Akash and strides towards the door, unlocking it.

With heavy steps, he makes his way out. Rohit and Armaan rush towards him.

"Are you okay?" Armaan asks him. Panting heavily, Abhi nods his head. Armaan and Rohit pat him on the back and nudge him towards Nikki, turning their angry attention to Akash.

As he comes out, Nikki runs towards him.

"Abhi are you okay?" she asks him tearfully looking at the blood on his face and arm.

"I am sorry Nikki, I feared I lost you completely. It scared the life out of me," he tells her pulling her into his arms.

"Me too,Abhi," she tells him, her voice choking. "I didn't think I would be alive today."

"I am so sorry, I didn't mean to scare you, I was too angry. I can't bear anything happening to you Nikki," Abhi tells her wiping away her tears with his thumb. "I just cant live without you," he whispers chokingly.

They embrace each other so tight as if never wanting to let go of the other.

Everyone watch them with tears in their eyes.

"AAH! Nikki , suddenly, yells out holding her abdomen.

"Nikki?" Abhi calls out worriedly

"Abhi I am cramping," she tells him, unable to bear the pain she begins to slump down in his arms.

"Nikki!" Abhi yells out holding firmly on to her.

Riddhima also holds on to Nikki.

"Nikki what's happening?" she asks with concern.

"The cramps..........." she pants. " I can also feel I am bleeding !"

"No!" Abhi and Riddhima mouth as they look horrified at each other . Armaan who just reached them is also shocked, like the rest, on hearing her words.


Nikki can see he is putting up a brave front for her sake. She could sense how worried and panic stricken. he was from inside. The cramps were getting unbearable every few moments. Nikki's heart was sinking. She wished she was not a doctor. The doctor in her knew that there was something gravely wrong. She looks up at the man who always stood by her and did everything to make things right for her.

"Abhi,'' she whispers in between her cramps. "Abhi '.no matter what happens to me, you'll save our baby."

NIKKI!' Abhi yells out in irritation. It was more of a denial.

"Please Abhi," Nikki begs. "Please promise me."

Armaan and Riddhima are choking with tears. They could feel the stress and trauma Abhi was going through.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Part 34

When they drove to the gates of the huge mansion like house, they were surprised to find their car was allotted a special parking inside the gates.

"How sweet and thoughtful of Rohit!" Nikki exclaimed.

As they entered the house, they were warmly greeted by Rohit, Sonam and their families. Kavita expresses concern over the attack on them, the previous day. The others also showered extra attention on the two, since Nikki was attacked in her pregnant condition and Abhi's scars were visible. Abhi brushed it off as nothing, though, after Rajesh's warning, he knew there was more to what meets the eye, but, he did not want Nikki to be, even slightly, alarmed.

As they were making their way towards Anjali, Atul and Muskaan who were standing across the room, they meet a bubbly Simran.

"Hi Jeeju, Hi Di, so nice to see you both," she greets them excitedly. Then looking at Sid who was gaping mesmerized at her, she mumbles shyly, "Hi Sid."
Abhi and Nikki exchange knowing smiles.

"Hey Simran! How are you?" Abhi greets her giving her a hug after she was done hugging Nikki. "You are looking very pretty!"

"Thanks Jeeju!"

"Why such a low spirited greeting for Sid?" He asks with the raise of an eyebrow.

Simran abashedly lowers her eyes.

"Haan I know I know, you must be worried on seeing him. After all, this guy troubles you a lot," he tells her with a straight face. Making eyes at him, Nikki pokes him in the rib while Sid's eyes kept widening in alarm and he shakes his head trying to negate Abhi's words.

"But don't worry, today if he troubles you, I am around. Come right away and tell me. I'll take care of him, Okay?" he tells her with a naughty smile

"Abhi, lets go. Muskaan is calling us," taking Simran's leave, an amused Nikki drags him away.

Looking at the nervous faces of Sid and Simran, Abhi grins.
"You are Incorrigible!" Nikki chides him with a laugh as they walk towards the group.

Nikki was surprised to find Armaan and Riddhima had not come in as yet. When she enquires with the others, Anjali tells her they said they had some important work and would be here soon. Abhi hides a smile knowing exactly what they were upto.

"Ah here they come!" exclaims Muskaan, seeing Armaan and Riddhima come up behind Abhi and Nikki. Turning towards them, Nikki exchanges a hug with Riddhima.

"I thought only we were late, thanks to my husband," she looks pointedly at Abhi, "but what took you guys so long?"

"Your husband!" Armaan blurts out. Abhi and Riddhima freeze. Covered by Riddhima, Abhi digs his elbow hard into Armaan's stomach, while Riddhima turns and glares at him.

"What?" Nikki and the others question them.

"Oh....I...... mean.......I mean" he stutters. Abhi and Riddhima look askance at him, wondering how he was going to answer that. "We had decided we would enter along with you guys, but.......but.......your husband forgot about us," he scowls at Abhi who exhaled in relief.

Armaan then hugs Nikki warmly and says " I don't really blame him, especially when his pregnant wife is glowing so much!" As Nikki blushes with his compliment, Abhi and Riddhima close their eyes in relief.

Noticing a vacant table in the corner, Muskaan says they'll sit there. As the group moves towards the table, Abhi stops Armaan and Riddhima.

"What was that eh?" he hisses below his breath at Armaan. "You will never change!"

"Hey and what about you? What took you so long?"Armaan admonishes him keeping his voice low. "Bloody hell, we were sitting in the car for a hour just waiting for you to get out of your house. I am sure you did it purposely to rile me. I am going to make you pay for it"

"Haan haan, I already apologized to you guys. I didn't expect the cops to take so long. By the way, what are you grumbling for? You were sitting with your wife and I am sure you would have used the unexpected time to romance with her, after all, its very difficult to get such rare moments."

Riddhima blushes.

She looks at the two men arguing with each other in low voices and shakes her head in exasperation. Everything will change, but these two will never change! But, she did notice there wasn't any hatred between them, even though, they were looking fiercely at each other. Their relationship has indeed changed. Their arguments and taunts have reached a certain comfortable level, knowing that the other will not be hurt or infuriated with it. She knew, in their heart, they have great respect and fondness for each other. They also had the confidence that the other will always be there in times of their need. But their egos will never get them to admit it.

'How does it really matter?' she tells herself. 'What matters is that they have no ill feelings for each other in their hearts. She smiles fondly at them.

"Stop it Guys!" she whispers, breaking their argument. "Nikki is watching us and we don't want her to suspect anything. Right?"

They nod their heads.

"Abhimanyu, everything is taken care of," she tells him. "After the work gets done, Pushpa is leaving. She said she'll give me a call and we'll handle Sid."

"Great ! thanks so much guys!" Abhi looks at her with affection.

"Haan teek hai teek hai,"Armaan tells him grudgingly "Who is doing it for you? I am doing it more for Nikki. She is my friend first."

Riddhima looks admiringly at Abhi.

"You are wonderful," she tells him her eyes misty. "I am so happy Nikki has you!"

Abhi smiles and says

"I am lucky to have Nikki in my life, she has brought me so much of happiness and wonderful friends like you."

He stretches an arm and hugs her.

"Hey, Hey, Easy Man! Don't forget she is my wife!" Armaan warns him with a half grin.

"Get Lost!" Abhi tells him. "To me, she is my friend first!" he winks at Riddhima who gives him a broad smile.

Noticing Nikki darting glances towards them, Riddhima warns, "Guys Nikki is watching us. Lets go to them, before she comes here."

When they reach the group, a suspecting Nikki asks them if everything was alright and they nod their heads.

"How can I not take the opportunity to fight with your husband?" Armaan tells her looking wryly at Abhi, putting Nikki's suspicion at rest.

Atul tells them since, next day, Rohit-Simran were leaving for their honeymoon and Armaan-Riddhima leaving for London the same day, they should party the whole night.

"NO!" holler Abhi, Armaan and Riddhima loudly, startling everyone with their sudden outburst. Nikki is even more stunned. 'What is happening ? Why are the three behaving so strange ?' she wonders.

"Why?" they were asked.

"Er..Er.. Why?" Riddhima stammers nervously and looks helplessly at Armaan and Abhi for help.

"Haan........Why?" Armaan looks from her to Abhi for an answer.

"Why.........Why......."Abhi continues with the trend of stuttering desperately trying to find an answer. Everyone was looking at them in puzzlement. "Haan......Nik....Nikki cannot stay awake the whole night na? That's why!" Abhi blurts out with spurts of nervous laughs in between.

"Haan........Yes....... Yes........" Relieved, Armaan and Riddhima support him with equal nervous laughs in between.

Nikki looks suspiciously at the three, her eyes moving from one to another. Abhi gives her a half-hearted smile and quickly glances away.

Everyone was having fun at the party. In her heart Nikki was bubbling with happiness. She was now confident her husband was completely hers. The feeling of being loved and cherished by him, sent her spirits soaring high. The deal between them had gotten her even more excited. Happily she tried every trick to make things difficult for him to keep his part of the challenge.

Whenever she found the opportunity, she would impishily lean against him, caress his arm on the quiet, put her hand on his thigh, whisper lovingly into his ears. Everytime she saw the desire and longing in his eyes, her face would light up in triumphant pleasure.

Abhi was even more delighted to see her eyes sparkling with excitement and happiness. He knew exactly what she was upto and was enjoying her naughty attempts to get him to make the first move. 'He should have set up rules to their game,' the thinks, 'a rule to keep a safe distance from each other. It would have been easier keeping his part of the challenge, but, in his heart he knew he had nothing to lose.

Sometime later the gang decide to have dinner. As the group proceed to the next room, where the dinner was served, Nikki tells them she'll find Abhi and get him to have dinner too.

She finds him in a corner, leaning over a tall round table, chatting with someone. The moment the man moved away, Nikki goes near him.

Quietly slipping her hand into his arm, that was lying on the table, she leans against him and nuzzles her nose affectionately against his shoulder.
"How are you doing Hubby Dear?" she asks him

"All of a sudden, so much love for your husband?" he taunts, with a wry puckering up of his lips.

"What to do he is so irresistible today!"

"Oh !" Abhi mouths. "You mean otherwise he isn't?" he questions with the raise of an eyebrow. Nikki lowers her eyes unable to meet his.

"You enticing siren, you think I can't see what you are upto?" he dares, a teasing smile forming at the corners of his lips
"Wh.......What do you mean?"

"I mean I can see through your smart moves Wifey! All this extra lovey-doviness so openly in public, which you normally fight shy to do even when we are alone........" Inspite of his dry humour, the fact that he was enjoying her playfulness was clearly visible in his eyes.

Nikki flusters.

"As they say, everything is fair in love and war!" she tells him sheepishily.

"Hmmm I know! Only when its tried on one's self, its difficult to buy that!" he grins.

Nikki lets out a coy laugh. Abhi smiles as he fondly plays with her fingers, sending a tingling sensation through her whole body. There was a certain kind of sexiness in his smile making his whole face so attractive that it was pulling her like a magnet towards him. Looking lovingly into his face, she knew if he had his way, she wouldn't be able to resist his charms at all. She wasn't wrong when she said he was irresistible even though she did say it in jest. Abhi found himself drowning in her big eyes that were looking adoringly at him. He was passionately thrilled with the knowledge that he was the focus of those beautiful eyes.

"Oops!" Feeling a sudden flutter in her stomach, Nikki puts her hand on her abdomen.

"What happened ? Abhi asks, a flicker of worry wrinkling his forehead as he sees her gently stroking her stomach.

"Your baby loves troubling sometimes, just like you." She teases.

"Oh I see! If the baby troubles then it becomes mine otherwise its ours eh ?"

"Yes!" she confirms with a mischievous smile. " because you are a big Troubler!" Nikki tells him. "You keep troubling me all the time! And that's, just because you have such a sweet and innocent wife!" she bats her eyelids pretending innocence.

"Oh! very, very innocent wife !" Abhi mocks.

"Yeah, but soon I'll have the support of our babies and together, we will give you hell, you won't have any chance against us!"

"Babies ?" Abhi's eyes widen in astonishment. "Are we having twins?" There was a plethora of questions suddenly springing in his mind. 'When did this happen? How was he not aware of it? The ultrasound didn't reveal two babies. Then?'

"No Silly," Nikki pinches his nose. "we'll have more babies na in the future. Actually, I would love to have a dozen kids, but then I was feeling sorry for you, " she gives him a sympathetic look. A relieved Abhi mockingly mouths a thank you to her.

"So I decided we will have atleast two kids. Two is definitely needed. They will give each other company and I will give all my attention to you!" lovingly, she cups his face with her hand.

"Wonderful thoughts wifey, but lets deal with this pregnancy first. Hmmm? I don't know about you but, I am finding it very difficult to retain my sanity. If, by the time the baby is born, my sanity is still intact, I plan to write a book........"Alarm Bells For Expectant Fathers" His fingers make quote signs "The fatherly pregnancy symptoms and solutions by Dr. Abhimanyu Modi.......Tried and tested"

Nikki laughs, playfully punching him in the chest. Abhi also chuckles.

"Good! Now you realize how difficult pregnancy is! You don't think you can get everything easy!"
"Yeah, yeah," resignedly, Abhi sighs deeply.

Another flutter in her stomach brings a warm smile on her face.

"You know Abhi, we are due for another ultrasound. We will have to do it on Monday," she tells him looking fondly into his face "even though I can feel it growing inside me, I am dying to see how the baby has grown!" her eyes sparkling with excitement.

"Me too!" Abhi tells her , a mixture of awe and tenderness in his eyes.

An emotional tidal wave sweeps over Nikki "You know Abhi, in the beginning of this pregnancy, I was so confused and so worried, but, now when I feel every movement of the baby, whether it kicks, taps, flutters, hiccups, I just can't explain what a wonderful feeling it is ! Every moment it keeps telling me of its presence inside me. As a doctor, I knew about being pregnant, but, actually feeling the baby inside you, is a different thrill altogether." Seeing the glistening of joyous tears in her eyes, a lump forms in Abhi's throat. With an understanding nod, he lovingly brushes a strand of hair from her face.

"Now, I am truly enjoying the feeling of holding a life inside me," Nikki continues, unable to conceal her exhilaration. "I already love our baby so much Abhi and I know you do too!"

Unable to speak, Abhi nods his head. His moist eyes revealing his own attachment to the baby. Stretching his arm, he pulls her close to her. For few moments, their throat prickling, they look deep into the each other's eyes, wordlessly sharing a profound feeling of pride and joy.

After sometime, Nikki sighs "Everyone has gone for dinner," she informs Abhi "I came to call you, but , before that, I want to ask you something."

Seeing her eyes narrowing suspiciously, Abhi braces himself, wondering what was coming now.

"What were you, Armaan and Riddhima cooking up?" She questions him.

"Stew for you!" he grins and was rewarded with a swat on his shoulder.

"Come on Nikki, Armaan told you we made plans to come together and I forgot about it. So he is mad at me! And he is so right! Its all because of you. You are really very tempting!" he tells her tweaking her nose.

"And you still think you can win against me Dr. Modi ?" Nikki challenges with a smile.

"Ah ! remembered our Deal Dr. Nikita?" he drawls. "Let me tell you, Dr. Abhimanyu Modi doesn't lose either"

"Believe me, this time, you'll definitely lose Dr. Modi," she runs her finger over his face. Abhi's eyes focuses on her finger and skeptically moves in tandem with it . He then holds on to her finger and gently squeezing it, says,

"I have nothing to lose wifey. The only two things that was most precious to me were my heart and soul. Even those, I have lost to this beautiful, impish, sexy, enchantress. So how can I fear losing anything else to her!" He decides to return the favour by caressing her face with his finger, sending electrifying sparks into her whole system.

"But, this game is oh so exciting and I am really enjoying playing it," he tells her with wicked delight "I am definitely going to give it all that I have. And, I can safely assure you I won't lose. Shall I tell you why?


"Well, whoever makes the first move, the pleasure will anyway be Ours!" His eyes dance with mischief. "There is nothing to lose only to gain!"

The truth of his words brings various colours onto Nikki's cheeks.

"Yoooooou," she punches him hard on the upper arm.

"Ow, Ow, violence? I asked for something else!"

"Shut up!" Nikki tells him her cheeks now completely flushed deep red. Abhi laughs.

Something behind Abhi then catches her attention. "Abhi," she nudges him, resting her chin on his shoulder blade. Looking to the other side, Abhi follows her gaze to a pillar a little distance from them. His face lights up in amusement.

With a wicked gleam in his eyes, he takes Nikki's hand and says "Come On!"

"Abhi, No!" Nikki protests, her eyes widening in shock as she senses his thoughts.

"Just come with me," he warns sternly.

Hand in hand, they walk towards the pillar. Behind it were Sid and Simran leaning over another tall table and staring into each other's eyes.

Nikki giggles. "They make such a cute pair, Abhi," she tells him as she fondly watches them. "Let them be, don't trouble them," she pleads

"For all the trouble my little brother gives me, I have the right to tease him a little." Abhi tells her, his voice warning of complete mischief on his mind.


"Don't you support him," Abhi warns in a low voice "Just play along!"

When they near them, Abhi takes an empty tray from a passing waiter and places it in between the faces of Simran and Sid.

"Whaat the hell?" a befuddled Sid looks up with a start.

Seeing a solemnly looking Abhi staring at him, the colour from his face begins to drain while Simran's cheeks have turned red with embarrassment.

"What's going on here ?" Abhi asks sternly, his expressions deadpan.



"What bhai, Jeeju? Can't you both speak up?" he thunders

Nikki is bubbling with laughter.

"Bhai something went into Simran's eye

"Jeeju, something went into Sid's eye."

They blurt out together.

Hearing their babbling, Nikki who was standing behind Abhi, looks to the ground and uses his back as a shield to hide her giggling. Abhi was also finding it difficult to keep a straight face.

"Oh! So you were both exchanging eye for an eye! Next what will you exchange?" Nikki hits Abhi on the back. "Stop it!" she tells him pleadingly. Abhi squeezes her hand firmly. With difficulty Nikki, manages to stifle her laugh.

"And you?" Abhi looks fiercely at Sid. "I told you not to trouble Simran, right?"

"Bhai..," Sid looks pleadingly at Nikki.

"No Jeeju he is not troubling me!" Simran hurriedly blurts out.

Abhi's lips contort into a crooked smile.

"Really? Are you sure?" Then leaning closer to her, he whispers, "Are you sure he is not troubling you or you don't mind him troubling you?" He teases

Simran blushes. A giggling Nikki puts a fond arm around her.

"Don't worry Simran, I am with you," she tells her. "I'll teach you the art of handling troublesome Modi men. I am an expert in that field! After all, I have the experience of handling the most difficult one of them all!" she winks at a grinning Abhi.

Scratching his head, Sid also grins widely. Looking at him, Abhi's eyes glint wickedly.

"You!" he raises an eyebrow at Sid. "Why is your nose red?"

"Red?" Sid touches his nose. Nikki and Simran look at Sid with concern.

Abhi gives him a hard pinch on the nose.

" Ouch!" Sid winces in pain.

"Abhi!" a shocked Nikki pulls his hand away.

"See, I told you, it is red!" Abhi tells him grinning from ear to ear. Then over his shoulder he tells Nikki, "Lets go Nikki. I am sure he will be taken care of," he darts a teasing glance at Simran. "I don't think he needs us now"

Poking Sid fondly in the rib, he winks at him. Nikki ruffles Sid's hair and putting her hand in Abhi's hand, walks away. Going a little distance they look behind. They see Simran affectionately rubbing Sid's nose while he stares mesmerized at her. Abhi and Nikki then look amusedly at each other and chortling, walk away,

By the time they finished dinner, Abhi realized his wife wasn't going to give up her endeavours to tease him and he had to desperately do something. Often he was tempted to drag her outside and squeeze her in his arms. But then the exciting pound of flesh made him all the more determined not to give in to her advances and his determination grew even more stronger.

Taking matters seriously in his hands, he started keeping a safe distance from her much to her annoyance. Whenever she would sit or stand near him, he would get someone from the group in between them. Noticing that most of the time he was chatting with either Riddhima, Sonam, Simran and her friends, irritation and jealousy began to take over her. She wasn't liking him distancing himself from her, although his eyes would keep darting to wherever she was. To his amusement, she began to sulk.

At one point of time, sitting with the rest of the group, an annoyed Nikki notices Abhi standing at the opposite end of the room, talking with Jas and Rohit.

Sensing her gaze on him, he looks at her and winks. Nikki scowls at him. Abhi is amused. A roguish smile playing on his lips, he keeps staring at her. Looking at the sullen expression in her eyes, he knew exactly what she was trying to tell him. Often, they didn't need their voices to communicate with each other. Their eyes could express exactly what they were feeling.

"Dr. Abhimanyu Modi, no matter how hard you try, your eyes keep getting drawn towards me." the smugness in her eyes seem to be telling him that.

"Well Dr. Nikita Modi, what can I say, I have to admit, you have good attacking skills," he replies, his eyes staring passionately at her. "That captivating beauty sitting across, is making me crazy, my defences are weakening and believe me I am a good fighter,"

"Yeah, I can see that," she screws up her nose in annoyance "Using that........that seductive smile and passionate eyes to counter attack, making me go weak in the knees," her face turns red.

"Really? Glad to know it," Abhi rolls his eyes in relief "I was beginning to believe I was losing my resolve."

"If you don't stop your stubbornness you will surely lose out on everything and then you'll keep fretting all your life," she lifts her head loftily.

"I told you before, I have nothing to lose here!" there was a devilish determination in his eyes.

"Stop your stubbornness or I'll catch you by the collar and give you a good shake instead!" Her eyes peered defiantly at him.

"Really? Now I am scared," there was pretence of fear in his eyes.

"Yeah don't try messing with the best," she pushes her head up haughtily.

"Don't smirk. If I could have it my way, I can put that so called Best, over my knees and spank that beautiful backside till I am stopped driven crazy." Tongue in cheek.

"Ah," expression of shock. " you mean to say you will do it?" Disbelief takes over her eyes.

"What else can I do?" Shrugs. " Got to keep all my options open," Then sighs. "Yet I know even there you are better armed." Throwing a defeatish look.

"Wow! Nice to know that and how is that ?" eyes dancing with curiosity.

"On one hand you are looking so HOT and ravishing and on the other, you are carrying my baby. I am ambushed from all sides," a flirtatious smile plays on his lips.

She blushes profusely. A yearning then takes over.

"Do you know how much I miss you, You Stubborn Meanie!"

"Do you know how much I love you?" eyes desirously intense.

"Then why don't you say it to me?" pouts.

"When do you ever listen properly to me ?" deep sigh.

"You better tell it to me or else........." looks threateningly

"Or else what ?" eyebrow raised in challenge.

"Or else..............or else." eyeballs moving from one corner of the eye to the other "or else I will complain to my baby," twitches nose.

"Argh! Don't forget I am the father of that baby, the sympathies will definitely be for me........." eyes filled with pride.

"Ha! Ha! High hopes!" bats her eyelids.

"By the way what is my baby saying ?" eagerness in his eyes

"Saying, tell my silly father to stop acting pricey and come and give my mother a nice hug." an impish smile accompanied with a firm, naughty shake of the head.

"Well, as I said before, for a change, how about the mother making the first move. She should come over and give the father a nice kiss to start with," smiling rakishly "the other part we can continue later."

Eyes pop wide with disbelief. "Here? In front of everyone?"

"Yeah why not? After all your husband is very irresistible today, right ?"

Blushing takes over her whole face.

"Come on, I am still waiting!" the dashing devilish smile erupts on his face.

His eyes then narrow as she sees Nikki's mouth open wide in embarassment. Her eyes move from his face to the side of him. Abhi follows her gaze and finds Rohit staring at him.

"Your wife is trying to say someone is trying to get your attention," he tells him dryly.

Scratching his head Abhi grins, sheepishly mouthing a 'Sorry' to him.

Rohit laughs out aloud. "Nice to see doctors so romantic and that too, married doctors. Here, you are busy eyeing your wife and there, he is busy with his wife!" Abhi follows Rohit's eyes and finds Armaan and Riddhima in a corner, lost into each other, as Riddhima feeds him with a spoon of ice-cream." Abhi bites his lower lip in amusement.,

"Now, I am missing my wife," Rohit tells him with a laugh. "Let me go and find her. My suggestion is you also go to your wife before she explodes and doesn't take you inside the house tonight!"

They both guffaw and with a pat on Abhi's back, Rohit walks away.

Beside Rohit, there were four other pairs of eyes who had been watching them with amusement. It was Simran and her friends.

"Hai, these two have eyes only for each other." Simran says moonily.

"How romantically , they speak through their eyes!" an awe-struck Geeta adds.

"If they are so romantic in a room full of people, wonder what they will do when they are alone," that was Nisha. The girls giggle.

"Why wonder? Lets see!" Geeta says."

"What do you mean?" Anita asks.

"I mean lets call them to the lawn and watch them romance." Geeta suggests.

"No, that's not right!" Simran protests.

"Arre yaar, we are only bringing them together," Geeta tells her. "The rest they'll do." The girls giggle naughtily. They then make a plan.

Abhi decides to follow Rohit's suggestion and walk across to his wife. Barely had he taken a step forward, he finds himself face to face with Simran's friends. There were three of them. His lips twists into half amusement, knowing how much the girls relished teasing him. Looking at their faces, he knew that they had every intention of ragging him, like always.

"Hayeeee Dr. Abhimanyu Modi!" they chirp teasingly, swaying to and fro.

"Hi Girls, tell me what can I do for you?"

"Do for us? Hayeeee," Geeta exclaims, dramatically cupping her face with her hands. "Instead, we would love to do anything for you!" She tells him, her eyes dreamy. She then looks mischievously at her friends and they all start giggling.

Abhi's lips pucker together in amusement.

"I can clearly see, you three are upto something. So out with it!"

"We? No! Never!" They feign innocence.

"Then why do you all have a naughty look on your face?

"Hayee, you noticed us!" Geeta tells him and they all giggle again "and we thought, there is only one person in this world who gets your complete attention!"

Carrying on with their giggling, they look at each other and then back at him.

"YOUR WIFE!" they say in unison.

The colour rising in the handsome doctor's face made him even more attractive. The girls gape smittenly at him. Abhi rolls his eyes wryly and looks towards Nikki. He is surprised to find her missing from her place.

"She is not there!" Geeta tells him. "She is waiting for you outside."


"Yeah just like you cannot do without her, she too is missing you, so she called you outside. You are both, so made for each other!"

A flustered Abhi manages to smile at them and walks towards the exit with the girls giggling heartily behind him.

"Girls!" With an exasperated shake of his head, Abhi grins.

Once outside, he stood on the porch, beautifully decorated by coloured rice lights. The driveway was packed with a train of atleast eight cars till its gate. On its left was a huge sprawling lawn while on the right there was a swimming pool. The light for the whole place came from the two lamp posts in the driveway.

He takes a deep breath. 'Hmmm ! So wifey has called him out!' he smiles. 'Steady your heart Abhimanyu your determination is now strong. You can face her'

He looks up into the dark starless night. There was a certain kind of stillness in the air. Certainly not the right setting for romance, he smiles

Oblivious to him, in the extreme dark corner of the lawn, behind a tiny shed like house, covered by a tall palm tree, a pair of amused eyes were watching him.

Nikki was elated when Simran had told her that Abhi has called her outside. So finally Dr. Stubborn has succumbed!

"Hubby Dear, you made me fret so much. Now just wait and see how much I make you fret. I'll teach you what fretting is!

"Hey wifey," Abhi mutters to himself as his eyes distractedly scan the paved path outside the swimming pool. "A daring attempt to get me to succumb? Not bad! I am loving it!" he smiles.

He walks towards the lawn and peers all over, the excitement in him reaching a feverish pitch "When I have you, do you still think I have anything to lose wifey? Chalo let's see !"

Time stood still as two hearts were beating wildly and passionately, stirred by an euphoric excitement, as their eyes explore the darkness, for the face of that beloved who was their entire world.


"Did you see a lady in red?" Abhi asks him. "She is pregnant."

"No Sir, we are on the gates, but we haven't noticed anyone."

Simran and Geeta come out expecting to see the two romancing but are surprised to find Abhi alone.

"Jeeju, what happened ? Where is Di?" Simran asks him.

"So you girls were playing a prank on me, isn't it?" an annoyed Abhi asks them.

"No, honestly Jeeju, I left Di here myself." Simran tells him.

"Yeah, Yeah, I know you little imps." Abhi shakes his head in exasperation.

An amused Nikki is disappointed to see Simran and Geeta. She wanted to tease her husband a little more. Seeing the guard has also come, she knew if she did not come out of her hiding, soon there would be chaos around.

She sees Abhi telling the guard to go back to his duties on the gate and with slight irritation, he walks towards the house, with a pleading Simran and Geeta, following him. Reluctantly she calls out his name.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Next morning, Nikki is woken up up with the ringing of the phone. When she picks it up, it was a frantic Muskaan at the other end of the line asking for Abhi. Just then Abhi walks out of the shower and Nikki hands the phone to him. Muskaan tells him that he is needed in the hospital as Mr. Khanna is hemorrhaging and needs immediate surgery. It cannot wait till 11 am and she has already informed Dr. Shashank who is on his way too. Abhi tells her he would be there soon and puts the phone down.

While he was getting ready, Nikki enquires about his injuries and if his head was still paining. He tells her his head was less painful and he was fine.

Seeing the worry on her face, he assures her he was completely alright.

"I am perfectly fit for another helping of dessert," he teases "I only wish we had the time for it. Till then, we'll make do with this." He brushes his lips over hers, keeping it lingering for a moment and then sweeps it away. Nikki who was clearly not expecting it, gasps in excitement. Winking at her, he pats her cheek and with a bye he strides out of the room.

Intoxicated with his kiss, Nikki was rooted to the spot for a good few moments. Shaking her head in delight, she smiles to herself. She then remembers dreaming about Abhi telling her he loved her and she telling him the same, unaware it wasn't a dream.

She then spent the rest of the morning answering frantic calls from her mother, aunt, Simran, Rohit, Sonam, all who heard about Abhi being hurt and worriedly calling to check on him. When they came to know Nikki was first attacked they were even more distressed, but Nikki manages to calm them telling them that Abhi will be talking to the police about it.

Abhi on the other hand was caught up in a flurry of activities starting from Mr. Khanna's emergency surgery and the fight for operation theatres with a couple of emergencies coming up at the same time.

It was only by mid-afternoon that he had some free time before he got on to the next job. Going to his cabin, he slumps down on to his chair and shuts his eyes hoping to catch a few moments of peace. Life was definitely getting hectic by the day. Then, remembering the surprise he planned for Nikki, he opens his eyes and calls up Riddhima. He tells her what he wanted Armaan and her to do for him and pleaded her to secrecy from Nikki and rest of the gang.

Riddhima is overjoyed with his plan. When she puts down the phone, she recollects Nikki's words. "I know he loves me but I am waiting for the day, my husband comes back to me, free from all anger and resentment."

"Tonight you will know how wholeheartedly your husband loves you Nikki!" Happy for her friend, a jubilant Riddhima does a waltz till she falls into the strong arms of her surprised husband just as he was entering their room.

Abhi then calls Nikki and tells her that the police were checking the premises of the hospital and wants to have a discussion with him in the evening, so he may be delayed.

"You seem to be making a habit of arriving home, just at the time of any party Abhi," an annoyed Nikki chides him.

"I know Nikki, but, you know it can't be helped," he tries to reason.

"Fine," Nikki relents grudgingly. "but please take care of yourself!" she pleads, concern deeply in her voice.

Abhi smiles. Her love and concern takes away all the tension and pressures from him.

Just as he finished the call, there was a knock on the door of his cabin and a stocky man in his thirities enters.

"Hey Rajesh," Abhi greets him. "I was waiting for you."

Rajesh Suri was a detective and Abhi grew to like him especially since he selflessly went out of his way to help Abhi find Nikki. Ever since he received a message from Rajesh this morning, telling him, he wanted to discuss something urgent with him and did not want to do it over the phone, Abhi has been under severe stress.

"Hey Doc, I am going out for a few days on a case and while rummaging my files, I found these," he hands a white folder to Abhi. "It has your wife's pictures and other important papers you gave me at that time. I thought I should return them to you. I am sure everything is fine now at your end."

Abhi shakes his head and smiles at him. "Yeah, good. Thanks. We are expecting our baby."

"Hey Congratulations !"

Abhi thanks him again.

"Well there is something I need to tell," there was grimness on Rajesh's face. "Yesterday I was at the tea stall just few metres away from this place. The vendor told me for past few weeks, couple of guys have been checking with people around about you and your wife."

Abhi was stunned by his revelation. He told Rajesh about them being attacked the previous day. Rajesh tells him that there could be something more to it. "Just think of it, there are so many doctors in Sanjeevani, why is it, only you and your wife being checked out? I think you should be very careful. Wish I could look into the matter for you, but I am out for a week. If you want when I get back, I can help you with it. Till then you be on the alert," he warns. Abhi nods his head and thanked him when he was leaving.

"Nikki!" his thoughts go to her. "Were those guys trying to attack her? The hairs on his body prickled uncomfortably. There was a sudden fierce awakening to protect her. He has to see no harm comes to Nikki and their baby.

When the police came to see him, Abhi told them what Rajesh revealed to him. The police told him not to worry. They would look into the matter. After a lot of assurance from the police, Abhi begins to relax having decided he would not leave Nikki alone.

When he reaches home, he is greeted by two glum faced people. Nikki and Sid were at the end of their tether waiting for him.

"Sorry Guys, the cops took longer than I had imagined." He apologises sheepishly.

"The party has already started," Nikki pouts

"I know, I know. Don't worry, I'll be ready in a jiffy," he tells apologetically. Nikki makes a face at him.

"Ok, I'm going in for a shower. Please pull out a shirt for me," he tells her.

Nikki gives him a dirty look.

"Please, Please," he implores blinking his eyes at a sulking Nikki. Then patting her cheek tenderly, he dashes inside.

When he enters the room, he finds his pink shirt was already on the clothes stand. An affectionate smile breaks on his face. "Thank you wifey! You're the best!"

Few minutes later he strides out of the bathroom wearing black trousers and a towel slung over his shoulder. One end of the towel was on his head as he was wiping his hair He sees Nikki sitting at the edge of the bed, twisting the ends of her dupatta in irritation.

Not wanting to make the mistake of looking at her, he walks towards the dresser. Nikki is surprised by his ignoring of her. 'Is something bothering him?' she wonders. 'Looks like he had a rough day at Sanjeevani."

Abhi moves the towel down on to his back and tries to wipe the little drops of water off it. Nikki goes up behind him and puts her hands on his, the touch of their finger tips sending electrifying sensations to their whole body.

Taking the the towel from him, Nikki wipes his back.. She was so tempted to run her hand all over his sturdy, muscular back.

Shaking the thoughts from her mind, she looks into the mirror and finds Abhi intensely watching her. She realizes she had stopped wiping his back. A flirty smile begins to play on his lips as if he sensed her thoughts. Averting his gaze, she proceeds to complete her task.

"Abhi?" she calls out softly


"Is everything alright at Sanjeevani?"


"And are you okay? Your injuries?

"Yeah they are fine"

"Let me have a look at it, turn," she insists trying to turn him around.

"Nikki, believe me, its fine," Abhi tells her as he turns. "Aren't we getting late now?"

Ignoring his protest, Nikki begins checking his scars, "Good the scrapes are healing well. Hardly noticeable except for the one on your cheekbone. But that's not too bad either."

It was as if she was talking to herself because Abhi was finally making the mistake he had been trying to avoid the moment he got off the car and his eyes fell on her. The mistake of looking at her properly .

She was dressed in a red dress with light golden work on it, held by golden beaded sphagetti straps on the shoulder, a red dupatta with gold border lying against her throat and a matching plain red churidar.

She looked so fiery that Abhi was sure he was going to be burning right through the evening. In his mind, he was already thinking of cancelling his surprise for her tonight, even cancelling the dinner at Rohit's. To hell with everything! He was turning feverish with heat.

"Abhi where are you?"


"Are you okay?"

"Yeah fine!"

"Then why are you so preoccupied?"

"Its You!" he wanted to blurt out. "N....No...... Nothing," he strutters instead.

"Ok tell me am I looking okay?" She looks at him eagerly

Abhi knew, she was aware she was looking good, but, she was looking for an acknowledgement from him . He tries to hide a smile.

"Yeah nice!" he tells her offhandedly, brushing past her as he walks towards the stand and picks up his shirt.

Nikki's face fell. "Only nice?" she wonders.

She knew she was looking more than just nice. She turns and looks into the mirror again. Her action makes Abhi want to laugh. With difficulty he manages to stifle his laughter.

Nikki wonders what was wrong. She knew Abhi loved to see her in this colour. Is it her hair? but then she has always left it loose like this. Her face ? Her stomach ?" She puts her hand on her belly.

Buttoning up his shirt, an amused Abhi comes up behind her and asks "Something wrong?"

"Haan?" Nikki comes out her musing "No, I was wondering if I should change"

"Why? What's wrong?

"I don't feel right about the dress."

She begins to walk past him. Holding her hand from behind, Abhi stops her. "Why do you want to break my heart?"

Turning sideways, she looks puzzled at him. "What do you mean?"

Abhi tugs her hand gently and pulls her into his arms.

"When you are looking so stunning, so gorgeous, so beautiful, why do you want to change and break my heart?" his voice carried a sensuality she found very irresistible.

"Then why did you say I looked only nice?" she asks him with a feeble sulk.

"I thought you'll be bored if I said the same things again and again, even if its true." He teases

Nikki drums her fists on his chest.

"You meanie!" she tells him hotly,

"Really? and what are you?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know exactly how stunningly gorgeous you are looking and still fishing for compliments eh?" there was teasing in his smile.

Nikki's cheeks turn red with embarrassment at the truth of his words.

"Yeah, but there is only one hitch!" she whispers

"And what is that?"

"My stomach looks as if it has a half watermelon stuck on it."

Abhi guffaws loudly doubling up with mirth. Nikki too joins him and for few moments the room was filled with their laughter.

Nikki is joyous to see Abhi laugh like this. She gapes in wonderment at him as it was such a rare sight for her. She had been noticing, for the past few days, he seemed to be much calmer and happier. Today, It was as if the dark clouds had completely evaporated from within him. There was only brightness on his face. Does this mean he has finally forgiven her? She desperately wanted to know.

"Abhi, have you forgiven me?" Unintended, her voice carries her desperate thoughts.

Abhi's mirth filled face tenses for a few seconds. He then looks at her and finds her looking earnestly at him. He wanted to tell her he loved her completely, from every beat of his heart and there was no place for any negative feelings anymore.

But now was not the right time, he'll do it when he surprises her tonight. Now he'll tease this imp a little more.

"Abhi?" she whispers, nudging him out of his musings.

"Without a punishment? Do you think its fair?" he asks her pretending hurt. "I want my pound of flesh!"

"You know Abhi this is the first time I, willingly, want to put myself through punishment. Do you know why?"

Abhi shrugs trying to figure out the answer. "Because sometime or the other, we all want to atone for our mistakes?"

"No!" Nikki shakes her head. "because YOU paid heavily for my mistake!'

Abhi feels his heart ripping apart as he looks at the stark honesty in her eyes.

"So tell me Abhi what is your pound of flesh?

Abhi slowly releases her from his hold. Hiding a smile he turns to the mirror and begins to brush his hair. "Let it go Nikki, You won't be able to do it!'

Nikki approaches him from behind and putting her arms around him, places her hands on his chest.

"Try me Abhi!" she prods.

"Sure?" he questions with the raise of his eyebrow.

"Yeah," Nikki nods, resting her chin on his shoulder.

He turns and bringing his face close to hers, looks deeply into her eyes.

"Hmmm, well lets see its always me making the first move. This time I want you to do it."


"Seduce me!" he tells her tongue in cheek.

Nikki gasps, incredulity in her eyes. The mischief dancing in his eyes makes her cheeks turn rosy pink. Looking at her blushing profusely, Abhi grins widely.

It was then, Nikki realized, he had forgiven her completely. She didn't need him to tell it to her. There was no anger or resentment left in him at all. She can see it all in his eyes. Her own eyes begin to turn misty with happiness.

"Afraid? " Abhi teases her. Lifting his finger, he seductively plays it all over her face. "Today, after dinner, when we get back, I want to be seduced by my beautiful wife!" he drawls flirtatiously

"You forgot to add, five and a half months pregnant wife who......"

"feels she has a half watermelon stuck on her stomach." Abhi is filled with laughter as he completes it for her.

Nikki nods her head as she laughs with him.

"Hmmm........Let me tell you, You are one hell sexy for a pregnant lady!" his mesmerised eyes displaying the truth of his words

The colour deepens on Nikki's cheeks as his eyes continue to rove all over her.

"" she strutters.

"Making excuses? Its okay Nikki, I don't think you can do it," pretending to be dejected, he turns back to the mirror, mischief lurking in his eyes. "I already told you before, Leave it!"

Nikki goes closer to him and watches him through the mirror.

"Dr. Abhimanyu Modi are you challenging me?" she asks in a husky voice.

"I am!" he holds her gaze unflinching, through the mirror.

Slipping her arms around him and going on tiptoes, she brushes her lips against his ear.

"Do you realize, even if I agree, you will have to wait the whole evening for it?" She teases impishily.

Abhi smiles at her pertness

"I am pretty confident it will be worth the wait," he tells her, his lips contorting lopsidedly as he smiles. "So, I will wait for tonight. Not now, not at the party, only when we get back."

"I don't think so Dr. Modi, before that, you'll be making the first move," she defies.

"Are you challenging me Dr. Ni--ki--ta?" he mocks, holding onto her fingers that were enticingly playing on his chest.

"I am!" she nods with challenging smile.

"Hmmmm............interesting! Playing a game with me eh ? You think I will not be able to resist you and will make the first move like always? Pretty conceited aren't We!"

"Na....Na....Naan.......... Not conceit. Just knowing my husband better," she chirps playfully.

"You forget something, dear wifey. I can be very firm when I want something and I want my pound of flesh." There was steel in his eyes and firmness on his face.

"Fine! Tonight, we will see who makes the first move!" Nikki challenges. "Deal?"

He pulls her in front of him and brings his face closer to hers. "Yeah we'll see who makes the first move. Deal!" he confirms with a magnetic smile, touching his forehead to hers.

There is a loud knock on the door and Sid bursts into the room.

"Bhai, Bhabhi! Whats taking you so long. We are already late."

Abhi rolls his eyes in annoyance.

"Remind me to get an electronic device for our room which will give access only to us." He tells her.

Nikki giggles.

"Come On Bhai, Hurry Up!" Sid prods him.

"May I know what's your hurry ?" Abhi scowls at him.

"Don't you know ? Someone is waiting for him!" Nikki tells Abhi, teasingly glancing at Sid.

Scratching his head, Sid blushes.

"Who?" hiding a smile, Abhi pretends he didn't know. He catches Sid by the collar. "Look Sid if you trouble Simran today, I won't spare you." He warns.

"Uffo, as it is, we are so late. Lets go!" Nikki manages to separate them.

She nudges Sid ahead.

Following him out, she suddenly tilts backwards, surprising her husband who was following her. His protective hands automatically go around her waist. Her back safely resting against his chest, she looks at him, her eyes twinkling with mischief
"You better concentrate on our Deal, hubby dear, because my whole concentration will, only be on you. Just wait and watch, you'll see who wins!" she winks at him.

"I'll be waiting patiently, dear wifey, because I know I am going to get my pound of flesh, today" He returns with a devilish smile.


Sometime later Nikki finds Abhi in a corner, leaning over a tall round table, chatting with someone. The moment the man moved away, Nikki goes near him. Slipping her hand into his arm, that was lying on the table, she leans against him and nuzzles her nose affectionately against his shoulder.

"How are you doing Hubby Dear?" she asks him

"All of a sudden, so much love for your husband?" he taunts, a half amused smile on his lips

"What to do he is so irresistible today!"

"Oh !" Abhi mouths. "You mean otherwise he isn't?" he questions with the raise of an eyebrow. Nikki lowers her eyes unable to meet his eyes. "You enticing siren, you think I can't see what you are upto?" he dares, a teasing smile forming at the corners of his lips

"Wh'What do you mean?"

"I mean I can see through your smart moves Wifey! All this extra lovey-doviness so openly in public, which you normally fight shy to do even when we are alone," His enjoyment of her playfulness is clearly seen in his eyes.

Nikki's cheeks begin to turn crimson red.

"As they say everything is fair in love and war!" she tells him sheepishily.

"Hmmm I know! Only when its tried on one's self, its difficult to buy that

Nikki lets out a coy laugh. Abhi smiles.