Sunday, November 14, 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nikki could only stare confused at him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Ayesha?" she gasped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes," Abhi agreed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What did you say?" she asked him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nikki laughed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now what? She wondered.

"Lets celebrate!"

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

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

"No!" he replied tersely.

"Then dinner?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

"Hmmm" he forced a mumble.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What could possibly be wrong with that?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Search me!" he shrugged.

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

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

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

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

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

"No I am not!" she hollered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Rumours about your closeness to Dr. Kunal."

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

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

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

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

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


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

Anger exploded into him as he recalled their fight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abhi slumped down into the chair.

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

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


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

"Dr. Nikita, Is everything alright?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Sorry to disappoint you Nikki,"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


"Yes, I did it!" Kunal smiled.

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

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


"It's a Yes!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Nikki," he whispered in a hoarse groan,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to be continued......