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!