Thanks for all support .. disappointed with the response but anyways..
Chapter 34 : Chapter 34
(Manik’s POV) It has been more than three months since I saw Nandini. Its really hard not seeing her and just talking with her over the phone. One great afternoon, I finally got some time to catch some sleep. When I got down from my car and was handing the key to the security to park it,
(Girl) “Mr. Malhotra! What a coincidence! Do you live here?”
(Girl) “Don’t you remember me?”
(Manik) “I remember. You are Harshad’s girlfriend.”
(Manik’s POV) She corrected me. I see. Leave the younger brother and go for the elder. He should really think about the girls he chooses to date. Not that I was any different. Well, we wanted girls who won’t give us problem when we break up. It is no mystery that such girls don’t care as long as you introduce them to someone who is ready to spend money on them.
(Girl) “Hello?” She called out again.
(Manik) “Yes. Friend. What can I do for you?”
(Manik’s POV) I really want go back and sleep. She felt a bit offended but didn’t seem to care.
(Girl) “You can call me up for a cup of coffee?”
(Manik) “Can you let go of me? Besides I already have a fiancée to share coffee with than a complete sl*t.”
(Manik’s POV) I said without any interest. I am tired and I tried to shake her off but she just wouldn’t let go. Really a pain! Harshad should know better to choose his girls, or his friends.
(Girl 2) “Didn’t he just answer you? Can you get your dirty paws off him?”
(Manik’s POV) A cool voice said from behind me. I instantly turned to see Nandini standing right behind me. Seeing Nandini glare at her, she dropped her hands off me. When did she come here? She didn’t even tell me. I was elated to see her. It’s just a big surprise from her.
(Manik’s POV) I called out to her as she walked to me. Something I would have never expected happened. She came to me, snaked her arms around my neck and yanked me to a kiss. For a moment, I didn’t believe it was actually Nandini. I am sure it is Nandini that I saw.
(Nandini to the Girl) “Are you satisfied or do you want more of public display? Now, before I smack you, tell me what is going on.”
The girl immediately left and turning back to Manik
(Nandini) “My god! You brothers have such bad taste in women. How did you ever get me? I still can’t believe it.”
(Manik) “You mean to say I have bad taste?”
(Nandini) “You do. It is very Manik for you that I fell in love with you.”
(Manik) “Oh really? What about you?”
(Nandini) “Obviously, I have very good taste. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have accepted anything to do with you.”
(Manik) “What are you doing here?” I asked moving towards the apartment.
(Nandini) “To visit you” I almost believed her when she said it.
(Manik) “You mean to visit Navya. She would be delighted.”
(Nandini) “I am here to visit you. I told them a later date at which I will be staying with them.”
(Manik) “You are serious?”
(Nandini)“You were the one who invited me, right?”
(Manik’s POV) I could have blushed like a kid. She is too frank for my own good. For a person who puts on different faces for different people, she is completely opposite of me.
When Navya fell in love with Cabir, I couldn’t believe a girl almost like me fell in love with a man who doesn’t hold any feelings back. But I could relate with her now.
(Manik) “Come in. Its your place after all.”
(Nandini) “Thank you.” She beamed at me. “What about my luggage and car?” She pointed to where she parked her car.
(Manik) “Give the key. The security personnel will take care of it.”
(Nandini)“You serious live in an apartment? I was expecting a palace!”
(Manik) “The whole building is mine. First two floors are for my friends, employees and third floor can be accessed from fourth floor entrance only is for family. They keep moving in and moving out.”
(Nandini sarcastically) “Well, what did I expect?”
(Manik) “Come on. I gave up the idea of a cruise ship size house for living in the city. I should at least enjoy having my own space.”
(Nandini) “I don’t know any ‘my own space’ which is, wait” She looked over the place while we waited for the lift. “Your own space for say 2500 sq ft., since its four floors, 10000 sq ft.?”
(Manik) “What can I say? I like spacious and pleasant looking place.” I smiled at her foolishly.
(Nandini) “I see.”
(Manik’s POV) When we entered fourth floor, where the living room was directly connected to the lift and stairs. I just hope that she will like it. It felt like an elementary kid getting scared when his teacher checks his homework.
(Manik) “Feel free to roam around and get used to the place.”
(Nandini) I didn’t know if I was in my right mind to be here but how different can it be? He has been staying at my place for more than a year. I took up his suggestion to roam around the house while he went to his room to freshen up. On the first look, I never expected Manik’s place to be what it is. The hall looked massive and grand. Completely old style and imposing, filled with old paintings. Even the furniture were traditional. I just couldn’t believe it. I was expecting something ultra modern and I find something opposite to it. Light flooded from the glass French windows that faced the road. I saw the balcony that extended outside the kitchen and the living room connected to more rooms on the both sides. Filled with not just decorative plants but also vegetables, I just left like I was in the country side rather than the city. I went out from the balcony to the room on the right. It was an extension of living space. I pushed the glass door, which was locked.
(Manik) “What are you doing out there?” Manik stood at the end of the corridor. “Wait” He took a remote and opened it. Cold air blew right at my face the moment the door opened.
(Nandini) “Its so cold in here!”
(Manik) The paintings and wine need that temperature.”
(Nandini) “These are original?”
(Manik) “What did you think they were? Come on in. Had your fill of the house?”
(Nandini) “I have barely started.”
(Nandini’s POV) Saying, I went about while he showed me his study, bedroom after which he went to the kitchen. I got a view of the room or rooms. He had a cellar for wine or better worded as cabinet but a cabinet which was almost a whole room size. The whole place was cosy and warm looking except for the air conditioning.
(Nandini) “I never thought you would be old fashioned with your interest in auto, gadgets”
(Manik) “You haven’t seen the other side yet?” He cut in. I assumed the other side was also like this.
(Manik) “I see. I live on this side. I guess it is because of Dadaji’s influence on me. Go on and see the other.”
(Nandini’s POV) Under his urgings, I went to the other side hesitantly. It was completely opposite. Modern design, completely immaterial, if you don’t count the modern painting hanging on the walls. I looked at the vases and decorations, they were perfect, precise. It was the mirror layout of the old style. I came out in disbelief, where he sat on the sofa having his coffee while mine was on the table.
(Manik) “What do you think?” Taking mine, I sat beside him.
(Nandini) “You are very hard to please. I always got the impression that you are not attached to anything or any person. But seeing so many things here, I really don’t know you anymore.”
(Manik) “I am not attached to these but I like having a warm looking place.”
(Nandini) “You don’t settle for anything less, do you?”
(Manik) “Any reason I should?” He kissed my forehead lovingly.
(Nandini) “I do hope you have insured this place cause when you have kids roaming around here, if anything breaks I am not responsible for it.”
(Manik) “I will take care of that. I am really happy you are here.”
(Nandini) “But really, the things here are too expensive.”
(Manik) “Is it really? I just like things when they are well made.”
(Nandini) “We need to bridge our tastes on the interior decorations. But staying here doesn’t feel like the city. I can really see the resemblance between you and Navya.”
(Manik) “Come on. You already know this. We were brought by our Dadajis, who are the closest of friends. So, it is only obvious we have similarities.”
(Nandini) “I know. But I am a bit jealous that you both are so close. Even Varun and Navya are not this close.”
(Manik) “That is because Varun grew up with his Fufaji while Navya studied from here. Till she was independent, she couldn’t live with him. And now, he is in college. What can you do?”
(Nandini) “I wanted to ask you, how come you are early today?”
(Manik) “No more meetings for the week. My work is coming together well. I surprisingly have some time to sleep. I was about to come over this week.”
(Nandini) “Well, now you don’t have to travel.”
(Manik) “That’s true. How did you come here?”
(Nandini) “I drove.”
(Manik) “All the way?”
(Nandini) “What do you mean by all the way? I always drive. Unlike you, I take the car. You are a bike crazy fellow.”
(Manik) “That right. I like the wind blowing right at my face. I was the one who made Navya and Varun get addicted to bikes. Seeing tomorrow is a holiday, we will go out somewhere. But I am really glad you are here.”
(Manik’s POV) I pulled her close to me and snuggled her in. I feel really happy. I want to keep talking with her but sleep pulled my eyes tighter. I hadn’t slept properly at all. So, tough.
(Nandini) “I am too. I am glad I came here.”
(Nandini’s POV) I replied to him. Seeing no response, I looked up to see that he is sleeping. He fell asleep. I slowly got up, trying not to disturb him. He must have come back soon to sleep. I went inside his bedroom and got a blanket. His friend was right. Manik’s apartment does show who he is. It shows the real him who is kind and caring. Not the sarcastic arrogant person he shows himself to be. I sat near him. I know that he is capable of working and doing what he wants. But I don’t want him to push himself to the limits. I am now really worried about how he is when I am not there. Dhruv came back without Manik before I left for home. He told me that he was doing so much free work for Manik that he ought to be paid. He was smirking while telling me that Manik was really motivated which I never understood why. He didn’t wake up the whole night. I didn’t want to wake him for food either. If he was hungry when he got up, I left him some food to eat. When I woke up the next day, he was still asleep and the food was there untouched. Just how long did he work without sleep? He was a person who always woke up in the slightest of sound or movement but he didn’t even move when I was moving to and fro in front of him. I was making breakfast when he finally got up.
(Manik) “Its the next day already? Did I sleep that long?”
(Nandini angered) “Yes. Just how long were you spending your nights sleepless? I have never seen you like this!”
(Manik) “Don’t tell me I slept straight for two days?”
(Nandini) “Are You An Idiot? You Dumb Man! Your Health Always Comes First!” He slithered beside me and hugged from behind me.
(Manik) “I am taking care of myself. What are you making?”
(Nandini) “Why do you care? You didn’t even eat dinner.”
(Manik) “I will have that too. Do you want to go out somewhere?”
(Nandini) “Since its Saturday, won’t your friends also be out? What if you bump into them?”
(Manik) “You mean Navya. I know where and all she would go. I will avoid all those places. So, where do you want to go?”
(Nandini) “Want me to test your patience?” I grinned at him.
(Manik) “Please don’t say shopping.”
(Nandini) “Why not? I liked shopping with you before.”
(Manik) “I didn’t really enjoy going to bargain shops.”
(Nandini) “Who said I only go there? I am talking about brands.”
(Manik) “Then, I will take you to Mukti’s favourite. You will like it.”
(Nandini’s POV) He slowly kissed me. His care and impatience seem to be evident. I guess Dhruv was right. Manik wants to get married fast. It was not like I was the one who put the condition. I am ready to marry him even now. But he seem insistent that he get what he wants. I just don’t want him to ruin his health. If anything, I would prefer that he rest the day but he just can’t sit tight in one place. I am still a bit scared on having a relationship but I cannot complain when Manik is this accommodating.
We went out late morning. Surprisingly enough, he was involved in shopping with me. In the town, he sat out while I shopped. He bought quite a lot of things and I did too. Before, I would have got something in return for him but now I don’t care. Instead of don’t care, it was not a obligation I need to get him something. I felt happy someone other than family is making me their priority. I didn’t want it from anyone else except him now. How hard did I fall for him? I really wonder. As he was paying the bill, I saw someone I really didn’t want to see.
(Woman) “Oh my! If I remember right, you were Manik’s fiancee.”
(A small kid) “Mommy? Can we go?” A little girl tugged her from behind. She has a daughter and yet she was with Manik. I thought Manik only went out with people who aren’t committed.
(Woman) “Sure. Wait a minute, dear.”
(Nandini’s POV) I really don’t want Manik to meet her now. Exactly as I was thinking, Manik came carrying the bags.
(Manik not noticing the woman) “Nandini, I got it. (Then when he looked up and saw the woman he said) Preety, what are you doing here?” He smiled at her.
(Preety) “Out shopping with my little one.”
(Manik) “So, she is the precious jewel. Come here, little one.” He carried the girl to his arms.
(Manik) “She was a baby when I last saw her. She will grow up to be a beauty. She looks just like you.”
(Preety) “Thank you. And this is?”
(Manik) “Nandini. This is Preety. My cousin. A bit of a big mouth but a nice person.”
(Preety) “Big mouth doesn’t sound nice. Who helps you all the time? Nice to meet you. It must be hard for you taking care of this big baby.”
(Nandini interrupting) “Nice to meet you.”
(Manik) “What are you plans?”
(Preety) “Nothing much. Just shopping and go home. What about you?”
(Manik) “Shopping, lunch, then maybe, a movie?”
(Nandini’s POV) He looked at me. I smiled meekly. I really don’t seem to comprehend anything. She is his cousin, and she…….., I don’t even want to think. I don’t care about how
Manik was in the past since I know he was never serious about them. But she is his cousin!
(Preety) “You go ahead then. We will catch up later.” She said, taking the girl from him.
(Manik) “You okay with that?” He asked her.
(Preety) “I am. I don’t want to listen to your whining later on how I ruined your date.”
(Manik) “See. You know me the best. I am going to get the car around. Bye, Preety. See you later. Wait here, Nandini.”
(Preety to Nandu) “I was little mean before by not saying who I was during the party. That time, I was listening to Manik complain about you. He was interested in you. If it were
Mukti, she would dismiss his thoughts even before listening. That is why we, his cousins, take the role of listening to him. And of course, for a fee.”
(Nandini;’s POV) She winked at me. I really couldn’t understand what she is trying to say.
(Preety) “Its difficult for you to get it, isn’t it? Let me tell you a secret. The women you saw him with after whatever happened between you two after the party, all of the women are his cousins. He took them for dinner. Tried to understand something and left. We never understood why he was splashed all over with cousins. I mean, their husbands know where they are and it was only dinner. But now, I get it. He was trying to understand you. He was trying to make you jealous. Did he succeed?”
(Nandini’s POV) She questioned me, grinning at me. At this point, I could only smile. I was jealous of his cousins. His sisters, and sister in laws. I really want to bury myself in a hole but Manik dared not to clear this with me.
(Nandini) “He did. And he did more.” I smiled at her.
(Preety) “I was a bit angry with you to make Manik, who was never serious but was sincerely trying for you, complain. But I am happy for him. He is in love with you and you care about him. What more does he need? To us, when we see Manik happy, it gives a sense of satisfaction. After all, he took away the burden of being the successor of the company from us, so the least we can do is make sure he is happy.”
(Preety) “Didn’t he tell you? There is no necessity that the eldest should be the successor. It is the one’s wish as to what one wants to do. Mukti refused flat out, while we didn’t have the courage to tell Uncle or our parents. Manik took it up on himself.”
Preety had seen Manik bringing the car so she said “Go on, before he bursts out. He wouldn’t burst out in front of anyone except the person he loves. You are going to have a tough time. Go on. See you later.”
(Nandini) “Bye.” I went out, to see Manik waiting in the car. We had lunch, caught up to see a movie and went back. I didn’t ask him anything. When we got back home,
(Manik) “Man, that movie was so good. I am going to get a copy when it releases. Did you like it, Nandini?”
(Nandini’s POV) I pounced on his back. I thought he would stand strong but he wobbled and we fell on the sofa together.
(Manik) “What The Hell! Have You Gone Mad, Nandini? What if we hit ourselves?”
(Nandini) “Who told your legs to give away? You lied to me?”
He turned around and adjusted himself in the small space, with me on top of him.
(Nandini) “Preety told me. Those girls you went out with when we were fighting, they are your cousins.”
(Nandini’s POV) He looked stunned for a bit and then slowly, his embarrassment showed.
(Manik) “I can’t believe that woman! She told you that? Leave girls alone for a bit, they talk as if they have been friends for years.”
(Nandini) “You still haven’t answered me.”
(Manik) “Don’t sulk. It is only obvious that I couldn’t go out with other girls when I was in love with you. You wouldn’t believe it but each of them have a wonderful love story. I wanted their advice without actually asking for it and they wanted someone to listen their bragging.”
(Nandini was staring at Manik and when he noticed he asked) “What are you looking at?”
(Nandini) “You are loved, Manik.”
(Manik) “The only person I want to be loved by is you. I want spend my life only with you. No one else. I don’t care if others misunderstand me. I made a mistake once. I won’t do it ever again. I will never make a mistake in your case. I will never make you cry.”
(Nandini’s POV) Here I was scared about being in a relationship, he still cannot forgive himself for what he did to me even though I have.
(Nandini) “I love you, Manik.”
(Nandini’s POV) Saying this, I gave him peck on his lips. Kisses between us have become special. It tells me how much he wants me. A little while later, he got up.
(Manik) “Better go and make dinner.”
(Nandini) “We can have a take out.”
(Manik) “Nandini, I won’t be a sane man if I stay cuddled with you any longer. Do you understand that?” Nandini’s face heated up. Nandini was sure that she was blushing intensely .
(Nandini) “Glad you understand. What do you want eat?”
Nandini went and made dinner. After having dinner they broke for the day and walked towards their respective rooms.
Precap : No idea
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