We are finally at the end of the story. Thanks for all your support. Take care. until we meet again – Azure
5 years later
Sanskar entered the offices of M2W, returning back from an out of town meeting. M2W was the name of the architecture consultancy firm that he and Ragini has started, after her masters, with her friend Mark Wright.
Sanskar opened the door to his wife’s office, without making much noise. He saw her working, completely engrossed in her designs, even as she was trying to respond to Mark. Mark was in a jolly mood and was guffawing at some joke, that Sanskar was sure, he had told Ragini himself. Sanskar looked at him annoyed. Crumpling a piece of paper that he found nearby, he shot it at Mark, hitting him on the side of his face.
“blo*dy hell!” Mark said annoyed, as he turned to look at the source of the mischief.
Sanskar glared at him.
Mark responded to his expression with a “Mate!” and a shrug “What was I supposed to do?” he said justifying his actions “You cannot always get your wife to do what you want; how can you expect me to! As if she is going to listen to me!”
Ragini was amused by their interaction, a smile playing on her lips even as she continued to focus on her work without turning to look at them.
“I went off for that site inspection, with one request for you!” Sanskar said, still glaring at him “One simple request!
“Why do you think I am here keeping an eye on her” Mark told Sanskar, before turning to Ragini “Rags! Don’t kill me for this. It is all his doing” he told her, protecting himself from any retribution from Ragini and his girlfriend, and her best friend, Megan. He could handle Ragini alone, but the two of them together were bad, especially with the third one from their group Cat joined in. He turned to Sanskar, who, for the time being, was the immediate threat to him “You know I was keeping her happy and stress free while you were away” he tried to explain
“You were supposed to keep her from stressing too much by working continuously” Sanskar pointed out to him
“Hey, you try doing that!” Mark told him “You know you could thank me for putting my work aside and sitting with her all this time. I do have that meeting with the Bishops, to go over their plans, this evening. I am going to have to work my ass off, to finish that on time”
“Sanskar! He really wasn’t at fault. He tried to stop me from working” Ragini finally told him, trying to save her poor friend.
“Thanks!” Sanskar muttered to Mark, half heartedly
“You are not getting off this easy. I am going to take a long break when Megan and I get married” Mark told him
“You need to pull yourself together to pop the question to her first” Sanskar said, now with an amused smile. It was a joke between the rest of the friends, outside Megan, because he had chickened out of doing it 4 times so far
Mark showed him the finger before adding “You try facing Megan and daring to ask her”
“You know, one of these days, she is going to propose to you instead” Sanskar said with a chuckle
“It would save me a hell lot of trouble; I am telling you!” Mark said as he made to leave the office. He turned back a bit and told Sanskar “You know you need the break more than her mate” he said tilting the head towards Ragini “You are going to drive yourself nuts!”
Sanskar rolled his eyes, but didn’t counter. Truth be told, he knew he was being a bit hyper – actually more than a bit – but then that was how he always seemed to be when it came to Ragini. He cared enough for her, for both of them and she in turn took enough care of him, for both of them.
Sanskar sighed as he slowly walked towards Ragini. She had tied her hair up, in a make shift bun, as she focused on her work. Sanskar rubbed her shoulders and neck as she worked. She sighed in relief “Was it hurting a lot?” he asked softly
“Not much’ she told him, without turning
“Liar!” Sanskar told her “You wanted to get the design done before you focused on it” he told her, voicing what they both knew “You need to stop pushing yourself so much. Why didn’t you get one of the interns to help you with this?” he asked her, knowing fully well what she was going to say
“I have spent the most amount of time with Emma and Jake. I know what they want from their home. I won’t be able to explain it to our interns, enough for them to translate it into the design. Emma and Jake have been working so hard for put the money together and build their own house, I want it to be everything that they want it to be” She told him
“And it will be” Sanskar assured her “But you need to take it easy as well” he told her
“I will. I just want to finish this while I can. You know our family is over in town, next week. I won’t be able to work for a while after that” she told him
“For a change, I am happy that everyone is going to be here” Sanskar admitted to her
“Sanskar!” she reprimanded him softly
“What! We never get privacy when they are around. I cannot even hug you without someone or the other disturbing us” Sanskar said a bit annoyed, before adding “But this time, they are going to ensure that you don’t work so much. You cannot get around them the same way you try to blackmail me”
“Sanskar!” Ragini said “I don’t blackmail you!” she said widening her eyes
“You don’t have to!” Sanskar told her “You wriggle your nose, pout and make puppy eyes at me and I give in, on my own”
Ragini giggled at his comment, but didn’t contradict him
Sanskar moved his hands to her lower back, massaging it for her “Feeling better?” he asked softly after a while
“Hmmm” Ragini said as she rested against his chest
“Why are you using this chair when we got you that special one?” he asked her
“I am used to this one” Ragini said making a face “The other one feels odd”
Sanskar shook his head, but didn’t say anything. He continued the massage her lower back for a while
“You are the best! Do you know that?” Ragini said sighing after a while
“I know” Sanskar said with a chuckle “I have been told that by someone very special” he said, kissing her hair. He wrapped his hands around her pregnant belly, caressing it gently “I cannot wait for Aru to be born” he told her
“You have been cranky lately!” Ragini told him teasingly “It is close to the due date after all!”
“Not you too!” Sanskar told her with a chuckle “You know that once our family is here, they are going to annoy you enough to make up for all the leg pulling that you and the rest have been indulging it, at my expense”
“You will save me from them won’t you?” Ragini said pouting a bit
“Not a chance! I am going to join them in making sure you get some rest in this last week before the due date” Sanskar told her, rubbing her belly gently
“You are bad!” Ragini complained
“But you still love me” Sanskar told her, with a kiss on her cheek
“Yup!” Ragini said as they staying there in each other’s embrace for a while, before Ragini gently brought the topic he had always avoided “You know we are going to be parents soon. We will enter a new phase” she said. Sanskar nodded against her neck, even as she continued “May be it is time to leave the bad things of the past behind and mend relationships” she said softly
Sanskar sighed. He knew who she was talking about. Laksh. They had spoken about it before, but knew why she still was trying “We have spoken about this before” he said, starting on that note “If it was just the prank, I would have forgiven and forgotten it long back. You know why I cannot forgive him” Sanskar said, even as she laid her hand on his, which was wrapped around her belly “He was lusting after you, despite being clearly aware of your relation with the family and with me. He pretended to be hurt to lure me into the trap, knowing fully well that I would be hurt. I went for the sake of family, but he didn’t think twice before hurting me – forget that I was his brother, he didn’t even think about it for his family. He was more bothered about saving his own skin. That is not what family does. I cannot forgive that nor can I forget it.”
“Badi Maa looks so sad every time she sees the two of you in a room and still being distant” Ragini said softly “I feel bad for her”
“I do too” Sanskar admitted “But this time I cannot overlook what has happened. I cannot trust him again when it comes to our family. I cannot trust him when it comes to us and especially not now with Aru soon joining us.”
Ragini knew as always, he was right. It was different when they were risking themselves for the family, and the expecting the other one to be strong. She felt that Laksh had changed. She could have asked Sanskar to give him a chance, for her sake and or the family and she had. She had wondered if she, they, were being a bit selfish. She knew Sanskar had as well, even when he wasn’t giving Laksh a chance. But now Aru was in the picture as well and he would come first. Someday, if it was meant to, bridges would get mended. She hated that she had upset Sanskar, even though she knew he would understand that she was asking this for Badi Maa’s sake.
Wanting to cheer him up, she changed the topic “Ashu is really excited about the baby”
“Still messaging you every hour?’ Sanskar asked, smile now back on his face at the thought of his buddy
“Umm hmmm” Ragini said
“He is really excited that he is finally going to have a brother” Sanskar chuckled “He had plans to play video games with Aru, the moment he was born. I had to remind him that it would be a couple of years before Aru could get to that stage”
“Oh god! I remember how upset he was when he realized that Risha had no interest in his games and then Pari Bhabhi had Preeti, much to his dismay” Ragini smiled, shaking her head
“I have to play games with him when he is here, to make up for it, since Aru cannot play with him for some time” Sanskar told her
“Is that an excuse to get out of potty cleaning duty?” Ragini asked him with a raised eyebrow
“Not a chance!’ Sanskar said “I am going to be there with you all through this. Even in cleaning the potty”
“I am going to hold you to that!” Ragini told him
“You can hold me forever!” Sanskar said teasingly “You know I love to be wrapped in your arms” he said nuzzling her neck and planting gentle kisses along it
“Sanskar! We are in the office!” Ragini reminded him
“So!’ Sanskar said nonchalantly
“Have some shame!” she said even as she giggled
“If we had any shame when it came to each other, we wouldn’t be having Aru” Sanskar told her
“Sanskar!” Ragini exclaimed blushing
“In fact, I am thinking that Aru might get lonely, being alone out here, away from his cousins. He might want a brother or a sister” Sanskar told her, kissing her jaw
“Sanskar! Aru is not even born yet! How can you think of that now!” she asked
“It is your fault” Sanskar told her
“How is it my fault?” Ragini asked
“When the wife is so blo*dy gorgeous, husband cannot be expected to control himself and stop with one child” Sanskar said with a smile “Our kids are going to be gorgeous just like their mother”
“And here I thought Ashu was the only one with baby obsession! You are worse than Ashu! He has been a bad influence on you!” Ragini said with a giggle
“Tell your brother that!” Sanskar told her with a smile “He thinks I have not been as cautious, as I should, about what I say around him”
Ragini just giggled at that but didn’t comment. That trio were a bit of crazy bunch when they got together.
Sanskar sighed and kissed her cheek. He loved it when she was happy. She looked even more beautiful “You know I never thought I would be here someday – a peaceful life away from that family business, a beautiful wife who I love so much and who loves be back equally and now a baby on the way. I thought fate loved to play games with me and show me mirages, so much so that, I didn’t realize it for long, when I had the real thing. Today I cannot thank our fate enough” Sanskar said softly “It gave me you!”
Ragini nodded “And it gave me you!” she said softly “I love you” she said turning her face a bit, to look in his eyes
Sanskar closed the distance between them, as pulled her in for a gentle kiss.
Finally, everything was just as it should be.
Links to the previous chapters