The whole family came to see Shivaay in the evening. They had several questions but held them to avoid stressing him.Dadi held his hand and cried and Shivaay just consoled her saying, ” I am sorry Dadi and it’s OK now.” After spending some time with him every one except Om and Anika left.
Only one person could stay in the room with Shivaay overnight. Anika clearly wanted to stay but Om was skeptical about leaving considering Shivaay was injured.Eventually he came up with a plan.
“You stay in the room. I’ll take permission and sleep on the sofa outside”
“But Om. It’s not needed. This is a hospital. Daksh is in prison for attempted murder and noone is bailing him out.We are safe. ”
“Anika, you won your share of argument earlier today. I win this one. ” She gave up. “OK” she said.
Shivaay looked very amused at the two. They were arguing like kids. “You got to win last so I get to win now.” He couldn’t believe that he had TWO such people in his life! “I must have done something right” he thought.
He was again given pain medication for the night and slept peacefully knowing that when he woke up in the morning he would go home with his wife by his side.
They reached Oberoi Mansion by late morning the next day. Shivaay had some bruising on his face and a big gash on the left side of his chest , that had been stitched. He was sore from his tussle with Daksh. But other than that he was doing remarkably well. The medicines had his pain under control and he insisted that the puja be done as scheduled. Pinky tried to dissuade him but he wouldn’t listen, “This is an auspicious day, Dadi wanted this , and I am fine. We will go ahead with the puja. Many reasons to thank God.” Eventually, every one gave in to his argument. The puja was scheduled for early afternoon so everyone went to get ready.
In their room, Anika took out Shivaay’s clothes. He went to freshen up. As Shivaay got dressed , he realized he could not lift his left hand on his own to wear the kurta by himself. He smiled, “Well, there is some benefit to this wound after all.”
He came out of the bathroom bare chested, kurta in hand. “Anika, I need help. I can’t wear this on my own.”
She was sitting on the bed waiting so she could take a shower.She looked up and gulped.
“OK.” She got up and went to help him ignoring the roguish smile on his face. Shivaay looked at her heavily blushing face , very amused. As she stood close to him starting to help him wear his clothes, she again saw the bandage above on his chest. It was right where his heart would be. Anika got chills looking at the bandage and the bruising around it; it reminded her of seeing him drenched in blood. She gently touched the bandage and lightly covered it with her palm. Shivaay held her waist lightly and gave her a peck on her forehead. ” It’s over Anika. Don’t think about it now.” She nodded and helped him wear his kurta. It was difficult for him to raise his left hand but he managed it.Then she draped his maroon stole around his neck. She took a step back, looked at him and said, “You look awesome.”
Shivaay hugged her gently caressing her hair on the back of her head and took in a deep breath taking in her scent, a reminder of her closeness. Then he pulled back and smiled at her. “You go get ready now” he said.
She nodded, took her clothes and went to the bathroom. Shivaay made sure that the bathroom door was closed. Then he went to his closet, and took out a box from inside a drawer. Holding the box in his hands, he sat on the bed and waited.
She stepped out of the bathroom in her maroon Anarkali suit, without her dupatta that lay on the bed.Her hair was damp and her face devoid of makeup and shining . Shivaay’s breath got caught in his throat for a few seconds and his heartbeat became rapid. She looked absolutely resplendent and ravishing. That color suited her very well and the clean, simple cut of the clothes accentuated her silhouette. “My makeup is in Priyanka’s room. Anyway, I just need some lipstick and liner. I’ll use it on our way downstairs. Let’s go,” she said picking up her dupatta.
“Anika wait.” Shivaay said.
Shivaay walked up to her . He opened the box in his hand and took out two bangles from it and set aside the box.
Anika gasped as she saw the bangles.
“…Wear these the day you find someone whose entire world revolves around you…” Mallika had written in her letter that Shivaay had read too.
Anika couldn’t believe that Shivaay had kept those bangles so carefully. Her eyes filled up.
“These bangles were ready to be worn three months ago but the wrists where they belong were not available. High time they went to their rightful place.” Saying this, Shivaay slid one bangle on each of her wrists.Then he stood back, looked at her and said, “You are the most breathtaking woman I will ever know. Now let’s go downstairs.”
Anika wiped the tears that had trickled down her cheeks as she looked at the bangles on her wrists.
Together, they walked out of the room. Anika stopped by Priyanka’s room and applied some lipstick and kaajal, and a dab of perfume. Then she walked down the stairs with Shivaay.
Everyone was downstairs already, including some guests. Anika felt conscious but just then Shivaay held her hand and her nervousness vanished just like that.
Everyone looked at Anika and Shivaay full of admiration. They looked like they were stepping out of a fantasy looking very classic and almost regal.
“There they are” said Dadi. “My oldest grandson and his wife Anika Shivaay Sigh Oberoi. Due to some urgent circumstances we had to do a quiet court-marriage but a full fledged wedding will be taking place one month from now. ” Anika looked stunned and Shivaay smiled nodding at Dadi. A few cameras flashed as Anika realized that they were people from the media.
She walked with Shivaay as if in a dream.her entire family smiled at her as she went and sat at the puja vedi with Shivaay.
Late evening long after puja, dinner, and a long session of chatting were over, Shivaay and Anika retired to their room. All of Anika’s things had been transferred to her room now.Having helped Shivaay change and having changed into her own night clothes she gave him his medicines and a glass of water. Shivaay took them, kept the glass away, then pulled her down to sit right next to him, on the bed. “I want to say something.” he said. ” Anika, I want us to officially adopt Saahil.”
She was taken aback. This had come right out of the blue. “What? Why suddenly? It’s not needed.”
“It’s not sudden and yes it is needed. By me.”
Anika looked at him in disbelief.
” This is something I had planned on doing all along when I was searching for you. He is a part of you. You are a part of me. So I feel like Saahil is a part of me too. As he grows up , there will be times when certain decisions will need to be made about his future, that a parent has a right for. I want us to have that right. I don’t want any Sundari Bua to try to use him or try to snatch him from us ever again. I love him Anika. Please allow me to do this.”
Anika felt overwhelmed. Unable to speak, she nodded her consent. Shivaay kissed her hands.She came around to the other side of the bed, switched off the lights, switched on the night light, and lay down on his right side hugging him gently, feeling completely at peace
“There is one more reason.” he said
” Becoming parents of a child binds a man and a woman in an unbreakable bond. No matter how diligently, regularly, and hard I try , we cannot accomplish that feat in less than nine months. This gives us instant results and plenty of security to keep working on the second installment of this happiness.”
Anika looked at him and pinched his cheek hard.Then both of them burst out laughing. The sound of their laughter echoed in the quiet of the night filling their hearts with beautiful dreams for their promising future.
Hi Everyone. Thanks so much for reading this FF and encouraging me to write more. I did not know there was a romantic fiction writer hidden in me…But here I am, I guess!😀
Thanks everyone for supporting me so much. The more support I got, the more ideas flowed in and the more energy I had to write. I am terrible at wedding descriptions. So forgive me for not including that. But what I am going to post next is kind of a mix of an epilogue to this and a prologue to my next writing project, Serendipity. Please comment on this part and also on that to let me know if you find that story idea interesting enough. I really appreciate your support and encouragement. 🙏🙂