Chapter-13 (A New Dawn)
Radhika tried to move her arms to a stretch but she couldn’t. She frowned in her sleep. She tried to blink it away the winks of slumber, but she her lazy mind didn’t co-operate. She was surronded by a delicious warmth, and her body was reluctant to let it go. She tried to roll away and the warmth too followed in her stirring. She sagged completely but her body froze again. She was held in an embrace. Her snoozy mind came around as she felt two bands of strongs arms around her middle. Her back was pressed and plastered to a front. She turned stone when she felt a warm breath hit the left side of her neck.
What in the world is breathing down her neck? Radhika suddenly feared it was some kind of animal circled around her body. She gulped hard thinking of what kind of creature might be it.
She nudged hard with her elbow clumsily into the hard surface and heard to her relief a family sounding gravelly grunt.
It was only him, Radhika sighed and sagged completely until she realized how tight her body was just minutes ago.
“If this is how you are planning to wake me up every morning, darling wife, then I hardly want to share a bed with you from now on.” An annoyed harsh sleepy voice hissed in her ear.
She burned heavily where his hot breath hit the side of her neck.
She turned her head and was acountered to look into his haggard scruffy sleep deprived face.
“You’re awfully rude in the morning.” She replied tartly to his sarcastic comment.
His eyes half mast and lazy caught her irritated glance. He smiled lightly and adjusted her head on his shoulder a little to look down into her face completely.
The morning light and it’s golden breezy tendrils of beam fell on her face and made the porcelain skin of hers to glisten more and shine. The hair thick, shiny and long lay all over his left shoulder in a silken caress and fell over the pillows in a midnight black spread. God in heaven, if she did not look any less than an elfian princess and the fairest of all the fairest beauties. He would be damned, if it did not ruffle his ease, observing at the contradictory looks of her personality. The sight of her looking as innocent a toddler in that blush pink night dress and as smoky as a experienced seductress in a delicious display, made his eyes in a wanting to feast on her body for eternity. He would if his gaze did not make her blush so endearingly all over. She suddenly looked so vulnerable and delicate that he wanted to slid his hands all over her face to calm the wild beat of her heart attached over his chest. Time to channel the deeply arousing thoughts to something else or he was bound to do something which they both weren’t ready for…yet.
Her face drew tautened and she looked immensely displeased at the sudden heat in his stare. His eyes turned flat.
“I apologize for being rude. I’m not accustomed to wake up in an embrace of a frantic fawn. I’m rather not fond of getting ribbed in the gut often by a pair of thin gangly elbows, but sadly, I don’t seem to have a choice here.” He muttered dryly in a tired haggard voice.
Radhika blinked rapidly to get around to what he said. She was startled to silence looking at the intense observation of his eyes on her face.
Frantic fawn? She bewildered at that but few seconds later of more blinking she understood that he was making fun of her sleeping movements on the bed. Radhika had an awkward habit of covering most of the bed all night in a clock wise circle. She burned embarrassed thinking that he had held her like that in his arms through the night.
“I don’t sleep like a frantic fawn.” She retorted hotly, trying desperately to cover up the rising flush of her skin.
She failed miserably when he chuckled and made a move to get up.
“Of course you don’t. You sleep as elegant and straight as a petite princess.” He said even more flatly.
His voice reeked of utter rougish amusement as she saw his eyes slid all over at her blushing face.
She bristled at his teasing tone.
“Oh, now you’re mocking me. I didn’t realize I’m always a picture of amusement in your eyes however and whenever at your disposal.” She replied tautly, trying to not feel pleasure at the warm smile he graced at her just now, which dazzled her to silence for a while.
His head jerked and his eyes snapped back to hers, Radhika froze suddenly feeling pinned to the bed unmoving by his heavy lead narrowed stare.
“You have no idea about the picture you make right now in my eyes.” He said in a low strange gruff of a voice.
Radhika squirmed self consciously on the bed. He kept staring at her like that. She realized he was commenting again and laughing at her bed raggled appearance. She groaned heavily inside her head. How is that he still looked ruggedly handsome still like a malicious rake when she presented a look of ‘just burrowed out hedgehog’ from the earth. Her face turned taut. Not so pleasant an image. She never could make up to the looks of the women he would go for even if she tried to groom herself well. That is sad because she wouldn’t even care to try. He married her just as she was and she would remain the same.
“I surely know what must you think looking at me.” She replied in a flat voice.
One dark left eyebrow raised at that. The black rakish locks of his hair fell on his forehead in a dishevelled array. His body tonned and fit rippled and the sinews of his taut muscles flexed at the forearm of the grey t-shirt he had on.
“And do tell what you surely know. I’m utterly curious and all ears of your intelligent thoughts about what I assume of you.” He said even more amusingly.
The wealth of unpent humour in his voice rubbed wrong at Radhika’s self conscious. He seem to be always having fun conversing with her.
“I perceive that you’re looking at a picture of a drenched stray cat hot in it’s pursuit of a home….”She said critically bland and continued with the thought with rising angry colour of her face….”And I hope you curb the appalling comment because you don’t want to face the consequence of angering your wife.” She replied irritatedly, knowning well what would come out of his mouth about her appearance.
He stared into her annoyed angered face for what seemed like ages. Radhika bristled at the poker expression he put and irritation prickled her skin when he again looked at her with such mix of bemusement and wonder. As if she was a unique creature he ever came across. It seemed like he had all the time in the world to keep on gazing at her like that. As abrupt as it was, he threw his head back suddenly and burst into a loud guffaw. With widening of eyes and sharpening of ears, she felt the delicious richness of his deep burring laughter fill the entire room and possibly in her mind forever. He looked and seemed suddenly several years younger like a teenage boy, with nothing of responsiblities and work of a ruthless busninessman. His eyes danced and watered in abandon of uncontained amusement that he had put a strict restriction to since a few minutes now. Radhika frowned. What had she said that made him laugh so fulfillingly.
Anger rose again knowning that he was laughing at her again.
“Oh do stop it. I’m mortified that it seemed worse than I thought. I hope I don’t look that bad as you see me. You’re laughing as if I’m a spectacle of a drowned mouse rather than a cat. Is it my hair? Does it look like a crow nest?” She scowled mullishly at his colouring face again, and slid her hand self consciously over her head.
That made another round of roaring laughter to vibrate around the walls again. Utter humiliation burned her face as he seemed endlessly in an immense mirth at her expense.
He caught her eyes while laughing. She gave him a baleful glare. It seemed to have opposite reaction again as he was turning even more red. His form was was doubled over now.
“No more, please.” He said through the now turning light chuckles and she was thankful that he stopped it or else she was afraid he was going to have a fit with all the laughter…”I think I had enough of your thoughts now….and…” He moved closer to her, and his hands cupped her face suddenly. His eyes warm brewing of brown coffee slid smilingly all across her face…”As you put an order so adoringly…I don’t want to anger my sweet irritated wife. God forbid if I ever face the consequence of it. I don’t want to laugh into an apoplexy and die, coming as it will from the delicately critical application of your thinking.” He concluded in good humour.
Radhika stared fascinated into his eyes. He quizzed silently at her mute response.
“Now what? You aren’t going to fiercely contradict me anymore. Or did the drowned cat got your tongue finally?” He asked her again gently in a gravelly whisper.
Radhika’s face went all red as he grasped her face so delicately into his brawny large hands. This close to his face she could the light specks of soft hazel sprinkles in his brown eyes. They sparkled profound and it lightened the rough lines near his eyes, jaw bones and spread the grim set of his lips into a teasing light smile. It tugged deep somewhere near her chest. It unsettled and rankled at her nerves knowing that his proximity affected her lots. She hurried to cover that up.
“I’m only silent so that you will stop laughing at me.” She replied in a low sullen whisper.
His breath fell on her upper lip warmly and her reply was less angry and more breathy than she intended to be. He smiled again a deep knowning one. Both of his thumbs slid caressingly over her heated cheeks.
“I forbid your silence heavily. You need to speak up your mind whenever in my company. That’s an order. It saves me the time to find an entertainment.” He said huskily just as in a low whisper as her.
Radhika’s brows furrowed. She bristled at his words. That she was entertainment to his highness amusement but she curbed more of the caustic words coming on her tongue. He would laugh at her again. But something else like curiosity to know her mind in his voice made her unsettled. She wasn’t used to people having interest in knowning her opinion at all and him from the all of them asking her otherwise to be vocal of her thoughts was bewildering.
“Even if I contradict you at every turn in the conversation we have? Would it not displease you of having a disobedient wife.” She said warily in a hard voice.
He gave her baffled incredulous stare.
“Disobedient wife?” He asked a little shocked and stared at her some more in disbelief before concluding it in a humour filled laugh…”God, woman, what did you think that we’re living in dark ages still?”
She had always kept her silence when in her father’s company and so did her mother too. Conversations from the daughters weren’t allowed at home. It only would have raked incessant harsh censor from her father. She had prefered to keep her opinions and thoughts to herself than speak up and face the ire at home.
She saw him frown into her eyes. He seem to be trying to penetrate into the fog of her scrambled thoughts, which she wouldn’t allow ever in her life.
His smile was wry.
“Wouldn’t it be a crashing bore to be silent? and a woman always is beautiful in her thoughts more rather than in her outer beauty, and you, sweet darling, certainly shouldn’t be silent in your opinions.” He said so softly and gravelly, and tried again to search into her eyes and continued….”Isn’t it an equal a right for a woman as such compared to a man? And, where the hell did you get such an imbecile thought? Now in this century?” He asked her suddenly curious and annoyed at the same time.
Radhika was surprised at his fiercely said words. He would want her to be impossible to him and not have an equation with his thoughts always? That was certainly confusing, as he was the man to always have the last say and she wondered if he would allowed her to have her say and be firm in her decisions? That was something to be seen or was he just humouring an errand wife, that, to make her stay, Radhika certainly didn’t know. She became solemn abruptly. Why didn’t she find him earlier. Not as through a contract wife and husband but as normal him and her.
“From my father.” She replied in a disquited voice.
His smile lightened at her reply and his eyes became as soft as a light rain. The hazel specks of his eyes awashed her with such compassionate understanding that it drew a sharp intake of breath into her lungs.
His answer was ever more quieter than hers.
“Then, he missed a beautiful warm conversation of his daughter. Pity him for losing you for it. I assure that he is an imbecile for festering such a idiotic seed of a doubt in your mind.” He said in a gravelly harsh whisper.
The swift change from a smile to quiet and then to a hard tone in his face and voice made Radhika to giggle a little. Oh, he was very much fierce in showing complete disgust and discern for her father that it made her laugh more. Nobody dared to call her father an imbecile. He froze and blinked at her smile. Whatever the remnants of a scowl he had on, it vanished as immediately as it came.
“What?” He asked, blankly still staring at her lips.
“Nothing.” She replied immediately and avoided his eyes.
Silence fell around them and made it charged up with a throng of unwareness. She didn’t realize that she was sitting so close to his body.
“I thought you prefered me to be silent.” She said hastily to break the delicate tension between them.
He sighed in what seemed to be in irritation and Radhika lifted her eyes to his face. He moved away and made way to get out of the bed.
“If I had wanted a dumb wife and with a wit as hard as resembling brittle stones, then, I would gladly have prefered to buy a pet instead and had saved myself the torturous company. A pet very silent and not at all annoying. Maybe a cat.” He muttered cynically…”At least it wouldn’t prattle about unrelevent crap that you seem to be holding onto stubbornly right now.” He concluded, with a rebuking soft smile.
Radhika gritted her teeth. He did not just scold her. She wanted to row about it with him, but, she wanted to ask something else. It was important to know him through it.
“Even if she was beautiful and looked like a dream?” She asked suddenly in a uncertain voice.
He turned his eyes to capture hers and he frowned in concentration to know the reason for the sting of sadness in her voice he detected instantly.
“Wthout a care for independent opinions and a woman who giggles often foolishly? You just described a mannequin. Lifeless and a dummy. What would I do with it? Such vacous superficial beauty is rather better in adorned enclosed mirrors than having it as one’s own. I donot have the care nor have I any interest in it.” He said at length and in sharp explanation to silence her unsettled thoughts once and for all.
He stared at her gravely for a few more seconds to understand what she was thinking now. Though, except the damned look of confusion furrowing her delicate brows he got nothing but silence again. He shook his head and wondered to make himself understand of what she was searching in him with those earnest questions. Everything she asked him were paltry and ridiculous but somehow it seemed important to her. He didn’t want to ruin the tenderness of it by freezing her out. She didn’t deserve to be treated like that. Hell, she didn’t give him choice to be coldly indifferent with her. She was so breathlessly beautiful and adorable funny at the same time that he couldn’t stop himself from laughing so hard and theraputically in her company.
He finally understood a thing, a quality that she couldn’t hide, when she pursed her lips like a wrinkle of a rose petal. Red and velvety. Frustrated anger at his unrelent vehemence of at the image he created in her mind. She seem to be struggling to make him prove the devil that he was in her eyes. Which he wasn’t. It amused him to see her grabbling at the things he wouldn’t care for. She really made an opinion of him in her mind. God, how shallow was he according to her. That he was an extreme bad guy. He liked the thought. Makes her to stay put at arms length. That was something not a danger to his sanity. If he got the full force of her emotions, then he was bound to foolishly fall hard for her which he wouldn’t allow. Not now. Not to her. Not to any woman or anyone. He was done with such things. The intensity of having those in his life had already cost him much more than he could pay. He couldn’t allow it to enter into his life. At all. It dimmed already when he sharpened his mind to conquer the cut throat world of business instead.
Radhika still was lost in thoughts.
“Why do you insist on not having a liking for outer beauty. At all?” She questioned again, trying to understand what he said.
She saw him stand up and stretch his arms a little. In doing so the t-shirt too rippled and it slid up revealing his toned abs. The track pant was hung low. His hip bones were showing and Radhika blushed heavily when he saw the direction of her eyes and he grinned like a true rougish rake. He seem to know that she was checking him out.
“I never said I don’t have a liking. With beauty there should be an intellect too. Would you have prefered me as a simpleton of a husband, of with nothing but dashing looks?” He replied smilingly again, and turned around.
“Not really. I don’t now too.” She replied point blank flatly.
He chuckled at her honest reply.
But he froze and his head slid to the side looking curiously at her.
Radhika straightened nervously.
“Why do I feel that you’re fishing for a compliment, huh? If that is so, then let me give you one… you’re no beauty nor a brainy..” He said in a teasing mock.
She gasped immediately at his arrogant words. He did not just say that. Oh, the dare of the cad. Her face turned flushed and angry red. She spluttered to contain the fury that started simmering her blood.
“You’re such a cad, Mr. Arrogant, Husband.” She hissed in a scowl.
He gave her a nonchalant shrug of a shoulder.
“And you’re such a nag, My Miss Dainty little, Wife.” He mocked back.
Radhika’s eyes rounded. Nag? Nag!
Dear god, he thinks that she is nagging. Oh, what a stinking mess.
“I’m a nag?” She gasped horrified, her face scrunched up in disgust.
He shook his head as if he knew how it made her feel utterly humiliated.
“I’m not a nag. Take that back.” She ordered suddenly fierce.
He only raised his left eyebrow up patronisingly.
“Going on and on about only one thing. Definition of a nag.” He muttered dryly.
That made her to shut her trap once and for all. She bit her tongue not to let out numerous chaste curse words in his face that she learned from his sailor mouth.
He seemed to ignore that as he moved towards her bathroom.
That made Radhika to straighten suddenly in sharp alertness.
“Where are you going?” She asked in a snappy tone.
He stopped abruptly and turned around sighing.
“To shower.” He replied in a flat voice.
She stared back sharply.
“You have your own bathroom, don’t you?” Radhika asked annoyed.
He narrowed his eyes too.
“And let you use up all the hot water again before I reach mine?” He countered asked equally angry now.
Radhika shrugged uncaringly now.
“That’s your problem.” She replied haughtily.
His shoulders bunched and he kept staring at her for a while like that. Radhika looked back flatly. She intended to roll her eyes at his glaringly pissed off look but she tamed it. He seem to be wanting to throttle her.
Suddenly the look of anger vanished and as his gaze became lazy and heated. She stirred uncomfortably again.
“What?” She asked cautiously.
He walked slowly in a saunter.
“Why not save us both the trouble and time.” He said in a low drawl.
Radhika turned her head while he came around her side of the bed.
“How?” She asked frowning.
He drew closer and Radhika stared up into his dancing eyes. What was he so amused at now.
“Let’s….” He continued in that husky gruff tone, leaning his upper body down to cage her to the bed….”take a shower together.”
Radhika’s eyes widened and she blushed a darker red. She drew back on the bed to escape.
“You can use my bathroom.” She retreated hastily, giving up and done fighting with him.
He chuckled darkly and it seem to come from his throat the deep mirth. It travelled across the room and vibrated in a caress all over her body.
Before she could even try to force herself out of the room, she was jerked back by her body in shock when he came around her so fast, like a cheetah on a hunting prowl.
She gulped hard looking up into his molten lava eyes. There wasn’t a sign of mirth or smile in his face except a look of pure pedatory sharpness.
“Where do you think you’re going?” He asked her softly gruff.
His stuttering breath fell on her face and warmed her entire body. He was every inch tall, toned, golden, alpha male. He knew the power of his looks and he used it well to play havoc in her mind.
“O..o..out of the room.” She said in a stutter.
She should beat herself again for sounding affected.
His eyes flashed and glinted. He walked her back slowly. His eyes looked at the distance between their bodies that she seem to try hard to maintain at least an air of gap.
His lips quirked up in the corners wryly.
“Why my dear, Do you act as prickly sour pear and a prudish little princess now?” He whispered down at her….”Is it only in the night that you have your arms wound so tightly around my body? Is it one of your schemes, to draw me closer and me push me back. Teasing the hell out of me?” He asked her languidly, in a jeer looking down at her body in a display of blatant crude interest.
He shook his head glancing down into her rounded hazel eyes. Both of his hands grabbed her waist as lightly as a feather. It made her take a sharp intake of breath though.
“You know what. Anyway you decide, Play this game. I like it. Very much.” He muttered even more gruffly.
Radhika felt a sudden rise of deep anger at his words. Game? She was playing a game now? He thinks she wantedly was teasing him.
“Oh god, you’re such a shameless brute.” She groaned heavily, and pushed away from his body.
She turned around with heated cheeks. She was about to leave the room in a huff but not before she heard a deep burring of laughter again.
“I’am, but only when it comes to you.” He shouted good naturedly at her retreating back, teasing her again.
Radhika muttered several more curses under her breath. She was glad her mother wasn’t around. Mom would have boxed under hers for letting out such words.
Two hours later Arjun prowled around his room looking for his things.
He let out a irritated loud growl. Before he shout anymore, he found her holding his watch and mobile phone in her hand. He stared back into her flat eyes surprised a little. Grudgingly he took the watch and phone.
She seem to have showered too. Her long black hair was still a little damp. The locks fell around her shoulders in smooth silky strands. Though, she changed into another night dress. This time satiny blue one. He frowned suddenly. He closed his eyes shaking his head thinking that he hadn’t informed her yet that they were leaving the mansion in the afternoon. Out of Dehli.
He moved to get his coat out of the wardrobe.
“Your coat.” Called her voice from his back calmly.
He turned to see her pointing her forfinger at the bed.
His jaw locked looking at his grey coat neatly spread and ironed without a crease on the bed. He shouldn’t be surprised though. From the past few days, he found his clothes ironed and hung neatly in the closet. Ties matched. Buttons stitched back. Shoes kept in order. His bed made always. His files in the study were suddenly well lined and alphabetically. The various missing accounts in his confidential office binders corrected and kept in order. She was very much attuned to his needs. It disturbed him with which she worked studiously and very much enthusiastically like a work hungry employee of his office. She was a wife and his secretary all in one. He was accustomed to her bringing in tea at random times of the day. She constantly fussed over the things around his work in the study. Always chattering about the drawn curtains or the lunch she bought in he missed while being busy with work. It made him luxuriously rely on her very much. If she wasn’t around much often than he does find her, he became restless and irritated the whole day. He was used to her batter and the ample scold he gets while he cursed scowlingly when she starts to get on his nerves through the constant bout of talking. Not one dared to venture into his study. Most of the housekeepers who come and go before sunrise would leave his study alone to clean later. She was the only one who he allowed in. That which he was regretting right now after several days in her company. She was smothering him with too much attention to his every need and the compelling thing was, he very much did not mind it all. In fact, he welcomed it grudgingly and wholeheartedly.
He gave her a narrowed look. She didn’t seem to be affected by his cool indifference.
“For a man who has accute OCD, you’re carelessly and absolutely disorganised.” She said in a caustic tone and a huff.
He fought a grin at her haughty attitude.
She walked towards his bed and started to remove the towel that he threw it the previous day. She stared at it scowling.
“Why do you want to set everything right then, if you’re so displeased about it?” He asked her softly.
He liked to spar with her. It made every moment spent with her delightful and refreshing. He liked her companionship. She was his much needed solace. Only with her that he could be himself and relaxed.
She gave him a glare so baleful that it really made him to grin now.
“I don’t want you to growl like a boar each time you don’t find your things. It’s just so irritating. God knows how your how your employees bear you at such times of your testy temper.” She muttered, still arranging the sheets in order.
Radhika really was annoyed when she found his room in a mess again.
He fell silent suddenly. She looked up from settling the bed sheet and to his face. He seem to have communicated the look at his eyes became suddenly serene.
“What is it?” She asked a little strain, unnerved completely by the arrested expression of his face.
“We are leaving for Mumbai today.” He said in a quiet voice.
Radhika blinked twice.
“Mumbai?” She asked in a blank note of a voice.
He sighed and moved towards the bed opposite to hers.
“Yes.” He replied shortly, in a monotone.
Radhika jerked into activity as she closer to his side. He grabbed the coat to put in on the black shirt he wore. He forgot momentarily how handsome he looked in the formals.
“But why are we leaving for Mumbai?”
He glanced across into her strained face. He buttoned the coat while replying calmly. He had shaved and his hair wasn’t dishevelled.
“Because that is where home is.”
Radhika stared into his shadowed face and wondered at his sudden grave manner, but the word ‘home’ paralyzed her suddenly.
Home. It had a profound impact on her mind suddenly when he said the word so intimately, but she shook it off as it tried to penetrate into her heart too his words.
“Aren’t we already home?” She asked again.
He glanced across at the walls.
“This.” He gestured with his left hand in a dismiss…”Is only a month long stay which I had extended for a time more than necessary. My main office is there and I’m finding it rather difficult to put out the orders every day from here. Surely you must understand.”He explained to her with a frown and a exasperated sigh.
Radhika felt a sudden thrill at his need to explain her the stuck situation he was in. She was surprised he was even sharing with her something. Although, she knew he was merely telling her this because he thought she would understand the profession of a hectic work he had. Just the same as her father’s. So, of course she understood him.
Radhika circled both of her hands around her waist. Though she sought the gumption somewhere from her gut to disagree with him again. This would certainly anger him, but how can she suddenly leave the place where was born and bought up and follow him to an unknown place. Which wasn’t exactly her home and which would only be a place for her to stay for two years. Wouldn’t she come to love it eventually if she stayed and embraced the new place and would it not break her heart to leave it forever finally. All these thoughts suddenly made her nauseous. What about mom. And what Sam. She may already have left for New York, Radhika thought sadly. She took a deep breath in.
He moved closer to her and stood staring down with furrowed brows. His eyes quizzed at her silence.
“I do understand, but…b…but..” She fidgeted with the blue botton of her night shirt.
He looked down at her nervous hands and then into her worried filled eyes.
“But?” He insisted softly for her to go on.
“But, what if I say, I wouldn’t come along with you and stay back here.” She said finally in a firm tone.
His amusement filled eyes turned cold suddenly. He stepped back from her as if burned.
His expression became more sombre and serious. His stare all over her face as if trying to understand turned wary and cautious.
“Have you forgotten about our arrangement?” He asked her in a cool gravelly tone.
Radhika knew that, under the calm exterior there was certain amount strain in his voice. Her mood turned bitter thinking about the contract they had got into together. The pact was forever there. She could do nothing about it. Except it made her feel immensely cold inside suddenly. Her eyes stung with the effort to cover the hurt she just felt just now at his harsh reminder. He had affectively put her in place with that.
“How can I forget that.” She replied in a low tone, letting her hands fall to the sides and moving back too.
His eyes narrowed at her resigned gesture.
“Good. I hope you never will.” He muttered back in a hard voice, and walked past her.
Radhika stared at the empty space.
“Of course.” She replied, through a strained gulp of unshed tears again. Though she did not turn around while saying it.
He seem to reach the door but she did not hear it open. Radhika frowned turned around to see him clutching the door knob tightly. He waited for her eyes to reach his.
“Remember one more thing. Had an agreement where we both got what we wanted.” He drawled coolly again and continued with serene brown eyes that could cut through a stone wall…”So, cut the look of a sacrificed lamb because you profited with this contract as much as I did. Whatever your ploy is, Wouldn’t work on me. And, I don’t give a f**k about it. Pack your bags and come if you want to. If not walk out from here free and but with an annulment of the marraige. Though you would get nothing much out of it.” He muttered those words savagely calm again, blistered her with a seering look, flung the door open and walked out of the room in obvious billious anger.
There. He really went and proved that he was an utter calous brute. How did she think otherwise of his impossible nature she didn’t know. The tears that swam in her eyes burned away with the brewing anger she felt at his word. Ugh, the arrogant scoundrel. She was running out of names to curse him. Oh, heaven only help her if she didn’t get an early rise of blood pressure remaining in his ever passive company.
Radhika still nervously roamed around her room for what seemed like upteemth time. She kept thinking and thinking. She groaned heavily and walked upto the window. Her body locked tight when she looked out. His car was parked outside on in the narrow lane of the mansion. Green damp grass was swanked on either side of the concrete road. The fog was much heavier today. It circled around in thick mist still at 12PM. It was suddenly very chilly. Like as if the cold storm had broke into the wintery season finally, but she never expected this much of a below temperature around. She pulled the coat strings tighter around her body. He had changed again. Radhika frowned. Was he only trying the suit? because now he was wearing blush pink coloured round neck t-shirt, inky blue ripped denim jeans and a thick purple coat. He was putting the luggage into the back of the Porsche. His shoulders were bunched and strained and he had an air of imperious authority. Suddenly her heart started palpitating. Would he really leave her here? He could, her mind answered in quick reply.
He had given her a free way to leave. He wasn’t really pushing into a corner and leaving her no choice. No. He never restrained. Didn’t he make it clear from the first that it would only be a pretense of a relationship.
But she couldn’t help but wonder. To be closer to a man so deeply thoughtful as he was. He was all pratical and rough. So thoroughly focussed in life. Working hard and earning big. He was very fierce in everything. Going after what he wanted with such sharpness. He would even chase hell to get it. What would it be like to have the love of such an enigmatic man. And she wondered how intense his love would be if he focussed all his attention to it. Her pulse quickened remembering his eyes all on her. Only on her. So hawk like and intent. She drew back the curtains hastily when he froze and abruptly turned around to peer into her window. Her face heated up. What in the world were her thoughts straying. She never realized till now she had been breathing a little heavily. Such dangerous thoughts. She hardly could handle him teasing her. If such a thing happens of him falling for her, which was impossible though. But if it happens, then she probably would run to the hills at the first indication of a change.
She shook her head and went to her wardrobe deciding finally something. She took out a red dress. It was cinched at the waist and hung down to the knees in a billowy skirt. It was a half shoulder sleeved one. It wasn’t something that she would normally go out and get. Sam had bought it for her.
Radhika went into the fog of college memories smilingly.
“You look like an old lady in these baggy clothes. Let’s spice up your wardrobe. At least I hope this time you would ensnare a boyfriend. Or I’m really afraid that you would end up remaining a spinster forever.” Sam had muttered dryly, when Radhika did pick up a long length skirt.
She still smiled looking at the dress. It had been ages she wore this. Radhika suddenly got a memory and she beemed up. Sam couldn’t get to New York, not before submitting permission slip into the Mumbai Art convention office. How did she forget that. Yes, damn right she was. It was the last month for getting in entries. She bloomed happily thinking of meeting her there before Sam left for the U.S.
She pulled back a suitcase from the closet and threw it open on the bed. Very much hurriedly she shoved all her clothes in it haphazardly. The car honked thrice. Each time he did that, she jumped in anxiety. Oh, the impossible beast. She kept muttering under her breath all the while she changed.
Radhika looked herself in the mirror. Oh no, the satiny material clung to her curves rather tightly. The dress had not been worn at all. As she first tried it, the front of the dress accentuated more letting her body in a display and also have a slanting shape. She threw it away in her closet and never had attempted to wear it again. It was only for the benifit of Sam that she bought the dress.
The car honked the fourth time and Radhika sighed exasperated and rolled her eyes towards heavenwards.
She looked at herself in the mirror again. A careless shrug covered her left shoulder. She straightened the nasty locks of her hair into even tresses but nothing could help those turning into a mess again. They lay curled up in only minutes.
She groaned heavily and hefted up the filled suitcase off the bed and rolled it down on the floor.
Women, he thought exasperated. God knows what things are needed to be packed. He had been waiting for her to come out of the mansion for more than an hour. Oh, but he wouldn’t risk of asking her about it. He had faced the ire of having the impertinence to question about her clothes. An hour of ear bleed a lecture from her when he commented wryly about a whole side of her wardrobe filled with only scarves. He had scowlingly listened to her yammer about him being too rude and arrogant. The argument was pointless. He had complied with her nature to have a row with him at least half an hour for a day. She would be a restless caged bird fluttering about the mansion if she didn’t have people to talk to. He had once found her laughing and having a hearty conversation with the cook. They were talking about pudding recipes. But it looked more like they were discussing about a movie script. It was thoroughly amusing.
He was growing impatient by the minute looking at his watch.
Had she decided not to come after all? A trickle of fear curved up his spine. But those thoughts were put to rest when he heard a movement near the front porch. He didn’r turn around to see if she was coming down the steps.
A slow smile tugged at his lips as a deep rush of triumph pumped fast into his veins. Finally.
He turned around still smiling but his eyes widened a little looking at the ample display of pearly white skin everywhere. His head jerked back. He wasn’t used to seeing her like this, bare arms, shoulders and legs. She had been covered mostly in long skirts and clothes and clothes of stuff over her upper body. It came a punch of shock to his gut and also to his senses.
He glanced up into her face. She was scowling, with hair shiny smooth flowing everywhere in the breeze and the dress. He gulped hard. It showed everything that was hidden before by the scarves she wore around her neck. Now, the red dress hung low. Hung tight around the delicate tiny waist, it pushed up her chest. The dress flowed down pillowy around her dainty knees and left everything else bare. His eyes went down to the red ballet slippers she wore. The soles were perfectly molded into her delicate boned feet. He was mesmerised by the view. He couldn’t get his eyes off her. She had minimal make up around her eyes and lips, and her face shined and sparkled in blushing pink even in the white mist. He was so much immersed to drink in greedily her appearence that he failed to observe the withering look she gave him.
“You’re such an impatient man. Why were you honking the car like a ruckus creating crazy traveller. I wonder if you don’t suffer from anxiety disorder already from all the hustling you do. You need a health check up immediately or I should for that matter living with you.” She ranted breathlessly drawning the suitcase from behind her.
Radhika breathed hard while she trolleyed the suitcase out of the mansion. He had been incessantly getting on her nerves by honking the car continuously.
She ignored his frozen form on the ground and went on hefting up the luggage and putting it in the back of the car. Ungentlemen idiot. He did not even come to take the heavy luggage from her. He kept gazing down somewhere near her waist like a stone statue.
“Where the f**k did you get that thing to wear?” He asked her in sudden gruff husky and gravelly booming voice.
Her body turned stone at the bemusement in his voice. She moved back and looked down at herself self consciously. An immediate blush covered her face and also her body. Oh dear, now she looked all blotchy and red everywhere. It had always been a fault with her skin. Only a little embarrassment caused her to react like this.
She tugged at the shoulder sleeves looking at his frozen stare.
“Why? Is it not good?” She asked a little hesitantly.
If he said anything bad about the dress, she was going to change it immediately. She didn’t want anymore of humliating comments from his mouth.
He blinked at her question blankly.
“It’s bursting at the seams.” He replied still in that dazed voice.
His eyes glazed and dilated. Radhika frowned and she gasped incredulous at his words. Oh, she was going to kill him for this.
Both of her hands went to her waist in a fighting stance.
“Did you just call me fat?” She asked, as her upper lip curled in a fierce scowl.
The devil had the dare to comment on her body. What if, she had gained a few pounds and the dress was a size less than the one she in was now. Oh, he was messing with her head.
His face changed suddenly and he grinned mischieviously with twinkling light eyes.
“No. I was only appreciating your delicate structure. Haven’t you had any compliments and wolf whistles whenever you wore….this thing.” His eyes again slowly heatedly went down to her chest, and he gulped hard looking up at her. He looked like he was having difficulty in gathering up thoughts.
“Oh my god, I should go change the dress.” Radhika turned around hearing the a note of sarcasm and a mock in his voice.
He caught her upper arm and pulled her body up into his chest. She stared surprised into his smiling face. He was doing this often since the past one week. After the incident the afternoon since they got into the contract. He had been withdrawn and aloof for about week. She would have been bored as hell if not for the housekeepers who slowly filled in the mansion for cleaning and taking care of the necessities. They always followed around hee instructions. She had been surprised when the elderly lady Mrs. Roza came to her asking for the day’s menu. She had informed Radhika that the master of the mansion asked her to decide it. She was pleasantly surprised as well as irritated at his absence.
Since after the week she had enough of his sulking. She found him the next week in his study, his head burried deep in a papers, files and documents. He looked dead on feet and tired as hell.
That’s that. She had decided to sort around the mess he created here and there. Some of things she set right in his study. She saw him observe her with silent indifference. Many others would have withered away by his cold attitude but Radhika already was used to such treatment. She forced fed him lunch and dinner which he had skipped often the before week.
God, if he didn’t look gaunt, unshaven and austere. Not a tendril of light strayed into the study. He was on before 5AM in the morning and only blew the lights of work late in the night. He was a thorough workoholic.
But whatever indifference he showed her in the daylight, it engulfed away the space between them when every morning, she always found him spooning her in the bed. She never knew when he came and embraced her in the night. Radhika sensed that, he feared she would sleep walk or roam about the mansion because of her insomnia. Hence, he never left her alone in the night. But to her surprise she had been sleeping like a tree all these four weeks and woke only with the sunrise. It really was a change that was brought out living in the shadow of his safety. For whatever man he maybe, Radhika was always assured that he would never let any harm come her way. That she had been always aware of.
He stared deep into her eyes.
“Is it for my benifit that you dressed up so…..s*xily?” He asked her in a low husky whisper.
Radhika tried to push away but he only tigtened his wrist more around her arms.
“No.” She denied vehemently sharp.
Though she her face reddened in mortification at his heated stare.
“Really?” He asked her again, drawing even more closer and leaning his head down to her eye level.
“Stop it.” She mumbled irritated, of how she sounded not firm but breathless and weak.
She tried to free her arm but clutching at his fingers but it was scratching pointlessly at iron bars.
“Tell me. Did you think of me while wearing this dress?” He prodded again, trying to make her feel more embarrassed than before.
Radhika pursed her lips and retorted back in a firm angry tone.
“I dressed up for myself. It’s not for anyone’s benifit or yours, you brute. Now let go, you’re hurting me.” She bit out flailing her arms and struggling more.
He loosened his hold on her upper arm and Radhika breathed a relief when she felt the blood rush into the numb veins of her arm.
“There. It wasn’t so hard, was it?” He said softly again.
She glanced up into his clear brown eyes frowning.
He smiled and moved back a little to observe her face.
” To accept your choice to wear whatever you wish to. You don’t have to ask me if you look good. Learn to be confident in your decisions. You don’t have to get influenced by anyone’s censor or mock.” He muttered calmly, grabbing already the uncertain thoughts of her mind.
Why did she feel that, he was talking about something else too. Like how she was hesitant in general. In her work at the workshop and paintings.
She searched into his eyes trying to see for the mock, jeer, sneer or laughter in those brown shining orbs, but he only stared back dead serious into her wide eyes.
Of course, he was right. She musn’t get frigtened of a little sneer. If at all she gave freedom to such negativity from around her, it will never let her do as her heart says. She shouldn’t get influenced by him or any other person. Of her choices or decisions.
“So, you’re saying that, I’m free to wear whatever I wish to. You won’t mind?” She asked him cautiously.
He leaned by the car door and looked across her flatly.
He just shrugged in reply and moved closer to her.
“Though, if you fidget again. The dress is sure to tear off your body and…” He started in a drawly and Radhika drew back muttering curses.
“Oh, god, you’re so mean!” She scowled reddening at his comment.
Deep roaring laughter filled her ears when she turned around.
It infuriated her that he had amusement at her expense again. She grudgingly thought to have left him alone in his study weeks ago but she had been afraid that he was about to come out as a bat instead then. She had to take some measures as a wife at least.
Ten minutes later she came out wearing a peach coloured tank top and a white long skirt with a combination of both coloured scarf. It had pearls and sea shell strings. Her favourite of all scarves.
He drew closer to her sighing. His eyes were narrowed staring at the impudent scarf that covered her up mostly.
Radhika followed his gaze and dared him with her eyes to comment about it, but he shook his smiled.
“Good?” She asked saccharine sweetly.
Now he would have no more teasing words about her body. She had dressed up head to toe completely. Thank god, his gaze wouldn’t become heated now. She couldn’t handle him being all intimate.
He smiled at her jeeringly. Knowning well that she did it on purpose.
“Gorgeous.” He muttered starchily.
Her eyes gleamed with triumph when he looked down at her dress in complete visible distaste. She forced down a giggle and got around the car.
They settled in companionable silence in the car but it didn’t last long before an argument started again. This time about the air condition.
He glared at her sideways and she stared back flatly.
“It’s f**king freezing in here.” He growled low.
Radhika’s lips pursed and her nose wrinkled. Ugh, she should shove a sock into his cussing mouth.
“It’s not freezing. Like I said, I don’t want to be dried up in the heat.” She replied dryly and switched on the air condition.
He smiled a little at the corner of the lips but his eyes were mirthless.
“I better throw you out in the cold then. It’s a place good for you.” He mumbled under his breath so low that she could barely hear him.
It was like he was grunting and growling all the time these days.
“What? I can’t hear you speak if you mumble like that. Are you cursing at me?” She asked frowning and exasperated straining to hear god knows what he was muttering under his breath.
He was doing that often in her company. A permanent scowl was etched across his face whenever she would talk more than ten minutes. Sometimes she wondered if his face muscles were frozen like that but that seemed not the case. He smiled at everyone. Greeted the housekeepers warmly when they did. Had a nice word to say to every person except her, she thought bitterly. He left awe and fascination behind wherever he walked in. He seem always furtive and guarded with her. Hiding everything. His self. Like she shouldn’t dare cross the barrier he put around his heart. It was made of deep ice layers that couldn’t be penetrated ever. Ironic isn’t it that he was sensitive to cold. It hurt her.
She glanced across to the side observing his averted profile as he changed gears. Taking a deep breath in she proceeded on.
“Who is there at home?” She asked him in a low tone.
His eyes snapped sideways to hers. His expression sombre and a wry smile lifted up his lips and he turned back to driving.
“Except the walls, antique furniture, numerous rooms,and the housekeepers?” He asked her a question instead softly.
Radhika smiled too and leaned to his side scooting closer to his seat.
“Yes.” She replied shortly.
He leaned too and slid his gaze observingly all over her face.
“No one.” He answered her in a monosyllable.
He didn’t look sad nor he looked angry. He only was coldly detached. As if it did not matter at all, but Radhika knew the deep loneliness she could see in his dark brown fathomless eyes.
She felt him communicate his thoughts to her as her palm went to his hand on the gear clutch. Her eyes stung and burned. He tensed up beside her. Full body lock in a strain. His first instincts were obviously to repel her compassion. He wouldn’t like it. Not from her or anyone. She would shy away from people feeling bad for her too. Radhika didn’t lift her eyes to his. He would reject and reel away from the tears she felt for him. After a second of her fingers lightly put on his hand, he relaxed completely.
But she have to prod a little more.
“No siblings?” She asked again through hard gulp of her throat, her voice sounded sandpapery and hoarse.
His reply came immediate.
“None now.” His voice now brittle and bitter.
The detachment wasn’t there anymore. He suddenly was vibrating with some barely there controlled emotion.
Oh god. What does he mean with that.
“None now? What do you mean?” She asked through the trembling of her voice.
The car stopped suddenly and her chin was lifted up by his forefinger. Her eyes caught his shadowed gaze.
“Will you trust and tell me about your nightmare?” He counter asked her again serenely.
Radhika snorted unlady like through the tears.
“Good lord no. Why would I trust you with that.”
That was something she would never share the thing with him. Not because she didn’t trust him but because she started liking him too much.
She was afraid. If she did share everything about herself, then, if he took up the vulnerability of the things and mocked her later, it would break her heart. And she would feel immensely the betrayal of the trust she put in him. She wasn’t upto handling such pain. Her mother always said this to her. Never let the all the truth about yourself to another person. Chances are that it would become the weapon of others.
He stared at her a second more in silence and chuckled deeply.
“And why should I trust you with mine if you don’t?” He asked her quietly again.
Radhika stared back into his eyes wryly.
“Fair point.” She agreed grudgingly.
She felt his body hard and strong almost embracing her. They were facing each other and his breath fell on forehead in a light caress.
Just when she realized how close they were drawn together a loud thud and a vibration so hard jerked her body harshly to the other side of the car. Her ears started to ring with the heavy impact. Her eyes wide and afraid slid across to his. He was too pulled away to the other side. Both of their shocked gazes went to the front.
A gasp escaped her lips when she looked out of the glass window. Frantically she looked around. She started to breath hard as her eyes rounded in shock. Her left hand covered her mouth.
What? How? Her mind worked around for coherent thoughts. She was aghast.The car was covered in a white cold cloth. It strangely looked like snow.
“f**king hell.” Came a heavy curse from his mouth.
Indeed. She surely now agreed to his curse as both of their lower jaws hung looking around.
“Oh, Flipping heck! We are covered in ice. The car is submerged in it.” She squeaked, as disbelief coloured her voice.
She jumped when he growled in reply and started the car again. It made a weak burring of a sound several times when he tried to twist the key to start into the lock. Her breath started shortening when the car gave it’s last cry and lay dead to the ground.
He grunted and his expression was furious. Immense cold started permeating inside the car. It was becoming than she could handle. White puffs of precipitated air circulated the car as she strained hard to take in deep breaths.
“How did this happen?” She asked suddenly in despair.
His eyes blazing angry snapped to hers sharply.
“If you hadn’t distracted me with your stupid talk, then we would have already crossed the snow filled lane. The trees are covered with it.” He hissed at her.
He was blaming her for it? She scowled back equally pissed off.
“Excuse me, I wasn’t the one driving and who the hell told you to stop the car in such a dangerous place? And how the hell did it snow here?” She asked incredulously.
He gritted his teeth in irritation as he maintained the black glare looking at her.
“Freak cold storm.” He explained shortly in a snap.
She gave him an impossible look.
“And you decided this day for us to travel out? Knowing well about the weather. Outstanding intelligence really.” She hissed holding his glare angrily.
His eyes narrowed and he looked at her with murder filled eyes for a second.
“And I wonder who bought in the bad luck.” He shot back mocking her presence.
Radhika’s face fumed.
“What the hell did I do? Why are you angry at me?” She almost shouted.
“Just shut up for a second and let me think.” He muttered back irritated as hell.
He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his left hand fingers. A sigh escaped his lips as he remained silent for a second.
Radhika ignored his presence and tried to pull down the glass window by her side. The ice had jammed the locks. She glanced across and saw him trying too. In fact he hit the glass, hard and repeatedly but nothing happened. The doors didn’t budge nor the glass broke.
“It’s not working.” She mumbled in a wail.
Radhika shivered as the cold started numbing her toes, face and body.
They both tried hard to beat hard at the glass windows. Radhika fell back on the seat exhausted after several attempts to pull at the doors. The deep layers of the ice attached to the car making it look like a gigantic snowball and they were stuck in the heart of it.
Realization dawned on her. Nothing could be done now.
“Oh, god, We are going to die.” She whispered, in a fear filled voice.
His jaw locked looking across at her. Her heart palpitated anxiously. He ignored her panicked look and pushed his body to the backseat of the car. She pressed on the heater button and slowly the car starting warming up.
The heat wasn’t enough. The cold dissolved the warmth. Radhika turned to face him helplessly. She saw his form recline as he lifted up his phone to catch a signal. She didn’t think twice and propelled her body to the far end side of the back seat.
“Did you get something?” She asked, while rubbing her hands to warm.
she drew the thin scarf around her shoulders, but it hardly provided any relief.
His eyes narrowed at the distance between them and then at her quivering huddled form in the corner. He sighed and leaned his head on the back over the cushioned seat.
“No.” He replied calmly.
Radhika completely panicked now.
“We are going to die! We are going to die and nobody is coming to look for us. Oh, my god! Oh, my god!” She put her hands over her head, and started rocking to and fro looking at the leather floor of the car.
It was getting hard to breath. The feeling of being oppressed and being enclosed to death completely was making black dots to appear in her vision.
“Hey!” He intervened.
Radhika did not listen. She was feeling giddy and nauseous suddenly.
“Hey! look at me.” He barked an order sharply.
Her head went up immediately at his imperious tone as the fog of fear lifted away. His face sombre and hard. His lips were thinned and from the small yellow light installed in the car, the lines and angles of his features suddenly were soft.
His eyes calm and serene caught her glazed ones.
“Take deep breaths.” He ordered softly.
She was sitting opposite to him. He didn’t come closer to her, because he seem to understand her panick. There was an arms length of distance between them.
Radhika closed her eyes a second to shake off the black dots. Her eyes flew open after her heart started to beat slower again.
He was staring at her now never breaking eye contact even for a second.
“We are not going to die, alright?” He said slowly on a soothing voice.
She stared into his eyes and took even calm breaths.
“Alright.” She agreed, her body was shivering too much now because of the cold.
“Good. I have sent a message. We’re going to get help in an hour. So, calm down.” He continued to in that low tone.
His voice had the quality to even soothe a wild animal.
“What if we die in an hour?” She asked strained breaths.
She heard him take a haggard breath.
“Don’t be ridiculous. We are not going to die.” He muttered in a gravely snappy tone.
Radhika snivelled back tears.
“I have only my mom, sisters and a best friend to come looking for me.” She mumbled in an almost a broken tone.
“Oh, for f**k’s sake.” He muttered a curse under his breath.
Radhika glared at him through the tears.
“God, at least stop cursing now when we’re…” She started again, but he muttered even more heavy curses.
Radhika rolled her eyes as he scowled now fiercely.
“Stupid headache of a woman.” He mumbled again, looking away from her.
Her face went taut. She circled her hands around her waist tightly. It was freezing like hell and here he was being irritating.
“Oh, yes, you must have lot of intelligent women in your circle always. Isn’t it? Why don’t you go to them with a contract. Saves us both the trouble to get rid of each others suffocating company.” She hissed angrily, as her eyes flashed irritated.
He blinked at her twice and kept staring like that for more than three seconds.
The scowl washed away immediately at her rant and he smiled slowly and lazily.
Great, now she was entertaining him.
He leaned back and put both of his hands over the back of his head and stretched leisurely. He looked now like a king sprawled in a lazy posture. He wasn’t at all worried that they were stuck in an ice ball.
“You are talking as if there is a harem of women waiting for my return outside in the world.” He drawled, smiling at her meaningfully.
“Every man’s dream, isn’t it? Don’t tell me you didn’t think ever of having one.” She accused him dryly, looking flatly into his brown eyes.
He threw his back and laughed heartily at her bristled reply. Radhika’s face burned. She narrowed her eyes and remained silent as his mirth slowly ebbed away and light chuckles replaced. He had a great laugh too. It made her want to smile but she tamed it as anger still coursed her body.
“Even if I did have such a lascivious thought which is according to you, I’m sure, none of them would please me as much as you do. I would be rather bored without your company.” He murmured softly.
Radhika stared and a low heat curled around her cheeks with it came an immense pleasure at his words.
“R…re..really?” She asked through chattering teeth.
He grinned maliciously.
“No, I’m just humouring you.” He replied arrogantly.
The smile spreading her lips pulled away and he chuckled at her expression.
“G..G..God, you’re so mean.” She scowled shivering furiously.
His eyes narrowed at her quivering form. He leaned back deep into the seat and settled his thighs seperate.
“Come here.” He said in a quiet voice.
Both of her eyebrows raised quizically.
His left hand spread forward towards her.
“Come here.” He repeated and gestured with his eyes.
“No.” She said sharply and looked away.
She heard him sigh.
“Come on, now, you really are shivering like a drowned cat, darling.” He whispered teasingly.
Radhika’s head jerked back and she pursed her lips.
“How much are you going to laugh at me with those words.” She said sullenly with burning embarrassed face.
He smiled warmly.
“Like lots if you don’t come to me and I wasn’t laughing at you.” He replied, teasing her again.
She stared at his hand in complete distrust. Two options. One, she would die of cold if she didn’t go to him. Two, she would die of cold if she didn’t go to him. And she had none the choice.
Well, what the hell. She hesitated but put her hand in his anyway.
His fingers very warm closed around her cold hand tightly. She bit her lower lip as a slow tingling sensations curled around her skin of her wrist where his thumb slid caressingly.
He sighed..”I would hardly take advantage of you in this state, would I.” He mocked her dryly, while pulling her body towards his.
Radhika drew closer but he seemed to have another plan as he made her sit with both of her legs across his thighs and he drew his right hand around her shoulders. Her body was slid closer to his chest and he leaned back on the seat.
She could already feel his heat seep into her body and it started warming her blood. She sighed in relief.
“A girl should be cautious.” She muttered in reply.
She could feel the husky burr of his voice coming from deep of his chest. It travelled into her body and her toes curled feeling it.
He chuckled and groaned. His body vibrated with it and so did hers. She stared fascinated looking down into his face. The skin around his eyes, nose, lips, cheek bones relaxed into laughter lines. He should laugh more. It suited him. Very much.
“God, do you think me of being such a hungry bastard, who would pounce on a woman tethering to her death? You hurt my self respect. I do have some controlled urges, baby.” He muttered, pulling her head down to his chest.
Radhika’s bristled angrily.
“I’m not tethering to my death.” She hissed.
His left eyebrow raised up. His breath was deep and relaxed. It fanned her face warmly.
“I thought you loved cold.”
Radhika drew her head up and locked her eyes with his. Her hands were around his chest in a circle. In an embrace. He had drawn the thick purple coat around their front.
“But not this much.” She murmured and closed her eyes.
Her eyes jerked open.
“If we die tonight, then I have a confession to make now.” She said anxiously.
He sighed heavily and glanced down at her patronisingly. She ignored the look and continued fidgeted.
“Yes. Go on.” He encouraged her by sqeazing her shoulder.
His other hand went around her hips and slid her more into his lap. He was unconsciously doing all the little movements. As if touching her was always a thing he did. He didn’t know each time his hand went around her body she blushed furiously.
She stared into his smiling eyes for quite a while. The mirth disappeared from his gaze as she stared tranfixed into his darkening brown orbs. They almost looked black. His eyes moved down to her lips. His hand from around her hip travelled up slowly.
He cupped her cold cheek with his large warm hand.
“What is it?” He asked her huskily soft.
“I would have come along with you even if you didn’t ask me to.” She confessed in a whisper.
His brows drew together but hia gaze still were locked on her lips.
“Where?” He asked her in a light whisper.
Her right hand slid across his chest and she pressed her palm over his serene beating heart.
“Home.” She said earnestly.
He stiffened immediately. A sharp hiss escaped his lips and fanned on her face warmly. His other hand tightened around her shoulder.
At his silence she continued on.
“I know that deep down here you’re not really a bad sort of a guy and I do trust that you wouldn’t let anything happen to me.”
After a second of more tensing of muscles and stiffening of spine, he chuckled mirthlessly.
“From a brute to ‘not a bad sort of a guy’. Glad that I did make some progress in your eyes.” He muttered sarcastically, with a light chuckle but his voice shook with some emotion that she couldn’t decipher.
Radhika gave him a watery smile.
“Stop making it a joke every time I talk. It was really hard for me to say that to you. I don’t want to die tonight keeping that to myself.” She muttered sulkily, hurt that he found it amusing.
He sighed again.
“I know that, darling, and you really are a crazy morbid girl. We are not going to die tonight.” He scolded and shook her body lightly, looking annoyed again.
Radhika giggled feeling his chest vibrate. It tickled her sides.
“Stop growling like an angry bear. It tickles.” She laughed, trying to move away, but he held her tightly still in his lap.
She put her hand over her mouth to stop bursting laughter.
“Oh, I forgot.” She said through a smile.
He laughed along with her lightly.
His eyes slid across her smiling face warmly.
Her smile turned impish.
“That you don’t like giggling foolish women.” She whispered teasingly, holding onto his chest tightly, she settled her head over his shoulder.
His lips curled up wide into a boyish smile in return.
“Your giggles are cute. Adorable.In fact, you should do that often.” He said softly, sliding his thumb finger over her now heated cheek.
“They make your cheeks rosy. I haven’t seen a blush so endearingly pleasing to the eye on any other woman.” He whispered huskily again.
Radhika’s breath caught at his words. His smile vanished fast as it came. His expression turned serious.
“I have a confession to make too.” He said in a low tone.
“Yeah?” Radhika asked breathlessly.
He looked down and caught her hand with his and locked their fingers together down around his waist.
“This morning. You didn’t look like a drowned cat or a mouse.” He chuckled, and Radhika’s eyes narrowed.
He chuckled again and moved his lips over her right ear.
“I thought, you were the most beautiful sight to wake upto every morning. You looked like a freshly cut rose. Gorgeous. Lovely. Untainted. Mine.” He whispered all those with stuttering of breath and harshly possessive.
Her pulse quickened and she reeled as if drunk too much on his words. She pushed her body into his chest deeply as he embraced her even tightly. Tears prickled her eyes at his sweet words. Nobody ever said that to her. So warmly heartening.
His head leaned back to stare into her strained face enquiringly.
“That’s not an insult.” She said through a broken whisper and a frown.
He smiled catching her gaurded expression. He knew that she l hid well how his words affected her. Thank god, he let it go though.
“Why do you look for an insult from me always?” He asked her curiously instead.
Radhika drew her head over his chest again avoiding to look into his eyes.
“Because it’s easier that way.” She sighed sadly.
He rested his chin on her head.
“Easier for what?”
Radhika closed her eyes and sagged back into his chest.
“Easier not to fall for you.” She mumbled in a low tone.
His body drew tight and he froze. She heard him breath in heavily and he kept quiet for more than a minute.
“Would you rather hate me?” He asked her, in a drawly gruff voice.
She did not look up nor he attempted to catch her eyes.
She felt that the answer to it mattered to him alot because his voice suddenly turned cold. All the warmth left from around his arms.
She hastily tried to lighten the moment.
“No, I merely said, I would rather fall for a porcupine.” She snorted.
His body vibrated immediately after a second and she smiled succeeding in making him laugh.
“Your words have a delightful way to please and insult me at the same. I probably deserved that, didn’t I?”
She didn’t beat an eyelid to respond.
“Yes.” She said shortly and honestly.
He laughed shortly again.
A sigh left his lips and he tightened his arms around her. It was getting even colder and his body too started to cool. She worried anew. Nobody was coming for them. It had been a while now that they stuck in the car. Where was the help that he was talking about?
Her widened as a thought struck her mind suddenly. She pulled up tight and straightened in his arms.
“Oh, my god.” She whispered anxiously.
He sat upright too and caught her hands.
“What? What is it?” He frowned catching her frantic eyes with his.
“We don’t have a photograph together. If they find us dead here, there will be nothing of us as a memory.” She said desperately.
He sagged back irritately finally at her incessant death talk.
His eyes flashed.
“Don’t worry, our dead bodies will surely get clicked several times until we’re burried down under. I’ll surely put a word to the people to carry on my wife’s last wish before dying.” He muttered cynically, glaring at her through narrowed eyes.
Radhika rolled her eyes at his sullen temper display.
“Are you going to humour me or what?” She asked unaffected in a flat tone, looking down at into sulky face.
“What do you want me to do?” He growled low, as incredulity filled his annoyed eyes.
Radhika bit back a giggle.
“Where is your phone?”
He blinked at her for a second blankly.
Radhika sighed heavily. Ugh, with his question.
“Give it to me.” She demanded, extending her right hand in his face.
He gave a suspicious glare but got out his phone from his denim pocket.
Radhika took his iphone and tapped into the apps. She snorted inside at the grey home screen image. Even his phone was grave, serious and business..y.
She pulled closer to face and drew the phone in a distance. The screen covered both of their faces in the front camera. He stiffened and he looked surprised blinking beside her.
His arm was around her shoulders and they both looked strained and serious.
“Oh god, smile a little Mr. Haughty. You look like you’re about to join the army force or are simply about to puke.” She muttered through closed teeth, poking her elbow into his ribs.
He burst out into a guffaw again after staring at her as if she was an alien who just plonked down into his backyard out of nowhere. Radhika protested in his arms getting angrier by the minute.
Her face burned with mortification. Now, what did she say that made him laugh at her.
“Are you done?” She asked him flatly, narrowing her eyes.
He sobered up immediately looking at her burnt up unsmiling face.
“Forget it.” She pushed the phone in his hand, and tried to move away.
He grabbed her hands firmly and pulled her back into his lap.
“Now now, don’t get all worked up and prickly.” He said softly, husky and drew the phone up catching their image on the phone screen.
Radhika looked up smiling a little and just when she slid her face to his chin, he turned his head and planted a deep kiss on her cheek warmly. The camera clicked right then.
She gasped and move away putting her hand over her cheek, the place where it burned too much.
“Why did you do that?” She asked pleasantly shocked.
He drew back the phone and stared across at her grinning devilishly.
“I couldn’t resist. You look cute as hell when you sulk.”
Radhika’s lips pursed.
“I don’t sulk.” She muttered in a reply.
His hand slid across her hair patronisingly.
“Oh no, you don’t. You’re just a sullen princess.” He pacified her soothingly, like as if she was a five year old kid.
Radhika’s eyes flashed again. He was mocking her again. Sullen. Sulk. What’s the difference? Huh?
“Are you patronizing me.” Her tone carried out sharply.
“Of course not, darling.” He replied immediately in a distracted passive tone again.
He was looking down into the phone and was frowning.
Radhika was horrified. He just drew an image in her mind with his disinterest. When people grow old, the married couple. As the wife bickers about, the husband just replies to her ranting in a monotone. But actually, the disinterested husband just tunes the wife out completely always when she talks. This was somewhere she read in a gossip magazine. The title was like..she frowned to remember.
Oh yeah…’Old and Cranky The Two’.
Her upper lip curled.
Oh god, they weren’t even old and he stopped listening to her already?
She snatched the phone out of his hand.
“Did you just tune me out?” She snapped.
“What?” He asked her frowning, and his eyes widened looking at her furious face.
Radhika fumed. She beat the phone over his chest hard. He muttered a nasty curse.
“Don’t act innocent. You just tuned me out.” She hissed.
“What the hell are you spouting again. I don’t understand a thing of what you say sometimes.” He growled rubbing the place where she hit him.
Radhika gasped. Oh, how rude.
“You did not just say that.” She whisper hissed again.
“I just did.” He shot back.
She opened her mouth to argue but he silenced her with a kiss on her forehead. She could hardly react when he sighed and pulled her head firm on his chest.
“Now, shut up and go to sleep. I had enough of you today.” He said in a soft haggard whisper.
She tried to push away from his chest.
“I don’t want to sleep.” She protested heavily.
“Should we make out instead?” He asked dryly.
“No.” She protested even more vehemently.
“Sometime later, After we get out of here. I’m gonna kiss you senseless and much more. As a retribution to all your pointless fights. It will be my sweet payment. But not now. Later. Later in liesure. Oh, I’m going to make you do all the things that I wanted to do with you. But when we reach home. Now, shut the hell up and go to sleep before you regret thinking that I’m a good guy. Alright?” He muttered in a harsh voice, drawing her closer tight still to his body.
Her heart palpitated, raced, and jumped into an overdrive at his words. All the breath she took in knocked out of her lungs. She gulped convulsively.
“Alright.” Radhika agreed hastily, and drew back in fear and shut her trap right there and then.
He sounded furious. Thundering. Brewing up in a storm. She didn’t want to test his patience anymore by opening her big mouth.
“Good. Now close your eyes.” He ordered imperiously.
Radhika shut her eyes tight immediately.
“B…but..we aren’t going to die, are we?” She hesitated after a second of silence.
“Radhika.” He muttered, his tone sharpened in a warning as his hands tightened around her.
She cringed at his anger.
“Alright. Alright. I’m already asleep.” She muttered hastily and closed her eyes.
The tense knots loosened all over her stiff back when he slid his hand over her spine repeatedly in a caress up and down. She sighed finally falling into a delicious darkness willingly.
“You’re impossible, darling. Damn to hell. I don’t know why but, I wouldn’t trade you for anything in this world.” He whispered fiercely, over her head in a gruff slumber filled voice.
A sleepy smile stretched her lips wide and her breath evened out the next second.
And outside in the inky dark roared the cold storm around furiously. Freezing everything in it’s wake and engulfing everything in white ice. Inside the warmth continued its light and the two sleeping forms stayed comfortable in each other’s tight embrace without the barrier of cold around their hearts…….
To bE CoNtInuED…
Next up part – Snowy morning 🙂
Credit to: kfar