The sweet fragrance of rose’s petals and exotic fruits melting in a so familiar natural perfume, the smooth velvet touch of a wrapping caress, a silky curled hairs tickling their way all over his chest… neck… face… warmness makes its way all over his aching members veins toward his heart making its beats run madly like a horse race as a deep breath fills his lungs with a so missed kind of oxygen… the oxygen breathed by her too…
It was the dream he dreamt of having for so long time, a dream which was refused by his guilty soul who kept giving him only nightmares…
so he fights with awakness, praying to never open his eyes again… tightening his embrace on it… keeping it from evaporating in the first lights of consciousness… smiling, he breaths more deeply when a moaning sound startles him! He opens his eyes widely…
for a second, he feels like the void has filled his mind because he couldn’t register the sight his eyes was giving him, neither analyze the tumultuous volcano irrupting in his chest…
Swara… there was she, just here in his arms… her covered with hair face turned up to him while her arms were tightly wrapping him like hanging on safe life vest… just like he was unconsciously bone brokenly holding her! He releases the force of his embrace as she struggles nestling herself more against him.
Instinctively, his trembling fingers take off the strands of hair veiling the view of her so lovely face and her wide smile plants a stake deep in his heart bringing tears to his eyes…
“- how I miss you, Swara!”
She moans lazily again making him smile tears rolling over his cheeks, this was the first time he wakes before her at the sunrise… may be has he ever done some kind of goodness in his life, so fate is giving him this blissful moment! His breath becomes shallows as he tries his best to not disturb her sleeping.
When did she come? When did she discover the truth? Why isn’t she blaming him? Why is she here? How? What?… he really doesn’t give a damn to those scrabbled questions that his brain tries to blow him… all he wants is to stay here forever!
First rays of sun escape from the shown by the wall of glass far horizon, dropping twinkling over them … Swara nose moves imperceptibly, her brows frown a bit and before they reach her closed eyes lashes, he rises his hand just in front of them… chasing the day for some more moments… for her… for him… for this instant he wanted to never end.
Tears continue their way over his face recalling all the mornings she tried to wake him, with tchai, with kiss, with tickling… with her sweet lovely voice murmuring a gentle word in his ear… all the nights he chased the sleep from her eyes making her complain about his shamelessness… his smile widens thinking about the last time they… but a painful expression drowns his face as he thinks about where life brought them now.
At that moment he feels her breath changes, she sighs deeply gripping on his chest skin, her eyelids blink once… twice… her lashes move up rising when he lets his hand drop on the floor shutting his eyes closed.
“- sorry princess… not yet…”
She looks up to him smiling, the warmness of his embrace and the sun rays enveloping her in a protective cocoon… what if she stays here forever? What could he be doing more important than just the two of them…like that… oops! The three of them!
She scolds herself for being so weak and not just profiting of the goodness of fate giving him her back and blowing this small life in her… why should she have any doubt, his prove of love is deeply incrusted in her! She’s sure he’ll be back soon to both of them.
But suddenly she frowns sitting up still wrapped by his lifeless arms, a sudden fear tightens its grip on her heart… what if something happen to him? How could she be sure he’s not being as careless as he always have been?
Behind his closed eyes, Sanskar was fighting hell to just keep still hoping his pounding heart beats will not reach her ears… to not make her notice how startled he felt when she takes his hand in hers putting it on her lap.
She undoes the knotted thread around her wrist, the thread given to her in the last night function protecting her and her child from any harm, cuts it in two small ones then wraps one of them around his wrist knotting it tightly.
Kissing that vital vein passing there, she remembers when she did that on the last Dewali, and smiles at the memory of his childish expression then.
She knots back the remaining part on her wrist and looks around, what has bitten her last night to stay here? what if anyone notices her absence at home? What if Sanskar knew about her presence?
She looks again to him smiling tenderly tears pearling in her huge eyes, her cute lovely prince… how much is she missing him?
She shakes her head to chase her silly thoughts and frowns telling him:
“- I’m still mad at you Sanskar Maheshwari… we’re both mad at you! Hai na little one?”
Looking down to her belly, she feels shy not really understanding why, then looking back to him, she takes his hand which was still in her lap and bends over his face so closely that he shivers trying to calm his pulse.
She whispers against his lips:
“- don’t make him wait a lot, my prince… I have a fairytale to tell him, and I need you for that”
Planting a sweet soft kiss over his lips, she puts his palm over her belly too heavy tears rolling over her cheeks watering his, she wipes them smiling again.
The time she takes for gathering the aid box, her purse, putting her sandals on, was surely the longest moment Sanskar had to live ever!
At the moment he hears the door closes behind her, he jumps from his lying position sitting straight, his both palms pressing his eyes refusing the way out for his tears, his elbows resting on his replied knees he feels so lonely… so homeless… like a little boy forgotten by the whole world out, holding his head tightly, he replies on himself more and cries… cries… for God knows how long… until the sun lights chase the last darkness in the wide room.
Wiping his eyes and nose with his sleeves, he notices the thread on his wrist and a cute shining smile breaks his sad face, kissing it he feels suddenly like he was able to face anything in that world just to return in his princess’ embrace again… to his family…
Outside, Swara was sitting on a bench in the garden, letting the nature morning smells and sounds envelope her, she thanks God that she could find proper clothes in the stores kept for occasional functions… checking the time, she calls her sister:
“- Swara!? Where are you? I just brought you break…”
“- Good-mor-ning-Rag-ni… don’t worry like that, I… I’m at the Academy, I had… some important report to verify before signing and you know yesterday I didn’t come in the afternoon… so…”
She bits her lower lip praying that her sister doesn’t notice that she’s lying.
“- But Swara!!! How can you go so early, you’re impossible! And moreover, you didn’t take your breakfast…”
“- sorry Ragini… don’t scold me so much, I’m really sorry but don’t worry, I’ll have my breakfast… I promise!”
“- and you’ll come back for lunch! Promise?”
“- and you’ll take rest every one hour, don’t spend your time roaming over those long corridors…”
“- Ragini… I’m ok, promise!”
“- don’t forget… the doctor’s appointment in the afternoon”
“- ha Ragini ma… Don’t worry…”
« – take care of yourself!”
“- ha… take care you too”
She hangs off feeling bad for lying to her sister but how to explain where she has been that night… this will be a secret dream just between her and her small one, hidden from everyone… even his dad.
Just at that moment she sees him, dragging his feet lazily on the grass, his old chacha look back. She yells at his:
“- Adaab, Aman ji?”
He stops startled, his heart skipping some beats as he closes his hidden behind black glasses eyes and taking a deep breath he plants a wide smile on his lips turning toward her and says:
“- Adaab, little madam ji… how are you today?”
“- fine thank you… and you?”
He rolls his eyes secretly, at her malicious smile, he could feel she’s in a playful mood and right now, all he wants is to finish what he was going to do and take pain killers to stop his headache.
“- I’m fine too, little madam ji… can I help you?”
“- actually… YES!”
He frowns approaching her and asks:
She was the cutest view he has ever had in a long large blue dress with a small black best defining her waist and its short sleeves discovering her shining bangels… HIS shining bangels…
“- Hello? … did you hear me?”
She has a small breathtaking laugh making her eyes shine more in the sun, he has to close his eyes frowning again to break the charm she was having on him!
“- i… I mean… can you repeat, please? You know at this age…”
She stops laughing, her gaze securitizing his face for a long moment, then she has to bow her head looking down to break the charm of his sight…
“- I was telling you that we had a deal… a room against work!”
His eyes focus on some point behind her while he replies absent mindedly:
“- ha ha little madam ji… and I will! But I said that I’ll not teach students… and… for the rest, I’ll start just after breakfast… ha… I can take my breakfast first, hai na?”
Walking by her side, he starts going from there when she says:
“- but I’m hungry too…”
It took him a whole half a hour to come back, a box on his arms he almost fall walking on a stone making her jump from her place to sustain him:
“- arree… sorry little madam ji”
He puts the box on the grass making her frown more, she asks him bending over it to check it contains:
“- it’s ok… what are you handling in this heavy box… I wanted just a…”
Taking her by her shoulders, he straights her up before she opens it, and says:
“- just a minute? Ok?”
Taking a sheet from it, he lays it on the ground and starts setting the improvised picnic for her… three bottles of different juices, a bottle of milk, water… a cup of grapes, a cup of strawberries, bananas, a French bread, butter, chocolate spread… a plate of cut tomatoes and cucumbers…
Her eyes widen with surprise, she exclaims as he was putting napkins:
“- bas… bas… bas! What is all this?…”
He stands up giving her his hand to help her sit down and says absent mindedly:
“- you’re eating for two…”
He wasn’t looking to her, she could guess at his expression that he wanted to just escape. As she installs herself on the sheet, she grips his hand tightly stopping him and says:
“- you’re hungry too, hai na?… join me… please?”
He hesitates for a moment, but she presses on his hand more repeating:
He turns away wiping his tears then smiles facing her, how could he refuse her anything?
Sitting face to her, he keeps looking to her while she opens the bread, puts slices of tomato, cucumber and cheese, pour some dried fruits on them and closes it… she cuts the baguette on two parts and gives him one of them.
Instinctively, he bits on it with appetite sighing loudly which makes her smile fondly to his unaware state. He seems really hungry and seeing him like that, makes butterflies fly in her stomach happily, her eyes are filled with tears when she starts eating too… he serves her a huge cup of milk giving it to her but she looks at disgustingly and shouts waving her hand:
“- nahi nahi nahi! Not milk!”
He frowns pouting and orders:
« – stop acting childishly!… drink it!”
She closes her nose with her fingers complaining:
“- take it away, please… I can’t bear its smell!”
Feeling uneasy, she puts her hand on her mouth startling him, he takes puts the glass away and wonders:
“- kya hua? Are you ok?”
She takes a deep breath closing her eyes, fresh air fills her lungs taking away her need of throwing out what she ate till now. Opening her eyes, her heart melts at his worried expression the disguise on his face couldn’t hide. She says reassuringly:
“- I’m fine, don’t worry… it’s just that… some odors like milk, oil… alcohol… make me feel uneasy nowadays, it seems like it’s normal in my state!”
He notices the scolding tone on her ending sentence and thinks seeing her take a sip of water:
“- sorry princess… never again!”
His surprised by her voice, he asks making her smile again :
“- lemon juice… I want lemon juice…”
“- ha… zaroor…”
He pours it in a glass and gives it to her looking away behind her, someone was watching them but right now, all he wants is to enjoy this peaceful normal moment in his so upside down life!
Walking back to her office, Swara’s smile illuminates her face while she recalls the last night and morning events, how things can really change so easily… two days ago, she was surviving in a colorless and soulless world, today even trees seem greener, the air fresher, the flowers’ colors brighter… looking to her pendant, she recalls her Sanskar’s embrace… his protective helping hand guiding her to their picnic, his full of food mouth, the morning awake and her kiss on his lips making her blush. She kisses the entwined “SS” heart then shakes her head thinking about how silly she could be sometimes!
“- Good morning, Swara”
A man’s voice startles her in her back, she turns back her eyes fuming with anger:
“- Hi Nikhil!… or should I say, inspector Nikhil!”
In the canteen’s kitchen, Sanskar puts the box on a table and takes his phone to dial a number:
“- ha bade papa!”
“- how are you, beta?”
“- fine… bade papa, Swara knows…”
“- ha Sanskar, guards prevented me about her going out last night… I let her do…”
“- Sanskar, does she…”
“- no bade papa! she thinks that I don’t know about it yet… bade papa! it’s time for ending all that… we’ll not be able to hide it from her more!”
“- I know beta! But…”
“- nahi bade papa! now, the more we wait… the most dangerous it becomes for her!”
“- tonight, then…”
TO BE CONTINUED…
Sanskar faces Adarsh in Maheshwari Mansion…
Swara meets the man with the scar at Badi!