SWASAN – MR MAHESHWARI AND I
Heyy, It’s Anjali back with the next chapter!!!
Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers….
THIS IS A SUPER LONG CHAPTER!!!! HAVE FUN!!!
Swara tries to dissuade Ragini from thinking about Sanskaar, Sanskaar has a dream…
Swara knew the exact moment he entered the room.
She tried to tell herself it had nothing to do with a heightened awareness of the man. He was excruciatingly handsome; that was fact, not opinion. She couldn’t imagine that every woman didn’t notice him immediately.
He arrived late. Not very, but late enough so that he tried to be quiet as he slipped into a chair toward the front near his family. Swara remained motionless in her position at the back, fairly certain that he didn’t see her as he settled in for the performance. He didn’t look her way. Anyways, The lights had been switched off and candles had been lit, giving a dim, romantic effect. The shadows surely obscured her face.
Swara tried to keep her eyes on Lekha throughout the performance. Swara’s disposition was not improved, however, by the fact that the singer could not take her eyes off of Mr Maheshwari. At first Swara had thought she must be imagining Lekha’s fascination with the businessman, but by the time the song was halfway done, there could be no doubt. Lekha was issuing the man a sultry invitation with her eyes.
Why this bothered Swara so much, she didn’t know. After all, it was just another piece of proof that he was every bit the liar and rogue she’d always known him to be. She should have felt vindicated.
Instead, all she felt was disappointment. It was a heavy, uncomfortable feeling around her heart, one that left her slumping slightly in her chair.
When the performance was done, she couldn’t help but notice that the soprano, after graciously accepting her applause, walked brazenly up to her host who was standing in a corner, and offered him one of those seductive smiles. There was no mistaking what the singer meant by that smile.
Good heavens, the man didn’t even need to chase women. They practically dropped at his feet. It was disgusting. Really, truly disgusting.
And yet Swara couldn’t stop watching.
Sanskaar half smiled at Lekha as he lazily tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. He leaned forward to whisper something in her ear. Swara strained her ears in that direction, though it was obvious she wouldn’t be able to hear anything.
Did he just kiss her neck?
Damn! He had just boldly placed an airy, feathery kiss on Lekha’s neck when his mom was present in front of everyone. Did the man have no courtesy? Sure, It was a small kiss…But, IT WAS A KISS!
Sumi : Swara! Swara!
Swara turned to look at her mother, who was looking at her exasperated.
Sumi : Swara! Stop staring at our host.
Swara (turning red) : I wasn’t…..Well Ok, I was….But did you see what the man was doing? He’s so shameless.
She turned back again to watch them now openly flirting with each other. Obviously not caring who saw them together.
Sumi (clearly displeased with Sanskaar) : It may be shameless, But It’s none of our concern. Not out business.
Swara : Of course it’s our business! That guy wants to marry Ragini!
Sumi : We don’t know that for sure.
Swara (thinking about her conversations with him) : I’d say there are very very good odds.
Sumi : Whatever Swara! He probably wants nothing to do with you after the lake fiasco. Especially since Deepa wrote about it and the whole world knows about it now. So instead of obsessing over the young tycoon, Find yourself a nice man. Search for yourself.
Swara felt her shoulders sag. The mere thought of trying to attract a suitor was exhausting. They were all interested in Ragini, anyway. And even though she wanted nothing to do with the tycoon, it still stung when Ma said she was certain he wanted nothing to do with her.
Sumi takes Swara’s hand firmly and talks in a no nonsense voice.
Sumi : Come now… We have to go greet our host!
Mrs Maheshwari? She had to greet Mrs Annapurna and Mrs Sujata Maheshwari? The boor’s aunt and mother? It was hard enough to believe that a creature such as he even had a mother.
But she knew she had to greet her host for a lovely evening. It was basic courtesy. And the evening had been lovely. Lekha may be a first class flirt, but she could sing like an angel.
With Sumi’s arm firmly guiding her, Swara reached the front of the room and waited her turn to meet Sujata Maheshwari. She seemed a lovely woman, with dark hair and light eyes, and rather petite to have mothered such a large son.
Sujata(warmly) : Mrs Gadodia! How nice to see you again. Jiji has gone to freshen up, but she’ll be here soon. I enjoyed our conversation in Mrs Sharma’s house that night. I am so glad you decided to accept my invitation.
Sumi (smiling) : The honour was mine.. It was such a pleasure to listen to the young girl…I couldn’t have imagined a better evening. Please, This is my elder daughter Swara!
Swara smiled at Sujata and bent to take her blessings.
Sujata : Khush raho Beti! It is really nice to meet you, My Dear!
Swara : I am honoured to meet you, Mrs Maheshwari!
Sujata( calls a girl, about Ragini’s age to her side) : This is my daughter, Uttara!
Uttara smiles at them and takes Sumi’s blessings. Swara saw that Uttara looked like Sanskaar…She had a warm and friendly smile. Swara liked her immediately.
Uttara : It is very nice to meet you, Miss Gadodia!
Swara : Likewise, Miss Maheshwari!
Sumi : So, you too are searching for a husband?
Uttara : Last year, My cousin, Aarti got married to Rajeev Shukla…
Sumi : That was a huge match. You must have been delighted.
Sujata : We were..The man is rich and successful. But more than that, He loves my niece and takes better care of her than we ever did.
Sujata : I only want my 4 kids to settle down with people they love and stay happy. By the way, I think your younger daughter has not been able to come today?
Swara groaned in her mind. Clearly Mrs Maheshwari was already pairing up Sanskaar and Ragini for taking the seven rounds.
Swara : I’m afraid Ragini fell sick last week. So she’s resting.
Sujata (voice full of motherly concern) : Nothing serious, I hope?
Sumi : No no! In fact, She is almost better. I told her it would be better to have another day’s rest, lest she suffer a relapse.
Sujata :That doesn’t sound so bad. I really wanted to meet her. Her name? Ragini?
Sumi and Swara nodded.
After a few more moments of polite chatter, Sumi and Swara left Sujata to greet the rest of her guests. They were immediately met by Mrs Sareen, who was the society’s most notorious and infamous gossip.
Thinking that she should escape before Mrs Sareen starts asking about the lake fiasco, Swara murmured something about getting something to drink and leaves.
She left from the crowded music hall, hoping for some peace and quiet. She needed to think. She sat in a cushioned sofa placed there. She remained where she sat for several minutes, more than pleased that the other guests had not chosen to spill out into the hall. But then she heard one particular voice rise slightly above the low rumble of the crowd, followed by decidedly musical laughter, and Swara realized with horror that Mr Maheshwari and his would-be mistress were leaving the music room and entering the hall.
Swara : Oh no!
The last thing she wanted was the tycoon to see her alone in the hall.She knew she was by herself by choice, but he’d probably think she’d fled the gathering because she was a social failure and everyone shared his opinion of her—that she was an impertinent, unattractive menace to society.
Menace to society? Swara’s teeth clamped together. It would take a long, long time before she’d forgive him that insult.
But still, she was tired, and she didn’t feel like facing him just then, so she adjusted her dupatta by a few inches to save her from tripping and ducked into the doorway next to her bench. With any luck, he and his paramour would walk on by, and she could scoot back into the music room, no one being the wiser.
She looked around the room she had ducked into. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, She realised that it was an office of some sort….
Curious, she ran her hands over the polished wood of the table. It was a lovely room. Comfortable and practical. A person could spend hours here in lazy contemplation.
But just as Swara sat down on the floor and leaned back against the desk, savoring her quiet solitude, she heard an awful sound.
The click of a doorknob.
With a frantic gasp, she dove under the desk, squeezing herself into the empty cube of space and thanking Lord Krishna that the desk was completely solid, rather than the sort that rested on four spindly legs.
A female voice( sultry and hot) : But I thought I had heard that this was the year, The casanova Maheshwari was going to settle down.
Swara bit her lip. It was Lekha Manish!
The unmistakable voice of her host came, followed by another awful click of the doorknob.
Sanskaar : And where did you hear that?
Swara shut her eyes in agony. She was trapped in the office with a pair of lovers. Life simply could not get any worse than this.
Well, she could be discovered. That would be worse. Funny how that didn’t make her feel much better about her present predicament, though.
Lekha : Everyone’s saying that. It is all over town.
It was quiet then, But Swara could swear that Sanskaar shrugged.
Sanskaar (in a reflective tone) : It is probably time.
Lekha : You are breaking my heart. A bachelor like you, no more one?
Swara heard some footsteps, most probably drawing the lovers closer together.
Sanskaar : So?
The sound of lips on skin made Swara gag.
She heard more footsteps which she took to mean Lekha had moved away.
Lekha : So what about me?
Sanskaar : No problem babe. We will still be together.
Lekha : Your wife may have a problem with that.
Sanskaar( chuckled) : The only reason to give up one’s mistress is if one happens to love one’s wife. And as I do not intend to choose a wife with whom I might fall in love, I see no reason to deny myself the pleasures of a lovely woman like you.
Swara had to bite her tongue to stop herself from killing the man.
Swara(thinking) :And you want to marry my lovely Ragini? I will murder you.
Sanskaar :Would you like a drink?
Lekha : Sure!
Swara froze in horror. She could see the bottle on the window sill. And if Sanskaar came to take the bottle, He would surely see her. Unless he kept his face straight at the windowsill.
Eyes wide and unblinking, she watched with utter and complete horror as he came into view, his athletic frame displayed to surprising benefit from her vantage point on the floor.
The tumblers clinked slightly together as he set them down, then he pulled the stopper from the bottle and poured two fingers of amber liquid into each glass.
Swara : Please don’t turn around. Walk around the other side. Keep walking. Keep walking.
If he walked away from her while he turned, he’d go back to Lekha and she’d be safe. But if he turned, and then walked, Swara was as good as dead. And she had no doubt that he would kill her. Frankly, she was surprised he hadn’t made an attempt last week at the lake.
Slowly, he turned. And turned. And didn’t walk.
And Swara tried to think of all the reasons why dying at the age of twenty-five was really not such a bad thing.
Sanskaar knew quite well why he’d brought Lekha Manish back to his study. Surely no warm-blooded man could be immune to her charms. Her body was lush, her voice was intoxicating, and he knew from experience that her touch was equally potent.
But even as he took in that silky sable hair and those full, pouting lips, even as his muscles tightened at the memory of other full, pouting parts of her body, he knew that he was using her.
He did not feel uneasy for using her, as ultimately it was he who was going to be a few lakh rupees poorer. No, if he felt uneasy, if he felt frustrated, if he felt like he wanted to put his damned fist through a brick wall, it was because he was using Lekha to banish the nightmare that was Swara Gadodia from his mind. He never wanted to wake up hard and tortured again, knowing that Miss Gadodia was the cause. He wanted to drown himself in another woman until the very memory of the dream dissolved and faded into nothingness.
blo*dy hell, the woman must have bewitched him. There could be no other explanation for the dream—no, make that a nightmare—and besides that, even now he could swear that he could smell her. It was that maddening combination of lilies and soap, that beguiling scent that had washed over him while they were out in the park last week.
Here he was, pouring a glass of the finest wine for Lekha, one of the few women of his acquaintance who knew how to appreciate both a fine whiskey and the devilish intoxication that followed, and all he could smell was the damned scent of Swara Gadodia. He knew she was in the house—and he was half ready to kill his mother for that—but this was ridiculous.
“Is everything all right?” Lekha called out.
“Perfect,” Sanskaar said, his voice sounding tight to his ears. He began to hum, something he’d always done to relax himself.
He turned and started to take a step forward. Lekha was waiting for him, after all.
But there was that damned scent again. Lilies. He could swear it was lilies. And soap. The lilies were intriguing, but the soap made sense. A practical sort of woman like Swara Gadodia would scrub herself clean with soap.
His foot hesitated in midair, and his step forward proved to be a small one instead of his usual long stride. He couldn’t quite escape the smell, and he kept turning, his nose instinctively twisting his eyes toward where he knew there couldn’t be lilies, and yet the scent was, impossibly, there.
And then he saw her.
Under his desk.
Surely this was a nightmare. Surely if he closed his eyes and opened them again, she’d be gone.
He blinked. She was still there.
Swara Gadodia, The most annoying, exasperating woman of his acquaintance was crouching under a desk in his study.
Their eyes met, and he saw hers widen with panic and fright. Good, he thought savagely. She should be frightened. What the hell was she doing here? Wasn’t dousing him with the filthy water of the lake enough for her bloodthirsty spirit? Wasn’t she satisfied with her attempts to stymie his courtship of her sister? Did she need to spy on him as well?
Sanskaar moved forward and stood near the desk, stepping on Swara’s hand. She let out a small squeak. That gave him immense satisfaction.
Sanskaar : Lekha! I just remembered….I have some very important office papers to go through now. I have to sign them and send them by midnight. Sorry! But we won’t be able to continue this today. Another day perhaps.
Lekha (dubiously ) : Now? This very minute?
Sanskaar : I’m afraid so…EUF…
The damned girl was biting him, either with her nails or her teeth. He sincerely hoped it was her nails.
Lekha : Are you sure you’re ok?
Sanskaar( teeth clenched) : Sure! Let me walk you to the door!
He walked with her till the study door, kissed her cheek and spoke his goodbyes.
She floated out, and Anthony shut the door with a decisive click. Then, some devil on his shoulder surely prodding him, he turned the key in the lock and pocketed it.
Sanskaar( demanding) : Come out, Miss Gadodia!
When Swara didn’t come out fast enough, he yanked her from under there and pulled her close, holding her at the waist.
Sanskaar : Explain!
Swara (feeling her legs after sitting for such a long time) : It was an accident.
Sanskaar : It is seriously funny how those words seem to come from your mouth with startling frequency.
Swara (Resisting his grip ) : It is true. I was sitting in the hall ( gasping when Sanskaar turns her around and yanks him to her such that her back is touching him, so that she cannot escape) And I heard you coming. I didn’t want to meet you so I hid here in this room.
Sanskaar (his voice right near Swara’s ear) : You wanted to hide from me in my study?
Swara : I didn’t know it was your study.
Sanskaar : I think you did know it was my study. I think you came here intentionally. Perhaps you did not seek to avoid me at all.
He trailed a single finger down her cheek. And the other holding her waist. Swara closed her eyes, trying to get composure. She shook her head convulsively.
Sanskaar (In a lazy voice, Now touching her lips) : Liar! What do you say to that?
Kate’s lips parted, but she couldn’t have uttered a word if her life had depended on it. The touch of his skin against hers was so powerful it seemed to control her body. She breathed when he paused, stopped when he moved. She had no doubt that her heart was beating in time to his pulse.
Sanskaar (whispering and turning her around again, so close now that his breath kissed her lips) : Maybe you desired something else altogether.
Kate tried to shake her head, but her muscles refused to obey.
Sanskaar : Are you sure?
This time, her head betrayed her and gave a little shake. He smiled, and they both knew he had won.
Sanskaar knew he had to be insane. There could be no other explanation. He’d meant to scare her, terrify her, make her understand that she could never hope to meddle in his affairs and win, and instead…
He kissed her.
Intimidation had been his intention, and so he’d moved closer and closer until she, an innocent, could only be cowed by his presence.
He was going to make her feel breathless with desire and then leave her making her feel foolish and sorry. But when there was barely an inch between them, the pull grew too strong. Her scent was too beguiling, the sound of her breath too arousing.
He pinned her to the wall so that she couldn’t escape. The prickles of desire he’d meantto spark within her suddenly ignited within him, sending a warm claw of need to the very tips of his toes. And the finger he’d been trailing along her cheek—just to torture her, he told himself— suddenly became a hand that cupped the back of her head as his lips took hers in an explosion of anger and desire.
The kiss was demanding yet soft at first, But as their need grew, it became more and more demanding. Her body became slightly more pliant in his arms, allowing him to mold her even closer to his form. He knew he should stop, knew he damned well shouldn’t have started, but his blood was racing with need, and she felt so … so…
He groaned, his lips leaving hers to taste the slightly salty skin of her neck. There was something about her that suited him like no woman ever had before, as if his body had discovered something his mind utterly refused to consider.
Something about her was … right.
She felt right. She smelled right. She tasted right.
Her arms, which had been imprisoned in his embrace, slowly edged up, until her hands were hesitantly resting on his back.
And then her lips moved. It was a tiny thing, actually, a movement barely felt on the thin skin of his forehead, but she was definitely kissing him back.
Sanskaar let out a triumphant grin. He began caressing her hair and they continued kissing.
Swara ( moaned) : Sanskaar?
Sanskaar : Shhh…Don’t tell anything..
Swara : But…
The last thing he wanted was for Swara to regain her senses and ruin this wonderful moment. But, she planted her hands on his chest and wrenched herself away, leaving him off balance and panting. She ran all the way to the other side of the room and looked at him in anger, desire and horror!
Swara : Why did you do that?
Sanskaar( less angry and more uncaring) : Because I wanted to!
Swara and Sanskaar look at each other furious and filled with desire
PRECAP : NOT DECIDED YET!!
Heyy Guys! I managed to write another chapter…..I will not post anything tomorrow…So meet you on Tue…
DO COMMENT!!! NEED AS MANY COMMENTS AS I CAN GET!! SILENT READERS, PLEASE DO COMMENT!!!
Credit to: Anjali