Sanskaar and Swara sleep with each other
Sanskaar hadn’t asked to be placed in this position. He had never looked up to the heavens and wished himself the company or the wealth. He had never even truly wished for Swara, just accepted that she could never be his.
But Laksh had died. He had died.
And it was nobody’s fault.
Laksh had died, and Sanskaar’s life had been changed in every way imaginable except one.
He still loved Swara.
God, how he loved her.
There was no reason they couldn’t marry. No laws, no customs, no objections from his family, nothing but his own conscience, which had, quite suddenly, grown silent on the matter.
And Sanskaar finally allowed himself to ponder, for the very first time, the one question he had never asked himself.
What would Laksh think of all this?
Sanskaar went out of his room and entered the study. The rest of the house had Swara written all over it, but the study.. The study was Laksh’s domain and as he sat there, Sanskaar realised just how much he needed his brother.
Sanskaar (whisper) : Laksh!
Unbidden, memories of his childhood rose in Sanskaar’s mind. Laksh and Sanskaar playing cricket with Laksh’s father in the play ground. The two of them eating hot pakoras in the rain, Laksh taking care of him when Sanskaar had fractured his hand in a horrible cycle manoeuvre, Laksh bursting with happiness as he told Sanskaar all about Swara.
All these flashes made Sanskaar realise something.
He realized that his cousin would have given his blessing. Laksh’s heart was that big, his love for Swara—and Sanskaar—that true. He would have wanted Swara to be loved and cherished the way that Sanskaar loved and cherished her.
And he would have wanted Sanskaar to be happy.
The one emotion Sanskaar had never truly thought he could apply to himself.
Sanskaar knew that Laksh would never begrudge him for marrying Swara. Sanskaar’s lips lifted upwards in a slight smile. Finally, hig guilt disappeared. The fear of overshadowing Laksh disappeared.
Laksh would always be in his heart and Swara’s as well. Sanskaar knew that a part of her heart was for Laksh alone and he respected that. He respected their love and was even glad that his cousin had been married to Swara.
Laksh had died a happy content man.
Sanskaar : Bye Laksh! Thank you, My brother.
Sanskaar walked out of the study, finally guilt-free and eager for his new life.
Swara jumped as she heard the knock on her door.
It had to be. She couldn’t tell she was surprised. She had been waiting for it, after all. But that didn’t reduce her nerves, anyways.
She opened the door and found that instead of a handsome visage, She found a housemaid carrying a plate of food.
Eyes narrowing suspiciously, Swara poked her head into the hall, looking this way and that, fully expecting Sanskaar to be lurking in some darkened corner, just waiting for the right moment to pounce.
But he was nowhere.
The housemaid timidly handed over the tray to Swara.
Housemaid : Sir asked me to give this to you. He thought you might be hungry.
Swara scanned the contents for a note, a flower, something to indicate Sanskaar’s intentions, but there was nothing.
And there was nothing for the rest of the night, and nothing the next morning, either. Other than another housemaid bringing her a tray containing coffee and breakfast.
Swara was addled. She had asked for time and that’s what Sanskaar seemed to be giving her.
And it was horrible.
She didn’t want to be alone with her thoughts. But neither did she want to be with him.
Clearly, she could not be trusted in his presence. And she didn’t particularly trust him, either, with his sultry looks and whispered questions.
Will you kiss me, Swara? Will you let me kiss you?
And she couldn’t refuse, not when he was standing so close, his eyes—his amazing, silver, heavy-lidded eyes— watching her with such smoldering intensity.
He mesmerized her. That could be the only explanation.
Swara ate her breakfast as fast as she could. She was going to go out. She had always hated being closed in this was excrutiating.
She didn’t want to meet Sanskaar though. So, She decided to take a stroll outside.
She dressed quickly, then slipped out of her room, shaking her head at herself as she peered stealthily down the hall, acting like nothing so much as a burglar, eager to make a clean escape.
Swara (thinking) : Acting like a burglar in my own house. How wonderful.
But she didn’t see him as she made her way down the hall, and she didn’t see him on the stairs, either.
He wasn’t in any of the rooms or salons, and, by the time she reached the front door, she couldn’t help but frown.
Where was he?
She didn’t wish to see him, of course, but it did seem rather anticlimactic after all of her worrying.
She placed her hand on the knob.
She should run. She should hurry out now, while the coast was clear and she could make her escape.
But she paused.
She couldn’t shake off the feeling that he was watching her.
Swara (looking to her right) : Sanskaar?
She looked to her left and called out his name again.
She gave her head a shake. Good God, what had become of her? She was growing far too fanciful. Paranoid, even.
With one last glance behind her, she left the house.
Sanskaar came out from his hidden place under the stairs and smiled softly.
Swara entered Maheshwari Cottage after almost eight hours. She had roamed about the village and mountains for a while, then had grown weary. But she hadn’t wanted to go back home and so spent the rest of her time in her friend Aakashi’s house.
But soon, she knew she had to go home. She couldn’t avoid her house forever.
So she slipped back in as quietly as she’d left, planning to make her way up to her room, where she could have supper alone. But before she could make it to the bottom of the stairs, she heard her name.
Sanskaar : Swara!
Swara stood still. Ofcourse it was Sanskaar. It was always Sanskaar. She couldn’t expect him to leave her alone forever.
But the strange thing was—she wasn’t quite certain whether she was annoyed or relieved. She turned sideways and looked at him.
Sanskaar : I have asked Sallu to bring us supper in the library. Do you mind?
Swara looked at Sanskaar suspiciously. If he was planning to seduce her again, Why would he choose the library? It seemed like the least romantic place one could think of.
Sanskaar (looking at her amused) : Swara!
Swara : What are you doing in there?
Sanskaar (shrugging) : Work mostly. I like working here in the library.
Swara (eyebrows raised) : The library?
Sanskaar : It’s remarkably peaceful, not to mention innocent.
Swara felt the heat rush to her cheeks and walked past Sanskaar into the library.
Sanskaar (pouring a cup of tea) : Would you like some tea?
Swara (looking gratefully at him) : I would. The grounds were lovely, but still quite cold.
Sanskaar : Oh!
One of his brows quirked, but only slightly, and she wasn’t sure whether he’d done it on purpose. He was always in such control of his expressions; he’d have been a master gambler, had he had the inclination. But his left brow was different; Swara had noticed years ago that it sometimes moved when he clearly thought he was keeping his face perfectly impassive. She’d always thought of it as her own little secret, her private window into the workings of his mind.
Except now she wasn’t sure she wanted such a window. It implied a closeness with which she wasn’t quite comfortable any longer.
Not to mention that she’d clearly been deluded when she’d thought she might ever understand the workings of his mind.
Swara : So, What are you up to?
Sanskaar : Right now? Just having tea and waiting for supper. I think it’s going to be rajma chaval tonight.
Swara (rolling her eyes) : Sanskaar!
Sanskaar : I kept the tea ready because I thought you might be cold.
Swara : You knew when I left?
Sanskaar (in a half-grin) : Ofcourse.
And she wasn’t surprised. That was the only thing that surprised her, actually—that she wasn’t surprised.
Sanskaar : I have something for you.
Swara jumped in her seat. She prayed that it wasn’t a ring. She wasn’t ready. Not yet.
Swara : I.. I told you I wanted time…. I…
Sanskaar took a gift wrapped parcel and handed it to her along with a very pretty bouquet of white lilies and a note. Swara looked at the long stalks of the flowers, each bloom more lovely than the last.
Swara : What is this?
Sanskaar (frowning at the things in his hand) : I call them gifts. What about you? These white things are called flowers, this piece of paper, a note and in this box contains a present for you. You can take them. They won’t bite.
Swara took the parcels wonderingly. She smiled as she fingered the lilies lovingly drawing a soft smile from Sanskaar. She opened the folded sheet and saw a handwritten note :
Would you like to go on a date with me? – Sanskaar
PS : I hope you like the dress I bought. And I hope you will wear it for the date if you say yes.
Swara looked at Sanskaar who was looking at her with an unreadable expression. He pointed towards the present and Swara slowly opened it. She gasped when she saw what was inside.
Swara : A saree?
It was a very pretty saree, whitish silver and red with sequins and a silver blouse. Swara loved it. Her eyes shone with excitement and wonder as she looked at him.
Swara : What is this?
Sanskaar : This gesture? I’m courting you.
Swara blinked. Once.
Swara : I’m sorry?
Sanskaar (with an indulgent smile) : I’m courting you. I want to spend time with you, talk to you, learn more about you and convince you that I really want to be with you.
Swara looked at him, still shocked.
Sanskaar : Is it such a surprise?
After all that had passed between them?
Swara : But… I thought you wanted me, only for… you know?
Sanskaar got up from his seat and went and kneeled in front of her.
Sanskaar : I’ve rethought my strategies. But don’t be mistaken. I do still want you. I’m only a man, after all. And you, as I believe we’ve more than made clear, are very much a woman.
Swara was sure that her face must be crimson right now.
Sanskaar (taking her hand in his) : There is more to a marriage than the nights together. I thought we should at least try spending some time during the day doing something fun.
Swara couldn’t take her eyes off his hand clasped in hers. Sparks were flowing through her and she was befuddled.
Sanskaar : Don’t you think this is a good idea? Don’t you think?
No, she didn’t think. Not anymore, at least. It was a bit of a problem, that. But at his words, her eyes went to his face and straight away his lips.
Those magnificent lips, smiling languidly at her.
She heard herself sigh. Those lips had done such magnificent things to her.
To all of her. Every last inch.
Good God, she could practically feel them now.
And it left her squirming in her seat.
Sanskaar : Are you alright?
Swara (nodding quickly) : Yes!
Sanskaar : Are you sure?
Swara : Why are you being so nice to me?
Sanskaar (his eyebrow raised) : Shouldn’t I be?
Swara : No!
Sanskaar (amused) : I shouldn’t be nice to you.
Swara (shaking her head) : That’s not what I meant.
He’d befuddled her, and she hated it. There was nothing she valued more than a cool and clear head, and Sanskaar had managed to steal that from her with a single kiss.
And then he’d done more.
So much more.
She was never going to be the same.
She was never going to be sane.
Sanskaar : You really don’t look alright.
Swara was going to murder him.
Sanskaar looked at her and smiled.
God, She wanted to kiss him.
Sanskaar (softly) : Swara?
Every time he spoke, every time he moved his mouth, even just to breathe, her eyes settled on his lips.
And she knew that he knew—with all of his experience, all of his seductive prowess—exactly what she was feeling.
He could reach for her now and she wouldn’t refuse.
He could touch her and she’d go up in flames.
Swara got up abruptly which made Sanskaar get up from his awkward kneeling position too.
Swara (in a shaky voice) : I have to go.
But her voice lacked conviction and her eyes couldn’t seem to not look at his own.
Sanskaar : Ofcourse, You must be tired. Really tired, in fact. Am I right?
She nodded, even though she knew he was mocking her.
Sanskaar : Go on then.
Swara gripped the edge of her chair, steadied herself and prepared to look away when she was once again stopped by his voice.
Sanskaar : Wait!
Swara held on to the chair harder, and looked at him.
Sanskaar : You didn’t answer. Would you like to come on a date with me?
Swara stood rooted. She wanted to say no. At least she thought she wanted to say no. But she was still.
Sanskaar took her hand in his again and kissed her knuckles softly.
Sanskaar : I would be really sad if you said no. Will you say yes, Swara? Will you spend the whole of tomorrow with me?
Swara shivered. She stared down at him, unable to take her eyes off of his head as he bent down over her hand. His lips brushed her fingers. Once… twice… and then he was through.
Swara : Yes.
Sanskaar did not tell anything, But she could see he was pleased. He let go off her fingers and told her to go back to her room.
But Her lips parted. She couldn’t stop watching his face.
He’d mesmerized her, held her soul captive. And she couldn’t move.
Sanskaar moved, closer, devastating her as he ran a feather like touch with his fingers on her cheek.
Sanskaar : Do you want to stay, Swara?
Sanskaar (pulling her close, whispering) : Will you stay? Or will you go?
She stayed. God knew why, she stayed.
And Sanskaar showed her just how romantic a library could be.
PRECAP : Sanskaar takes Swara on a date
Sorry for the delay.. Was not in the mood to write..
Hope you like this chapter…
Have drifted from the book for the next chapter.. But idk if i’ll continue the same way.. Let’s see..
Also, This will be the last week I’ll be meeting you guys.. Will try to post until chapter 25 before leaving.. I’ll be back in May for a day or so and will be active from May 28th onwards 🙂 🙂
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