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I woke come to rapid knocks on my door. I could hear Adi and Sid playing in the bathroom. I went to the door and opened it.
“Badi Bahu……woh yahan aaya hain.” Radha the maid stammered. She glanced downstairs.
I could hear something fall. I rushed to the balcony.
Anika was standing there ……..and so was Shivaay. He was in his 3 piece suit. Every hair in place. What had happened to the meek one that dropped Anika, Viren and Priya yesterday?
“Stay away from me. I am with Viren I told you.” She shouted. I heard Dev open the door and rush down angrily. Tia and Ayu came out of another door.
“Well, I can charge you for adultery.” Shivaay replied. I gasped. Dev paused on the stairs. Anika paused.
“What do you mean?” She whispered.
He walked to her. She moved slightly back. “Well, we were never divorced to begin with. And you left me.”
She pushed Shivaay away. I felt Siddarth and Adi walk up to me.
“What is that ass doing here?” Siddarth growled. He handed Adi to me. I saw Tia walk to me.
“Stay away.” I hissed.
Tia looked at me helplessly. “Bhabhi….I need your help. Trust me on this, Anika needs nothing more than Shivaay now. She really needs him.”
I glared at her. How can I trust her? She had destroyed everything for my darling nanand. I kept silent and stared on.
Adi was playing with my hair.
“Stay away from my sister.” Dev shouted.
Shivaay smirked. “Dev Rana, I have in no way hurt your sister. As a matter of fact, I have come to get what is equally mine. My children.
I saw Anika recoil. Her hand immediately went to her bump. She took a few steps back. Shivaay smiled. “Anika, just as they your children, they are mine. They have a right to their father’s love especially when their mother….” He trailed off. But from Tia and Anika’s expression, I knew that he knew something, they had kept a secret.
“Their mother what? Their mother has enough money, a steady income” Sid shouted.
Shivaay smiled. “But she can never be me. Anika, you will come for your kids right?”
He knew something we did not and he was using it against her.
“Dev, he is right. The same way, a child cannot live without his mother, a child suffers without his father as well.” Tia said calmly.
Dev looked ready to kill Tia. Tia glanced at me. Her eyes were pleading. An expression that I had never seen on that conceited butterfly.
I nodded. “Haan Sid. If they can work it out, then Anika’s kids will have both their parents.” Sid glared at me.
“Mallika!” He thundered.
Anika looked startled. She had never seen Sid shout at me but I was used to his “Butcher all those who even glare at the Ranas” voice. I walked towards the stairs.
“Bhaiya, don’t scold Bhabhi. I will talk to Shivaay and solve it. It is my issue.”
Dev and Siddarth looked horrified. “We will also come.”
She shook her head. “No, you won’t. This is between me and my husband.”
I felt everyone still including Anika and Shivaay.
“Okay Anika. Use your office.” Tia said. I saw Dev glare at her.
Anika walked to her room and Shivaay followed. For a second, I saw an expression on his face that looked nothing like the attitude he showed when he was talking to all off.
“Bheegi Billi.” I heard a whisper. Who had said that? I looked at Tia. She had a secret smile.
I watched as Anika slammed the door and walked to me.
“How did you know?” She hissed.
I smirked. “Shivaay Singh Oberoi can know anything.”
This seemed to irritate her more. At that moment, my phone rang. I glanced at it. It was Rudra. I picked it. Anika glared at me.
“What do YOU MEAN by you are coming back? I am the current CEO.” He shouted.
Poor thing. Only got to know now.
“Well, Mr. Rudra Singh Oberoi, I am a 50% partner of every single thing that is in your hands right now. Even the house. So I am coming back. I have been trying to explain that to your Anika Bhabhi here that I am 50% involved in the kids.”
I saw her scowl and blush all at once. I knew she would kill me when we leave the mansion.
“Anika Bhabhi?” He whispered and I could hear lots of other whispers.
“Yup, she and I will be coming back home today. Please clean my room.” I smiled at Anika, who looked shocked. “Oh, and clear another room on the same level.”
Rudra went silent. “But that is the Obros and sister level.” He finally said.
“Yes, I know that is why I am telling you to clear a room.” Then I cut the call.
Anika was glaring at me. “Anika, I am….” I trailed off.
“Sorry?” she supplied.
I kept silent. “Please come. For the kids.”
Her stance changed from attack mode to ordinary. She looked at her table for a few seconds.
“Fine. But I stay on my own terms.”
I was willing to agree to anything for her. I nodded. “But no work. Think of it as a vacation till the kids are born.”
She looked annoyed. “No…but…”
I stopped her. “If not, I will tell your brothers your so-called secret.” I threatened. Although, I still had no idea what was wrong. I would have to meet Neel today to find out.
I could see her trying to reign her rage. She finally nodded. “FINE.”
She walked out in a huff.
As soon as I kept the phone down, I was swarmed by Ishana Bhabhi and Soumya.
“What did that man say?” Ishana asked.
Yup! She arrived today morning. It was apparently some winter break or something at her dance academy. Winter break now? She had given me and Sumo a heart attack early in the morning by sneaking into the house. She had stumbled into our room instead of O’s.
Soumya had almost given her a punch when she tackled her and had her on the floor. I got up to defend Sumo when I recognised her.
Ishana gave me a smile.
“Yup Rudra. I am Ishana Singh Oberoi, where else did you think, I would be.”
Soumya had looked surprised. “Rudra, this better not be one of your girlfriends.”
Ishana gave a cheeky smile. “Oops sorry Devrani ji.” She gave her a hand and helped her up.
“Actually, I am your Jhetani.” She said with a grin.
I made a mad dash for the door and ran into O’s room.
“O, Ishana is back.”
Om immediately got up. “Where?” he asked.
I whined that she was in my room. Om dashed towards my room. But when I walked in, I saw them kissing and hugging. Soumya was looking shocked and slightly embarrassed.
“When did you come?” He asked.
Then she laughed and told him what happened. That was when he lifted his head to look at us both.
“Well, Rudra…..this is my wife, Ishana. She was coming for winter break
“He told me that Anika and he was coming and to clean out his room and another room on the Family floor.”
Om gave me an irritated look. “Why is he playing around with everyone’s life? Anika, the Ranas and us.”
Ishana Bhabhi looked deep in thought. “There is something wrong.” She whispered.
“Yes di, there is something wrong and that is that Bade Bhaiya is forcing Anika Bhabhi to come here.” Soumya complained.
Ishana shook her head.
At that moment, we heard a car stop in the driveway. Soumya walked out. Ishana started going to Om’s room. “Aren’t you coming?” Om asked.
She shook her head. “No…..you already have enough drama now, I will go take rest now.”
A sullen looking Anika was being helped out by her assistant Priya.
Shivaay walked to us. “Soumya can you please show Priya, her new room.”
Soumya nodded. “Bhaiya, which guest room?”
He shook his head. “No, the other room, I asked you to clean.”
Soumya and Om scowled. “But Shivaay, that is only for Oberois.”
Anika interrupted. “Even I am not an Oberoi.”
Shivaay Bhaiya looked annoyed. “Priya is an Oberoi.”
What? How can she be an Oberoi?
“What nonsense Shivaay?” Om held him by his collar.
Anika stepped forward.
“They are twins, Om.”
Om sat down on the stairs.
She nodded. “Yup, this is Priya Singh Oberoi. Your elder sister.”
Oh great one more. Shivaay too was looking shocked at Anika.
“Soumya, I am tired can we go in?
I watched as Dev yelled at Tia. Mallika was in our room putting Ayu and Adi to sleep.
My little sister had just left with that Shivaay Singh Oberoi. I stormed into our room. The two kids were sleeping next to each other and Mallika was standing in the balcony.
“Were you crazy?” I held Mallika and shook her.
Mallika grimaced. “No, I stood by Tia as I felt she was right. Anika needs a support. I was with Mom and Dad for 2 weeks and I missed you so much. I needed you. I came back. Remember.”
I turned her around. “She is my sister and that crazy man, what did he do? He killed her again and again. He killed the man she loved. I am going to destroy that Oberois.” I shouted.
She held my face gently. “Did he? Or did he just chain him down? Shivaay is complicated, Sid. Not a lot different from you. But very different at the same time.”
She pulled me into the room and made me sit on the bed. She kneeled down in front of me.
“Did you know when Shivaay started working? He started at 18. We were just in University then. He used to juggle work, classes and family altogether. He has closed his heart to anyone. He thinks in numbers and this is the first time, I have seen him come back to something that has rejected him completely. The Oberois are not like the Ranas. Family feuds are in their bloods. Pinky aunty hated me because I was not as rich and fancy as Om’s girlfriend. I mean she was from one of the legacy foreign business families. Just imagine Mama called you everyday to tell you how horrible your girlfriend is and how you should probably date an Upper-class girl. Imagine she told you that Jia and Dev are 2 and hence will get more property and you had to fight to get more. Sadly, I did not make matters better. I used to irritate him regarding his mother’s comments. Just imagine, he had an irritating mom and a runaway girlfriend. He had to catch me from the train, twice from the airport………with Anika, he just doesn’t know what to do. With me and Tia, he could boss us around and protect us. But her, she is like a live wire.”
I scowled. “Since when did you become his lawyer.”
Mallika gave me a light slap. “Madcap. Don’t worry Sid, we are there right for her. If you want we can go everyday. This time, we know everything. But think about it, if they can solve everything, Anika will be so much happier. She won’t have to hide all his pictures in a drawer and shut it whenever you and Dev come. She misses him.”
Hmph. “But I still don’t like him.”
She gave me a smile. “Don’t worry. I promise by the end, you will pity him. After all Anika Rana is not known to be a sweetheart.”
I sure hope so. That devil deserved to be skinned.
I was sitting on his bed. My back ached after the long ride. Shivaay and Rudra had left for office as soon as we reached home. Shivaay had insisted. Soumya, Priyanka and Priya had gone to get Priya some designer clothes that suited an Oberoi for tomorrow’s meeting.
Suddenly, I felt the corner of the bed. I opened my eyes to see Ishana. But she did not look happy.
“Ishu, when did you come here?” I squealed. She just glared at me.
“What are you hiding Ani? Don’t lie, I will find out from Shivaay.”
What? How did she know?
“Don’t use your brain so much. There is something. If not Shivaay would never risk the Rana wrath to get you home.” Ishana glared.
I felt tears prick my eyes. Ishana rushed to my side. She hugged me and brushed her hands through my hair.
“Ishana….I am dying.” Her hand stopped. “Nandhini said that my body is not at all accepting any of the treatment. I am too weak to carry the children.”
Ishana pulled a bit away. “What do you mean? Dev and Sid said they were doing great.”
I nodded. “The kids are. But I am not.”
Ishana looked at me. “Does he know?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know how much he knows. He had my medical records on his phone. I saw it when he left the phone in the car.”
“Had?” I smiled a little. “I deleted them.”
She looked horrified. “Anika, are you mad? He should know.”
I felt annoyed. “Why are you behaving like Viren and Tia?”
Her expression changed. “Tia?”
I nodded nervously. “I brought her home. She is in the Rana mansion.”
Ishana got up. “Are you mad?”
I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. Ishana sat next to me again. “Ani, why are you crying?
“I am scared Ishu. I feel so empty and broken that I think that is killing me more.”
Watching Anika break down like this made me want to cut Shivaay into bits and pieces.
“What are you doing HERE?” A voice boomed from the door. I watched Shivaay stand at the door. Anika looked horrified. She tried to get up.
Shivaay stormed into the room and held me by my arm.
“Leave me, Mr. Oberoi.” I said.
Shivaay glared at me. “Stay away from my wife.”
“Stay away from MY wife, Shivaay.” A voice boomed from the door.
Ugh….these Oberoi men and their possessiveness.
I pulled my arm out of Shivaay’s hand but by then his focus had changed.
Om grimaced. I knew he was thinking about our fight. Then he nodded.
“Yes, Shivaay. She is the one. My partner.”
Suddenly, we heard some noise from downstairs. Shivaay left the room.
“I think they have come.” Om said. He tugged my hand. I shook my head.
“No Om. Not now. They have to much to deal with.”
I headed off to my room before Om could say anything.
I watched Om help Anika downstairs and then the evil witch, they all called Pinky Oberoi scowl seeing her. I almost leaped off the railing to strangle her.
But all I could do was watch.
“Mera heera.” Mom was strangling me in a hug. She was glaring at Anika, who was standing exhausted at the bottom of the stairs.
“What is she doing here?” Ma scowled.
Anika had an indifferent expression but it was clear that she was defending our kids with the way she kept her hand over her bump.
“Ma, she is pregnant and I am their father.” I could see Ma’s face soften a bit. I saw Badima walk past me.
“Anika, they?” She sounded so excited.
Anika nodded. “Can I?” she asked gently. Anika took her hand and slowly placed it on her stomach. I felt mom’s grip on myself. She slowly walked towards Anika. Anika moved a bit back. She looked a bit tense.
Mom stopped in front of. “Kya karein? These are my grandschildren.”
She slowly kept her hand on Anika’s stomach. “How are you baby Oberois?”
Then Anika slowly removed mom’s hand. “Mrs. Oberoi, they may have your son’s blood but they are not Oberois, they are Ranas.”
She turned and walked to my room and closed the door.
“Shivaay, what is this? That girl is telling that our khoon is Rana. That Rana, those cunning creeps.” Mom shouted.
Om stepped forward. “Chotima, they are Ranas because your son never accepted them as his own. They are Ranas because Anika is their mother and she is a Rana.”
“Say something Shivaay.” When I kept silent, she walked out of the room.
Then the door opened and three girls stepped in. Soumya looked annoyed. “Priya di, Prinku remember I am your bhabhi.” Prinku had her hand looped over Priya’s arm.
“Priya di, you should have been here when Shivaay bhaiya was dating Tia. You and Rudi would have killed her.”
Suddenly Priya looked up to see everyone looking at them. She looked a bit shy. An emotion that you rarely saw on her face.
“Ma! Papa!” Prinku shouted. “When did you all come?”
Badima gave her a small smile. “Just a few minutes back. Om picked us.”
She hugged Badepapa.
“This is Priya di.” She introduced her to Badima.
The noise came from two directions. Badima, Badepapa and Papa ran towards mom’s room while Priya, Omru, Soumya and Prinku ran towards my room.
“Anika!” Ishana came running down the stairs. She ran towards the pool. I followed her. I knew Anika would not open the door.
Ishana threw a nasty glare before climbing through the window. Then I heard a gasp. I quickly climbed in.
There were mirror fragments everywhere in the room. Anika was crumpled on the floor crying. She had thrown a frame at the mirror.
I rushed to her side.
“Anika, are you okay? What happened?” She pushed my hands away when I tried to hold her.
She curled into a ball pulling her knees closer. She was now reduced to sobs and sniffles. I felt Ishana open the door and walk out. I heard her tell something to the others and the commotion outside the door was dismissed.
“Go to your mother. She must be thinking I am doing some kala jaadu on you.” She grumbled.
I smirked. When I held her again, she pushed it away.
“My children want a hug.” I said.
She shook her head. “I am their mom. I know they don’t.”
Oh god! She was so stubborn. “Anika, the shards can hurt and it is dangerous for the kids.”
She looked worried. She slowly got up. She was about to move when I held her. She looked at me questioningly.
“We are not staying here tonight. I will ask Hina to clean the room.”
I slowly helped her out. Then she held my hand.
“You should go to your mother.” She whispered. She slowly pushed me towards my parents’ room and walked away.
How can a woman so hurt by us, think about us? I wondered as I walked towards Mom’s room.
In the room were the senior Oberois. Mom was crying hugging Badima. I saw a broken vase…….okay this was not as bad as our room.
“She is having twins like my Shivaay and Shivika.”
“Shhhh! Pinky, the kids don’t know. Keep quiet.” Badima said.
Papa sat at the edge of the bed. “Shivika is in a special place at least Shivaay is with us.”
Was Shivika Priya?
“Maa….” I called.
Everyone turned to me. I looked at the bed to see some albums that we never saw before. There were pictures of me, Om and another girl as kids.
“Who is this?” I whispered.
Mom started crying while Badima tried to soothe.
“That is your sister.” Badepapa said in a sullen voice. “Shivika.”
“Where is she?” I felt my voice become a whisper.
I heard footsteps. At the door was the entire clan of young oberois.
“She and you were kidnapped right out of our garden Shivaay. The kidnapper set you free when we paid the ransom but we never got Shivika back.” Badepapa said.
“Mama?” a soft voice came from the back.
Mom looked up. “Shivi?”
Priya slowly moved forward. Mom rushed to her.
“Meri bachchi!” She hugged Priya, who hugged her back.
With that I slipped out of the room to meet Neel.
I never understood why the other officers got so excited when our assignments got over. I remembered Raj Rathore tell us how excited he was to meet his 2 year old and wife while some officers had gone to the near by villages to buy small trinkets for their mothers, wives and other women in their lives. The female officers would go along to with them to make their own purchases. In all this, I would just sit in the corner and watch with my next assignment letter in my hands.
But in my mother’s arms for the first time, I understood why.
I slowly pulled myself away. “Ma, it is Priya now.” I whispered.
Mom gave me a teary smile. “So what! We will call you Priya. After all a name is nothing.” I looked around Shivaay and saw that he was missing. Then I felt someone hold my shoulder.
“Will you not meet your badepapa?” A loud voice asked. I turned around just to be lifted into the air.
“My little monster.”
I heard someone say the same thing at the back of my mind. I smiled.
“Come now. Let me make kheer after all my princess is at home now.” a woman replied.
I heard a grumble. Then I saw Om hitting Rudra’s head.
“Rudra, I heard. Deal with it. My niece has come back.” So she was Jhanvi, the one Shivaay called Badima.
We all were seated in the hall except for Om, Shivaay……and Anika Bhabhi.
I got up. Everyone looked at me shocked.
“What happened Priya?” Mama asked.
“Woh….Bhabhi hasn’t had anything to eat.”
Mom looked annoyed. “She is probably expecting us to call her.” She got up and walked to her room.
What was wrong with the two of them?
I felt exhaustion and lack of breathe hit me. I could feel my tummy grumbling. I knew I had to take the medicines but I still hadn’t had dinner. I missed home, if it was back there, Bhaiya would have already bought my food and forced me to have my food. Jia and Naina would have called me and checked if I had had food. But here, I was just a burden.
I slowly got off the bed and got up to call a maid. When my door opened. But then my view became fuzzy.
I felt someone rush to my side. A pair of arms held me and made me sit on the bed. I felt water being given into my hands. I slowly sipped water. But it was not doing anything to help.
“Mad girl.” a voice grumbled. I felt somebody going through my medicines. Then I heard a gasp. I grimaced.
I felt some food being stuffed into my mouth. After eating a bit, I slowly felt my vision stabilised. I saw Pinky aunty stare at me with eyes filled with tears.
She sat on the edge of the bed. She held my hand.
“How long have you known?” She whispered. I squeezed her hand.
She then looked at me again, her eyes full of fear. “Does he know?”
I shook my head. She kept her hand slowly on my stomach. “You will be okay.”
She fed me the rest of my food and then tucked me into the bed.
“You will take rest.” She emphasised and then left the room.
For the first time, I realised that out of all the Oberois, the one most complicated was the woman that just walked out of the room.
Author’s Note: Hope you all liked this chapter. I hope it was long enough. It was written while I was waiting for my friend to get ready everyday morning. I am not going to let Anika let Shivaay go that easily. She might forgive him but she is going to try his patience.
Please review. It is very important for me to continue