The cold bedsheets, which touched him when he shifted on his back were not due to the conditioned air but the window was the soothing blessing; Pallavi had opened the window for some fresh air as she often did in the last few weeks after a heavy rain, he mused with the closed eyes.
Within seconds a gush of cool breeze fluttered the transparent curtains and behind it, the dark sky whispered some soothing words to him…
He switched on the small lights above their head and the small corner around it lit up with a soft yellow glow enough to show him it was half-past 3 in the morning. The weather announced rains hitting the nearby hills arriving in the city in a few minutes and that’s why it had turned cold and also disturbed his sleep.
Soft breaths and if he was right he could hear her small nose in the silence of the night… she had had a tough time in the last few days, she needed to rest well.
His mother and sister were not willing to agree to him and that was their choice but sleeping next to him was a person who had made the choice to stick by his side in the roller coasters of a ride the life was and so far life kept giving them surprises in the form of guests from his past.
he rested on his arm and stared at her sleeping form, the woman has shown sheer strength of resilience in every situation and he wanted a life with her and only her, he didn’t acknowledge this fact till this morning when on his birthday he made a prayer to Lord Shiva for her safety and for a life with her…
In her sleep, he witnessed a small smile making way on her lips,
“she was dreaming something beautiful and he just wished he was there with her…”
He didn’t know there would come someone in his life he would stare at like this just to wish how her nights disappeared in the dreams and what were those… a sudden yearning to touch her, ran past his head but he wanted her dream to complete so with a smile he rested on his back again.
The last few hours were the most rushed hours of his life to date, after he calmed down, the realisation hit him as it had hit everyone; Bushra had committed suicide, no one was at fault but stars had aligned some other way that day…
If he had left without telling her, she might have been alive…for a moment one such guilt crept towards him but then Pallavi’s face came to his eyes and he understood there was no better planner than the supreme power over them.
So many would have been, could have been followed after they put the blocks in proper positions of the puzzle, Bushra’ father was still not convinced but Fiza tried to make peace and for the sake of her ailing mother they had decided to keep the past in past.
There were still a few questions that needed to be answered but as Pallavi told him last night, a few things were left unasked, unsaid …if they started running behind every detail then details were going to get vivid and life fade.
“I think Bushra’s story got a closure … are you still thinking about her?” she asked him when she entered their room with a big plate.
“Would it worry you if I say Yes..” he turned and got to know that the question had surprised her for a moment.
Everyone knew the art of hiding their feelings behind masks when they wanted to but a person didn’t use that mask in front of you that was overwhelming to know, he felt the same when she didn’t hide her feelings, good or bad …her face expressed it all.
“of course it would worry me.” she kept the plate on the table and walked to the door. “but because I would get restless knowing you are hurting yourself…if you are visiting the good times you two had that would be a relief to know.” she closed the door and turned to him.
“it seems there is still a lot that has not been answered, the only answer I have is where is Bushra and what happened to her, how her father made it his goal to destroy my life, was Fiza involved or not in all this … there is so much to find out, until that I won’t get my peace back.” he looked up from the dark blue crystal paperweight he was focusing his gaze earlier.
“No need to run behind every detail, we would stop living our lives if we kept running behind everything, this chapter is closed let it be and besides Your wingmen would do that for you, won’t they?” referring to Farhad and Harish she smiled at him and collected the samples he was examining before a meeting next morning sprawled on the table.
“kya…” her sudden switch to the jolly genre surprised him and then a small smile made way on his face.
“aur karega bhi kya dono aur vo gorrila , theek ho jaye fir use batata hai main…useless, I told Farhad he was useless.” Raghav took the samples from her hands and arranged them properly.
“don’t you dare, Harish put his life in danger to save me… I remember that guy whose eyes wanted revenge,” suddenly Pallavi’s lips trembled and Raghav who has been looking at her face caught the act.
“He didn’t appear after that day, it looks like he fled,” Raghav said walking to the other side of the bed to be with her.
“he is a soldier, returned back to his services.” Pallavi surprised him again with the knowledge.
“How did you get to know about him and why dint you tell me?” his voice promised wrath. in a moment he felt neglected and anger, his easiest escape from reality made way.
“Fiza told me today, He was the prospected groom to Bushra, a family friend’s son when she died and they pin pointed you to be the culprit he joined hands with her father to avenge Bushra’s death.”
“I’ll not leave him…” Raghav seethed in anger.
“bas, please… let’s end it here, he is in bigger grief so let him heal after all this, and you also need to heal.” she looked into his eyes hoping he would comply with her request.
How many people he had in his life who wanted something from him, not for them but for his own well being… this question has an answer on the fingertips and those persons would have to be kept preciously.
First, the lava in his eyes went back and then his eyes shined with ….TEARS, He looked away and then tried to work on the tears for a few seconds, she gave him his privacy and waited for him.
With a smile, he turned to her and Taking her palm in one covered with another palm…
“How about a honeymoon in Vegas?” he asked with such innocence she forgot any child she had seen to date who was asking about another bite of chocolate.
“and here I thought I was getting some emotional stuff…” she tried to pull her hands.
“hahaha.” he laughed on that still holding her hands.
“This is Raghav Rao’s style to say he agreed to your words and is willing to fulfil your wishes.” he winked at her.
“oh wow, after a whole seven months you finally remember we didn’t go for a honeymoon…Ti majhya sarakhya shant mulagi aahe anyatha” she faked some attitude. (it’s a peaceful woman like me otherwise..)
“shant…o please Saree ka Dukan, tumhara bak bak kabhi band bhi hota hai?” he hit her words with the two words he could understand shant mulagi.
“Aiyyo… bas yahi to hai patiyon ka haal, sab theek ho jaye fir kaun si biwi kaha ki biwi…” she made some distance between them. “congratulations for always liting my mood up, now enjoy your winemoon alone, I am not going anywhere kyonki mai to bak bak karti hun na.” with that she got up and started going.
“baki sab to Sahi hai par winemoon…vo kya hota hai Saree ka Dukan…” he teased her again.
With a face ready to pounce on him she turned to him but then an extra sugary tone came out,
“mujhe laga tha vo to tumhe pata hi hoga Ghamandi Rao, a honeymoon is for couples who go on trips to enjoy cute talks but winemoon is for Ghamandi rao like you who find the talks irritating, for whom a romantic moment is nothing but a waste of time and their only buddy could be a glass of wine, whiskey, rum…”. Lost in her own zone she would have kept blabbering if he didn’t pull her on his lap.
“chup… bilkul chup…kitna bolta hai tum, haan?” he put the other hand on her lips which were still saying some other variety of alcohol.
“i was just teasing you, don’t you get it even after 7 months with me…” he used her words on her and stared into her eyes who had gone still on the position they were in.
“tum..” she tried to say something from behind his finger but he pressed it more to her lips shutting them down.
“kabhi kabhi chup bhi rah liya karo Saree ka dukan, taki mai bol paaye.” he whispered to her shocked frame. “After this meeting, we are talking a week s break to any city you want to visit, what say?” he asked her and removed his finger and then held her frame with both his hands.
“Okay.” she muttered and fell silent.
“abhi to itna bol raha tha, ab kya hua…ye to bolo kaha chalen?” he nudged her back.
“any place of your choice…” she still didn’t meet his eyes and it irked him so his hands crawled towards the clip holding her hairs in a bun and as if sensing his move she looked towards him but she was late, his hands had freed her hairs and were working on the tangle-free tresses.
“where do YOU want to go?” he stressed on her wishes.
“Goa?” she asked with anticipation about his reply and he didn’t fail her fears. In the next moment came the sarcastic reply people and she herself had known him for.
“am I going to see you in bikinis? On the beaches?” he winked at her and she pushed him and left his lap mortified at his words.
“go to your uncountable past lovers who fall for such talks?” she was burning and it amused him so he went behind her and closed his hands around her which she tried to pry off unsuccessfully.
“why should I go to them when my wife is here… she should agree to my wishes.” he teased her again.
“in your dreams…” she hit his chest with her shoulder and he winced in pain.
“God, you hit like a bull…” he commented.
“told you mujhe karate aate hain.” her happy voice reached him.
“ab natak mat karo, mujhe pata hai tumhe kuchh nahi hua, aao khana kha len” she called him to the table.
“Shop ni seal cheyalsina avasaram ledu, Sanki manisini gamaninchandi. Amma and Keerthi ab bhi khatre me ho sakta hai Varu suraksitanga unnarani nirdharinnchukundi.” He instructed his men on the phone. (No need to seal the shop, just observe the mad man, Amma and Keerthi could still be in danger, make sure they are safe).
“why did Farhad stay for the night…?” she asked him as he cut the call and entered the room with two packets.
“i had to discuss a few things with him before leaving tomorrow morning,” he said as he packed the packets in his bag.
“so he is not coming with us, would you be able to handle it all alone ?” she enquired him.
“No he is coming with us but after the meeting, he would come back in the evening and we’ll head to Goa.
“Actually let’s not go Goa but enjoy the city if the visa formalities could be done,” she suggested closing the cupboard and walking to him.
“Are you afraid about the bikini remark?” he teased her and she closed her eyes for a moment to stay sane on his words.
“for your kind information, it’s not about that…” she said with force on initial words. I just thought lets visit this city, who knows when do we get there another time…Goa , we’ll go some other time.” she said as a matter of fact.
“Yeah, sounds good.” he agreed and then started walking to her and she lifted her brow on his action.
“kuchh kehna hai…” she asked him when he didn’t say a word but kept standing there like a statue.
“i didn’t get my birthday gift…” he spoke leaning on the wall and curling his fingers over his mouth as if to look serious.
“Raghav Rao…Please…you got so many gifts…” she made a dramatic face after the words.
“really? But those don’t matter to me…” he said and the way his eyes fixed on her she got the hint where this gift thing was going.
“You didn’t taste the cake I baked for you…it is still waiting for you,” she told him walking to the table and taking the lid off the plate, a big piece of the cake with some fresh decoration was there.
“Manam Romance chestunnam anukunna….” he left a huff and walked behind her. (I thought I was trying to romance).
She smiled at his frustrated muttering but she too had the rights to tease him for all the teasing from his side.
“i heard it was good… why are you making such faces?” she asked him.
“i forgot to tell you I like extra sweetness in my dessert…it is good ” his face showed he didn’t like it but for her sake, he said it was good.
“oh…” She was always apprehensive about cakes so this didn’t hurt that much but it still pained her for she baked it for him.
“won’t you take a bite?” he asked her when she took the lid to cover it.
“its okay, the staff enjoyed it I’ll keep it for them.” she tried to sound normal.
“arey , you have to …with that, he used the same spoon for a bite and extended it to her.
“arey , what are you doing…don’t use your spoon..” her words died when her tongue touched the spongy delicacy and her test buds told her she would never get an upper hand in teasing him.
“how much sweet you like…haan?” she turned to face him and saw him enjoying the leftover bite on the spoon.
“you didn’t like it…that’s good I’ll enjoy it alone,” he said non nonchalantly cutting down another small bite.
“i wont leave you…” with that, her fingers found his abs and his reflexes turned defensive towards the sweet torment of her fingers.
“okay sorry Saree ka Dukan …but please keep away those fingers…” he shouted in between the laughs and defences.
“aise kaise, aaj tum nahi bachoge, hamesha majak hamesha pareshan karna hota hai mujhe…” her fingers worked to his sides and he was a laughing mess in no moments.
“okay okay sorry…maaf kar do, tumhe is cake ki kasam.” he shouted and she stilled for a moment to understand his words and that is when he got the control.
In a moment she was under him, her powers were seized when he locked her hands in one of his.
“This is cheating…” it amazed him how she fought till the last moment.
“it’s my Bday I am allowed to cheat…” the words were uttered to charm her and she was charmed because she smiled.
“i am happy you liked it…” she told him staring into his eyes.
“you are not planning to bake every other day if I say YES.” he teased her again.
“ha ha ha, once is enough…” she gave him back.
He leaned to her hairs sprawled on the bed and inhaled the sweet fragrance, he didn’t know what kind of an allure they held which calmed him down as well as brought a sense of home to him.
“before you ask, it’s the overripe jackfruit flavour mixed generously with rotting …” he silenced her lips with his.
At first the lips were aggressive as if punishing her for the rotten remark and then they turned the usual sets of smooth and arousing.
She nudged his arm to free hers and he freed them in no moment and just when she thought they would proceed forward he stopped and looked at her breathless face and whispered.
“i liked the earlier fragrance of rotten tomatoes and what was that…Ummm, cow dung, right?”
She nodded with a smile and then pulled him to her and whispered, “don’t you want to hear the full name…”
“i am not interested in that but I am definitely interested in making the last of my Birthday with the only person I want it all my life.” he told her as he worked on the knot of her night gown.
End of flashback
Such was their relation, they changed from upset to happy to teasers for them in no time and he wanted to keep it safe forever.
With another gush of cool winds, she snuggled to his side and he pulled her to him for the warmth she was seeking at this moment.
Hello everyone, after a long delay we are finally here. i apologize for the delay but here we are with the next chapter.
i tried to answer all the questions but seems I am not good with ENDS…sorry.
hope you liked the chapter.
stay safe and follow the guidelines even after vaccines.