Joined: 05 July 2007
It was one of those days to relax and have fun. The Walias, the Dixits and the Debs all went to a holiday resort for a weekend. It was killing two birds with one stone, for they were now introducing Rano back into the normal flow of life and having a family get-together for all soon to be in-laws as they now fondly called themselves.
He watched a carefree Rano and Bani batting a volleyball over the net in competition. Jai and Natchiket were their second players. It was now three months since their last scare with Rano and all were taking it extra easy. Yes, now she and Aparajeet had proper made and up and he accompanied her to therapy twice a week. It had been frustrating at first for Rano had been more bottled up than ever after the nurse scare. Aparajeet couldn't shake the reason she called Jai instead of him and her insistence at keeping things bottled up finally caused him to explode at her during one of their sessions. As Aparajeet had suspected, Rano blamed him for Meera cutting up her face, and though there were no scars now due to the miracle of plastic surgery, she couldn't get the image of her face Meera had showed her in a mirror...the smell of her own blood...the pain as the ten-blade sliced easily into her skin.
It had been hard to hear but he had sat there and taken her railing, knowing this was the only way to help her through her pain. That had been the breakthrough they were looking for. She needed to identify her feelings and work through them. Anger, hate, resentment, pain...all of it. It had been gruelling, especially as she stayed with Aparajeet. He had thought to walk away but his mother had reprimanded him.
"If you cannot work through the bad times with her you do not deserve the good times with her," she was hopping mad when he suggested he walk away so she could heal, "You aren't responsible for what happened but in her head you are. And if you leave her like this, you would have effectively destroyed her for the next man that comes along, especially if he deserves her."
He sighed, "I just want her to be happy Ma."
"She will be. With you. You just have to hang in there," she soothed, patting his hand, "Lots of people experience this in marriage alone. Good you're getting it now so you will know better how to handle it when something this grievous happens again."
He watched his mother thoughtfully, "I pray it never happens to anyone again. This is too much."
"It'll pass beta. It'll pass," she said softly.
Now watching the game as the referee, he couldn't help seeing how far they had come after the incident. It only seemed like yesterday, but it was almost seven months since he had found her all cut up and bleeding. She looked almost like he remembered her previously. But an incident like this changed a person permanently. Maybe not for the worse, but something always remained broken inside. He hoped Rano had now fully gotten to a stage where she could start putting her life back together. Lord knows he was ready to. He could...
"Oye hero!" Jai called, "Jeet!"
He heard his name from afar off but it didn't register yet. He was still lost in thought and staring in Rano's general direction. It was when he noticed her blush, a giggling Bani and a sniggering Jai that he snapped out of it.
"Oye yaar, this is a game we're playing here!" Natchiket called, "You can stare at your honewali patni later. Now we have a game to finish."
Aparajeet had the good grace to blush and smile sheepishly, "I'll get you for that," he muttered under his breath.
"What did I do? You're the one Rano-gazing," Natchiket said goodnaturedly.
"Okay you too," Jai said, "Play ball!"
2I wonder what would happen were we not all here," Bani whispered to Jai loud enough for Rano to hear and while a furious blush coloured her skin, Bani spiked the ball hard, catching Rano off guard.
"Hey that's cheating!" Rano said indignantly, "You did that on purpose."
"What to do my darling?" Bani said sweetly with a dreamy smile on her face, "All's fair in love and war."
"Just remember you started it," Natchiket said to a rather amused Jai.
"What did I do?" Jai asked innocently as they resumed the game.
From a distance, the elders watched the games with content. It seemed all would be well after all. It was no secret that the unions were all approved of by each family and it was only a matter of time. Krishna Walia had confided to Kiran that she only wished that the marriages would once again unite her family as it once was. For though Jai and Natchiket were closer than they had been the last few years, Natchiket had still not agreed to come home. Kiran had only consoled her to not underestimate the influence of a woman over a man, especially one as taken by his woman as Natchiket. It would all work out, she was positive.
It had been a wonderful weekend with the family. Both brothers had had to fly out to Chennai as soon as they returned from the resort in Goa. Something about the plants being shutdown due to the Union giving problems. Natchiket had offered to go with Jai as he knew Jai had no patience for unnecessary lobbying and could very well manage to sack ever protester rather than be dictated to. He was right to go along. On the flight back after three days of wrangling and negotiating, the crisis was over.
"You know Ma wants you to come back home, Jai, who was fiddling with his blackberry said without looking up.
"Hmm," Natchiket grunted and shifted in his seat.
Jai glanced at him, "Will you?"
"Not now Jai," he said, meaning he didn't want to discuss it.
"What are you going to do when Purva is finally in the picture?"
"That's between the both of us and no one else," he said, his voice taking on an edge.
Jai stared at his brother's profile a few seconds, then settled in his seat as the pilot announced their landing. Stubborn cat, he thought, but said nothing.
Jai sat in his office working away, forgetting the time as usual until his phone rang. Without taking his eyes off the laptop, he touched the Bluetooth earpiece, "Hello."
"Wow, grumpy are we?" Bani said.
He relaxed on hearing her voice, "My darling."
"Love it when you call me that," she cooed.
"How was your day?"
"Over, thank goodness," she sighed, "You?"
"Still working at it," he said, "Restructuring a few things on a project in Dubai."
"I knew you'd say that, that's why I brought dinner!"
"What?" he frowned in confusion.
His door swung open and Bani strolled in with a young man, probably one of the last peons around, carrying two baskets behind her. Jai's face broke into a full blown smile. Yes, his Bani had been pulling these stunts for a while now and though he hated surprises, she was one surprise he never got tired of.
He stood up, going to envelop her in a warm hug, "I should've known you'd pull something like this."
"Well at least I can still surprise you," she pressed her lips to his cheek in greeting, "Besides, I have my spies."
"We're not even married and already the spying has began!" he exclaimed with an amused laugh.
"Well I have to protect my territory don't you think?" she sassed back.
"You will never cease to amaze me," he shook his head, taking out a wad of money from his wallet and tipping the guy, "Keep the change."
"Thank you Sir," the man said profusely and Jai immediately knew that money was a God-send.
Well, right place right time, he thought to himself, then turned to Bani, "So what's for dinner?"
"Take a look," she beamed.
The aroma of food filled his office and Jai's tummy immediately grumbled in recognition of the smell. He rubbed his tummy, "I guess I was hungrier than I thought."
"Like I don't know that," she said, taking out an assortment of dishes from the food warmers.
An hour later, they were chatting over tiramisu when Jai's phone rang. She jumped up lithely, "I'll get it!" She picked it up and frowned at the screen and said "It's an Amaan."
As she looked up at Jai, the smile faded from his face and was replaced by a serious expression. Pushing himself off the sofa couch he came and took the phone from her, backing her as he answered.
"Hello?...Yes Amaan I am still at the office...You're downstairs?...Yes you can come up. I'll take it myself." He disconnected and turned back to her to see the pensive expression on her face, "Is something wrong?"
She paused a moment, studying his face as if to assees whether it was safe to ask. Finally she sighed, "Jai, who was that?"
His frown deepened, "Why do you ask?"
"Really Jai? Answering a question with a question?" she said, folding her hands and watching him, "You're tense Jai. And don't try to smile it away, I can see it in that tick in your jaw."
Dammit, Jai thought, why did she have to such a woman and notice everything? "Look Bani, it's just a package from a friend..."
What's in it?" she asked point blank.
He smiled fully now, but she could see it didn't reach his eyes, "I'd tell you honey, but then I'd have to kill you. What would become of me then?"
"Jai, I'm being serious," she backed away as he advanced on her, a mischievous glint she knew he wasn't faking having crept into his eyes, "You will not change the subject."
"No intention of doing that," he said, as his arm snaked around her and pulled her to him, "But first, I have to do whatI have wanted to all evening."
The rest of her sentence was lost as she found her lips clasped by Jai's, drowning out and putting an end to all coherent speech. She protested deep in her throat but he wasn't letting go. The kiss was slow, unhurried, like he knew exactly what he was doing to her and was not about to rush it. The kiss deepened and she totally forgot all about her line of questioning as their tongues met and played with eachother, loving the feel of his much rougher tongue against her smoother one. Her hands crept into his hair she kissed him back with the same gusto. A guttural growl escaped him, sending a wining thrill down her spine as she moulded her body to his, now truly enjoying herself.
Annoyingly, there was a knock on the door. Bani for once didn't care, but Jai slowly pulled away from her, bringing the kiss to an end. A small protesting sound escaped Bani as their lips parted.
"Shhh," Jai smiled down at her, kissing her nose tip and admiring her darkened gaze, "I'm not going anywhere."
She watched as he walked to the door, all graceful and carrying his build well, "Damn he knew how to distract her, she thought.
"Is this all of it?...Good. Send me the bill...and do nothing till I say so."
So saying he turned the pack over in his hands, looking at it curiously, then walking over to the table, tossed it on the papers that were strewn all over his desk with utter disinterest.
"Now," he pulled her into his arms again, "Where were we?"
He was about to kiss her but she pulled back and stepped out of his embrace, "I've...got to get going."
"Oh come on!" he said with a little whine, "You're leaving now?"
"It is almost half nine Jai, I need to go home."
"It's not like your Father will give you a talking to," he said, coming to hug her again, "This is about the package right?"
She laughed, "A little, but I really have to go..."
"Okay, I'll tell you what's in it..."
"Jai, please," she said, glad that he at least wanted to tell her, "I'll rain check it now. But someday I will ask you."
He just stared at her and said nothing.
"Oh don't be a spoil sport. Now walk me to the car," she said, turning to go pick her jacket, "On second thought, it's late and you should go home too. Come on, shut down the desktop and let's go."
"I just need to finish up..."
"Jai, there are never enough hours in the day. You need to go home and be with your family. I'm sure Nattu isn't here."
Jai grumbled something but didn't move. Seeing as he wasn't going to do it alone, she went and hit the off button for the monitor and he jumped up.
"Hey! I put a lot of work into that!" he pulled her away from the desktop, holding her securely.
"Then let's go home Jai," she said, and realized the double entendre too late when a wolfish smile curved his lips.
"Offering to take me home Bani?" he teased, "Who would've thought?"
"Oh get your mind out the gutter," she hissed, wriggling out of his arms, "Now let's go."
"Bossy aren't you?" he said in amusement.
A few minutes later they both walked out of his office, but Bani didn't miss the fact that he stuffed the 'package' into his office briefcase, along with the other stuff he was shoving in.
"So...what's in the package?" she asked as they got into the elevator.
He chuckled, "I wondered how long it would take you to get to it again. But you snoozed honey, so you lose."
"That's cheating!" she said indignantly.
"All's fair in love and war right?" he winked at her as the doors slid close.
"Oh that's rich!" she muttered, pouting.
Okay people, I figured I finally had to write something. Turns out that even I had forgotten my own storyline and had to take time to read up on it again!!!Go figure!!!!But we'll here's the firt part in a long time so I hope to ease everyone back into the story. Hope you enjoy it!!!
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