Joined: 09 April 2010
Prem walked slowly into the kitchen his mind in deep contemplation. The cheerful laughter he heard from his elder sister made him break from his reverie. He saw Kulraj and Kiran playfully teasing each other about cooking duties and then they wandered away to one of the counters to prep. "Prem?" He looked over to see Heer staring at him. "Are you okay?"
"Oh, yeah fine," he replied with a smile trying to shrug off what he had been thinking. He wanted to talk to her about what he had overheard but knew now was not the right time. He would have to wait until they were alone. "So what do I need to do?" Heer smiled and took him over to the sink and started instructing him on what she wanted him to wash and do.
Fifteen minutes later, Heer was standing by the stove with the pan on medium high heat. Prem stood next to her with a bowl full of stuffed okra that he had personally cut slits into and stuffed with a dry masala mixture. He watched Heer add the mustard seeds into the pan allowing them to pop before adding the cumin seeds. He was distracted by Kulraj's laughter and turned to see what was going on. His mother and Teji Auntie were teasing his sister and Kiran that they were flirting more than the newlywed couple that was in the house. Prem felt a growing anger suddenly flash within him and he scowled at the elders' comments. "Prem, watch it...the spices." He glanced to his right and saw Heer reach over and push the spice box away from pan. Unfortunately, the side of her thumb came into connect against the hot pan and she winched at getting burned.
"Heer!" Prem panicked and quickly placed the bowl of bhindi on the counter. He grabbed her hand and rushed her over to the sink to place cold water on her hand.
"I'm fine Prem," she replied.
"How can you be fine? That was an extremely hot pan."
"The onions," Heer said with concern as she turned to look at the stove.
"I've got it under control," Kulraj replied as she stirred them and turned the heat down.
"Thanks Didi," Heer said. She then looked back at Prem, "You can let go of my hand."
"No, you're going to try to pull it out of the water."
"That's because it's fine," Heer reasoned.
"How can it be fine when it's getting all red and puffy? The water isn't working. We need to get some cream on your hand right away," Prem replied ignoring his wife's comment.
"Your husband over there seems to be having a breakdown," Kulraj teased as she saw how her brother's face was etched with extreme worry. "Prem, you need to get her some ice."
"Ice, that's right. Why didn't I think of that?" Prem exclaimed. He rushed towards the refrigerator and along the way banged his hand into the corner edge of the counter. Prem ignored the pain and grabbed a Ziploc bag from one of the drawers and dumped some ice into it. "Put this on it," he instructed as he handed it to her.
Heer sighed at him making such a fuss but did as he instructed. Her eyes widened when saw something red on the top of his hand near his knuckles. "Prem, you're bleeding."
"Where?" he asked as he inspected his hand. "Oh, it's just a scrape."
"You still need to get that cleaned," Heer ordered.
"Looks like it's the wife's turn," Kiran joked causing Kulraj to chuckle along with him.
"You two make a fun pair," Kulraj said as she saw Heer pull Prem towards the sink making him wash his hands. "The wife burned her hand while the husband cut his."
"I think they did it on purpose so they could go flirt in private," Kiran said with a smirk.
"Ahhh, I see and leave all the work for us, huh?" Kulraj added.
"Exactly," Kiran winked back.
"Prem take Heer and go put some cream on her burn," Gayatri ordered.
"Haa Ma," Prem answered and put his hand around his wife's shoulder trying to move her out of the kitchen.
"And Heer...make sure Prem puts something on that cut."
"Yes Ma," Heer replied and gave a stern look at Prem who made a grumbling face.
The couple made their way to the bathroom and took out the first aid kit. Prem pulled out the burn cream and gently applied it to her wound with a Q-tip. He frowned at the sight of how red her skin had become. "It's going to be okay Prem. I've burned myself before," Heer said with a reassuring voice placing her hand on his cheek trying to calm him.
"You may have burned yourself before but this is the first time I'm seeing it," Prem replied.
Heer grinned and pinched his cheek," You're too cute you know that?" Prem's eyes lit up at her flirtatious comment. He tried moving forward to give her a kiss but was stopped by her hand on his chest. "But something's bothering you. What's wrong? You were acting a bit distracted in the kitchen."
"It was that noticeable?" Prem inquired.
Heer nodded. "You asked me three times how you should chop the tomato and you pushed the spice box towards the stove. What's going on?"
Prem sighed and glanced at the door making sure someone wasn't coming towards the bathroom. "I wanted to talk to you about this in our bedroom. But since we're alone now..." Heer silently listened to his story and the conversation he had overheard.
"Are you sure...I mean not that this would make it any better but what if he was talking about business? He could be talking about a deal or something or paying someone off," she replied.
"I don't know. I guess but still I can't help wonder...it was the way he was talking. I mean relationship?" Prem reasoned. His jaw then tightened. "If he is cheating on Kulraj Didi I will never forgive him. He's got two children...do you know what this will do to her? She loves him a lot...she fought with Bauji over her engagement with Kiran. Bauji only agreed to the marriage after I stood in defense for Kiran. He was a good guy...at least I thought he was when I met him...he had goals, a job, he cared for Didi a lot...he did everything right to gain our trust. If Scotch is his baby...I'll-I'll kill him...run him over with the car...break his legs...he won't ever walk again."
"Prem," Heer uttered.
"You think I'm bad...when Harman and Preet find out...they'll do things worse them me," Prem huffed.
Heer placed her hand on his shoulder, "We don't know anything yet. Let's try not to jump to conclusions even if things don't look so great right now. We can't start accusing him without any evidence. And if this turns out to be a huge misunderstanding you'd just accused your Jiju of being unfaithful to your sister...what is that going to do to your relationship with Kiran? What about your relationship with your sister?"
Prem sighed knowing she was right. "Yeah I know. I really hope I'm wrong."
"We'll figure something out. Are you going to be okay for the rest of the day?"
"Yeah, I will," Prem replied. He then looked at her hand. "I'm sorry. This was my fault. I wasn't looking at what I was doing and you hurt yourself."
"Everything is fine. It will heal in the next day or two and it will be good as new. Don't worry about it," Heer said. "Now, let's put some ointment on your hand and put a band-aid."
"I'm fine Honey," Prem said trying to avoid treatment.
"It's a cut and you were bleeding. You heard Ma...we don't want it to get infected," Heer sternly said.
"It's a tiny scrape," Prem defended.
"A tiny scrape that is turning slightly purple because you banged your hand," Heer answered as she pulled his hand towards her so she could put some ointment.
"Let me do this. You ice your hand."
"You can't put the band-aid on with one hand," Heer argued and placed the band-aid tightly on top of his wound.
"Yes, extremely," Heer replied sticking her tongue out at him and turned to walk out of the bathroom. Prem quickly slithered his hands around her waist pulling her back. "What are you doing?"
"I think you know very well what I'm doing," he breathed into her ear.
"Romancing in the bathroom..." Heer chuckled.
"Romancing...haven't had much time for that since someone kicked me out of the bed."
"That's your punishment," she smiled.
"I've been sleeping on the floor for several days now and I barely get any kisses because---"
"Because someone keeps calling you," Prem groaned. "Don't they know who you are?"
"The daughter-in-law of the house," Heer answered as she turned around.
Prem scrunched his nose and made a face. "Heer Juneja...Prem Juneja's wife...my wife...and---"
"You're my husband," Heer playfully interrupted. "Now that we've clearly established our relationship...I have to go they're calling me."
"Heeerrr..." Prem whined as she detangled herself from his hold. He made a sad face as his eyes looked longingly at his wife's retreating back. "This is so unfair. Why did we come back from the Honeymoon? I should have called and told the family we were moving to Italy."
Harman paced back and forth in his room while he waited patiently for someone to pick up the line. "Hey, how was your day today?"
"What are you doing?" Maya replied.
"Talking to you on the phone," he answered. "Seriously how long are you going to not talk to me? It's been three days. Aren't you ready to forgive me yet?"
"Why should I?" she scoffed.
"Cause I'm smart, sexy, and handsome?" He grinned at hearing her gently chortle into the phone.
"Even if that may be true...doesn't mean I should just forgive you like that. And to answer your question...I had a good day today," Maya replied. "I went to several boutiques and did some research on the type of clothes they sold, the layout of the store, the general ambiance, and the quality of service."
"Sounds like a very productive day."
"It was very productive. I just want to make sure that Veera and I have a solid business plan in place," Maya explained. "I know she's still a bit heartbroken about not winning the design contest but I think getting her to focus on the positives like this boutique has really helped channel her energy in a positive direction. And then there is the whole Nihaal thing."
"Nihaal thing? What Nihaal thing?" Harman curiously probed. He could sense Maya biting her lower lip in pause as if this was something he wasn't suppose to know about. "Mayaaa..."
Maya inwardly sighed knowing she had just goofed up. She knew Harman was just as protective as his other brothers when it came to Veera. "Um, nothing."
"Nice try, but that didn't work. What's going on with Veera?"
"Well, you promise me you won't get mad?" Maya inquired.
"Why would I get mad unless there is something I should be mad about?" Harman asked.
"How do you like Nihaal?"
"Nihaal? He seems nice. I mean he is Heer Bhabhi's brother. And Bhabhi is really cool and so is Meher," Harman replied.
"So would you object if Nihaal started to date Veera?"
"Date Veera?" Harman gasped. "Veera, my sister? She's only 19 years old...how old is Nihaal?"
"My God Harman I never thought you were so old fashion in thinking. Why does age even matter? As long as two people like each other it shouldn't be an issue," Maya said.
"Well, Veera is still young. Nihaal is what 24 years old? That's like a gap of 5 years. He's going to know a lot more things," Harman explained.
"I certainly hope he knows a lot more things. He is older...been out in the workforce longer...has to dealt with real world situations...which makes him responsible and mature. Don't you want someone who can take care of your sister? Or would you prefer a foolish little boy the same age as her?"
"Just because you're younger doesn't mean you're foolish and can't be mature," Harman replied. "And I know Nihaal has dealt with a lot of real world situations but that's not what I meant. I meant in the relationships department. He's older and I don't want Veera to be taken advantage of."
"Let's face the facts its general knowledge that guys mature slower than girls. But as for your second argument we've all met Nihaal and know he has his head straight. He's not running around partying or doing anything crazy," Maya defended. "Anyways, we are still in the early stages. Veera is trying to see if he feels the same way about her."
"What? So Veera likes him but Nihaal doesn't know?" Harman replied.
"She couldn't confess over the phone so she decided to write him a letter. So, if he feels the same are you really going to say no to them dating? What if Prem was okay with it?" Maya probed.
"She wrote him a letter? Oh God...that will take weeks to respond. Is Nihaal going to write her back?" Harman pondered out loud.
"I don't know. Meher, Ash, and I are hoping he'd call her and talk to her," Maya answered.
"Aaahhh, so it was you girls who planned all of this."
"You still haven't answered my question," Maya said.
Harman sighed, "Well, if Prem Bhaiya agrees to it then I'll agree too."
"Good because Heer talked to Prem and he's okay with it," Maya replied. "Okay, goodnight."
"Huh, goodnight? Why are you hanging up on me like this?" Harman whined.
"I have to wake up early tomorrow morning because Veera and I are going to the park to play tennis," Maya explained. "And I shouldn't even be talking to you in the first place."
"All right...fine...I'll go then. So, when is a good time to call you...I mean 'not' call you?" Harman inquired.
"10:00," Maya replied.
Harman smirked at her response. "I'll talk to you then."
"What? No, I'm not talking to you then."
"So, I can call anytime but 10:00pm?" Harman asked.
"No, just don't call me...and even if you did I won't talk to you," Maya replied in a flustered.
"Sure you won't," Harman sarcastically said. "Bye. Love you." He hung up the phone before Maya could come back with some smart remark and simply smiled at the progress he was making with her.
Meher stood at the doorway to Preet's room and smiled as she watched him play with Scotch. He was holding her in the air and making funny noises as he gently swayed her from side to side. Scotch giggled infectiously making Preet laugh along with her. "You're such a cutie Scotch. You like living with us don't you? Do you wanna stay here?"
"Baaa!" she squealed in delight.
"I'm going take that as a yes," Preet replied happily as he lifted her up in the air again. "You'll have so much fun living with us. You'll get all the love you deserve. PB loves you, Bhabhi loves you, Harman Bhaiya loves you...even though he lost you in the park...Kulraj Didi loves, Kiran Jiju loves you, Rishi loves you, Tanu loves you, Ma loves you, Bauji loves you, Teji Auntie and Balraaj Uncle loves you, Meher loves you..." He brought Scotch back down and kissed her forehead, "and I love you." Preet turned around as he heard a sound and felt the presences of someone behind him. His cheeks flushed red embarrassed that Meher had overheard what he had been saying.
"You really love babies don't you?" she asked as she walked into the room.
"What's not to like about babies? They smell nice, are fun to play with, and they giggle all the time," Preet replied.
Meher chortled at his response. "Smell nice?"
"Yea, the baby powder," Preet explained.
"They don't always smell nice. You eventually have to change their diaper and give them baths," Meher replied.
"Well, yeah...those times are a bit obvious...but still...they smell nice," Preet said. He looked at Scotch and made giggly noises making her laugh happily.
Meher couldn't help but grin. "You're going to be a great father someday Preet."
He turned and looked at her with surprised eyes. "Really you think so?"
"I know so. The way you've been taking care of Scotch...it shows," Meher said with pride in her eyes.
"Thanks," Preet replied with a bashful grin. "I think you'll make a great mother one day too." Meher's eyes widen in awe at his comment. "You're patient, caring, and very giving. And I know you'll love your children with all your heart."
"Thank you Preet," Meher said shyly. "I guess that makes us the perfect pair."
Preet eyes flexed and he walked over putting his arm around her shoulder while he held Scotch with the other arm. "I guess it does." They both looked at Scotch who was smiling brightly at them. She playfully shook her head from side to side before finally resting it against Preet's shoulder. "Sleepy Scotch?" She shook her head and clapped her hands. Preet sighed and placed her on his bed and gave her Ellie the elephant to play with. He got down on his knees and gently bumped his head against Scotch's head as she crawled forward to meet him. She giggled and backed away to do it again.
"Is she going to be able to fall asleep? She seems pretty energetic," Meher said with worry.
"PB says she loves to play before she sleeps. I guess she gets all this energy and wants to find a way to let it all out," Preet replied. "Probably explains why she sleeps really soundly once she falls asleep. She's never woken up in the middle of the night."
Meher sat on the floor next to Preet and joined him in playing with Scotch. She laughed as Scotch hit her forehead against her head and made a cooing sound. "Aww, you're way too cute." The little girl sat up and smiled as if acknowledging that she knew that fact.
Heer sat in the bed reading a magazine waiting for her husband to come out of the bathroom. When she heard the door knob turn and the sound of the bathroom lights turning off she discreetly shifted her eyes above the magazine and watched as he obediently made his makeshift bed on the floor. Prem inwardly sighed as he carefully placed a blue bed sheet on the floor making sure the corners were straight and not tucked inwards. He then grabbed his pillow from the bed and placed it in the middle before laying down and throwing another blue bed sheet over himself like a cover. "Goodnight," he simply said and rolled to his side preparing to sleep.
"Goodnight," Heer replied and turned off the lamp on the nightstand making the room go dim. The nightlight in the bathroom provided an efficient amount of soft glowing light for Heer to see where exactly Prem was laying on the floor. Heer grinned mischievously as she silently got out of bed with pillow in hand.
Prem turned in surprise as he felt his covers being lifted and the presence of someone by his side. "Hey, something wrong?"
"Felt like sleeping with you tonight," Heer replied.
"Does this mean I can sleep in the bed again?" Prem asked.
"What do you think?"
"I think that's a yes," Prem replied with an air of hopefulness.
Heer smiled as she snuggled onto his chest, "That is correct."
"Why don't we go sleep on the bed instead of the floor?" Prem inquired looking at his wife strangely.
"But I'm all comfortable right now," Heer replied. "Besides you're not the only one missing our quality time together." She could feel Prem smirking happily as their lips met in a lip lock. She giggled gently when she felt his right hand slip underneath her shirt so he could caress her back
"Sshhh...we have to be quiet," Prem whispered.
"Then stop tickling me," she replied.
"I'm not tickling you...but this is..." he said and started to delicately rake his fingers across the lower part of her back. Heer giggled and hide her head in the crook of his neck. "Oh look there you go again."
"Do you want to get interrupted?" Heer hissed. Prem immediately stopped his antics pulled his hand out of her shirt. "That's what I thought."
"I'm sorry," he replied. "I was just having a little fun."
Heer gave him a tender kiss at his apology. "It's okay. So, how discreet do we need to be?"
"I don't know. I don't know how thin the walls are. So let's just take it slowly and try not be as vocal."
"I never thought about this being an issue," Heer mused.
"Can you imagine if we woke up the entire house?" Prem chuckled.
"Oh My God, that would be so embarrassing. I don't think I could look anyone in the face especially our parents," Heer replied burying her head into his chest.
"I would never hear the end of it from Preet or Kulraj Didi," Prem sighed.
"Um, let's just go to sleep," Heer suggested as she rolled away and closed her eyes ready to go to sleep. "Goodnight." Her eyes opened wide when she felt Prem rolled towards her and slip his hand around her waist. "What are you doing?"
"Cuddling with my wife," Prem answered. He then softly placed kisses on her cheek and along her jawline. He could feel her squirm and he held her firmly as he began kissing her earlobe. "I know you're concern...I am too...but we can't let this stop us from having some quality time with each other. Are you really going to tell me you rather wait until no one is at the house or we have to go someplace else like the townhouse or the hotel?"
"Don't lie," Prem replied as he turned her around. "Come here Honey and let me give you the loving you deserve." Heer's cheeks went pink at his words causing Prem to softly smile. "It's not like it's the first time...you know what you want...and you know I'll do anything for you..." Prem tenderly rubbed his nose along the bridge of her nose before dipping downward to kiss her. Heer couldn't deny her husband's kisses and let these exchanges happen freely. Eventually her hand slipped into his hair as her body shifted with his. Heer was surprised at the way she was aching for his touch and felt herself letting go. Prem grinned at her sudden insistence and breathed, "Tell me..."
"Don't let me go tonight," Heer replied as she nibbled on his bottom lip.
"I won't let go until you tell me to. I love you," Prem answered and then gave her a longing kiss.
"I love you too," she whispered. They both shared gentle giggles as Prem lifted the sheet over their heads like a tent while they slipped into sweet oblivious love.
Deep brown eyes stared at the large grandfather clock that stood regally against the side wall of the living room. The large brass circular pendulum swing back and forth as the clock counted down the seconds. Hands cupped themselves with nervous anticipation as an elderly woman sat waiting. Her hair was jet black not because it had yet to turn grey but because of the dye used. It was tied up into a tight bun on the back of her head. Her chubby face sat taunt as her eyes shifted from the clock to the front door. It had been several hours since she had last spoken to her daughter and she wondered desperately where she was. As the chimes roared in tune announcing the time to be 1:00am the front door swung open, a young woman twenty-two years of age came trudging through the doorway rolling a suitcase behind her.
The elder woman got up from her seat, her sari rustling as she walked forward with a disappointed frown. "Where have you been Hetal? You told me you would be back here by 10:00pm. It's one in the morning."
"Sorry, the drive back took longer than expected. And my cell phone battery died. Sorry Mama," Hetal apologized. She took off her jean jacket and laid it on the couch and yawned. "Is there anything to eat? I didn't have much of a dinner."
Hetal's mother looked questioningly at her daughter as she noticed something was missing from her belongings. "Where is she?"
Hetal smiled brightly. "Don't worry. She's been taken care of. You don't have to worry about it anymore."
"What do you mean she's been taken care of?" her mother replied in alarm.
"You were complaining about how he doesn't take notice of us...we'll I've made sure he will now," Hetal explained.
"Stop speaking in riddles...tell me what did you do?"
"I've dropped her off at the Juneja household with a note saying she needs to be taken care of," Hetal replied and then walked into the kitchen to find herself a snack to eat.
"You did what?! How could you do something like that? She's---"
"Please don't go acting like you even care about your grandchild," Hetal said cutting her off. "You wanted me to abort it the minute you found out I was carrying her. Now you're just using her to get attention."
"And what have you done?" her mother gasped. "You just left her on the Juneja doorstep like some...some package."
Hetal turned around and eyed her mother angrily. Her voice was filled with resentment, "I did what I thought I had to do. Her father acts like he doesn't care. There are plenty of people in the Juneja household who can take care of her. And Kiran will pay you handsomely to keep his secret family a secret. I finally did something right so you can be happy now."
"Hetal..." her mother uttered in shock. The woman watched as her daughter stormed out of the kitchen and up the stairs to her room. She sighed and then started pondering the situation that had developed. "Well, she is right. Kiran will pay to keep this a secret but his wife will suspect something completely different. I never intended to break up a family to make another one whole. Oh Ram what do I do now?"
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awesomeee too good very nice part waitinggg for next asap.
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