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@Rucha, Thank u so much for your sweet comment.. Gussa thoda kam karo.. Ahem ahem.., answer of ur question is in the second partI hope u'll enjoy it
@Jabz, Thanks a lot for ur lovely wordsThough I missed ur emoticons in ur comment Don't get this angry teacher ji, you'll get to know about his past soon..I guess so
@Nehu, Still waiting..
@Ashi, Welcome to the world of AN FF's.. I'm truly touched by ur comment.. It means a lot to me.. Thank u.. Glad to know u liked the story so far.. Now, I genuinely request you lease do read FF's/ FF links posted in AN Fiction thread.. Most of them are too brilliant.. We've got fab writers there.. Please check out Fiction thread.. Thanks again for dropping ur comment here
@Anotheranfan: Thanks a ton Pri for such a lovely comment.. You are a fab writer and such a lovely comment from urend means a lot to me.. Truly honoured to know that u found portrayal of AN very close to real.. Thank u so much.. BTW me too waiting fr ur nrxt update.. Please update ur FF.. A genuine request..
@Pra, so happy to see ur comment.. Am so glad you find this FF worth reading.. It means a lot.. Well, you keep us entertaining with your writing.. Such AN dosages helps me keep going
@Shale, Thanks dear.. Glad to know u r in tune with FF.. How are u? where r u? Missing u a lot.. Hope to catch up with you soon.. Waiting for ur update, Shale
@Last but not least Mitziii, I don't know what to tell you.. Its u who keeps me going.. Thank u so much for ur constant encouraging words.. I owe u a lot for this.. Thanks u so so much
Thanks a tone guys for your lovely comments and liking the updates.. The next part coming in a while.. Hope u'll like it..
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Nikki finished her duties and rushed to the nurse station to check on Abhi. To her greater disappointment, Sister Lovely informed her that Dr. Modi just left for the day. Her heart sunk in despair and tears started welling up in her eyes. Abhi, we needed to talk. She mumbled weekly.
Ridhima taped her shoulder, "Hey Nikki." As she turned, Ridhima noticed a gloomy line on her face. "Nikki, what's wrong?"
"Ridhima, Abhi left for the day without even talking to me." Her voice quivered. She swallowed a lump. "He.. he didn't even bother to clear this tension between us. Was it so hard for him to put aside his and.. and talk to me? For once?" Nikki threw up her hands in despair. "He knew that we needed to talk, still.. he left..." Nikki swallowed another lump.
Ridhima was taken aback for a moment but she didn't take much time to understand the reason behind Nikki's dejection.
"Nikki, Dr. Modi went out of his way to clear the things with Armaan. Wasn't that enough?" Ridhima spoke genuinely.
"Ofcourse, Ridhima! Whatever he did today is.. is beyond my belief." Nikki spoke gloomily. "It's just that I'" She pushed back her tears and sighed. "Ridhima, right now what I know is I need to talk to him. Should I go behind him?" She inquired fretfully. Nikki always acted on impulse but today she felt that she needed a sound advice.
"Go, Nikki." Ridhima gave her assuring smile. It helped Nikki to calm her nerves. She smiled back weakly and left.
Nikki stepped out from Sanjivani, her eyes abruptly searched for Abhi in a parking lot. To her greater relief, his car was still there but he wasn't in it. Thank God! She looked heavenward. Suddenly her mind conjured up an idea. Without wasting a second, she ran out the main gate and stood there as if she was waiting for an auto.
A watchman came by and asked her concernedly," Ma'am aaj auto ki strike hai. Agar aap kaho to mai private taxi bula du."
Nikki glared at him "Huh?" "Tum se kisine madad mangi?" She frowned.
"Nahi," Watchman shook his head, uncertainly.
"To jao apna kaam karo. Aaj tak to kabhi auto bula ke nahi di. Aur aaj achanak se ma'am aap ke liye taxi bula du." She mimicked his words in exasperation.
Watchman stared at her blankly for a moment. Mumbling some inaudible words, he left and stood at the other side of gate.
Nikki shook her head in annoyance Stupid kahin ka.. Suddenly her heart did a little jig jag as she sensed a flash light of a car behind her back. She straightened her posture and crossed her arms. Calm down Nikki.. Just breath in breath out.. She repeated it like a mantra.
Her heart sunk in despair as she saw Abhi drove his car past her. God, oh no.. She gasped. But then the car stopped, inched backward and stopped just close to her. She held her breath as the glass of window slide down. She looked everywhere to hide any sign of excitement when a curt husky voice filled her ears," Get in."
Although, she tempted to do some fuss before getting into car, her rational mind warned her.. Nikita act sensibly.. And get into car before he drives off not even giving you a sympathetic look... Straightening her shoulders, she walked over and got in the car.
That was quick.. Abhi was stunned. He pursed his lips not to show any hint of victorious smile. He masked his surprise with his 'signature stern look'. He adjusted rear view mirror and drove off.
An awkward silence filled the car. Nikki felt a need to fill the silence. "It's cold tonight." She rubbed her arms.
Abhi lowered the car temperature, not showing any interest for a little chit chat. "Rude, Sadu.." She muttered under her breath.
Abhi cleared his throat, "Excuse me! Did u say something?"
"Huh!" Nikki squirmed. Did she speak her thought aloud?.. "Umm No, I...I was saying that it's too difficult to get rickshaw at this time." She stammered. "Umm otherwise I wouldn't have bothered you."
"Hmmm.. But I heard our watchman saying something about strike and offering you a help." Abhi spoke slyly. Dot on target.. His lips twitched.
Ouch.. That was a clean hit.. "Hun??" A gasp of shock left from Nikki's lips. She started fidgeting with her palms." Umm.. I.." She swallowed.
A sly smile crept on his face as he met her nervous gaze through rear view mirror. She immediately pulled away her eyes and turned to look outside the window.
Neither of them spoke till they reached her home. Abhi parked his car near her gate, she didn't make any move to get off from car. Abhi turned off engine. "Nikki, we reached." He spoke while resting his head on the back of his seat.
Nikki sighed. Gathering courage, she turned to face him," Abhi, why don't you come inside for a coffee." She spoke as if she didn't want to hear a 'No" for an answer.
Abhi turned his head and narrowed his eyes. He noticed stubborn line on her beautiful face. Was that an invitation or order?? In either case he wasn't interested, was he?
"No Nikki ..not today. I.. I'm feeling little tired tonight." He spoke in a muffled voice and rubbed his neck.
"In that case, a strong dark coffee sounds nice, isn't it?" She asked cheerfully. Her tone of voice surprised him. He made a mistake by looking straight in her eyes. His eyes got locked with her innocent, pleading gaze and he didn't know when his head shook in affirmation on his own accord.
"Thank you." Nikki murmured blissfully. Abhi saw her getting out of car and his temple wrinkled. When did he say yes????
Abhi sipped his coffee still wondering why he was there in the first place. He was feeling very grumpy after having that "not so Abhimanyu Modi' kind of talk with Dr. Armaan Mallik. Moreover, physical exhaustion was taking a toll on him after a long day's work. In fact he had decided to spend a quality time with himself at his home. Instead, he was sitting in front of this 'chatter box' and was listening to her pointless babbling. For one hopeful moment, he had assumed that she really wanted to clear out things with him, to apologize him for butting in his private affairs behind his back, to thank him for what he did for her.. And then they would have a sensible talk about 'THEM', about their future relationship.. But heck! He was mistaken again.. From last half hour she was babbling over Mumbai climate.. Who cares about climate when there was a constant volcano erupting inside his chest.. As if that wasn't enough, she had changed into a magenta colour tank top and white shorts.. That showed her perfect curves, made her look even more fresh, young and angelic. That was a real torture. He gripped his cup and pursed his lips slightly to show his irritation. Her cool composure was getting under his skin. Are you really this innocent?? or you are doing it on purpose, Nikki? He wanted to ask but he didn't. Whatever!! Get up and leave Abhi before you start acting on your impulse.. His mind chided him. Hastily, he sat his coffee mug on the table and rose to his feet.
"Nikki, I should be leaving now. Thanks for the coffee anyways." He asked trying to sound casual.
She got up hastily. "No." She panicked.
Did he hear a panic in her voice? Abhi's eyes racked over her small frame and pierced into hers. Cut the crap Nikki and speak up what you want to say.. I can see it in your eyes.. Abhi wanted to say. Instead, he arched up eyebrow,"No?"
Nikki saw the glint of irritation in his eyes, she got frustrated. She wasn't having a slightest idea what she was jabbering from so long.. Actually, she wanted to apologize to him for her behaviour. She wanted to thank him for talking with Armaan for her sake, She wanted to tell him how much she loves him, She wanted to show him how much she missed him in the last few days.. But she didn't know why that was not coming out of her mouth. It was there on top of her tongue, yet she was finding it difficult to voice it out.
"Nikki?" Abhi asked softly.
"Hun.. Yes I.. mean No.. You can't go. Umm it's raining outside." Nikki blurted and bit her tongue. Rainning??
"What?" Abhi narrowed his gaze again. "Nikki, are you alright? The sky is very much clear outside." He pointed his finger towards balcony.
"Y..eah! Umm han, I read it in the newspaper that it's going to rain tonight." She stammered while fidgeting with her palms. Gesture was very well known to Abhi.
"I've got a car." Abhi decided to play along to find out where it was leading.
"It's not safe to drive in such climate"
"Ahem.." Abhi had to clear his throat to stifle a laugh. "You mean to say it's going to be thunderstorm? In Mumbai?" Abhi amused, putting his hands on his hips.
"No.. umm I.." Nikki noticed a glint of humorous spark in his eyes. It soothed her nervousness.
"Please don't go." She muttered softly, touching his arms.
Abhi's resolve started losing at her touch. He stared straight in her eyes and intrigued by her innocent beauty. Then she did something unexpected, she stepped forward and hugged him. Resting her cheek on his hard chest, she muttered an apology, "I am sorry Abhi.. For everything.. I.. You.." Her voice broke.
Spellbound, Abhi wrapped his arms around her waist and held her tight as he felt her body shake. He always found it difficult to handle such an emotional proximity. His mind searched for some soothing words to lighten the moment.
"Abhi, today whatever you did for me was' "She breathed in his chest. Her warm breath on his chest tickled his senses. He found it difficult to focus on what she was saying. "Abhi, despite mutual grudges, you had a hearty talk with Armaan. Just for me." She spoke sincerely.
Damn! Why the heck she can't stand still and silent for a moment. Isn't he holding his breath for long?? Abhi released his breath very slowly. He was feeling more and more restless with every passing minute. He even tried to count his breath to distract his way of thoughts.
"It's oky Nikki." Abhi spoke finally, shifting uneasily in her embrace.
As Nikki relaxed in his arms, she became aware of his close proximity. She heard his fastened heartbeats and felt his shallow breathing in her hair. Then she made a mistake, she inhaled the scent of his cologne that left her giddy with want. Giving into her desire, she kissed his chest where his shirt parted. Abhi's body stirred at her touch and he took a hissing breath. A triumph smile settled on her lips as she became more aware of the effect she was having on him. She knew she was playing with fire but tonight she was beyond rational thinking.
Abhi was on a verge of losing his control. Shaking his mind, he loosened his hold around hers and stepped back to come out from her embrace. Nikki didn't move a bit. Instead, she looked up at him with her mesmerising gaze. Abhi found it difficult to control his own thoughts.
Nikki saw his eyes lit up and she knew he was going to kiss her. She could see it in his eyes as his gaze travelled from her eyes to her lips and lingered there. A small thrill ran through her. She closed her eyes as he lowered his head. A clear indication of her surrender. Abhi kissed her softly, sweetly brushing his lips with hers. Not sure whether that was what she wanted from him. He pulled back immediately looking back in her eyes for some signs.
Her eyes fluttered open and tiny flames appeared in it. Her nostrils flared in annoyance. It was clearly visible that she was pissed off with just brushing of lips. Abhi's smile widened at her gesture. She was indeed a spitfire. It annoyed her even more.
"Why are you smiling?" She frowned and made a feeble attempt to wriggle away from him.
"Shhh.." Abhi spoke huskily, tracing his thumb at the edge of her lower lip. She closed and opened her eyes at his touch. Abhi's eyes seemed to mesmerise every inch of her face. Then he lowered his head again, giving her plenty of time to escape or protest but there was none. Instead, she lifted her mouth and parted her lips. In a fraction of second, she found his lips over hers. His lips were soft and tasted coffee. It wasn't just a kiss for her.. It was a pure delight. Abhi kissed her so slowly, so deeply, so completely that took her breath away. She was pressed against him so hard that Abhi could feel her heartbeats. But something made Abhi to stop from progressing further. Reluctantly he pulled back, yet he didn't release her from his hold completely.
Nikki opened her eyes slowly. She lifted her head to look at him again, her cheeks began to heat. Abhi touched her cheek with his index finger. She moistened her lips with tip of her tongue and blinked her eyes in puzzlement. That was it. His desire slammed back into him with full force. He kissed her again. He seemed unable to stop him when she was kissing back with all her heart.
This time kiss started slow and soft but quickly turned to passionate one, making her heart and mind race. He ravished her mouth, pouring all his emotions in that kiss. He wanted her to know how much he had craved to make up with her, how much he had missed her in the last few days, how much he needed her in his life. His lips then left hers and travelled from her jawline to her neck. His warm breath tickled her as he kissed her neck. A chill went through her body, she felt her knees weakened. She clung to him for a support. Getting much needed encouragement, Abhi nibbled her soft skin, she shivered and a moan escaped from her mouth. Abhi didn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that that was her weak spot. His lips lingered there for a while as he was unable to stop himself from teasing her more.
Abhi was totally lost when he felt her finger playing with the button of his shirt. Deep in his subconscious a warning bell rang. Abhimanyu Stop.. Stop, before it's too late for you to pull back. Abhi's lips left her neck and he hid his face in the crook of her neck. He grabbed her palm on his shirt to stop her from advancing further. To his relief, she didn't protest. Abhi held her tight for a moment, savouring the moment. He loved the tender feeling of her arms around him, the way she fit perfectly in his arms.
On the other side, Nikki was completely melted into his touch. She longed to stay in his arms like that forever. The sensation was beyond explanation.
A few minutes later, Abhi had his emotions back under control and his thoughts in a logical order. Determinedly, he stepped back out of her embrace.
Surprised, Nikki stared into his Choco brown eyes, searching a reason to stop. Abhi stuffed his hands inside the pocket of his jeans and stared back into her huge hypnotic eyes.
"Nikki.." His voice sounded hoarse. He had to clear his throat. "Ahem.. Nikki, tell me to leave." He spoke sincerely, his temple wrinkled.
"Uhu." There was a prompt reply. Dazed, he watched her uncertainly. She smiled sensuously.
"Nikki, what are you up to?"Abhi probed.
Nikki shrugged her shoulders, her lips twitched flirteously. "Nothing, I just wanted you to know that I've crossed 18 years long back. If you wish I could show you my birth record." She spoke cheekily.
Flabbergasted, Abhi stared her for a long moment. God, he wanted to kiss her again. Her lips slightly parted again and she was gazing him intently. His temple wrinkled as he shook his head sceptically. She had power to drive him insane. He blew an air to calm his senses.
Despite his strong determination, he couldn't stop himself from moving forward and putting his arms around her waist again. "No need Dr. Nikita. I trust you completely." He smirked.
Nikki put her arms around his neck, naughtiness dancing her huge eyes. Abhi tweaked her nose and smiled, "Nikki, you know you are crazy." Nikki shook her head innocently.
Abhi sobered in the next moment. "Nikki listen, I don't want 'US' to rush into anything." He spoke sensibly. Nikki opened her mouth to protest but Abhi cut her off. "No. Let me finish first. Look, it's very difficult for me to disagree with you on this. But as I said I don't want us to rush into anything just.. just because we find it difficult to hold back our emotions right now." He swallowed. His hand reached out to tuck a lock of her silky hair behind her ear. "Nikki, whenever it will happen, I promise you will cherish it for entire your life. Trust me." Abhi finished it in a soft self-assured tone.
Nikki's lowered her eyelashes and her cheeks burnt with heat. She bit her inner skin to hide her blush. Abhi searched her face to find out what was going in her mind. She looked thoughtful. After a short silence, she spoke just one word,"Oky." Oky? As simple as that? Abhi puzzled.
To his further puzzlement, then she smiled humorously. "You sound very confident about yourself!" She spoke with a tongue in cheek.
Her ability to joke him on such a subtle topic amused him. She was indeed a perfect match for him. A sparkler.
"Well, the answer is yes! Always.. Abhimanyu Modi is a perfectionist." Abhi winked and smirked.
Nikki bit her lower lip and her blush intensified. Abhi laughed heartily and she laughed shyly. Finally, he cuddled her in his strong masculine arms for the last time. She was the best thing that ever happened to him. Today, she had shown him that she trusted him with her life. He was a secured person now. He realised that her love would hold him together. Whereas, Nikki realised that after each and every fight, her love for him had grown much stronger than before. She had gotten used to his fight, his tantrum, his sullen mood, his unconditional love. That was the beauty of their relationship. The thought brought a pleasant smile on her face.
Resolutely, Abhi stepped back before his desires overtake his good senses again. Today, Dr. Nikki Malhotra was indeed a dangerous territory for him.
"Nikki, now I'll move out and you'll close door behind me.. No more discussion." Abhi finished firmly.
"Abhi, but what about dinner?" Nikki asked promptly.
God, he loves her so much. "No, I'll have it at my home." Abhi couldn't stop himself from reaching over and kiss her goodnight.
Immediately he broke the kiss, turned and left from her house, taking long strides, not even looking back for the last time.
Nikki closed the door behind him and rested her forehead on the closed door. Finally everything was back to normal.Cont...
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The next day, despite a sleepless night, Nikki was feeling very energetic. The feeling of his hands around her waist, the warmth of his lips and the memories of last evening were still fresh in her mind. She didn't even realise when and how she reached Sanjivani.
"Good Morning, Nikki" Armaan's charming voice startled her. She looked around and found herself at a nurse station surrounded by her gang
"Good morning guys, so what's up?" She spoke vaguely. Ridhima noticed calmness in her face and she sighed with relief.
"Nothing is up Nikki. Sab down hi down hai. A bad news.. Dr. Divya isn't around today as well." Muskaan sulked.
"Oky. so?" Nikki asked casually. Why would she bother about anyone's absenteeism?? She was concerned with only one person's presence in Sanjivani.. Dr. Abhimanyu Modi. The name brought an ecstatic smile on her face.
"So? So we'll have to face that monster Dr. Abhimanyu Modi.'" Muskkan made a sulky face.
Smile turned into grin hearing his name again. But wait, did she hear something like 'Monster'.. It upset her. She tried to hide displeasure from her voice when she spoke, "Oh com'on guys. We should give him a break after what he did for Billy uncle."
"Oye Nikki, tu pagal hogayi hai kya? Tu wo machhar ki side le rahi hai?" Muskaan pouted.
"Muskaan, I think Nikki is right. Dr. Modi isn't that bad." Anjali seconded Nikki.
Armaan tempted to tease Nikki but Ridhima stopped him. "No Armaan, You'll not say a word." Ridhima reprimanded him as he started to protest. "Armaan, let Nikki to decide when she wanted to break the news about their relationship." Ridhima whispered in a stern voice. Armaan made an infuriating sound, "You girls are impossible!" Ridhima crossed her arms and glared back.
Suddenly, Nikki felt a warm gaze on her face and she turned in that direction. She found Abhi looking at her intently from head to toe. Her breath caught in her throat. Then he reluctantly pulled away his gaze and spoke charmingly, "Good Morning Doctors!"
Muskaan, Anjali, Atul and Rahul were taken aback by tone of his voice. They got busy in exchanging a puzzled look. Armaan, Ridhima were still busy in arguing over Nikki. And Nikki.. she was completely lost in Abhi's voice. Abhi's eyes travelled back to hers and he got mesmerised by Nikki's beauty.
Armaan's eyes caught him gazing intently at Nikki and he coughed. "Ahem ahem.. Good Morning Dr. Modi. All well? " He asked with his dimpled devilish smile.
Nikki startled and Abhi pulled away his gaze again. He stared at Armaan. "Ofcourse Dr. Armaan Mallik. All's well. Thanks for your concern anyways." He spoke scornfully.
"Anytime boss." Armaan grinned. Abhi shook his head irritatingly.
"Ye Armaan ko ho kya gaya hai?" Muskaan inquired. Anjali shrugged her shoulders, "Even I'm wondering."
"Oky Doctors, let me assigned your duties." Abhi spoke in his bossy tone, "Dr. Anjali, Dr. Rahul ' Special ward' Dr. Muskaan- Dr. Armaan- Children's ward... Dr. Ridhima, Dr. Atul and Dr. Nikita- General ward.. "Abhi finished and looked at Nikki, "And Dr. Nikita, I want you to see me in my cabin around 3 O'clock." Abhi adjusted brim of his glass. Eagerness in his voice when he said 'see me in my cabin' didn't go unnoticed by Nikki. She struggled for her composure. Abhi continued, "I need your help in finalising the final report of Sanjivani project, Oky?" She shook her head in affirmation, tucking a tendril of her hair behind her ear.
Abhi deposited his hands in the pockets of his jeans. Darn! After what happened last evening, it would be hell difficult for him to work with her in a close quarter. He would have to find out a perfect solution to this as soon as possible. Abhi thought warily.
"Ahem Ahem..." Armaan coughed again.
Abhi blew an air in frustration." Dr. Mallik, you need a cough syrup." He sneered.
"Oh! Don't worry, Dr. Modi. The climate is changing you know. It's normal." Armaan spoke wittily.
"Ye Armaan bol kya raha hai? Kaunsa climate?? " Atul elbowed Muskaan.
"Muje kyo puchh raha hai? Me kya weather reporter lag rahi hu tuje?" Muskaan whispered mockingly. Atul made a face. Anjali eyed him to shut up his mouth.
"Doctor Armaan Mallik, I guess we've had enough of morning entertainment. So let's resume our duties, oky!" Abhi ordered. His his gaze travelled from Armaan to Nikki and his eyes got softened. Conveying his love for her through his luminous eyes, he turned and left.
Nikki checked her wrist watch and hurried her steps. It showed 3.15 P.m. She was 15 minutes late and she knew Abhi wouldn't appreciate it. Please God, don't make him upset. She prayed mentally.. Arghh why his cabin is so far?? She grumbled.
Suddenly, Nikki gasped in a shock as a hand caught her elbow and shoved her into the corner. Her eyes widened in surprise as Abhi twisted her elbow behind her back, with a smirk on his face.
"Abhiii, y.. you scared me!!" She sounded startled.
"You know what Dr. Nikita, I don't like to be ignored." Abhi spoke. His eyes danced with mischief as he pulled her closure to him.
"Abhi, I.. " She swallowed as her heart raced. He had that effect on her, the inexplicable feeling that he aroused inside her with his close proximity. Swallowing, she scanned her surroundings through corner of her eyes. To her relief, no one was there except them.
"I'm waiting Dr. Nikitaaa" Abhi spoke musically, lowering his head towards her.
"Abhi stop.." Her voice trembled; the colour crept into her face.
Abhi stopped in his process and grumbled," Someone was very receptive last evening."
Nikki wet her lips in embarrassment. "Abhi we are in Sanjivani." She somehow uttered.
"Well, I know."
"Anyone can find us here."
"I don't care."
"Abhiii" She faked anger and moved her head. As she moved her head, Abhi's eyes fell on a small mark on her neck and his eyes glittered. Nikki didn't take much time to understand what he was looking so intently. A Color started creeping into her cheeks. She swallowed and moved her head again, covering the mark again with her silky hair.. God, help me..
"Abhi, you are behaving very obvious." She hoped she sounded calm.
Abhi sighed and looked back at her. "I don't like pretence. Besides, it's your decision to keep our relationship secret. Not mine."
"Abhi, you're my boss. My senior. It's complicated. I feel we should disclose it once I complete my internship." She spoke genuinely, trying to make some sense.
Abhi sighed again. "Damn!" She was talking sensible.. for a change.. A sly smile crept on his face.
Nikki narrowed her gaze in puzzlement. "Well in that case, I've got an idea" Abhi backed away. Before Nikki understood anything, he led her to fire escape which was just across from them. Nikki horrified and tried to pull him back but it was too late. He swiftly swung open the door with his free hand. "What the.."Abhi muttered under his breath.
Ridhima startled and jumped out from Armaan's embrace as she heard a noise. Armaan sulked," Basket, kya hua?" He followed Ridhima's gaze and cleared his throat.
"Oww Dr. Modi." Armaan crossed his arms and made an innocent face.
"Dr. Armaan Mallik!! Why I'm not surprised!" Abhi spoke sarcastically, still holding Nikki's wrist.
"Umm Dr. Modi, I.. umm Armaan.. umm we.." Ridhima stammered nervously, Nikki chewed her lower lip worriedly.
"Dr. Mallik, may I know why you are here?" Abhi probed.
Armaan massaged his chin with his thumb and spoke guilefully, "For the same reason why you are here, Dr. Modi." Armaan's face lit up with a cunning smile as he pointed his finger towards Abhi's hand that was holding Nikki's wrist. "Hi, Nikki!!" A dimple dug deep into his cheek.
Abhi's hold loosened and Nikki promptly removed her wrist from his grasp. She smiled nervously, "Umm Hi, A..armaan." Abhi moped at her and looked back at Armaan.
"Armaaan..!" Ridhima whispered, signalling him not to get into any argument with Dr. Modi.
"Well Dr. Armaan Mallik, though I don't need to answer you, I would like to remind you that I'm the boss. Besides, this is a fire escape...Meant to be used for emergency escape." Abhi jeered.
"Same applies to you Dr.Modi." There was a prompt reply.
Abhi massaged his temple, a shrewd smile hovering on his lips," Dr. Mallik, I don't understand how many times I need to tell you that I AM THE BOSS."
Nikki pleaded Ridhima through her eyes.. Ridhima, please do something..
"Dr. Modi, it doesn't give you.." Armaan started but Ridhima caught his arm. "Armaan..!!" She rebuked strongly, conveying a warning cum plea not to utter anything further.
"Basket, Listen.." Armaan started again. But this time Ridhima took his arm and dragged him out of fire escape with her.
She murmured a soft apology to Abhi while moving out from there. Nikki blinked her eyes and conveyed her gratitude to her. Armaan halted near Abhi for a moment, "Bhaisaab, this place was taken long ago. Please go and find some other place for you." He winked at Abhi, smiled slyly and left from there with his basket.
Abhi shook his head in irritation, "Why is that whenever I come across to Dr. Armaan Mallik, I feel like taking up boxing as my profession!"
"Abhi, please don't start it again." Nikki rolled her eyes and continued,"Aramman is'"
"Don't you dare to take his side. " Abhi cut her off with a warning.
Nikki opened and closed her mouth as his cell beeped a message. Abhi removed his cell and checked the message. He sighed dully, "Nikki, I got to go. I'm scheduled for another meeting."
Nikki's eyes turned gloomy. Reluctantly, she shook her head in understanding. As Abhi was about to turn, she held his cheek in her palm and gave him a quick peck on his other cheek. "I'm sorry." She spoke genuinely.. Not knowing the reason why she felt the need to say sorry.
It brought a tiny dimple on his cheek. He tweaked her nose. "Dr. Nikita Malhotra, go and find a peaceful place where I can spend few minutes alone with you.. Away from your annoying friends."
Nikki crossed her arms, arched up her eyebrow. Abhi raised his hands in surrender," Oky Oky.. your 'overly annoying friends." He winked at her with tongue in cheek. Grinning profoundly, he turned and left.
Nikki stood there for a long moment finding a reason why she shouldn't get upset with him for calling her friends 'overly Annoying'.. But he was right, wasn't he?.. She couldn't help but smile.
In the late evening, Nikki sat alone at the restaurant, idly checking her cell phone for Abhi's message. Abhi had booked a table for them in a restaurant which was just a mile away from his meeting destination. He arrived twenty minutes late. Nikki's heart skipped a beat as she saw him making his way towards her with his devilish charming smile.
"Oky sorry, I'm late. Meeting went longer than I'd expected." Abhi spoke hurriedly. Nikki half rose from her chair to welcome him but he sat down in his chair with a thump, putting his wallet and cell on the table. Dr. Moody.. Nikki sulked and sat back in her chair.
"What happened?" Abhi arched up eyebrow.
"Uhu. " She spoke casually and placed her hand on the table.
Abhi inched forward and took her hand in his. "Nikki, I'm very happy today. My ambitious dream project is taking shape.. finally." A dimpled smile spread across his handsome face. He looked thrilled. Nikki puzzled as she was momentarily lost in his magnetic gaze.
"Nikki, our final report is approved by the Board of Directors and financers." He spoke cheerfully. "We have got the land, the financers have approved the project and we could start our project immediately after a press conference. " He sounded super excited.
"Wow Abhi!! That's great news." Nikki spoke jubilantly, her face lit up. "We should celebrate."
"Hmm'" Abhi squeezed her hand. Smilingly, he left her hand and leaned back in his chair, "But not today. We'll celebrate tomorrow. You've got a weekly off and I'm taking an official leave tomorrow. I'll pick you at sharp 8 in the morning."
Nikki was excited with the idea. "Where are we going?" Nikki probed.
"That's a surprise. Wait till tomorrow." Abhi cut her off with a curt reply.
Flashing his dimpled smile, he went to washroom. His cell started ringing. Nikki ignored it but a persistent ringing made her sneak a peek at his cell screen. The screen showed "Mom" calling..
What if there was something very urgent.. Impulsively, she picked it up and said,"Hello."
"Hello?Abhi?" Abhi's mom 'Mrs. Avani Modi' startled hearing a girly voice on the other end." Is this Dr. Abhimanyu Modi's number?"Avani enquired.
Nikki got anxious and spoke, "Umm yes.. umm"
There was a pause before Avani spoke again. "Are you Nikita?" She enquired in a soft voice.
Nikki's mouth fell open. Does that mean his mom knew about her and Abhi. Her heart jumped in exhilaration. She cleared her throat but still sounded nervous. "Umm yes aunty ji." She bit her tongue. Aunty ji?? She couldn't believe she called her Aunty ji..
"You've got a nice voice, beta. Divya was right about you." Abhi's mom smiled in the phone.
Divya? Nikki was taken aback.. Divya talked about her?? To Abhi's mom.. When? Why??What did she talk about her??
"Beta, Abhi is with you?" Avani asked softly.
Nikki swallowed again. "Umm yes, aunty ji. No.. I mean yes. He is in a washroom right now." She blurted in one breath.
"Achha. Umm Nikita, I.. I would like to have a long talk with you some other time." His mom stopped for a second and spoke again. "Can I get your number, beta?"
Nikki's heart did a double take at a time. What did his mom wanted to talk about.
"Nikita? Are you there?"
Avani's soothing voice startled her. "Umm yes.. Ofcourse aunty ji" Nikki spoke feebly and gave her number. Somehow Avani's soothing voice made her feel calm and relax.
"Nikita beta, umm.. Abhi is very complicated person but he has a tender heart." His mom spoke adoringly. I know aunty ji.. May be now I know the 'Real AbhiManyu Modi'.. Nikki wanted to speak and she almost said it when she sensed Abhi's scorching gaze on her face. He raised his eyebrows fiercely at her. Nikki's heart sunk and she promptly handed over his cell back to him, "your mom," She spluttered.
Abhi was stunned. He grabbed the cell. "Umm Hello, Mom?" His eyes turned soft as he spoke.
Nikki fidgeted with her hands nervously.. Get ready for another fight Dr. Nikita Malhotra. What was the necessity to pick up that call when you knew it was his mom calling.. Now face the consequences.. Her heart chided her.
"Oky Mom. I'll call you at night, oky..Bye. Take care." Abhi disconnected the call and sighed. Then he sat back in his chair and looked at Nikki intently for a while.
Nikki tried to pull away her gaze but failed. Blinking her eyes, she started apologising,"Abhi, I am sorry. I wasn't going to pick up the call. But it.."
Abhi raised his hand to stop her from her babbling. He looked thoughtful for a moment. Then he shook his head and spoke, "Its oky Nikki. We'll talk this later. Right now I'm damn hungry. So let's order food."
Nikki searched in his face for some sign of anger resentment.. But there was none.. He looked down in the menu card and then looked up at her," Let's have Chinese."
Momentarily, Nikki was completely floored by abrupt change of topic. Nikki opened and closed her mouth like a fish. When will you stop surprising me with your mood swings, Dr. Abhimanyu Modi? She prompted to ask but didn't.
Abhi arched up his eyebrow," What?"
A relaxed smile erupt on her face, she shook her head," Uhu, Punjabi."
"I said we'll have Punjabi."
Abhi puckered his nose and sulked," eww.. No way.. Chinese."
She tempted to reach up and plant a kiss on his cheek. Instead, she spoke adamantly, "Punjabi."
"Chinese.. And no more arguments." He closed the menu card.
Nikki opened her mouth to protest but his cell rang again.
"Nikki, I'll have to take this call." He spoke politely and picked up the call.
Nikki leaned back in her chair and racked her gaze on his handsome face. Suddenly her eyes fell on his lips, the memories from last evening floated through her mind once again. Life seemed so perfect with him. A content smile broke out on her face as she closed her eyes.
To be cont..
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