Hello Shello everyone
, A very BIG SORRYYY for this very long delay in updating. Believe me, it wasn't intentional or planned. The word "Busy" took altogether a new meaning during the last few weeks. Phew, it is a relief to get back to IF and TFOP. Missing kayamath forum but oh well, I will brave this fanfic forum. Thanks for all the support and understanding. Hope to give you regular updates. This is the 100th part and thanks again for sticking with me and this looong FF all along. Making this update looong just for you all. Luv u
Prachi relaxed back in the comfortable
luxury of the car trying hard to not get irritated with London traffic. The
hustle and bustle of the city was too striking as the car neared The Mishra's
head office. A smile lit up her face as she closed her eyes, anticipation
filling inside her. After a very
memorable weekend, she had returned only that morning and Milind had gone to work
after dropping her at home. And she had missed him all day, she bit her lip
shyly. She was happier than words could ever explain. The glow on her face and
the spring in her steps told Shweta all she wanted to know and her
mother-in-law had greeted her warmly. Finding both Anand and Shweta at home all
morning was an added bonus and her day had only got better. When Anand
suggested dinner together that evening, Prachi had brightened with excitement.
Knowing Milind's busy schedule for the day, Anand was doubtful if he would
agree but Prachi had assured him that she would make all the arrangements and
would guarantee Milind's presence. After her in-laws left, Prachi had booked a
terrace garden table at one of their exclusive hotels. She knew that Milind
loved the ambience of that place and the great Italian food they served. He
even had a private suite there and she was confident that he would definitely be
impressed with her choice of venue. He
hadn't called her all day and she couldn't wait to see them that evening. He
didn't know of the dinner plans and she toiled with the idea of calling him or
just turning up at his office. Now that she had the perfect excuse, there was
nothing to stop her from going there. She couldn't wait to see the look on his
face when she turned up unannounced. He might be busy but would never refuse to
go out with her. With her mind made up, she had dressed with extreme care.
Afterall, she would be the centre of attention when he walked into the office
building. Her dinner dress was an expensive one-shoulder number and she had
kept jewellery to the minimum……just as he liked. Her jacket camouflauged and toned
it down, just right for the afternoon. Excitement building inside her, she
restlessly watched the rush of traffic on the streets.
Her only frustration was that she had been
unable to reach her parents all day. She had so much to tell them and having
been busy over the last few days, calling them had been the last thing on her
mind. When the phone at their chennai home rang unanswered and their mobile
phones were unreachable, she only got more irritated. Even Neev had been
unreacheable. Where did they all go? She bit back a slight annoyance. Of course
she didn't expect her parents to tell her what they were planning to do every
day but sulked that they hadn't even bothered to call her over the weekend. But
then in her state of mind she hadn't remembered to call them either, she
thought guiltily. She picked up the phone and called her parent's home again. When she had almost cut the call, Neev
answered in a distant and low voice.
and put a little bit of life in that "Hello"" she teased.
he sounded surprised and then went quiet.
Neev, can you not atleast pretend to be happy to hear my voice? Have you all
completely forgotten my existence?" she asked not even trying to hide her
I am sorry. I was just busy with work. Believe me, you are constantly on my
mind", he said urgently.
Pleased, Prachi laughed, "Now, that's
better. Where are my dear parents hiding? I just can't get them on the phone",
There was a
long silence before Neev answered. "Your parents have gone to Mumbai. I am sure
they will call you tomorrow", he said softly.
frowned. Why did they go to Mumbai now? "Neev, is everything alright, there?
What are you not telling me? And why are you sounding so different?" she asked
Prachi, nothing to worry about. Uncle had to go there for work reasons yesterday
and Ma accompanied him too", he said hurriedly, his voice falsely bright.
would they have any time to think about their only daughter? That's why they didn't
even bother informing me. You are as bad as them, Neev. Don't forget that I
will be there in a few days", she said angrily.
all a bit sudden, Prachi. I am sure they will call you when they can", Neev
frowned. What could be the reason for their sudden plans? Surely, it must be
business. Her Papa never has any time to think of anything else anyway, she
voice cut through her thoughts, "When are you coming back, Prachi? I can't tell
how much I am looking forward to see you. We all are", he said softly and
Prachi's anger and irritation disappeared completely.
you all, Neev. Even my friends were asking me when I will be back. But there is
so much happening here and I don't know when Milind is planning to return to
India. I am going to have to speak to him very soon", she said heavily.
alright, Prachi. Don't keep bothering Milind or his parents about coming back
here. I don't want them to get upset with you", he said hurriedly.
Prachi laughed, "Why will they get upset with me, Silly? I can ask and say
anything to anyone here. Do you know how much everyone pampers me? ……Much more
than you and my parents ever did! We are all going out for dinner tonight and
the even the venue is of my choice", she said proudly.
a lengthy silence before he answered, "I know they will never do anything to
hurt you. They love you very much, don't they? ", he hesitated again, "I am
glad you called, Prachi", he said way too softly.
frowned again. Why is he talking like this? "Neev, you definitely sound weird. Are you missing me so much? Is that what it
is? Don't worry. I will be there very soon and I will shop till I drop just for
you in London. It's a promise. Did you have dinner yet? Order some take away.
You should have learnt to cook, Neev. Don't worry. Mama won't leave you to
struggle for long. She might even return tomorrow", she spoke quickly, not even
letting him to answer any one of her questions. Her eyes brightened up on
seeing the office building loom in view, "Okay, Neev, I have to go now. I am
near Milind's office. And haan, if YOUR ma and uncle calls you, just remind them
that they have a daugher and she is very angry with them", she said in a huff
and hung up.
stared at the now silent phone with a small smile. That was typical Prachi.
Talking to her had brightened up his mood after the helpless anger and
frustration he had been feeling all morningday. He didn't know what was
happening in Mumbai. The more he thought about it, the more worried he got. Even
his parents hadn't called him. He wondered if he should have told Prachi. But
then what good it would have done apart from distressing her. How happy she
sounded! His heart felt lighter after hearing her voice. Let her enjoy the
evening. However he felt towards Milind, he knew that he and his parents will
take very good care of Prachi. Of that he was very sure. If only the world was
filled with such good people! But he only knew too well that the real world out
there was way different. He sighed and closed his eyes.
high heels clicked softly on the steps as she walked into the building. The
minute she stepped in, all eyes had zoomed on her and with a polite smile on
her lips and a slight nod acknowledging the greetings, she walked towards
Milind's office. Taken aback to see her, Milind's Assistant rushed to greet her.
"Mrs Mishra, I am afraid, Mr Mishra is in a
meeting. I wasn't aware of your visit", she appologised.
assure her, Prachi smiled, "My visit wasn't actually planned. How long will the
meeting last?" she asked.
"It is only a short one. He will be here
soon. Would you like to wait in the waiting room?" his assistant asked.
"Of course not, I would rather wait in his
office. But first, I need a cup of coffee", she said, her smile never slipping.
"Why, of course, Mrs. Mishra! I will get you a
cup of coffee straightaway", the assistant said hurriedly.
shook her head, "No, don't bother. I would like to go the cafe myself. If you
can just point me the way", she said.
towards the outdoor cafe, Prachi let her annoyance flow. Did his assistant really think she would wait in the waiting lounge?
She is his wife, for God's sake, she thought irritatedly. She sighed as soon as
the cool breeze hit her, relaxing her immediately. She looked around with
interest, taking in the decor. The bright shades of the cafe blended with the
carefully maintained greenery around it and the place was immaculate and
welcoming. It was almost empty, not surprising as it was the end of office
hours. She certainly wouldn't mind sitting there on her own and relax with a
cappucino, she thought with a smile. Her feet were already tiring in her
highheels and she wondered if she had made a stupid choice as the evening was
definitely going to be a long one. She should have stuck to her usual lowheels.
But it added inches to her height and a classy edge to her steps and with the
amount of interest her visit had generated in the office, she knew she would be
high on their gossip. Atleast, they would have no complaints on her dressing
sense, she thought. She had just picked up the menu, when Sally's voice made
"Prachi, what are you doing here?" Sally's
voice was full of disbelief.
surprised, Prachi looked at her, "Oh hi, I thought you might be in the meeting
with Milind", she said.
shrugged, "I am not involved in any of those projects", she said and walked to
the coffee bar. "I was going to get a cappucino", she said.
gave a sweet smile, "Then I will let you buy me one too", she said and
suppressed a smile when Sally rolled her eyes and proceeded to buy her one too.
the farthest end of the caf, Sally leaned against the high table, "So, what
are you doing here? Don't tell me that you missed me terribly and couldn't wait
to see me", she said sarcastically.
smiled, "Not at all. I have just returned from a very romantic weekend with my
husband, holed up in our flat. Do you think I would have time to think of
anyone else, let alone you?" she said sweetly.
Sally's eyes narrowed, "Careful, Prachi. Don't
rub it in too much", she said harshly.
sighed and put her cup down, "Why do you always bring out the worst in me,
Sally? Is it the same for you too?" she said softly.
raised her eyebrows, "You don't affect me one way or the other, Prachi", she
said in a huff.
laughed, "We both know that's not true. Anyway, did Mark take you for dinner
and make up? He said he would after that night" she said.
shrugged, "He is still trying. I might have forgiven him but won't give in that
easily. His remarks were unnecessary and distasteful. He had no business
bringing you into that conversation", she said.
smiled. She wondered if Sally really knew what she had just said. "I am
touched, Sally. I am glad to see that you are as worried about me as I was
about you", she said softly.
eyes hardened, remembering Vicky's words. "You are the last person I would be
concerned about, Prachi. Anyway, I have loads of stuff to do still. I have been
at my desk since 8 am and had only an apple for lunch. So, see you around", she
said, stepping back and stiffened feeling Prachi's light touch on her arm.
Sally. I was actually wondering how to meet you. Now that you are here,……..I
wanted to talk to you about………", seeing Sally's surprised look, she hesitated.
…. "About us", she said after a few seconds of silence.
stared at her, "There is no such thing as "us", Prachi", she said.
gave a sad smile, "It would have been easier that way, wouldn't it?" she said
almost to herself.
Sally gave a bored look, "As I said I had a
really busy day and still have lots to do. Whatever you wanted to say, make it
quick", she said.
looked at her. "The first time Milind spoke about you, I didn't know your name
or how you looked. I didn't even know Milind well, then. But rightaway, I just
decided that I didn't like you", she said, her voice growing distant as she
a face, "Thanks, Prachi. I don't like you very much either. Now, I have to get
back to work. Unlike you, I work hard for a living", she said nastily.
gave a small smile, "You don't make it easier to like you, you know. But wait,
Sally. I am not finished yet", she said clearly.
in Prachi's voice making her hesitate, Sally's eyes searched hers, confused.
sipped her coffee in silence, "Before I knew, you became a constant presence in
my life. I kept hearing about you and I just wanted to know even more. And that
didn't make me like you any better. I was even glad that you didn't attend my
engagement. I thought I was prepared, Sally. But when I first met you, it was
my worst nightmare coming true. You were everything I didn't want you to be…. beautiful,
smart and perfect for Milind. I felt so insecure, so jealous of you", she said
stared at her, "But you have him, Prachi. All those things I have wanted,
prayed for…they are all yours. I should be the one feeling jealous and insecure
of you", she bit out vehemently.
Prachi looked at her, "See, I told you that we
affect eachother just as much. When I realised that you loved Milind, it sealed
my feelings for you. I hated you, Sally or so I told myself. But it wasn't that
easy. The more I got to know you, the more confused I felt. If one minute I
wished you to disappear from my life, the next minute I could connect with you.
I felt your pain and hurt over your mother's death. I understood your
loneliness and your desire to get back to your old life. I even understood your
feelings for Milind. Behind the facade you put up, I saw how vulnerable and how
normal you are. I saw you as a daughter, friend and a girl who people adored…..
.whom Milind adored. If all that softened my feelings for you, realising how
close you were and still are to Milind, only made me wanted to hate you
further. I wanted to erase you from his past. I wasn't ready to share that part
of his life with you eventhough I had no control over it. I wanted to rewrite
history. How stupid of me, isn't it? I got caught in this all-consuming myriad
of emotions. Where you are concerned, I started becoming someone else I didn't
even recognise. Everything became a competition, Sally….my whole existence", she
stopped speaking, her breathing now laboured.
Stunned by her words, Sally just stared at
her. If her last meeting with Vicky had unsettled her, Prachi's words were like
holding a mirror to her own feelings. Isn't this how she had felt too? This
constant change of emotions where Prachi was concerned!
nodded understandingly, "You feel the same about me, don't you? In someways we
understand eachother better. After all that transpired between us, I should
have told someone about what's going on between us, if not Milind, atleast
Lisa…….or Vicky ……..or my mother. But I didn't tell anyone, Sally. I just
couldn't. For some reason, it just felt so personal……..everything between us
was too personal to share with anyone. I didn't know how to handle it. And then
I flipped……terribly and I hurt myself and Milind in the process. It took that
to jolt me back to reality. I have realised how stupid I have been. Like you
said, I have everything you ever wanted for yourself. Then why should I be
jealous of you? Why should I be jealous of the past I had not been a part of?
Why should I worry about what could have been if you had not left this country
and gone away or if you had come back earlier than you did?" she asked, her
Sally's eyes were moist and bright
and Prachi's eyes held hers unwaveringly. "You made a choice when you left him.
I don't know what your circumstances were. That other night in the shack, you
called yourself a fool for leaving him but you were a even bigger fool for
staying away far too long. You came back. Sadly you are still where you were
years ago but life around you had sped past. Milind had moved on. I know you
loved him very much, still do. I won't ever question whose love is stronger
here, yours on mine. You certainly have loved him longer than I have. It still
hurts, Sally but I have accepted it. Atlast I have made peace with Milind's
past and your place in it. Believe me, it wasn't easy. I am still learning to
not resent you. I might still, at times. But this is where it ends for me", she
said, her voice strong in contrast to the paleness on her face.
utter even a word, Sally could only stare at her. When Prachi's hand reached to
touch hers, she quickly pulled away.
gave a sad smile, "If you were and still are, a part of Milind's life, I am his
whole being. Whether you like it or not, I am his present and his future. I
won't come between your friendship but at the same time, I won't let you come
between my love. I tried to hate you but now I realise that I can't. I don't
think I can ever, Sal and I don't know why", she said softly.
stood staring at a distance, her eyes a riot of emotions. When she didn't say
anything, Prachi picked up her coffee cup and started to turn way.
low voice stopped her. "Only my friends call me "Sal"", she said, almost
inaudibly. As Sally's eyes searched hers frantically, Prachi gave a small smile
and walked away.
Prachi walked back stiffly, praying
that her shaking legs wouldn't give way. She was still trembling when she
entered Milind's, thankfully empty, office. She fell on his chair, still unable
to believe that she had said all that to Sally. It might have been an utterly
stupid thing to do, but she felt no regret. Atleast she got it all off her
chest. She had been powerless to stop herself but for once, she didn't care.
She closed her eyes and she slowly relaxed as her breathing calmed down. A sudden
longing to see her husband filled her. She can't tell him anything but just
being with him would have been reassuring enough. Her eyes fell on the
photograph on Milind's table. She picked it up, memories going back to
Tahiti. It was a beach shot, hands filled with mehndi, eyes full of happiness,
she was leaning against Milind. The smile on their faces could have lit up the
whole world. Her fingers traced his face, a sob building inside her. Yes, she
would never let anyone or anything come between them. She held the photograph
close to her chest, her mind going back to the time it was taken. A slow smile
lit her face and her eyes softened, shutting Sally totally out of her mind. She
was startled when the door opened and Milind walked in. She slowly put the
photograph down on the table and smiled seeing the change of expressions on her
husband's face. The poor Assistant who she could see hovering behind him seemed
to not had a chance to warn him of her presence. The look on Milind's face
changed from stunned to surprise and then happiness.
he stopped in his stride and nodded a quick dismissal at his relieved looking
roaming over her handsome husband, Prachi smiled, "Sorry I startled you. Should I have waited for your assistant to
check with you while I waited in the waiting lounge?" she asked cheekily.
course not, sweetheart. That would have been so unlike you", he said teasingly
and giggling, she rushed into his arms. Holding her close, his voice dipped
low, "Tell me what do I owe for this unexpected treat. Still in the weekend
mood, are we?" he gave a slow wink and Prachi blushed. He traced his finger
down her cheek, "I missed you too", he said softly.
him with mock anger, "Liar! You would have called me atleast once if you had
really missed me", she said.
softly, he sat in the chair and pulled her on his lap. "Ah, now that you are
here, let me tell you in detail how much I missed you", he said, kissing her
finger traced his stubble, "Will you also make up for the time I waited for you
all alone here? Promise me that you will do whatever I ask you to", she said
of his hand traced her cheek, "Careful, Mrs Mishra, I might want you to ask me
for lot more than what you had planned", his voice dipped low.
Prachi went bright red and bit her lip. "Do
you think of anything else at all, Milind?" she chided him shyly.
Milind chuckled, "Not after the weekend
we spent together, Cherry. My mind is full of very indecent thoughts. Having
you here is not helping matters", he said softly.
her finger over his lips, "Should I go?" she asked.
He bit on her finger, "Don't you dare,
Prachi. I want you all to myself for the rest of the evening. Promise me", he
you think I am here? I was hoping to tempt you to spend the evening with me. I
am even dressed appropriately", she said softly.
Intrigued, Milind's eyes looked over from her head to toe. "What are you
wearing underneath that jacket?" he asked, his fingers deftly undoing the
buttons. He gave a soft whistle and his fingers traced the neckline of the
dress. "Oh my, isn't this temptation enough?" he asked. His hand ran over her
curves and watched with satisfaction as her body responded immediately.
hand shot down to hold his hand still over her knee, "I meant dinner", she said
Milind's lips nibbled at hers, his hand
ignoring hers and mover higher, tracing the softness of her thigh, "I already
have a raging apetite, sweetheart", his husky voice sent shivers down her body.
shifted, allowing his roving hand more access, her lips opening under his. Her
hand threaded into his hair, holding him close. Milind was the first to break
apart, their breathing gone heavy.
can't let my PA find us in such a compromising position", he said heavily. Her
face gone crimson, Prachi slowly eased away from him. Smiling at her red face,
his hands adjusted her clothing. "Did you say something about dinner?", he
blushed and nodded slowly. "With Mom and Dad", she said shyly.
groaned, "You heartless girl, how can you expect me to behave decently in front
of them after such a tantalising start? Now, I want more", he said, head bent
and ready to take her lips once again.
Quick for him, Prachi jumped off his lap and
moved away. Satisfied to see his eyes heating up, she shrugged off her jacket
completely and shook her head, her slightly curled hair falling luxuriously
around her face. She gave a slow twirl, her dress rising above her mid thighs
and winked at him.
ready, Milind", she said.
grin turned into a chuckle and he threw his head back and laughed. "Oh my, you
are in a mood today. Bring it on, Cherry. I am all game tonight", he said and reached
her leg half draped over his, Prachi sat snuggled against him in the car.
Milind twirled a strand of her hair around his finger, "If had known that one
weekend together could bring out this seductive nature out of you, I would plan
one romantic getaway every weekend", he said softly and she blushed.
missed you all day, you know. Atleast Mom and Dad were there in the morning and
then I was all alone and missed you even more", she complained.
kissed her pouting lips. "You should have called me", he said.
grimaced, "I had such a perfect opportunity to come and see you and didn't want
to waste it", she said and he laughed. She rested her head on his shoulder, "I
did keep myself as busy as I could. I called my friends in India. They all wanted
to know when I was coming back. Then I tried my parents and no one picked up.
Atlast I reached Neev just before I came to see you. Do you know that Mama and
Papa have gone to Mumbai and didn't even bother to let me know? I am so angry
with them", she complained again.
chuckled, "So, the Shahs have planned a romantic getaway as well. Don't be such
a jealous kid, Prachi. Let them have some time for romance", he teased.
hit him. "Chiii, besharam, aap bhi na. Neev told me that they have gone for
some business reasons. My papa works too hard. Poor Papa", she said sadly and
Milind chuckled again. Prachi suddenly frowned and sat up, "Neev was talking
strangely today, Milind. I am feeling a bit disturbed. I hope there are no
problems with the business", she said worriedly.
kissed her forehead, "Don't worry too much, Prachi. He must have been busy and
just sounded tired. He would have
definitely told you if it was anything to be concerned about", he calmed her.
Nodding, she relaxed back against him.
into their hotel, Milind frowned when Prachi slightly stumbled and his arm on
her waist tightened. "Why do you wear such shoes when you don't feel
comfortable in them, Prachi?" he chided her.
pouted at him, "I am trying my best to match your height, Milind. So, don't you
dare say anything! How will I get used to them if I don't wear them. See how
easily Mom walks in them", she said.
shook his head at her reasoning. Women! They found his parents at the bar, the
staff already on high alert finding the Mishras among them. Seeing his mother
beautifully dressed in towering heels, he smiled at Prachi. She had a typical
"I told you" look on her face and chuckling, he pulled her closer. The evening
only became more enjoyable from then on. The corner and secluded table was
perfect, the darkening sky and London's skyline beautiful from that height. The
garden heaters kept the mild chill at bay and Prachi's eyes shone bright with
happiness. The food was great as usual and her heart lurched happily seeing him
enjoying his meal. With both Milind and Anand keeping the conversation lively
and funny, she relaxed completely.
moved to the cosy sofas with comfortable cushions, they lingered over coffee.
The chill in the air was getting more pronounced and Prachi moved closer to
Milind. A shaft of cold breeze hit them and she shivered slightly. Milind put
his arm around her and she snuggled in closer. He watched her conversing with
Anand, her smile, the movement of her lips, the way her eyelashes swept down,
the faint blush when she suddenly became aware of his eyes on her. Well
concealed in the semi darkness, Milind's fingers traced the softness of her
exposed shoulder and slid down and rested by the side of her breast. Feeling
slightly breathless, Prachi struggled to keep her face calm in front of her
in-laws. When she stifled another gasp, Shweta looked at her curiously.
"Are you okay, Prachi? Is it getting too
chilly for you?" shweta asked.
With a naughty
grin, Milind stood up, "I am taking Prachi to the dance floor, Mom. A bit of
exercise should keep her warm. Do you guys want to join us?" he asked.
parents refused preferring to top up their coffee cups. Milind led a red faced
Prachi away and chuckled softly when she started hitting him the minute they
were alone. Reaching the dance floor, he pulled her into his arms, "Let me keep
you warm, Cherry", he whispered softly and her heart thudded in response to the
heat in his eyes.
subdued lighting and the soft music only enhanced the intimacy and she gasped
aloud feeling Milind's warm breath against her neck, his body brushing against
hers moving to the soft beats. "Mi..lind", she whispered in shock when his hand
cupped her softness. His lips traced her ear, her cheek and lingered against
his lips, teasing but not kissing. Everytime, her lips opened under his, his
lips moving away, leaving her wanting more. Lost in the sensual world, she
pressed herself against him and jumped when he let out a harsh swear.
get out of here", he said in a harsh whisper, his fingers digging into her
and slightly confused, she let him led her away from there. He walked swiftly
and without uttering a word and understanding dawned on her when he stood in
front of a room door, quickly fishing out an electronic key from his pocket. "Oh god, this is his private suite", she
bit her lip, going bright red. She hesitated as the door clicked shut behind
them. "Mi..lind", she called softly and gasped as he pulled her harshly to him.
His mouth crashed down on hers, hot and urgent and she felt herself pressed
against the wall. H er protests died even before it materialised and she kissed
him back equally mindlessly. She gasped as his hands and mouth became unrelenting,
driving them both into a frenzy of passion. His name was constantly on her lips
and atlast with a cry she surrendered completely to his demanding passion.
surfaced back into reality after a long time, their heavy breathing the only
sound in the quiet room. He gently eased her slightly away from him and with
growing horror, Prachi realised that they were still near the closed door. A
wave of utter shyness and embarassment swept through her and horrified at her
own lack of control, she closed her eyes, her faced buried against his
shoulder. His breathing still laboured, he smoothed her messed up hair and
called her name softly, "Prachi". She only buried her face deeper and stayed
silent. He placed soft kisses on her head, "Look at me, darling", he whispered.
Her eyes looked up at him and immediately shied away. Milind smiled, "Don't be
shy, Cherry", he said softly and she hugged him back fiercely.
unable to look at him, she slowly walked back to the car, silently marvelling
at his composure. Making themselves presentable, they had walked back only to
find Shweta waiting for them near the dance floor. Prachi's blushes were a dead
giveaway and Shweta had just smiled at them. Too embarassed, Prachi wished that
she could just disappear. Seeing Milind chatting to his parents as though
nothing happened only fuelled her anger. When he ignored her angry looks and
put his arm around her, she pinched his hand and smiled with satisfaction when
he jumped. Giggling she ran to the car, half stumbling.
Back in the
car, Shweta shook her head, "I am going to ban those high heels from now on,
Prachi. Everytime you walk in them, I am terrified that you are going to trip
and fall", she said sternly. Prachi smiled sheepishly and glared at a laughing
trying to imitate you, Mom. I think you will have to give them up first",
Milind teased. She pinched his hand again and he bit back a curse. She smiled
cheekily and stuck her tongue at him. Milind's eyes narrowed, "You are going to
pay for this, Prachi. You wait till we reach home. This time we will make it to
the bed", he whispered near her ears and Prachi turned bright red worried that
her in-laws might hear them.
He pulled her back to him when she tried to
move away, "That was just foreplay, darling. The best is yet to come. You won't
get a wink of sleep tonight. Now that is a promise", he said huskily and Prachi
bit her lip, her eyes begging him to shut up. She sighed in relief when Anand
pulled him back into conversation and before she knew the car entered the gates
of their house. She hurriedly got off the car but gasped when Milind pulled her
to him. "Staright to our bedroom, darling", he whispered.
wriggled out of his hold and stuck her tongue out again, "Not tonight, darling.
Tonight you are going to sleep in one of the guest bedrooms. Now, that is a
promise", she imitated him cheekily and moved back quickly when he reached for
wouldn't dare, Prachi", he warned in a low voice, his long strides catching up
shriek, Prachi ran faster, through the lounge, ignoring the maids' curious
looks. Anand and Shweta looked at eachother, a smile playing on their lips.
Anand shook his head, "Gosh, It feels
like having little children around the house", he said.
laughed and looped her arm into his, "Isn't it nice to see them like this, all
naughty and funny? Milind reminds me of a younger you", she said.
grinned, "Hey, am still young and going strong. You should know that better
than anyone else, darling", he said. Shweta laughed, hitting him and they
entered the house.
the stairs, Prachi stumbled and turned back to look at Milind and giggled.
now, Milind slowed down, "I give up, Prachi. Don't run now", he warned.
shook her head, "You think I am going to fall for that. I won't let you reach
there before me and I am so going to close the bedroom door on your face", she
challenged and started up the stairs even faster, her mind vaguely registering
Shweta and Anand calling her. She turned back to look at Milind who was still standing
at the bottom of the stairs and gave a triumphant laugh. "Chicken", she called out and gasped when her
heel scraped at the edge of the step. Losing her balance and finding nothing to
hold on to, Prachi slipped.
the voice of Milind and his parents echoed somewhere and with a shriek she
fell. She groaned feeling Milind's strong arms stopping her fall and blinked, disoriented
and confused. Seeing her in-law's shocked faces, she slowly looked around. She
grimaced holding the side of her head. What
did she hit it against? She looked even more confused when Milind and his
parents asked repeatedly if she was alright. Realisation atlast hit her and she
giggled embarrassingly, quickly adjusting her dress, "Oh no, did I really fall
down the stairs?" she asked.
Milind and his parents looked at
eachother slightly bewildered. Anand sighed and straightened, "Alright kids,
enough drama for one night. Milind, help Prachi up. Lets all get back to our
own rooms", he said sternly.
her lip, feeling even more embarrassed. Nodding his head, Milind helped her
help and stilled when she let out a scream, losing balance again.
immediately kneeled down, "Prachi, what is it, child? Are you hurt? Where does
it hurt?" he asked worriedly.
in pain, Prachi pointed to her fast swelling ankle. Shocked now, Milind slowly
eased the shoe off her ankle and she screamed again in pain.
touched his shoulder, "Milind, take Prachi upstairs and be careful. I will come
with you. Anand, we need a doctor", she said.
ankle propped on a pillow and a slight bump on the side of her forehead, Prachi
sniffed. The doctor had prodded her ankle, making her scream even more and
atlast declared that it must be a sprain. She leaned back on the cushions as Milind
and his parents walked out with the doctor. Her ankle was well swollen by now
and she leaned back closing her eyes, grimacing in pain. On top of it, she even
had a good telling off by both Anand and Shweta. She sniffed loudly feeling
Milind's hand on her head.
I am sorry", he said softly.
shook her head, "It wasn't your fault. I should have been careful", she said and
clutched his hand.
Still bewildered about the turn of
events within minutes, Milind reached for the painkillers, urging her to take
it. Ignoring her protests, he made drink a glass of milk and helped her change
into nightclothes. Prachi looked even more embarassed by the time he tucked her
into bed. His fingers caressed her cheek and he kissed her forehead softly, "Go
to sleep, honey. I am sure you will start feeling better tomorrow. All you need
is a bit of a rest", he said softly.
with the effect of painkillers, Prachi reached for him, "You promised that you
won't let me sleep tonight. Then why are telling me to go to sleep?" she
of himself, Milind smiled and kissed her lips. "I will keep my promise tomorrow.
For now, just close your eyes", he promised.
Sighing, she held his hand closer to her
cheek, "Stay…..with….me", she mumbled inaudibly.
sweetheart. I am right next to you", he said softly. His hand caressing her head, he watched her
slowly drifting into a deep sleep.