Joined: 28 July 2006
Okay, I have an illness. I know. I keep coming up with new stories without ever finishing the ones I already have. But I just can't help it. I promise, though, I'll update the other ones. It may just take some time. That's why in order to keep you all preoccupied, I'm posting this story. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as the others. Please comment after reading. Feedback is necessary! Enjoy!
He storms through the gloomy, empty halls of the dark Mansion with a rage so strong that it threatens to burn anything in his path. His gray stormy eyes shine with an intense fierceness that would have anyone turn into a mere squeaking mouse before him. His muscular arm flexes as he tightens his iron grip onto the wrist of the measly girl being dragged after him, trying to match his fast strides that are anxious to get somewhere. Yet, she cannot keep herself balanced with how she trips every now and then over her wedding gown and from the burdening weight of her jewelry. She withholds the urge to release a shuddering sob, her chest searing with a devastation so strong that she believed she'd collapse any moment. Just as they reach the long, spiral staircase, she halts in her steps, her feet nearly skidding against the granite floor. She feels the height of her fears hit her instantly and she frighteningly pulls back, desperately trying to get away.
"N-no'," she stutters, her voice trembling'.her nerves twisting and turning'.her stomach queasy'.
"Yes," he thunders at her, pulling on her arm, demanding that she follow. However, she stands her ground, gripping onto the railing.
"Where'where are you taking me?" she manages to finally say since the moment he shoved her into his car, driving recklessly away from the wedding hall'.
He takes her arm that he has captivated and twists it behind her back, pressing her frail body onto his taut torso'.her breasts crushed against his broad chest'. He leans in, his face barely an inch away ' Her insides freeze at the wild frenzy erupting in his dark, enigmatic pools of gray'.
"Our bedroom, of course' Where else, my darling wife?'. To commemorate our wedding'. To enjoy our nuptials to the fullest'," he sneers at her with a wicked smile that has her heart turning ice cold.
"Noo'," she breathes in horror, her petrified eyes gazing up at his smirking face. He releases a bitter laugh before twisting her arm once more, making her wince from the physical pain he exerts on her.
"Don't act coy' What else did you think newlyweds do? You're my wife now and I am going to show you the full extent of what that means'"
She's seized with an overwhelming panic for her own safety' for her own dignity' that she finds herself growing frantic for an escape from the hands of this seething monster'
"I'm not going to sleep with you'," she declares with all the courage she possesses, which appears as a simple squeak compared to his next booming words'.
"I'm afraid you have no choice in the matter' It's inevitable now'. After all, you wanted this, didn't you?" he snarls at her with clenched white teeth.
"No, I never--- '," she speaks meekly, overcome by his fiery wrath that he unleashes onto her'
"Don't take me as a fool' You honestly don't think that I've never noticed the way you look at me?... That I don't notice how you become lame in my presence? How you always seek to please me in every possible way? '.. Well now I'm about to make your wishes finally come true, Mrs. Walia'.
"Not like this' I never wanted it like this," she sobs, completely shattered and heartbroken. Who is this man before her? She hardly recognizes him anymore. He cannot be the same man she adored all these years'.. cherished in her heart for so long.
"You've gotten what you've always wanted, no matter what the means were that you took to get it' Now stop it with this bullshit acting of yours and come with me'.," he demands, tugging on her wrist hard, nearly yanking her up the long fleet of stairs'.
"Jai, please'.," she continues to wrack with endless sobs, her vision terribly blurry'.her head spinning from the onslaught of her hot tears'.
"Please, Jai, don't do this! I never meant it for like this to happen! I wish it all had never happened!" she cries openly, wailing her grief'.
"Jai, please, just listen to me!" she pleads to him just as he throws open his bedroom door; dragging her into his dimly lit room. Her tears build as she grows appalled at how stone-hearted he has become'how blinded by anger he is that he blocks away her frantic pleas'.not heeding to a word she says. A loud gasp escapes from her quivering lips as she finds herself suddenly thrust onto the mattress of his four poster bed. Her face makes contact with his cool, white cotton sheets to which she takes a grip onto, her fingers clenching onto the fabric'. She tries to regain the loss of her breath and hesitantly lifts herself to look behind her where her brooding husband stands ominously above her'.
"No one gets away with deceiving Jai Walia'. not even you Bani Dixit' and you will pay for what you did to me' I'm going to teach you a valuable lesson you will never forget'.," he spits venomously at her whilst taking a fistful of his sherwani into his hands and removing it from his dark, toned body' Bani's eyes widen in alarm as she see him fling his shirt carelessly onto the cold, marble floor'his steely eyes penetrating onto her'.
She wastes no crucial time to flee, taking this last futile attempt as her final hope of escape' Bani jumps from the bed and tries to dodge Jai's figure that hovers over her' However, he is faster than her' and much swifter. He takes her back into his possession and pins her onto his mattress, capturing her arms in a steel tight hold, raising them just above her head. She stares up at him breathless, having the air knocked out of her from his brutal assault'
She feels fear take over her once more as she witnesses a frightening gleam forming in his eyes. His lips crack into a half amused smile as he peers down at her'.
"You know Bani' you are not too bad to look at'. In fact, you might even pass as attractive'. I wonder how I managed not to notice this about you'. These past years have been good to you--- that I can say with certainty' Turns out I may not be entirely repulsed by the idea of bedding you' I might just enjoy it'," he says musingly'his trailing gaze smoldering her everywhere they go'.The oncoming tears leak through the corners of her eyes'.
"Jai'.," she wails'.
"Darling, I haven't even started and already you're crying my name'."
"Please' I'm begging you'. Don't do this'. I'll do anything' anything'."
"I can't assure you that I'll be gentle' I'm an impatient man' You know that'," he growls at her'.
She weeps to her broken heart's content, any last hope inside of her evading her quickly'. He will not show her any mercy' He will not spare her' He will take the one thing that a woman holds dearly'her dignity'.her pride' her everything'.
His large, masculine hand reaches for her royal red skirt, pulling it up inch by inch'. Bani protests only to be overtaken by his physical strength' She bites on her lower lip as soon as she feels his rough hand make contact with her leg, traveling up the smoothness of her skin, all the way to her inner thigh'
"Do you enjoy that, Bani? Do you like the way I touch you' just like that?"
"Jai' please leave me'. Just let me go' I don't want this'. I don't want any of it'"
"Lies' all lies' I know this is exactly what you want' what you've always wanted'"
"Please'," she whimpers, trying to release her hands from his powerful hold.
"Shhh'. I'll try and be gentle if you don't resist so much'.This will all be over soon, as long as you cooperate' "
She breaks out into another fit of tears as his hand glides further north'. It is when he parts her legs that his face comes into view, suspended over hers'. Without any indication, without any warning, he presses his mouth onto hers, ravishing her lips'bruising them'.gnawing at them'running his warm tongue over them'.
During this time, Bani had become completely numb'.her mind blank'.her insides hollow' her breathing shallow'.wanting to block away what was to become of her'. It is, though, when she feels the loosening of his hand gripped tightly around her wrists that consciousness strikes her'.
Jai, who had been leisurely kissing his wife's plum lips, found himself overtaken by an astonishing surprise as he felt himself suddenly being shoved back, causing him to nearly topple onto the floor' As he stumbles, trying to register what had happened, he looks down at his wife, who now rises on the bed, her teary eyes laced with a quickly building anger of her own.
Before he can do anything, before he can say anything, a stinging slap strikes his cheek, making it grow painfully warm'. He stares back at her, bewildered'..
"Don't you dare touch me with your filthy hands ever again, Jai Walia'.," she seethes, puffing over her own words from the intense rage consuming her entire being. Not waiting to see what he will do after the initial shock wears off, Bani takes a grip of her skirt and runs from the room, going as far away as her feet can take her' not wanting to remain in this house for a second more'not wanting to ever see the face of Jai Walia ever again'.
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3:07 AM, Tuesday
Villa di Mare, Apt. #441
Miami, FL., United States
Bani wakes up in the middle of the night in a puddle of cold sweat. She breathes hard, panting as if she had been running a long mile' but perhaps she was running' running from a terrible nightmare'.from a ghastly past.
It has been four years since that uneventful night, but still she remains scared'unsafe'as if any moment he will appear and bring harm to her. It is ridiculous to think, actually, considering that she is a long way from him'. a full ocean apart, as a matter of fact. There is no way he will reach her'find her' not when she has been successfully hiding for the past years.
But why is she unable to shake off these fears that do not quit following her everywhere she goes? Why does she feel that at any moment her life will take a disastrous fall? That disaster linked to the one person whom she loathes the most in this world? She would have felt sympathy for him if not for his animalistic behavior with her; his intent on taking her dignity away from her. He too had been equally betrayed as she was'.thrown into a sham of a marriage planned by two conniving men.
Uday Walia and Nishikant Dixit had always shared the desire of seeing their children, Jai and Bani, married despite their eight year difference. They had practically decided it from Bani's birth that she would be made the Walia Bahu, made into Jai Walia's wife. However, their plan did not fall through when Jai showed no interest in the proposal, refuting it continuously over the years. It was when he had fallen in love with a certain Roshini Chopra and claimed that he would only marry her that Uday and Nishikant knew they had to take drastic measures to ensure their dream became true. They did not need worry about Bani's approval, they knew from the start of her infatuation with her Uday Uncle's handsome son since she was young. Hence, they went on with their conspiring'.
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3:37 PM, Tuesday
Breach Candy Hospital
"What are we going to do?" he hears his best friend question him grimly, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed against his chest. He, on the other hand, remains seated down onto the bench in the waiting room which is practically empty at this hour. He hadn't moved from his place since he received the news. Lines of stress adorn his forehead, permanently etched onto there. His face stays rigid, his body absolutely still'.his mind in a state of turmoil.
"What are you going to do?" his friend corrects himself after a moment of pause.
Aditya Bali scrutinizes his friend's silent stance, having remained like this for the past hour since the Doctor had called him specifically into his office. He digs a hand into his trouser pocket and gives out a tired sigh. He too is distressed from all that is going on right now at present'.and what will happen in the near future' that is, if his friend decides to do anything about it.
"Jai' I am speaking to you' not the wall behind you," Aditya grouchily snaps at him, hoping at least the raise of his voice will gather his lost attention.
Jai Walia throws him a vicious look, his eyes bloodshot red from spending hours in the hospital the past three days.
"Well what do you expect I should say? I just find out that my aunt's condition is worse than expected so forgive me if I'm finding it a little hard to take it all in'.," he finishes haughtily in his deep throaty voice.
Breaking his reserve, Aditya uncrosses his arms and walks toward the bench with purpose, seating himself down next to his best friend, who appears more distraught then he has ever seen him in his entire life. His previous tense features soften gradually as he places a hand onto Jai's shoulder'
"Jai, I do realize what kind of predicament you are in'. and I know this is a lot to take in, but now is not the time to sit and wallow' We have to take action' You need to take action'"
"What do you suppose I should do, Aditya? The situation isn't exactly in my hands, if you haven't noticed' There isn't anything I can do to make Mausi any better'," he grudgingly replies.
"'. She's asking for her'. If you bring here her''," whatever Aditya planned on saying further isn't able to be put through words when Jai Walia roughly shrugs Aditya's hand aside and stares at him with strong disapproval brewing in his stormy eyes.
"Don't even say it," he warns sternly. Aditya, however, is unmoved by the sudden harshness appearing in Jai's behavior.
"Well you cannot ignore the facts here, Jai'. It's a miracle that Mausi even survived that brutal accident'. but unfortunately due to her present condition we are going to have to resort to drastic measures'.," he heatedly attempts in explaining and restrains the urge to groan from frustration when Jai jumps from his seat, pacing back and forth anxiously with his brows in a deep furrow.
"No, we don't. Not that drastic, Aditya' I am not about to go muddling into my past'. And I don't want you to either'. It's the past for a reason'. It's not supposed to be a part of the present."
"Jai, she's a person for heaven's sake' Do not speak about her as if she isn't' She deserves at least that much respect after you have taken everything from her," Aditya grunts with resentment.
"I did no such thing," Jai bites back callously. He halts in his pacing and rubs against his temple, the beginning of a headache building in the back of his head.
"And why are we even discussing about this? It's completely irrelevant'," he argues hotly.
"No, it is relevant' More relevant than you know it, Jai'. Mausi wants her here and it is your task to do so' for your aunt's sake' your aunt who has been more than a mother to you'. I'd have thought you'd do at least that much for her'.," Aditya remarks bitterly before stalking off, leaving Jai behind in a tangle of thoughts'.
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9:12 AM, Tuesday
Sunshine Enterprise, 751 Collins Ave.
Miami, FL., United States
"Hey Bani, A.D. was looking for you' ," her good friend, Raashi Sharma, says first thing that morning just as Bani sets her bag onto her desk and sits down into her chair. She leans against it and releases a long sigh. She had a restless night, tossing back and forth in her bed, unable to sleep' unable to get rid of the vivid memories that continuously attacked her' not letting her forget what she desperately did not want to remember.
"When is he not looking for me?" Bani drearily replies.
"True' If you ask me, he's completely smitten by you'," Raashi teases with a wink. "You should ask him out for coffee sometime' I bet he'd be thrilled," she adds.
Bani sits up in her seat and turns on her computer monitor. She becomes stiff by her friend's suggestion.
"I'm not looking for a relationship right now' Besides, I'm too busy finding a new place now that Rano will graduate and be moving back in with me' ,"she offers lamely, knowing her excuse isn't justifiable enough. Raashi rolls her eyes at her.
"Yes, I bet that must be so straining on you' Come on, Bani' Live it up, will you? When are you going to go back into the dating field? You can't be single forever, you know'," she points out.
"I've been on plenty dates," Bani defensively says.
"Yeah, not since like over a year ago. And you've never had any really serious relationships'. You need to get back on the market' Good looking men are all around but you hardly give a damn to notice' A.D. for an example' Now he is the office's best looking male and he is interested in you. But you've had that poor guy work for your attention for the past three years'. Give him a chance, will you?"
"I'm just saying' for your best interest."
"' I'll think about it. Now can we drop the subject? To be honest, I'm not in the mood to think about A.D. or anything else for the matter'"
"Why? What's up?"
"Nothing' Just a blast from the past is all," she murmurs quietly to herself before starting on her work for the day'.
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"Jai, what have you done?" his father questions him gravely. He stands erect to his fullest height, his broad shoulders nearly taking up the entire doorway, his intimidating presence dominating the Study that is blanketed by a dreary darkness in which his son basks in alone up until his father joins. Jai Walia stays still in his chair, lounged onto it, nursing a drink in his hand. A deep, permanent scowl settles onto his ruggedly handsome face'
"Why? What have I done, father?" he tartly responds. Uday Walia treads further into the Study, his heavy footsteps filling the silence of the room.
"I just got word from Nishikant' He says Bani is packing her bags and leaving' She had come back to him, crying'wouldn't speak a single word to him. ' Care to explain?"
"' Well' that is Mr. Dixit's problem, not mine," Jai answers blandly, resuming in drinking his scotch filled glass.
"Jai Uday Walia' You will look at me when I speak to you' and you will show Nishikant respect' He is your father-in-law after all'," Uday booms forebodingly, his patience tested.
"No, Dad' He is not' .Nishikant Dixit is nothing to me' neither is that daughter of his'," Jai sneers back, rising from his chair' his own patience being tested. Shock draws onto Uday Walia's creased face, lines of tension appearing on his wide forehead.
"Bani is your wife' How could you even say that?" he sputters from disbelief, astonished by his son.
"A wife who I had married by deceit! Who I married by force!' You all played me!' Took me for a ride!' Went behind my back and ruined my life!" Jai thunders at his father, slamming his fists against the desk.
"You and Nishikant Dixit got what you wanted, Dad! I married Bani! But no one, not even you, can make me accept her!"
"That is enough, Jai! I will not tolerate this childishness of yours! Bani is a Walia now' She is your wife and this family's daughter-in-law' You will not treat her in this manner! You will go and bring her right this instant!' This is her home' This is where she belongs, whether you like it or not," Uday nearly roars---amazed by the degree of hatred running thick in his son's voice'gleaming dark in his eyes.
"I will do no such thing! Contrary to your belief, I am not a child' I am a full grown man' a man who is capable of making his own decisions---lead his own life' But you have taken that away from me today by your deliberate manipulation!'. Each three of you have'. And I will never forget it!" he storms, his fists clenching'
"Son," Uday immediately simmers down in hopes of reaching out to his straying son---physically feeling a distance growing between them. "I know I am your culprit' I am to blame' Nishikant is to blame as well' but please, for God's sake' Do not blame that poor girl for what we have done to you' She had no part in it' She was completely nave about the whole thing'," he carefully explains, wanting to get rid of any resentment Jai treasures against his friend's daughter.
"Naive," Jai scoffs.
"It is the truth' She had only sat down in the mandap after your father and I convinced her to' I am ashamed to even say this, but after we emotionally blackmailed her'only then did she comply' We told her that our family's honor was at stake'the bride ran off' we could not bear that humiliation and suffer from the hands of society'"
"Yes, Roshini ran off only after you made her' What did you do, Dad? What did you say to her? Where is she now? '."
"She's long gone from here, son' and she left on her own accord' If you must know the truth, she didn't seem too upset about leaving you'. She took the million dollar check within seconds of my offer'. She chose money over you' Now tell me, would you really have been happy with a woman like that?"
"You're lying!' Why should I trust you? After you have deceived me'"
"I did it for your best interest' as a father' I've only ever wanted you to be happy, Jai' and you wouldn't have been if you married that gold digger girlfriend of yours'. She would have exploited all of our hard-earned money'. She had only greed in her eyes, son' not love for you'."
"Don't you dare speak about her like that! She loved me! She wouldn't have done anything like what you are accusing her of! Where is she, Dad?" he demands fiercely.
"On her way to London I presume' maybe Paris' She had mentioned a place when she took the check'. I can't recall at the moment'."
"You're a damned liar! I don't even know why I am asking you let alone speaking to you! I have nothing to do with you anymore! No father would do what you have done to me! No father would take away his son's only happiness! I am done with you! I never want to see you again in my life, Uday Prashant Walia!"
"Jai, listen to me, son!" Uday pleads, growing frantic on seeing Jai slam his chair back and stalk out of the Study, turning his back on him forever'.
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9:42 PM, Tuesday
Jai Walia breaks out of his reverie with a start and gazes around his surroundings, remembering that he is on the balcony of his bedroom, having come out here for a smoke, and not back in the dwellings of the Study'.four years ago. He throws his cigarette bud onto the ground and stubs it beneath his shoe. He blows out the remainder of the smoke from his mouth, watching the white puffs dissolve into the darkness of the cool night.
Why is he going back down the path to the very memories he despised? That he had forced himself to block away? That he had refused to acknowledge for years?
But more importantly, why is his past back to haunt him? Isn't it called past for a reason? To never encroach on your present or future? Then why isn't it the case for him? Why is life playing a cruel joke on him by making him go back down that road?
If Mausi hadn't been in that gruesome accident then none of this would be happening to him. He would not be here standing and considering the very thought of treading back into the cobwebs of his past'. He had thought it was a closed chapter in his life, but it seems otherwise as of late'
Is this really the only solution to his problem? Is this the only way that will benefit his aunt's ill health? At this point, he can't see any other option as much as he hates to admit it. Aditya's previous words come to mind'.
"I'd have thought you'd do at least that much for her'."
He loves his mother's sister as much as a son would love his own mother. At the death of his mother at the age of twelve, Billo Singhania had come to stay with her sister's family to raise the four children Krishna Walia left behind; Jai, Jigyasa, Ranveer, and Anu. Uday Walia was too overcome with grief to handle the pressure of being a single father. He had the failing business to take care of as well. Billo took up the role as a mother effortlessly, almost even naturally despite being a spinster. She loved him and his siblings equally, showering them with her never ending affection. But it had been Jai who was her favorite, from the very beginning. Jai and Mausi's relationship surpassed the rest of his sibling's relationship with her. It was a far special bond, one that no one could ever meet. Jai was the apple of her eye. She took great pride of him, boasting about him whenever given the chance. They seemed more like mother and son than simply aunt and nephew. Jai had always cherished a soft spot for his beloved aunt and does to this very day--- a fact well known to everyone.
Jai figures that if he does not adhere to his aunt's wish of seeing Bani it would worsen her already ailing condition. He takes a grip onto the balcony railing and dwells over what he should do. If he truly loves Mausi as much as he claims to, then he would fulfill this one request of hers. But he also knows that this one request will bring back old bitterness and he supposes that Bani Dixit would not be too pleased by this either. The last he had heard from her was in the form of annulment papers mailed to him with no return address weeks after their marriage. He had huffed and puffed over it for a long week, his male ego unable to handle the fact that she had the nerve to break off their marriage after the stunt she had pulled on him. It wasn't till later he realized he'd rather have her break it off than remain married to a conniving, back-stabbing woman'.
"Bani?'. Jai beta, where is Bani?... I want to see her'" were one of the first words that had come out of his aunt's mouth once she came out of her brief coma.
"Mr. Walia' your aunt is in a very critical state right now' She must be handled with great care' She cannot undergo any stress or shock during this time'. It may just take a grave toll on her health'," her doctor had clearly confided in him after careful examination'.
Jai drawls a long sigh and stares up at the starry sky for a long while before reaching into his pocket and withdrawing his cellular phone'.
"Yes, Vivek? ' Jai Walia here'. I need your services, old friend'. It's about a woman' Bani Dixit' I need you to locate her whereabouts in the next forty-eight hours'."
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6:17 PM, Friday
751 Collins Ave.
Miami, FL., United States
Bani dumps her Dolce and Gabbana tote bag, which she gifted herself with her first paycheck once joining her job three years ago, onto the passenger seat of her car. She hums to herself whilst driving back home, cranking up her volume dial, blowing up the sound of the music to the fullest. She is in a good mood. Actually, that is an understatement. She feels absolutely terrific at the moment. The project she had been working on for the past six months has gone through smoothly and successfully making her boss highly impressed with her. She had heard from Radhika, the gossiping secretary, that he may even be considering promoting her. Finally her hard work is going to be paying off. Nothing can bring her down today.
She rushes home, taking the time into consideration. Tonight is Raashi's engagement party. In a few months time she will be marrying her longtime boyfriend, Daksh, and move to New York where he has gotten a new job. And she has less than two hours to get dressed, do her hair and makeup, and get there on time. When thinking of this, her foot presses further down onto the gas pedal'.
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6:17 PM, Friday
Somewhere over the Atlantic
"Thank you," he says appreciatively while reaching for his drink the flight attendant hands to him gingerly. She flashes him a wide smile with perfect white teeth.
"You're welcome, sir. Enjoy your flight."
Jai looks over his shoulder as she walks back, her hips swaying back and forth. He admires the pretty stewardess for a brief moment before returning his attention in front from the jostle of the plane. He glances at his Rolex and estimates that he will be landing in a few hours. Suddenly he is gripped by an unpleasant feeling as he is reminded of the purpose of this trip. He forces himself to think of Mausi, telling himself that this is for her benefit. He drums his fingers against the armrest of his seat.
Once receiving the detailed report of Bani Dixit in a manila envelope promptly within forty-eight hours, Jai quickly made arrangements to where she is located. He was surprised to see that she has been residing in Miami for the past four years. She had first moved in with a cousin of hers, Pia Malhotra, before getting her own place a year later. It is an interesting choice to live, especially for her. From what he remembers of her, Bani wasn't an exotic or free-spirited type of girl. She was simple, plain, and terribly boring. She was far from being his type. Hence, he resisted the very idea of marrying her from the start, putting off his father's whims. He could not see himself living the rest of his life with a girl as her. She was a nice and caring girl----something he had always appreciated in her, but there wasn't much more to her than that.
Roshini, on the other hand, was everything he was attracted to at the time. She was beautiful, charismatic, carefree, and fun. On the bonus, she was extremely sexy and great in bed. Infatuated by her, he rashly made the decision to marry her.
Big mistake on his part, he realizes that now. He has matured from what he was at twenty-eight. Now at thirty-two (breeching onto becoming thirty-three), he understands that he was naive and a bit childish back then. His marriage with Roshini would have ended in a disaster. Roshini and he may have been compatible physically, but a great sex life isn't what makes a marriage work. He likes a private life, not indulging his personal life into other people's affairs, whereas Roshini loved to be public about everything. He avoided society parties while she went to every single one. He was mellow, she was too energetic. He topped in one of the best universities with honors, excelled in business, and attained his MBA whereas Roshini barely passed university. She was too materialistic, he wasn't. They were polar opposites of each other. And finally in the end, he learned she was above all full of greed when he found her in London barely three months after his marriage with a new beau living a new life with the money his father had given her.
The one thing Jai Walia regrets most in his life is never telling his father that he was right all along neither making amends with him before he passed away tragically. Uday Walia suffered a massive heart attack within the weeks after his son's sham of a marriage which Jai refused to make work. His father died with a broken heart, seeing that his plan had backfired, that his son and the girl whom he adored as a daughter were unhappy and never wanted to be together. If it wasn't because of Jai's pigheadedness then his father would perhaps be alive today.
His father may had been right about Roshini, however, it does not change the fact that he was betrayed nonetheless by his own father, his father's friend, and the one girl he thought he knew.
Bani Dixit' He hasn't given her much thought since he received the annulment papers. Of course, once in awhile she'd cross his mind, but very briefly. But since he had gotten the report on her, he hasn't stopped thinking about her. He hates to admit it, but he is marveled by what she has made of her life these past years single handedly. The young girl who had no working experience and depended on her father for support has made a niche for herself in the real world. She has found herself a good job that pays more than well and leads a peaceful life with no disruptions. He smiles wryly to himself on this. In a few hours, Jai Walia is going to be turning Bani Dixit's simple life upside down.
A sudden thought crosses his mind then, causing his brows to knead together. He has read everything he needs to know about the girl he had unwillingly married. But is she in fact the same twenty-year old mousy girl he had blocked away or has she changed even the slightest bit? The query rattles him more than it should. He knows that Vivek had sent pictures of her with the report, ones taken recently. He hadn't bothered to look at them before, deliberately avoiding them, but now his fingers itched to get a hold on them. His curiosity was getting the better of him'.
Grabbing for his hang bag, he withdraws the large envelope. Within it, he retrieves a smaller envelope lying inside, resting on the bottom. His fingers linger near the tack before slowly opening it. The pictures fall into his lap one by one. He takes the first one that is in reach and flips it over'.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
12:24 AM, Saturday
1900 NE 1st Ave [Villa di Mare]
Miami, FL., United States
"You can pull up right over here, A.D.," she instructs just as they arrive at her apartment building. He does so as told and looks over to Bani, who smiles gratefully at him.
"Thanks a lot. Honestly, you didn't have to give me a ride. I would have been fine taking the bus."
Aparajit Deb smiles handsomely back at her with a twinkle in his warm, brown eyes. "This late at night? You don't know what freaks or weirdos you'd bump into on there'"
"I think I would have been fine. I'm a big girl," she jokes lightly, causing the dimples on her companion's cheeks to show.
"That you are' But still, I had to do the gentlemanly thing. You already had one problem on your hands with your car breaking down, I thought I'd make things easier on you by giving a lift," he says with a nonchalant shrug.
"You're sweet, thank you."
His eyes turn amber-like as he continues to gaze at her, not looking away for a second. "You look very beautiful today, Bani'. Did I tell you that yet?"
Despite herself, Bani blushes pink while sheepishly answering, "Yes, many times in fact." Aparajit chuckles. "Well, I just want you to know'" She simply smiles in return.
"Goodnight, Jeet. I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"Goodnight, Bani," he wishes her huskily. She grows alarmed when he inches forward, leaning in close. She feels heat surfacing onto her face as she realizes what he intends to do. Quickly, she moves her head to the side and within seconds feels his warm lips press against her cheek.
"B-bye," she hastily bids farewell before jumping out of the car and shutting the door behind her. She rapidly walks to the doors of her building, not daring to look back once. It is only when she hears the engine of his car fading away into the distance that she breathes a sigh of relief.
There is nothing wrong with Aparajit Deb, per say. He's a smart, funny, and attractive fellow and she even takes a liking to him. But at this point of her life she isn't seeking for a relationship. She has tried to date in the past but she has never fully been into the whole idea. There was never a man who would catch her interest or make her feel like a lady in love portrayed in the movies. In the end, she gave up trying and decided that if love were to come her way, it would come in its own time. There was no need to go looking for it, not that she was in the first place. Her uneventful marriage to Jai Walia has left her bitter and slightly resentful toward the concept of love. She had faced a rejection so deep that it has left her scarred. She doesn't think she'll ever be able to forget it.
As she steps into the elevator cart, she chides herself from thinking about that man who would only spoil her mood. Today she had a good day. Her friend is happy and engaged to the man she loves. The party was great, full with fun and frolic. Bani had danced more than she expected to and found that she was enjoying herself to the fullest. She hadn't felt her spirits this up since' well since a long time. A smile creeps back onto her lips, staying there even when she walks to her apartment door. She searches for her set of keys, reaching into her bag, and then fiddling through them for the key to her door. Locating it, she inserts it into the doorknob and turns, switching the locks'
Just as she opens the door, just as she takes a step in, she hears a voice' a voice that chills her very bones'a voice that ceases her breathing'a deep, masculine voice that is familiar---painfully too familiar'. a voice that she hoped she'd never have to hear again.
"It's been awhile, Bani'," she hears him say, his cool breath fanning against the back of her neck. Her heart sinks and her chest constricts as dread settles into her'. Ever so slowly, she turns around, praying and hoping that her ears are proved wrong' that it isn't who she thinks it is. That her past hasn't finally caught up to her. Not now'.not ever. With her back faced to her open door, she looks in front of her and her breath gets caught in her throat'.
There he stands, the villain featuring in her nightmares'the villain of her reality. Except, he doesn't look like a villain'.never had. He looks like a hero, a handsome hero with striking, rugged features that had always made her heart soar high and continues to even now. He hasn't changed drastically since the last she had seen of him. He still has the same length of jet black hair, not too long and not too short, but just right enough for his face structure. Thick eyebrows overlap his hypnotizing gray eyes that used to remind her of the tides of the Arabian Sea at night. His long roman-like nose is the same, completely flawless. His strong jaw line seems stronger than ever and his firm appearing lips are set into a straight line. If anything, his handsome features have only enhanced over the years, making him seem more and more like the virile man she knew him to be. Bani had concluded long back that Jai Walia seemed to be like the male protagonist of a romance novel, fitting the image of the rugged, desirable, and red-blooded man women fantasize about. But of course, looks can be deceiving'lethal even. And she had learned that lesson first handedly.
"How are you?" he continues rather civilly in his booming voice that barely registers in Bani's ears. She is too numb to hear what it is he is saying, too overcome with disbelief and shock of what she is seeing. To test whether she is dreaming or simply going crazy, Bani blinks dumbly at him a few times before it sinks down that he is actually here. Jai Walia is actually standing before her at her apartment door barging back into her life. His gray eyes stare at her so intently that it gives her shivers. It is these very shivers that take her out of her numb state. Without another thought, without further delay, she runs into her apartment and slams the door shut'.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Chapter 2 PG 3
Chapter 3 PG 6
Chapter 4 A PG 9
Chapter 4 B PG 12
Chapter 5 PG
Chapter 6 PG
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