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Nevertheless, it was with gritted teeth that she joined everyone in the work canteen later that afternoon. She was touched to see most of Khuraana construction's employees'over a hundred in all, had gathered to say goodbye, and even more overcome when she was given a blackberry to which everyone had contributed.
'So you can find your way back to us now and again,' Aadi, the chief accountant, joked as he presented her with the gift. She had a reputation'richly deserved'of having no sense of direction or navigation skills, and over the last weeks had endured a host of teasing about negotiating city streets.
'Thank you all so much.' As she gave a tearful little speech she kept her gaze from focusing on one tall, dark figure standing a little apart from the rest of the throng, but she was still vitally aware of every movement Maan made. She knew exactly when Sasha Mehra made her way over to him, for instance, and the way the other woman reached up on tiptoe to whisper something in his ear.
All in all, Geet was glad when after an hour or so people began to drift home. Loving someone who didn't love you was bad enough at the best of times, but when you were trying to be bright and cheerful, and keep a lid on a mounting volcano of tears, it didn't help to see the object of your desire receiving the full batting-eyelash treatment from an undeniably attractive co-employee.
When there was just a handful of people left, Geet made her way back to her office to pick up the last of her things. She felt like a wet rag. Dropping into her chair, she glanced round the room, feeling unbearably sentimental.
Baldev entered a moment later, Maan on his heels. Shaking his head, Baldev said, 'Don't look like that. I told you, you shouldn't leave us. Everyone thinks the world of you.'
Not everyone. Forcing a smile, Geet managed to keep her voice light and even as she said, 'The big wide world beckons, and it's now or never. It was always going to be hard to say goodbye.'
'While we're on that subject'' Baldev reached into his pocket and brought out a small, oblong gift-wrapped box. 'This is a personal thank-you, lass. I'm not buttering you up when I say you've been the best secretary I've ever had. It's the truth. If Mumbai isn't all it's cracked up to be, there'll always be a job somewhere in the Khurarana's for you.'
'Oh, it's beautiful.' After unwrapping the gift, Geet gazed, entranced, at the delicate little gold watch the box held. 'Thank you so much. I didn't expect'' The lump in her throat prevented further speech.
'Maan chose it,' said Baldev, looking uncomfortable at the show of emotion. He was all down to earth, blunt Punjab blood, and prided himself on it. 'I was going to give you a cheque, more practical in my opinion, but he thought you'd like something to remind you of your time here, and he noticed you hadn't been wearing your watch the last few weeks.'
'It broke,' she whispered. He had noticed.
'Aye, well, there we are, then.' Baldev clearly wanted to end what was to him an embarrassing few moments. 'Don't forget to look us up when you're back visiting your parents. All right, Geet? I'll be off now, the missus and I are out for dinner tonight. Lock up the offices, would you, Maan?' he added, turning to his son. 'The other works have already been taken care of.'
'Goodbye, Mr.Khuraana.' Geet stood up to shake her boss's hand'he was of the old school, and didn't hold with social pleasantries such as kissing or hugging'but then on impulse quickly pressed her lips to the leathery old cheek before she sat down again.
Baldev cleared his throat. 'Bye, Geet. You look after yourself,' he said gruffly before disappearing out of the door.
Silence reigned for some moments while Geet tidied the last few papers on her desk. Every nerve and muscle was screaming, and the blood was racing through her veins. Act cool. Keep calm and businesslike. Don't give yourself away. You knew this moment was going to come.
Yes, she answered the voice in her head. But she hadn't expected they would be alone when she had to say the final goodbye.
'Your brother didn't drop you to the office today.'
Surprised, Geet raised her head, and looked fully at him for the first time since he'd entered the room. He gazed back at her from where he was leaning against the wall, hands in the pockets of his trousers and choclate eyes half-closed, their expression inscrutable. She'd noticed this ability to betray nothing of what he was thinking early on. It was probably part and parcel of what had made him so successful in his own right since leaving university and working abroad, first in Austrailia and U.K, and then in the States. By all accounts he had left an extremely well paid and powerful position in a massive chain of construction companies in America when he had returned to help his father, although she had learned this from Baldev Khuraana. Maan never talked about his past, and when she had asked the odd question his replies had been monosyllabic.
'My brother?' She tried to collect her thoughts. It was difficult with him looking so broodingly drop-dead gorgeous. 'He had actually attended an office party yesterday night and was a little drunk, so I decided to travel by taxi today.' It was only partly the truth. She hadn't known how she would feel when the knowledge that she would never see him again became reality.
'No need.' He straightened, and her stomach muscles clenched. 'I'll run you home.'
No, no, no. She had seen his car, a sexy sports job that moved like greased lightning, and it was seduction on wheels. 'Thanks, but that's not necessary. It's the wrong direction for you.'
He smiled. She wondered if he knew what a devastating effect it had on the opposite sex. Probably, she thought a trifle maliciously.
'It's a beautiful spring evening, and I'm not doing anything. I've all the time in the world,' he drawled lazily.
'No, really, I'd feel awful putting you to so much trouble.'
'I insist.' He brushed aside the desperate refusal.
'And I insist on travelling by taxi.' She could be just as determined as him. The thought that she might suffer the unthinkable humiliation of giving herself away necessitated it.
'Don't be silly.' He walked over and perched on her desk'a habit of his'lifting her chin and looking into her eyes as he said softly, 'You're all upset at leaving, and no wonder. You've been here since the beginning of time. I can't possibly abandon you to the anonymity of a taxi.'
She didn't like the 'beginning of time' bit. Who did he think she was'Eve? And she despised herself for the way her whole insides had tightened at his touch. But they always did, however casual the action. 'You're not abandoning me,' she said stiffly. 'It's my choice.'
'A bad one.' He slid off the desk and walked to the door, opening it before he turned and said, 'And therefore I'm fully justified in overruling it. I'll get my coat.'
'Maan Sir!' she shouted as he went to disappear.
'Yes, Geet?' He popped his head back round the door, grinning.
She gave up. 'This is ridiculous,' she muttered ungraciously. And dangerous. For her.
'Put your coat on and stop grumbling.'
He was back within a minute or so, where she met him in the outer office. 'You'd better have my keys.' She handed him her office keys, which included those to all the confidential files. 'I meant to give them to Sasha earlier.' But she was so busy making googoo eyes at you I never got the chance.
He pocketed them without comment.
She had slipped the case holding the watch into her handbag, and as they walked towards the lift she said quietly, 'Thank you for thinking of the watch, Sir. It's really beautiful.'
'My pleasure.' Once inside the carpet-lined box, he added, 'Dad really meant what he said, you know, and the watch is from both of us. You were great when he had his heart attack, holding the fort here, and then putting in endless hours once I was having to pick up all the threads. I couldn't have done it without you, Geet.'
This was torture. Exquisite torture, perhaps, but torture nonetheless. 'Anyone would have done the same.'
'No, they wouldn't.' His voice deepened, taking on the smoky quality that was dynamite as he murmured, 'I just wanted to say thank you.'
The lift easily carried twelve people, but suddenly it was much too small. She caught the faintest whiff of his aftershave and breathed it in greedily. Drawing on all her considerable willpower, she said evenly, 'There's no need, I was just doing my job, but it's nice to know I'm appreciated.' She forced a smile as the lift doors opened, stepping into the small reception with a silent sigh of relief. Too cosy. Too intimate. And the car was going to be as bad.
so kindly do leave your comments and i may post the next part tonight if possible.. depends on the frequency of your comments...
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A Prediction Scene Of Realization-Maan Geet!Look!
Author: rosette80 Replies: 17 Views: 4594
|rosette80||17||4594||25 August 2010 at 3:08am by taqdir|
Love it love it !
Author: yoyolo Replies: 10 Views: 2961
|yoyolo||10||2961||21 August 2010 at 3:06am by swatisingh|
dev's realization..gud thing or bad?
Author: uzmakhan Replies: 17 Views: 1289
|uzmakhan||17||1289||16 August 2010 at 8:59pm by ibelieveinpink|
Maan's realization..HIGHER power that BINDS Maneet
Author: --Nargis-- Replies: 63 Views: 5263
|--Nargis--||63||5263||03 August 2010 at 9:41am by --Nargis--|
brand new pic after geet realization
Author: sushups Replies: 19 Views: 3988
|sushups||19||3988||30 July 2010 at 6:58am by uzmakhan|
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