Shikha picked up the tray and walked into the living room with a bright smile. Her happiness radiated through her smile. She had sorely missed her homeland, family and friends.
One year wasn't a really long time but to Shikha it felt like an eternity. Coming to London alone and building an identity for herself with purely her talents and will power was a hard job. She had none to confide in and she dare not trust anyone easily. She had missed Abhimanyu the most because he had been there for her when she most needed a support.
"Here you go…..hot chocolate for Rhunjun and Sana, strong black coffee for the men" she handed her guests their respective cups.
"So fill me in guys…..I must have missed a lot in this one year" Shikha said eagerly wanting to know all the details.
Guddu was busy observing Abhi, whose eyes had rarely left Shikha ever since their meeting at the airport. Shikha's colleague Sana- whom she had picked up at the airport- was also observing this with interest.
"You tell us Shikha….we haven't changed but" Rhunjun began but Shikha cut her.
"Haven't changed much….you gotta be kidding me babes….the Rhunjun I knew dressed in nothing but simple salwaar kameez….from the seedhi saadhi barthiya naari you have turned into a chicka Rhunjun…..skinny jeans, Armani top if I am not mistaken and boots…..and you are telling me you haven't changed" Shikha said raising her eye brows.
"True Shikha…..but you have changed as well….not just externally…..you seem to be quiet famous with the local crowd….you turned considerable heads at the airport" Rhunjun said leaning back meaningfully.
"Shikha is the famous SS of London……a known super model and founder and half owner of the clothes line Heartstrings" Sana explained.
"Whoa! Kudos Shikha….that is no easy feat" Guddu appraised her.
"Thank you Guddu…..I wasn't entirely alone…..in the beginning I was but later Sana and Pradeep joined…..Pradeep owns half of Heartstrings" Shikha said, her voice low due to embarrassment. She coloured up lightly. Her eyes moved to meet Abhi's. She felt something different in his gaze. Like he was trying to convey something to her.
"Ahem….Shikha I think we should go…we have to check into our hotel" Rhunjun interrupted on purpose.
"Huh what? Sorry…..why should you stay in hotel Rhunjun…..I am alone in this house….there are total of six rooms here….stay here na….I want to everything about home" Shikha said with longing.
"But Shikha…we already" Guddu began to protest.
"Wait a minute….I get it…privacy ki baath hain…..not to worry…you can take the room at the very end upstairs…..koi nahin ayega tum logon ke beech haddi banne" Shikha said with a mischievous smirk making Rhunjun blush.
After a few more protests Guddu and Rhunjun decided to stay back. Abhi didn't need much convincing and Sana had already planned to stay with Shikha.
Guddu was walking with a jug of water to his room when he noticed Abhi standing near an open window gazing thoughtfully at the moon.
"Yoon dekhne se chandni paas nahin aayegi" he commented
Abhi gave a half smile to him.
"Dekhna ke alwaw kya karein yeh mujhe patah nahin Dabangg" Abhi replied.
"Abe oye Charmer….tera saara charming kaha ko gaya….arrey jis Abhi ko mein jaantha tha who tho ladkiyon ko yun patatha tha" Guddu said coming to stand beside his friend.
"Pyaar kartha hun usse….par kahne se dar lagtha hain…kahin humaari dosthi bhi tooth gayi tho" Abhi spoke truthfully.
"But without saying how will you know what will happen….pehle kah kar tho dekh….yakeen hain na tujhe apne pyaar par….tho keh dhe usse" Guddu encouraged.
"It's not easy Guddu…..it's been over a year since we met…..I have realized my feelings for her in this time…..but she could have fallen for somebody else….love can only be earned right….I am going to be silent for a while now Guddu….I will talk to her, be with her and observe her just like old times…..I am here for two weeks….these two weeks will be my testing period….in the end if I come to know that she loves another guy….I will happily back off…..I will tell her my feeling and if she denies even then I will back off happily…..I am not going to force her into anything…..If my love is true then I know it will succeed" Abhi said with determination.
Guddu felt proud of his friend.
"We are there with you Abhi…come what may" he assured.
Guddu entered his room with a pensive smile.
"Met Abhi I guess" Rhunjun said from the bed. Guddu nodded placing the jug on the side table.
"He knows what he has to do Rhunjun and I believe him" Guddu said looking at her with a smile.
"He was always a straightforward guy….and good hearted…..God will do him justice" Rhunjun added.
"Hope Shikha understands him…..leave all that wifey….what are the plans"
"Roaming around London…seeing sites, some romance" Rhunjun said shuffling through a magazine.
Suddenly she was under Guddu with him gazing passionately into her eyes.
"Only some" he whispered in her ear making her blush and smile.
Guddu placed a gentle kiss on her earlobe and then nibbled it. Slowly he moved down to the crook of her neck and started placing kisses from there till the tip of her shoulder moving the strap of her slip. Rhujun was breathing heavily with her eyes closed as she felt passion- raw and untamed as ever- rise in her. Guddu moved back to her face and kissed her full cheeks. He traced her lips with his thumb all the while gazing into her eyes. Slowly he edged towards her lips. Rhunjun lips opened up in the anticipation of a kiss but Guddu backed off and lay down beside her with a naughty smile.
"Why you" Rhunjun said with half-irritated half- naughty smile. She came on top of him and placed a kiss on his exposed chest. Slowly she moved up and reached his lips. She claimed them in a passionate kiss
They broke apart after sometime to breath and smile at each other with love.
"I love you Mrs. Shukla" Guddu whispered holding his wife close.
"I love you and will love you till my last breath my dear husband" Rhunjun replied back snuggling closer to him.
The rest of their night was spent in passionate and non-stop love making.
Shikha was sitting in front of her dresser running her hand through her curls, completely lost in thought.
"Earth to madam" Sana nudged her front.
"Sorry yaar…..bas kisi ke baarein soch rahi thi" Shikha apologized.
"Kisi ke baarein mein yaa Abhimanyu ke baarein mein" Sana asked directly.
Shikha smiled agreeing.
"He seems different….changed I think…..he was the one I missed the most when I stayed here….jab mere life mein who fiasco hua tha na…tab ussi ne mera saath dhiyan tha…..he was the perfect friend you know" Shikha said.
"A perfect friend makes a great lover" Sana added.
"What? It's nothing like that….I was just being observant" Shikha denied.
Just like he was being over observant Sana told mentally.
"I am just being filmy….anyways it's bed time sweety….lets sleep and dream of our respective prince charming" Sana said patting her friends head.
Sana plopped down on the bed and switched of the lights.
Shikha moved towards the window and slid back the curtains to gaze at the moon. She closed her eyes and Abhi's eyes flashed through her memory. For some unknown reason she smiled.