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Mission 28: The Unforeseen
Prem carefully walked up the steps of the narrow staircase holding Heer's hand to steady her. "These are not heel friendly stairs," she sighed.
"Why did you wear them?" Prem asked.
"I thought I dress up my jeans," Heer replied.
"Dress up your jeans?"
"Yes, when you add heels to a causal outfit it makes it a little dresser," Heer explained as they finally reached the top of the stairs.
"But we're going to a bar," Prem said.
"I can't look good in a bar?" Heer questioned as she straightened the collar of his black polo shirt.
Prem leaned inward and whispered into her ear, "You always look good to me." Heer gave him a pleased look and then kissed him. "I don't know where else we are going tonight...you can drink and have fun but remember you're coming home with me at the end of the night."
Heer gently chortled and placed her hand on his chest her diamond engagement ring shinning brightly, "Don't worry I'm not going to mistake someone else for my fiance especially one that is so charming, smart, and sexy."
Prem's eyes sparkled and he grinned, "You think I'm sexy?" Heer just simply smiled and entered the bistro. "She thinks I'm sexy," Prem said beaming with pride. "Yay..." He then quickly opened the door and walked into the restaurant to follow her.
Heer waved happily as she saw Debbie sitting in the corner at a large table. "I'm so sorry we're late," she greeted. "There was an issue with the tire on the rental."
Debbie grinned knowing the real reason but tried not to say anything that would let her know. "Oh, it's all right. Some of us just got here ourselves," she said and gave her a hug.
"Where is everyone?" Heer asked as she checked to her left and right.
"Well, the boys went to the bar to get some drinks and the girls all ran off to the restroom. I stayed to make sure you and Prem could find us," Debbie explained. Her eyes then traveled to her left as she saw Prem walk towards their table. "It's so great to see you again."
"Likewise," Prem greeted as he gave her a hug. He then turned around when he heard some guff voices calling, "Oh Prem, oh Prem..." Leo, Vick, and Tony were walking towards the table holding some drinks in their hands chuckling. Debbie gave a quick glare to her husband while everyone was busy greeting each other and giving hugs. She couldn't believe that he had done that with the guys. He just smirked and handed her a drink whispering low into her ear, "Couldn't help it."
Prem and Heer both looked at the exchange with surprise. "Yea, who knew right? My brother and Debbie," Leo said.
"This is my husband," Debbie announced with a smile on her face as Vick put his arm around her shoulder.
"Oh...well, Congratulations," Heer said still struggling with the unexpected announcement.
"Thank you. Yeah, never would have thought...but life is sort of funny like that," Vick replied. He then looked at his wife, "But she's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm really a lucky guy."
"I understand you," Prem said slipping his hand around Heer's waist. "Sometimes the best things are right in front of you but you never realized until you finally look."
Vick nodded his head in agreement to his words. "So I hear you two are engaged?"
"Wait, wait...you have to tell your story first," Heer demanded.
"There really isn't much to tell," Debbie said.
"You're the one who left...I think there is a ton of things you need to explain," Leo chimed in.
"You know we are more interested in your story," Tony said.
"I want to know how you came back here," Prem replied. "You were adopted and then moved away. It's been forever since I've seen you."
"We'll get to my story later," Tony answered.
"Hey guys!"a feminine voice interrupted. "So you must be Prem and Leher," greeted a woman with blonde hair and an hour glass shaped figure.
"Oh, this is my girlfriend Amelia," Tony introduced. Prem and Heer nodded and exchanged greetings with her. Just as they were finishing up Prem felt a tap on his shoulder and he turned around to see a petite red head looking at him with a frown. Prem grinned and gave her a hug. Heer looked on with curiosity wondering who this red headed woman was.
"Oh, this is Julie," Prem said. "She went to high school with Leo, Debbie, Keith and I."
"Hi, so you must be Leher? Congratulations on your engagement," Julie greeted. "If you want to know all the dirt about Prem and his high school days...I'm one to talk to."
Prem's face formed into a scowl, "You make me sound like I was out of control or something."
"Come here," Julie said taking Heer's arm and moving her towards the table to sit down. "Let's have a little chat."
"Sssh..." Julie said holding up her finger. "I think she has a right to know."
Heer turned and looked at Prem giving him a glance over, "Are you trying to hide something?"
"That's right," Julie added. "See, he's already sweating and I haven't even said anything yet."
"That's because I'm still wearing my coat," Prem defended.
"Do tell Julie," Heer said turning her full attention towards her.
"I think you should be very worried," Leo laughed.
"Come on, let's all sit down and order some food. We can continue the conversation sitting down," Debbie ordered. "Oh, Prem and Heer need drinks."
"I've got that covered," Vick said heading back to the bar while everyone settled into their seats around the table.
The table was filled with half eaten dinner entrees and several bottles of beer and glasses of wine as eager ears listened and curious eyes paid attention to the person speaking. Everyone had taken their turn in telling their tale except for Prem and Heer. Debbie explained how she ended up dating Leo's brother Vick. It was one of those things that neither one of them had seen coming. Debbie had been set up on a blind date that never showed. Her date was supposed to meet her at a local bar after work to have drinks and then dinner. She ran into Vick and his friends and he invited her to join them. They ended up hitting it off and started hang out a lot after that night. Eventually things naturally progressed to the point where they started dating, fell in love, and got married. They just recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary in January.
Leo confessed he was at first weirded out when he found out that Debbie and Vick were dating. It just wasn't something he expected and it was strange to see his good friend dating his brother. After all Debbie use to go to him for relationship advice and now that she was involved with his brother he really didn't want to know all the details. Debbie of course never told him a thing and went to her good girl friends instead for advice. Leo saw how happy Debbie was and how much Vick loved with her that he gave his full blessing to the relationship. As for his own relationship status, Leo had recently ended a three year relationship with a girl and was still recovering from the break up. He was happy to be living the single life for now and wasn't all that eager to get back into the dating game.
Tony had recently returned to Vermont because his girlfriend, Amelia had family living here. Her grandparents on her father's side had retired to the city of Montpelier and she wanted to go visit them. Tony eagerly joined her so he could come back and look up old friends. As luck would have it the first person he met was Leo who happened to be eating at the same diner that he and Amelia had stopped at to get some lunch one day. From there Tony was able to meet up with some other Fairview Elementary alums. Tony currently works at his adoptive father's company as a manager.
Julie was back in town to visit her parents. She moved to Seattle, Washington to work for a marketing firm there. Her boyfriend, a police officer, unfortunately was not able to make the trip with her this time. Her brother Ben is serving alongside Keith in Afghanistan. Both are expected to come back in July.
Prem and Heer both swallowed uncomfortably as all eyes turned their attention to them. "Why do I feel like we're going to be interrogated?" Prem mused out loud.
"That's because you're going to be," Julie joked. "I want to know how Mr. I'm Going to Remain Single for the Rest of My Life got engaged. You swore you would never get married."
Heer turned towards Prem and gave him a questioning look, "You said that, did you?"
"Hey, that was a long time ago and I was only 18 then," Prem defended scowling at Julie, "I've matured since then and I didn't have Heer...um, Leher...like I do now."
"Did you just call Leher...Heer?" Debbie asked.
"Who's this mysterious Heer?" Julie questioned. "Leher, you sure you really want to marry him?"
"You girls are being too hard on him. It was just a slip of the tongue," Tony replied causing Amelia to shoot him a dirty look.
"You guys are all quick to defend that type of action," Debbie charged causing Julie and Amelia to nod their heads in agreement.
Prem sighed began rubbing the side of his face with his index finger. Heer discreetly slipped her hand onto his thigh and gently squeezed letting him know she was there with him. Prem moved his hand and placed it on top of hers in an affectionate gesture. They then both looked at each other acknowledging they were in agreement of what was to be explained next. Their friends looked at them with great curiosity and confusion as to what was going on. Heer breathed deeply and then said, "This mysterious Heer is actually me. Um, what I'm about to explain doesn't goes beyond this group, okay?"
"What do you mean?" Debbie questioned.
"Don't tell me you have some crazy spy story," Leo joked.
"Bond...James Bond...martini shaken not stirred," Tony added with a chuckle.
Prem groaned at that comment and gently shook his head. "You okay there? Need some water?" Vick asked.
"I'm serious," Heer replied.
"Just promise her Debbie," Prem commanded. Everyone at the table suddenly stopped joking and smiling and looked with concern faces.
"This is serious..." Leo uttered.
"It's complicated and yes, the subject matter is serious. Dangerous when we were younger," Prem replied.
"I promise," Julie said. "I won't tell anyone."
"We promise too," Tony answered for him and Amelia.
"I promise Leher," Debbie added. "We promise...Vick and I won't say a thing." Her husband nodded in agreement.
"I promise too," Leo said seriously.
"Now you've gone and scared them Prem," Heer scolded.
"Hey, it is serious...sure it's not something you can get killed over...well, wait I take that back..."
"Their faces are getting pale," Heer replied hitting the back of her hand on his chest. "Stop it...you're making it worse."
"Aaah, that hurt," Prem pouted as he rubbed his chest. "That shiny new ring I gave you isn't supposed to be used like a weapon."
"I'm sorry," Heer apologized.
"Will someone please explain something?" Leo asked.
Heer calmly started to tell her story to her friends explaining how she use to live in Fairfax, Virginia and because of her father's work in the CIA she had to enter the witness protection program for a few years. She moved with her mother to Montpelier, Vermont and her name was changed to Leher Singh. She explained the reason why she left so suddenly was because the people who were after her father had found out where she and her mother were living. They were moved to a secure location and the criminals were apprehended by the authorities. With the threat gone she returned to Virginia and resumed living as Heer Mann. Prem jumped in and explained how after he graduated from college he went straight into the CIA. He omitted the finer details of his missions and such and simply stated he was assigned to be Heer's bodyguard for an operation one day. He had no idea who she was at the time but then found the heart shaped locket he had given her before she left. For obvious reasons Prem didn't elaborate on the details of how and what he was doing when he found the locket. Heer then took over the story again and simply stated while they were completing the mission things naturally progressed in their relationship to its current stage.
Their friends stared at them blankly for a few minutes as they digested everything. "So your real name is Heer Mann?" Debbie asked.
"You and Prem work for the CIA?" Leo gasped. "So like can we tell people that or is this top secret?"
Prem laughed, "Its fine. We aren't doing any undercover work...we've retired from active field duty. We just can't talk about our cases...national security and all."
"Top secret stuff? Wow, so like you've seen things...secrets about our government and other governments?" Tony probed.
"I can't comment on that," Prem replied.
Tony and Leo exchanged glances and confidentially nodded. "If you did you'd have to kill us?" Leo answered.
"You don't have to worry about that cause I'm not telling you anything," Prem replied.
"I hate to be on your bad side," Vick said. "You probably know lots of ways to get rid of someone without leaving any evidence behind."
"You guys make us sound so scary," Prem frowned.
"But you learned that didn't you? How to shoot a gun...learned karate or some sort of martial arts...probably could defuse a bomb...hack into a computer system...all sort of things," Vick replied.
"We've learned some things but we don't know everything," Heer said. "It's just basic defense, gunmanship, and languages."
"Wow, I never knew anyone who worked for the CIA," Julie mused. "This is cool yet kind of scary at the same time."
"You guys can stop freaking out," Prem said. "It's okay. You're not going to be followed or anything. It's just a bit complicated. Heer wanted to come back and visit but she knew you guys knew her as Leher and the thing is we want to invite you to our wedding and well with the whole name thing...it would be confusing for you. So, she wanted to tell you the truth instead of making up some lie about her name change."
"It's all in the past. There isn't need to fear anything. The criminals are still in jail and everything has been cleared in the matter so it's okay," Heer reassured. "I'm still the same person. I just happened to be using a different name when I was younger. I know it's a lot to take in."
"So your Dad works for the CIA? Does your Mom too?" Tony inquired.
"No, she doesn't. Believe me she wasn't too happy when she found out I was working for the CIA," Heer replied.
"Following in your father's steps, huh?" Amelia asked.
"I honestly didn't even consider it during college but as usual life is a funny thing. One of my good friends was applying to the FBI and somehow I ended up applying to the CIA for a translating position and well, ended up being recruited for an active agent position," Heer explained.
"You guys must live exciting lives," Tony said. "Out there doing all this national security stuff...traveling around the world meeting all sorts of people."
"Man, if I had that sort of job I think I would never retire," Leo pondered out loud.
"Eh, it's not all James Bond and everything," Prem replied. "You eventually get tired of it. It's nice to have a routine...a house to live in...a family to come home to."
"Settling down, huh?" Vick chuckled lightly. "Ready for the big step? Chains and shackles..." Debbie gave a glaring look at her husband for his remark and he quickly corrected himself, "I mean...for some people it's like that...but not for me...nope...freedom...that's what marriage is. I love being married especially to Debbie...she's the best wife..."
"You can stop now," Debbie replied with a frown. "When you try that hard it just makes it sound worse. Stop while you are ahead." Vick swallowed hard and sheepishly grin while everyone gently laughed.
The rest of the night was filled with more gossip and talk about mutual friends or acquaintances they knew. Funny stories, interesting stories, and sad stories were told. Plans about careers, life, and the future were discussed. Drinks continued to flow and memories of good times were relived and cherished.
Prem stood with the rest of the guys on the sidewalk in the chilly night air waiting for their partners to come down. Leo kicked the icy ground lightly with his boots and sighed, "Women, they all run off to the bathroom together...they said it be only five minutes...I think it's been ten."
"They have small bladders...they can't wait...they have to go when they have to go," Tony replied.
"I was once five minutes away from home and Debbie had me pull over so she could use the restroom. I was like we are five minutes away from home...can't you hold it for five minutes?" Vick exclaimed. "Of course her answer was no so I had to pull into a gas station."
Prem grinned and silently nodded his head at the conversation. He glanced upward towards the restaurant waiting with expected eyes for Heer to appear. He felt a firm hand on his shoulder and he turned his head with a smile. "So Prem, oh Prem, how does it feel?" Leo asked.
He furrowed his eyebrows and said, "You and the guys have been doing that a lot..."
"Doing what a lot?" Leo replied innocently.
"Calling my name like that...oh Prem, oh Prem..." he explained.
"It's cause we miss you man," smiling, "You know I'm sure Keith would have enjoyed this if he was here," Leo stated trying to change the subject.
"Yeah, I'm sure he would. He would have said I told you so," Prem replied. "But honestly I had no idea...I never really thought of it."
"You grew up with her of course you never saw it coming. She was just someone you considered like your family. She was the little girl you use to make fun of and call Pumpkin," Leo said.
"Pumpkin," Prem repeated his eyes sparking with adoration.
"I'm in love," Prem replied shyly looking downwards. "She's the one and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with her."
"I'm happy for you," Leo said with a smile.
"Thanks," Prem answered and returned his attention to the doorway of the Black Door Bar & Bistro.
Debbie stood in front of the sink washing her soapy hands with warm water. She nodded her head in acknowledgement as Julie and Amelia announced that they were going to go down and wait with the guys. They made a passing joke about how the guys were probably disgruntled because they were taking so long. Heer soon emerged from one of the toilet stalls and proceeded to soap up her hands and wash them. Debbie handed her some paper towels for her to dry her hands with and asked, "So? How does it feel?"
Understanding what she meant Heer gave a thoughtful answer, "Sometimes I feel like I have to pinch myself to make sure this isn't a dream. You know I was getting to the point that he would always just be my childhood crush. I mean I missed him a lot over the years...I wondered what he was doing and if he and his family were doing well. I imagined that he probably found someone to be with...you know settled down with...maybe had a kid or something...living somewhere in Vermont. I sort of prepared myself for that if I ever ran into him again. But life had other things in mind...fate had its own plan for us...I guess you could say."
"He truly loves you Leher..." tapping her forehead with her hand, "Sorry, I mean Heer," Debbie replied.
"It's okay...I know it must be hard to get use to," Heer said.
"I can see it...the way he looks at you...his body language and everything...you've got him."
Heer laughed, "Thanks."
"So you know I have to ask...has he gotten any better since your last encounter with him in Seven Minutes in Heaven," Debbie probed.
"He's an excellent kisser," Heer replied feeling her cheeks grow warm.
"Ah-ha," Debbie giggled noticing the complexion of Heer's cheeks turning to a gentle rosy-pink. "Can it be safe to say..."
"Debbie!" Heer gasped and playfully swiped her hand in the air at her.
"You're turning beet red now," she laughed pointing her finger at her.
"I'm going to take that as a yes," Debbie snickered. "You know Heer, next time you hang up the phone make sure you do just that."
Heer's eyes widen at her revelation. "Um, you...wait...how much?" she stuttered.
"Enough to know..."
"Oh God," Heer replied in embarrassment. Her eyes then lit in understanding, "Is that why the guys kept joking around calling Prem's name?"
"I didn't tell them anything. I just sort of mentioned you being late to Vick..." Debbie defended. "The rest he did on his own. I'm sorry about that."
"Rrright," Heer sarcastically responded.
"Hey I am. I kept telling him to stop but Tony and Leo kept going on their own," Debbie replied. "You know how they can get."
Heer sighed and put her hand on her forehead still slightly stunned. "This is so embarrassing."
"Forget it. What matters most is you two enjoyed yourselves," Debbie said with a laugh.
Heer chuckled leaning forward holding her arm. "We had fun."
"That's the way it's supposed to be," Debbie said. "Communication, respect, financial stability, and love...fire in the bedroom."
"Communication...check, respect...check, love...hehe...fire...double check," Heer giggled, "...and the finances...we're working on that together."
"Well, there you go," Debbie smiled. "Come on let's go...the guys are going to be complaining about how long we are taking."
"It is rather cold outside. They're probably little ice cubes now," Heer laughed as they exited out of the ladies restroom.
Slender hands gripped the soft comforter on the bed as a head snuggled deeply into the pillow trying to fight off the morning rays of the sun. She felt her partner roll over and wrap his arm around her waist and sling his leg over her legs sighing into her ear. "Sleep well Pumpkin?" his husky voice asked.
Heer whined into her pillow, "Didn't we close the curtains why is the light still getting in?"
"I don't know," Prem replied and started nuzzling her neck.
"Ssstop..." Heer giggled.
"Hmmm...no, don't want to," Prem mumbled back. "Let's just stay in bed. It's too cold outside...the bed is so nice and warm."
"You're the one who decided to sleep without a shirt on," Heer replied. She felt Prem shift his head and cuddle closer to her. "Are you trying to make me your blanket?" She laughed and started to purposely move away from him.
"There isn't much space left...you're going to fall out of the bed," Prem warned. "Come here..." He grabbed her and rolled her over to the other side. Heer shrieked with laughter as she flopped over. "Oh, it's cold," Prem groaned as the covers slipped off their bodies.
"Haha...you deserve it," Heer replied as she pulled her shirt down. She was wearing flannel plaid pajama pants and a long gray shirt. She scrambled back underneath the covers and bunched them up hording it so Prem couldn't get back in.
"Pumpkin!" he whined. "It's cold." He slithered around on the bed trying to seek some warmth as he was only wearing a pair of black sweatpants. "I'm going to catch a cold."
"Well, you should have thought about that before you went to bed like that. Don't worry the heat will kick in any minute," Heer replied and began scooting away.
"Come back here and keep me warm," Prem ordered.
"No!" Heer playfully shouted and then stuck out her tongue, "Naahhh..." She kept moving away unaware of the fact that she was getting closer to the edge of the bed. Prem reached out but it was too late. She fell over with a thud bringing along with her the covers and sheets.
"Heer, you okay?!" Prem asked worriedly as he peered over the edge of the bed. He saw her holding her head and was about to hop off and check on her when she suddenly burst into a fit of laughter.
"Oh that hurt...hehe..." Heer laughed. "I must look ridiculous."
Prem sighed in relief and then started to lightly chuckle along with her. "You scared me there for a minute." He slide off the bed and helped her to her feet. "Where did you hit your head? Back here?" He massaged his fingers over her head trying to locate the bump.
"Ahhh, that hurts..." Heer replied moving away from him. "Don't press so hard like that. It's just a little bump...nothing to worry about."
"Okay good," Prem said and then grinned mischievously as he grabbed the covers and brought them back onto the bed. He slipped underneath and laid on his stomach resting his head comfortably on a pillow.
Heer jumped on top of him making him let out a groan at the sudden unexpected force and weight. "Warm enough?" she giggled into his ear.
"Y-yea, th-thanks," Prem hoarsely replied.
"I'm awake now...let's go have breakfast," Heer suggested.
"Sure, but just a few more minutes," Prem requested and closed his eyes. Heer crawled back underneath the covers and snuggled her body onto his back. She gently kissed his shoulder and laid her head down. "Love you," he replied to her gesture.
"Is this what you wanted?" Heer asked.
"Yes," Prem smiled as he searched for her hand to hold. "Pumpkin, can you just move in with me when we get back?"
"Pancake, you know I can't do that. No way my Mom or your Dad would approve."
"I've missed waking up with you every morning," he pouted. "I've gotten use to it...we've spent about a month and half sleeping in the same bed."
"I've missed it too," Heer grinned brightly touched by his words. She puckered her lips and kissed his shoulder again. Prem let out a pleasing sigh causing her to give more kisses.
"Ah, this is the life..." Prem exhaled in content. "You and me...spending a lazy day in bed...no cares or worries."
"You said five more minutes," Heer replied.
"It hasn't been five."
"How do you know?" she chortled.
"Cause I do...anyways it's cold outside do you really want to get dressed and go out there?"
"We have to eventually eat you know," Heer reasoned.
"Just five more minutes," Prem yawned and then closed his eyes falling into sleep. Heer let her eyelids drop expecting to rest for just five more minutes but quickly fell back asleep like Prem.
Rishabh knocked his knuckle lightly on wooden office door. He heard a muffled "come in" and entered. "Congratulations Balraaj," he greeted.
"On..." crinkling his eyebrows in confusion wondering what he was doing at his house on a weekend.
"Don't play dumb. Heard you're about to gain a new son-in-law," Rishabh smiled. "He's a fine young agent."
"How did you know?" Balraaj questioned suspiciously. "And why are you here?"
"I happened to run into Agent Rajput at the grocery store when he received the good news," Rishabh simply answered. "He was very vocally happy about it...talking to his girlfriend...I think." Balraaj tightened his jaw knowing Agent Preet Rajput would do something like that. He watched Rishabh walk towards an old ship's map of the United States hanging on the wall and began inspecting it. "Don't you think it's time to put the past behind? Consider it a new beginning."
Balraaj got up from his desk and stared with hard eyes at Rishabh. "This matter is none of your business."
"No, it is my business. They were my friends too. What are you going to tell him when he finds out?"
"The truth," Balraaj replied.
"Which truth?" Rishabh asked looking at him. "Your version or the actual truth?"
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new ff dil ka rishta chpt 2
Author: lub.harshiti Replies: 6 Views: 657
|lub.harshiti||6||657||08 March 2010 at 12:55am by ...Nikhita...|
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