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"You got engaged to Virat Vadhera and you didn't even tell me? That's not right, Maanvi." Shiv stood up from the chair of Maanvi's room and paced up and down.
Maanvi got up from her bed at once. "We're not engaged!" She threw her hands in the air, huffing in frustration. That morning, Virat had left; the whole house was still unaware of his existence that night. Maanvi had spent the last ten minutes telling Shiv everything that had happened the day before.
"Okay fine. You're going to be engaged to Virat Vadhera, the prince of Chandrilasia, and you've never mentioned it to me?! Some best friend you are." He crossed his arms over his chest and sulked like a young child.
"I told you, I forgot." She sat down on the bed and placed her head into her palm, as a sign of defeat.
"Okay, fine." He sat down on the bed, next to her. "So, tell me'why did Virat stay the whole night'.on this bed, you know, apart from the fever?" He winked at her, teasingly.
"Oh God! Shiv!!" She nudged his arm. "I told you, he just wanted to say that he's okay with this wedding, and we got our differences sorted."
"Is that all?" He smirked. "You know Maanvi'.you didn't do good to me."
"Bhool gaya? Our bachpan ka promise?"
Maanvi looked at him confused. "Areh yaar! We promised that we'd marry each other one day." He faked a sigh, "And now our promise will remain unfulfilled, now that Virat Singh Vadhera has got a hold of you." He faked a yawn and put his arm over Maanvi's shoulder. She rolled her eyes at his blatant flirting.
"So what? I may be married to him but don't worry, you'll be the first person who I'll have an extra marital affair with, pakka!"
"Haila! Affair? Matlab, adha who aur adha mein?"
"Of course!" She shrugged trying to hide a smile. "Half and half. One night with him, one night with you. I'll be the first girl who has the Prince of Chandrilasia on one hand and on the other, the great Shiv Agnihotri!"
"Hear, hear!" Shiv chapped his hands in pretence.
She giggled lightly as she laid down, resting her head on the pillow. Shiv copied her, resting his head on the other pillow. He faced her and looked into her eyes.
"Are you happy?"
"Hamara affair." He replied sarcastically. "No, you idiot ' with this marriage! You know you don't have to do anything against your will, right?"
She shrugged. "Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do for the sake of others'"
"And you? What about doing something you want to do, hm? What about that?"
Maanvi sighed. "I'm saving this country by this one agreement ' what more could I want? And anyway, it's not that big a deal."
"Not big a deal? Okay, what about azaadi? Pyaar? Don't you yearn for this one day? Stop being a satri savitri and think about yourself for once. Be selfish. This whole saving the country thing is Virat's job ' not yours!"
Maanvi looked at her friend who had lost eye contact with her and was now staring at the ceiling with a touch of anger on his face. "Naraz ho?" She asked him, nudging his toned shoulders. "Shiv!" She nudged him harder. "Stop it, yaar! You know I don't like it when you're angry, it makes me sad just looking at you."
"Okay baba, I'm sorry. But what can I do? Virat won't look at any more girls for potential rishta ' and what it something bad happens till then? A war or something? What if this is the only chance to do something? If you were in my place, wouldn't you have done the same thing?"
He looked at her, tilting his head slightly. "Okay fine." He spoke at last. "But what if in the future, you want someone to love, then what?"
"So what? You'll be there, mere honewale adha patidev!" She grinned, playfully hitting his arm. He rolled his eyes at her words, not being able to supress a grin.
They both got up and quickly hit the other with the pillow, laughing in the process. Shiv caught his breath as he looked at Maanvi, admiring her goodness. "If that fool ever does anything to hurt you, then I swear Prince of no Prince, he'll be seeing the end of my shoe!"
Maanvi laughed shamelessly at his words. "Aw! Are you getting emotional? Don't worry, if he does anything then I'll go straight to you! After all, you're on my speed dial hai nah?"
Shiv smacked her with the pillow. Maanvi gasped as the soft object hit her back. She picked up the other pillow and sneakily hit him from the other side. Before Shiv could retaliate, Maanvi picked up the other pillow and hit him using them, a hit after the other. Thinking for a plan, he stopped and let her hit him before pushing her down by the stomach and tickling her. Maanvi giggled loudly, trying to get him to stop it. She playfully kicked him, and breathed a sigh of relief as he stopped tickling her. She brushed him off, both trying to get over their laughter.
"Oh, you're no fun." She said, smacking his shoulder.
He pulled his tongue at her as she laughed, and then looked away. "Any time you're bored with Virat Vadhera, you come to me okay?" He said as Maanvi dropped her head onto his shoulder. She nodded at her best friend.
"I promise." She whispered.
Shiv gave out his hand for her to shake. She placed her hand over his and gave him her word. "I'm so proud of you." He whispered softly. Maanvi closed her eyes and smiled, wondering about her nearing future with Virat. She wondered how it would be like, whether or not she would be able to fit in. Her heart sunk as she thought about having to live the life of a Royal ' well, some what ' she wondered whether or not she would be able to do it. She kept her eyes closed, and decided to fixate on the present for now.
Virat crept through the Palace doors; he had spent the time before trying to make sure no one sees him entering the house. And by no one, he meant the media. There was always security on the grounds but it still didn't stop the paparazzi from stealing photos on the way out and on the way in from the Palace. Virat waited as the guards opened the door to let him in, it didn't take that long as everyone knew who he was and didn't need any identifications.
"Choti Rajkumarji!" One of the maids, Avantika ran towards the door to greet the Prince inside. She bowed down to him slightly which received a roll on the eye from him. Yes, he really disliked it when people did that to him ' especially seeing as he thought everyone was equal.
He thought about meeting Viren, especially since that call last night.
"Erm, Avantika? Did you see bhai?"
"Bari rajkumar unka kamre mein hain, mein bolou?" She asked.
Virat shook his head. "No, no. It's okay, I'll go."
"Ji, teek hai jaise aap ki marzi." She looked at him before keeping her head fixated onto the floor. "May I go?"
Virat groaned, this was one of the principles that the servants shared ' not leaving without asking before the presence of a Royal. He sighed, knowing that the numerous times he had told her ' and others ' not to do that, hasn't sunk in and therefore found it pretty useless to do so at this moment. He nodded to her before making his way into his brother's room.
He knocked on the large oak door, complete with no blemishes. Viren opened the door to see his brother.
"Virat!" He opened the door wider and came into view. "You're here? Come in." He entered, closing it.
Viren and Jeevika's room were colour co-ordinated with warm pastel colours: cream, lilac and a bit of beige. The walls were cream, embroidered with golden swirls occupying the middle, somewhat as a divider. The soft carpet was the colour of beige, sinking right throughout the whole room and entering the en-suite bathroom. The shimmering sparkle of the wood, from doors and wardrobes was empowering, juxtaposing the soft pastels. Swamini had designed this room specifically for Viren but after Jeevika's arrival, she had added her own details such as the lilac curtains, and the handmade flowers on each corner. In fact, even the bathroom was accessorised with the light coloured blinders and beige coloured tiles on the walls.
"So, bhai'" Virat began, unsure of what exactly to say. He jumped onto the bed, sitting on the edge whilst Viren stood opposite, his arms crossed across his chest.
"Yesterday you left so suddenly, after meeting Maanvi's family in Oceania. Was everything okay?" He asked concerned. After Viren realised that Virat had done, he had thought of the implications going on in his mind and thought it was better to leave Virat be, at least until he had thought things through. The Vadhera's ' wishing that no ill to be brought upon this alliance ' agreed, not wanting to be embarrassed by Virat's foolish behaviour.
"Urm'I had to think'.about it." Virat replied, instantly fixating his eyes on the floor.
"Look Virat, I know that you have already agreed to this wedding ' but are you sure? You may be forced into this but at the end of the day you are my brother and I want what's right for you." Viren liked Maanvi, sure she was rich nor a Royal but then again who cared? It didn't matter to him what the person owned, or how much they had but rather how they were and whether they were suitable for this alliance. And Maanvi ticked all the boxes; she was not only morally thinking but smart and selfless. Viren knew that he shouldn't trust someone that easily but he couldn't fault her: even Jeevika thought this that Maanvi would be perfect for Virat ' she was not 'fake' at all.
"Bhai, I thought about it." He remembered last night's conversation between him and Maanvi. The way she disliked the Royals, although it was a false accusation but nevertheless, she didn't feel like she needed to be one of them. He liked that. He liked that she was different, expressive rather. He was glad that he was acquainted with Maanvi and that if he had to marry anyone, it would be her. "I'm fine with this marriage." Virat replied, quickly putting a smile on.
Viren grinned, happy of the words that came out his brother's mouth. He walked just as Virat stood up and hugged him, patting his back as he did. "Thank you so much." He pulled away. "You don't know what you just did. What you and Maanvi did. God, if it wasn't for her then who knows what would have happened?" Viren said, immerging into a thought process.
Virat thought about that. If it wasn't for Maanvi then everything would have been ruined, he forever in her debt. "Even though she agreed to this, do I seriously let her go through the risk of ruining her life?" He thought as he pondered over the words ' could he do that?
Queen Vanshika of Chandrilasia sat in her leather chair, looking over at the accounts and finances invested by the Royal family. She sighed, somewhat bored with the work and placed her head into her palm. She closed her eyes before opening it and looking at the picture of her and Vikram on their wedding day that was placed on the desk. She smiled looking at the smile on her husband's face, whilst she was shying away from the camera. She picked the frame up and cleaned it, getting rid of the lingering dust. She placed it near her forehead and touched it, then kissing it with her lips. She closed her eyes reminiscing about the past.
She pulled away, opening her eyes. "Do you know how much I miss you? Humare paas sirf aapke yaadein hain, aur kuch nahi he. Aaj hamare Virat shaadi ke liye tyar hai." She smiled as a tear fell down her cheek. "That Virat that never gives anyone the permission to enter his life, is now content with someone else taking over. And do you know who she is? Maanvi Chaudary. Ek seedi, saadi larki. Bilkul simple. Do you remember how we married? I was visiting my aunt one day when I came across you ' at first I didn't even know that the King of Chandrilasia was even near me. And how would I? You kept your identity so hidden that I thought you were just a normal person, a commoner, like me. When I found out the truth, did you remember how angry I was? And why wouldn't I be? After all, the one I loved had lied to me. Then my heart melted when you, in front of everyone confessed your love for me, how could I stay angry at that face for so long? And when you left me, it was like my soul had been cut into two parts, the other being snatched away from me." Another tear fell down. "Kher, our love story is being relived again through Virat and Maanvi. One Royal, and the other a commoner." She smiled, laughing softly. "And you watch how these two will fall in love, just like we had." She sniffed, wiping the remaining tears from her eyes.
The door opened and in entered, Swamini and the Earl of Chandia. "Vanshika beta, is this the wrong time?" He asked.
Vanshika shook her head, "Nehi nehi, bauji. Please aiyenah." She gestured for them to sit down. "Is anything the matter?"
"Actually bhabhi, we wanted to talk to you about Virat and Maanvi. You know that they have agreed to this rishta, so we were hoping not to delay anything any later. We were thinking about conducting the roka ceremony as soon as possible, before the Media people get involved." Swamini explained.
Vanshika nodded. "Beta, it's your decision. After all, this is the question of Virat's life." Vijay Singh replied.
"Bauji, what are you saying? You are elder to me, therefore it is your duty to make these decisions, whether I am the Queen or not!" She said. "The roka will only happen when you insist so."
He nodded, "Teek hai beta. Let's get it set for tomorrow evening, the sooner we get it done, the better. That way even if the media get involved, they cannot do anything as Maanvi's and Virat's future will already become intertwined."
"That's a good idea." Vanshika replied. "I'll call Maanvi's Beeji and tell her, okay?"
Swamini and the Earl left the room to get the invitations and arrangements sorted. Vanshika picked up the phone and pressed in the numbers. She waited to get a response.
"Hello?" Vanshika assumed the elderly voice was Beeji's.
"Ji, are you Beeji?"
"Ji, aap khon?"
"Namaste, hum Vanshika Vadhera bol rahi heh."
Beeji stopped, wondering why the Queen was calling her. "Namaste Vanshikaji." She greeted politely. "Kya bath hai?"
"Actually, we were just discussing about the date of Virat and Maanvi's roka, and we were thinking to have it tomorrow evening?"
She waited to hear a response. "Kaal?" Beeji hesitated.
"Don't worry about it being too soon, we're here. We'll get everything sorted."
"Nehi nehi, it's not that. We'll get everything sorted but I was just wondering does it have to be this soon?" Beeji wondered how to break the news to Maanvi, it seemed as if the time left spending with her granddaughter was declining quite fast.
"Ji, actually if the media wale finds out that there'll be a big hungama, so we thought it was better if we'"
"Oh acha. Okay, we'll be ready."
The phone call ended leaving Beeji worried whether or not everything will be done in time. This was not only about the Royal family but about Maanvi's sasural ' and everything had to be perfect!
Author's Note: There's not much of VirMan in this chapter but hey, these scenes are not "fillers" - they are needed for the back story. And if you read any of my FF's you will know that I plan these out from before hand and then write them, so each sentence has its own significance.
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