Author's Note: Hey People! I may not be able to upload this week because my weekend is over and I need to get back to work. Anyway, this is my longest chapter yet so hope you enjoy and do like and comment! Also, was wondering to host a mini contest, to design a siggy for this FF. If you're interested, then create a siggy with the name "Tales of the Heart" and must include VirMan pictures. Others are exceptional. If you're interested, PM me with your entry. I'm not sure about the prize but I'm thinking of first - PM'd versions of chapters. And that also includes extracts.
Amicitia, A New Beginning
"I love you. I love you so much." He told her, holding her arms and looking into her eyes. She looked back, a slight apprehension on her face. He held her tight against the wall, lovingly. She looked away as he let go before nearly down on the ground, one knee sitting down. She gave him a confused look. He smiled back as he fiddled with his pockets trying to find the precious gift. He pulled out a small box and opened the lid back to reveal a glistening, silver ring. She looked at the ring in awe, her hands covering her shocked mouth. He looked back at her and breathed softly, "I love you. Will you marry me...Maya?"
"Virat?" Maanvi nervously touched his shoulder. He sat on the stone wall before turning around to face her. He looked up at her, sniffing. He looked into her eyes and saw the difference between the warmth of Maanvi's eyes and the coldness in Maya's. Virat stood up, looking down at Maanvi's petite figure. Shaking, he put his hands on her arms, holding her. Memories of the past started to haunt him again. The way he had held her, the way he had loved her, the way he had asked her to marry him. Virat looked at Maanvi, looking intently into her eyes. He looked at her innocent face, his heart thumped as he did so. "Virat?" She whispered, confused at what he was doing. He instantly looked away, trying to stop the tears from coming. His heart began to feel heavy before he walked away, almost running. Maanvi stared as he did, she scrunched her face in frustration and sadness. "What happened to you, Virat?" She thought.
"Come on Virat! This is silly, marriage and now?" Maya huffed as Virat stood up dejected. His smile went away as quick as a flash as he closed the lid of the ring box. Maya placed her hands on her hips as she turned away.
He looked at her frowning. "Maya? I thought this was what you wanted."
Maya turned away, fuming as she placed her hands in the arm. "This is what YOU wanted! I never said I wanted to marry you and please, I'm happy with us just being together, why do we need to get married?" She shook her head. "I can't do this, I'm not comfortable with this commitment, you know it's for all our lives? What a joke!" Virat looked up at her hurt.
"Joke?!" He walked towards her and held her hand. "Maya this is the question of our lives. How can you expect to live without giving a name to our relationship?" He asked her, facing her face him. She tried to look away before shaking her head.
"Virat." She looked into his eyes. "We have our whole life to get married. We're only 21! There's so many dreams that I have, I want to become a world famous model and I don't want to get tied into a marriage like this!"
"But Maya, both of our lives are already tied together...those nights we spent together, what was that?" He looked away.
Maya bit her lip before touching his cheeks and facing him towards her. She sighed. "Look, baby. I understand, I really do." She held his cheeks. "But, I'm just not ready. I'm not ready for commitment. But give me a few years, and I'll happily get married to you but for now, just leave it okay?" She looked at him and gave him a smile. He nodded slowly, before looking away. She grinned before pulling him into a hug. "Thank you, baby."
Virat entered his room and went towards his bed. Tears streamed down as he remembered his sad past, the way she had deceived him. He laid down, trying to wipe away the runaway tears. His head started to hurt, and he began to feel sick. The room started to spin, as he clutched his chest. He stood up breathing heavily. Virat hurriedly went towards his drawers and rummaged through desperately for his packet of cigarettes. "Where is it? I placed it here before!" He thought to himself. His mouth intended into a slight smile as his heart began to subside as he hastily breathed into the lit cigarette and closed his eyes, allowing the fumes to be inhaled. The smell of the drug started to cover the room, taking over the sweet smell of strawberries. He coughed slightly before inhaling again, becoming completely lost. He began to feel better as he started to breathe at a normal rate. He cleared his throat as he numbed the cigarette and threw it in the bin. He wiped his sticky face before going into the bathroom to wash himself.
Maanvi came in and started to cough, overwhelmed by the stinging smell. She saw the remains of the cigarette in the bin before she started to cough again. She frowned. "Virat smokes?!" She thought. It was something that she absolutely hated, that and drinking excessively. When she was younger, she and Shiv would always talk about how much they disliked people who are in essence ruining their lives. She heard the water running in the bathroom before watching as Virat came out. She turned away angrily. Virat looked at her and noticed that she was not keeping eye contact with him. He felt guilty for holding her tightly before and then running away. But it wasn't his fault, for a second he felt as if Maya was with him, and he become lost in that memory. In that moment, he forgot that he wasn't in the Vadhera gardens with Maanvi but in London with Maya.
"Maanvi," He walked towards her to apologize but she pushed him away.
"What is wrong with you?!" He frowned. "Why are you doing this to your life? What happened that was so bad that you need to act like this?!" She shouted. He was surprised at her outburst before getting angry himself.
He looked her in the eyes. "None of your damn business." He spat out before turning away and walking out. She held his hand, stopping him and pulled him towards her.
"Look," The pull was a bit strong and without a notice, Virat accidently bumped into her, causing Maanvi to lean backwards into the wall, him leaning with her. She groaned as she hurt her head before looking up and see Virat extremely close to her. For a moment, they stayed like that both looking at each other. She looked away and he pulled himself up, helping her. She cleared her throat before replying, not being able to look into his eyes. She sighed. "Look, whatever happened, you need to forget it, stop ruining your life and everyone else's."
"How do you know about that?" He asked her, angrily.
Maanvi looked back, rolling her eyes. "I don't know anything, I'm just saying whatever happened or may have happened just forget it."
Without thinking, he pulled her towards him, the wall behind her. "How can you forget something that hurt you that bad?" He whispered into her ear, his hot breath touching her skin. She closed her eyes and breathed through her nose. He let go off her before walking away towards the bed. He sat down, his back towards her. "You don't know what happened." He spoke. "You don't know anything, so you can't tell me to forget."
"But you have to try!" She said frustrated.
He laughed. "Try?! How? I tried so hard, did you know that? But I can't. I can't forget her, I can't forget what she did to me, how she made me her puppet." He laughed again. "I was such a fool for trusting her, for loving her. God, Maanvi. I loved her so much, and all she did was laugh in my face." He broke down, sobbing into his hand. Maanvi rushed towards him but stopped. She tried to touch his shoulder but stopped. She decided to give him some space before leaving the room. Virat cried, not letting the tears out. He had spent so many years keeping his emotions in but today he just had to let it go. He couldn't be strong any more. As he cried, the cold emotions that he had hid away for so many years started to flow out, his heart starting to become lighter.
Maanvi didn't feel like leaving him, she hated to see anyone cry but she had to. He had to learn how to become strong again, and she couldn't nurture him, she had to let him cry, let the bad feelings out before living a happy life again. She stopped, could he ever be happy? She shook her head, getting rid of the thought before walking down the glass stairs, into the main hall. There, she saw a couple of servants cleaning the place. She noticed a maid was cleaning the photo frames before walking up towards her. Maanvi was bored, and she needed to do something even if it was cleaning. She didn't mind, not if it allowed her to forget about the drama for a few minutes.
"Excuse me?" Maanvi said. The maid turned around and smiled at the new resident. In her hand was a cloth which she was using to rub the dust of a large family picture frame of everyone.
"Er, what's your name?"
"Avantika. Madam, did you need anything?"
Maanvi shook her head. "Actually wait, give me that." She offered her hand to take the cloth and photo frame.
Avantika shook her head furiously. "No, madam. It's okay, I'll do it after all it's my job."
Maanvi rolled her eyes. "I'm your Madam right?" She nodded. "So, you have to listen to what I say, right?" She nodded slowly. "Then I say give me that frame and cloth." Avantika tried to protest but Maanvi was having none of it. After much deliberation, the maid was forced to hand her job over.
"Thank you!" Maanvi said as she started to wipe the dust from the frame. She looked at the picture, the picture perfect memento. In the middle stood Vanshika with Swamini and Vijay Singh on either side. Near Swamini was Viren with Jeevika smiling whilst on the other side was Virat with his grandfather. Maanvi noted the anger in his eyes but also the slight sadness, it was as if she was looking into the eyes of someone who had been through extreme pain, the only problem was she didn't even know what had happened. She remembered what Jeevika had told her, knowing that Jeevika couldn't tell her after all it wasn't her story to tell...It was Virat's. Maanvi frowned thinking at how Virat didn't trust her, though she understood that they had just met and some things were meant to be private. But still, Maanvi couldn't help but feel somewhat down that Virat didn't allow her in. She sighed, placing the frame back into its place and looking back.
"That was taken a month after Bhai's wedding." A voice came from behind and Maanvi instantly jumped nearly tripping over the side of the fireplace. Virat held her hand, stopping her from falling backwards and hurting herself. He pulled her up, trying to hide a smirk as she rolled her eyes.
"Very funny!" She mocked. "Quit scaring me."
"Hey!" He placed his hands in her directions. "It's not my fault you get scared so easily."
"Well, if you didn't sneak up on me like that then maybe I wouldn't have jumped." She replied back before trying to move away.
"Have you seen the other parts of the palace yet?" He said suddenly making her stop. She turned back shaking her head. "I'll show you." She nodded slowly as he gestured her to walk with him. Maanvi walked besides him, wondering what was going on. Just a few minutes back, they were arguing and she left him upset but now it was as if he was putting things aside and he was actually being himself. Albeit a cocky version but still Virat himself. She smiled, she liked him like this though he did sometimes irritate her.
Virat smiled as he walked. He felt much better. He really did. Somehow he had to thank Maanvi for leaving him alone, usually when worse came to worse it was Viren or Jeevika who would calm him down. They would never allow him to cry but today, he did. Though the pain was still there, he felt much better. He appreciated what Maanvi did even though she may have done it unknowingly, and sure sometimes she wanted to know things about him, but he knew deep down that she was just a caring girl. He saw Maanvi cleaning the frame and smiled, he couldn't help but say something. And when she jumped, he didn't know how he had held her hand and brought her up.
They walked towards the East Wing where the kitchen was. Virat showed her the large kitchen where there was at least five servants working. "Normally Jeevika bhabhi would be here, cooking for the day." Maanvi gave him a look. "She cooks the food?" She thought. "I know what you're thinking, why is the Princess cooking?" Virat said smiling. Maanvi nodded embarrassed. "My family are quite...traditional I guess. They prefer us doing our own jobs, the servants are just for show, well that and it meant they'll have an income right?" Maanvi nodded understanding. She thought back to their first meeting and how she had angry tried to dishonour the family. She had lied saying she could cook, referring herself to becoming their servant. She instantly felt guilty, now knowing that though they were Royal, the Vadhera's were actually quite genuine people. "What are you thinking?" He asked.
"Remember the first time we met? I mean, with everyone else?"
He laughed, "How could I not? You were angry with everything though everyone didn't know or maybe they did but tried to ignore it."
"Yeah, I was under this misunderstanding that you people were heartless and I lied saying that I could cook and all..." She faded to a halt.
"And your Beeji was giving you this look that looked like she would kill you any minute." She looked at him as he laughed and rolled her eyes.
"Oh, okay. Mock me more." She said sarcastically. Virat stopped.
"I was kidding. And any way, don't worry about that I'm sure my family won't mind. And anyway, you could always learn can't you?" She looked at him, as he smiled. "And if you can't, then I'll teach you."
She gave him a look. "You can cook?" He nodded.
"Of course, I had to cook whilst I was studying in London didn't I? I mean it wasn't like Maya-" He stopped suddenly, Maanvi gave him a look. "Who was this Maya?" She thought. He shook his head, "Er," He choked. "You haven't seen the Grand Hall yet." He said as he pulled her towards the other side of the Palace.
Virat took her through double doors where Maanvi stood in awe at the hall. It was fit for a Royal banquet. Elegantly decorated in black and white, a large foot long glass table was placed in the middle. Above them were huge chandeliers, full with candle light. Maanvi smiled. She absolutely loved this room! She walked down to where flowers were placed as decorations. She pulled out the rose admiring it. She had always loved roses. The deep red tint of the petals and the green hue of the stem. The only thing that she hated were the thorns but whenever she got roses, Shiv would always pluck out the thorns beforehand.
"So, you like Roses huh?" Virat said from behind. She smiled as she nodded.
"Yeah, Shiv would always get them for me whenever he could." He found himself smiling as he looked at her. "Although, the thorns would always be cut off." She said. She brushed her fingers over the soft petals before accidently touching the stem, pricking herself. She hissed. "Ow!"
Without a second though, Virat took the rose away from her and inspected her hand. There was a small cut but fresh blood flew from it. He blew on it to numb the pain before taking out a spare napkin placed on the side and pushing it onto the cut to stop the blood. Maanvi clenched her teeth to face the pain, closing her eyes. She felt his breath blowing on her cut again and felt it become numb. She opened her ears, thanking him.
"You'll need to put some antiseptic on it," He ordered. She nodded, looking up at him. He looked at her, staring into her eyes. He looked away before clearing his throat. "Urm, come I'll show you the other places." He pulled her away. As he did, Maanvi glanced at where the cut used to be, she smiled remembering the way he had treated her.
She looked at him as he pulled her away, taking her towards the upper floors. She smiled thinking at how he was behaving. She liked this Virat.
And deep down, he liked this Maanvi too.