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CHAPTER 6: I love You A...
The following day, even before they went for meeting, Manik called Aman in his room. "So?"
"Akash Kapoor, it is said he has a girlfriend from France, he is gone to Goa for an ad shooting..." Aman told all he knew.
"So report clean?" Manik sighed but not assured.
"Yes," Aman nodded.
"Hmm keep the detective on him, and inform if anything suspicious," Manik dismissed him, his heart not satisfied.
Then they had gone and attended the first meeting. Nandini was taking notes and Manik had more focus on her than him. Later, they were served lunch there before they proceeded with the meeting. "Manik, if you keep looking at me rather than focusing on the presentation, your company will be ruined," she told him as she sat next to him.
"Not a chance, I have efficient workers," he winked at her. "So, what do you think about their offer?" he asked her.
"We can find better at the same price," she explained him the rest and he was as usually impressed.
"So we have to stall them till we meet the rest of the suppliers," he said while eating.
"Yes," she nodded.
In the afternoon, they had gone to hotel and changed into casuals. She was wearing jeans and graphic mixed media shirt, looking really beautiful. Manik noticed well that she had lost almost 20-25 pounds in the last few months, her curves more prominent, adding more charm to her persona. Yet he loved her the way she was, she didn't need to lose weight for make him love her, but he knew this was good for her health.
"My God, Manik, you look good in casuals," she praised him, as she gasped seeing him in denim jeans and a simple turquoise shirt along a leather jacket, he looked so sexy. She was sure if Soha had been here, she would have swooned on her feet.
"I will wear more of these then," he nodded.
"Why? Just because I praised?" Her eyes widened.
"Exactly. Soon you will leave me alone, even as a worker, so I should have something that has your touch, your view," he said, shrugging.
Her jaw dropped. "You are crazy," she was stunned.
"For you," he smiled, but his eyes betraying him.
He took her various places over the next days, food courts, Bandra-Worli Sea link, Shree Siddhivinayak although he was not much believer but he went there for her.
When they went to sightseeing to some park or forts, in between, she asked him to pose for her. He was not used to this but still did it for her happily.
"Open you arms like Shah Rukh Khan," she said cheekily.
"Like really?" He creased his brow and she nodded. "Alright, princess." And he obeyed.
They also went to Prithvi Theatres, Nariman point, Adlabs Imagica.
After having a splendid, tiring day at Adlabs Imagica, they came out. Chatting happily and laughing, when suddenly, some men tried to eve-tease Nandini. "Stay away from her," Manik warned them, his tone steel cutting.
"We won't, what will you do?" the man provoked him, moving closer to Nandini to touch her but before that Manik have him a tight punch.
"Try moving closer to her, I will butcher you in pieces," he said angrily, his eyes red and his face heated.
"As if we will let you," another man snickered. They were four and he was alone. They pounced on him but with his expert martial art movements, he tackled them and his body guard joined him too.
"Make sure, they are handled well, no one gets away messing with me," he said angrily to his bodyguard. He looked at Nandini, she was trembling. "Are you ok?"
She shook her head and hugged him. "I got afraid, what if they hurt you?"
"Crazy women," he chuckled, his heart beating over-sped. "You should worry more about yourself."
"You fought for me," she felt delight and parted. "Thank you."
"It is my duty to protect you princess," he said, his voice so soft. Nothing like the man he was a few minutes back. He was red with anger but to her, he was always tender and soft.
She felt really blessed to have him. "Are you fine?" She asked, noticing his lips bleeding from a corner.
"Just a little gash," he assured her.
"It is not little," the blood was oozing from the cut. "Come," she dragged him to his car and made his sit on the backseats, she put her handkerchief against the wound, "hold this." She brought the emergency medical kit from the trunk. She cleaned the wound properly and applied the antiseptic lotion, he hissed. "Sorry, sorry, almost done," her brows crunched in apology. "I am done," she said as she was done applying and looked up, only to see him admiring her.
He had been really touched when she dragged him to give him first aid and was gazing at her, although it had stung a little but he lost in her. He was just hypnotized by her more and more with each passing day.
"I have applied the antiseptic," she said again, "is it still smarting?"
"No, it is not," he said coming out his reverie.
"Sure?" She wanted to confirm.
"101% sure," he assured her with a smile. He ordered something to the driver, moving closer to him, so Nandini could not hear.
"What did you say to the driver?" She asked him.
"Something which is a surprise," he said, he winked at her.
She looked at him and could not hold back from staring at him, around her he was a different person, carefree and smiling. He would become grumpy once she went to Akash, she didn't like brooding Malhotra.
The car stopped in front of a sweet shop, "what say jalebi treat from my behalf?" He asked her.
"But you can't eat?" she said all too soon and flustered.
"Seems like you have been noticing me too," He felt glimmer of happiness. She was embarrassed. "Don't worry they provide sugar-free jalebies too," he blinked his eyes.
Together they went there and more than eating he was staring at her ravishing the jalebies, she looked so innocent, so beautiful. He captured each single moment in his mind.
"Good morning Mr Malhotra," Sheetal, the gorgeous CEO of the company greeted him. Reaching out her hand.
He took the hand in a formal handshake and took back his hand as soon. Sheetal was looking at him for a chance but he didn't pay any attention apart work. He was really arrogant and conceited when it came to work and others, he was stern and didn't let his feelings on front.
Sheetal tried time and again to gain his attention but he didn't move budge. His expressions were schooled, he was stern, grim and rigorous. He was a person that didn't appreciate woman throwing herself on him. He respected them and demanded the same.
As for the umpteenth time, he felt her brushing her hand with him, he stood up. "Miss Sheetal Verma, if you are more keen on flirting with me than this deal is off," he said harshly.
Nandini smirked inwardly, she had been boiling seeing Sheetal's behavior. She was hovering around Manik like a glue, and she was glad he gave her his piece of mind, before she did some damage, such as wriggling her neck.
Was she Possessive of Manik Malhotra? She was befuddled.
"I am... I am sorry Mr Malhotra, I will behave," she was red in shame but regained her formal posture concentrating on the meeting.
As it ended Manik's employees, including Nandini, asked their questions, once they were satisfied, Manik said, "We will let you know our answer in a few days."
"Sure Mr Malhotra," she said feigning a smile.
"So guys, what are your take?" Manik asked them that afternoon, as they all sat in the conference room of their own hotel. "Nk, reports," he ordered sales head.
"Sir, according to my team, Mr Wadhwa seems the genuine deal. Good quality/price ratio, delivery delays and payment delays," NK replied.
"Hmm, I will send the contract's papers to Seth to see the clauses in details," he nodded. "You have an off for tomorrow, enjoy the day." He said in his usual tone. The team dispersed except Nandini. "So where do you want to go today?" He asked her.
"Cinema. Salman Khan's movie," she squealed.
"Which one?" He asked her, amazed at her excitement.
"Kick," and she did the step Salman did in the movie's trailer, making him laugh freely.
"You look good, laughing so freely," she complimented him. "Laugh more," she requested.
"Keep doing this antics, I will keep laughing," he winked at her, making her blush.
They went and watched the movie together, while Nandini whistled time and again, making Manik sink in his seat. "Are you embarrassed to be out with me?" She rose her brow.
"I am just feeling out of the place," he admitted. "I don't go to cinemas often unless if it is a premiere and there people sit straight and with pose, not this enthusiastically," he finished.
"We are not in France but in India. You have to start being normal. Alright when the next song comes up, you have whistle," she told ordered him.
"Ok but just once," he told her, not too sure but anything for her.
"Yes, just once," she was elated and they did whistle together and erupted in laugh.
"You are going to meet Akash, right?" He asked her, as he saw her dressed in the beautiful red saree that he had gifted. Hoops earring with red gems dangling, her eyes done in smokey, enhancing her beautiful, enchanting eyes that had captured his attention, a beautiful smile adorning her face. She looked ethereal, blowing his mind away and stabbing his heart, she wore it for Akash and not for him.
"Yes, it is his advertisement launch party, will you come with me?" She asked him.
"Do you want me to?" He questioned, his heart heaving.
"Yes please," she requested.
He nodded and dressed accordingly, they entered in the party and as expect Akash was beside Nandini as soon as he recognized her. "Wow, Nandini you look so beautiful," he praised her, reaching to her for a hug, but she pulled back.
"It is nice to meet you Akash, I just have to give you back something," Nandini started.
Manik had been looking at them with trepidation heart but he was confused, Nandini was not as excited as she had been when he had announced the news of coming to India. According to him, she would have rushed to him, taking him in a hug but here she moved back.
"This," She thrust the ring in his hand.
"But Nandini, I love you and I want to marry you," he said with despair.
"That you should have thought when you blatantly refused to meet me when I said I was coming to India and that I wanted to marry you soon. You said we were over, you can't have an overweight girlfriend any longer forget about wife," she repeated his words, the words he had uttered the day when she had called him to inform him about this. Manik was livid, the next second his hands were on Akash's collar.
"How dare you?" Manik was aggressive.
"Manik, he is a closed chapter leave him," Nandini told him and Manik obeyed.
"Oh so now you have this hot-shot, why would you need me anyways?" Akash said with disdain and insult in his tone.
"Yes because beside being hot-shot, he is an awesome human being, he loves me for what I am, the way I am, not mocking me when he has achieved everything at this age," she said with her eyes teary. "Anyways, I no longer have anything to with you," she said firmly. "All the best in this world full of falseness." She smirked and left holding Manik's hand, who followed her silently, just staring her.
"You didn't tell me, nor did Aman, he said report was clean" he said after a long break.
"Aman had wanted to but I have caught him before, I took the report and sent him with clean report. I already knew everything before coming here but I needed this closer. Beside that, you would have tortured him but I no longer want trouble because of others in our life," she smiled despite herself. "About Akash, you know, everything was going fine, but then he chose this streamline and soon I was forgotten. You will forget me too," she said with a grimace.
"I will not," he said with determination, holding her arm. "Can I forget to breath? No I can't then how can I forget you. You are more important than breathing," he smiled, looking in her eyes. He never knew he could be this romantic.
"But then, if you get me ever, you will take me for granted. Once we get the things we love, it doesn't hold the same value," she said warily.
"I have lost my parents and I know better than that," his answer said it all.
"Manik," she said his name so tenderly that it melted his heart.
"Yeah," he looked at her.
Without a further warning, she pounced on him, taking him in a soulful kiss, making him go in stupor but still his lips replied on their own accord, ravishing her. His arms holding her securely.
As they moved back, she whispered, "Now we are even."
"A kiss for a kiss to be even, then I need to slap you," he said out of breath.
"You want to slap me?" She said with sadness clouding her eyes.
"I will make it up another way, always princess," he yanked her to him, taking her for a kiss, a passionate kiss. "Was the kiss your confession?" He questioned her.
She shied. "I wanted to confess you the day you fought for me, I could not see anything happen to you, not even a little gash, it hurt me. I have realized that I love you but I wanted to close this Akash chapter before." She looped her arms around him, resting her head on his chest. "I knew in subconscious that Akash and I were over, the first time he chose to ignore me going to a party but I was too stubborn to agree. It was when he said that word by word that I realized it and I am happy I did. Because even when I hated you my heart fluttered and now it is galloping in happiness. Will you always love me this much?" She asked him, insecure.
"Yes, I will," he kissed her forehead, feeling the most happy man on the earth.
"I love you Manik," she finally said the three words.
"Oh God. Nandini, my princess I love you too," he said the words, laced with mirth, he was ecstatic. He cupped her chin and plunged his head for a kiss. Parting back, he knelt on his one knee and pulled out something from his pocket, he forwarded his palm and started, "I was assured that this will never happen but I still bought this ring, have kept it with me. It is really happening, I feel blessed. I am bad at expressing my feelings properly... But all I want to say is, I will treat you as my princess always, marry me please?" His voice lace with honesty.
"I will marry you Manik, my prince" she said with a wide smile, from ear to ear. He took her hand and slipped the ring.
"You are mine," he pecked her lips.
"All yours my arrogant angel," she said excited, with him beside her she had nothing to worry about. Not even the dreadful expression her mother would give at this.
He chuckled at her craziness and was taken in a kiss by her, the perfect way to shut her arrogant angel.
"How am I looking by the way? I am wearing for you," Her eyes twinkled.
"You look ethereal, and to be honest I was burning when I had been thinking you were wearing it for Akash," he admitted.
"From now on, nothing for others, only for you, because you are also mine, just mine," she murmured against his lips.
"As you put it, this arrogant angel is all yours," he pressed his lips against hers, again and again.
Scrol to my next post for the EPILOGUE.
Alright so that's the chapter 6, scroll down for the epilogue, Are you liking it? ;)
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