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Manmarziyan – Shaded of Love (Chapter 13)

Hello everyone, it’s 2am and am wide awake so thought of posting this lately am not able to sleep through the night. I know I have been MIA but my dad got into a terrible accident Sunday afternoon so these past few days have been emotionally devastating. He is now recuperating and will be discharged tmr. I still feel shaken so thought of writing as a distraction so bear with me if this chapter is not up to the mark.

Thank u for ur patients and do give ur precious views on this. Love u all, Enjoy……..

Chapter 13

El Milagro Palace
Sam got home humming to herself, her face reflecting the happiness she was feeling. She came across Magdalene who was surprised to see her that way “let’s dance” she told her and took her hand in hers and started to dance with her still humming to some song that was unknown to Magdalene.

“someone is happy” said Piyali watching them and Sam left Magdalene and went to dance with her mother “what has gotten into u?” she asked excitedly and bewildered.

Sam couldn’t stop smiling, she was happy inside and that reflected on the outside. “I have a boyfriend” that was the big news she wanted to share with her mother but if she also told her that her boyfriend was only for two month she might slap her hard to get all the stupidity out of her. She also did feel that she was stupid to accept the idea of test dating but surprisingly enough she was happy with her stupidity “it’s a beautiful day so am happy” she said.

Piyali gave her an unbelievable look “yesterday was a beautiful day too, didn’t see u this happy then”

“Mum, u shouldn’t need a reason to be happy… am happy bcoz I want to be happy and only if I tell myself that am happy then I can feel happy and be truly happy” she rapped and smiled at her.

“what… what… what…?” Piyali asked confused “I didn’t get any of that”

Sam took her hands again in hers and started to dance with her again “don’t think too much… just be happy” Piyali was still confused and so Sam started to sing the “Hakuna Matata” song from the movie Lion King.

Their dance was cut short when Piyali’s phone rang, Sam went to her room still singing making Piyali smile but her smile got washed off her face seeing the name of the caller flashing on her phone screen “Kabir, how many times did I tell to not call me on this number?” she shouted as soon as she answered the call.

The angry expression on her face changed into an annoyed one “what’s the urgency?” she asked with least interest.

“WHAT!?” she asked worriedly “where are u now?” she asked again “okay am coming to see u” she said and hung her phone. Taking her purse and car keys she left in a hurry to God knows where.

Mishra/Kapoor Residence
Radhika went home early Saturday morning, since Arjun had told her that Ruby did have a son she wasn’t able to get the feeling that her father could also be the man the police has been looking for. She knew it was wrong on her part to doubt her father but since their last conversation she had started seeing her dad in a different light. Arjun had already got court’s permission to conduct a DNA test btn Ruby and Trudeau and they were waiting for results but Radhika wanted to clear all her doubts before she got any surprises.

Dilip was the one who opened the door for her “what a pleasant surprise… come in” he said joyfully.

“how are u papa?” she asked but he could sense the tension in her voice.

“am fine… but u don’t sound fine… what’s the problem?” he said. Radhika looked around for any sign of another person being close by bcoz she didn’t want anyone else to hear what she wanted to ask him “your mum went to the temple and everyone else is asleep” he told her before she could ask understanding the worry she held in her eyes “now tell me what’s eating u”

Sitting to his right around the dining table she took a deep breath before she asked “whose revenge did u tell me about that day?”

“What revenge?” he counter asked with a bewildered look displayed on his face.

She sighed “that day u came to see me in the office, u talked about being poor and about taking revenge… weren’t u talking about yourself?”

“yes, I was talking about myself. I was poor and that’s no secret” he said calmly.

“I know that and am neither ashamed of that fact but I want to know about the revenge part… u talked with so much anger that it was as if u were talking about something u experienced

“thats part of my past I never wanted to talk about” he said and took a few seconds pause before continuing “but since u are asking, I will tell u the truth” he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose releaving himself of the knots in his mind “my parents weren’t poor… my mother was rich heiress and though my dad wasn’t a richie rich but his wasn’t poor either. They had a family business… my dad was the oldest of four brothers and his brothers were his number one priority even after he got married, he was their guardian after my grandparents death… but unfortunately his brothers didn’t love him as much as he did and so they betrayed him… they snatched the business from him and later killed him, they killed their own blood” a tear trickled down his eye reliving those painful memories that made her cry too.

“what happened after that?” she asked again this time with curiosity written all over her face.

Dilip took a deep breath “my mother was pregnant with me at that time and my uncles had cheated her out of her inheritence too so she was forced to live in poverty… but that wasn’t enough for them… they wanted to get rid of me too… they numerous times tried to kill me and my mother… I have spent my entire childhood running away from death, hiding from the claws of my own uncles and one day in order to save me my mother got killed… I was orphaned… now u tell me how could I leave them?… how could I not take revenge?”

“but u always taught me not to repay evil with evil” she told him.

Dilip nodded proudly that’s bcoz I know I have lived that too, I took my revenge but still I wasn’t happy… I was still without my parents and that wound still pricked me”

Radhika was baffled at the revelation “u took your revenge… what did u do…?”

“some things a better left unsaid” he placed his hand on hers “just know one thing, the pain in your heart can’t be relieved by giving that pain to someone else even if that someone was responsible for your pain… time heals all wounds but love love helps speeding up the healing process and I found my peace with your mother… she healed me, she took all my pain away that’s why I am forever thankful to have her in my life”

She wasn’t satisfied with his answers she wanted to know more about his life “does mum knows about this?”

“she was the only who knew and now u too” he answered as he wiped his tears “I can never cheat her nor do anything to hurt her, she has accepted me after knowing everything about me” Sounds of approaching steps made her wipe her tears, she was glad she had dared to ask him for she came to know him more through that, she appreciated her mum more too but she still had some questions that she wanted answered for and she was going to ask him sooner or later.

Ankush who had woken up was happily surprised to see her sister home so was Mala who had at the same time returned home “u won’t leave without breakfast” said Mala but her happiness was doubled when Radhika stated that she was going to spend the whole day with her causing Ankush to cancel his meeting and work for the day so he could stay home too.

Saturday and Sundays were Dilip’s days to cook so he was in the kitchen making breakfast for his family but Mala woulldnt stop interfearing in his work complaining that he was not able to cook the way Radhika likes. Radhika and Ankush were sitting behind the kitchen island enjoying to their hearts content their parents sweet bickering. Radhika’s phone flashed with a text message and she rolled her eyes seeing it was Arjun’s message, recently he wasn’t missing a second telling her how much he loved her, he sent her chocolates, flowers and cheesy text messages every time of the day, in short Arjun had given himself permission to court her. She swiped the screen and opened the message “Last night I matched each star with a reason for loving you, I was doing great until I ran out of stars. Good Morning” the message read, and a small smile crept on her lips. Ankush cocked his eyebrow at her in a questioning manner but before she could answer she received another message “My heart for you will never break, my smile for you will never fade, my love for you will never end. I love you” it read.

Ankush snatched the phone from her and read the message, his eyes widened in shock and he was more shocked when he saw that the message was from Arjun “what is this?” he asked holding her phone up.

“a text message” she simply said.

“I can see that” he gave her, her phone back “why didn’t u tell me before?” he then recalled Neil’s words and figured why he said about Arjun and he switching sisters “so Arjun and u are together?”

Radhika smiled “stop being dramatic it doesn’t suit u and no we are not together but Arjun is in love with me and wants me to be his girlfriend” she said in one breath.

“what?” he shouted causing Mala and Dilip to turn and asked them what was wrong, stating some lies about his reaction Ankush turned their parents attentions off him and he turned his attention back to Radhika “but… he is… he is…” he stuttered and then sighed “I don’t have anything negative about him… is he really in love with u?” he asked again she nodded. “what about u, do u love him too?”

“I dont know” she whined “I know he is a good guy and I can trust him but am scared of making a wrong decision… I like spending time with him but that can also be bcoz he is my friend… what if it doesn’t work out btn us… I don’t want to spoil our friendship” Ankush smiled at his sister’s confusion, she was still a baby he thought “don’t show me your 32s help me bhai” she pleaded.

Ankush held her hands “am going to tell u what dad told me when I was in the same confusion”

“do u ever get confused?” she asked surprised.

“why, am I an robot?” he countered her question

“robots don’t get confused?” she asked again.

“will u just let me talk” he said annoyed by her silly non stop questions, she mimicked zipping her mouth with her finger and waited for him to speak “when I was not sure about what I felt for Priya dad told me this… he said, if your life was your favourite story, your favourite book then which part of that story is the best part… if your best part feels incomplete without someone then that someone is your special someone” Radhika still looked confused “okay close your eyes” he said and she complied “now imagine of the most happy moment of your life… what do u see?”

Sitting around the dining table, Dilip, Mala and Ankush were having their dinner expect for Radhika who sat with her arms crossed over her chest and with a pouty face “your food will get cold” said Mala but Radhika wasn’t having none of it “I won’t eat till u say yes” said Radhika still pouting. Mala wanted to pacify her but Dilip stopped her “don’t Mala, she won’t die if she won’t eat her dinner” Radhika wasn’t expecting that answer from her dad, she looked at Ankush for help but he just shrugged and went on munching his food that made her pout more “nobody loves me in this house” cried Radhika but Dilip just gave her an unbelievable look. “I love u” said Ridhima coming from her bedroom “here u go, now u can buy that new dress u want” completed Ridhima as she handed Radhika some money causing her to squeal in joy and hug her sister “Ridhi what is this?” complained Mala “that’s your pocket money” she added but Ridhima wouldn’t hear anything, if her sister wanted a new dress she will make sure she gets a new dress “u are spoiling her Ridhi” said Dilip giving up at last. Ridhima gave Radhika an arm hug “she won’t be spoiled papa, I trust her” she said and pecked Radhika’s cheek who in turn pecked Ridhima’s and expressed her gratitude towards her.

A lone tear fell from Radhika’s left eye as she recalled one of the happiest moments of her life, Ankush wiped her tear making her open her eyes “Ridhi…” he stated rather than asking bcoz he exactly knew what she might have recalled and Radhika just nodded in response “I miss her too” he said smiling a sad one.

“good morning” greeted Ridhima as she entered the kitchen making Radhika turn her gaze to her, she and others wished her good morning and soon Kabir joined them too. Breakfast was set on the table and the whole family were enjoying the food, Mala already had a list of the things she was going to do with Radhika and was narrating the same to her “she is here all day?” asked Ridhima and Mala nodded excitedly “Oh!…” was her reply and she went back to her food.

“u can join us if u want” said Mala.

“I have work to do” replied Ridhima.

“but yesterday u said u will be here all day, what happened now?” asked Mala again.

“your favourite daughter happened” said Ridhima with annoyance all over her tone before getting off the table, Mala tried to pacify her but it was of no use.

Radhika ran behind her and stopped her before she entered her room “di, am sorry for hurting u please join us for mum’s sake” she thought if she apologized she might change her decision but Ridhima being as stubborn as she was didn’t pay heed to her either can’t we go back to the way we were, till when will we be like this… don’t I have any place, even a tiny one in your heart di…?”

“not just my heart, u don’t have any place in my life too” said Ridhima coldly and banged her bedroom door shut leaving a tearful Radhika behind but Radhika wasn’t the only one hurt with her words, Ridhima crushed on the floor burying her face btn her folded knees crying every tear she made her sister cry.

Malhotra’a Apartment
As usual Pranay woke, got ready and went out for breakfast but something unusual was waiting for him. He found floating balloons in his living room with some streamers and a huge banner reading WORLD’S BEST DAD. Neil came from behind the curtains holding a AM SORRY CARD in his hands smiling to his dad “what’s all these?” asked Pranay.

“my way of saying sorry dad” said Neil softly.

“am not a kid Neil, get rid of this sh*t immediately” he ordered.

“u are not a kid but I am” he said walking up to him “am your kid and I made a mistake, a terrible mistake… am sorry dad… please forgive me” he pleaded.

Pranay started to melt with his sincere apology “Neil…” he started to speak but Neil kept the card away and held his ears and started doing squats giving Pranay his best puppy face expression that made Pranay chuckle “come here” he said opening his arms out to him and Neil went and hugged his dad still apologizing. They both held each other tight, Pranay felt like he got his lost son back and the case was the same for Neil, Prena who was watching everything from the kitchen entrance wiped the happy tears on her face feeling that her family was finally complete.

“breakfast is ready” annoinced Prena carrying a tray of food to the table “come eat before it gets cold” she said again as she laid the plates on the dining table.

The father and son walked to the table and Pranay was happy to see all his favourites foods before him and was more happy to know that Neil had made them himself for him “I will bring the fruits, don’t start without me” said Neil and ran to the kitchen.

Prena filled a glass with water and gave it to Pranay together with his pills and asked him to take them before Neil comes back. Pranay quickly swallowed the anti-depresants and smile at Prena “see that Prena, I may have failed in business but I haven’t failed as a father” he said feeling proud and content, Prena just nodded at his words.

Neil who was standing a few feet away and had heard everything wiped his tears and arranged his face into a happy expression before going back to the dining table. The Malhotras enjoyed their breakfast that was extra sweet today bcoz of the love and understanding they shared and ended up with Neil and Pranay planning to go on a fishing trip as a way for the father and son to spend more quality time together.

Kensington Police Station
The DNA results came and they were negative, the only solid lead he had on Ruby Michelson’s case was now tossed in the trash, Trudeau was not Ruby Michelson’s son then who was? On the other hand he was getting Piyali Khanna’s involvement with Kabir, the sketch the nosy neighbour described to the sketch artist, the police who were following Kabir around all came with the same result that Piyali and Kabir had some sort of a connection but what was it, that he couldn’t answer. Arjun was frustrated and tired of going round and round again bcoz each time he gets a hope that this is it without notice he gets thrown back to the drawing board. “u wouldn’t have gone through this much trouble if u had just asked me” said Trudeau sitting opposite him. “my father had an affair with a woman named Ruby, not the same Ruby in question for this case… she is an alcoholic and now a drug addict and am the result of that affair”

“when did u find out?” asked Arjun calmly

“it was years ago” he said “I was fourteen or fifteen at that time, I heard my parents arguing and the dad’s affair was mention during that argument”

“how is it possible that we never found that out when we investigated” he asked again.

“power” Trudeau answered “my dad was a renowned lawyer and he never let his name be associated with any scandal especially of this kind so the adoption lie was made and he was so powerful that nobody was able to find out about his truth”

“thanks for your cooperation” said Arjun while shaking Trudeau’s hand before he left.

“my pleasure… don’t hesitate to ask for my help any time… I also want to know who killed Amrish Khanna” said Trudeau and left.

Arjun turned his gaze on the white board in his cabin where he had pinned all the things that were connected to the case trying to figure out where could Ruby and Jagath Sareen’s child have gone, Dr. Murray had mentioned that Ruby’s son was snatched from her right after she had given birth so who the hell took him. “whoever took that child didn’t had good intention for him” he said to himself. It started to make sense to him, Ruby was abondened in the hospital so whoever took her son either wanted her to suffer or didn’t care for her suffering “but who could be her enemy?” he asked himself.

His eyes went to Amrish’s photo and then to the newspaper clipping with the four friends photo “it’s not Ruby’s enemy but Jagath’s” he whisphered to himself. That child is Jagath Sareen’s heir so if these three friends cheated Jagath they could also try to wipe any sign of his existence too bcoz if Jagath heir was present then Amrish wouldn’t have been the major shareholder of Taste Farm. “it was Amrish, the devil Ruby talked about was Amrish Khanna”

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He recalled Trudeau’s words about how people with power can easily turn things to their favour and everybody knew that Amrish Khanna was as powerful as the queen of England herself so if someone could take a newborn baby from a hospital and disappear with that child without being questioned by the hospital security it has to be Amrish Khanna. But for Amrish that child was a threat to his power so if he took him he didn’t do it for his wellbeing “did he kill him?… no it can’t be… that child is alive but where is he?”

Café Concerto
Neil and Sam met at a café for their first date, Sam dressed in a cream floral summer dress reached thirty minutes earlier than their fixed time due to her nervousness found Neil already seated “u too came early” she asked while taking her seat next to him.

“one hour early so welcome my lady” he said flashing his charming smile “u look beautiful as always”

Sam smiled “well thank u and stop being formal with me”

After sitting for half an hour without talking a word to each other due to the nervousness Neil spoke “well this silence is killing, say something please”

Sam shrugged, they had been on dates before with other people and they had been friends for years yet they both couldn’t find a topic to talk about “what am I supposed to say?”

“I don’t know… anything just say something… we are on a date right?” he said causing her to roll her eyes in return “okay let’s make some rules… no rolling of eyes at me, that’s rule number one” he said annoyingly making her chuckle “am serious Sammy”

“okay… okay relax” she said after taking her time laughing at him “let’s make the rules” she opened the notebook in her phone and started to write the things they had to do while they were in a relationship “can we hold hands?” she asked looking at him.

Neil held her hand “I would definitely love to hold your hand” he said smiling making her blush, he then let go of her hand so she could type that down “and we can kiss” he said in a serious tone yet desperate tone that made her blush more.

“kiss on the hand or….?” she purposely asked.

“kiss anywhere” he immediately replied.

“anywhere… what do u mean anywhere …?” she asked with widened eyes.

“okay, according to your comfort level” he said making her relax. “what else?”

Sam thought for a second and spoke “we have to go on a date once a week”

“every week?” he screamed in shock but she just nodded and he had no other choice but to agree.

Their list went on and on from what cute names they should call each other to what time they should call each other. After listing down about 30 rules Sam, laughed reading what she had typed “this is crazy… who plans their relationship like this?”

“we do and u know right, they say love is crazy” he answered her calmly. Sam froze listening to his words and he soon realized what he had said and tried to alter what came out of his mouth “I mean… let me rephrase that… umh!… ” he stammered but couldn’t find the write words “u know what I meant right?” Sam just nodded and the silence btn them prevailed again. “one more thing” he said after a long pause “can we also have… s*x?” he asked hesitantly.

Sam was baffled by his question and suddenly all scandalous thought about her and Neil flashed in her mind. Neil couldn’t make exactly what she felt, she was shocked but then her shocked expression turned into somewhat he could say was curiosity “maybe” she answers also hesitantly shocking Neil “I mean when the time is right” she added not wanting to sound desperate.

“yeah… we will know when the right time comes” he further added to kill the awkwardness that was starting to grow btn them “so next week we will have our first official date”

“point to be noted my dear boyfriend… every date is official” said Sam proudly causing him to smile not only bcoz of her words but mostly bcoz he loved hearing her addressing him as her boyfriend.

It was evening when they left the café, they walked hand in hand with their fingers entwined to where they had parked their cars. Sam said her goodbye and started to leave when Neil held her hand pulling her back to himself “isn’t a girlfriend supposed to kiss her boyfriend goodbye?” he said raising an eyebrow at her with a naughty smile attached on his face. Sam looked around if there were people who would see them and noticing that Neil forwarded his right cheek to her indicating her to kiss him on the cheek. Seeing that she wasn’t nervous anymore and aimed for his cheek but Neil quickly turned capturing her lips instead and her surprised gasp was lost in his mouth. “now this is a goodbye” he mumbled against her lips before pecking her lips one last time. They both got into their respective cars and drove off.

Notting Hill
Radhika got back home after a long tiring day, she had only one thing in her mind “take a long cold shower and warm dinner” before retiring for the night. She locked her car after taking out her purse and laptop bag and was walking towards the elevator when a man working in the building came forward and gave her a rose stating that it was from Arjun “not bad detective” she thought as she got into the elevator still admiring the fresh red rose in her hand. When she had reached the eighth floor the elevator doors were opened and a few kids living in the same building got in each handing her a rose also stating that they were from Arjun and she couldn’t help but smile at his sweet gesture. With that smile still on her face she opened the door of the penthouse but her jaw dropped to the floor seeing her entire penthouse filled with flowers “OH. MY. GOD”

Different bouquets of roses laid in her living room, some on the ground, some on the table, they were flowers everywhere that it was difficult to find a spot to stand. She found a note attached on one of the bouquets “101 roses means u are my one and only, 1001 roses means my love is faithful and will last forever, but my 10001 roses means I love you more than the word love itself. I love you” it was written on the note, the note itself was very touching but when she started to sneeze due to the strong smell of roses she couldn’t decide if she should be happy or angry at him.

One hour later she had finished cleaning her living room, she gave away most of the bouquets and left a few with herself bcoz she would have died of sneezing if she had to sleep breathing that dense air. She was making herself dinner after taking a shower when Arjun invited himself in since he hadn’t returned the spare keys to her, he had already got a good scolding from her over the phone and came to change her mood “what’s for dinner, honey?” he asked as he joined her in the kitchen. Radhika with her hands on her hips glared him as he picked a piece of carrot from the salad she was making and ate it “oh, sorry” he said and pecked her cheek.

Radhika gasped at his audacity “what do u think u are doing?” she asked irritated.

“I thought u were mad bcoz I didn’t greet u with a kiss” he said smiling and took a bite from an apple he picked from the counter.

Radhika huffed at his way of acting clueless “this will not work with me, and don’t send me any gift from now on”

Arjun still smiling spoke “calm down, honey … u have already told me this on the phone and I promise to not send so many flowers again, okay… now what’s for dinner am starving”

His ignorant act was irritating her more and more with each second “this is no hotel and am not your cook, there no dinner for u here” she said almost screaming at him.

Arjun held both her hands and kissed on her knuckles “u are right sweetheart, these soft hands shouldn’t do any work, I will cook for us”

He moved her away from the kitchen counter and started to cut the cucumber for the salad. “I can make my own food” she said to his back with her arms folded over her chest.

Arjun turned to face her “I know honey I just want help u”

“and stop calling me honey” she shouted.

“okay, babe relax” he said softly.

“Ar-jun” she said angrily.

“but sugar plum… ” he spoke making her scream all the frustration out. She closed her eyes taking deep breath calming herself “are u calm now, darling?” he asked.

Radhika opened her eyes and smiled at him but he could see that her face was still filled with annoyance “I so hate u” she said btn gritted teeth.

“I love u too” he said smiling mischievously at her. Now furious at him she took a glass of water from the table and poured all its contents towards him but Arjun dodged her attack resulting with the water entering an electric socket behind him and just like that the whole house became dark. “honey are u okay?” asked Arjun and she couldn’t help but laugh bcoz there was no winning against him.

With both their phone torches on they could now see around “go fix this” she told him “it’s probably a short circuit” she added.

“am a police office not an electrician” he said “I know how to solve a crime but not how to fix a short circuit” he added.

“weren’t u a boy scout?” she asked.

“I was and I can survive in a dense African jungle but I can’t fix this, sorry” he said.

“fine…” she said a bit irritated “I will fix this myself” she stomped her foot on the ground.

“are u sure?” he asked with a bit of mock in his voice.

She held her hips with both her hands “for your information, I got an A in my school science project so yes I can fix a short circuit”

Arjun pressed his lips suppressing his laugh “we will see” he said and she just narrowed her eyes at him accepting his challenge. She took a flashlight and was looking here and there when he spoke again “behind u… the switch box is behind u”

“I knew that” she lied and turned to see the switch box. Standing on a stool she tapped on some of the switches and lights came back on. She screamed happily and got off the stool “see I fixed it” she said joyfully leaving him stunned but her excitement was short lived when some sparks flew from the switch box causing her to jump to Arjun’s arms and the lights went out again followed by smell of burning wires. Arjun held her in his arms till he could hold himself from laughing which was only for a second and he laughed his heart out at her annoyed face.

Fifteen minutes later Arjun had arranged candles through out the living room, a few candles were on the dining table where he had a beautiful candle light dinner set for them. He pulled a chair for her and sat opposite her, he had made veggie sandwiches and orange juice for both of them “bon a appetite” he told her before taking a bite of his sandwich.

“what are u staring at?” she asked btn her chewing since he couldn’t take his eyes off her.

“reading your eyes” he said.

“Oh! so u can read eyes too?” she mocked “what do my eyes say?”

“confusion, your eyes tell me u are confused” He moved to a seat closer to hers and cupped her face with his one hand looking straight in her eyes he spoke “u know what u feel yet u ignore it that’s why u are confused, u are scared to feel what your heart wants to feel”

“and what do I want to feel?” she asked softly affected with his closeness.

“love… my love” he said in an equal soft tone “u want to feel how blissful it is to love and be loved” tucking a hair strand behind her ear he spoke “want to feel my touch on your skin” he leaned in and gently kissed on her cheek causing her to close her eyes with his proximity “want to feel my kisses” he spoke near her lips. Her eyes were still closed and her heart was racing and Arjun knew she won’t object if he kissed her but pecked her forehead warmly and stood up from his chair keeping himself in control “goodnight Radhika” he said and took his leave. Radhika caught up with him before he got into the elevator and asked him the same question Ankush asked her, she asked him about his best part if his life was a story “you…” he said “u are my best part bcoz I can’t imagine my life without you, I love u too much” He placed her palm over the left side of his chest “it’s impossible for me to describe how much I love u, I just know that I love u… with my every breath… my every heartbeat… I love u with all my being… with all that I am”

Radhika was overwhelmed with emotions, she was never told such loving words by anyone before and in the effect of the moment she went on her toes and pressed her lips on his. Arjun wanted to resist thinking that she might regret it later but his heart won over his mind and he wrapped his hands around her waist pulling more to his height as his lips melded with hers. She felt it was a toe curling, heart shattering and a blissful kiss and Arjun thought he hadn’t tasted anything as delicious as her lips. His hand kept bringing her close and her hands found their place around his neck as he went on tasting her lips deepening the kiss with every passing second until it was hard for them to breath. Resting his forehead on hers and both breathing heavily Arjun asked her what that kiss meant “goodnight” she said and ran back to the house. Arjun smiled for he knew it wasn’t long till she herself will confess to have fallen in love with him.

Mehra’s Apartment
Arjun entered to a quiet home, he glanced his watch and confirmed his doubt that it was too early for any of them to be asleep, the dinner table was set with the untouched food and wondered what made Priya or his dad to not eat. He walked to Priya’s room and knocked on her door but got no response so he decided to peek in, Priya laying on the bed showing him her back, her body was trembling and Arjun could clearly make out that she was crying. He closed his eyes sighing for he knew exactly who must have made her cry and he was going to deal with him but later bcoz she was his first priority “Di…” he spoke softly seating next to her. Priya tried wiping her tears but he caught her hand “u don’t have to hide your pain from me”

Priya sat on the bed hugging him tight crying her sorrows out “I miss mum so much” she cried tightening her grip on her “I miss her so much” she said repeatedly wetting his shirt with her unstoppable tears.

Arjun held her giving her his support and care, he wiped the tears that came to his eyes too with his thumb and rubbed her back calming her down but Priya was inconsolable, all the pain she had been holding just came pouring down her eyes, her patience was broken. After what seemed like forever Priya had calmed down a little, Arjun gave her a glass of water to further calm her. He took the glass off her hand when she had finished drinking and placed it on the bedside table “I don’t miss mum… do u know why?” Priya shook her head negative “bcoz I have u” he said making her tears roll down again.

Arjun wiped her tears and she smiled a sad one “do u really mean it?” she asked innocently.

“can I ever lie to u?” he said smiling “u never made feel her absence, u are more than a sister and more than a mother to me… u are my family” his tone was calm and honest that it brought a smile to her face.

Priya sighed and cupped his face “when did my baby’s hand grew so big to be able to wipe my tears”

Arjun took her hand off his face and kissed it “I am what I am only bcoz of u, I don’t know what dad said to u but whatever he said is wrong bcoz he doesn’t know u and how can he when he never tried to u on the first place… I love u… Ankush loves u… his family loves and that’s more than enough… u don’t need dads approval for anything”

“and I love you” she said smilingly now her smile was more wide and a happy one.

“do u want to hear a joke” he said enthusiastically and Priya nodded “why is six afraid of seven?”

Priya chuckled “thats a lame joke… bcoz seven eight nine”

“no… no… no… bcoz seven eight nine and ten” he said making her laugh “see, I made u laugh didn’t I?” He then fed his sister dinner and talked with her till she fell asleep. He covered her with a blanket and kissed on her forehead “I want to u see smiling always” he said looking at her peaceful sleeping form and closed the door of her room behind him.

He went to his dad’s room and flung the door open “what did u say to her?” he demanded rather than asking.

“don’t u have any manners?” said Ajay.

“I asked u what did u say that made my sister cry?” said Arjun in a threatening voice.

Ajay got up from his rocking chair “I told her the truth, she is a woman and now that she is getting married she should stop kidding herself and transfer her shares to your name”

“what’s is wrong with u, why are u so adamant to not see the truth” he said frustrated “I hate business and I will never and I mean never come to work in that company… but di is good at that field, she has that calibre u want to see in me… why can’t u just appreciate her what she is worth”

Ajay fumed “appreciate… did u ever appreciate my desire and my dreams… u took the first chance u got and ran out acting cop when I wanted u to be my heir… don’t talk about appreciation with me”

“so u will throw all your frustration at her?” he spoke also in an angry voice “is that it?… u are making her pay for my decision?”

“she angers me” shouted Ajay “she is everything that I wanted in a son but she is not my son she is my daughter who is going to get married and have someone’s else name before hers… she reminds me every single second that I can never have a son I desire… her presence, her strength and her smartness are all like salt rubbing on my wounds”

Arjun shook his in disbelief, what would make other parents proud was an insult to his father just bcoz those qualities were possessed in his daughter and not son “not your wound but your ego… your sick sadist chauvinist ego… now let tell u a fact Ajay Mehra… di is the only reason am still in this house… the day she gets married will be the last day I step my foot into this house so u can live alone with your stupid ego… and maybe that business u so manly talk about can give u company for the rest of your lonely sad life”

The anger in his face vanished Ajay Mehra was worried, he was afraid to lose his son “my son…” he said in a pleading tone that made Arjun turn back.

Arjun sensed desperation in his dad’s voice and something clicked in his head, the sadness in his eyes and the fear in his face reminded him of someone “Ruby…” he mumbled to himself. It all came like a strong lightning admist a dark night, they were the same eyes with the same pain in them, he now understood why he felt Ruby’s pain, she was related to him and Jagath Sareen’s heir he has been looking for all this while was standing right before his eyes “its you, u are Ruby’s son” he proclaimed perplexed and dumbstruck with what he found out.

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