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Swara felt like she stepped into a completely different world. As soon as the doors opened, the cool breeze touched her white skin making it flush. The entire hall was decorated with sky blue and white theme. There were many people walking around and she saw few serving drinks..must be servants. Her eyes scanned the entire place and she also observed a small stage where a big decorated magenta sofa was sitting proudly and a big stage just opposite to them where few were dancing to some soft music, dressed in same costume.
Swara gulped and plastered a smile on her face just to hide her nervousness
” get in” laksh’s voice stared her. Without hesitation, she grabbed his hand, grinning all the way.
“Make yourself here Swara” laksh said to her searching for someone “I will be back within few minutes”
Swara nodded and sat on one of the sofas far from Sanskar as instructed by ragini. After three minutes, a servant came to her with a bouquet of white roses.
” mam! We have a delivery for you”
” me?” She asked taking the bouquet from him “who?”
The servant smiled at her and simply stood beside her. Shaking her head, Swara looked at the flowers and saw a white printed card in it.
‘ white is color is for peace and I want that emotion to stay strong between us…my love’
Swara smriked. She glanced the entire hall and spotted Sanskar speaking to someone. Waiter gave her a pen as if reading her mind. She flipped the card
‘ white is pure and I want our love to be pure my dear….maheswari’
Smiling at herself, she gave the bouquet to the waiting waiter.
” Swara ” durga Prasad called her from a distance where he was surrounded by few business people. He introduced her to them but seriously, she forget their moment he introduced to them.
After nearly twenty minutes, Swara became free of herself and saw ragini laughing aloud with her family at a distance and it brought smile to her face. At first, she didn’t even know why ragini forgave her after trying to kill Sanskar but everything that has happened is not making a barriar for both of them. Ragini has become the sister which she never had and she is now purely enjoying it.
Meanwhile, another waiter approached her with golden yellow roses. Swara saw a pale printed yellow card in it.
‘Yellow represents friendship, the first step of any strong affectionate relationship which I want with you…miss gadodia’
Swara scowled at using gadodia but its kind of hot listening him to call her that way.
‘ yellow is the happiest color of spectrum and I want that to stand between us…no cocoon us in its warm cradle….my valentine’
She replied and the waiter disappeared.
” uff..Swara! Where are you?” Ragini’s sweet scream made her come back to earth.
“Get on the stage dear..the ceremony starts within few minutes”
Swara smiled and reached the place with the help of ragini. She lifted her Saree to climb up but a hand spread in front of her and she saw a smiling Sanskar that took her breath away. Quickly placing her hand in his so as to not to make a fool of herself, Swara climbed the stage and stood beside him.
” hello Mr. Romantic” she greeted him sarcastically. Sanskar adjusted his tie, coughing a little.
” that was laksh’s idea”
” he said?” She asked raising her eyebrows.
” I asked”
” oh” Swara sighed. Don’t even know when will the things get right between them. Although Sanskar was trying to be his best, its laksh who was ignoring him.
” let’s start the process..its getting late” pandit announced. On receiving everyone’s attention, he started reciting the mantras while Swara and Sanskar stood beside each other. Sanskar glanced at the hall where laksh, durga prasad, ragini, raj and their parents are gaping them with a genuine smile. They are the only family who are and will be happy for his success. He then turned to Swara who had her head bend down, a little due to shyness and now his heart swell for the descion of letting her stay in his life nearly one and half month ago. After Annapurna, he built a strong wall around himself not letting anyone in but ragini made her way and now Swara….Swara! This five letter once had a great significance in his life and now, it is his life and he must protect her for the rest. She has seen and experienced a lot of things which a normal human shouldn’t and hence he owed himself to give her all the things…in fact the world she missed. He stared at her, admiring every feature. Her gray eyes which were protected with long and black lashes fanning her cheeks reminded him of his ma, badi ma.. After her, he found swara’s eyes the most curious and attentive and also as sharp as her. The nose piercing she had made him think to buy her some expensive one just as her mother. The pale pink colored lips which were now curled into a smile, an adorable smile reminded him how sweet her voice was just like his mother. Even Swara kept her hairs long unlike ragini and just as her mother….mother! He closed his eyes..of course he hates his mother but undoubtedly she was best woman and his first love. Annapurna was always a definition of perfection for him and the thought that his wife is just as perfect as her joyed his heart.
He don’t know why he was comparing her with annapurna but that felt good..really good.
Just as every girl compares their partner with their fathers…may be he is also comparing her with his mother but deep down…in the dark place of his heart, he knew that no one can beat her mother.
Seeing his to be wife’s face, something hard formed in his throat. This was the girl who lost her parents and he was the boy who lost them just as her. She was the one who became a their to feed herself and he was the one who was starving for love. She was the one who knocked the doors of the wall of his heart for revenge and he was that stupid boy who let her break the strong walls just to feel being loved. She was the one who regretted for her things and he was again the one who held her inspite of his broken heart and warning bells but at that time he knew that she will give him the feeling he always dreamed off. Laksh was always his life..no doubt but he wanted someone to share the life and she was the perfect one…she is!
He always believed in giving second chances but not even once, he thought that someone would really use it well. Swara wanted to kill him, she still believes and loathes her father for her parents demise yet the love which he received was unconditional… Everything was perfect Now…very perfect but there’s a tinge of fear that this moment will be shattered because he is a cursed child of God who just made him write the name of sorrow. Shaking his head, Sanskar blinked once and he saw Swara smiling from ear to ear. He turned to his right and saw all others especially laksh, ragini and raj smiling naughtly at him…him?
Its then that he realized he was staring Swara all the time when pandit ji has already asked him to exchange the rings. Shaking his head, Sanskar took her left hand into his.
” sometimes, I really love to live rich ” Sanskar whispered making Swara blush.
Finally, the engagement has finished which everyone were exited about. Guests dispersed for dining while Swara and Sanskar stood on the stage greeting few guests. Among them was an elderly man nearly fifty years. Every detail about him was perfect but his grey eyes were dark and cold just like that night. They resemble the eye of a predator always watching sharply for its pray and that sight made Swara shiver.
” congratulations Mr. Maheswari” he greeted Sanskar extending his hand.
” good to see you here Mr. Scindia”
” hey..you can call me Vijay” vijay said playfully. He then turned to Swara extending his hand.
” and congratulations ms…..?”
” gadodia ” sanskar replied with a smrik, earning a glare from Swara. A layer of jealousy and hatred passed vijay’s eyes just for a second before he became normal. He then smriked at swara’s hand in his.
” nice to meet you gadodia” there was some undercurrent in his tone that made Swara uncomfortable but she shrugged it off. Vijay glanced at Sanskar before leaving both of them.
” what does he want?” Laksh asked frowning.
Sanskar raised his eyebrow demanding for an answer
” stay away from Mr. Scindia. He’s got jealousy over us and also on gadodias”
Swara frowned before scrunching her nose. What the hell does that mean?
” well, he tried to link up with your father but chacha got the chance. So he’s a bit jealous” laksh explained calmly. Well, that explains a lot. Laksh left the place giving a rome for Sanskar and Swara who were involved in their own trance thinking about the person they just met.
Sometimes ragini heard people saying that even if we are in middle of a million people, we feel alone if the only person we want to be outside is absent. She never believed because she was always an independent giro who was devoid of emotions yet that one boy with dark brown eyes captured her heart and now there was nothing that can fill the void he left. She took a deep breath and turned to her side only to see laksh swirling the glass of alcohol. Ragini made her steps to him.
” is the alcohol being served is not up to your level or are you waiting for an opportunity to get jealous on your brother?”
Laksh cane out of his thoughts and frowned at ragini and when words sank, he smriked.
” my girlfriend said that she would break up with me if I drink” laksh answered and it was true. He never laid his finger on any kind of beverage after swara’s warning
Ragini raised her perfectly plucked eyebrow and then sighed ” would she now?”
” yeah” he wishpered
” but that doesn’t make any difference I guess. Life is about moving on you know?”
Laksh smriked again to hide his pain ” really? Then I am sure that she would move on with me leaving my past ahead”
” past is always a part of you laksh. It shows who you are and Its impossible for m..that girl to forgive you. I think you are under illusion that what you did was correct in every way but no and also that your girl will be back to you after nearly killing someone…. Twice”
He smiled bitterly ” everyone needs a chance of redemption. She may not love me but I love her….a lot and that’s because what all I can see in my future, present and past is also her. I want her to share her life with me and how I am to her but not to others”
“Really?” Ragini raised her eyebrows and signalled a waiter to come to her. After grabbing a glass of orange juice and sipping it, she turned to laksh who was still staring at her and suddenly its only both of them. The music that blasted through loud speakers, chattering of many business men around them, few drunk people shouting at each other far away and the happiness of Swara and Sanskar that radiated the entire building was long forgotten and its only them.
Ragini and laksh.
Only them…warm and broken brown eyes staring into cold and emotionless gray eyes.
” she is trying to leave my fist as gravels of sand but she least knew that my hold and love is much more stronger than her hatred on me. How hard she tries to leave and run away from me, I will still chase her because she is wearing a mask of coldness but I can see through it. I know that I will bring her back in my life. It takes time of course but it will happen. Its just that I want a chance from her, a chance to let me explain myself, a chance to prove myself, a chance to break the walls of her heart and between us.”
Ragini sighed and turned to leave with tears in her eyes. But something held her back, a strong and thick emotion for him and she knew that she would drown herself to death if she let those emotions take control over her. Once a criminal, always a criminal is what she learned in her job. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she turned to him before placing the juice on the table
” your hold is tight on me laksh…its paining, leave me” her voice craked at the end ” please” she whisper begged and before breaking down infront him, she walked out of him, his memories and his life.
Laksh stared at her direction for few more minutes before throwing the glass off the table.
‘roses are red, an emotion of love or hatred but I love both to be in our life because, hate is first step of love and that’s where your story has started and I am scared that it will end with me. So keep a red sign for any emotion other than love for me….darless’
Swara once again smiled for his cheesy lines. She inhaled the beautiful and fresh scent of the red rises and flipped the card.
‘ yes, red is danger too and that’s the first one I want it to be out of ourlives. And I love it when we both stand against with a red stop sign in our hands…with love, Swara’
Swara smiled to herself while handing the card and bouquet to one of the waiters who brought it to her. Of course her Sanskar was cheesy and chichle but every word what he said was true and she will definitely be with him in every thick and thin.
An arm wrapped her tiny fingers and tralleved south her body till it reseted on her waist. Swara smiled affectionately at him.
” stop sign huh?” Sanskar smriked a to which he earned a smack on his hand.
” you were too….”
Swara scoffed ” only you must say that..and mine were just answers to your…er..statements?”
Sanskar laughed aloud and Swara joined him. After falling into a comfortable silence, Swara glanced at ragini who was busy with her family.
” their parents are really good Sanskar. What do they do..By occupation”
Sanskar’s gaze lingered at ragini before turning to Swara ” doctors”
” what?” She exclaimed ” I thought they…they”
” yeah, when you see their children, you won’t think that way but they are doctors, raj is a business student and ragini is police”
” but why did ragini choose that field?”
Sanskar smiled warmly at her ” actually she was to take up her family occupation and so she joined in science course in +1 but one of her close friend was raped by a gang and when their family approached police, the group has killed the whole family in the name of suicide. One of the member in that gang was brother of local goon”
” oh” was all Swara said. That explained why ragini is so strong and chirpy. Risking her life every minute and keeping her life in the hands of death, she still lived a life like a perfect girl. No doubt, people of this kind of occupations are really brave and enjoy every precious moment.
” that motivated her” Sanskar explained ” and so she switched to this”
” I admire her parents more than her for letting her to choose something this way.”
” hmm…that wasn’t easy as raj said. He had to convince a lot and of course they are proud of her daughter. Hell ragini is proud of herself now.”
” she must ” Swara breathed
” come” Sanskar ordered Swara and she silently followed him out of the hall with boring holes at the back of his head with her stare. Soon, they reached the ground floor of hall and like that, swara’s mouth once again went dry.
There were paparazzi… Many…many people with cameras and the moment they stepped out, no one held back in trying to take the best pictures for their respective channels and papers. Swara clutched Sanskar’s arm and squeezed tightly to which he gave a reassuring smile.
After exchanging few words about wedding and lots and lots of photos, Swara and Sanskar made their way to the hall
” those fourth estate people are very intelligent. They can actually get any information about any person before himself knows”
Sanskar smriked ” they think that they are intelligent but they only get to know what we choose to leak them…that’s all Swara. Of course, sometimes things will be out of hand but usually no”
Sanskar’s explaination made Swara feel that he was explaining something more than that but she brushed it off. Later, the party was full on swing until everyone felt dog tired. Just as Swara was to yawn another one, someone tapped her shoulder
” hey shona!” Laksh chirped ruffling her. She stilled and then scoffed ” don’t call me that”
” aww” laksh pinched her cheeks ” you look cute when you are irritated”
” and that’s because my friend didn’t gave me any engagement present” she wiped her imaginary tears.
Laksh pouted and looked around the hall ” actually I thought of gifting that gorgeous ring to you but my brother did that. So no gift from my side” he smriked ” by the way I am a walking gift you know?”
Swara rolled her eyes before giggling ” yeah, tell that yourself ”
” no babe! Its true” and she made a gagged expression at his name causing him laugh again. She felt like things were getting better with laksh and she wanted it that but somewhere in their relationship, there were missing puzzles and that might be trust issues.
Sanskar was always the same with laksh after ‘the incident’ but it became impossible to her to overlook that part of their life. Perhaps she must take advice from Sanskar.
“I am feeling tired” ragini said rubbing her temples. All the activities of engagement tired her a lot. Raj gave her a bottle of water before sitting beside her.
” is everything okay?” Raj asked his sister totally concerned about her. He definitely had observed change in her mood suddenly from the middle of the party. Ragini stopped the bottle before her lips for a second before drinking it.
” I don’t know what’s happened but the ragini I know is not this way. You look so….broken and…hurt. You know, I am always here for you and only for you”
Ragini chuckled nervously to hide her tears ” nothing…I mean…uh”
Raj embraced her in his warm brother hug which was all enough for ragini to breakdown ” shh” he cooed patting her back and whispering comforting words.
After a while, he pulled her face to look at ” what happened? Any problem at work?” She shook her head ” then?” He prompted but ragini kept her mouth shut not able to answer her little affair with laksh to her brother. ” are these tears for someone’s love?” Raj asked as inspiration hit him. She looked straight into his eyes trying to find rage or an get but no…affection and love was all written. She nodded before hugging him back.
” love! I can understand you but if he has cheated on you or broke up with you, learn to live with it. Not all men are same.”
” no” ragini exclamined defending her ex boyfriend. ” he will never ever think of that way even in dreams and that’s what worrying me” she whispered.
” and that’s why?”
Ragini sighed ” he has a brother who he is jealous of and again says that he loves him and me too. I mean I didn’t understand his version, a minute he says that he loves his brother to moon and back to earth and in the next moment he becomes jealous of him to an extent he tries to kill”
Raj gaped at her collecting the words to explain her ” so you think that he would be the same with you?” Ragini slowly nodded because its truth…half truth and the other half is he tried to kill her best friend just because of a stupid emotion.
” look, every person has different kind of approach to other persons. For suppose I cannot be the same with my wife and you because she is my WIFE and you are my SISTER.” Raj started explaining her ” just as I show completely different emotions to you both, maybe he also shows extreme emotions for you both and regarding his brother, I guess he is all confused in the matter and so give him time to think it all over again and that’s when you really want to be with him but just don’t be disappointed of all these stuff. Men never promise and if they do, they mean it”
Ragini smiled at him but that speech didn’t clear any battle she was fighting within.
Sanskar stepped towards them cutting their little encounter. ” hey! What’s up with my baby girl?”
Ragini rolled her eyes. She never liked that name but still let him call because Sanskar was special to her…more like a family after her own’s.
” you know…just..um…home sick?” Raj stepped in middle and Sanskar clearly knew that she was never the type of girl who would cry seeing her parents.
” okay fine. I was searching for you both so that we can leave the place and let the servants do their work.”
Raj and ragini nodded and followed Sanskar till they joined Swara and laksh in parking lot.
” back to work tomorrow ” ragini whinned like a five year making everyone laugh at her.
Once again, everything was so perfect in their lives and the only wish they had was to seize the day but little did they know that they already became the prey for the predator who attended the function and that cold blooded emotionless predator is just waiting for its time to claim its prey and enjoy the taste of every single muscle, every single drop of blood and pain it inflates on them.
At first, it thought that using a single arrow would get the two birds of different worlds to its feet dead but it now learned that many arrows were needed with lots of planning. After all, its the predator with soft paws and so no one will be able to detect either its presence or threat it carried…
A/N. Next update either on Monday midnight or on Tuesday early hours…will meet you all once I read home…until then happy reading