The next day Nikki gets up and decides to stop acting scared and finally enjoy her marriage with the man she loved and the little girl who had given her the best gift of all........of being a mother. She gets ready and heads towards Tia's room and finds her sleeping but can't resist dropping a kiss on her forehead and ventures out to see if her husband was up as yet or not. She looks around but does not see him in any of the outer rooms and when she decides to look for him in his room, previous night's incident stops her short. She simply heads towards the kitchen and puts on tea and starts leafing through the newspaper.
Within five minutes, a sweat soaked Abhimanyu arrives in the kitchen looking for water and stops short at the sight of his softly humming wife.
"Good Morning" he wishes her and she gives him her widest smile and wishes back.
"Jogging?" she asks and he nods his head gulping the water.
He excuses himself to get ready and Tia walks in rubbing her eyes and Nikki gets busy with her. At the breakfast table, she asks Abhi when they would make Tia start school and Abhi looks up surprised. "Oh my god.....I forgot to tell you this yesterday.....she is starting school next Monday and they have after hours for playschool later on."
"Can't we adjust our timings so at least one of us is here with her?" Nikki asks not liking the idea of her staying away from her eyes for too long.
"Yes mam.......we can try" he smiles enjoying her in her mother's role.
Contented with hearing that they work through their breakfast and Nikki notices a bread crumb on the corner of Tia's lips and moves her thumb to remove it. When she looks at her husband she sees the crumb there too and smiles to herself and without thinking runs her thumb over his lips too and Abhi's breath hitches in his throat. She simply smiles and gets back to talking to Tia and finishing up her breakfast, oblivious of her husband's hot gaze on her.
The day passes like a regular day for the three when around 4:00 pm Armaan decides to pay his best friend's boyfriend a visit. He knocks on Abhimanyu's cabin door and enters.
"Hi Dr. Modi.....do you have a few minutes" he asks and receives a polite nod from Abhi who remembers that he had promised Nikki that he would give Armaan a chance.
"How can I help you Dr. Malik?" he asks.
*By disappearing into thin air and staying away from Nikita*comes to Armaan's mind but he says, "I ......Well I just wanted to invite you for my engagement on Saturday.....I know Dr. Shashank and Riddhima have asked you already but I wanted to extend the invitation too"
Abhimanyu looks surprised at Armaan's invite and cordially thanks him for the same. "Will you come?" Armaan asks him point blank. Abhi looks at him and shoots, "Do you want me to come?"
"I had no idea that there was something between you and Nikki and yes I disapproved of you then and I disapprove of you now" Armaan refuses to hide his feelings.
"Does Nikki know?" is all Abhi asks.
"Yes she does.....I don't know why you are after her...you have a daughter....pay attention to her......leave Nikki alone......she is gullible.....don't take advantage of her" he tells Abhi why he does not approve of him for his friend.
"I gather you met Tia.....well Nikki is an adult.....why don't you let her decide" Abhi tries to tap down his slowly surging temper.
"Nikki has the biggest and softest heart Dr. Modi.....you know that don't you.....are you using your daughter to get to Nikki now?" Armaan throws bitterly at him and Abhi stands up, getting madder by the minute.
"Thank you for your invite......I will not be coming to your engagement.....now get out of here before I lose my temper" he instructs.
Armaan realizes that he was way out of line and he had come to invite him not fight with him. "Look Dr. Modi.......I am sorry.....I did not intend to be rude or insulting.....though it would be hard for you to believe that" he starts and Abhi looks at him , his eyes narrowed and arms folded against his chest.
Armaan lets out his breath in a whoosh, "From where I am standing in Nikki's life.....you seem to be the wrong person for her and I told you so.....I really worry about her....you have no idea what all she has been through" Armaan tries to explain his position to Abhi, for Nikki's sake *she loves this guy Armaan.....at least try to be cordial with him.....you saw her crying for him after his accident*
Abhi's eyes soften a bit at hearing Armaan's worries for his wife. "What are you so worried about Armaan....that I will break her heart?" he asks him and he nods.
"I can never do that" he simply tells him. Armaan looks at him and then sighs."She's a crazy, stupid girl.....gets into weird situations" he thinks aloud and Abhi's lips twist in a semblance of a smile, for the first time agreeing with Armaan.
"Well ......I want you to come to my engagement ......so please......Tia and you..... do make it" he invites again and Abhi nods and as Armaan turns to leave, "Dr. Malik" Abhi calls, coming to his side of the desk.
"Thank you" he extends his hand. Armaan looks at his extended hand and his brows draw together. Taking it he asks him,"You are welcome.....for the invite?"
"No for donating your blood.....when I needed it......I know it was hard for you" Abhi tells him his eyes a little warmer.
Armaan shakes his head solemnly; "Anything for Nikki" he says softly and leaves. Abhi shakes his head while going back to his chair and repeats his words, "Anything for Nikki".
That evening, Tia goes to sleep early and Nikki decides to ask Abhi a few questions which have been bothering her for a few days. He is sitting there watching a cricket match re-run, while Nikki tries to figure out how to approach him about the questions she needs answered.
"Abhi" she calls to garner his attention but gets no reply from a very involved in the match Abhi.
"Abhi" she calls a little louder but still no reply is forthcoming. She gets up and stands before Abhi. "Nikki......move" he tries to move her away to one side but she comes back and stands in front of him. He pushes her again and she does the same. Irritated he shifts in his seat but Nikki goes and stands in front of him again.
"Nikki" he growls.
"I want to talk" she says.
"Now?.....Nikki .......move" he tries to make her move but Nikki refuses.
"Yes.....now" she orders.
Exasperated he looks up at her, "Can't it wait for five minutes?" he asks, his gaze shifting back to the TV.
"Well I have been calling you for the last five minutes.....you didn't listen" she gets angry at him.
"Sorry.....five more minutes please" he requests his eyes glued to the TV.
"Fine .....Whatever" she says miffed but moves to pick the remote lying next to him and is about to change the channel when Abhi tugs her and she sits on the sofa. "Nikki......don't .......Give it back" he tries to grab it from her but she waves it all around so he can't get to it.
"Noooo" she says teasingly, "Take it" and starts playing around with it.
"Nikki.....stop" he lunges for it and Nikki falls back on the sofa, refusing to let go of the remote and they wrestle for it, Abhi on top of Nikki, fighting like kids. He catches one of her hand but she waves the remote with the other. Finally both her hands in his, he pulls the remote from her but when he realizes their position, he completely forgets about the remote. Nikki's smiling face is right below his and he is half sprawled on her.
"Get.....off.....me" Nikki huffs trying to push his weight off her and he shifts away a bit but does not go far.
"Abhi" she gasps and he moves away, collecting himself. The match forgotten, Nikki sits up on the couch and smiles at Abhimanyu. "Now we can talk" she says happily.
"Meanie" he answers back and she sticks out her tongue at him. Looking at her he smiles in his mind *finally she is comfortable......is she.....does she love me?* he wonders. She snaps her fingers in front of his eyes and he looks at her.
"What is it you want to talk about Mam?" he questions switching off the TV.
"You" she says simply.
"Me? What about me?" he asks frowning.
"I don't know much about you.....I want to know you better" she dares to ask, praying hard that he would be in a mood to co-operate.
"Nothing to know" he starts to turn away from her but she lightly turns his face back to her and gives him a peck. "Now be a good guy and tell" she smiles wickedly. Shocked at Nikki's behavior he checks her forehead. "What's wrong with you Nikki......you broke your boundary rule.....you did an imitation kiss" he teases coming closer.
"Hey you......stay away......well I made the rules.....I can bend them......what is this imitation kiss?" she asks.
"Oh.....you can break rules......but when I try.......you jump at my throat" he argues.
"I hardly reach there" her eyes sparkle with laughter and he joins her both laughing at her lack of height.
"Well.....this peck on a cheek is imitation kiss......I don't like imitation woman" he uses a mock villainous tone.
"That's all you'll get......seriously Abhi......I want to talk about you." She looks into his eyes.
"Fine.....fire away" he agrees to talk and Nikki breathes a sigh of relief.
"Tia mentioned your mother.....I don't know anything" she says softly. He looks at her assessing her and then asks, "Why do you want to know?" needing an answer why she wanted to be close to him.
"I should know about my husband" she calls him that for the first time since they had gotten married. Abhimanyu looks at her astonished and finally starts to believe that his wife was starting to fall in love with him.