Tuesday, February 2, 2010

~Covenant Of Love~ Part 29

"So what about dinner guys?" Rahul looks around patting his stomach and Armaan and Atul and Mr. Bakshi start nodding their heads when Abhimanyu gets up from the couch and glares at the lot.

"Well Doctors……don't worry about dinner…..worry about your careers" he bites out angry at the interns for taking away his Nikki and Tiu and leaving him alone with Mr. Bakshi and the other half of the crazy team who all looked at him as if had grown another head.

"C…C…Career?" Atul stammers, hiding himself partially behind Armaan, the red mark scene flashing before his eyes.

"Yes, Dr. Joshi ….you heard me right" says Abhimanyu shifting his frigid gaze on Atul who hides himself completely behind Armaan praying to become invisible.

"Dr. Modi….chill yaar" Armaan moves towards his angry boss and places his hand on his shoulder and Abhimanyu shoves it away unkindly.

"Dr. Malik…..does this seem like a joke to you?" he stands facing Armaan folding his arms in front of him.

"Fine….we get it…..you are mad…..but see taking Nikki away was Riddhima's idea….not ours" Rahul steps in and Armaan smiles proudly, "Yeah Riddhima…..she is so smart na" he gets lost thinking about the girl he loves and comes back to reality when Rahul nudges him rather sharply near his waist.

"Ouch…..I mean Dr. Modi you should get angry at her….why us?" Armaan asks.

"Dr. Malik…..all this wedding thing was your idea….right?" Abhi asks softly and Armaan nods happily. "Well you always like to jump in where you are not wanted…..right?" he asks further equally softly and again Armaan nods a yes but then realizing the question he starts shaking his head a NO. "Well Dr. Modi….I was just telling you about Nikki's wishes….you know the ones she wrote in her journal" his voice trails as he sees the anger go up a notch in Abhimanyu's eyes and Abhi comes closer to him threateningly.

"That journal is what I want from you ……if you want to finish your internship" Abhimanyu says in a soft but threatening tone.

"J….Journal?" Armaan asks shocked and a smug smile plays on Abhimanyu's lips. "Journal" he confirms.

"But…Nikki….I have no idea where she keeps it…..how can I get that for you?" he asks his boss who is in no mood to relent. "That Dr. Malik is your problem….not mine" he informs him and the hapless interns look from him to each other to Mr. Bakshi who had been watching this exchange with a smile on his face. He comes forward and places his hand on Abhimanyu's shoulder who looks the other way, still angry.

"Boys, Abhimanyu does have a point here….but Abhimanyu you are being a little harsh on these people…..it was Riddhima's idea and not theirs" he tries to pacify both the sides.

"That's what " Atul starts but Rahul and Armaan nudge him quiet and he clamps a hand on his mouth when Abhi's hot gaze shifts on him.

"But since you boys did separate it from his wife….you will have to make it up to him" he tries to make peace between the two warring sides.

"But uncle…..how can we get the journal…..I have no idea where she keeps it and now she lives here…..do you want me to search your house?" Armaan asks and Abhimanyu steps towards him when Mr. Bakshi stands in the middle of the two men.

"Abhimanyu…..stop it…..Armaan….what is this journal thing?" he asks Armaan and Abhimanyu looks at him his expression a mixture of curiosity and anger.

"Ok let's just all sit down……I'll tell you what I know…Ok?" he asks Abhi who nods and waves everyone to take a seat.

"Well when we were in college Nikki and I had a fight and she refused to talk to me for a few days……I tried everything but when she didn't agree , I slipped into her room" everyone gawks at him and he rolls his eyes "Not like that guys….I asked her roommate to lend me the key…… so I could talk to her in peace….yeah….so I went in and I saw her writing furiously in a book…..I went closer and saw it was a diary like thing……so I grabbed it and she got very upset……but still refused to talk to me…..so I told her that I would return her precious journal only if she spoke to me" he tells his audience when Abhimanyu chimes in, "She refused…..you took it away and couldn't stop yourself and gave it to her when she spoke to you…..right?" he says in a bored monotone.

"Ha…..No Dr. Moody" Armaan replies saccharine sweet and earns a glare from Abhi. "We are talking about Nikki here…..she fought with me…..and the journal tore" everyone gasps and Abhimanyu smiles happily at what he knew was coming "yeah yeah guys……and then she hit me with her sandal as that was the first thing which she could get her hands on and then about clawed my eyes out" he concludes with a sad face.

"Not that you didn't deserve it" Abhi grumbles trying to hide a smile and happy that it wasn't only him who brought out this side of Nikki "But how did you read it?" he asked curious.

"Well I told her I could get her book fixed ….not that she gave it to me but while collecting and sorting the pages I got two in my hand…..one said this thing about how when she married she wanted to look as beautiful as her Nani and how her dress had passed on blah blah….all girly stuff…..she has been planning her wedding since she was 12 I think " Armaan makes a face.

"What is new….every girl does this" Rahul says and Atul nudges him. "Oh why? Even Muski?" he sniggers.

"Shut up Atul" Rahul says uncomfortably and Armaan and Atul laugh at him.

"Doctors" Abhi warns "Well Dr. Malik….you got out of the journal one nicely" he gives a tight smile.

"Sorry Dr. Modi…..but this is the truth" Armaan shrugs "but I can help" when Abhimanyu raises his hand to stop him.

"You all have helped me already….thank you….I will manage" he says and gets up, indicating he was done with them when Armaan says softly, "You could take her out on a date"

"Excuse me?" Abhi looks at him and Armaan smiles smugly, "Yes Dr. Modi…..it might not have occurred to you but girls like to be taken out….Tia is with Riddhima and the other girls…..isn't it a good time to take Nikki for a date?" he smiles wickedly and Abhi looks at him startled.

"Well…err…date?" Abhi repeats taken aback at never having thought of this idea and the interns look at him smugly. "Well Dr. Malik you just saved your and your friends Careers" he recovers quickly and takes his suggestion to heart.

The guys look at each other and smile and look at Abhi. "What?" Abhi asks.

"So what , where, how?.....what's the plan ?" they gather around him and ask.

"The plan is that you will cover for me for at least 2 hours and the rest of the details I will give you once I have decided what I want to do….and yes you all will also make sure that none of you come near us for those 2 hours….got it" he tells them firmly and they all make a face but agree. Finally they all leave and Abhimanyu and Mr. Bakshi eat, missing the girls.

"Do you want to speak to Nikki?" Abhi asks Mr. Bakshi pacing restlessly and gets a smile from the older man. "Sure" he replies and Abhi calls Nikki who picks on the 5th ring but before she can say hello Abhi starts, "What took you so long Nikki?" and Nikki smiles at his complaining tone. "We were all discussing things for the wedding…..the dress….the jewelry" Abhi cuts in "You were not missing me?" he asks and Nikki imagines him pouting cutely.

"Of course I was" she tells him but that doesn't pacify him, "Then why did you go?" he asks next. "Abhi" but he cuts in again, "Why don't you come back?" he says softly and Nikki's heart melts at his tone. "Just two days Abhi" she tries to tell him when Mr. Bakshi clears his throat. "I was supposed to talk " and making a face Abhi hands him the phone and he inquires after the girls and then hands it back to Abhi who tells Nikki how much he is missing her and finally when Riddhima takes her phone away, does he cut the call. Before sleeping he calls her again and tells her how much he misses her and then when in the middle of the night when he gets up for water, he decides to call Nikki again.

A sleepy Nikki picks up the phone, "Hi Nikki" he says and she sits up in alarm.

"Abhi are you ok…..why did you call this late?" she asks concerned.

"I am fine Nikki…..but I really miss you" he says softly and Nikki's mouth hangs open at her husband's romantic side and then she starts giggling at his childish behavior, loving every bit of it. "Dr. Modi….I thought you were a strong person" she teases and he laughs. "Not where you are concerned…..Nikki I just wanted to say I love you ….now go back to sleep….and sorry about this" he apologizes. "I am not sorry Abhi….I love you too "she replies but neither of cuts the call….listening to each other breathe. Finally Abhi smiles, "Goodnight Love" he says and Nikki replies softly, "Goodnight "and both go back to sleep missing and aching for each other's arms.

The next day, Abhi waits for Nikki in Sanjeevani but Dr. Shashank tells him that the girls had taken the second half of the day off and the guys the first half as they were getting the wedding preparations done. Abhi tries to meet her in the locker room but the other girls tease them and do not give them even a moment together. Irritated, he calls the guys and tells them his plan.

After the girls leave to get their shopping done and Abhi finishes his work, he heads to the Gupta house to pick up Nikki. He tells the girls that Mr. Bakshi is not well and needs Nikki to come over and chose some things he has bought for her. Nikki grows a little concerned. "Abhi where is he?" she asks.

"Sanjeevani" he replies.

Nikki who is all ready to go out for dinner with the girls excuses herself and promises to meet them at the place they had set and leaves with Abhimanyu who drives her to the place he had chosen for their first ever date.

Once comfortably seated in the car, Nikki turns sideways to look at her husband and smiles to herself. *Husband…..Husband…..I can't believe my life……I had never thought that the marriage I was so dreading would turn out to be the best decision of my life……the person I hated at sight would become the anchor of my life……I must have done something right to deserve him….thank you god……thank you for all the trouble you put in my way which lead me to my Husband* Nikki is lost in thought ,her heart filled with happiness because of the man beside her. Feeling her gaze on him, Abhi gives a lop-sided smile and slightly turns to look at her gazing lovingly at him. "Like what you see Wifey?" he teases her and Nikki's laughter bubbles out.

"Very much Dr. Modi" she replies back and Abhi looks at her with a raised eyebrow and she blushes slightly and looks away.

"Wait a minute…..this is not the way to Sanjeevani" she says when she realizes that they were headed in totally the opposite direction. "This is the way to"

"Your house" Abhi completes for her and smiles. A confused Nikki looks at him. "You said Uncle…..why we are going to my house?" she asks baffled.

"We have work there" he says and smiles mysteriously. "Work….at my house? What are you talking about Abhi?" she asks not understanding what was going on.

"Can you be patient Nikki?" he asks her trying to be patient himself but excited at spending an evening with Nikki which finally did not involve work, fighting or the interns.

"But Abhi…..what work?" pesters Nikki curious to know what was happening.

"Work ….work Nikki" he answers deliberately being dense.

"Abhi……I know what work means….but what work?" she asks wanting answers.

"Look Nikki…..stop asking questions….you are disturbing me Ok….I need to concentrate on driving" he replies a little strictly and Nikki makes a face.

"Sadu" she mumbles and turns her face away and Abhi tries to control his laughter at her anger.

In a few minutes they reach her house and Abhi opens the car door for Nikki and she gets out and stomps his feet showing her anger.

"Ouch Nikki" Abhi growls and she turns innocent eyes at him.

"What happened hubby?" she imitates his name for her and shows fake concern to which Abhi rolls his eyes and starts ushering her to the door.

As they reach the door, Nikki looks up triumphantly at him, "I don't have the key….it's at" but before she can complete her sentence, Abhi produces the said key from his pocket and her smile vanishes and confusion appears in her eyes. He opens the door and waves her in with a flourish and Nikki's eyebrows shoot up and her heart starts hammering, utterly confused as why she was brought here.

"Where did you get the key?" she turns around and asks.

"From the key rack where it was hanging Nikki" he replies slowly shrugging at the obvious answer. "Oh" mouths Nikki and stomps inside. Once inside she stops suddenly and Abhi, who is right behind her bangs into her and reflexively catches Nikki who is about to fall because of his push. He lifts her up and hugs her tightly and then lets her go.

A blushing Nikki gathers herself and asks her why they were here. He points her to her living room and she stops short at the entrance. The lights are off, so she goes ahead and switches them on. She sees the room as she had left it but on the coffee table, she sees a big stuffed teddy bear sitting with a box in its hand. She moves towards it and finds a note propped on the table which reads, "Open the box". Curiously she opens the box and finds another note and a small gift. She looks up at Abhi and he smiles back at her.

"A…Abhi?" she asks waving the note and he shrugs. She opens the note which reads,

"To the girl I see everywhere,
If I could do one thing for you I would hold you till you knew everything was ok"

She reads the note and a smile spreads on her face. She goes near him and hugs him and starts opening the gift. She finds a pair of beautiful pink pearl earrings and she gasps. She looks at her husband surprised and Abhi's smile brightens at the happiness shining in her eyes.

"Wear them Nikki" he says softly and she promptly obliges. "Thank you "she says softly and looking up at him finally she understands what she was doing here.

"It's a date na?" she asks and when he nods her eyes tear up.

"You are perfect Abhi" she cups his face gently and he holds her hand there.

"Not as perfect as you are for me Nikki" he replies looking into her eyes and they look at each other for a minute when Abhi turns her towards the table and points to a card lying next to the teddy bear. "You want to read that" he urges her in that direction and Nikki walks towards it. The card says "Your next clue is at the place you spend snoring" and she laughs and swats his arm lovingly.

"I don't snore" she says.

"You so do Wifey" he teases her back and she walks to her bedroom.

"I do not" she throws back at him getting irritated.

"How would you know Wifey…..you are asleep…..I am the one who has to close his ears" he follows right behind her and at this statement gets swatted by Nikki and receives a punch in his stomach.

"Ouch…..for a little lady….you hit hard Nikki" he rubs his arm, the other hand on his stomach.

"Not that you don't deserve it" she says smugly, switching on her bedroom light and stops at the sight of a small jewelery box lying on the middle of the bed. She goes near and there is another note propped up alongside it, which reads,

"To the girl I see everywhere,
I know I am not perfect, I never will be, but I hope you will never let go of me"

After reading the note her eyes meet her husband's dark gaze and she smiles softly at him. "You are perfect for me Abhi….that's all I know" she replies to him about the note and he pushes himself off from the wall, where he was leaning, watching his wife.

"So you forgive me for all the mean things I said to you?" he cups her face and breathes in her perfume. An expression of anguish flickers in her eyes remembering the days where she had thought that she would lose her love because she was not able to stand up for him. Abhi catches that flicker of feeling and his eyes reflect his guilt at putting the person he loved the most through so much pain.

"Abhi…..I……I was confused" she says simply referring to the pool incident and he nods his head finally understanding what she meant by that.

"I know Nikki……I am sorry that I didn't understand at that time…….but I still want to know why love scares you so much?" he asks and Nikki's eyes tear up. She hugs him and looks at him, wiping her eyes. "It does not anymore…….I just thought that like Mom and Dad and Armaan, you would leave me one day" she finally puts in words her fear and receives a smile in return.

"If I had to….I would have never married you would I?" he replies, eyes twinkling and she smiles back at him.

"Dr. Modi……remember….you married me for Tia's sake" she reminds him their reason for marriage.

"Tia and her Father….both their sakes…..that was the only way you couldn't escape me" he says tongue in cheek and Nikki gasps at his comment. "Well I did it only for Tia" she retorts and pushes him away walking towards her gift.

"But now since you are actually wooing me…..I can think about including your sake in this marriage too" she throws at him and hears a snort of laughter.

"Really Wifey……I can woo you all you want" he replies seductively and Nikki colors at his implication and busies herself with her gift. She opens the jewellery box and gasps when she lifts out the necklace, which is a string of off white pearls with a pendant of a pink pearl surrounded by a cluster of diamonds. She sits on the bed and touches the beautiful piece of jewellery lovingly. "It's beautiful……when and why?" she turns to face him with questions.

"Nikki….when ….well today….I wanted to take you along….so you could choose…..but your bodyguards" he rolls his eyes and Nikki giggles. Coming closer he sits on his knees, "As to why……..because you deserve all this and more and I told you before…..Simply because every bride needs a beautiful piece of jewellery to tell her she looks even more exquisite and Nikki it is our wedding…….again" he says laughing softly. Nikki takes his hands in hers, "You don't have to do all this Abhi……I….thank you so much for agreeing to the wedding" she expresses her gratitude and a wicked idea crosses her husband's mind.

"I wanted to Nikki…..and all this is nothing…..I did the best I could…..I still have to figure out what you like" he states soberly "And as to marriage……if you had told me or even if I had an inkling that you wanted this…..I would have made sure all your bodyguards had gotten this opportunity before and then you wouldn't have been able to hide this" he says smiling.

"Abhi" she says in mock anger and he acts scared. "Thanks" she says simply but Abhi's forehead creases. "You said something?" he asks.

"Yeah Thanks" she repeats.

"What…..I didn't catch it?" he acts as if he still didn't hear.

She takes his face in his hand and then turns it sideways to shout in his ear. Before she can get the words out of her mouth, Abhimanyu turns and places his lips on hers, kissing her passionately. Nikki responds with equal fervor, not having to hide what she felt for him anymore. Sensing her response, Abhi's hold on her waist tightens and he deepens the kiss. Finally, out of breath they let go of each other and Abhi, caresses her lips with his thumbs and tells his wife, "That is how you will thank me from now on…….Ok Wifey?"

"Yes Hubby…..thanks for teaching me" Nikki retorts back and receives another kiss promptly.

"You are welcome" he says and stands up tugging her arm, making her stand. She gets up and is encircled in his arms, when he bends down and softly whispers in her ear, "Next clue" and lifts another note from the bottom of the jewellery box. Nikki looks at him surprised, "Another…..what did you do? Brought the whole Jeweler's shop?" she asks taking the note from his hand.

"Something like that……there was no one to stop me" he replies near her lips, places a quick kiss and prompts her to open the note.

The note states, "Your next stop is the place where we sit and eat" and they walk hand in hand to her dining room. In the middle of the table, she finds another small gift waiting for her and another note.

"I had no idea you were so romantic, Dr. Modi" she throws him a smile and advances towards the table.

She picks up the note and reads it.

"To the girl I see everywhere,
I love you my wife and you complete me"

She reads the note, Looks up and repeats the lines while walking towards Abhi, "I love you Abhi and you too complete me" and thanks him in the way he had taught her a few minutes ago.

Laying her head on his chest and playing with the button of his shirt she sighs contently "I am so happy Abhi…..how did you come up with this idea?" she asks looking at him, eyes shining with happiness and Abhi shifts a little uncomfortably.

"Armaan" he fesses up and Nikki is surprised.

"What?" she asks.

"He reminded me that we had never been on a date…so…..a…are you mad?" he trails and asks a little uncomfortable.

"No…..the idea was great and thank you for doing this" she smiles and moves to open her gift. She opens to find a diamond and pink pearl tennis bracelet. "Abhi….what ?" she lifts it up and he asks a little disturbed, "You don't like this….we can return" and she starts nodding , "I love this…..but why so much…..are you planning to go bankrupt?" she chides him and he laughs heartily. Fascinated she looks at him, never having seen him laugh this openly.

"Oh Wifey……anything for you" he hugs her and she enjoys the feeling of being in his arms. She tries to wear it but is unable to tie the clasp and Abhi helps her with it. She looks around for another clue but when she doesn't find anything, "Is this it?" she asks and he smiles.

"For the time being" and his cell rings and so does hers. Nikki looks to read "Riddhima" and Abhi reads "Armaan"

They look at each otherand Abhi cuts his call and also takes Nikki's phone and cuts the call.

"Tia" Nikki says and Abhi calls Riddhima wondering if his daughter was ok.

"Nikki where are you?" Riddhima aska agitated.

"Riddhima….she is with me" Abhi answers and a smile comes on her face.

"Oh Dr. Modi…..so you couldn't stay away for even a day?" she teases him.

"I ddin't want to stay away even for a second….but all of you made sure I did….so I decided to take her out" he tells Riddhima who laughs.

"Is Tia?" he asks and Riddhima assures everything is ok and hands the phone to his daughter.

"Daddy……Riddy masi is so nice…..even Nani and Nanu and Anjali masi and Muski" Tia starts off excited to hear her Dad's voice.

He gets taken aback at her terms of endearment but slowly a smile spreads across his face. Tia chatters on for a bit and then he bids good bye to her and turns towards Nikki shaking his head. "Masis? Nani and Nanu? Is this my daughter?" he asks bewildered.

Nikki laughs, "Well Dr. Modi…..our daughter is a huge hit and guess who her favorite person is?" she teases and when he is not able to guess right she tells him, "Armaan"

"What?" Abhi asks shocked, "No way" and Nikki laughs.

"Both of them are making plans to ditch their loves and marry each other…..only Armaan has to wait and he has promised Tia that he will wait for her to grow up." Nikki tells him about his daughter's new love and Abhi laughs.

"Who is Tia planning to ditch?" he asks curiously.

"You" Nikki replies and Abhi's expression darkens.

"Me for Armaan….never…..her mother and she are mine" he says possessively taking Nikki in his arms.

"The mother is…..but daughter has found her new love" Nikki replies and Abhi makes a face.

"We'll see" he replies refusing to give up.

"Dr. Modi…..I loved the gifts…..do I get something to eat or do I get only these?" she asks pointing to the gifts.

"Of course Mrs. Modi……but there you will have to participate…..where do you want to eat?" he asks.

She places her arms around his neck and says, "Since you gave me so many surprises…..I want to take you to my favorite place for dinner and my sweet hubby ......I have a surprise for you too"

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