"What the hell! Who's in my shower? At this time?" Ram pondered, grateful for this puzzle that served as an adequate substitute for his overwhelming pain. Making a struggled screeching sound the faucet came to a sudden halt. The shower curtain rustled annoyed with the arm that glided against it on its way to grab the white towel hanging on a hook beside the tub. With his curiosity at its peak, Ram listened fully attentive. Amplified in the silence was the leaky faucet, soft thuds of the water droplets as it crashed into the tub and of course the friction of the towel against the skin of this stranger producing a muffled sound. Judging by the evidence that was presented, he knew the arm was not that of his mother or dadi, the skin was too firmly sculpted and the nails manicured. "Could it be that my dream of Priya was not a dream but reality?" He wondered praying for accuracy that dwindled after a brief pause. "No Ram don't be silly Priya wouldn't have kissed you like that, remember she might actually hate you." his heart concluded weakly enough for his mind to protest strategically. "Yeah but, Priya is the only person I know who takes such a hot shower." his eyes fixed on the fogged up mirror; he was inclined to reassert the possibility that it was indeed Priya.
Pushing the shower curtain aside, Priya stepped out of the tub with her head down fiddling with knot on the towel trying to secure it tightly to her body. His heart soared seeing her in front of him mirroring his wildest fantasy of her, wet hair so irresistibly yet unintentionally seductive. Gulping purposely to suppress his heart that made it's way up his throat he observed as she turned around, bent forward and picked up the shampoo bottle off the tub floor all the while mumbling to herself, "If Mr. Kapoor sees me disturbing his arrangement even a bit than the yelling and shouting saga will begin. Better I stay on his good side. Khaaroosh!" She smiled shyly unseen by him from where he stood. Placing the shampoo bottle back to its original place, undisturbed she heard, "Priya!" Startled, her hand nudged the bottle, slightly but with enough force to make it fall back down, her efforts wasted. Priya held her breath, turning her head sharply. The water droplets from her wet hair landed on his face, his eyes closed savoring the refreshing sensation that he had come to the bathroom in search of but finding it in the most unexpected of places.
"M-Mr. Kapoor, what are you doing here." she stuttered with concerned intent, he was too beat up, no pun intended, to be walking already and that too all by himself.
"It's my bedroom, my bathroom, my mansion�I can walk wherever the hell I want." He snapped at her, rubbing his eyes with his right hand and than glaring angrily at her when he was finished�
"No I didn't mean it like that I was just�"
"You were just what?? Showing concern? Why? Where was this concern last night when I wanted to talk to you?" He interrupted, bombarding her with an assortment of rhetorical questions.
"Yes Mr. Kapoor I am concerned. You should not be walking all by yourself, you have barely recovered."
He knew she was right, he too questioned his judgment halfway to the bathroom but at that point he had gone to far to turn back.
"Please I don't need your concern. I am a grown man you don't have to make decisions for me." As a force of habit he slammed his left hand on the ivory sink sending a shockwave up to his wounded shoulder. "aahhh! Shit!" he screamed grabbing his left shoulder, Priya eyes moistened, forgetting her lack of attire, she rushed to his side but before she could comfort him, he stopped her. "NO! Don't come near me."
"Mr. Kapoor, stop being so stubborn, you need to lie down." she leans forward to help him but he refutes once more and instead turns around leaving the bathroom. Priya grabs his robe from behind the bathroom door; ditching the towel she drapes herself in it. She followed him to the change room where he halted leaning on the wardrobe still holding on to his shoulder and panting painfully with his eyes closed. Helplessly, she stood in front of him.
"Mr. Kapoor, I know you are angry and you have every right to be. Last night I should not have left you�If I just sat quietly in your car than this might not have happened. Please forgive me�" Priya pleads unsuccessfully. "Mr. Kapoor please forgive me, for everything that I have done. I love you and I can't live without you, please don't dispel me from your life."
"What did you say just now?" He questioned clearly exhausted. She met his eyes confused.
"Please don't dispel me from your life?"
"No!! Before that!"
Recalling her exact words she muttered disorientated but determined. "I can't live without you!"
"I mean before that�" agitated, he kissed his teeth and demanded. She smiled and moved closer to him, he watched nervously knowing very well he wouldn't be able to resist her charm.
"I love you!" she grasped his right hand. "I love you" she leaned on her tippy toes and whispered against his cheeks before she smooched it. "I love you Mr. Kapoor!"
Taking advantage of her imbalanced stance he drifted to the right, she caught her gait against the wardrobe. Pushing himself off the wardrobe he waddled in front of her as fast as he could. Now he was in charge and she was wedged between him and the hard, wooden wardrobe. "What did you say?"
"I love you." she stated confidently looking him directly in his weary eyes.
"Remember when I said those exact same words to you? hmm?" he inched closer, she wiggled up against the wardrobe, afraid that she might hurt him. Noticing her discomfort he extended his right hand touching the wardrobe as he leaned closer. "How do I know that you really love me and that you are not just saying that because of sympathy? And that you are�" Unable to resist she palmed his face, which lingered close to hers and kissed him hard on his lips catching him off guard, he never suspected she would be so bold. She backed her face away still grasping him, knowing he was breathless and not wanting to push him beyond his ability to tolerate, atleast not until he was better. With his eyes slightly cracked open he observed her retaining her shy demeanor and blushing looking to the side. "Is this how you show that you mean it?" Ram whispered against the side of her face. She felt imprisoned by his touch wanting to wrap her arms around him but still fully aware of his injuries. Instead she shut her eyes tight still not facing him and stated, "Yes. Do you believe it?" The sensation of his lips curving up into a smile felt victorious as he continued working his way up her exposed neck, willingly vulnerable to his mischievous antics. His right hand was far too skillful for not being dominant; its index finger snaked around the base of her chin reeling her face towards his. With her eyes still closed, the warm breath caressing her lips was an accurate measure of the distance between them. Bridging the gap his lips met hers for quick pecks in between his words, "I don't know! I am just so angry especially when you put your life in danger ignoring my warnings." Her eyes opened; alarmed, barely able to contain her cocktail of emotions as he worked her like a professional squeezing a moan out of her mouth she was an amateur in his presence. But eager to learn, she played along to his game, if you can't beat them you join them and so she did. Pecking his lips and speaking, "I know. And I am so sorry." Her hard work paid off, he forfeited the game with one hard kiss, overdosing her senses with passion, the most lustful drug, irresistible yet so dangerously hot. The muscles in the pit of her stomach had a field day, doing cartwheels on replay sending a vibe of delicious tingles streaming through her blood to every inch of her body.
"Priya, I love you!" Ardently gazing in his deep dark brown eyes she saw a reflection of the immense love he had for her. The same love that once appeared cloudy and foreign was now clear and prominent refusing to be neglected. Running her fingertips down the side of his face forcing every pore in his flawless skin to protrude, she read his desire like braille all the way down to his jaw. "I love you too Mr. Kapoor! And I am so sor�" Objecting her millionth apology his willing fingers rested on her softly pulsating lips, she stared at him astonished. He explained his motive, "No more sorry." Sliding his finger off her lips slowly he teased her. "If anyone should be sorry it's me for starting all this�" She placed her palm gently over his lips, "Kaamal hain Mr. Kapoor. You said no more sorry and yet you are apologizing?"
They chuckled in unison the perfect harmony surviving through the heartaches and sorrows resulting in a more enriched melody. Satisfied with the sensual outcome of their infinitesimal altercation moments ago, Priya assisted Ram to their bed.
"Stay with me Priya�Where are you going?" He requested holding on to her hand and tugging her gently to sit beside him.
"Mr. Kapoor, I am actually very sad�" She pouted�
"What! Why? Now what have I done?" Ram panicked�
"I wanted to make breakfast for you as a surprise but instead you surprised me."
"Oh is that right? Well darling now you know how I feel, you ruin my surprises all the time." he teased and stretched his arms out to embrace her forgetting once more about his wound. "Oh crap!" Priya became flustered immediately rushing up next to him blowing over the bandage cutely, not sure what else to do. Ram couldn't suppress his laughter seeing his unnerved wife, knowing very well her lecture would surely ensue but now he was craving her tantalizing anger. "What are you laughing at? Mr. Kapoor you think this is a joke." he puts his head down repressing his smile and looking up at her once in a while with a remorseful shine in his eyes, as she relentlessly continued. "How can you be so careless? If you keep overworking yourself than it will take longer for you to recover. From now on I don't want you to move your left hand until the doctor advises otherwise. What is the need for you to move your arm? If you need anything than just ask me."
"I wanted to give you a hug. How can I keep my hands to myself if you are around me?" Ram stated his lips quivered as a smile nearly shapes it.
"Okay fine... Mein hi chali jaati hoon! Na rahega baans na bajegi bansuri!" she got up to leave but he held her hand. Priya glared back at him angrily but he quickly spoke in his defense, "It's my right hand. Please don't go� I will do whatever you say� Promise�" she scanned his arm, confirming his statement before she sat back down.
"First things first, you will not leave this bed unless me or any other member of the family is helping you do so." Ram nodded. "Secondly, you will eat on time and take your medication�But only after you eat not like how you usually take tablets whenever you feel like it." Ram smiled innocently.
"Third, absolutely no office work for one week."
"Mr. Kapoor your company is not running away. Besides you have so many great employees who can run it while you rest."
"Okay fine. I will oblige by all your rules but only on one condition."
"You will call me Ram�My employees call me Mr. Kapoor. It's a little weird coming from my wife." he teased
"Should I go?" she taunts, leaning forward to get up
"aahhh no no no! I was just kidding. C'mon yaar why do you have to be so serious all the time. And you call ME Khaaroosh!" she stared irritably at him. "Again, just kidding." he chuckled nervously.
"I am going now to make you some nice, hot and HEALTHY breakfast. Remember my conditions, R-ram�" she states shyly and gets up off the bed quickly before he catches her again.
"Priya this is not fair. You are taking advantage of me� This is not how I anticipated that you would call me Ram. You said it so fast and than ran away." She watched him complain childishly and was about to console him when his phone rang. Mischievously he pretended to struggle trying to grab it from his night table. On cue Priya ran right into his trap. She grabbed his phone and he grabbed her wrist.
"Mrs. Kapoor, I got you!" he winks and once again guides her to sit in front of him.
"Mr. Kapoor your phone is ringing." she squirmed her arm trying to break free.
"I am sorry this is not my office and you are not one of my employees so I don't go by that name." he tightened his grip on her wrist.
" Ahh.. Okay RAM please leave me� I have to make you breakfast and moreover your phone is ringing. It could be someone important."
"That's impossible because the most important person is sitting in front of me." he said amidst continuous rings. Twisting her arm so the phone is facing upward he glances at the caller ID, his grip loosened. She handed him the phone. "It's okay Ram you can answer it." With disappointment painted across her face she got up as Ram received the call.
" Good morning my sexy devil." the woman spoke loudly her voice audible to both Ram and Priya. She walked towards the change room briskly. Ram called out to her�"Priya wait." but it was too late.
"How rude� Calling your ex-girlfriend by your wife's name. For your information it's me, Babe�"
"Babe why do you have to call me sexy devil for, it's inappropriate"
"Oh My Gosh! Was Priya in the room?"
"Of course she'd be here, it's our room."
"Okay, Okay chill Romeo. By the way I have arrived at Mumbai airport and I don't see you or your driver here to pick me up."
"Oh shit! I completely forgot."
"What" she screeched. "You forgot that my flight was arriving at 4:45am today. This is not done� Just because you found true love does not mean that you forget your first love."
"Please yaar don't freak out. I will send the driver now he will pick you up. Just wait there, have a drink� relax!"
"Aap kya nayi naveli dulhan hain? Why aren't you coming to pick me up? First I have to wait and than you send your driver. What am I? Chopped liver?"
"Please stop being so overdramatic� Listen I have booked a room for you at Oberoi�Don't come to the KM, go straight there."
"Haay Ram nobody loves me anymore�not even my first love� Hey Bhagwan!!"
"Babe please� Try and understand. Priya is here and if you come here just like that it will be awkward. Don't worry I love you still. No one forgets their first love because like the first cut it is always the deepest. Aab Khush? I will see you tonight�"
"Haan I am happy. But tonight you have a lot of explaining to do."
"Don't worry!! I will handle everything you just relax. Okay? See you soon�Bye!"
Ram hung up the call and looked towards the change room shaking his head displeased with Babe's timing. He dialed a number on his cellphone, "Hello Balram please go to the airport to receive Babe."
Priya listened to the entire conversation standing by the corner of the door. "It's not that I don't believe you Ram. I really want too. But what am I supposed to make of your conversation with Babe. Why did your grip loosen seeing her name on your caller display? Why can't she come to the KM when I am here and why do you still love her? It doesn't make sense. Maybe I need to get away from it all in order to make something of it. From a distance I may see the bigger picture that looks pixilated in proximity. But Ram needs me right now how can I just leave? No Priya Ram deserves you as a whole not in shattered pieces. I just need one day... And Ram needs this one night at Oberoi!" She thought wiping her moistened cheeks with the palm of her hand she made her way to the bathroom to get dressed.