PART 1The moon etched its velvety ice blue reflection on the creamy beige marble floor of the luxurious master suite. Apart from the slight magical serene hue that exuded at the expense of the companionship between the moon and surrounding stars everything else was in a state of obvious upheaval. A bold, red tie with characteristics similar to that of an elite mistress whom only graced the likes of confident, rich men, lay out of its element, scrunched and thrown aside. In a similar discarded fashion was a pearl white, once spotless dress shirt that was now marked with red lipstick stains from an anxious lover, probably the same one who ripped it off followed by the midnight black suit jacket and pants with which it was worn. The ends of the costly material untidily fused with the silkiness of a deep green with strokes of silver saree that started its journey on the cold marble floor, ending up mingled in a thick brown fleece blanket in which the makers of the mayhem were comfortably wrapped. The event that preceded the chaos had all the makings of perhaps an unmatchable memorable night under the critical condition that it was conceived with the right person. There was no plan, no agenda, nothing of that sort, just two hearts driven by an irrefutable motivation to unite at any cost.
In the silence of the night, her bareback slightly arched up only to be pushed back into place by the weight of his head right above her left breast. He snuggled closer forcing her lips to pass up a syllable that was much like the crossing path of a moan and sigh. She ran her fingers through the thick black strands of his hair admiring him momentarily until the painful pressure on her shoulder nudged her back to reality. His head fell on the firm, fluffed pillow waking him up in a dreamlike state; with his eyes still closed he curled further onto his side encaging her petite frame most invitingly in his strong, masculine embrace. With her chin pointed and his face a mere hair strand away she didn't have to extend her neck much in order to imprint a succulent smooch on the cool, taut skin on his forehead. "I love you..." She whispered, yanking the corner of her bottom lip between her teeth as she rested her head back onto the pillow that they shared for the most part of the night. "I love you too..." With his eyes still closed, he stated drowsily through an innocent smile like he was finally at peace with everything that ever irked him in his life, including her. "You're awake?" She scrimmaged for more inches of the blanket to hide under. All the while his hold remained stiff and indifferent to her futile efforts because they both knew that he had examined her with such great detail that he could sketch a mirror image of her guided only by the tracing in his mind. "No. I think I am dreaming. Priya Sharma the woman who lived her life according to the decisions made for her has finally decided to live her own life and that too with me. I must say, it's quite the risk for a newbie."
"Hahaha... Very funny!" She pinched his arm and he exaggeratedly exclaimed opening his eyes wide and rubbing at the skin where she had lightly assaulted him. "Ouch. Priya..."
"What happened? Did you feel that?"
"Off course yaar..." He remarked sarcastically, carrying on with his overacting.
"Than you're not dreaming."
Unable to resist the urge to express his joy, he once more smiled thinking that he must be going crazy. "You've known me long enough now to know that you're going to have to pay for that'" By the time she grasped a faint idea of what was about to be hurled towards her, he pounced on her where she laid, his unsuspecting, sexy prey.
She stammered nervously, "ye aap kya?"
"Kya? What am I doing? I warned you that you had to pay."
"Please... Look I am sorry... Please let me go..."
"Aab sorry se kaam nahi chalenga. I have been laying silently for so long waiting for this chance and now that I have you trapped, there is no way that I am letting you go so easily..."
"Please... Ahh you are hurting me..."
"Liar... I didn't even touch you yet." He smirked, nuzzling her cheek as he tangled his fingers with hers pinning her to the mattress. She squirmed underneath him and he sensed her nervousness, the innocent hesitation that warned him that she was not with him completely. Backing away from her he felt her breath hitch and stall as his darting gaze examined her expression thoroughly. "What are you thinking about?" He gulped and continued fearful of the answer to the question that he was about to ask. "Any regrets about this decision?" Without even a second to think she shook her head in response, "No... I have never been more sure." He regressed back to his prior position on the bed, comfortably close to her, holding her tightly.
"Tell me what you're thinking about?"
"About us... And... How we got here..."
"Our story is quite unique, isn't it?" He chuckled, accompanying her down memory lane.
How many times does a heart need to break before it gives up on love? How many failed relationships does a person need to witness before they decide that love is something that they will never let into their life? Rajat Kapur, that was the name of the man who had minced her heart to pieces but even then she couldn't figure out why she still thought of him. Why a small but significant part of her was still ready to give him another chance if he started feeling for her what she always in a corner of her heart, felt for him? This was an old love, which was born in high school and grew strong and healthy through college before it was unexpectedly murdered. But there must still be some life in the soul of this unprofessed reality because the sight of him on the cover of business world magazine reignited an insatiable flame inside Priya's heart even after a decade of separation. The bus came to a rumbling halt two blocks across from Kapoor Industries kick starting Priya into action against her wish to stare at his picture and ponder on possibilities. Priya pushed her way out through the sea of people until her feet rested on the solid ground outside the bus. She stared up at her destination curving her palm over her eyes to shield it from the bright sunlight. God knew that so many people's lives depended on her snagging this job. But the world knew that Ram Kapoor was synonymous with the definition of ruthless. Priya roughly patted any dust or loose articles that may have found its way on her white frilly blouse that was tucked aesthetically in the knee length, black pencil skirt that she had on. She fixed her hair, which was pulled together neatly in a ponytail, exhaling sharply before she got into the elevator concentrating on each step she took in those damn heels that she was forced to wear. If it were up to her she would don a simple and elegant light rose Salwar and the silver ankle sandals that she had kept in her purse for when she was finished here. Ram hated traditional attire or so she was told and of course this was the Ram Kapoor show. With utmost care she waltzed towards the seating area straight across from Ram's frosted glass cabin, where the secretary had instructed her to wait until she was called.
5 minutes later a tall, fit man walked past where she was seated with a file in his hand. Acknowledging her presence with a smile, he entered the cabin of the stout business tycoon Ram Kapoor, without even knocking. "This must be Vikram Shergil, Mr. Kapoor's best friend'" She thought, recalling the file that she read on him. Apparently he was the good guy and evidently he was polite as well. Priya sighed feeling restless as the clock continued to tick with no change in the situation. She knew exactly how the coming days would be for her but she had to do it, for her son, the one she raised like her own.
Nested inside the frosted glass cabin Ram leaned back in his leather chair basking in the first of many victories to come. His attention diverted to the sound of the door clicking open a crack and than promptly being shut. He immediately thought, "Vikram'" and leaned forward in his seat resting his elbows on the desk.
Vikram: (panicked) Ram I have a bad feeling about this' (He handed Priya's application file to Ram before taking a seat on the other side of the desk)
Ram: (Flipping the file open in front of him, he complained) You always have a bad feeling about everything' I swear ever since you got married, you have turned to mush' Whatever happened to my college buddy who used to encourage me in everything that I would do?
Vikram: Yes you are right' Marriage has given me some sense of what's right and wrong' You have made it impossible for this woman (pointing towards the door) to get a job anywhere else knowing that she has a 6 month old baby and a family that she has to provide for at the end of the day. And than you fired Jenny over a tiny issue just so a vacancy for your personal secretary would open up. You rejected all suitable candidates for this position for the past week waiting for Priya Sharma to apply. C'mon Ram you and I both know that she is far to qualified for this position but you are playing on her desperation. That's not right, Man!
Ram: (raising his voice a tad bit) Sheena Bhabhi is a heart broken widow whose only mistake was that she loved Siddhant who cheated on her because of Priya's damn sister. Ayesha Sharma, I will never forget that name' I swear if she didn't kill herself I would have done it myself. And not only did she die peacefully but she took my brother along with her. It's been a year since all of this has happened and Mom is not her regular self, Dad drowns himself in alcohol trying to recover from the misery of losing his elder son. I will not allow any member of the Sharma family to rest peacefully'I will make their lives a living hell and now that is my only aim.
Vikram: Ram you were never like this' This is not the way to approach'
Ram: (interrupts) Vikram, look, you're my friend who has supported me all this time. If you don't support me this time when I need you the most, than you can just leave.
Vikram: Ram you know where I stand in all this' If I am in this, I am only in it to ensure that you don't lose sight of who you are. But Ram this is not going to end well, I can tell you that much for sure.
Ram: (sighing in relief) Thanks Vikram, I knew I could count on you buddy'(he got up off his chair, snapped the file shut and handed it to Vikram) Tell her that she's got the job and that she starts from tomorrow at 6am sharp'
Vikram: 6am? Ram you don't come into the office 'til 8'
Ram: (he shrugged his shoulders) so, what's your point?
Vikram: (shaking his head in disappointment) Well, atleast you could tell her yourself that she got the job. She has been waiting for nearly half an hour'
Ram: The less I see of her the better'Trust me from tomorrow when I get in her face, she's going to wish that she never sees me again' (He gritted his teeth, mentally planning the week's atrocities as Vikram turned to leave the cabin helplessly) Oh and Vikram, (Vikram halts and glances back at him) you were right' This isn't going to end well'for the Sharmas.