Lilt me your lips,
our lost breath intermingling.
Synchronize our silence
as lazy hours ease by.
Waft cocoa, hazelnut, cinnamon
scents around me.
Tremble with me
in paralyzing pauses.
I may no longer breathe
without breathing you.
The shock and confusion he saw in her eyes told him that there was need for more explanation. Before he realised it, she had removed her palm from where it had been resting on his chest.
“Nikki…” he took a deep breath. “I don’t know why, but I love it when you feel hurt if I am hurt…when you feel jealous because I pay more attention to someone else than to you. I love it when the pain in your eyes tells me that something I did or said hurt you.”
She seemed to have stopped breathing, and looked as if she might throw something.
“…it tells me that you care”, he finished.
“What do you mean?” she asked in a ragged whisper.
“It gives me this good feeling to know that I affect you enough to hurt you…to make you angry”, he said quietly, his eyes softening, willing her to understand.
She just stared.
“I don’t know how else to explain it”, he said to his hand that had regained its grip on her kurti. He bunched the cloth in his palm and glared at it.
“I just love knowing that you care”, he said to no one in particular.
“So that’s why you chose to be a hero in front of ten or so goons?” the anger was back. “Abhi, I don’t understand you!” she continued without waiting for his answer, hints of tears in her eyes.
“I don’t understand it either Nikki”, he looked up. “I don’t understand why I get so impulsive when it comes to you…I don’t understand why I always feel the need to protect you…I don’t understand why I lose control”, his voice broke.
“I just don’t know.” He released her kurti and reached up to feel her face.
Her eyes closed of their own accord at his softness. He ran his finger along her cheek and moved on to feel her lips with his thumb. He could feel her shiver under his touch.
Before he knew it, she was leaning into him as he lay on the bed, her palms burning into the bare skin of his chest. His senses were going crazy inside.
As their lips met once more, he could taste the fire in her. He could feel the sparks that threatened to carry them away from sensibility.
And they did. The sparks won out in the end.
He rolled them over, and her kurti was lying somewhere on the floor within the next ten minutes, and she loved how his hands moved adventurously on her body, sending electricity through her.
His kisses were hot as his lips traced a burning trail from her mouth to her neck and then delved even below. Her whole body was in delighted raptures as he continued his assault of kisses, burning her skin with his every touch.
The emotional turbulence that had built up inside them bit by bit through the day burst forth, driving all sense from their minds. It replaced all rationality with desperate need.
Drugged with desire, he caught her every moan with his lips as she gave herself up feverishly to him in complete surrender.
The feel of his arms around her made her want to snuggle even closer to him as she lay with her head against his chest, his fingers tracing uneven circles on her bare skin.
Both wondered in their subconscious minds where they stood now…and where they would go from here.
It had happened so suddenly, and he wondered if it had even been supposed to happen – whether they were in need of an apology.
A monster raged inside his chest. What they had just shared was too beautiful. It was beyond regret. It did not deserve an insult such as an apology.
She listened to his calm and steady heartbeat, wondering why he didn’t say something. Wondering why he held her so close that it seemed he wanted to suffocate her.
It seemed ages before his hand stopped moving on her skin.
“Nikki?” he sounded hoarse.
“What do you feel for me?” his bluntness stunned her to some extent but on afterthought she might have expected it.
She was still confused. She had no idea what she felt. Even after crossing all boundaries of intimacy, she still didn’t know.
She moved away with a gulp, taking the bed sheet with her as she sat up.
His eyes were honest and questioning. She looked everywhere but at him, yet she could feel how his eyes never left her face. His perusing gaze was making her more nervous by the second.
Her silence told him nothing.
“Do you feel anything at all for me?” he decided to attack her weakest point, for he knew very well that she did indeed care for him. But exactly how much, he needed to know.
She met his penetrating gaze, and could feel her cheeks burning but she was well and truly lost for words.
“Do you care to answer me?” he continued his onslaught, breaking her down with his every question that was intended to hurt.
She fumbled with the covers that she held to her chest.
She didn’t know the answer. She was searching for it herself.
She wondered why suddenly he was so ruthless.
She felt the covers slip away from her grip as he pulled them towards him and took her hand from where it was still bunched into a fist on her chest. The feel of his fingers as they brushed her skin made her shiver. He undid the fist she had made of her palm and closed his larger hand on hers, rendering her even more confused.
His eyes still burnt into hers, and something inside him seemed ready to burst. He wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.
Her phone rang loudly, its ringtone filling the uneasy silence between them.
She fumbled to take the call, desperate to escape the thick atmosphere that had so suddenly filled the room. It was suffocating.
“Nikki? Where are you? Everyone’s so worried!” Armaan exclaimed from the other end.
She gulped nervously, knowing Abhi was still watching her carefully.
“Ummm…I…I’m at home.” She quickly made up a lie and prayed he wouldn’t catch her at it.
“You’re at home? Thank goodness…we were dead worried about you!” he said, relieved. “We couldn’t contact you for so long…there was some problem with the network due to the riots…and we checked at Sanjeevani too but they told us that you’d gone at about 10 in the morning. Everyone thought you were stuck at the riots!”
“Armaan, I’m fine!” she could’ve bit her tongue right after she said that name for she saw Abhi rolling his eyes as he let go of her hand and turned the other way in a huff. She knew he was mad.
“I…I’m not feeling well, I’ll talk to you later”, she tried to end the conversation.
“No wait! Everyone is really worried. You don’t sound ill…just take some medicines and come to the wedding venue. Wait, I’ll come and get you, since you’re not well…don’t worry”, he offered kindly.
“NO!” her eyes widened in panic.
“Arrey its okay…you’ll be fine. I’m coming to get you…you’re saying you’re unwell so…” he appeared thoroughly confused.
“No no…I’m fine. I’m not that ill. I’ll come on my own, you don’t worry”, she said in one breath, her throat dry.
“Are you sure?” he asked in concern. “You sound panicky.”
“Err…no I just realised that I’m late for the function. I’ll be there”, she spoke and cut the phone in a hurry before he could reply.
Turning back to Abhi, she saw him staring moodily at the ceiling, clear displeasure written on his face.
“I’ve to go”, she said to him, controlling the emotions that tried to spill forth through her voice. She had to handle this situation right now…the answers could wait. She had to go to this wedding…for their sake.