#TheBestManSeries

31 posts
  • tortoise 6w

    #cees_options

    Hello @writersnetwork it's been long, since i tagged you! :)

    I know the challenge is over, but i promised her to participate, after i finish up with my novel ( it's #TheBestManSeries if anyone wants to read it!).

    So yea, here's tagging her challenge account! @luvnotes_challenge_host

    Read More

    Past L(if)e!

    Who might you have been in a past life?

    If i were to believe, just like you, to have lived a life in the past, i imagine to be born as a guy, with an immense longing to feel how it would be to live like a woman, who doesn't need to work, or struggle and gets everything by men. And may be, that's why, I'm born as a woman to acknowledge what all they go through all their lives.

    If i were to believe, in my past life, i imagine myself in the tattered shoes, or may be walking on the rough lands barefoot, since I've respected the invention of footwear more than anything else, and i absolutely love my comfortable sports shoes.

    If there was any past life of mine, i imagine myself to be overburdened by my appetite, that i had to put my passion away for mere survival, since the only driving force in my life is passion to achieve my goals, even when there's no external force. I fear failing in making my career more than anything else. It's like what if i couldn't make it, that keeps making me work my ass off!

    If i were to believe, anything about my past life, i imagine myself to be a taker, of goods, and feelings, because all this life, I've been on the giving side. A giver of money, advices, notes, work, friendship, happiness, and second chances. It's like paying off the debts, with interests.

    And, lastly, if i were to believe in any past, i imagine myself to be an orphan, or someone who couldn't receive true love, for my life revolves around people who shower me with their immense love, in every form, of family and friends, to which I'm absolutely grateful!

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 7w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month

    And with this, I'm bringing an end to the story. This has been really a long one and it consumed a lot of me. I hope i come up with another story (not a love story this time, i hope!). Till then, let's hibernate. Tortoise is too exhausted!

    Special thanks to @pink_berry @blurryface__14 you guys kept me motivated all the while, consistently. Thank you for your overwhelming love to the story.
    _________________________________________________//

    Dressed in an elegant blocked pattern gray colored designer saree, Kritika walked downstairs alongside Abhinav, who matched his outfit with hers. The couple received blessings from the elderly, and gifts from friends, and relatives. Mr. Mehra was busy with the lunch arrangement, and guiding the staff to work perfectly, as a daughter's father is expected to. Her eyes were busy searching for Aditya, who hasn't arrived yet. She felt uncomfortable, and alone. Abhinav held her hand, and whispered to her ears, "He'll be here in a minute, don't worry, love. You're looking sizzling hot. I wonder why can't i take you off to our bedroom right now!"
    She blushed on his words, and gripped onto his hand. Her body relaxed, and she began enjoying her event.

    "Excuse me, guys! Hello. Everyone! Let's raise a toast to my beautiful, gorgeous, and perfectionist wife, Kritika. She has been a lifelong support in all my endeavours, and it's almost impossible to imagine my life without her. She's moody, clumsy, and hard to move, at times, and her brain amuses me often. But even after spending so much time with her, even today, i feel like it's not enough. I want more, i want her even today, and I'll be wanting her all my life. It's her, or none. I don't want anyone. Look at her blush, oh come on darling, don't hide your face, i love you!"

    As Abhinav ended his speech, Aditya clapped immediately, drawing her attention to him. She raised her eyebrows in question, and he made a gesture running his hand onto his heart telling her, how gorgeous she was looking right now! Her eyes were in sparkles! How much appreciation is enough appreciation for women, is still a big question, because they feel quite insecure about their presence. Compared to men, who can be wearing the same shirt, and pants, and walking on confidently even with their bulky stomach popping around. To have men who know how to remove your insecurities is a luxury. Words repeated often, boost your confidence, and words said by loved ones leave a long lasting impact. Aditya's praise give wings to Kritika. She took the mic from Abhinav, for it was her time to speak!

    "Contrasting to what all of you might be expecting, I'm here to ask you raise a toast, for my best friend, the Best Man, of my life, Aditya! Hey, come on, Adi, don't turn away. You know it's for you! It has to be for you. You gave a new direction to my thinking, and you were the only reason, i and abhinav are standing together happily! People like you are rare, and it might be possible whatever happened, happened because it was destined, and you planned nothing. May be we're destined to meet, and uplift each other as best friends are expected to, but you let me vent myself out. You hear me non judgementally, and even pushed me closer to what my heart desired for. I can't thank you enough, for everything you do for me, because you love me so much. Even if you don't speak out loud, i know how much special I'm to you! And it makes me feel super happy, that I'm cherished so badly by you. If you know, you know, right!"

    As she ended her speech, tears rolled down her eyes, and Abhinav handed her, his handkerchief. She wiped her tears, and hugged Abhinav.
    "I feel so light now baby, i love you so much, Abhi."
    "I love you the most, kitten. He deserved all of it."

    Aditya felt numb to her words, not because they weren't true, but because all his life he was abandoned time and again. No one has stood by his side for long, and forever was only a word, that held no meaning. He remembered, how at her wedding, she had whispered in his ears, "it isn't over yet, i still am your boss, and you're going to prioritise me all your life, i don't care, who comes next, or not. You're my and my best friend".

    Giving a dedicated speech, had happened only when one of the client was happy to make profits with the Srivastava Group. All this was new to him. 28 long years of surviving, and not an ounce of true love, had made his heart rock hard, which only Kritika's love melted away. He pointed Mr. Mehra to his car, and asked for something. Mr. Mehra brought a huge wrapped gift, rectangular shaped, along with a bouquet of Cosmos, and he handed it over to the couple. Abhinav couldn't hold his excitement and unwrapped the gift, while Kritika was busy with keeping the Cosmos in a beautiful vase that was in the corner of the hall.

    It was the same painting, Getko made for Aditya, that was reframed into an antique wooden brass lining. He had asked, Getko to add a few more details, since he has seen Kritika a little more closely, and it looked amazing now. Abhinav felt joyous, and cheered, "Wow! It's so enchanting! Kritika, come here, see! How majestic this is. We can hang it in our bedroom!"
    "May be, in the hall, that'd be better."
    "I see. Absolutely, in the hall. But we make love there too? You forgot?"
    "Shut up! Everyone's listening, Abhi."
    "So what! You're mine! And I'm yours."


    "Excuse me, Abhinav. She's mine too. Let me take her for a dance now. I'm dying to have a closure with her!"
    "Same here. Abhi doesn't even know how to dance, so we can do that, Adi!"


    "You guys are sick. You stay away from her, Aditya. It's my reception, I'll dance with her. And you, little cat, come here. We're dancing, even if i don't know how to. You've always made me dance according to your moods, so help me here as well."

    "If you guys plan for a kid, make sure to name the boy Aditya! I deserve that much!"
    "And what if, Kritika deliver a girl, Aditya?"
    That made both of the guys wondering, only when Kritika spoke chuckingly, "We'll call her Aditika! Right, Aditya!"

    And they all laughed out loud. Abhinav and Kritika danced merrily with each other, and Aditya switched the song to a romantic one. Kritika leaned towards Abhi, and kissed him onto his lips. He kissed her back, and his hands moved on her back, while her hands rubbed his chest.
    "I can't take it anymore."
    "Then, carry me to our bedroom!"
    "Ah! I love you the most, kitten!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 30

    How much appreciation is enough appreciation for women, is still a big question, because they feel quite insecure about their presence.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 7w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    "So what did you tell Aditya?"
    "And why do you need to know that, Abhi?"
    "Because there ain't any secrets between best friends!"
    "But you're my husband!"
    "Does that mean we're not best friends anymore?"
    "You want to be friend-zoned again?"
    "Hahaha! I don't mean that. I mean we can be best friends too."
    "In that case, you would had to walk beside me in the church, instead of standing in front of me!"
    "What do you mean?"
    "The best man, or what you call, A bridesman is a close male relative and/or friend of the bride, one who walks down the aisle in the bridal ceremony in the traditional place of a bridesmaid. It is a position of the highest level of honor in male friendship. So tell me how can you walk beside me, and stand opposite to me, at the same time, Abhi?"

    He chuckled. He had been her best friend since 11 years, and to take that honour away felt weird. But he also acknowledged in that moment, what he wanted from their relationship was more than just friends. He wanted to have babies with her, and may be grandchildren too. He didn't want to just visit places with her, he wanted to build homes with her. And she was always the one, he found out of his reach, yet she was his. Now. He sighed relief. The fear he was facing since past three days, that was actually kept suppressed since two years, was finally gone. She loves him, and he loves her too. It was more than okay, if she wants to live their new beginnings as couples. That also meant, Aditya was not going anywhere from the picture, and most likely she'd keep in touch with him. This last thought made him jealous, and he kissed her passionately.

    "You know, he gifted us this car and our honeymoon as well."
    "Really! I thought this car is rented, and our honeymoon! Damn? You already planned it. I'm so excited for it!"
    "It?"
    "Yeah. I mean excited to discover a new place. Ofcourse."
    "Hahaha! I see. He gifted us this protection kit too. I guess, then, it'd be useless right now. Shall i disca.."
    "Oh shut up. We need it more than anything else, unless you've other plans!"
    "No babies till one year!"
    "One year is less, but i guess i can manage my desires."
    "Sure! We'll see that. Another thing, after our trip, I've organised a reception party as well, at our hometown! So don't forget about it."
    "Damn! That's surprisingly good idea. Will Aditya join us too?"
    "The host doesn't need to join a party!"
    "He's such a good friend."
    "The best!"

    ....
    ....
    ....

    "Good to see you guys back! I hope the trip went smooth!"
    "All thanks to you, Adi, and your staff, that gave us a VIP feel!"
    "Yes, sir.. i mean, Aditya.. sir.. i mean.."
    "It's okay Abhinav. I already befriended you! Seems like you're not comfortable with my friendship."
    "Oh no, nothing like that, Aditya!"
    "It's okay na, Adi. I'm your friend. Let him be your employee only. You're mine only. I don't want to share my best friend with anyone!"

    Aditya smiled at Kritika! All he wanted to say, in that moment, was he was also hers. But he knew Abhinav would feel awkward, if not jealous! His eyes followed her, and his heartbeat raised as her hand grasped his. She walked beside him, and they all went to the hometown party that was waiting for them.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 29

    All he wanted to say, in that moment, was he was also hers.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 7w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    As Abhinav saw Kritika walking inside the Church, along with Aditya, his heart melted instantly. And as he realised she was walking towards him, he felt his blood boiling. What was the point of suffering for the last three days, and what was the use of making those divorce papers? But he thought about the legal papers he saw with Kritika. Were they marriage papers for them? Who knew! In a moment of rage, that's been kept suppressed all these years, he went closer to her, and slapped her. Silence prevailed the hall, and in the next moment, he hugged her tightly. Tears were gushing through his eyes, and he spoke in a teary voice,
    "Why do you always do things that kill me from inside, Kitten! Who gave you the right to hurt me this badly? All these years, I've lived to love you and even when i knew you don't love me back, i accepted it my destiny. You were mine, even if you weren't loving me. The mere thought of you with any other guy crumples me from inside. You may call me possessive, or may be obsessively possessive. I won't mind it, but i, .. but i.."

    His voice broke in the middle. Tears filled his throat, and Kritika wiped his face, like a mother does. She was about to cry too, when Aditya said, "Mind the liner. He's natural beauty, you'd need a make up kit again. You want it?"

    She smiled on his stupid remark, and Abhinav hugged her again.
    "I'm sorry for the slap, Kritika. I was so scared of losing you, that i couldn't take your surprise in a good sense. I never meant it. You can slap me back, and we're equal then."

    She rose her hand, in a gesture about to slap him, and instead pulled his cheeks, hard. He wasn't prepared for this gesture, specially after 3 years. Earlier it was Kritika's habit to do this to annoy him.
    "Stop it. We aren't kids anymore, kitten!"
    "Are you both sure about it? Specially Abhinav you? Remember what you told me, when i ask you guys for some good news?"

    Abhinav blushed. So did Kritika. And the wedding ceremony began as planned. Mr. Mehra stood alongside Aditya, behind Kritika, and near to her mother. That was her side of family. Abhinav's parents stood behind him. They exchanged rings, and garlands, as insisted by their parents, and completed their marriage. As Abhinav was about to turn, Kritika pressed her lips onto his, and gave him a quick kiss, exclaiming, "that's how it's done in movies!" And everyone giggled.

    Mr. Mehra came forward and shower his blessings onto the newly married couple. Then he handed a big purple wrapped gift to Kritika.
    "There's no need for this, kaka."
    "When I'm roleplaying your dad, let's not argue about the gift."
    "Hahaha. The wedding ceremony is over. And the play came to an end. So now we're back to being clients. Right?"
    "Wrong. Once roleplayed as father, you can't deny being my daughter. It's been a lifelong desire of this old man, to be lucky enough to feel what's its like to be a daughter's dad. Please don't take away this privilege from me!"
    "Aww, thank you for adopting me! I hope you don't regret the decision, later."

    Later they hugged, and everyone shower the newly wed their blessings. Aditya was standing in the corner, with his eyes stuck over Kritika. As Abhinav was taking her out of the hall, Kritika turned back to Aditya, and rushed towards him. She whispered something into his ear, and hugged her sidewise. He passed an ear to ear long smile, as Abhinav and Kritika went inside their beautifully decorated wedding car.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 28

    It's been a lifelong desire of this old man, to be lucky enough to feel what's its like to be a daughter's dad. Please don't take away this privilege from me!

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 7w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    *Where are you? Be there in 15 minutes.*

    Kritika sent the text, and got busy with her family members, and friends. She had invited everyone from her office, and few of Abhinav's close friends too. She knew, it will make him feel good.

    *Will be there in 5 minutes. Just to tell you, he didn't ask dozens of questions. To our surprise, he didn't ask even one. As i asked him to join me for meeting with a client in church, he thought for a while, and agreed immediately. I don't know what's running in his head. But your script failed here, Kritika.*

    She didn't give any heed to other part of the message. She was too nervous as they were coming soon. She instructed everyone what to do as per the plan, and went inside a small room inside the church.

    The door of the car opened, and Abhinav face lightened up. That was the same Church, Kritika used to dream marrying in. His face fell down again, realising it wasn't him. He looked up to Aditya, dressed appropriately to the occasion with the tie and brooch. It was his coat that felt little tight, and inappropriate fit to his muscular body. As they moved forward, Aditya stopped Abhinav just before the entrance, and removed his coat, to offer it to Abhinav.

    "What? Why?"
    "Come on, Abhinav. Your shirt is too bland for the meeting. Clients already know me, they don't need to see me well dressed. But your first impression should be good. You better take this tie with it as well. Wait, let me help."

    Abhinav felt awkward, but Aditya's hand moved swiftly. He didn't give Abhinav any time to question him. After he was done, he took out his comb, and asked him to redo his hair. Abhinav obeyed, for he was already sad about his future, only when Aditya whispered, "Buckle up man, your life's gonna change from today. All the best, for only you deserve the best!"

    Before Abhinav could understand anything, Mrs. Anjali Dua hugged him. She has always loved him like her own son, and it had been long since they met.
    "Hey, maa. I didn't know you were here too. I missed you."
    "I missed you too, Abhi. You're looking so handsome. Not a day older than 21."
    "All because of Kritika's love and car.."

    He suddenly felt the void. Does she know what's gonna happen today? Has Kritika told everyone about marrying Aditya? Moreover, are they happy with her decision? Ofcourse, they must be. Just like he was. In the end, they all love her happiness more than theirs. He hugged her again. As they both made an entry inside, he saw his parents too and his friends with gifts in their hands. His best friend, Vishal came to hug him, and whispered, "Just look at our single ass, you rascal. Have some pity over your friends, who haven't married even once, and you lucky ass, planning for your second official honeymoon?"

    Abhinav gasped at his statement, and then he began noticing the decorations inside the Church. The crimson blue shade, which was his favourite, covered the walls, with the contrasting shade of beige in between. He checked his coat again, it wasn't right for Aditya, it was never meant for him in the first place. As soon as he understood, what was it all about, his dad held his hand, and took him to the hall area, where the Father was ready with his marriage oath ceremony. He felt numb for a while.

    Everyone was waiting for the bride to enter, and when she didn't enter even after slight drumming that was a signal according to her plan only, Aditya panicked, and reached at the entrance where she was asked to enter from. As soon as she saw Aditya, her face glowed. Dressed in a beautiful white gown, as a traditional dress for typical Christian wedding, she was looking like a princess, with lacy long gloves covering her hands till her elbow, and her light pink colored jewellery. Aditya saw her first time without any sindoor and Mangalsutra, and was swept away in a moment. He completely forgot about the plans, and went near her.

    "How am i looking?"
    "Shall i sit on my right knee or left?"
    "Haha! Shut up Aditya. Come, give me your hand. Everyone is waiting for my entry. I already feel nervous. Take me to the hall."
    "In my arms?"
    "Adi?"
    "I'm not gonna do it. If i come close, i might lose control."
    "That was a good compliment. But you know, the bride enters with her best man beside her?"
    "So?"
    "So, walk beside me, idiot."
    "Am i your best man?"

    She smiled at him, and locked her hand with his, at the elbow, and they both walked inside the Church.

    ~©tortoise

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    The Best Man

    Part - 27

    Aditya saw her first time without any sindoor and Mangalsutra, and was swept away in a moment.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 7w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    "Abhi is getting secretive day by day, Adi. I'm worried about him."
    "So talk to him, instead of hanging out with me, all the time."
    "We're upto something, i have to be with you."
    "Then stop overthinking, he loves you. I know it. Though it's true his energy has been on downside since yesterday."
    "He didn't even kiss me back, this morning. I don't know what had i did wrong?"
    "You should stop being with me, Kritika. It's killing him inside."
    "But i want to be with you, why are you making it so.."
    "You can't have two persons at a time, Kritika. Why don't you understand this!"
    "Why are you yelling, Aditya?"
    "Because i don't want you to lose Abhinav. Stop doing whatever this shit is. I am better alone. I don't need your company or your sympathy. I'll manage myself, like I've been doing. You need someone. So better go with him. He's the right man for you. He has always been there for you."

    Kritika listened up patiently. She understood that Aditya was upset. She secretly enjoyed this. It's always good to see people losing their calm just to make sure that you're safe and protected. She move forward and hugged him tightly. He resisted her, and stepped back. She felt sad, and was about to leave, when he held her by hand, and took her in his arms.

    "I'm just worried about you, Kritika."
    "I know, Adi. I'm fine. I'll be fine. You know why?"
    "Because you've me! You'll always have me."
    "Perfect."

    Abhinav asked for an early leave that day. His eyes look sad, that's why, Aditya tried to ask him what's running in his head. He resisted answering anything, and later said, "I know I'm not fine, but once i do this, I'll be fine, knowing my Kitten is safe and happy!" That line made Aditya ponder, deeply. What's he gonna do. He immediately made a call to Mr. Mehra and asked to keep an eye on him.

    ....
    ....
    ....

    Both, Kritika and Abhinav, entered late to their home. She was excited like hell, and he, the total opposite. She went straight to her room, and asked Abhinav to sleep in his room, for tonight. He agreed without any questioning. She was way too happy, to even think about him. Everything was happening as per her plan, and Aditya was taking her orders, like she was the king of his empire. It felt royal, coz it was. Her room lights were lit for most part of the night, and occasional giggles could be heard, if you stood closely to the door, like Abhinav.

    *Don't sign on any document, Abhinav brings to the table, without reading it properly.*
    Kritika was confused after reading this text from Aditya. She thought what was this about. Still she texted him back, *okay. I'll be leaving in an hour. Make sure everything is going according to our plan.*

    Within 15 minutes, another message beeped, *I'm very scared, thinking about Abhinav. Let's not do this to him.*
    Kritika was busy with her work, and found this texting hard. She texted him annoyingly, *Stop thinking about him, instead, think about me. You'll feel excited, Adi!*

    Abhinav knocked her door, and asked if she was coming down for breakfast. She couldn't come, so she denied. He told her that he wanted to get a document signed by her. She was suddenly reminded of Aditya's text, and asked him that she'd do that later in the evening. Abhinav sighed and left for the office. She finally took a sigh of relief!

    ....
    ....
    ....

    "Is everything ready?"
    "Believe me, Kritu, you're looking so pretty."
    "Thank you, Maa. It's a pleasure to see you after months. Your saree suits you."
    "I wish your dad was here."
    "Ohho, Mrs. Anjali. Let's not talk about our grief today. Our children are happy after so long. Moreover, Mr. Kapoor is like her dad too. And he's here right beside her. We are all a family, right Kritika?"
    "Always have been, Mum!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 26

    It's always good to see people losing their calm just to make sure that you're safe and protected.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 8w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    Amidst the giggling and chatter, Abhinav knocked on the door, when Kritika made gestures to tell him to wait outside for a while. It created anger within him. He was a human after all, and the sudden change in her behaviour was driving him crazy. He waited for the namesake, and knocked the door again. Without waiting for her answer, he entered inside, only when Kritika suddenly disconnected the call, and hid papers under blanket.

    "What are you doing here, Abhinav?"
    "Oh, so we're back to Abhinav?"
    "Offo, Abhi. I mean, I asked you to wait."
    "Why? You're my wife, and i can come to our room whenever i want."
    "Ofcourse, but i was on call."
    "So? Who asked you to disconnect it? See, your phone is buzzing again. You can talk in front of me."

    Kritika checked her phone, and she passed a smile before disconnecting it again.

    "No. I can't talk infront of you. It's personal."
    "What's personal between husband and wife? And by the way who are you talking to?"
    "It is personal. And who'd i be talking to? It's Aditya only."

    Abhinav's blood boiled on hearing his name again. Aditya, Aditya, Aditya. He was tired of him. He was tired of telling himself that his wife loves him. He wanted answers tonight. He held Kritika by her arm, and looked into her eyes.

    "What happened, Abhi?"
    "You tell me that!"

    She read his facial expressions, and in a minute realised his jealousy. She kept the phone away, and drove him inside the blanket, only when a paper was revealed with a notary stamp, and Abhinav noticed it to be some legal document. She brushed it inside suddenly.

    "It's no.. nothing.. it's nothing Abhi. I guess, we.. i guess we should sleep in our bedroom. You go, I'll come in a while."
    "Okay. Goodnight."

    Abhinav left suddenly, and his suddenness was shocking to her. She knew, once Abhinav loses his anger to calmness, it means he has given up on a situation. But what was the situation here? The secret was anyway going to be off in three days. So she doesn't thought much. It was anyway good that he's feeling this way, already. It'd be helpful specially when the secret would buzz off, and the reality would be less shocking than expected!

    She took those documents and kept them in an almirah. After locking it off, she kept the key in her small wallet. She then shut the door, and went to their bedroom. To her disbelief, Abhinav has slept already. She sighed, and went near to cuddle with him as she sleep. He brushed her aside, and turned his face towards the wall, showing his back to her. She knew how to deal with this Abhi. She put one leg onto his waist, and her one hand onto his chest, spooning him from outside. She was the bigger spoon tonight and she loved it. Abhinav resisted her initially, but as soon as he found her asleep, he twisted back to her and fondled her with his overwhelming love.

    ...
    ...
    ...

    "You're insane, Kritika. I don't think Abhinav will be happy from this. He loves you so dearly, we shouldn't do this to him. I'd not pick your late night calls from today."
    "What, Aditya? Don't be bossy. It's me who's in-charge. You don't need to te.."

    He moved closer in a rush, and held her by her waist. His fingers unrolled her messy bun, and with other hand, he stroked her cheek bones. She felt weak, and was about to hid her face in his chest, when he spoke,
    "So, who's the in-charge now, Mrs. Kapoor?"

    She blushed away. It was always easy for him to seduce her into a moment. Though she tried hard to not fall prey to him, Aditya always has a charm to woo her. She pushed him hard, and made him fall onto the chair behind him. Then she put her right foot onto his left leg, without removing her heel, and bend over him for a surprise, and spoke,
    "You tell now?"

    And they both chuckled on their stupid romantic moves. He grabbed her and made her sit on his lap, when she hugged her from one side.

    "Why are you so good to me, Aditya!"
    "Trust me, i want to be bad to you. I've heard women love bad guys."
    "Haha. Women love good guys only. But they should know how to love us, badly!"
    "Ah! This way!"
    "Ofcourse."
    "So, Abhinav loves you badly?"
    "Desperately!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 25

    Women love good guys only. But they should know how to love us, badly!

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 8w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    Abhinav noticed Kritika hustling around, on calls and messages. He felt weird, though that was the kind of Kritika, he met during their school days. He was happy to get her back. When you know you're loved, every place feels like home. He was finally at home, after about 2 years. He relaxed like there was no tomorrow.

    "Kitten, come, let's cuddle. What you doin'?"
    "You sleep, Abhi. I'm busy, it'd take me an hour or so!"
    "Busy? At this time? With? Some client or the.."
    "With Aditya. Who else?"

    He felt a lump in his throat. He knew there was some kind of tuning, between them, but Aditya had never spoken about it to Abhinav, and so had Kritika. This time she spoke straightforwardly. He felt happy about it, but he wanted to know the reason.

    "I see. Has your work not over on his rooftop?"
    "Huh?"
    "You're not listening, Kritika."
    "I told you, I'm busy, wait."

    She threw her phone on blanket, and jumped onto his lap. He rolled her into his arms, and she gave him a goodnight kiss. He didn't want to let her go, so he pushed her beneath herself.

    "Offo, Abhi. We're not on our honeymoon."
    "So we need to go to a new place, to make love?"
    "There are some rules.."
    "And we should fulfill them even when we're married for two years?"
    "We've just begun, Abhi. That marriage wasn't a relationship, it was merely a bond. It means nothing to me, since i know it has only felt like a cage. I did it for my dad's happiness."

    Abhinav's arm loosened on the thought of it. And she slipped away, got her phone, and ran to his room. For now, his room was converted to late night meeting room, and her room was their bedroom. He knew how hard it has always been for Kritika to adapt to new things.

    "Don't keep texting for long. Okay?"
    "Tell Aditya to shut up first. He talks a lot."
    "Hmm.. (i .. wish if i could do so)"
    "Did you say something?"
    "Nothing. Goodnight kitten. Come soon!"

    It was kind of a routine observation for Abhinav, to see her texting and calling people, and laughing while discussing her things. And everytime he'd casually ask, the name would be, "Aditya". He felt jealous initially, but when the things didn't stop, even after a week, he realised may be Kritika has something in her heart for Aditya. But everytime he went closer to her, she'd shower all her love onto him. He felt confused, and he found it was better to stay near her, rather than overthink alone, about his fears.

    "You look happier these days, Master."
    "She's crazy, Mr. Mehra."
    "And you're involving me too in your crazy plans?"
    "That's her wish. What can i say?"
    "It's hard to believe that you've given your controller to her. I mean, people usually do this with their partners."
    "She's my partner in crime."
    "Haha! Indeed. She is. I've never thought that Mrs. Kapoor will be so childish. She's perfect with you."
    "I know, and nowadays she feels it too. I'm worried about Abhinav, i hope he didn't feel cheated in the end."
    "I guess, he'd have guessed it by now. I've seen him checking on you many times. He's feeling jealous these days."
    "If i were him, i too would have felt it. Kritika can make anyone feel so."
    "So what's my role?"
    "That's not yet revealed!"
    "What?"
    "You see. Even you're under her control."
    "She's a better master, master!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 24

    When you know you're loved, every place feels like home.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 8w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    "That's not how it's done, twist it to the left once, and then to the right."
    "I see. Let me tr... Yay! It's done. I've never driven such a royal car. What if i damage this car?"
    "And how'd you do it?"
    "By smashing it to side road, or to a vehicle probably?"
    "That's not damage, but yeah, i got your point."
    "So?"
    "So what?"
    "You don't care about your cars, like other guys?"
    "Ofcourse i do. And let me tell you I've never trusted anyone by far now, to let them take the driver's seat."
    "That means i am special, even after you know my love for Abhi?"
    "You're special. And you'll always be. Even and if doesn't matter."
    "That's great, then. I can drive freely now. I was scared."
    "And i was occupied, to have forgotten about one important thing!"
    "What's that, Aditya?"
    "That you are looking amazing in this saree. This yellow saree, took away your few years. Gosh, are you even 18 to drive this car!"
    "Hahaha! I thought someone's craze went down, and that's why you forgot to praise."
    "That's quite a difficult task, but may be, once i begin seeing you daily, thrice, my craze might go down, a little?"
    "Uff! You're so adorable! Why don't you have a girlfriend?"
    "So that i can have a chance to date you!"
    "That was quite direct, Mr. Srivastava."
    "That's why you're blushing?"
    "Possibly."

    As they reached the cafe, and Aditya went to place an order, she grabbed his phone to click some selfies. Since the phone was locked, she tried several passwords. And then she was reminded of the one, he told her earlier, as a joke. She pressed, S R I V 2 8 A D I T I K A and, boom, it got unlocked. She blushed and hugged the phone, only when he came to snatch it away.

    "Excuse me, that's mine."
    "I was taking it for a click only."
    "I meant the hug."
    "Huh?"
    "Yeah, you should be hugging me, rather than my phone silly!"
    "What if i am the kind of woman, who seduces rich guys, into fake love to drive in a Jaguar, to eat in a fancy restaurant and work for better packages, so as to take my business to a greater height?"
    "Hmm, and what if i am the kind of man, who overly appreciates married women, to disrupt their happy married lives and to push them to the loneliness that I've reached to?"

    Kritika felt a lump in her throat. She wished to go to him and hug him tight to tell him, that he's not alone, and he's got her, even though as a client. But she knew her limits, and instead passed a faint smile to the obvious sarcasm he tried to do a moment earlier.

    "Tastes bitter, no?"
    "What?"
    "Your own medicine?"
    "Haha! Ofcourse. We both are good at defining our evil sides. Right?"
    "Indeed."
    "Aditya?"
    "I'm fine, Kritika."

    She kept looking at him, in the hope he'd look upto her eyes, but he kept his gaze low and stayed busy with the food. She tried to calm the air, and began conversation, for what she wanted him to join. He listened patiently, and as her plan unveiled in front of him, a loud gasp came out of his mouth.

    "Holy moly! Are you serious!"
    "What do you think? Isn't it some good plan?"
    "Bullshit plan. Who does this?"
    "We'll do this."
    "You've gone crazy, Kritika. What would your family think of you! And more importantly, what about Abhinav?"
    "I've talked to my maa, and his parents too. They were unwilling initially, but they understood that I'm doing this for everyone's good. And Abhi! He loves me, more than anything else, he'd understand it."
    "Phew! What more to say!"
    "Come on, just say yes, Aditya! Or you want me to lie in your feet and beg?"
    "That'd be equally good, but okay, but remember it was all your plan. Don't blame me after this."
    "All my plan? That means you're not willing. I thought it's about us, but seems like yo.."
    "Stop acting, Kritika. It's crazy, but if that's what makes you happy, I'd do it hundred times. And I'd take the blame too."
    "Now that's like my Adi!"
    "Ahem ahem, already Adi?"
    "I meant Aditya."
    "Adi sounds equally good."
    "How about Aditika?"

    And he blushed realising his password was still the same. And more importantly, she remembered it well.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 23

    She kept looking at him, in the hope he'd look upto her eyes, but he kept his gaze low and stayed busy with the food.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 8w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    As he began to move, Kritika clutched him tight. It's been 3 warm days, for anyone to get addicted. But Abhinav had taken leave for that many days, so when he woke up on the fourth day, Kritika resisted.

    "I've to go, baby."
    "Where?"
    "To office."
    "Why? Aditya won't mind your absence. He's sweet."

    As she babbled through her sleep, Abhinav kissed on her forehead, and tucked her well inside the blanket.

    "I know he's sweet, and that's why i think i should be going. We shouldn't take advantage of sweet people, right?"
    "Umm, yeah. No point in arguing. You've already left the bed, and me."
    "You're so adorable right now. Believe me, if it were to me, I'd never have left this bed."

    He got himself ready, and was about to sit on dining, when Kritika entered too. She had also got ready, wearing a bright yellow saree with broad red border, and contrast jewellery. The adorable kid, Abhinav left in the bed, had turned to a gorgeous lady who still has the power to take his breath away.

    "I never knew my Kitten has plans for today as well."
    "What would i do alone at home? So, i thought.."
    "So you thought to go to your office?"
    "Kind of. First I'll go there, but then, I've other plans."
    "Like?"
    "Stop questioning, Abhi. Some things need to be kept as secret."
    "Even with our better halves?"
    "Specially with our better halves!"

    And that statement brought a laugh on Kritika's face, but a sense of doubt on Abhinav's face. The constant thought of Aditya made him tremble. He was ready to let go of Kritika, till she had revealed her love to him. But now, after all the clearance, and specially after spending such good time with her, so closely, he can't let go of her. He was possessive earlier too, now his possession had turned to obsession. The more he gets of Kritika, the more he wants. He shut off all his overthinking, as he got up, and went to her seat to kiss her on lips. It was abrupt, but worth the doubts, he was having. She kissed him back. And they both went off their ways.

    "Hey, Abhinav. Good to see you back! We all missed you."
    "Thank you so much sir. Yesterday, i saw, there were so many headlines about our company on various channels of television."
    "Is that why, you're glowing? Or there's something else?"

    Abhinav felt a spark in his eyes, he knew he was happy. For both the reasons, yet he wanted to tell Aditya, that Kritika has finally accepted him and she belonged to him.

    "Ofcourse, I'm happy about the news. Though this is more about my wife."
    "Indeed! I see. Kritika had really changed my rooftop for the best. She's a talented woman. You're a lucky husband, Abhinav."
    "That i truly am! Her love has kept me alive all these years. Sometimes i wonder, where would i be without her?"
    "Haha! You both are quite romantic. Tell me, when both of you are going to give your boss a good news?"

    This thought made him blush. He wanted a child too. But they hadn't been close since marriage. Past three days have been their closest, and he had felt so many times that Kritika was willing to make love to him. That thought bring a smile on his face.

    "Someone is dreaming already!"
    "Come on, boss! Stop teasing your employee like this. We are both kids only!"
    "I see the kid in you getting excited on the thought of making kid?"
    "You! Sir!"

    They both laughed out loud, and Abhinav left Aditya's cabin. To deal with Abhinav felt easy than he thought. He thought he might feel jealous, but to his astonishment, Aditya felt relieved knowing Kritika was loved by his husband. He looked up the portrait, and felt a twisting pain in his chest. He wanted to have her, in front of him, right now. But he also knew, if she was there, it would be impossible for him to stop himself from hugging her.

    "May i come in, sir?"

    The voice felt familiar, and his heart pounded when he acknowledged whose it was. He immediately stood up, and tried to hide the portrait. It fell off his hand, and the glass broke. He went nervous, and spoke, "A little busy, please wait for a while." He then, picked up all the pieces, and put them to the bin. The portrait was made on a big chart paper, which he folded in a long cylinderical shape, and secured with a rubber tie. He, then, opened up his cupboard and was about to keep it inside, when the door opened, and Kritika was standing there, smiling.

    "What's that, Aditya?"
    "Huh? Nothing, nothing. What are you talking about?"
    "Are you free, by the way?"
    "No madam, I'm exclusively busy."
    "My mistake, that i asked for your time. Okay, let's try again. You're coming with me, in your car, that I'll drive, down to the Golden cuisine cafe, where I'd like to discuss few things. Fine?"
    "Haha! As if i have a choice. By the way, is Abhinav also joining us?"

    She rushed to him, and put her hand on his mouth. He looked astonished and unable to respond. Only when she whispered, "it's a secret, stupid. I've not told him, I'm here. So you better keep your mouth shut. Also, Mr. Mehra has seen me here, and few of your staff members. Make sure, they don't tell Abhi."
    She waited for him to speak, but he pointed at his mouth which was still under her cover.
    "Oops sorry. Yea speak now!"
    "You are crazy!"
    "People go crazy in love. It's normal."
    "Sure. So we're already planning for a secret affair?"

    She blushed on his flirtatious tone. And he made a call, to make up for the arrangements. He was excited to spend time with her, even if he knew it was extremely hard to sit beside her, without getting close.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 22

    He looked up the portrait, and felt a twisting pain in his chest. He wanted to have her, in front of him, right now.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 8w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    It has been three days, when Abhinav hadn't attended the office. Somewhere deep down, Aditya knew the reason, for it was quite visible in Kritika's eyes, the day she bid him good-bye. And these 72 hours, Aditya has worked off really hard. He met with at least 3 clients daily, and followed the presentation details even late at night, and sometimes till early morning. The staff co-operated with him, without any question, because when the boss works hard, the team works harder. It was Mr. Mehra who didn't like this approach. Though these three days have added a lot to their profits, so he couldn't argue or even oppose Aditya. At the end of third day, when it was nearly upto 1 at night, and Aditya walked past him, he followed him.

    "Hey, Mr. Mehra, why are you up this late?"
    "How can a servant leave, when the master is working, Sir?"
    "Enough of your formalities, Mr. Mehra. How many times shou.."
    "Why are you hustling this much? Is there any big project in near future which I'm not aware of?"
    "Nothing like that, Mr. Mehra. Isn't it good to work hard, even when you've no deadlines? That's how we bloom?"
    "At what cost, sir?"

    Aditya remained silent knowing what he's trying to mean. He hadn't slept since three days, but he couldn't tell Mr. Mehra, that even if he wasn't working hard, he'd still be not taking care of his health. Kritika was the much needed storm of his life. And she has cleared up a lot of his mess, yet after a storm has passed, it takes time to go with the routine. He knew he'll manage things again, and better this time, but he also knew it would take time. And he has learnt from her, when things aren't well at personal level, we should work hard to get things better at professional level. Kritika had done brilliantly on professional front in last two years. He looked upto her, as his idol.

    "I know, master, it's hard. But your body needs relaxation too. Since, Mr. Kapoor will be back tomorrow, you can take a day or two off to chill."
    "Abhinav won't stay here for long, Mr. Mehra. We have to work hard these two three months, make profits as much as we can, and do whatever w.."
    "Two three months? Not here for long? What all of this means? Has he applied for resignation?"
    "No."
    "Exactly! Why would someone leave this company, right sir? You've offered him such a good package, what more an employee expects?"

    Aditya knew the reason, but he kept it to himself. He doesn't want to trouble Mr. Mehra. As they both sat in the car, Aditya felt a little cold. He adjusted the temperature, and thought what it would feel like if he was there in Kritika's arms. He remembered her passionate tight hug, and that warmth covered him all over. A faint smile blossomed on his face, and he switched off the heater.

    "To be honest, Sir, i somehow feel jealous of Kritika."
    "Huh? What? Why!"
    "Since she has came into your life, you've begun keeping secrets. Earlier you used to tell me all that ran into your mind, if not heart, even if a little late."
    "Haha, nothing like that, kaka. You're still my favourite human!"
    "I'm glad you've not married her, otherwise, where would i have gone to?"
    "You're exaggerating the situation, Mr. Mehra. And there's nothing like secret, I just want to make major profits, from the parties i don't feel good connection. From the parties, i, to be honest, is scared of, because i think they can cheat us."
    "Exactly sir. You've taken a good amount of risk, past these days, and i was wondering where did you get all this courage from?"

    "It's not courage, it's a good luck charm she has brought with herself. Till the time, she is here, i want to do everything i am scared of, because i know it all will work positively. Once she's gone, i know, I'll have to play appropriately. It's not like, without her Srivastava company wasn't doing good, but the market rise since last three months, has been astonishingly well and some of us can believe it to be because of raised economy, but i want to believe it differently. Abhinav's presence of mind has helped in marketing sector, adding to our incomes. Our rivals thought we'll perish after our manager resigned, and two clients deny to deal with us. But they didn't see what our fortune has in its basket."

    "It's amazing, sir. Seems like those in love always have a different perspective to general public."
    "Isn't it the same with you, Mr. Mehra. That's why you still wear the same old watch, your wife once gifted you?"
    "You're right sir. We all believe in things, that might not make any sense to others, but makes total sense to ourselves."

    Aditya passed a smile, and began humming a mild tune, when Mr. Mehra intervened again.
    "What did you mean, when you said, earlier, about two three months, Sir?"
    "You, kaka!"
    "Come on, baba. Tell me. Is it confirm, that Mr. Kapoor will leave soon?"
    "I don't know, honestly. But i know one thing, that Kritika loves Abhinav, and she has finally realised it. She moved to this city, because it was unbearable to live at the same place, her father passed away, and she was married to a man, she considered her best friend only. She wanted an escape from the reality. But i guess, now she has accepted the truth wholeheartedly, and she would like to go back. If that happens, Abhinav will leave too."
    "Hmm. I see."

    There was a complete silence, somehow, it all made sense. Mr. Mehra didn't ask more, because he always knew his limits. He felt sad for his master, because he always wanted him with Kritika. It was true, she has changed his life for the good. Until now, Mr. Mehra always lived in stress, thinking how would his master live, if something happened to him. After Kritika's encounter, and the growing love in Aditya's eyes for her, made him believe that she will be there for him. He could die in peace, but now the story was different. He felt the old stress returning. He sighed.

    "It's not that sad, Mr. Mehra. Once you meet her again, you'll realise how much she has changed. And Abhinav is the only right man for her."
    "He might be the right man, sir. But you were the Best Man for her."

    Aditya squeezed his hand, he knew Mr. Mehra was right. If Kritika could be his, he'd never let her go to any man. Even the thought of her being in someone else's arms made him revolting. But he knew, she loves Abhinav, not him. He wondered if she could love him instead, and divorce Abhinav. They could spend their entire lives dancing, and making love to each other. What a paradise it would be.

    "But, sir, you've that portrait of hers, in your office. That's not going anywhere, so what's the hurry?"
    "Haha! Your memory must be awarded, Mr. Mehra. Ofcourse, we've that portrait. But that will also be discarded away soon."
    "Discarded? As in?"
    "As in, nothing, Mr. Mehra. Enjoy the ride, and don't think much. Getko's art is amazing, yet the portrait shows one side only, I'm bored of it."
    "Bored? You can ask for a better portrait since now you've seen every side of Mrs. Kapoor."
    "That's why, Mr. Mehra, that's why. I've seen so many sides of her, that it can't be depicted on sheets of paper, that can't be captured on our cameras. I've felt all her sides, and that feeling is more than enough for surviving this life."
    "I've always prayed that you enjoy the life, you're building for yourself, but seems like you want to survive only."
    "Prayers don't work well, all the time, Mr. Mehra. We don't get what we ask for."
    "No sir. Prayers do wo.."
    "Did i ask for my parent's untimely demise? Did i ask for a working childhood? Did i ask for early maturity? Did i ask to be used by my girlfriend? Tell me kaka, what have i done so bad, that every person i loved, left me broken? Did i ask for it?"

    A tear slipped down his cheek, and he pressed the button to automatically open his side window. Wild air rushed onto his face, and he recalled how Kritika broke likewise into his arms. He felt weak, he wanted her arms now. He felt used again. Previously, he was used financially, this time he felt used emotionally. His heart ached for her, but his soul was as calm as the moonlight falling onto his face.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 21

    We all believe in things, that might not make any sense to others, but makes total sense to ourselves.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 8w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    Sunlight fell onto Abhinav's face, and he rubbed his eyes to open them. A sweet smile spread on his face, as he was reminded of previous night. He moved his arms to hold his love, but couldn't find anyone. He opened his eyes in hurry, to find himself all alone on her bed. The fact, that he was still on her bed, in her room, in his three piece suit, he finally sighed relief, that it wasn't a dream, and she was there in his arms all night long. Then, where was she now? He thought to himself, if Aditya was still important to her, and she had gone to his place? But he knew the work was over there.
    "She told me, she loves me. She's mine. I won't let her go. I'm not satisfied by love of one night. I'll fight for her."
    He babbled through his sleep, and was about to get up from bed, only when the door opened, and she entered inside. He noticed her night suit, and thought that she might had woken up earlier to change it and make him something to drink. He felt relieved. She came closer to the bed, and bend down to give him a goodmorning kiss on his forehead. He held her tight in his arms and pulled her on the bed. She resisted the pull, and made herself sit comfortably on the bed, all by herself. Then she lifted his head, and kept it in her lap. He cuddled up to her chest, and pressed his head slightly.

    "Enough, Abhi. Go down and lie there."
    "Ummm... Your chest is so soft. It's like a pillow."
    "That's because, female chest are modification of sweat glands and you sh.."

    Unable to resist on her factual talks, he raised a little and took control of her mouth. She tried to push him away, but his strength overpowered. Slowly and steadily, he began moving his hands, onto her body. Before she could know and react, her body started swinging to his touch. She wanted to resist, ironically enough, she surrendered to him. The aroma of hot coffee caught her attention, and she pushed her hand inside Abhinav's suit to pinch him.

    "Ouchhh!"
    "Better, move away. You've not even brushed. Silly. Coffee is getting cold."
    "You're worried about the coffee?"
    "Shouldn't I?"
    "What about my passion? It has gotten cold too."
    "Don't worry about it. I can see quite of a bulge in your pants. Your passion isn't going anywhere."
    "You! The naughtiest kitten!"

    She chuckled to her victory, though she knew it was not possible to stop Abhinav from getting physical. She too wanted it, but she feared the process. It is quite normal of people, to fear the uncertainties. While she poured coffee into his mug, he opened his suit, and made himself comfortable. As he removed his shirt too, Kritika's eyes shone to see her man's skin. He was strongly built, and his back was arched. All these years, she had failed to acknowledge her husband's beauty.

    "It's illegal to stalk people, Kritika."
    "We can stalk our partners, as much as we want. Marriages give us those rights."
    "Ah! I see. Ofcourse."
    "Ofcourse."

    And before she could knew, he took her hand, and placed it on his body to make her feel him. Her hands swiftly moved along his body curves, and muscle mass. She felt an unsaid desire to have him.

    "Enough of this, Abhi. It's been the whole night. And we're doing it again. I've planned so much more for you na!"
    He held her hand onto his chest, where his heart beat synced with hers. Then slowly, he took her hand up to his mouth, and kissed on the backside.
    "Okay, tell me, what all have you planned? We'll do accordingly."
    "Yes. First we'll drink this coffee together. Daily. And then we both will exercise together. This way we can spend time together from the start. Then the usual, bathing, and dressing, then we .."
    "So we'll bath together, right?"
    "Yea. And then we will .."
    "Hmm, sounds interesting, come let's bath together, in your bathroom only. Come, come. Let's do rain dance in your shower. Show me your moves baby!"
    "Abhi! You're mad. There's no point in talking to you, right now."
    "Aee! Kritika? Where you going? Okay sorry, i was teasing you."
    "No. You're mad. And you only want sex."
    "You don't want it?"
    "Ofcourse i want it. But there's love beyond that. What's the hurry? We can plan that too. Only if you control your lust for a while."

    He frowned upon listening this. All his life he waited for her to get comfortable. And whenever she asked to stay away, he had stayed away. Now when it was clear that they both were in love, why to hesitate? He sat up and drank his coffee in a single sip.

    "Hey, Abhi! Listen. Listen na! I'm sorry. I didn't mean that."
    "Even if you call it Lust, or Love, or passion. I don't care, Kitten. I want you in my arms, all the time. I've waited long enough for you, and i am not saying I can't wait, but i find it inappropriate to keep waiting. Because, i know you this well, that you won't ever be coming to me, asking for it. So we'll have to do it, have to. It's gonna be forceful, even after you consented it. Forced, rough and unforgettable experience."
    "I've read that rough sex is painful. I ain't doing it."
    "First of all, you stop researching it. When you can have a live experience, why to depend on other's opinion."
    "To make sure, if i can bear pain."
    "You'll crave that pain."
    "No one wants pain, just to be clear."
    "It's true, in a way, that nobody wants pain. But the other side of truth is, people cherish pain. Lot more than victories. They just don't realise it. It's the pain that makes us cherish the aftermath. The pleasure that comes after pain brings happiness and peace."
    "I don't know what pleasure you're talking about, Abhi. I mean no person, can connect sexual pleasure in a philosophical way to methods of living."

    He blushed at her remark, and she came closer to him. Kritika brushed her hand from his hair to his neck, and down to his chest, only when he bend down to her ears, and whispered, "the bulge has gone sweety, you're late", and they both bursted in laughter.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 20

    "It's true, in a way, that nobody wants pain. But the other side of truth is, people cherish pain. Lot more than victories. They just don't realise it. It's the pain that makes us cherish the aftermath. The pleasure that comes after pain brings happiness and peace."

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 9w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    Kritika was about to leave, from Aditya's mansion, saying her last thank you, only when, Aditya went close to hug her. She felt quite emotional, and weak, to bid him goodbye. He tried to fake happiness, and teased her as to when will she announce "the good news" to him! She blushed and waved him bye.

    Half an hour later, she reached her home only to realise how late she had been, since it's almost night and no lights were turned on. Seems like, Abhinav too was late today. She felt butterflies in her tummy just by the thought of him. She opened the door, in excitement, and switched on the lights. The place looked absolutely stunning, with fairy lights and chandlers all around. As she removed her shoes, and begin moving barefoot, she realised the flower petals under her feet. She blushed in joy, and began dreaming. The aroma of the place was filled with lilies that were kept in bouquets at every corner of the house. She reached the hall to find delicious meals amidst candle lights. A perfect date idea kept hovering in her mind, and she began to think, if it's Aditya or Abhinav! The lilies signify Abhinav, but the passion was of Aditya's. She desperately went to her room, only to find a glittering red colored, one shoulder slit dress lying on her bed, with a note asking her to wear it quickly. She kissed the note, that signified Abhinav's handwriting, and went to changing clothes. As she was about to open her chest drawers for her jewelery, she was amused to see, how perfectly the matching earrings, and necklace was taken out by him. She wore it happily. Abhinav had bought her a dark red shade of lipstick, a year back, which she never used, because she never felt like, but today, she took it out and applied a light coat of it on her lips. She felt gorgeous. She moved downstairs, and saw him dressed neatly in a royal blue, three piece suit, that fitted his body perfectly. She was swayed by his one look. So was he.

    "What's all this, Abhi?"
    "Love."

    She blushed on the obvious answer, though his straight forwarded behaviour reminded her of their past. He made a move, and sat on his right knee, asking for her hand. She gave her hand, or her heart, she didn't know. Because, all she remembered was Abhinav pulling her into his arms. He made her sit on the chair, and sat opposite to her. Later on, he served her pasta, and corns. They were his speciality, and Kritika used to love them, since his college days. Despite having a pin drop silence, their eyes spoke a lot to each other. When one's eyes look up, other's used to look away, and vice versa.

    "Umm, it's delicious. Thank you Abhina.. Abhi. I was starving."
    "I can quench your thirst too, kitten!"
    "Huh?"

    And they both giggled on their stupid non veg jokes. Abhinav used to bring fantasies and his sexual desires many times, while they were younger. He'd say something neutral, but Kritika always used to find the double meaning. They were complementary to one another.

    "I guess the slit shouldn't be this deep."

    Kritika noticed her dress, again. Ofcourse, the slit was deep, and while she was sitting, it even reflected her muscular thighs. She tried to cover it up, but failed.

    "You shouldn't have bought this one!"
    "I was planning for bilateral slits, you're lucky, i chose this one."
    "As in?"
    "People don't wear even this much, for their honeymoon."
    "Abhi! Ssttop!"

    He watched her, as she rose from her seat and walked to the staircase. He held her from behind, and whispered those three words, which made her blush again. She hid her face behind her hands. He lifted her in his arms and took her to her room. She was astonished, since she thought he'd take her to his room. Abhinav's unpredictable nature was impressive for Kritika.

    "Are we really gonna do that?"
    "I had been dying to do, your that, since five years."
    "Five!?"
    "Or you think, six?"
    "I think nothing! Silly! Watch out!"
    "You've gone a little fatty!"
    "And you a little weak!"
    "That we'll see in the bedroom! What say? Who's stronger?"

    She punched softly on his back, and hid her face in his chest. Her heart pounded on the thought of him wanting her since six years. She never thought, Abhi wanted her, for he had never made her uncomfortable. Not even when, she had slept lying next to him. But now she knows it. And it made her stomach do a somersault. He opened the door, with his left leg, pushing it hard. Kritika made an attempt to get on her feet, but he denied, gripping her harder. Later, he put her on bed, and dimmed the light. He took out his phone, and before he could do anything, she spoke,

    "Are you out of your mind?"
    "I think, out of my heart, kitten!"
    "No. Shut up. This filming and all is so cheap. I don't want it."
    "Oh? You sure about it? By the way, i was going through your laptop last week, and found something peculiar in your browsing history. I guess, someone didn't clear their history."

    She obviously felt embarrassed. Last week, Abhinav's laptop was overheated, so he took hers for few hours. She now realised what his evil intentions were. He was checking her laptop. She felt cheated!

    "That's why you took my laptop? Tell? You cheater!"
    "What's cheating in that? I didn't check anything on your laptop, apart from your browsing history. Not even your secret folder named, memories."

    She got up and started fighting him off on that remark. He twisted her hand, and ran his chin onto her face, down to neck line. She shivered on his touch, and surrendered immediately to him. He made her lie in his arms, and played a romantic playlist that he made specially for this occasion. It included slow and soft music of her taste. As the music began playing in the background, his hand reached on to the switch that was new to her room. She wondered, what that switch would do. And the moment he clicked on it, a projector emitted light onto the ceiling. She gasped in amusement, at how her ceiling was now the universe, with stars, planets, comets and even a spaceship.

    "Abhi! You remembered this!"
    "Ofcourse, i do. You always used to tell me, how badly you want to do stargazing, but the reality was you could never stay awake all night, and the mosquitoes love your blood."
    "So now i can finally enjoy stargazing, with the largest mosquito of the planet?"
    "Haha! This mosquito bite won't itch."

    His unpredictable flirting lines made her blush frequently, and she hid her face again. Abhinav turned to her side, and she hugged him tight. Their heartbeats synced, just like their soul entwined. She felt heavenly, and he was finally at peace. She was telling him about the new blackhole theory, and how everything is interconnected, only when Abhinav pressed his lips onto hers. She didn't push him away, instead, kissed him back. This time he got onto her, and slided his tongue inside her mouth. They had a long, passionate kiss, as they both melted into one another.

    "I love you, Abhi."
    "I wish i could tell you that your lips are magical. I love you my kitten. I love you so much. I will always love you the most."

    The whole night passed, with them cuddling together, and telling each other all the things that had been due since long. They both cried, laughed, hugged and kissed several times, as they reveal their pains, guilt, and longing for each other. She felt light and happy. The playlist stopped, and they realised it had been quite a lot of time, so they thought to sleep finally. Abhinav got up from the bed, and was about to go, when Kritika held his hand, and asked him to stay. He obliged her, like always. She slept quietly in his arms, as he showered his eternal love onto her.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 19

    "Ofcourse, i do. You always used to tell me, how badly you want to do stargazing, but the reality was you could never stay awake all night, and the mosquitoes love your blood."

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 9w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    "You look happy, Kritika!"
    "And, stunning too, right?"
    "That you always look, but this mischievousness in your eyes is new!"
    "I wrote a letter to Abhi!"
    "Finally?"
    "Yes! Isn't it great? I feel so much better after this! You know i saw him reading the letter, and he was happy reading it. I am sure he read the letter twice, he even shed tears reading it!"
    "So what do you think, will happen next?"
    "I ain't writing the story! How'd i know, Aditya!"
    "I hope your story ends beautifully."
    "I hope it doesn't end soon!"

    She has brought with her one assistant, for the left over work, and guided him in the redesigning module. She, then, made way to Aditya's bedroom, and fall upon it, as if hugely tired.

    "This isn't your bedroom, Madame!"
    "What's yours, is mine too."

    She stretched herself out, and her dupatta fell off her shoulder. He tried hard to not stalk her, but her curves kept distracting his mind. In the end, he went out of the room.

    "Heyy! Aditya?"
    "Do you want some food, baby?"
    "Who's baby?"
    "Not ours, for sure!"

    When even after half an hour, he didn't return, Kritika stood up from the bed, and reached to the hall. He was rocking in his armchair, with closed eyes, and earphones plugged in. She picked up his phone, and tried entering few passwords. When nothing worked, she took his right hand, and tried imprinting his thumb impression to the screen, only when Aditya grabbed her into his arms!

    "Adi.. leave me. What are yo.."
    "Shh.. Stop playing with me!"

    He rubbed his nose on her left cheek, and gripped his hands onto her waist. She tried hard to release herself, but his eyes stopped her. Before Aditya could make another move, Kritika bit his nose, and his grip loosened.

    "You rat!"
    "Haha. I am strong, okay? You can't cage me!"
    "I wish i could say you the same!"
    "I am not caging you either."
    "Haven't i already fallen into your trap, sweetheart!"
    "It's no trap."

    He went close to give her a peck, and hugged her.

    "I'll miss coming here, Aditya."
    "Why?"
    "Why? You're asking why! I mean, how can i not miss the place, where i felt like home. Where i fought myself. Where i found my true desires, and where i felt like myself again!"
    "Few minutes back, you told me, what's mine is yours too? So why miss anything? It's all yours. Come, whenever you feel like. Shall i offer you a spare key of this mansion?"
    "The one who didn't give me his phone password, is ready to give me his home key? Pretty doubtful!"
    "S R I V 28 A D I T I K A"

    She blushed, realising what it meant.

    "Nice try, mister! Though, Mrs. Kritika Srivastava sounds cool."
    "Haha! Phone password is secret, will tell you some other day. Yet i can offer you the key!"
    "Nah. Abhi is already quite jealous of you, i don't want to add spark to the fire!"
    "He's naive, there's nothing between us."
    "May be we can have something, next life."
    "I don't think I'll be able to deal with some emotional shit like you, I'm better off without you!"

    She moved back, not because she was hurt, but because she knew she was hurting him. Aditya has done so much for her. It was her nature to note everything others do for her. Gratitude is a nature that allows you to never take anything for granted, but also chains you! She felt shackles again, and sighed.

    "Kritika!"
    "Huh?"
    "Thank you."

    She was amused, why would he say so! Did he read her mind, or is he kidding only?

    "I wasn't leaving without thanking you. Don't remind me!"
    "Haha! You're stupid. I mean i am thankful to you. I won't forget your favours, ever!"
    "You're drunk, on stupidity. Aditya. I have done favours? I? Aditya, it's you, it's you who have saved me. Who prevented me from drowning! It's you who made me realise what my heart truly desires, you are trying to save my marriage. It's you who've done so mu.."

    "Shhh! You speak much. Shh! Quiet! You only see what suits you. But that's not how this world works! Shall i tell you, what have you done for me? I'm eating thrice daily, and that may sound quite basic to you, but that's something really rare for me. You should ask, Mr. Mehra once. He's delighted these days, all because i stay happy. I won't say, i was depressed before i met you, and you bring colours and butterflies to my life, as in typical movies. No. I was fine, but my health wasn't. My sleep cycle was ruined, and to wake up early morning was impossible. I'm doing it all now, and it doesn't even feel like any burden. Our company bloomed the day i saw you, the great luck you brought to our company can't never be forgotten. People believe luck in rocks, and worship them as gods. You, you're my lively goddess, spreading your magic everywhere in my life. This mansion has never felt this homely. You'll miss this place? Ask this place once! It will miss you more. Even these little moments you've stayed with me, will help me lifetime. You see, how perfect deal i made. Little investment, and lifetime returns!"

    She felt in a moment, how different Aditya and Abhinav have been. Aditya washed away all her doubts with the waves of his loving words. He broke all the shackles and set her free. She felt light, and relieved.

    "So it's mutual. We both helped each other."
    "Ofcourse, though you helped me more, Kritika!"
    "You can repay me, with an icecream treat!"
    "Right now?"
    "Right now!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 18

    "I don't think I'll be able to deal with some emotional shit like you, I'm better off without you!"

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 9w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    As Abhinav was taking out his shirt from his cupboard, he saw an envelope in between his clothes. He wondered how it came here, and saw the front side to find any names. Nothing. He checked the seal, and it was open. He took the letter out, and read it,

    "Dear Abhi,

    I know it's weird to receive letters this way, i mean I've sent you such letters in past too. Remember, my secret letters? This isn't a secret one, then why a letter? Because i knew, if i had tried speaking it out, in front of you, I'd had messed up it all.

    It's been 21 months, since we're married, and I've not been any good to you. I mean, i have done things more as a wife, than as a friend. The friend that i miss in you, is actually still there. It's the friend in me, that i have killed in hope to become a good wife, and i guess it has ruined whatever good we had. Last week you mentioned setting me free, after divorce. I wonder if you can do it now? No. Not legally, i mean, can we not just stay like Abhinav and Kritika. Or just as, Abhi, and Kitten? This, Mrs. Kapoor title, is too heavy for me. I know I've said it earlier, but i realised the problem few days back only.

    Abhi! I want us back. The way we were, as best friends. I want to complain, i want to fight with you. It's not me. I don't feel good living this way. It suffocates me. I married you because i thought this will make you happy. But i never saw you as my lover. You have never appreciated me, in ways a woman loves to be acknowledged. And, to live life like a married couple, getting physical without any passionate love, was unacceptable to me. How could i sleep with you, when I wasn't sure if you like my body over yours? How can a woman reveal her body to a man, who doesn't worship her like a goddess? I don't know about it much, may be there are people who can comfortably make love, without love in the first place!

    All this guilt eats me daily, and i keep on daydreaming, what if you were with someone else! May be that, Shanaya! Remember your college crush? May be you would be happier with her, and i might have found someone else, and then we would call each other, every morning from our offices, and rant about how this marriage is all shit. May be marriages are beautiful, and it's us, who are shit. I mean it, you're equally shit. How can you not see, what was killing me, all the time! How abhi? How could you not understand what i was going through? I asked for a different bed, and you gave it. I asked for a different room, and you accepted it! Why didn't you just pull me to you, while i was pushing you away? Didn't you know how difficult it is for me to accept changes? And this! This change, from best friend to husband, this was huge! Why didn't you rub my palms then? Why did you keep standing near my room's door, and never came inside to hug me tightly? Hadn't we hugged before?

    It was Thursday's night, when i realised that you visited me, and confessed your love. All thanks to your tears! In that moment i was overwhelmed, of love, care and confusion. I wished to pull you back, in my bed. But i wanted to know if it was for a night, or Abhi's another peculiar ritual. And after three nights, here we are. If you love me so much, why can't you say it? Remember the time when you were in college, and I'd tell you how much i love you, and you'd never say it back? I cursed you, that your wife would never accept you, until you say those words. And you'd chuckingly say that she would surely accept, since actions speak louder than words, and you'd love her beyond everything! I guess, my curse has backfired! But you knew me, always? Didn't you? I need reassurance, i need words, i need your words.

    Why have you changed so much after marriage? I want my previous Abhi back! The one who'd fight against everything, just to stay with me. Not the one who want to set me free. Please cage me, in your love. I don't want to be free. I am sorry, for ruining our friendship, in the name of wedding. And i am sorry for ruining your love life, in the name of returning favours. You're my favourite, since class ninth! And so are lilies, Abhi! Can i also say, that every time your mom asks me for a child, i wanna yell at her, that I'm a child myself? I mean, come on, she's sweet, but she's too interrogative. Can i also gossip about your cousin? He flirted with me, back when we were living in Bangalore! Now you get it, why i don't like talking to him on calls. You know, on our wedding, Kunal also came up! Unbelievable, right? You see? There's so many things, of these 21 months, that are piled up inside me! Wanna unpack them?

    Yours, and yours only,
    For always.
    Kitten!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 17

    I don't know about it much, may be there are people who can comfortably make love, without love in the first place!

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 10w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    "So, what happened next? Did you tell him, about your fear of losing him as friend, and falling sick for scoring the best?"
    "Stop judging me, Aditya! I was a kid back then!"
    "Was?"
    "So? I'm quite an adult now."
    "Ah! I wish if i could agree, but, the truth, my dear Kritika, is.."
    "I'm not gonna tell you the story then, huh!"
    "Hahaha! Okay okay. I'm sorry, you're a full blown adult, and perfectly mature. Just the one, i saw sitting in the car, all poised and graceful!"

    "Ofcourse! Anyway, then i texted Abhinav, all that was running in my head, and how i am sad about being the class topper. In the hurry, i forgot I've had only 18 texts left for the month, and i spent it all that day! After 15 minutes, he replied, congratulating me, not for my rank, but for wasting my text messages on stupidity. Though i felt relieved, so i get myself ready to attend school, and the moment i entered my classroom, he was standing there, clapping his hands, along with other classmates. He exclaimed in joy that he finally got a competition to fight against, and he now understood why i never felt the need to ask for help in academics. After my result came out, and things got settled, i observed that, suddenly i gained so many friends. Yet, Abhinav was my favourite. Everything was simple with him. We participated in the art contest, and though we both didn't get selected for inter school contest, we had our fun time. In finals, he bagged the first rank. And even though i came second, i was the happiest. We went to our school trips together, and my parents begin trusting him, more than me, just imagine! Everytime i was low, or sick, they'd call him, and ask for reasons. And when, he didn't have one, he'd rush to my place with two ice-creams in hand, and we'd then challenge each other for badminton games! He'd give me a tough competition, but at the end, always let me win. He was the best man of my life. And.."
    "Was?"
    "Aditya?"
    "What? Was? Doesn't feel right!"

    "You know there was a time when our friendship grew so strong that both of our families went for a trip together! Do you realise this! How filmy it all was! I can't tell you. When he went away for higher education, i literally cried every single day. It was like a part of me was snatched away, and i can't have it back. I knew it was tough for him as well, but to know a thing, and to deal with a thing, are two different things. It troubled him a lot, to see my crying face, yet he did his little bits to make me understand his situation. Phone calls became a regular thing. He'd make sure my sms package never run out, since i usually have a lot to say. Everytime he'd come back to home, he first came to my place before going to his. My parents loved him, like their own son, may be because he filled the emptiness of their lives. Our friendship was real. Abhinav was everything I'd ever need in this whole life, and may be in next lives too!"
    "Wow, sounds like a story."
    "Because it is!"
    "No, i mean, that's very fictional. How can people be so close together, and so good! Seems very doubtful, and fishy!"
    "Indeed. I mean just look at us, you and me. Isn't this fictional too? To fall in love with a woman, you saw in a random cab, and then taking care of her as if that's your only mission! Quite fake!"
    "Hahahaha!!! Aren't you quite lucky? I mean, to be blessed with two men, who are dying to keep you happy!"
    "So you accept that you've fallen for me?"
    "Then what happened to your everything, that you needed, madam! Abhinav is your husband now, so why's the tension between you two? And, to be quite frank, I'd mention that i think you're still virgin! Why so?"

    She looked at him, quite boldly. Her hands took out the scrunchie from her bag, and she tied her hair up in a tight pony tail. He went near to her and grabbed her by waist, as he pushed her to the wall.

    "You've no right to seduce me this way, sweetheart!"
    "And you've no right to judge me for my virginity."

    She pushed him off, and went downstairs to the main hall. She grabbed a chair for herself and asked the cook to serve her sandwich and juice. He came down for her, and kept stalking her from a distance.

    "You know, the basic couple things, these youngsters do these days, I've done it all with, my Abhi. Though i did it in friendship, but yeah, I've done it. Holding hands, going for movies, even taking up the corner seats! Going on long drives, night stays, and what not! Spent so many valentine's day with him, and had wore matching outfits with him on his sister's wedding!"
    "Had you ever kissed him?"
    "You won't believe it, how many times I've said him those three magical words, before marriage! And even written letters to.."
    "Have you kissed him even once?"
    "You're not listening, i have sent letters to .."

    He lost his cool, and came to her, snatching the half eaten sandwich! She demanded it back. He asked for the answer.

    "Abhi.. why do you have to do this!"
    "Aditya*!"
    "Huh?"
    "You called me Abhi!"

    Her face flushed, and she realised her mistake instantly. She rose from her seat and held Aditya's hand in guilt. He knew how she is used to carry guilt, so he instantly cupped her face and remarked, it's fine. She hugged him back, tightly.

    "I'm absolutely sorry, Aditya. I don't know how i.."
    "Shh... Happens sometimes! It was me who was asking your personal stuff. I shouldn't hav.."
    "I've kissed Abhinav twice. Once before marriage, while he was taking care of my dad, on his left cheek, and again, six months after marriage, on his forehead because i felt i was cruel enough to not love him back."

    She withdrew from Aditya, and took her purse as she began to leave.

    "But haven't you always loved him back!"
    ..
    ..
    "Kritika?"
    ..
    "... Umm.. i don't think so, Aditya. I guess i loved him, more as a friend. And i think, he loves me as a friend only. I mean, it would have been so better if we were married to different people. And, would have shared our married life to each other. We could have stayed friends for lifetime, that way. There's so much hype about marrying your best friend. But your best friend never looks at you like a lover does. Your best friend knows everything about you, so even after marriage there's nothing new to cherish. All that was before, continues. Though, the responsibilities that came with marriage keeps on rising, and two friends together can do it all, no doubt. But if you were married to different people, you'd be calling to each other every other day, and ranting all the shit about marriage, and even, making plans to get divorce and escape!"
    ..
    ..
    ".. hmm, that's the problem! You want Abhinav as your best friend only, so that you can be just Kritika, and not Mrs. Kapoor!"
    "No! I mean, n.. i mean no. Or may be.. i don't know. I guess, you're.. but no!"
    "It's been a lot, your career growth, your father's ill health, sudden wedding, and then his demise, so you don't get the time to realise, how you've always loved Abhinav. May be if you weren't married to him at 23, you'd have married him at 26! I realised this, the day you slapped me, Kritika!"
    "I, .. i don't know what you're saying. Gotta go. Bye!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 16

    "No, i mean, that's very fictional. How can people be so close together, and so good! Seems very doubtful, and fishy!"

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 10w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    The days went usual. Everyday, Kritika went to Aditya's place, rant him her story, and came back home to spend time with Abhinav. Aditya's love has softened her guilt, and she was able to make peace with her present. She even worked at Abhinav's room, and gave it her peculiar touch. As she became regular to Aditya's mansion, his staff and Mr. Mehra became close friends too. Life was actually getting better for both of them, Aditya and Kritika. But only Abhinav was able to sense the calm before a storm. The constant change in Kritika's outfits, and behaviour obviously made him happy, yet he knew how he had failed her. He prayed everyday, for Kritika's wellbeing, and sometimes for himself too. He knew he'd be left alone, if Kritika made plans to go with Aditya. But he also knew, she would remain happy with him, so he planned to arrange things likewise. There were nights when he couldn't sleep a bit, instead would keep on crying his heart out. He kept thinking where had he gone wrong. He still remembers the day vividly, when Kritika's father had asked him to marry her, and be their son-in-law.

    Kritika's father was ill, severely, and demanded constant care. Her mother was worried too, and Kritika, she had just begun working. If she left the job for taking care of her father, that'd mean a gap in her career. And he knew, how her field demanded consistency, more than knowledge and skills. Without thinking for even a moment, Abhinav boldly left his job, and came to her place. His arrival was greeted with thankfulness in her mother's eyes, and the anger of Kritika. She scolded him enough, and even didn't talk for two days, even when she was the happiest to find him by her side. Her father needed constant care, for some seven months or so, and it would have been difficult for anyone to take care for such long period, be it Abhinav or Kritika. Yet he didn't give up, for everytime he thought it's enough, he would see her face, and then he'd stay. He wasn't doing it for Kritika, he was doing it for himself. Because he knew to see kritika in pain, was harder than taking care of her dad.

    It was at the end of seventh month, when her father realised he won't live long, and asked Abhinav to marry Kritika. Though, he was rejoiced to hear so, he knew it's a decision of Kritika, so he politely denied. Her father understood the matter, and asked him again, in front of Kritika. She went into shock, realising what her dad had actually said. She promptly denied it, and mentioned how it would be an additional burden over him, and she don't want that. He deserves someone much better than her, someone who isn't a cry baby, and someone who's mature enough. He deserves the best, and she was not even good, for him. Abhinav interrupted her in middle, and told her how he was fine with her, and he'd like to have adventure for a lifetime. Kritika looked upto him, a little more sincerely, and asked, if he was serious about her. Also, won't this mean end of their friendship, what if they lose their bond of best friends? The risk was too high. Abhinav hold her hand, and rubbed to his. She calmed down, and asked him a last question, stating, would it bring happiness to his life, if she chose to marry him. To which he joyfully said indeed. His eyes twinkled, and his face radiated happiness. In that moment, she said yes, for him. May be to return his favours, he had done all his life, or to fulfill her father's last wish!

    "How do i tell her, all that she considers favours, was my love to her! Even if she hadn't asked or even told, I'd had done it. Why is she unable to see, my love! How do i tell her, shall i say to her that i love her. Or shall i buy her something! I can't see her in this state, but i don't want to let go of her. I can't see her with any other guy. I,.. i feel too jealous, of him. He doesn't deserve her, yet i can't deny how much he has helped her to bloom. May be i am just a cage, and she's wild flower. She needs him, and i guess i need him too. He will make sure, my Kritika blooms. Ah! I love her so much. How'd i survive without her! God! Give me strength."

    The clock ticked 3 AM. It was his daily time to get up from bed, and move towards her room. He made slow steps and opened the door. She was lying to one side, as usual. He went close to her, pressed his lips onto her forehead, and whispered, "i love you, kritika. I love you so much, with my whole heart, and for my whole life, I'd love you the same." A drop of tear fell onto her cheek from his eyes, which he failed to notice. He then tucked her blanket properly, and left the room. Abhinav has maintained this ritual, since they've been married. This way he has maintained his 3 AM friendship with Kritika.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 15

    This way he has maintained his 3 AM friendship with Kritika.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 10w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    On the way to Aditya's mansion, she kept thinking about Abhinav. Last night was really memorable, she has felt peace in his arms. The same peace, she's been searching since her marriage. Ironically enough, she found it, at last, in her husband only.

    "Hey, You're looking gorgeous, Kritika!"
    "I'm extremely sorry, for getting late, and i guess, also for what happened ye.."
    "You've apologized twice already!"
    "Huh?"
    "I guess you were in sleep when you apologise!"

    The smile that spread onto his face, seduced her. She moved towards him, and ran her same hand onto his same cheek that was slapped yesterday. He took her hand into his, and took her to the hall.

    "I'm sorry, for the inconvenience, but i think you're missing something."
    "Hello, Mr. Mehra. Good to see you here."
    "Good morning, Sir. Pleasure to meet you!"
    "I felt being sidelined from the story, so thought to make my own way!"

    They all giggled on his response. He took both of them to the dining table, and looked at Kritika.

    "What happened, Sir?"
    "It seems like you can help me, Madame!"
    "In what way?"
    "I'm absolutely hungry, for I've not eaten anything since yesterday. Could you please help me with that?"
    "Oh, not now kaka! I've told you so many times.."
    "What Aditya? What not now? Ask your cook to serve him something. You should take care of him, he's already aged. Wait let me cook something for him. Tell me Sir, what would you like to have?"
    "Kritika, you don't know him. It's his tactic. He'll not eat anything, till..."
    "Till?"
    "Till i eat something."
    "Huhh?"
    "He never eats without me. That's his way of convincing me to eat. I've asked you multiple times kaka to eat, and take care of your health. Why don't you get it?"
    "Seems like I've got addicted to your company, master."
    "Fine. Enough of you two. I've not eaten anything too, so let's all of us eat."
    "I ain't hungry, Kritika. You two eat."

    She came close to him, and grabbed his hand to kitchen. Then asked him to help her to serve food. It was weird how he could not deny her, even at once. The food was served, and they all ate wholeheartedly. Mr. Mehra got up from the chair, and asked permission to leave, to which Aditya agreed. Kritika went upstairs, and in a minute, or so, he reached there too. She was moving elegantly, and all he could do was blush.

    "After the exams, as planned, i gathered courage, and went to his desk. He swiftly moved to one side, making space for me to sit. I sat down, and moved my right hand towards him. He saw my hand positioned in a friendly handshake way, and in that moment, I said that i know I'm nowhere like him, but still if he'd like to be my friend. He took out his right hand too, and we did a friendly handshake. The one that signifies a long friendship. That was the beginning of our journey. He told me how nobody has ever asked him to become his friend, and how people casually begin talking, thinking they've become his friend. He promised that day only, that he'll never betray me. I got my opportunity, and said, that I'll test his loyalty to me. If he's a real friend, then he'll have to participate in the art contest with me. He went lost, for a moment, and then laughed. He told me, how he's naive at drawing and painting, and it's no use for me to take him as a partner. I got up from the desk and left. Next day, when Rekha ma'am asked him to make a list of students, i saw how he wrote my name, and his, together, at the very first number. I rejoiced."

    "Then?
    "I'm thirsty. Br.."
    "Thirsty for?"
    "Umm, come close.."

    Aditya moved closer and she hung onto his shoulder to move closer to his ear. He passionately moved his hand onto her back, as she shouted in his ear, "waterrrr!"
    "Youuu! Stupid!"
    "Haha, come on. Bring me water, then i can continue the story too."

    She drank water, and he drank his desire to stay close to her. The way she was happily telling her past, made Aditya realised how he could never be as special as Abhinav.

    "As we began spending our time together, a lot of our classmates begin noticing our friendship. And the day came when our semester results were to be announced. Everyone was sure about Abhinav, even me too, yet it was shocking to see Kritika on the top list."
    "That's you silly!"
    "I know, but i just can't forget that day. My parents were in total joy. I've topped previously too, in my previous school, but this was a big school. Things were different, patterns were new, i didn't hope to top, or even secure any good rank. Till the evening i was happy, only when it stuck me, how everyone in class would assume that I've topped because I'm Abhinav's friend, or may be because I've used Abhinav. And what about Abhinav? Would he feel jealous, or cheated in some way? Toppers usually are addicted to their ranks, what if i lost him as my good friend? These thoughts kept running, and i dreaded going to school, next day. But i didn't have any excuse, i kept on planning, and all this overthinking landed me into actual fever. I didn't attend the school, and my mumma got real stressed. I recovered as the day passed, only when in the late afternoon, i got a text from Abhinav, asking if i am fine!"
    "How did he get your number?"
    "Oh, i forgot to tell you. To discuss our project work, i sent him a text, five days back, and since then we'd usually text once or twice in the evening. He was quite regular with it."
    "Then?"
    "Then, tomorrow! It's time."
    "Kritika!"

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 14

    She drank water, and he drank his desire to stay close to her.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 10w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    "It has been an hour, why can't i sleep tonight?"

    She got up from her bed, and came out of her room. It has been quite difficult for her to get any sleep. She tried almost every trick they tell you on internet for a quick sleep, yet nothing worked. As she came close to his room, she noticed light peeping out. She thought he might have left the light open, so she went inside to switch it off. To her surprise, he wasn't asleep, but was busy on his laptop. As the door creaked, he turned back.

    "Kritika?"
    "Abhinav?"
    "Why are you not asleep, by now?"
    "Why are you working till now?"
    "I do it daily. You leave that. Are you okay? Do you need something? Shall i help you?"
    "No, Abhinav. I'm fine. It's just that I'm unable to sleep, so thought to went upstairs. Only when your room's light caught my attention."
    "Would you like to sit down with me, instead of going upstairs?"

    There was some hopeful desire in his eyes, and Kritika read it well. She shut the door behind, as she moved closer to his bed. Taking his blanket in her hands, she made space for herself to sit, close to him. He put down his laptop, and twisted to her side. His eyes checked her out, and his tummy did a somersault finding her so close to him. These situations have always been tough for him, as they test his control over his unquenched desire to love her. He knew tonight was tough.

    "Say something?"
    "Hmm... Kritika.. i.. i real.. i rea"
    "Do you think i .. i mean, do you feel like, i .. i don't lo.."
    "How's your work going?"
    "Fine. What about yours?"
    "Quite good. Working with our boss has been an amazing experience. He's really good by heart."
    "Yea."


    "Kritika, how long will you take to tell me, what's keeping you awake, tonight?"

    She looked at him. Those pair of eyes that have always rooted for her. Even when she had done all wrong to him. She wished to tell him about everything, but she knew her closeness with Aditya was wrong. She hasn't cheated on Abhinav yet, but she's crossed her limits. Because she's still married. And a married woman has her boundaries. She kept wondering why she slapped Aditya!

    "Hey, listen, Kritika? I'm your best friend, remember? Tell me everything, just like you would share with your best friend. Forget about this marriage and all shit. I can't see you in pain. Please!"
    "Abhinav! Why have you always been this sweet? You've spoiled me enough! And I'm fine."
    "No, you're not. I can read you. Has Aditya done something?"
    "No no. Why would he do anything?"
    "I think, he likes you."
    "Rubbish!"
    "If you were single, won't you like him back? May be you'd love to be his wife? He's the best man, i guess."
    "But, I'm married."
    "I can set you free!"
    "Oh, really? How so?"
    "Simple, divorce!"

    Those words echoed in her ears as the signal of some calamity. She felt churning in her stomach, and agonizing pain in her soul, as if a part of her was taken back from her, without her permission. She was reminded of the same pain, when her dad left this world. She has suffered the pain of losing her loved one, once. And, she feared it again. Before she could respond anything, her body moved closer to Abhinav, and she hugged him tightly. Tears start gushing out, and all she could spoke was inaudible.

    "Kri.."
    "Don't divorce me, Abhi. Why are you even.."
    "Hey, stop crying. Come on, .."

    She gripped him even tighter, as she went over his lap, and her face fit perfectly into his nape of neck. He noticed her shivering, a little due to cold, and lot more because of her fear, and pulled over the blanket. He positioned himself in a way to lean back, so that she can comfortably sleep onto him. He knew she needed him, though he wondered what happened between her and Aditya. He prayed for her well-being, and thanked universe for this beautiful moment, he was having right now with her in his arms.

    Later in the morning, a call kept ringing, which ruined her sleep. She woke up, and picked up the call, and said, "hello!"
    "Good morning, Mrs. Kapoor. I guess my call ruined your sleep."
    "Hey, Aditya. What time is it? Am i late? And wait, are you upset still? I am sorry, for that slap. I mean, i didn't intend t.."
    "Shhhh... Listen, you get ready first. My driver would come to pick you up directly from your home. Okay?"
    "But, I'm sorry. And i really.."
    "Shhhh.. come on, get up sleepyhead! I'll be waiting for you!"

    She get up to realise she has been sleeping till 10 AM. She has never felt so relieved after waking up. She wondered why Abhinav didn't wake her up, and checked his room. She liked his room. She thought to redesign it a little bit. She speed herself up, and reached Aditya's mansion as soon as possible.

    ~©tortoise

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    The Best Man

    Part - 13

    She has suffered the pain of losing her loved one, once. And, she feared it again.

    ©tortoise

  • tortoise 10w

    #TheBestManSeries - for all parts.
    #NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month
    _________________________________________________//

    "Come on, begin it. I can't wait to listen you!"
    "Umm.. so days passed by. And we never really talked anything. Some of the subjects were done quickly, while some work remain pending. And few teachers co-operated, while others scolded me for my pending work. I remember, how Abhinav never failed to remind them, about my new admission and late joining to the year. There was an unsaid care from his end, which i never questioned.

    It was mid semester, when everyone was busy preparing for exam. Teachers made us do repeated tests and lots of homework. In one of the class, Mrs. Renu, our maths teacher informed us about the art contest happening after our exams. And if we do good in our exams, she'll allow us to take part in that, even if that meant bunking her lectures. I never knew about all these contests. My previous school did had art and extra curricular activities, but a few. So this gave me butterflies.

    The last day before our preparatory leaves begin, i saw a lot many classmates surrounding Abhinav. They were asking queries, doubts, and most importantly, his number! I thought him to be a good guy, as you see in movies, but he was surprisingly rude and straightforward to them. He helped them with doubts, and gave his number to few, but to a lot, he told them to study first instead of cramming notes. Impressive, as he has always been! To be very honest, i too had few doubts in physics, which i thought can be easily solved if i ask him. I don't know if he reads mind or something, he saw me, watching him, and passed by me. He coughed, unnaturally, ofcourse, and passed me a slip with his number on it, and said, that he knew i would never ask for his help, but in case he could be of any help, i should not hesitate to ask."

    "Then? Did you make the call? Ofcourse! You did. Right? Kritika? Where you going?"
    "If I don't work, people will think I'm not apt for the job!"
    "We can hire someone else to do this job, while you can stay here and tell me the story!"
    "You don't want me to design your place?"
    "Ofcourse I want. Everything touched by you, feels good."

    She moved closer to him, and ran her fingers onto his left side of chest.

    "Does it feel good?"
    "The best, a man could get!"
    "You're the best man, a woman can get!"
    "Not every woman."
    "It seems like, I'm lucky."
    "Imagine, philosopher's stone, calling itself lucky! It's me who's lucky to have been given a chance to listen to you, to see you, and to touch you."
    "You've touched my soul, Aditya!"

    She took margins and wrote about the material required. Then did some shifting, and drew patterns in her notebook. It took her 90 minutes, and Aditya didn't move an inch from his place. His eyes kept moving along the direction of her body.

    "Now you're done, and i want to know more."
    "I got the urge to make a call to him, just two days into the prep holidays. I don't know why i was missing him that much. But i thought that he'd be occupied by other classmates too, and to disturb a topper was not a good idea. So i did what i could, and gave exams. On our exam days, it was usually both of us who weren't soaked in books. I kept myself busy with basketball, and he remained busy stalking me. I planned, that after exams I'll make a move, and ask him, if he could be my friend!"
    "Where now?"
    "It's already 4, Aditya. I gotta leave."
    "But the story! I am not gonna talk to you. You never tell anything complete."
    "Stop acting like a child. You already know, the end. Abhinav and i are married, so whatever the story be, it will reach to today!"
    "I know the present, and that's why i wanna know the story."
    "What does that mean?"
    "I know, you don't love him!"

    Her facial expressions faded away. She wasn't prepared for the attack. Her heart missed beats, and her stomach churned. Do i not love Abhinav?', these words started running in her head. Without giving a single thought, she came forward, and slapped Aditya.

    "You know nothing, Mr. Srivastava!"

    Silence covered the hall, and the only sound was hers, leaving the mansion in hurry.

    ~©tortoise

    Read More

    The Best Man

    Part - 12

    "I know, you don't love him!"

    ©tortoise