The Challenge -a Maaneet short
He watched her sleep.
The sleep of the innocent. Deep and untroubled. A crooked smile lit his face. Of-course she slept so peacefully, after all, the agitation and irritation she had quite happily off -loaded on to him.
He stared at her sleeping form on the car seat next to his. Quietly, his shoulder throbbed with pain where the bullet had grazed and left a deep cut. He relished the pain, at least he knew he was awake, not dreaming. How had it come to this. She was no end of trouble from the moment he had set eyes on her and yet he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Before her there had been no need to even bother to worry if he was awake or dreaming. His life had been on auto pilot. Work was his saviour and work was his end. Women came into his life hoping to carve out a place in his heart or at least relive some burden from his wallet but he dismissed them just as quickly. Much to daadima’s disappointment.
She stirred, a strand of her hair drifted across her face. Automatically he reached out to brush it away, jealous that something else dared to caress her soft silken skin and at the same time astonished at the ferocity of his feelings.
How had it come to this. A few hours ago he had rescued her from men whose only thought was to kill her. To take the life of a victim of their own making. His face clouded with dark anger.
He loathed them all. Her family which heaped pain on her, her brother who was the instigator of such pain for her. Earlier, as she told him she had sent her brother to jail, he couldn’t but help feeling elated that she had had the strength to carry out such a life changing decision. Not easy for a girl who had been subjugated and pushed around since her birth by her draconian family.
As she shifted again seeking a more comfortable position to sleep in he quietly let himself out of his side and went to her. Lifting her out of the car gently so as not to wake her, he carried her into the outhouse. Who was he kidding. A herd of elephants wouldn’t wake her now. She was exhausted physically and emotionally. Gently he lad her on the bed, pulling a blanket over her.
The face of an angel when she slept and the demeanour of a tigress when riled. One day he would get to the bottom of all her troubles. Till then he was glad she was under his roof so they couldn’t get to her. He would make sure of that now. She had got under his skin somehow. He couldn’t imagine how his life would pan out with her. And then again he couldn’t imagine how it would pan out without her either.
A rock and a hard place.
Well he had been there before but not with such a interesting companion. Maan Singh Khurana was up for a challenge, but would she be willing?