The Phoenix Rises – Chap 26-27
Hello Sheelllooooooooooooo after break ( a very short one wail wail) I am back with chapter 26. The story builds again towards another track, I hope you like the angle of the dangle ;)))
I hope you enjoy please comment and tell me if you do or not. Also I just wanted to thank everyone for sticking by me and the blog we are reaching 30K now WOW WOW! And its thanks to you guys. Please excuse the mistakes there are bound to be loads as I havnt double chked it!!
We left Maan and Geet defining some sort of relationship between them. But Pandey has other ideas now………………Its long!
“Patel find out everything about Geet. Where she is from, her relatives, what she eats, where she shops, I want to know everything!”
“Yes, boss.” Patel grumbled, wondering if he was ever going to get any money out of Pandey. Maybe he should pursue Maan Singh Khurana himself for money, now that boss had changed his mind and was after the girl. Having seen the state of his mates he wasn’t too keen in pursuing her at all. As it was he knew a great deal about Geet already. He already knew that she had a younger brother and sister, an uncle and aunt who were after her land and house in Rupnagar, he knew she was very hard-working and building up her company along with her colleague Pinky. But he wasn’t going to tell Pandey all that, not if he could get money out of him without too much effort.
“Err boss I need some advance in order to pay off my informers. If you want to know everything about Geet I will have to grease a few palms” He looked at Pandey calculating how much information on Geet was worth to him.
Pandey pulled out a large wad of notes from his pocket and gave it all to Patel, much to Patel’s surprise. “Dekho yeah kaam jaldi karna, mujhe Geet chahiye jaldi.” he said.
Jackpot! Patel had to refrain from grinning from ear to ear, now this was more like it. Looked like Pandey wanted her badly and that only meant one thing, more profit for him. He looked at Pandey thoughtfully, maybe he should go and see what Geet’s uncle was up to in Rupnagar, if his guess was right he would be up to no good and there was also profit to be made out of that.
“Right away boss, I will find out everything right down to her shoe size, err it will take a few days to get all the details together so I might be lying low, I will contact you as soon as I have more information boss.” he said happily tucking the wad of notes away safely in his wallet and went off in the direction of the bus stand to catch the first bus to Rupnagar.
Sonali pouted at her aunt.
“I don’t believe it! If he is in love with Geet why did he dance with me? Anyway I cant see anything that special in her.”
Sunita smiled, “ Sonali sometimes people like to play games with their loved ones just to see how much they love you. Believe me Maan Singh Khurana is not interested in any other woman accept Geet, you will be wasting your time if you pursue him.”
“What do you think Raju?” she asked her brother who was wolfing down parathas like there was no tomorrow.
“Sunita aunty these parathas are lovely, all I get is cereal in the US!” he said stuffing his face. “Sonali I think you should leave Maan alone, I know you don’t like to admit defeat but I think Geet is fantastic, and I can see what Sunita aunty is saying even when she was dancing with me, he only had eyes for her. Although I too would like to see if I could pursued Geet to come and have lunch with me, she is extraordinarily beautiful don’t you think?”
“Hurmph! We will see!” Sonali said with a determined smile. She got ready and headed off to see Maan at the KC offices.
At the KC offices Geet sat with a far away look in her eyes. Pinky and Adi were pouring over some blue prints.
“Geet, I knew it! Looks like our calculations here are correct.” Pinky groaned. And Mr Darbari’s engineers have made a mistake. We will have to go and tell him straight away before they make more mistakes.” she turned to look at Geet and gasped out loud.
Geet was absent mindedly playing with the largest glittering diamond she had ever seen in her life.
“GEET! OMG! Where and when did you get that huge bling?” Pinky ran across to her desk to grasp the stone and peer at it for herself.
Adi turned and his eyes nearly popped out of his head.
Geet blinked and came back to earth, as Pinky’s eyes stared into her own as wide as saucers.
She looked down at the diamond that had fallen out of her top and groaned.
“Where did you get this Geet?” Pinky stared at her.
“Err..” Geet gasped what could she say? Oh yes and by the way Maan Singh Khurana gifted this to me last night as he pulled me into his arms and told me that we were now bound together. Her face paled and then blushed.
“Err its nothing!” she said grabbing the stone out Pinky’s chubby fingers and thrust it back into her top.
Pinky and Adi looked at each other and grinned. SSK! Looks like it was getting quite serious between these two now.
“Clever Sir.” Adi muttered in his Ajit voice even as Geet glared at them both.
She grabbed the plans and stared to look over the details, looked like Pinky was right, there were discrepancies in what the engineers were doing and the original plans. She would have to go to the site and explain this to Mohanji so it could be rectified quickly.
“Where is my Maan?” A voice from the doorway asked petulantly.
All three of them looked up and saw Sonali. She was dressed to the nth degree, her very short skirt and fitted top accentuating every curve. Not much left to the imagination at all.
Adi pushed his glasses up his nose and stared going bright red.
Pinky elbowed him in the ribs with a glare.
“I said where is Maan?” Sonali demanded giving them all a haughty glare.
“M…M…Maan Sir has gone to a meeting.” Adi replied wondering if he should get a coat and cover her up, as all the male office staff seemed to staring at her with drool around their mouths.
“He will not be back today.” Pinky added sticking her chin in the air and lying through her teeth.
“I want his mobile number!” She demanded not all pleased to see that Maan was not in. She stared at Geet with a calculating eye. Huh! She wondered what Maan saw in her, she looked so ordinary, not even wearing designer clothes.
Geet watched Sonali eyeing her up, she pulled a off a sticky note from her desk scribbled Maan’s mobile number on it and gave to Adi to give to Sonali.
Adi stared at her, his eyes questioning.
“Adi please give Sonali Maan’s number, I am sure he would love to hear from her.” she declared with a impassive look on her face.
With a dismissive look at them all, Sonali practically snatched the number out of Adi’s hand and waltzed off.
“Teri to!” Pinky muttered under breath.
Adi let out a long sigh, “Maan sir to gaye kaam se!”
Geet grinned, that would keep Maan busy for a while whilst she went to the site and sorted out the issues, as it was he had expressly forbidden her to go anywhere without him especially to the site, but she was not going to be restricted by him or anyone.
Maan sat with the ACP Gupta pouring over detailed reports of Pandey. Guptaji was a small man, his eyes gleamed with dark determination. His uniform was pressed to within an inch of its life, the creases alone looked as if they would cut someone open. Maan knew he was incorruptible and that had got him into many difficulties in the past. He too wanted Pandey caught very much but Pandey always seemed to have a an alibi that placed him far away from the scene of the crime.
ACP Gupta had a lot of paperwork on Pandey, and many accusations, many complaints but there was hardly any evidence. Looked like Pandey was quite an expert at not getting caught. There were vague references from smaller crooks to his involvement but again these had not been proven, it seemed that Pandey had a lot of fingers in a lot pies, from Construction, to drugs, to prostitution to politics, he was involved in it all.
“I know its him. He has been trying to blackmail me and harm Geet, I will get you the evidence required for prosecution.” Maan vowed to the ACP saab. “I have met him in court and I recognised his voice. I am sure he will try something soon at the site or with Geet.”
“Let me know if you need more security, I can assign some men to keep an eye on Geet, your offices and the site.” ACP Gupta offered.
“Mr Shah has already increased security at the site. I have also asked our security to be extra vigilant. I will let you know if I need more at the KC offices.” Maan said. “At the moment I am going to be keeping an close eye on her, stubborn that she is if you assign her an officer I know she would try and lose him as soon as she could.” Maan replied his tone firm, he knew Geet she would definitely lose any security assigned to her.
ACP Gupta smiled, “It seems you have your work cut out for you Maan, I would like one day to meet your Geet.”
Maan smiled, his eyes darkening with tenderness, “Yes, Gupta saab she definitely keeps me on my toes.”
His phone rang at that moment, he excused himself and answered it, wondering who it was as the caller display said unknown.
“Maan darling! Where are you? I am famished I hoped that you would take me out to lunch.” Sonali’s voice purred down the line.
“Where did she get my number?” Maan muttered angrily. It had to be from the office. He was going to murder them when he found out who it was.
“Err..Sonali I am very busy today I have many meetings lined up one after another. I am sorry I will not be able to make it today.” Maan replied. He was not interested in taking her out to lunch or anywhere, but he did feel a little guilty at having used her to make Geet jealous.
“Maan..thats not fair you left the party so quickly and left me on the dance floor. I think you owe me a lunch at least.” Sonali pleaded in her best girlie voice.
Not wanting to be harsh, he looked at his watch, he could spare an hour. He decided he might as well get it over with her and tell her that he was not interested in her at all.
“Err where are you Sonali?” he asked, perhaps he should see her and straighten out any misunderstanding.
“I am near KC offices, I went to meet you there. They said you were not coming back to the office and after much pleading, Geet gave me your number.” She said making a drama out of it.
Geet! Maan’s eyes darkened and filled with annoyance, so she was the mischief maker. Even after what happened between them yesterday. Why was she creating obstacles in their path?
“Go back to the office and wait for me there. I will be there in about 15mins.” Maan told her. “Muje Geet ke khabar leni hai!” he muttered under his breath.
Sonali smiled with glee, Maan was going to tell Geet and the other two off. She asked her driver to return to the KC offices.
Maan strode into the KC office, his eyes searching for Geet.
Adi came walking out of his office, busy looking at a file and nearly bumped into Maan.
“Adi!” Maan barked.
“M..M..Maan sir!” Adi stuttered.
“Where is Geet?” He demanded to know.
“Err s…she went to the site to talk to Mr Darbari it seems there were some discrepancies in what the engineers have been doing and the original plans.”
Maan stood tock still his mind racing between furious and frightened. “Why the hell doesn’t she ever listen to what I am saying!”
Pulling out his mobile he stabbed her number on fast dial but it was engaged. He redialled and it rang through.
“GEET! Do not go to the site on your own!” He bellowed down the line.
Geet nearly dropped the phone hearing the fury in Maan’s voice. Then her own anger started. “Maan I am not going to be dictated to! Remember you are not my boss!”
“I should tie you up and keep you locked up at the Haveli.”he shouted at her.
Geet glared at the phone. “Actually I am not going to the site now. Mohanji is not there, and its raining very hard here so I have turned back. Also called Daadima called and asked me to come home. She didn’t say why, so I am heading to see her now, but I will be going to the site tomorrow to talk to Mr Darbari and no one, not even you are going to stop me from doing my job.”
Mohanji! Did she have to use his first name?
“Chup bilkul chup! I am telling you……” he growled out across the line,
“Maan? Maan? I am losing signal.” Geet shouted above the din of the storm.
Maan heard a clap of thunder and then the phone went dead.
Maan’s temper reached boiling point. He turned and strode out, not even seeing Sonali walking in.
She shouted but he had already jumped into his car headed towards home to drum into Geet’s head that he was the boss!
Patel reached Rupnangar later that day. He knew from experience that the local chaiwallah would have all sorts of gossip and valuable information. He went to find one that was centrally located and settled himself in, ordering chai and some garam pakoras.
“Aree bhai saab,” he said his mouth full of mirchi pakora’s, “Balwant Singh ka ghar kaha hai? I have been sent by a distant relative to return some money he borrowed from him.”
“Oh dear! Balwant saab and his wife died a few months ago.” the chaiwallah said looking at Patel from head to toe. He looked harmless enough he thought.
“Oh dear!” Patel groaned feigning sadness.
“Then what about his children?” he asked as he slurped his tea.
“Geetdidi is working in Delhi, chotu and babli are at the headmasters house.” the chaiwallah informed him, happy to have someone new to talk to.
“Oh dear, so their house is empty then?” Patel asked innocently.
“Nahi nahi, bhayyia what can I say! Tauba tauba!” The chai wallah carried on touching his ears and shaking his head in despair. “Balwant saab’s brother, Balram and his wife are living there now.”
“Oh, perhaps I should give him the money?” Patel ventured sipping his piping hot tea.
“Arre nahi bhaiyya don’t even go there, that man is out to ruin his brothers good name I tell you.” The chai wallah peered around consiprationally and whispered, “he carries on all sorts of ‘dhandhas.’
Patel pretended to be shocked to the core. “Tch tch tch! Balwant saab was such a good man. Pray tell me what his scoundrel of a brother is doing?”
“From what I hear, he sells illegal booze, bullies the farmers from his brothers fields, visits chameeli bai nearly every night and comes back through here in a drunken stupor every night. I know Geetdidi has told him to leave but he is not moving anywhere I think. His wife is just as bad, a liar and a cheat, even the Chiman chaacha the grocer, was saying how she tried to cheat him out of paying the correct price for her groceries.”
Patel smiled a happy smile. This uncle of Geet’s sounded exactly like the kind of man who would do anything for money. If he could get to know him he would do Pandey’s work easily by getting Geet to come to Rupnagar on some pretext. That would mean that Pandey could lay his hands on Geet away from Maan Singh Khurana’s watchful eye. Although they had managed to get people on the site security was tight, giving them less chance to get to Geet.
“Wah wah this chai is fantastic, bhai give me another cup!” I think I am going to like doing business here he muttered, feeling very happy with himself.
After a long chat with the chaiwallah, Patel decided he had a lot of information and plan formed in his mind. He went to down to see chotu and babli, greasing the watchman’s palm and watched them playing in the school compound for a while, then he went in search of Geet’s uncle. Unfortunately, he would have to spend some of the money, to get on Balram’s good side he thought, extracting some of the notes from Pandey’s wad, but it would be worth it.
He went to the house, it was a big house in comparison with the surrounding ones. Balwant Singh must have been quite well to do he thought.
“Anybody home?” He knocked on the door after entering the empty courtyard.
“Kaun hai?” Came a shrill woman’s voice. She came out to see.
“Err behen, I am looking for Balwant bhai’s brother? Balramji?”
“Errr he is not here.” she lied thinking he was a man sent by Geet to make sure they moved.
Patel knew very well Balram was in the house, he could see his reflection in a window pane.
“Oh dear, how unfortunate! I have come to give him some money that was owed to Balwant bhai. One of my relatives borrowed it from him and as I was coming down here asked me to return it. But I found out that Balwant Singh had died unfortunately from the chaiwallah when I was asking for your address, he told me that Balramji now lived here so I was thinking of giving it to Balramji his brother instead. Never mind I will come back another day.” he said with a resigned sigh.
At the mention of money the woman’s eyes lit up. She furtively glanced around and said, “let me go and look again maybe he is in the back. Why don’t you sit down here, I will fetch you some tea, bahi saab.”
Patel smiled and said that would be most kind, “I am famished and thirsty having come a long
way.” Might as well fill up here again he thought for free before I head back to Delhi. He sat down and waited for Balram to come.
“Sunoji! Some man has come from another village to return some money to Balwant, but since he has found out Balwant is gone, he wants to give you the money instead.”
Balram’s eyes lit up. “Chalo chalo! Lets see!” He got up and went out to see the man.
Patel smiled and said, “Balramji, how nice of you to come out greet this humble servant. I know Balwantji has passed away but a debt is a debt, and it has to be paid, if not to Balwantji then to his beloved brother. After all its the same”
“Yes yes, absolutely its the same!” Balwant declared, wondering how much money he was going to get.
Patel pulled out and envelope and gave it to him just as the tea and snacks arrived.
“Please eat.” Balram said, fingering the envelope trying to judge how much was in it.
Patel tucked in and filled himself up, giving a loud burp and thanking bhabhji for such wonderful food. She smiled at him offering him more, whilst making eyes at her husband to open the envelope.
Balram managed to open the envelope surreptitiously and looked inside, only 1500 Rupees! He made a face at his wife not to bring out more snacks or give Patel some tea.
Patel saw the exchange and smirked and then said, “Aree bhaiyya I feel I have arrived in some ‘yatra dham’ nobody here can tell me where I can get some good stuff to drink!” He gave another satisfied burp. “You wouldn’t happen to know would you?”
Balram thought maybe I can get some money out of him another way, otherwise this bhookha is going to eat me out of house and home!
“Haan, I can get you some good stuff, but its going to cost you. Are you ready to pay?” Balram asked ready to off-load some illegal booze. His beady eyes lighting up. Since Geet had openly told everyone about his side business, he had been not getting many customers.
“I will happily pay if you have good maal, and be happy to do business with you as well!” Patel declared. He settled himself on the veranda ready to do business with Balram.
The storm had really set in, Geet groaned as she looked out of her taxi window. The driver was driving slowly and carefully as trees swayed and debris flew across the road making for difficult driving conditions.
“Didi, looks like we are stuck here the driver said loudly peering through the windscreen. I think there is a tree in the road ahead, some cars have stopped already.” He came to a halt and climbed out into the pouring rain to have a look.
“Damn! What now?” Geet muttered. She tried her mobile again, there seemed to be a weak signal.
Daadima Looked up from her laptop as Maan walked his his face set in angry lines. The wind howled outside as the monsoon rains poured down.
“Where is Geet?”He said tersely expecting her already to be at home.
“She is not here yet, beta anything happened?” She questioned.
“She has no idea of her safety! I told her not to go the site alone but she slips off as soon as I am out of the office. Really daadima you have no idea how stubborn she is!” he finished angrily.
She knew another person who was just the same, Daadima thought hiding a smile. Her grandson was pacing the floor and looking at the door with a mixture of worry and frustration. She was just about to say something when the phone rang.
She picked it and answered.
“Daadima, I am stuck on the road about 4 miles from the site,” Geet voice shouted over the wind.
“A tree has fallen into the road and the taxi driver is trying to find a way around. Don’t worry I will get home as soon as I can.”
“Geet!” Daadima’s face became concerned as the phone cut out again.
“What’s wrong Daadima?” Maan asked his anger fading and worry taking over.
“Geet is stuck on the road coming back, about four miles from the site she said. Seems a tree has fallen across it and the taxi driver is trying to find a way around. Maan beta it will get dark soon! Geet on her own…” Daadima’s face paled as she thought about Geet out on her own in a storm on a lonely road.
“Damn it! I knew something like this would happen! Why does she never listen!” Maan said hurrying out the door.
Daadima watched him run and prayed that nothing happened to either of them.
Hello shellooooooooo Sunday Sundae is being served. Know Where Geet goes Maan has to follow, the chase is on and the consequences well you will see for your self! Now one late night we were having a long discussion and my friend Annie gave me a interesting wet idea ;)) Say no more! You will have to read for yourself.
Now I have been thinking a long time about a nickname for her, and have used Ms Independent, also sweetheart, Punjabi pataka came to mind, and I thought and I thought but the only one that will ever fit is the one and only….So unashamedly I have used it, I hope you agree that its the only one that fits. ;))
I hope you enjoy, do comment I love to read them, tell me what you liked and what you didn’t ;))
And thanks for helping the blog to reach 30K!! Woohoooo!
The taxi driver came back and said, “Didi looks like we are stuck here, a tree has fallen on a bus just a little ahead, thankfully its not too bad, no one is hurt. The rain is coming down so fast this road could get flooded any moment.” he said, his brow creased with worry. “Some of the passengers are climbing over the tree and heading to the other side, maybe you would be better off going with them. I have to stay with my taxi and keep it safe.”
The water was definitely rising just as the driver was saying. She had better go with the passengers she thought, if she could get to the other side she would be able to get home. “Will you be safe? Geet asked worried, the driver looked no more then twenty she thought.
He smiled, “Didi don’t worry about me I will be fine, I have been out in worse then this.”
Geet reached into her purse and pulled out most of the notes she had, keeping only a little bit back and handed them to him.
“Its too much!” the young man protested.
“Keep it, you maybe stuck here a while because of me.” she said getting out of the car. “What will you do now you can’t stay here?
“I am turning back there is a dhaba not too far back that I know, I will be fine there for the night. Don’t worry about me Didi I will be fine there and thank you Didi,” He said waving the notes in his hand.”May Allah be with you.” He said.
She stepped out of the car, the water was flooding the road rapidly, there was no point in even getting out the umbrella she had in her bag, the rain and wind was incredibly strong. She was soaked through to the skin in seconds. Walking forwards she spied the small crowd of passengers, she headed towards them.
“I have climbed to the other side its not too bad,” a middle aged man was saying to the others. “This road is flooding we had better get to the other side and start walking.”
“Bhaiyya how will I manage with two children?” A woman asked her voice quivering with fear.
“Behen, we will all help you.” a young man offered.
“I will carry one of your children.” Geet volunteered as spied a small little boy clinging to his mum’s sari, as she cradled a baby in her arms.
Maan raced down the road as fast as the car would take him. The storm was becoming a raging howling monster that refused to back down.
“If she had stayed at the office this would have never happened!” he muttered angrily. But then when did Geet ever listen, her stubborn fighting trait was what he loved about her even though it frustrated the hell out of him. At least she was not stuck at the site, especially since Mr Darbari was not there to look after her he thought.
He tried to dial her again, thanking the gods when it started ringing.
“Maan!” Geet’s astonished voice answered.
“Where are you?”
“There was a bus crash on the road, some of the passengers are climbing over the debris to get to the other side as this side had started to flood. I am going along with them. Don’t worry I will be home soon.” She shouted.
“Geet, I am coming, just stay with the crowd I will come and get you, I am only half an hour or so away.”
“Maan there is no need! Don’t worry go back home I will meet you there.”
He glared at the phone furiously.
“Bilkul chup! Stay with the crowd I will be there soon.” He growled ringing off. Thank god she was safe he muttered under his breath.
Geet glared at the phone. Why did he have to keep rushing to her rescue? She was perfectly fine and would manage to get home safely, but no he had to be bull headed and follow her. Maan Singh Khurana the rescuer of hapless maidens, Hrmmp!
“Didi, why are you looking so angry?” a small voice piped up next to her.
Geet smiled down at the little boy, “I am just angry at an uncle who refuses to listen to anything I say, he is very stubborn.”
“That’s what my mama says about my dad!” The little boy replied knowingly.
Geet smiled down at him, “Sounds just like my Maan.”
My Maan? Where had that come from she wondered?
“Chalo behen the rain is getting worse!” A man shouted urging them to move.
Geet took hold of the little boy’s hand and they followed the other passengers as they slowly climbed over the fallen branches carefully. The mother was ahead with the baby and was being helped by two young men.
The wind howled ferociously around them as the rain showed no signs of letting up. They got to the other side, after some slipping and stopping, and started walking down the road. Darkness was starting to settle in Geet shivered as the cooler air started to swirl around them.
She cuddled the little boy in her arms as they walked.
Maan peered through the windscreen barely able to see through the sheets of rain. He was not very far at all from where Geet had said she was. Suddenly a branch slammed against his windscreen causing a loud crash, he swerved to the left not realising that the road was steep, the car hurtled down the bank and he landed against the steering with a thud.
Muttering curses that turned the air blue, he righted himself to see he was stuck against some tree roots. So much for rescuing Geet he groaned.
Damn! He thumped the steering wheel and tried to push the door open. After a little effort he was able to climb out on to the muddy bank. The water was pouring down from the road and creating a muddy river that flowed down past him down the steep bank of the road.
How was he going to be able to get the car back up on the road without a tow truck, he kicked the tyre in frustration.
The weary group of passengers rounded a bend in the road, all shivering in the rain and wind. Geet trudged on, maybe she should have listened to Maan, at least she would have been warm and at home by now. The little boy had fallen asleep on her shoulder and she tried to protect him from the elements as best she could wrapping her arms around him tightly but her thin kurti top was no help.
One of the men shouted, “Someone has gone off the road here!”
They all stopped to look down. Geet peered over the steep bank and gasped as she saw Maan trying without success to push the car back from where it was stuck.
“Maan!” She gasped. Looked like he had crashed! “Bhaiyya can you take him?” she asked gently handing over the little boy to one of the young men. She slid down the bank towards him.
“Maan! Maan are you hurt?”
He turned to look up and spied her. “Geet! Thank god you are fine!”
There was a small cut on the side of his head that was bleeding but apart from that he looked OK.
“Maan!” she gasped launching herself into his arms, she was so glad to see he was not hurt badly, the car looked like a wreck. Sudden anger coursed through that he would risk his life to come after her. Pushing herself away from him she shouted above the storm, “I told you not to come after me! Why did you have to come? The great Maan Singh Khurana always has to rescue Geet! Look at you, there was no need. I am fine as I told you!
“If you had listened to me in the first place I wouldn’t have had to come after you!” He shouted back. “You are the most stubborn and frustrating woman I know!” he said.
“Is everyone all right down there?” a voice called.
“Who is that?” Maan glared up.
“One of the passengers from the bus.” she replied.
“Yes, everything is all right.” she said slipping and sliding up the slope so she could see them.
“Is it someone you know?”
“Yes, I am her fiancé.” Maan replied from behind her.
“Ok then, are you sure you will be fine.”
“Yes, you go on I will be fine.” Geet said and watched as the group moved on.
She slid back down the slope to where Maan was getting a backpack out of the back of the car.
“Geet stay there, I am coming up its not safe here.” he said sliding the backpack on, suddenly there was a huge deluge of water and the mud tore from under him taking him with it down the slope.
“MAAN!” She screamed as she watched him slide down the muddy river.
“Geet! NO!” He watched her jump in after him even as he called out to tell her not to.
Without a second thought she launched herself after him. They hurtled down with the watery mud and debris further and further down the bank.
He tried to catch on to a tree root and stop himself as he saw Geet hurtling down behind him. It slowed him down enough to catch her as she flew past him, but the weight of the two of them broke the tree root free and they tumbled down with the flow of the water into a muddy lake on to the forest floor.
Clasped in each others arms they came up for air, spluttering and coughing.
“Are you Ok?” They both asked simultaneously.
Geet nodded as he helped her up the bank, they sat for a moment clearing their eyes and face.
“Damn it! Why did you jump in after me?” he said angrily. He had never been so frightened in his life as he had been in that moment when he saw her following him.
“Were you thinking at all? You could have been killed!” He growled.
“So could have you!” she retorted back angrily.
“So you jumped after me to try and save me?” He asked incredulously, rolling his eyes at her.
She muttered something in Punjabi and glared at him. “Looked to me like you needed help, the great Maan Singh Khurana is not infallible.” Then watched as a sexy, delicious grin appeared on his face as he took in the the state of her. Her hair was full of leaves and mud, her face smeared with it, her wet spiky lashes and huge amber eyes clouded with worry as she looked him over for injuries, even though he knew that she too must be covered in bruises herself. So Ms Independent was worried about him at least.
He reached out and took the leaves out of her hair, slowly watching her reaction all the time.
Her clothes clung to her, outlining her lush curves, her jeans that must have been white were soaked, she was caked in red mud from head to toe, but still managed to look adorable.
“Oh!” she gasped, seeing his smile, she slithered and righted herself thinking he was making fun of her, she must look like a monster.
“It all your fault if you hadn’t followed me I wouldn’t be in this state! And you don’t look so wonderful yourself covered in red mud from head to toe, all you need is a pair of horns and a tail!” she said stomping off into the bush.
“Geet!” He growled, call him the devil would she! he jumped up and followed her, muttering curses under his breath.
The rain stopped suddenly as it had started, the wind slowed, it softly hissed through the bushes, like a whispering caress. Darkness settled down on them.
“Stop! Lets get our bearings, before we go deeper into the jungle.” he said peering around.
Geet stopped, looked around and shivered. There didn’t look to be any road near them or any signs of life within miles.
It was either move forward or stay there, the options were limited. He moved forward, caught her hand in his and started walking into the bush. Geet thought about protesting for a moment and then decided against it. His firm warm grip with his fingers laced through hers felt like a life line.
After a while everything started to look the same, one bush looked the same as another.
“Maan? Are you sure we are not going around in circles?” she asked her teeth chattering.
“I don’t think so, we haven’t come across this Aam tree before.” he replied.
She peered at him and wondered how he could distinguish anything in this darkness. “I do a lot of jungle trekking Geet.” he replied as he read her mind.
“I bet you could climb Everest in a day too!” she muttered under her breath, running her arms up and down her body to keep warm.
Ignoring her tart reply, he looked around and said, “We could set up camp here, the tree could afford us a little shelter,” he said looking at the big tree trunk that had small a concave space that would allow them to shelter against it, but it was small, “let’s try a little further if we cant find anything we will come back to this spot.”
Moonlight filtered strong and bright through the trees now that the storm had cleared the skies. They walked on further, the mud had caked and dried in the breeze on her clothes. She felt sticky and itchy.
“I can hear water.” Geet suddenly piped up as she picked up the sound of gushing water. They walked to towards it to come across the most beautiful sight.
A waterfall merrily gushed over a small hill, gleaming clear and bright in the moonlight, it fell like a silken white sheet on some rocks below running into a wide pool. It looked like the kind of place Adam and Eve could have played in, it was as if they were meant to find this moonlit enchanted place together.
“Maan! This is beautiful!” Geet gasped in wonder. Staring at the sparkling waterfall in awe.
“Yes it truly is.” he said softly, looking around to see if he could spot some shelter.
They walked around and to their delight found a small cave which was dry.
“I will build a fire so we can get warm again, if I can find some dry wood.” Maan said putting his muddy backpack down, “you stay here.” he said as he turned and left.
Geet rolled her eyes at him, where was she going to go?
Walking out of the cave, she walked to the little waterfall in wonder, drinking in the beauty of it all. Sticking her hand out, she tested the water, it was cold but not freezing. It sparkled clean and bright in her hand, the moonbeams dancing through it. With a gurgle of delight she stepped into the fall letting it flow over her to wash the sticky mud off. Relishing the feel of getting clean again even if she was cold.
Maan came back his hands full of wood to find the cave empty. Muttering under his breath, he dumped the wood on the floor and went out wandering where she had gone.
“Geet?” Turning around he walked back to the waterfall, and stopped dead.
“Maan! Come wash all that mud off, the water is wonderful.” she said from under the waterfall. She held out her hand to pull him in.
Dear God! Maan muttered, she looked so incredible, her face turned up into the water her hands in her hair, her body arching as her head leant back. Her white top had become completely see through, she obviously had no idea how she looked or how it affected him instantly or she wouldn’t be so innocently holding her hand out to him.
“Maan! Stop being so funny, the water isn’t that cold!” she teased sweetly.
Like a man in a trance he took her hand. He hoped the water was cold, in-fact he hoped it was freezing as suddenly his temperature had shot up. She reached forward and pulled him under the water.
The water flowed all around him, he raised his face to it, closing his eyes trapping the image of her like this in his mind forever. The water was soothing to his hot body and brain which had shot into overdrive.
He opened his eyes again, she was reaching down and washing the mud off her jeans. Groaning, he turned his back on her, to stop himself from oggling her very cute derrière and undid his shirt buttons shrugging it off so he could wash the mud off his chest.
Geet looked up to see his rippling muscles highlighted to perfection in the moonlight as he washed his chest and ran his hands through his hair.
Standing up too quickly to try and escape from the image that was rapidly frazzling her brain, she slipped on the rocks, his arms whipped around her instantly and he caught her into him, holding her tight against his chest.
“Oh!” she gasped as he brought her sharply into contact with his hard chest. The heat of his bare skin against her cheek completely at odds with the cold water flowing over them.
“Tum theek ho?” he said looking down at her his arms still around her.
“Haan!” she whispered looking up into his face.
The heat built between them as they became lost in each others eyes. In the moonlight his expression took an intensity that shook her to the core. The desire in his eye was blazing.
“Geet!” He muttered before his lips closed over hers as if he could no longer control his actions.
And the water flowed all around them, cooling their heated bodies.
It was such a sweet, hungry kiss that went on and on, he shaped her into him, his hands roaming over her. The hunger in the kiss left them both panting for breath. He reluctantly broke it off wandering if their combustible mix would one day blow his mind.
Bereft of his lips Geet reluctantly dragged her eyes open to see him looking down at her with so much intensity. Her eyes, she was sure betrayed her every desire and emotion to him. Her heart wanted more but her brain told her to leave, she pulled herself out of his arms and went back into the cave running away from his all seeing eyes.
Her lips throbbed, she touched them trying to sooth the ache. Her fingers knotted together and sought for something to do. Seeing the wood on the floor, she squatted down and started to arrange it to start a fire, within moments he was right there besides her, his hands reached out taking the sticks from her shaking fingers and arranged the wood to his requirements. The tension in the air was palpable. She was sure he could hear her heart thumping loudly in her chest. Geet stood up and moved away from the heat in his eyes and to stop her eyes from wandering over his bare chested form.
He glanced at her. She was trembling from head to toe. Opening the back pack, he fished inside and pulled out what looked like a shirt, wordlessly he handed it to her.
Geet looked at it and shook her head.
“Geet, change or you will catch a cold.” he said calmly.
“No! I don’t need to, I am fine.”
“Do you want me to change you?” He asked his face set with a determined look.
“You wouldn’t dare!” She gasped, her amber eyes flew to his face.
“Try me!” He replied calmly his dark eyes daring her.
“You say such sweet things…….Mishty!” He replied, rolling the word around on his tongue as if liked the taste of it, a sexy grin come over his face. Yes mishty, his mishty.
She snatched the shirt from him and walked to a corner of the cave, small as it was, it didn’t get her far as she would have liked from him.
Grinning, he turned his back to her and started to light the wood with a lighter from his backpack.
Geet whipped off her sodden shirt and after a thought her bra. Hanging them on a rock to dry, she pulled on his dry shirt which felt like heaven, thank god it was black and not see through. She wandered if she should take off her jeans as well so they could dry.
“Yes.” he said, “Hang them up to dry.”
Damn it! Was she that transparent! “You know, you should go into mind reading you will make a lot of money!” She said sarcastically as she slipped out of her jeans, the shirt nearly reached mid thigh, and was definitely longer then Sonali’s skirts she thought.
“I have enough trouble with a certain Ms Handa at the moment to keep me occupied, perhaps I will try another business when I have understood her intentions.” He replied calmly looking into the flames that were rapidly making the cave look cosy and filling it with much needed warmth.
She watched the golden play of the firelight on his back and watched his muscles ripple as he added some more wood to the fire, self consciously, she walked around and sat on a blanket he had put out near the fire, pulling down his shirt to cover her knees.
The fire crackled and hissed as the wood settled and burned. Geet stared into its ambers all the while feeling his intense gaze on her. She felt as if his gaze would strip her to her soul. Self consciously she fidgeted and tugged at his shirt.
To the searingly hot water nymph image of her fresh in his mind, he added the image of her in his black shirt. He decided that she was sent on this Earth to test his control in every way possible, as whatever she appeared in, it just added to his problems. The small actions of her fidgeting and pulling at his shirt just made it worse as it tightened over her breasts, accentuating their shape and delicious curve, every time she tugged. He glanced at her from under his lashes and wondered how was he going to last the whole night without ravishing her.