“Yeh sab kya chal raha hai, Manik?” ( What is going on with you, Manik? ) Amir asks sternly but soon softens his tone because he loves Manik like his son and tries to know the matter. “Mera sher ek mamuli purse chori ka ilzam lagwake kaise jail jaa sakta hai.” ( I can’t believe that my boy could be behind bars just because he is accused of stealing. ) He sits on his chair while he is standing in front of him and asks the most important question, “Kiske liye kar raha hai yeah sab?” ( Why are you doing all this, and to be precise for whom? ) 

In an instant, Manik replies, “Apne pyaar ke liye.” ( For my love… ) The room went silent while some gasped. He looks into Amir’s eyes and continues, “Bahut pyaar karta hoo usse. Itna ki bata nahi sakta.” ( I love her a lot and I can’t tell you how much. ) 

A voice comes from their back which belongs to a furious woman. She comes and stands between Manik and Amir while looking at Manik with aggression. “Par woh ek police wali hai.” ( But she is a police inspector. ) 

Manik looks at her before answering not giving her enough attention, “Janta hoo”. ( I know! ) 

The woman is none other than the right hand of Amir Raheja. Her name is ZARA. No one knows her background or about her family but well aware of her ruthlessness. She can’t even think before killing anyone no matter if it’s a child or any other. She is just concerned about her profit and nothing else. 

“Toh yeh bhi jante hi hoge ki woh hamare kaam ke liye kitni khatarnak sabit ho sakti hai.” ( So you should also know that she could be dangerous for us. ) Zara shouts at him, killing him with her red eyes but is stopped by Amir. Her revolver is ready to put the bullets in Manik’s skull but she is aware of his importance. 

“Shant!” Amir stops Zara from speaking further and stands in front of Manik, “Manik, tu sure hai uske liye?” ( Manik, are you sure about her? ) 

“Haa!” Manik doesn’t take a second to respond to Amir’s question but is furious with Zara. 

“Kis kutiya ke liye tum yeah sab kar rahe hoo, haa?” ( For a mere bit*h you are doing all this. ) Zara shouts coming in front of the devil himself ignoring Amir’s threat. “Fuck her and move ahead!” 

This is enough to instigate Manik Malhotra. Everyone gasped when he grabbed Zara’s jaw and banged her head on the table, making her head bleed. No one dared to say or do anything seeing the monster angry. He made her stand and pulled her hair roughly while saying with gritted teeth, “If you dare to utter one more word for MY LOVE then, I will forget that you are a slut of my boss and will dig your grave right here.” He threw her limp body on the floor and threatened everyone who was present, “She is your Bhabhi. So, be respectful to her and if I get to know that any one of you bad-mouthed her then, no one will save any of you from me.” He bent down to Zara’s level and squeezed her cheeks angrily, “And I swear, I will make you regret calling her bit*h.” 

He turns around and walks forward giving dangerous glares to everyone but the next second whimpers in pain. He palmed her left hand where a bullet hit, making him turn around and look at Zara who shot the bullet. 

Zara is lying on the floor with a bleeding forehead but is not sorry for her actions while Kaushal snatched the revolver from her hand before she shot another bullet at him. “I may miss my target but next time this won’t happen, Manik.” She stands up with difficulty and speaks with venom, “Next time, the bullet will pass through your heart, breaking every limb.” 

Manik went away ignoring her existence while a man followed him as per Amir’s instruction for his medication. Here, everyone is digesting what just happened and is shocked. No one cared about Zara as for them Manik comes first. If he learned that they helped Zara, that would be the last day for them. 

“Kaushal” Amir called him looking at the way Manik went, “Ji boss?” Kaushal replies worried about Manik because he is his dearest friend while Amir continues, “Hame ek naya Manik dhundna hoga.” ( We have to find a new Manik. ) 

“Mai samjha nahi, Boss.” ( I didn’t understand, boss. ) Kaushal asked not getting the meaning of his talks, same as others. 

Amir signed “Yeah wala Manik toh pyaar mai hai. Yeah aab hamare sath kaam nahi karega.” ( This Manik is in LOVE. He won’t work with us now. ) He sits on the chair, palming his face, and continues, “Mai janta hoo ise bachpan se.” ( I have known him since his birth. ) 

“Par boss… Manik ne toh aisa kuch nahi kaha.” Kaushal defends his friend, ( But Boss… He didn’t say anything about work. ) 

“Abhi nahi kaha par jald hi kahega.” ( He didn’t say anything till now but, will say soon. ) Amir says knowing every bit of Manik. 

“Phir toh yeah hamare liye bahut hi dangerous hai. Hame bahut loss ho sakta hai… kyuki hamare 90% contractors toh sirf Manik par hi vishwas rakte hai.”  ( Then, it will be harmful to our work. We will face losses because 90 percent of our contractors only believe Manik for work. ) Kaushal speaks worriedly, exactly knowing what will happen if Manik leaves their gang.

“Why will we bear this loss? Why don’t we just go and kill that bloody bit*h? All of this is happening because of her, right?” Zara speaks coming into the living area again with a bandaged head and sits beside Amir. She is still bad-mouthing the girl who stole Manik’s heart. 

Amir got furious with her and spoke sternly, making everyone scared, “Don’t you know Manik?” He shouted so high that for a moment Zara also got terrified of his anger, “He will burn all of us if anything happens to HER because of us.” He calms himself and tries to put some brain in her, “So, this is beneficial if we close this chapter here.” He stands up and walks inside his room while everyone also disperses for their work but Zara doesn’t move a bit from her seat. She groaned angrily and kicked the table, making it shattered. “I won’t close this chapter. If I face losses because of Manik and his new sl*t, I won’t step back before killing her.” 

On the other hand, Manik reached Nandini’s house at his regular time. With great difficulty, he cooked food for her with all his heart. He whines every time due to pain in his left hand but he manages, unknown to the fact that a pair of eyes gawking at him with love.

Nandini reached her house before Manik and hid just to look at his efforts for her. She was overwhelmed seeing his selfless care for her. He walked out of the kitchen after setting the table for her and went into her room. He removes his shirt and opens the bandages from his left hand, he lights his cigarette and takes a first puff. She nods her head in disbelief and enters inside. 

“Cigarettes are not allowed here.” She speaks, making him turn around to face her. She checks out his superbly toned body which ignites the fire in her. Hearing her, Manik looks at her shocked because he had no idea of getting caught by her. “You come early…” He asked with surprise and smashed his cigarette, throwing it away following her order. “I was just going…” 

Nandini nods and smiles seeing him following her orders obediently. He wears his shirt and is getting ready to go back but she wants to spend some time with him. “Will you have dinner with me?” She asks giving him another shock but he smirks teasingly by asking, “Are you asking me for a dinner date?” 

“No!… I want you to know that you cook terrible food and I have to have it just because I don’t want to waste it.” She gives her remark, making him laugh, and continues with a pitiful face, “Now, you are here then, you should taste it yourself.” Saying this she went away while Manik followed her like a kid. They settled on the table and she saw his wound which shook her terribly. Don’t know from when but his every cut or wound gives her chills. 

She feeds him with her hand before he can say or do anything because she knows he is lefty. So, not to give stress to his left hand, she feeds him from her plate while he has the first bite with closed eyes, feeling the care for the first time. “You are a good cook.” She compliments, making him smile brightly, and continues to tease him, “If you want to do another job except murdering someone then do let me know… I will appoint you as my cook.” 

He smiles and bites his lower lip, “You don’t have to appoint me… I am already YOUR PERSONAL COOK.” He replies, making her smile which she tries to hide, “You can smile wholeheartedly, I won’t mind.” This time, he teases her by kissing her cheek and receives no violent action like in previous times. “By the way, I heard someone in the room who says that I cook terribly.” 

Nandini looked to the other side to hide her embarrassment which didn’t go unnoticed by him. She tries to divert his mind and says, “I saw… I mean… You finished three cigarettes in a go in the kitchen and had another one in the room.” She paused while he understood that she had been watching him for a long time, “Is there anything you are worried about?” 

“Why do you want to know?” Manik asks simply keeping eye contact while she replies, “Maybe, I can help you.” He speaks meekly, not wanting to stress her out unwantedly, “It’s just about work…” She nods while he stands up after dinner to go back with a heavy heart because he wants to be with her after whatever happened between him and Zara as he is sure that she won’t stay quiet for long. “I think… I should… go.” 

Nandini ran immediately and held his wrist stopping him in mid. She comes intimately closer to him and whispers, “Last month, on the same day you did something, and today I want to do the same.” Manik frowns not getting her meaning but the next second his confusion fades when she places her lips on his. She pulled him down through his neck and pushed herself into his body, giving him a mind-blowing kiss. He wraps his hands around her waist to support her whereas she deepens the kiss, dominating him. 

In the intense moment, Manik walks forward, making her sit on the dining table. A few plates and bowls shattered on the floor but they didn’t care about that now. She wraps her legs around his waist pulling him closer. 

To be continued…

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