Spark & Spice: Chapter 25: Pangs of Jealousy

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Nandini was laughing and smiling away to glory without even a single clue that how a simple act like this could irritate someone.

Mukti, on the other hand, instantly liked her! So did Dhruv!!

“You know Nandini, I saw your design and the way you work, I’m already impressed! Hope this turns out well!!” Mukti said.

“Hope so!” Nandini smiled at being complimented.

Mukti addressed Dhruv, “She is really talented Dhruv, and it’s just her second day at work!”

“I agree!! Actually, I was thinking, why don’t you come with me to the Swiss Festival next week? What do you say Mukti??”

Nandini stared at him in confusion having no idea about this festival and tried to understand what they were talking about. She first turned to Dhruv and then Mukti and then again to Dhruv.

Mukti replied, “I think you are right, to be honest! See, his assistant Rose has disappeared after she availed a casual leave saying that she was not well. And now she hasn’t returned even after 15 days. She is generally a bit careless. So, why don’t you take her place and go to Lucerne … it’s in Switzerland… for one the biggest fashion festival in Europe, after Paris and Milan. It will be good exposure for you and a lot of help for us!”

Nandini was still staring at them with disbelief.

Lucerne?? Switzerland?? Fashion festival!! Is this for real?? Like…  She had joined just yesterday and her team mates were telling her that she might actually be good!!! So good that they offered her a place to go to Bern festival! Wait a minute… I hope Manik doesn’t have anything to do with this!!! She didn’t want any reputation like – ‘favourite employee of boss’ or ‘one who gets her dues not because of abilties but because she is pleasing the boss’ !!

In a cautious tone, she asked Mukti, “Err… did Manik sir…”

Mukti interrupted her, brushing off her concern, “Oh don’t worry about that!! I’ll talk to Manik… he won’t refuse…”

Nandini took a deep breath of relief when Mukti said that…but not for long… as what Mukti said after that, sent all the nerves inside Nandini Murthy for a toss!!

Mukti continued to speak, “Actually, Manik is least bothered about the Swiss festival as Milan fashion week is just after that and we need a solid representation there. Manik personally takes care that everything is prim and proper before that. Alya loves Milan and Milan Fashion week… even last year they attended it together, like a lovey dovey couple…so cute, isn’t it??”

As if yesterday’s salted tea had been poured in her mouth, right now!! Nandini had no idea why her mind refused to co-operate with her after Mukti spoke that! Why her lips went dry and she had to pretend to keep them wet by running her tongue over them. Why her heart beats went totally out of regular rythm and she felt a pang of jealousy deep down in her heart! Why??

It wasn’t as if she didn’t know that Alya and Manik were together… that they were about to get engaged on the Valentine’s night, when by chance things went a bit off track… that they were about to get married!! Why was she bothered anyway!!!

She hated herself for being this juvenile and naive… A man was flirting with her and she was allowing herself to be drowned in the madness…

‘Focus Nandini, focus on work!!!’ She reprimanded herself to go back to work with full concentration and Mukti and Dhruv too decided to disperse when Manik arrived in the Designs department totally unannounced!!

All three of them stood in a shocked pose after they found Manik standing right before them. Looking at his watch he taunted them all, with a grave look and a clenched jaw, “I didn’t mean to disturb your precious little gossip party but what to do, guys… It seems I’m the only one who remembers that office has just began !!”

Both Dhruv and Mukti stood silent and then echoed, “Sorry boss! We were just going to our desks!”

“If you please… I want a minute alone with Miss Murthy!!”

Mukti was scared if Manik was going to fire her like he did with other people. She quickly apologised, “Manik, I’m sorry! It was all my fault. I was the one who came here to chat!!… She has been working since morning!!”

Dhruv added, “Please don’t fire her! It’s just her second day and she is good!!”

Nandini felt like hugging both of them. They were so cute … pleading on her behalf to save her from the wrath of the titan!! As if Manik was going to fire her??!!! Only she knew how Manik had managed to keep her here, despite her strong resistance!!

Manik turned to look at both Mukti and Dhruv and without any expressions on his face, he spoke, one word at a time, “Can I NOW have a moment with her, please???”

They nodded and left the room, closing the door behind them.

Manik was now facing Nandini, who was looking right in his eyes. He hated the way she was looking at him with complaints in her eyes, as compared to the easy, friendly looks she gave to Dhruv. Whereas, she could only remember what Mukti had just said about him and Alya being a cute couple who went to Milan Fashion week together, last year!!

‘Whatever!!!’

And what was this tension in the air when they were with each other! It appeared so difficult to breathe when he was before her, it felt as if the air had thickened between them. His eyes, his tall frame and his posture could cast a spell on her!

On the other hand, he felt as if his mind would explode if he didn’t held her close, in his arms and told her how he felt about her!! But what would he say??!! Even he didn’t know what was so deep that he felt for her!! He had tried several times but failed to come up with a name for the feeling in his heart and give a form to it, putting it in words!!

Fighting with her emotions, stopping them from coming to fore, in a bitter, accusing tone, she said, “You won’t let me live in peace, na?! It began like such a beautiful day and I was doing so well… but no… you ‘have’ to spoil it!! Every normal day turns into an adventure, thanks to you…”

Sarcastically, he replied, “I can say the same for you!! I was doing my work as well and was focused, until I felt an urgent need to remind some people that it’s an office!! Not a club lounge where you can chat early in the morning…”

She turned away towards her desk to begin her work again, “Oh really?? You could send someone with a message or you could have called to say that!! You didn’t have to come here all the way to embarrass me and scare Dhruv and Mukti, both!!”

“I would have done that, if you were not laughing like a silly school girl on his jokes??”

With a look of shock, she stared back at him, not knowing how to react!!! She couldn’t believe this!! Like whattt???

“I was laughing and it irked you??? Really???!!! Why ???”

He leaned over her desk and perched over it placing his palms flat on it. Looking into her eyes,  he had no idea why he said that, “You don’t even smile when you are with me and when you were with Dhruv, you were laughing like a maniac!”

“Excuse me, Mr. Malhotra!! I have a good sense of humour and I do happen to laugh, you know!! Not only Dhruv, I laugh at Cabir’s jokes too…IF… you haven’t noticed!!! Not my fault if Manik Malhotra doesn’t crack jokes of that calibre!”

He walked around the table and stepped closer. In a husky, deep, low whisper, he asked, “You want me to crack jokes??”

“You want me to laugh more, when I’m with you?? ” She cocked a brow in surprise, but he interrupted her, asking her in return, “Do you really care what I want??”

Voila!! He had once again managed to send her mind on a leave, making her heart do double the usual work!!! Why did he have to be so compelling!!

She didn’t reply to his question but waited with anxious breath for him to continue. His face, his taut muscles, his sharp jawline and his piercing eyes were sufficient to intimidate any soft soul. A part of her was always under his control! Just a part!!

He continued, “You won’t laugh on Dhruv’s jokes!!”

“Wow!! Like wow, Manik… you are so intelligent!! You don’t know that laughing is an impulse?? It comes naturally. The way you can’t think and laugh, similarly you can’t think and stop it.”

“Whatever! I don’t care…” He was firm and in no mood of negotiations, “I told you that you are not laughing with him. If you can’t stop yourself, stop talking to him…stop hanging out like best friends, when you have just met him yesterday!!”

She was angry at the way he was trying hard to control her! What the hell, did he think of himself??! He was committed to Alya and here he wanted full control on her!! She was irked. itching to reply strongly like she always did… but right now, she was scared of his towering form over her but still she replied in a meek voice, “You have the nerves to ask me to stop talking to Dhruv… whereas … you…”

“I ??? I…what?? What did I do?”

“You …and…”

“Me and …” He asked strongly!

Nandini squirmed and was terrified at his expressions. She nodded with a slow whisper, “Nothing!!”

“Say it!! Come on… Me and ….what??”

“Just leave this here… I’m not in a right frame of mind…” She pleaded.

But it wasn’t like he was going to leave it ever, “Me and?? I’ll tell you what you are thinking… Alya?? That me and Alya are together but I’m asking you not to be close to Dhruv!!! Isn’t it??”

The questions in her eyes had resurfaced and searched for answers in his eyes, while she was staring at them with a distinct melancholy in her eyes. He didn’t reply to her for a moment and then after some time, with a grave bent to his tone, he asked, “Do I really appear like a man who is going around with one girl, about to get married to her, and then flirting with another girl, just to trouble and embarrass her?? Is this the level of ‘low’ that you think about me??”

His tone had disappointment and hurt!! He had never thought that the girl who had knocked him off his senses, robbed him off his sleep, his focus and his peace, who had trusted him so much that she had started releasing her doubts, worries and fears before him, who felt like someone so close to him.. would think of him like this??!!

She could have directly asked him about Alya and he would have told her that they had broken up, last week!! Instead, she thought that he was going strong with Alya and was still flirting with her!! How disgusting!!

Without saying another word, he turned around and left her room with swift steps to take him to his room! She was left stunned!!!

Back to his office, his mind was still not stable! Her opinion mattered to him and if she thought that he was loose on morals or character, she was never going to trust him again!!

She had no idea that he was smitten since the day they had banged with each other at the airport!! He has been crazy about her, since then!! He could have shared his feelings too, at that time… but he didn’t!! He felt a responsibility towards Alya and that kept him loyal till Alya stepped back last week, with her genuine justifications!

Even now, he could have told her about his break up with Alya… but he didn’t!! He was too dejected by her thoughts and wanted her to realise that on her own!

If she thought so low about him, what was the guarantee that she would believe his words, even now!! She will have to trust him… She will have to trust him again, even after knowing that he had broken it once, even after knowing that he may unintentionally break it again!! Such is trust!!

She will have to go that route all over again, if she had any feelings for him. And he wanted to see if she does that!!

For, if she trusted him, she would go to any lengths to prove his words right and her own beliefs, wrong!! 

…………….

{ More updates tomorrow… Good night people… love you all }

23 thoughts on “Spark & Spice: Chapter 25: Pangs of Jealousy

    1. I’m sorry… but I have already informed that I won’t be updating – 1. Check the reply to one question below yours.
      2. There is a notice for everyone on my main page… where I inform about my updates and latest changes – check here – http://www.manitav.net
      3. Or click on ‘Home’ on this page and go to front main page

      1. We didn’t receive any notification abt your note and we didn’t receive any post in our home page as well☹ we can read only by clicking that link. This will be more tough for u coz u have to reply to everyone writing same thing!!!

    1. For some unavoidable reason, I was out of the home today for the entire day. Just came back an hour back and had dinner right now.
      I will update both Tangles & Ties and Spark & Spice tomorrow 🙂

      1. Okay Di.. No problem.You take rest. ☺ will wait for the updates till tomorrow.. Take care and Good Night.. 💖

  1. No matter how many times I read it, it still feels fresh. Like the cool morning breeze I am experiencing now.
    Mercy

  2. Wow… Such a lovely update.. Ab ye tomorrow kab aayega.. Can’t wait to read more.. In every meet that didn’t leave any chance to fight with each other 😛😛
    And slow claps for Dhruv and Mukti.. They really thought he will fire Nandu.. But they didn’t know what he actually want.. 😜
    Eagerly waiting for next..

  3. Superb .🙂
    Manik has broken up with alya 🤩.
    Waiting for more updates.
    If possible give 5-6 update tommorow since it’s Sunday if only when you will be free.
    Lovely going.

  4. Such an amazing update… have to tell you when i read that aliya nd he broke up i was sooo happy.. would loveeee to see what happens next..
    Nd a request can u update more chapters than usual 3 coz ki karan wait hi nai honda😜😜😜

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