Spark & Spice: Chapter 29: Mr. Boss

“And I also know that I shouldn’t do it in front of others!” He told her.

She felt deeply moved. “That is why you didn’t come with other judges in the morning? You didn’t want me to feel awkward??”

He smiled, “And that is exactly why I need to leave, right now!”

“Manik, I want you to stay…” She spoke candidly, requesting him to be with her for more. This moment between them was too precious to be lost in the smoke and noise of the crowd. She hoped for more. In her mind, she justified herself that she was just asking a friend who had been her first confidante since she had come to Paris.

With no immediate reply in his mind, he studied her innocent face for a moment, before she was pushed towards him by two drunk girls behind her, dancing away to glory. Unprepared for this, Nandini staggered on one foot, to be held by his strong hands around her.
“Careful!!” He whispered.

She squirmed in his arms when on an impulse, he lowered her face towards her. She could feel her heart thumping in her ears, despite the noise around them. Uneasy and apprehensive, she closed her eyes and frowned slightly as he inched closer. His eyes were stuck on the little mole under her brow, her plump lips and her scrunched nose.

‘Goddamnnn beautiful!! How can everything about someone be so attractive?!!’

He sighed while she stayed still in his arms, with her eyes closed, dreading the inevitable but interestingly, she neither pushed him away or stepped back. She could feel his sigh on her face, hoping that he didn’t feel her goosebumps at her back where he had his hand rested. Her quivering lips wearing a shade in deep wine colour, her raised chin and her shapely jaw invited him. He wished he could just forget everything and kiss her mindlessly. But he didn’t!

He smirked slightly and lowered more. His face crossed hers, with their cheeks almost touching so that his lips were at the level of her ear. Slowly, he whispered. almost over her ear, “By the way, you look gorgeous tonight!!”

She shuddered at the simple compliment, delivered in a husky, throaty baritone. Something deep inside her tummy churned in it’s place leaving her in knots.

Damnn!! He had to do this every time! He was sure to bring out the most immoral of thoughts from the deepest, darkest corners of her mind!!

“And now, I must leave!”

“But Manik…” She whispered as he raised his face. But he interrupted her by placing his finger on her lips, “We’ll talk about it tomorrow!”

“Tomorrow??” She repeated.

“Your friends are here for now! They shouldn’t see us together! Right??”

“Right!!” She felt like a parrot, repeated every word he said with an added confusion from her side.

Manik quickly separated from her and touched her cheek lightly, “See you tomorrow…”

He disappeared behind the crowd leaving a clueless Nandini standing at her place, trying to ascertain whether all that happened twenty minutes before was a dream or it was for real!

Dhruv, Mukti and rest of their colleagues came one by one and joined the little party where drinks were ordered and everyone danced.

Dhruv stretched his hand before her and asked Nandini for a dance. She looked at him as if she was seeing a ghost. She wondered what had happened to her?! Even the idea of a harmless dance with anyone else seemed so pathetic.

“I don’t dance Dhruv!’

“You are looking so beautiful!” He complimented her. But she didn’t feel like smiling in return. She had lost interest in the party. People chatted with her, complimented her, Mukti hugged her and everyone was having a merry time, except Nandini. No one seemed to bother though for she had that reputation that she was quiet and boring at all times. None pestered her to join after some time.

Dhruv dropped her home, “Err, Nandini, be ready at 6:00 am tomorrow. I’ll pick you up!”

“Hmm?” She was lost in her own world, the one where she had waltzed to the tunes of Manik’s heart beats. His arms around her made her world seem complete. If only, he didn’t belong to Alya.

“Swiss Festival, Nandini! Did you forget?”

“No, I remember! Pick me up at 6:00…” She was back to her senses after the reminder from her brain about the relationship status of Mr. Flirt Malhotra.

‘Such-A-Devil…he is!!!’

………………………….

Nandini packed her bags for her first trip to Switzerland. She had seen that country only in Hindi films till now. Thanks to Karan Johar and YashRaj Productions, they had glamourised the country to such an extent that dreams felt incomplete without including one trip to Switzerland with your loved one!

Nandini was excited for this trip. It was her first trip from office. It was a fashion festival with a lot to see and learn. And it was Switzerland afterall!!

But on the flip side, she was going to spend 4 days with Dhruv. It didn’t feel good. One, she was not such a good friend of Dhruv to enjoy a holiday with him. Two, Manik had once asked her to not talk to him.

Did Manik know that she was going with Dhruv?? Will he get upset if he comes to know?? By the way, why am I even thinking about him??!! Don’t be a fool Nandini…  He will be going to Milan fashion week with Alya!!! 

She knew that she needed to stop thinking about Manik…asap …!! She informed Nikita about her trip and browsed internet for some details about Swiss currency, stay, weather forecast and food… till she was so tired that she fell asleep.

…………….

Morning 6:00 am. 

Nandini carried her duffel bag and hand bag outside the building where she lived and waited for Dhruv to pick her up. It was freezing cold outside due to the snow and she shivered even after three layers of woollens, gloves and a long tan coat.

 It was freezing cold outside due to the snow and she shivered even after three layers of woollens, gloves and a long tan coat

Hardly a moment later, a grand sized Porsche stopped by her. She tried to recognise it.

‘Manik’s car?! Naaahhh… he can’t be here… it’s 6:00 am. Who gets up this early? And he doesn’t even know where I live! The last time, he dropped me outside the hostel!’

All her thoughts went down the drain, when the windows rolled down and the driver… oopss, Manik Malhotra, asked her to hop in the car!!

‘By God!!! He is Manikkkk!! For Pete’s sake, what is the man doing here??’

“Manik?? What are you doing here?”

“Can you please stop asking questions and come inside first? It’s freezing cold and it’s so windy out there!!”

“Hmm!! Yeah!!” Quickly she opened the rear seat door, shoved her bag inside and shut the door, to jump in the front passenger side seat by him!

He looked as gorgeous as ever! Early in the morning too! It appeared as if he was always ready for a ramp walk himself. Wearing total black inside under a long grey overcoat and stylish aviators completing his look with a day long stubble, he could kill just by looks!

She cleared her throat and turned to him, while he started driving.

“Now, tell me what are you doing here? How did you know that I’d be here 6:00 am in the morning? Where are we going?? And how do you know where I lived!!”

He laughed at the speed with which questions were bombarded at him, “Take a break while you speak! It’s good for mind…”

“Manikk!!” Irritated, she flared her nostrils.

“Okay! So the answer to all your questions is one – I’m the Boss!!!”

She glared at him as if he was a science specimen in a museum, “Ohhh my my!!! The aura that you carry!! How could I forget it?”

He laughed at her tease!!

“Now, come on, tell me clearly what does that mean?”

“It means that Dhruv decided at the last moment that if given a choice, he would love to go to Milan festival and not Swiss festival as the latter, he has been attending since a few years and the Milan one, he desperately wanted to attend!!”

Nandini tilted her neck and observed his kid-like face when he chuckled at his victory. “You asked him to step out??”

“No!! I never request favours!! I said, if given a choice… I gave him a choice between Milan and Swiss…he chose Milan!! Simple!” Manik raised his one shoulder to denote it ‘as-a-matter-of-fact’…

“So you replaced him!!”

“I had to!! It is easy to replace people if their desire to get something is much less than your passion for the same!!”

She squirmed at his words. Whatever he meant was too powerful! And too much for her to take!! How was she going to spend these 4 days…with him??!! Or maybe, she was excited!!

“You tell me Nandini, I give a choice to you! If given a choice, you would take a trip with Dhruv … or Me??”

How Smug!!! She thought!!

She grinned and replied, “A smart employee always choose her boss! The salary comes from there!”

He laughed out loud at that. “Great! I’m so glad to be with a smart employee of mine… too smart, I’d say!!”

She turned around to look at the snow ridden streets of the city early in the morning. The serenity, the calm and the eerie emptiness was in sharp contrast to the happening and noisy nights. She turned to look at Manik and observed how amazing it was to sit beside him. Why did he feel like family to her.

“You can talk while I drive. It’s allowed!”

“How do you know where I lived? Did you really fit a GPS device in my jacket and installed CCTVs in my home and building too!!”

He was embarrassed. “Shuttt uppp!! I am not a psychopath stalker!! For your benefit, let me tell you that I have removed the camera no.6 … your seat camera connections from my laptop. I won’t be able to see you anymore…”

“Am I supposed to thank you for that?”

“Your call??

“May I ask what made you take this noble decision??”

“Actually, I didn’t want to appear like a stalker, snooping on you without your knowledge… I felt guilty. I mean, I always knew that it wasn’t fair to you!!”

“Thank God, you realised it!! And thank you for that gesture!! But then, how do you know where I lived… “

“I know everything!! But about every employee…” He spoke turning away to the other side window and was back to focus again on the road ahead. Why she felt as if there was more to it, that he had been hiding, she had no clue!!

“What else??” He asked.

“You always knew??”

“About?”

“Swiss Festival? Me and Dhruv going for it??”

“I’m the CEO of the company you work for. Every employee sends important information on mail or messages to me. For a trip like this, you need prior permission and approval. I knew it the day Dhruv told you about it!”

“Why didn’t you talk to me about it, before?”

“I like to surprise people!”

“Or…take them by surprise??”

“One and the same thing…well, more or less!! But I didn’t want to give Dhruv a chance to think and refuse. I don’t take defeats and failures that easily. This is another theory of giving a choice to people. Give it at the last moment so that they take an impulsive decision. Don’t give them time to think or they may refuse you!! I asked Dhruv at 4:00 am this morning, if he wanted to go to Milan!!”

“You could have ordered him!! Simple!!”

He smiled in a sweet manner with a subtle nod, and a cute little tone, “No…no!! I’m not a monster!!”

“Manik Malhotra…take a bow!!! I am seriously impressed. If at all, I ever need business advice from someone, now I know where to go!!”

“Hahaha!!” Manik couldn’t stop laughing, “I know you are pulling my leg but I don’t care, as long as I am winning!!”

“My God, you are so dangerous!!” She spoke in an animated exagerration, “You only talk in terms of wins and losses, choices and timing… even that day in your office you declared how you can go to any length to get what you want!! I’ve put your name on top in my list of ‘Beware: Danger Alert’…”

“And I have put your name on top of my list of people that says – ‘StressBusters!!

………………………..

{More parts tomorrow}

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Priyanka says:

    Amazing this trip is going to be memorable one for both of them 😍😍😍 I loved it 😍😍😍😍😘😘😘😘😘🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰👌🥰👌👌👌👌👍👍👍👍👍

  2. Sanskriti Singh says:

    Yeah even I am very sorry to nag you about updating but you know it’s hard to wait. So can you please update early today. Can’t stay awake till midnight. Have to wake up early morning. And also if you’re not updating then please inform us early. :))

    1. Manita V says:

      I’ll not be updating dear… will compensate tomorrow by more chapters by afternoon

      1. Anonymous says:

        Di Tangles and Ties update kr do please 🤗🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Update please

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to nag but Di plss plss update a little early today….plss…i’m eagerly waiting for it…i love this story …their bickering everything. ..

  5. Dhruvi Shah says:

    Awesome

  6. Mspagal says:

    Aww this but so beautiful and cute and so sweet

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hhik in he

  8. Ria says:

    I m reading this story second time… N trust me i can read this story again n again with a same enthusiasm…. One of ur best piece of writing… Luved it♥️♥️♥️

  9. Myworld_myrulz says:

    Spark and spice is my most fav one .. I really loved reading it… I can re read them as many times as possible… I love all the chapter .. thanks for re published them… Eagerly waiting for remaining chapters… Love you..!! ❤️

  10. weirdfascinations says:

    A constant smile on my face while reading these chapters!❤️❤️❤️

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