Chapter 17 – Connection

|| 17. PAIZE 1 ♥ ||

Grumbling a series of words under his breath he growled “There is no or! No matter how much credit you give yourself, none of that happened between us..” his eyes softened as he eased the palm from blocking her lips “ were unwell, I was only with you”

His words emphatically pricked her heart ‘ matter how much credit you give yourself, none of that happened between us..’ . Holding back a sob, her heart wrenching anxiously within, Mohana managed to ask “Why was I in your tee then?”

Wrapping fingers along her nape, he soothed “We discussed about it and I helped you change from the saree, then we refreshed it again after some hours because your body was still under the influence of prescribed drugs. But we kept our eyes closed. Even when we took washroom breaks. Your body needed heat, I had promised to stay with you, there was nothing more to it”

The repetitive confirmation made her want to feel relieved but her heart badgered, searing in agony, extremely upset at the unraveling “And you’re an expert at this.. this whole changing business, because of all those Peggys in your world who want to open your jeans button in return! But I am not like those bimbo fan of yours. I don’t like doctors, if I did I would have gladly proven that I don’t have any life breathing in my abdomen. In this case you’ll just have to wait nine months”

His thumb ran along the column of her neck, the back and forth caresses making her gulp nervously “Nine?”

“I thought? Isn’t it? Roughly nine or so?” she rattled off her knowledge, clueless as to how innocent she appeared holding onto her lower lip between her teeth

Tracing her jaw, Omar offhandedly shrugged wrapping his other arm along her waist, pulling her back in the circle of his arms “Sure, nine if we talk humankind numbers for reference but..”

“Humankind! You are one infuriating man. Why wouldn’t I rather become a bear and pop out a grizzly baby in just seven months for it to hunt you down” Mohana shifted in his embrace, wanting her defiant butterflies to stop being in unity with his touch for once to side with her

Firming his grip, he huskily enquired “Because you like bears more than let’s say humans?”

Not getting the desired reaction from the challenge she had issued, Mohana bubbled with annoyance “Anything more than you”

“Obviously, because I am not your kind of pineapple. But given the categorizations you have, what would you say is the deal with Chanceys, because there is this certain invite for celebrating Christmas with him in Dubai” the thunderous query, contradicted his playful action of skimming his palm along the ends of her blonde mane

Mohana opened her mouth then shut it close. Regardless of however often she was rumored to have affairs with the many men, her heart specifically raced at the implication of his words. She bit hard on her lower lip to prevent tears of hurt from rolling, desperately consoling her writhing heart once over again, for nothing mattered beyond her own hard work, despite shuddering at his judgement from within.

If her dream man relied on the misinformation publicized by various networks, media outlets and the gossip columns of Chanceys, to conclude she had slept with Paul Pitar and was carrying his child, so be it. Holding on to her self esteem, pulling her facade of indifference, she refused to offer any clarification “Last you reminded me, I have two semesters to wrap before I graduate from law school. Until then there is nothing to discuss”

Mohana spun around wanting to leave but her recovering body swayed with the hasty move. Capturing hold of her wrist, Omar fluently balanced the delicate woman, tugging her body to clash against his. Barely squeaking an “Aw” in surprise she found herself gazing into pitch dark spheres, how she yearned for them to belong to her warm fluffy Polo and for all this to be a dream, she could wake up from.

She fidgeted to free from his grip but Omar effortlessly carried her in his arms “Careful. You’ve barely made it out of the zone and as it happens I can’t afford to wait six more months. Unless Staoux and Chanceys media houses are planning a merger, none that I can ever foresee happening, there doesn’t seem to be any business need for these Christmas celebrations”

She squirmed in his hold “You are one insufferable man. I’m never. ever. going to talk to you,” curbing her sob, overwhelmed with tumultuous feelings she hid her face on his heart

“Yeah, because you have anyways determined that overall we can’t talk, we can’t meet, we can’t see each other” stepping through the walk-in-closet, Omar carried Mohana across the bedroom.

Making his way in the artistically decorated penthouse, he halted alongside the kitchen at the open area, basking in sparkling sunlight. Settling Mohana atop the massive wooden dining table, he offered a warm cheese croissant “Take a bite, you owe me for tying this thing”

Sullenly looking away Mohana reached for a raspberry danish from the grand spread of offerings, but snatching the treat, Omar moved his croissant closer to her lips while biting onto the danish himself “You had until a few hours ago claimed I was very. very. kind. Now you’ve updated my status to insufferable, arrogant, despicable, horrible, conceited and infuriating..”

“And contemptuous. It suits you the most” she taunted, her distressed heart stinging emphatically, skipping the vital tidbit he had mentioned which belonged to her meeting with Trissa. Ignoring the croissant he held, Mohana bent sideways to select a heart shaped jam donut from another large platter this time

Before she could nibble on it, Omar slipped a torn bite of the cheesy croissant puff pastry through her lips “Noted. Would you also like to revise your thoughts on the handsome, sexy, heartthrob part?”

“You’re obviously not Soren Rick” she sneered angrily, but appreciating the taste of the croissant, seized the remaining treat from his fingers deciding to eat that instead

“Of course not. No one can be as handsome or have such artificially enabled abs like that scripted jerk, the only man our editor-in-chief of Sophista finds fit to grace her cover..” he retorted in return, his frown deepening “..and to think of it, in your role, you ideally cannot be celebrating vacations with one of your rivals, so you will give me the answer for what I’ve asked”

Being associated with Chanceys her frantic heart recoiled in pain of the insult, but the revolt she had embarked on made it cower. Her ardent heart defaulted at belonging to her dream man, despite his thorough, scorching discard of her: ‘..we are not married.. matter how much credit you give yourself, none of that happened between us..

Stuffing her mouth with the croissant, holding ground by not abiding to his ask she adamantly looked at him in challenge “Add insolent to your list because I don’t need to justify my actions to anyone except my boss, but I’d suggest you to strike a deal one of these network outlets or better yet try luck with Chanceys, who knows you may after all get invited at the baby shower and see me become someone’s fourth..”

“I don’t strike deals with men who need to be tortured. Paul Pitar is anyways looking for a fifth wife..” Omar corrected the misinformation, his jaw firmly clenching “..and he can’t dare lay a finger on you. Though the unscrupulous man he is, he won’t hesitate to throw his own blood to the fire. If you missed his wedding dates, you likely also missed the memo, his illegitimate son Pollock Gerdes was going to join these Christmas celebrations”

Mohana chuckled at the pain twisting through her “You’ve exceeded all gossip columns, your list is even longer of all the men I’ve sle..” his thumb on her quivering lips, prevented her furious words

“Only you and me. Anyone who has dared to trouble you is going to meet their end including those gossip column reporters” his eyes completely dark, still void of the luring sparkles stared deep into her glassy depths

Her tummy flipped hearing the growl of his threat, chest heaving, feeling his thumb lightly trace her lips. Outlining her luscious lower lip, his thumb retracted letting her inhale a quaky breath, for Mohana to dare a whisper “What if.. if that demon would have.. done all of.. and.. and left a life breathing inside of me?”

“No one can, not without your permission. But if anyone would have been devious to distantly syringe an embryo, we would have tackled it together however you’d have decided to proceed” his assurance came along a small danish bite being slipped through her lips

The gentle tone conflicted the terror she saw brimming in his eyes. Pulling knees to herself, clenching on to the tassels dangling from her saree, she demanded “If let’s say, one day I was.. you were.. you..” but courage quivered, making her nervously gulp “..if we were going to tackle it together. why weren’t you leaving me in the washroom? why would you even think I’d steal your stuff? why did you consider I’ll have a baby with an evil man willingly? why would I ever consider an affair with an immoral jerk? who even thinks things like that!”

“Clearly not me” in one swift move Mohana got melded against his strength, her heart banging loudly within and on a sob, two huge tears escaped which got instantly stroked off with the back of his fingers.

|| 17. PAIZE 2 ♥ ||

The built up guilt, rapidly flowed through “I wasn’t really going to steal your jacket in the airplane. but I did. then I.. because I thought I did all of that to you. And you.. me? there was your toothbrush. the one with that golden G for your..” she tilted her chin hinting about another one of his women “..I might be saving my salary but I don’t make a habit of stealing things. That jacket was an exception and I returned it to you because. Soren! And I..” his thumb halted the marathon of words

“Forget that jerk..” frowning at the outburst, his grip frantically fastened around her “..tell me what’s wrong? are you feeling the chills again? are these the other kind of side effects? like nightmares? You need to tell me what the drugs are doing to you”

Shivering in his arms, instinctively resting her face on his chest, she launched at him furiously “No! It’s all because of you. Clearly you! Because you are thinking all of this!”

His chest vibrated on a growl “You fainted in my arms, you didn’t look at me, you didn’t talk to me for nine minutes and seven seconds, you have any idea what I have been going through?! Since then you have been freezing cold with these bloody medicines, shivering, becoming pale, getting skews in your temperature and in a constant state of drowsiness! But you think I’d be busy considering you stealing! a toothbrush?..”

“Noh. Ya. I.. I shouldn’t have. I’ll go. I’ll leave now” she rushed, collecting herself to straighten, her eyes lowered in embarrassment for the trouble she had made him go through

Omar coarsely informed “You’re going no where. If you could have given me some credit, I might have already gathered there are no babies by now, but there was unbound confusion when you fainted and I worked on the rarest of all possibilities to ensure your health wasn’t compromised. I know you wouldn’t tolerate a jerk, let alone the Pitar clan, but I can’t overlook that there are heinous brutes who might have found a way to weaken your defenses. Which is why I waited for you to recover but you woke up to say his name again”

“Polo? But Polo is a different name. Why would you even think of him with all those unpleasant men!..” she shifted on the dining table, shyly welcoming his care filled voice and partial declaration of trust he had instilled in her, than believing the adversary rumors

Dropping her pretense of rebellion she sincerely informed “..I don’t care to clarify underlying politics to external celebrities, because today you’re on Sophista, tomorrow you’d be on Chanceys. But that wicked Pitar likes inviting me, and this time it was for Christmas in Dubai. I extend all his invites to my boss because what’s better than for all of us to meet together. Seeing Sir Gallaghair’s name on the invites, he always balks away”

“And you claim to run Sophista. As an external celebrity I am never going to be on Chanceys. Do you have any idea what I went through these hours, considering of all the horrid things Pitar could have had that Polo aka Pollock bothering you for? I will have a talk with your Sir Gallaghair because I won’t be allowing any of this back and forth with that scumbag” Omar resolutely stated, feeding her another bite of the donut

Following his moves, seeing him break a bite from the same donut to eat himself, she innocently assured him of her protection clan “I don’t interact with Pitar and his sons for real. Carter is always there and my dad will butcher those men alive if he as much hears any harm has come to me. Also my boss, Sir Gallaghair, watches over me like am his own daughter, so I have all the protection needed and I anyways will be an attorney..”

“The finals are four months away, graduation is another two” the stoic reminder made Mohana twirl the pink-red stash agitatedly in her hands

Her law degree seemed much farther in every discussion she had with Omar Shaan, despite each passing day practically bringing her closer to the finish line. She determinedly stated her objection “But the OAs are right around the corner, and I can’t just keep waiting for my finals. What makes you anyways think between all this time I am without legal representation of my own?”

“Who approved of this attorney in Sir Gallaghair’s team?” it irked her to see him ask the most pertinent question, when she hadn’t yet determined answers herself

“That. oh. uh. uhm. my friend! Ceria? Ceria knows my attorney.. uh.. my Polo! And if you must know, Ceria is Sir Gallaghair’s daughter. She and I are together at the uni, but before you conclude I got my role at Sophista because of her, that’s not what happened. I didn’t even know who her mom was until after I met her at the..” Mohana halted glancing at the deep black orbs which appeared so close. She nervously attempted to increase the distance between them but his iron grip prevented any movement

Making her take a bite from the heart shaped brownie, he murmured “The fundraiser finale dinner at the university, on the eve of your birthday”

Her cheeks blushed deeply feeling his finger brush her lips. Nearly swallowing the chocolate rich delicacy, Mohana wordlessly gave him a nod. Staring at him mesmerized she let the gooey brownie melt in her mouth, reminded of the dinner from a few years ago, the very night she had found the man of her dreams, to discover the magnificent phenomenon of Omar Shaan

“Hm?” feeding her a brownie bite, Omar popped the other half in his mouth “And how come Ceria gets to approve your attorney?”

“Because she is an attorney herself” she stated, her attention more focused at the precise sharing and exchange of treats

Taking another bite, Omar fed her his half again, smugly declaring “If she hasn’t graduated, I hardly think that approval can even be considered for discussion and it’s beyond the point because you haven’t graduated either”

“But.. uhm I have Polo! He is mine. I only want him, because he is warm and..” she paused, her cheeks glowing bashfully, eyes skidding lower along his shirtless torso which screamed of a warming strength altogether notches higher

Feeding her another bite of the chocolaty goodness, Omar grunted a sarcastic encouragement “Warm and?”

“Uhm snuggly?..” she nervously provided missing his undertone, desperately searching for a convincing argument to properly position her fluffy as the fictional attorney “..But! because he is an attorney, he is smart. brainy. strategic. he has all the important must have features of any attorney, and then better. Also the name! Polo itself means brave wanderer. You can be impressed by just his meaningful name”

Assured she had it all managed, Mohana dragged a courageous breath only for his growl to vibrate through her “Brave wanderer?! which is why you dream about Soren Rick all the time? Because no one can be as handsome as that scripted man? I’ll wait to get impressed when I meet this exceptionally-better-at-everything attorney”

“No! No. He has a different stream altogether and he uh we can’t meet him because.. am hungry!” turning to the side, she pushed one heart shaped brownie through her lips, then stuffed her mouth with another

“I’ve been trying to steer you from making this happen..” Omar heaved a deep sigh “ had to share your breakfast with me, now you owe me two more favors”

Devouring the chocolaty goodness, her eyes widened, silver spheres dancing in doubtful guilt “Favors? Two?”

“Two, more” breaking apart the savory cheese tart he slipped one half through her lips

Accepting she had struck a never ending deal with embarrassment, her shy eyes intently studied the golden platter filled with decadent brownies “There are so many of these and you.. uh if you have two of these, all by yourself, then it could be like this never happened?”

Seeing him gently wipe their hands clean with a towelette, she shyly diverted her eyes to the massive loft, noting the large well appointed kitchen area which boasted of immaculate appliances, designer lighting and gleaming counter tops “That’s not how it works. You’ll need to sharpen these negotiation tactics. I’m going for a swim, if you want to join me, we can discuss strategies around it”

She shone neon at the suggestion, hands curling in his hold, gaze faltering looking across the hallway, her big eyes opening wider in surprise “You swim in the ocean?”

Her uncertain question was met with a light shrug “We can whenever you want, but preferably at a time when you feel recovered. For now I was more thinking along the lines of the pool we have here” scooping her in his arms, he carried her through the glass accordion doors stepping them outside to the roof top observatory

The rocky shores feet below from their height, salty bouncing waves, the large green trees fencing the walking trail seemed to replicate the exact view which appeared from her bedroom loft windows, yet certain she didn’t own this big a loft, Mohana glanced at the pool on his rooftop, stating matter of factly “You have a swimming pool here”

Slipping her against his frame, Omar murmured “Yeah”

Turning in his arms to curiously look back at the view, bemused at her surroundings, she gulped “The drug side effects? I think they are here now. I am imagining multiple things together. Like your loft and mine? It’s very confusing because I think I am looking at an exact view of the ocean as I see everyday from my bedroom window, which can’t be even remotely possible but it’s like am getting punished because I don’t like doctors and their meds”

|| 17. PAIZE 3 ♥ ||

Concernedly checking her temperature, Omar pulled Mohana closer, resolutely declaring “I won’t allow a speck more of those meds, we’ll go the preferred route because I can’t tackle any of that again. But as far as the view, that should look like yours because we are practically neighbors. You’re three floors down, one skywalk away from here” he motioned to the neighboring tower

Open mouthed Mohana looked at where Omar pointed to the tall corporate office building, which for a fact appeared to be her abode. Expectantly looking back at him, she awaited further explanation to the influx of information she had been granted but Omar checked instead “You feel warm, but are you feeling the jitters again? do you want us to go inside and rest some?”

Shaking her head in quick assurance, she glanced over towards the Sophista head quarters again “No. uh. I thought I was confusing things. but this is downtown. your loft. and there is my company’s building. and I stay there. and you live here? right here? bringing all those uh..” the golden initialed toothbrush flashed through her eyes “ this loft? on that bed.. uh. the one where I woke up?”

“If you’re planning to interrogate me, you can’t..” smoothing a golden tendril, Omar mischievously smiled making her heart senselessly sway in his favor “..unless you work your way around somehow because currently only one of us is an attorney. How about for another favor I can enlighten you on a commonly known fact, Staoux Media House owns both these towers and if you’d have ever noted the address for Shaan Designs it would have brought you here”

“To you?” Mohana managed a croak, still attempting to absorb the revelation, eyes routing back to her office loft windows, where she had day after day, rigidly kept herself blocked from any information, beyond what was needed for her job, about the mighty designer celebrity

Cupping her face, Omar made her look at him “To me. The printed address is for corporate floors but if you came to the office, my staff would have gotten you here at the private residence”

“Oh. But my address is not private. Everyone knows the downtown Sophista office. and when you were busy with all of..” her hand waved in the air to denote his many affairs “..swimming here, I was right there? in my office? As the.. uh neighbor?”

“I wasn’t sure you were keeping your whereabouts a secret..” placing her fingers on the jeans button, Omar murmured “..and we can swim here whenever you want for us to try the pool’s efficiency. Open?”

In her nervousness grappling on to the jeans waist band Mohana frowned “Am not swimming. It’s cold out here. and there’s the Sophista corporate building. and. why would I use this pool, when all of them with those toothbrushes do it, because I anyways pack my own toothbrush for my..” she paused looking at the magnificent man towering her, fighting to inhale a breath if only her butterflies could get dissuaded “..but. but? I was with my team on a work trip to Sarrata. Why am I here?”

“I thought you’d never ask..” Omar offhandedly shrugged “..You need to give me the box of chocolates that I’ve been since searching for”

“Box of chocolates?” she stared at the designer celebrity, chiding herself for expecting any other response

Thumb circling over hers as Mohana stood clasping on to his jeans, Omar most nearly whispered “Yeah and when you find that box, let me know”

Her heart shriveled painfully, acknowledging the reality she had chosen to overlook, for the blurry recollection of Omar Shaan in the Sarrata cafeteria was not to fulfill her desperate yearning, instead their run-in fulfilled a purpose: it wasn’t just his jacket she had attempted to steal, there was the case of the missing chocolates as well

Mohana shifted in his arms wanting to sprint to her luggage, but halting her thoughtful expedition, Omar reminded “Button?”

“Yah” breathlessly fumbling with the jeans closure, the guilt of gorging those scrumptious brownies thudded in her head, and while she approved of her rogue behavior for the extremely delicious and chocolaty treats, it appeared she had committed herself to a never ending cycle of snatching and stealing his belongings

Her uncooperative fingers landed against his chiseled frame tumbling one over the other, making it appear that she had never opened a jeans button before. Inhaling a ragged breath Mohana ran a ceaseless consolation to calm her nervousness “..once. only once. just once..”

“Highly unlikely” his interruption came after a few or more failed tries of which Mohana wasn’t sure anymore

Held rooted to his magnetic grip, she enquired in despair “Hm?”

Smoothing the curve of her waist, making the butterflies rapidly multiply along the new patterns he drew on her creamy skin, Omar tugged her closer “If you’d start paying some attention to me, you’d know I mostly wear jeans”

“Apparently without tshirts to impress the world of Peggys, who don’t want to do anything except giving you your desired attention” she sneered, furious at the memory of the resort server

“That is more along the lines, because I gave away the ownership to all my tshirts recently. A very advantageous deal if you ask me. Would you care to know how the transaction went?” ignoring her heart twisting in pain, she hastily shook her head

“No, Sophista never prints what doesn’t need to be printed..” her voice cracked but collecting herself she took to tackling the jeans closure “..and there are important things that have gone missing like that box of chocolates for which I had to be here” twisting the button finally through the loop, she heaved a nervy sigh of accomplishment

Smashing her against his chest, his velvety deep voice hovered above her ear “Surely, nothing’s more important than that. And if you’re planning to start your search here by the pool, fair warning I’m going to change out of these jeans” in an instant his hold on her eased

Covering eyes with her palms, her words ran through the air “My eyes are closed! and I am going” as Mohana cluelessly rushed inside leaving the designer celebrity with his jeans button undone once again


Managing yards of the draped saree, the tasseled end of which kept slipping from the shoulder missing its brooch, her tummy swirled in torture, butterflies having found another occupation to flutter in fury of all the many women his bed had seen. His declaration from the airport ‘we are not married’ induced a thorough heartache as she tried recollecting the look and feel of the confectionary box.

Her fidgety fingers receiving no time to recover from opening the jeans button refused cooperation in searching for the said chocolates, urging her to instead think about the handsome man she had touched, those drool worthy muscles, the low hung jeans, or at the very least the delicious brownies he had served. But Mohana emphatically looked at her hands, preaching to herself “I can’t think about anything else, am already in debt for two of his favors”

Digging through the contents of her entire travel bag, unfolding dresses, unzipping all compartments, yet finding nothing of resemblance to a chocolate box, Mohana flopped on the floor. Holding her lower lip out she began inspecting the bag once over again, grumbling “Who does that? Offer a hungry person such a fancy table brimming with yummy treats and then put them in debt. for two brownies! Had I for real stolen any of his designer things I’d have owed my life to him!”

Pulling the blanket from her tote bag, she threw her head back, exhaling a quivery breath “But Mo’ana you stole, you dolt! The most sexy leather jacket from a world renowned fashion designer and if that can still be worthy of an explanation, there will be never any way to justify stealing chocolates. more so when my dad owns Rau..”

“Hiiiiiee Omar, I’m here for you” a womanly voice poured through the room, joined by a low vibrating beep, making the blanket drop in a heap. Caught surprised, Mohana gripped on to the pleats of the saree, bunching along the tasseled end in her fist as she straightened from the floor. Her eyes circled along the ceiling, surveying the walls to identify any outlets or screens, when the buzzing alerts drew her attention to a digital screen peeking from under the covers.

Approaching the bed, Mohana reached for the silken sheets only for the pulsating thrum to come to a halt and another voice, this time robotic, announce in the lowest audible level: Connect Sood Residence

Her heart raced hearing the reference of her own parental home, fretting the receipt of such a connection altogether, her anxiety further heightening at the digital device now requesting an automated link back. Grabbing the gadget, ignoring her light headedness, Mohana made a spree through the hallways wanting to find the designer celebrity, for her feet to come to a halt ahead of a large screen

A woman in a flimsy blue bikini top, low rise denim shorts, stood in a hallway ahead of a large brown box, expectantly looking at the camera. Nervously running fingers through her wavy blonde hair, Mohana shifted unsure if the camera lens was dual to also catch her presence, but seeing no change in the woman’s reaction, she took her chance to study the visitor.

The skimpy dressed woman opened her mouth wide, running her tongue along the lips before cupping the breasts to make them further spill from the triangle cut bikini top. Blinking in disbelief, completely taken aback Mohana immediately looked at her own torso to inspect the curve of her breasts in the pink-red cropped top, but heaving a sigh of dissatisfaction she glanced back at the screen.

Catching the other woman tug on the short-shorts, adjust a long dangling navel piercing, Mohana puckered lips in further disappointment at her own flat abdomen, where the belly button had been hidden behind the drape of the saree, when her eyes landed on the digital device gingerly held in her hands. Grasping her reality, without another breath she made an urgent dash in search of her dream man

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