Chapter 23 – Proper Process

|| 23. PAIZE 1 ♥ ||

On the tufted settee rested a golden garment bag in accompaniment to a huge box decked in similar luxurious shine. Atop them Mohana noticed were adhered same digital cards which read ‘From: Jojo’. Muddled through days and times owing to her unwell state, unsure of all that had transpired, her personal assistant’s name reminded Mohana of her commitment to attend the Avacho’s carnival event.

She ran haphazard fingers through her hair at the missing blocks in her memory. Fuzzy recollections of being at Sarrata, then waking up in one of the beds of the designer celebrity, bubbled a lot of unanswered questions though only one coherent thought rapidly badgered: her boastful claim to Omar after his exposé interview “..Can’t wait to see you again, we should definitely get together at Avacho’s carnival..”

Despite of however much Mohana sought seeing the mighty Omar Shaan through these functionary social events, she always wished for being invisible. Albeit none was ever made possible due to their last names Shaan and Sood alphabetically keeping them assigned on the same tables, if not besides each other.

Through her facade of formalness, refuting lure of his glittering eyes and despite pretending indifference to his stardom, just the mere presence of Omar Shaan in her proximity left Mohana with a swiveling ruckus within. To add to it, the series of women hanging on his arms, made her heart seethe, getting nervous and becoming a tumbling mess around him.

She rolled her eyes for walking right into her own doom. Having embraced the bold-act partially the night of his exposé and aiming to ace it by the weekend had given her some hope to tackle his overwhelming presence, but the jumble of time and events from his cover shoot until this day had crushed all her plans.

Running fingers on the digital tag which read her personal assistant’s name, Mohana murmured to herself “Jojo, you’ve no idea how much I’ve missed you”

Easing the lid, Mohana uncovered a set of immaculate pink lace lingerie, besides which smaller golden bags held a variety of makeup and hair items, decadent bottles of fragrances and paired alongside was an exceptionally delicate pink velvet case. Her favorite camilla flower inscribed with a tiny infinity sign on the case, opened to display a set of dangling diamond earrings. Surprised at the beautiful jewelry, Mohana glanced back at the box lid to re-read the digital note, flipping it back and forth to confirm the package was indeed delivered from her personal assistant.

Unzipping the cloth bag, Mohana unbelievably looked at the magnificent article of clothing that stared back at her. A strapless pink gown embellished with patterns of intricate golden thread and embedded with a slew of bright stones which appeared to shine like diamonds. The pair of strappy tall golden stiletto heels complimented the dress and were elaborately decked with similar shining jewels.

Hooking her lace bra, tying the bows on matching panties, Mohana slipped into the extravagant dress pondering aloud “And here I thought I had to wear jeans for the carnival event, instead of this..” running a precarious hand over her dress she wondered “..why does this look so fairy tale like and..” but halting herself from defining the jumble of feelings she quickly detoured “Jojo, I’ll call you after the event tonight, I have to tell you all about Jehan, he’s the most lovable cutest baby and his dad’s like the most handsomest guy ever”

Zipping her dress, Mohana bent sideways to wrap the thin straps of her heels. Buckling them she ran praises of Jasper, planning on all the points she wanted to share with her assistant “..he’ll be our favorite pineapple man, none of the guys out there can compete him, he’s like Sir Gallaghair category altogether..”

The dress curved along her contours shaping her frame desirably, the pink color enhancing the blush on her face, thin strapped heels making her gain inches to her nearly five and a half feet. Glancing at her wavy golden hair, Mohana ran through the accessory bag to fish for blonde barrettes, but after an unyielding search she picked a pointy sectioning clip from the hair drier toolset and twirling it inwards secured her hair in a french knot.

Rubbing the perfumes on her pulse points, one glance at her manicured nails had her reminded of how she had needily clasped on to the muscles of her dream man. Setting the fragrance bottles aside, her hands shaky at the memory of his touch with much trial and error Mohana wore the diamond earrings, nervously rambling “I am not going to sit with this sexy designer celebrity for real tonight because we can’t talk, we can’t meet, we can’t see each other and we can’t do anything. nothing at all. because nothing happened and. and. nothing matters except my work”

Stepping out from the closet Mohana almost banged into Omar Shaan. Taking a haphazard step back she needily clasped on to her dress in the hopes of not melting on the floor just by looking at his magnificence. Dressed in black dress pants, his open silk shirt barring the bronzed muscular torso beneath, awakened such strange desire of wanting to get slammed into him, her face glowed crimson.

Reaching for her waist Omar gruffly registered his complaint “This was too long”

“Apparently not enough, you didn’t even get to do these” Mohana waved her hand to the undone buttons on his shirt, chastising the havoc of her own demands while her head sternly reminded of her stand ‘..we can’t talk..

“Exactly my point, they should have been closed by now” smugly claiming, Omar placed her hands on his bare chest, loosing his own fingers in the golden mass of silken hair that had been rolled in a careful knot

Nearly by matter of course, Mohana took on to the task of looping each buttoned disc through its eyehole despite the commotion his magnificence was inducing. Her rogue self wanted to throw herself to his strength, aching to catch a feel of his lips again and despite knowing she had to let him go, for Omar Shaan would never belong to her, the lure of his charm left her incessantly craving more of him.

“Where did you get the clip from..” on a low grumble, Omar eased the knot letting her silken hair tumble over his hand, grudgingly dismissing the metal sectioning clip, crumpling the material with his fingers “ could have hurt you”

“No, I..” her defense of the now twisted piece of scrap came to an instant halt finding his lips mere pulses away from her own

She breathlessly yearned for his magical possession of her mouth but dousing her hopes, Omar merely brushed their noses, his velvety deep voice demanding “Yes, can be the only word on these lips m’anam”

Hypnotized she instinctively leaned closer, wanting a desperate collision of their breaths, seeking his strength to throw her on the bed, get rid of the princessly dress and land his lips sparing no inch of her body, but instead Omar eased his hold altogether. Shoving his now buttoned shirt in the dress pants, grabbing from the chaise, Omar threw over a matching black blazer to make her heart jump fervidly

Still deciding between complaining for his neglect in fulfilling her desires, or drool at his magnetic charisma, Mohana found herself against him, being carried in his arms. The only thundering concern that remained was how she was going to protect her heart from seeing all the women throw themselves at his feet at Avacho’s carnival.

While the elevator ride had become expected to maneuver through the floors of his luxurious pad, much to her surprise this time Mohana found herself on the roof, getting sat in a sporty jet. Confirming on her seat harness, having her ensure his too as a precaution for safety Omar had them take flight. Overwhelmed with her own endless demands of wanting to throw herself at him Mohana clenched on to her dress trying to think of saner thoughts.

Diverting her attention from the heartthrob besides, she gazed at the far distance in the horizon counting milliseconds, then seconds but another whiff of his fragrance had her back to recalling being bound in his embrace, his lips on hers making her toes curl.

Crossing one leg over another her head sternly warned about every rule in the book: Omar Shaan was a playboy, women flocked around him, magnetized for his looks, fame, riches and those designer toothbrushes while the hardcore attorney flipped through them like a catalogue, dressing them, undressing them in the same room, sleeping on the very bed where Mohana had so needily laid under him.

Her heart twisted at his rejection of her over and over again, his claim reverberating within ‘ matter how much credit you give yourself, none of that happened between us..

Nervously entangling her fingers, she remembered the beautiful Zaniha who owned his heart. The dazzling brilliance of those snow blue eyes and his choice of the matching tshirt on the day of the Sophista cover shoot, ran a tremor through her.

Yet unbothered by it all her craving for his touch kept intensifying. Memories of being bound in his arms, holding Jehan together, had her butterflies yearn his protective embrace to surround her entirety again, when her thoughts came to a sudden halt.

Her grip on the dress fastened reminded of Jehan looking at her with bright black eyes, those which closely mimicked the dark spheres of Omar Shaan, except for the maze of their glittering sparkle

‘..just because someone else needed time to convince Jasper..’ her tummy twisted, grasping what Omar had hinted at. The similarity Jehan held with Omar, appeared to finally answer the foundational question on why the doctor friend Jasper was on his side

His words echoed a turmoil ‘ Jehan’s getting very naughty..’ making Mohana wrap an arm around her abdomen, crushing the untamed hope she had willfully dared of wanting his child inside of her.

Wallowing in the loss of her fabricated dreams, despite always knowing they were all but a figment of her own fancy, she heard Omar “Hey”

|| 23. PAIZE 2 ♥ ||

Fluidly easing Mohana from the seat belt, pulling her onto his chest, Omar stroked her head “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing” her voice came muffled against his chest and throwing every rationale behind, Mohana sank into the man of her dreams grappling on to whatever moments she could, for her own heart

Certain of her reality, accepting the factual state of knowing she would never belong to Omar Shaan, Mohana adamantly stayed stuck to his torso, bravely clasping onto his jacket with one hand, anxiously twirling her dress with the other. Listening to each beat of his heart she sought solace for her own broken shreds.

His warmth fueled the energy to strengthen her facade of indifference, letting her rake even breaths. The reminder that hard work was her only belonging and nothing else mattered, Mohana rehearsed over and over again that her dreams were only hers and in her own fantasy filled whimsical thoughts, her dream man would always stay hers.

Beginning their descend, submerging through the dense blanket of clouds, his fingers drew patterns on her nape, dipping to her exposed back tracing until the scooped neck of her pink gown before tracing upwards “We’re going to land mo stór, let’s get you secured”

His husky murmur had her grip fastened on his jacket, not wanting to get swayed in moving away from him Mohana firmly confronted “Do you even know what all these words mean which you keep throwing around to the many women, who hop on your bed?”

“Are you attempting an interrogation with me, despite your still amiss degree in law?” he cheekily countered

Straightening in his hold tugging on to his luxurious coat Mohana pounced on him “Mo stór literally means my treasure and considering as I am your mo stór right now, you are responsible for my protection in your avion. I don’t need a degree in law to win from you”

“Noted. According to your law what about fair play? Would you also like to decode what I am for you, as your mo mhuirnín?” his arms tightened melding her into him, giving her heart hope to excitedly throb venturing as far out with expectations of getting the touch of his lips on hers. But instead Mohana found herself getting secured by the same harness as him.

Overriding the distress in her heart, she dismissively grumbled “Your case has not been accepted by my court”

Setting the silver-golden locks skimming over her shoulder, Omar cupped her face pulling her to rest on his chest “I’ll keep trying”

Following the downward inclination in the evening sky, the ground contact lead to a short roll from where easing the security belt, Omar swiveled her passenger seat towards his, scooping Mohana in his arms

Huffing in disappointment, she moodily shifted in his hold, severely crabby at the dainty gown covering her entirety. She longingly reminisced her short black dress and saree from earlier in the day, which one way or another had let her feel his strong grip on her body. Unable to get her want fulfilled, she sheepishly admired the strength of his chest refusing to fight her butterflies dancing along his hold knowing it was all going to disappear any moment now.

The ruffled background around them had Mohana curiously check the glamorous surroundings. Thick flowered chains ran from one flowery stump to another dressing the entire walkway in a lush pink blossom hue. Amidst the golden lights that shone through the path, her eyes blinked in surprise at their way being laden with similar petals.

Her affinity for this shade of pink made Mohana happily smile in his embrace. The image of the delectable dress she had seen earlier in his walk-in-closet rushed through her head, which some day some woman in that penthouse would select to wear after spending a night.. halting her thoughts at her heart twisting, she hid her face on his chest, her grip fastening on his blazer wanting to embrace whatever she could

At the loss of his strong hold, Mohana instinctively reached for him. Her hands curling in the air disappointed at seeing him increase distance between them. Gathering it was the end of their journey after all, she unabashedly stared at the uber tall, unexplainable magnificence that was Omar Shaan, his expressions exuding the tough manly vibes making her heart knock crazily in her chest.

She felt his fingers linger around a blonde tendril that swayed with the wind before he disappeared from her sight altogether. Hugging herself tightly, Mohana ran a murmur of consolation to herself “In my dreams, what belongs to me will always stay mine”. Sat on a gigantic swing, she shook her head to steer away the blonde locks from swaying with the salty breeze.

The crashing waves in the background, accompanying the coolness in the air and the nearly setting sun seemed like a perfect setting had been captured from a dream to be put to life. The picturesque surrounding doused in her choiced shade of pink made Mohana fondly think of her favorite camilla flowers, missing the large vase from her trip to Sarrata, following which the memory of being carried in his arms, the next morning had her cheeks blush.

Ruefully smiling to herself she leaned back, not wanting to follow him indoors just yet. Breathing the air to grasp whatever was left of his fragrance, she counted the upcoming events when their paths would cross again. Committing to herself to work harder on her bold-act by their next gathering, lost in thought she rested her hands on the swing but the unexpected feeling on her palms, had Mohana instantly spring to her feet.

Standing on the patio pavers, she looked stunned at the innumerous pink camilla buds covering the entire spread of the lightly swaying king sized swing bed. She stared back at her palms in astonishment for having touched the many buds, then consciously ran a hand brushing her butt for having sat on them altogether.

“Hm?” as if the abundance of camilla flowers hadn’t surprised her enough, the hum from Omar Shaan made Mohana breathlessly stumble back. “Careful” fluently binding her in his iron grip, he gazed into her huge innocent silver eyes

Without breaking his hold on her, taking a sip from the can, Omar cascaded his lips over hers, slipping the liquid through her mouth. Her parched heart eagerly welcomed the treat, urging her to go on a spree of emptying every possible can tonight. Shyly hanging onto his luxurious jacket she dared a whisper “Thir..sty?”

“Very” gruffly declaring Omar transferred another swig through her lush inviting lips, though the break of contact made her desperately await the next sip, which couldn’t come soon enough

“More?” his deep voice had her heart ache for every bit more of him

Digging nails on his jacket, grasping onto him needily Mohana bravely established her desirous fancy “Yah”

Abiding by her want, another sip gushed through her lips, but this time his lips didn’t retract. The can fell somewhere along the pavers as Mohana got urgently scooped in his arms. Reveling in the fire he ignited, she landed on the feathery flower buds of the swing under him, arching herself to his touch, clinging onto his jacket not wanting any space left between them.

No matter how fastened her grip had seemed, in fluent ease her wrists got bound in his large hand, locked above her head, his growl meeting her complaining moan “You can only want me” just before her lips got captured in another divinely passionate exchange

The intense havoc Omar created in her had Mohana fidget against him seeking to free her wrists from his clasp, heart aching to get smashed against him, her need eternal of wanting to hold on to the man of her dreams lest she got left again.

Gliding his lips across her jaw, Omar murmured in her ear “Am not letting you go, m’anam”

“Want. hold. youh” her voice came pleading, body aching in desperation, heaving breasts wanting to meet the strength of his muscular chest

Running lips down her neck, Omar halted at the shy curve of her breasts peeking from the neckline of the lavish pink gown, easing the grip on her wrists on a hoarse warning “Only if you hold me”

“Yah” obediently murmuring her fingers landed on his arms, clasping onto the fabric of his jacket

Flushing her delicate frame to his steel torso, Omar ran his thumb, caressing the curve of her heaving breasts “This is how you wanted to hold me?”

“Because. am not. letting. you go” catching her breath haphazardly Mohana confidently repeated his words, tightening her grip onto him with all she had

“You can’t” declaring gruffly, lips replacing his thumb, traced the rise and fall of her tender ivory skin

She softly moaned in the indulgence he stirred within, moving shyly in his arms unable to manage the influx of feelings yet not wanting this elation to ever come to an end.

Her fingers got eased from his jacket, getting bound in his grip once again, roughly landing above her head, for her complaining moan to shortly follow “Mh?”

Firmly maintaining his hold on her wrists, Omar ran the back of his fingers along her high cheekbones. “Your laws aren’t going to work, mo stór..” brushing lips on her puckering pout, he ascertained “ can only hold me or I don’t let you go”

Mohana blinked through her desirous cravings, barely managing her words to voice her complaint “But I want to”

“Show me” Omar challenged gruffly, instantly letting go of her

Under the scrutiny of his gaze, she shyly lowered her arms, biting on her lower lip unaware of the image she concocted, Mohana breathlessly looked away from his silken shirt, where the buttons were still intactly close. Innocently grabbing the lapels of his blazer, she determinedly tucked fingers, clenching on to his jacket “I will. hold”

Straightening from above her, Omar pulled away in a smooth move, leaving her fingers empty yet again

|| 23. PAIZE 3 ♥ ||

Loosing her grasp on him, Mohana adamantly inched higher whimpering in complaint “You can’t just leave..”

“I won’t” the anxiety in her heart soothed at that assurance but seeing him discard the blazer, she cluelessly glanced at the jacket covering the many pink camellia buds “You’re not going to wear it?”

“No” gruffly confirming he dipped his head, gliding his lips along her neck. Expertly locking her wrists behind her back, his mouth trekked lower sucking the tender skin in his path “What are you going to hold now?”

The nerve tingling sensations his touch infused had her barely form words “Yo..oh?” gulping on a moan that eagerly wanted its escape

“Try” arching her further, making her breasts graze his hard chest, Omar let her wrists free once more. Courageously shifting under his gaze, Mohana reached to clasp his arms this time. Moulding across his muscles the shirt fabric offered no give, causing her to miss the jacket, yet she clasped onto bits of silk between her fingers.

Stealing a taste of her lips Omar moved her shy hands on his chest “You want me to get rid of the shirt?”

“No! I won’t allow. Am not going to..” emphatically declaring, she fisted on to whatever she could of his shirt “..nobody can see”

Her heart raced at the familiarity of those words, an echo of somehow her own needy demand, but her adamancy remained rock solid to not let anyone see what belonged to her heart. Hovering above, tenderly tracing her temple Omar gazed into her silver orbs “Nobody?”

The arching mesh of golden lights paired with pinkish hues in the sky of a nearly setting sun, drew an exceptionally perfect setting for her to be bound in his arms. Her heart danced in admiration of the handsome man, dreamily gazing at him, firm in her determination to not let anyone get a glimpse of his shirtless torso and those impeccable muscles because of the commotion it caused in her, she resolutely confirmed “Nobody at all”

“And you think anyone is allowed to see you like this?” circling her rapidly beating pulse, Omar traced warm fingers along the gown neckline which frantically moved with her heaving breasts 

Gripping hard on to his shirt Mohana bit back a moan, stubbornly challenging “Am I the one removing shirts here for everyone to see?”

Pinning her wrists on either side of her head, Omar firmly locked her against the silken camilla buds “That doesn’t answer my question, mo chroí”

“If you had cared to glance around yourself, instead of being so occupied with flying that avion, you’d have seen the amount of fabric I have on me can cover that April in a billion of her triangles” her fists curled in his hold, remembering the sales associate parading in the bikini top, vying for his attention

“The correct answer is that no one else can see you because I am not going to allow” growling he dipped his head to capture her mouth for a taste

Almost instantly loosing his lips, she moaned her protest, striving to raise, but the restriction on her wrists hindered her attempts “You can’t..”

“Why? Because you want to hold my shirt after refusing to answer my question?” the underlying irony of his words was missed by Mohana, who gave him an innocent nod of acceptance because that was what she had earnestly wanted to do: hold on to her dream man so she wouldn’t get left without him

“Then we get rid of the shirt” his challenge made her agitatedly twist under him

“No. you can’t. the whole.. everyone. carnival..” motioning her eyes towards his torso she breathlessly repeated her stand “..I won’t let anybody see”

“You had promised to accompany me for dinner tonight, there are no others here” Omar confirmed to the delicate woman sensually sprawled beneath him. Seeing her blink huge silver eyes as confusion transpired through them, his hold eased on her wrists to tenderly soothe her skin.

Her hands flew to clasp on to his shirt demanding her own answers “But you left me when we..? Avacho’s carnival?”

“I didn’t leave, I only stepped to grab a can of water” saying Omar straightened from hovering above her

Seeing him introduce distance between them she needily hung on to the silken lapels of his shirt pushing herself closer “But you will. leave? now?”

“I have no intent of leaving” his coarse confirmation came accompanied with his arm wrapping across her small back, binding her to himself. Scooping the petite frame in an effortless move Omar had Mohana settled on his lap.

Impressed at the entire maneuverability, she shyly stole a glance at his hands, then hastily looked away at her lush pink dress. The artistic trails of delicate work on her luxurious gown twinkled catching the golden hue from above them. Ironing the dress on her leg, smoothing the small round cut embellishments which shone bright like diamonds, her cheeks burning at the keenness with which she wanted to invite his touch all along where the gown covered her.

Resting against the flowery cushions along the back-arm of the swing, Omar twirled a golden tendril murmuring “We’ll talk?”

“Noh” seeking more of the magnificent man, frantically running her fingers on the trail of diamond specks on the gown, Mohana shifted atop him, aching to get bound to his strength

“How about yes, because Avacho’s carnival was on Sunday, but it got cancelled due to the..” almost having listened to her thoughts, Omar pulled her to lean on his chest, entwining fingers in blonde locks, he explained the political movement in the city for the days she had been unwell suffering through the yinar phase

Caught surprised at the information Mohana straightened, anxiously moving on his lap, alertly rushing her queries “I got this parcel from Jojo. She’s fine? My team is fine? Cart? My mom dad? Ceria..”

“M’anam, don’t move unless you want this shirt discarded” he huskily interrupted, clasping her waist he halted her fidgeting

Unsurely stilling at the warning, she merely voiced her concern “But my boss..”

His thumb landed on her lips, intervening to ascertain “All of these on your list are in the green and have been out of reach, the impact started from the western..” she exhaled a sigh of relief at his assurance, but her breasts brushing along his forearm had her cheeks blush an electric shade of crimson

Through the flutter of her butterflies, listening to him share the details around the underworld disruption, his claim from the morning got finally resolved ‘..You’ll stay with me through everything including whatever it is with the babies and I’ll take charge of them..

Her heart thudded in longing, considering Omar would have been generous to take care of anyone else in similar circumstances, yet she felt grateful because despite having stolen his chocolates, he had been immensely kind to ensure she was kept under temporary cover of protection through the political disturbances

Occurrence of each event unfolding blared a reality she had been too enamored to review through her happening day. She soon concluded the updated Sophista cover featuring both of them, which bore her seal of approval, had no reason any longer to become a reality.

The pretext for the editor-in-chief to appear on the journal with the December celebrity, had been to highlight a whirlwind affair, shield a night of mistaken passion and an erroneous conception, none of which had occurred. Much to the remorse her heart held, but because nothing passionate had occurred between them, she now lacked a reason to be on the cover and prevent his shirtless torso from being on display for the entire world.

Twirling the sparkling stone on her dress, Mohana bit her lower lip in thought. She wanted Omar Shaan covered, if not blanketed, and not just his sexily carved abs this time, but his entire existence had to be protected.

Having been unwell and missing from the radar for days, she had put the very man of her dreams in severe risk. The direct connect request from her parental residence was proof that Omar Shaan would soon join the list of men that had succumbed to a volatile wrath.

“..Indigo confirmed on every contact and Jojo has been kept aware of all the movement. Everything is as calm as can be at this time” easing her lower lip from being trapped between the teeth, he traced her mouth, forefinger halting to tease the cupid’s bow “Except us”

“Yah..” Mohana breathlessly gulped “..we have to figure this all out. My dad isn’t going to spare you”

Baffled at her claim, glancing at the delectable beauty in his arms, Omar countered “That should be our highest priority right now?”

Missing the exasperated undertone of his comment, she concernedly gave him a nod “Ya. My dad’s very protective about me, you’ve no idea how ruthless he can get. regardless of your kind intentions to cover for that baby affair with Chan..”

“Don’t. That’s not what happened, we discussed, it was the whole confusion when you fainted” Omar growled, deeply frowning at the editor-in-chief, who appeared to be buzzing back and forth between thoughts

“Fainting or not, my dad would’ve banished any such ridiculous confusion right away..” scrunching her eyes she pierced him with a glare before motioning between their torsos “..but the concern at hand is, that he will not consider any of this, kind

Intercepting her hand in the air, Omar caressed her skin “Because very very kind doesn’t include kissing?”

Her face blazed, glowing brighter than her favorite flowers “That’s not, we didn’t. uhm. this. this! kidnapping. for your chocolates. why do you think he found your contact information to initiate a connect?”

“Much contrary to what you think, some people may want to talk to me” playing with her hand, he wrapped fingers around her nape, stroking her reddened cheek

|| 23. PAIZE 4 ♥ ||

Mohana stared at him in disbelief “That’s exactly the beginning to our downfall, no matter how big a designer superstar you are, my dad is a savage attorney. Do you want to see what happened to the jerk who forced me to sit on his bike in high school? Or that moron who gave me a rose bouquet? Or the one who asked me to the mid-term..”

“Is there a reason you have the list memorized of every lunatic who was stupid enough to come in the way of our lives?” his grip on her nape fastened, demandingly tugging her closer

Puckering her lips, parsing through the jumble of thoughts on how she could upturn the pending threat on Omar Shaan, she confided “Yes, because we have to learn from experience. There are twenty one that I know of, some others we just won’t ever know and we don’t want to even know the fortune they were bestowed with” 

“I don’t want you to care what happened with these fools. They deserved a worse fate for bothering you” his fingers urgently entwined in her voluminous hair, thumb drawing designs on her neck

She shifted in his embrace leaning sideways, soaking the enchanting touch, all the same rooted to solve the upcoming peril “It had nothing to do with me. In which world would anyone take their bike out of the way, waste dollars on thorny stems, want to talk about news articles at a party. No one. They all knew I am my dad’s daughter, and they needed some favor or another from him which is why he sorted them out”

Omar expressionlessly stared at the exquisite beauty who had successfully removed herself from the very equation involving the sleazy advances. Overriding her own stunning appeal, her large innocent eyes remained clueless, giving the nasty men more intelligence than could ever be due.

Taking the least effort to hide his annoyance, he smirked “The jerk who sprained your ankle pushing you to his bike, the buffoon who blocked your way forcing you to hold the scraggly bouquet and the leech who couldn’t stop staring..” growling words under his breath he lightly shook her “..these three idiots out of your list of twenty one, wanted a favor from your dad?”

Heart melting in his fastened grip, Mohana instinctively leaned closer, naively agreeing to the influx of details on the matter as if it was commonplace “Ya. the bike guy, his dad wanted a lighting tender approved for Rauchos, the one with the bouquet, his grandmother wanted to become an almond supplier for dad and the other one wanted a job but uhm let’s just say things didn’t go in their favor, and my dad wouldn’t think that I would let you go unharmed, which is why not answering his connect was to our advantage”

“You’re of the opinion that I am unharmed?” he scoffed, his gaze steadfast, thumb caressing her ear, brushing past her dangling earrings

“You don’t even look tired. despite of all of the..” appalled at his enquiry, she moved her hand in the air hinting at being carried in his arms through the petalled pathway “..uh the transportation from one place to another. which makes it so obvious what an expert you are in this entire thing. You are practically unscathed from my dad’s viewpoint. For reference sake I dug a blade in that biker, the thorny guy received..”

“Tell me you didn’t touch any one of those twenty one idiots” his grumbling demand came along his clasp on her nape deepening

Relishing in his fastened grip, the only touch her heart agreed to, Mohana shifted on his lap, her eyes glancing at the shirt button she ached to see undone “No way. Why would I touch anyone, that’ll be so ew. I’m smarter than that, part of it is ruthlessness and impatience at tolerating a fool that I largely get from my dad”

“Of course. I can see that, patience and you are so far apart” his words doused in sarcasm met her frown

“You’re the one to talk about patience..” on a huff of her cheeks, she made a face, attempting to steer her eyes from his firmly buttoned shirt “’ve any idea how long it took you to give a shot for the cover? with your Peggy parading around wanting to open the button of your jeans?!”

“We have the proof of my innocence” Omar exerted, wrapping his arm around her, gently cupping her face, he tilted her to look at him

Indulging in his proximity, Mohana fought on her suffering “You were going to appear without a thread on my journal’s cover, you couldn’t even keep that blazer on”

“I thought it would make you happy” tracing her temple, he smoothed her eyebrow, fingers cascading to her cheek to come to halt at the corner of her mouth

“If my happiness was what you had in mind, you would’ve..” clenching her gown, she halted “..the only thing that matters is work. Your work and mine, for which you need to survive from my dad and I need the December cover sorted”

“The whole parental thing can get ironed out, and if it doesn’t I can’t care as long we are together” his fingers skid lower along the column of her neck

Biting back a moan, she smirked “I applaud your overconfidence for not caring about your survival. But there can’t be a together..”

“Why?” on a tug Omar had Mohana smashed to his steel strength, their entwined breaths making her eyes shyly lower

Her palms clasping onto his muscular arms, heart banging loudly against his, wanted a together, the kind that lasted for a forever, far different than what her dream man had in mind. Bravely curling her hands away, Mohana nervously inched back “What rationale am I going to present to my boss..” narrating the happenings since morning

“..there was a misunderstanding with the villain of Chanceys and to escape the underworld disruption, I posed for the cover with my own December celebrity because after spending endless nights with him, we decided to safeguard the baby..”

“Only our endless nights part is in sync” his affirmation made her cheeks ablaze as he eased the dress from her clenched palms

Pettishly pulling her hands, she continued as if his interruption did not hold valid “..alas we discovered instead of being a human I am a grizzly bear because who doesn’t like a twist! Most certainly my boss doesn’t. And no matter the story, I don’t get paid to be on the cover of Sophista and write such strange fiction alongside”

“It doesn’t seem you get paid correctly anyways because you apparently can’t afford Shaan Designs..” his mischievous smile was met with a scowl as he held her captured palms on his chest “..We’re together overall, no one anyways cares about the babies. and we have finalized the cover, the team approved of it. It’s discreet, there’s a mystery about the woman in my life, the open buttons are out of focus and Sophista can’t object to a bump in sales”

Mohana heaved a sigh, heart twisting in agony seeing his intense desire for securing the real woman in his life “I understand your need, but we’ll have to figure out another way for this together thing. The idea for the cover was only going to work when something would have happened between us for real, even if it was someone else’s ba..”

“You and I. us. that’s all there is because there is no other way. I can’t be on that cover shirtless and it’s certain because of the renewed commitment I am entrusted with. We can revert to your logic of keeping it real, if that’s your preference to make the cover work” his fingers caressed her back, igniting a fire that Mohana struggled to tame

Gripping on to his shirt, Mohana glanced at his lips, her facade tempted to slip away when his words from the morning boomed within, making a shudder escape ‘ matter how much credit you give yourself, none of that happened between us..’

“Are you cold?” reaching for his blazer Omar had it instantly wrapped around her bare shoulders

Pulling on to the jacket like a shield, she shook her head in denial, steering them to what mattered most “Overall. I am always cold. just like that. But for the cover, we have a lot of other pics and I can have Jojo request an approval from your offices”

“When am right in front of you?” Omar ground out his challenge, the mere inches between them having receded as he stared into her large silver eyes

Carefully keeping her formal pretense intact Mohana smiled “There’s a proper process to these things, I make decisions but I don’t break rules”

“Then I won’t let you break them..” playing with the golden wavy hair, the back of his fingers brushed against her neck “..Our pic on the cover stays because that’s what has gotten approval from you and everyone..”

She frowned an objection “But..?”

“I designed the dress you were wearing, it’s publicity for Shaan Designs. I want you on the cover with me..” caressing his thumb along her jawline, he reminded her interjection “..But?”

“Uh..m..” trying hard to steer from the toe curling sensations his fingers were invoking, she focused on work “..but? but! uh in this case, you’re not considering the possibility that I didn’t wear anything you’ve designed and if I did, your fans would want to buy that dress”

“Now that you say..” his fingers sloped along her neck, feathering across her collarbones skidding lower tracing the rapidly heaving neckline of her dress being hidden by his jacket “..what I design for my girlfriend won’t ever be for sale, because I am possessive. Which is why you’re not facing the camera either because I wouldn’t have allowed that. For those who know you’re the editor-in-chief won’t question your designer, while you can let others enjoy a little mystery”

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