Chapter 1

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"Hold the lift. Hold, hold. Please side. God! Hold...aargh!" Avni winced as she pushed her way amongst the people towards the lift whose doors were closing faster than the speed of light.

But her mad dash to get in the lift before the doors closed failed miserably as a burly man stepped on her right foot and made her wince.

"Sorry, love" he apologized without even bothering to look at her and hurried away.

Yeah, right. Avni thought angrily. A simple sorry would make up for the next week when she would hop around with a swollen foot. God, what did people eat these days that made them heavier than a tanker?!

Avni looked up and smiled for the first time in the morning. Somebody had listened to her it seemed. The lift's doors had opened up. Now only if she reached in it on time! It was going to be difficult with a hurt foot on the extremely slippery floor. Thanks to the Christmas snow!

Avni limped towards the lift. But her bad luck still hadn't left her. She felt a violent push on her back which made her lose her balance. She tried to balance herself with her left foot but her five-inch stiletto boot's heel refused to cooperate. Wet from the snow heavily falling outside, they didn't get the necessary friction on the marble floor and so instead of stopping, avni skidded unsteadily along the floor, an expression of complete panic on her face as she slid towards the doors of the lift which were closing...again, seeming to gain speed as she went. 

In those brief few seconds, she didn't do anything but pray God, I swear I won't eat chocolate for an entire month but please save me from breaking my face! 

And for once, God did listen to her because at the very last moment the doors miraculously stopped closing and began to open again-painfully slowly though, but at least she didn't hit solid metal after all, she just fell into the lift instead!

Or at least she would have fallen, if the heel of her right foot's stiletto hadn't caught and stuck in the gap between the lift shaft and the lift itself, holding her foot immobile but hurling her torso forward. The whole thing might have been funny if the lift would have been empty and there hadn't been an audience to witness her comic situation. But the man who had apparently stopped the lift for her had witnessed the whole incident.

And so it was, as avni hurled into the lift headfirst, strong arms reached out to catch her, which was very uncomfortable for the man because she had instinctively thrust her umbrella out in front of her in an effort to regain her balance as she slid. Luckily for the man, the umbrella was years old due to which it had gotten a stubby end rather than a pointed one otherwise she would have skewered him with it. It hit him hard at his arm but she didn't hear him wince even once. Maybe because she was too busy in trying to maintain her balance.

"Are you okay?" he asked with concern as he steadied her into an upright position.

Okay? Did she look okay?

She had just borne the weight of a five hundred kg man on her right foot and then had been pushed and hurtled across ten feet of marble at the speed of light-only to come to a bone-wrenching halt as the heel of her stiletto boot became stuck. And now she was in the arms of a warm tall strange man who would definitely be cursing his luck because the lift didn't leave without her. 

And to make matters worse, she'd probably ruined her boots, and she'd only bought them two weeks before...a present to herself for a variety of reasons starting from getting over her fifth break up without eating much chocolate and shedding much tears to successfully completing two months of working in a hellhole. Yes, her job was a job from hell!

Because the garments department of this store especially during the time of Christmas certainly qualified as that! And with just ten more shopping days till Christmas, she was sure it would get worse.

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