Chapter 8

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         "I am so happy that Shaurya cooled down and came into his senses", Sonal was happily arranging things in Mehek's suitcase, "in today's world, a live-in relationship is as good as marriage". Mehek stood away watching Sonal being glad for her friend. She felt guilty for keeping Sonal in dark but she was helpless. Sonal would have never allowed her to go with Shaurya if she knew about their arrangement. The offer Shaurya had made to Mehek was humiliating and painful yet she agreed to it. Becoz she still believed in him. However hard Shaurya had tried to portray himself as a heartless jerk, Mehek knew he still cared for her. She still had hope to revive their relationship. She had few months of time to set things right between them and couldn't allow her ego to hinder it. She had to sacrifice her self-respect and accept his proposal. Her child's future is at stake and she cannot play with it citing her pride.

Mehek pressed the calling bell and waited at the door nervously. She expected Shaurya to be present but was disappointed to find his butler. "Hello Ma'am, I am Awara", he introduced himself. He showed her around the house to get her familirize with it. He left after informing that she can expect Shaurya by evening. The penthouse was awfully big and Mehek felt lonely. She checked kitchen  for groceries and started to cook dinner. She tried to make Shaurya's favourite dishes. She was excited and nervous to meet him when the bell rang indicating his arrival. She smiled at him but he remained rigid. "I hope Awara helped you to settle down", he asked disinterestedly. She nodded as he trod into his house and looked around. The mouthwatering aroma of her food tempted him but he acted as unaffected. "I have prepared dinner. Why don't you freshen up and I will serve it", Mehek offered but he smirked. "How cute!", he said sarcastically, "Acting like a typical wife. Trying to impress me, are you?". Mehek gulped unable to defend. He grabbed her by waist "My darling Mehek, all I ever want from you is your body. So quit making effort to cook or take care of me", he stroked her face, "But tonight I have a date so you can rest". He pushed her away from him and moved to the door, "Sorry if it gets noisy at night". Mehek stood there puzzled as he left..

By midnight, she knew what he meant. Shaurya and his date were extremely loud. Probably intending to disturb her and make her really uncomfortable. He had already made it clear that he will not be committed to her but she seldom expected him to bang another woman on the same day she had moved into his adjacent room. She tried hard not to weep and pushed herself to be stronger for their baby. He cried herself to sleep during wee hours of night.

Morning sickness. Mehek heaved over the toilet, emptying contents of her stomach. It was most difficult time of her day. Particularly when she had restless night. She clutched her stomach while another wave of nausea passed through her. She missed Sonal. Her friend was always beside her, rubbing her back and trying to make her comfortable until the uneasiness passed away. She wished Shaurya was with her eventhough it was wishful thinking. She cleaned herself and managed to reach kitchen. She had to feed herself for keeping her child healthy. She was making tea, when felt someone behind her. She froze as Shaurya snaked his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. "Smells so nice", nuzzled on to her hair. She was unable to comprehend whether he referred to her or tea. She offered him tea but he refused. "You know, Mehek. This is best part of our deal. I have my freedom and you will always be there for my entertainment whenever I please. Win-Win. It's like having fast food for dinner and then craving for home cooked breakfast", his words sickened her. She tried to escape but he held on to her and started to nip her shoulder. "Why so shy, Mehek? I cannot keep my end of bargain unless you fulfill your side", she could make out his sugarcoated threats. "Shauyra, please... I don't feel well", she tried to removed his hands. But he turned her to face him and try to peck her lips. When faint smell of ladies perfume from him hit her nostrils, bile rose to her mouth. She covered her mouth and he allowed to detach herself from him. 

She managed to reach her bathroom without making a mess and puked her guts out. In her miserable state, she failed to realise his presence until he removed hair strands from her face  while rubbing her back. Once she was done, he led to her bed. He gave her a fresh towel to wipe her face and handed over a bottle of water. His caring gesture warmed her heart . It cemented her belief that there is still hope for them. He caressed her cheek and told, "You look like sh*t yet cute". Mehek laughed softly trying to gather the humour in his words. They tried to enjoy the moment as he gently tucked an unruly strand of hair behind her ear. But it was ruined as soon as they heard a whining female voice, "Baby, I'm so hungry". Mehek saw a gorgeous woman standing at her door, clad just in his formal shirt. He quickly walked away from Mehek and instructed her to wait in dining room. Once she left, he turned to Mehek and shrugged his shoulders. He told her to take care and left her to be with his date. 

A week passed since she moved into his penthouse. Shaurya didn't visit her after the first day. Awara came daily to clean the house. From him, Mehek  learned that Shaurya stayed with his family at Khanna house. The pent house was his love nest. It was a place where he brings women to enjoy his time. It pained her to realise her position in his life. His mistress. She was relieved that he brought none of his 'dates' after that night. But she knew it was calm before storm. Mehek endured the reality and acted normal before world. As promised, Shaurya took her out to parties and kept pretext of dating her. Slowly and steadily rumours spread that his new fling has moved into his penthouse and she is probably knocked up by rich billionaire. Mehek tried to keep her busy at work while Sonal blindly believed she finally found her happily ever after with Shaurya. It was busy day in bakery so despite Sonal's warnings Mehek overworked herself. She had skipped lunch and was about to grab a light evening snack when her phone buzzed. She read Shaurya's message, "We need to attend a function. Dress code is casual. Will pick you in 20 minutes'.

"Can't you be a bit more presentable", Shaurya taunted her when she got into his car. Mehek felt bad and kept her head low. She had even skipped having food to change and put make up so that she will not embarrass him. His rude remarks made her nervous. But once they reached the venue, Mehek was happy to find like-minded people. It was an art exhibition kept by a charitable organization to support orphan children. Shaurya presented her to others and acted as loving couple. Mehek felt weak but try to shake it off. "Honey, which one do you prefer?", he asked her opinion. "Anything", she was polite. "I insist", he held her hand firmly and she understood his intention. He was trying to play benevolent boyfriend. She looked at a painting depicting a serene landscape. "How about that one?", she pointed at him. "Mr. Khanna, I must say your girlfriend has excellent taste", the coordinator appreciated him. "And expensive too", he humoured but it pricked Mehek. "Please wrap it up for my sweet heart", he tried to show off.  

Mehek began to have dizzy spells. "Shaurya", she whispered his named and took his support. "Stop it, Mehek. We will leave soon", he sounded angry.. Mehek tried to obey but failed. Soon dark spots played around her eyes. Gravity pulled her down and she fell into oblivion.

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