Chapter 38: Glowing Glory
The doctor discharged Ranveer the next day after a final body check-up. Ranveer entered the house, a warm smile on his face while Martin supported him partially. He met Claudine in the hallway, who had just woken up and she looked surprised.
"Ranveer! What... how did you... it's so good to see you back!" Claudine walked up to him and hugged him to how much her bump would permit, while making sure to not hurt Ranveer's chest. He smiled at her and looked around the house. Claudine smiled in understanding and spoke kindly. "She's asleep in her room."
Ranveer smiled at Claudine and made his way up to the room slowly. His legs felt wobbly after its inactivity for a week and he could already feel his shoulder hurt. Sighing, he made his way up to Ishaani's room and swung it open slowly. He could not help himself from remembering the last time he had swung open the door and shuddered at the thought of it.
Taking a deep breath, he entered the room and felt a smile cross his face. Ishaani felt peacefully, her face looking slightly better than what he had seen her last. The curtains provided a peachy glow in the room and the colour only seemed to enhance her beauty. He gently sat by Ishaani's bed and stroked her hair.
She opened her eyes slowly, a smile crossing her lips at the way her hair was being caressed, before she opened them whole. She smiled at Ranveer sleepily, before her features quickly showed confusion, while she slowly propped herself up on her elbows.
"Don't worry, it's me. You aren't imagining." Ishaani touched his bruised knuckle and gasped. Her sleep disappeared swiftly and her eyes were now alert, along with what Ranveer thought, carried a bit of suspicion.
"But how did you... wait, did you run away from the hospital?" Ranveer laughed at her question whole heartedly, but regretted it instantly as he felt a spasm shoot up his chest. Ishaani stared at him intently before he replied.
"Ofcourse not. Got discharged today. Ask Martin if you don't believe me." Ishaani gave him a loving look and let her head fall back on her pillow, as Ranveer grazed her cheek softly.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Wanted to give you a surprise." Ishaani smiled at Ranveer kissed her forehead. "You don't have a temperature as of now."
"Yeah. Claudine gave me a pretty strong dose. I'm alright now." Ranveer nodded his head and Ishaani got up again.
"Why'd you get up?"
"My sleep is up. Besides, it’s after ages that you're on your feet. So, I want to spend time with you." Ranveer smiled and nodded his head.
"Alright. Change up and come to my room. I told Martin to get us both some breakfast." Ishaani nodded her head and got up slowly while Ranveer made his way back to his room.
Ishaani and Ranveer sat in the latter's room, a serene calm in their minds as they'd finally finished having their breakfast. Both of them had a strong appetite, courtesy of not having any proper food for so many days and Martin was only too happy to get them second and third helpings.
Martin cleared out the dishes and left the two of them alone, shutting the door behind him. Ranveer and Ishaani stared at each other calmly for several minutes, before a phone call disrupted their silence. Ranveer picked it up and his features instantly relaxed, a small smile coming over his face. Ishaani stared at him confused, but soon realized that it was his new secretary from work. She felt irritated that his new secretary was calling him up and hounding him with work stress when it was barely two hours since he was discharged from the hospital.
Ranveer kept the phone down after a span of forty five minutes, during which his phone buzzed continuously, calls coming in from clients and employees alike. After his phone buzzed for the 25th time, Ishaani grabbed the phone angrily and switched it off.
"Ishaani! What are you doing?"
"It's not even been three hours and you're going about as though you are all fit and fine."
"I wasn't finished. And what the heck was that monologue to Mr. Leonard about the whole 'I'll be joining from Monday' crap?"
"Sunny, I do need to work, you know."
"You have to be on a 15-day bed rest. Joining work two days after getting discharged is not cool."
"Don't you dare go all puppy eyes on me! Besides, you can't go to your office with three-quarters of a dozen wounds on your face and your arm in a sling. You even haven't got the stitches off yet and don't even get me started on the wound of your chest!"
"Sunny, relax! I'm getting the stitches off tomorrow, so I need to have the sling on just for today. And regarding my face, the cuts will go off. The chest ones are deep, I admit, but come on!" Ishaani glared at him for a few moments, before she huffed out.
"On your head be it, then."
"That's not fair!" Ishaani gave him a skeptical look and continued.
"You are certainly not going to work on Monday. And if you are, please take the express permission of Dr. Phillipe." Ranveer gave her an irritated look and he sighed.
"Fine, I'll join work on Wednesday," Ishaani made to argue but he raised his hand. "Sunny, I can't sit home for that long. I've already missed nearly 20 days of work because of our trip and now my accident. Sweetheart, it isn't professional." Ishaani gave him a grudging look before she sighed.
"Alright. But if you don't feel well enough-"
"I know, I'll take my leave. Happy?" Ishaani narrowed her eyes at him and he smiled.
"Not really, but I know you aren't going to take no for an answer either." Ranveer got up and gave Ishaani a kiss on her head before he gently settled himself on the bed. Ishaani brought him his medicine and gave them to him while the latter accepted it without any complaint. Ranveer smiled at her once he had the medicine and she returned his smile. She grazed his cheek lovingly before leaving the room, happier than she had felt in ages.
Ranveer woke up after some time, his eyes taking time to adjust itself in the golden glow of the room. He looked around and saw Ishaani standing by his wardrobe, admiring it with her hands on his hips. Ranveer propped himself up slowly and Ishaani turned behind with a grin on her face.
"Hey." Ishaani looked at him lovingly and replied.
"Hey. Feeling better?"
"Yeah, a bit." Ishaani nodded her head and shut the wardrobe. Ranveer looked at his wardrobe in confusion and asked curiously. "What are you doing?"
"Shifting my clothes to your wardrobe." Ranveer nodded his head absent-mindedly before the words registered.
"Oh right... wait, what?" Ishaani gave him an embarrassed look and spoke quickly.
"Yeah. I'd been thinking about it for some time. We are technically courting each other and are married as well, so I don't think I'd have a problem sharing a room with you. I'm sorry I didn't ask you though, but given that you were the one who suggested the idea to me in Vegas, I figured that you'd be okay with it."
Ranveer stared at her confused, remembering how her had once cautiously mentioned the same point to Ishaani in Vegas and remembered how awkward she had become. He had quickly changed the topic saying that it was just something that he wanted to know so that he could determine whether she was on par with him in their relationship or not.
He now stared at Ishaani, his eyes reading her own averted ones hungrily, while the latter tried to avert them quickly, only to fail miserably. Ranveer smiled after a few moments, her eyes only confirming the theory he had in mind.
"Well, I certainly have no objection." Ishaani smiled, unsure of whether Ranveer had learnt her real motive or no, but she still heaved a sigh of relief nonetheless.
"Good." She came and sat beside him, gently letting him scoot her into his arms. She smiled as she felt his arms circle her back, while her head slowly rested on his chest. Ranveer felt a spasm of pain at the contact of her head on his chest, but he bit his knuckle to avoid making a sound. He knew that Ishaani needed the assurance of his safety and his presence, and her plight was much stronger than his pain.
They separated after an indefinite amount of time, a peaceful smile on both of their faces before Ishaani spoke softly.
"I love you."
"I love you too." Ishaani let herself blush freely as Ranveer gently cupped her cheek, pulling her face closer to his. And just like that, she found her lips barely apart from Ranveer's own ones.
"Didn't the doctor tell you about not doing anything strenuous?" whispered Ishaani softly and Ranveer smirked, whispering back.
"He did tell me to take my medicines on time." Ranveer noticed the same look in Ishaani's eyes that she had the first time they kissed. Ishaani gently slipped her finger over his lip and created a little more distance between them.
"This can wait." Ranveer still smiled at her pleasantly as she hugged him again, making sure not to hurt him. "God, I've missed you so much." Ranveer let Ishaani relinquish her hold over him. Somehow, he felt his pain slip away when she embraced him. Embracing her back, they let the room's glowing glory encircle them whole as they both felt a strange emotion overtake them.
Separating from their embrace, Ishaani kissed his forehead before she brought out the medicine box and smiled mischievously.
"Since you did say that you wanted your medicines at time." Ranveer pouted at her childishly and Ishaani chuckled. She handed over the tablets to him and he took them grudgingly, making faces at the sight of them. Gulping them all in one go, he handed back the glass of water to Ishaani and smiled, while she stroked his hair.
"Take a nap if you want. I'll make you your lunch and wake you up."
Ishaani gave Ranveer his lunch an hour later and sat with him the entire afternoon, discussing trivial matters. They hadn't got any time to have long, endless discussions about trivial matters ever since their trip from Vegas, and both of them enjoyed it. They could not deny that there was a bit of awkwardness between them and they were taking time to come to terms with what had happened between them, but let things unwind on its own.
Martin rang up on the intercom and asked Ishaani whether she wanted him to bring dinner on top and she replied in the affirmative. Martin entered the room 20 minutes later, two helpers behind him. He sat with Ranveer and Ishaani for 20 minutes before he quickly made his way down to Claudine, remembering that she had to be given her supplements.
Ishaani and Ranveer had their dinner in silence, enjoying each other's company. Martin had kept the food extremely light and both of them ate to their heart's content. The helpers cleared out the dishes once they were done and Ishaani made Ranveer sit on the bed.
"Sunny, you mind passing me my novel?"
"Ranveer, you aren't supposed to strain your eyes." Ranveer rolled his eyes at her and she growled. Removing the book from the side table, she handed him a copy of Gone with the Wind and he smiled merrily.
"I'll just get changed and come." Ranveer nodded his head without looking up and Ishaani shook her head in amusement. Ten minutes later, she came out from the washroom wiping her face, before she sneezed softly. Ranveer turned his head towards Ishaani and felt the breath knocked out of him at her sight. Ishaani had worn a sleeveless satin black nightie that reached her knees, and her neckline was prominent from her reflection in the mirror.
He did not know why he felt blown off his feet at her sight that night. He had seen her several times in those two months in nighties like that, but somehow the effect of her attire that night made a strong impact on him. Lost in thought, he didn't realize that Ishaani had now walked up to him and was staring at him curiously. She cleared her throat softly and Ranveer snapped out of his reverie.
"What happened?" Ranveer stared at her embarrassed and stuttered.
"Nothing, I... uh... you... you look beautiful." Ishaani smiled at his graciously and spoke softly.
"Take off your sweatshirt." Ranveer coughed slowly and asked cautiously.
"What?" Ishaani showed him the first-aid box and repeated the same statement again.
"Take off your sweatshirt."
"Why?" Ishaani gave him a confused look before it hit her. She shook her head in exasperation and spoke again, trying to stifle her laughter.
"I need to apply the ointment, you idiot." Ranveer blushed furiously and Ishaani rolled her eyes at him. She took off his sling first and then helped him out with his sweatshirt, making sure not to disturb his stitches in any way. Ranveer shut his eyes in pain as he felt his chest throb dully due to the sudden moment. Keeping it aside, she turned her attention to his wound and shut her eyes.
There were two long gashes over his chest, the wounds running deep, while there were three to four smaller bruises on his torso. Ishaani took a deep breath and turned her attention first to look at his shoulder. She saw that his wound was healed perfectly and that his stitches were not disturbed. She turned her attention once again towards the gashes.
"How on Earth did you even get hurt this bad?"
"Goodness alone knows. The doctor told me that maybe there was something sharp on the road and my chest made brutal contact with it. The doctor told me I was lucky to not have my ribs completely fractured." Ishaani gave him a pained look and took out some cotton and gauze from the first aid box. She put some ointment on her finger and gently applied it on the wound.
Ranveer flinched strongly as he hissed in pain, the ointment stinging his wounds severely. Ishaani shut her eyes as she dabbed more ointment and kept blowing over his wound simultaneously to reduce some of his pain. After ten minutes of strained silence, during which the only sounds that could be heard were of Ranveer hissing and Ishaani apologizing sincerely, the latter finally opened her eyes and stared at Ranveer's pained expression, his face slightly gray.
"You did say it would hurt." Ranveer stared at her keenly, before he replied.
"I didn't know it would hurt that much though." Ishaani's eyes met Ranveer's and both of them smiled, the implied meaning of their statements not lost to either of them.
"Keep applying the ointment and your wounds should heal completely soon enough."
"Positive. I gave you the wounds, so I know how they are to heal as well." Ranveer gave her a curious look and she smiled. She helped him put on his sweatshirt and sling back on and gently got off the bed. Returning back to him after five minutes, she handed him his medicines along with a glass of water. Ranveer gulped them and Ishaani smiled, a mingled sadness in her eyes.
Ranveer handed over Ishaani the glass and the latter kept it on the side table. She made to leave the room again before Ranveer caught hold of her wrist. She looked at him surprised and he sighed.
"Sorry for scaring you again." Ishaani's eyes widened in understanding and she looked at him uneasily.
"It's alright. Just... just don't do it again, okay?" Ranveer nodded his head solemnly and Ishaani smiled, walking towards the door and shutting it. She now occupied the right side of the bed, feeling slightly awkward and Ranveer smiled.
"You don't have to do this, really."
"Oh no, it's fine. I've been asleep alone for too long. It's why this feels different." Ranveer nodded his head in understanding and Ishaani switched off the lamps, the room immediately getting doused in darkness. Both of them slept silently for some time, before Ishaani spoke once again. "This room does have the best view at night. The moonlight streams directly and gives it a pretty glow."
"I had the room specifically designed for the same reason." Ishaani nodded her head and asked inquisitively.
"Doesn't the light bother you? It's not that strong, but still." Ranveer sighed and looked towards the window, a smile coming to his lips as memories of several nights crossed his mind.
"This light used to be my indicator in those three years."
"That light could be found even in the darkness. Besides, the sun's first rays come out through here as well."
"The dawn to your night." Ishaani completed the sentence for him and Ranveer smiled.
"Something like that, yes." Ishaani remained silent for a few moments before she saw something glittering on one of the frames on the wall in front of her.
"What's that frame, Ranveer?"
"Oh, that's a quote written in calligraphy. Martin had gifted it to me for my last birthday. He knows that I love them. He got the frame keeping the placement of my room in mind. Wanted the quote to ring out to me each night."
"It's too far away though. I can't make it out right now. What does it say?"
"If you're the sunshine of my life, then don't forget that I'm also the moon whose life revolves around you."
"Wow. It's pretty deep. Kind of reminds me about the two of us now, doesn't it?"
"Martin bought it for the same reason." Ishaani smiled as she thought about the techniques Martin used to make Ranveer overcome his aloofness and smiled. She heard Ranveer yawn slowly beside her and moments later, Ranveer spoke sleepily.
"Goodnight." She felt Ranveer fall asleep minutes later and then took to staring at the ceiling. She felt her awkwardness slip away by the passing moments and felt the comfort she wanted to seek by having Ranveer on her side. She smiled to herself slowly before she felt sleep overcome her, the moonlight streaming over them gloriously.