#34 He wants to love me
Once we were apart, Sam hugged me while Nisha hugged Cinderella tightly.
“I admire you, Ella,” Julian said as he hugged her. “You are brave enough to fight for what you want, I am proud of you,” he let go of her and touched her head.
Cinderella wiped the corner of her eyes and tried to smile.
“Hold it, you cannot cry, Ella!” Nisha warned. “Look, the eyeliner will smudge,” Nisha was trying to calm her down.
I chuckled and wrapped my hand around Cinderella. “I missed you,” I looked at her and she wrapped her arms around me.
“Me too...” she whispered.
“So I guess that we are brothers now,” Julian offered me his hand and I shook it.
“I guess,” I said.
“Let’s party!” Sam brought a bottle of champagne and Nisha stopped him before he opened it.
“Guys, let me get a few pictures first, I won’t allow my hard work to be ruined just yet!” She said sternly and Sam nodded like an obedient boy.
Julian and I chuckled at that.
“Let’s start with the couple picture,” Nisha started.
Soon we took more than “a few” pictures before Nisha was satisfied. After the group photo session, she looked at the camera.
“Okay, we have-” she stopped as the champagne spill on all of us as Sam had no more patience.
All of us gathered around the only table that was placed on the lawn.
Cinderella turned to me.
“Thank you, Michael,” she said. “I know I don’t deserve this. I know any sane person would...stay away if something like that happened, but I...I really can’t stay away from you...I thought about it, honestly, I want you to be safe, but I could only be selfish regarding this-”
“Don’t ever say something like that again,” I looked into her eyes. “Cinderella, trust me, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me,” I said. “And whatever happens, I am ready to face it with you, we are in this together, so let’s not think about anything else.”
She bit her lips and nodded her head. I held her hand with a hand and turned to the others.
“Thank you, for being here for us,” I said and everyone raised their glasses to me.
“I expected a long speech, Mike,” Sam said.
“Hey there, don’t let him drink too much or he will be out,” Julian said and everyone laughed.
“I can...manage,” I gave him a pointed look.
“Ahem,” Sam cleared his throat and raised his glass.
“I am truly happy for you, buddy, and you are right, I believe Cinderella is the best thing for you. I truly think you guys are meant for each other.”
Then Julian gave us a toast.
“Ella, I am sincerely happy for you. I hope you would be brave and fight for your freedom. Michael, I hope you will treasure her forever, she is truly a gem.”
“Thank you, Julian,” Cinderella wiped her eyes and I squeezed her hand reassuringly.
Nisha raised her glass next.
“Ella, I am happy that you were right,” Nisha said. “You were so sure that it’s Senior Michael, I even doubted and tried to hold you back, but I saw how brave you were, I hope you would always be happy and courageous like now. And whatever happens, I would be there for you,” she said.
As if it wasn’t enough, Andrew and Jenni called us to congratulate us. Apparently, Cinderella had contacted Jenni and both of them planned the whole thing.
“The twins are very excited to meet you guys! They are very happy,” Jenni looked teary-eyed and emotional while she video called us.
Andrew, on the other hand, looked rather thrilled. He couldn’t quite believe that I would be in a relationship at all.
He wanted me to bring Cinderella home in case we have any more trouble from her Mama.
Once they disconnected the call, Sam turned to me.
“So here’s the plan, Mike, Jenni said she will complete the formalities of the marriage registration, you guys just need to go there once everything is ready.”
“We want to make sure that Ella’s mama doesn’t get wind of this,” Nisha explained. “So you guys need to stay here a couple of days so as not to let her mama take her away.”
“But it will take about a month for the registration date after the formalities,” I said. “And it is impossible to hide here that much time, especially from her mama.”
“Everything is going to be done in secret so if the information doesn’t leak the next three days, chances are that you won’t need a hideout,” Sam said. “You just need to go there once the marriage registration date is given by the local government.”
I turned to Cinderella.
“Are you okay with this?” I asked her and she nodded her head.
“I thought of it,” she said. “The sooner this is settled, the better,” she said and everyone chuckled.
“Somebody can’t wait to get married!” Julian teased her.
The celebration continued till midnight and Sam, Nisha and Julian were totally wasted.
“I got...this...” Julian said as I helped him to his car. “I...am totally fine, take...care of those two...”
His driver closed the door after him and nodded at me.
I turned to the other two when Julian’s car sped away.
Nisha was holding Cinderella and crying, telling her all those girly things they shared till now.
Cinderella was trying her best to console her.
We helped a wasted Sam and Nisha inside the cab as it reached there.
“Jenni said...she said...you know the way around this...place?” Sam asked me.
“I have been here before,” I nodded.
“Then take care,” Sam nodded. “Don’t let her Mama catch you,” he suddenly looked surprisingly sane for a person who has been drunk.
“We will talk later when you are sober, Sam,” I said and gave the driver his address.
Sam had decided to leave his car behind for me.
Their car sped off and I turned to Cinderella.
“You look nervous,” I said as I took her hand and walked back to the house. “Are you scared to be alone with me?”
“I am not scared of you,” she shook her head and I turned to her.
“You should be, Cinderella,” I looked into her eyes, “I just got you all alone after a week. You have no idea what I want to do now.”
My heart skipped a beat and I stilled on the way.
“Um...Michael-” I stopped midway as he brushed his knuckles along my cheek.
“I missed you so much...” he whispered as he looked straight into my eyes.
His eyes were intense and my heart beats started to accelerate. He took a step closer and I didn’t object as he closed the distance between us.
His lips brushed mine gently and my whole body shivered at the contact, I was expecting him to kiss me, so I was surprised as he lifted me up into his hands in bridal style.
I clutched his shoulder for support as he walked back to the house with me. I was nervous as he closed the main door and walked to the bedroom with me.
Once we were inside, he closed the door and put me down. My heartbeat started to go overdrive as Michael looked into my eyes.
“Cinderella, I don’t want to lie, I am...I want you physically, mentally, and emotionally,” he was serious as he stared into my eyes. “I...wanted to take it slow but you...you made me go crazy the last week, I don’t think I can hold back,” he moved closer, trapping me between his body and the door. “I want to love you, let me love you.”
My heart trembled. Michael is asking me for permission to touch me.
He placed his hand on my chin and lifted up my face. Our eyes collided and I suddenly knew that I wanted it as bad as him.
“Cinderella...” his voice was low and husky as he lowered to me.“I love you,” he whispered. “I will always love you,” his lips captured mine in a toe-curling kiss and I found myself responding back.
Michael urged me to open my mouth as he pushed me against the door and kissed me deeply.
I was suddenly enveloped in the warm hard body as he wrapped his hands around me.
“I love you...” he whispered as he pressed his lips against my throat and I clutched him for support. I was very aware of his body against me.
“I love...you too,” I trembled against him as his hands were working on my dress.
My heart started to hammer as I felt it coming loose around me. The soft fabric flows down me and I felt Michael’s touch on my skin. His lips claimed mine once again as he removed his blazer and shirt.
The first touch of our skin overwhelmed me. I was weak and trembling as Michael picked me up once again. I had a moment of anxiety as he placed me down on the bed, but it disappeared instantly as he covered me with his body.
Our bodies glided and molded while we touched and kissed each other. Our breaths mingled and our fingers intertwined together.
His weight was delicious against me and it felt surreal as our bodies joined as one. It was fascinating to lay in each other’s hands, wrapped against each other’s body.
Tears started to flow down my face and I tried hard to control the sudden emotional fluctuations inside me.
Michael pulled me to his arms and wiped my tears.
“I am sorry if I hurt you,” he kissed my forehead and whispered.
I shook my head and pressed my face on his shoulder as the never-ending traitor tears started to flow freely.
“Are you okay?” Michael sounded worried as he caressed my hair. “Do you have pain?”
I shook my head again, I am so much affected by the emotions of love and passion that we just shared that I am unable to even answer him.
“Cinderella...” Michael really sounded concerned now. “I am-”
“It’s...because...I am...happy,” I sniffed, trying hard to hold back my tears. “I am...I am sorry, I...can’t control it.”
Michael hugged me and patted me gently, “it's okay, I am right here,” he whispered as he pressed his lips on my forehead soothingly. “I got you.”
He waited till I calmed down. I was grateful as he just hugged me the whole time.
“Are you tired?” I asked her as she calmed down a little. “I would like to show you something,” I wanted to console her.
So five minutes later, we were on the terrace of the house that faced the backside were the tea plantation laid for miles.
The shining moon was full and clear over the plantation.
“Wow...” Cinderella looked around in awe. “This is...just perfect, I wish I can capture this beauty,” She shivered slightly.
“It’s cold, you should wrap yourself more.” She was wearing thin silk Pyjamas while I was in my tracks and the red Levis pullover that Sam had packed me. “Wait till I make a fire,” I covered her in a woolen Kashmiri shawl.
She clutched the edges of the shawl and turned to me.
“Did you often come here?” She asked me. “Jenni said you guys used to hang out here on vacations.”
“Twice when I was in school,” I shrugged. “I was more like a babysitter,” I smiled at the memory. “Andrew has access to a lot of places, this is one of them.”
“I didn’t know Navy people have so many privileges.”
“Only high ranking officials have these privileges. And they have to compromise on the time with family,” I said as I started a fire.
I looked up to see her watching me.
“You cannot get sick, come here,” I said and she walked to the chair beside me.
I clutched her hand and pulled her to my lap and Cinderella gasped in surprise.
“Now, this is a lot warmer.”
“Michael...you-” her words cut off as I kissed her. She wrapped her hand around my neck and kissed me back.
I slipped my hand inside her top and caressed the skin on her waist. Cinderella jerked slightly and I smiled against her lips.
“You should...take your...Michael!” She jerked again as I ran my palm against her skin.
I kissed her again and she melted to me, forgetting her protest for a moment.
“I love you, Cinderella,” I looked into her eyes once we were apart and she watched me with her mesmerizing eyes. I could literally feel the depth of her love just by looking into it.
“I love you, Michael,” she whispered and I leaned closer again. Cinderella turned her head slightly so that my lips were pressed on her cheek.
“I...I have a surprise for you too,” she whispered.
I looked at my engagement ring.
“Not more than this,” I said. “You caught me off guard with the proposal, but I sure am happy.”
“The Jewellery designer nearly went crazy as I pressed him to make me a ring within a limited time,” she smiled.
“I can imagine,” I chuckled. “Then what’s the surprise?”
“Wait, I will be back in five!” She said and got up.
So I waited till she ran downstairs and came back with a violin.
“Are you going to play a song for me?” I guessed.
“It’s a song I composed after meeting you,” she said. “The lyrics are um...a bit...cliché, but bear with me,” she said and I nodded.
I watched, mesmerized as she started to play. It was so touching to know that she composed a song for us. It was more heart-warming to feel the music flowing in the air.
Her soft voice accompanying the music was perfect and I was surprised.
“Why didn’t you tell me that you could sing well?” I asked her once she stopped playing.
“I am not...that good with singing-”
“That was perfect!” I looked at her. “You are great,”
She looked at me to see if I am serious.
“You should be more confident in yourself, Cinderella,” I said firmly and she smiled.
I took out my phone.
“Will you do it one more time?” I asked her. “I want to record it.”
“Hey, I’m not that good-”
“I want to hear it whenever I want to,” I insisted and she gave in.
“This is beautiful, Cinderella, Thank you,” I said once she stopped playing.
“Um...Nisha asked me to play it during the engagement ceremony, but all of them were there and I couldn’t...find the courage,” she said. “It felt too personal.”
I placed the violin on the side and wrapped her to me.
“Thank you,” I kissed the side of her head as I wrapped the shawl around the both of us.
I looked at our intertwined fingers and the engagement rings.
I don’t know what made me ask her that.
“I am,” she said. “It’s like a dream come true.”
“Did you do this to protect me?” I asked her again.
There was silence for a moment, and then she turned to look at me, “Partly,” she admitted. “But I really wanted this. I wanted to be with you.”
“I know,” I said. “But do you think this can protect you or me?” I asked her. “What if it gets your mama angrier?”
“I don’t care,” she voice trembled slightly. “I really don’t care about what she thinks after the way she treated me. But now I could tell Mama that I would publicly announce our relationship if she hurts you.”
So she had been thinking about this when she said that she will protect me.
“Why did you...take so much time to talk to me? I waited for you for a week.”
“I...I didn’t want to stay away, but I knew you will get into trouble if I...stay with you,” she said slowly. “I knew leaving you would be the best solution but I couldn’t...bring myself to...do that,” she tightened the grip on my hand. “I couldn’t even...think about leaving you.”
I kissed her shoulder.
“I am glad that you didn’t give up on me,” I said. “I am glad that you decided this instead, I am sure that it was not an easy choice.”
“I was very anxious about this, I didn’t know if it would work or not,” she admitted. “Then I called Jenni to get her permission as she’s your family and she...supported me instantly, so I was relieved. The ring that you sent me gave me more...confidence,” she stopped. “Then I came to know about the third video Roopak made, Nisha told me everything, you shouldn’t have to hide it from me.”
“I was planning to tell you, then all of this happened and it didn’t feel like the right time.”
“You helped me out a lot of time, I am...grateful that I met you, Michael, If mama ever comes to know about what Roopak did, she won’t spare him, but she won’t believe you now, she’s prejudiced against you.”
She looked deeply hurt whenever her Mama was mentioned.
“Let’s... let's meet your Mama, Cinderella,” I said. “Let’s-”
“No!” She said instantly. “I don’t want to meet her,” her voice trembled slightly.
“You are hurt,” I said. “I can see that you are in pain.”
“It doesn’t matter,” she said firmly. “She doesn’t consider me; she doesn’t treat me like a mom would treat her daughter.”
I took a deep breath.
“Cinderella, we cannot run away from your Mama,” I said. “And if you think you can hide from her forever, it’s impossible, you know it too.”
Cinderella turned to face me; her eyes were filled with tears.
“You don’t want to get married to me?” Her voice shook slightly.
I pressed my lips on her forehead.
“I love you, Cinderella. If I was not planning to marry you, I never would have touched you,” I said. “And you should know that I want this more than anything in the world.”
“But the last time we...visited mama, she...she got angry and caused a lot of problems for you,” Cinderella said. “I don’t know what she would do this time.”
“If she ever does any harm again, we will come out publicly about our relationship,” I said. “If we choose to run away and hide now, your mama would hunt us down, she would get angrier.”
Cinderella nodded slowly.
“I...I know that I...cannot hide from her for long, I cannot abandon her...” she said and her eyes started to fill again.“I am sorry Michael, but Mama...struggled a lot for me, so I cannot...abandon her.”
I smiled and wiped her tears away. “I know how much your mama means to you, I also know that you won’t be at peace if you decide to run away,” I said. “Since we have already decided to face it, let’s go all the way and fight for us,” I told her. “And if she does anything else, we will get married publicly, in front of everyone so that she cannot do anything to us.”
“Thank you,” she whispered. “You...really know me.”
Soon the fire started to die and the wind started to get stronger and colder.
“Let’s go back, I don’t want you to catch a cold, it will precipitate your asthma,” I told her.
“I am not fragile, Michael,” she said. “You just sounded like my mama. She doesn’t even let me enjoy the rain.”
“You like the rain?”
“Yup, but I am really scared of the lightning, it even gives me panic attacks sometimes...” she dragged if and I turned to her.
“Why are you so scared of it?”
Because it reminds me of that day. It was raining heavily with lightning and thunder the day mama tried to kill ourselves.
It had been so many years, but I could still remember the coldness of that day. It had hurt me even to breathe and my vision was fading as I lay there helplessly.
The heavy rain with the lightening always brought memories of that night clearer.
“You don’t have to tell me if it’s so painful,” I heard Michael say and looked up to see him watching me.
I shook my head.
“It’s alright,” I said.
I had never told anyone about what happened that day, so it was slightly difficult for me to talk to him about it.
I was relieved as he didn’t judge mama harshly and just held my hand and heard me out calmly.
“I knew you were so much stronger, Cinderella, and I am really proud that you are well and okay,” he said as I stopped.
I was strangely relieved to get it off me as well.
I didn’t stop him as he picked me up and walked downstairs. I waited as Michael made us the instant noodles.
“The refrigerator and the cupboards are stocked, are you sure that you don’t need anything else?” He asked me and I shook my head.
I was still full from the group dinner earlier.
“The noodles are fine,” I smiled. “I didn’t know they would arrange the food here.”
“Andrew and Jenni must’ve asked them to store it,” he shrugged as he added the egg white to the steaming bowl. “The staff will arrange the resort house before the guests come here according to their demand,”
“And all of this is free?”
“For the navy people, it’s pretty much free. You just have to pay for the extra food demanded and the services like a local guide,”
“I am starting to like this profession,” I joked and smiled.
“Um...last time you said you wanted to...work near me if I get enrolled in a violin institution,” I said hesitantly and he nodded.
“But that will stop you from getting into your dream company,” I said. “When I wanted to enter the project group, Sam warned me that you wouldn’t select me as I might ruin your plan to get into the best company in India.”
I watched as he brought the bowl of noodles to my side. He picked up some soup in a spoon and blew it softly. He brought it to my mouth and feed me first.
“You didn’t answer me,” I said once I swallowed it.
“I want to be closer to you,” he said as if it’s the most obvious thing. “I wanted to get some working experience before I decide what I should do; I planned to start something on my own.”
“Then what happens if you don’t get into that company?” I am anxious now. “I don’t want you to sacrifice your career and future for me!”
“It’s exactly why I have decided to give up that,” he looked at me. “I don’t want to sacrifice my future with you, you are important to me more than anything.” He stopped and I sat there, frozen in my spot.
“And about the company, I believe I can make the best of whichever company I get into,” he looked at me. “So stop worrying about my career,” he smiled.
And my heart started to beat.
“Is it hot?” Michael looked at the bowl. “You are turning red-” he stopped midway as I wrapped my hands around him.
“I love you...” I whispered and tried not to cry like a baby.
He touched my head.
“I should thank you for letting me know that I can love a person like this,” he whispered.
Once we were apart I wiped my eyes and looked at him.
“So you haven’t decided what you are going to do?”
“Not exactly, but I have some ideas,” he said while taking my hands and looking into my eyes.
“Then help people like how you helped me block that video,” I said.
He looked thoughtful for a moment.
“Is it okay?”
“I will consider it,” he nodded. “It’s a good idea, Cyber security can be linked with so many other fields too.”
“Really?” I was excited and he chuckled.
“Really. But the time is 2:50 am right now, you should get some sleep,” he added.
Ten minutes later, we were back in the bedroom and Michael tucked me in.
“Go to sleep,” he whispered and pressed his lips on my forehead. He was about to get up and I clutched his hand. I looked at him questioningly.
“Give me five minutes, I need to prepare something,” he told me as an answer.
I nodded slightly.
I watched him opening his laptop and going to work.
True to his words, he closed the laptop and turned to me within five minutes.
He walked to the bed, slipped inside the duvet beside me and looked at me.
“Didn’t sleep yet?”
I looked into his eyes.
“I missed you, Michael. I don’t ever want to stay away from you again.”
“We will figure a way out to be together,” he reassured me.
“What if...mama locks me up?” I looked at him. “What if she hides me away and I cannot contact you?”
“I promise you that it will not happen,” he said. “But you have to be stronger, whatever happens, don’t ever think about giving up, even if it’s for my sake.”
My eyes started to fill.
“Even if I cannot reach out to you, you will have to...find me,” I looked into his eyes.
I am really scared about my mama.
“I promise, Cinderella,” He reached out to me and pulled me to his embrace. “Now, go to sleep, we need to travel back early in the morning,” he whispered against my head.
“Michael-” I tried to move and became aware of the way our bodies were flush against each other.
“Shh...Cinderella, if you move around, I promise you that sleeping will be the last thing you will ever do today,” he groaned and my face heat up.
“I just...I just wanted to ask you about...” I looked up and dragged off. Our faces were close and his breath fanned across my lips.
There was no mistaking the feelings in his eyes.
“I...I didn’t move!” I said immediately. “I was just talking-” I stopped as his lips came down and claimed mine hungrily.
His hands wound around my middle and pulled me closer and I found myself enjoying the moment.
I loved the way our bodies fit together and the warmth of it. I loved that each time we touched; it was like we were binding each other with an invisible tie that cannot be broken. Most of all, I loved it when Michael didn’t hold back and expressed his feelings pure and raw.
I could also feel the depth of his love for me. It terrified and thrilled me alike.
“Did you confirm it?” I narrowed my eyes at Sara.
I was in the living room of the family house.
“Yeah,” she said in a small voice. “Only her friend reached back at the dorm yesterday, Ella is not at the dorm.”
“And Michael?” My thunderous voice echoed in the room.
“He...he is not staying with his friend today,” Sara said. “And he is not at his house as well.”
Lightning flashed across my heart. I got from the chair and walked up and down the room.
If Ella is planning to do something stupid, I should stop her at all costs.
“Should we go to the police-?”
“Not the police,” I said. “I don’t want this to leak outside. Just contact the most reliable private detective and ask them to investigate secretly.”
“Yes, Madam,” Sara nodded immediately.
I can’t believe that this guy dared to take my daughter away from me right under my nose even after all the warnings I gave him. I will not spare him anymore.
“Ma’am!” The head of the staff ran to the room.
“We are in a discussion,” Sara looked at her sharply.
“It’s...its Ella and...”
I snapped my head to her. “Ella is here?” I asked her and she nodded.
“With Michael?” I asked again, I cannot believe that he would dare to step inside my house like this!
“I am here to bring Cinderella back home.”
The answer came from the doorway and I stiffened at the sight.
Michael was holding Ella’s hand and standing at the door while she was partially hidden behind his back.
Q: Michael wanted to stay and fight while their friends wanted them to get married secretly. What do you prefer? Why?
Sorry for the late update. Hope you enjoyed the chapter.
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Love you all...