I was sitting in the car fuming at myself, what the hell was I thinking? How could I let myself get carried away?
I still couldn't forget the way my body burned by his touch, the tingles that erupted all over my body, and the shivers that his intense gaze sent through my body.
I have never been so close to any man in my life, not even Imaad. I hated the way my body reacted to his touch, it was not anybody but Waleed Kamal, the person I despised most in my life. I felt disgusted by the way I reacted to him, the way he made me feel.
The way his eyes lingered on my lips, and the way my arms traveled from his shoulder to neck like they had a mind of their own. Fuck, what the hell was I thinking? I cursed myself, for acting like that. And I was sure he noticed the way he was affecting me.
If Ben wouldn't have come at that moment I might have done something stupid. I still could feel his touch on my waist, the back of my neck. The way his hand traveled from my neck to my back, it had sent sparks throughout my body.
I thanked God that Daniyal and Kabir had not seen that, they were already waiting for me in the car. The embarrassment would have been doubled.
I still couldn't forget the mischievous smile that Ben gave me when I turned towards him. I was sure he was going to tease me the next time we meet.
Kabir tried many times to engage me in conversation with him and Daniyal, but I didn't feel like talking with anyone right now. I just sat in the back seat listening to them, they dropped me and declined my invitation for dinner politely.
Dad and chachu ( father's brother) inquired me about how the case study went and was very enthusiastic that I was getting a chance to work on such a prestigious project.
Dada was more interested in inquiring about Waleed, his friend's grandson. The more I tried to avoid that man the more I had to see him, fate played funny jokes at us.
The next day was Sunday, mom kept me engaged in the kitchen preparing lunch. I admired her determination to make me a master in cooking. Well, at least I was able to fry an omelet without burning it, apart from that I didn't think I made much progress in this department.
I had called Imaad and apologized to him for yesterday, he was upset with me but with a little persuasion, he was normal again and had told me he would pick me up in the evening.
I took a shower and dried my hair, I selected a traditional dress to wear. It had been a long time since Imaad and I went on a date and I wanted to dress up for him.
Imaad arrived at 7 p.m., he met with my family and chatted with them a few minutes before we left for dinner.
He told me he was taking me to a new Italian restaurant while driving. He was looking at me after every few minutes during the drive and I was glad my hard work didn't get wasted. I was sure he liked my dress, he was very fond of traditional dresses.
The food was great, and most of all I was enjoying his company. He had complimented me nearly a hundred times on how good I was looking in my outfit. His eyes barely left me during dinner.
We discussed my new project, he was glad I got a chance to work with such a prestigious firm. Imaad had always supported me in my career, I admired this quality in him. He had always motivated me to take up challenges.
I asked him about his business and was a bit surprised when he avoided my question and started inquiring about Ali and his studies. I was a bit confused about why he looked a bit uneasy when I inquired about the business.
We discussed our upcoming wedding and the fuss our moms were making regarding everything. He looked as worn out as I was by the nagging of our mothers.
We discussed destinations for our honeymoon, he wanted to go to Australia while I insisted on going to Europe. I think the alpine mountains were the most romantic of all places in the world.
He gave in after a little persuasion from my side, I knew he loved me too much and he would do anything that would make me happy. Sometimes I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have him.
And I was sure my married life was going to be bliss with this wonderful man. I skipped dessert after dinner and ordered coffee, I was dieting these days to fit into my bridal dress, I knew my figure was good but I wanted it to be perfect on my wedding day.
We went for a long drive after dinner listening to our favorite songs. And when we were on the porch of my house I thanked him for the wonderful evening.
"Thanks, Immi. I had a great time after so many weeks", I said as I turned to pull the handle and was shocked when Imaad held my hand.
I turned and looked at him in surprise when he suddenly leaned and tried to kiss me but instead his lips brushed against my cheek as I had leaned back and turned my face. He pulled me towards him and turned my face by holding my chin with his fingers.
" What the hell Imaad? Are you out of your mind?" I growled.
"We are getting married in two months", He snapped.
He didn't look pleased by my rejection of his advances, I was confused, why he was trying to kiss me? He had never tried getting physical with me before even though we had been engaged for more than a year.
" I think we can wait till we get married, it's only a matter of a few weeks", I brushed his hand aside from my chin.
I didn't understand why I felt repulsed by his touch, he was my fiance and we were getting married in less than two months. I knew these days couples would engage in more than kissing after their engagement.
But I was not ready for this, I had always thought all this would be after we got married, and I was in no mood to change my mind.
"Mia please, just one kiss, I have been wanting you for so long now, I don't think I can wait more", He said in a husky voice.
I was suddenly panicked by his changed behavior, I noticed he looked a little stressed. He had never made any sexual advances to me until now. I was worried about what had changed now all of sudden.
I was not wearing any sexy outfit today, that he was turned on by it, no matter how bold I was I had no experience in this field.
" I am sorry Immi, but I don't think I am ready for it now, I am sorry if I hurt you but I think we should wait until our wedding", I said and slid out of the car, I noticed he was really upset at my rejection but I couldn't help it.
I went into my room and changed into my nightdress, still thinking of what had passed between us in his car. I was puzzled if I had wanted to kiss him, it was not such a big deal.
I video called Sheema and added Rania to the conference, me and Sheema had welcomed her into our group, she was a fun-loving girl. I was desperately in need of talking to someone who could give me some good advice.
I told them what had happened and they started at their screens in shock.
"What the fuck Mia, how could you leave him high and dry?", Rania looked like she would faint due to shock.
" He is such a handsome and poor guy's head over heels in love with you", Sheema sympathized with Imaad.
"It was just a kiss, he didn't ask you to make love." Rania was still not able to overcome the shock.
"So did any of you kiss your men?" I asked looking at them with suspicion.
"Of course", Rania replied.
Sheema ignored the question completely, what was she hiding?
" Didn't you want to kiss him?" Rania asked.
"I don't know, I mean I thought we had a silent agreement that we would wait till our wedding", I replied.
" So old fashioned", Rania rolled her eyes.
Sheema was just listening to our conversation staring at the screen.
"Babes, not everyone snogs their fiance before their wedding. And it's not accepted in our religion", I said with a frown on my face.
" Meeting the fiance alone at night is also not acceptable in our religion", Rania retorted.
I didn't say anything just rolled my eyes she was right. This is where our problem lies, we only follow those teachings, which are convenient for us.
"Okay leave it, now tell me what should I do if he tries something like that again?" I asked.
"I don't know", Sheema was of no use, she was too good for her good.
" Did you feel anything when he touched you? Like butterflies in your stomach or current running through your body or tingles erupting on your skin?" Rania asked.
I didn't feel any of these things which Rania mentioned. Instead, I felt repulsed and don't know, why did I feel like that?
"No, I didn't feel any of these things", I replied honestly.
" Then you are not attracted to him", Rania replied.
"Wtf, I like him and I am marrying him, how am I not supposed to be attracted to him?" I asked in alarm.
" I mean he doesn't excite you sexually, you like him but maybe in a platonic way", She replied.
Now I was really confused. I like a guy to the extent that I accept his proposal to marry him and I am not attracted to him sexually? What the hell?
"Rania I don't understand what you are saying, will you elaborate", I said.
" Look, did it ever happen to you that when a guy touched you or you touched him you felt a wave of excitement through your body? Or some shivers from his touch?" Rania asked.
I went into a state of shock, all these things I had felt when Waleed had saved me from falling. So was I attracted to Waleed Kamal sexually?
Dammit, I hate that guy and I despise him, how the fuck was I attracted to him. Rania doesn't know anything she is just bull shitting.
"So did you?" Sheema asked.
"Did I what?" I asked, my mind was still trying to figure out what was that I wanted?
"Did you feel those things with any guy?" Sheema said, gritting her teeth.
"No" I lied.
"Then it's simple, you are asexual", Rania replied laughing.
" Very funny", I said rolling my eyes.
These girls were as lame as I was in this department, we just talked about how our weekend went and just the usual stuff and disconnected.
My confusion had only increased after the call, I was clueless about how I was feeling. But one thing was for sure I didn't like it when Imaad tried to kiss me. And I think the reason is I am just following my religious teachings.
I had come to the Italian restaurant for a meeting, don't panic guys I am a workaholic and it doesn't matter if it's weekend. My firm is my priority.
My client was going abroad for two months on Monday and wanted to finalize the last details, so here I was discussing while having dinner.
We were in the middle of our dinner when I noticed a couple entering the restaurant. I recognized her immediately, though she looked completely different today. She was wearing a traditional dress and I couldn't help but admire that whatever she wore she always carried it with grace.
She had curled her hair today and had braided them. I think like that girl in the Disney movie, who freezes everything. Why can't I remember her name, Rania had made us watch that movie and I had hated every bit of it. Girls and their obsession with Disney princesses, I could never understand that.
She was with the same guy I had seen her dancing at Seema's birthday, the way they were looking at each other and smiling, anyone could have figured out he was her fiance.
The guy was okk, I mean he was good looking, but there was nothing remarkable in him other than his looks, no I am not jealous.
I mean she was beautiful, and today she was looking gorgeous, all eyes in the restaurant were fixed on her. I was ogling her and so was my client, and I was not pleased with it.
If she had been with me I would have killed every guy in the restaurant who was looking at her, but fortunately, she wasn't. She only had eyes for her fiance, whom I noticed was barely keeping his arms off her.
They were busy in conversation with each other, and I was finding it extremely difficult to focus my mind on what my client was saying. This never happened to me before that I was not able to concentrate in a meeting because of a girl.
I had my share of girls, I liked hanging out with them. Going on dates once in a while but never had a girl occupied my mind to this extent as Mia.
I think I was overthinking about her, I was not able to concentrate because that girl was the only girl who didn't give a damn who I was.
She was not my type, I always liked girls who were easy going, well behaved, whom you could take home to meet your family. Mia was the exact opposite, she was wild, insolent, and defiant.
But today she was looking like a complete girl next door, the warm smiles and nods she gave her fiance were so different from the glares I usually received from her.
No matter how much I tried, I couldn't take my mind off her, especially when I had held her in my arms.
The way she got nervous from my touch and stares, the way she traced her tongue on her lip. Dammit Waleed get a grip on yourself, she is just a girl and there are millions like her in this world or even better.
The next week went busy with meetings with Shah and the team working on this project.
Mia had been sensible this whole time, and I thought it was a miracle. A week went by and that girl hadn't exploded, it was a feat in itself.
The month passed smoothly, with the labor camp being constructed on the outskirts of the nearby village of our construction site. To decrease the cost we had just built cabins which were cost and energy-efficient for the laborers.
We had drafted a rough plan of the resort in the month and it had been approved by the partners.
The administration building, restaurant, and spa were assigned to the architects from my firm while the rooms and villas, the common swimming pool was assigned to architects from Daniyal's firm.
We had a deadline of nine months to complete this project and I always tried to complete the projects before them.
We have been working our asses off this project, my architects have come up with really good plans for the buildings and I was looking forward to our next meeting with Daniyal and his employees where we were going to discuss the designs our architects have come up with.
One month into the project the meeting was arranged with the architects of both our firms and we had to select the plans we were going to show to our clients.
The presentation was going well, I have to admit the architects from both our firms had done a good job.
After a few discussions and little changes, we had finalized the design for the administrative building, which was designed by the senior-most architect of my firm.
The same was the procedure with the restaurant, spa swimming pool, and the rooms.
Mia was assigned the task to design the villas, and I had to admit her plan was really good, she had made use of the allotted space well.
She had designed two types of villas one was a single story and one was a duplex. The single-story was as per the requirements of the client's but the duplex villa was a little variant and I had the opinion that it was good on paper but, it won't be good enough after construction.
I raised my points and I found out it didn't go down well with her, she looked quite annoyed by my criticism. And I was surprised by her reaction, I had criticized other architects as well but everyone had taken it in good spirit.
Daniyal had shared my views and we had advised her to come up with a revised plan within two days. I know it was not possible but we had a meeting with our client and had to present the plan to them.
After the meeting, everyone had left and I came back to my office, Daniyal had told me he was going to meet an engineer from my firm and he would join me later.
My Secretary came in after a few minutes, informing me that Ms. Shahab has requested an immediate audience with me. I took a deep breath and asked my secretary to send her in, I knew what was coming, she must have taken my criticism personally.
I never mixed personals with business, I was highly professional in every dealing and that was the reason I never had engaged with Mia in any personal discussion while working on this project.
Whatever happened between us was past and now we were working on a project together and needed to act in a truly professional way. But with Mia, I think it was not a possibility.