Chapter 12- Pre-cap
He held his breath sitting next to her by the bush. The children were a little further away, playing by the lake and being supervised by the other volunteers. Khushi had come to this side of the forest to catch a glimpse of scaly breasted wren babbler. He had no idea that Khushi liked bird watching. He was starting to think there were many things about her that he had not known before, that were slowly being exposed in front of him. Just how many layers of Khushi were there inside one?
“Arnav look! There they are- scaly breasted wren babbler! Oh, what a sight this is!” Khushi whispered excitedly. She had caught hold of his arm as she pointed to the area a little far away from the bushes they were behind.
Indeed there sat two birds that to Arnav looked like all other birds. One was pecking the ground while the other was doing something to it. He frowned as he whispered in Khushi’s ear, “What are they doing?”
Khushi’s entire body tingled when Arnav spoke in her ear. Her heart beat out of control or so it seemed to her. She put a hand over it and said, “Don’t talk in my ear for heaven’s sake! I can hear you when you whisper.”
“Umm..yes.” Arnav mumbled his mouth still very close to Khushi’s ear. He wanted to kiss her ear but he knew it would be too soon to try and seduce her. He would have to wait until evening. “So what are they doing?”
Khushi tried to gather her wits and after a moment replied, “The one pecking is eating insects off the ground and the other is trying to peck the moss on the ground. They are going to build a nest somewhere. It is mating and breeding season right now.”
“Ah! Mating and breeding season. So they’re going to have babies soon. How many babies can they breed?” Though Arnav’s question seemed harmless, his voice was not. It had gone all husky and deep- aroused. Khushi was trying hard to control her voice. She didn’t want to get out of control and she knew Arnav’s close proximity and his voice was affecting her nerves. Her body wanted nothing more than to get closer to him, to have his mouth on her. NO! She must retain control of this situation. She moved a little away from him, just an inch to give herself some space and said, “They lay 2-5 eggs in every breeding season is what I know. The season is from March to August, they’d have to build a nest before they breed and collect food.”
“Of course, smart birds, these. We should follow their example instead of fighting all the time.” Arnav said and then carried on, I can earn for us and you can make a home for us- for our brood.”
“I don’t want to talk to you anymore Arnav. You said you wouldn’t talk about us if I allowed you to come with the group. Don’t go back on your word Arnav Singh Raizada.” Her wobbling voice must have disturbed the birds for they flew off. An upset Khushi walked away from the bushes while Arnav looked on, with a hand at the back of his neck, his eyes closed and sighed. Patience, he should learn more patience!