“What if I’ve judged him wrong? What if I make a mistake by getting involved with him?”
Thoughts like these ran into Khushi’s mind as she crossed the living room and reached the large glass doors that stood open. Arnav stood there, looking tall and utterly captivating male specimen. She moved towards him, her mind set. Nothing could make her run away now. He turned his head when he heard the footsteps and saw her.
Khushi willed her heart to slow down a bit as he said, his voice husky, “can’t sleep Khushi?”
Khushi couldn’t form a reply, couldn’t find her voice. Instead she shook her head, and then thinking it may be mistaken for something else forced herself to say, “Yes, sleep- eludes me.”
Arnav looked at her, silent. Khushi could feel her pulse throbbing, the vibrations that seem to have come alive between them. Slowly, as if he was scared she would run away, he moved his hand to the strand of hair that was stuck to her cheek. His eyes were pure fire, his voice ultimate invitation as he touched her. Khushi closed her eyes at this contact and opened them again to look into his and draw a breath.
“You look so beautiful in the moonlight Khushi. You mesmerize me.” He said, his gaze dark and thirsty, touching her. Khushi felt goose bumps rise across her skin. No man had ever looked at her like that, had ever touched her with so much hunger..hunger that she was starting to recognise in herself, the ache that increased in her body every time he touched her. She wanted more and yet… she wasn’t sure how she could get it. She knew all about sexual attraction; had known about it before she’d met Arnav but she’d never felt it so strongly before.
It excited her but it also scared her. Would he understand that she- would he know that she was innocent, a virgin yet? Would he realize that she had never been touched like, that she had not given this liberty to anyone yet apart from him? Aranv, who could touch her inner core and make her body melt without even touching her, found her beautiful. A radiant smile broke on her face. She tried to not lose her senses completely.
“You must be suffering from what they call ‘moonlight madness’ and my face must be an illusion created by moonlight magic. I’m not beautiful Arnav and I have no illusions about it.” Khushi knew this to be true. She had long ago acknowledged that she was not as beautiful as those girls he paraded around with.
Now why did this thought have to pop up in her mind at this moment, she thought about it, annoyed with herself. She didn’t want to think about the other women. This was their time together. Private time.
As if he couldn’t help himself, Arnav moved closer, still only touching her cheek. “You are a believer in fairy tales, aren’t you? You believe in magic.” Khushi couldn’t see his face clearly in the dark but she could hear his smile.
“Yes.” She whispered her conviction. At this moment, she could believe magic was made to be for moments like these.
His eyes were shadowed, as if hesitating and trying to control, “Khushi, you should go back to bed honey. I have very little control on myself where you are concerned. I know you don’t understand this but it is very difficult for me to not touch you; to not kiss you.”
Khushi felt the sweet string of tension that surrounded their bodies, the fire that burned them both. She simply looked at him, her eyes wide as if trying to believe such a thing was possible. He groaned, “It is not a good idea for you to come here, stand so close to me honey. Go to your own room now Khushi before I lose control on myself. I promised you I wouldn’t touch you without your permission.”
Khushi mocked him with a smile on her face. Did he really expect her to believe that? She decided to try a little experiment.
“You’re an admirable man that way Arnav Singh Raizada. You do know how to keep your promises.” She took a step that brought her so close to him that their bodies were almost touching, as she whispered, “But I want to be here, with you Arnav.”
And in truth, she realized that she really wanted to be there with him. Against her better judgment, she wanted to be with him, to let him do whatever he wanted to do with her.
Arnav touched the hair in front and pulled a strand of it to bring her closer still. He curled it around his finger, “Don’t play games with me Khushi. This is dangerous. Do you know what you’re doing?”
She was just inches away from his naked chest. She wanted to put her hands on his chest, rest her head on his warm skin. She wanted to touch where his heart was beating, she wanted to feel it, “Yes, I know it is dangerous. I know what I’m doing Arnav.”
Arnav was silent for a minute. Then he moved away a little, thinking what to say to her. “You told me you were not interested in any affair, even rejected my offer of marriage because you think I’m not suitable for you. You told me you find me too controlling and you don’t like guys who are controlling. So why this change?”
Khushi wanted to sound brave but she was just as scared inside. It was true what he’d said. She didn’t like men like him. But somehow, she couldn’t really resist him. She tried to make her voice sound firm, “I’m not going to let you control me Arnav. This is far from that.”
His eyes glinted in the moonlight. “I don’t want to control you Khushi. I would never want you to change from who you are, into what I want. I – all I want at this time is to make love to you. But—“he released the strand of hair that he was holding and it fell back on to her face.
“But what? But you can’t because of the promise you’ve given me?” Khushi asked.
Arnav nodded. Khushi took a deep breath and asked him what she most wanted to know, “Why Arnav? You have the pick of the best looking women in the world. You’re a hard playboy and that is not something only people in London know about. People in Delhi too call you the same. Your type of women is way different from who I am, the way I am. So why?”
Arnav laughed, the sound harsh, “Why? You ask this question Khushi when you’ve seen how foolish I become around you. I act like a teenager who’s just been induced with high hormone levels when I’m around you Khushi. You stir up my fantasies with a single smile, your eyes when they look at me make me burn. You make me want to fly and take you away with me to some place where no one can find us; a place where I can –“ his hand moved to her mouth and his fingers moved around her lips, “—where I can kiss you to kingdom come.”
Poetic and Arnav.. had someone told her that some time back, Khushi would’ve laughed in their faces. But she didn’t feel like laughing right now. She felt the pull of desire, deep down inside of her. A thrill ran through the entire body at his words. He continued, still touching her lips, his fingers moving around her mouth. Her lips parted a bit and his finger went in gently and came out with her hot breath as he whispered, “ I like to watch you eat, to watch you talk. I like the way you enjoy every morsel of food. The way when you eat your chocolate cake; you close your eyes in ecstasy as if you’re eating ambrosia. It makes me want to eat it too.”
“Arnav—“Khushi moaned as his hand moved again, his finger delving into her mouth. She quickly closed her mouth and sucked it in. He took a deep shuddering breath but gently pulled his finger out. Next he placed the same finger on his lips, opened his mouth and pulled it in. Again he took it out and moved it over her lips. Khushi closed her eyes.
Now both his hands cupped her face, his finger travelling to her closed eyes, tracing them, as he continued to speak softly, “I like the way you behave with Anjali Di. You don’t think she’s a nuisance even when she’s being naughty, even when she teases you. I like that you can be charmed easily by simple things. You made friends with my friends, with my household staff. You even made friends with my elderly housekeeper who’s at times a dragon. I don’t know how you do it Khushi but you weave a magic spell around me. I am always thinking of you. I go crazy thinking about you.”
“But-but you’ve been nice and trying to stay away from me.” She knew she sounded petulant but she couldn’t help it. She knew she sounded breathless. Not that that was surprising, since he kept on touching her, barely noticeably nonetheless touching her, setting her nerves on slow fire.
He gave her a crooked smile; the smile that could ensnare many hearts along with that fire filled gaze and dropped his hand away from her face. “It is not easy Khushi. It is not natural for me to be –er- I’m arrogant I know but—it was not natural for me to remain away from you, to not touch you.”
“So why have you- you been keeping your distance? Why don’t you -”
“-because that is what you demanded Khushi. You didn’t want to be touched. I still will not touch you until you permit me.”
It was so simple! Such a simple reply, simple truth put out innocently. She had asked him to keep distance and he had obliged. He had not been domineering, arrogance was all gone. It would have been all too easy for him to do it since he knew she melted every time he came close to her and yet, he’d kept his distance. Khushi’s eyes grew warm and glowed with appreciation.
She whispered, “Maybe I’ve been wrong about you. You’re honourable after all.”
What Arnav did next rooted her on the spot. He took her face gently in his hands, tenderness apparent in his eyes. There was not a trace of a man ready to seduce her, instead she could see a man who was –who cared for her!
“Do you know what you’re doing Khushi? I don’t want to seduce you into anything Khushi. I can wait.”
Khushi rested her cheek on his curved hand, “I know Arnav. But I wish to live in the moment tonight.”
Arnav hesitated, his reluctance apparent in his voice, “Khushi, darling I don’t want to hurt you. I can’t – I can try to be tender but don’t know how to love. I can only make love to you. I see your eyes and I feel-.”
Khushi put her finger on his lips, shutting him up. “I know that you live in the moment Arnav yet you proposed marriage to me. You told me you desire me but don’t love me. I-don’t know how I feel about that but- I see you care for me. That is enough to make you a good man. I know you will protect me.” She wound her hands slowly around his neck, “I know you can wait but—“Khushi blushed and stuttered but continued, “-b-but Arnav, I want us to-“much as she wanted to, Khushi couldn’t complete the sentence.
Instead she did the next best possible thing. She closed her eyes and lifted her mouth to his, whispering his name.