“YOU!” Khushi tried to free her hand. “Let me go. I thought you were in a hurry to go on your hot date.”
“Of course my date is hot, but that doesn’t mean I will leave you here to find an auto rickshaw. I am polite that way. ” Arnav replied deadpan. At her fiery look, he freed her hand, while smirking and continued, “So Khushi Gupta, will you allow me to drop you home?”
“I don’t need to be dropped anywhere, okay? You go where you have to go and leave me be. ” Khushi’s eyes spit fire as she said this. How dare he admit he had a hot date,but was only being polite while suggesting he dropped her off home! As if she was a child that needed his minding. She was not going to have any of this nonsense if they got engaged.
Appalled at where her thoughts had taken her to, she turned away from him, trying to get her brain to work sensibly. Her mind was totally a mess, if she could give even a nanosecond of consideration to that fake engagement. She found herself in the next instant, being gently turned back to face him, as Arnav mocked, “Politeness is a jewel in your crown Ms Gupta, don’t lose it. Say yes, and let me do the right thing. ”
“Alright then. If you insist, thank you. ” Khushi gave in, sighing. As he guided her towards his car, he said, “That is a sad sigh. You won’t have to bear my company for long Khushi Gupta. Just until I drop you home. ”
A sharp retort sprang to her lips, but Khushi held it back and closed her mouth shut, her eyes wide. She was completely mental if she was in angry because he was going out with someone else. She just couldn’t be jealous!
“What, no come back? Not even a tiny retort. ” Arnav mocked her.
“No. ” Khushi gave a clipped reply, and heard his breath intake.
Khushi stared straight ahead, walking on, trying to blank out the smell of him. He affected her in so many ways, more than anyone else. He riled her up, made her smile and he made her feel very desirable too. Not that she was going to give in to this attraction. That way lay destruction and heart break. She was not going to fool herself into thinking she was in love; it was plain and simple attraction.
“What are you thinking about? I can hear your brain engines whirring. ” ASR tried to start a conversation.
“Just thinking something, and I really don’t want to talk about it. ” Khushi replied softly but firmly.
Arnav was amused. She had no idea her face was an open book for him. As if he could read her thoughts, Khushi heard him say, “I go out on dates normally with women who are like myself, looking for a companion for society evenings. It doesn’t end up in bed Khushi. ”
Her face red, Khushi mumbled, “What do I care ASR. You can go out anytime you like, with who ever you like. Humain koi fark nahi padta, samjhe aap!”
“Nahi? Now that’s strange, because if you were going out on a date, I would want to beat the guy to the pulp. When I saw you with Jha the first time, I wanted to break his jaw when he smiled at you and break his hand when he caught yours. ” Pat came Arnav’s reply.
Khushi gaped at him for a second, then shook her head saying with a soft smile, “You’ve lost it Mr Rothwell Raizada. I suggest psychiatric help. ”
Arnav threw his head back and laughed. In that single second Khushi knew she would never ever feel as attracted to any other man as this one. He looked at her with a glint in his eye and simply said, “Maybe Khushi Gupta, maybe I have lost it. All your fault though. Now come along; I don’t want to be late. ”
And Khushi blushed to the roots of her hair, muttering “I knew it was going to be my fault somehow.” and meekly walked along with him to the car.
The journey to Khushi’s house was completed in silence as ASR managed through the heavy evening traffic on Delhi roads. Not that Khushi resented the silence. She felt quite comfortable sitting next to him, not talking. Only once did it happen that she looked out the window, away from him that he promptly said,” No, don’t. ” As if she understood him, she stopped looking out the window and stared straight ahead, to hear him breathe in and smile. She felt in sync with him. They reached the house, and for the first time Khushi wished her journey with him would have lasted longer. The next thought scorned her as she remembered, he was in a hurry to get ready for his date and her profile turned icy again. She heard him sigh as she opened the door and thanked him. An eyebrow up, she enquired with an abrupt, “What.”
For an answer, he leaned across the seat to where she had her head inside the window and gave her a swift kiss on her surprised lips. “See you tomorrow at Anjali’s mehandi, my fake fiancee.”
And he drove away, leaving her outraged and open mouthed at her doorstep.
Meanwhile Payal watched what was happening between Arnav Singh Raizada and Khushi and a chuckle left her as he drove away. That man was devious and Khushi was totally wrapped up in him, just like he was in her- thought Payal. She had her suspicions about him being aware of his feelings, unlike Khushi. Only time would tell though, how things pan out. Sighing, Payal turned away from the window and went ahead to open the door, only to have Khushi knocking her on the nose, lost in her own world.
“Khushi di, for God’s sake! ” At Payal’s exasperated chuckle, Khushi looked up and found her hand on Payal’s nose. Her eyes widened at what she had done and then sense of humour took over. She laughed, and she entered the house after Payal, “You should be glad I didn’t pound the door.” Taking in Payal’s appearance, she asked, “Are you going out somewhere?”
“I should have known you’d forget. ” Payal made a face and smiled, “It is quite okay though. We can go another time. ”
And Khushi winced. She could have kicked herself for her absent mindedness. She had promised Payal they would go out tonight; two sisters celebrating life together. Gathering her wits together, she said “Oh no no no. I may have forgotten about our evening plans for a second there, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going! Give me ten minutes and we’ll be on our way. Meanwhile, how about calling for a taxi? I – er may have forgotten to do it this afternoon.”
Giving Payal a sheepish grin, Khushi rushed into her room to shower and change. Twenty minutes later they left the house in the taxi, dressed smart and ready to enjoy their evening dinner at Pind Balluchi, in Connaught Place. While Payal was dressed in a lacy bodycon dress in black and a crocheted cream scarf to go with it, Khushi had opted to go for a sleeveless square neck belted jumpsuit in red with a short jacket in beige. Inwardly she had sighed in relief as she sat down beside her sister in the taxi. At least the restaurant had been booked a week in advance. She promised herself, she would enjoy the rest of the evening with her sister and not once think about Rothwell Raizada.
They paid of the taxi driver and made their way to Pind Balluchi. The doorman at the restaurant opened the door with a greeting and a smile, Khushi smiled back at him and greeted him back. A woman dressed in a saree came up to meet them with a smile.
“Good evening. May I help you?” Said the woman.
“Good evening, we have a reservation for two. In the name of -”
“Arnav Singh Raizada.”
Startled, Khushi turned around and found her eyes meeting the amber ones of Arnav Singh Raizada.
Khushi sat waiting for Shyam at her favourite cafe that evening, while her mind still turned over Payal’s words. Why did Payal think that she, Khushi Gupta could ever fall in love with an arrogant arse like ASR?
She shook her head vehemently in denial, almost spilling coffee from the mug in her hand. The idea itself was mental. She could never fall for a man who had not even an ounce of humility in him. He was – he was-
“An espresso please, double shot. ” The deep dark voice raised the hair at the back of her neck. Trying to reject the voice in her head that said it knew who the voice belonged to, her eyes opened wide with shock as Arnav sat down in the chair next to her and grinned wolfishly.
“I had not thought of you as a coffee drinker, Khushi Gupta. You sound like you would drink gallons of tea, not coffee. “
Her eyes drank in his grinning face- he looked so devastatingly handsome when he smiled!- and then his words registered. More to the point, his presence by her side registered as she came out of her daze. Her doe eyes sparkled with annoyance.
Arnav saw the moment Khushi’s expression changed and his eyes lit up at the expectation of fireworks. He loved it when she looked ready to spit fire, the passion of her feelings plain on her face. He didn’t have long to wait.
Khushi’s chest swelled with quiet indignation. His eyes rested briefly on the heaving chest and then moved to her eyes. They were now furious at his blatant display of interest.
“How dare you! “Khushi spoke with her mouth barely moving. “What the hell are you doing here Mr Rothwell ? “
“I have been called here, by your – who is he anyway? Is he your associate or your friend?”
Khushi refused to calm down. With gritted teeth, she asked, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, but you had better leave. I have a meeting and I am not going to waste my energy talking to you. “
“Of course. ” Arnav was brisk, his eyes sharp. He accepted his cup of espresso with a polite smile at the waitress, that seemed to turn her into a silly mush. Fluttering her eyelashes, she asked him if he wanted any sugar.
“He is diabetic. No sugar, thank you.” Khushi spat dismissal at the waitress, who went away with a scowl on her face. Looking straight back at ASR, Khushi said, “Did you hear what I said Mr Rothwell Raizada? Leave.”
“You’re pretty adorable when you’re all fire like this. “Arnav observed amusedly, and then huskily added, “Most of the times, I can’t wait to burn with you.”
Khushi had no reply for such a statement. She sipped her coffee and pointedly looked at her watch. Arnav finished his mouthful of espresso and wiped his mouth with a serviette, calming informing her, “Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t come here myself. I was called by your photographer associate, Shyam. “
Her jaw dropping, Khushi retorted, “Shyam? My Shyam called you?”
“Your Shyam? ” Arnav’s eyes caught fire at her reference to Shyam as hers. He was annoyed.
His entire day had been a pain, so why should he be surprised if evening was the finale of all that he found irksome. He had decided to work from home this morning. His morning had begun with Anjali teasing La at the breakfast table. By noon, La had become decidedly panicky, coming to him with the request that he make things clear to his family. She was terrified they would marry her to him tomorrow if they had their way. Highly tickled by her imagination, Arnav had assured her nothing of the kind would happen. She ought to take the teasing in her stride and be indifferent. After all, she wanted the pretence of being his girlfriend to save her pride. But La had been unable to handle things. Post lunch, she had excused herself with the excuse of a prior meeting with an old friend and got out of the house.
Arnav had breathed a sigh of relief as Anjali had turned her attention to her own wedding matters, and he had finally been able to focus on his work. Things had just settled down, when Shyam called. He had been polite and straight to the point.
“Hi Alex, I would like to meet you this evening. Is it possible?” Shyam had asked politely.
Arnav had observed, “A bit sudden, isn’t it? “
Shyam had been just as adamant, “I’ll agree, it is a bit sudden but imperative. I would appreciate it if you could come to the India Cafe this evening. Khushi will also be there.”
Arnav had tensed at her name, and in a split second made his decision as an unsavoury thought had entered his head. His entire being had rebelled at the idea. As he remembered the thought that had prompted him to come here without a second’s hesitation, his annoyance at his own behaviour grew. He looked at Khushi and suddenly he said, “I might as well tell you since I know you will not tattle tale. I think it is time I got married.”
Khushi looked at him, going pale at his words. ASR planning to get married? To Whom? Or was he simply saying that to annoy her? Well, she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. With mighty effort, she ignored his declaration and ploughed on, “Why has he called you here?” Then muttered to herself, ” Is he planning to warn you off in front of me or something? “
Arnav’s mind, that had seconds ago been amusing itself at Khushi’s instant reaction and efforts at non-reaction to his statement, was now outraged at this muttered suggestion. How could anyone warn him off Khushi? Khushi was — and he stopped the thought in his head. He liked annoying her, flirting with her. He had already admitted to wanting her badly. Khushi was his — The point was, she was not for Shyam.
Khushi, unaware of his internal debate continued muttering to herself, “I must talk to Shyam. He has been a bit odd lately, but I simply thought it was due to his preoccupation with–.”
“Still talk to yourself, do you? Old habits die hard. ” an amused Arnav drawled lazily, stretching in the chair. “I can’t wait to hear what milk toast man has to say to me.”
Khushi choked on her coffee “Milk toast man? You are calling Shyam a milk toast man?”
ASR shrugged his shoulders, “What else would I call a man who has been playing with fire recently, but is not able to take the heat?”
“What fire? What heat? What the hell are you blabbering on about ASR?” Khushi snapped, forgetting her intention to stay calm.
She drew back as Arnav leaned forward. Suddenly his eyes were drawn to the door and he took a sharp breath. Khushi saw the change in his face, saw the hardness enter into his eyes and looked at the door too.
Shyam and La had entered the cafe; Shyam with a grim look on his face and La with averting eyes. His gaze zeroed in on Arnav and Khushi and his jaw tightened. They all greeted each other politely. La sat between Khushi and Shyam, her gaze averted from Arnav. Khushi observed this and wondered.
Finally Arnav spoke, “So Jha, what is it you wanted to talk about?”
Shyam put down his coffee and looked at Khushi accusingly, saying “I just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page. You have not trusted me enough as a friend Khushi, or you would have confided your secret in me. ” He sighed deeply, unhappily. Before Khushi could ask him, he raised his hand, “I am not finished yet Khushi. Please don’t interrupt. “
Shyam looked at Arnav and a determination entered his eyes. He said, “La tells me your family spoke to her today about her marrying you. Now is the time Rothwell. You must tell them.”
Khushi’s eyes strayed to Arnav, shock evident in them. Without looking at her, Arnav kept his gaze on Shyam, “Tell them what, Jha?”
At this point, La interrupted both men, looking at Arnav with pleading eyes. His eyes hardened and she averted hers, saying “I am sorry, Alex. I wouldn’t have told Shyam about any of it, had he not told me about his intention to marry her.”
ASR being who he was, didn’t even blink at her declaration of innocence. He simply nodded at her and then looked back at Shyam.
A frustrated exhale, and then Shyam said, “You must tell your family the truth Rothwell. Tell them that La is not your girlfriend, but mine. You must tell them about your engagement to Khushi. “
ARNAV AND KHUSHI ARE BACK! 🙂
I don’t think there is a way where I can stay away from two of my favourite characters. So here goes, another story with Arnav and Khushi of the famed IPKKND. Don’t forget to let me know how you like the beginning. 😉
“Khushi madam, ASR ne bulaya hai- urgently.”
Khushi groaned inwardly as she looked at the watch. Hey Devi Maiyya! Ab kya! It looked like she was going to be late reaching home today. And on Payal’s birthday too! Why, oh why couldn’t the Laad Governer have called earlier if he had already something to pick on her today ? Not that these thoughts reflected on her face at all. She looked with a serene expression on her face at the messenger; a special “chamcha” of ASR as she liked to call him and said, “I will be there in two minutes. Thank you.”
The messenger with the name OP left her with a smirk on his face and muttered, “Fireworks on the way.”
Khushi heard that mutter and straightened her spine. She stood up, smoothed her skirt, and collected her notepad and pen. Not a single time went by when she and the CEO of the multinational organisation didn’t have a clash of –well, it wasn’t words really, since she was in no position to have a clash of words with him. After all, he was the big boss and she was just an office assistant. They generally had no personal meetings- only the end of the year meeting and a review. He found faults with her at times, and conveyed them to her by Email (lately these emails had become frequent)– she had to reluctantly acknowledge– that the wretched man had been right every time. Nothing escaped his attention.
So it wasn’t a clash of words or wills. It was simply a clash of eyes. She shivered as she remembered those amber eyes; the way they bore into her like they would strip her of all her calm. Taking deep breaths, she preached herself, “Stop it. It is high time you stopped with this nonsense. Stop being so affected by him. He’s just a man- not an ogre. Stay calm. Deep breaths..He is not going to strangle you even if you might have made a mistake. ” and she breathed in deep and closed her eyes.
“He just might .” Said an amused but irritated voice from behind, “If you don’t stop talking to yourself and get yourself moving.”
Khushi opened her eyes immediately and turned around neatly on her black pumps. ASR stood there, all six foot two of lean muscle clad in crisp grey business suit. Not even a trace of humour showed on his face, so that she thought she might have imagined his amused tone. He stood in his usual stance, with his hands in his trouser pockets and a frown on his forehead, surveying her like she was an alien specimen. Hayye Devi Maiyya! How long had he been standing there? Had he heard all that nonsense about her being affected by him? She sincerely hoped not! Her heart stuttered as she met his eyes, and then she forced herself to become calm. Her doe brown eyes became as opaque as wood as she said, “I was just collecting my notepad and pen before coming to your office.”
He looked at her, from her sleek neat hair falling over her shoulders, her doe brown eyes, her slightly flushed cheeks, pale pink lips, cream blouse over black knee-length skirt and her feet encased in black stockings and black pumps. She looked exactly as an Office Assistant should look- neat and presentable, calm and ready to handle any crisis. No one looking at her could doubt her ability to run the office with the efficiency she had been running it with, for the last two years. He wasn’t sure how, but he was aware that she was anything but calm most of the times.
“Hmpph.” said he gruffly, turning around to get out of her office and stride with his long legs into his own.
Arnav closed the bedroom door and turned around to face Khushi, who was already sitting on the bed, her legs folded, ready to talk. Her eyes were troubled, her face pale. Constant thoughts plaguing her mind could be seen very clearly in her eyes. As he stood by the door for another minute, Khushi burst out,
“Arnav ji, do come here. I – must know. We must talk.”
Slowly Arnav approached Khushi and sat down next to her on the bed. Taking one of her hands in his own, he smiled into her eyes and said softly, “Let me get ready for bed and you do the same. We’ve got the whole night to talk. “
Khushi made a face, “No we don’t. You have to wake up early and then go to work too. I don’t want you going to work all tired.”
Arnav kissed the palm of Khushi’s hand, making her quiver as he said, “How very wifely of you, my darling.” Humour glinted wickedly from his eyes.
Khushi smiled widely, “That’s because I am your wife Mr. Raizada. But I want to know—“
Arnav laughed softly and put a finger on her lips, “Quiet wife. One of your duties is also to listen to your husband—sometimes at least!”
Khushi giggled and Arnav smirked, then said, “Ab jaao. Get ready for bed my love. Once we’re cosy, I’ll tell you all you want to know.”
And so it happened that 10 minutes later, when they were both under the covers, cuddling that Khushi raised the question, “Arnavji, is it true that Aparna lied to me? That these 5 years of unhappy living and keeping our sons away from your fatherly love was all simply because I’d been foolish enough to believe her? “
Arnav sighed and kissed her hair, “You are a good person Khushi. It is not your fault that you believed in her lies, not your fault that we suffered so much these last years. You did it thinking of a little boy and his happiness. That doesn’t make you a bad person or foolish; on the contrary. “
Khushi stayed quiet, but took refuge in Arnav’s arms by snuggling into him and hugging him even tighter than before. Arnav squeezed her back and continued, “Yes, she lied to you- to everyone who knew her actually at the time we did. “
“I always wondered why she kept on harping on about how she didn’t want anything from life anymore, how her life was content. A person who is content doesn’t keep on repeating it every second, you know. The day you told me about the DNA test and Vishal being born out of wedlock, and accused me of being a neglectful father, I knew a deeper game was at play. To feel the waters, I spoke to Aparna about it. Of course, initially she pretended to deny it all and then gently cried out to me in not so many words that Vishal was my son, and she and he were my responsibility.”
Khushi looked astonished, “What? Why didn’t you tell me about it?”
Arnav looked sheepish for a second and then grimaced, “I think I should have. It might have helped you realize what was happening, and you’d have never left me. But in my arrogance, I thought I’d solve it all by myself and then you’d never have a chance of any doubts in future.
Anyway, when you left, I became absolutely distraught. I tried finding you everywhere obviously, despite all your instructions. But it looked like you’d completely vanished. Everyone was worried. Babuji never said a word to me, but I could feel his accusations every time he looked at me. Everyone looked at me for answers Khushi, and I have nothing to give.”
At the amount of pain in his voice, Khushi grasped his hand and kissed it. She took it between both of hers and held on to him, trying desperately to absorb some of that pain of his, to lessen it. Regret washed her being in waves. She should have realized how everyone else might feel. She shouldn’t have left like that.
A pool of tears formed in her eyes as she mumbled, “I’m sorry.. so sorry Arnavji. I should’ve thought it through. I hurt you and everyone I love so badly.” She raised her tear filled eyes to his, beseeching him to understand, “But believe me, I thought I was doing the right thing! I thought, I was coming in between the happiness that Vishal and you deserved.”
Arnav leaned in and kissed her forehead. Sighing heavily, he placed his chin above her head, as she folded more closely into his arms.
“I know you Khushi. I know you thought you were doing the right thing. I don’t blame you anymore; no one does. Yes, I was distraught. I was angry when you left. But after the whole thing was sorted out, I knew exactly why you’d done it.”
Khushi raised herself up on her hands and kissed Arnav on his lips. “I love you so much. And I caused you pain.” A frown marred her brows, “But what was going on? If I was in the wrong and Aparna was doing something that was—I don’t understand Arnavji.”
Arnav kissed her back hard and smirked, “You’re not as brilliant as you think you are Khushi Singh Raizada.”
At her indignant look, he said, “Alright. I won’t tease you for now, because you do need to know it. We talk about it this time, finish the tale and never speak of it again.”
At a cautious nod from Khushi, he continued,
“ Aparna underestimated my love for you. A week after you’d left, she tried to come on to me. The first few days, she sympathized with me, cursed you for leaving me in such a condition, for leaving “her” in this compromising position where she’d have to “fill a gap you left behind”. That’s what she thought it was, and she said it.
Then one evening, everyone had gone out. I came back from work, as usual and I saw her wearing your sari and cooking in the kitchen, like you do. When I went into my bedroom, she came in after a bit. Said she’d cooked my favourite food to cheer me up. I knew a seduction game was about to roll. I set the record straight that evening, and told her there was not going to be any grand reconciliation. Even if Vishal was my son, Khushi was my wife. I didn’t want any other. She left the room that evening, but not without uttering vile words for me, that I will not repeat in front of you.
She could see her plan failing, and me slipping out of her hands. For the next two weeks, she tried to befriend me. By this time, I had already had investigators working on her case, and the results had just started coming in the evening she had tried to seduce me.
Aparna had spent the last three years at the order of the court in correctional institution. She had already been sentenced once for about six months, for embezzlement, fraud and slander. Another interesting bit also came out. There was a restraining order against her. Do you remember the architect, Arun Varma from the parties we’d attended together ? – he had filed it. Apparently, Aparna had tried to pass herself on as his girlfriend, and created differences between him and his real girlfriend. When he exposed her, she became aggressive towards his girlfriend. In the end, the restraining order had been put in place. “
Khushi listened to this, her mouth open in shock. “She was mentally sick?”
Arnav shook his head in regret, “Sadly not. Women like her are never mentally sick. It was just a way of getting out of tight spots she had gotten herself into every time. She was cunning to the nth degree.”
“How did you expose her then? And where was Vishal all this time that she was facing all these charges and in the mental institution?” Khushi asked, her frown pronounced.
Arnav took a deep breath and said, “Vishal was where he had been happy, even if alone. He was in the orphanage, where I officially adopted him from after the whole fiasco had been sorted out.”
At her dazed expression, Arnav nodded to himself, “Yes, Khushi I know. For you this all seems incredible, but the thing is, not everyone is as decent as you are, my love. Aparna had planned very carefully. She had adopted Vishal and trained him as befitting my son a few months before she accidentally bumped into us. The DNA reports that you’d seen after you’d sent the sample were fake, because the samples had been switched by her.
I could’ve let go of the whole thing, even let her leave after all the destruction she’d caused, had it not been for the fact that she’d included an innocent child into her game plan and used him, almost killed him to achieve her goal- me. “
Khushi looked up alarmed, her hackles rising, “What do you mean Arnavji? “
Taking a deep breath, Arnav said, “She tried to poison Vishal to get family sympathy.”
Ignoring Khushi’s horrified look, Arnav continued, “Vishal went through a tough time, with you leaving us, and he felt he was to blame to some extent. I had tried to cheer him up at times, but he had started getting morose. Then one evening, when I came home, I heard Aparna tried to force feed a medicine. He kept on saying it smelled vile, but she wouldn’t listen. When I tried to intervene, she told me that Vishal was a sensitive child, and according to the doctor, he needed a sedative to help him get out of low moods. What a load of rubbish! When I asked her to show me the pill she wanted to feed him, she snapped at me and told me to mind my own business.
Vishal had started crying by then, refusing point blank to take the medicine. I could see Aparna starting to become aggressive in her stance. To cool off the atmosphere, I told her, I’d give Vishal the medicine prescribed by her doctor. For my sins, I helped her feed him poison.
Khushi, that pill had been coated with rat poison. Aparna left him with me, saying she had to go out for a meeting with a prospective client. In an hour, Vishal had started vomiting and was showing severe signs of poison. Without any delay, I took him to the hospital. He was there for two days, since the poison had affected his body severely.
Investigation proved that the pill had been coated with rat poison. Aparna came to the hospital teary-eyed and accused me of trying to kill her son. What she didn’t realize was, I had already gathered all the evidence to prove her guilt. A short court battle ensued, where needless to say, I came out the winner. She was sentenced for five years, with attempt to murder. “
Khushi’s eyes were wide with shock, her voice locked in her throat as she heard the entire story unwrapping. It was almost like a TV drama, except it was real, especially since it happened with herself and her family. Had it not been for her own foolishness, none of this could have happened – she cursed herself for having being so gullible.
Silence reigned for minutes, until she let out a long breath and in a tearful voice said, “Oh my God. All this, because she wanted you, and I was foolish enough to believe all that I heard and saw.”
Arnav cupped her face between his hands and said, “No Khushi. She never wanted me. She wanted the wealth and fame that came with Raizada name. I had nothing to do with it. And you, you my love, were foolish- yes. But it was not because you were stupid. It was because you believe people are good. And that is one of the things I adore about you.”
Khushi sniffed, her nose turning red as she snuggled against Arnav, her voice breaking, “Poor Vishal. What he went through!’
Arnav soothed her, his hand moving gently in her hair, as he said, “He knows he would never have to be through anything like that ever again. He knows he is loved. I adopted him after all this, and last year we got his leg sorted out. For him, the mother that has been, the mother that is, is you Khushi. You know that. “
“Yes.” Said Khushi, glad to have the past sorted out. She looked up and smiled, the calmness in her husband’s eyes soothing her, “ I am so glad you didn’t give up on me.”
“NEVER.” Arnav vowed as he held the most precious gem of his life in his arms. “I did not know what love was before I met you, and I will never be able to love you any less for who you are. You and our children are my biggest wealth, and I am only thankful to God that you came back to me with our sons. “
Khushi smiled with her eyes at him, curving her hands around his neck, as she reached his lips and whispered, “We are not two worlds apart anymore, darling husband. If I am your wealth, I am ready to be spent– on you, by you.”
“In that case…. ” Arnav said huskily, as their passion took over.
Discomfort was the word that she was looking for, she told herself. They were at the dinner table, everyone eating quietly. Unlike yesterday, there was no talking today. The children were quiet and so was Arnav. Khushi had no idea what he was thinking about, but he kept on looking at children and her, back and forth. Was he trying to come to a decision?, she wondered.
“Would you like to continue living here or would you like to come with me Delhi? It has good schools you know.”
His question startled her. As Khushi looked up, she saw that the question was not directed at her, instead it was the children he was asking this question to. They both looked at him, with Aarush looking away and Ayush opening his mouth to say something but closing it tight shut, after looking at the reaction of his brother.
“Khushi?” Arnav directed his question to her this time.
Khushi squirmed in her chair. What could she say? She needed time to think. Her children wanted him, just as much as Vishal would. She couldn’t decide whom should she stand up for. She looked at him, torment clear in her eyes this time. “I don’t know yet. We need time.”
Arnav looked at her and nodded. Then he looked down and continued eating in silence. Khushi had no idea that the question was meant as much for him as for her. Now that he had found her one and only love, and his sons, he didn’t want to let them go. To leave them behind and go back to Delhi was unthinkable for him. Yet, he knew he had to leave them alone for the moment. He had to go back to Delhi and set the wheels in motion. It was time the truth was out and in front of Khushi.
He had heard the conversation that had taken place earlier in the evening between mother and sons. His heart had been slashed with sharp swords of pain again and again as he’d seen Khushi dealing with their sons, telling them to let him go, forget him. He had loved Khushi all the more for her pain, her brave effort to keep things gentle, but he had loved his son Aarush even more at his bravery in not letting her see how much he wanted to be with his father. He was proud of his son. He swore then and there, he would make sure things fall in place soon.
They wanted to be with him as much as he wanted to be with them. He was aware that Khushi loved him just as much as he loved her. He was still in love with her. All these years apart had done nothing to douse the flame of passion or lessened the love that burned bright between them.
He could see her torment. She had left because she had thought Vishal needed a stable family. She had sacrificed her love for the sake of his family and their happiness. He closed his eyes to hide the pain, thinking of the time ,when she’d find out all these years wasted between them had been for nothing. Her sacrifice had been in vain, for he never had any family, any son. But not yet. He had to give her time- and himself too. He had to leave.
They were all eating ice cream for dessert when Arnav made his announcement.
“I’ll be leaving to go to Delhi tomorrow. I have work that must be done.”
He heard a sob and looked for its source. Ayush had tears on his cheeks and was sobbing. Aarush got up & wiped the tears off his brother’s face. He held Ayush’s hand, looking straight at Arnav.
It killed Arnav from inside to see how disheartened his sons looked. Aarush’s voice held too much bitterness for a four year old.
“We knew you wouldn’t stay with us. Mommy is right. We are better off without you because you will leave us when you don’t want us.”
“Beta Aarush-“ Khushi started, but Aarush held out his hand to stop her, “It’s okay Mommy. We love you and we’re glad we have you. We don’t want anyone else.”
Khushi’s eyes filled with tears as she saw her sons walking to their room, their ice cream uneaten. She hurt for her sons and their pain, and was sad to see her Aarush sounded far more wise beyond his years. What a burden to carry for a four year old!! And she was responsible for it, she told herself disgustedly. She should never have let Arnav meet them in the first place! They had been happier not knowing him.
“Khushi-“ Arnav tried to explain but Khushi cut him off angrily,
“If you had to leave, you could have at least waited to make the announcement until they’d finished ice cream. I had been right in thinking you shouldn’t have come into our lives. They had been happy before- they- “ she wiped her tears angrily, “And now they’re broken hearted. I should’ve stopped you from ever raising their hopes. Go back to Delhi Arnav Singh Raizada. Go back to your son and girlfriend. I never want to see you again.”
She got up from her chair and started collecting the dishes, continuing, “You can pack and leave right now if you want. I’m sure you can call your driver or call a taxi to come and take you. I don’t want to see you after this.”
“You’re over reacting as usual, Khushi Singh Raizada.” Arnav’s cold voice was like a tight slap on her face. “I didn’t say I’m leaving for ever. I am giving you time to decide what you want to do about the question I asked you before. I’m letting you decide — getting out of your way to let you make your decision without any coercion.”
Khushi still had her back to him, but he kept on addressing her back, his voice soft now. “I would gladly kill myself before I ever have to hurt my sons again after this. You wanted time? You got it. I will leave tomorrow morning and come back within a week. If you don’t want to move back to Delhi with our sons, I will make plans to live here in Allahabad.”
Khushi turned around then, her tears still running down her cheeks, her shock evident on her face. She carefully put down the plates back on the table and said, “You are leaving because of me?”
Arnav got up and came to her. He lifted her chin up and looked into her eyes, gently wiping the tears away from her cheeks and replied, “Yes Khushi, I am doing this for you. But I can’t let you or our sons get away from me ever again.”
She displaced his hand from her chin, “Why Arnav? Why do it? I know the kids are hurting right now, but they will hurt more if you leave them later. Is it not better if you leave them right now and never come back?”
“They’re my sons and you’re my wife. I can never turn my back upon you.” Arnav said, his anger rising. “You left me before without any reason and then hid my sons’ existence from me, Khushi. You should be glad I’m not forcing you to come back with me right this instant.”
“But you have one more son. And what about Aparna?” Khushi remained adamant. “I left you years back because I couldn’t digest the thought of you having lied to me. You had a past that you told me nothing about, yet you knew all about mine.”
She picked up the plates once more and went into the kitchen, Arnav following her. His anger rose as she spoke of the past. She had never asked him for any explanations. She knew nothing and yet had the nerve to pass judgment on him!!
As if encouraged by his silence, Khushi continued, “I had even thought you’d ask me for- for a d-divorce.” Her tongue slipped on the word. She hated the word as well as its meaning but it had to be said. “But you never did. Does Aparna not want to get married to you still? I am still agreeable to it you know, just as much as I was all those years back in my letter to you.”
Arnav remembered the letter he had received from her a month after her departure. That letter had nearly killed him. He had been on the verge of solving the entire mess that had been created by Aparna, but her letter had delayed things. She had left a note when she’d left, but where her note had upset him to the point of depression, her letter had angered him. How dare she ask for a divorce!! It had shattered him so much ! He had been so distracted by his sadness that he had ran his car into the tree and laid in the hospital for the next few months, struggling to stay alive. He would never let her go, and he hadn’t.
Now, he said, “I am giving you a week Khushi. I want your decision when I’m back. Tell the kids or better still I’ll leave them a letter.”
Khushi shook her head in denial at his offer. No good would come out of it, she was thinking.
She gasped as she was suddenly caught in Arnav’s arms from behind, with him growling, “Here or there, I will never let you go. Get used to the idea Khushi Singh Raizada. Tum meri thi, meri ho aur meri he rahogi, jitna main tumhara tha, hoon aur rahunga. Distance has not separated us, years haven’t and you know it.” He held her tighter, closer as he whispered, “We are Arnav and Khushi and we are meant to be together, until the day we die.”
Saying this, he let go of her abruptly and walked out of the kitchen, leaving Khushi prey to desire, love, nerves, anger, sadness and confusion.
When she woke up in the morning, Arnav was gone.
“What are you trying to tell me?” asked a horrified Khushi. Her mind seemed to have seized up to understand the implications of his statement. Surely he didn’t mean what she thought he meant?
“You heard me well Khushi Singh Raizada. I’m not going to divorce you. What’s more, I want you where I can see you, with my sons.” Arnav walked towards her, his stride determined.
Khushi was almost hysterical. She thought, this is the same old cat and mouse game; he moves ahead and I behave like a scared mouse, moving back. Indeed, she had already started taking a step back with each of his advancing steps. She looked up and saw mockery in his eyes.
“When will you stop stepping back the moment I step forward? I’m not going to eat you Khushi… at least not yet. I do remember how much you like it when I – eat you.” That last bit came out in a husky voice, desire clouding his eyes as if he remembered the taste of her.
Khushi’s eyes widened at this passionate onslaught of words on her senses. She gasped as her back felt the wall against her. With nowhere else to go, she stood rooted to the spot, her eyes following Arnav as he moved towards her. Soon he was close, very close. She gasped as he lifted his hand and trailed his finger across her lips, his eyes intense with passion.
“S-stop.” Khushi whispered, but her throat closed up as he bent and she felt his breath on her face.
“Make me.” Arnav whispered back before taking her lips with his own. Khushi’s moan died on her lips as his mouth captured hers, demanding passion. Unable to control her bodily reactions, Khushi responded back, giving kiss for a kiss.
Arnav deepened the kiss and groaned her name. It had been so long since he had tasted her mouth and yet it felt as if no time had passed at all. Their bodies moulded to each other like they had never parted. Somewhere in Arnav’s mind this truth rang a bell. It was true after all- not a single moment had gone by in all these years when he hadn’t missed her, when he hadn’t wanted her. He silently vowed to never let her go away from him again. Whatever her reasons, once she told him about it, he would find a solution to their problems and forever be with her and their sons.
Slowly he lifted his lips from hers, gazing at her closed eyes. She looked so much at peace in his arms; he saw smugly. She would be, he thought- that’s where she belongs. She opened her eyes and he smiled at her.
Khushi opened her eyes slowly, still caught in the web of passion. Arnav was the only man in this Universe who could make her forget everything and everyone. Nothing had changed between them physically at least. She still adored the way he kissed her, she wanted him to continue until they were both one once again and he filled her with is seed.
His seed- her sons!! Khushi’s eyes grew wide in dismay this time as she remembered them, too late. She looked up at Arnav, disgust for herself and her lack of control apparent in her eyes. Arnav’s smile slipped from his face, leaving it cold as he saw the revulsion on her face. He mistook it for disgust at him and yet, he couldn’t let her go.
“Let me go, please Arnav.” Khushi pleaded quietly and Arnav immediately let her go this time. His heart ached at the pain he saw in her eyes. He wanted to shout out that he had never betrayed her, had never wanted anyone else but her, but he kept quiet. Time enough for all that. Right now, his main object was to get her back with him and take her home with their children; take her where it was her right to belong.
“How could you?” Khushi asked, her heart broken. It wasn’t that she didn’t want him or his kisses. Indeed, nothing would make her more happy than to spend her life with him. But how could she forget that there were more people involved in this case than just him and her? How could she forget the other woman and her son that was Arnav’s son as well? How could HE forget that? Jealousy tore her heart apart; did he kiss that woman too the way he kissed her, with so much passion?
“It is very simple.” Arnav said, his tone amused. “I put my lips on yours and we kiss. You enjoyed it too Khushi and you’re my wife. Who else would I kiss if not you?”
“Not me. I don’t want you to ever touch me again. Go and get your lust sated by someone who enjoys your attention. As far as I remember, you had no problems forgetting that I was your wife before.” Khushi said angrily, moving away from him. Trust him to turn the knife where it hurt the most. Who else indeed?
“Khushi—“ Arnav turned her around and took her arm firmly in his grip. She struggled but he held her firm. He tipped her chin up and she met his eyes. They were cold and dark, as the night in summer, gleaming with some emotion Khushi couldn’t define.
“Just go away Arnav and leave us alone. We were much happier without you and we will be again when you leave us. Get out of my house and never come back again.” Khushi met his eyes and quailed at the look in them.
He inched closer and growled, “Get this firmly in your mind wife. I’m not letting you and my sons get away from me. And you had better get yourself used to me around.”
He let her go abruptly, moving away from her and looking interestedly around the room, “It has been a long day for me. I travelled from Lucknow for a meeting here. I need to take a shower and sleep. I’m guessing- but I think the bed room is upstairs, with a view of the garden ?”
Khushi gaped at him. Then shaking her head as if to bring sense back, she gritted her teeth, “You have no room in my house. If you want to sleep, go somewhere else. There must be a decent hotel who’ll take you in.”
Arnav turned to her, amusement gleaming in his eyes. His tone was silky as he asked, “Where else should I go and why? I am your husband and I will sleep with you.”
Saying this, he quickly moved to the stairs before Khushi could get words out of her mouth and disappeared along the corridor and rightly, into her room.
After much thinking and consideration, I’ve decided that the story has indeed ended and it is time for a new plot of come forth. So I give you the epilogue. Hope you enjoy the new story coming soon! In the meanwhile, don’t forget to read “LOVE CONQUERS” on the other blog: http://amateurstorywriter.wordpress.com/
The ordinary girl’s extraordinary affair turned into a full-fledged wedding affair soon afterwards. Khushi acquiesced to his request and accepted his proposal of marriage after about six months of him formally courting her, with the permission of her father and her grandmother. During these six months, Arnav went to London every month for a weekend to oversee his business interests that were being handled efficiently by his team there.
Once such weekend, he brought along Anjali and Dean who were overjoyed to see the happiness that surrounded Arnav and Khushi. Khushi urged Anjali to stay back for a bit and help her out with the house they were furnishing in Nainital. Anjali, happy to be included in her brother’s life welcomed the request and stayed back for a week. Khushi hired her long-time gardener friend in Nainital to landscape her garden and was very happy with the result. Her garden was now exactly like her life was- green and blooming.
During these six months, she also went to London twice with Arnav; once to help Anjali shop for her trousseau and the second time to attend Anjali and Dean’s wedding. Khushi was welcomed by Arnav’s friends in London very warmly. She stayed at his house and declared that she loved it as much as their house in Nainital.
After much thinking, they finally decided to stay put in London after the wedding, where Arnav’s current base was, with bi-yearly visits to Nainital. It was only once this decision was made that Arnav went ahead to officially ask for Khushi’s hand from her father.
During all the traditional customs that had to be followed before the wedding ceremony itself, he had had a hard time keeping his hands off Khushi. He had been able to meet her and touch her during the Roka ceremony, the Shanti Hawan ceremony, the Sangeet and Mehandi ceremony as well as the Haldi ceremony. Hell, they’d even been able to steal some private time together and some kisses with the help of his cousins.
It had been complete torture when he had been ordered to not meet Khushi or talk to her for 24 hours before the wedding, after the Haldi ceremony. He had been annoyed at all these customs that had to be followed but as his family had tried to explain it to him; it was something Khushi wished for. So – despite his frustration, Arnav patiently waited it out.
They had a grand wedding in New Delhi where Arnav and Khushi got married in the traditional Indian style. Khushi wore a lehanga in red, her figure showing to the advantage and Arnav all but fell at her feet then. She was a radiant bride, with joy of her love shining on her face. When she joined him at the wedding mandap, their love was in their eyes for everyone to see. He wondered how in the world she’d called herself ordinary and how had he ever thought he’d be able to live without her. She was one of the most extraordinary people he’d ever known- in fact she was the only one who mattered to him in his life from now on.
Now that the wedding was over and he was officially her husband, he wanted nothing more than to carry his bride away from everyone and make love to her. But there were still some more customs to be followed. He sighed, he must be yet be patient.
He looked around with satisfaction as their family and friends laughed and chatted away while attending the wedding reception. Anjali and Dean were on the top of the world; not just because Arnav had finally settled down but also because after coming to Nainital, they had discovered that Anjali was about to have a baby. They were both happy and Arnav couldn’t have asked for anything better to happen to his beloved big sister.
Aakash and Payal were enjoying themselves now that all the problems were solved and Aakash was able to take time off business. Arnav suspected another baby in the making there. Mrs and Mrs Gupta along with their mother, senior Mrs. Gupta were joyous that both their daughters were happily married and had loving husbands. Senior Mrs Gupta gifted Arnav and Khushi her Nainital estate as their wedding gift. Khushi had been overwhelmed at this gesture and invited Mrs Gupta to visit them soon in London.
Arnav Singh Raizada was still full of arrogance but he knew the boundaries that limited his arrogance. Smirking at the thought of beautifully decked Khushi waiting for him in the bedroom, he thanked the guests as they took their leave. Arnav who thought he couldn’t ever be bothered to fall in love looked up at the stars and thanked the mighty powers for bringing him such happiness. Then he proceeded to the room where his newly wedded bride awaited him.
I wish to thank all my readers who have encouraged me in writing this Fan Fiction based on Arnav and Khushi. Do read the other story NOT based on Arnav and Khushi but a love story nevertheless on my other blog romanceandstories.wordpress.com.
Awaiting your comments. In the meanwhile, do enjoy the chapter and let me know how you like it. 😉 Cheers!
It was almost ten minutes before he had come back to the table, with their orders on a tray. Khushi had been ready with her reply on the tip of her tongue earlier but now she tripped.
“What took you so long? “ Asked Khushi
Arnav wiped his hands on his khakhi pants. The vulnerable look in his eyes was something Khushi was coming to know well. He was nervous. Who’d have thought there’d be a time when the arrogant and “I-am-always-right” Mr Arnav Singh Raizada would show his vulnerability?
“Err- to be honest I was plucking courage to come back. I need to ask you what your decision is going to be before I gulp anything down my throat and choke.” His eyes look on the look of a man who was drowning and looking at his saviour with hope of being saved.
“Khushi, I know I am looking for forgiveness from the woman that I hurt beyond forgiving. I don’t know if you can ever forgive me. I haven’t been able to forgive myself for my stupidity and cruelty! All I know is that since the day I realized my mistake, since the day you left me I ached for you until I knew I would go out of my mind if I didn’t come here to beg you to forgive me, take me back.”
Khushi looked down at her hands, searching for the right words to speak. She knew he was sorry, but she was not sure if he really loved her as much as she loved him. What if he changed his mind? Could she take that risk again? She wanted to very badly say yes and forget about what had happened earlier but a side of her brain that was sensible, kept on pulling her back. She had her decision ready and she knew what she was going to say. She looked up at him and said, “Arnav, I believe you. I believe you when you say you’re sorry. I can’t easily forgive and forget everything that has happened between us in the past. The bitter words were too bitter for me to simply spit out of my mind you know.
I know that there are many things that were against me, starting with your own prejudice that had originated from your own past experiences. You had declared then that you had only ever felt lust for me, not love—even – even when I-I-“ she took a deep breath and continued,” I had known that I loved you. A part of me died the day you told me you didn’t return my feelings. When you told me a few days back that you had lied to me, to yourself; that you were always in love with me, I rejected your statement out of hand.”
Arnav held his breath. He wanted to hold her in his arms, ask her what she thought now about his declaration, what she felt about his love for her. If he could die a thousand deaths for all the pain he gave her, he still wouldn’t forgive himself. She sounded so dejected.
A fear took hold of his heart. Did she still not believe him? She said that she had forgiven him but then, that was Khushi, wasn’t it? She would forgive a murderer if she found a single clue that the guy had some sort of goodness in him. Personally speaking, he didn’t think this lifetime would suffice for what he wished to do to get her forgiveness. But he needed her love; he wanted to love her in return. He wanted to make her happy. His insides were quivering with anxiety but Arnav kept a calm front. He took Khushi’s hand in his and squeezed it gently. Slowly he looked up into her eyes and asked, “And now Khushi? What do you feel now? Do you still don’t believe me?”
Khushi looked up at him, her doe eyes swimming with tears. She put her other hand on his and said, “I’m scared Arnav. I gave you myself completely the last time and you almost shattered me to bits. I trusted you with my life and you simply threw it all away. I recovered the last time with great difficulty.. maybe am still not completely recovered. If you ever break my heart again, I will not be able to make it. What if you don’t trust me again? What if I am unable to trust you again? This is what scares me Arnav. You say you l-love me now—but what if you change your mind again? You had said earlier that you felt you were falling in love with me, you trusted me but then, you changed. What if you d-did that again?”
Arnav closed his eyes as self-loathing and disgust took hold of him. If only he could take back all those things he’d said to her! He opened them again as he felt the pressure of her hands on his own and looked into her eyes.
He groaned, “I will do anything to prove my love for you Khushi. Today was just a small example of how it can be between us once again. I promise you I shall never hurt you again Khushi. You once told me love needs no proof. I can see you love me just as you can see I love you. It is there in our eyes.”
“What about trust, Arnav? Love can’t breathe a single moment of happiness without trust.”
His dark amber eyes were pooled with liquid honey. A tear slowly made its way out of his eye. He took a deep breath and said, “Look at me Khushi. Gone is that Arnav Singh Raizada who was an asshole, who was ruled by his past and his bitterness. You brought light into my life Khushi. I never realized how bitter I had been with my life until you made it better, my love. Gone is that Arnav who simply demanded your love, without knowing its true value.
Today the Arnav that stands before you is the one who has given himself up completely to you. I trust you with my being Khushi. You are a part of my soul, my heart, my life that I can’t dream of living without. I have done great wrong to you and I am aware of it. I told you before and am again saying it today. If you still feel I’m not worthy of your love, of your trust—I- I am ready to let you go. If that is the price I have to pay to see you happy, if you can be happy without me in your life, I – will let you go. If however you give me a chance, I swear to you, Arnav Singh Raizada will leave no stone unturned to keep you happy. Let the next few days prove it.”
Arnav shuddered as he said this, as if a great evil shadow had taken hold of his soul. His eyes grew bleak as he looked at Khushi who had her head down and was mute. He felt dead inside. Pain was a constant raging roar in his head now, his heart beating him for having lost the only thing in life that could have brought him peace. He closed his eyes to absorb his pain within himself and slowly got up.
“I think your silence has answered my question. I-I love you Khushi and I will accept your decision. I only wish for you to be happy. I hope that- that –“he almost broke down but bravely continued, “I- I hope that you will be happy where ever you are, whoever you are with. I will learn to be happy for you and shall not bother you ever again.”
“Why?” Khushi still didn’t look at him. Arnav looked at her, puzzled, “Why what Khushi?”
“Why will you not bother me ever again? Will it give you joy to see me with another man? Will you be happy to see me become some man’s wife, his love?” Khushi asked him as she slowly looked up. Tears were streaming down her face. Arnav groaned and caught her in his arms. She went into them willingly, silently still crying. Sniffing, she asked him again. “Tell me Arnav Singh Raizada. Why would you be happy to see me with someone else if you love me so much? Why?”
“Khushi- I- I-“It was a moment where Arnav found his tongue wouldn’t move. It was stuck and his throat had closed. He tried again, “Khushi, are you telling me-“
Khushi moved away from him with great reluctance and looked around for her bag that had her handkerchief. She hiccupped and said, “I can’t talk here. Let’s take our Cappuccinos and get out of here. Take me somewhere else where we can talk.”
Arnav silently picked up both the paper cups and lead her out, “come with me love. I know just the place.” His voice had started gaining some confidence. His heart was ready to leap out of his chest with joy as his brain had got back into gear, trying to make sense of what Khushi was trying to say. Hope filled his heart to the maximum but he was scared too. Maybe she was only trying to be nice and say something nice, maybe she was not at all saying what he thought she was.
They left Khushi’s Scooty pep in the parking. Arnav led her to his car and opened the door for her to get in. Khushi quietly got in, her face down. Arnav got in and put on their seat belts. Khushi had her face averted from him. He was unable to bear it; he couldn’t see his Khushi crying. Gently, he took hold of both her shoulders and moved her face towards him.
“Khushi, please don’t cry. I respect your decision, even if it means I will have to spend the rest of my life alone, with only your memories surrounding me. I can’t bear to see you cry honey.”
“Damn you, Arnav Singh Raizada! I am giving you my decision NOW!” Khushi spoke vehemently, making Arnav fall back in shock. Khushi sniffed as she continued, “Prove to me in the next couple of days that you will be Arnav that you are right now and won’t turn into the beast that hurt me badly. I-I need this Arnav who is right now sitting beside me, the one that trusts me and loves me; what’s more is, I can see his love for me reflecting in his eyes. Prove to me you won’t change and I’ll be with you all my life, past forgotten.” Khushi looked at him while she said this; hiccupping and her eyes full of tears.
The light of hope that had been flickering until a few seconds ago now burned bright in Arnav’s heart. With her statement, his whole demeanour changed. He was the confident Arnav again; his eyes reflecting his happiness as he looked at her,
Arnav started the car and looked at her, his face beaming with a smile joyful enough to melt Khushi on the spot, “To the place where I hope we will be able to plan the next few days now that you’re giving me a chance to be with you again.”
Khushi wanted to ask more but kept quiet for once. She knew he would need to focus on his driving. They soon reached the house that Arnav had bought for Khushi. Khushi squinted at it in the darkness. “Where are we Arnav? What place is this?”
Arnav’s quiet, “Trust me Khushi.” had her head turning to him.
He honked the horn of the car twice. Suddenly there were lights being switched on in the house and outside. Khushi gasped as she looked around. It was a lovely house from the outside. She turned to look at him, “Who’s house is this Arnav? “
Arnav turned to look at her, his amber eyes all fired up with wariness as he said, “ Ours, if you want us to live here.”
Khushi gaped at him, her mouth open. “O-ours?”
“If at the end of this fortnight, you think you can honour me by becoming my wife, and if you wish to live here, this will be our home.”
A loud gasp escaped her even though she tried to control it. “You are asking me to marry you?”
Arnav bowed his head in acquiescence, a rueful smile on his lips,“again. I know that this time I want to do things properly. We will get engaged when you deem the time to be correct and then get married. I want the happy ever after with you Khushi.”
“Oh Arnav.” Khushi all but threw her arms around him. God she did love this man and nothing, no bitterness, no anger could ever wipe this love she had for him; she was sure. A part of her brain warned her though, if she wanted to stand firm on her ground, she should go slow. So she smiled tenderly and leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek. A mischievous part of her urged her to say, “Thank you for this gesture and the proposal. I shall reply to it when the time is right, as you said.”
Arnav grinned, back in full mode as Arnav Singh Raizada and Khushi felt herself being pulled by the strings of desire. She leaned forward too and kissed her quick on the lips. “To give me the strength to hold back until you finally say yes firmly and unequivocally.” He explained innocently and Khushi burst out laughing. “Let us go and look inside. I want to see what kind of house you have bought for me.” She looked up at him, her heart in her eyes.
Posting it today without proofing it. Please ignore typos, if you find any. 🙂 Enjoy the sizzle and don’t forget to like and comment! 🙂
Arnav leaned in as Khushi placed her lips on his own. Khushi felt him quiver as he joined in, softly stroking his lips over hers, easing their positions and taking them both into a kiss that was thrilling to say the least. It was pure seduction. She opened her heart and body to the sensations being caused by this kiss, the intoxication of their kiss, the heat that spread to all parts of her body like smooth liqueur. Her mind boggled at the idea; a kiss was causing so much havoc on her senses, his tongue slowly slipping inside her mouth and tasting her. He went slow, as if allowing her the freedom to break off yet kissed her with exquisiteness that was wordless in nature. Khushi felt as if she was dancing, their lips performing to the play of erotic music playing in their hearts.
She opened her mouth wider, answering his need to explore her mouth further while she made an exploration of his mouth on her own, joining this two-step dance. She felt the shivers of desire, sweet and fiery running through her being, making her lift her toes up to reach his mouth properly. Together they shaped their mouths to each other’s, lost in each other.
Arnav lifted his head after what seemed like an eternity and slipped his hands slowly, to caress her shoulders, barely skimming over the breasts and finally settled on the belt of her dressing gown. He groaned when he let the belt of her dressing gown loose.
“You’re not wearing anything underneath! You sleep in the nude?”
Khushi gulped, swallowed, “It was too hot and I wanted cool sheets against my body.”
Arnav laughed softly, “For all your shyness Khushi Kumari Gupta, you don’t realise yet that you’re a sensualist. I’m glad for this since I myself love the foreplay before love making. Our senses need the release much before our body, hmm?”
His amber eyes caught fire as he bit on her ear lobe and whispered in her ear, making goose bumps erupt all over her body, “ I want to see you Khushi. My eyes want to join this feast that the hands and body are enjoying. Will you-?”
In reply, Khushi curled her hand around the sprinkles of hair on his chest and bent down to kiss the area just below his shoulder, making him shudder in response. “Yes.”
Her breath caught in her throat as she felt him slide the dressing gown off her body, his hands still by her waist. The fabric slowly slid down her body, finally pooling at her feet. Khushi was now completely naked in front of him, in the dark, with her heart racing and her pulses galloping. Her legs trembled. Had it not been for Arnav’s hands on her waist, she may have fallen down.
Arnav stroked her cheek with one hand, then slowly traced the path from her cheek to her throat and across her breasts. Khushi let herself go back on his other arm and his hand continued with its exploration. Slowly it crossed over her breasts, skimming on her already tight bud nipples, trailing down her waist and hips, as if on a path to exploration. Then slowly it moved up again, this time cupping one breast, feeling its weight in his hand and brushing his thumb over her light coloured, tight nipple. Khushi moaned his name softly.
He whispered, “You are so beautiful Khushi. I could look at you for ever. I could touch you all the time. Lord, how did I ever control myself around you!”
Khushi’s blood hummed with heat; the heat of arousal. He bent his head and kissed her breasts, first one and then the other, his tongue at first stroking gently and then, lapping up. As if he couldn’t control his hunger any more, he enveloped her nipples one by one into the dark, hot cavern of his mouth and sucked on them hard.
Khushi clutched at his head, his hair as if she’d been electrocuted by live wire. She steadied herself with her hands on his shoulders as he continued his assault on her senses, repeatedly saying her name. He looked up, straight into her eyes and said,
“Are you sure Khushi? I will not be able to stop if we don’t—“
Khushi put a finger on his lips, her eyes smouldering, “I think we should go inside.” She shivered in his arms, “I feel too exposed standing out here, in the cool air.”
Arnav looked into her eyes and straightened up. “You’re right.” Just then cool breeze stirred the lock of his hair that fell across his forehead. Khushi’s hands smoothed the lock. “I’d always wanted to do that.” She said, her eyes alight with laughter.
Arnav laughed softly, “You minx.” He kissed her quickly on her lips once and then lifted her up in his arms. He was so strong! He picked her up as if she weighed nothing. She revelled in the sensations he created in her body, her heart. It caught her close to his chest as if she was his precious cargo and he’d never let her go. Khushi would her arms around his neck, nuzzling it.
“Khushi, behave yourself or I will not be responsible. Right now, I am exerting great control so that we may reach the bedroom at least. I also need to pick something up from my bedroom.”
“What?” Khushi asked as he moved ahead, his strides quick and confident. He went into his bedroom and the drawer of his table, taking out some packets. Khushi coloured as she reached what they were. Condoms.
“We need to be safe, eh?” Arnav looked at her, delighted to see her blushing and kissed her, “I can make love to you right here. Do you mind?”
Khushi looked at him and shyly said, “I want us to go into my bedroom, if that’s alright with you.”
Arnav groaned and said, “Torturing minx! Why not here?”
“-because my room is filled with moonlight Mr Raizada. Take me there.”
He shuddered as she spoke, kissing his mouth impulsively. Khushi loved this power she had over him. She had no idea before of how vulnerable he was to her touch. Was this what they called physical power of attraction over another person? If that was the case, she liked it very much; especially overpowering Arnav and making him need her so much. She grinned and slid her hand down over his chest, his chest hair tickling her palm. Slowly she turned her mouth towards his ear and whispered in it, “I want to see you too Arnav.”
He gave a mock growl in reply that was accompanied by his crooked smile, “As you wish Miss Gupta.”
They reached her bedroom that was filled with moonlight. She had left the curtains of her window open, giving them a view of the dark sea not too far away.
He laid her on the bed and went back to the door, locking it. “No one will disturb us even in the morning if we want now.” He grinned as he turned the key into lock while Khushi raised her eyebrows.
“This is your house, right? What’s the big need to lock the door?”
“Mrs De’Souza comes early to clean the house and make breakfast, so I must ensure we don’t get disturbed. Just in case, you know.”
Khushi grinned as she lay on the bed, one elbow supporting her head as she leaned on it. “SO?”
Arnav became brazen then, his amber eyes on fire, and making Khushi quiver on the bed. She watched nervously now, as he slowly reached to the zipper of his jeans. She turned red as she realised, he wore no shorts, no briefs underneath. He lowered his zipper so slow that Khushi felt she’d explode with desire building up inside her. Looking at her, he took them off and tossed them on the chair by the writing desk. Her mouth went dry as she watched him come to her, naked, all male. He tossed the packets on to the bedside table and reached for her.
She stared at him, her mouth hanging open, her cheeks red and her desire burning on a high flame. She felt naïve and totally unprepared now that he was ready to take things further. Panic flared in her mind even as her body craved fulfilment. It was all right to talk about being bold and moving on with what you want but was she really that brave? It looked as if her shyness had found a way back into her as she wondered what to do next.
Arnav came up to her and then smiled, “Khushi, had you ever seen a naked man before?”
Khushi tried to find her voice but failed. She simply shook her head, acknowledging her innocence and ignorance. Arnav’s eyes grew tender as she sat on the edge of the bed. Slowly he took her hand in his and looked into her eyes, “I am glad.”
Khushi looked at him, her eyes wide, “You are?”
Arnav slowly moved her hair away from her shoulder as he said softly, “Call me old fashioned or a hypocrite but I am glad I’ll be your first lover.” Feeling her tremble, his voice grew husky, “I want to be your only lover Khushi.”
Khushi closed her eyes as sensations took precedence and all thoughts flew out of the window. She shifted a little to give him more room. He lay down now, turning on her side, drawing her against him. Khushi felt her whole body burn as she felt skin touching skin, his naked body against hers. She nestled her face by his shoulder and breathed in his scent, this closeness intoxicating her senses, giving her a feeling of being drunk. She was drunk- drunk on passion.
“Tell me what you like about this situation, with us together, skin against skin.” Arnav asked her. Khushi blushed fiery red at his question. Arnav raised one eyebrow, “Is this the same girl who can talk nineteen to a dozen about each situation and is yet shying away from talking about her feelings today?” His fingers danced on her skin, moving around her neck and then her back.
“I’m not shy!” Khushi looked up, indignant into his eyes and then dropped her own, “I’m-I-don’t know what you mean by it.”
Arnav caught her chin in his hand and looked at her, a smile evident on his face, “I mean Miss Khushi Kumari Gupta that you’re a girl with vivid imagination. Even if you haven’t been with a man before, you’d sure have imagined it like all other girls who dream of romance. What were your preferences in your imagination, what did you think would please you the most?” He leaned and kissed her on the lips, saying against them, “I want to do everything as you like.”
Khushi looked at him, shedding a bit of her shyness. “Er- I never had to talk about it to anyone before, not even Payal jiji. I j-just don’t know how to talk about it.”
Arnav caressed her hair, moving all of it to one side and kissing her shoulder, “Ah, my darling. I’ll just have to be a little more patient then, isn’t it?” He gave a mock sigh, “Now I will have to wait until you’re ready and know what you want. Damn.”
He made to leave but Khushi caught his hand, surprise plain in her eyes, “You’d –y-you’d leave me now?”
Arnav looked at her, his eyes puzzled, “You don’t know what you want. What if you regret it tomorrow Khushi?”
Khushi could feel frustration mounting in her body. She knew she only knew about love making from books but what the hell! She wanted him to play with her, show her how good it could be. His hands and mouth had already set her body on fire and she was sure she wanted more of it; a lot more. He stroked her body as if it was a guitar, with each touch feeling as if her strings were being pulled, she felt a new song being created in her body. His hands set her on fire, tantalising her. But if he left her now–
“Oh for the love—come here you!” She pulled him back on the bed as he was half in-half out of it. “I don’t know what pleases me in bed Arnav Singh Raizada! So do what you know that will please me, understand?”
“Yes Miss Gupta.” Arnav said mock-seriously, laughter lurking in his eyes and proceeded to show her in detail exactly how he’d please her.
Khushi loved his muscled body, the hardness of his body a right support for her softness, the way his warm skin smelled, the way he tasted her and encouraged her to taste him. He tasted of hot passion, of things that were prior to this forbidden. She loved to hear the sound of his ragged breathing when she kissed his chest, his soft growl betraying his neediness when she kissed his stomach; his responses to her touch. Her body moved along with his, their breathing laboured as wild abandon took hold of them. The tension between the bodies grew, kisses growing deeper, stronger, more erotic than before. His fingers played with her body, creating exquisite torture until she tugged at his shoulders, raising her hips to him. “Please… oh Arnav please!” she whispered. “I can’t—“She drew a ragged breath as his lips passed her navel and below to breathe on the place that was spitting fire.
She moaned loud when his lips touched her mound and held his head tight when he kissed her there. Her cries of ecstasy grew louder as he mercilessly licked her, kissed her, sucked on the essence of her. His hand came down to caress her along with his mouth. Gently he inserted a finger inside her and Khushi almost jumped off the bed.
“OH MY GOD! ARNAV!” She screamed as she felt her release bursting out of her.
“Yes Khushi, let yourself go. I’ve got you honey, let the control go.” Arnav spoke, his voice rough as he teased her with his mouth and fingers, increasing the tempo. Khushi closed her eyes with pleasure bursting out of her, caught his head tight and felt herself shatter into pieces and fly high.
Arnav kept on with his ministrations, gentle in his manoeuvre while she slowly came back down to earth and opened her eyes. She breathed deeply, “Arnav” as she felt herself stirring again, the fire re-building.
Arnav came up to her, kissing her and giving her a taste of herself. He kissed her deeply, “Khushi, you drive me crazy. I have never—I can’t control it any longer Khushi.”
“Then don’t… I want to feel you inside me Arnav. Please me, make me reach the skies again.” Khushi said as he pinched her nipples and kissed her. He leaned and picked up one of the packets and tore it open, wearing it as Khushi watched on, kissing him randomly. He caught her under him and said,
“Look at me Khushi. I want you to see me as I enter you. I will try not to hurt you but it may hurt just a little.” Arnav’s brow was furrowed as he focused on himself and her. Slowly he entered her. Khushi felt the pinch and twitched. She gasped with pain as he went in further and stopped to ask, “Are you okay Khushi?”
Khushi nodded and raised her hips once she felt the discomfort give way to heat; the need for complete pleasure. “Yes, oh yes!” and he started moving slowly at first and then steadily increasing the tempo of their love making. She wanted, she ached, she needed—she was a primitive woman again, needing only her man. Her desire overwhelmed her, making her arch against him. She gripped his hips as he moved faster, wishing for him to go deeper.
Soon the world ceased to exist for both of them as they were lost in the rhythm of each other’s bodies. The pinnacle of their glorious love-making saw them both shouting, their release blissful as they clung together, spent in each other’s arms. It was perfect.
Khushi came to with a start as Arnav spoke her name, his brow furrowed with anxiety. She blushed as she realised where she was and what she had been thinking.
“Are you alright? You seemed red just now and now you’re pale. Is everything okay?” Arnav asked, his voice laced with sincere concern as he sat down and placed the tray with their orders on the table. Khushi didn’t know what to say. Was she alright?
“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.