2 hours went by...
A soft knock was heard again...
Payal slowly walked in with some tea...
She saw Khushi sleeping on the bed, and Arnav sitting against the wall with his head in his hands...
Her heart went out to them...
"Arnavji?" she asked quietly...
"Khushi?" He said as his head sprung up...
"no...It's Payal...here have some tea..."
As Arnav took the tea from her, he glanced back at Khushi...
Payal went to sit beside Khushi...she checked for fever...
"Is she?" Arnav's worry growing...
"No, she's fine...I think the hyperthermia has completely gone now..."
When Payal removed her hand from Khushi's forehead, Khushi began to stir...
Arnav almost dropped his cup to the floor, liquid splashing over the rim, as he stood up the instant he saw her move...
Khushi's eyes opened and she saw her sister..."Jiji..." her voice immediately became choked with tears...
Khushi sat up and embraced Payal...
Arnav felt his heart shrivel up even more...sure he was glad to see her comforted by Payal, but she didn't look for him, didn't ask for him...
Almost 15 minutes had past...
Arnav stood in silence...
Payal had fed Khushi her tea, and kept her talking about light hearted things, her eyes glancing over to Arnav, trying to reassure him...
Finally, Payal mentioned his name..."Khushi...did you want to speak with Arnavji..."
Khushi didn't appear scared...but her response shot him in the heart...
"No Jiji...I don't want to speak with him."
Unable to take it, Arnav ran from the room as fast as he was able...
Khushi was unaware of his presence in the room...
For the first time ever, she didn't feel him near her.
And that thought frightened her...
"Khushi, he's been sitting with you for hours...he only did what he thought was right...he didn't intend to hurt you again..."
Khushi looked over feeling betrayed by her own sister..."Jiji! I was being held by SHYAM!!! Dangling from the second story!!! And Arn...And...HE told me to shut up! I was already terrified as it was, and then to think that Shyam hurt him again...and then to see the floor beneath me...and..."
Khushi broke down again...
"no no Khushi...shhh...I understand your view too...I know you have lost things dear to you...I know you don't want to lose Arnavji...and it has definitely been a shock to you, but you can't blame him..."
"I don't...I don't blame him...but I have to shut him out of my heart...I don't think I'd survive this shock to my system another time..."
"Shut him out? What are you saying? you don't love him?"
"Ofcourse I love him...with all my heart..."
"Then why do this? HOW are you going to do this..."
"I have to do this so we can both survive...I promised I'd never leave him...so I won't...but he has been in danger because of me, and I can't see that happen again...so...I will have to distance my heart from him..."
With every word that he heard, Arnav's fists clenched tighter...
His heart beat faster...
His determination became stronger...
"Like hell you will Mrs. Raizada...If you think that I have already been fighting for you, then you're in for a rude awakening! Because there is no f**king way that I will let you shut me out of your life!"
Payal began to walk out of the room and came face to face with Arnav …
She waited till she closed the door to speak...
"She's scared...she's in shock...but...she honestly believes what she's saying...she thinks it's the right thing..."
"good...then changing her stubborn mind will only more so prove that she's being an idiot!"
"Arnavji! YOU saw what she went through...She doesn't need more hurt from you!"
"Hurt!" Arnav stepped forward, frightening Payal slightly..."I would NEVER hurt her again! EVER! I am going to prove to her, that she's NOT alone anymore! that she hasn't been for sometime now! She has to stop relying on herself! I'M here now!
And whether she likes it or not...Arnav Singh Raizada is her husband..."
"DI!!!!" Payal and Khushi squeeled in delight
"I'm home!" Anjali said happily as she held her baby boy...
Nani entered behind her...She had stayed by Anjali's side
"Oh my, he's beautiful..." Khushi smiled as she looked at the new baby...
"May I hold him?" Payal asked in anticipation
Anjali passed the tiny, sleeping baby to Payal...
Akash entered and immediately lit up seeing Anjali home...
Arnav followed..."Di! You're home? I thought you were coming home this afternoon?"
"I got released early and so I thought I'd surprise you all! Are you alright now Chote? Khushiji?"
Arnav looked over to Khushi...
It had been hours since he'd spoken to her...after hearing her confession to Payal, he needed time to cool off...
Payal had taken Khushi downstairs to try and occupy her mind...
And Arnav had stayed away...giving her time to breathe...before he started to completely invade her space...
"We're fine Di..." Arnav said as he walked over to Khushi and draped his arm naturally around her...
He felt Khushi go rigid and his anger started to swell again...but he took a deep breath and held her tight as the Anjali approached them both...
"I am truly hoping that from today, we can all have a fresh start...okay?"
Anjali hugged them both and turned back to see Payal, now holding a very fussy, hungry baby..."Oh I think It's time for a feed...I shall see you all in a little while..."
Nani and Payal followed Anjali up to her room as Akash carried up her bag...
Arnav had not released Khushi...
She tried to push him away with her shoulder but he didn't let go...
Arnav's voice came out clear and firm..."I'm stopping your stupid plan before this goes any further...You're mine Khushi, and I'm not letting you shut me out of your heart..."
She dropped her mouth open to shout at him, maybe curse him, but any words
she would have thrown at him were smothered with his mouth.
He hadn't meant to kiss her.
He was simply going to use his powerful persuasion.
But something happened every time he saw that defiant look in her eyes.
Something physical seemed to pull him to her and he was powerless to stop it.
His lips were not gentle, but they weren't punishing either.
Even through the sense of urgency, he controlled himself.
One of his arms locked around her waist and pulled her firmly up against him.
His other hand moved to the back of her neck, touching the tender nerves there.
Initially Khushi's whole body seized up with shock, but now that he was this close to her, she shivered and he felt dark satisfaction.
He deepened the kiss, tasting the sweet corners of her mouth.
He wasn't thinking.
He still didn't know when his brain had registered the kiss.
It was an involuntary and shockingly automatic response on his part.
When his head floated back to reality, Arnav pulled his mouth back slightly and found himself staring into a pair of heavy lidded, confused brown eyes.
She trembled again, just like she did only a few days before...before the fear...before the pain...
Her response left him aching... Wanting more...
Keeping his arm around her waist, Arnav lifted his other hand and let his fingers caress her face... "I'm glad we agree..." he said, inches from her kiss-bruised mouth.
Khushi's eyes flew open..."We do NOT agree..." she pushed hard and successfully moved away...
"Oh, no you don't!!!" He made a grab for her.
"There's nothing you can do about it." She whirled around and started for the kitchen and yelped again when Arnav forcefully lifted her off the ground.
"What the hell are you doing? Put me down!" she fumed, kicking and clawing at whatever she could.
"You said there was nothing I could do about it," he explained calmly. "And you're wrong."
"Put me— oh, oh!" He threw her over his shoulder and started walking up the stairs...
He clamped his arm around the back of her knees when she bucked.
She squirmed, but he carried her up a staircase, through a hall, and into their room.
She balled up her fist and starting pounding on his lower back.
He didn't budge.
"I mean it! Put me down!" She growled, low and furious.
Arnav strolled into their room and kicked the door shut behind him...
"I mean it! Put me down, right now!"
He plopped her down unceremoniously on the bed.
She scrambled to her knees, but Arnav shoved her back down on the bed.
"Who the hell do you think you are?" she demanded, her chest heaving in pure fury.
"You know who I am Khushi!" He moved closer... "And if you think for one minute that you're going to shut me out, then just remember this. I can and I will haul your stubborn ass back up here again and again until you realize that I am your husband, you are NOT alone, and..." he lay his palms flat on the bed and leaned in towards her..."and you are MINE Khushi!"
She tried to roll of the bed and make a run for it, but he made another grab for her, but she threw herself out of his reach. "Don't you dare Mr. Raizada!"
"Fine. You stay in here or I'll lock you in. Your choice."
Angry at her for wanting to distance them, he took her arms and lifted her off the bed, tearing a small gasp from her.
"Why!? You don't want this! Neither do I! I KNOW you were frightened! And I want to destroy even myself for being the cause, but I KNOW you don't want this! I need you! I LOVE YOU!"
"Don't what? Don't make you remember? remember the intensity between us!?
Well, too bad Khushi." He tightened his grip when she began to squirm.
"Stop." She pushed hard against him.
He was like a stone— hard and unmoving.
Too many emotions were churning her up, was all he could think.
He watched her struggle with herself.
She wanted him, he knew, but her stubborness brought on her panic and desperation.
"Don't do this!" he begged, struggling for calm.
His grip loosened but he still held her firm.
His thumb made circular motions on her arms.
Khushi brought her gaze to his.
He made her feel furious one moment, then comforted the next.
She shook her head at a loss for words.
She felt responsible for him being hurt...for all the trouble that had been caused...she never wanted to feel such pain again...
"Khushi..." His voice was gruff, his eyes were dark.
She met his stormy gaze again and she saw what would happen next.
She watched his dark eyes sharpen.
She felt it when his fingers tensed on her arms, but she could never brace herself for the swell of passion that exploded when his lips touched hers.
There was no gentleness, no tenderness.
There was a hungry, demanding kiss that stole her breath and had her aching...
This wasn't as simple as desire, not as basic as need.
This was vital.
Her hands shook as they came up to rest on his broad shoulders.
She had no recollection of when it happened exactly, but she'd lost herself in his kiss, gave as much as she could, and matched the passionate caress.
His tongue shot out to seek and find all the dark corners of her mouth.
His hands slid down and grasped her narrow waist.
In a quick movement, he lifted her up and in reflex, she wrapped her legs around him.
Fire, was all she could think of.
She was burning up.
She heard herself moan when he took the kiss even deeper than before.
One of his arms were hooked around her waist, his other hand framed the side of her face, his fingers teasing the sensitive skin on the nape of her neck.
She ran her hands through his silky hair.
This was passion, she wanted to be swallowed in it...
This was rage, she wanted to revel in the fury.
She was vaguely aware of his fingers diving in hair.
Almost brutally, he yanked her head back and plundered her throat.
She moaned softly at the pure pleasure of it.
Her fingers dug into his shoulders as he continued to caress the side of her neck with hot, open mouthed kisses.
Only when she felt the cold sheets of the bed against her back did she open her eyes.
Reality intruded and interrupted.
Letting out a stream of curses, she pushed him off of her and rolled out from under him.
She could hear nothing but the blood rushing through her ears.
Everything was throbbing.
She touched her swollen lips and stared at Arnav who was sitting on her bed trying to catch his breath.
His broad shoulders shook with effort. "What the hell?" he managed.
"That shouldn't have happened."
She was breathless now as her lungs struggled to keep up with her racing heart.
He was up and crossing the room before she could finish her sentence.
Abandoning all pride, she retreated three steps before she collided with the wall.
"Arnavji, no..." She pushed her hands out to stop him.
He stopped a mere inch from her hands.
She watched his eyes turn dark ..."Why?"
"I can't. I'm not—" She shook her head, unable to form the words.
She could see the visible effort it took for him to control his fury.
"This," he hissed in an awful voice, "is not over."
She met his gaze.
"You want this as much as I do," he accused, shoving his balled fists in his pockets.
He jerked his body toward the door and stormed out of their room.
Only when she heard the door to the room next to hers slam shut did she sink to the floor.
"What am I doing..."