"She's gone home Bhai..."
Arnav's rage began to bubble over..."The HELL she has! I'll stop her before she gets there..."
Slamming his palm on Akash's chest, he pushed past and headed down the stairs...
But before he could exit, he spotted something...
A flash of Green...
Sidestepping to the left, he opened a door to one of his downstairs offices quickly strode inside...
Cautiously looking out, He saw her.
Running to his office, her green dupatta flying as she hurried...
"Khushi?" he whispered..."...she...she didn't leave..."
His eyes were fixed on her...
She descended the stairs and he watched her closely, mentally saying..."Come this way...come closer..."
Loathing that he had to hide in his own office, he stayed out of sight since Akash was still inside his office...and on the phone...
Akash had immediately called Payal and informed her of everything.
Khushi rushed into the building...
Hurried up the stairs...but she couldn't find Arnav.
She caught a glimpse of Akash, and was about to speak when she heard him talking to Payal...
Khushi quickly turned away...
"Where is he?" she said under her breath
Panic started to build.
With each passing second, her heart pounded harder against her chest.
Khushi nervously ran down the stairs..
She could vaguely hear the office workers questioning her, but her senses remained searching...
Quickly running in the opposite direction of the staff, she felt her fear building..."Arnavji.."
She was getting breathless..."Where are you..."
Suddenly, she was pulled into a darkened room...
Almost instantly, the fear that had consumed her disappeared as she felt her husband's mouth cover hers.
He was kissing her with such passion, such emotion, she thought she might go up in flames.
Their tongues tangled as Arnav moulded their bodies together...
He pulled away too soon for his liking and stared down at her...
Her breathing was erratic.
“Are you alright?" he asked hoarsely.
Closing her eyes, she reached for courage.
Her lashes lifted, and she looked into his eyes.
“I don't know what to do...” she said.
His gaze sharpened but he didn’t say anything.
“I...I don't...know...they want me to...to leave..."
She paused, trying to assess his expression, but all she saw was smoldering heat and a power like nothing she'd even seen before.
“...to stay with...Buaji..."
She blinked, sending tears down her cheeks..."...I don't know...what to do...I..."
Arnav bent down and brushed his lips against hers softly...
"Your home is where I am...”
Khushi's body trembled..."Maybe...if I do leave for awhile..."
He leaned against the wall and let his head fall back, his eyes rolling shut.
Fear wrapped around his heart.
Her retreat made him feel like he had been slapped.
Of course, he deserved rejection, but he desperately didn’t want it to be reality.
"...If I leave for awhile...we can both...have some space...feel calmer..."
Feeling the tingling of tears, the rush of painful emotions, Khushi tried to move out of his embrace.
Arnav knew she needed time.
He KNEW she was hurting.
But his heart was screaming...screaming that they would heal better - together.
Arnav’s hand snaked out and grabbed her wrist.
When she turned, he was looking at her with an emotionless mask.
“You can't leave...” he ordered in a low voice that seemed almost angry.
Jerking her arm away was the first thought she had, but she couldn’t find the strength.
“Let me go,” she whispered.
His face filled with harsh determination. “No sweetheart...” he said as he tugged her against his body.
Khushi refused to look up at him, choosing to stare at his chest.
“Look at me, Khushi...” he demanded.
“No,” she said stubbornly. “Just let me go.”
“Did you honestly think that I would let you leave me?” he asked harshly, but then softened his voice. “I love you Khushi...Let us work things out...together....”
She dropped her head to his chest as the first tear streamed down her cheek.
Angry at her lack of control, she swiped at it.
“No,” she whispered with her face buried in his shirt.
Then she forced her gaze up to his. “You have done all this before...act all normal and then suddenly turn cold on me.” She wiped another tear away with a rough swipe of her hand.
Pain sluiced through him as he continued to see the extent of the pain he'd caused her...
“I practically gave up everything because of all your threats!” Khushi choked on her tears...
Still holding her firmly, Arnav growled...“I am ready to give up everything for YOU! I am prepared to fight for you! To end all the pain in your life! To stop you from walking out on me!” His eyes were dark and turbulent.
“I don’t want to trust you...no...I won’t trust you...you will only turn your back on me once more...I can’t do this again...Not like before...I don't feel safe with you...”
His voice was soft, his arms gentle...“Are you still afraid of the dark?”
She nodded slowly, her eyes holding a question.
He tightened his arms around her and firmly spoke..."You've been in my arms, in here, in the dark...and not once have you been afraid of it...because part of you still wants to trust me...I promise, that I will never allow darkness in your life again...I promise that you won't ever be alone...I promise that you will never have to face anything by yourself again... ”
She looked down and tried to calm her shakes by inhaling and exhaling.
His hand came up to her face and lifted her chin...
With her eyes now on his, he continued, “And I am warning you...I will not ever give up...I am Arnav Singh Raizada...I have never been afraid of anything...but today, I fear one thing...I am afraid of losing you...”
He let out a heavy breath.
“I want you to know...clearly...that I love you...that this is real...no more guessing games and no maybes. I love you so much it hurts every minute I’m not with you.”
Her lips trembled as she listened to him speak his heart.
“There is no in-between...I love you...and I may still get angry...I may still say things I don't mean...But I will hold your heart as the most precious treasure...”
Tears streamed down her face.
She tried to speak, but was unable...
He kissed her then, so tenderly, so perfectly full of love that Khushi felt dizzy.
He raised his head, his knuckles softly caressing her cheek , his eyes potent with emotion as they met hers.
"Stay with me...Please..."
As he ran his hands along her arms and felt the bandage on her arm...
He felt his insides begin to churn...
Not only did he NEED her to stay...
He needed to find the source of why she tried to hurt herself...the source of who 'struck out' at her...
"That's right. I want to know of every detail. Right from the moment she stepped foot in this prison to the second she left."
"Alright Mr. Raizada...one moment...here are here records...she made her one family phonecall. Lunch break, which she didn't eat anything, shower break, which she refused..."
Tortured thoughts ran though him..."she must have been so scared...so alone..."
"But she did have one visitor Mr. Raizada..."
This, snapped him to attention..."A visitor? Who?!"
The policeman flipped the file around...
Arnav's eyes zoned in on the sign-in name ...
He automatically shuddered, and his heart began to thud hard...