"Going where?" Arnav asked arching one brow...
"We both figured that you might want to discuss final wedding details with Khushi alone...because we have been very intense..."
Payal smiled walking up beside Anjali..."So we are going out...to talk about us...it's our selfish day..."
Arnav grinned..."That doesn't sound selfish to me..."
"Who's selfish?" Khushi asked walking towards the breakfast table...
"Our sisters..." Arnav called over his shoulder...
As soon as Khushi was by his side, he moved up closer and lifted her face with his hand..."Goodmorning..."
Payal and Anjali began cooing..."Ohhh she's blushing..."
Looking away, Khushi said..."Can you two go and start being selfish somewhere else?"
Laughing, Arnav drew her into his arms, hiding her from the world around...
She breathed him in as she rested her head against his chest..."This is how I like it..."
"...being close to you..."
"It will be perfect." Anjali said decidedly.
Payal nodded smiling..."We'll MAKE it perfect..."
"Have you heard from him again?"
Setting her tea cup down, Payal frowned..."No...and like you, I'm even a bit nervous about it all...but maybe he will stay away until after the wedding...that way everything can go smoothly..."
"Right..." Anjali said loudly, making some random people around her look up...
She quickly smiled apologetically and turned back to a smirking Payal...
"I mean to say...Right...that's a perfect scenario...I'm going to hope and pray for that..."
"Me too. I did tell Khushi early this morning that I had heard from Shyam. She barely reacted. He doesn't mean THAT much to us. He has been merely a friend."
"Well..." Anjali chose her words carefully..."Until we have something to worry about, I will assume the positive. He is a friend..."
"Yes. The Positive...Plus Khushi was far too focused on hurrying downstairs to see Arnavji...she only politely asked if Shyamji was fine, and if we would be seeing him..."
"You didn't share your suspicions did you?"
Payal shook her head..."No, definitely not...She has never shown interest in him. Not in 'that' way...and even as a friend, she was very antisocial...only coming out to eat, give minor chit chat, and then she would retire to the kitchen to bake, or to her room..."
Anjali stifled a yawn..."I honestly haven't been this tired in years..."
Payal smiled..."I know, it's those two...they bring the drama..."
"I don't understand...they are letting us make a decision?!?"
Arnav's heart jumped hearing her high pitched voice...
"I mean, I have heard constant decision made by them, and my input was merely sitting with them! But now, they want us to look over the wedding arrangement and give out opinion!? And what about work!? You need to be at the office! I honestly don't understand how they--"
Arnav spun her around and dipped her, letting her fall backwards into his arms...
As their eyes were playing games with each others, he whispered..."Finally..."
He smiled..."Finally you trust that I wouldn't let you fall..."
Her cheeks flushed in response..."I knew you were beside me...I knew you would steady me..."
Quickly breaking their hypnotized state, Arnav righted her slowly, and looked at the coffee table covered with planners, folders and magazines...
"THIS is important. I want you to have exactly what you want. And as for work...it's Saturday..."
She looked up..."You don't work on Saturday..."
"I used to..."
"I don't want to keep you from anything you need to--"
He stepped closer once again..."The only thing I NEED...is to be here with you..."
Four loud bangs made Khushi suddenly jump towards Arnav...
"Whoa, calm down...it's just the front door..."
Khushi looked up at him feeling slightly embarrassed..."Sorry...sorry..."
He swooped in and stole a kiss, before he walked past her and opened the door...
Arnav stared long and hard at the man at his doorstep.
"Can I help you?"
"Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada?"
Arnav's eyes narrowed..."Yes..."
"I am a friend of Payalji and Khushiji Gupta..."
"A friend...?" his mind started working hard..."How did you know that they were here?"
"My name is Shyam. I spoke to Payalji just the other day, She is expecting me..."
Arnav's heart felt sudden pain and his mind clouded..."Shyam? Have we met before..."
Instantly, Shyam paled..."No. NO NO...no we've never met."
"I see...I just...I'm sure I've..."
Shyam briskly stepped forwards, making Arnav hold tighter to the door...
"Payal is not here right now. She is out with my sister..."
Laughing internally, Shyam pretended to be disappointed...even though he had witnessed them leaving the house...
"Is Khushiji here? I heard that you two..."
"I am his fiance..."
Both men turned to see Khushi.
Shyam moved forwards attempting to gain entry into the house...
Arnav allowed him in, but instantly moved to Khushi's side and draped his arm around her...
"How are you Shyamji? Jiji told me just this morning that you had been in touch with her..."
As Shyam stepped in, Arnav shut the door, making sure Khushi was close beside him...
"Yes...I was worried when I couldn't find you...I was lucky to track you down..."
Khushi slipped away from Arnav and motioned for them both to go inside...
Shoving his hands in his pockets, Arnav could feel his temper rising..."Yes, just how DID you find them?"
Shyam began to stutter..."I...I came here...because...well...the work prospects are better here..."
Khushi leaned over to Arnav..."Stop interrogating him..."
Shooting her an angry glance, he ignored her protests...
"Just how close of friends were you? Because, as you know, I am marrying Khushi...the day after tomorrow in fact..."
Shyam's face was starting to twitch with irritation..."We were neighbours..." his eyes wandered from Arnav to Khushi..."Khushiji...you are looking...uh...It's so good to see you..."
Arnav lost control..."Look, you may have been friends with them before, but right now, I do NOT like the way you are staring at her..."
Shyam stepped closer..."Mr. Raizada. I understand that you want to look like a big man in front of your fiance, but you haven't married her yet, so please try to refrain from insulting me further..."
Silence filled the room.
Khushi started angrily at them both before striding furiously away...
Arnav forcefully grabbed hold of Shyam's arm and pulled him backwards..."Wait here." he snarled.
"Khushi, wait!" Arnav called out as he chased her into the kitchen...
Stopping in her tracks, she spun around..."WHY! Why would you act that way!?"
"Because I am your husband, and you are MY wife! I am trying to protect you..."
"You still have to wait 48 hours until I am your WIFE!"
"No Khushi...You..." he stopped himself before he said anymore...
Their focus was hard on each others...
Her eyes misted as she swayed toward him a fraction.
The room seemed to be shrinking around them.
It grew ever hotter and closer.
He barely resisted the urge to touch her face, but instead lifted his hand to wrap a single stray lock of hair around his fingertip. It was as soft as silk.
“I am jealous." he said truthfully..."I am ready to explode the second I see him look at you...There is something...He just...I'm sure I've seen him before...I don't trust him Khushi..."
Sighing again, Khushi took his hand..."Arnavji...He has been a good friend to us..."
"Dammit Khushi, can't you..."
They were now standing very close...
He wanted to end this argument and kiss her...
But as much as he wanted to take that plunge, he knew she had a right to speak...
"Arnavji...I do not care for him. I do not love him. I do not think of him...." she was grinding out her voice in an attempt to remain calm..."I have told you that all these years, my heart has been devoted to the love I thought I lost...to YOU! You think that since reuniting with you, I would ever even consider looking at anyone else?"
His heart swelled hearing her confession, but he could see that she was still angry at his outburst...
But just as he gathered his strength to hold back, Khushi wrapped one slender hand around the nape of his neck, and pulled him down for a hot, wet kiss that sent fire shooting through his veins.
Khushi surprised herself as much as she obviously surprised Arnav when she crushed her lips against his.
But whatever shock he felt seemed to disappear, for he brought his arms around her waist and pulled her against him until it was more than evident that the desire that had coursed between them wasn’t only coming from her.
In fact, Khushi could feel the hard steel of his erection pressed against her thigh.
But instead of that arousal frightening, she arched against it.
He took her silent invitation with a fervor that pushed her even further over the edge.
His tongue swept against her own, massaging her before he began to slowly brush across her teeth, her cheek.
She gathered sections of his shirt in her fists as she tried to keep from making another sound with all her might.
She failed and a deep, low groan of pleasure escaped her lips.
He cupped her face and continued to grind his lips against hers.
First hard, then soft, but never painful.
Bit by bit, all her defenses were eroded and she gave in to the pleasure with every part of her.
Every part of her, yearned for his warmth...
He stared at her, his face dark with desire and his eyes flashing with heat..."I'm sorry..." he whispered against her lips...
She dropped her gaze.
There was no way she could concentrate with him staring at her like he wanted to have her on the floor that very moment...
She opened and shut her mouth... “I-I-...I love...”
He smiled at the desire that flickered in her eyes.
"I never doubted your love Khushi...but please...for my own peace of mind, I don't want that man around..."
Her easy acquiescence made his body surge with power...
Seeing his reaction to her trust in him, she swallowed and took a short step back. “I-”
“I swear...” He took a predatory step toward her.
Her response to him was undeniable, from the slight glaze of her eyes to the way her skin darkened with a telling, sensual flush.
Perhaps it was madness to continue to drive her to desire, but he couldn’t seem to stop... “on our wedding night...”
She retreated until there was nowhere else to turn...
With aching slowness, he wrapped his hands around her upper arms and pulled her closer. .."I am going to give you so much pleasure, that you will be certain...it will never end..."
The press of her full length against him was enough have him uttering a quiet moan before he caught her lips for a slow, hot kiss.
She responded as fervently as she had the first time their lips had touched, deepening the kiss even before he could take the lead.
Molding her body against his, she gripped the planes of his back with smooth hands that sent fire searing through him.
He lifted his hand from her waist and slid it deep into her hair, massaging her scalp as he traced his tongue along the curves of her mouth.
She returned his passion in kind, tasting him, nipping at his lips.
She arched against his chest as his hand moved to her thigh, massaging the muscle beneath..
She wanted more.
More than his mere kiss.
She wanted him even if she was afraid of joining herself to him.
She clawed at his buttons.
Her fingers were clumsy as she managed to open the top three, but it was enough to glide her hand inside where his body heat was trapped.
She hissed out her pleasure as her fingertips smoothed along hard muscles.
“Khushi...” he groaned against her mouth. “We have to stop..."
Feeling rejected, Khushi quickly sprung off his lap and glared at him...
Before she could speak, loud footsteps thudded closer and closer until Shyam stalked into the kitchen...
Khushi quickly smoothed her clothes as Arnav stood directly in front of her...
“Excuse me...but this is our house. You are not allowed to just roam around wherever you please...”
Khushi's jaw dropped open at Arnav's snide remark...
Shyam's dark eyes narrowed when his gaze locked on Arnav then slowly slid to Khushi.
She nervously tucked an errant lock of hair back behind her ear and tried a weak smile.
The second Shyam's gaze moved to Khushi, Arnav strode forwards... and the look he gave could have frozen anyone's blood cold if he’d sent it in their direction.
His face twisted with anger and whatever frustration remained in his blood and his body.
“You have to leave...now...” he snapped as he took a menacing step closer towards Shyam.
But instead of retreating back, Shyam crept forward until the two men came practically nose-to-nose.
“I’m a friend of the family, Mr. Raizada...I am a friend of Khushiji...I have a right to see her...”
Shyam's tone even made Khushi shiver in surprise...
"Excuse me..." Arnav’s voice was low and furious.
Khushi hurried forward.
Shyam had already balled his hand into a fist and Arnav exceedingly more ready and able to accept any challenge the other man might make.
The last thing she needed was a brawl...
Her day had been trying enough already.
She wedged herself between the two men and Arnav quickly stepped far back, wrapping his arm around her waist to bring her with him...
“You are worse than schoolchildren. Honestly, you’re grown men.”
The two continued to glare at each other...
She turned to Arnav...
She was still reeling from his rejection.
She turned back to Shyam..."Listen Shyamji...Now is not a good time to talk to us...Please leave..."
Shyam felt pure rage at her words...especially when she said ..."US"...
His mind was a flurry of thoughts..."US?! YOU AND HIM!? No Khushiji...I may be leaving now...but next time...you will leave with me..."
Arnav's eyes shot up..."You heard her...Leave!"
Grabbing her hand, Arnav dragged Khushi with him as he followed Shyam to the door, making sure he left...
Once the door slammed shut, their eyes met...but she was barely able to hold his gaze.
Her voice dropped a level. “Please, just leave me alone for a while Arnavji...”
Stepping back...she retreated to her room, locking the door behind her...
No more than 20 minutes later, her phone began to ring...
Disdain welled up in her throat...
"He may have been a friend, but he also had no right to speak so forward to me...and in front of Arnavji too..."
Deciding to answer, Khushi took the call..."Hello?"
"Khushiji? Can we talk?"
"Can I meet you somewhere?"
She felt offended..."I don't think Arnavji want to see you, and I am not sure I want to either..."
"Not with Arnav...just you..."
Khushi was shocked..."NO! No Shyamji! Why would I? It would be VERY inappropriate!"
"Khushiji...I am your friend...and I want to see you...You either come to me, of I will come to you again..."
She began to feel nervous..."You aren't welcome here right now..."
"I am aware of that...but I can always find you somewhere else..."
Khushi froze, but finally rattled out...“I don’t like your implication.”
Quickly trying to cover his veiled threat...“I’m sorry...I don’t really like Arnav and I took my emotions out on you. I shouldn’t have said that...Please forgive me...I just wanted to see you..."
Trying to shake off the uneasiness, Khushi said..."I...I don't think I should see you anymore...at least not for awhile...maybe after we are married Arnavji will be more receiving..."
"No." he said emotionlessly
Her eyes widened...
And the call ended.