As Arnav slept, Khushi gently crept out of the bed...
Picking up his cell phone, she had guilt coarse through her as she scrolled through his calls...
"Private number?" she mumbled..."And he was so...so angry when he came downstairs the day that...that bullet...hit him..."
As she held the phone, she felt it buzz in her hand.
Closing her eyes, hoping that would take away some of the guilt she felt, she opened the message.
Location Still Unknown. Shooter not found.
Her eyes fell...
Just as she was putting the phone down, a call started to come in...
Hurrying into the bathroom, she answered without saying a word...
As she listened...she heard controlled breathing on the other end...and then, a voice that haunted her, dripped through the receiver..."You got off easy Arnav...That bullet wasn't for you...but I swear...if you get in the way again...it WILL be, and I won't miss next time..."
Khushi let out an involuntary gasp which caught Shyam's attention...
"Y...you...you stay away from him..."
"How brave...I remember you being brave...remember? I assume you want to save him again?"
Her heart was beating so fast that she couldn't catch her breath...
"How does it feel...to know that the bullet that hit him, was meant for you?"
Her skin grew damp as she felt disgust...
"I won't miss next time...Next time I will have plenty of time...and no one will suspect a thing..."
"n...no....no....I am done with being afraid of you! Back off from Arnavji!"
"Then I suggest that YOU talk to me from now on...instead of him...maybe I will accept you back...just for one night of pleasure..."
Khushi held down the bile that rose in her throat...
"... you'll be seeing me soon..."
The call ended.
Her hands trembled as she looked at the phone in her hands...
Distress began to imprison her clear thinking..."I have to hide his phone...I have to...He can't talk to him again...I won't let Arnavji get hurt..."
Arnav saw a change.
A drastic change in her.
Ever since he woke up, he noticed that her eyes were clouded...
He felt a tighter cling to her grasp on him...
He felt her breathing more shallow...
"Has Shyam threatened her again?" he thought..."No...Shyam only talks to me...on my phone..."
Arnav quickly felt his pockets..."Where is...?"
Realization thrashed into him..."Did she?...Oh my God...She took it..." he instantly bolted up the stairs...
Barging into their room, he looked around...
Slowly prowling forwards, he said..."Where are the twins?"
"Nani and Di have them...They're--"
As soon as he knew they were alone, he grabbed her swiftly, spun their bodies, and they crash landed onto their bed...
"Arnavji!" her eyes were wide with confusion...
“Khushi...” he growled, catching her forearms in a sudden sweep and pushed her far down into the mattress...
He held her body still with the weight of his own as he looked into eyes so mesmerizing they almost hurt to look at.
“Where the hell is my phone...”
"He knows..." her thoughts screamed...
Khushi began to struggle, but the only good it did her was to rasp her sensitive nipples against the fabric of Arnav's shirt...
Her cloudy mind wanted to move to a sensual haze, but Arnav was in no mood to mess around when it came to her life...
Her secret was out . . . or at least part of it.
And it had been revealed in the very worst way she could have imagined.
The only way she hadn’t accounted for........mistrust, and secrecy.
She certainly hadn’t intended to end up on her back beneath her husband’s hard, hot body...his eyes flashing with anger...
“Ar...Arnavji...” she said, forcing herself to meet his stare.
She owed him that even though she wanted to flinch away from the anger reflected in his dark eyes.
“I can explain.”
His weight bore down on her, pushing her even deeper into the covers and keeping her from moving an inch.
She shoved against him, but to no avail.
He was just too strong.
Panic rose in her chest.
“Please,” she said softly.
His eyes narrowed. “Don't you dare look at me as though I would hurt you! I would NEVER! But Khushi, I swear, if you have taken my phone and spoken to Shyam or anyone concerning Shyam I am going to hit the fucking roof!”
She swallowed... “You will not be hit! I swear to you I won't let that happen again! It was meant for me! ME! I can't bear you being hurt!!!”
He froze, his face draining of all emotion except surprise and horror...
"How do you know?..."
Khushi pushed against his chest again... “Arnavji, let me up..."
He arched a brow as he gave her an appraising look.
One that was devoid of all the powerful heat that normally accompanied his stares.
She shut her eyes briefly...
“I’ll let you up,” he said softly. “But make a move toward the door, or try and evade talking about this, and I’ll have you back on your back before you blink, do you understand?”
She nodded and he pulled back, getting to his feet and stepping away.
She deserved Arnav's disappointment...
"I know you want to protect me..."
Stamping forwards, he stood undeniably close...“Listen...carefully...If I don't protect you..."
He lifted his hands to softly hold her arms..."I am selfish Khushi...I protect you, because I want you more than anything else in this world... you KNOW how I feel about you...I NEED to protect you..."
Their gazes held for a long time before he spoke again...
Her lips parted and she finally told him everything...
As Arnav listened, his eyes were pounding with rage...
"And you..." his hands dropped to his sides..."You were going to listen...TO HIM!?"
Staring her square in the eyes, he screamed..."ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND!"
With eyes widening, she glared..."REALLY!? Well I'm SORRY for having a moment of weakness! I wanted to protect you too!!!"
Having enough of their talks, she began to stride past him...
"Don't you DARE leave this room Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada or I swear, I will tackle you to the ground if I have to!"
"You might find it harder to put me on the floor than you think,” she said as she planted her hands firmly on her hips...
He folded his arms with an expression of disbelief...“And why is that?”
Khushi sucked in a long breath...
“Because I have been studying self defence. I have read all about it and tried it out here at home...How do you think I broke that side table the other day!?"
If he weren't so completely angry, he would have burst into fits of laughter...
"I have fended off goons before, and I wanted to be sure that I could do it again if necessary!"
That thought began to sink in, pushing out the others.
"Again?... You have been attacked in the past Khushi...You nearly died...IN FRONT OF ME! And you think ...No Khushi...NO!"
Arnav clenched and his fists...
And at the memories that were creeping in.
Memories of Khushi's bruised and broken body.
Her pained expressions...
The heart monitor that stopped.
He’d sworn he would never see her in danger like that again.
“Arnavji...I am sorry...I got scared...” Khushi’s voice was distant through the haze of his memories, but he could hear her...
He stepped forward and caught her arms before she had a chance to finish....
“How can you put yourself at such risk?! Knowing how I feel!!!! I can't lose you Khushi!!! How could you do that!?” he asked, his breath coming in heaving pants.
“How!? How do you think I would feel? Or how the twins would feel! To watch YOU put yourself in harm’s way too?!”
Her eyes flickered as she moved.
It was so sudden, so smooth, it took Arnav off guard.
She whipped her hands upward, striking his forearms with enough force that pain ricocheted up to his shoulders.
His grip broke and she caught his arms.
With a twist and a pull, she wrenched his hands upward at the same time she swept her feet beneath his.
Arnav found himself on his back with Khushi on top of him, straddling his lap.
“I SAID that I was sorry, Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada! But see this!? I can defend myself!” she panted.
Arnav shifted his hips to one side and as she adjusted, threw all his force into the other.
She rolled onto her back with a low grunt and he covered her with his body.
She arched her back, but he stiffened and didn’t bend to her will, despite how surprisingly strong she was.
His rage was palatable, but he couldn’t help but be impressed by her.
But he was even more distracted by the way her body shifted beneath him.
Warm and soft.
She was still dishevelled from their earlier encounter.
The feel of her beneath him now awoke his ready erection and it came to attention with surprising speed.
He held her steady and watched her eyes widen as she felt the length of him press against her stomach.
“Everything can shift in a heartbeat, Khushi...” he managed to whisper on a ragged breath.
She nodded, breathless and he didn’t think it was from exertion. “I know that...You know that I know that...I...I just was so helpless before...I didn't want to feel that way again..."
He lowered his head toward hers and felt her hot breath against his skin.
"I want to help you find him..."
Arnav's fuming eyes lit up once again..."Dammit Khushi!"
Rolling off her, he got to his feet, grabbing her hand to bring her with him...
"YOU are the most---"
Now in full fighting mode, Khushi stepped forwards, practically bumping her chest into his..."The most WHAT!"
Their fierce gazes held...
"WHAT!?" she demanded once more...
That second, his attitude changed.
His body crashed into hers, thrusting her against the wall as his mouth came down.
All fear and anger evaporated as she wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders and clung for dear life.
His mouth did magical, wondrous things, his tongue drawing hers into an erotic dance, tasting her, tempting her.
And his hands, those big, masculine hands.
They seemed to be everywhere, sliding to her hips where he pulled her close, up her sides where he made her shiver with anticipation, then to cup her
breasts and strum his thumbs across her nipples until she gasped with sensation.
He stroked his hands back down the same line, cupping her backside and lifting her like she weighed nothing.
Her legs came open and he stepped into the apex of her thighs, pressing his heat to her, rocking her against the wall as he kissed her.
Khushi clawed at his shirt, yanking at buttons, pulling at the shoulders, frustrated by her lack of mobility now that she was pinned, helpless, against the door.
He looked at her, dark eyes glazed with heat and potent desire.
She was certain her expression was much the same.
“No.” He lowered her feet to the ground. “Not like this...”
She shook her head, confused, driven to distraction by the thrumming need that coursed through her body, centered between her thighs.
He caught her hand. “This time slow...”
Relief flowed through her as she stumbled forward toward their bed, stopping obediently when he did.
"I want you...slowly...and sensually..."
Khushi thought she would drop to her knees from want at his words.
His gaze captured hers, the brown of his iris so dark it almost blended in with the pupil.
Raw desire boiled in his expression and she couldn’t look away.
As he shedded all clothing from her body, she never broke the gaze.
When her dress pooled at her feet and he sucked in a harsh breath, she never stopped staring into his eyes.
“Khushi...” he whispered as he bent his head to press a hot kiss at the juncture where her shoulder and neck met.
“...yes...” she gasped, clinging to his arms.
“I love you..." he promised as he brought his mouth down and captured her bare nipple between his lips.
She arched up with a sharp cry as sensation raced through her.
The things this man could do to her, the feelings he could evoke with a grazing touch, a firm one.
She never imagined her body would crave those things so completely.
So much that she was ready to beg.
Instead, she steadied herself by slipping her fingers into his crisp, short hair.
"I'm sorry, I wanted to protect you too...” she murmured, dipping her head back as he pleasured her opposite breast.
He lifted dark eyes to spear her with a stare.
He straightened to his full height and forced her to bend her head back to look at him.
There was a gentleness in his eyes.
A softness she hadn’t expected.
“I know you did...I know...I remember all the times you told me in that in hospital...but like I told you even then, I will not tolerate any harm coming to you or our children...Or myself...Now, be quiet...” he murmured before he lifted her onto her bed, resting her head on soft pillows.
Arnav watched Khushi as she settled back with a sigh, then looked up at him through hooded lids.
By God, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever encountered
And he loved her more than he’d ever loved anyone or anything, or at least until the twins had come along...now his love kept swelling until he was sure his heart would burst...
He reached out, tracing the back of his hand over the delicate arch of her collarbone, down between the valley of her breasts, lower to her quivering, stomach.
“Arnavji,” she murmured, but he silenced her by pushing his body into hers and covering her mouth with his.
He drowned in her kiss as he pushed her legs open wider, draping them over his elbows.
She lifted her hips for him, unabashed in her silent demands for what she wanted.
He obliged, positioning the head of his cock at her entrance and then he slid home in one smooth stroke.
He thrust inside, guided by her slick heat, gripped by her along every inch of the way.
And encouraged by her harsh cry of pleasure.
He gritted his teeth as he fought for control.
It was a losing battle, but he needed to hold out a little while.
Like always, he wanted to savor the feeling of being inside his wife....
She helped by lifting her hips to perfectly stroke him on every thrust.
She watched him with parted-lipped appraisal, then let her tongue dart out to whet her lips with pleasure as he increased the pace.
It was torture, but he wanted to give her release before he took his own.
"Right now...I want to watch you...I want to watch you climax...eyes on mine Khushi..."
A deeper thrust and another stroke had her gasping, her back arching, her skin flushed and sparkling with exertion.
Arnav held his body firm over hers, making it impossible for her to move...
He thrust faster, penetrated deeper...
Khushi was becoming frantic, trying to arch her back once more only to find all her movement blocked...
And finally, with one last skilled touch, he took her over the edge...
Her thighs clamped tight around his waist, her legs shook, her body pulsated hard around him, milking him.
But it was her face that made him lose control.
The utter pleasure that made her already beautiful face even more irresistible.
He cried out as he felt his seed begin to move inside him...
Penetrating her one final time, he detonated and spurt hot bursts inside her...
As they fell against the bed, wrapped in each other's embrace, they held on until their breathing returned to normal.
Arnav lay on his side...
She was on her back, staring up at him as he traced the lines of her body with a fingertip.
The pleasure they shared together were shattering, powerful.
Arnav watched her with a look of contentment softening his expression.
He leaned down and pressed his lips against the back of her neck.
Her fingers wrapped around behind his head, slipping into his hair, holding his mouth against her skin.
Arnav gently sucked her neck, tasting her as he allowed himself to be lost in desire.
Slowly, he dropped his mouth, taking his time to brush his lips to hers until she let out a little sigh.
Only then did he deepen the kiss, tasting her lips, inhaling her strawberry essence until he felt her in every inch of his body.
The troubling guilt, the painful memories, they faded into the background, forgotten...
Khushi’s arms wearily came around his neck as she tried to cling to him...
Sliding his hands under her torso, he lifted her upper body a few inches off the bed...
He moved one hand behind her neck to support her head, and whispered..."Let go..."
Her fingers tightened..."No..."
"Let go Khushi...I'm here...I'm holding you...Fall asleep in my arms..."
Slowly...gradually...she let her hands drop to her sides...
As she did, his arms held her closer, tighter...
And just as he promised, he held her until she fell asleep....
Arnav carefully stood up and rushed out to the hallway..."Di? What's wrong?"
Anjali walked up smiling..."Nothing is wrong...I just wanted you to know that Nani and I ..." she smiled proudly..."Got your little ones to sleep!"
Arnav grinned..."Thankyou...Really...Khushi is sleeping now. She needed rest..."
"I know..." she said nodding..."I remember the unending tiredness..."
Arnav felt his pocket begin to vibrate and quickly excused himself...
He stepped outside to answer the call...
"Oh...it's you Arnav..."
Letting out a harsh growl, Arnav's stance became rigid..."Damn you! How DARE you speak to Khushi! How fucking DARE you!"
"How dare I? Now YOU will pay for her disobedience!"
"I don't care how much you want to threaten me! Just don't you EVER call my wife again!"
And for the first time, Arnav hung up on Shyam.
Same Precap -
Before she was entirely into the room, both men flew toward her.
She felt them hit her body with enough jarring force that the wind left her lungs and she gasped into the night air.
And then she was falling.
Arnav lunged for the window, forgetting Shyam as he watched in horror as Khushi spiraled downward.
He grabbed for her hand, but she slipped from his grasp.
“No!!!!!!!!!!!” He clutched the window ledge as he watched her slam into a wide partition below and then bounce onto the hard pavement, where she lay motionless.
Arnav stared, completely numb for a brief moment, but then he felt like his heart had exploded.