Still damp from their long shower, Arnav slid his hand into hers and played with her fingers…
Khushi lay against him, her heart finally settling, but her nerves were still awake…
Arnav felt her palms grow slightly sweaty and he glanced down at her face…
He could see her forehead scrunched up, her eyes unblinking, as though focusing on something severe…
"...alright...what is it now…?"
Khushi's body tightened and Arnav pulled her closer, "You're not able to fool me, my wife...so tell me what is going through your brain now…"
Khushi tried to move, but he held on, his bare arms sticking to her bare waist like glue…
"I'm only trying to turn to face you…"
She heard Arnav snort as he spoke, "Even so, you'll stay where you are…"
Dropping back against his chest, she turned her head to look at him…"I know you SAY that there is no rush, that I can take my time...but…"
His eyes bore into hers…
"They KNOW, Arnavji...and soon, the whole family will know...and...and I will have to come out of hiding…"
Arnav grunted, "Khushi, I TOLD you, THEY come second. YOU come first...and I won't let anyone push you to-"
"It's not that they will push me, or you will...I already feel responsible to make this right...I left...I stopped contact...and-"
Arnav shocked her by swinging her around, bringing her legs around his waist so that they now were chest to chest, eye to eye…"make it right?!?..." he paused…"RIGHT!? Khushi, you weren't in the WRONG!!!"
Rolling her eyes, Khushi began to sound livid, "I LEFT PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T HURT ME! I LEFT YOU! I DIDN'T CONTACT MY OWN FAMILY WHO WERE PROBABLY WORRIED SICK! HOW can you say that I was right in doing that!?"
Fisting her hair in one hand, he pulled her close with his opposite arm, "You insatiable woman! They UNDERSTOOD! I KNEW why you bolted away! It's not your fault Khushi! It's mine! MINE! I listened to lies! EVERYBODIES lies! And THAT, and THAT ALONE, is MY fault! I thought the INSANITY of blaming yourself was over, but obviously it ISN'T!"
"Can't you see it from my point...my point of view...I...I just…"
He could see that her body was now being affected by their closeness, but he didn't let up on his grip…
"I'm NOT going to kiss you...yet...but YOU need to realize that your, OUR family, were furious at me to start with, but when they saw how CLOSE to insanity I became, they also realized that I was deceived! They have understanding hearts Khushi! Were they angry that they couldn't find you? Yes! Were they angry AT you? NO! I had put you through so much SHIT, that you, even though you are the strongest woman I know, you weren't to blame for finally breaking...and knowing that I drove you away, makes ME the one to blame...and yet, they HELPED ME….they were so caring...TO ME! THE ONE WHO HURT YOU! So if I hear you say that YOU were to blame one more time...so help me GOD I will...I will-"
His furious rant suddenly stopped…
Her eyes were dripping with tears…
Her body shaking…
Her lips trembling…
She tried to draw in a breath but her chest was too constricted…
Instantly, his fingers released her hair and gently held her head, his other arm now soothingly sliding up and down her back…"Khu...Khushi...Shhhh...shhhhh….."
She tried once more to breathe and the laboured sounds that came from her throat, tore his own heart open…
"No sweetheart...shhhh...I'm...I'm so...oh God, please...shhhh…it's okay…"
Holding her gently, he lay her back onto the mattress, covering her shaking body with his…
His bare chest pressed down into hers as he peppered her face with soft kisses…
"Shhhh...please don't cry...please...please...Khushi...please...Shhhh…."
Warm fingers pushed aside her hair and she felt his breath against her neck.
Her heart raced as his strong hands slide up her arms…
“Khushi...” he whispered.
She stayed silent as his body covered hers, and he entered her, filling her deeply, tightly...
His movements were slow, comforting, gentling.
She whispered his name against his mouth and raised her hips.
"Khushi look at me…"
She finally opened her eyes and gazed up into his face, his eyes were so dark with need it scared her.
She buried her face in the crook of his shoulder.
"You may hide your eyes, but you'll never hide your heart from me…"
The last traces of sadness faded from her consciousness as he worshipped her body.
His mouth found hers, and no further words were spoken.
"What's wrong honey?"
"I think mummy is crying?"
Veena frowned, "how do you know?"
Libbi held Veena's hand tighter, "I know my mummy…"
Raj knelt down beside Libbi, "Crying isn't a bad thing you know...it actually helps us get rid of all the yukky feelings we have...It can be a very good release…"
Libbi moved closer to Raj, "I know, but I don't like it when my mummy cries…"
Raj took Libbi in his arms, "you know when you get a pear from the fruit bowl?"
Libbi nodded, "They're my favorite…"
Veena smiled as Raj continued…"Well, what's the first thing you do?"
Libbi thought and answered, "I take it to the sink to wash it…"
"But why? If it looks clean, why wash it?"
Shaking her head, Libbi said, "It's because it's cleaner to eat when it's washed…it makes me feel better..."
Raj grinned, "Tears are like that...even if someone appears okay, sometimes they need a good cry to wash away all the sad or silly feelings…"
Libbi's hands now flew to her hips, "My mummy isn't silly…!"
Veena rolled her eyes, "He didn't say she was! Crazy kid, he said silly FEELINGS…"
"Ahhhh...Sorry Uncle Raj…"
Raj stood up and pretended to be sad, "Its okay…"
Libbi walked forwards and tugged on his shirt, "I'm sorry…"
Raj looked down at her, "I already knew your mummy wasn't silly...YOU'RE the silly one…"
And he ran away fast, as Libbi's jaw dropped and a spritely laugh bubbled up…
"I'll catch you!"
"Don't go too far!" Veena called out, "We've already spent the entire day out, and it's getting close to dinnertime!"
Raj returned to his mum's side holding a kicking and laughing Libbi…
"You two are the most childish human's I've ever met!"
Raj smiled proudly, "And I'm not even a child!"
Libbi was a wildcat, "Put me down!"
"Oh put her down…" Veena chuckled…
As Libbi caught her balance, she smirked, "So should we stay out for dinner too?"
Veena's expression changed, "Not a chance, I'm not going to stay out of my house all the live-long day! They can sort out their 'stuff' during the day, but I want to sit at my table and eat a meal, and then go to bed! I'm basically an old woman, and I need to rest."
Raj laughed, "Old woman?"
Veena pointed, "You will pretend you didn't hear that…"
Arnav slipped quietly out of the bed, craning his neck to one side and then the other, trying to ease out the kinks…
He slowly creeped out of the room and grabbed his mobile…
Once in the lounge, he dialled for his sister…
She answered within a few rings…
"Is that Arnavji!?"
He could hear Payal in the background.
"Hi Di, I am calling to ask you, in the nicest way possible, GO HOME!"
Anjali quickly replied, "Chote, I KNOW that you must be furious, but Payalji and I couldn't bear not knowing...we HAD to know if you had found Khushiji...and you HAVE! Talk to me! Tell me how you are feeling!? How is Khushiji!? How are YOU!?..."
"Di, as much as I want to scream from the rooftops how ecstatic I am, I CAN'T do that yet...She's been without us for a while...and this is all very new to her again...I need to give her time to get used to this once more…"
"Get used to us!? Arnavji, I'm her sister!?"
Arnav realized that he was on speakerphone, "Payal, your sister has changed, her life has changed. She needs time to…"
"Is Libbi your daughter Chote?"
Arnav paused …"You...you know?"
He held the phone far away from his ear as loud, cheering squeels ensued…
"Oh my GOD Chote! We didn't know at the time, but afterwards, we could SEE so much of Khushiji in her, and so much of you!"
"Di, can you know realize how drastic this time is!? My little girl is even trying to rush Khushi into making decisions, but Khushi is still flighty...I hurt her...and then for her to think that all this time...that all this time I didn't want her…"
He stopped, his voice choking up…
"We understand Arnavji...we truly do…"
"Good...because If you meddle in this and I lose her again...I won't recover...not a second time…"
"Ofcourse...we will go back home...and if you can, if you feel it's alright to bring up, please tell her that we love her...that we didn't mean to interfere...and that we are here for her...we literally cannot wait to see her again...but we will…"
Arnav was nearly about to break down when he heard a familiar strain of voices…
Peering out the curtains, he saw Veena, Raj and Libbi returning home…
"Ok Di, Payal, I have to go...I have a family to tend to…"
"we love you Chote, please stay in touch…"
"I will…" and he disconnected…
Hurrying to the front door, he opened it to have a super enthused little girl jump into his arms…
"Whoa! Hello there!"
"Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" he quickly quipped, "Your mummy is sleeping…"
"Sleeping? Khushi is sleeping? At 5pm?"
Arnav nodded over at Raj, "She sure is…"
Veena smirked…"She's normally running errands and tiring herself out...looks like you tired her out instead…"
Arnav was gobsmacked by Veena's remark and felt his own cheeks flush…"We...well...I...she…"
"Did you make mummy do the shopping too?"
Arnav snorted out a laugh and Veena and Raj carried the groceries into the kitchen, leaving Arnav with Libbi…
"So," he said lifting her more snugly into his arms, "Where did you all go to for such a long time?"
"Wow. I've seen that look somewhere before…"
"I know." she huffed…"Mummy has said many times that I have a business tycoon's scowl."
Arnav's side smirk returned, "Oh did she?"
So she may not have mentioned me by name...but she's thought of me…
"Did you make mummy do shopping? Did you make her do pushups or something? Is that why she's tired?"
He grinned, "No...we...well...we played some games...we had an ice cream...and…"
His eyes lit up, "Strawberry…"
Arnav kissed her forehead, "Mummy has been working so hard for so many years, and I told her that she should have a good rest…"
Libbi nodded, "She has worked so much. I remember being with her when I was young…"
Arnav laughed, "When you were YOUNG?"
"Yep, She'd take me to work with her, if Uncle Raj or Aunty Veena couldn't watch me…"
His laughter stopped..."She'd…"...he swallowed…"...sweetie, are you telling me that your mummy has WORKED since the day you were born?"
"yes, I have some pictures of me in a little basket, on mummy's desk in an office…she got some toys for me, and…"
Libbi's voice started to fade out, as Arnav realized just how hard Khushi's life had been…
Working...taking a BABY with her to work...my mistake pushed her into a life I wouldn't wish on anyone…
Veena's loud voice broke into his subconscious…
"... go and wake your mummy, dinner will be ready in 15 minutes…"
Libbi wriggled out of Arnav's arms and bolted away…
Khushi was just starting to rouse when she was jumped on my her daughter…
"Mummy! I missed you!"
Shaking her head, making the fuzzies fade, she wrapped her arms around Libbi, "Oh baby, I missed you too...did you have a good time out today? Did you get anything good?"
Their talk was soon interrupted by Raj, "Women! You just want to talk and talk! It's time for dinner!"
"Oh thank Goodness!" Khushi said as she grabbed Libbi's hand, "I’m starving!"
After dinner, Libbi was quite clingy to Khushi…
"Are you okay sweetie?"
Libbi's eyes flashed with joy, "Daddy has been calling me that!"
Khushi glanced over at Arnav, who was chatting with Raj about something…
As her eyes were about to look away, his caught hers…
"Can we go and read a story together?"
Arnav heard what Libbi said and stood up fast, "Raj, I'm going to have to turn in now…"
Raj's surprised expression was hilarious, "Now!? It's not even 8pm!"
Arnav sauntered over to his girls, "I know, but we have a story to read...don't we ladies?"
Khushi and Libbi both stood up and smiled…..
Arnav woke up to a loud clanging noise…
"Wh...what the hell is that!?"
Khushi, who was standing by the bed, looked over at him, "Haha, that would be your daughter...making your breakfast...and making her uncle Raj positive that he's going mad…"
Arnav growled and ran a hand through his hair, "Mmmm...Breakfast…"
As he sat up, he grabbed hold of Khushi and pulled her back onto the bed, holding her against him…"Good LORD Khushi, you smell heavenly…"
"Arnavji…" her heartrate was picking up…"We can't do anything…"
"Yet…" he whispered as he kissed her neck…
Her soft laugh was felt deep inside his heart...
"So...my wife... what's the first thing we do?"
Khushi blinked slowly, "I guess, we can go back to work today…"
Arnav sat still, completely dumbfounded.
"Go back to…?..." it was his turn to blink…"No."
Khushi pulled away,stood back up, and opened her mouth to explain, "I need to work to-"
"YOU do not need to work. You are my wife. MONEY is NOT a problem for you. EVERYTHING I have is yours…"
Her indignance rose higher..."Arnavji, I've been working for years and-"
"This discussion is OVER."
His tone wasn't angry, but firm and indisputable.
Not wanting to hear another word, he threw back the bed covers and strode torwards her, "You are Mrs. Khushi Kumari Gupta…" he grabbed onto her Mangalsutra and emphasized the words, "SINGH RAIZADA! You and our daughter will want for nothing...You can come in today to pick up your things, and to visit me, but for no other reason."
Khushi straightened and lifted her chin, "Oh, so YOU ARE going back to work today? You've had enough of me already?!"
His eyes went dark, "Don't twist my words Khushi. I am going to call in the new manager, like I ALWAYS to, and then come straight back to you…I normally run any new business for a few weeks before handing over to the managing director, but as he has worked for me in the past, I know that he can take on the job without a hitch, so there are no...NO…issues here."
No...NO! He's changing everything...I'm USED to working...I am used to taking care of things…
"I...I can't just-"
Arnav took a brisk step forward, effectively stopping her sentence…
And as he spoke, he walked forwards, making her retreat until she was up against the door..."I am going into the office. I am signing over the managerial position. And I am COMING HOME TO YOU. Enough."
With one final pause, he stepped back, and stormed out.
Breakfast was enjoyable, but the tension between Arnav and herself was frighteningly strong…
He excused himself within an hour and gave her a stern glare before he turned and stormed out of the house...
Growling, she grabbed her black leather purse and went in for the chase.
"There will be absolutely no problem. I have already been reading over all the guidelines and statements. If I do have any questions, I know where I can reach you."
Arnav nodded in approval and pushed his chair out to stand up…"I will leave you to it then, and be fair to the workers…"
The new manager looked astounded, "Really? You usually tell me to make them fear me…"
Arnav smirked, "Yeah, do that too…"
He shook hands, and turned to leave, not before the intercom resounded… "Sir? A Miss Gupta to see you?"
"Thankyou, send her-"
Arnav swiped the man's hand off the receiver.
"I will see her."
"ASR, I'm sure I can see to this employee…"
Arnav grabbed the man's arm and shoved him towards the door, "Oh this is NO employee. This is my WIFE."
And with a dropped jaw and shocked expression, Arnav pushed the man out of the office and strode back to the intercom.
"Send her in."
The clicking of high heels soon neared, and her intoxicating scent entered the darkened office with her…
As the door shut behind her, her eyes suddenly connected with her husbands.
"I am a contracted employee with this company. I am ABLE to work, I have worked for NINE years, and if you think that I am going to let YOU stop me from providing for my daughter, then I will SUE YOU!"
Arnav saw her attitude, heard her tone, and was now furious…
"You want to work? Fine. I am thrilled that you want to work Khushi, but I want you to find something you LOVE to do! You HATED working for me, and I know you don't want to do this kind of job...Can you see that you don't need to do stupid jobs just to earn money? I AM HERE TO PROVIDE FOR YOU AND LIBBI."
Khushi slammed her fist on his desk, "Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada, I know what I want. I plan my future, and you have NO right to tell me where I can and cannot work!"
Oh Good God! How long will it take to suck all the stupidity out of her that she's made herself believe for nine years!!!!!
"Khushi, this is not who you are...stop acting like ME, and please listen-"
"NO. Now act like a boss!"
His anger now in full swing, Arnav kicked his chair away and rampaged around his desk...
"Khushi Kumari Gupta, STOP acting like a bitch!”
She stood her ground...“I am NOT acti-”
“CONSTANTLY defying me! CONSTANTLY acting like someone I don't know! Does it make you feel good?”
“well, THIS ASR is damn touchy…”
His teeth clenched, “You never used to act this way! After all the discussions we've had, after all the close moments, WHY!?”
She rolled her eyes...“Whatever…”
Khushi got up to leave, but her angry husband stood in her way an equally angry muscle grinding in his cheek…
“What, you’re going to stop me?”
He didn’t reply, merely observed her for a moment and then slowly, reluctantly, moved to let her pass.
She needs to calm down...hell, I need to calm down...but...DAMN I want her to stay...I need to talk to her...
She snorted and made for the door but stopped at it and turned.
“You know, if you REALLY had changed, you wouldn’t have let me pass, you would have insisted I stayed until we worked it out… you, you're just a cruel boss! JUST like the one who sent me to that ruined house that nearly collapsed on top of me!”
She opened the door, her eyes blazing in triumph, but was surprised by the hand that dragged her back, that wrenched the door from her and slammed it shut.
The key turned in the lock and he turned to her, a look of old blazing in his eyes.
Sarcasm reared up in her voice...“Ooo, look… is that the ANGRY ASR I see?!”
But her taunts stopped as he grabbed her and kissed her full, hard on the mouth.
This time she was speechless as he pulled back from her.
“See, here’s the thing MY WIFE, you have got it ALL wrong...I HAVE changed...I DO want to work this out...and I am NOT taking any chances when it comes to you! So you can fight me, hate me, or sue me, but I'm not letting you walk out of my life again...and I'm NOT letting you continue this fucking stupid ACT anymore!"
Khushi pushed angrily at his chest…"Let go of me..!"
Arnav smirked with fury as he growled…"Oh shut up! You don't want me to let you go! I know how much you want me… I only have to breathe in and I can smell how much you want me!”
Her defiance rose…“Shut up!”
“Do NOT talk to me like that!"
"I don't want-"
He leaned in dangerously close, "When we were in bed yesterday, and I was sliding inside your body...how did you feel…?"
Her body shook involuntariliy…"St-stop…"
"You felt my love for you...you KNOW that I wanted nothing more than to be with you, protect you, care for you...and that...is...what...I...am...doing!!!”
“Oh for goodness sake!"
He was rapidly losing his cool…
“…Khushi…I'm warning you, a man can only take so much…”
She instantly tried to pull away…"Let me go! I don't want to be around you!"
"HA! You may SAY that!"
“Yeah… and then my body betrays me!”
“I don't CARE if I'm being a possessive prick…and you may not want to want me, but you bloody well do! When I kissed you just now…you responded! And do you know why!?”
His arms dropped to his sides…
"Because you WANT to be looked after...you WANT to be cared for...you WANT to be loved...Please...Please Khushi...LET ME DO IT! Please be my KHUSHI again!"
Arnav closed the gap between them in a mere heartbeat…
He crashed against her, lips moulding together hard.
His tongue plundered her mouth, his touch demanding her submission…
It wasn’t gentle, this coming together, it was urgent and feral and bordering on brutal.
His hands moved over her body.
Her defensive attitude collapsed…
Remembering her true self, she gave herself to him, and she didn’t blink an eye when he ripped her thin blouse from her body, she merely followed suit, yanking apart the buttons of his shirt and pushing her skin against his.
He pressed her hard against the wall, a hand grabbing a breast and his mouth covering hers again in a bid to possess her, but she pushed him back, grappling at his trousers with one hand and lifting her tight skirt with the other.
He wasn’t slow to aid her efforts, and within moments, her skirt was at her waist and his pants and underwear were at his knees.
Her panties ripped like paper as he tugged it away from her in triumph.
She pulled him to her, wrapping her legs about his waist and he was in.
There was no pause, the need to take her had built for far too long and she was already almost over the edge judging by the sounds that were keening in her throat and the moisture that drenched him as he roughly entered her.
He thrust hard and violently, her heels digging into his hips at each outward journey, but it didn’t matter.
He had pinned her to the wall and he was owning her, completely.
She was urging him on in single words, and he eagerly responded, only too aware that this wasn’t going on for long and that a climax was very imminent.
But he wasn’t going before her, so he held on even though his thrusts were uncontrolled and the speed at which he was going was practically breaking him.
Khushi bit down onto his shoulder in a bid to stop herself from crying out too loudly, and the hardened thrusting that resulted from this pushed them both over the edge and they both came with triumphant cries of passion and release.
Gradually he slowed down and Khushi relaxed against him, one of her legs finding its way to the ground.
Their breathing evened out, and he pulled back and looked into her face.
Their eyes locked and his smile spread slowly across his face.
He let out a noise deep within his throat and Khushi lowered her other leg still leaning heavily against him and the wall.
His eyes softened…"Khushi…"
"I'm...I"m so sorry…"
She bent her head, trying to hide…"I'm so embarrassed…"
"Why? Because you're in the boss's office…? Caught with your pants down?"
Her eyes darted up and she finally gave a soft giggle…"How can you be so good to me...after my horrid behaviour…?"
His head slowly moved forwards as his lips found hers, "Here's how…" he whispered as he kissed her gently...
Hope you all still remember me...