Khushi’s eyes fluttered open on their own accord the next morning as she witnessed the fresh rays of sun illuminating the room in its soft glow thus erasing the darkness inch by inch. Combined with the soft whistling of the leaves and the chirping of the birds and the setting was almost magical. Adding a touch was a slightly cold breeze welcoming itself through the half opened French doors into the room. A reminder that the winters were just around the corner. Her lips automatically lift upwards in a smile as she closed her eyes inhaling and appreciating the mother-nature’s gift for the mankind. Khushi was always a morning person but she realized today she was feeling extra giddy and lightheaded in a very long time. With eyes still closed, she yawned and stretched her body like a Cheshire cat in full proximity and that was when it dawned upon her. Her body was sore and aching in places haven’t been put to use before. She felt tired and happy, satisfied and giddy, feather light and heavy all in one. Exhaling a deep breath, she felt warmth running its course through her body and tried remembering the dream that had her in such a good mood. It has to be a dream right. What was it though? She searched through her memory lanes to get hold of something that would remind her of her dream last night but she came empty handed. Scrunching her nose, she tried harder this time. Come on. She could do it. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. She was mid search when she heard a grunt and it was then that her foggy mind decided to put up pieces together. One by one.
Her eyes widened as each piece was now falling into place in her mental riddle, the sequence of last night coming together to complete the whole picture. It was the best night of her entire life, no doubt about that and she wasn’t going to ruin it by over analyzing it from every angle possible, something that her mind was now itching to do. However tempting that sounded, she won’t. Arnav showed her a side that was effectively hidden beneath his tough exterior. He is definitely a man who knows how to keep his woman happy. A man who knows how to take care of his woman and it wasn’t just the physical aspect she is talking about. Its the way he treated her, the way he preferred her comfort first over his desires was what distinguished him from the rest. Not that she had any before him. She was sure memories of the previous night have been firmly ingrained on her mind for a life time. She would like to keep that memory in a far secure corner of her mind where nothing can touch and taint it ever. But she has to wake up to reality and then face the big lingering question of what next hanging upon her. She understood why it happened what had happened last night and under what circumstances. Their impending desires had mounted and reached the peak where it became uncontrollable for either of them to tame the fire burning between them. May be that wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t walked the ramp for AR fashion label. But then there could be thousands ifs and buts one could derive from any situation that goes out of hand. She wasn’t afraid about her feelings. She wouldn’t change a single thing about last night. How it started, how it progressed and how it ended. Nothing. She was glad she learned to deal with her emotions without causing anymore havoc, it was his reaction that was giving her shivers. What if he regrets what happened last night? She would be crushed to say the least. In fact, it would be downright heartbroken for her if he would detest something so beautiful they had experienced together. Last night was magical. An out of the world experience for her and she was expecting him to bask in the same after glory she was bathing in right now. But then past has taught her that expectations always leads to disappointment. In her case at least. She wouldn’t be surprised if today she gets another reminder of that damn contract from him. Add some awkward behavior to the list too. Some ignoring from his end. Some curt replies or none on that front. She can’t be sure. She so doesn’t want to change the comfortable equation they had managed to create over past few months cause of one incident. It would be sad if last night’s event would put them back to square one where they were just the strangers. Okay, First things first, it will be all fine if she’ll just keep her emotions in check. It won’t be that difficult cause that’s what she is doing around him most of the time now. She is going to make it easy for him now. It would be better if he found himself alone in the bed when he’ll wake up. It would spare both of them the unnecessary void to fill meaningless sentences while still figuring out what the hell happened. Decision now made, she exhaled in relief, a loud one at that. She heard him grunting in sleep and it was then she realized why her legs were feeling heavy like cement bricks. His legs were entangled passionately with hers while his arm around her waist was still in a semi tight hold keeping her in place despite him sleeping peacefully. She hold her breath completely, lying still like a log of wood, when he grumbled in sleep, his hands inadvertently tightening his hold some more, pulling her close to his body and getting comfortable in that cozy position, while his face rested at her neck between her manes of thick hair. She waited until she heard his deep steady breaths again to make her move. Need not to mention one hell of a wait that was. His chiseled muscular body touching her soft and petite one in places that was giving her goosebumps all and a sudden spike in her heart beats despite her futile attempts at control. His hand, twice the size of hers and that talented mouth remind her of the million ways he had worshipped hers last night. If not that, the soreness in her own body was proof enough of his abilities. Releasing a deep breath, she made a minimal movement and glanced up at him when she was sure he had settled back to sleep. She slowly started uncurling his fingers and loosening his hold on her waist. Feeling triumph when that was done, she carefully placed his arms on his side making minimal sound and wriggled out of his hold one inch at a time. Damn good Khushi. Patting her back mentally, she was now completely out of his hold, closer to the edge of the bed. Turning her back from him, she started getting up when she felt him grabbing her hand, tugging it forcefully and next she found herself right on top, hauled up against him.
“Where are you going?”
He asked in that incredibly gruff n husky voice that gave her instant shivers, while he stared at her through half sleepy eyes. She failed to register what he said as her mind was busy in sorting out other things. For instance, the fact that since she was on top on him, every damn inch of their bodies were touching and his ever active member was now poking and making its presence felt. She felt her eyes turning foggy with lust as she realized just how immensely powerful a hold he had on hers when he has just uttered 4 words. Every word coming out of his mouth was sounding like porn to Khushi. He must have realized what was going on in her X rated mind cause then his lips twitched just a bit flashing a smirk small but capable enough to turn her insides into a poodle of mess. His gaze dropped to her mouth, his expression mirroring hers as next she felt him turning over, flipping her on her back and then he was on top of hers. Intertwining their hands and pining them above her head, he asked again arching his brows this time, still waiting for her to answer. However, she realized it wouldn’t matter whether she answer or not as she saw his eyes turning to a shade darker, glinting with the passion slowly igniting in them as he looked at her with a hunger like she was his only prey. His gaze dropping again to her now makeup deprived face but the amount of desire was same in them as she had seen last night. Maybe even more. That small information was enough to give her goose bumps. However, all thoughts wiped off from her mind the second he leaned down ever so slowly and pecked her lips. The softest, feather light touch that resonated with everything she was feeling at the moment. Even though the heat in his eyes said he wanted more. So much more. It was a very minimal touch but Khushi was about to be combust in flames and was hanging by a very thin thread of sanity, if any left.
“Khushi we need to talk…about last night”
Arnav paused, trying to be careful with his words as he reluctantly shifted in his position pulling away from Khushi giving her the required space. His deep voice got her attention and she closed her eyes momentarily while sitting up. This was it. The inevitable moment was here. This was the part where he will say something about it being a mistake and pledge to won’t repeat it ever. And this was the part where Khushi won’t be able to hide the emotions on her face this time. Her mental pep talk earlier was of no use as she felt a ball of anxiety forming in her stomach. She studied him for a long moment with bated breath as she tried deciphering on her own for what’s coming but his stance gave nothing away. His eyes moved across her face as she found him looking for better words to start what he meant to say. She would be crushed to hear those bitter words of rejection
And she had it. She wasn’t waiting. For his sake. For their sake. She decided to give him the easy way out. Briefly closing her eyes, she took a breath, gathered her courage and let it all out before he opened his mouth,
“Arnav ji, before you say something please hear me out. I know whatever happened last night was something we would have never imagined. If it helps, I totally understand why it happened and can relate to it. We were in a different state of mind. With the pressure of the event and the nerves and everything else going along, we got carried away. We can’t be too hard on ourselves about that single incident. We are humans and as humans we are bound to make mistakes but that doesn’t mea..”
“Khushi, You think it was a mistake?”
He gave her a baffled look like she had said something very distasteful and utterly obnoxious. With lips now pressed in a thin line, a muscle ticked in his jaw making his jawline even sharper. He looked mad. Ravishingly mad.
“Hold on. Khushi” , Arnav took a deep breath and continued after a pause as if it was unable to put in words what he was feeling “Don’t tell me I am reading this all wrong”
He emphasized THIS by pointing a finger in the space between them while a frown marred his face and his brows climbed up in confusion next.
When she continued staring up at him light a clueless deer caught in headlights, he asked again, a bit firmly this time
“Do you really think last night WAS.A.MISTAKE ?”
And that seems to get her attention back to the man and to the posed question between them. Hard and fast when he so clearly punctuate the last three words with a slightly murderous expressions on his otherwise blank face.
“Yeah..I mean no. NO Arnavji NO. Ofcourse Not. Wait..you don’t think it was a mistake?”
She blurted out in hurry while meeting his gaze
Another baffled look this time along with arched brows and that silent ‘I cant believe this’ look now adorning his face along with the constant frown fighting for space over there.
“Khushi I am not honoring that question with a reply”
He sound offended. Looked offended. Khushi glanced at him with big eyes as if trying to read what was going behind his brown ones while something fluttered in her chest. Hopes? No,no. Not so soon. Go back please. She shouldn’t be jumping up to conclusions just because his last statement almost took her breath away. And in a slightly good manner.
“Are you sure Arnav ji…that…you are not regretting it?”
She asked hesitatingly purposely not believing his last response in case she misheard him
“Regretting it? Are you fucking kidding me Khushi? The only reason you are not pinned beneath me and I am not deep inside you is cause you would be sore from last night “
He delivered through clenched teeths rubbing a hand across his face, tension radiating from every pore of his body.
And she dropped her gaze. She couldn’t hold his steely one that was now piercing through her soul and seeing right through it. It felt like someone has opened the cage and the swarm of butterflies were now dancing around in her stomach in full speed. She let a moment to herself to calm her raging breath down. One..two..three. When she was sure she was a bit in control she took another chance to glance at him and met with his piercing gaze again. And this time she couldn’t do anything but get trapped in their magic. He was silent for a full minute as if fighting a storm within, taking his fill of her and gradually with passing seconds, his uptight features gradually started softening.
Reaching out, he took one loose bang, feeling its softness by rubbing it between his fingers and carefully behind her ear before continuing,
“You okay Khushi? I was a bit rough with you last night”
His palm cupped her left cheek and Khushi shivered under his touch. Seconds ticked by as he waited for her answer but Khushi was busy melting under the scorching heat of his rough hand.
“I should have been more gentle given it was your first time”
He added, his thumb stroking her soft skin as the air charged with sexual tension again that Khushi can literally feel it slowly building through her core.
“I am good Arnavji. Never better. You were very gentle”
She whispered sparing a small smile at him and his lips automatically turned upwards on their own, just a bit..but enough for another fluttering to start in her stomach.
Sliding closer, he pressed a soft lingering kiss on her temple and Khushi could swear it was more powerful than anything she had ever witnessed. His gaze dropped to her lips before meeting her eyes again and she shivered seeing the heat in his eyes. She froze there for a second and that second felt so long. Like an eternity maybe. He was so close that Khushi could smell the faint cologne lingering on him. One that always drives her crazy. His rough stubble touching her soft skin with each breath and Khushi was literally burning on fire.
Cupping her face in his hands, He looked directly at her,
“Khushi, I don’t want the contract between us anymore”
She could just blink back in response unable to form a single word. She waited..and waited, for him to throw a “but” after that.. and when there was none for the next 20 seconds, she questioned herself, had she heard correctly? Wait, what did he just said? NO CONTRACT? No..it must be her mind..or a dream..but then why was he looking like he just said THAT. WHATT? He don’t want the contract? She found it difficult to believe her ears, even more difficult was the possibility that she could even heard such a thing from him. But when he did not jump up next saying ‘just kidding”, she released the pent up breath she didn’t realize she was holding till then. It felt like sunshine eradicating the looming darkness of the night and now it was glowing everywhere, she felt every corner of her heart was bathing in that newly found sunshine with his name stamped all over. Though the logical side of her mind didn’t lag behind in forming its own conclusion too, despite her heart doing somersaults in happiness. His clearly chosen words made their point clear. She would have left devastated had he mentioned the contract in other’ way. Maybe shattered even. She would have totally lost faith in love had he acted any other’ way, had he denied and cursed the most beautiful moment between them. It wasn’t just the physical intimate act they were involved in..it was one breath taking, soul shattering, mind boggling , a deeply connected experience. It wasn’t just their bodies but their mind and soul too that had connected on a deep level. Atleast for her, it was. She carefully controlled her emotions from spilling on her face while asking the lingering question for the sake of her sanity
He shifted in his position, his hands drawing her closer to him, holding her tight and he answered with a feral glint in his eyes,
Sighing deeply he stated in a calm but serious tone when she stayed mum unable to form any coherent sentences.
“What then? Where do we go from here?”
She whispered in a low voice, as if still waiting for the blow that could come any second now and shatter her building hopes.
“ I don’t know but I, for sure, can’t let you go Khushi”
A moment of silence. Another. Another.
“So we can..like.. stop pretending?”
She added the last word hesitatingly. Even the word ewas giving a bitter taste on her tongue but she need to get it out and make herself clear that he is actually saying and meaning these things before her foolish heart leaps off and jogs to uncharted territories.
“Don’t you think we have moved past that stage off late?”
She nodded slowly, the reality of his words hitting her now, a burden offloading from her shoulders and she felt superlight in that moment. She had moved past it long back, she didn’t remember when she was pretending with him the last time. Her feelings, her reactions and everything has been real for her. It was his admission about the same that has blown her mind and she still felt surreal to form a word about the same.
“This is real then?”
She started straight at him with big round eyes. Hopeful eyes. A flush now creeping on her cheeks as she licked her bottom lip nervously. It sounded too magical to be true. His eyes dropped to her lips at that small gesture and his eyes mirrored the same emotion.
He pulled her towards him thus closing the remaining space between them. His need to touch her was suddenly so overwhelming that he himself needed the assurance that she was here for him.
Wrapping his arms around her waist he pressed a kiss on the corner of her mouth. Just the corner. A teasing kiss. A promising kiss and Khushi literally combust in flames.
“Are you sure Mr Raizada?”
She tilted her head, her nose brushing with the rough stubble on his neck in the process. His divine smell was driving her crazy and his words were creating havoc in her already fragile heart. His breath was fanning her face and she was this close to drowning in this pool of emotions called Arnav.
“Keep asking me such questions and you will get a repeat of last night”
With that he leaned down and claimed her lips in a demanding kiss. It was a possessive one from the start as if delivering on the threat he just made. It was a kiss filled with passion and something else that made her toes curl and her world a bit brighter than the ever glowing sun.
“I don’t know what love is Khushi or if I am capable of it or not. All I have learned throughout my life is that love makes you weak and helpless and it hits you right in the center when it leaves you. It holds the power to destroy your life and I don’t want to be in that situation ever. I might be wrong but thats how I have survived till now. And I am too afraid to label that word on us and taint whatever we have right now. This thing between us, I am done denying it. And trust be I have tried everything in my power. So here I am. I promise I will always try to keep you happy and look after you and whomever or whatever you love. So you better believe me when I say I am keeping you for real, Mrs. Raizada. I am a very selfish man on that front and can’t let go of what’s mine. A bit jealous too, if I must admit. Do you think you can work with that?”
She let go of all her inhibitions and lingering questions at his honest admission. He was baring his soul for her to see. He didn’t realize but this was a milestone they just crossed. She couldn’t help but think of how they started and where they are now and it was a ton of difference already. This was the same man with guards so high that nobody could peak a glance at his real self. And here he was, peeling his own layers, dropping his guards and inviting her right in. It was a huge development from his end and Khushi was so grateful he was opening up to her. However minimal it was but it was significant. She knew this was in no way a ‘love confession’ but she realized that was enough for her to cling to. For now. They can work onwards from this point. Together. May be she was some kind of love sick fool or may be too optimistic for her own good but she couldn’t help it. She wasn’t ready to let go of this small shimmer of hope. Maybe, this was the first right decision after starting this relationship on the wrong foot. She just have to wait patiently and give it time. To nurture this relation on whatever level she could from now on. Things do not change overnight. They need time and time she now has ample. She realized she would be selfish in this case. He wasn’t offering her love? Fine. She would love him enough for both of them..and maybe just maybe, someday he would feel the same for her, the way she does. He cares for her that she knew, he respects her, treats her with dignity and maybe will grow someday enough to love her as a soulmate too. What else a woman wants from the man in her life. Her lips slowly broke into a small hopeful smile as she nodded her acceptance and chuckled when he sighed in relief before tightening his hold, grabbing her face and sealing it with a mandatory kiss.
Hello lovelies, sorry for the delay. I wrote this chapter last week as was originally written but then I read it and it sounded lame. I wanted their morning after conversation to be perfect, so I had to change everything. I wish I have the time to go back and rewrite all previous chapters as the content is a bit off and OTT even to my eyes too. Bit cringefest. But hey, it was years back and we all grow and learn. Hope you will love this piece. Please let me know your thoughts. Waiting ! 🙂