Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Chapter Thirty


Sitting beside a quiet Arnav in the SUV, Khushi stole a glance at him. She was dangerously attracted to this man. She shook her head, the push and pull of wishes and fears tearing her apart. She felt awash with guilt at the lie they were living. Her feelings for him were increasing every day, and na├»ve that she was, she still could feel herself falling in love with him. Falling in love with a man who professed to have no heart … who did not know what love meant. Yet he had said the words to her so easily a little while ago.

And now, this insistence to drive her to Aman’s hotel. Did he not even trust her this much; first his assumption that she was willing to marry his brother-in-law, then his anger over Harry this afternoon, and now changing his plan to escort her? Yet a voice inside her chided her to not think too much and just enjoy being with him. A voice telling her slyly, ‘you know you want to be with him … every minute that you can.’

And that was true. Still, she knew she ought to be resisting all of this.
Lost in her thoughts, Khushi was startled when the car suddenly stopped and there was a valet opening her door, waiting patiently for her to get out.  Before she could react, Arnav was beside the door, holding his hand out for her. Too surprised to put up much of a fight, she quietly put her small hand into his, and let him help her step down gently.

The tinkling of a water fountain in the lobby greeted Khushi, calming her ruffled nerves immediately. Forgetting that she still held his hand, she looked about her fascinated by the cool marble interiors of the hotel lobby. Squeezing his hand excitedly, she all but dragged him towards the wall of bay windows at one side over looking the hotel pool.

Arnav looked at her indulgently, viewing the lobby that he would only cursorily glance at whenever he came here through her eyes, enjoying her pleasure more than anything else. He looked towards the coffee shop where he had told Aman they would meet him.

Khushi was still, unconsciously clutching his hand, and much as he hated the thought of stifling her discoveries, he needed to call Aman to let him know that they had arrived.

‘Khushi’, he tugged at her hand gently pulling her away, from the pool and towards the house phones. Realizing that she was hanging on to him for quite some time now, Khushi pulled out her hand from his with a jerk, stepping back from him a little.

Staring at her for minute intently, Arnav turned his heels and walked towards the house phones, where he had a quick chat with Aman and walked back towards where she was still waiting.

‘He’ll join us in the coffee shop,’ he told her holding her by the elbow and leading her towards the glass doors at the entrance of the lobby they had just entered.

Once inside the coffee shop, Khushi looked at him while he spoke to the manager, requesting a table, and stating his preference for one with a poolside view. His handsome face was tanned and lean and his nose classical in profile. She liked the humorous gleam in his brown eyes, liked the way his strong fingers still held her elbow gently, liked the way his collar opened to his muscular chest. A rush of pride filled her. She was proud to be married to this man.

She did not realize that he had stopped talking and was now watching her. Their gazes met and the sudden electricity flared between them. Her breath caught in her throat and her heart began to beat wildly. Had he asked her something, she mused?
Catching her fluster, he smiled and dropped a quick kiss on her lips. Her lips tingled, but a small circle of dread began to grow in her chest. She took a deep breath and cleared her mind. This was just getting too confusing.

‘KAYYYYY!’

Aman’s loud voice distracted her as she turned back towards the main door a warm smile on her lips. Forgetting where she was and whom she was with, Khushi rushed towards her best friend instinctively – straight into his extended arms. He swung her up and around and even though Arnav was aware of their closeness, he could not help the slight tinge of envy that rushed through him as he looked at them, a small frown marring his forehead.

‘Arnav!!!’ Aman had put Khushi down and was now walking towards him, his arms extended, a warm smile on his handsome face. Not being a very emotional or demonstrative person, Arnav reeled under the onslaught of the warm embrace that Aman engulfed him in. From over Aman’s shoulder he watched, surprised, Khushi eyeing them with a similar distracted frown.

‘What’s up dude?’ Aman had moved back a step, still holding Arnav’s shoulders firmly. ‘All okay between the love birds, finally?’ he whispered, giving a startled Arnav a conspiratory wink.

Accha chalo,’ Aman swiftly changed the topic turning back and including Khushi, who had walked up to join them. ‘Jaldi se baitho … I want to share something.’

Seated that the table with Aman on one side and Arnav, disturbingly close on the other, Khushi turned excitedly towards Aman. ‘Haan toh …’ she began, ‘kya keh rahe they...

‘Diya and I are getting married’ Aman all but shouted reaching out and clutching Khushi’s hand that was on the table beside him. ‘And I want YOU … no … both of you to be there next month in Mumbai.’ Turning to Arnav he added, ‘I’ll mail you the details, dude.’

Khushi stared at Aman open-mouthed for five full seconds before launching herself at him, almost knocking over the table and Aman himself. Engulfing her in a bear hug, Aman barely managed to keep them both from falling over while he laughed ‘…er that is if I don't fall over and break my neck right now!’

Khushi swatted his arm while settling back into her chair, clasping his hands with both of hers and gushed in excitement ‘So you did it finally… told her you loved her…’

Arnav turned towards her incredulously. ‘What the...’ he thought to himself. He had just told her he loved her this afternoon. And there had been no reaction at all from her for that, he muttered to himself irritated with her constantly rushing to hug Aman.

‘Congratulations’, he muttered instead to Aman, as Khushi settled back in her chair, bombarding him with fifty-three questions about the how, what and where of his proposal.

‘Thanks dude,’ Aman muttered instead, looking at Arnav sheepishly. ‘Ek minute,’ he turned back towards Khushi, ‘shall we order first, and then I will answer all your questions.’

Settled with their teas and coffees, Aman detailed the wedding plans adding that amma and the rest of the family needed to be there too. He would send out the cards later, but Khushi had to let everyone know the dates etc. once Arnav received the email.

‘And you both need to come a little earlier, of course,’ he added with a twinkle in his eye, ‘you…’ pointing at Arnav, ‘for my bachelor party and you…’ pointing at Khushi, ‘for my moral support.’

Bachelor party! Khushi’s eyebrows went up. Adding two and two, she wondered if a girl’s bachelor party had male strippers, would a boy’s have women doing the same instead. Her brow furrowed at the thought of her husband watching some beautiful scantily clad women dancing in front of him. She felt angry suddenly at the thought.

So lost in her thoughts was she that she missed Aman and Arnav making a plan to move up to Aman’s room instead of the coffee shop. ‘Dude, it's late already, but knowing you, do you have to get back to work? I can drop her off later, if you want,’ Aman was asking Arnav. ‘No, I don't think there's anything pressing in office today, we can…’ Arnav started, only to be interrupted by Khushi.

‘Aman... kal karenge? Bahut der ho gayi .. ghar pe sab intezaar kar rahe honge..’

Arnav frowned turning towards her quizzically. Sensing the tension between them, Aman shrugged and said "Of course ... call me tomorrow... I'm here for another day. We still need to celebrate my news’. Looking at Arnav, he winked.

Rushing through a quick goodbye, Khushi started walking towards the entrance, leaving a puzzled Arnav and Aman staring at her back and then at each other.

‘She seems to be upset,’ Aman mused ‘You may need to feed her,’ he advised Arnav mock seriously.
Patting Aman gratefully on his shoulders and promising to catch up soon, Arnav rushed after Khushi, taking long strides to catch up with her.

26 comments:

  1. loved the update very cute loved arnav reaction to the hug to cute poor khushi she just got pissed of at teh thought of her husband looking at another woman can't wait to see how he will malofify her loved it (DUMAS)

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  2. Hi! Love love Love love it!!! Just read the whole thing!! N-I-C-E!!! :D Waiting eagerly for more!

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  3. Loved the update. Arnav is a little jealous. Khushi and Aman have a nice friendship.

    -desisweetheart9 from IF.

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  4. Loved the update misssed it

    Sirul

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  5. I loved the update. I love Aman & Khushis friendship. I can't wait for the next update. Please continue soon.
    rockinggirl5

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  6. Brilliant update!!!

    Can't wait to read the next part, hope you update very soon!!!

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  7. Louveeeeee eeet !!!

    Aman is back, Arnav is back...the world is good again....super stuff....

    *gleeeeeeee*

    Priya

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  8. Loved the update...If i was in Khushi's position i would be confused too.. i mean what does Arnav want from her ... really interested to see whats going on in Arnav's mind :)

    Update soon :)
    ChocoBloc_12 (IF)

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  9. Hey Chick

    Im so glad u decided to continue....

    Loved it as always....

    do pm me if u can... ;)

    Asha...

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  10. Thanks for continuing!! You made my day! Totally awesome!!
    Congrats on the blog!

    kdkumar

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  11. Awaiting chapter 31... Great work!!!

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  12. So.... me thinking........ where is chapter 31......... waiting waiting waiting

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  13. Thank God I found this blog (from storm in a tea cup). I was wondering where your writings had disappeared. I was looking for them in IF, but I guess because of the restrictions you moved out. I am yet to start reading all the chapters. Will comment on them after I am through

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  14. khusi is insecure isnt she? thnking aBouT the party where arnav wilL be sorroundeD with half nakeD girls! haha !
    i realLy like ths aman guy, hes so funNy!
    awesoMe update dEar! loveD it
    continue soon!!

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  15. i want an update
    kins103

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  16. Heya loving your work and update soon!!

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  17. Chicks..that was fab..please continue soon :)

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  18. honey I've read all these parts and they are all brilliantly written. waiting impatiently for part 31 . please continue soon

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  19. can we get an update?
    kins103

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  20. wow, i just read the whole thing from beginning to end today... great writing...
    i was just a bit worried when you got your writers block for so long... but after reading the last two chapters... wow

    glad that you didn't just drop it...
    pls continue writing so that we can enjoy...

    all the best

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  21. Enjoyed reading it!please update soon.. .

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  22. Superb...khushi has a lot to chew over...update soon. I wanna know what they talk about when they leave Aman!!

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  23. Amazing story. Can't wait to read more. Can you please PM me when you update. I'm from Indian Forum and I read your story there. My username there is nkshamma.

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  24. was superb story once I started couldn't let go, read it in one go and BTW your stopping you have so much potential in writing good story, your work is excellent and plz you can't leave us in limbo like this;plz start writing and continue updating. and story writers of IF

    this is a sincere request to you guys may be from most of the readers who are as disappointed as me about some of the stories which are posted on the IF, yes the writers of the stories have to spend so much time putting words together into a nice story and keep extending the story into several threads and so forth to keep the interest of the audience, so the readers are putting same amount of time too reading stories from their favorite story writers, especially readers like me who appreciate good stories. then one fine day readers like me are searching for the story or update of their favorite story and it disappears from the forum and nowhere to be found and keeps searching like paagal for that particular favorite story and cannot find it.
    you know what it feels like? its like, when we are given our favorite dish to eat and when we are enjoying that particular dish some one suddenly snatches that dish from you and throws it away in front of your eyes, how will you feel?. that is feeling I have and some of the readers might agree with me.
    I am die hard fan of ARSHI stories, can you believe I am so addicted to these good stories I have to read one least each day and once I start cannot stop. so please understand the agony of readers like me, don't post the stories of people who discontinue in the middle, if they don't want to write in future its ok, but let them complete what they started. I know they didn't sign a bond or anything to write, its just their past time to do so but some of the story writers are breaking our hearts like how the writers of IPKKND broken several millions of hearts by stopping the show. But good stories can be written of-course and when they stop in the middle its such a painful emotion. you know. plz understand yaar. I think lot of readers like will agree with me. If you are not continuing on the IF and having a blog or something at least let us know so we can follow you there to read the stories. Thnks for understanding the pain and agony of readers like me.

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  25. Well, I have read your FF for like 15 times till now! I absolutely LOVE it. But I know you are not gonna continue it. But, Umm..just wanted to thank you. I enjoyed whatever I read so far. Hope you read this comment one day. So Thank you very very very much. Take care and Stay Awesome! :)

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