Chapter 4 – The master plan
Arnav walked down for breakfast, hearing sounds of four girls chatting away and laughing to something. He entered the sunny breakfast nook and the reaction to his arrival much varied depending on the person sitting there. Anjali gave him a tight hug and warm smile, her friend Aisha subtly tired to catch his attention and flirt with him, while her other friend Rina was too overwhelmed to utter anything and then there was Khushi; Khushi who defiantly looked at him, but then eventually looked away under his intense stare.
Anajli watched in amusement as Aranv ignored her two friends, and lingered his gaze repeatedly on Khushi. Her keen eyes also did not miss her friend's avoidance to look at her brother. She smirked inwardly; looked like things had started rolling, she was pretty sure something had happened betweem them. Great! Time for the next move.
“Hey Aisha & Rina, you girls were planning to go shopping today right? You better get ready fast and I can drop you…” and then she turned to Khuhsi and Arnav. “Bhai, Khushi, can I talk to both of you together for a minute?” she asked and led them to the study.
“Bhai, Khushi, you are two people whom I love very much and I have a request to ask both of you.” Khushi and Arnav confusedly looked at each other before looking back at her. “I want both of you to design my bridal wear and trousseau…but together. I really love both of your designs and want of you guys to create something for me..You will won’t you? Please….as my wedding gift?” she asked making puppy eyes.
Arnav was flabbergasted. What the! Why was Anjali asking him to work with somebody. He could design her a fabulous piece all by himself. And of all the people, he certainly did not intend to work with her, a newbie and she acted so unpredictably! She would drive him crazy. “Anajli, are you OK? I have no intentions of working with her or anyone else for that matter.” He replied haughtily. “I can design your bridal wear by myself and it will be my pleasure to do it.”
“Bhai, I know you would, but it is my wish that both of you do this together for me” she said “Khushi, how about you? Would you do this for me?”
“Anjali, you know I would do it for you! If his highness here will consent to working with a mere mortal, then I have no problems. I will leave both of you to sort it out” she said giving him a glare and then hugging Anjali and leaving the duo alone.
“Bhai, you won’t do this for me?” Anajali asked dejectedly and started the waterworks, knowing that Arnav would never be able to say no to her now. Arnav sighed and reluctantly agreed “Oh fine, Anajli, you know I can never refuse you. But you know how focused I am for my work. Will she able to work with focus and dedication I usually demand? I don’t like any kind of external interference in my work. I am not sure if this is a good idea.”
“Oh Bhai, don’t worry. You don’t know her. She is so focused and dedicated to her designs, it’s like she breaths them. The way she is passionate about them, she sometimes reminds me of you! And she has agreed to stay with me till I get married.”
“But what about her family? They are OK to let her be here with 3 months?” he asked curiously
“Bhai, she…she’s like us, her parents passed away when she was 8 years old…” Anjali said, sadness tinging her reply
“Oh…!” Arnav’s heart contracted with a bit of softness for her. “How about her friends..any boyfriend, who will cause hindrance to her work or object her staying here?” he cautiously asked, knowing somewhere that this question was not strictly due to professional interest.
Anjali smirked inwardly at her brother’s shrewdness in trying to wheedle information on Khushi. Well she was his sister…no less “No Bhai, she has no boyfriend…In fact, I don’t think she has had any boyfriend ever..”
Arnav was shocked…No boyfriend ever in this age and time, he thought. All her innocent reactions like covering herself in his towel when she bumped into him in the bikini, or being embarrassed at him for talking about her bra, all of it now clicked in place. The beast within him growled again and desire coursed through him. To cover it, he remarked slyly “no boyfriend? Why, is there nobody who wants to be her boyfriend?”
“What?? Are you mad bhai? Have you not seen how Khushi looks? There are loads of guys who are crazy after her…but she is just not interested. I think her parent’s death affected her deeply and she avoids any relationship in the fear of loosing her loved ones again. She pours her passion in her design. You know very similar to some other person I know…who avoids any meaningful relationship and breaths work.” she said with tongue in cheek. “And that is why I think both if your partnership will work.” And before her bro could come up with some other objections or say anything more, she hugged him, thanked him and ran out of the study.
Arnav processed the new information he had on Khushi, his attitude softened a little to know that she had suffered like him and Anjali and his desire increasing manifold knowing that she was untouched, that no other man had know her intimately. He didn’t know why that should make any difference to him, but strangely enough it did.
He walked out of the study and called for Khushi. “Khushi can I talk to you for a minute?” Khushi reluctantly entered the study and glared at him and finally asked “what do you want to talk about?” her tone instantly raising his hackles.
“Anajali means the world to me and for her sake I have decided that we will team up together. But I want one thing clear right at the start. I am very focused on my creations. I don’t want you spoiling or interfering in my designs and my word on the designs is final. Is that understood Khushi?” He asked in a commanding tone that booked no arguments.
Khushi started at him in disbelief. Who did he think he was. “Then let me make this clear to you too, right at the start. I have tremendous respect for your work, and I admire your flair for design, the uniqueness of each of your piece. If we ever disagree on something, I may defer to your experience, the operative word being may but it is my call, not your right. This is a partnership; I do not work for you and am not subservient to you. Is that understood Mr. Raizada? ” her eyes flashing with fire as she replied back evenly.
Arnav looked at her open mouthed. Nobody talked to him like that. NOBODY! then how did this slip of a girl dared…
“How dare you?” He roared. “Nobody cuts me off when I speak. Do you understand? Nobody ever defies Arnav Singh Raizada.”
“Then it’s high time somebody did. It’s high time somebody put you in your place” She replied heatedly.
Arav looked at her with a dangerously soft glint. She would be a wildcat in bed he would teach her and tame her with pleasure “Why you little wildcat!” he said in menacingly soft voice and started walking predatory towards her.
Khushi faltered a little, but stood her ground, meeting his gaze squarely. But as he came near, her courage belied her, she trembled a little and bunched up her dress with her fist. Arnav did not miss the small telling movement and he smirked. So Ms. KKG here was not as unaffected as she claimed to be, but for some reason unknown to him, he softened a little. He came close to her..very close, till she was leaning back to avoid touching him, looking back at him apprehensively and doing her best to hide that apprehension. “So you think you are that person who can defy Aranv Singh Raizada? You can teach me to be… what did you say ‘subservient’?” he asked with his eyebrows raised. “Don’t be under any such illusion Khushi ” he said moving even closer till she had no place to escape. His thighs brushed against hers, his face close to hers, his breath washed over her cheeks as he whispered, “Don’t be under any illusion regarding who will be subservient one between us and which one of us will be educating, and which one will surrender to it….And I am not just talking about work here.”
Before she could retort anything he bent his head to brush his lips with hers in a brief but searing contact and then nonchalantly walked off leaving a bewildered and trembling Khushi behind, who was in shock at the strange feeling that flooded her body at his kiss.
Thank you all you lovely gals for the wonderful comments! I love to read them....As I mentioned earlier, it will get hot between them, but a little patience for that, let me build some foundation!