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Part 8 - Unmasked
Khushi was mortified! She could not believe she just had a conversation with the Laad governer about his…about his *that*. Oh No! how could she do that? Why did she always have to blabber wrong things to wrong people? But if truth be told, he had not behaved like a laad governor at all. He had been kind as he answered her impulsive curiosity; there had been no sign of mockery on his face. And even last night he was very concerned and understanding at her fear of darkness. He had treated her with so much tenderness and kindness. She needed atleast to go and thank him. After much ado and gathering her nerves, Khushi went and knocked on the study that doubled as his office when he lived here. “Can I come in?” she asked.
Aranv was astonished to see Khushi voluntarily come to see him in his office. With the exception of their first meeting when she was spitting fire at him, Khushi always fled away from him, whenever they had met. Whether it was after stamping her foot on his, or shoving him and sticking out her tongue at him, or asking him a question about his arousal…she would always run! And here she was walking to his lair willingly for the first time. Well Khushi was nothing if not unpredictable. He gave a slow smile “Come in” he called.
Khushi stepped in and closed the door behind her. “Woh Arnavji I wanted to thank you for last night. I….I have a phobia of darkness after my parent’s death and I wanted to thank you for your kindness.” She said with sincerity. Arnav was a little touched at her genuineness, and humbled a little wondering what demons lay buried in her past. He murmured kindly “Not a problem.” He and then roguishly added “I am sure you would do the same for me Khushi, if I was scared, you would hold me, wouldn’t you Khushi?” Redness tinged her cheeks at the thought of holding him, “uuh..sure” she muttered, turning to leave.
“Khushi wait, I wanted to talk to you about Anji’s trousseau. We need to get started on it soon. I was thinking that you come up with initial sketches of 10 of her dresses; I can do sketches for the other 10. And then we can deliberate over it.” “And we can work on her shaadi lehnga together…That should cover her trousseau.”
How to tell him… khushi thought
“I am hoping that sounds OK to you…” he went on
Tell him now Khushi… she thought
“…I have called some of my team to meet with us on the coming Monday and you can select a few of them to help you with your designs. OK?”
“Arnavji there’s one more thing…Anjali had also asked me to design for her…her nightwear” Khushi said faltering a little with hesitation.
“Nightwear? What nightwear” Arnav asked drawing a blank
“Uh…the one she would wear on her wedding night, and for her honeymoon” Khushi uttered, her cheeks turning pink again.
“Oh I see…” Arnav muttered “Why didn’t she tell me about it” feeling a little disappointed to see Anji not being open with him, considering that he had raised her like a parent.
“Well, you are brother! Ofcourse she would not tell you! She may feel it’s totally inappropriate and unsuitable for you to design something like that” she said trying to defend her friend’s action.
“And it’s Ok to ask you to design sexy nightwear, you who is totally innocent and clueless about what happens between a guy and a girl. Yes well, I see that’s very suitable and appropriate.” He sarcastically responded back.
“Why…you.. I am not stupid. I do know what happens between a guy and a girl…OK?” Khushi retorted angrily
“You do?” he asked
“Yes I do” she firmly replied
“So you don’t have much experience with guys, but you know about what a guy might like for his bride to wear, his preferences for honeymoon wear and so on” he asked
“Well… I can always ask Aliya and Niki.” she said hesitantly with a little doubt creeping in. “They have boyfriends… I am sure they would be a good help.”
“So you don’t think you should also probably involve a guy, maybe take his opinion also… ” he asked
“A guy? Maybe..maybe I can ask NK” she said doubtfully talking more to herself then to him.
In a flash, he was towering over her menacingly “You are not asking NK any such thing. Do you understand me? DO YOU?” he commanded in a booming voice. His blood boiling at the thought of Nk giving his opinion about sexy lingerie to Khushi.
“But…but you only said to ask a guy” she asked in confusion
“Well you can ask me! After all this will bear the brand of AR designs and I want to make sure it is up to par with our standards. So ask me!”
“But you… you are her brother…”
“But I am not your brother! If it bothers you, I will pretend all of those are designed for you…I can easily imagine you in all those sexy wear,” he said with a wolfish smile, his sudden bout of anger gone at her easy dismissal of asking NK.
“Arnavji!!” she gasped and prettily blushed
“Yes?” he asked knowingly with a smirk.
“You..you can’t imagine me…”
“But I can…I do imagine you like that Khushi ” he leaned in and whispered in her ears… and the atmosphere between them suddenly charged with electricity.
Khushi swallowed and trembled a little at his nearness. She didn’t know what was happening to her since yesterday when he came near. She felt a strange restlessness burning in her and wanted somehow, something to douse it, but didn’t know how or what. These new feelings were so very confusing. Arnav watched as her expressive eyes betrayed all her thoughts, his smile softening with tenderness. “What do you want Khushi? Tell me” he whispered
“I..I..” she didn’t know what to say as she herself didn’t know it. Her eyes however reflected a hunger he had awakened, that she was yet consciously unaware about. Involuntarily, as if caught in a spell, her hand went up and her fingers traced his bottom lip, curious about its feel and texture, wanting to explore how it felt under her hands. Arnav was not prepared for her touch and his breath caught and he gasped at her touch.
His gasp broke the spell, and it brought her out of her reverie and she tried to withdraw her hand. But Arnav quickly caught it and made her repeat her actions. He made her trace his lips and ever so slowly took her index finger in her mouth and sucked at it, all the while looking at her in the eye. Khushi looked at him helplessly, mesmerized at the eroticism of his actions. Before he could venture any further, there was a knock on the door…
“Bhai? Bhai? Are you in there?” Anjali asked and opened the door.
Khushi pushed him and moved a little further before Anjali opened the door. But Anjali’s keen eyes did not miss Khushi’s flushed face, heavy breathing, or her brother’s hooded eyes. She smirked inwardly and decided to improvise on the spot.
“Khushi…glad you are here.. Guess what! Shyam has somehow managed to get 4 tickets for Moral Enemy for tonight. Your favorite hunk Hugh Jackman is in it ” she said with a smile. “Shyam was thinking about asking you and NK to join us…. Are you game for seeing your hunk?” she asked with a grin
“Uh..Uh” she did want to see the movie but not with NK…not sure how best to convey the message. When Arnav broke in. “Anji, why don’t I join you guys? It’s been ages since I have seen a movie and it will be a good thing to spend time with you and Shyam..” he said. Damn if he would let NK go for a movie with her!
“Oh how nice Bhai…That would be super!” Anjali said trying to keep a straight face.
“How about you Khushi?”
“Sure” she replied.
“Great I will let Shyam know.” Anjali said starting to leave.
“Wait Anjali…” Khushi said and stealing a last glance at him, she followed Anjali out of the room.
Khushi, Arnav, and Anjali met Shyam at the movie theatre and they headed inside to watch it. As they were seating, Anjali motioned Shyam to go inside to the last seat so that she would be seated next to him and Arnav & Khushi would have no option but to sit next to each other. “I hope you know what you are doing Anjali…” Shyam whispered and Anjali just answered him with a wink.
Khushi tried hard to concentrate on the movie, but she was very conscious of Arnav’s nearness. Probably the first time in her life, she could not enjoy a movie that had Hugh Jackman in it! She was somehow trying to focus and watch it, when his hand lifted and entwined with hers. Arnav smiled as he felt her momentarily stiffen at the contact, but did not withdraw her hand. They continued holding hands as the movie progressed but there was one very intense scene in the movie where the hero started kissing the heroine passionately and started undressing her. Khushi blushed at the scene, feeling very conscious of Arnav siting next to her and tried pulling her hand out of his grasp. Arnav’s gripped tightened on her hand, refusing to let her hand out of his. He started caressing her hand with his thumb with a rhythm mimicking the scene, slow and gentle initially and then faster as the scene progressed.
Khushi felt heat pooling in the pit of her stomach and her heart beating very fast at Arnav’s touch. She was watching the scene on the screen with the actors, but with Arnav’s actions, she could not help but imagine Arnav and herself in her mind. She closed her eyes ending all pretense of watching the movie. Arnav was closely watching emotions flit across her face and he gently laid her head over his shoulder for the remainder of the movie.
The movie ended, and they all headed out, Anjali gushing about the movie and then said in a regretful voice “Shyam… I am so sorry but I can’t come with you to meet your sister tonight. ”
“Huh” Shyam uttered surprised when he felt her elbow shove him. “Oh yes…it’s sad…but please try to come” he said
“Actually I promised Khushi, I am going to spend time with her discussing old times… And Khushi was so looking forward to it…”
“OH Anjali…don’t be silly. We can always do it tomorrow night. Of course go ahead! ” said Khushi smiling
“Are you sure Khush? Bhai you will take her home…right?” Anjali
“No I will drop her somewhere midway. Of course I will take her home! Don’t worry Anji.”
“Oh thank you guys, you are the best!” and started leaving with Shyam smiling at him conspiratorially
“I hope you know what you are doing…You know how difficult it was to arrange for 4 movie tickets at the last minute….I better get rewarded good for it!” Shyam said in mock anger.
“Why don’t you pick out your fav scene from the movie and I will act it out…” Anajali said with a wicked smile knowing full well what scene her fiance would choose. “Don’t worry honey. I think they are prefect for each other. She needs stability and somebody who will be there for her and protect her. Bhai can give her that! And he needs somebody who fills him up with unconditional love…loads and loads of it. She can love him with a generosity of sprit that is unmatchable. They are prefect for each other…just like we are…” she said with a infectious grin.
Arnav and Khushi were driving back home in silence; the tension in car very was palpable. Arnav looked now and then at her averted profile, color was running high on her cheeks, but besides that nothing gave. He parked the car and came the other side opened the door for her, but refusing to move away as she came out, effectively pinning her between the car and himself. “Move Arnavji, let me go” she said in a breathless voice.
“What’s your hurry Khushi?” he asked huskily “And why do you call me Arnavji?”
“Then what should I call you…” she asked
“ Just Arnav…”
“I can’t call you just by your name… “ she said incredulously
“Yes you can….now say it” he commanded
“Arnav” she whispered, tasting his name on her lips and blushed prettily for him as she said his name aloud.
“Say one more time Khushi” he huskily whispered
“Arnav” she said breathlessly
“Now close your eyes and say my name” he commanded
Khushi closed her eyes and whispered “Arn..” the rest of his name was swallowed by him, as his lips gently covered hers. Soft, probing and gentle initially but slowly he increased the pace and pressure.
“Khushi, please open your mouth for me.” he whispered..."Wha—What?” she asked and that was all he needed to enter his tongue in her mouth. She gasped as his tongue explored her mouth ceaselessly, only stopping when he felt her body tremble and her arms clutch at his shoulders tightly. Sweet heavens, it was so addictive to kiss her, he could get lost in her depths and would not want to surface at all. She was so very pliant and responsive in his arms, but all this was totally new to her, he had to go slow, initiate her slowly. He gently withdrew and held her hand and led her inside.
The couple lost in their passionate embrace did not see a hidden figure in the dark looking at them with hate filled eyes. How could he! She thought with rage. She had been dumbfounded yesterday, when he had gone, leaving without satisfying himself. It was a good agreement between them; he used her body for his needs and then showered her with jewels that met with her needs. Of course she never told that to him, she always professed to love him, but she was not stupid to think that herself. She had tried reaching him today but no success and finally she had decided to come and see in person. Now she knew the reason! ASR was otherwise occupied with this sl**. Nobody…Nobody steals her man from Lavanya Kashap…least of all this good for nothing b**ch. She would teach her a lesson and she calmly walked back, needing time to strategize her next move.
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