Khushi got up as her alarm clock went off, it was already past 7; she had to reach Raizada Textiles office by 9 and it would take her approximately half an hour to get there. She quickly ran into the shower and got dressed in her smart brown corduroy pants and a beige cotton sleeveless top. She wore some jangling copper bangles on one hand. She brushed on a bit of eyeliner and gloss and started looking for her perfume, unfortunately in the mess it was impossible to find it. She gave up finding it and picked up her purse from the pile of boxes, she had to make a run to get to the tube station in time.
Arnav was just back from his jog, he had ran an extra mile today since he needed to get her out of his system; he quickly stripped off his jogging gear and got into the shower to get ready for office. When he was sipping his coffee later, he once again read akshay's message, he then quickly dialed aman's number "Aman, a girl called you yesterday to fix up the dinner meeting? Send me her number asap!" arnav waited as aman texted him katya's number. He saved her number on his phone and left for his office at sharp 8:30am.
Khushi was just in time to catch her tube, she had to change twice to get to arnav's company's London headquarters, it was always a dream of her to work in such an organization and she prayed to God that he listen to her and offer her the internship job. She desperately wanted him to understand that last night was a confusion, she was beating herself up on the fact that she should have told him everything yesterday itself instead of running away. She entered the posh reception of the building at around 9:30 am.
Arnav sat at his table with his London operations manager Syed Mirza, he knew Syed since many years now and had recently promoted him to country manager for UK. They had just completed their interview with a fresher who would be joining them for their internship program "ASR didn't you say that there was another designer whose dress was really good? Shouldn't we check with the institute if she is available for an interview?"
Arnav wondered for a moment why the girl who designed that fabulous dress had not called in when he had specifically asked their professor to, it was a pity that such a talented designer was not on board with them, but then he was not someone who would run after people, it was always the other way around "No Syed, if she was interested in the job, she would have called in by now. Give the job to this guy; i need to close on this before i leave day after tomorrow."
Syed's nodded his head and passed the offer letter to him for signing "Ok, so we will be offering the job to him on internship basis to be made permanent post 6 months probation" Arnav nodded and signed his approval. Syed left to meet the intern and explain the job to him.
Arnav's thoughts once again wandered to Katya, what he wouldn't give to see her just one more time; but it was a lost clause, he might as well start looking around elsewhere to find the right girl. He asked his secretary not to bother him for the next hour or so. He had a lot of research to do and phone calls to make.
Khushi went to the reception area and asked if she could meet Arnav singh raizada. The receptionist gave her a saccharine sweet smile and asked if she had an appointment. Khushi shook her head saying that he had asked her to meet him today morning. The receptionist rolled her eyes and asked her to have a seat and that she would tell her when ASR got free.
Khushi quickly dialed the hospital number to inquire about her buaji's health, surprisingly the doctor wanted to speak to her, she said a bright good morning but her smile faltered as she heard the doctor speak "Ms Gupta, even though her bypass was a success and she is absolutely fine now. We have found out an anomaly in her stomach while doing routine tests"
Khushi took a deep breath "What is an anomaly doctor, is it serious?" the doctor continued "Well, an anomaly is a kind of an alien particle or ingrowth in organs, right now its very small in her stomach region, but we need to remove it before it gets cancerous or worse. I won't suggest any operation right away, but maybe a month from now would be the best time to re-look into it"
Khushi went silent, why were all these things happening to her buaji! "Off course doctor, please let me know what i should do" the doctor spoke "Well dear she seems to be very well right now, and we can let her go in another 2 days, but you will have to start making your payments soon. Also if we do the other operation in a months time, it may cost up to another 1000 pounds, will you be ok with that?"
Khushi was gnawing her lower lip but spoke into the phone with a calm voice "Off course doctor, don't worry I'll make sure the payment happens in time and whatever is needed for my aunt i'll do. I can't see her in pain" with that she cut her phone off and leaned her head on the couch. Suddenly she heard a male voice call out her name "Katya? What are you doing here?"
Khushi looked up to see Anthony, her classmate and a very talented young designer staring down at her, she smiled and got up to hug him "Hey tony! What a pleasant surprise! What are you doing here?" anthony took out an official looking paper and dangled it in front of her "I got the internship at Raizada textiles!"
Arnav was worried; it was a different thing asking akshay to find a girl for him but he could not ask just anyone now. His reputation was at stake here; he felt the only thing left to do was ask one of the girls he knew and had dated earlier; unfortunately he never bothered keeping their numbers or details with him He called aman to send him a list of all the women he had been with in the last year. He tried calling akshay again but his phone kept coming switched off, he assumed he was already in the flight. Arnav closed his eyes and settled back in his chair.
Khushi could not believe her ears, she was shocked to her core! Tony got the internship! But what about her? Maybe she could convince ASR to give the job to her instead, Tony saw her stunned face and clicked his fingers in front of her face "Earth to Ms Gupta! What happened! Is everything all right?"
Khushi quickly composed herself and hugged tony again "N..nothing, thats wonderful news tony! Congratulations" Tony thanks her again "Thanks Katya, you know i was worried that you may take up this internship since your dress rocked the other day, but when i asked Mr Mirza about you he said that you had not contacted them at all, so i guess i was the next best choice. I'm really glad i got this though, the pay is good and since my dad recently got diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the extra cash will help with his medicines and care."
Khushi gave him an encouraging smile, there goes her idea of stealing the job from him; she could never do that. He deserved this as much as anyone "Well thats grand tony, wish you all the luck with this internship and don't worry i was never interested in it, infact i just came here to meet a friend. Take care buddy and I truly hope your father gets better." Tony smiled at her and left, leaving khushi to once again ponder over what to do next.
Arnav checked the list which aman had sent him, none of these girls would do, most of them were back in relationships or were too well known to convince his family of their engagement, he shut off his laptop and leaned back in his chair, he picked up his phone to check his messages when he saw the message sent by aman earlier; Katya's number.
Khushi got up from the couch and picked up her bag, she had to get to the hospital to work out the expenses; she was leaving when the receptionist called for her "Hello..miss? Are you going?" Khushi looked back at her "Yes, i need to leave" the receptionist gave her a sneer and went back to her work.
Khushi stepped out of the glass door and started walking towards the tube station when her phone started ringing, she saw that it was an unknown number but picked up anyways just in case it was someone from the hospital, as soon as she said hello she heard a deep voice at the other end "Katya? Wait don't keep the phone...i know that you refused my offer; akshay told me. But i'm increasing the stake here, i'll pay you 30K for the job, will you reconsider?"
Khushi was shocked for the second time since morning, she never expected this call from ASR, she thought that by now the real katarina would have agreed to his proposal; apparently she did not and he still does not know that she is not her; That means he still thinks she is katarina the escort and he is offering her 30K! Damn it! How difficult will it be to act like his fiancee? They were both really desperate, he for a fiancee and she for the money. Wait! What was she thinking...she can't lie like that. But where else will she find a job so soon? Plus buaji's medical expenses were rising. She clutched the phone very hard in both her hands and said in a very breezy voice "Yes, i'll do it"
Arnav let out a deep breath, he had not realized that he had been holding his breath for the entire duration she took for answering his question, he swore he could hear her brain ticking as she reconsidered, he knew that increasing the money would definitely get him the desired answer "Great, can you come over to my office right away?"
Khushi looked around, she was right outside his office; but how could she tell him that, instead she said very confidently "Well, i'm right now near paddington, where is your office exactly?" arnav smiled at that, paddington was only a few minutes away "Great, my office is just 10 minutes from there, i'll text you the address. Let the receptionist know when you get here, she'll let you in right away" khushi said ok and went to sit in the nearby cafe, she had to waste 15 more minutes before she made her way back in.
Arnav finally relaxed in his chair, he kept his phone down and called his mama "mamaji, its done! I've found someone..we'll be in Delhi in two days. Any more news on ma and dadi's matchmaking?"
He heard his mama's hearty chuckle "Thats great son, yes both of them are going head to head on this, i'm just waiting to see the shock on their faces when they see you with a fiancee!" they spoke for a little while more after which arnav stood up to go and check himself in the mirror. He straightened his hair and tightened his tie. 'Wait! What am i doing, why do i care what she thinks of me!' he shook his head and went back to check his mails.
Khushi entered the office building after 15 minutes, she went straight to the receptionist and gave her name as katya, the receptionist looked at her with wide surprised eyes but took her to the VIP lift which went directly to Arnav's office. Khushi gave her a smug smile and went up; she reached arnav's cabin and waited outside as his secretary buzzed him, she motioned her to go in, khushi slowly opened the door and stepped in, she took a deep breath and came face to face with the devil himself.
Arnav saw as his cabin door opened, he expected her to come in another short dress with her long legs on display and her hair all open but was surprised to see her so casually dress, she looked like an office worker, her hair was tied up in a loose bun at nape, she had minimalistic make up on her face but she seemed to look more radiant today, it was a sin to be so beautiful!. He stood up as she entered his office; she came straight towards him and was about to extend her hand when she pulled it back, arnav wondered why she did that; she said a quick hello before arnav gestured her to sit
Khushi was nervous as hell! She had no idea what made her come here, but then she thought of her buaji and gained some confidence. She sat ramrod straight in her chair and gave him a slight smile, he looked and smelled so good she thought "So Mr raizada, now that i have agreed to your proposal, i need to make few things clear; first like you said yesterday this will be a strictly professional relationship, i will act like your fiancee but other than that don't expect anything else from me, this contract will umm..will...uh you know...not come with any perks"
Arnav slowly got up with an amused smile, he came towards her and sat slightly on the desk in front of her, he leaned down towards her and saw as she quickly grabbed the handles of the chair tightly, her chest was rising quite frantically and she leaned back away from him; arnav observed her state and spoke slowly, his hot breath ticking her ears " You do get to the point huh?...Well, i have already promised you that i will keep it strictly professional, but will you be able to as well?"