"Oh baby...i can't live without you..i'll die if I don't have you tonight, you've teased me enough!" he panted as his callous hands roamed all over her, he squeezed her breasts savagely and forced his knee between her legs, imprisoning her, she found it hard to breath as his greedy mouth scarred her lips, biting her and urging her to open her mouth; khushi whimpered against his inhuman assault, she let hot tears pour down her eyes but refused to cry out, preventing him from thrusting his probing tongue, he had twisted her hands behind her and her bracelet was cutting into her back that was roughly pressed against the cold marble wall of the bathroom. Her mind was screaming "Please stop, please...let me go" but she could not voice it.
His eyes red with excessive drinking turned angry as she resisted him, he let her go and slapped her hard across her face, the force throwing her off balance as she fell on the bathroom floor, her beautiful peaches and cream complexion now marred by an ugly red mark across her cheeks. She cried out in agony, her body was aching from his painful ministrations on it, but the biggest pain of all was her trust, he had broken it, he had shattered her fragile soul, she looked up to see him coming towards her with a savage gleam in his eyes, khushi screamed as the door to the bathroom banged open.
"Khushi, khushi! Wake up...what happened? Why are you screaming? Please khushi wake up" she could hear arnav's voice from a distance, his voice calming her, her breathing returning to its normal state, she woke up to find herself sweating while clutching the pristine white sheets of her bed. She got up suddenly to find herself starting right into arnav's concerned eyes; The next second she was wrapped in his strong arms, his fingers running through her hair, calming her down as he whispered soothing words.
Arnav was scared,;when he was just about to knock on her door earlier, he had heard screams, he pushed the door open and flew to her side as he saw her thrashing on the bed, her beautiful face scrunched up in horror, her screams, God! it had made his heart stop. He tried to wake her up, he had never seen khushi this upset, she was always so full of life, always laughing, but right now she looked like a different khushi, like the life was sucked out of her, he could feel her damp body slowly relaxing against his;
Khushi was completely leaning on arnav, her head was resting against his shoulders while his hands held her, for how long she did not know. But they stayed like that for a long time, she was grateful beyond words to have him here, but was also embarrassed again, thinking what he would make out of her abnormal behavior, so she finally pulled away from him and leaned back on her pillow "Thanks arnav..and i'm sorry you had to see that..its just...uh..." khushi closed her eyes and sighed as she lifted her head to the ceiling.
Arnav held her hands gently between his "Khushi, what is it? Please tell me what is bothering you...if what happened today in the pool is the reason for this..." khushi's eyes flew open and her head came down, she looked into arnav's guilty eyes, cursing herself for making him even think anything of that sort, she squeezed his hands as she spoke "No arnav, please don't ever think that..what happened in the pool...was natural...but lets not go there right now. This is nothing to do with you, I just..i can't talk about this...sorry, but I want to be alone"
Arnav was partly relieved that their encounter was not the reason for her current state, but was also annoyed that she once again was shutting him out, why wouldn't she tell him anything "Khushi, please...let it out...if something is bothering you, please tell me" he saw her hesitate at first, then her eyes seemed scared and worried "Fine If you don't want to talk about it and thinking about it will only make you more upset, then i won't force you, but you have to drink this soup. No arguments" arnav said sternly letting the topic go, she did not seem to be in the right state of mind right now.
Khushi gave him a small , hardly there smile as she sipped the now warm soup, she quickly finished the entire bowl and drank a glass of water which arnav offered, he was still sitting on her bed "Do you need anything else? Are you feeling ok? Should I get some medicines?" arnav asked as she snuggled into bed, he wished he could snuggle in too, just to let her know that he was with her, but suggesting it would be nothing short of suicidal, especially with the way she was feeling.
"No thanks, i'll be fine..i'm just very sleepy and tired after the pool workout" khushi yawned but then blushed as she realized what she had just said, she looked up to see an amused arnav staring down at her "Uh...um...i meant, my swim earlier...not the...you know...uh.." arnav smiled down at her and helped her place the duvet over her " I know.." he said cheekily before standing up from her bed. He leaned down and switched off the bed side lamp while whispering a quick good night and leaving the room. Khushi smiled as she closed her eyes and slept, a peaceful sleep, without any nightmares..
"I know baby, I miss you too...but I can't keep making excuses, plus you know naa..bhai's engagement is coming up soon and there are too many things to do, so please try and understand" anjali spoke softly into her phone as she wandered around the garden, she smiled as she heard the deep voice on the other end "I still can't believe your brother is getting married, of all the people who I thought would remain livelong bachelors, your bother was on top! Humph...Another one bites the dust"
Anjali made a sour face as she said sternly "Oi! Don't you dare say that about my brother, my bhabhi is amazing! And both of them are so cute together! And what do you mean 'another one bites the dust" you better come and talk to my family soon" the man at the other end grimaced and said in a honeyed voice "c'mon baby, i've told you earlier as well, this is not the right time, plus I need to get into your brothers good books first, being rivals does not really help me if I am to ask for your hand..i'll handle it in my own way, but you don't say anything yet ok" anjali pouted but agreed, she said a sad goodbye and ran back to the house.
Khushi was bone tired! They had been shopping since 12 noon and now it was nearly 6 in the evening; she kept berating herself for oversleeping and not meeting arnav in the morning, she wanted to thank him for last night, she felt a warm fuzzy feeling whenever she thought about how he was there for her, she also knew that he had come twice to her room in the night to check-up on her; the truth was that she had hardly slept but she pretended to when he came in so that he would stop worrying.
She had just finished trying on a beautiful brocade lehenga, the choli was black color with gold brocade work all over it and it finished right where her waist started, its back was more or less non-existent with a deep cut and and dori tied on the top, while the lehenga was of red brocade with the same black brocade border on the bottom, the dupatta was multicolored; overall Khushi looked stunning, she kept looking at herself in the mirror, she could very well imaginer herself designing this; she smiled happily and stepped out.
"Oh my God! Bhabhi...you look amazing! This is it, this is the one! Lets get this!!" Anjali's excited voice bounced off the changing room walls, both dadi and maya loved the ensemble, they decided to finalize this one and proceeded to the cash counter once khushi came out; She breathed a sigh of relief when they finally left the store, she blushed as she remembered a similar shopping spree with arnav and what had happened in the changing room of harrods, it all seemed like such a long time back!
"Aman, I've already told you that you need to fix that meeting before Jha's people do! We need to convince Mr Yarimoto's team that they should not look anywhere else for fine silk. Our relations with them have been perfect till now, the last thing we need is them reconsidering our partnership! Our entire APAC region is supplied through them, I will not let any daddy's boy jeopardize this!" Arnav barked into his bluetooth as he got down from his car.
Shyam manohar Jha was once again at his slimy best! Arnav could not believe that he had openly invited Arnav's Japanese partners to consider a liaison with his company, It was the most unethical thing to do, but how can one expect anything ethical from SJ! Pah...he only started calling himself that to imitate Arnav's ASR tag! Arnav hated his guts, he did not possess an iota of principles which his father was famous for.
Manohar Prakash Jha was an epitome of honesty, integrity and ethics, his name was trusted and revered in their industry, Arnav's father himself was a close friend even though both companies had been rivals since long; this had never hindered their friendship since both men were clear in their distribution channel and partners, they catered to different markets and never stepped on each others work. All deals were done with utmost transparency.
But when a few years ago, Mr Jha had passed away, the company's leadership was handed over to his son Shyam, everyone was very excited to see new blood take over the reigns of this century old textile giant, they often compared him to ASR who had also sailed in the same boat; but the resemblance stopped there; where Arnav had built his company further by expanding it and growing it to become one of the most successful companies, Shyam had plundered all the assets and money for his selfish needs, even though he had an MBA degree from London, he had zero business sense and had more or less rendered the company useless in just a span of three years!
Only recently around a year ago did he appoint some new people who were rebuilding the lost company, Shyam himself had become more active and aggressive in getting Jha textiles once again its lost glory, but the catch was; he was doing everything illegally and unethically. His path to success was eating up Raizada textiles's already established market and luring its partners towards them by offering lower rates' Arnav knew that the cloth which his textiles produced was much inferior in quality thanks to bogues chinese supplier, but newer partners wanted price and had thus joined hands with him.
Over the year, Jha textiles had become a tough competitor to Arnav's company. They had started by converting smaller partners first and were now eyeing their export ventures as well. It irked arnav to even think that Shyam whom he remembered from his childhood as a sweet boy, few yours younger to him, would turn out to be such a callous and unethical thug. So much so that now he had the gall to openly challenge Arnav; 'well we'll see about that' Arnav thought as he changed into his home clothes and went down for dinner.
"It's been so long since we came here, I just love the Hyderabadi biryani here, its to die for!" Maya exclaimed as all four women settled into their seats; They had decided to watch a movie post shopping since dadi had insisted on going for one and after the 3 hour long movie was over, they came to the nearby 'Khansama' restaurant which was maya's favorite. Khuhsi looked at the three happy ladies in front of her; she could not remember the last time she had soo much fun with anyone from her family.
She had a good social life till her father was alive, but after his passing away things had changed drastically. On Lavanya's insistence she had gone for movies, dinner and the occasional clubbing with the rest of her gang, but she had never truly enjoyed it. Not as much as she enjoyed this; she felt the only other thing which came close to this were her chats with buaji, her eyes misted up as she remembered her.
"Whats wrong beta? Are you still not well?" maya asked in a concerned voice when she saw khushi's misty eyes. "Oh no Ma, i'm fine. Was just remembering my buaji, out outing today reminded me of her" khushi said with a watery smile, she looked up as anjali wiped away her tears "Oh Bhabhi, don't worry we'll get her here soon, and plus we are there na, your new family!" anjali side hugged her as maya and dadiji squeezed her hands and gave her a reassuring smile.
Khushi felt horrible once again deceiving these lovely people, she did not deserve their love nor did she belong amongst them, she wondered for how much longer she could pretend when she was falling in love with everyone in this family...especially...
Arnav ate his dinner quietly, his mother had called him a few minutes ago informing him that they were going to eat out, apparently they had shopped for the engagement and then gone for a movie and dinner, she sounded so excited like a little 10 year old, he could not help but smile even in his annoyed mood; He had wanted to talk to Khushi , but all day he had been tied up with this Jha bullshit, and now when he could have finally gotten some time with her, she was not here.
He had hardly slept last night since he kept going to her room to check on her; he found his behavior weird, he had never done that before, the only other person who had kept him up all night with worry was his little sister; whenever anjali was upset or ill he had stayed up all night to keep a vigilant eye on her, but Khushi was far from his sister, in fact his feelings for her were getting stronger and stronger day by day, why did he have such protective emotions for her, why did he crave to see her as soon as he got home!
He reminded himself that their engagement was in two days time, he had succeeded in his plan to keep the media away from this event; a little help from the commissioner and all the newspapers and magazines editors were sent a strict warning. But arnav wondered how they would go ahead with the engagement, he still had to talk with Khushi and see what she thought, they had hardly touched base on that discussion, the growing sexual tension between the two of them had never given them a chance to sit and discuss things rationally.
He had to talk to her tonight, whenever they were back, it was too late to change anything now since the invitations were sent out, but he needed her to be absolutely comfortable with the ceremony;