Arnav came towards her as she asked her question, he looked into the sooty depths of her beautiful eyes, her anguish, her pain he could feel all of it inside himself, he had pained her enough, he now knew what she felt for him, it was evident on her face. He cupped her face and looked her straight in the eyes, and that was when she saw it, the emotion which both of them were hiding so perfectly for so long, she felt a shiver run up her spine as he said in the softest whisper ever "because I love you Khushi".
"I love you..probably since the day you walked in that restaurant and asked me how your dress was.." he smiled and continued as his hand held her by her shoulders. "khushi, today i stand before you without my ego, my stubbornness, my arrogance, my bossiness and my impatience...you stripped me of all those things a long time ago ...today i am simply arnav...your arnav...who is so much in love with you" he took a deep breath as he touched his forehead to hers, waiting for her to say something, he felt hot tears on his hands as they flowed freely from her eyes. He looked up to see her eyes downcast as she shivered in his arms.
'Can this really happen?' khushi thought as she saw arnav looking down at her, his love clearly visible in his eyes, she watched motionless as he slowly wiped her tears with his thumb, she closed her eyes, savoring this moment, she wanted to capture it and store it as the most cherished memory ever, she held on more tightly to him as she felt him lay feathery kisses on her closed eyes. She leaned in further towards him and snaked her arms around his waist and held him tighter, as if he would disappear if she let go.
Khusi rested her cheek against his chest and heard the erratic beating of his heart, mirroring her own. She then looked up into his questing eyes, he was waiting for her to react in some way. She slowly smiled and said in the tenderest of voices "I love you too Arnav...i tried to stop myself from loving you, i tried my best...but how could i? When my heart was in your possession...has been since a long time now...i'm tired of denying it arnav...i love you" she said shyly and saw as arnav's lips lifted in a huge smile; he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tight. He buried his head in her intoxicating hair and sighed, they finally felt complete.
They stood like that in that embrace for God only knows how long, but it was evident that both did not want to move away from each other. Arnav felt like all his wishes had come true when he saw Khushi's love for him...he knew in his heart that she had started loving him but his ego was not letting him accept it nor was his stubbornness letting him confess, but today under this beautiful night sky, with twinkling starts gazing upon them, he let go of all his inhibitions as he pledged his love for his soulmate, his Khushi.
Khushi closed her eyes in bliss and smiled as arnav held on to her. She could not fathom how deep her happiness ran when she heard arnav speak of his feelings for her...she still felt it was all a dream and she would wake up and find herself all alone, she suddenly panicked and stepped out of their embrace. She looked into arnav's eyes clouding with confusion but his love was still very evident. He moved the hair lying on her forehead with one hand and cupped one side of her face "What happened Khushi?" arnav asked her stepping closer to her.
"I don't know Arnav...you say you love me, i can see it in your eyes...but then why were you having dinner with Lisel yesterday? You never told me...and don't even say it was professional...i saw how she was leaning towards you and holding your hand" khushi asked suddenly not sure about anything, how could she deny the scene she had seen yesterday night? That sight which had broken her heart into a million pieces. She looked up to see arnav give her an amused smile.
"Why are you smiling? This is serious...don't even try and make any excuse arnav" Khushi said in irritation, she could not believe he was taking this so lightly. "I did all that to make you jealous sweetheart..i wanted to know if my being with someone else affected you...if the feelings you had for me were deeper than what you showed, plus Lisel is a good friend and is happily married to our choreographer." he said calmly, placing his hands on her bare shoulders.
"What? You were doing all this for making me jealous?! Do you even know what i went through? I could not sleep all night wondering what you both were doing together..do you know how much pain i went through arnav? And you say you love me? Well you have a funny way of showing it! Plus i think you are really blind if you still could not see how i felt for you.." she said with angry blazing eyes shrugging off his hands from her body, arnav chuckled as she turned away from him looking towards the vast hills.
She felt arnav come near her, she went further towards the railing and stood stiffly, she did not want to give in this easily . She shivered as he wrapped his hands around her waist and held her tightly, his front to her back, he placed his head on her shoulder and spoke seductively in her ears, making her tremble against his hard body "Khushi, i was blind...i've always been blind...i did not know what love was, and trust me when i say that i never believed in it...till you."
He let his lips trail her delicate ears making khushi completely melt against him, she placed her hands over his on her waist and leaned in backwards giving him more access to her neck, 'that much for self control' she thought as he continued "Till you came in my life, i was just a machine..my life was spent in making money and keeping my family happy. Hell i did not even know how to laugh..but you changed me..for the better." khushi turned towards him and lightly touched his face with her palm.
"Arnav...do you know what happens to me when you say such things.." she said softly as arnav pulled her more closer to himself "I know sweetheart, because the same thing happens to me" he whispered as he swooped down to capture her perfect red lips, he had waited too long to kiss her...this was their first kiss after confessing to each other and he wanted it to be perfect.
Khushi gasped as she felt arnav's lips on hers..he pulled her bottom lip between his teeth while trailing his tongue over it..she moaned his name as she felt herself give in to his kiss, she really could not stay upset with him for long. She opened her mouth to welcome his tongue in, her own tongue eager to mate with it. Arnav groaned as khushi opened her mouth, he was dying to taste her sweet mouth..their kiss went from a passionate kiss to a wild one, both were parched for it..it was as if they were kissing each other for the first time.
Time stood still as Khushi and arnav reveled in their new found love..even the stars seemed to be twinkling brighter than usual; finally they broke apart, their breathing un-even, their bodies crying from the separation, their minds trying to make sense of the situation while their hearts beating as one, arnav took her hands in his and removed the heirloom ring which she wore on their engagement. He went down on one knee and looked at her with all the loved he felt.
"Khushi gupta, i know we met under odd circumstances...i know that i have been mean, rude and sometime diabolically unbearable to you" arnav said with the utmost seriousness to which khushi smiled merrily. "I wish we had met differently but if we had i would not have had the chance to ride on this roller coaster of discovering love...these few weeks with you have changed me a lot. I want us to start this over again. Forget about what has happened, and what we had planned." he took a pause and looked her straight in the eyes.
"Forget about the pretense, the contract. Forget about Katya and ASR. I am truly sorry for doubting you and not having the guts to accept your love when it was so evident. But i promise you this..if you accept me today, as i am..with a fresh new start in our life...i will spend all my seven lifetimes making up for all the hurt and pain which i have caused you. Khushi, i love you truly, madly and deeply. Will you do me the honor of being my life?" arnav held her delicate hand more tightly waiting to hear her answer.
Khushi was too shocked to say anything..she understood that he was going to propose to her when he went down on his knees, but his words..the sincerity and love in his eyes shocked her to the core...she could not believe this was the same arnav singh raizada who's arrogance and pride were his assets..she was truly humbled by his declaration, she nodded her head in acceptance, finding it too hard to say anything to the perfect words he just spoke.
Arnav quickly slid the ring back in her finger where it was resting a few moments ago. He stood up and pulled her towards himself, his placed a feathery kiss on her forehead and whispered in a naughty voice "Thank God you did not take too long to answer...my knees were giving up on me, one more minute and i would have collapsed...i think m getting old" khushi laughed at his pouty face "Don't worry darling...i'll always be there to hold you if you fall...but you did misspell one thing in your perfect speech...you said life instead of wife." khushi said smiling at him.
"No sweetheart, i did not misspell it, i meant what i said...wife is just a colloquial word, defined by the english language...but you are much more than a relationship, you are my life Khushi, I truly am nothing without you because you complete me. So i meant what i said" Arnav said pulling her into a hug, she rested her head on his chest and sighed as she thought 'Can life get more perfect?'
Anjali was really upset, nothing was perfect anymore! she had tried calling Shyam all day today but he was not taking her calls, neither was he replying to her texts. She felt her eyes fill up as she tried his phone one last time before hitting the bed, she waited patiently as the phone rang, finally he picked up on the 7th ring "Anjali, can you please stop calling me? I'm really busy at the moment. I'll call you tomorrow ok?" shyam spoked in an irritated voice, Anjali sobbed as he cut her call without even listening to what she had to say.
"She flung her phone across the room as she sat thinking what had gone wrong...he was perfectly fine with her yesterday...but then when she had resisted him when he wanted to take things a bit further between them, he had turned cold. For a moment she was actually afraid of his cold eyes, but then he had softened quickly and had told her that they'll wait till she is completely sure of it. Anjali wiped her tears as she sat up on her bed'This was probably happening because she was being such a prude' she thought miserably.
She got up and went to her floor length mirror looking at herself from top to bottom ,she then pulled her band off her hair and let it spill across her shoulders, she pouted in the mirror making her lips look more fuller than they were. She smiled a shy smile as she turned back and lay down on her bed, 'This was it' she thought 'Enough of being little miss chaste...it was time she did something which would make shyam happy..after all he did so much for her. She was ready...ready to take the next step.' thinking of the beautiful new dimension their relationship will enter into, she fell into a deep sleep.
Shyam kept his phone in front of him after brushing off Anjali "Why is it taking so long for him to send it? I've waited too long to see who has taken the fancy of my dear friend Arnav..after all a mere mortal could never melt the hard crust around his heart eh..?" Shyam said in a menacing voice. He glanced at his PA's face who was smiling along with him "Yes Sir, i was thinking the same thing...i mean she really has to be something huh? Hopefully she is more in love with his money than him...it should make our plan much more easy" his PA, Mishra said gleefully.
"Oh, i'm sure that she can be bought..but if she does truly love him then i suppose we'll just have to look for alternate ways to get her on our side" Shyam said as he poured himself a large glass of scotch "I have had enough of his little sister anyways...she's such a prude! And the stupid girl thinks too highly of that b*****d! There is no way their bond can be broken...they were born with it. But this girl...she will be the downfall of you Mr Raizada. I can just feel it!" He sipped his drink slowly waiting for his aid to send him the photograph of arnav's fiancee'.
Shyam's phone beeped as he finished drinking the last bit of his scotch. He clicked on the MMS, waiting for the photo to load, impatience making it difficult for him to wait any longer. Finally it stopped loading and the picture came into focus, the red dress loaded first followed by her perfect bosom and finally her angelic face. Mishra jumped as Shyam's glass fell to the floor, the perfect crystal cut glass broken to tiny shards lying across the gleaming marble floor. He saw as Shyam's eyes turned to ice, his entire body going stiff, Mishra thought its best to move away from him in his current state, but the chilling voice made him stop..he had never seen his boss like this "Katya...my Katya.."
Khushi stood surrounded by the press who were asking her a myriad of questions..right from where she was born, to what style she designs and their favorite question...how did she meet arnav. She was finding it too difficult to give a logical answer to them, her eyes searched for Arnav who was also being held by the reporters eager to get his bytes. He smiled when her eyes finally found his, she urged him to come and help her out. He immediately left and came towards her with his entire set of reporters following him
"Ladies and Gentlemen, i have always respected the press and have promised all of you that i will answer all your questions...but that does not give you permission to harass my fiancee with so many harrowing questions. I would request all of you to give her some privacy otherwise you will not get anything from me" he wrapped his arm around her tiny waist and pulled her closer to himself protectively.
Khushi sighed with relief as she saw the press apologize to her and question arnav instead. She smiled as she saw him answer all their questions very professionally, without giving out too much, it was just perfect to whet their appetite and keep arnav's personal life at bay. She still remembered how he had insisted they go back to their room and continue their exploration as he put it, but khushi had persuaded him to attend the after-party. After all it was in honor of his show, plus the press would hound him a lot of he did not make an appearance.
Arnav was not too happy about it because all he wanted was to be in khushi's arms, and lose himself in her completely. But he felt it wont be fair to the designers and his company if he was not present, plus this was Khushi's night to shine as well...her dress was one of the best on the ramp. They had walked back hand in hand back into the waiting eager crowd, who had gone wild with questions taking them both away from each other. She was still in her dream world when she heard one of the reporters ask arnav a very difficult question.
"ASR, how did you both meet? Was it love at first sight? And how did you get engaged so soon?...because if our calculations are correct, you were quite cosy with the russian supermodel Anna? So how did you meet Ms Gupta?" the reporter asked him with a smirk. Khushi felt arnav's body go stiff, she she squeezed his hand, wondering how he will answer this question.
"Yes, you are correct...i was with Anna during that time, but we broke up amicably before i met Khushi, In fact i was the special guest at her final year show in London and the same dress you saw on the show-stopper was showcased there, I loved the dress...and met her the next day to discuss her future with my company...and the rest as they say is history...it was her innocence and kindness that made me fall in love with her..i did not take me long to decide that this was the girl i wanted to spend my life with" arnav looked at her when he said the last few words...there was no doubt anymore in anyone's mind as they saw the two of them together...this was a couple in love.
After a couple more questions..related more to the show, the press dispersed and the dance floor opened up for dancing, the string quartet started playing a beautiful slow song to which arnav pulled khushi right onto the floor, everyone clapped as the couple swayed to the romantic music, both unaware of everything else except being in each others arms. Khushi felt her body move to its own rhythm as she held on to arnav.
"Khushi?" arnav said softly, his arms holding her waist possessively "Hmm?" khushi replied her body completely leaning on to him "Can we leave now? I mean we have already done the mandatory hello's and interviews...plus i'm really hungry right now." arnav whispered, he saw her lean her head back and look in his eyes "Well, if your hungry lets go eat..why did you not tell me? They have an amazing speard you know.." khushi said looking at the buffet area, she gasped as she felt arnav's hand brush against her cleavage, he leaned in towards her and spoke seductively in her ears, trailing his tongue over it "Who said i was hungry for food?"