'We are Family...'
"You what??" Shilpa asked loudly as khushi placed her palm over her open surprised mouth "Not so loudly di...we are in a public place" khushi whispered to her while looking around the quaint little cafe to check if anyone heard shilpa's little outburst.
"No..seriously Khushi...did you really?" Shilpa started asking when khushi suddenly looked down an sighed "I know di...I know, we should have waited...at least I should have had the sense to wait...but, you know...i just felt that..." Khushi started saying in a dejected voice when Shilpa's delighted laughter made her look up in surprise.
"Uh...di...why are you laughing? Did you not understand what i said? I said, arnav and I did IT...and by IT i don't mean knitting a sweater together.." khushi said as shilpa's sudden "Stop khushi!" made her look at the best friend suspiciously...she wondered why shilpa di was not giving her a lecture or listing down a list of woman's virtues.
"Khushi..did you really think I would be upset with you?...you silly girl! I'm glad you finally took your relationship to the next well..I mean...i remember when me and Navin started dating...we made love on the third date...i mean it was so passionate and I just knew it was right...why the hell do you think I gave you those co****s?" shilpa asked her smiling widely.
"Di! First of all...too much info! And secondly...you're not gonna lecture me on this? I mean...I know you gave me the co****s...but di, Arnav and I had not even started properly dating yet..." Khushi said trying to understand shilpa's casual and cool acceptance of what had happened between her and arnav...she knew that Shilpa's opinion was the only thing that mattered.
"Oh God babu...stop thinking about all this...you and arnav started dating the day you both had you're tongue's explore each other's molars!...plus with the kind of vibes one could sense between you too...i'm really surprised, you both didn't combust" shilpa said as khushi finally smiled "I know di...i'm being very besharam here...but i wanted him from a really long time!..and you know what? I just knew it was the right time...Oh di...i've never felt so alive before!" khushi said happily, her dazzling smile lighting up her face,
"I know sweetie...and I'm so happy for you..." shilpa said as she fondly smiled at her khushi. She laid a hand over hers and said in a soft voice "Now, you both really need to make it official..I mean, you need to tell Anaya first...and Arnav being a public figure...things will get a bit tricky" shilpa said as khushi chewed her lips.
"I know di...we actually discussed this earlier...I mean...both of us are very sure about what we feel for each other...but i think, we need some time to ourselves first...its not like we are getting married di...I mean...eventually i guess...but right now, we just want to see how things work out...plus we have anaya to also think about..." khushi said as shilpa nodded her head in agreement.
"Yes, you are right...but i really can't wait for your wedding now!...did i tell you that Navin and I are planning for our plus one? And I sure as hell don't wanna be heavily pregnant during your wedding!" shilpa said as khushi squealed in delight..."Oh di! You'll be a wonderful mother!" khushi said as shilpa joined in her laughter "So will you khushi...so will you"
'Where are you?' Arnav texted as he waited impatiently for khushi's reply...he drummed his fingers on his mahogany desk while aman shuffled around talking on his phone...his eyes lit up as the phone beeped once 'On my way...see you soon' he smiled at her reply and got up quickly to don his coat.
"Uh Aman...you can handle the Auditor's meeting right? I'm leaving early today" arnav said quickly as Aman's eyes rounded "Ss..sure sir..not a problem...Uh...may I call you if anything important turns up?" he asked nervously to which arnav nodded "Off course you can..." he said leaving aman wondering why his boss is suddenly taking early breaks...yesterday he left around lunch time, never to return back or take his calls...and today he was leaving one hour before office closes...'Strange!'
"Khushi...do you want these finely chopped or chrushed?" maggie asked khushi with a huge smile as khushi wiped her hands on her apron "Oh..uh..finely chopped please maggie" she said as she removed the apron and draped it over the kitchen chair, she looked at the watch, wondering where arnav was.
She smiled as she remembered the amazing day she had spent with Arnav yesterday...they had slept soundly till five in the evening to wake up lazily and make love again...when they had finally showered and freshened up, khushi had been pretty sore from her late afternoon activity. Arnav had called for takeaway pizza which they had eaten sitting in her little balcony while telling each other more tid-bits of their past.
It had really been a magical day for them as they opened up completely to each other, sharing their future plans and dreams..they spoke at large about anaya and khushi realized how much the little girl had come to mean to her. She had insisted that arnav tell her about them..so they had planned to tell her together...tonight..after dinner. Khushi had insisted that she wanted to make anaya something she liked...so here she was cooking up a storm of Italian food...nervous as hell about talking to anaya...who obviously was more than happy to find her ms Gupta cooking for her
"Are you making white and red sauce both Ms gupta?" anaya said excitedly as she sat doing her homework on the kitchen table...she had not left khushi for even a second since she had come to their house..she had deemed it not necessary to question khushi about why she was here...it was as if, she knew khushi would be coming.." "Umm..no, actually i'm making lasagna sweetheart...with garlic bread" khushi said happily as anaya smiled at her "Oh wow! I love lasagna!...you are awesome Ms gupta" she said breaking into a huge smile as maggie chuckled.
"Ok now anu...lets go up...you need to freshen up before dinner..." maggie said as she washed her hands and helped anaya pack up her things "Khushi..if you need anything else, please let me know...also HP is in the conservatory..." she started saying when khushi interrupted her "Maggie, don't worry...i'm good...you have already dome most of the preps..i'll just finishing up with the rest" khushi said as anaya waved a bye to her promising her that she will be back quickly after her evening bath.
Khushi smiled as she saw them go...this entire thing just seemed so normal..so domestic, like she was meant to be here..she sighed as she layered everything in the casserole for the lasagna, finishing it off neatly before popping it inside the oven...she had just straightened up when she felt strong hands quickly grab her from the back while warm breath ticked her ears "Hi.." she heard his husky voice as she relaxed against his hold...she let her body rest on his as she smiled while placing her hands over his "Hi to you to Mr Raizada" she said breathlessly as her body started reacting immediately to his closeness
"Umm...i love it when you say Mr Raizada...its.just.so.sexy" he said haltingly as he nipped at her ear making khushi tilt her head towards him "Arrnav...stop...we are in the kitchen...anyone can.." she started protesting, trying to wriggle out of his arms when he turned her around and gazed at her blushing face "No one's here...I sent HP out for some work..and as far as I know...maggie is upstairs with anaya...so..." he said as he lowered his face to kiss her gently on her cheek.
Khushi closed her eyes as her hands involuntarily went around arnav's neck...she shivered as he continued kissing her face, her heart beating with anticipation as his lips finally captured hers in an sensual kiss...she sighed in satisfaction as his lips bit her bottom lip, drawing it between his teeth...he ran his tongue over the swell before entering the sweet recess of her waiting mouth..khushi moaned as she felt arnav's tongue explore hers in a slow dance of seduction...she held onto him harder and pressed herself more into his aroused body as his hands went inside her kurti caressing the heated skin on her back.
"God..khushi...' arnav groaned as her fingers now went to curl inside his thick hair while she deepened the kiss making him loose all control...his right hand climbed her silky waist to reach her lace covered breast "I want you..now" he demanded as khushi whimpered in want and desire...her body shuddering at the feel of his hand over her sensitized skin when she heard the beep of the oven...indicating the timer was off...she quickly broke away from the kiss and placed her hands over his chest, making arnav too realize where they were...he smiled sheepishly at her as she tried to get her breathing back to normal
"Arnav...i really don't know what happens to me when you...when you..." she said shyly as arnav placed his hands on either side of her over the counter "When I what khushi?" he asked her trying to act all innocent as khushi blushed profusely...she smiled at him before pushing him away "I need to finish up here...anaya and maggie will be down any minute.." she said as arnav chuckled at her... "excuses...excuses...admit it khushi..you like it when i.." he started saying when a soft 'ahem' made them both jump apart from each other
Khushi looked down in embarrassment as maggie walked in and went straight to the fridge...she seemed flustered but kept her features very normal...she poured a glass of water and brought it to arnav who was now standing 10 feet away from khushi "I did not realize you had come Arnav...aren't you a tad bit early today?" maggie asked him with a poker face to which arnav cleared his throat before answering "Yeah...i had some work here.."
Maggie smiled at him before turing towards a red faced khushi "Khushi...you need any help dear? Or should i start setting up the table?" she asked her warmly to which khushi simply smiled, before glancing towards arnav who was now looking intently at his phone screen while leaving the kitchen.
She went back to removing the lasagna and bread from the oven. She kept them on the table to take it outside later when maggie came and stood next to her, placing her hand on her shoulder 'I'm very happy for you both Khushi...very happy.." she said as she gave her a huge happy smile before enveloping her in a warm hug. Khushi looked on dazed and giddy as maggie left with the plates to set up the table, a skip in her step as she hummed an old song...
"Yummy! Ms Gupta...i really love your lasagna!...i mean you should have your own italian restaurant!!" anaya said with a happy smile as she polished off her second helping while munching down more garlic bread... "Pa...you should not eat too much garlic bread...otherwise your breath will stink of garlic!" she said as arnav raised his eyebrows at her..he sipped on his red wine before winking at her "Oh really? I know your'e only saying that so that you get to eat more of it..." he teased her as anaya struck her tongue out.
Khushi looked on amused as father and daughter both kept on with the teasing game...she tried to catch arnav's eye and gestured him to talk to anaya..she felt this was the best time for them to bring it up since it was just the three of them at the table...khushi bit her lip as she looked at arnav's relaxed face...why is this man so relaxed when i can feel the entire jungle doing a stampede in my tummy!
"Anu...there is something Ms Gupta...Khushi and I want to talk to you about..." arnav said carefully as anaya suddenly looked up from her plate "Ya pa I know..." she said as she drank her orange juice. Arnav looked at khushi who gave him a questioning look before both looked at anaya "You know what sweetheart?" khushi asked her as anaya's face broke into a huge smile
"I know that you and pa will marry soon...and that you will be my new mummy" she said very matter of factly as if it was an inevitable thing...khushi looked on wide-eyed at arnav who seemed to be at a loss of words "Uh...anu...how did you?" he asked her when anaya looked at him with a knowing look "I have been praying to God since many days now...and I know that I have been a good girl as well...so i knew that God will listen to me..." she said as both the adults looked at her with love
"What did you pray for sweetheart?" khushi asked, her voice choking with a rush of emotions the little girl's words brought up...she watched as anaya got down and came to her, she side hugged her which khushi returned back with all her heart "I prayed for you Ms Gupta...i prayed for you to be my mummy..." she said innocently as tears clouded khushi's vision...she bent down and kissed anaya's soft hair as she finally let her go from the hug.
Anaya's smiling face then turned towards her father who was watching them with a fond and loving expression "Oh and Pa...i seriously only told you not to eat those garlic breads to avoid bad breath" she said watching arnav's confused face, wondering why she suddenly got that up.. "Uff oh pa!if you have bad breath...how will you kiss Ms Gupta?" she said while running towards the kitchen giggling away.
"What the! Khushi...how the hell does she know about kissing? What is she taught at school?...you better keep a watch on her khushi...I want every boy 10 feet away from her...I..." arnav said as khushi got up and came to sit in the chair next to him "Shh...arnav...stop!..breath!" khushi said as arnav calmed down and looked at her "She likes me..." khushi said with a sweet smile as arnav pulled her close to himself "No Khushi...she loves you...just like her father does"