Sunday, September 23, 2012

Walk the Line - Chapter 31

On August 27th, I was exchanging emails with a friend, and bouncing ideas off her. This is what I wrote in my email.

“ASR has to go for chores for the wedding or the fashion show or some such excuse. He drags Khushi along for the 'chores'. In reality he gives the chores to Aman and they take off for their farm house, total solitude, hills etc..Come back in the evening, everyone is going.. what happenswa to both your phonwas?”

I had no clue that we would get such a memorable farmhouse episode on 21st Sept. In any case, this is how my farmhouse chapter played out...


Chapter 31

She waited impatiently in her penthouse, pacing up and down wearing out the rug. Shyam was late, again. She wanted him here, now! Today she was dressed in a black trouser suit, a white shirt and a loose tie. Her hair was up in her signature pony tail, while a pair of blood red come-fuck-me Loubotins peeked from the bottom of her trousers. A blood red Swarovski crystal tear-drop brooch gave the final touch to her look. She looked at the clock on the wall again. There was a knock on the door. She opened it.

Shyam stood there, and for a moment his gaze went from the heels to the top of her sleek head. Desire flamed in his eyes matching hers. He pushed the door shut and locked it.

Picking her up by the waist, he sat her down on the desk, plunging his mouth down on hers. She pushed him away, and he slapped her hard across her face. Leaning in he licked the little drop of blood that appeared at the corner of her lips. Her hands reached down, but he held her wrists stopping her from reaching her goal. He bent her back at an impossible angle, her legs coming up around his waist. The zipper was opened in no time. He lifted her up a bit and pulled down her pants and thongs. Bending down, he put his mouth on her and heard her give a hoarse cry as his tongue plunged into her. He nipped, sucked and bit at her, drinking in her juices. Her hands pulled at his hair, adjusting his rhythm to her rocking hips. She was almost there, when he pulled away. He plunged a finger into her and another and then a third, slowing the rhythm down. Licking her at the same time. She buckled under him, a harsh cry coming from her throat as she came, He pulled out. His zipper was undone and he was hard and ready. He pushed into her in one go, in the middle of her orgasm. He fucked her. Hard, but slow, taking his time. Her pony whipped back and forth as her legs came up around his neck. Holding her hips he slowed her down some more until she was moaning with need. He speeded up, allowing her to come again and again, before he finally allowed himself release.

He lay half on top of her, his legs barely holding him up. For a few minutes they just lay there, breathing returning to normal. She pushed him away, getting up and adjusting her clothes.

‘So, Rani Sahiba’, he said, the sleek smile of a satisfied animal on his face. ‘Why did you call me here? I’m assuming its not just for this,’ tugging his shirt into his waistband. ‘Although, I’d like to think it was,’

‘No,’ she said. She walked across to the mirror checking her face for any signs of bruises. The slap had been hard, her lower lip was cut, but not bleeding any more. ‘It wasn’t.’ She turned around to face him. ‘The wedding is in two days. When will I get to meet Khushi again? She’ll leave for the US as soon as the wedding is over. Then what? You couldn’t even get me a phone number so I could talk to her.’

‘Rani Sahiba, looks like ASR has given her a phone that we can’t trace. I tried. God knows I tried. But.. its either a prepaid cell or under someone else’s name. She doesn’t show up at all.’

‘I want her here,’ she said. There was a stubborn predatory gleam in her eyes. ‘What have you found about out about the wedding?’

‘It’s taking place at the Raizada hotel. The rituals will be on the rooftop, since the muhurat is early evening. Then there’s the reception downstairs. The wedding is closed to family and close friends only. My guess is Raizada will have the elevators to the rooftop closed off.’

‘Where is she tonight?’

He shook his head. ‘Hard to say. She’s been staying at his home, but with all the rituals, she might have gone to the hotel. It’s hard for me to shadow her all the time, Rani Sahiba,’ he whined. ‘Besides my sources tell me there is heavy police protection at the wedding too.’

‘Hmmm... ‘ she nodded. A plan was beginning to form in her head. She stood still letting the ideas coalesce in her mind. ‘I know,’ she said. ‘I know what we can do.’

He looked at her - a little bit in exasperation. He knew what he could do. The ring that ASR had placed around her was tight, but he knew how to find the cracks in it. A wedding is a big thing. No one would miss her. There were too many people around. It had to be the night of the wedding itself. Besides, he wanted some alone time with Ms. Khushi Kumari Gupta before handing her over to Rani Sahiba. She owed him that much, at least.

******

Arnav woke up later than usual. He lay in bed, uncharacteristically for him, because the minute he was awake, he was out of it. In his mind, unbidden came a picture of Khushi as he’d last seen her, and a smile turned up the corner of his lips. The red dress, the beautiful face and the accusing eyes. Something didn’t feel right. There was almost like a hole inside him. He hadn’t seen her a whole day and it was harder than he thought it might be. The smile faded from his face. He wasn’t going to see her today either, he decided. The imp opened its eyes, rubbed them, and then looked disbelievingly at him, before turning its back on him.

Downstairs it was a little quiet. Although from the sounds in the kitchen, he knew Mami and Di were busy there. Dilip was sitting the lounge with Akash, discussing the news. Nani seemed to be in the temple. All in all, there were the normal sounds of a household just waking up. His breakfast was ready and he ate it before he walked over to the lounge to join the men. Suddenly he felt as if the wind was sucked out of his lungs. He turned around slowly. Khushi was walking down the corridor from the guest room, struggling with her purse and a bag.

He looked at her, unable to tear his gaze away, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. Di stood there with a list in her hand.

‘Chotey,’ she said. ‘I need you to go out today. I have a list, these are the things I need. We have to have them before the evening. I know it’ll take you all over town, but I need these. Okay?’ She thrust the list under his nose. He raised his hand to take it, not really registering what she was saying, his eyes blank. She looked at him, frowned and said, ‘Chotey, are you even listening to what I am saying?’

‘Yeah, Di. Sure,’ he took the list from her, aware that Khushi had stopped for a bit and was walking towards them now.

He turned around and was almost at the door when he heard another ‘Chotey!’ from his sis. For a second, he closed his eyes in frustration. Then he turned around, ‘Yes, di?’

‘Chotey, can you drop Khushi off at the hotel?’ she said. Khushi was standing there looking like she wished the earth would swallow her up. She looked anywhere but at him.

Knowing how stubborn his sister might be, and the fact that he had absolutely no excuse to refuse her a ride, he just nodded. ‘Sure, I’ll drop her off.’

‘There’s no need,’ she snapped. ‘I can get a cab.’

‘You’re coming with me, Khushi. I’m dropping you at the hotel.’ There was finality in his tone.

Akash, Dilip and Di looked at the exchange with puzzlement on their faces. What was going on here? There definitely seemed to be a tension between these two. What had happened?

She pressed her lips together and gathered up her bags. He held the door open for her, but didn’t offer to help with the bags. Once outside, she turned to him and said, ‘You don’t have to, you know. I can easily cab it from here.’

He looked at her for a moment, his brows coming together in a scowl. ‘Just sit in the car, Khushi,’ he said, taking her bags from her, and dumping them into the trunk before slamming it shut.

She got in and slammed the door.

He got in and slammed the door.

He didn’t know why he was so mad.

He didn’t know why she was so mad.

But mad was good, at least that hollow feeling wasn’t there in his chest.

Back in the house, the trio were looking at each other.

‘Akash, did Chotey seem a little off today? D’you know what happened to him?’

‘No, Di.’ He seemed equally puzzled.

‘And you,’ she said, turning to her husband. ‘You went with him yesterday to the hotel. Did anything happen there?’

‘No,’ he shrugged. ‘We went there, sat for about ten minutes and left. Nothing happened. In fact, Khushi wasn’t even there!’

Anjali’s eyes widened. ‘She wasn’t there? Where was she? Did he call her?’

‘Nope. I don’t know where she was. But she definitely wasn’t there.’

‘And he didn’t make a phone call, did he?’ she was beginning to smile.

‘No,’ he smiled, too. Finally understanding where she was going with this one. The three of them burst out laughing. ‘Poor Chotey,’ said he. ‘He’s gonna get it this time.’

They all chuckled imagining what Khushi might have to say to Chotey.

In fact, Khushi wasn’t saying anything right then. He’d started the car savagely and taken off with a squeal of tires. She just looked straight ahead grimly. He glanced at her once, then kept his eyes on the road. ‘What was that for?’

‘What was what for?’

‘Wanting to take a cab.’

‘It’s obvious you didn’t want to give me a ride. So I thought I should take the cab.’

‘Dammit, Khushi. Do you have to be so difficult?’

‘Difficult? Me? ME?!’ her voice went up an octave.

He screeched to a halt. ‘Yes, you. Its just a simple ride. Why make an issue out of it?’

‘Maybe because I didn’t want to be sitting in the same small enclosed space as you,’ she bit back.

‘Oh really?’

‘Yes, really!’

They were leaning towards each other now, in each other’s faces. His eyes searched her face, seeing the flags of red on each cheek and the glitter of anger in her eyes. ‘In that case,’ he turned around and started the car. ‘You’re gonna be spending a lot more time with me in this small enclosed space.’

‘What?’

‘Yeah.’

‘What d’you mean?’

He didn’t bother to answer her. Instead, he picked up the phone from the dashboard and raised it to his ear. ‘Call Aman’.

She opened her mouth and he held up a finger to her, silencing her, before bringing it back to the steering wheel. She sat seething while he put the phone down, his ever-present bluetooth now linked up to it.

‘Aman.’ Her head snapped around. ‘I need you to do some shopping for me. Write this down.’ With one hand he held the list that Anjali had given him. He dictated all the items on the list. ‘Yeah, Aman. I know. It’ll take you all over town. I need it done and delivered to the office. I’ll come by to pick it up.....Evening.... cancel those... yeah... and no calls... absolutely no calls... call Akash if you need to... Yeah.’ He hung up.

Her eyes had gotten rounder as he spoke.

‘Listen,’ she was more than a little scared now. ‘What are you doing?’

‘Call your parents,’ he said. ‘Tell them you’re out shopping with me.’

‘What?!’

‘Just call them, Khushi,’ his voice brooked no questions.

With shaking hands, she called her parents and told them. She was more than a little frightened now. She had never before felt the full fury of Arnav Singh Raizada, and she was scared by it. What the heck was he up to?

She realized that now they were heading out of town. ‘Where are we going?’ He didn’t answer. But he seemed a little calmer now. She put a hand on his arm, feeling the muscles bunch under the full sleeve of his shirt as he changed gears. He glanced over at her. She tried reading his eyes, but all she saw was the remnants of the anger in him.

He looked at her again, before pulling his eyes back to the road. What the hell happened to him? He didn’t have a plan. All he knew was he’d said something because he was furious with her. All he knew was that he had her in the car, and now they had to go somewhere. Where? He thought it over and then picked up the phone again and dialed a number from memory.

The phone was picked up at the other end with a ‘Hello? Arnav?’

‘Yeah. I’m coming over now, and I have a guest with me.’

‘No problem, Arnav. Don’t worry about a thing. I’ll take care of it.’

‘Thanks.’ He hung up the phone.

She looked straight ahead, but the changing scenery had its calming effect. They drove in silence for what seemed like an hour. Neither wanted to be the first to break it. His jaws were still clenched and they were starting to hurt. Finally, he turned onto a dirt road. Before her, was a long driveway and she could make out some buildings at the end of it. He pulled up in front of the building - a sprawling bungalow with tiled roofs and a verandah that went all the way around. In front was a beautiful lawn, filled with lush flowers and green grass, a white and green table with six chairs set to one side.

He unbuckled his seat belt and took off his blue tooth. He reached out and picked up her phone lying on the dash in front of her, and his, put all three of them in the glove compartment. She watched him silently as he unbuckled her belt too. He got out and walked around to her side, holding the door open. She stepped out.

The sun was hot, and shimmering heat waves danced across the hills she could make out in the distance. She shaded her eyes and looked around. ‘Where are we?’

‘My farmhouse,’ he said.

Before he could say anything more, two Great Danes came careening around a corner. One was jet black, while the other was a chocolate brown. One jumped on him, while the other sniffed Khushi. She heard him chuckle and turned to look at him.

‘Hey, big guy,’ he was murmuring, rubbing its ears. ‘You’ve grown even taller now!’ trying to keep his face out of the way of a slobbering tongue. He crouched down so he could put his arms around both of them as they licked his face. One pounced on him and sent him flat on his back from his precarious perch. The two dogs proceeded to tackle him every time he tried to sit up. He was laughing and it was the best sound she’d ever heard.

She couldn’t help but smile at the picture they made.

‘Arnav!’ The call came from the verandah. An oldish man stood on the steps waving to him. He came down the stairs towards them. Arnav held out a hand for Khushi to help him up, and she took it, hauling him up straight. He brushed his hands on his trousers, now liberally streaked with dirt.

‘Arnav beta,’ the man laughed, ‘come on in. Who is this?’

‘Khushi,’ he said simply. ‘She’s Khushi. Khushi, this is Uttam. He looks after this place for me.’

‘Come on in, now.’

‘What are their names?’ Khushi asked looking at the two dogs that followed them up to the verandah but did not step inside.

‘Tom and Jerry’, said Arnav with a straight face. She cracked up! She couldn’t help it. He joined her, chuckling at her amusement.

‘Which one is which?’ she sputtered.

‘The brown one is Tom, the black is Jerry,’ he was still smiling at her. For a moment, they forgot their spat from this morning. Just smiling at each other. Uttam cleared his throat.

‘Arnav, would you like to change? You’re covered in dirt.’

‘Yah. Thanks. Can you please get these washed right away?’

‘No problem.’

‘Khushi, feel free to wander around. I’ll just freshen up and change out of these and be with you. Okay?’

She nodded and watched him take off down the verandah, Uttam following him. She wandered in taking in the clean, almost spartan lines of the house. It was built in a square, surrounding a courtyard, with a fountain on one side. The courtyard was flagstoned and edged with a flower border. The side on which the kitchen was, she presumed, there was a gazebo - with a barbecue and a bar! The entrance had a higher roof, and she just noticed the bell in the bell tower. The closest she could think of in architectural style would be the hacienda, she thought. Even the colors were adobe, the walls were stucco and the tiles were red. There was a real Spanish feel to it. At the opposite end of the courtyard was another smaller entrance. She figured it led out to the backyard and went across the courtyard. It opened out to a swimming pool. She smiled. He had to have a swimming pool everywhere, she thought. It was beautiful! Quiet and serene. Her jangled nerves from the last two days calmed down completely.

Arnav came out to the inner courtyard looking for her. He saw her standing by the pool, the inner entrance framing her as she stood there sideways, looking out. The slight breeze was lifting her hair as she stood one hand on her hip, a far away look on her face. He stood there just looking at her. Wondering how he ever thought he was going to let a day go by without seeing her. Two days! I must have been mad.

The imp gave a lop-sided smirk and wandered over to the bar.

She turned around just then and saw him, her face lighting up with that smile. She let her gaze take him in, the olive green tee, and jeans and a pair of comfortable kolhapuris, having ditched his designer shoes for something casual. She was glad that she was wearing jeans, too and a comfortable thin cotton top.

It was definitely hot here despite the cooling breeze.

8 comments:

  1. wow...madhu...caught up with your FF & read it almost all of it in one go...absolutely brilliant!!
    loved the characterization, the movement of stories, the depiction of changing emotions, superb pace of the story!!
    Thnx for the PM dear...cant wait to read ahead!!
    please continue soon :)

    aditi07

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  2. The Farmhouse!!!!......ok so we have huge huge huge expectation of the farmhouse.....;)

    Amazing update as always, what more can I say....

    Payal.

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  3. Superb Darling.... and yeah... couldn't wait till the night... so read it during the day !!! ;-)

    Please update soon.... we all have a huge guttery expectation from the Farmhouse !!!! :-D

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  4. Loved this chapter, the sizzling air of awareness
    Between the two, the standpoints
    All in all a captivating chapter

    -Jhalak

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  5. just when i managed to pull myself out of the gutter of the episode .. read ur update & was plunged right back in .. what a contrast .. 2 sizzling passionate encounters played out .. both with a underlying anger element .. one was raw .. elemental ..down right seedy .. the other .. intense .. full of passion full of the deep love .. only u can bring out this difference madhu .. speechless would be a small word ...

    all i can say is .. am literally panting for more .. jaldi jaldi update karo .. i will keep egging u on with my sad emoticons .. till u make the next update ...

    the story is so moving perfectly .. one wishes our esteemed PH spends sometime reading this & understanding how stories need to progress logically .. but .. the crumbs of brilliance they give us is enuf .. ;)

    Super Madhu ..

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  7. My goodness , you know how to make a chapter turn from one of.... I don't even know what to call it... S and RS...that was just urgh... it shouldnt be like that.. but it goes on, so well done. Then we have Arnav , trying to keep away from her, but when she intimates that she doesnt want to be near him, he flips! The mans got it bad, he just won't admit to it. 

    The scene with tom and jerry, never in my life would I have expected that, gosh he put all the love he has in to those two, who ask nothing more of him but love. The way he was laughing, really lovely. Im expecting a talk between them as to why he is being aloof eith Khushi, at least tell her he is confused

    Sorry about the previous comment when i read it back it made no sense...

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