Monday, October 22, 2012

Walk the Line - Chapter 39

Dinner wound down and it was time now for the speeches. Arnav had organized this a little like a Western wedding. So there were toasts, and fun and teasing and laughter. The ballroom was quickly cleared of dinner and the Deejay started playing music. The lights were dimmed while strobes and lasers hit the floor. People started heading towards the dance floor as the front half of the room had been transformed into a nightclub. Drinks were flowing freely and those that wanted to sit down and enjoy the party could still do so, while the youngsters were enjoying themselves as well. The music came to a halt and a couple of spotlights focused on the deejay.

No one had actually started dancing at this point, so the floor was still empty. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ he growled into the mic. ‘This evening is a special one - for Akash and his lovely Payal. This first dance is dedicated to the couple of the moment. Give it up for them - Akash and Payal Singh Raizada!’ A slow, dreamy song came on as Akash led Payal to the floor. Everybody clapped as they moved into the center of the floor, a single spotlight on them. Everyone held their breath as the two of them couldn’t seem to look away from each other, lost in their own private little world. Mothers wiped their teary eyes while fathers watched with lumps in their throat. So beautiful!

As the song moved into the second refrain, a few more spotlights hit the floor. NK and Lavanya stepped into the light, swaying to the music, content to just barely move to the rhythm. Arnav stood watching them from the side, with Khushi’s hand tucked into his arm. He knew what he wanted to do, but this was his brother’s evening, so he’d wanted to wait awhile. With NK on the floor, and Jaime leading Pat on to it as well, it was time for him. He held Khushi’s hand and led her out to the floor. He held her loosely, aware that this wasn’t the place to hold her as close as he wanted to. He looked down at her and smiled, she looked up at him and smiled. Automatically, his arms pulled her in a little closer. He bent his head to her and whispered, ‘I could keep doing this all night!’ She blushed and turned her face towards him, both of them unaware of the hundreds of eyes on them. He pushed her away, holding on to her hand, and then twirled her close, dipping her, circling her, his eyes never leaving her, his hands never stopping touching her. She kept her eyes on him too, not wanting to lose even one moment of this magical evening. The sound of clapping brought them back to earth.

More spotlights hit the floor, and the music changed to something uptempo. More young couples and older ones too began dancing on the floor. Anjali and Nani on one side and Anna and Shashi on the other side had watched Arnav and Khushi dance. They had seemed even more lost in each other than Payal and Akash if that were possible.

Anna turned to Shashi and said, ‘do you see what I am seeing?’ He nodded. ‘I’m worried for her, Shashi.’

He looked at her puzzled. ‘Why?’

‘Did you notice how long the two of them were missing? And NK came up with this story of her having spilt food on her dress, she said spilt orange juice. So what was it - food? or orange juice? Something happened, Shashi. And I think young Mr. Raizada knows about it.’

‘Anna, our daughter is an adult. She has to make these decisions on her own. We’ve raised her with good, strong values. And I know she won’t disappoint us by doing something she’ll regret. My only worry is, we leave for the US next week. What happens then?’

‘My point exactly, Shashi. What then? If he hasn’t said anything by now, when will he?’

‘Anna, we can’t rush it. There’s one thing about him. He’s got a solid head on his shoulders. He might not know it or acknowledge it, but he’s as much a traditionalist like Khushi is, especially about things that matter. So let’s leave them to work it out. I’m sure they’ll come to the right conclusions.’

‘What right conclusions, Nani?’ asked Anjali on the other side. ‘Look at how they were dancing. It’s obvious and Chotey is making a public display of it. Something he never does. I think we should just ask him, Nani,’ she said.

‘Anjali, you know Chotey will shy away from such things if we ask him. He has to make his own choices. This is how he is,’ said Nani.

‘Nani - for once I have to agree with Anjali,’ Dilip chimed in. ‘Chotey will not go the extra mile to say what he wants to say. Years of practice have left him handicapped. Something or someone will have to force him to say it. And if asking him does it, then why not?’

‘I don’t know, Dilip,’ Nani answered. She was worried about Chotey. He’d had girlfriends before, they all knew it. But he’d never displayed affection so openly before. There was something different with this girl. And while she couldn’t imagine Khushi hurting him, she could very well imagine him hurting Khushi, just so he could crawl back into his shell again.

Unknown to them, Rani Sahiba stood just behind them and had listened to every word of their conversation. She was worried too now. She’d seen them together today, and she’d seen their little food play. So these two are now an item? she thought. The dance had been very revealing. Arnav Singh Raizada knew how to dance, and Khushi had been melting into it. An ugly scowl marked her botoxed brow. She’d been feeling jealous and disgusted ever since she’d seen how possessively Arnav had been guarding her. Right after dinner, she’d noticed it. He was always with her, never letting her out of his sight! This was going to be difficult, she thought. Difficult but not impossible. There was always a way to get what she wanted. Right after dinner, she thought. What had happened right before dinner, then? She thought back, Khushi had left by that side door. Then ASR had vanished for almost an hour. Where had they gone? And she’d come back in a different dress. Had they been....? Her eyes narrowed, and nostrils flared in anger. With compressed lips, she moved in towards her prey.

Arnav and Khushi came off the floor and were standing in the darker part of the room. The floor was quite crowded now. He felt a tap on his arm and turned around. ‘Ms. Virdi!’ he said.

‘Hi, Arnav, won’t you ask me to dance?’ She smiled up at him.

‘Would you do me the honor?’ he was just being polite. He looked around for Khushi but she was engaged in a conversation with NK and Lavanya.

‘Thank you!’ she said, curling her fingers into his arm as he led her to the floor. He held her formally at a distance as they danced. ‘So,’ she began, ‘I guess I have to ask you the one question everyone is wanting to know the answer to.’

He raised an eyebrow. ‘What?’

‘What’s going on with you and Ms Gupta?’ she smiled.

He narrowed his eyes. Anyone who knew ASR knew better than to ask him personal questions. Gauri Virdi was a business associate. She had no right to ask him a question like this. Tamping down the annoyance inside, he smiled and said, ‘it really is none of your business, Ms. Virdi’, making sure she got the hint. She didn’t.

‘Oh, come on, Arnav. I mean you two were dancing like...’ she trailed off making a suggestive gesture with her hand.

‘I don’t know what you mean, Ms. Virdi. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I see someone needs my attention.’ With that, he led her off the floor and stalked off.

Khushi had been watching him dance with Gauri and needless to say, she could feel a little green-eyed monster chewing inside her. She’d known that there would be other women around him, that could possibly want him. But he was ... hers.. her special person, she thought. He’s mine! Her eyes widened at the thought. Did she really want him to be hers in every sense of the way? ... Yes, she did.... she wanted it. But... was that what he wanted? He acted like he did... but then... he’d never said anything about it.

Just then, she heard a voice, the same obnoxious voice whisper in her ear, ‘you look beautiful today, Khushi.’ Rani Sahiba.

For a moment she stood frozen. Then she spun around. There were a dozen people walking by and in the darkness she could barely make out who they were. Rani Sahiba was here! at the party! She shivered as if cold, looking around for Arnav. She couldn’t see him anywhere. She moved closer to Jaime as he continued chatting and hooked her arm through his. He looked down at her. ‘You okay, Khushi?’ he asked. She nodded and smiled at him, although her face felt like it was cracking open with the effort.

‘Just tired,’ she said.

‘It is getting late, and I guess the party will wind down now,’ he said, patting her arm. ‘Do you want to go upstairs?’

She shook her head. ‘No, I’m fine.’ He frowned down at her taking in the pale face, but thought it must be because of what happened earlier.

She didn’t want to say anything now. It would create a ruckus and she didn’t want anything to spoil her jiji’s day. She saw her sister sitting with her new husband, their heads bent towards each other, talking and smiling. No. There was time enough tomorrow. She would tell Arnav then, she thought.

It was around midnight that Mamaji whispered something to Arnav. It was time for the bride and groom to leave. He nodded his head and signaled the DJ. Once he song finished, he picked up the mic and walked to the center of the floor. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, once again, thank you for joining us tonight. As you know, we still have some rasams to complete, so we will be bidding you all good night. But please carry on partying, there’s still music, the bar is open, and late night snacks will be coming out soon. So please carry on!’ he concluded. There was clapping and cheering and ‘Noooo’s, but he left center stage. The music started pumping again.

The bridal party left the hall and headed up to the nineteenth floor.

Unmarked cars drew up to the rear entrance of the hotel, away from the eyes of the inquisitive press, so that the Raizadas could go home comfortably. The Guptas would take their leave of Payal here itself. Khushi was helping Payal with the last of her packing, hurrying to help her, when her phone rang. She picked it up, ‘Arnav?’ she said.

‘Pack your things as well. You’re coming home with me,’ he said.

‘Excuse me? Why?’

‘We’ve got to go to the CBI tomorrow, we might as well go from there,’ he replied. ‘Besides, I don’t want you alone in that room tonight,’ he said.

She sighed. ‘And what exactly do I tell Mum and Dad?’

He frowned and said, ‘I’ll handle it.’ He ended the call and called Shashi’s room. But before he could get through, Anjali came up to him. ‘Chotey, we are ready to leave.’ He nodded.

They walked over to the Gupta’s room, where Payal was bidding a tearful goodbye to her parents and Khushi and Jaime, hugging each of them in turn. Arnav could see Khushi sniffling as she hugged Payal, her nose red and eyes redder. As Payal turned to hug Jaime, he whispered to Khushi, ‘you are going with your sister to her in-laws’ place. Why on earth were you crying?’

She looked up at him with outrage in her eyes, tears still trembling on her eyelashes. ‘You wouldn’t understand,’ she mumbled.

He raised an eyebrow.

She said, ‘You’re not a woman.’

He raised both eyebrows, mouth pursed in an ‘O’ trying hard not to laugh at her completely senseless comeback. ‘Shouldn’t you be thanking your lucky stars I’m not?’ he murmured..

She whipped around to look at him, eyes popping open even more if it were possible.

Finally, Payal was ready to leave, and they all headed downstairs and into the waiting cars. Arnav maneuvered Khushi into his car, sinking into the seat next to her, before telling the driver to ‘Drive!’

They arrived in Shantivan in a little convoy. Akash and Payal waited in their car, while Anjali and Mami went in ahead to make sure all the preparations were ready to greet the new couple. Once they were done the front door was opened, and the newlyweds ascended the steps to the doorway. They stopped at the doorway where Anjali first did aarti for them, applying tika and sprinkling rice on them. Payal then took her first step into the house as a daughter-in-law. She lightly tapped and overturned the small metal vessel of rice and mango leaves, spilling fortune into the house. Next, she stepped into a plate of vermillion mixed in water, and then carefully stepped out. Each of her footprints marked that of prosperity being welcomed into the house.

‘Akash, now for the final rasam,‘ said Anjali. ‘You may carry your bride into the house.’

He smiled and quickly lifted up Payal into his arms carrying her like a precious load, one that he would happily carry his entire life. He carried her off to his room to the cheers and claps from below.

Khushi looked around at the happy faces and the decorated house. The whole milieu of a wedding redolent in the overpowering perfume of flowers and incense, the bright colors of the flowers and the long panels drifting from the rafters, the twinkling lights on the walls and ceiling.

Arnav tossed his car keys to Hari and said, ‘get Khushi’s bags out from the car, and put them in her room please.’

Hari ran off to do his master’s bidding. Khushi was feeling extremely sleepy at this point, and said her good nights, before heading to her room. She closed the door behind her, suddenly feeling very exhausted. Taking out a pair of simple cotton pajamas from the closet, she headed into the bathroom. A long shower later, she came out to find that Hari had left her bag on the luggage rack. With a sigh, she crawled into bed and fell asleep.

The beeping of her phone woke her up. It was still dark outside, but the dim night lamp gave her enough light to see by. The phone beeped again. She picked it up. Arnav.

She closed her eyes, her breathing even, barely getting out a ‘Hmmmm?’

‘You asleep?‘ his voice was low and husky.

‘Mmm hmmm...’

He smiled a little wryly. She was tired he knew, but he had been feeling so restless since he got back. Lying alone in bed with the moonlight playing dark and light in his room, he suddenly needed her next to him. The events of the evening had unsettled his nerves and the picture of her falling out of the car kept playing in rewind in his brain, seared on his eyelids every time he shut his eyes. For the first time, he wanted her in bed, next to him, safe. He needed to know she was safe.

‘Khushi?‘

‘mmmm.... what is it, Arnav?‘ her voice was raspy with sleep.

‘Nothing,‘ he said. He hung up.

She put the phone down and snuggled back into bed. She blinked her eyes open. Now she was awake. She sat up in bed, running a hand through her hair, wincing at the bump on the back of her head. A knock on her door startled her.

She got out and went over, opening it slowly. Arnav stood there, his hair was tousled, he was clad only in a white tee and low slung black silk pajamas. ‘Arnav!‘ she said, ‘what are you doing here?’

He took her arm and led her back into her room, shutting and locking the door behind him. Then he turned around and hugged her.

‘Arnav?‘ she asked, putting her arms around him. ‘What’s wrong?’

‘Nothing. Not any more,‘ he muttered. He pushed her back, looking for a long moment into her eyes, his hand smoothing her hair back from her forehead. ‘I need you tonight,‘ starkly, honestly. ‘I just need to hold you tonight.‘ Raw need blazed in his eyes. She nodded her head. They both got into bed and he scooted her over, tucking her head into his shoulder. For a moment they lay there quietly just listening to their heartbeats. ‘I’ve never ... ‘ he stopped. She lifted her head and looked at him. His eyes searched her face, as if looking for answers to the questions in his heart.

She looked at him, this strong, proud man who looked at her like he was waiting for her to give him the solace he was looking for. She lay down again, her arm hugging his chest. She ran her palms over his chest, up his throat and to his face, her fingertips running over his forehead and his eyes, his nose, his lips. He held her fingers and kissed them.

‘I’m here, Arnav,‘ she whispered, feeling safe cocooned in his arms.

He hugged her again and swallowed. Things needed to be said, he just couldn’t bring himself to say it. He didn’t know what it was that was holding him back. He kissed her on the forehead, and tucked her head under his chin. All of a sudden he felt incredibly exhausted. He sighed and closed his eyes and almost immediately fell asleep.

She stayed awake for a little while, the deep even rhythm of his breathing eventually lulling her to sleep.

The morning sky was just lightening when he woke up. With a frown he looked around the unfamiliar room and then realized where he was. He looked down at Khushi, sleeping peacefully in the crook of his shoulder, the faint flush of sleep on her cheeks. One arm was curled around his chest and one leg was thrown across his legs. He smiled, never having felt so peaceful in his life. He bent down and dropped a kiss on her forehead. She stirred slowly, opened her eyes and looked at him sleepily.

‘Good morning, sleepyhead,’ he whispered.

She smiled sleepily at him, as if it was the most natural thing for her to wake up next to him. He turned on his side, so they were face to face. His hand came up, sliding under her pajama top, along her back, pulling her a little closer. He lowered his head, his lips softly brushing hers. He could feel her smile and his lips echoed hers. He sucked on her lower lip and she sighed in pleasure, eyes closing again. His tongue lightly licked her lips and she parted them. He dipped his head further and deepened the kiss, stroking her tongue. She stroked his tongue in return, dancing into his mouth.

Their breathing was becoming ragged, flames shooting from their mouths to the tips of their toes. His hand dipped into her pajama bottoms, closing around her buttocks, pulling her under him, his leg sliding in between hers. She was breathing rapidly, her hands moving restlessly over his chest, curling around to his back, dipping lower till she found the edge of his t-shirt. She slid her hands under the shirt, skimming flames along his back, and then dipping lower under his pajama bottoms, seeking and finding his skin. His hand slipped under her top, pushing it up and he bent down to take a rosy tip into his mouth. He heard her gasp as his tongue flicked along the hard nipple. He bit softly on it, gently tugging on it and heard her moan. He was already hard with need, and was having a hard time controlling himself, but this was about her. His hand found the waistband of her pajama bottoms and slowly peeled it away along with the lace panties she had on. She gasped as his fingers found her wetness. He found the hard nub, stroked it, pressing down in circles. She groaned and he almost lost his head. The blood was pounding in his head. Her hands were under his shirt, trying desperately to take it off. He sat up and quickly tossed it off, pulling her back into his arms, her breasts flattening against his nipples, sending shivers down his back. His leg slid between hers and he groaned as his knee came into contact with her core, feeling the wetness through his pajamas. He pressed his knee up as he felt her hips writhing against him. ‘Yes, ride me, baby,’ he whispered harshly.

Her hands were in his hair, tugging him up to kiss him almost desperately. Their tongues fought with each other, as she continued riding his knee. He could hear the moans coming from her throat and more than anything he wanted to watch her come. He reached down between them, rubbing her hardened nub with his thumb, and slid a finger into her dripping wetness. She bit down on his shoulder as she felt the intrusion and began to move faster against him. He slid another finger into her, and then another, keeping the pressure against her nub, moving his fingers in and out of her, increasing the pace. She was almost crying now, deep gasps as she could feel the tension building inside her. He knew she was almost there, her head tossing on the pillow, her hands grasping for anything around her. Just as he felt she was ready to come, he whispered in her ear, ‘Come for me, Khushi, please ... come for me,’ keeping his eyes on her face.

She went over the edge at that, the explosion radiating out from her core, her back arching before shuddering in release, moaning his name holding on to his shoulders for support. She panted as she came down from her high, eyes closed. His hand still stayed inside her, lightly soothing her, feeling the aftershocks shooting through her body. He looked at her with a smile on his face. She blushed a bright red and hid her face in his shoulder. He withdrew his hand and said, ‘look at me.’ She peeked up at him as he hugged her. He smiled. ‘That was the most beautiful thing I ever heard,’ he said. She gasped and pounded his shoulder with her fist, as he chuckled. He stopped her and said, ‘yes, it was,’ very seriously.

She snuggled for a bit, and then said, ‘but you didn’t...’

‘It’s alright,’ he smiled into her hair. ‘I should get up,’ he said after a few minutes. They both sat up looking for their clothes which seemed to have been thrown into random parts of the room. He pulled on his shirt, and leaned down to kiss her, cupping her face. ‘I’ll see you at breakfast,’ he said. She nodded.

He opened the door slowly and peeked out. Thankfully, no one was around and he took the long way around the pool entering his room through the french doors. He needed a cold shower and how! he thought, looking at the wet patch on his pajama bottom, with a smirk on his face. He’d barely had three hours of sleep last night, but for some reason he felt completely awake!


6 comments:

  1. Hawwwtttt,,, Burning,,, two ppl coming in together in the most basicway at nature intended, loved it that it was coupled with the assurance of being there with each other...

    I njoied it throughly

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  2. Wow... superb update Madhu.... his need to hold her, touch her... just be with her... is more emotional than physical and the way you have described the whole scene... is beautiful !

    Can't wait to read further... what is Gauri Virdi's real problem with Khushi... !!!!

    Will he make a commitment? Will she leave in a week? A lot many things to cover... A lot many questions to answer !!!

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  3. Hmm .. so u r into revelations this chapter is it babe .. Gauri Virdi ?? Rani sahiba ?? desparately want to know . why she is after khushi .. why is it Khushi .. & no one else will do .. is it the BLIND LUST ?? well will wait to know ..
    Super HOT one .. have to first recover from gutter on this one .. imagine reading this on a day when the couple on screen showed brother sister chemistry .. thank God for ur update ..

    OH did i mention i absolutely loved it ..

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  4. no comments. lost in la la land.
    my heart's doing double time.. lady, that was hawt!
    excellent.

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  5. This was passion, hot sensual, just lovely. Im a bit shocked that Khushi allowed him to stay with her, and the morning thing would have gone further, had he allowed it. He is lovely and sweet. I loved how he told he he needed her, just the facts, no flowety words just that. No wonder she allowed him to stay.

    ReplyDelete

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