Khushi held on grimly to her blank expression when all she wanted to do was just turn a degree and slide into his arms. But woh itni aasani se usse jeetne nahi dene wali thi….hmmph samajhta kya hai apne aap ko – Laad Governor kahin ka. What does he think, that he will just spin a yarn, give me a look or two and I will fall at his feet – hmmph kabhi nahi, she told herself sternly as she crossed her arms as if physically holding herself back from sliding into the warm comfort of his arms.
Chotti was thrilled she clapped her hands, “Oh this is our story! How nice!” she got up and hugged them both, “Really Daddy you didn’t want to get married ever?”
Arnav solemnly shook his head, “Nope.”
“And now that you are married, how are you liking it?” Chotti asked curiously and then before he could answer, “of course must be liking it, now that you have us as your children, hai na?” she asked confidently.
Arnav burst out laughing, “Exactly!” he drew her into his arms for a tight squeeze and said, “Now no more talking young lady, off to sleep now,” he made her lie down and gently ran his hand over her eyes, she obediently closed her eyes murmuring drowsily, “Mamma, did the beautiful swan too fall in love with the Beast?”
Arnav’s eyes swung to Khushi; he grinned wickedly, ahh she was trapped now, ab toh haan bolna hi padega, nahi toh Chotti upset ho jayegi, he smirked superiorly at Khushi who was still very much on her dignity and this supercilious expression of his really set her teeth on edge, she swiftly bent down to kiss her precious daughter, “Of course with such two beautiful children around who could but help loving everyone and anyone in this world?” she straightened and added provocatively, “Even someone as beastly as the Beast,” meant only for Arnav’s ears.
She defiantly met Arnav’s incredulous expression while Chotti pleased with the happy ending finally yielded to the call of dreamland, “Beautiful story Daddy, I want to hear it again tomorrow Ma..,” she muttered drowsily.
Khushi gently patted the little girl and waited till she slid into a deep sleep; Khushi kissed her and pulled up the covers, she turned to leave the room but gasped as she bumped into Arnav, “Shhh,” he hissed as he clapped his hand over her mouth while her eyes shot daggers at him, ek toh khud daratei hain aur ab hume ‘shh’ kar rahein hain! Arnav drank in her visage, his face amused, soft and tender, he removed his hand from her mouth and brushed his thumb over her lips caressingly and muttered “Shhh,” once again before lifting her in his arms. He strode off with her to their room and put her down by the poolside, he trapped her by the French windows and murmured, “Ab batao, kyon naraaz ho mujhse?”
Khushi pursed her lips, crossed her arms and huffed, “Bas hoon,” she grimaced.
“Haan woh toh pata chal raha hai,” he mocked her and as he put a hand under her chin to forced her to face him, “Par kyon?”
Khushi firmed her lips and resolutely refused to meet his eyes despite the pressure on her chin forcing her head up, “I love you Khushi,” he murmured coaxingly; her lips trembled and her eyes flickered as she met his eyes. They trained unblinkingly on her face offering her a wealth of emotions – love, tenderness, regret, need, demand, guilt, defiance – Khushi was no match and she conceded defeat as she melted into his arms with a final, “You are a beastly beast,” she insisted but without much heat.
Arnav looked as pleased as the cat, which had licked his plateful of cream, “So toh hoon,” he agreed complacently as his arms closed around his prey, “But ab kya kiya?”
Khushi looked up at him accusingly, “You don’t have time for anything or anybody except for your precious deals, meri toh chhodo, not even for the kids and now you have no time to even catch your favorite game of football! Unbelievable!” she pushed him in annoyance, unhappy and mad at him for his loss and pain.
Arnav’s eyebrows shot up in amazement, “What the…! Arre main nahi jaa raha match dekhne – Tumhe kya faraq padta hai?”
“Faraq padta hai,” Khushi shot back heatedly, passionately, “Baat aapki hai, iss liye faraq padta hai,” her voice broke slightly, “Agar aap apne liye, apne bachchon ke liye time hi nahi nikaal paayenge toh hume toh achcha nahi lagega na?” she blinked furiously.
“Ok ok,” he said placatingly as he drew her back into his arms, “It’s just that there are a hundred things to do right now, deals to be clinched, match toh phir hota rahega,” he consoled.
“Ji nahi,” Khushi shot back, “Bachchon ka kya? They will soon grow up and grow away, don’t you realize they miss their father, neither I nor can anybody else give them what you can, and you have no right to deprive them of that right – the right to your time for them,” she insisted.
“Ok ok, main agli baar dhyan rakhoonga,” he promised, “Ab toh gussa chhod do?” he requested.
Khushi pouted, unconvinced – she was sure that the next time too he would forget but yet she relented, at least he promised and who knows he might just ease off on his work – yeah and the Sun may rise from the West she jeered to herself as she slid into his arms and gave in to the insistent call of the RV – there were still a thousand grouses, but what the heck, roz roz RV ke sang do pal bitaane ka mauka bhi toh nahi milta tha.
Click here for Chapter 346