Khushi muttered under her breath as she ticked off the items on the bill in front of her...she could not understand Arnav's behavior since morning...first he flirts on waking up, then he gives her those intense looks all throughout his breakfast and then when they were clearing the dishes, he nearly kissed her on her ears as he whispered in his oh so husky voice that he's going to get some work done...and then he winked! Was that an invitation by any chance?
'Whatever..' she said as she concentrated on the work in hand...she saw the painters clear up all their mess before one of them walked to her "Madam, final coat as been applied...all work completed" he said as khushi nodded at absentmindedly him and pocketed the bill "Great, the bill looks fine; please send someone tomorrow to collect the money" she said as he nodded and walked away leaving her looking at the freshly painted house
The creamy white of the walls glowed against the bright red of the tiled roof...the gardens were perfectly manicured with new trees planted that would grow very well in the coming year...everything seemed perfect...which means that her work here, was done...there was nothing else left to fix in the house now that all the planned renovations had been made
She sighed as she closed the gates behind the painters and the cleaner before walking back dejectedly into the house only to nearly bump into Arnav who was holding two cups of mint tea "Whoa! Look out.." he said as she nearly avoid a headlong collision with him "You could have burned both of us" he said as he handed over one of the cups to her, to which she raised her eyebrow questioningly "What? I felt like one, so I thought i'll get you some as well...you've been working all morning" he said as he walked out of the door she had just walked in from
"This looks spectacular!" he shouted from outside which only made her frown more and scowl at Arnav as he walked back inside "The paint job really changed the whole..." he started saying but sopped when he saw her frowning face "Hey! Whats wrong? I think the house looks amazing...whats the matter?" he said as she turned around in a huff and headed to the living room to flop down in the comfy couch
"It's all done! All the work on the house...so..." she said sulking as he smirked and sat beside her "Yeah...so? Isn't that what you had come here to do?" he asked her as she thinned her lips "Yes it was...but now that its done...I have to head back" she said as he looked at her with a smile "Oh yea...back to Dreamz Inc huh? Great!" he said as she widened her eyes while her mouth formed a cute 'O' "Seriously? After all that happened yesterday and that...that coffee bullshit you told me in the morning, you are not even bothered that I'm leaving?" she asked as he shrugged his shoulders and sat back more comfortably in the couch as she banged her cup on the coffee table and got up
But before she could take another step, she felt a pull on her arms as she landed right on Arnav's lap, with his hands keeping her tightly in place "Hey...I was joking all right...I left the choice to you Khushi...you need to make up your mind now...and if you do want what I want, i'm sure we can work around everything else" he said as she relaxed in his arms, her earlier frustration and anger gone as she snuggled deeper into his embrace while he dug his face in her hair
"You love doing that isn't it?" she asked him as she pulled away slightly and looked up at her "Do what?" he asked her as she put her arms around his neck and leaned forward to touch her forehead to his "Putting me on the spot.." she said as Arnav chuckled and took a deep breath "Now that you are on that spot...what is your answer Khushi?" he asked her as she smiled and pecked him lightly on his lips "Yes...I want.." she started saying when Arnav pulled her closer still and took her talking lips in a mind numbing kiss...she held on tighter to him as he deepened the kiss, tracing her lips with his tongue before tasting her throughly and passionately...when they pulled away few minutes later, khushi felt as if her heart would burst out from the heavy beating
"What was that Arnav? At least let me finish what I had to say" she said as she hit him lightly on his chest while he laughed making her astonished once again at how handsome he looked when he laughed "I'm sorry to startle you like that...but i've been wanting to kiss you since morning...and now when you finally agreed..." he said as she held up a hand "Wait a minute...I never said I agreed to what you said" she said as he frowned making khushi chuckle
"Hold those frown lines Mr...I do want to be with you...and I know we will work things out...I just did not want to bring you your coffee every morning...I love my sleep and..." she stared saying when Arnav joined in her laughter and started ticking her, making her laugh more as she finally got off him and started running from him as he chased after her... "I'll get you Khushi Gupta...just you wait!" he shouted as they continued their chase throughout the house.
By afternoon, VK and Smitha has returned back from the wedding, brining a stop of the non-stop flirting and stolen kisses amongst the couple...Khushi had taken a decision to stay back for a week more and to get to know arnav while arnav was more than happy to finally tell her everything about his 'other life'...both did not know how things had worked out so perfectly and they knew that there was a lot more to discuss and work out, but they thought it was best to take one baby step at a time...after all both knew that the feelings they had for each other were much stronger than they'd like to believe...but naming it right now was probably too early
Arnav was just finishing up his next chapter when heard his phone ring...he picked it up to find an unknown number calling him...after thinking about it for a second more, he picked it up and was surprised to hear Khushi on the other end "I just realized that you don't have my number Mr Raizada...so thought i'll give you a missed call" she said with a smile as Arnav relaxed back in his chair
"I never thought of that...aren't you the clever one Ms Gupta" he said as she giggled and whispered in the phone "If you are free, care to join me for a stroll?" she asked as Arnav smiled "I would love to...but why are you whispering" he asked in amusement as she spoke normally "I don't want VK or Smitha to hear anything...they are my mother's spies...before you know, my family will be here to grill you" she said as Arnav felt a pang at the closeness she shared with her family
"Ah well...family...I guess that's how they are huh? Anyways...yes, i'll meet you outside in 10 minutes, need to finish up something" he said as Khushi agreed and kept the phone...10 minutes later both met outside and started walking along a beautiful path through the thicket surrounding the valley "This is so beautiful...I never came here all this time" he said as Khushi laughed and wound her arms around his, leaning into him
"You've hardly been out of the house Arnav...allow me to take you to the most magical place ever!" khushi said as Arnav placed his other hand over hers...after several minutes of walking, they came across a clearing when khushi suddenly started pulling arnav along, quickening her stride "Come quickly arnav...this place is amazing during sunset" she said as Arnav increased his pace and followed her
The sight of the deep valley overlooking hundreds of small waterfalls was so breathtaking that for a minute Arnav felt like he had come to heaven...and with khushi next to him , it really did look like it "This is...Khushi...this place is..." he said as she came and wound her arms around his torso from her side while he embraced her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders "Magical right?" she said as he nodded...they stayed like that for a few minutes till the sun just started setting before clearing a few rocks and sitting down
"So how many such wondrous places are there around here?" he asked her after a few minutes of enjoying the peace around the valley "Many...but this is my favorite...my grandfather used to get me here every time we visited him...I just love this place...brings so much peace and calm" she said as Arnav nodded "This entire place is calming...I would love to come here every time I write" he said as Khushi looked at him in amusement
"So...looks like you are thinking of taking up writing professionally huh? I told you this was your calling" she said as Arnav felt this was the right time to tell her everything...but the question was how does he start? "Khushi..." he said uncertainly as she looked at him with one of her bright smile...full of trust and something more...and he knew he could not tell her right now...this moment was too perfect to tell her that he had been lying to her, all this time...
"I want to know all about you" he said as she raised one eyebrow and rolled her eyes "You already know everything about me Arnav...whats more to tell" she said as he looked down sheepishly "Yeah...technically I know what you told me...but what about your likes and dislikes? Its best I know them right? Don't wanna make any mistakes" he said as she tapped her finger on her chin "Hmm...that's true...but where's the fun in that? Its much better to find out about each other slowly right?" she asked as he shrugged and smiled back
"And speaking of knowing each other...I do know that it was me who said I don't want to know anything about your family...but Arnav...earlier when I called you, i sensed a sort of melancholy in your voice when you said 'family'...if you don't mind...can you tell me why? and that day, what you said about your mother...?" she asked him as he smiled slightly "There is really nothing to tell you Khushi" he said as he got up and walked a little but ahead to look over the valley
"I don't get along with my family...I never have...its like I was born by mistake amidst them..." he said as khushi sat where she was...she knew he needed his space to talk about them "Ever since I was a kid, they never cared about me...when I was really young...a baby actually, I was taken care of by my nanny...my parents were too busy working and making more money than they needed...they never had time for me...I kinda grew up a lonely child and guess that's why I still did prefer the life of a loner" he said as khushi noticed the past tense..making her happy that he doesn't want to be alone anymore
"When my brother akash was born, my parents were relatively free...having set up their business and everything, they had more time to spend with him...we have a 8 year difference in our age...by that time, I had already developed my personality...that of someone who was never loved by either of his parents...and I guess my affinity towards being alone, did not help me make any friends either...I was too comfortable being on my own by then" he said sighing as khushi tried to keep her tears at bay...such a difficult childhood he must have had, she thought as he continued to stare at the valley
"Akash was everything to them...he grew up just the way they wanted him to...even I tried to please them by never questioning their decisions for me...all the way to the job i'm doing right now...but it never got me closer to them...in fact I came to resent them more and more...and I put my foot down when they tried to nearly sell me off to marry a rich industrialist's daughter few years ago, just so that we could have that relation to our name...and the status that came with it" he said with an underling anger at his parents manipulation
"They more or less cut me off from their life after that incident...and we have never seen eye to eye ever since...Akash got married last year in another such carefully thought out marriage without any qualms...and is today looking after his wife's father's business...just the way our father wanted...but me...I could never do that...and that is the biggest argument between us...even now they haven't given up...trying to fix me up with Lavanya, who I know is a brat and someone who I would never choose for myself" he said as he finally turned around to see Khushi get up and walk up to him
"Is that why you were so against a relationship?" she asked him when he shook his head slowly "Yes, a little...but it was more because everything I have ever wished for having for myself...I never got...and I was afraid that I will not be able to do justice to us...you are too precious and have come to mean a lot to me Khushi..." he said cupping her face as khushi smiled and placed her hands on his "You don't have to be afraid Arnav...i'm here...we are here...we are together in this...and for once in your life, opt for what you want...what you deserve..." she said as he nodded and leaned down to kiss her softly..
A kiss which spoke of many more such promises...kiss of trust and belonging...a kiss to take away all the loneliness from their lives; a kiss of new beginnings.