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Chapter 16: Persephone's capture
A goddess among mortals,
Mesmerizing and captivating
Unaware of her magic
Yet she has all spellbound
For the immortal love of a mortal,
Capture and seduce my Goddess
My captive, My Captor
Make my life paradise
While all the men tried to impress the women with their money and power, Maan Singh Khurana had no need to do so. Maan hadn't bothered with a costume; he was wearing a charcoal three piece suit. After all MSK didn't need to be anyone else, instead there would be men who would want to be him.
Everywhere he walked, all the women would stare. He was surrounded by Gypsies, pirates and royalty. It seemed ironic to Maan that all these people were wearing both a metaphorical mask as well as a real one due to the theme of the party.
These weren't your average young women; they were the top socialites and power welding women in the world. After all this party was the 150th anniversary of Windle Hotel.
Windle hotel was one of the subsidiaries of Khurana enterprise, they had taken it over 10 years ago but it was controlled by the governing board here as Maan didn't have time on his hand to handle minor details of individual hotels. However when he had come here, they had pleaded with him to attend their anniversary. As the owner he couldn't refuse but for him mingling with these grasping people was chore and was threatening to bring out the worst of his temper.
It no longer surprised him that people who are supposedly the pinnacle of society were the ones most desperate to associate with him. They wanted to mingle with the owner of a multibillion enterprise, yet none would want to know who he truly was.
Their plastic smiles and lustful eyes disgusted him but he was Maan Singh Khurana; the man who could control his emotions and hide behind the mask of disinterest. He treated their groveling attitude with barely concealed mild disgust but despite that there was no escaping from these leeches.
After having socialized, in a lose sense, for two hours Maan was ready to escape. He had to plan things exactly because he still wasn't ready for Belle to find out his identity. Yet if she saw the way these people treated and fawned over him, she would decipher his identity. So he had planned to go upstairs and change out of his clothes so that no one could recognize him.
Belle had planned to sneak into the hotel, late into the party when the security would be slack. But Maan knew that there was still a risk that she would get caught. So he had made sure that she was in the guest list. He had also warned the concierge of the hotel to ensure that none of the hotel workers gave away his identity to his date.
Maan was not going to let anyone come between him and Belle today. He would make this the perfect date for her. A date fit for a princess.
The Rathod Princess was getting married as such the whole mansion was buzzing with preparations. The Khurana-Rathod wedding was expected to be extravagant, lavish and exclusive. The joining of these two prestigious families had the whole country talking, yet the bride was hardly bothered about any of that.
Instead Naintara was trying to convince Geet to leave the hotel and stay with her.
"Geet'.Geetu..you have to stay here. Look as my Maid of Honor it's your responsibility to look after me." She made puppy faces at her friend. "What if I get cold feet and run away? Or worse I meet a sexy Portuguese man and elope with him? You would be responsible for that!"
Geet rolled her eyes at Naina's dramatics. "Naina! Don't be an idiot. You aren't going to run away. And you are having a traditional Hindu wedding, so technically I am not your Maid of Honor."
"You are my Maid of honor if I say so!" Naintara protested. "Come on! Aren't I your friend? I thought despite your numerous flaws, your mood swings and need to make fun of me, you were a loyal friend. But obviously I was wrong."
"FINE!" Finally Geet gave up. "I'll stay with you! I'll shift my things to your house."
"Well'.move everything to Khurana Mansion." At Geet's confused expression, Naintara explained, "My house is filled with guest, so there is no space there. Here there are many free rooms where you, Meer and Mel can stay. And I'll be here most of the time." Naintara, unlike Meera, lied without any hesitation or guilt. She had a plan and she was going to follow through with it regardless of what she had to do.
"No Naina. I can't stay here. It's a wedding house and as such there are too many people around."
Now it was Naintara's turn to roll her eyes and get frustrated. I didn't want to do this Geet but you leave me no choice. It's time for emotional blackmailing. "Geet maybe you don't consider me a close friend but I consider you one of my best friends. If you won't do it for me than do it for Dev. You know Dev would do anything for you but won't ask for a single thing from you. He would love for you to stay and support him. Do it for him at least."
Immediately Geet felt guilty. Dev had been one of the greatest supports for her during her breakdown. He had helped her when she was penniless and homeless. He had given her shelter, love and more importantly had never expected anything in return. All of her friends had helped her but Dev and Meera had made sure that she survived.
"Naina I'll stay here, as long as you are sure Dadima won't mind."
"Then it is settled that you are moving into Khurana Mansion." Naintara said calmly but inside she was jubilant. Step one in plan Maan-Geet complete. Time to make sure Geet's fairytale happens.
Belle had been to the Windle handful of times; high tea with her mother for mother's day and once for Nonna birthday. It was one of the most prestigious hotels in the country. She had always loved it more than Hibson's more generic and flashy appearance or the Carlton's sleek one. Windle exuded class and elegance with its timeless beauty, something even money can't buy. The building was over 150 years old with a mixture of gothic and Victorian architecture which for some reason worked well. It looked like a castle with its gorgeous gilded gates and large windows.
She was startled at the sound, but as she looked at the large clock at the top of the hotel she realized it was midnight.
Belle got out of the cab slowly, very self-conscious. She started to second guess her choice of costume, her shoes and her very self.
Is it over the top? Maybe I have gone for something inconspicuous. Will he think this is too gauche and flashy? What if the security kicks me out?
She took a deep sigh and gathered her wits. She was going to enjoy the night and not let herself get carried away with doubts.
Girding herself she started to walk towards the door. Iman had texted her to meet him just outside the main foyer.
Lifting her dress, Geet glided forward. She couldn't help but smile as she felt like Cinderella arriving at the Royal Ball.
But it was a fairytale in reverse. Instead of leaving the ball at midnight, she had just arrived while the clock was chiming.
Unlike Cinderella, she wasn't going to run away. She wasn't going to escape from her Prince. Her Prince wasn't searching for his soul mate because they had already met. He wouldn't dance with any of the other women he would belong only to her.
As she stepped
into the foyer, her greedy eyes searched for him. They were instinctively
trying to find the man who made her insane for even a moment in his presence.
And there he stood by himself.
Iman's Clothes (but with Black shirt)
Belle's heart thumped painfully as her eyes soaked in his image. He was dressed fully in black; black suite, shirt, tie and a slim black mask. He had always seemed self-assured but seeing him in this setting Belle was surprised to see how well he fitted in, as if he belonged here. Arrogance and attitude was dripping off him. He gave off a lethal vibe that warned others not to entangle with him.
For a second she had the ridiculous thought that he was too beautiful and overwhelming for her. That she was too ordinary to have him.
And right than he turned around. All doubts fled her mind as she saw the soft and deadly smile spread across his face. That smile was possessive, claiming ownership over her. Yet all she could think was he is mine.
As Iman looked at Belle, all coherent thoughts left his mind. He was hypnotized by the Goddess gliding towards him in a flowing white Grecian dress. It both accentuated her curves and made her appear taller. Tendrils of hair escaped from the bun at her crown to tantalizingly brush against her neck and face. There was a gold sheen across her skin, creating a halo around her.
A lovely simplicity in the way she was dress; she had no necklace, no bracelets nor earrings. Her breathtaking beauty came from the way her eyes sparkled with naked love and the honesty in her emotions that shone through her face. He couldn't help but notice contradiction in her. She appeared to be pure and innocent, yet there was a maturity and understanding in her eyes. He had thought of her as a princess but he realized that she was even greater than that. She had to be a goddess the way she had enraptured him.
She stopped in front of him but didn't say anything. He was too mesmerized by her to utter anything significant, so he just stared. Even though she didn't blink or look away from him, he could sense her shyness through the color in her cheeks and the hesitation in her look.
Belle tried to distract herself by putting on the small white mask she had brought but as she got ready to tie the string Iman's hands stopped her and slowly pulled it from her hands. He gently trailed one hand along her jaw, brushing his fingers across her lips. His other hand was moving lightly across her back. He was standing so close that his breath fanned across her face. Belle closed her eyes, unable to contain the way her heart was pounding and her erratic breathing, she inched closer to Iman.
With control that he didn't think he had Iman slowly Belle's mask. But his eyes couldn't leave her upturned face and her moist lips that beckoned for him to taste. He leaned forward and for a split second he pressed his lips against hers, while his fingers pressed against her arms. Just as quickly he took a step back causing Belle's eyes to open. Belle was unsure of whether Iman had kissed her or not but felt too embarrassed to ask.
With a lazy and seductive smirk, Iman took another long look at Belle before he finally started to talk. "You look...beautiful..but I guess you already know that. Are you Aphrodite?" Belle couldn't help but smile at the implication that she was the Goddess of beauty and love, but shock her head in negative. "Hmm...Are you Psyche?"
This time Belle took pity on him and gave him the answer. "I am meant to be Persephone. She was the one who Hades had stolen away to the underworld and made his queen."
"Why would you want to be her? After all she was kidnapped and tricked into staying in hell. Hades sounds like a selfish man, who didn't care for her."
"No! He loved her so much that he couldn't stay away from her. He was desperately lonely and thirsting for her love that he didn't care about the consequences. He gave her all that he could to make her life in the underworld worthwhile. Living with the one you love would turn even the Underworld into heaven." She defended Hades passionately.
Iman shock his head but didn't argue further. Instead he put his arm around her shoulder and started to walk her towards the Ballroom. In his mind though her words were circling around his mind as he looked at the contrast they made. Belle in her virginal white dress was the epitome of purity and all that was good, while he in black represented her corruption.
He had done things in the name of business that she would never condone. In his world power and money made the world go around. He had done whatever was needed to take Khurana Enterprise to the pinnacle of success. He had destroyed people who had the temerity to go up against him and would continue to do so.
The people in his life, apart from his family, were not worthy of her. Virender Khurana, his father, had been the perfect example of that. The selfish bas***d had not only destroyed his wife's life but had broken his family to pieces. However much he wanted to deny it but that man's tainted blood flowed through him.
He didn't want to taint Belle with his world. A corrupt world that was conflicting to her honesty and goodness. Even this party was filled with people who Belle could neither understand nor respect. They would try to destroy her innocence. Yet like Hades he was too selfish to let her go. Now that his soul had experienced the calmness of having her, he couldn't let her go. So he walked her into a world he hoped wouldn't corrupt her.
"Dev's wedding is going to happen in a few weeks. So even though I don't want you in my house, for the sake of Dev you should come to the wedding." Savitri Devi disgust for her son obvious in every word she uttered to him.
"Alright." With that Savitri Devi slammed the phone down, not wanting to hear another word from him.
Virender Singh Khurana also slammed down the phone. Even today anger raged through him as he contemplated the contempt his mother showed him.
I am her only child, yet she disowned me in favor of the worthless woman I had the misfortune to marry. That useless woman should have known her place instead of moaning about the fact that I slept with others. I am Virender Singh Khurana, I can do whatever I want and with whoever I want! At least that b**** died!
Still my own mother won't let me come back. Instead she gave Maan controlling power to Khurana Enterprise. She took away all my shares. All that is rightfully mine was taken away! For that I shall never forgive him or her.
But in spite of that I will go back to Delhi. I have to make sure things are going the way I planned and that Maan is still miserable. I made sure that his life is hell; just when he thought he was going to be happy with that girl he was in love with, I took all that away. I made sure that she would never want to be with him. He'll thirst for the happiness that will forever evade him.
Till my last day I'll make sure that my bast*** son leads a life filled with misery. And I'll revel in his pain.
Belle wished that this moment could last forever, that she could be in Iman's arms for the rest of her life. They were joined together with her hands around his neck and his around her waist. Belle had her eyes closed as she leaned her head against his chest. Instead of listening to the music, she was enraptured by his steady and strong heartbeat. Thud'thud'.thud'. With every breath she took, she inhaled his heady scent.
She swayed lightly to the beat, hardly moving. Everything seemed so perfect; the lights glittering around them, sound of shoes clacking against the beautiful parquetry floor and ever continuous orchestra. It didn't matter that there were so many people surrounding them because in her mind it was just the two of them.
Iman on the other hand was experiencing myriad of emotions. Every moment with Belle was special because she made it special with the way she smiled at him and made him feel. However he wanted her for himself. She was too beautiful for others to see. Even with so many beautiful women around, she attracted attention because of her uniqueness. Men were staring at her; some with subtlety and others were ogling obviously. He didn't like that a single bit because she was meant to be his. Already five different men had come and asked her to dance. He had watched helplessly as the twirled her around and had their hands on her. He could see the lust and desire in her eyes, which she seemed oblivious to.
Just as he was having these gloomy thoughts someone tapped on his shoulder.
"May I have this dance with the lady?" The man asked with a slimy leer. Iman wanted to punch him in the face and in other parts. How dare the ass comes and interrupts our dance!
But before he could do anything Belle gave a small squeeze to his hand and a smile. Just as he felt reassured, she turned to the guy and said "Of course." She reached out for the other man's hand and then they were dancing.
Belle had seen the anger on Iman's face and had wanted to stop him from doing anything rash. She had only agreed to dance because she didn't want to be rude. After all what could go wrong?
Apparently a lot could go wrong. Almost instantly she regretted dancing with the stranger. The whole time they were dancing he was staring at her chest and his hands were creeping down as well. But still she tried to distract him with talking. She started to chatter about nonsense and managed to keep dancing so that his hands couldn't grope her. Just a few minutes and then I can ditch this perverted loser. Why on earth did I agree to dance with this idiot?
But he had a one track mind.
"Hmm'why don't you leave your boyfriend and spend the night with me. I'll make it worth your time." He drawled while his eyes roamed her body. She was about to give a scathing retort as well as deserved slap on the face when she was wrenched away from the man.
Iman was seething with barely suppressed rage and he could feel his whole body vibrate with the desire to beat the man to a pulp. He couldn't believe that impudence of the man to touch his Belle in this manner.
He grabbed the man's wrist and pressed against it hard enough to cause the man to whimper. He gave a menacing warning. "If you touch or even look at her again I am going to break every single bone in your body. I'll enjoy every second of pulverizing you." The poor stranger had to only look at Iman's eyes to understand that he meant every single word that he had said. Iman released his wrist, which had been on the verge of snapping.
Without waiting for an answer Iman dragged a stunned Belle away from the man and out of the Ballroom.
You are mine'and I won't let anyone come between us. Not even you Belle.
PLEASE DO COMMENT and press the LIKE button. Motivation in its best form!!
-SanjanAPS: As I mention I have exams in a month...But I'll try to make sure that I get an update within then...
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