Hello darlings! Here goes the first update on the new thread - I have a feeling you guys are gonna like it ;-)
Arnav was quite impressed by the efficiency with which Khushi was operating on the very first day. He wished he had kept prejudices and egos aside and had given her a fair chance at the very beginning. Personal equations apart, he knew now that that would have been beneficial to AR. Well, better late than never, he thought. What he thought would've been a nightmarish day work-wise went on smoothly as he had Khushi behind him to make sure everything was in place and on time. He was also in a pleasant mood throughout and he realized that had to do with the fact that Khushi was around him all the time. He fondly recalled how she had left his lunch on his table to make sure that he didn't miss it.
He called Khushi as he walked out of his last meeting for the day. He scowled irritably when she didn't pick his call. Just as he was passing the studio, one of their old time designers, Anna Joseph, called out to him.
"Hey ASR, can you come here for a minute please?"
Anna was one of the few designers that he shared a good professional rapport with as she was easy going, hassle-free, and efficient. He walked towards her wondering why she was standing outside the door. "Hey Anna, good to see you. All well?" he said gesturing the closed door behind her.
"Not at all, ASR. You need to hire more professional models for me. You had bought my dates for today evening and tomorrow morning. Today evening was supposed to be trials for me to work on the final touches of the outfit and tomorrow morning is the actual shoot."
"Yeah, I know. Sheena something, right?"
"Sheena Khanna. She hasn't turned up. Sent word that she was taken ill and can make it only tomorrow. I wanted to say that the word is hangover! Thank God for your executive assistant."
"What?!" said Arnav wondering what the hell was going on. "Khushi?"
"Yes. ASR, as much as I want to, I cannot give AR any more dates this week - it's a packed week. So, I needed to do the dress rehearsal to see if I needed to change any colors or designs. Khushi was desperately trying to firefight, and I finally managed to convince her to wear the stuff for me. Why I called you.."
"It's for the bridal lehengas, right? The shoot?" interrupted Arnav. He vaguely remembered seeing the sets. At the time, he hardly paid any attention, but at the thought of Khushi wearing them, he clearly remembered the practically non existent choli.
"Yeah, it's the bridal lehengas. God, I wasted enough time explaining the situation to you. I'm sorry to make you do this, but Khushi agreed on the sole condition that no one except me sees her in the clothes. I left the dupatta in my shop and I have the keys. I cannot trust just anyone to go open my shop, so do you think you can go pick it up for me? I wouldn't have asked you if there was another option."
"Er.. of course, I know that. But, Anna, er.. I cannot leave the office at this time. I'm expecting a.. er.. a very important client. I've already missed him once, so.. how about you hop over and pick it up? I will make sure no one else enters the room."
Anna thought for a minute and said "OK fine, I'll be right back - 45 minutes max. While I go tell Khushi, can you get some woman here?"
"You shouldn't waste time.. go ahead. I'll call Khushi on her phone and then get someone to stand here."
"Oh.. erm.." Anna seemed a bit unsure "Are you sure? She was very adamant about no one else seeing her.. you know? Seems the shy kind.. it wasn't until I told her that AR will lose credibility if the shoot doesn't happen tomorrow that she agreed."
Arnav felt a sense of pride when he heard that. He said "Yeah don't worry about it Anna. I know her well."
Anna still looked doubtful, so he said "Anna, she lives with me. I know her well enough."
"Oh?!" said Anna, then smiled "I had no idea. Well, in that case, I guess you can just walk right in and tell her" winking at him. "I'll see you in a bit" and she hurried away.
Arnav sighed and thought "Khushi won't be happy to know I'm letting more people think that she's living in with me"
He turned around and went into the studio, bolting it behind him. He walked to the changing room and knocked softly.
"Haan aa jayiye humne lock nahi kiya." called out Khushi from inside. Arnav took a deep breath and walked in, shutting the door behind him.
Her back was towards him with her hair tied up in a loose bun on her head. Arnav felt all the blood drain from his head when he saw her bare back. The choli left nothing to imagination. There was a dori at the top and a hook at the bottom. Besides her lehenga, which clung low to her slim waist, her back was practically naked except for the two strings.
"Damn right that no one else should see her like this" he thought fiercely.
Khushi was going through some of the other lehengas kept inside their covers. She turned around saying "Hum soch rahe the.." the words died on her lips when she saw herself looking at Arnav.
Arnav felt himself harden the moment she turned around. The choli hardly had anything on the shoulder and had a transparent and tiny mega sleeve. The neck was very deeply cut, obviously meant to be covered by the dupatta. He could see her cleavage and her flat stomach until her navel, below which her lehenga hung low.
His eyes scorched their way up from her navel, up her heaving chest, up her neck, past her quivering lips and finally met her widened eyes. Khushi thought she will faint just with the intensity of Arnav's gaze. She had the insane urge to go and cover his eyes. With difficulty, she fought the urge to cross her arms across her chest. She looked around for the dupatta of the kameez that she had taken off earlier. She realized it was on the door behind Arnav.
Unable to take Arnav's eyes anymore, she turned around and said "Sir.." she cleared her throat to make herself audible " aapke peeche humaara dupatta hai.. darwaaze pe"
"Khud aake le lo" said Arnav. He couldn't believe it was his voice.
"Aap.. aap zara baahar jaayenge? Hum.."
"Nahi" said Arnav steadily "Mai kahi nahi jaunga. Aur tum bhi nahi jaaogi"
Khushi didn't trust herself around him. And especially not right now. She started to panic. She needed to get out of the room. Recklessly, she turned around and rushed towards the door, hoping to take him by surprise.
He side-stepped her easily and she walked right into his arms. He turned sideways and backed her up against the wall away from the door. He pressed himself into her and kissed the side of her neck.
"Khushi" he breathed into her nape.
Khushi was struggling to hold on to her sanity and tried to push him away saying "Arnav.. hatiye please.. hume jaane dijiye.. hum.."
"Khushi, stop wriggling" said Arnav thickly.
Knowing that she needed to get away from him as quickly as she can, she struggled a bit more. Arnav parted his legs and moved into her suddenly. She stilled as she felt something hard against her lower abdomen and pulled her head back to look into Arnav's eyes which had turned darker than she had ever seen them. Involuntarily, she bit her lower lip and Arnav groaned before he closed his mouth over hers.
He pulled her into himself and roamed his hands all over her bare back. Khushi sucked in a breath before she put her hands inside his blazer and hugged him over his waistcoat. Still kissing her, he shrugged out of his blazer and dropped it on the floor. He pulled her hands from around him and undid his waistcoat deftly. Unable to keep his hands to himself for longer, he pressed the sides of her bare midriff and pressed himself into her further.
Unable to resist the insane urge to touch him, Khushi pulled his shirt out of his pants and sighed into his mouth as she ran her hands up his back inside his shirt. He jerked himself further into her at the touch and grabbed a fistful of her hair to pull her head back and kiss his way down from her jawline to her neck until he nipped her at her nape and licked over it.
"Ouch!" she said and twisted her face until his lips found hers again and they sighed into each other's mouths. He moved one hand over her bare back, up her shoulder and down until he placed it over her breast. She stiffened suddenly and pulled away from him, pushing him lightly.
They stood a step apart panting heavily and drinking each other in. Khushi leaned against the wall and Arnav walked backwards until he turned around, closed his eyes, and bent over the table trying to control his breathing. After a few moments, he opened his eyes and took a deep breath before straightening. He walked to the door and pulled Khushi's dupatta from the hook.
Arnav walked over to Khushi, gulped when he saw her leaned back on to the wall, her chest heaving, face flushed and lips swollen. Hearing him approach, she opened her eyes. He covered her with the dupatta and pulled her into his arms. She felt strangely calm as she heard his heartbeat under her ear.
He kissed her hair and said softly "Dara diya maine tumhe?"
She snuggled closer to him and whispered "Nahi humne hi apne aap ko daraa diya."
He smiled into her hair and squeezed her tightly before pulling away. "Apne baal theek karlo, I'll just step out and give Anna a call. Woh aati hi hogi"
He turned around when Khushi said "Er.. woh.."
He turned again to look at her turning beet red. "Kya hua?" he asked curiously.
She refused to meet his eyes when she stammered "Woh.. er.. aapke .. aapka shirt aur .. er baaki ke kapde.." She gestured awkwardly to the ground and to his shirt which was now loose.
He felt a surge of affection for her when he saw her blush further. She is so damn cute, he thought. He felt almost possessive to know that it was he who brought that reaction in her.
"Woh tum struggle kar rahi thi toh blazer aur waistcoat utaar diya maine. Lekin pata nahi shirt kaise nikal aaya" he said with a straight face.
She realized that it was possible to blush further. She bent down to pick up his blazer and his waistcoat. He started tucking his shirt in and she widened her eyes and turned around to face the wall.
"Arre wah, nikaalte waqt toh koi problem nahi thi. Ab theek kar raha hu toh bahut sharma rahi ho?" he said. "Ho gaya" he said and she turned around to hand him the waistcoat.
As she helped him into his blazer, he felt very warm at the domesticity of the whole scene.
As if on cue, they heard a faint knock from outside the studio. Arnav remembered he had bolted it.
"Must be Anna. Mai abhi usko bhej deta hu" he said turning to Khushi.
"Hey Devi Maiyya. Kya sochengi woh?" said Khushi worriedly.
"Khushi, hum kuch bhi aisa nahi kar rahe the jo hume galat laga, right? Anyway, she doesn't care and she isn't the gossiping kind. So.." he trailed off as he heard the knock again. "I'll just send her in" he said and turned around. He stopped at the door and jogged back to drop a kiss on Khushi's lips before jogging out of the door saying "Call me once you're done."
Anna grinned at Arnav as she walked past him when he opened the studio door. "Don't give her a hard time, Anna. You can give me hell later" he called out as she walked towards the changing room. She gave him a thumbs up over her shoulder and walked into the changing room saying "So Khushi, I guess my dress would've been less crumpled if I let you change out of it before leaving, eh?"
Arnav shook his head while leaving. Khushi will have to deal with this one, I guess, he thought.
~End of Part 30~