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Arnav watched with awe as one of Khushi's teams entered the building, all of them disguised as workers.
She had called them as soon as she had regained her wits. Possession of C-4 was a felony in itself, and the fact that it was held in a place such as this was labeled as a threat.
He stood off to the side, just observing the precision that this team executed. They all moved in harmony, like an orchestra. And Khushi was their conductor.
The team was composed of all men, he noted with slight distaste. But none of them looked at Khushi with anything other than respect. He realized that in her profession, she was a woman in a man's world. It must have taken guts and a never ending will to succeed. Her position threw out the status quo. No one imagined that a woman would one day be the head of a branch in the CBI.
Arnav felt rather out of place in this environment. Wherever he was, he liked being in control. But here, here he saw that Khushi executed full command. There she was, just wearing a plain white kurta and leggings, directing her men to collect any shard of evidence they could find. She looked at ease even though her face was grim and lips were pursed.
He found that he liked her as a commanding presence. Arnav just wished she was more commanding in their life together. He could sense her anxiety, her worries about their marriage, the situation with Shyam, Di, and so on.
Even though they had agreed not to split after Shyam was gone, an air of gloom hung around Khushi. Arnav couldn't help but feel that she wasn't so sure about this marriage. This bothered him profusely, and he desperately wished that he could get rid of her uncertainties. Joy. Another talk was needed between them.
"Commander Raizada! The building has been checked, each room has been cleared." A man shouted at Khushi from across the room causing her to freeze ever so slightly at the way she was addressed.
Khushi gave him a sharp glance and nodded, reminding herself that she needed to get used to her new name. "Results Joshi, what are the results?"
The man named Joshi snapped to attention. "Ma'am, aside from the three cases of C-4 that were found, traces of arsenic could be located in the North section of this building. Kapoor also noted that though this place is said to be an Animal Hospital, there is no indication that it is. No animal hairs were found, and no machines that Veterinary facilities use were found either. We can conclude that this building has been inactive for a long period of time and is being used as a base for a possible terrorist organization."
"Boss! We've got a partial fingerprint!" Another man called.
He saw how Khushi's eyes lit up in triumph. "Excellent Yogesh! Lift it and run it against our database as well as AFIS and Interpol." The man saluted her and left.
Khushi walked towards Arnav, confidence that they could catch Shyam running through her. Arnav was standing there, taking in what her team was doing with childlike curiosity. Amusement coursed through her veins. No matter how much he denied it, Arnav Singh Raizada was still a kid inside.
Her thoughts cycled back to the kiss they had shared, the kiss she had initiated. Khushi didn't think she could look her husband in the eye at the moment. Because while she had kissed him first, he had deepened it by mating his tongue with hers.
And she had responded. Perhaps a little too eagerly.
There were so many unsaid things in that kiss. There was passion, certainly lust was present, but underneath it all, there was something else. A gentle tenderness in his kiss. Maybe she was reading too much into it, maybe that's what she wanted to perceive in that kiss.
"Excellent team you have." Arnav murmured as she came to his side. "Methodical and direct. Something I wish I had on my staff."
Khushi snorted in a very unladylike manor. "You should have joined us Arnav. You would fit in just fine. Stoic and ruthless."
Arnav turned his torso to look at her. A flicker of darkness flitted across her face before vanishing, confusing him. He frowned slightly, not sure why her face had reminded him of himself. "You are neither of those."
A grimace made its way on to her visage, and her eyes hardened. "That's what you think. I was molded to be what I am today while you were away in the States, Arnav. You didn't see me when I was Agent Khushi Rathod. There's a reason I was promoted to Commander so quickly." The bitterness in her voice numbed him. This wasn't the Khushi he knew, this wasn't his Khushi.
From an open window, a small breeze washed over them, bringing in the scents of the streets with it. Khushi's hair blew in her face, veiling her face from him. It bothered him that Khushi was not acting like Khushi. There was no smile, no mirth in her eyes, no twinkle in them. She sounded like a veteran from war rather than a young woman.
Twenty-five years they had known each other. Ironically, they knew each other so well on a personal level, but on a professional level, he knew only the basics. She was right. He was away in America during the time she became an agent. Di would call him every so often to let him know of Khushi's progress, but nothing in her tone suggested that Khushi had changed as a person.
Which meant she had kept this self-loathing from everyone, perhaps even herself. There was only so much a person could take before they burst. Arnav had found that out the hard way. What could he do to release his wife's anger, make it all vanish?
"I'm sorry." Arnav murmured quietly. "Maybe one day you will tell me about those days." The sincerity in his voice was palpable.
Khushi shot Arnav a funny look and turned away. "Yes, maybe one day." Was it just him, or did her breath hitch as she spoke?
Half an hour later, the entire place was cleaned and put back the way it was. Khushi's team had replaced the C-4 with something that looked exactly like it so that if Shyam or this Ahmed fellow came back, they would find nothing amiss.
"Arre, Sale-Sahib? Saali-Sahiba? Kaahe the aap log?" It was Shyam who had opened the door when they arrived home, just a flicker of suspicion in his eyes.
Shyam was sure that he had seen Arnav and Khushi by the hospital. By the time he had reached the spot where he thought they were, they had either disappeared, or he was mistaken. No one could know what he was doing, especially not Khushi.
From the living room, Khushi and Arnav could see that Nani and Anjali were looking up at them with curious gazes.
Mama, at Shyam's disgusting stare, walked in to the room and stood directly in front of Anjali, blocking her from Shyam. Anmol met Khushi's eyes and smiled at her briefly. He would be with them every step of the way.
"We just went out for coffee jijaji. No reason to worry." Arnav replied nonchalantly, holding in his rage well, thankful for his uncle. All his mind could picture was the cases of explosives and Shyam's wicked smirk. This was getting ridiculous. Why were there so many facets to this man?
The terrible part was, Arnav could justify Shyam's actions.
Yes, Arnav could see Shyam's side of the story. Arnav's father had single-handedly destroyed Shyam's life by having an affair with his mother. All of his anger had been turned towards destroying the Raizadas just as he had been destroyed by the Maliks.
Just because he could see Shyam's story, did not mean that he was going to let that bas***d kill his sister. His Di was his everything. No one took that from him.
Khushi pinched Arnav discretely, silently warning him not to say something stupid against Shyam. She could see that Shyam was raising his defenses as well as regarding them with high suspicion.
It seemed as though her husband got the message by the pinch he gave her in return.
Ring Ring. The sharp sound of Khushi's phone cut through the silence.
Arnav watched as Khushi listened to whatever was being told to her with rapt attention. Then, ever so slowly, her head turned towards him and she nodded. He got the message. The fingerprint had been identified. Her eyes flitted to Shyam's figure and she shook her head. Ah, so the print was Ahmed's.
"I understand. Thanks Joshi."
"Khushi, is everything alright? Do you have to go in for work?" Anjali asked anxiously.
"No Di." She reassured Anjali. "Nothing like that. My team's just giving me some updates on a case, that's it."
"Oh good!" Anjali sighed in relief. For some reason, she didn't want Khushi to leave the house at all because she may get hurt. It must be the hormones or something.
bitwa, why don't you and Khushi bitiyaa take Anjali back to her
room?" Mama suggested lightly. "She's been throwing up constantly
and needs rest."
Arnav and Khushi were immediately at her side.
"Di! Aap please aapna khayal rakho!" Khushi admonished Anjali while grasping her shoulders, acting as if Anjali couldn't even stand up properly. Arnav was at Anjali's other side, doing the same thing.
Throughout this, Anjali sighed and shook her head. "Arre, relax! Morning sickness is normal during pregnancy." She gave them chastising looks and the two of them let go reluctantly. A naughty glint entered Anjali's eyes. "I'm sure that Khushi will go through the same thing soon, and then Chote will run around after her making sure that she does everything properly!"
Khushi looked away from everyone's smiles while Arnav hid his happiness at his sister's words well. His conversation about children with Khushi came back to him and he was just waiting to make his Di and Nani's wishes a reality. The only problem was Khushi herself...
"Yes yes, Di. Don't worry. I'm sure your precious child will have a cousin to play with, but not until his or her future Mami is ready to have a child." Khushi fully believed her statement. She would give the Raizada Parivaar a child, her child, Arnav's child.
But not until she was ready to accept Arnav fully as her husband.
The days passed, some slowly, some quickly. Pretty soon, it had been three weeks since Arnav and Khushi's marriage.
Khushi and her team were making steady progress on their case against Shyam. The man had gone to Lucknow two more times after Khushi had put a tracker on him. As to the reason why, her team could only tell her that he was meeting with the man known as Hussein Ahmed.
The camera's from AR Design's reception gave them an ID on who that man was. His background check came out clean. He was a lawyer, thirty nine, married, two kids, and it was his brother who owned the hospital. Unlike with Shyam, all of this information was actually true.
So far, Ahmed was either just a friend of Shyam's who happened to have no knowledge of what was really going on, or he was an accomplice.
Shyam had gotten wary with his movements. It seemed as though he was aware that someone was keeping an eye on his comings and goings
Anjali's baby bump was slightly visible. She glowed in happiness which caused Arnav, Khushi, and Mama to glower at Shyam. She was weak though, weaker than a normal pregnant woman. When Arnav had asked Dr. Modi about this, the man had told them this was due to her weakened immune system.
Later on, the doctor had pulled Khushi aside to let her know that there were certain chemicals in her body (the same ones that Shyam had put in her body) that were causing this weakness. It turned out that Anjali had developed a partial immunity to the DEHP, but it could put her baby in danger.
"Joshi!" Khushi yelled out as she saw one of her agents fall to the ground, clutching his leg. Her heart twisted painfully at the image of the young man.
"It's okay boss." Joshi managed to grunt, teeth clenched in agony. "I'll be okay." His face said the opposite.
Khushi said nothing, and just motioned for him to stay low, her own gun ready to fire. From the corner of her eye, she saw Atman and Mehta hiding behind a boxes, firing occasionally at the three men who were trying to kill them.
Bang! Bang! The shots rang through the abandoned warehouse, each one causing her to shoot one of her own.
Everything had gone wrong about three hours ago when one of her agents had lost contact with headquarters. That man was on a very important mission that could be able to stop the trade of weapons between Iran and India.
The team of four had driven for two hours until the injured had managed to contact Khushi. The agent had told them how an illegal arms trade had gone wrong. The dealer had learned that his supposed buyer was an undercover agent and shot him on the spot. Luckily, the wound was not meant to kill, but seriously wound.
It was all a trap to lure one Mrs. Arnav Singh Raizada out into the open.
Khushi and her team had already taken out two members of this arms trade, three were left.
Suddenly, the firing stopped. Atman stole a glance at his boss who nodded ever so slightly. With two fingers, Khushi gestured that the three of them advance and gain ground.
Guns raised, fingers on the triggers, Khushi, Atman, and Joshi, slowly stood, only to have bullets showered over their heads again.
"Boss!" Atman cried out, dodging a ricochet. "What can we do?"
Khushi clenched her teeth in frustration. What could they do? They had come into this place with no idea of its structure, of its layout. The enemies had the high ground plus the advantage. She had two injured agents, and was running out of ammunition.
This wasn't the first time she had been in this position, and it wouldn't be the last. Think Khushi! She commanded herself harshly. Where was that brain of hers?
Use a distraction. Khushi blinked. Once. Then twice. Why was Arnav's voice playing in her head? Had he suddenly become her conscience? She could hear him say those words, see him saying those words, a smirk on his face, hands folded over that broad chest, just mocking her. A small groan escaped her.
This wasn't the time or the place to be thinking about the man who she would spend the rest of her life with.
I said, use a damn distraction! There it was again, the sign that she had officially lost it. But, another voice in her head, (her own) piped in, why don't you just listen? You know that the voice is right.
Yes, yes it was right. And that's why it bothered her so much. However, she wasn't going to put anymore of her team in danger because of the voice in her head that sounded like her husband. Khushi was the team leader, it was her job to protect the others. With fierce determination in her eyes, Khushi made to stand, not fearing whatever might come her way.
She just hoped that using herself as the distraction didn't lead to her death...
"Where is she? She's never this late!" Arnav yelled in frustration, not caring that he was showing this much emotion for his wife.
He had gotten home nearly an hour ago, expecting Khushi to already be home or come a little later than him.
In the living room, everyone, including Khushi's parents, were seated, anxiously staring at the door, just waiting for Khushi to burst through them. The worry that permeated the room was palpable. Anjali, with her out of control hormones, was crying a river, her head on Nani's shoulder. Thankfully, Shyam wasn't there.
Arnav paced the length of the room, his mind racing at a 1000 miles an hour. What could have happened? Khushi, why didn't you call me? His entire posture was tense. He gripped his phone with such force, that it might break.
"Beta, please sit. There must be a simple explanation. She might have gotten delayed because of paperwork, or she might be in the field. This has happened before" Vivek tried to reason with his son-in-law, but when he himself was besides himself with fear for his only child, his request was futile.
Arnav stopped walking and turned to his father-in-law. "But she would have called! Her phone is going straight to voicemail!" He had to control himself to keep his voice from cracking. He never thought that he would be so scared for anyone other than his Di. But this was Khushi, his Khushi, his wife.
Damn right he was scared! Scared what might have happened to her, scared what he would do if anything had happened to her, just plain scared.
Akaash got up and placed a comforting hand on his brother's shoulder. "Bhai. Relax. Nothing good will come of you wearing a hole in this carpet because of your incessant pacing." A weak smile rested on Akaash's lips.
Arnav glared at his cheeky brother who still managed to try and be funny in a moment as serious as this. He recognized what Akaash was doing, and was grateful. For all they knew, Khushi could have been perfectly fine, and this entire ordeal that Arnav was going through could be due to a simple misunderstanding.
There was a deeper part of him though, that knew something wasn't right, that something had happened to Khushi. And that's why he was worried. He didn't know how he knew this, but he just knew.
Ring, ring, ring. Arnav's phone shrieked to life, each ring cutting a groove into his heart.
"Pick it up Chote!" Nani's voice was filled with misplaced hope. "It must be Khushi."
The number on his screen wasn't Khushi's. Arnav picked it up anyway. "Hello?" His voice was sharp but still taking on a concerned edge.
"Raizada." The voice at the other end of the line said.
Arnav knew that voice. It was the voice of the man who had pointed a gun at his face. "Agent Kulkarni." He ground out. "Where the hell is my wife?"
At that name, Aparna immediately stood up. "Atman beta? Arnav beta, let me talk to Atman!" Her voice was quite even for a woman who didn't know where her daughter was.
Arnav glanced at his mother-in-law and nodded, putting the phone on speaker.
"Beta?" Aparna questioned Atman gently. The soft tone and obvious affection for the man was not unnoticed.
"Maa?" Atman asked, his voice considerably softer. Several looks were thrown the Rathod's way at the use of 'Maa' from this unknown man. But judging by Aparna's unfazed look, this must have been normal.
"Atman beta, Khushi kaha hai?" Vivek asked impatiently. Arnav would have spoken as well, but refrained from doing so.
A sigh was heard from Atman, as well as the muffled voice from someone in the background. For a few seconds, the entire family was kept in suspense until Atman spoke again.
And what he said, made Arnav's heart freeze, his breath stop, and his chest hurt. He felt his entire world had just crashed down on him.
"Papa, Khushi's been shot."
The entire way to the hospital that Atman had told them she was at, Arnav was silent. So silent, that it was scaring Akaash and Payal who rode in the car with him. Not one word was uttered from the man's mouth. Akaash could barely hear his brother breathing! What was worst was that Arnav had insisted on driving at break-neck speeds just so he could reach the hospital as soon as possible. Payal was clutching Akaash's arm for dear life, while Akaash himself was tense from his brother's driving, as well as the condition that his bhabhi must be in.
After this 'Atman' person, who apparently, Bhai knew well, had hung up, the silence in the living room of Shantivan had lasted for a mere second before chaos took over. Throughout this entire ordeal, Akaash had watched his brother who stood there like a statue that Michael Angelo might have carved. The pain etched in Arnav's face was heart wrenching. It had been a long time since Akaash had seen pain in Arnav's face. Fourteen years to be precise.
Akaash pulled Payal closer to him, not wanting to feel the loss of her warmth for just a second. He couldn't imagine what Arnav must be going through now.
Finally, the hospital came into view. Arnav sped up even more, entering the parking lot and parking in the first available space. For a moment, he just sat there, his face devoid of emotion but his heart racing in fear. Fear for his wife's life, fear for himself. How badly was Khushi hurt? Why did she get shot? Why was she out on the field? Where was her backup?
There were too many questions and not enough answers.
Damn it Khushi! Why are you so careless? Why can't you THINK before you act! Arnav mentally yelled at her knowing full well she couldn't hear him.
"Bhai?" Akaash's voice broke through his muddled thoughts.
"Chalo." Arnav commanded rather bleakly, getting out of the car. "Let's go see my wife."
The party of nine entered St. Peter's Hospital with heavy hearts, each fearing the worst. The women in the family had red rimmed eyes while the men all sported grim faces. Atman had been very vague about Khushi's injury, and had left them all thinking that Khushi was in a very serious condition.
The receptionist at the hospital recognized the prominent figures of Vivek Rathod and Arnav Singh Raizada. No questions were asked and the nine men and women were led into a small waiting area outside of a specialized ward.
Atman and Khushi were nowhere to be seen, and neither were there any doctor's present.
"Bhaiyaa!" Khushi's voice came from beyond a closed door.
Arnav sprang to his feet at her voice, as did everyone else. Without further ado, Arnav walked to the ward and pushed the door open. At the sight they all saw, a sigh of relief escaped all of them.
"Don't 'Bhaiyaa' me Khushi Singh Raizada! What you did was stupid and incredibly dangerous!" Atman bellowed at Khushi who was glaring daggers at the older man. Both were oblivious to the spectators behind them.
"You think I don't know that? Do you think that I fancy getting shot? It bloody hurts! I did what I had to do to protect your sorry butts!" She shouted at him, her face filled with righteous indignation.
At her anger, Arnav couldn't help but smile. There was his Khushi, sitting on a hospital bed, wearing a hospital gown, her hands on her hips, glowering at Atman. From behind him, he could hear Akaash stifle a laugh.
"Oh please! Why did you put yourself in danger? I admit, it was the best way to take those idiots down, but still! Consider yourself lucky that you were only nicked in the side! What if that bullet had gone a little more to the right? You would have said bye-bye to your spleen and liver!" He threw his hands up in exasperation, trying to make his little sister see that what she had done was stupid and dangerous.
It was then that Atman turned around to see the entire Raizada-Rathod family, staring at him with curiosity and relief.
When Khushi saw what Atman was looking at, she flushed. Had her entire family seen that? Had Arnav? Well, if his facial expression was anything to go by, he had.
It didn't surprise her when Arnav marched into the room and stood directly in front of Atman who regarded him with a cool expression.
"Why didn't you tell us that she was fine?" Arnav growled at the older man. He had been beside himself with worry for Khushi, and here she was, arguing away with the man she considered her brother. Arnav noticed the slight bruises on Atman's face, but disregarded it for the moment. He would get his answers now.
"She's not fine Raizada." Atman sneered. "She's been shot in the side." He ignored the gasps from behind him and continued. "This self-sacrificing moron decides that the best way to take those guys down was to use herself as bait while my partner and I shoot them down!"
"HEY!" Khushi scowled. "First of all, I'm right here, and second, I am fine! Yes, my side hurts, but other than that, I can go home tonight!" To prove her point, she got off the bed and walked straight up to Atman, poking him in the chest.
"I was there when you called them Bhaiyaa! You made it sound like I had died or something! No wonder all of these people were so worried." Her eyes met Arnav's. His heated gaze sent a shiver up her spine. Arnav looked as though he wanted to eat her...or keep her locked away forever.
Khushi turned to the rest of the family who by this time, had relaxed considerably. "Aap log please bahar wait kariye. I'll be out of here in less than an hour."
"Commander Raizada is right." A doctor walked into the room carrying a clipboard. She gave Atman an amused glance and raised one eyebrow at Arnav.
"She can be discharged almost immediately. The bullet wound was non-fatal, and only grazed her side. I suggest that she take a couple days off from work and let her side heal. The bandages will need to be changed once a day. The only medications she needs are painkillers. Other than that, Mrs. Raizada is perfectly fine."
Arnav was torn between wanting to kill Atman for sending him into such a deep state of worry and wanting to sweep Khushi into his arms to never let her go. He opted for the sweeping her into his arms.
To his delight, Khushi didn't say one word as Arnav stalked forward in full view of his family, his eyes holding the same look as a lion stalking its prey. She stood completely still as his warm palm engulfed her own smaller one, and gently tugged her forward so Khushi's head rested on his chest. One of his hands held her back while the other lay on her head, bringing her even closer.
"Do you know how worried I was?" He whispered harshly in her ear, painfully aware that she wore absolutely nothing under that hospital gown. Arnav could feel the way her body melted against his, he could feel every inch of her pressed against him.
A sharp jolt of remorse ran through her when he had said he was worried. She wasn't just causing pain to herself when she decided to become the distraction, she was hurting everyone who cared about her as well.
Khushi eased her hands up his back and stopped only when they reached his shoulders, her nails digging in the to hard muscles there. She felt him shiver at her touch and refrained from smiling.
"Arnav." Khushi murmured after a few seconds, her hands still on his shoulders. Her gaze traveled to the rest of the family who were intruding in on a seemingly private moment. Her face flamed with embarrassment. "Everyone's watching."
At that moment, Arnav didn't give a damn as to who was watching. All he cared about was that his wife was safe and sound and where she rightfully belonged: in his arms.
"Dekhne do." He muttered into her hair, inhaling the scent that was uniquely Khushi.
Khushi tried pushing him away, but the pain that shot up her side caused her to slump against him instead. "What will everyone say?" She hissed in his ear.
Arnav pulled away from her, amusement glinting in his eyes. There was a darker emotion present as well, but she couldn't place what it was. "We're husband and wife Khushi. Hugging your wife in public is hardly a crime."
Khushi was about to retort, but Akaash interjected. "Okay Bhai! You can hug Khushi all you want in the comfort of your bedroom! But let us also monopolize her for a while! She's not just yours you know."
And until the time she was discharged, Arnav wasn't even allowed near his own wife.
"Boss! It didn't work. That woman is still fine. She just won't be working for a week or so." A man spoke from the shadowy recesses of a corner of the hospital. He grimaced as the man on the other end cursed profusely at the failure.
"You idiot! You weren't supposed to hurt that b***h! The man, the man! Atman Kulkarni was supposed to be shot! He's been investigating us for far too long, and he's close to Raizada as well!It would have been two birds with one stone." A few sharp breaths were heard before he continued speaking. "Make sure that Kulkarni is off our case one way or another. We can't afford any other mistakes. Do you understand?"
"Good. Now leave before anyone sees you!"
The phone clicked shut. From the other end of the line, Shyam Manohar Jha ran a weary hand through his disheveled hair. He smashed his fist on the table, ignoring the searing pain that followed.
He couldn't help but feel that his impending doom was upon him, and that this failed attack was simply the first of many failures.
Little did he know how damn right he was...
The door to Arnav and Khushi's bedroom closed with a loud bang. Khushi was slightly relieved. It had been a long day, and all anyone wanted to talk about was how and why she had received her wound. Luckily, she was able to convince her family that she was fine, that the only thing wrong was her side hurting.
Unfortunately, Arnav wasn't as easily convinced as the rest of them.
He had commanded Akaash to drive the car while holding on to Khushi protectively in the backseat. While the gesture was touching, Khushi wasn't made of porcelain. She could handle herself just fine. This wasn't the first time she had gotten shot after all. In fact, this was a minor injury. Khushi had been actually shot a couple times before.
When she had pointed this out to Arnav, he had simply glared at her, told her to shut up, and nearly hauled her onto his lap.
Now that they were alone, there was no telling what Arnav was going to do. He had kept his distance from her, not making any moves. In essence, he was the perfect gentleman. At the moment though, the wild look in his eyes was anything but chivalrous.
Khushi became painfully aware that she was dressed in nothing more in very loose scrubs that the nurse had graciously lent her. Putting anything tighter on hurt her too much, so her own clothes were out of the question.
She was going to have to ask for his help to change. Devi Maiyaa, please protect me!
Arnav watched his wife through hooded eyes as she wrung her hands together nervously while sitting on the bed. Her eyes flitted from him to anything else in an almost shy manor. Good, he thought vindictively, She needs to be scared of me.
He let his mind wander, enjoying the thoughts that ran through his mind. What could he do to Khushi that would make her never scare him like that again?
In an instant, the answer came to his head. She wasn't going to like it, but he didn't really give a damn as to what she cared about in this moment.
It had been three weeks since their wedding, two weeks since they had decided to remain married. Wasn't it time to engage in some acts that regular married people did?
"Khushi." His voice rumbled through the silent room. She tried to glare at him, but the look in his eyes quelled her look. Instead, she scooted off the bed and into a standing position, trying to escape to the bathroom by herself.
Arnav was too fast for her though. In two strides, he was by her side, his hands on her shoulders, backing her into bathroom.
Once securely in, he turned around and locked the door, pleased to find that her nightclothes were already there. Good. That meant he didn't have to go back out and risk her escaping.
"Arnav! What are you doing?" Khushi's voice was tinged with anxiety. He could see that in her eyes as well.
"What am I doing?" His voice reminded her of the voice in her head. "I'm teaching you a lesson."
A dark chuckle bubbled from his mouth. Arnav walked towards her the same time she took a step back. In moments, he grabbed her hand and crashed her body into his. She clung to him for dear life, the pain in her side making her weak in the knees.
Arnav's hands snaked under her top, ghosting over her bandages. A low growl permeated the room. He held her at arms length, observing the slight wince that she could not hide. Pure rage at the one who had harmed her pulsed through his veins.
"Don't you dare do this to me again!" He yelled, shaking her slightly.
At that, her eyes, filled with fire, snapped up to his own. "Do what to you? What did I do to you?"
He ignored what she had said. "What if I lost you? What if you were seriously injured? Did you think about what other people would do if you were hurt? WHAT WOULD I DO?" Arnav breathed in heavily, his eyes red and throat hoarse. "What if I lost you?" He asked again, softer this time.
Khushi stood still, not knowing how to answer him. His voice was laced with pain, for her, for himself. This proved that he cared for her, actually cared for her!
"I...I'm sorry." Khushi mumbled, reaching out to touch his arm. "I really am."
Her touch seemed to jolt him out of whatever thoughts he was having. "Raise your arms." He commanded gruffly. When she didn't, his ASR persona took over. "I said, RAISE THEM!"
With a sigh, she did as she was told, not sure what her crazy, bi-polar, animal of a husband was about to do. Then she realized what she was wearing under the hospital shirt and frantically tried to make him go away.
"Wait Arnav! It's okay, you can go, I can do this by myself! No I can't, but he doesn't need to know that." Khushi raised her hands in front of her, trying to ward him away.
But he, quite obviously, ignored that. "Do you really think, that after everything you put me through, I'm going to go?" She could practically see the steam coming out of his nose. In one fluid movement, he shrugged off his suit jacket and undid his tie. Arnav smirked as he saw her turn crimson and start looking for escape routes.
In another movement, he was gently raising her hands over her head so that she wouldn't have any pain. Slowly, the blue garment came off, revealing Khushi in a blood red bra with bandages covering half of her naval.
Khushi tried to cover herself from his heated gaze, but it didn't work. The second she had protected her chest from his view, he had taken her hands off, leaving her feeling very vulnerable.
drank in the sight in front of him like a man who had been denied
food and water for months. "Red." A small groan escaped him as he
felt himself grow hard. "My favorite color."
He moved right in front of her so he was flush against her. He saw Khushi bite her cheek when she felt how aroused he was.
He didn't want Khushi to hold in whatever she ached to say, he didn't want Khushi to bite her lip to keep from crying out. Slowly and purposefully, he ground his lower body against hers in a way that was meant to tempt, to entice.
"P...please s..st..stop Arnav." Khushi managed to stammer through the haze of lust that was slowly clouding her mind.
His one word, emphasized by the thrust of his hips, elicited a moan from her. It was like music to his ears.
Forgetting why he had taken her to the bathroom in the first place, Arnav unlocked the door and walked with her in his arms to the bed. He set her down in the middle of it.
She lay there, coffee colored hair fanning her face. Her heaving bosom was barely covered by the bra she wore over it, the white bandages across her waist were stained with dried blood. He suppressed a growl at the sight of the blood.
One hand unbuttoned his shirt while the other gently caressed the side of her face. His eyes darkened until they were coal black as he saw how her gaze traveled over his bare torso.
This was wrong, of so very wrong, but so right at the same time. Khushi tried to shift into a sitting position, but the pain that shot up her side was making it impossible. She saw how aroused he was. The tent in his pants just begged to be released, and she wanted to be the one to tame it.
The boundaries of this relationship hadn't been discussed in length, but this was crossing all lines. Not only had Arnav left her half naked, but he too was shirtless. A primal age old instinct within her demanded that she not submit to him, that she mark him before he did the same to her. But, part of her just wanted to give in, to surrender.
Arnav settled himself on top of her, his bare chest touching her still covered one. He desperately wanted to remove that barrier, but didn't know how she would react. Khushi's hands rested on the planes of his chest, pushing at him without an effort.
He smirked at her and saw how her pulse jumped for a second before speeding up. Arnav caught her hands before they could start exploring him. A defiant glint shown in her eyes. "No Khushi. Do you know how much you've made me suffer in the past couple hours?" He bent down and nipped her ear causing her to yelp.
His mouth traveled to her neck, placing warm kisses down the side of it until he reached her pulse. "When we learned you'd been shot, I felt like I couldn't breathe. So why don't I do the same to you." He murmured against her neck. His hands pinned hers to the headboard as he lazily sucked on her neck, leaving his mark there for the world to see.
"Please Arnav! Don't!" She writhed beneath him, each movement causing her pain and pleasure at the same time. His wicked tongue soothed over the bites he was leaving.
"Your mouth tells me no, but your body tells me the exact opposite, wife." Arnav whispered, his voice sending a ripple of desire through her.
"I told you, this is your punishment. Don't speak." He was just daring her to do the exact opposite, she knew that.
Khushi couldn't breathe. There, he had his retribution. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a breath for a breath. His ministrations were leaving her breathless.
Arnav crawled down her body while keeping her hands firmly pinned. He stopped at the hem of her pants. A naughty grin lit his face and she inwardly groaned.
"Don't." Her voice was a warning.
"Or what?" He challenged. "You can't even move." Arnav knew he had a point there when he felt her stiffen. But then, he felt a foot sneaking its way up his pants before resting on groin. Khushi pressed her foot directly over his prominent bulge drawing a deep guttural sound from him.
"No, I can't. But if you put your hands down my pants, I will make sure that your chote down there never sees the light of day again." She replied with a smirk of her own.
He stared at her for a full minute, knowing that she wasn't lying. A scowl made itself onto his face. He had enough of this cat and mouse game they had been playing for twenty-five years. After tonight, Khushi would let him put his hands on her, whenever he wanted, wherever he wanted. Of this he was sure.
"Go on." She taunted him, not knowing she was only stoking the fire within him. "Do your worst."
She regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth. The look in his eyes was positively predatory.
"You asked for it." He growled.
Arnav didn't give her a chance to say another words as he swooped down and captured her succulent lips between his own. He knew he was bruising her mouth from his kiss, but she needed to understand that she was his, and his alone. She needed to understand just how scared he was to have thought that he had lost her.
Her mouth opened to him within seconds and in his tongue went, tangling with her own. The moan that erupted from her fueled his flammable desire to the max. Arnav angled his mouth to go even deeper, his tongue mimicking what another part of his anatomy wished he could desperately do. His hands unbound hers and rested on her breasts.
He squeezed her breasts without mercy, causing her to arch into his touch. Arnav tore his mouth away from hers to look directly into her eyes. What he saw there blew him away.
Khushi was eternally grateful when Arnav pulled away. This was her chance to tell him to stop, to tell him that though she wanted this so badly, now wasn't the right time. But her body betrayed her. She could feel the desire pooling at the apex of her thighs, she could feel herself wrap her legs around Arnav's waist, ignoring the pain in her side. This was bliss. The bullet wound was nothing more than an annoyance.
Arnav saw pure lust in those beautiful eyes of hers. Lust for him. His eyes most definitely mirrored hers. Her long, toned legs held his waist in a death grip. She was drawing him towards her. Her palms, smooth and soft, explored the grooves of his abdomen and slid upwards to his chest. He clenched his teeth to stop from letting out a primitive groan. NO! He was supposed to be one-upping her, not the other way around. It didn't matter if she didn't know what she was doing. Today, he was determined to get the upper hand.
Once again, he dove into her mouth, prying her lips open. She kissed him back just as passionately as he did to her. More and more throaty moan left her as he ground his hips right into her core. His pants needed to go, but right now, her punishment was more important.
"Do you see now?" Arnav's voice was hoarse with want. "You are mine. No one can touch you. No one will ever touch you again. I won't let ANYONE harm you!"
Khushi could see the sincerity on his face. She raised her hand up to stroke his stubble lovingly. "I know."
He closed his eyes, his need for Khushi caused his body to tremble in anticipation. She knew. Good. Then this next part should be easier.
"Well then." His voice was low and almost menacing. He dropped a kiss on the top of her heaving bosom and laid his head down on her heart, hearing its erratic pace.
"Now that you know that you're mine, why don't we make it official?" With each word he said, he trailed kisses down the length of her body, stopping once again at the hem of her pants.
Judging by the look in his eyes, it seemed as though he was not going to take 'no' as an answer.
Arnav smirked up at his wife who was blushing up a storm. He let his tongue roam her exposed skin, expertly avoiding the bandages. She could only gasp at his touch.
Leaning over until his lips touched her ears, he muttered, "Don't worry jaan, take all the time you want to come up with your answer. This night has just begun."
Sorry for leaving you all at that point! Please like/comment and Buddy me for PM's. I won't send out a PM unless you're on my buddy list:) Thanks again for reading!
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