Again, PMs were only sent to those on my buddy list.
Shilpa lifted her head from Armaan's shoulder and ran her hand through her daughter's hair. A small smile appeared on her lips as she watched her sleep in Armaan's arms.
"She must be tired, Armaan." She said not moving her eyes from her daughter, "Give her to me. I'll tuck her in." She started to take her but she tightened her hold around Armaan's neck.
"I'll do it, don't worry. You go rest." Armaan kissed Shilpa's forehead and headed upstairs. Shilpa walked into the kitchen and noticed the broken glass on the floor. She signed as she went to get the broom and dustpan to clean it up. When she finished, she headed upstairs to her room. Upon opening the door, she saw Armaan sitting in bed looking at something. She shut the door behind her and sat on the bed next to him.
"What are you looking at?" She whispered as she curled closer to him. Armaan wrapped an arm around her and pulled her even closer.
"Old pictures." He replied flipping the page. Shilpa looked down and saw photos from their wedding. "Did I tell you that you looked beautiful that day?"
"You didn't STOP telling me that on the day." Shilpa giggled remembering how he complimented her at every moment that he could. They flipped through more pages in the album: the rest of wedding, their reception, Shilpa's pregnancy, and their daughter, Mahi's baby years. Armaan turned the last page of her first birthday's pictures and saw an empty page. He flipped a few more and saw that they were empty too. He let out a sigh and looked at Shilpa.
"What happened to us?" He asked her in a soft voice, almost a whisper, as he shut the album, placed it onto the bedside table and snuggled her.
"I guess we let the little things get to us, Armaan." She gently murmured as she played with the edge of the blanket that covered the two of them. "Armaan..." She looked up at him.
"Hmm?" He stared back into her beautiful eyes. Shilpa sat up on the bed and turned towards him. "What's wrong?" He sat up as well, seeing her move away from him. He didn't like that she moved away; her warmth was so comforting, especially since they hadn't been close like this in such a long time.
"I'm sorry..." She lowered her gaze, feeling guilty about everything that had happened to them. "...for everything. I feel like it's all my fault..." Her voice became quieter as she finished. Armaan shook his head 'no' as he scooted closer to her. "I'm a horrible wife and mother..." Shilpa brought her knees up and circled her arms around them as the guilt continued to grow in her heart. Not able to hear her say anything more against herself, Armaan pulled her to his chest and tried to soothe her by rubbing her upper arm and running his fingers through her hair.
"Shhh... Don't say that Shilpa," Armaan kissed the top of her head continuously. "You're an amazing wife and an even better mother. And it's not your fault, none of it is. It's mine. If it wasn't for me, then our fights would never have happened." He kissed her head once again as he felt her grip on his arm tighten. Shilpa lifted her head to look at him, not letting go of his arm. Armaan saw her tear stained face and immediately brought his hands up to wipe her cheeks.
"Armaan, I just don't want it to happen again..." Shilpa said between sniffs. "I... I don't want you to leave me and Mahi alone like my father did to my mom and me. I don't know if I'll survive the second time." Armaan held her by the shoulders.
"How could you even think I would do that?" She shook her slightly as if trying shake her into her senses. "Shilpa, I could never leave the two of you no matter how much we argue." Armaan reassured her by cupping her face as she gazed into his eyes, drowning in the love within them. "Please don't even let thoughts like that bother you."
"But Armaa-" Armaan placed his hand over her mouth, stopping her from arguing back.
"No buts, Shilpa. Get those thoughts out of your head. You and Mahi mean way too much for me to leave both of you." He said authoritatively. Shilpa lowered her head slightly, still unsure. She knew she shouldn't be so insecure, but what her father did instilled fear in every corner of her heart. Armaan saw her doubtful expressions and sighed. He wondered what could possibly make her believe him. He cupped her face once again and leaned forward. He placed a kiss on her forehead, then her temple, her closed eye, her cheek and her jaw. He then lingered his lips on her cheek once again, slowly gliding them across her soft skin to the edge of her lips. His thumb gently rubbed her lips and he smiled when he felt her tremble knowing his touch still affected her. Without letting another moment pass, he took her lips with his and let out all the passion he had withheld. She didn't respond initially, but he probed her lips more and soon she responded back with equal fervor.
Armaan pulled away and rested his forehead onto hers. He opened his eyes and saw her breathing heavily with her eyes shut. He moved forward and pecked her lips.
"I love you," Armaan whispered against her lips. "I promise I will never leave you." Shilpa opened her eyes and looked back at him. "Ever." He whispered. She watched him stare back at her for a while before she brought her hands to his cheeks, pulled him closer and pecked his lips back. "I love you too, Armaan." She uttered back.
Armaan laid her down onto the bed alongside himself. She moved closer and rested her head under his chin, in the crook of his neck, where it fit perfectly. Armaan enclosed her soft body in his arms and rubbed her back, hoping she would quickly fall asleep. In a matter of minutes he felt her shallow breathing against his neck. He sighed, shutting his eyes, trying to drift away into a slumber just as she did.