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Wish Upon A Star - ArSh FF (P16, pg 58) (Page 25)

DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
DulceAmor
DulceAmor

Joined: 01 July 2007
Posts: 8395

Posted: 29 January 2012 at 4:00pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by anumeha_rajat

awsum part..

simply superb..

loved it..

adored ARSH moments...they were relly amazing...

n the way they were reacting..

not knowing wats rite to say..

n armi all lost in her..n so do she..

her maasi threw her out...though sad...but im really happy..

now she is gonna live with armi...

continue soon..

thnx for the pm...



Awww, thank you hun!!! I'm thrilled you liked it so much and enjoyed their shyness with each other.  I had so much fun writing that scene so it's great to know you all have enjoyed it too. I love the fact you all are wanting her to live with Armaan. Well, I can't say if that will happen, but her aunt throwing her out is actually a good thing for Shilpa. And, yes, it will for sure bring her closer to Armaan. Embarrassed

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Joined: 26 January 2011
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Posted: 29 January 2012 at 9:33pm | IP Logged
wow it was such a lovely update!!
loved sapna's character n ofcourse arsh moments.
waiting eagerly to see how armaan would help her now...update soon
thnx for the pm. :)

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DulceAmor

blessed4 IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 30 January 2012 at 6:21am | IP Logged
amazing part !!! well I guess now Shilpa will put up with Armaan and this will help them to get closer..pl continue soon !!

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DulceAmor

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Posted: 30 January 2012 at 7:18am | IP Logged
Originally posted by luv_kash

wow it was such a lovely update!!
loved sapna's character n ofcourse arsh moments.
waiting eagerly to see how armaan would help her now...update soon
thnx for the pm. :)


Glad you enjoyed it hun! I added Sapna here to give a bit of lightness after all the drama and also because I thought Shilpa needed one friend at least. I'm really pleased everyone has taken to her so much. Hope you'll like what happens next. I can promise there is much more ArSh on the way.
DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 30 January 2012 at 7:20am | IP Logged
Originally posted by blessed4

amazing part !!! well I guess now Shilpa will put up with Armaan and this will help them to get closer..pl continue soon !!


Thank you! A lot of people are wondering if she will move in with Armaan...and whether she does or not will soon be revealed. He will definitely help her one way or another, though, and I do hope you all will like how their story is going to unfold.
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Posted: 04 February 2012 at 3:04pm | IP Logged
Hey all, I'm back again with the update, finally. LOL Thanks to all who took the time to read my last part. Your comments mean so much to me, I wish I could tell you how much. I hope that you all will enjoy this part and will want to continue on Armaan & Shilpa's journey. Embarrassed  So, here it is, do please like/comment/criticise and yeah, ignore any errors; I didn't proofread it yet lolz.


Chapter 8

"Are you sure this is all right?" Shilpa asked for possibly the millionth time that day.

            "Of course I'm sure." Armaan took his eyes off the road for a second to throw her an amused glance. "I wouldn't have suggested it otherwise."

            Truthfully, she didn't understand why he hadn't kicked her out the car already. He'd had to give her the same response so many times she was sure he had to be pretty irritated with her by now. And yet that patient smile never left his face, not even for a second.

            It was a week later and Shilpa had been discharged from the hospital at last. She was healing much quicker than Dr Hughes had first anticipated. Her leg had not been as severely injured as they originally thought, the worst of the break concentrated in her ankle. The big chunky cast had been taken off, though she still had one around her ankle and she needed crutches to walk. But it was an improvement from being bed-ridden.

            Biting her bottom lip as butterflies danced nervously in the pit of her stomach, she watched the city streets passing by outside. Armaan was driving down town, through an area she was unfamiliar with, and she tried to concentrate on the different buildings she'd never seen till today. Armaan had expressed amazement when she admitted she'd lived in New York for the past fourteen years but only seen a little of the city, but to Shilpa it kind of summed up her life. She'd spent most of her twenty-one years living in a bubble, never breaking out of it, never experiencing anything different. Until today.

            Today was the start of a whole new chapter in her life. That scared her more than she cared to admit. As much as she had felt suffocated living with her aunt and uncle and Anjali, it was familiar and there was a strange sense of comfort in that. She knew the rules, knew what was expected of her and what her role was. But with that gone, the basic structure of her life had been torn to pieces. Now everything was as uncertain as it was unfamiliar.

            Think of it as a way to start over again. That was the advice Sapna had given her when she told her Vasu had thrown her out of the family home. A part of her was excited by that prospect, especially not having to keep up a pretence of being happy when she wasn't. Armaan had already told her that she didn't have to apologise for feeling sad or depressed, that if that was how she felt she should let it all out instead of bottling it up inside her. There was a sense of freedom in doing that, but old habits die hard and she found herself trying to keep her hands still in her lap and not show her nervousness, although it was threatening to eat her up.

            "If you want to fidget, fidget," Armaan told her, almost as if he'd read her mind. She glanced over at him in the driver's seat and though his eyes were fixed on the road ahead as he rounded a corner, he was smiling.

            The low winter sun was shining through the car windows, casting him in a hazy golden glow. It made his skin look more deeply tanned and brought out coppery tinges in his hair. He could have easily passed for a Greek God. Shilpa's heart did a somersault just looking at him.

            She turned away hurriedly, hoping the heat in her cheeks wasn't visible. "I don't want to fidget."

            Out of the corner of her eye she saw his brows arch. "Uh-huh, sure you don't. That's why you keep digging your nails into your knees."

            "You noticed that?" she asked, looking back round at him in astonishment.

            He flashed her a quick grin. "I notice everything about you."

            She lowered her eyes, feeling more breathless than she had any right to.

            A few minutes later Armaan turned another corner and started to slow the car. Shilpa gazed out the window at the smart, urban apartments lining the street on both sides. They were painted grey with cute little balconies, many of which were strung with fairy lights. It was early afternoon but the light was fading enough that some of the occupants had turned the lights on and they twinkled like fallen stars. She'd never seen anything so pretty.

            "Here we are," Armaan said, pulling to a stop outside one of the blocks. "Home sweet home."

            Shilpa's heart started to pound as she glanced up at the apartment block. "Are you sure?" she asked again, only to hear Armaan start to chuckle.

            Turning to look at him she was surprised to find him sitting staring at her, his blue eyes sparkling with amusement. Her pulse gave a little skip and she automatically dropped her gaze.

            "Sorry," she mumbled. "It's just..."

            She trailed off, unsure how to phrase the tangled web of thoughts and feelings she was experiencing. When she'd told Armaan about her aunt throwing her out that day in the hospital he'd reacted in a way that still left her dazed. Instead of being shocked or outraged he'd been eerily calm. As she panicked about where she would go and what she'd do, he'd simply taken her face in his hands and looked directly into her eyes. Then he'd told her that she would come and live with him.

            At first she'd resisted. The idea of living with him unmarried went against everything her aunt and ever taught her. She'd secretly hoped Sapna could help, and her friend had offered her a place in her house. But Sapna's parents had refused to agree, suspicious of the reasons behind Shilpa being thrown out of her aunt's home. With nowhere to go and her discharge date looming, Armaan had been the only one she could turn to. So she'd accepted his offer...and been apprehensive about this moment ever since.

            It wasn't just the thought of living with a strange guy that unnerved her. In fact, if anything, that bothered her least of all. Mostly it was the unfamiliarity of it all, of being wanted. No one had ever wanted her around. The only reason she had ended up with her aunt was because no one of her father's side would take her in. She still couldn't fathom why Armaan wanted her to live with him, but the feelings it inspired in her were overpowering: gratitude, awe, anxiousness, and a strange kind of warmth that she couldn't find a name for.

            "Just what?" Armaan asked, jolting her out of her thoughts. "Come on, Shilpa. You needed a place to stay and I have a spare room. And seen as though your accident was kinda my fault, it's the least I can do."

            "It wasn't your fault," she told him, an unexpected note of steel coming into her voice. He stared at her in surprise as she met his eyes, a dark look crossing her face. "No one is to blame for what happened but me, do you hear?"

            Armaan thought about arguing the point, but there was a formidable edge to her expression that made him think twice about it. He didn't understand why yet, but she seemed to believe that everything bad that had happened in her life was somehow down to her actions. He suspected a lot of it came from her aunt and that made him resent the woman even more. But he didn't dare question Shilpa about it. He couldn't stand seeing her hurting and he knew talking about her past would be painful for her.

            "Okay, fine, you win," he said, adding a small chuckle to try and lighten the mood. He held up his hands placatingly for good measure. "But just so you know, I would do this for you even if you hadn't had the accident. I couldn't see you on the streets. It would be too cruel if you missed all the Christmas TV."

            He flashed her a wicked grin and then jumped out the car before she could shout at him. She watched him round the bonnet, shaking her head in mirth. A genuinely amused smile curved about her lips and for the first time in days she felt something other than anxiety. She didn't know how he did it, but somehow Armaan had the knack of making her feel better when she needed it most.

            When he opened the passenger door he had her crutches under one arm. "May I escort you in, miss?" he asked in a feigned polite voice.

            Despite the butterflies in her stomach she gave a small snort of laughter. "Why, of course!" she replied, using the same voice.

            They were both grinning as he took her hand and pulled her out of the car. She still couldn't put any weight on her injured foot and this caused her to stumble as she got her feet on the sidewalk. Luckily Armaan still had a hold of her hand or she would have face-planted onto the ground. As it was she lurched forward into him and nearly knocked them both off balance. He caught her about the waist, steadying them both and her face ended up level with his chest.

            She was suddenly aware of how close they were. Her lips were inches from his sweater and she was close enough to see the rise and fall of his chest with each breath he took. His hands were tight at her waist and she was highly conscious of how big and warm they were. She hadn't worn a jacket because she was travelling in his car, so all she had on was a long-sleeved woollen jumper, and it was letting the heat from his touch seep through to her skin. It made her shiver, a flash of pleasure lighting up her insides.

            Face burning, she pulled away from him, hobbling back so she could lean against the car. Her crutches had fallen to the ground when he caught her and she watched him bend to retrieve them from the corner of her eye. She couldn't meet his gaze as he straightened, she was too embarrassed and she knew that her face had turned a bright shade of red. Her heart was hammering so hard she wondered if he could hear it too, and as she reached out for her crutches she was mortified to see her hand shaking a little.

            "Thanks," she said quietly as she took the crutches from him.

            Armaan didn't say anything. He didn't think he could. Something weird was going on with him and he was at a loss how to explain it. Shilpa's scent was still in his nostrils and it was having an odd affect on his pulse, making it flutter like he'd inhaled some kind of illegal substance. His hands still burned from where he had held her and he had to stuff them into his pockets to resist the sudden urge to reach out and touch her again. His mind helpfully flashed him an image of picking her up and carrying her into the apartment, but he chased it away with an alarmed thud of his heart.

            In need of a distraction he moved over to the boot and started to take her luggage out, hoping that by the time he was done he would have calmed down. There wasn't much luggage, though. All of her possessions were contained in a holdall and a medium-sized suitcase. It still made him frown when he saw them. It just didn't seem right that this was all she owned in the world.

            He took her belongings into the apartment first and then came back for her. She had been apprehensive when he told her that the apartment was on the second floor, but luckily there was a lift so she didn't need to struggle up the stairs. They rode up in silence, neither of them sure what to say and both extremely aware of how little space there was in the elevator. Armaan could have sworn he could feel the heat coming off Shilpa's body and he had to close his eyes and count to ten to get his pulse back down to a normal speed.

            When the doors opened he led her down a small hallway until they reached a bright red door. He risked a glance at her then, grinning a little bashfully.

            "The colour's awful, I know, but at least you'll never miss it," he said as he turned the key in the lock.

            "It's nice," she replied earnestly. "It gives it character."

            Armaan made a small huffing noise and then he swung the door open. Shilpa hobbled inside. And stopped dead as her eyes took in the vast living room spread out before her.

            Somehow she hadn't imagined it would be this big. The outside had suggested small, square rooms with minimal furniture, but what she saw was the exact opposite of that. The living room was wide and airy with room for two sofas and a sizeable coffee table in the middle of the floor. Bookcases and shelving lined two walls and a floor-to-ceiling window led onto the balcony. Cream drapes fluttered in the breeze coming in from outside and through them she could make out the fairy lights from the apartment across the street. It gave the room a soft glow that was both soothing and magical.

            The living room led off to an open-plan kitchenette with fancy grey marbled surfaces and white stools clustered about a breakfast island. It was modern and trendy, but it had a charm about it that she'd always felt lacking in the big draughty stone kitchen in her aunt's house. She imagined that when someone cooked in this kitchen the whole apartment became infused with the scents. Just like in India, she thought fleetingly, before pushing that thought away. Today was not the day to dwell on the past.

            "What do you think?" Armaan's voice was soft behind her, and a little tentative. Surprised, she glanced over her shoulder to find him watching her curiously. His brows were arched slightly and there was an extra light in his eyes that she thought looked vaguely anxious.

            "It's lovely," she told him honestly. "I like it."

            He visibly relaxed and one of his trademark grins split his lips wide. "It's pretty cool, huh? I was sold on it the minute I saw this living room. It's more like a loft. The bedrooms are small, but there's enough space for a bed and a wardrobe. And the balcony's great, especially in the summer. I used to sit out at night and-"

            He caught himself and shook his head. "Never mind," he said hurriedly, moving off towards the kitchen. "You must be hungry, right? I bet you haven't had a decent meal the whole time you were in hospital."

            "Hospital food isn't that bad," she said defensively, following him over towards the kitchen. She propped her crutches against the breakfast island and slid into one of the stools as Armaan started searching through the cupboards.

            "You're just saying that because you work there," he replied, throwing her a wry look over his shoulder.

            She gave a feigned sniff. "At least it's healthy."

            Armaan chuckled and reached for a chopping board. "And tasteless. But don't worry, at Casa Armaan you will get tasty and healthy food. Well, maybe not all that healthy. I can't cook much. My sister tried to teach me but I never had the patience to learn. But I can make a killer plate of cheesy nachos."

            Shilpa shook her head at him in amusement. "You can't make any Indian dishes?"

            "They're too long and complicated," he said with a bashful shrug.

            Shilpa rolled her eyes. "You get the ingredients. I'll tell you what to do."

            He glanced up at her. "You know how to cook?"

            "Oh, yes," she sighed but there was a hint of a smile at her lips. "Massi insisted that Anjali and I learn. So we would be good housewives when we got married."

            The way she curled her lip as she said the last made Armaan laugh.

            "God, that woman needs to get out of the last century," he said. Shilpa's smile widened a fraction, but then something dark crossed her eyes and Armaan hurried to change the subject. "Okay, tell me what I need to do."

            She gave herself a shake, as if she was coming out of a deep meditation, and then her face brightened and she rattled off a list of spices and vegetables. He dashed about the small kitchen until he was actually puffing with exhaustion, but it was worth it, seeing the happy glow in Shilpa's eyes every time he stole a glance at her.

            "You call this easy?" he asked incredulously a little while later. He was trying to roll a paratha and not having much success. It didn't help that Shilpa's grin grew wider with every failed attempt.

            "It is when you do it right," she told him loftily. "You've got too much flour and not enough water."

            "Now you tell me," he muttered, pretending to be miffed. Shilpa just gave him a smug look and rested her chin on her folded hands as he fetched some more water. She opened her mouth to tell him to put a little at a time, but before she could he'd dumped the whole lot into the mixing bowl.

            "Uh..." she started to say as he put his hands into the bowl.

            "It's gone all soggy!" he cried before she could say anymore. He held up his hands, covered in the gloppy mixture. It was half-way up his arms too, making him look as if he'd dipped them in wallpaper paste.

            Shilpa couldn't help it, she started to snicker. She covered her mouth with her hand, but it didn't disguise the little snorts of hilarity any. Armaan narrowed his eyes sharply at her.

            "Oh, so you think it's funny?" he asked, arching his brows.

            "I'm sorry," she wheezed. And then she started to giggle again.

            "Right, that's it," Armaan declared. "You asked for it."

            He gathered up a ball of dough in his hands and threw it at Shilpa. It hit her in the shoulder, splattering her jumper. With a gasp, she looked down at it as the sludgy substance trickled down her arm. Then her head snapped up and her eyes narrowed, flashing with the thrill of the challenge.

            "You're going to regret that," she informed Armaan, before reaching into the flour bag and chucking a handful of flour at him.

            He ducked, but not quickly enough. The flour fell mostly on the floor, but some managed to settle on his left side, covering his hair and half his face in a fine, white dust. When he stood back up Shilpa took one look at him and burst out laughing, a real, proper laugh, the kind he'd never heard from her before. For a moment he just stood there watching her, marvelling at how her whole face lit up and became animated with her laughter. Her green eyes danced, a bright and luminous jade that made him think of the sea seen from atop a hill.

            He didn't realise that a small smile had started to curve his lips as he gazed at her. Not until she looked up at him and her eyebrows wagged teasingly at him.

            "What are you staring at?" she asked with another giggle.

            Armaan started, his heart thudding, a wave of hot embarrassment flooding through him. Shilpa's eyes sparkled with delight as she grinned at him, heightening his self-consciousness. His eyes darted about for some distraction, a way to cover his awkwardness, and then he looked down at the lumpy mixture still in his hand.

            "You," he answered her. "That flour stain suits you. But you need a matching one on your other shoulder."

            "No!" she shrieked, holding up her arms to shield herself as he lobbed the mixture in her direction. It hit her in the chest this time and she gave a gasp of indignation before gathering up her own dough ball and chucking it at him.

            Armaan dodged and sent another flying at her. She retaliated and their laughter rang out, filling the small kitchenette as they hurtled lumps of flour back and forth at one another. Shilpa couldn't remember the last time she had behaved with such carefree childishness. Growing up in her aunt's house she never would have dared play pranks like this; she hadn't even known she had such a mischievous side in her. But fooling around with Armaan felt like the most natural thing in the world and she didn't question it, she just went with it, allowing herself to have fun.

            "Okay, okay, I surrender!" she laughed as Armaan crept towards her. He'd been inching her way through the fight and now there was nothing but one of the stools between them. One quick vault and he would be able to smear her face with the mixture he had hidden behind his back. He thought he was being subtle about hiding it, but Shilpa knew it was there.

            "Oh really?" Armaan took another step towards her and Shilpa moved her hand further behind her back. It was covered in mixture too and all she needed was for him to come a little closer...

            "Uh-huh," she replied, working to keep her voice even, which was hard because she wanted to laugh badly. "You win."

            "Are you sure about that?" He came closer. "I didn't peg you for the giving up easily type."

            "That's because I'm not!" she cried as he stepped in front of her. Her hands shot out, aiming for his face, but he reacted quicker than she expected, catching her wrists in one hand before she could get so much as one finger on him. She squealed as he smeared her face with the mixture on his other hand, wriggling in her seat, trying to break free so she could get her own back, but he held her tight.

            "Armaan!" she gasped, breathless with all her laughing. "Let me go!"

            "So you can get me back? I don't think so!"

            His eyes twinkled, daring her to try and wrestle her way free. She twisted her right wrist, managing to slip it out from under his grip for about a second, until he caught it with his other hand.

            "Nice try," he said, his voice low and seductive.

            "You're just a sore loser!" she shot back at him, trying to ignore the way his voice had sent shivers down her arms. She kept straining against his grip, stretching her hands up in the hope of getting a stray swipe at his face.

            "But sweetheart, I didn't lose," he told her.

            "It's not over yet!" she promised him, stretching her hand out as far as she could.

            He moved his head back, twisting her round in her seat to avoid her reaching fingers. Undeterred, she kept trying while he kept trying to dodge her and wrestle her body into an angle where she couldn't reach him. Both of them were soon gasping with laughter and their eyes were shining with it as Armaan twisted Shilpa's wrists in a move that made her slide across the stool until their faces were just inches apart.

            They both paused, their eyes locking as they registered how close they were. Their bodies were practically pressed into one another and there was little more than a hair's breadth between their lips. Shilpa felt Armaan's breath fan against her face, warm and heavy from all his laughter. It sent a rush of heat through her skin, a heady sensation that made her heart beat faster. She looked into his eyes, mesmerised by how dark they looked up close. They were still filled with mirth but as she continued to gaze into them they deepened, a new emotion taking over them, something rawer and more primitive, that had her breath catching.

            One small bend of his head and he could capture her lips with his own. The thought danced through Armaan's mind, sending a rush of anticipation down his nerve ends. His eyes dropped to her lips, slightly parted and dotted with little white flecks of flour, and suddenly he wanted nothing more than to kiss those floury spots away. His heart started to pound, his blood pumping faster in his veins as he glanced back up at her eyes. They were wide and so deep, a dark, enchanting green, unlike any shade you would find in nature. He didn't recognise the expression in them but it set his pulse racing.

            All he had to do was close the gap between them...

            He caught himself with a hard thump of his heart. Jerking back, he dropped her wrists as if they'd burned him. It was so sudden Shilpa gasped softly and had to grasp the counter to stop herself from losing her balance and slipping off the stool. She looked up at him, those haunting eyes dark with confusion, and something twisted in his heart. There was an air of vulnerability about her that made him instantly want to wrap his arms around her and protect her. It made him waver and for a moment he nearly took a step towards her again but then a bolt of genuine fear went through him and he turned abruptly away, his head spinning.

            What is wrong with me, he wondered as the fear seeped into every part of him, as icy as the winter wind. He suddenly felt like a cornered animal and he was intensely aware of Shilpa's eyes on him. They burned into his back, searing his skin, so that outwardly he was flushed but inwardly he was chilled. It was the strangest sensation he'd ever experienced and he didn't know what to do about it. All he did know was that he had to put as much distance between them as possible before he turned round and did something he might regret later on.

            He stalked over to the fridge and yanked the door open with more violence than was really necessary. He was acting on autopilot as he reached for one of the many beer bottles and snatched it up. It felt gloriously cool against his flushed skin, but it wasn't enough to chase away the conflicted emotions currently doing battle within him. He snapped the cap off it in one savage motion and then upended the bottle, gulping down almost half of it in one go.

            It was then he realised that this was the first drink he'd had in over a week. He hadn't touched alcohol since the night of Shilpa's accident. Amazement flitted through him for a second, but it was quickly replaced with annoyance. No wonder he was all messed up. The alcohol was what kept him sane. It was a miracle he'd made it till now without losing it completely.

            Deciding that he needed to make up for the past week, he gulped down the rest of the beer and reached for another one. Shilpa watched him quietly from her stool. He had his back to her but she could see the tension in his shoulders and the tight set of his jaw when he wasn't knocking back the beer. She wasn't an expert, but it seemed obvious enough that he was angry about something. Her mind raced over the events of the past half hour, trying to find some indicator of what could have triggered this sudden temper, but it kept drawing a blank. Up until that last moment he'd seemed to be having as much fun as she was.

            She itched to ask him about it, but she didn't have the courage...or the nerve. What business was it of hers, a little voice inside her head demanded? In this past week he hadn't once asked any questions about why her aunt had thrown her out or why she was so solemn all the time. Instead he had supported her, let her be herself, something no one had ever done for her before. Even Sapna had tried to cajole her into leaving off her dark moods from time to time. But Armaan never had. He'd told her she was just to be herself and not to feel guilty for that. The least she could do was support him in return.

            But even as she mused over all this she felt a sting in her heart. Rejection, she realised dimly. She'd experienced it enough times in her life to recognise it now. She knew it was silly, that he hadn't offered her anything expect a roof over her head, that he'd never insinuated that he thought about her in any way other than as a someone he wished to do a good turn by. He'd never implied that he actually cared about her, not as a friend, not as a potential partner. So she had no right to feel wounded that he wouldn't share what was bothering him with her.

            You haven't told him about your past, she reminded herself sternly. For a moment she contemplated it, but then he finished his second beer and went for a third and she decided now was not the best time. It was quite clear he wanted to be alone and the air in the room was so thick with tension it was becoming stifling. Escaping off on her own suddenly sounded like a very good idea.

            "I'm not really hungry," she mumbled as she reached for her crutches. "I think I'll go lie down."

            "Sure." His voice was tight, a stark contrast to his laughter minutes before. "It's the first door on the left."

            He didn't turn to look at her and she tried not to dwell on how much that speared her heart. Ridiculous tears were rising behind her eyes and she battled them back as she hobbled out of the kitchenette and into the small corridor that led to the bedrooms.

            Armaan listened to the thump of her crutches until her room door clicked softly shut and then, finally, he turned around. Sighing heavily, he leaned back against the fridge and stared out at the flour-dusted kitchen. His mind was a mess. So many emotions were dancing through it, fighting for supremacy, but as he gazed at the scene of their earlier fun little spots of guilt started to pool within him, drowning out all the other feelings.

            When was the last time he had actually laughed like he had today, he wondered? He wracked his brain but he honestly couldn't remember. Laughter, happiness, enjoyment of anything – they'd all been absent from his life for so long he'd begun to think he had forgotten what they were like. He'd never expected to experience any of them again. How could he, when they were all tied up with the one thing he didn't have in his life anymore?

            Suddenly his body felt too heavy for his legs to hold up anymore. He slid to the floor, taking another long swig of the beer. It slipped down his throat, but it didn't revive him; it didn't ease the pain or the confusion any. It just sat there in his stomach, making him feel incredibly nauseous.

            The startling thing was he really had enjoyed himself this afternoon, messing about with Shilpa. For a few sweet minutes it had been as if the last six months had never happened. All his hurt, his heartbreak had faded to the point where he hadn't been conscious of them. And the reason for that had been Shilpa.

            He'd wanted to see her smile, laugh, and it had made him feel good when she had. But why? Why should he care how she felt? What was this strange compulsion to look after her that he had and where had it come from?

            He had no answers. He just knew that when she'd laughed her face had glowed and those emerald eyes had shone more brilliantly than any jewel. And for a few seconds he'd thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world.

            He shouldn't have acted so cold with her, he acknowledged. It wasn't her fault that he was losing his grip on sanity. And yet, he hated the fact he felt guilty about it. Hated it because that was the only reason he was ashamed, when he should have felt guilty about being attracted to her, even if it had only been for a second. But he wasn't, and that troubled him more than anything else.

            Squeezing his eyes shut he tried to force her image out his head, but no matter how hard he tried, he kept picturing her eyes, dancing with mirth. Frustrated, he let out a small cry and jumped to his feet, pacing up and down.

            This couldn't be happening to him, it just couldn't. He'd found the perfect woman, the one he was destined to be with, the one who would never compare to any other girl. She was the only one who could make his heart flutter and his breath catch in his throat. It was her he wanted so badly it hurt. Hell, he'd just spent the last six months trying to drive the pain of wanting her away. But not once had he ever thought about giving up on her, about finding someone else.

            He'd assumed he would never feel the same way about anyone again.

            You were just caught up in the moment, he told himself firmly. It doesn't mean anything. By tomorrow all this...stuff would be gone. They'd be back to being two strangers embarking on a new friendship.

            Despite these assurances the nausea in the pit of his stomach persisted and he had to sit back down to calm it. He went out onto the balcony and sat down in the deck chair that always sat out there. Darkness was beginning to settle over the city and fresh snow clouds were gathering on the horizon. The temperature was below freezing, but Armaan didn't care. Right then he needed the icy air. Secretly he hoped it would numb him.

            Letting the wind bite into his skin, he sat and watched the night roll out over New York. Lights came on in the distance at first and then gradually fanned out till all the apartments around him were lit up. Fairy lights twinkled all around, but they weren't warm and cheerful for him. They hurt his eyes, made them sting, but he refused to look away. He needed the pain to focus his mind on something other than Shilpa.

            Hours ticked by until he lost track of how long he'd been sitting there. After a while he didn't even feel the cold. The guilt was something else though. It continued to gnaw away at him, a dull ache deep inside.

            Unconsciously he found himself reaching out and picking up the drawing pad he'd left out here, pushed under the deck chair from the last time he'd used it. He was barely aware of his hands flipping open the pad and flicking to a blank page. He'd done this so many times it was more like an instinct now; his hands seemed to know what to do without his brain informing them. All through his adolescence, whenever he'd been too full of emotion and not known how to let it out, he'd drawn something. And afterwards he'd always felt lighter, in a way that shouting or crying could never achieve.

            Like so many times before his hands swept over the page, sketching dark outlines as his mind found its outlet on the blank canvas. He didn't even really notice what he was drawing; it was a subconscious activity, his eyes not focusing on anything more than each sweep of his pencil. He saw it in sections, his mind focusing on minute details, never processing the whole. It had always been this way. He never knew what he was drawing until he was done and sat back and looked at it.

            Somewhere in his mind he realised dimly that this was the first time he'd drawn in six months. But it felt natural, as if he'd never stopped. Creativity sung in his veins and he experienced a faint flicker of pleasure, the way he used to feel whenever he drew. It was soothing, lessening the restlessness. He could feel the worry and the tension slowly seeping out of him as the drawing started to come together.

            It wasn't until he was done that it really registered with him what he'd done. He started, surprised to see the pad open on his knee and the pencil in his hands. It was like he'd been sleep-drawing or someone else had taken over his body for a while.

            For the first time he properly looked at the sketch, seeing it as a whole. When he saw what it was his heart stopped for a full minute. His hands went very still, gripping the page so tight his nails left a couple of indentations in the paper. He knew what he was seeing but his mind refused to process it. His pulse started to beat rapidly, heat swept through his skin, and panic leapt up from the pit of his stomach.

            Staring up at him from the blank page were a pair of large, alluring eyes, framed by thick lashes, set in a soft heart-shaped face. Shilpa. He'd drawn her portrait. More importantly, he'd drawn her smiling, the way she had been this afternoon when he'd caught her wrists during their flour fight.

            His hands started to shake and he dropped the page onto the balcony floor. It stared up at him and even though he knew it was crazy he felt as if those eyes were pulling him in, tempting him to drown in them. He scuttled back on the chair, breathing raggedly, his heart pounding.

            And then he heard the screams.

The following 29 member(s) liked the above post:

gunu786peachgirlfatiya52110KaShAdmirerbhavs_gid03Laila.Nkashmayurfan-BlueShadow-maloseminaalMMaNaLoVeKaShbismazaman2000akshadSuvarna....krazy4kashroshni_Amoonlight2630blessed4-shamima-m4manju-screwed.UP-fri42911LiveLaughLove..monamie111-Antu-_-Aslan-sammy4u-Nina-Ahlaam5..hinal..

fri42911 IF-Dazzler
fri42911
fri42911

Joined: 29 April 2011
Posts: 4100

Posted: 04 February 2012 at 4:34pm | IP Logged
beautiful update!!!!!!!
loved the ARSH flour fight scene!!!!!!!
 

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

DulceAmor

spicyheart IF-Dazzler
spicyheart
spicyheart

Joined: 04 December 2008
Posts: 2829

Posted: 04 February 2012 at 7:54pm | IP Logged
k m still in a daze
u dscribed everythin so perfectly
it was just beautiful
continue soon

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

DulceAmor

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