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Wish Upon A Star - ArSh FF (P16, pg 58) (Page 45)

KaShAdmirer Groupbie
KaShAdmirer
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Posts: 107

Posted: 16 March 2012 at 2:23pm | IP Logged
are we going to get update ?
=))

abcd12344 IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 16 March 2012 at 10:47pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by DulceAmor

Originally posted by dildirani

OMG I am cursing myself for not reading this FF when the first time you PMed me >.< im seriously regretting not reading this before ... I was randomly going thru my inbox and saw ur msg written 'update' im like hmm i think I know her... So I decided to read the entire FF from the beginning... And when I started reading it I couldnt stop! It was like I need to know whats gonna happen next . I was too eager, too anxious about it. I read all the chapters in one night when I had college at 10 in the morning Big smileDude! You rocked this FF! It is the most sweetest FF I have ever read on ArSh. Please try to update soon, at least after 4 days, 7 days seems forever to wait... Your FF made me so crazy that I visualize everything in my head when Im in college or sitting alone doing nothingLOLLOL You see how much ur FF has affected me? LOL 

I loved each and every sentence , word by word of what you wrote. How they first met in the snow. The part when she says she broke his bottle made me cracked up ROFL I literally let a laugh out on that part that my sister looked at me thinking I have gone nuts ROFL 

Loved how he defended her from her family, how they both confront each other. The way they both are feeling for each other. And omg loved sapna's scene , she was teasing Shilpa to the core ROFL Its funny how u mentioned about facebook , that was so random cuz you never mentioned it before when he captured her pic ROFL I was like Shilpa 'the doctor' even HAS a facebook?ROFL But it was funny , I enjoyed every bit of it AH! Im so glad I read this man.. 

Please update soon! <3


Hey hun, it's lovely to see your comment here. Hug   First of, can I just say wowww to the fact that you read it all in one night! Shocked  I am speechless...it must have taken you a while cause some of those updates are on the lengthy side. But OMG I am so thrilled that you enjoyed it so much that you wanted to keep reading it all in one go. Embarrassed  I am delighted that you have taken the ff to heart! I had this idea for quite some time before I started to pen it and it was a case of the story kept building and building in my mind till I had to write it down. I wasn't sure if anyone would like it, so whenever I get positive feedback it really makes me glad that I decided to write it after all. Embarrassed  I can't tell you how wonderful it is to hear that you have liked every update and that I managed to make you laugh at parts. Sapna is great, isn't she? I'm so happy everyone is liking her because I always have fun writing about her. I wanted her to be a proper bff, the kind that you rely on and gossip with and who never leaves a chance to tease you. Haha, I was thinking of how every time someone takes a pic on their phone they always say 'that's going on facebook' so I added that in there. Glad it made you laugh. LOL  I hope the rest of the ff will continue to entertain you as much as these chapters have. I have a lot of the story left to tell and I'm quite excited for certain parts of it, so here's hoping it will be a fun journey for you all. Embarrassed  I will definitely be updating tomorrow, but unfortunately for the next two weeks after that I won't be able to write as I'm going to be really busy on a work experience placement. Ouch  As soon as it's over I will get back to the ff, though, and I'll try not to make you all wait too long for an update.

Thanks again for your lovely comment! Embarrassed
 
LOL it took me 2 hours to read everything. im a very fast reader Big smileLOL I remember when I was in 7th grade my teacher always used to tell me to read slower LOL I had to read it all in one go cuz I was so anxious to know whats gonna happen next. Sapna is superb in ur FF man like seriously ..her naughtiness to her charmness towards shilpa and armaan is so adorable esp towards shilpa Embarrassed they make such lovely pairs as friends :)  oh yeah that happens a lot when you have a facebook account LOL my sis always threatens me with that LOL I can't wait for your next update.. please make it longer as longer as u can ..maybe as a treat for all kashians Big smile you know how much we deserve it right? LOL NO WAY! Ouch 2 weeks? :( darn! Ouch chalo now that you have already punished us by saying 2 weeks then now it better be LONGER! As in "LONGER LONGER" Tongue Cant wait for tomorrow Big smile
 
Dude don't thank shank me man, we're friends tho we haven't talked with each other like personally, but we did as comments Smile So no more thank u shank u :PHug
 

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DulceAmor

DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 17 March 2012 at 10:30am | IP Logged
Originally posted by dildirani

 
LOL it took me 2 hours to read everything. im a very fast reader Big smileLOL I remember when I was in 7th grade my teacher always used to tell me to read slower LOL I had to read it all in one go cuz I was so anxious to know whats gonna happen next. Sapna is superb in ur FF man like seriously ..her naughtiness to her charmness towards shilpa and armaan is so adorable esp towards shilpa Embarrassed they make such lovely pairs as friends :)  oh yeah that happens a lot when you have a facebook account LOL my sis always threatens me with that LOL I can't wait for your next update.. please make it longer as longer as u can ..maybe as a treat for all kashians Big smile you know how much we deserve it right? LOL NO WAY! Ouch 2 weeks? :( darn! Ouch chalo now that you have already punished us by saying 2 weeks then now it better be LONGER! As in "LONGER LONGER" Tongue Cant wait for tomorrow Big smile
 
Dude don't thank shank me man, we're friends tho we haven't talked with each other like personally, but we did as comments Smile So no more thank u shank u :PHug
 


Wowww, 2hrs, now that is seriously impressive! I hated reading at school...oh man, the slowness of some of them! I used to be like three pages ahead and then the teacher would ask me to read and I wouldn't know where the last person had stopped cause I was so far ahead. LOL But, honestly, it's just amazing that my little ff made you wanna keep going on. I'm glad I managed to keep the suspense and interest going with it. I am just about to post the next update. It's 10 pages at font size 10 on MS Word, but I think it might be shorter than the last part. Ouch  What I'll do is, to make it up to you all for my 2 week hiatus, I'll make the next update after I come back super long. Tongue Can't wait to know your thoughts on the bit that's about to come up and dw, I'll try to update asap after my hiatus. You can throw chappals at me if I don't. LOL
DulceAmor IF-Rockerz
DulceAmor
DulceAmor

Joined: 01 July 2007
Posts: 8395

Posted: 17 March 2012 at 10:36am | IP Logged
So, here we are, the promised second half of the update for this week, and the last for two weeks. I really, really hope that this will be a fitting parting shot before my hiatus. I won't waste much more time babbling, just wanna thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for your comments and your love and support. Hug   This ff would not be reaching it's 14th part if it weren't for you guys. I will do everything in my power to update as soon as I can after the two weeks hiatus. Believe me, it's gonna be tough staying away from the ff for me too. I have so much of Armaan and Shilpa's journey left to share with you and I can't wait to reveal the next chapter. But, for now, hope you enjoy this one. Please ignore any errors or mistakes. And as ever your likes/comments/criticisms are much valued and appreciated.


Chapter 14


The next morning Armaan lurched into the kitchen, rubbing his eyes and yawning loudly. It was early and he didn't think anyone would be up. Muskaan was known for being a late riser and he guessed Rahul would be in no hurry to leave his wife's arms as today was a holiday. He hadn't bothered to change out of the ratty old sweatpants or the holey t-shirt he'd slept in and his hair was sticking up all over the place. So when he saw the figure standing over by the sink he was more than a little embarrassed.

            "Armaan?" Shilpa asked, glancing up as he came through the door. Her eyes were slightly round and there was a faint glimmer of astonishment in them. Or maybe that was just the wintry sunlight filtering in the window to her right, casting a reflection in her eyes.

            He paused just inside the doorway, his heart beating faster than it should have been. With the sun framing her in that faint golden glow she looked more like an angel than ever before and it was impossible not to stare at her. She was dressed in the same clothes as yesterday – the black leggings and red tunic with the white belt around the middle, accentuating her slender waist – but she looked as fresh as if she had just stepped out the shower. Her ebony tresses were flowing loosely about her face as usual, the sun teasing out all the coppery undertones in the, heightening the halo-like aura about her head. She stood still, half-turned towards him, and her posture was so poised and elegant he wished he had his drawing pad with him so he could sketch her.

            "I was hungry so I came to see if I could find some breakfast," she said, anxious to fill up the silence. There was something odd about the way he was staring at her, an intensity in his eyes that was making her pulse skip, and she desperately wanted to distract herself from it. "Muskaan won't mind, will she?"

            "Uh, no, no I don't think she will," he answered, shaking himself out of his trance. He wandered over to the cupboard and pulled a box of cereal out, placing it on the counter next to her. "My sister's a bit of a health nut, so the food's always questionable around here," he told her as he started rummaging in the cutlery drawer. He kept his eyes on his hands, not daring to look at her. "But that should hopefully be edible."

            "Thanks," she said, taking the spoon he offered her. He turned to the fridge to get the milk and she tried to focus her eyes on something other than the strong muscles she could glimpse under his faded white t-shirt. There was a hole on the left, exposing the top of his chest and her eyes were drawn to that glimpse of taut, tanned skin as if it were a magnet.

            "Shilpa?" His questioning voice made her start and she lifted her eyes to his face to find him regarding her with one arched brow and a puzzled expression.

            "Huh?" she answered dimly.

            "Milk." His brow rose a fraction and he waved the bottle he was holding out to her in his hand.

            "Oh!" Her heart lurched, her cheeks going hot as she took the bottle from him. "Right. Thanks."

            Idiot, she cursed herself, turning her back to him and busying herself with the cereal so he couldn't see the scarlet hue working its way across her face.

            "Here, let me take that," he said as she attempted to carry her bowl to the table while leaning on her crutch. He swept the bowl out of her hands and placed it on the table, before pulling out a seat for her. She smiled shyly at him as she sat down, wishing her heart wouldn't dance about with such exultation. He's just being nice, she reminded herself sternly.

            He poured himself some cereal of his own and took the seat opposite from her. They ate in silence for a while, neither quite sure what to say. Both of them kept thinking back to the night before and that moment in the living room. It had nerves skittering about both their stomachs and neither particularly enjoyed their cereal.

            "I...," they said simultaneously. Their heads snapped up, eyes locking, wide and surprised. And then they both laughed, and just like that all the awkwardness evaporated.

            "What were you going to say?" she asked him.

            "Oh, I was just gonna say that I'm planning on heading back to the apartment after this, to pick up some stuff. Muskaan wants us to stay for the next two days, so I figured we'd want clean clothes. Is there anything you'd like me to get for you?"

            "Actually, there is." She cast her eyes about, looking for a piece of paper to write on.

            "Here," Armaan held his phone out to her. "Just type a list in here."

            She gave him a grateful smile and typed in all the items she wanted him to bring. When she handed it back to him he skimmed through the list, shaking his head with amusement at some of the things she'd noted down.

            "Three different dresses?" He glanced up at her with a baffled frown. "Seriously?"

            "I have to be prepared," she told him, feigning indignation.

            "For what? Meeting the Queen of England?"

            "No!" she swatted him with the tea towel and he chuckled. Folding her hands neatly on the table top, she looked down at them, feeling embarrassed again. "I want to look nice," she admitted. "I don't want Muskaan to think I haven't made an effort."

            Armaan snorted. "Who cares what Muskaan thinks?"

            But when Shilpa lifted her eyes to his again he could see the serious anxiety in them.

            "Hey," he moved his chair so he could lean closer to her, taking one of her hands in his own. He peered up at her, his blue eyes bright and clear and sincere. "You don't have to worry about making a good impression on my sister. Just be yourself. I've seen the real you and I think she's pretty great. If Muskaan doesn't too, well, that's her problem. You're perfect the way you are."

            He squeezed her hand gently and with it she felt all her worries slip away, as if his touch had banished them. His eyes stared up at her, burning with conviction, asking her to trust his judgement. And for some odd reason she did. Her lips curved into a small smile.

            "Okay."

            Armaan returned her smile and then he stood, gathering all the breakfast dishes and carrying them over to the sink.

            "I'll go now," he told her as he headed for the door. "Will you be all right till I get back?"

            "Sure," she replied. "I'll just read the newspaper or something."

            "Okay, well, see you later." He started to leave, but then he paused, and, gripping the doorframe, stuck his head back in the kitchen. "Oh, and Shilpa?"

            She arched her eyebrows in a question mark.

            "You're always beautiful, no matter what you wear."

            His words made her heart leap, but before she could even fully digest them he dropped her a wink and then disappeared into the hallway, leaving her sitting there, in the middle of his sister's kitchen, in a state of astonishment. A rush of delight overwhelmed her, turning her face crimson with a deep blush. She sat for ages at the kitchen table, her heart beating a furious tattoo, a silly grin playing about her lips. It wasn't until Rahul and Muskaan finally surfaced that she was roused out of her daydream, but even then her mind kept running those words through her head every so often – you're always beautiful.

            By the time Armaan returned from collecting their stuff, Muskaan had worked herself into a tizzy. There was no food, she declared five seconds after her brother stepped through the door. Tomorrow was Christmas and she didn't have anything prepared. They were going to have to go food shopping and then they needed to head to the mall for last minute present buying. Armaan groaned, memories of previous shopping expeditions with his sister rising up like the spectres of Christmas past.

            "Do we have to?" he asked, not caring if he sounded whiney.

            "Yes!" she snapped at him. "Unless you want to eat crackers for Christmas dinner!"

            He glanced over at his brother-in-law, but Rahul just shrugged his shoulders. He'd learned a long time ago that it was best not to argue with Muskaan when she was in one of her commandeering moods.

            Resigned, Armaan dropped his and Shilpa's stuff in their respective rooms, and then the four of them headed out into the nightmare that was Christmas Eve at the mall.

            It was already dark by the time they returned to the house, and while the men slumped on the couch, heaving dramatic sighs, Muskaan bustled off to the kitchen to prepare dinner for them. Shilpa, meanwhile, wandered out into the back garden. It had been overcrowded and stuffy in the shops and she felt in need of some fresh air. The garden was modest in size, comprising mostly of a snow-dusted lawn and a flowerbed that stretched the length of the fence. At the back of the garden, however, there was a solitary oak tree, its bare branches a stark silhouette against the pale moon. And underneath that was a small loveseat.

            Shilpa headed over to it, picking her way carefully along the icy path. During the day most of the snow had melted, but there was still a thin layer covering the ground. It sparked in the moonlight, looking like a blanket of crystals and as she lowered herself into the loveseat she surveyed it all with a sense of wonder at how beautiful it looked.

            Out here it was quiet, the roar of the traffic muffled by the houses all around. In the distance she could hear the faint chime of church bells and a couple of streets down she made out the gentle chorus of carollers. A light breeze was blowing, ruffling her hair, and though it was freezing cold, it was also peaceful. If she closed her eyes she could almost imagine that she was in her own idyllic paradise. She breathed in deeply, letting it out again with a small, contented sigh.

            "Aren't you cold?"

            His voice made her start and her eyes flew open at the same time her heart kicked against her rib cage. He stood no more than two feet away, all wrapped up in a heavy jacket and a long, checked scarf. He was rubbing his bare hands together, blowing his breath onto them, and a misty cloud drifted out from his lips, swirling on the night air before evaporating into the blackness. She tried to bring her heart rate back down to a normal rhythm, but the way his eyes glowed in the darkness and that hint of amusement in them left her feeling slightly breathless.

            "I'm okay," she told him. She'd no sooner uttered this statement than she negated it by wrapping her arms about herself. But her sudden bout of shivering had nothing to do with the chill night air.

            "Uh-huh," he answered sceptically. He strode over to her. "Here."

            Unwinding his scarf from around his neck, he tied it securely about her neck. She tried to tell him that he needed it more than her, but he just shushed her, and then he took a seat next to her.

            "What are you doing out here, anyway?" he asked.

            She sighed and glanced up at the sky. It was a clear night and even though the bright city lights were casting their habitual glare, she could still make out hundreds of stars, dotted all over the black vista stretching overhead. They winked and glittered, bringing a small smile to her face.

            "I just wanted to appreciate the night," she told him. "It's so beautiful. And I don't know why, but it feels kind of special tonight. Must be because it's Christmas Eve."

            He followed the direction of her gaze, not saying anything right away. The breeze blew over them, wafting through her hair, lifting it up off her shoulders, making it brush against his neck, fleetingly. The carollers had moved closer and the soothing sound of their hymns swept over the pair of them. Armaan had never been particularly religious, not like his mother or his sister, but sitting there, looking up at the bright winter sky, hearing those haunting hymns, he found himself agreeing with Shilpa: there was some sort of magic in the air.

            "You know, I really wasn't looking forward to Christmas," she admitted. Her eyes darted in his direction and he turned to look at her. A small, wry smile was hovering about her lips and her emerald eyes sparkled brilliantly in the dark. "I've always hated it. All the joy and laughter and spending time with your loved ones – it just reminded me of everything I didn't have."

            "I know what you mean," he said quietly, glancing down at his hands. Hadn't he felt exactly the same way only a mere week before? Hadn't he been dreading this celebration of light and love, having lost both from his life?

            "But now..." She glanced back up at the stars and her smile widened. "I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. I had a lot of fun today. Muskaan has been so kind and made me feel like I'm part of the family." She met his eyes. "I've never felt like that before."

            They gazed at each other in the darkness, their breath ghosting out in small clouds around them. A strange tingling had started inside Armaan, shooting from nerve end to nerve end, and suddenly he found himself holding his breath, though what he was waiting for he didn't actually know. Shilpa's eyes glowed, more beautiful, more alluring than the stars. They were filled with warmth, tinged with wonder, and with the cold turning her cheeks pink, her face seemed to glow. His heart gave an inexplicable somersault.

            "I'm glad you're here," he heard himself say. "I'm glad I found you."

            "So am I," she replied, voice so soft it was practically a whisper.

            A bell tolled, deep and loud, from somewhere nearby and they both quickly looked away, breathing a little faster than normal. For a few moments they didn't say a word, just sat, staring out at the sparkling snow. And then an idea formed in Armaan's head.

            "Ever take part in a snowball fight when you were a kid?" he asked her, his eyes glinting impishly.

            She frowned in puzzlement. "No. Never."

            He flashed her that devastating grin and then the next thing she knew he was smushing a cold lump of snow onto the top of her head. She squealed, the icy wetness running through her hair and down the back of her neck, making her teeth chatter, but he just laughed and jumped to his feet, artfully springing away across the garden.

            "Armaan Malik, I am going to kill you!" she cried, struggling up onto her feet. She ignored her crutch, bracing herself for the pain in her ankle as she rolled a ball of snow between her hands. She lobbed it in Armaan's direction, but he ducked out the way, grinning triumphantly at her.

            "You'll have to try harder than that!" he called, scooping up a snowball and throwing it at her. She shrieked again, bending just in time. The snowball crashed into the pole of the loveseat behind her. Head snapping up, hair whipping about her, she glared across the garden at Armaan.

            "I don't give up easily!" she warned him.

            "Neither do I!"

            He ran at her, catching her about the waist and pushing her down into the snow. She squealed and managed to shove a handful of snow into the side of his face. Their laughter rang out, loud and gleeful and the most wonderful sound Muskaan had ever heard. She stood at the patio doors, watching them rolling about in the snow like overgrown kids, a hand pressed to her chest as emotion swelled up inside her. Tears pricked the backs of her eyes and her throat was choked by a huge lump, but she didn't care. Nothing else mattered compared to the sight of her brother laughing.

            "It's a miracle," she whispered, sensing Rahul come up behind her. He slid his arms around her waist, resting his chin on her shoulder. "He's actually laughing. I never thought I'd hear that sound again."

            "Didn't I tell you that God would hear your prayers?" Rahul said softly, pressing his lips tenderly to the curve of her neck.

            "You did," she agreed, resting back in the circle of his arms, placing her hands over his. "But he was so changed and I didn't think..." Her breath shuddered out and Rahul tightened his arms about her.

            "Hey, Muskaan, it's okay," he told her. "Shilpa is good for Armaan. She's helping him heal all of his wounds. The old Armaan is coming back. I saw him today. I can see him now."

            Muskaan nodded and swallowed down the lump in her throat. "I know. It just seems too good to be true."

            "Everything's going to be okay," Rahul said, brushing her hair back from her ear and planting a small kiss on her temple. "Armaan will be happy again. This family will be happy again."

            She turned her head up so she could look into his eyes, a small smile curving her lips. "I think you might just be right."

            He grinned at her. "Baby, I'm always right," he quipped, eyes glinting with a teasing light.

            She giggled - a little-girl-like sound that Rahul had always found utterly adorable – and he kissed her cheek, nuzzling her soft skin with his nose. Sighing in contentment, she nestled back into his arms, resting her head against his chest while they watched the snow fight going on outside.

 

Later that night, while Shilpa was getting ready for bed, she heard a knock at her bedroom door.

            "Come in!" she called. She was standing in front of the vanity mirror, trying to balance most of her weight on her good ankle as she took her earrings out. She titled her head to the side, scrunching her face up in concentration as she wriggled the post of the right earring free. All her attention was on her task so she didn't see who had come into her room until she straightened from laying the earring down on her dressing table, and, glancing in the mirror, she spied the figure over by the door.

            Their eyes met in the mirror. He was leaning against the door, watching her. She only had the dim desk-light on so his face was mostly in shadow, but those eyes burned as bright as ever. They glimmered in the half-light, a strange, intense expression in them that instantly had the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. She felt her heart jump, a swirl of unexpected nerves in her stomach.

            "Armaan?" Her voice sounded throaty and she coughed to clear it, feeling two hot patches rise up in her cheeks. "What are you doing here so late?" Her eyes flicked to the clock on her bedside table and then back to his reflection. "It's almost midnight. I thought you'd gone to bed."

             I know," he answered, his voice deeper, huskier than usual. He stood up straight and for some reason that sent a shiver of anticipation down her spine. "Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you. It's just, I doubt Muskaan will let us have a moment alone tomorrow and I wanted to give you this."

            His eyes never left hers in the mirror as he walked towards her, and as he stepped into the light she nearly gasped at the dark shade of sapphire they had turned. They were a deeper colour than she had ever seen them and they seemed to smoulder with some unspoken, unfathomable emotion. Goose bumps started to rise along her arms and she had to resist the urge to wrap her arms around herself.

            After Muskaan had dragged them in from the snowball fight and ushered them into their rooms to change out their wet clothes, they'd had dinner and then the four of them had spent the evening watching Christmas films. Through it all Armaan had been in a jovial mood, constantly teasing his sister and making jibes at Rahul. Shilpa couldn't ever recall seeing him smile so much and he'd appeared genuinely relaxed and carefree.

            But something had changed between the ten short minutes since she'd bade everyone goodnight and headed for her room. There was not a single trace of mirth or frivolity in Armaan's countenance now. As he stopped just behind her, at her shoulder, his face was so serious it could almost have been called grave. Only, she didn't think that was the right word. Whatever it was she saw in his eyes, it wasn't formidable; just deep with some inexplicable meaning.

            "I know it's traditional to give it on Christmas Day, but it's almost midnight and I really wanted you to have it now."

            Her heart was so busy racing that she didn't notice the little parcel he was holding out to her at first. It wasn't until he arched his eyebrows questioningly at her and extended his hand out to her that her eyes alighted on the square shape resting in the palm of his hand. It was wrapped in silver paper with little white snowflakes etched onto it and he'd even tied a white ribbon around it. She stared down at it, unable to breathe for a moment, because she'd never dreamed of something like this happening. No one besides Sapna ever bought her gifts, not even on her birthday.

            "I...," she lifted her eyes to his in the mirror, bafflement and astonishment making her stumble over her words. "It's...for me?"

            "Yes," he answered, holding it out further. "Go on, take it."

            Heart fluttering wildly, she turned and took the little parcel from him. He gave her an encouraging smile and, cheeks reddening bashfully, she carefully unknotted the ribbon and laid it down on the dressing table. Her fingers were shaking as she undid the wrapping paper and she prayed that he didn't notice. She felt highly self-conscious with his eyes on her, searing through her skin, making her pulse leap nervously. It meant it took longer than it should have for her to get the paper off but when she eventually did she found herself holding a small, black velvet box.

            "Armaan, I-" she started to say, glancing up at him with wide, anxious eyes.

            "Let me open it for you," he interrupted her, reaching out and taking the box from her hands. He knew she had been about to protest, but he wasn't going to let her. All day he'd been thinking of this moment when he presented the gift to her, imagining her face when she saw it. He wasn't going to let her ruin it by making some 'I-don't-deserve-it' speech.

            With one deft flick of his thumb, he lifted the lid of the box and then turned it round so she could see inside. A cushion of royal blue silk – an uncannily similar shade to Armaan's eyes – lined the inside of the box and nestled against it was a silver locket. An intricate leaf design decorated the outside of the locket. Shilpa reached out and traced her fingers over the embossed edges in awe. She'd never seen anything so beautiful and she couldn't believe he'd bought it for her. A tidal wave of emotion rose up inside her, choking her throat off, making tears swell behind her eyes.

            "Armaan, it's beautiful!" she exclaimed, lifting her eyes to his.

            "You like it?" he asked, his eyes searching her face with a mixture of hope and anxiety.

            "Like it?" A smile split her lips. "I love it!"

            He let out a breath, his shoulders relaxing, and a slightly shy grin flashed across his face. "Look inside."

            A little gingerly, afraid she might break it, she pushed the two halves of the locket apart. What she saw inside made the breath catch tightly in her throat. She gasped, her heart stopping, her hands flying to her mouth as she stared down at the two pictures on either side of the locket.

            Armaan watched her face apprehensively, his gut clenching as he tried to decode her reaction. She looked up at him, her eyes impossibly wide and shimmering with tears. He didn't know if that was a good or a bad thing and for one terrible moment he held his breath as she lowered her shaking hands.

            "My parents' photos?" She whispered it, but even so he could detect the emotion in her voice. She was struggling not to sob.

            He nodded, his apprehension spreading coldly through his stomach, leaving him a little nauseous. "I...I found the pictures in your room this morning and I...I thought maybe this way you could keep them with you always."

            She didn't know what to say; didn't even think she could speak past the lump in the back of her throat. Tears stung her eyes, but they weren't tears of sorrow. They were a mixture of gratitude and amazement and something infinitely more tender, a feeling she had never experienced before and couldn't name, but which swept through her whole body, leaving her with a steady, warm glow inside. She gazed up at him, his eyes too wide and anxious, deep with earnestness, and all she could think was that he was the closest thing to an angel she'd ever encountered.

            "Thank you," she said softly, running her finger along the rim of the locket. "This is the most beautiful gift anyone has ever given me."

            Relief washed over Armaan, chasing away all the knots of tension inside him. A smile turned up the corners of his mouth and a delighted thrill rushed through him seeing the sheen of happiness in her eyes.

            "Do you want me to put it on for you?" he asked.

            She nodded with a small, shy smile, and turned back to face the mirror. Armaan carefully closed the locket and took it out of its little black box. Unclasping the chain, he stepped closer to her, so he could put it round her neck. Her hair was loose, hanging down her back in waves. He brushed it back from her shoulders, and the silken strands slipped past his skin, soft and cool as the night, sending a little tingle down his arm.

            As he placed the locket round her neck he was surprised to find his fingers a little tremulous. Maybe it was her sweet fragrance wafting up over him, reminding him of lazy summer evenings, or maybe it was the proximity of their bodies, the knowledge that one step and her back would be pressed against his chest. He was conscious of her eyes on him in the mirror, could feel the heat of her gaze searing through his skin, making his blood rush in his veins. It took every ounce of self-will he had to concentrate on his task instead of looking up at her reflection.

            "There," he said once the clasp was fastened.

            He did look up then and his heart skipped a beat as his eyes locked with hers in the mirror. There was a soft glow in her eyes, like a shaft of sunlight falling across a dark pool of water. Wonder, that was what he saw shining in them; she was looking at him the way someone might had they just been pulled from the path of a speeding car.

            In the dim lamplight her skin seemed duskier than usual, more exotic. With her hair draped over her right shoulder, the left side of her neck was exposed and he found his eyes being drawn to it. He didn't know what possessed him to do it, but somehow he found himself reaching out, trailing his fingers down the column of her neck, skimming across her pulse, which throbbed under his fingertips.

            His heart started to beat faster as he slowly brushed his fingers along her collarbone, bringing them round to the hollow of her throat. Mesmerised, he watched the path they glided across her smooth, soft skin. He felt her shiver at his touch and it sent fire leaping through his veins. And suddenly there was only one thing he wanted to do. Without stopping to question what he was doing, he bent and pressed his lips to her neck, right over her pulse point.

            She gasped before she could stop herself, but the feel of his warm lips against her skin was too overpowering. Pleasure, stronger than anything she had ever experienced before, shot through her body, causing butterflies to swirl furiously about her stomach. Her eyes fluttered closed for a second as she basked in the sensation, and then she felt his lips pull back and she was overcome with a sharp stab of disappointment.

            Opening her eyes, she turned slowly to face him. Her heart began to pound as she looked up into those burning sapphire depths. The expression in them was like nothing she'd ever seen before: it was searing and intense and made her shiver and flush all at the same time. Wordlessly he lifted his fingers, brushing her hair back from her face. They glided over the tip of her ear, sending an unexpected shock down her nerve ends. It took everything she had not to moan in delight as his hand slid round to cup the side of her face, his thumb stroking lightly over her temple.

            His eyes flicked back to hers and her breath caught in the back of her throat. There was real fire burning within those deep blue irises. No one had ever looked at her like that: fiercely, passionately, as if she were the most desirable thing in the world. The pounding of her heart increased, the muscles in her gut clenching in expectation. A part of her knew she should probably pull back, turn away from him and those blazing eyes while she still had the chance.

            But she didn't.

            She stood absolutely still as he bent his head closer to hers, until their lips were only inches apart. Her pulse started to hammer and she closed her eyes, fighting back the dizzying rush of anticipation that swept through her. His breath was fanning across her lips, making them tingle, a sensation that was being echoed in every nerve of her body. She swallowed, struggling to breathe. And then she couldn't anyway because his lips had captured hers.

            Her heart all but exploded in her chest, a burst of flame rose up from her core and spread outwards, engulfing her whole body. And she didn't care. She moaned, soft and low, and then she was kissing him back, fiercely, demandingly, in a way she never would have thought herself capable of. It was as if the touch of his lips had lit a torch, igniting the spark of the more primal Shilpa, a part of her that had lain dormant till now. It should have terrified her, should have made her wrench away from him, but it didn't; it excited her.

            Wrapping her arms around his beck, she pulled him closer, pressing herself into his hard body, thrilling at the heat that leapt from his body to hers. She parted her lips, letting him deepen the kiss. His tongue darted into her mouth, running over her own, and the violent throb of her pulse in response made her groan.

            In all her life she'd only been kissed the once: at a college dorm party that her classmates had talked her into attending. They had played the inevitable game of spin-the-bottle and much to her horror she'd been dared to kiss a rather unattractive, frizzy haired guy. She'd wanted to back out but the others had egged her on and she'd been too scared of incurring their disapproval that she'd gone along with it. It had been awful, sloppy and wet, turning her stomach. She'd sworn never to kiss anyone ever again.

            Armaan's kiss was everything that first experience hadn't been. His lips were soft against her own, a sweet undercurrent to the fire they were quickly spreading through her. They were firm, demanding, urging her to meet him passion-for-passion. His fingers tangled in her hair, only adding to the ripples of pleasure running down her spine. She raked her nails down the back of his neck, thrilling when he shuddered. It was exhilarating, dizzying, liberating and she never wanted it to end.

            He hadn't expected such fiery passion from her; had never imagined that behind those soulful emerald eyes lurked this wild temptress. Because that was what she was doing – driving him wild, tempting him to take more, much more than just this one kiss. Desire was burning in his veins, clouding his mind so all he could think of was the warmth of her body as she pressed into him, her sweet fragrance that whispered of balmy summer nights and her deceptively soft yet hot lips moving against his own.

            He drank her in hungrily, fisting his fingers in her hair as if he could get more of her just by holding her head back. She was leaving him breathless with her soft little moans and the teasing brush of her tongue along his. He sucked on her bottom lip, hoping to tame her, but she only returned the favour by capturing his top lip and tugging gently on it. A groan spilled out of him before he could stop it and he pulled her closer, pressing his lips hard against hers.

            The sudden sharp knock on the door made them jump apart, their hearts thudding in unified alarm. They were both breathing raggedly, faces flushed, eyes wide and a little wild, but they didn't have time to compose themselves because a second later Muskaan was opening the door and stepping into the room.

            "Shilpa, I-" she started to say, then came up short when she saw her brother. "Oh! Armaan? What are you doing in here so late?"

            There was not a single note of suspicion or accusation in her voice, but even so Armaan was overcome with a hot wave of shame. His sister cocked her head to the side and his heart gave another panicked stutter as he imagined her putting two and two together.

            "I...uh...I was just saying goodnight to Shilpa," he stammered, keeping his eyes fixed on the carpet. There was no way he could look his sister in the eye, not with the memory of Shilpa's kiss still tingling on his lips.

            For her part, Shilpa was having a hard time not going into a panic attack. She clasped her hands tightly together to keep from biting her nails or running them through her hair, which had to be all mussed up from Armaan's fingers. Biting the inside of her lip, she glanced in Muskaan's general direction without meeting her eyes, and nodded.

            "Y-yes Muskaan," she stuttered. "Armaan just came in to wish me goodnight and a happy Christmas." She waved a hand at the clock which showed the time as a minute past midnight.

            "Well, that was why I came, actually," Muskaan said with a bright smile. "Happy Christmas."

            Armaan and Shilpa both mumbled it back at her, both wishing she would hurry up and leave.

            "I also came to check if you needed anything before you went to bed," she carried on obliviously.

            Shilpa quickly shook her head. "No. I'm fine. Thank you," she added hastily, her mind screaming: just go!

            "Good," Muskaan replied. "Okay, well goodnight. See you in the morning." Shilpa nodded again and Muskaan started to turn back to the door, but she paused and glanced over at her brother. "Armaan, are you coming?"

            "Huh?" His head snapped up, his eyes dilating in shock. He looked so startled that Muskaan's eyebrows slid into an assessing frown.

            "What is wrong with you?" she demanded.

            "Wrong?" he cried, voice a little hoarse. He rubbed the back of his neck, smiling nervously. "Why would anything be wrong?"

            He gave her his best forced grin and that seemed to pacify her. "Well, then, what are you waiting for?" she asked, tapping her nails impatiently on the door. "Some of us want to get to bed tonight."

            "Oh! Yeah! Yeah, I'm coming." He hurried over to her, not daring to risk a glance back at Shilpa. He could feel her eyes on the back of his neck though, burning through his skin, like her kiss had seared his lips. Clenching his fingers into fists, he tried to block the thought from his mind.

            "Goodnight Shilpa!" Muskaan called again.

            "Goodnight," she answered softly. But they were already gone, the door clicking shut behind them.

            Dazedly, she turned to the mirror. The woman that stared back at her was a stranger. Her face was flushed a deep crimson, her eyes were dilated to an unnatural circumference and they glittered with an almost frenzied light. Her hair was all tangled and falling about her face a little wildly. And then there were her lips: swollen, red, and trembling slightly. She looked startled and crazy, like someone impersonating a zombie. Could it really be her?

            What had just happened? Had she really kissed Armaan? Her heart thudded as she recalled the fierce way his lips had claimed hers, the way he'd held her, so passionately, as if he couldn't get enough of her. Every part of her still throbbed with desire, much to her shame. Groaning, she curled up on her side on the bed, wrapping her arms tightly around herself.

            She'd never experienced anything like this before, but then, she'd never had any experience period. She didn't know if this was normal, if a kiss was supposed to leave you on fire and yearning for more. Her fingers moved to the locket he'd given her, tracing the raised edges of the leaf pattern. It was cool to the touch and she tried to concentrate on the feel of the design as she ran her fingers over it, but she couldn't keep her mind off the kiss.

            She wanted to believe that it wouldn't make a difference, that it wouldn't change anything between them, but she knew better. They had crossed a line tonight, one they had been balancing on all week without acknowledging it, and now nothing could be the same again. The status of their relationship had altered, though what that meant she couldn't be sure. She had no way of knowing how Armaan would behave tomorrow or even how he felt about what had happened tonight.

            Why did he kiss her? Was it because he was genuinely attracted to her or was there some other reason? Why had she kissed him? Because when he is near, when he touches me, he's all I can think about, she thought, curling her fingers tightly about the locket, as if by doing so she could hold on to tonight and everything it had made her feel.

            But did that mean she wanted a relationship with him? No, caring for someone meant inevitably one day you would wind up getting hurt, and she had suffered enough anguish in her life; she didn't want anymore. And yet...when she was him she didn't want to be anywhere else. He made her feel safe and wanted and, yes, happy. If she closed her eyes she could easily imagine spending the rest of her life nestled in his arms.

            Letting out a shuddering breath, she lifted her eyes back to her reflection. The wild-looking girl stared back at her, offering her no answers. She knew she wouldn't get any until tomorrow, until she saw Armaan again. Only then would she have any idea of what the events of this night meant and what they signified for her future...for her future with Armaan.

            Sighing, she curled up on her side under the covers and waited for whatever the morning would bring.


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sonson126kapilabartemis20peachgirlKaShAdmirerfatiya52110unnati_guptaLaila.Nkashmayurfanroshni_AMaNaLoVeKaShsweet_mittalSuvarna....princessrashidamaloseOindrilaVirgoanfri42911-shamima-m4manjublessed4MRS.SSOmoonlight2630spicyheartLiveLaughLove..-Antu-_-Aslan-Ahlaam5zhasan2teenorchidEuphoria.flowers4u..hinal..anumeha_rajatneha-rockss

spicyheart IF-Dazzler
spicyheart
spicyheart

Joined: 04 December 2008
Posts: 2829

Posted: 17 March 2012 at 12:17pm | IP Logged
me first??
omg!! yay party!!!
btw i loved the part
loved the way u described everything
loved their icy snowball fight n their hot passionate kiss
just amazing n wonderful
u should write a book
i would b ur no.1 fan!!
continue soon

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shivi17DulceAmor

-Antu-_-Aslan- IF-Rockerz

Joined: 29 May 2010
Posts: 5468

Posted: 17 March 2012 at 1:12pm | IP Logged
THE ACCOUNT OF THE MEMBER WHO POSTED THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY BANNED.

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DulceAmor

kashmayurfan Senior Member
kashmayurfan
kashmayurfan

Joined: 07 February 2010
Posts: 562

Posted: 17 March 2012 at 9:17pm | IP Logged
Awesoome part! Every single scenes were perfect! I totally luved the part! The snowball fight was soo cute! Rahul and muski's scene was beautifull! The gift armaan gave to shilpa was soo sweet! It was such an emotional scene when she saw her parents picture in the locket! The kiss was soo hot and passionate! It was amazingly described :) can't wait for more romance between ArSh! Do cont.soon

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DulceAmor

sammy4u IF-Rockerz
sammy4u
sammy4u

Joined: 26 December 2007
Posts: 9129

Posted: 18 March 2012 at 3:33am | IP Logged
they kissed ...o wow
loved it 

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DulceAmor

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