Night #11

We are dedicating this Night to our Mel. Without you there would be no FWN. Simple as that sweetheart.


AR Corps, New York

Arnav’s exhale was a long measured breath as he leaned back against the leather headrest. It was done. Preparation had taken four days due to AR’s prior obligations as well as the resources they had to extoll to keep relentless pressure over Daniels’ media sources. They were preempting Sheetal’s show by a mere nine hours, but the scope of news coverage Aman managed to privately garner for their press conference was sufficient to take the sting from her impact.

Regardless of willingness, today was sure to set into motion a multitude of changes on the professional and personal front. Glancing at the clock he was unsurprised to see the clock ticking close to seven am. That he’d spent all night in his office was not unusual, the female form curled on the long couch, however, was.

His female.

The last few days had shown Khushi to be Shashi Gupta’s daughter. She hadn’t balked at the punishing hours; instead, she’d jumped right in, revealing a mind that had soaked up far more than the teachings of dead Greeks. While she held her opinion in reserve unless he specifically asked for it, her ability to quickly gauge situations and handle those involved with dignity echoed some of her father’s greatest strengths.

Beyond that, she had effortlessly tapped into something instinctive within him, leading to decisions that he would have normally dismissed out of hand. Again, the thought should have jarred; instead he was filled with an undeniable sense of anticipation.

With a flick of his wrist, the screen before him went black. He moved towards the discreet glass closet that housed a selection of business suits for the occasion when he couldn’t spare time to return to the hotel.

Arnav ran a hand down his shirt front, making quick work of the buttons as his eyes drifted over the body he now knew as intimately as his own. His fingers halted as her eyes opened and their gaze met across the expanse of his office.

“Arnav, you should’ve woken me.” His body locked as her voice, husky from sleep, washed over him. She looked tousled and flushed and so fucking gorgeous it was all he could do not to close the distance and pounce.

Curious to see what she would do, he casually undid the last button. Shrugging out of the crisp white, he deliberately flipped the lock on his office door as he walked to her.

Her eyes widened as the lock clicked into place, a blatant announcement of his intentions. As he came closer, she inched back.

“Arnav, we’re in your office.”

“So?” He leaned down until his lips were within kissing distance, “I want you.”

“But-”

“My building, my office, my couch, my woman,” he interrupted arrogantly.

Khushi’s eyes narrowed, “That’s a lot of possessives, Mr. Raizada.”

Arnav’s mouth tilted to one side. “Any of them false?”

The hands that taught her the meaning of passion slid around her, guiding her against his bare chest. “Well, are they?”

Her hands went up to frame his face, “No.”

Her honesty was richly rewarded. Arnav sealed her lips with his own, deepening their potent connection until they careened into the dark secret world of lovers. Their mouths melted together, torching away everything, but the sound of two thundering hearts.

Through the fog of desire, he sensed the tremor that swept through Khushi, one so slight he’d have missed it had they not been so intimately fused. Arnav recognized that shiver, felt it every time he had her in his arms, and it never failed to excite. It whispered her secret to him, betrayed a sexual vulnerability she reserved for him.

He had known the exact moment she made the decision to relinquish herself. That morning aboard The Jalpari, Khushi Lacene Khumari had become irrevocably his.

Khushi clung to Arnav as he molded her body lovingly, guiding her backward as he lowered his hardness over her welcoming body. His hand was easing the stretchy fabric of her dress out of the way when a brisk knock sent them jerking upright.

What the fuck.

“If it’s either of those two idiots, you are to inform the judge that the double homicide was justified,” Arnav muttered raggedly into her hair.

Khushi pressed her lips into the hallow of his shoulder as laughter bubbled forth.

“What?!” He barked.

On the opposite side of the door, his receptionist cleared her throat uncomfortably, “A gentleman is here to see you, sir.”

“Who?” Arnav snapped impatiently

“Mr. Trent Matthews.”

Arnav looked down sharply as he felt Khushi tense.

Great. Trent Fucking Matthews.

✧✧✧

“Why are you here?”

“I wanted to see you.”

“There’s nothing left to say, Trent. Please go.”

He didn’t go. Instead, he came closer, lifting a hand with the intent to touch.

Khushi instinctively recoiled. “Step away,” she demanded.

“Khushi,” he said her name like a plea. “I’ll be a free man in less than two months. You and I can start again.”

She stared at him speechlessly. The words were simple enough, yet her mind refused to process it. At the moment, her thoughts were still tied up in Arnav.

The moment his receptionist had announced the name of their visitor, she had felt a menacing tension radiate from him. She was completely poleaxed when Arnav had issued instructions for Trent to be shown to the rooftop and then sent her up to meet him. Alone.

She hadn’t missed the clench of his jaw, the straight line of his lips, nor the shadows under his eyes as she walked out. Yet, he hadn’t stopped her. Why? Arnav’s thinking process was often a frustrating mystery, but she was determined to get an answer. After she handled this unavoidable confrontation with Trent, Khushi acknowledged.

She focused on the man in front of her, slightly surprised to realize that the blues she’d once thought of as piercing, did nothing for her now. His eyes carried none of the heat that kindled a response from deep within her.

“We never started, Trent.”

“The two months we had together, it’s all I had to hold onto all these years,” Trent said earnestly, “I love you, Khushi.”

She stiffened, staring at him incredulously, her eyes widening in disbelief. When the seconds kept ticking past in silence, she realized he was serious. “I don’t believe you.”

Trent flinched. “I deserve that. I made so many mistakes with you. I know I did. But I didn’t have a choice. My family, my future, I had to let you go and before I could find you again, I fell into marriage with the wrong sister. I paid for those mistakes, Khushi. In more ways than you can ever know.”

“We always have a choice, Trent. I’m making one now. Him. Faced with the choice between Arnav and any man, I’ll always choose him.”

“He’s not a gentleman, Khushi,” Trent started.

“Then, I don’t want one.”

“He made you cry. I witnessed it with my own eyes. You forgave him, why can’t you forgive me?” Trent demanded.

Khushi crossed her arms. “Yes, he did. However, it didn’t take him six years to own up to it.”

“Tell me what I need to do you make you believe I’m serious.”

Khushi looked at him thoughtfully. There was no anger or pain as she looked upon the features that had softened with age. This man had no power to hurt her, because he no longer mattered. Trent Matthews was merely part of a nightmare that lingered on for too long. One, she had finally woken from.

“Trent, do you remember the first time you saw me?”

“Of course I do. You were the most beautiful girl I ever saw.”

“What was I doing? Wearing?”

His face clouded, “Khushi, that was years ago.”

“True. But when it’s more than a physical love, you remember. That first moment is one you nurture in your heart, until it is imprinted on the mind, a cherished memory you call upon as you take your last breath.”

“Khushi, that is romantic notion that has no basis in reality.”

“It was that way for my mother,” she responded proudly.

“Do you think it’s that way with Raizada?” exasperation edged his retort, “He’s a playboy enjoying the novelty. Once he’s finished, he’ll dismiss you like all his other wh-”

“Finish that and I won’t be responsible for where your body ends up on the Hudson, Matthews.”

This came from behind her, each word threaded with violence. The world righted itself, as she felt his body close in on her back. Khushi didn’t resist, she leaned into Arnav, his solid strength the only reassurance she needed.

✧✧✧

The air snapped with tension as the two men faced each other.

“You should have heeded my advice, Matthews. Instead of panting after another man’s woman, it would have served you better to pay attention to the company that funds your upkeep.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Trent demanded through clenched teeth.

“Check your email,” was Arnav’s cryptic response.

Khushi glanced questioningly at Arnav as Trent pulled out his phone, unsurprised to see his public mask firmly in place. Spending time at AR, she finally understood what NK and Aman meant when they said Arnav was a different man in her company. With his executive team and staff, he was economical with words to the point of being rude. He didn’t foster friendships, didn’t seek female attention, although both were frequently offered. AR was his work place, and he expected everyone to work.

Trent’s vicious curse interrupted her thoughts. “Is this a fucking joke, Raizada?”

“Only if you consider marching orders comical,” Arnav replied with deceptive lightness.

“I’m not one of your employees.”

“Actually, as of last night, you are. One I don’t care to keep on payroll.”

Trent’s eyes flashed at that none too subtle insult. “That’s impossible. The Board would have known if you were planning a hostile takeover.”

“Your Board members were paid handsomely to keep the knowledge to themselves.”

“You manipulative son of a bitch!”

A shudder of relief ran through Khushi as she watched the handsome face consort into an ugly mask of hostility. She’d one been fooled by the veneer of charm, but this, this was the real face of Trent Matthews.

When Trent charged forth in a threatening blur, Khushi stepped forth in an instinctive gesture of protection.

“Khushi, move dammit! I don’t want to hurt you.”

“No.”

Halting, Trent glared at Arnav over her head. “Are you going to hide behind a woman?” he demanded disdainfully.

“Khushi.” That was all. Just her name.

“How can you protect that bastard? He just stole Gupta and Co!”

“No, he just saved it,” she answered quietly. With her focus on Trent, she failed to see how Arnav’s eyes warmed at her complete trust.

Trent’s face tightened, “Khu-”

She cut him off, “I know Arnav. He doesn’t act without valid reasons. It’s over, Trent. You’ve lost.”

Trent looked at the woman standing proudly within the arms of another man, fiercely defending him, and it came to him just how much he’d lost. She could have been his, all that beauty, that passion, that loyalty. Now, it belonged to the man behind her. And within their business circles, Arnav Singh Raizada had the reputation of holding on to what he considers his.

There was a burn of deep envy as his shoulders slumped, the fight suddenly drained out of him. Since seeing that glimpse of her after all these years of wondering, he had clung desperately to a hope. That life would right itself, if he could just go back to that juncture and take the right path. Now, he knew he had waited too long, drifted too far.

“We’re done, Matthews. Any further contact will be between our lawyers. My team will be at Gupta and Co. first thing next Monday,” Arnav informed him coolly. “I’ll have someone escort you.”

“No need, I can see myself out,” he glanced at Khushi with hesitation, throat working. “I need to say something.”

“Say it and go,” Arnav allowed impatiently.

For the first time since that wretched day in his parent’s home, Trent met her eyes squarely. Khushi could see the hint of remorse flickering through the blue depths as he held her gaze. “I… I loved you. I did. In some ways, I still do. Just not enough. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”

No words were spoken as Trent turned his back to leave. Khushi felt Arnav’s arms tightened around her shoulders, curling her into embrace as she laid this prolonged chapter to rest.

✧✧✧

The door barely closed on Trent before Arnav spun her to face him, eyes searching.

“Since when?” Khushi asked him.

There was a certain grimness he didn’t try to hide as he answered her, “Roughly three years ago, Payal started selling Gupta and Co.’s smaller subsidiaries. I had Aman look into it.”

At his pause, Khushi urged, “Tell me, Arnav. I need to know.”

“She was starting to liquidate. Your father was well respected, but goodwill only extends so far in business. The company was underperforming and several key investors were already making noises of pulling out. When Payal started making discreet inquiries for buyers, we found them for her. She never cared enough to check that the oversea corporations she was selling to belonged to AR.”

Khushi arched her neck to look at him fully. “Why?”

“Gupta and Co. is Shashi’s legacy. AR would not exist without him. I owed it to him.”

“I’ve kept up on news coverage of Gupta and Co., and this never made headlines. You must have exerted a lot of influence to keep it from being public knowledge, so why the hostile takeover?”

“I started this for Shashi, but I ended it last night because of you.”

Her eyes rounded, “Me?”

“Khushi, you’ve given yourself to me and that mean no one fucks with you. Ever.”

Khushi sucked in a breath. “Arnav, that happened before I met you.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

She almost smiled at the fiercely punctured words. “Will this be part of your announcement at the press conference today?”

“We weren’t sure until last night, but yes. After that, everything from their camp will come off as spite.”

Khushi bit down on her lips, “Payal will not take this well.”

“She has a lot to answer for. Everything she sold was without the knowledge of the Board. They will not be forgiving.”

“What happens next week?”

“That’s up to you.”

Confusion marred her brows, “I signed away my shares to Garima years ago.”

“As of last night, you’re the owner of 15% of the voting shares,” Arnav stated carefully.

Khushi was stunned. “Arnav, what did you do?”

“She essentially blackmailed you. Since you refuse to entertain a lawsuit, I secured them through a different means. Your father spent his life building up the company, how do you think he would feel if it all fell apart within a few years of his death?”

“It must have cost a fortune!”

“Yes,” he acknowledged, “In total, we obtained 55% of the voting shares. It’s an even split of 20/20 between Aman and NK. The company’s image has suffered greatly under mismanagement, but recovery is possible. Putting it under AR’s umbrella will expedite the process. The members of the Board recognizes the importance of legacy. That is why they tolerated Garima and Payal. They didn’t realize they had another option. You’ve shown repeatedly that you are capable. You lack experience, but Aman is ready to be CEO. A few years working alongside him as well as AR’s top execs will be the best training for you. The only question that remains is your willingness.”

Overwhelmed the by sheer magnitude of what he’s done, it took Khushi several moments to find her power of speech. “You’ll be there with me?”

Arnav reached out, tucking a stray hair behind her ears, “Right beside you.”

Khushi felt a mixture of fear and excitement. She wanted this, she realized, the chance to discover what she was capable of. No more running from the past or herself.

Reading the answer on her face, Arnav grinned. She’s going to be chasing after your heels, Shashi.

Khushi’s expression grew thoughtful, “Arnav, why did you tell Trent?”

“That was personal,” Arnav replied with barefaced satisfaction. His look telling her clearly that by personal he meant her.

This time she did smile. “Robbie’s right you know. The caveman instinct is still deeply coded in the male DNA.”

A gleam entered his eyes. Before she could decipher it, Arnav had lifted her effortlessly into his arms, “Tell her, it’s important to pay homage to one’s ancestor.”

“Arnav!” Khushi yelped as he tumbled them into one of the rooftop’s daybed.

“What?”

“What are you… I … … we can’t… we’re on the rooftop!”

“Yeah and security’s guarding the access door. No one will disturb us.”

“But- ” Her protests were lost as his hand came up to cup her jaw. With the lightest pressure, he swiped his thumb across her lips, mirroring the action with his eyes and finally with his lips.

To her surprise, and if she was completely honest, disappointment, Arnav pulled back after a few deep kisses.

His smile was heart stopping as he gazed down at her, “You would let me have you right here, wouldn’t you?”

She tried to look away, but this Arnav didn’t allow. “You don’t know what it does to me to know you’ll give that. It’s something I can’t explain to you, but it’s a gift. Yours to me. And Khushi, I think it’s fucking beautiful.”

It was disconcerting how attuned he was to her thoughts. Lifting herself she pressed her lips against his. A silent communication because the words were clogged in her throat.

He sat up against the frame, settling her between his legs and simply held her.

“You’re a fraud Arnav Singh Raizada,” she whispered into his chest.

Of all the things he’d expected her to say, that wasn’t even on the list.

“What?”

“A fraud,” she repeated.

“Are you going to elaborate on that?”

“The image the world sees when they look at you, it’s not even close to the real you.”

“It’s part of who I am, Khushi.”

“It’s who you had to be,” she corrected him, “As adults, one of the first things we learn is how to defend our vulnerabilities. It’s necessary, but it locks us in as much as it keeps others out,” she snuggled into him, “Thank you for letting me in.”

 

Arnav’s arms tightened around her. They had to face the world at noon, but right now lying with Khushi above the city that never sleeps, he was content.

✧✧✧

Dread rose like a twisted serpent as she mentally prepared herself for the conference while keeping a wary eye on the press. There was an oddly fascinating rhythm to the brisk shuffling of people and equipment – an organized chaos.

So far they haven’t caught sight of her in the shadowed end of the stage, although that likely had to do with the fact that AR staff members were charmingly encouraging the group of over fifty reporters and their crews to partake in liberal amounts of hors d’oeuvres and wine. A part of Aman’s strategy that he claimed to be crucial in cultivating a receptive atmosphere. But will they be sold on the half-truths? Half-truths, just like her life.

“They’re here,” her manager murmured.

Lavanya turned just in time to see flashbulbs explode as three towering frames entered AR’s auditorium. They made a formidable picture of unity. How she ached to be a part of it.

She kept an eye on Arnav as he ascended the stage, flanked by Aman and NK. She wondered if he knew how much he was giving away as his eyes searched and fastened on the woman sitting in a semi-private corner. The security team surrounding her delivered the clear message to keep a respectable distance.

As soon as Arnav and Aman took their seats, NK’s gaze zoomed in on her. Spending the last few days in his company, that keen sense of surrounding no longer took her by surprise. At his nod, she willfully forced motion on her shaky legs, feeling painfully conspicuous as she took the seat between the brothers.

When a firm hand closed over hers, Lavanya jolted. Looking up she caught Aman’s wink before he turned to address the wall of reporters.

“Good afternoon and thank you for joining us! Time is a precious commodity to everyone here, so we won’t waste it. We have several announcements today. There will be follow-ups from our PR department, thus each organization will be granted two questions. We urge that you do not waste it on the frivolous. I’m sure all of you are wondering why there’s a beauty amongst us today,” Aman flashed a dimpled grin, “AR is proud to announce that Ms. Lavanya Kashyap has agreed to come on board as the face of our new campaign for Asia.”

Murmurs traveled through the room.

“AR has never given such a large contract to a model outside of your agencies. How did Miss Kashyap earn this?” a male reporter from The Cut demanded.

Lavanya cringed at the insinuation. Her fingers unconsciously curled over Aman’s hand, seeking strength in its solid warmth. She knew him. A man nursing a year old grudge because she’d turned down his advance.

She knew it wasn’t lost on Aman either as he responded with cool emphasis, “AR prides itself on selecting the best candidates for every campaign. For our plans in Asia, Miss Kashyap is, without doubt, the best.”

“You can’t deny that rumors are swirling. What’s your relation to Mr. Arnav Raizada, Miss Kashyap?” Douglas Kern continued doggedly.

She could feel Arnav tense at the question, but they had prepared for this. Straightening her spine, she took Aman’s lead and smiled at the crowd.

“Isn’t it your job to read between the lines, Mr. Kern?” she asked sweetly

“Just making sure I know which lines to read between,” he rejoined caustically.

Lavanya took a bracing breathe, “Then try familial lines.”

Silence descended upon the room. She knew this was the calm before the storm.

“Miss Kashyap, are you saying you are related to the Raizadas?”

“How long have you known?”

“Why keep this a secret?”

She had expected the questions to be relentless, after all, who had a more voracious appetite than the Press? Each one battered at her brave front, but the last one held the power to break her.

Don’t crack, don’t crack, she reminded herself. If any of them sensed even a drop of blood in the water, there would be a feeding frenzy.

It was Arnav who put an end to it, face closed, his mouth a grim line, “You have the rights to know my business decisions, but I have the right to protect my family.”

Lavanya couldn’t hold back the small gasp. Lifting her eyes, she caught her reflection in Arnav’s. He seemed to understand her need for affirmation. His use of family, did it include her? A strange glint entered those dark orbs before they warmed.

Acceptance. She heard it, but more, she finally felt it. Through the roaring in her ears, she could barely focus on the next question.

“You are all public figures Mr. Raizada, we are exercising our rights to an honest answer.”

“True, but perhaps you should try exercising basic decency, I hear it gives the soul a good rinse,” Arnav tilted his head towards the young journalist, his tone was cutting as he continued. “You want your due? Fine, you’ll be given what you’re entitled to. I do hope you’re prepared to defend it when your editor calls our PR department and ask why Star Gazette is no longer invited to our conferences.”

Lavanya watched the woman wilt in defeat. Visibly forcing the traces of resentment out of her face, the reporter cleared her throat, “Our publication is interested in news, Mr. Raizada, not infringing on private matters.”

“Excellent, then you’ll be interested to know AR Corps has officially acquired Gupta & Co.”

Arnav’s words switched on an electric current in the room. This was headline news. He had their attention. All of it.

“When was the deal finalized?”

“Is there a plan of action in place?”

“Will you be replacing the CEO?”

“Would you call this a takeover?”

“Many of you are aware that the late Shashi Gupta was my mentor. Gupta & Co. has suffered due to poor management and changing consumer demands. The purpose of this acquisition is to preserve his legacy,” Arnav stated firmly, before giving Aman a nod.

“Within the coming weeks, we will continue to provide each of you with updates on AR’s plans for Gupta & Co. Change is inevitable and necessary; however, Arnav and I promise to do our best to make the transition as painless as possible. And with our track record, I can say with confidence that our best isn’t half bad.” That earned Aman an appreciative chuckle from their audience.

Lavanya observed both brothers with admiration as they deftly handled the press. The media had always been the aspect she found most insufferable as a model, even as she recognized it was a necessary evil. But here, Arnav and Aman were in essence dictating and the hardnosed crowd was eating it up!

“Payal Gupta has filed for divorce. Is there a correlation?” one bold reporter asked, with a sly glance at Arnav.

“You’re connecting the wrong dots,” he replied, a slight twitch on his lips indicating he’d found her question amusing.

“Please clarify, Mr. Raizada.”

Lavanya saw his gaze travel once more to Khushi. Something shifted in his expression as their eyes met. If triumph and tenderness could co-exist in a single space, it would most accurately explain that something.

“Not at the moment, but perhaps you should keep an ear out for a merger.”

✧✧✧

Manhattan, New York

“Not at the moment, but perhaps you should keep an ear out for a merger.”

Her lips compressed as the camera panned to follow Arnav’s line of vision. It zoomed in on the rapt face of that woman.

Khushi Lacene Khumari. A fucking waitress. A secret heiress.

It burned that he was willing to go through such lengths to protect the other woman. The words were practically a declaration of intent. Marriage was on his mind. Arnav Singh Raizada was actually contemplating connubial bliss.

Sheetal jolted when someone rapped at the door.

She glared through the peephole as she made out the distinctive form of NK Ryan. Of course.

“I’m not interested in hearing from the lapdog. Tell your master to come himself,” she informed him as she opened the door.

NK gave her a bland look, “He’s otherwise occupied.”

“Catering to his whore?”

“You’ve been declawed Sheetal, so let’s save ourselves some time. I’ve been tasked to do this and trust me when I say it’s in your best interest to hear me out.”

“Ten minutes,” she allowed ungraciously, “I have to head to the studio.”

As soon as they were seated, NK took out his iPad. He deftly flicked through several screens before handing it over to her.

A shaft of rage lanced her, paired with heavy humiliation as she starred at the footage. It was a recording of her visit to AR, where she’d laid herself bare before Arnav in the conference room.

“He set me up!” she cried in outrage, as bitterness overrode pain.

“Did you really think he wanted a strip tease in his conference room?” NK asked drily.

“What does he want?”

“Replace Payal Gupta on your show.”

“It’s too late, the shoot’s in three hours and we have no backup.”

“With today’s announcement, anything out of Payal’s mouth will only come across as sour grapes. We have procured a replacement guest for you.”

“Who?”

“Anjali Jha.”

Her lips twisted, “And if I refuse?”

“Sheetal, your credibility isn’t exactly built on solid foundations. This video goes viral? You’re done.”

“He wouldn’t,” she protested.

“You think you know Arnav, but you don’t. He doesn’t want to take this route, but fuck with him and he won’t leave you with anything. This is mercy. Don’t push him.”

Sheetal felt the color drain from her cheeks as the reality of NK’s meaning sunk in. She couldn’t afford to take the hit on her reputation, which meant she couldn’t afford to call Arnav on this bluff.

Swallowing back pride, she looked at NK straight in the eye. “I want Anjali and Aman. A pre-wedding exclusive.”

NK nodded, he’d expected such a request. “They’ll be arriving at your studio in an hour.”

“And the video?”

“As long as you keep your word, it doesn’t exist.”

✧✧✧

Gupta & Co. Headquarters, New York

“No.”

“Reconsider.”

“No! I’m not giving that thieving bitch a damn thing,” she screeched vehemently.

Aman Singh Raizada loved women. They were beautiful creatures placed on earth to be charmed and wooed. He was prepared to walk the sacred seven circles and worship one for the rest of his life. Yet, at the moment he was dangerously close to throttling the one before him.

“You gain nothing by taking this stance,” Aman reasoned, frustration ripe in his voice.

“You want me to agree? You’ll have to fight me through the courts. She signed away the rights to those shares years ago.”

“She was coerced into signing away those shares,” Aman corrected, “Payal, out of respect to your father, we’re giving you the chance to walk away quietly. Sign this and we’ll handle the Board on your behalf. I’ll give you a few minutes to think it over.”

“I don’t need to think it over. The answer is no.”

“Then let me clarify, when Arnav gets here, this offer is off the table. I can promise you, his terms will not be nearly so beneficial.”

“That slut deserves nothing!”

“Call her a slut one more time and you’re not going to like what I’ll do,” Arnav’s voice cracked through the room with the sharpness of a whip.

Payal spun around to face six feet of livid male. It added to his raw masculinity, sending a base arousal coursing through her. The cold contempt in his eyes fueled the bitter hatred in her heart towards Khushi. Why her? What was it about her that drew out such fierce protective instincts in men?

Her words were defiantly pronounced as she glowered at him, “You’re mistaken if you think I’ll cower like my weak ex-husband or that spineless brat. She is nothing. I’m the Gupta heiress. Me!”

“Then start acting like it. Shashi was a good man, where the fuck did he go wrong in your upbringing?”

“A good man doesn’t fuck around on his wife!” she snapped.

“There are justifiable exceptions,” Aman muttered.

Feeling cornered and wanting to lash out in all directions, Payal combed trembling fingers through her hair. “I want to meet Khushi. Face to face.”

“Why?” Aman demanded.

“She wants the executive chair she should have the guts to come forth from behind you to claim it herself.”

“She doesn’t want it,” Arnav responded casually.

Payal jerked her head towards the documents on the table. “Then what the hell is that about?”

“What she’s entitled to.”

“That bitch isn’t entitled to shit!” she snapped.

“You’ve been warned. Careful how you take her name, Payal.”

“Or what?” she challenged him.

Arnav’s smile was a cruel slant. “There are many hungry reporters, Payal. Give them a whiff of scandal and they’ll gnaw it down to the bare bones like a hound. I know you’re familiar with the practice.”

“You don’t have anything on me—” Payal began.

“Doesn’t mean I can’t make you bleed where it matters,” he countered, cutting her off without hesitation. “Sign the papers, but this time I’m not paying you a damn cent. Had you treated her right, you could have been equals, but you aren’t even worthy of being her shadow. Khushi will get what belongs to her. You stand in my way Payal, you’ll only incur damage.”

Her eyes narrowed to slits, “Go ahead! I don’t fucking care what they say about me, but damned if my last act as CEO of my father’s company will be signing over my shares to that little slut!”

Arnav nodded in acceptance, “You’ll be hearing from our lawyers.”

“Just remember, hungry hounds don’t care whose hand they bite,” she warned. With that parting shot, Payal spun on her heels and exited the room with deliberate steps.

Aman slanted a glance towards the grim countenance of his brother as he collected the legal documents, “She meant every word.”

Arnav grimaced. “I know.” Fuck.

“I had no idea that much crazy was buried there. What now?”

“I want her on 24 hours surveillance. Let NK know we’ll need him to dig. Deep.”

✧✧✧

Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York

“I agree with, Arnav.”

“Robbie! He’s pushing her into a corner.”

Robbie lifted her shoulder in a careless shrug. “So what? After the crap she pulled she deserves a full serving of Indiana retaliation. Since I can’t have that, at least allow me the pleasure of enjoying Arnav Singh Raizada’s cold dish of justice. A different flavor, but I must say your man definitely delivers.”

Khushi groaned in defeat, “You’re not helping! And since when did you start to see eye to eye with Arnav?”

“Since he got his head out of his ass and became total dream man to my girl.” Robbie grinned at Khushi’s shell shocked look. “I admit, it wasn’t easy, but Noah opened my eyes to some truths. Besides, I love how he’s taking your back.”

“So do I, but…. wait, Noah?!”

“Shit! He’s going to kill me.”

Khushi’s eyes brightened, “What’s the K for?”

“Oh no, that I’m taking to my grave.”

“You?! You are keeping a secret?”

Anjali’s sweet laughter broke through them. “Girls, let’s save this conversation once we’re properly dressed. It’s unseemly for me to laugh so much while wearing mere scraps of fabric!”

Khushi turned to Anjali, who was currently poured into a white and gold bikini set that vacillated between class and sex.

They were at the apartment, although the humble space had been transformed into a luxurious fitting room worthy of the most upscale boutique. When they had girl’s night, Anjali had confided about Aman’s honeymoon request. Being Anjali Jha, a shopping excursion that veered into bikinis and lingerie territory would be of high interest to every New York tabloid. A secret smile had stolen across Robbie’s face and she promised she’ll find a suitable alternative.

This morning Khushi and Anjali received calls from an excited Robbie, demanding that they head over– pronto!

Khushi had been stunned as she was dragged through the front door. A set of three-way mirrors anchored both ends of the living room. Their old furniture had been swept away, replaced by ivory chaise lounges and cocktail tables brimming with breakfast. Sinking her feet into lush rugs of pure silver, her eyes swept the walls, where sleek racks of fantasy lingerie and swimwear beckoned.

Robbie’s explanation? Victoria’s Secret Director was a close friend of NK’s, and he assumed NK was making the gesture to impress her. Anjali could safely shop without anyone being the wiser. She’d tossed Khushi a naughty look, adding that both Raizada brothers were aware of this little shopping adventure and that they were “anticipating” the results.

The first half hour had been awkward, particularly for Anjali, who had never bared herself outside the privacy of her own bedroom. Her shyness was quickly shed as Robbie started to share funny anecdotes from her modelling jobs, while casually stripping down. Before long, excited chatter and laughter rung out from the apartment as the women recognized they were truly amongst worthy members of the sisterhood.

“Anjali, you don’t understand,” Khushi informed her with mock seriousness, “Robbie’s favorite word is spill.”

“It is not!” Robbie protested.

Anjali grinned at their banter as she turned to the mirror. She bit down on her lips as heat prickled her face. The top barely covered her breasts, stretching across each slope with sinful daring.

“That bikini is going to send him to his knees,” Robbie declared gleefully, “It’s perfect!”

“You don’t think it’s too… revealing?” she took another dubious look at the swimsuit that was essentially interlocking triangles and strings. She didn’t have Robbie’s defined waist or golden glow. No, she was simply Anjali.

Something on her face must have revealed her inner the turmoil, for Khushi immediately asked if something was wrong.

“No… well.. it’s just…” embarrassment lodged the words in her throat.

“Anjali, it’s just us,” Khushi reminded her softly.

Anjali sat down on the nearby lounge and took a bracing breath. “I’m almost twenty five and well, other than kissing I don’t have any experience.”

“And you’re marrying a man whore in six weeks,” Robbie stated matter-of-factly.

“Robbie!”

Strangely it made Anjali relax. “I know he dated a lot of woman. This isn’t about that. When I told Aman I didn’t believe in making love outside of marriage, not only was he incredibly understanding, he agreed to wait. He did that for me and I don’t want to disappoint him on our wedding night.”

Robbie nodded thoughtfully, “Ok, since you’re sharing, how long has the guy been abstaining?”

“A year.”

“Damn, color me impressed!” Seeing the anxiety on Anjali, she quickly added, “Sweetheart, trust me on this. As long as you’re you, he’s going to be grateful as hell.”

“Robbie, I don’t’ have your confidence.”

At this Khushi spoke up. “Anjali, before Arnav, my one experience left me cold. Robbie also had her share of bad relationships. All of that made me realize that it isn’t about the mechanics, it’s about choosing the right lover. I think that in this room, there are three very lucky women. Share your fears with Aman. The kind of man he is? He’ll make sure it’s good for both of you.”

Anjali looked to her, “Did you…. with Arnav?”

“The first night I met him. It’s hard to explain, but it just felt like the most natural thing to share with him. And he- ” she flushed.

“Well don’t leave us hanging, spill the rest!” Robbie cried upon Khushi’s hesitation.

Khushi smirked at the outburst and immediately all three broke into laughter. She went over and sat down beside Anjali, “Arnav took away my doubts. All of it. But that only happened because we exposed ourselves to each other.”

Robbie crinkled her nose, “She’s no fun, but she’s right.”

“And I suppose you’re going to spill all that’s happening with NK?”

“The man is made for sex,” Robbie declared, “Although you’re right. Considering we have brothers and manly besties, better not compare notes. I might die from the orgasmic thought.”

Deciding that there was only one way to address her incorrigible friend, she teased, “Is there a reason all your choices of sleepwear are of the black lace variety?”

“What can I do? My guy’s got a fetish.”

Robbie moved towards them, grabbing Anjali’s hand and nudging her towards the mirror, “The minute the modeling career is over, I’m going to eat until I have your figure. You look like a woman and damned gorgeous at that. So, is Aman going to get the opportunity to salivate over this or what?”

Surprise flickered through her eyes at how accurately the other woman had read and understood her. Even close friends from her high school days never looked beyond the carefully projected image of Mohit Jha’s daughter. Genuinely delighting in her current company, Anjali giggled. “It also comes in turquoise and hot pink!”

Khushi smiled as she watched Robbie’s blonde against Anjali’s brunette. She had long considered Robbie a sister and it felt wonderful to add Anjali to this tight circle. Yet, it also made her heart ache for the woman that she did have blood ties with. She knew Payal, knew what she was capable of doing out of spite. It hadn’t mattered before, because then, Khushi had nothing to lose. Now, however, she did.

Arnav would not relent. This she knew. Which left her with only one choice – it was time to reach out to Garima.

✧✧✧

Three days later

The years had been kind to Garima Gupta. Other than some grey at the temples, her face still retained the regal beauty of her youth. While many looked upon her unlined features with envy, those who’d experienced life’s zealous embrace viewed the lack of wrinkles and crow feet with pity.

“Thank you for coming,” Khushi said politely, lifting her drink for a fortifying sip. There was only a single table between them in the small bistro off 29th Street, but Garima’s cool demeanor added miles to the distance.

“Would I’ve been allowed a refusal?”

“Yes, but I’m glad you didn’t.” Khushi replied honestly.

“Arnav has become a formidable presence,” Garima noted, “Shashi would be pleased. Although, having his protégé fall for his beloved daughter would have been the bigger coup.”

Khushi was unable to contain her surprise, “He never introduced us.”

“Only because I asked him not to,” Garima’s eyes swept over Khushi, darkening as they took in her glow. She had seen this look of love once. Not in a mirror, but in another woman. The other woman. “I wanted Arnav for Payal, but you proved yourself to be Laramie’s daughter.”

Khushi tucked away the knowledge that her father had wanted Arnav for her. That was something to be examined in private, not before the woman she’d spent her teen years trying to please. Her innumerable efforts had not been met with scorn, but something far worst- indifference.

“All I ever wanted was to love and be loved by you!” she wanted to cry out.

Instead, Khushi drew herself up. “I’m sorry if my existence hurt you. However, I didn’t ask you to come for this. No matter how long we stand and look back, we cannot change the past. The only choice is to look ahead.”

“I’m aware of your reasons. However, I will save you the trouble of asking. The answer is no.”

“Please. I’m not asking for myself. Do it for Payal’s sake.”

A half smile ghosted the older woman’s lips, “Do you know it is your compassion that makes her hate you so much?”

“Then that’s on her.”

Silence marked the moment as they regarded each other.

Garima looked at Khushi carefully, “If I’m to convince Payal, I’ll have a condition.”

“Name it.”

“You won’t like what I’ll ask.”

“Then we will negotiate.”

“If appears being in Arnav’s company has brought out the businesswoman,” Garima commented with amusement.

“Just state your condition,” Khushi replied, already weary from this encounter.

“Leave Arnav.”

Khushi looked down, watching as her hands clenched and unclenched the fabric of her dress. It took her a few moments, but when she finally raised her eyes to Garima, they blazed with green fire. “When I was eighteen, you gave me an ultimatum. I never blamed you, nor regretted my choice.”

Garima strummed her hands over the wooden table as her eyes darted towards the doorway. “Then what is your answer now? Will you leave Arnav in exchange for my cooperation?”

“No.”

“No?” Genuine surprise colored Garima’s voice.

“If that is your condition, I cannot meet it. In all the years I had to face your contempt and the hatred of your daughter, I learned one lesson well – to protect my happiness. Arnav is my happiness. It is not something you can put a condition on.”

Khushi was abruptly out of her seat and surrounded by steely arms. Arnav’s angry rasp entered her ears before the shock even registered, “You’re damned lucky I like what I just heard, otherwise you’ve earned yourself a spanking for this.”

“Arnav! I-”

“I know,” seeing the strain on her face, his voice softened, “but since I’m here, we do this together. Okay?”

Tension melted from her body, replaced by reassuring warmth. At her nod, he seated both of them, before turning to face Garima.

“You should know better than anyone, I don’t take well to games.” Arnav stated, not bothering to temper his anger.

“Arrogance has led to the downfall of many.”

“So has spite,” he threw back without hesitation.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Don’t you?” Arnav’s eyes bored into Garima’s “Khushi is no longer a defenseless girl you can blackmail.”

Khushi watched as her stepmother visibly blanched before she tilted her chin, her tone autocratic and cold, “I always knew you wouldn’t leave things be with Gupta & Co.”

“Had I wanted Gupta & Co., all I ever had to do was ask.”

“You weren’t willing to pay the price.”

“Let’s not pretend any longer, Garima. Shashi’s stipulation may have been marriage to his daughter, but you and I both know, it would have meant marriage to Khushi.”

“I know no such–”

“Yes, you do. Just as you know Shashi found something more important to him than the company he spent his life building. It is the reason why he asked you for a divorce every year since Khushi’s birth.” Arnav gave Khushi’s hand a squeeze, his eyes asking for her trust. Later, they promised her. So she held her silence, even as she reeled from the onslaught of revelations.

Garima’s laughter was brittle. “You’re very through.” she turned to Khushi. “There was no love between Shashi and myself. Our marriage was an exchange of wealth and connections. I upheld my end, but him?! He betrayed me with your mother. He made me a fool!”

“Yes, he did.” Arnav agreed readily, “Whatever his reasons, it was a betrayal. But he’s dead, Garima and the one you’ve been hurting all these years is the one innocent person in this mess.”

“You are just like him,” she accused, “Ruthless. You will force my hand for her, just like he did.”

“If you can’t see the difference, then there’s no point for me to explain.”

“Payal will fight you.”

“Then we meet in court. You are correct about one aspect. I will be ruthless. Do you understand your cost? Every media outlet will cover the trial. New Yorkers enjoy a good show, if your dignity is the price, they will deem it a worthy sacrifice for their entertainment. Or perhaps you wish to have your daughter nurse her hatred behind a cell? That is the reality you’ll be faced with, Garima.”

She seemed to deflate. In that moment, Garima Gupta looked every one of her years. Almost as if the aging process had waited for such a vulnerable moment to claim complete surrender. “If we cooperate with you, what will happen?”

“Payal signs over her shares to Khushi, that is nonnegotiable. You may keep your remaining shares along with an honorary position on the Board. If you choose to sell, AR will pay you market price for them.”

“Why couldn’t you have fallen in love with Payal?” Garima immediately regretted the unguarded question.

Dark eyes leveled on hers solemnly. The image of the fiercely determined young man she met all those years ago in Shashi’s office flickered through Garima’s head.

“Love cannot be found where it doesn’t exist, nor can it be hidden where it does. Speak to Payal.”*

Arnav rose from the seat and folded Khushi into his arms. As he led her out, Khushi was compelled to turn back. For a moment she thought she saw a glint of grief and was sorry for it. But too much had happened, too much pain laid between them, allowing for only one option. She faced forward, putting one foot in front of the other, and let go.

✧✧✧

Khushi was still lost in thought when the Aston Martin eased into a stop. Glancing up, she was surprised to see an unobstructed view of Brooklyn Bridge through the car window.

“Where are we?”

“Where I go to think,” Arnav replied simply. “Now come.”

A half dozen steps took them to a wooden bench. Arnav brushed away the lingering frost as he took a seat and pulled Khushi into his lap. The move so natural, it was as if they had done this every night.

She curled into him, taking in their surroundings. Against his steady heartbeat, the distant roar of traffic was somehow muted. Thousands of lights burned a brilliant silhouette of the city above the inky black of the East River, but here only the soft glow of a single lamp post kept the dark at bay. It was the contrast that he came for she realized. A reflection of how he often felt when the veneer of the public figure melted away, leaving only the man.

“Khushi.”

“Hmm?”

“What’s going on in that head?”

“I thought you brought me here to think,” she murmured.

“Yeah. Aloud,” Arnav said pointedly.

Her hands inched upward until they touched the silky edge of his hair. “Do you come here often?”

“Only when necessary.”

“How did you find this place?”

He was quiet for a long time. “When sleep refused to come, I would drive. There were nights when I wished I could just drive beyond the reach of the city. Only to realize I had no destination. One of those nights led me here.”

She heard his unspoken loneliness and ached. Wanting to soothe, she cupped his face with gentle hands, dipping her head until their lips brushed. Once. Twice. Endlessly.

“Arnav,” she whispered his name softly.

“What?” he whispered back.

“Do you know why I don’t want to engage in this fight with Payal?”

“You’re too compassionate for your own good,” Arnav muttered as the reason for bringing her here came back to him.

“There is no halo above me, Arnav. There’s hurt, there’s anger, there’s hate.”

“Then why?”

“Because Payal’s life led to Trent and mine led me to you.”

Arnav tightened his hold around her waist, burying his face in the curve of her neck. “What am I going to do with you?”

“Love me. That is all I need from you. Leave Payal her pride, it’s all she has left.”

“Khushi, I hear what you’re saying, but she won’t leave things alone.”

“What can she do to us, Arnav? Tell the world I’m Shashi Gupta’s illegitimate daughter? Those I care about already knows that, what does it matter if others do? Use Trent to get between us? We’ve already put him behind us. As for sabotaging Gupta & Co., I don’t believe she’ll do that. She is also his daughter. If that doesn’t count for anything, then you need to let me fight my own battles.”

“You really don’t care?” he asked her seriously.

“Do you?”

Arnav had long been disenchanted with the word beautiful. There was hollowness to the term so often applied without discernment. But the woman before him, she didn’t just deserve the word, she embodied it.

His fingers tangled into her hair, angling her towards him. The kiss was long, deep. Catching his breath, Arnav pulled back until he could see her face.

“We do this your way on one condition,” he waited until he had her full attention, “Move in with me. We’ll work out your part of the rent with Robbie. With how things are going with NK, I doubt she’ll be there for much longer.”

“Arnav,” she balked.

He’d already seen the hope and pleasure swirl within her greens before fear joined them, “When you said home is within my arms, did you mean it?”

It mattered to him. Even within the shadows, she could feel his intensity. “Every word.”

“Then why would you want to lay yourself to sleep elsewhere?”

“I don’t. I just thought you might want the space.”

“Khushi, how have we fallen asleep every night since I took you to the Jalpari?” he demanded.

She focused on his throat, “Making love.”

“That the action of man who needs space?”

“No.”

“Are you going to move in with me?”

He could hear her sigh, but her voice held only sweetness as she answered him, “Yes, Arnav.”

“Deal. Now let’s seal it. Kiss me.”

Khushi was laughing as she bent her head. She rained light kisses on his stubborn forehead, down the bridge of his nose, but an inch from his lips she pulled back teasingly, “Now, you kiss me.”

Her heart split open at the brilliance of his smile, “It’ll be my pleasure.”

✧✧✧

The Eventi, New York

The banging was loud and incessant. It sounded like it was coming from right outside his hotel room. Fuck it was right outside his hotel room.

Trent threw back the sheets, cursing as he stormed towards the door. He really needed to move, but it felt imprudent to make such permanent decisions at the moment. Life had derailed spectacularly and he had no clear idea how to get it back on track.

“What the hell?!”

To say he was shocked to find his ex-wife on the other side of the door would be an understatement.

“What the hell?!” Trent repeated, startled to smell the alcohol on her. Payal rarely indulged, the loss of control wasn’t worth the small oblivion. Something must have really set her off, something to do with Khushi. Fuck, he didn’t need this.

Payal lurched forward, her arms flew out, grabbing onto him to steady herself. “Trent,” she slurred, “Have a drink with me.”

“I think you’ve had enough. Why the hell are you here, Payal?” he demanded impatiently.

“One drink.”

“Payal, other than waiting for a judge to put the official stamp on it, we’re divorced. I’m done with your bullshit.”

She leaned deeper into him, her arms sliding around his waist. “Please, Trent. There’s no one I can go to.”

“And whose fault is that?” he charged, even as he pulled her into the room. “One drink, then I’m putting you in a cab.”

“Can you lower the lights first? It’s so damn bright in here.”

Cursing, Trent shoved down on the dimmers. “I have gin or scotch.”

“Whatever’s convenient,” Payal replied, hoisting herself unsteadily onto the barstool.

Biting back the retort that she was inconvenient, he grabbed the nearest glasses, sloshing a healthy amount of gin into both. “Bottoms up.”

She didn’t touch the drink, even when he slammed down his empty glass.

“Drink and go home, Payal.”

“I don’t have a home.”

His brows drew together. “What drama are you playing out now?”

“There’s nowhere I can go, Trent. My own mother just told me to sign over my shares to her. To just quietly sign away the company to the bastard who is determined to screw me over for her. And you? You demanded that I sign those divorce papers for her. That’s what my life amounts to. A series of fucking signatures.”

A mixture of pity and exasperation filled him. “You handed me the divorce papers.”

She ignored him. “I wanted you to fight me! I wanted you to give a fuck! But you were only too happy to gain your freedom. They should warn you to check your heart before marriage. But they don’t tell you shit. You cheated. He cheated. All men cheat.”

“Payal. You’re drunk. In the morning, you’re going to regret this conversation.”

“I don’t care. I don’t care! I DON’T CARE!” she screamed.

“What the hell do you want, Payal? Do you even know the answer?”

“I want… I want to make her pay. Yes. I’ll be happy if she pays.”

“Khushi isn’t what’s blocking your happiness.”

“You say that because you love her. You’ve always loved her. Admit. For once in your life Trent Matthews, look at me straight in the eye and admit it!”

On a sigh Trent lifted his eyes, looking straight into Payal’s dark browns, “Yes, I love her.”

“Bastard! I hate you! Rotten bastard! Why? Why?!” Her small hands were clenched into fists as she pummeled weakly against his chest.

“Because she brings out the best in me.”

“Then why did you marry me?”

“Because I couldn’t have her and you’re the Gupta heiress. Is that what you want to hear? Why do you always push Payal? We could’ve had a good marriage, a good life.” Trent moved away from her, running an agitated hand through his hair, “But you never stop pushing!”

“A good marriage? A good life? Who are you lying to? Me or yourself? We had a mockery of a marriage. We existed in a half-life…. just like my parents. Does it kill you that she doesn’t want anything to do with you? But why would she? She has an Arnav Singh Raizada ready to kiss the ground she walks on.”

“Do you hate Khushi or are you jealous of her?”

“Fuck you, Trent! Of course I hate her! She ruined my family!”

“Your father ruined your family, Payal. It was your father who turned to another woman. It was your father who had a child outside of his marriage. The only man you’ve ever allowed yourself to love and he betrayed you. But I guess it’s easier to take it out on Khushi.”

“I loved you!”

“You used me! But knowing my reasons for marrying you, I figured it made us even. Now you need to grow the fuck up, Payal.”

Payal shook her head vehemently as if to clear it. “You’re wrong. It’s her fault.”

“Then tell me, in your head, why is it her fault?”

She stood up and started pacing, letting the years wash over her. It was Khushi’s fault. It was! She just needed to remember why.

“Payal,” Trent prompted.

“When she came to live with us she was always smiling. No matter how Amma treated her, no matter what I said to her she had a smile in place. All day, every day, it was the same smile. Like it was painted on her. I knew it was only for him. I knew it was fake. And I was right. As soon as everyone went to bed, that smile vanished, and then came the tears. Even muffled against her pillow, I could hear her. At first I hated it. It kept me awake, night after night.” Payal stopped and stared blankly beyond Trent.

“After a while I got used to it. It put me to sleep. I couldn’t stand it when she stopped. So I would do things to keep those green eyes flowing. You know what I realized? When she’s happy, it sucked the air out of my lungs. But when she’s sad, I could breathe easily. Only when she cries, can I find my laughter. Only when she’s broken, can I be whole.”

“Jesus fuck, Payal.”

She blinked at him. Trent watched the drunkenness clear as something profound and ugly sunk in, bringing with it fleeting clarity and she whispered, “You hate me don’t you? Of course you do. I ruined your chance with her.”

For the first time since he married her, Trent felt a raw ache for this woman. Her misery had never been more palpable, she’d never been so human. Whatever was between them was long dead, but tonight he could be her friend.

“I don’t hate you,” he replied gruffly, “I just never understood you. Payal, don’t take this the wrong way, but you should listen to your mother.”

Payal saw red. “I knew you would say something to protect that bitch. I knew it!” she hissed, shaking with fury.

“Sit down, shut up and for once in your life listen! This is not a way of winning favor with Khushi. There will never be another man for her outside of Raizada. She’s got him and he won’t shake loose. I had my chance with her. I fucked it up. That door is closed to me. Believe me or not, it’s your choice, but I’m asking for you. Did you listen to yourself Payal? You blame Khushi because you can’t blame your father. You hate her because you can’t hate your father. But do you really want to spend the rest of your life finding crumbs of happiness off another woman?”

“You weren’t there, Trent. You can’t understand. It’s her fault!”

“Payal, it’s because I wasn’t there that I can see this without blinders on. You can’t even think it can you?”

“Think what?” her voice was dipped so low, he could barely hear. Trent moved until he was within touching distance. Taking her hands into his he said as gently as possible. “You don’t hate Khushi, Payal. You hate Shashi Gupta.”

She yanked her hands back as if burned, putting them over her ears, “Shut up! I shouldn’t have come here. I knew you couldn’t be trusted!”

Trent flinched. “You’re right. And it may be years too late, but I’m sorry. Sorry I’m not the man you needed me to be. But in this one thing, I know I’m right. Payal -”

“I want to leave,” she interrupted, coldly.

“Payal-”

“Now!”

Trent exhaled a frustrated breath, knowing it would take something beyond him to make her see. “I’ll call you a taxi.”

“No, I’ll be fine.” She moved towards the door, refusing to look at him.

“Payal, let go now and there will still a bend in the road for you. Keep on holding tight, it’ll lead you right off the cliff.”

Silence, then the firm click of the door. She was gone.

✧✧✧✧✧

So… watcha think?

New Readers – Welcome aboard the FWN train.

If you’ve enjoyed the update, please let us know below. Your questions and comments helps us shape the story and also improve as writers. Thank you!

*adapted from Kissing a Fool by Doug Ellin

452 thoughts on “Night #11

  1. Yay can’t wait for Night 11 to start 🙂 I feel really depressed that 12 is going to be the last night :(. How will I feed my addiction now :(? I hope it’s a really loooooong epilogue ( maybe never ending 😉)!

  2. Haha, yes ninja! I know you guys are busy, but thank you for carving out time to update. Do you notice how often you launch on a Monday? Not a bad way to start the week. Refresh Hell is fine as long as there’s something on the other end. 🙂
    That first gif…… that was me for Perfection, Khushi and now FWN.

  3. My dear S & K,

    It was lovely to finally hear from you. Was getting a bit concerned, not for the updates but for your normalcy. I am passably aware how AD has this knack of being really exacting and unyielding! In your case, you both being in different time zones, your respective ADs demanding the completion of those one hundred twenty-seven thousand five hundred ninety-nine tasks all at once and you having to meet FWN deadlines, doesn’t make it any easier.

    That said, it does not take away the fact that an updateless (what?? that’s a word) morning leaves me sullen and grumpy. So grouchy that I want to send you both to detention and demand quick-fire updates. 😛
    But, jokes apart Girls, <3 U for writing and sharing such an endearing tale. Ok, now off you go to finish writing Night #11. With Pyre dispatching Ninjas, me typing out detention orders, am sure you had no clue what you were getting yourselves into when you began FWN. Right? 😉

    Byeee. Take care my lovelies.

  4. Girls, u rock, just yday I was wondering where on the earth these two have disappeared, think of ‘devils’ and here’s the note 🙂 thank you thank you, now let the updates begin,

  5. haiiiiiii….still no update. dont do this to me now. I cannot wait till tomorrow night now, so excited!! and i want to join the VIP Lounge. I want in into that special world of other crazy arhi fans. And i cannot belive either that we are still here and creating our own world and stories that are better than the show storyline. [and this one is on top of the list girls].
    <3

  6. OMFG my dedicated chapter!!!! Giant silly grin doesn’t even begin to cover it babes.
    I don’t deserve this credit, but if my nagging played a part in getting you two to launch this precious story, then I’m damn glad! Now take us to the finish line!

    Since Pyre has ninjas on standby and Priya’s handing out detention slips…. I’m grabbing a taser. 😀

    That fanfic gif…. I’m that x3! So excited!!!

  7. Well since I read parts 1 to 10 in one go it’s fairly difficult for me to wait for the next update for this awesome story. Patience is not one of my virtues. It’s a wonderful story and I like the way the two of you present their innermost thoughts and feelings. Though I would have loved a few more verbal communication between arshi. Waiting impatiently for the update and hoping for access to the lounge. All the best and bye . Hail

  8. *side eyes* eagerly wait for part one to be updated #refreshrefresrefresh lol

    S&K you two gals are just so awesome in what you do, keep writing even if its not fan fic, because you gals are damn good writer’s… keep it up

    You little Devils DWFL That bullet stunt you gals pull get me like thinking what the fuck is payal’s problem… just wanted to slap her so bad *evil smirk* hahahaha .. my bad Payal but you deserve some bitch slapping anyways heheghe:D

    Eagerly waiting girls… 😉

  9. If my refresh key breaks you need to take care gals.. This was another teaser.. After all the fun note- It’s still shows 0 of 12.. :((
    And you 2 are evil, you pulled that bullet stunt just to rile us up!!!

  10. Thank god u updated (kind of) …. I was getting worried for my sanity 😜😜. Can’t wait for nights 11 n the rest. Aren’t we a greedy brunch. Glad u told us the bullet was a red herring after all. Almost all of us who commented sent our brains n imagination into overdrive !!!

  11. I am so glad to read this note… atleast a beginning to Night 11… Phew!! I was wondering where you girls had disappeared to and was commenting round the blog to see a response anywhere…. everywhere!! 🙂 Can imagine the tricks that AD plays and I do hope things get sorted for the two of you…. The bullet trick was a nasty one and thank god I do not dwell in decoding teasers… so saved me a ton of crazy thoughts!! 😛 Cannot wait to abuse my refresh button this time and will definitely be waiting around this place for you girls to give us the juicy Night 11…. Hugs! 😀

  12. Night 11 has started with the note of yours 😉
    Now can’t wait for the updates!!!
    Update soon!
    Thanks for the note and pm😘

  13. Girls the cindrella hour is long past.. whn r we getting the next update? Or did u mean next sunday?

  14. Update soon.want to read the whole story.

    ২০১৫-০৬-০৭ ১৭:২৮ GMT -০৭:০০, S&K’s Arshi FF Adventures

  15. ah… finally so glad to learn that u r safe and sound somewhere:-))
    bring it on gals

  16. Welcome back ladies!!

    Like many here I am incredibly relieved to see you alive and well!!

    I hope that night eleven is a huge success! But I have to say; I had such good theories about that bloody bullet! Either which way – I’m sure the night will be brilliantly explosive, take care xxx

  17. At least we got a note for you girls!!
    I was just thinking if at any point you would give us a whole night in a single shot and here you made the announcement of night # 12 coming in a single shot!!
    Cant’t wait to read night# 11..

  18. Yaaaay! Can’t wait for night #11. Sad that it’s going to end soon though. I’m the kinda girl that still jumps up and down and does a weird dance when I see my favourite story has been updated. And FWN is definitely one of them! I usually have a a big fat smirk on my face to accompany my dance. You would think after 4yrs it would get old. But nuuuaah! It’s because of amazing writers like you both that keep the characters alive! Can’t wait for the next updates!

  19. Gals, can’t wait for night #11. Love the gifs. I share the excitement of gif #1 when I read awesome works of arshi such as FWN. 🙂 ship13(IF)

  20. S&K – All I can say is I understand how AD takes over everything else and I am very grateful that you two continue to bring us closer to the conclusion of FWN despite of being so busy otherwise. Awaiting night #11. 🙂

  21. You said to tell you what we (readers) like and DISLIKE? GIIIIIRL how can you even bring that word up? 🙂 Once my professor told me that a good writer is someone who can keep the reader involve throughout the story. BUT, you my friends are not ‘good’ but the BEST writers. I have been involved in this story as if I am the character each word I read it from, Be it Khushi love for Arnav, or Arnav being misunderstood, being a best and protective friend, and I can go on. Every character have caught me in their web to put it simple. ALL 10 updates are just beyond words for me to describe. AND I would love to read the epilogue 🙂

  22. I just read all your 10 nights right now…
    Gosh!! Its SUPERB….Actually I cant even wait for night 11….. love the way you show arshi as well as robbie and nk..

    1. That channel is hilarious! Check out the ones they did for superhero movies, I’m sure you’ll get a good laugh. 😀

  23. The stalking paid off! Your Arnav is simply irresistible. Normally I cant’ get behind sappy, but the way he comes off here…. its just so hot to see a man completely in love and in lust with a woman. The AC is on at full blast at my house and still I feel a bit overheated.

    I’m eager for this long awaited confrontation between Trent and Arshi!

  24. Khusi sticking to her man 100% not backing down, supporting him every step of the way.. #arshilove

    “My building, my office, my couch, my woman,” he interrupted arrogantly.” Possessive much ar’nt we Arnav, but with a girl like khusi which man would be hehhehe…

    Can’t believe this * Angry face* Ufff!!! What the fuck those Trent want… how dare he ruin arshi almost hot sizzling moment the office Agrrr!!!! Trent Trent Trent this better be good -_-

    Eagerly waiting for the next part Huns…#refreshinghell hehehehe

  25. I don’t know.if I should be happy seeing the update or pull my hair because you just stopped there!!
    Kya yaar..the passion was just about to start and then of all the people you had to bring up Trent..
    But what the hell is he doing there..has he come to warn Arnav about Payal or is he there to meet Khushi knowing that she is with Arnav…

  26. And refresh hell begins! Loved the kickoff for night 11! But ugh, Trent! Why am I surprised that Trent showed up? Looking forward to the next part–Arnav and Trent already had their showdown, so my prediction is that this will be Khushi’s fight! Can’t wait for the next update!

  27. Refreshing obessesively helps.
    Trent han? I don know whether to scold you or wring his neck for the interruption? How the hell could he reach Arnavs office at this odd hour in the morning? Is there no security at AR??
    Security head is fired with immediate effect!!

  28. My god! What a cliffhanger! Can’t wait for the next part. Pl. Have some pity and update fast…….

  29. Trent Mathews has come to see Arnav..?? Why??
    Hmm.. Im blank. Knowing u guys its not gonna b that simple..
    Pls update soon.. But then ill again be asking u to update soon.. And again.. And again.. Its not gonna end.. 😊
    Oh! But it is! Quite soon too..😱
    I wish it would never end.. Just keep going on, with the passion 💏, the friendship 👭, the bromance 👨‍👨‍👦.. I really cant have enough

  30. I will reiterate this: “Great. Trent Fucking Mathews.” 😁

    I am looking forward to how our love birds deal with this untimely/unwanted interruption together.

    O by the way, Arnav sounds good enough to eat. One of those long breakfast/brunches where you take your time and enjoy every morsel kind of eating.😜

  31. Eagerly waiting for the update cherie
    Love this pharse ” Great. Trent Fucking Mathews”
    And how Arnav sound angry “Finish that and I won’t be responsible for where your body ends up on the Hudson, Matthews.”

  32. Khushi has shown her mettle and Arnav has met his match in her… What a beautiful combination… Each complementing the other…
    Now coming to Trent Mathews… Less said is better about the weather cock…. He is like a cock which thinks that the day breaks only after it crows…. 😉
    What can one say about a fool who is is hellbent on inflicting a self goal… Who has suicidal tendencies… Who loves to put his head under the guillotine… Who loves to jump from frying pan to fire thinking it to be cold water where he can swim to safety?….. The only comment I can make is he has a swollen head to think that he is an important person in Khushi Lacerene Khumari’s life…. What happens to a swollen river? it can be in spate for sometime only… In the end it has to flow away, subside and go back to its normal state… That’s Trent…

    Loved it S&K

  33. The heat and raw energy between Arnav and Khushi is so palpable that it always tends to burn my macbook screen. And this is all because of your wonderful story telling S & K. Khushi has finally begun to prove her mettle… gladly giving Arnav suggestions when he requires them. I am sure these four days must have been hell for the entire jingbang… working tirelessly on the upcoming press con. Just when the built-up frustration was a out to release for our lovely duo… THE Matthews has to show up!! Sigh!

    I cannot believe he has the freaking balls to tell Khushi he loves her… Really? The money-mined, spineless man!! I am unsure why Arnav let Khushi go to meet Trent all alone. What was he thinking?? I am sure something is definitely up in his head and I love when he finally comes over to deliver one line and punch the hell out of Matthews. One thing is for sure that seeing Trent has made Khushi move on… realizing that her past has finally dissolved into nothingness… giving her the freedom to move forward…. with Arnav!

    Refresh hell will be at work… till you girls come back with the next part! 🙂

  34. what a fool….he will say i love you and khushi will fall in his lap…i just want to see arnav’s reaction…

  35. Awesome updates on the first 2 parts
    Well liked the confrontation between Khushi and Trent
    Trent came thinking that Khushi is still in love with him but he don’t know it was just maybe an attraction until she saw her man, Arnav.
    Love the way Khushi answered him back
    And Arnav have left Khushi to deal with Trent until the last part which he had to interfere…
    Good start, continue soon!
    Thanks for the pm😉

  36. Not fair girls.. after such a long wait.. these short updates did not quench my thirst 😕

  37. Well the second part definitely shows some maturity in Arnav. Till now his aggressive side had been in the forefront. Being gentle with his woman, keeping his insecurity in check he seems to show his trust on her by asking her to go alone to meet treat definitely reflects the change in him. Waiting for the next part. Hurry up girls you got us hanging on tenterhooks.

  38. awesome awesome update… Why did trent come to meet arnav?? Loved khushi taking a stand. Btw where’s part 1 of 12… I kept looking for it…

  39. What struck me in these two updates is how secure and reassured has Arnav become as regards to his relationship with Khushi. That one night on Jalpari has in a way bolstered his confidence. He has utter faith that not only is she his for all eternity, but also that she is smart, astute and having come from the school of hard knocks, quite capable of looking out for herself. He most certainly has a trick up his sleeve. Does he have cameras eyeing all the proceedings on the rooftop? Cos, regardless of his new-found assurance, I doubt if he would leave his Khushi unprotected. Maybe he wants to get some of Mr Matthews risqué comments on tape which he can tactically use when he goes on air before Sheetal’s show.

    Moving on to Mr Matthews. What a self-absorbed, narcissistic character. It’s as if the idiot has his common sense covered by blinders…you know like the ones they have on horses which prevent them from having any rear or peripheral vision; thereby rendering Mr Matthews’ pea-sized brain incapable of processing the fact that Khushi Lacene Khumari was way out of his league even then. And now that she’s become ASR’s reason to take the next breath, he hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of ever having her back in his life. He completely wrapped up in himself, isn’t he? :/

      1. Thank you so much. You are too kind. I am no writer, though. This is just me getting high on awesome story-telling. 🙂

  40. Oh how dis i miss this update …. Anyhow…. Awesome…. Did u seriously make them stop n bring in trent …. Yyyyy …oh these 2 are so hot heheh …. It would have been funny if it was nk or aman 😛
    Oh trent … Wake up she has moved on …. She is arnavs n arnav is khushis …. U have no chance … Glad arnav is here to support her … Wonder how did he manage to send her alone though

  41. The more I read the more I want to read. I’m so addicted. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

  42. “Khushi,” he said her name like a plea. “I’ll be a free man in less than two months. You and I can start again.” is Trent for real.. what a conceited son of a bitch he is, I just want to smack him hard across his face it hurts… did he really think that khusi would just run in his arms after saying that I LOVE YOU
    I wana laugh so hard it hurts woooiiieee Trent you’re really funny asshole I tell you. Lol

    “We always have a choice, Trent. And I’m making one now. Him. Faced with the choice between Arnav and any man, I’ll always choose him.” I hope you heard every word khusi said clearly… she doesn’t want you just get a grip and take a fucking hike psssshhh..

    Arnav baby ” wonder if khushi is hearing me” Dwl *hide face* please put that. Dumb ass in his place and kick to the curve where he belong…Ufffff!!!

    Eagerly waiting for the next parts S&K keep em coming ….

  43. Honestly speaking I don’t know what does Trent thinks about himself…This man is pathetic..He is delusional otherwise why would he even think that Khushi will get back with him?All these years he never bothered to reach out to her and he jumps in when he sees her with Arnav..its more like he is jealous that Khushi has got a much much better person in her life.
    I am glad that Arnav showed up and he needs to be taught a lesson…How dare that Trent accuse Arnav of using women as trash..it is he who used Khushi and in fact he used Payal also for his own needs..

  44. Hate Trent…….I mean he actually has the guts to tell khushi to start again…gosh..actually a shameless person…Waiting for Arnav’s reaction..
    S & K, a sincere request please update the next parts as soon as possible. ….can’t wait

  45. What a start to night 11. Loved it, Loved it !!!!!. Aahh, increased our heartbeats by make out session between Arnav and Khusi, you make us wanting more with their romantic moments 🙂
    Trent – Loved the way Khushi handeld him, would like to see Khushi hitting him where it hurts the most. Awaiting for other part of this Night

  46. Hey girls, I so wish Trent(taint) was dealth and done with in update 2 itself. Looking back to Night 8 and interlude, I had never thought he would have so much guts!! The nerve of him!!
    Even if Arnav isnot in picture, just how does he expect that Khushi would be OK to start all over with him???

    1. Shree… That’s called foolhardiness…. 😉
      You know a drowning person flails his arms and legs rapidly… Before taking the last breath the breathing becomes vigorous… Same here with Trent boy… 🙂

  47. I m so very very curious as to what Aman has garnered to preempt Sheetal’s breaking news. Changes on professional n personal front !!!! I m so excited.

    Arnav is so sure of Khushi. I like that. He needs to know she is irrevocably his. Probably was showing her how much he trusts her went he sent her up to meet Trent all by herself but also showed her he has got her back at all times. Good one girls 😍😘

    Payal n Trent really deserve each other. Both are so mighty delusional they need psychiatric help. U screw a woman over (quite literally), marry the bitch who was responsible for it, keep silent for 6 bloody years n expect one “I love u”, “I made a mistake” to change things!!!??? Does he have ANY brains at all!!! Jeez😱😱😱😱

    I love, love, absolutely love Khushi’s response. Take that u piece of 💩

  48. Ohhh…..that Trent Mathews…
    just check the audacity ov that man…
    well done khushi…
    n very well done arnav..the way he let go of his insecurities and allowed khushi to handle the matter….awsssmmmmm
    S&K ….plzzzzzz continue soon…
    eagerly waiting….

  49. I have a bad feeling about this Trent. I think he is aiming for Khushi’s inheritance and has been fooling the Guptas all along by playing the slow brained ass.
    Way to go Arnav. Just beat the shit out of him and chuck him in the garbage.

  50. I am so glad Trent is gone out of Khushi’s life. Can’t wait to read more! Waiting eagerly for the rest of the night to unfold 🙂

  51. I liked the way Arnav handled the whole Treat episode. Just the right amount of drama! Well done girls looking forward to more of FWN.

  52. Ah Trent… Tsk tsk tsk… you could have done the same at the beginning itself… As you were going to apologize anyway you could have at least had the benefit of benevolence of Khushi on your side if only you had been decent enough to apologize and move away and heeded Arnav’s words… but as the saying goes arguing with a fool only proves there are two… 😉 Anyway… the rug has been pulled from under the feet… He now knows Khushi is ASR’s… He cannot even dream of being a wedge forget about creating a chasm between ASR and Khushi’s trust… He has lost his source of moolah… both his post as well as his spouse…

    After the dark winter nights Arnav got the glimpse of the bright colorful days of spring with Khushi’s trust and unconditional love… He has seen faith on him in Khushi… seeing light with her heart even when darkness was shown in front of her eyes…

    Loved it S&K…

    Loved this update 3

  53. Wowie! Love how possessive Arnav is now. ‘My woman’ !!! Best part. They are so much in love with another. Simply can’t get enough. Arnavs frustration when they got interrupted was hilarious! Arnav is letting khushi solve her problem by letting her talk to Trent herself. I’m glad that khushi will finally move on from her past with Trent. As she said Arnav is the only man for her.

  54. Arnav has taken over Gupta n co… So that’s the breaking news. Any statement by Payal after this will sound like sour grapes on her part since it’s a hostile takeover. Well played indeed 👍👍👍. Just realised Trent said he will be free in 2 months time so he did sign the divorce petition on the basis of adultery!!! That asshole. I m so glad u have dealt with Trent for good. He just makes my blood boil. I m so glad he realises what he lost.

  55. Trent has a heart even though it is very weak. He loved Khushi but in his own free time. He wants every thing. Money, power ,name & KHUSHI too. Well it won’t always works like that. His spines are made of rubber. Any way I feel he is far better than PAYAL.

  56. At last Trent Matthews is out of the picture, even though he loved Khushi, he was not serious about her, it was just a flying cup of tea for me…
    I loved the part about how Arnav professionally deal with Trent
    Awesome update

  57. Well it was time indeed for the exit of Trent Mathews now kushi can close that bad chapter in her life…with a strong pillar of support of each other she and arnav can go through the next ones too…

  58. Finally good by to trent … U didn’t love her enough if u did than u n her would not be here … But im glad u didn’t….
    Awesome arnav came as khushis support and khushi his protection… N the trust she has on him …
    Oh so gupta n co is now arnavs that is khushis??? Wat is payal going to do???
    It is right where it belongs 🙂
    Awesome eagerly waiting for next

  59. Hit the road Trent and don’t you come back no more no more no more, hit the road Trent and don’t you come back no more… LMAO… sing it with me gals lol

    Finally that bastard chapter is closed whew lol…

    Hostile take of Gupta’s Co.. way to go arnav.. can’t wait to see payal’s face when she here about this hehehehe..

    Love the way arshi got each other backs .. the compassion, love, and trust they got for each other is just awesome and not to mention Arnie the possessiveness lol..

    Nice part gals keep em comimg

  60. bye bye trent…i am so proud of arnav and khushi here….they both compliment each other in many ways …loved the way they brought end to trent :)…in short u both girls doing wonders 🙂

  61. Well there’s just one thing that I can say for Treat and that is good riddance to bad rubbish.

  62. Well well well…Trent Matthews..at least he had the guts to try one more time. Hearing from her..how she would always chose arnav..was what he needed to hear. Kudos to arnav for letting her speak to him despite his misgiving. But anyway bye bye Trent!!!
    I am waiting for payals reaction to the takeover and of course her not so new talk show with sheetal (shitall!!😮)

  63. Bye Bye Mr Trent!! It was not so good to meet you even in FF world!! 🙂
    Ab 3 shikar baki Payal n Sheetal n HPD!!

    And Arnav owns GuptaCo. ??? Waiting to see Payal’s reaction.

  64. Now I’m eagerly waiting for the press con. The last part was amazing and this glimpse of how they are as a couple makes me crave for more. 🙂

  65. Loved this ASR in his You-Are-Mine-To-Love-Take-Care-Of-And-Protect-Today-Tomorrow-And-Always avatar!! He would keep her cocooned in the warmth of his arms. He would shield her from all kinds of demons. Even the ones from her past, if and when they decide to travel in time and haunt her present.

    You know, I am totally for women’s lib. Admire a girl with a spine. Cos, that is exactly how I am. But I have no qualms in proclaiming that I absolutely praise a no-nonsense, badass, protective partner. Of course, OTT chauvinism is a repellent. But I must say, a man who would not let anything or anyone lay a finger on his woman, is in a way exposing his fragility, his alarm at the thought of her being in any kind of danger. And THAT’S kinda sweet and HOT!

    A man like ASR, who recognises his Khushi as his equal. Who has already picked out the leadership qualities in her. In returning the voting shares to her, he has opened avenues for her to further explore and exploit those qualities. However, she would achieve her targets with Aman and NK’s constant guidance and support and above all he himself would be her safeguard. Now why would I mind a caveman like that?!?

    What goes around, comes around doesn’t it? I mean Shashi had been the father figure in Arnav’s life and today Arnav and his bros are Khushi’s mentors. Oh I love it when life comes a full circle. 🙂

  66. Arnav is very loyal and ardent when it comes to ppl who had help him to be one of the most successful business man, and the one of the major thing I like about his character in this story.. he might be hard headed and egoist, but always remember where he’s coming from… and that is why I’m glad that shashi was one of those ppl who had help him reach the at the top today…

    Shashi would be a happy and proud father today to know that his company is NW in arnav hands because he knows he will take it to higher heights along side with is daughter khusi.. at last khusi finally get her rights to be where her father wants her to be to fulfill his and her dream along the way …

    “Reading the answer on her face, Arnav grinned. She’s going to be chasing after your heels, Shashi.” Arnav it couldn’t have said any better..

    Tnx hunny bunnies for update keep em coming 😀

  67. The legacy of Shashi lives and thrives…
    Both Garima and Payal had been delusional to think that they were the sole rightful bearers of his legacy… Its Khushi and Arnav… the true custodians who had given him his happiness and sense of having a progeny to whom he was happy to bequeath his empire… Arnav, he knew, would be the umbrella under which Khushi could face the torrential rains pelted by Payal and Garima and come out on the leeward side… Waiting with glee for the press con and its aftermath… 😉

  68. Arnav is doing all this for Khushi 🙂
    Can’t wait to see Payal’s reaction after the press con 😉

  69. Mavarlous update on Part 4
    I’m so glad that Shashi helped Arnav before…
    I love this character of Arnav which he does not forget who helps him and always repay them back with much more.
    Continue soon dearies😘

  70. arnav….a real hero…
    doing so much for his love…
    payal’s reaction would be worth watching…
    waiting with bated breath for the press conference…

  71. I am having A LOT of Happiness feels!!!! *squealing* And just when I thought she couldn’t be more adorable, she goes above and beyond!!!
    It’s amazing become an entirely different person, when they are with each other. That just shows how amazingly you have mapped out your characters, and that you actually care about them so much. It’s really heartening! 🙂
    Oh and I totally agree with Arnav. If you can’t protect what’s yours, you certainly don’t deserve it.
    And Trent actually believes he can love her!!?? After what he did!!! He’s been living in denial and delusion! Oh well, at least Khushi shut him up for good, this time! (Y)
    AND!! Press Con!!! Wooohoooo!!!! Arnav and Khushi were so protective of each other here, and that was only when confronted by Mathews. Them against the world! It’ll be a delight to read, I am sure!
    Keep up the amazing work guys!

  72. Fantastic update. Loved the showdown between arnav and Trent when arnav clearly declared that he won’t tolerate Trent disrespecting khushi and his relationship. Also, really liked the fact that khushi physically stood up for arnav so Trent wouldn’t hurt him and also showed her complete trust for arnav when she declared to Trent that arnav must have had a reason for taking over Gupta and co. Loved the passion and trust between arnav and khushi. Brilliantly written and now I can’t wait for the press conference !! 🙂 ship13(IF)

  73. Oh my God, i m falling more and more in love with this Arnav day by day..he is so possesive , powerful and in love. and most of all , grateful for all the help he has recieved from shashi ,and i m so glad khushi is shashi’s daughter. that was a beauftiul twist.
    just live the chemistery that you have created. cant wait for more

  74. I loved it. The update was beautiful. Arnav and Khushi are beautiful. They have come a long way from hiding their innermost emotions to sharing all their thoughts and vulnerabilities. I just love these two. They have grown up in love.
    I can’t believe that Trent expects Khushi to come back to him after what he did and after how long he let her all by herself, not giving a damn about how she is living all alone, surviving on her own. He had no shame that he took so many years and not some days. He surely has guts to ask Khushi why she gave Arnav a chance when he himself has wronged her in such a crude way.

  75. Payback time to clear all debts and settle all the payments before they start their new journey as partners, it’s looking really good, Arnav standing beside her well written waiting for the next part

  76. Shashi’s soul will surely rest in peace now.
    Although he could never publicly acknowledge Khushi as his daughter, he made sure she had a guardian angel in the form of Arnav who would protect his daughter as well as his legacy.
    can’t wait for the next update!

  77. Finally I managed to finish reading till the last part….I took so much of time reading this because I delayed reading the last few chapters as much as I could. …I never wanted this reading to end…I am so engrossed in the characters and story that I have started feeling them as real….I love each and every character and I can’t express how much…
    I love the bond they share…the men bond. ..the girls bond…its all so beautiful. ..it makes me realise that such pure and honest relationships makes life worth living. ..
    I loved that little lavanya and arnav scene..the way he expressed his sorry…and then she hugged him..it was an awwwww moment for me…I so want to read more of them….I just hope u r not planning to end this nights series just yet…can’t imagine it ending so sooon…
    Also I love nk and robbie. ..nk is very straightforward. ..he doesn’t sugar coat things..he states the facts and knows how to deal with them. .he made robbie realise that she needs to share khushi now and the way robbie made peace with letting her friend go to have a life of her own was beautiful. ….everyone deserves such friendship…life will be so easy then…
    Shyam’s truth came as a big shock…shock because I never expected this . ..that explains his animosity towards arnav and aman…he has his own demons with which he is dealing since long…and to have a father who wouldn’t understand his own son can be destroying. …I feel bad for him now…I wish he opens up to anjali again…he will realise that he is wanted and loved. …
    Lastly arnav’s final answer to Trent Matthews…this was what was expected of Arnav. ..nothing less than this would have been justified. ..he won’t bear anyone messing with khushi’s life and if one does he would go to any extent to make that person suffer…..I am so happy that he acquired khushi’s company back and not only that she will soon lead that company with his guidance…what a perfect lover he is….
    Waiting for the press conference now..surely many explosions are bound to happen. .hehehe
    Continue soon…

  78. I feel like those impatient kids who drive their parents crazy with ‘are we there yet?’ on a long drive. I keep refreshing even though i saw the note that you would be updating this weekend. Its like an addiction with no cure 🙂 Waiting with lots of impatience 🙂

  79. Girls where are you hiding??? I am abt to file Missing persons report!!!! and my refresh button is gonna sue me for abuse!!

  80. I am glad I found this….how do I get invited to the VIP lounge and read all the other stories?

  81. Hey girls where u both at… been doing #refreshhell like for ever lol.. don’t let me have to come hunt you guys down like assassins hehehehehehe:D

    Seriously thou gals hope you both are doing OK and all is well, take your time in whatever you gals are doing even thou am about to blow a fuse if you both don’t update soon hehehehehe… but know suhm is up else you gals would have update already

    P.S don’t let use wait for too long else I will have to send some hound dogs to track you gals down Lmao rotfl hehehehehe.. keep safe …

  82. I didn’t notice anymore updates so please update soon.
    Loved this chapter
    Arnav letting Khushi go up alone to meet Trent shows how far along Arnav has come with regards to his trust issue.

    Hope everything if well and that there will be an update soon

  83. Awesome update. Finally Trent made his appearance. He thought khushi wil run to his arms. Poor man.. serves ryt… nw waiting fr d press conference. Y so much tym fr d 3 musketeers to appear in frnt of press.. I hope der s smthng huge der..

  84. Pay back time has arrive for Garima and Payal…
    Shashi soul rest in peace
    I am so happy that Arnav acquired khushi’s company back and not only that she will soon lead that company with his guidance,their new journey as partners

  85. sorry sorry…. have been away for a while, havent gotta a chance to check mails…… finally i’m here…… and i’ve missed reading FWN…… another beautiful night……. amazing ArShi moment….. i just LOVE this possessive Raizada…… and this strong Khushi…… the way both of them tackled that Trent, its fabulous…… and loved her immense trust on him…… also the way he saved her dad’s legacy…… its wonderful…….. lovely update…… waiting to see more……

    1. Shree… S &K had started to come to this place but suddenly they forgot where to go… Here is what happened….

      S & K asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do we take?”

      The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”

      “We don’t know,” they answered.

      “Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

      As soon as they took up a route that was not leading to this spot it said, “We are all mad here…”

      So blame the cat for misleading them by implying all roads lead to Rome….

      BTW… I was not talking about your Ms, Kitti 😉

      If Semanti is here… maybe she is that CheshireBilli…. 😉

        1. Hey! Are you clairvoyant??? How did you know I have chubby Cheeks????
          I have a dimples too… 😉

    2. Hi gals ,
      Recently came over this beautiful , mind blowing , intense , passionate , breathtaking , emotional arhi tale…though late I m glad I have reached till its still going on…n believe I M in love with this amazing piece of work…You two are super brilliant at your work and Such is the magic of our beloved arhi , that brings this madness out from every crazy ipkkdians , may it be in form of talented writers , ardent readers or silent likers….
      Love the humorous, witty dialogues , the inneudoes 😉 , the not so decent language ;-))(at times) , the passionate nights , the soulful connect , the magical , mystical love , the three studs ,their deadly combo , their beautiful friendship ,..n the list is endlesss. .. …..

      Love the way you have potrayed each n every character , strong n charismatic…

      Mrs Raizada : the elderly mature , understanding and affectionate matriarch…her strong aura n personality is too impressive !!
      Aman : A caring brother n a great support for family with a very kind heart .not to forget he is damn cute ..though would like to see him;-)
      NK : A loyal P.A and best friend one could always wish for..Love his resources , ever helping nature, fast thinking , the mind games and the humor behind his verses..
      Robbie : Aww she is a darling ..yes indeed a doll but a daring one ;-).A saviour , a friend and a loving sister to khushi , she plays her role perfectly….Would like to know more of her as a crazy lover too;-)
      Anjali : a perfect shy lover who tamed the wild playboy..There’s certain warmth n love in her character..though would like to know her more. Probably in bikinis n swim wears;-)
      Khushi : A pure , innocent ,loving , beautiful soul , the gorgeous Jalpari or Arnavs mermaid exclusively sent by gods to cool the raging ocean and mould within it as it flows. …
      Arnav Singh Raizada : The enigma in himself ..The Greek god , incredibly hot n sauve , highly attractive ; ruthless , arrogant but a man with a golden heart and a knight In shinning armour for his damsel in distress…love him beyond imagination. …
      Great to be with you through this incredible journey …n hope I qualify soon , as I don’t want to miss even a part of this awesome story ..:-)

  86. found the story yesturday and completed reading in one go.awesome story.arnav aman nk is awesome threesome .arnav and khushi made4eachother.robbie everyone needs a protective friend like her.anjali is so sweet and aman awesome.i love nani .very strong character payal made plans to destroy khushi and her own life got spoiled.wonderful story with fantactic characters.one of my favourites.please pm me when you update next part.eagerly waiting..please sent me the the link to VIP.

  87. Hope u gals are well!! Hoping u update soon…my refresh button is gonna go on strike soon, I am slowly losing my hair (from all that pulling) and my mind from severe withdrawal symptoms coz I’m not getting a fix 😩😩😜😜

  88. The fact that you girls have been lying dormant for so many days is very unusual. They say ‘Silence is Golden’. Nope, don’t agree. Definitely not when over a coupla hundred of your reader-friends are waiting for a word from you, worried due to the inactivity. What’s up in your world, Girls? I hope the sun shines so brightly on your AD that you emerge from the hibernation and let us know that all is well with the both of you. <3

  89. A song dedication to my evil duo.

    Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx

    Ocean’s apart day after day
    And I slowly go INSANE
    Wherever you go
    Whatever you do
    I will be right here waiting for you
    Whatever it takes
    Or how my heart breaks
    I will be right here waiting for you

    Now hurry the hell back to us!

    1. Love this song very much and it’s an apt dedication.

      Where hv you been, my dear Holmes? Was missing you. 🙂

        1. Now that this place is brimming with activity, am good. Only if S makes an appearance …. Kinda missing her.

  90. No update again 🙁 ..thts it . I m not coming back here till at least another month.. ta..

    1. I’m rather disappointed to see a comment like this here. As much as I love this story, it’s important to recognize that K & S have obligations outside of writing an Arshi ff. That should be respected.

      1. Don’t be disappointed pyreoftomes…
        As they say… Life is too ironic to fully understand it…
        It takes sadness to know what happiness is…
        Noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence… 😉
        Expect nothing and appreciate everything… 🙂

  91. this weekend gone as well…please let us know if everything fine at your end …i will keep coming back everyday to hear from you

  92. What the hell is happening? I thought I would be so delayed in commenting and Night 11 would be up by now… but where have you girls disappeared?? Well let me first comment of parts 3 and 4…. I am so so happy with the way Arnav dealt with Trent. No loud words or angry outburst…. simple cold delivery of the most important information that would ruin Trent’s career and life. I loved how Khushi stood up for Arnav and her trust only intensifies his love for her. Trent realizes what all he has lost on the way to gain more money and power… He is finally out of the picture and I can’t be more happier. Its so good to finally see that Khushi will get what was rightfully hers. The business acumen of Arnav is praise worthy and I cannot but feel a little jealous of Khushi. She deserves everything that has come her way… a little late but then they say you have to wait for the best things in life. Their ease, love, trust and comfort within each others arms is so adorable and I am so so excited to see how they are going to face the cruel nasty world… with specimens like Sheetal and Payal.

    Now coming back to your missing status… please girls… if you can manage… just put up a small note about your well-being. The story can wait but I really hope all is well in your part of the world. I can see so many others restless and worried about the same. Take care and god bless!! Hoping to hear something from you’ll soon!!

  93. I’m glad you are ok. Can’t read 5 now since I’m at work but a random refresh got me to see the note. I’m so happy to see you back !

  94. The wait for part five was painful but worth it! Loved the development in Arnav & Lavanya’s relationship–it was small but significant! I’m glad Arnav is truly making Lavanya part of his family! 🙂

  95. Good start as far as the press conference goes. But this seems sort of incomplete as an update.

  96. woah you girls are back!!!
    The press conference was a dhamaka just as expected…Finally Lavanya is getting accepted .the Raizadas are revealing a little bit of everything,which will give the press to speculate…
    I cant wait to read more!!

  97. Welcome BK gals… thought I would have to come dig you guys up from under those papers.. lol ..

    So finally the press conference as emerge…
    The 3 star boys step in together ehhh… supporting each other till the end.

    lavanya finally get accepted and the respect she deserve, love the support Aman gave her by holding her hands.. #siblingbonding..

    Aman and arnav always have each other BK, .. #rideordiebros

    Great update girls keep em coming

  98. I will be here, though in the backdrop most of time, but I will be here awaiting for you girls to update. Take as long as you need, life comes first. 🙂 Thank you for the 5th part of night 11, now off I go to read it. 🙂

  99. Hallelujah!!! you updated…thank you for that. I was going stir crazy and abusing my refresh button. I really mean abusing 😀

    I am thrilled that Sheetal has been effectively shut down. Trent is out, Sheetal is out, Payal has just lost her platform on the show (jumping around in glee here) BUT I am still dying to read about her response. Bet that witch is gonna combust

  100. Yay!! This is double whammy…. you girls are back… hale and hearty!! And we get the press-con plus a big blow to Sheetal. I absolutely love these three strong, powerful yet different men. They have their own nuances, distinct characteristics… yet when they stand besides each other… they are like a strong wall… together. I love how Aman is being sensitive towards Lavanya. Poor innocent girl has had to face a lot of flak throughout her life. It is good to see her brothers, stand up to defend her. While Aman is vocal about his affections, Arnav is like a sturdy fortress, shielding her from any harm. She is finally in the safe cocoon of her family and I am sure she will fit perfectly in.

    I love Arnav’s innuendo about connecting the wrong dots. He is too delicious when he is in the ASR form… and the resurfacing of Arnav version of him, every now and then, only adds to my love for him!! Do I sound smitten? Well I am!! And now to the sick woman… Sheetal. She is over… just like trent. I like NK’s dialogues deliveries… they hit hard and are punctuated in such a way that leaves no room for doubt about his intentions. I am glad Sheetal was given an option to save her ass… because it was definitely not the Raizada style to demean a woman publicly. I am anxious to know how the third spoke in this psycho wheel, Payal… going to react to all that has happened. I want to see a faceoff between Payal and Khushi… because even if Arnav had made all of these decisions… it is the sisters-hatred that has caused so many criss crossing threads.

    Girls… can I tell you how much you were missed…. 😀

    1. And have I told you lately how much I look forward to your comments? Never fails to bring a giant grin 😀

      A smitten mints? *fist pump*

      I couldn’t agree more. While we’ve skirted around this point throughout the story, a sisterly showdown is definitely in order. I think we can promise some explosions…..although how everyone fares after the smoke clears out is very much up in the air 😉

  101. So claws has been pulled out of the imposter tigers and it turns out to be hyenas…
    Arnav’s ultimatum for Sheetal is do it my way or its highway for you…. only difference is that highway lead to a game park… For Payal its a rug pulled from under her feet… Her assumption that she held all the cards has made an ass of her… Now she neither has the platform nor the listeners for her whine… Her bitterness towards Khushi has eaten her up and has made her loose Gupta and Co… For Lavanya its a gain curve… Gaining two plus one brothers… For Khushi its public acknowledgement that Arnav is on a serious note of forging a relation with a Gupta progeny…

    Loved it S&K

  102. I am so glad you guys are back! And with a bang too!
    Aman and Arnav supported Lavanya in their own ways, that is reflective of their personality! It’s great to see Arnav extend the meaning of his family to include Lavanya. 🙂
    And Sheetal’s cornered! I hope she’s learned her lesson! And I can’t wait for the Payal-Khushi showdown! (It’s good she’s not going on Sheetal’s show. Though I think she’s not going to be too happy with the last minute replacement!)

  103. sorry for the late comment….
    The way Arnav dealt with Trent was fab… and trent,,, apart from all the stupid things he did in past, he has done a big mistake of disturbing Arnav at the wrong time when he is half naked:-))
    Glad that chap of khushi is closed…. wonder how payal is taking the news..

    Proud of Lavanya…. loved the way she seeked support from Aman and tried to be confident… waiting for a pic of Aman,Arnav n la…
    After Arnavs apology she didn’t mock him, instead hugged him… she does love them a lot in her own way.
    And dear Sheetal, what a wrong move on Arnavs conf table… dug ur own grave and missed a golden chance of bringing payal on the show..
    wen r we gonna get the bullet update… hope la isnt hurt.
    and when are we gonna deal with shyam … no wonder he is avoiding anji,,, its not easy for any person to be seen in such a compromising position.

  104. 6th Part was fab…
    Sheetal is shown her place… Arnav can do anything for his lady love…
    Payal is really gonna be pissed 😀
    Loved it

  105. Very nice.. I loved the warmth that the brothers showed lavanya. I knew aman wud always support her. But I hadnt expected arnav to stand up wen she was cornered. It showed that he cared and that he had rally accepted her..
    Sheethal..strike out. Don think she’s gonna come back.
    Next comes Payal. Wonder whats in store for her.

  106. You came back at last.I have been stalking this story for a while now. It is wonderful how raizadas handled the press conf. Khushi’s existense is still a secret. How he is going to lash out at Payal. I am waiting to see

  107. Ohh come back, where u tiptoeing out huh? :,) welcome back, and that too with a bang, that went well , let’s see how aman and Anjali bull doze Sheetal. And where’s payal, sharpening claws may be?

  108. Loved the update !! Making a fool of sheetal was such a treat …. Loved the fact that arnav set sheetal up and her entire seduction was recorded !! Ha ! Ha ! Serves her right for trying to be over smart !! The conference was awesome, good that lavanya finally gained acceptance !! Looking forward to aman and Anjali’s interview and payal being chucked out !! 🙂 ship13(IF)

  109. For starters, please accept heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the entire womankind for giving us such a hot MIB trio. 😉

    Now coming to the updates.

    One thing an individual can never get used to is being alone. It is just human psychology to be desirous of a family. To be surrounded by people who make us feel loved and who accept us for who we are. Familial bonds have the power to brave and defeat any complications and hardships that life throws at us.
    I am very happy when Lavanya, a woman wronged both by her blood and the circumstances surrounding her, finally got her merited position in her family.

    Moving over to Sheetal. A perfect example of how a person’s manic drive to wreak vengeance overshadows both prudence and cognition. Arnav in ASR mode always plays his cards right and emerges a winner regardless of the hand dealt. Thus he would certainly hold the ace of trumps to eviscerate his adversary when his Khushi’s dignity and safety was in balance. DUH!!
    Sheetal’s grossly underestimated the Shaatir Dimag !!

  110. Yay! An update! The raizadas handled the press conference with so much confidence and ease. The best part has to be the way both brothers try to reassure lavanya that thy are with her. Arnav accepting her has to be a dream come true. Family is what lavanya has been craving for all her life. This is the effect khushi has had on Arnav.
    Finally sheetal was dealt with. And that too without arnavs presence. She was all talk. Omg Payal is going To lose it! Cannot wait for the next one!

  111. well what if it comes late it does come with a Bang..poor Sour Sheetal….ab jangli billi na kaam ki na kaaj ki….i wonder what he would do to Payal..

  112. Yet to comment on update 5 and 6.
    But after you updated 4 the changes in mood in Peanut gallery-
    Excitement, Anticipation, Waiting,Anxious, Frustrated, Angry, Worried, Afraid..
    Then when 5 came up – Disbelief.. 6- Relief.. Hush.. You girls are there..

  113. great update! Finally all the wheels are running towards the culmination of things. Glad that arnav has accepted lavanya as part of the family too
    Awesome update girls…looking forward to the next one

  114. Loved the press conference. Arnav expertly shifted attention from Lavanya and their familial ties to the business and then to the personal equation between Arnav & Khushi without giving too much information about the latter yet giving them something to read between the lines.
    And their team has successfully made Sheetal remove Payal from her panel too. Awesome work.

  115. Wow I guess that Payal is a hard nut to crack… just for now anyways.. can’t wait to see her been kick to the curve for good uffff!!!

    Nice update gals keep em coming 😀

  116. You updated!!!!!!

    Payal is staying true to herself. Never expected her to give in easily as she has nothing to lose anyway. A woman who set her own step sister for a fall whilst still in high school can only have grown more vicious time.

    I hope you give Payal a befitting bitter end. Nobody deserves it more. At least Trent acted out of weakness and Sheetal was delusional but Payal has no excuses.

    Can’t wait to read more. Please do update a.s.a.p. I kinda go crazy when I don’t get my fix timely 😀 😀 😀

    1. Yup! You gals have been so wonderfully patient, it only adds to the ever growing guilt 😀

      In Payal’s mind it all makes sense. I can’t wait for see what you think of it when we finally reveal her thoughts. But for now, I think it’s time to veer into some romance… and more importantly to some – bromance territory 😉

  117. Payal is one stubborn woman..she is not willing to give up and to claim her so called rights she can go to any extent…
    I thought Arnav has everything in control then why the hell is Payal not accepting the facts..I mean he is the major share holder now right?

    P.S:Surprised to see that the blog has been made private,but thanks a lot for the invitation.

      1. Appreciate it. It was a hard decision, but there was a lot of headache yesterday, and we are currently very moody over the abuse of our trust. I don’t like private blogs, so as soon as we find a solution, it’ll be made public again.

        So things will be fairly quiet in the peanut gallery since S and I realize there are only a very small group of people we wanted to invite 😀

          1. Do not underestimate this small group dears!! If we time it right rulama(Rashmi) and I can make it roll.. 🙂

          2. Yes we are small but high energy group…. oh yes… You know how nuclear fission takes place,,, All starts with a nuclei and you have chosen something like U235 and P239… 😉

    1. Arnav is the majority shareholder, however Payal still own shares. As a matter of justice he wants THOSE exact shares to revert back to Khushi, not just the 15% he purchased for her. Our guy likes his pound of flesh 😀

    2. He’s trying to reason with an unreasonable woman… this should be the expected result! 😉

      Of course, we do enjoy your company meera! I doubt we’ll keep it private for long. I’m not nearly as pissed off as I was yesterday, but a few days of shimmering down is good for everyone.

  118. I know closing off the blog must be killing you K, but it makes sense to me. I can’t believe that after all this time, people think they can actually get away with plagiarizing a fanfic. Lazy and in poor taste. Anyway, thank you for not punishing the rest of us. 🙂

    (Mel is still in Canada, she’ll be back this weekend to share thoughts on ‘her’ chapter lol)

    I’ve been waiting for Payal’s part to comment. Trent and Sheetal’s ending was perfect. One never had a backbone to start with and the other is too selfish to make any real sacrifice for her supposed love towards Arnav. She is so insignificant, Arnav doesn’t even bother to show up in person. How perfect is that?

    I agree with mints23’s comment about NK’s delivery style. It’s always so on point!

    The press con was awesome! You made an interesting choice in choosing Lavanya’s point of view. The small (but significant!) support she received from her brothers was so heartwarming. She’s finally where she belongs and I trust that time will allow this bond to blossom fully.

    Back to Payal….I’m rather glad she’s putting up a fight. It’s true to her character, but it does make me wonder why she hates Khushi that deeply. I hope Night 12 will provide an answer to this.

    Now, can we get to the wedding and more importantly the honeymoon? Aman and I are both waiting with baited breath!

    1. My exact thoughts, Holmes. I mean Payal’s hatred runs quite deep.
      Just as you, I too admire her. I mean, single handedly she is willing to take on the AR behemoth. An audacious woman with some serious mettle!!

      This is exactly what I love about FWN. The individual personality traits have never been compromised. From the inception of the tale to the now near completion, not once has any character been tampered with. That and the fact that FWN women are very feisty and resilient. Which makes me want to truly appreciate even the spiteful Payal!! Take a bow S & K.

      1. Priya! Man I totally miss spending time here.
        You like them feisty do ya? … no surprise there. It’s a good thing we like to cook them up that way then 😛

    2. LOL I love how you know it’s K who’s agonizing. It was such an easy decision for me, took less then a second 😀 Well, we always knew it was a possibility, facing it though just made me pissy as hell.

      Focus on thoughts of weddings and honeymoons and we’ll mull on Ms. Gupta’s reason for her angst 😛 But yes, promise you we will indeed address this on the eve of FWN’s final night!

    3. Don’t you think that the father whom you look up to neglects you and thinks of the child of his second family is always taken precedence in his mind though not directly physically is enough of a reason for the green monster to raise its head… Moreover seeing the bitterness between mom and dad is itself enough to side the mother as the child would be more in contact with the mother all day through and her dad may be missing from the house days together to be with his other family… Though it happened for a brief period of time only its impact on the child would be lot more… Khushi would be the reminder for her of all that she lost and her dad sharing his wealth between them would be unbearable… When this could happen between siblings is it strange to happen between step sisters??? Payal would have loved to be the center of attention everywhere… She would have thought she is the heir apparent since childhood… But when the rug would have pulled with Khushi being the benefactor in his Will… will keep quiet??? Won’t Garima look at the benefits for her daughter only when she was in the marriage for the name as well as monetary benefits that came along with status?

      Why has Payal married Trent? Not because she loved him and he was useful in her business but because Khushi loved him and he loved Khushi but he was spineless to stand up for his love… This knowledge had been her power… Her world is I, me, mine, myself… The rest are all peripherals… She is a strong woman… She doesn’t play victim, nor make herself look pitiful but tries to deal with it… Though it is correct or not is another matter altogether… 😉

      1. So, so lucid. It’s like you have delved into Payal’s subconcious and figured out why she is the way she is. We tend to read a story, especially a fairy tale with the prince and the princess being the focus and their HEA being the ultimate culmination. But the same tale when perused from another character’s perspective, especially a gray one, makes you wanna look at the story from a whole new angle. The world indeed is not black or white, is it? We all have gray in us.

      2. This is so well worded rulama! You’ve managed to delve directly into Payal’s psyche and revealed the darkness within. I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment.

        When one’s world is defined by “I, me mine and myself” there is little room for any other consideration. Although, I admit to a grudging respect for how she refuses to compromise on her belief. How many people, particularly women, would dare face off against an revenge seeking Arnav Singh Raizada? It can definitely be counted on one hand!

        If she could only learn to love with the strength of her hate, how different her life would be. I believe that is our duo’s intention. Two sisters, two very different lives carved from personal choices. Payal could have had everything, yet she herself pushed those blessings away. I do hope there will be a moment of realization in her reckoning.

        1. Pyreoftomes…If she could only learn to love with the strength of her hate, how different her life would be.
          This is where Khushi comes in…
          When something bad happens, you have three choices…
          You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you…
          Khushi has chosen the first in the beginning and the last one at the right time… Payal chose the last one thinking that she is strengthening herself by trying to destroy Khushi but was laying the solid base for her own destruction…

          Payal is of thought that she is the puppet master… but in reality it is Khushi… She is twisting Payal around her little finger… Why do I say so?… All Payal’s thoughts are Khushi centric… She is trying to counter every move of Khushi… wants to grab everything Khushi has…. she had made the headway for sometime but sadly it is like hitting her head on to a rock now because her mallet has struck a vein of iron covering called Arnav Singh Raizada along with two others flanking him… She is yet to realize the extent of protective covering though Khushi is quite powerful in her own way… 😉

          1. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I loved this exchange ladies! This is why we are so slow to update. You keep feeding us ideas with your wonderful comments!

          2. An excellent way of putting it rulama. I can’t agree more about your analogy of the puppet master. Payal’s obsession with Khushi dictates her life. She has no free will, and sadly, she isn’t even aware of it.

            I can almost see the cliff looming right before her, unless she opens her eyes, it’ll be a deadly drop down to the bottom.

  119. Unlike Sheetal Payal is going to be difficult. Handling her may prove to be a little difficult for Arnav. She too has dirt on his family and would expose her unmindful of her own family or name.

  120. Oh boy! Is she going to be a tough nut to crack or will she dig a hole deeper than she can ever climb up… Payal is one bitter soul… Bitterness… the result of clinging to negative experiences… Has she not heard that it serves her no good and closes all the doors leading towards future… Does she think she has a leverage over Khushi??? Living in fallacy cherished…
    That was a good one S & K…
    Thanks for the invite…

  121. Payal turned out to be what I had guessed and somewhat hoped for, it makes FWN what it is. 🙂 What I am truly hoping to unfold is how will she be finally overturned and by whom? For once, I hope she be dealt with by Khushi and not Arnav. That would be a fitting end. Shazam! 😛

    Sheetal got what she deserved, that is all I will say about her.

    Thank you ladies for continuing to bring us closer to the Finale of FWN despite of running into plagiarism that has taken away so many amazing writers from this fandom. Sigh… Hope you girls are successful at resolving the security issue.

  122. Ab aaya na kahani mein spice. The twisted Payal… I want to see what she has in her mind to ruin her sister. I am sure anything that she plans is only going to bring forth the spark and fire in Khushi. An angry ASR is worth a million bucks… but a livid Khushi is just as entertaining. Payal has reached the state where no logic and sense works for her. Her hatred is so deep-rooted that she cannot think beyond it. I wish she had someone like Aman and NK… who would knock sense into her brain… like Arnav has most of the times. Even though I hate her with vengeance, I also feel sorry for her loneliness. Its not a good place to be when the most important men in your life… your father… your husband… have loved your sister more than you. I do hope everyone finds their peace somehow.

    When I first got your mail about making this blog private… I was like phew! I found you’ll before you’ll became untraceable. I would have hated to have missed out on these wonderful winter nights…. that is how much I love this story!! Will be waiting to see the catfight… as much as the bromance in this story has been interesting… I think a catfight would be just as much fun! 😉

  123. Lovely bonding between the 3gals.. love the way khusi and Robbie made angeli feel comfortable in their pack.. eehhh bikini, lace and sex talk… can’t get any lol…..

    Thanks for the lovely update girls… update soon

  124. Oh boy! 15! *rubbing my hands with glee*
    Thank you…
    You know I loved this update…
    Not because of the bonding between the three but because the way Khushi’s heart went out to Payal…. Knowing that she will be unable to reach out to Payal without disturbing the equilibrium her thought to reach out to Garima is a master stroke to diffuse the anger in Payal which was stoked by Garima herself in the first place… Now that Garima knows that her daughter is not in a win-win position she will not let her develop lose-lose situations… For her in reality… Khushi is the sole anchor and life jacket… whether she accepts it as life line or a gauntlet is up to her…

  125. It feels like I’m back home 🙂 I missed it so much the last few days when I had no access to it and went into depression 🙂 well part of it was also a lot of things happening in my real life too but anyway I’m so happy to be back and I have to catch up on the updates. Thank you so much 🙂

    1. Hey, Shyamidutt. Life has this uncanny ability to jolt us from our happy place, every now and then. We just gotta embrace life with all its uncertainties. And accepting becomes a lil easier when we have a beautiful Arshi fic acting as a portal to the land of dreams. God bless all the wonderful writers who give us an alternate universe to escape to.

      Welcome back. A big hug from this family. Hope the obstacles are sorted out soon and you once again become the happy bunny you ought to be. 🙂

      1. Aww thank you 🙂 Yes it’s so true and it definitely makes things easier if there is a beautiful Arshi fic like this to make everything better. I am facing the beginning low of the empty nest syndrome:(. Both my daughters have jobs now and moved out to far away places on either end of the east coast. It will take me sometime to adjust and FWN helps so I felt a little lost when it suddenly disappeared but all is well now thanks to S&K :). Thank you so much Priya, a big hug right back to you 🙂

        1. Ahhh you’re pulling at our guilt strings.
          While I can’t relate, I’m glad FWN is serving such a purpose.
          Your daughters are heading towards a beautiful life sweetheart, let’s wave them off with a kiss and many many happy tidings. It is one of the hardest job of a mother yeah? *deep crushing hug*

        2. There are many years to go before my little ones spread their wings and take flight. Yet, I cannot help but be apprehensive of the day when they finally leave the nest. It’s gonna be one bitter-sweet moment. 🙂

          Best wishes to your daughters. May the wings of their dreams take them to many many great heights. 🙂

  126. Well I wonder how fowl payal is going to play…..Arnav should know that payal would go to any extend to destroy kushi……
    It’s wonderful to see kushi n Robbie bond with Anjali. after all they will be soul to the trio…3 musketeers..

  127. After a lot of frustrated attempts at refresh and ‘Request Access’ finally I got in. So thanks SnK for that!
    Oh.. Payal seems tough one to crack!! But whats the fun in a cake-walk for MIBs??? She may not be formidable but Payal seems a tough opponent! “You dont hve any dirt on me” seems too confident.. So Game is ON.. and became more interesting!
    I hope Khushi reaching out to Garima will not reduce the fun quotient!! 😉

    1. I second this. While I’m all for Garima finally making an appearance and provide some insights, I want a Khushi v. Payal moment.
      GAME ON guys!

    2. Ah, but the important thing is you’re in the rabbit hole yes? 😀
      When Payal has her last moments, I shall expect sufficient commentary from you dear Shree!

  128. Girls bonding well, no better setting than this, and that too at home!!!!!. Gosh I so so hate those trial rooms they have in malls, so small and so congested, *shudder*

  129. That was a rocking update! The story is getting more and more interesting. No wonder I’m thoroughly addicted! Looks like Payal is going to trouble Khushi a little longer. I can’t wait for the wedding and the twists and turns you have planned for us 🙂

  130. Babes! What the hell! How come every time I look away for a brief moments, you two are caught up in shenanigans? 😀 We’ll chat privately about the other stuff, but now to my chapter! And I’m getting a total of 15 parts? Yes!

    Just when I thought you made things too easy for our pair, you gave us Hurricane Payal. 😛 I’m excited to see just what she’s capable of. Especially now that the completely weak sauce Trent is out of the picture.

    I loved the press conference. From telling it through La’s point of view to that tiny moment of genuine warmth from both Aman and Arnav towards their sister, then to follow it up with the NK wham-bam on Sheetal. lol Well played!

    If you can’t tell, I’m reeking with jealousy. Victoria’s Secret personally delivered? Those lucky, lucky girls. This conversation reminded me of one I had with my close friends in college. Yes, a very long time ago for Mel. 🙂 Robbie is so solid and I love how Anjali has been taken into the fold. I’m expecting some hijinks during the honeymoon! 😉

    1. I see that’s where everyone’s mind is… we’re going to have to make sure honeymoon is delivered bang on with steam and well… STEAM! =p

  131. S & K, after the girl’s night and bikini trials and all the black lace talk, I demand a detailed Arshi honeymoon and also a sneak peak of Anji giving Aman her flower!! (Line by Monica from FRIENDS!!)
    A few words that can serve as inspiration – moonlight, ocean, thongs, skinny-dipping, mile high club…. etc etc. 😉

    1. Mmmmmm…. that’s a lot of inspiration.

      I think something caught fire at the deadly combo of moonlight, ocean and skinny dipping 😉

  132. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” … so we all can see where Payal got that bitchy attitude fr ufffff!!! Is garima fa efffing real… asking khusi to leave arnav HUH? Yup its all clear to me now that bitch has gone MAD really really MAD!!!

    Yes khusi like the way you are standing up for yourself. Showing that bitch of a stepmother you ain’t the 18yr old girl anymore that she can trample over psssshhh..

    Arnav entry doe..”You’re damned lucky I like what I just heard, otherwise you’ve earned yourself a spanking for this.” I think I would like to see arnav spanking khusi Lmao.. wow I think my mind just drift off a bit, getting a grip of myself yes… hehehehehe

    Yes back to arnav… he’s always there to justify for khusi even thou she can handle herself but with him there everying just falls in the place.. they got each other back always ..

    So it was always jealousy and evny from garima end smh but one thing she doesn’t know that love always win about all..

    Nice update girls keep em coming .. always on refresh mode lol..

  133. Being stubborn can be a good thing… being stubborn can be a bad thing… It just depends on how you use it…. Ah Garima… Payal’s Maathe… You have just the right ingredients to prove Micheal de Montaigne’s words… Stubborn and ardent clinging to ones opinion is the best proof of stupidity… If only closed minds came with closed mouths… 😉
    Khushi has realized its not worth her time spending on beating a wall hoping to change it into a door…. 🙂
    Nice update girls… Keep the updates rolling in….

    1. “If only closed minds came with closed mouths…”
      Wise words, rulama! Haha. I wish I had the courage to say this to some choice people when I was younger. 😀

  134. Ahh now we see why Payal is the way she is, but I liked the fact that Khushi stood up to her this time and didn’t give in to her manipulations. The answer Arnav gives as to why he loves Khushi instead of Payal was brilliant too. Can’t wait to read the rest of the parts:)

  135. Garima is a piece of work!! Cold and SPITEFUL. No wonder Payal turned out the way she did. No wonder Shashi had to seek love and warmth elsewhere.

    The price Garima has made Khushi pay time and again shows exactly what a cold bitch she is. She made Khushi surrender her entire inheritance to bury her parents side by side, must have had some influence in ensuring Khushi never found proper jobs and now wants her to give up Arnav knowing very well Payal does not stand a chance with him anyway. All she wants to do is to take away and keep taking away from Khushi everything and everyone that matters to her.

    Garima ensured Shashi did not introduce Khushi and Arnav probably anticipating the outcome. Fat lot of good that did her. Fate had other plans anyway.

    Excuse me whilst I rant about the spineless Shashi Gupta for a while :

    1) He could have willed his own place of burial. That way Khushi need not have been pauperized. He lived with Garima for YEARS. He should have anticipated Garima’s actions after his death. He could have saved Khushi’s inheritance by putting it all in a trust fund.

    2) He didn’t HAVE TO listen to Garima and keep Khushi away from Arnav. He could have introduced them, hell even gotten them married without Garima’s consent. That was HIS daughter. Garima should not have had a say in Khushi’s life.

    3) He could have lived separately from Garima even without a divorce instead of heeding her demands. Granted. He is the one who betrayed his marriage vows but he should have had enough guts to walk out on either relationship.

    I LOVED that Khushi stood her ground this time and that Arnav heard her. (despite the fact that I would love a Arnav “spanking” Khushi scene 😀 😀 😀 ) Absolutely loved that Arnav put Garima firmly in her place. It needed to be said and she needed to hear it.

    “Love cannot be found where it doesn’t exist, nor can it be hidden where it truly does” Even though Arnav was referring to Payal, I think it applies to Garima herself too.

    First the Jalpari and now his private thinking place….Arnav is truly opening himself to Khushi. With Jalpari there was an ulterior motive. He was playing to win her back but this is for real. Loved that they have come so far in their relationship.

    Khushi is truly beautiful inside out. The very fact that she wants to leave Payal her pride speaks volumes. I would have been out for her blood. I really wish Khushi does things Arnav’s way and lets him go for Payal’s jugular ( I am obviously a bloodthirsty hound) BUT I think Khushi’s way will make Payal BURN even if that is not Khushi’s intention. There can be no greater punishment for Payal, knowing that the only reason she is spared is because of Khushi’s compassion.

    Arnav once again proved to be the ultimate consummate businessman – making a deal that Khushi officially moves in with him in exchange for letting her deal with the situation her way. Since she is in his arms every night since Jalpari, looks like that’s a given right???? He just had to make it official!!! His vulnerability peeks through every now and then.

    1. sheelashanu – word of warning, I’m going to weep all over your bell peppers. Yes, yes and hell yes!!! This assessment is so bang on I savored every word. 😀

      There was much nail biting on our end in adding Garima in the mix, but now I’m glad we did. Hopefully, her purpose came across to the others too. As for your rant on Shashi – bravo on hitting the bulls eye with your third point. While he’s in the wrong, he compounded his error by not making a clean break. He gave both Lamarie and Garima a half-life. While it may not have been his intent, his choices ultimately spread the suffering to all the women in his life. Those who loved him most must reconcile with the fact that their idol has feet of clay.

      I so love your reading of Arnav. With Khushi, he NEEDS the words. Telling isn’t it? 😉

      1. Aww. thank you so much 😀 😀 😀

        I am so glad u gals brought Garima into the mix. Even though Payal is in the forefront, it was clear right from the beginning that Garima had a lot to answer for. Payal’s spite is an extension of Garima’s attitude. But then again it’s difficult to blame a woman for her bitterness when she is betrayed by her own husband. My only grouse is that she would have been better off taking it out on Shashi and not Khushi.

        There is still that lonely little boy still lurking in Arnav that Khushi needs to nurture. I am so glad they found each other.

    2. A pat on the back for this brilliant analysis, sheelashanu!!
      Shashi really is a testament to how one man’s serious lapse of judgement and lack of foresight has a domino effect of shattering so many lives across generations. Shashi Gupta, an able businessman and an excellent mentor but a flawed individual in his personal life.

    3. A superb analysis sheelashanu, thank you for sharing it! I think I’m equally addicted to the peanut gallery. The opinions and theories make such a delightful companion to the story itself. 🙂

      The more I learn of Shashi and Garima, the more I actually feel for Payal. She is the product of terrible parenting. A mother who’s vicious and calculating, a father who’s careless and unfaithful.

      I will add to your rant as I too cannot make heads or tails of Shashi. For such a brilliant businessman, he is a complete failure as a man. He may have loved Laramie and Khushi, but they received zero protection from him. In truth, none of these women received anything from him other than a lot of empty promises and guilt money. It is too bad they took it out on each other, instead of the real culprit. This attitude sadly dominates our culture. The woman takes the blame, even when the crime was committed by both.

      1. I love the peanut gallery as much as I love the fanfic. It keeps me (relatively) sane while I m going crazy waiting for an update 😂😂😂. U hit the nail on it’s head. In our culture, it is always the “other” women who are blamed like it is not the man who is breaching his marriage vows n committing adultery. Sigh!!!

        1. Sheelashanu — where do I start with you? Your thoughtful comments have become a point of discussion between S and myself. It encourages us to write a little more and delve a little deeper into the minds of our characters. Thank you for the this beautiful engagement with FWN. Some days I wonder what we are doing here, then I come into the peanut gallery, and the reason stares back at me – bright and brilliant.

          1. Thank YOU both for writing such a beautiful story on Arnav and Khushi. For all of us who truly loved IPKKND and were sorely disappointed at the butchering of the show, its wonderful to read a fanfic that truly does justice. There are probably hundreds of fan fictions out there but you gals really stand out. I have read so many of them as a silent reader. Never have I ever commented. The fact that I am so verbose here goes to show that you both are amazing writers.

      2. Yes! We are in the year 2015 and the struggle for equality is still that – a damn struggle. Until women stop fighting each other, our climb will remain treacherous and rocky.

    4. Sheelashanu… Beautifully analysed….
      Betrayal…Doesn’t only break your heart , but also darkens your soul… You’ll never forget the pain like a fog that forever lingers in the depths of your mind…. This is what happened with Garima and Payal….
      If Laramie lived long I wonder what would have happened??? Would Shashi have severed his ties with Garima thereby jeopardizing his business or stayed away from Laramie giving her a sense of betrayal????

      1. The million dollar question and you asked it rulama! I too wonder how things would be had Laramie lived. I can’t help but think Shashi would have eventually revealed his weakness, leaving a trail of broken hearts.

      2. Even if Laramie had lived, I doubt Shashi would have severed his ties to Garima.He was getting the best of both worlds so why rock the boat?? After all Garima wanted the status and Laramie was content with her half life. However, Khushi’s life may have turned out very differently had Laramie lived.

      3. “Betrayal…Doesn’t only break your heart , but also darkens your soul… You’ll never forget the pain like a fog that forever lingers in the depths of your mind….” Wow!!!! Rulama, that was almost poetic. What a way you have with words. Why aren’t you writing??

        1. They say…. Once the grammar has been learned, writing is simply talking on paper… I am learning the grammar…. As I am a slow learner, it may take me Hamesha… 😉

          1. Or you can simply ignore the grammar as we often do and just indulge in the writing (aka the fun part) 😀

  136. After reading a bit of Garima I now understand why Payal is like this..
    Khusi is truly a gem..she is selfless but my God the way she answered Garima regarding leaving Arnav was bang on..And Arnav really knows Khushi ,no wonder he reached the cafe .

    1. To be fair, Payal is the product of both parents.
      Garima by example and Shashi for breaking her trust at a vulnerable age.

      I was very tempted to toss a glass of water on that woman’s face, but refrained. Barely. 😀

  137. I still can’t make out this garima, and of course payal, shashi’s preference to khushi and laremie did all these things? So much of hatred,
    Good that khushi didn’t compromise, again, and arnav is aware of her thoughts, this will cut down future misunderstandings,
    And finally moving in together, that’s real a big step for them, bravo!!!!

  138. Well well well! After all that bromance through the line of frosty winter nights, it feels good to have the warmth of sisterhood. Robbie and Khushi have been thickest of friends… especially through their struggling times and truthfully it is not easy to add another friend into your circle. But then the eventuality of Khushi, Anjali and Robbie being together was never going to be a surprise, considering how close their partners are. I absolutely loved how you have tapped into Anjali’s insecurities… not as Aman’s fiance… but as a woman lacking knowledge. She does not care for how many women he has been with all these years… what matters to her is her living up to his expectations… In the end it is always about pleasing you man… ain’t it! I loved how Robbie and Khushi tried to boost her confidence and shared their own experiences. It was such a regular scenario between friends, discussing their lives… yet it just added depth to each character.

    Now to the woman… Garima! Sigh! I can only feel sorry for her… because any human being who hasn’t felt the warmth of love… ever… can only be pitied. She is more of a businesswoman than Shashi… because he had his heart in the right place, after all. Only he was too weak to listen to it. Like Khushi had said sometime ago on Jalpari… Larmine should have asked for more from her man. But then Khushi’s mother is just like her… giving and compassionate. Thankfully Arnav’s presence in Khushi’s life has atleast made her a little selfish towards her own happiness. Garima’s own prejudices and behavior have almost ruined her own daughter’s life. The mother-daughter duo still don’t get the fact that “love cannot be found where it doesn’t exist!!” Even though I am glad that Arnav heard Khushi’s words… I wouldn’t mind a peek into the spanking territory back home.

    Loved the entire scene where Arnav takes Khushi to a place where he prefers to think. I know he is still struggling to come to terms with her kindness and generosity. He wants to safeguard her, defend her and fight for everything that she deserves. He wants to give her the world while for Khushi, having Arnav besides her means the world. How far have they come in this wonderful journey. Arnav cannot get enough of making his wonderful little deals… and I am glad for this one, that would mean they would be living in together. I wonder how Robbie is going to react to this one… Lol! Waiting to see a Payal – Khushi faceoff… and the much awaited wedding of Aman and Anjali. 🙂

    1. If it was up to Arnav, he’ll place her in a maximum security tower where only he is allowed to visit. 😉

      Mr. Raizada and his deals are quite a pair aren’t they? But how can we complain when the results are just so delicious? 😀

  139. You know why Arnav agrees to Khushi’s request and has great faith in her being a good businesswoman???
    Its because he loves her no doubt… but she is seeing the situation in the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another… be it Payal or Garima… without giving up her own stand… Aware of how things are perceived by others…. Thats the quality of a good Manager…
    She has a great deal of empathy towards them… It is not because she has much to give but because she knows exactly how it feels to have nothing…
    Her mental set up is such that she cannot come out of the horrid past by wounding Payal or Garima… Her nature doesn’t allow her to wallow in misery and bitterness… She knows if she harbors such thoughts happiness will dock elsewhere and her life would become one turbulent ocean…
    But she is thankful to Payal for leading her to Arnav with her actions…

    Seeing the fear of loneliess lurking in the corner of Arnav’s eyes… Khushi has adopted the Chanakya principle… As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it… She does it effectively showering him with kissesssss… an effective workout, breaching the distance… 😉

    1. Rulama – you can’t see, but I’m pouting. Where were you when we started FWN? Such delightful readings of the characters, such a clear understanding of the explicit and implicit!
      Okay, okay. Enough with the greedy. I will cherish the current company and be grateful to a certain kitten. 😉

  140. the first person i wanna kick after reading this part is the great n stupid sashi…. he is one spineless person and coz of him all the women in his are suffering….
    and Garima has all the correct reasons to hate him and khushi, but as arnav said she shudn’t have treated khushi in that manner…
    I loved the girls shopping time:-))
    wish arnav didnt come on time wen khushi n garima r talking… wud have loved to see him spank her:-))
    love how khushi has the right words to say at the right time…. one line that she got arnav n payal got trent is enuf for arnav to fall for this woman all over….
    but i wud love to see payal n khushi’s conversation…. ofcourse without arnav:-) and waiting for the manwhore aman to drool over anji in her new avtaar

      1. You know… I have been wondering what really made Shashi wander???
        People who ruin their life have a strong tendency to blame others when things go wrong…. You get out of marriage what you put into it… Moreover, People are like oceans…. Some parts are visible, but, you can’t see shallow pools of truth and deep pools of dark mysteries…
        If someone is stupid enough to walk away from you, you need to be smart enough to let them go… though the hardest part of walking away is knowing however slowly you walk they are not going to run after you… Still you need to love yourself more as to not to put up with such indignity… Sadly Garima was lacking in that front and the result was bitter, contorted Payal…
        You might wonder why I am taking up for Shashi… He was not with a string of women but only one other than his legally wedded wife… So there ought be a reason for him to break his vows…

          1. One other thing that has stood out for me was behavior of Arnav Singh Raizada… He who had hatred towards his father for taking another woman in his life and have a kid from that liason, has nothing but reverence towards his mentor though the deeds were the same… So inorder to invoke such loyalty there ought to be a different side to the story that is incomplete at present…. Why is Garima keeping quiet on that front and Payal is not uttering a word against her dad… What was it that is going to unravel??? Payal not Shashi’s daughter??? Usually such bitterness is present when there is knowledge that it cannot last… 🙂

          2. OMG!……… :0 Is that what ASR is going to come up with when he digs into Payal’s past and use it as the trump card to counter her??? If so… as G. Buddha says… three things cannot be hidden for long… The Sun, The Moon and The Truth… 😉

          3. The more I think, the more definite I feel that I have stumbled on the truth…
            See ASR and Payal are in the same boat but ASR hated his father where as Payal doesn’t! ASR did not want to have anything with his step sister whereas Payal wanted to ruin her… When does this happen??? Only when one is on a shaky and sticky wicket… Khushi had never given her any reason to hate her but all the drama were due to Garima and Payal’s insecurity… Payal was hiding her insecurity by being judgemental about Khushi and trying to portray her and her mom as homewreckers… When does someone try to bring you down??? Only when they know that the other person is above them… So it totals to Khushi being the only biological daughter and the actual heir to the Gupta Empire…

          4. Are you kidding? We love it! Although SOMEONE clearly has FWN on the mind 😉
            Read our note at the top of Interlude #3… it will be of much interest to you!

  141. What !! Move In?? wo-hoo.. Party time!! It’s a great leap (of faith) for them both. Now Anji getting married , Khushi moving in what happens to Robbie??? Move in with Noah.. I think it’s high time she left that apartment!
    Update 9 and 10 were as usual awesome! Khushi Garima meet in person was a treat! The dialogues superb.
    While I hate Payal here I can understand her jealousy and hatred. The only problem is she let that hatred consume her whole life. The blame is on both the parents. Payal’s life was collateral damage that Garima caused by hanging onto the dead marriage!!
    Khushi standing up for her own happiness was superb!
    Shrewd businessman Raizada wasted no interest in grabbing the opportunity and asking Khushi to move-in!! Loudest claps and cheers!!
    So now Arnav lets Payal keep the shares?? How will Payal react? Whats Payal’s next move??

    1. So Miss Shree approves eh? 😉
      What will Payal do next has been running in our mind in loops. What she ULTIMATELY does is known to us… the other bits are still murky. However, does Mr. Raizada ever relinquish complete control? 😛

  142. Well thats one good treat awaiting after a tiring weekend for me….
    Garima my dear what did you think that Kushi would bend to your will again…she “LOVES”Arnav …and her legacy jaye baad mai as far as she is concerned she just needs him and with him on her side she needs nothing more..vbad move which she has realized now facing both love birds together she sees it…
    But Payal is a woman scorned and she is bend on revenge i doubt she sees anything byond that i wonder what her next move is even if Kushi n Arnav think what more she can do she is out for it…
    Well they have really started in backwards pehle Suhag Raath now move in together next i am sure is all the rasms n marriage …;-) waiting waiting!!!!

    1. Ah ha! Once more you are the first to see through our puzzle Mayuri! FWN is the ultimate tribute to A & K’s backwards marriage! 😀

  143. A part with just Khushi and Arnav was a pleasure to read and I savored it like a favorite dessert 🙂 but then the next part was like a bitter pill. I actually pity Payal, it’s both Garimas and Shashi’s fault in equal measure but I think for Payal it was easier to hate the other kid, than own upto a set of defective parents. I hope she doesn’t do something crazy that would ultimately end up destroying herself.

    1. As much as I love writing on Arshi, the curious writer can’t resist exploring the other inhabitants of our world. You gals are so indulgent, we thank you for it. However, we won’t leave you so parch in the upcoming rounds 😉

  144. This update was brilliant guys! If this is what the peanut gallery can inspire, I’m determined to keep the source at a free flow 🙂

    I’ve been eager to have a deeper peek into Payal, and this delivered beyond my expectations. The dialogue was so compelling, I felt I was in that hotel room with them.

    I thought we were done with Trent, but you are forgiven for bringing him back. Because, finally we are given a glimpse of the man who initially attracted Khushi. In all the Nights, I kept wondering what she ever saw in him. I finally see it here.

    A young girl facing so much pain at home, what would she be in search of? Someone who listens well would be my bet. Too bad for Trent, he allowed himself to be blinded by easy money. Six years down the line, he’s left with nothing.

    I felt literal chills reading these lines –

    “After a while I got … used to it. It put me to sleep. I couldn’t stand it when she stopped. So I would do things to keep those green eyes flowing. You know what I realized? When she’s happy, it sucked the air out of my lungs. But when she’s sad, I could breathe easily. Only when she cries, can I find my laughter. Only when she’s broken, can I be whole.”

    Payal’s mind is a very complex labyrinth, but at the core of the maze is simply a disillusioned young girl. She’s still that child, struggling to accept what was forced upon her. Some children adapt and move on, the less fortunate sink into the black. Shame on Shashi for failing to see this. And shame on Garima for ignoring what she sees.

    A standing ovation to you both!

    ….If you’re not going to indulge the spanking fantasies, the giving of the flower better be off the charts!

    1. I blow you a kiss and then run in for a tight squeeze. Who but our dear Pyre keep the blaze burning so bright? Journeys are all about the great company you have, and this one as been absolutely glorious because of you dear friend.

      That is an apt way of viewing Payal. I see her as someone stuck in a limbo of past and future. So focused on both, she forgets that life is literally passing her by. Our two sisters began their journey at the same fork in the road. Whereas Khushi chose the path of acceptance and forgiveness, Payal is spiraling towards self destruction. The significance is that they both had the choice!

      You too with the spanking? lol
      It’s food for thought. You never know with Mr. Raizada 😉

  145. I feel sorry for Payal, The main reason for Payal’s behavior is fault of Shashi and Garima. She is the product of loveless married couple. Shashi should have taken a stand and left Garima if he loved Lamarie, and he is also responsible for Khushi’s current situation. If he wanted Arnav to marry Khushi then he should have gone ahead and introduced them, why did he listen to Garima and didn’t go forward.
    Loved the Anjali, Khushi and Robbie’s shopping spree, awaiting to see the scene between Aman and Anjali.
    Khushi is moving in with Arnav, hope to see more Romantic moments between them in their Apartment

    1. Have we deprive you gals of the romance? 😀
      No worries, there will be a healthy serving of the hot stuff in our next round.lol

  146. Many a time you learn from bad experience… By coping you become stronger. The pain does not vanish but you learn how to manage it… This was how Khushi survived… yet seeing her survive without anything Payal is disturbed !

    As Dalai Lama says…. When you think everything is someone else’s fault you will suffer a lot… When you think everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy…Pride leads to violence and evil. The truly good gaze upon everything with love and understanding.. Thats Payal and Khushi…
    How very different path both have tread being in the same situation… One with backing like a wall and the other backed to the wall… As in Pope John Paul words… It’s better to cry than be angry, because anger hurts others while tears flow silently through the soul and cleanse the heart… By holding on to anger Payal had held on to the burning coal stoked intermittently by jealous bouts with the intention of throwing it on Khushi… but she was the one who got burnt…. Now Karma has come to slap on her face with even Trent washing his hands off her… Before that he has shown her the mirror…

    Right now, what has afflicted Payal is loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted… thats the gravest of the poverty… Though she was lording over she has been shot down to size…

  147. I am also pleased like Arnav after listening to Khushi’s reply to Garima. I’m glad that she isn’t behaving like the sacrificial lamb she has always been earlier. It makes me extremely happy that she is ready to take a stand for her happiness and won’t bow down anymore.
    Garima and Payal both are blaming the wrong person for their misery and betrayal they felt. I don’t know if they will ever understand the simple fact that Khushi is not responsible for anything.
    Girls bonding was nice to read…

  148. With Sheetal and Trent blissfully out of the way it leaves only Payal who is proving to be a mild roadblock in A&K’s road to happily ever after. But for not too long. She seems to be well on her way out of their lives for all intents and purposes. But I am actually glad that she was better than that moronic Sheetal and her jellyfish of a husband- spineless, brainless and easily see-through.
    Though to be honest I feel pity for her. On some level her hatred for Khushi is understandable albeit misguided. She never knew true love at all. She only had her parent’s marriage as an example which was more of a business transaction than a true marital bond. Saw her own father going astray and her home breaking down due to the betrayal. And then experienced that adultery first- hand with her husband going after the daughter of the same same woman who according to her ruined her life. With a sly, calculating mother and a negligent father- no wonder she has the warmth of an iceberg. But unlike her Khushi has finally understood the art of moving on and letting go. They both are defined by unfortunate incidents and the mistakes of their parents, the choices that they made have shaped their lives. Nothing kills more the person who hates you than your happiness. And surely nothing would kill Payal more than seeing Khushi content and happy beside Arnav after she did everything in her power to make her life hell and that the scraps of pride that she would be left with is because Khushi is Laramie’s daughter and thus bigger and better.

    I wish she would listen to her ex-husband- who is perhaps for once in his life not being a dishonest, selfish wimp and is actually right- and let go. She would be much happier when she finally stops obstinately clinging to her hate and animosity.

    Would it be too early to say,’and then there were none?’ Because I say it’s time for some fluff girls!

    1. Paper cuts are mild, but they still sting like a bitch 😛
      You have such a solid gasp of the inner workings of our characters eternalallure, I do wish you would indulge us more often. Yeah, yeah, greedy me 😀

      I think memories of those growing years are such an intimate part of us that leaving them behind becomes the singular herculean task of adulthood. We know it’s for the best, but it’s one hell of an endeavor.

      And then there were none? A strong possibility… just not quite yet.
      Fluff and other stuff, however, will be part of the next course! 😉

  149. So much hatred, so much anger, so much hurt and pain of being cheated on… A daughter who felt cheated by her father… for having a daughter off another woman… for giving the other girl more importance… for possibly loving her more. Even though I despise Payal and her attitude… I have always mentioned how it is sad to be in her place. Possibly she was a girl, craving for love from all the wrong people. Her parents only managed to add fuel to the fire of her hatred and jealousy towards Khushi. For once we get a glimpse of the Trent that seems like a guy one could be attracted to. Some ounce of humanity and kindness. While he tried to put some sense into a completely crazy Payal’s tiny brain… I feel bad for what her life has led her to. It will only shatter her. The only person I feel, who has been thinking about Payal’s betterment… and has truly tried to keep her away from her ruin… is Khushi… the one person Payal hates and wants to ruin. What an irony! I am still hoping to see the two step-sisters in conversation… maybe finally Payal can find a end to all this madness and Khushi can enjoy moving in with Arnav! 😉

    1. Sisterly face-off is in the cards. Just need a few more steps to get it there. 🙂
      Now just imagine had our sisters in question been Robbie and Payal! Would we have a Shakespearen tragedy or a Dante comedy on our hands? 😉

      1. Lolz… had it been Robbie and Payal, I don’t think we would have needed so many nights to get here… 😛 With Robbie’s sharp tongue and aggression, I think we would have wrapped it up by Night 2… ok fine 3!! 🙂 I am simply glad it was Khushi though… this entire story is crafted out to perfection! Thank you my girls S & K!!

        1. Hahaha indeed. With Robbie girl it would’ve been over before it began.
          A muak! for that. But hold off on such a compliment, so many stories tank in the final stretch! If I was a smoker I’ll be going through a pack a day. lol As it is, my nails are getting ugly trims 😛

  150. Payal is more eff up than I thought.. so much anger, hatred, envy, jealousy and so much more.. with so much affliction bottled up inside her she’s going to end up being all alone which is what she fears and if she doesnt let go the loneliness is going to enter slowly, quietly, with little indication of its potential…

    As what am get from Payal situation is that she hates her father but she love him at the same time if you get what I mean …so instead she takes it out on his most price possession Khusi blaming her for ruin her “Happy Family” which never exist in the first place..

    But seriously the hatred Payal has for khusi I think if she got a chance to kill her she would.. just say *side eyes*

    I really hope she at least listen to what Trent was say which I really doubt she did sigh if not the next step who be psychiatric help.

    I guess I can say that Trent has finally got some sense in that brain of his lol that khusi is no longer his to have and I like how he handle Payal situation even though she didn’t like what he was saying but still he tried .. respect due sigh .. really hope Payal wont do anything silly because she will have the raging lion to answer to hehehehe..

    Nice one gals keep em coming.. eagerly waiting 😀

    1. Hahaha… I’ll admit we did consider the scenario, but that would’ve taken FWN into some crazy territory. I think it’s best we stick to the romance and comedy and leave the dramatic thriller to more talented hands.

      Arnav the Lionhearted? 😀

      1. “Arnav the Lionhearted”
        Brave, Determine, Fearless etc hehehehehehee.. and your right SM16 that scenario would take FWN to another leave, so am OK with the lovey dovey stuff 😀

  151. Thank you for letting me have access. I lost touch as I was out of country due to family emergency for last month. When I came back, realized it has gone restricted.

    I also lost my password for bop lounge. But thanks again and will comment on detail after catching up.

  152. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Long sigh of relief first of all coz I could read the story. And then…. I loved it. I am probably joining the bandwagon but loved the fact that K was not willing to sacrifice what she had with A for any emotional or actual blackmail. And more so that he is always there when she needs him whether she realizes the need or not. And this has to be said…. Poor Payal! An utter train wreck!

    1. Your grievance was heard loud and clear 😀
      Plenty of room on this bandwagon, so hop in! They have come a long way haven’t they?

  153. Payal, she is really something, messed up she is, I just hope she doesn’t take any drastic steps, she is misguided, has misplaced her sense of reason since her childhood, but its been so long, I doubt she will ever be alright, it breaks me to see this, Trent is right, some blame has to be on shashi’s head, but what can he do? Why does love have to be such a trial for some 🙁

    1. But it is this trial by fire that test the strength of our bond. Those who brave it are richly rewarded are they not? 🙂

  154. I always wondered what the hell Khushi ever saw in Trent. The fact that he can indulge his ex-wife and that too one who wasn’t a good one to begin with, shows he has some redeeming qualities after all.

    “I wanted you to fight me! I wanted you to give a fuck!” is reminiscent of what she told him earlier. She wanted him to refuse to seduce Khushi but he didn’t. She wanted him to fight to save their marriage but he didn’t. That self serving bastard even perjured himself stating he committed adultery with Khushi in order to obtain a divorce from Payal. That’s how far he was willing to go to gain his freedom from Payal and she knows it. That’s got to hurt.

    Payal laying the blame on the divorce which SHE asked for on Trent and insisting he cheated (which technically he didn’t since they weren’t married then) which again was at her own behest goes to show how skewered her brains are.
    She sees things they way she wants to. Reality and facts be damned.

    “I’ll be happy if she pays”- No darling you won’t!!!. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness. Khushi has been “paying” for years and it still hasn’t made Payal happy. That should have given her a clue that it’s not Khushi who is responsible for her happiness or unhappiness.

    Trent hits the nail right on its head when he says that Shashi is the only man Payal truly loved and HE betrayed her and ruined her family. Payal hates Khushi because she can’t even think it’s her father’s fault. It’s just easier to blame someone else.

    A father is always a girl’s HERO right. No matter how bad a husband he is to his wife or how bad a father he is to the child.

    This one’s on Garima. Garima blamed the other woman not her husband and Payal takes a page of her book and blames Khushi not Shashi.

    Payal’s “I loved you” is very telling. I think she truly did. She kept testing his love and he kept failing (at least in her eyes). She could have seen it from a different angle. He betrayed the girl he loved for Payal (before he married her years later for her money). He must have loved her enough at some point of time. Her pushing has basically driven him into pulling away.

    “Only when she cries, can I find my laughter. Only when she’s broken, can I be whole.” : Anyone who needs someone else’s misery to be happy seriously requires PSYCHIATRICT HELP!!!!!

    I feel pity for Payal but she is the architect of her own life. She is no longer a kid. She is old enough to be able to take stock of her life and see things for what they truly are. But the fact that she refuses to even listen to Trent shows she is in deep denial. I won’t be surprised if she becomes completely bonkers and ends up in a mental asylum 😀

    1. Originally we had planned a bigger role for Trent and a smaller one for Aman. Somewhere along the way the bromance grew beyond our boundaries and well…you know what happened after that. 😀

      However, it felt necessary to show the glimpse of Trent that Khushi briefly fell for. Had he been this man all the way through, he could’ve had the beauty of Khushi in his life. Sucks for Trent and lucky for Arnav, this wasn’t the case.

      I wouldn’t rule out a padded room… although a good spanking has been known to do the trick 😉

      1. You can’t keep teasing us with the “spanking” and not deliver!!! Did you notice how many comments there was on the spanking that didn’t happen?

        I am so GLAD you eventually ended up having a bigger role for Aman. He together with NK are so essential to this story. The bromance is as good as the romance (sometimes even better).

        It was good to get this glimpse of Trent. Goes to show he is a good man, only too weak. But everything happens for a reason right? Khushi probably wouldn’t realise the depth of Arnav’s love if she hadn’t had her history with Trent.

        1. How can we not? Such blatant naughtiness lol
          Well…. it is not the same vein, but I do think you’ll like the start of Interlude 3 😉

  155. Will be waiting greedily for the Interlude 3, this weekend!! 🙂 Because I definitely want the return of romance… after all this drama! 😉

  156. awesome….i just pity payal…i just hope that she listen to trent and let go of hatred …loved khushi she is grown up now she can’t be blackmailed …wonderful…waiting for weekend

  157. Awesome update of the last part
    Trent made Payal somewhat realize what she had done… Hopefully Payal would realize her mistake and not blame Khushi again…
    Thanks for the amazing Night #11
    Continue soon!

  158. loved every bit of night 11….arnav and khushi ,love for each has crossed all hurdles i guess…hope payal starts using her brains…it was never khushi the wrong one there…

  159. Finally managed to read it! Love the bonding between the three girls. Khuhsi and Robbie really boosting anjalis confidence.

    I’m so glad that khushi finally stood up for herself and that too against garima. The only person she wanted to love and please. And ofcourse Arnav came just in time to hear her decision!

    I liked the way Trent handled Payal. She really needed to be told some home truth. If only he told her this before. Opened her eyes. I hope that she took something away and has realised that her hatred is misplaced.

    Cannot wait to read more!

  160. Thanks for giving access to the blog. I was desperate. I thought i would be left out. Thanks once again.

    Update was brilliant. Little by little some relevation and closures taking place. Our lovely couple supporting each other it soothes the heart.

  161. Thanks for the access.

    Khushi is too good to be true. Even now she don’t want any trouble for Payal. But she didn’t fall into the trap of Garima. Any way I want Payal to hear and see the point if Trent.

    Looking forward to see Khushi’s assention to the chair of Shashi Gupta.

  162. Awesome update
    Thanks for granting me access
    Loved the girls shopping time
    Khushi taking a stand for her happiness
    And totally can’t wait to see what payal does next and what nk digs out about her.

    1. Don’t you fret over it… write whatever you feel… we’ll read… Won’t we gals???

        1. Priya… Could you go through the previous page of comments and get to Anamika’s post and tell me what you think of what I have written over there??? 😉

          1. Have already read your thoughts. Am gonna post my comment in a short while. You know, a while back I had read a paranormal fiction. Similar finale. The protagonist who was the illegitimate successor from the very beginning, was in fact the only true heir, whereas the uncle who had claimed to be the real descendent came from a completely different paternity.
            I think you might be on the something. 🙂

    2. Don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts. We love to hear from you!
      Some of the most brilliant conversations began with a simple hello. 😀

  163. wowww…
    what an interesting turn of events…
    loved the way arnav dealt with payal and garima…
    payal n mathews convo was heart wrenching…feeling sorry for them…
    eagerly waiting to know what happens next..
    n
    thanks a lot for the invite, Dearies….. 🙂

  164. Well…so Garima has also managed to bow down to Kushi n Arnav ..and she asked the same to Payal….thats some knock down for the Gupta princess!!!
    Payal has been feeding of on all the sorrow she has caused Kushi rather she reveled in it her whole life knowing somewhere that her father who she loved and adored had given a share of what she solely thot hers to someone..her half sister..
    But for Payal since she could not do much she turned all her haterd to Kushi..wow thats some damaged woman you have there ..she is not ready to see it beyond her view..even when Trent tried his best to make her understand…..she looks broken beyond repair..that means she is ready to do anything ..go to any extend to feed of her anger and hate towards Kushi because of whom she stands to loose what she had left ..her pride ..her Gupta heritage…

    And i could see the younger Trent in love with Kushi but not blinded by it and going after what he thot was his better prospect a marriage to the beautiful and precious gupta heiress..he did get short-changed not that he realized in until too late.

    1. I believe humans are made up of good and bad. That mixture is swirled about in various ways until we make decisions that amplifies one or the other. It is unfortunate for Payal that her current situation was brought about by her own hands. Sometimes it is so much easier to blame others, then to look in the mirror and realize the true culprit.

  165. Firstly, I wanted to say thank you so much for the invite. You made my wish come true to continue reading this beautiful story and both your incredible writing !! 🙂 I have been smiling since I read your mail in my inbox !! 🙂 Coming to the update, it was just fantastic !! While Arnav had always been very vocal about his feelings for khushi, it was awesome that he too heard khushi tell garima that she won’t give up her happiness namely arnav for anything !! 🙂 Absolutely love their bond and that they bring out the best in each other !! Loved the trade off and the suggestion by arnav for khushi to move in. Now looking forward to some amazing times between the two !! 🙂 On the other hand Payal came across as absolutely pathetic. Even if Trent understood her feelings, the fact that she rejoiced when khushi cried made her disgusting !! K & S superb writing and so looking forward to the next update. 🙂 ship13(IF)

  166. I liked Khushi stood up for her happiness this time and didn’t give in to her manipulations…
    Love the girls shopping and talk…
    I like the way Trent tell Payal her truth…
    Canit wait for the next

  167. Absoultely brilliant girls! Great update.i hope for Payals sake, the words that Trent told her sink in, life is too short to hate people, if you can live without them in your life shut the door, lock and walk away. If they are in your life learn to understand why you feel that way and deal with it. No matter what Garima askex, Khushi came into Arnavs life, ok its sheer coincidence that Aman met her first, buther heart shone through and he knew shecwas the one for Arnav. Maybe it was the colour 8f her eyes that matched the mermaid…. but I think it was her heart. Her mother taught her about compassion, it couldn’t have been easy about being the other woman, she understood ehy Garima wouldn’t grant the divorce, yet she chose to have a family with the man she loved, and loved her back. Shashi is probably looking down on them completely happy with Lacene and the bond that Arnav and Khushi have. You have built these characters so well I can feel whats in their minds. Love Arnav and Khushi relationshp. Loved the scene with the three girls, Robbie is duch a sweet heart, knows exactly what to say at the right time, bringing three women together as sisters and friends.

  168. There are so many reasons I can’t get enough of FWN. One of them is the way you weave into your tale all the intrinsic shades of the ASR persona we fell in love with. Like Arnav driving in the dead of night to clear his head. Not a very green way of cooling oneself down and regaining cognition, I must say!! But still very ASRish. Another aspect is the very subtle ways in which he firmly conveys, “You are mine”. Especially after the night on ‘Jalpari’. Always keeping her within a touching distance, moulding her to his body, his spontaneous kisses, but the one I love the most is him pulling her into his lap. Sensual, tender and extremely possessive. This is the passion I wanted to see on the show. I mean it was supposed to be an intense love-story, wasn’t it? Sadly the intensity fizzled out somewhere down the line.

    And of course the Khushi I fell for. A woman wronged in so many ways and by people who were her own. The little girl who lost her mother, the only real family she had ever known. A spineless father who denied her the right to a legitimate existence. A step mother and a half sister who despised her to the core. A pathetic excuse of a boyfriend who charmed his way into her teenage heart, only to shatter it brutally and left her to collect the pieces.
    Even though shrouded by negativity all her life, this woman has never lost her essence. She is humble without being submissive, selfless but certainly not cowardly. In spite of herself being grossly mistreated, she recognises where Payal and Garima come from. But she is not willing to be the sacrificial lamb.

    You know, the more I read about Payal, the more I feel sorry for her. She epitomises the quote by J.K.Rowling. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
    What a telling dialogue between Payal and Trent. Every word she uttered rummaged through her psyche and revealed her raw pain and vulnerability. And if Garima’s silence is indeed due to what Rulama has so perceptively pointed out, Payal is going to be destroyed. I mean, all her life she has hated Khushi for being the illegitimate who eclipsed her own legitimate happiness. Payal’s only saving grace being the Gupta bloodline and if this very solid fact becomes dubious, her already sore wounds are going to blow wide open. Right now she is treading very shaky grounds, isn’t she?

    1. What I meant is Payal already knows that Khushi is the lawful heiress but born out of wedlock offspring of Shashi… Payal had Shashi’s name attached to her but might not have been his biological daughter… Payal and Garima know that they are on shaky grounds and hence battering of Khushi who is oblivious to this… When you know you have no legal claim, attack is the best approach to keep the person away from the truth… That is why so much bitterness in Payal and her attempts to bury Khushi at each and every step… So far the fate was with them….Now with ASR’s backing equations have changed and Garima knows she has no chance… The truth will prevail however much they try to hide it…Maybe the entire Gupta Industries will come under Khushi and Payal will be left with nothing! Thats why wise counsel has prevailed and her advice to Payal to sign in favor of Khushi…

      1. Oh, so you are saying, Payal and Garima are in this together. You may be absolutely right. Somehow Garima conceding gave me the impression that she holds the whole truth about Payal’s paternity while Payal herself is in the dark.
        But honestly, theorising and analysing is really not my thing. Lol. I am almost always wrong. :-D. I suck at it!!

        1. My contention is Payal does seem to know and she had stumbled upon it long back… Maybe when Shashi was asking for a divorce… Overheard or eavesdropped… He would have accepted Payal… That is why Payal does not speak a word against him but targets Khushi who has the sole claim for him by birth… 🙂

          1. With this line of thought, legitimacy and illegitimacy takes up a new meaning… 😉
            One who is thought to be legimate hates the illegitimate yet she is the illegitimate having the facade of a legitimate…
            One who is thought to be illegitimate is the legitimate heiress yet has never been acknowledged because of the one who is thought to be legitimate but actually illegitimate… So who is really legitimately illegimate! 😉

          2. Should I hand over my detective badge? 🙂 Loved reading your theories about Payal, Rulama! I happen to agree 100%. Payal’s attitude suggest a deeper knowledge of being an unwanted child. I believe our duo has turned the dynamics of IPK on it’s head. Instead of Khushi being the orphan, it’s Payal!

          3. Are you kidding? I say we need to produce a new badge for rulama, but that one is staying firmly over your heart. Who else understand the working of these two brains better than you? 😀

          4. Your deductions were an absolutely delightful read rulama! Thank you so much for being part of our journey and keeping a FWN state of mind! 😉

    2. How many readers into the nuances of a character? A very small minority! But thank you, thank you, dearest of Priyas for being one of them. Your sweet messages, your connection with the characters. It is as humbling as it is rewarding to have you here, update after update (despite the lengthy gaps in between!)

      Our Khushi has grown has she not?
      As for our ASR… well the only difference is that he’s in love, but what a difference it makes! 😀

  169. Btw, S & K, I too am all for the spanking. In fact, I am having very naughty visions of reverse spanking. 😉 What with our feisty female lead and you wanting to give us reverse Arshi.:-D

  170. Woah!!! You guys outdo yourselves with every update! The plot, the character development, everything is awesome! I really enjoy the way the story has played out. The revelations are so perfectly timed. You guys are doing such a great job!! 😀

  171. oh my…. wow Trent became a MAN finally… good for him
    in simple line he has told payal whom she really hate…
    some one pls kill that Sashi Gupta if he is alive hiding somewhere,.. he totally screwed up his own daughters lives….. payals the worst.
    as an innocent child she might have felt bad wen khushi was crying in the nights n pretending to be happy in the morning… and as payal lov sashi so much she cudnt think of him to be wrong in any way and she has convinced herself that khushi indeed needed to be punished. wonder why both payal n khushi like sashi so much.. and wonder why arnav respects him that much.
    how different is Sashi from Arnavs father/….????

  172. Wow….awesome. ..loved ….ur characters and plot are just mindblowing…
    I hope that payal gets all the curse of being a bad person.
    You guys rock.

  173. Gosh…. i missed sooooo much…… when…. how….. why….. hell, the fault is mine….. was too busy in AD…… sorry sorry, lakhon sorry, for being always irregular & late…… and thanks for the invitation by the way……. read a lot today naa, toh cant remember what all i wanted to say…… loved it all…… the part with Garima-Khushi convo…… and Arnav’s dhamakadar entry…… AWESOME…… i’m just in love with their business minds…… aur ha, i so sooo sooooo loved the convo between Anjali-Robbie-Khushi…… its really adorable to see the girls bonding too beautifully…… and ArShi moments too….. so beautiful…… loved their thinking alouad…… well, its really cute…… these two…… everytime they make me love them even a bit more…… well, finally we heard Trent talking sensible…… i seriously felt, Payal needs help…… if i havent hate her so much, i would actually feel bad for her…… hell, you girls have made me symapthetic to even Payal…… you two actually rock….. hats off dearies……. love you both…….
    Still to catch up Interlude#3….. will be back with that soonwa……

  174. At the outset I would like to thank you for allowing me access to this wonderful story of yours by sending the invite.Thanks a lot.It really makes me happy to be a part of the group allowed access to you blog for the simple reason that it is a wonderful story and I was really very disappointed for the few days that I was unable to access the blog.
    This ff is very different from any of the arshi ffs that I have read.I really like the way this story is moving forward. The way khushi refused to let go of arnav was the high point. I hope payal realises her folly.
    Hail

    1. A (super belated) warm welcome to FWN Hail! We are glad to have you with us, and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts! ^^

    2. Dammit, I’m worse. A big welcome to the FWN family and the crazy peanut gallery Hail! Bet you had no idea what you signed up for 😀

  175. First, thanks for letting me in again… every time I looked for the chapter after 6/12 of 11, i was out!

    Anyway, coming to this chapter, I loved how Anjali was showing how ‘slightly’ insecure she was feeling regarding her first night. And, finally, NK’s first name comes out.

    At first I thought her meeting with Garima was a set-up, when Arnav turned up, but he was only there to protect her too.

    Payal really doesn’t have anybody right now, and hopefully she doesn’t take Trent’s words literally and jumps off a cliff.. though she might be doing everyone a favour.

  176. Loved how Trent changed and is willing to let khushi be happy
    Poor khushi has been suffering because Fatima and Paula have been taking the hate of shad hi on her
    Khushi is so sweet and simple that she does not want any of this and still wants everyone to be happy

  177. Ladies!!

    First of all – I am so sorry for the late response. It seems like I am the only one who reads chapters in one go and I seem to be missing out on all of the speculation in between!

    Going forth I shall certainly try to read and comment as you update, but please don’t hold me to this statement- my instincts to read in one go usually win out and what a wait it was!

    The theme that I am selecting for this update is; Closure

    The contentment in Arnav’s heart alongside the rightful possessive knowledge in realising that with all of his loving heart, the woman he wholeheartedly loves and adores is his and his alone to cherish fills me with a strange heart skipping warmth.

    “My building, my office, my couch, my woman”

    I’ve never been one for caveman adulation but damn it ladies, your Arnav makes me simultaneously blush and melt like a hopeless schoolgirl battling her first crush, he truly does.
    But the closure of him knowing that Khushi is his in every single way, really highlights the journey this lonely man has endured in these long and lonely winter nights. And his trust and love is highlighted so beautifully throughout this chapter with every utterance of support he lends Khushi whether it is in his physical presence, reassuring words or single glances.

    The scene between the couple and Trent was wonderfully handled. The man’s sheer desperateness echoed with every single word he uttered and honestly I didn’t know whether I should laugh at his sheer nativity or wince at his loss. As a character Trent has fascinated me on many levels and even though I have gone through various explanations of what I think of him, I am reverting back to my original thoughts; he is a good man trapped by bad decisions. It is a shame but he is also reflective of many people in life. His mistake was grave and the punishment truly befits the crime. He lost his happiness in every which way because his need for material wealth overruled his personal and most important wealth of happiness. His final realisation of this was his final closure on something which he had lived with and regretted for so long.

    I also felt that Khushi and Arnav experienced the absolute perfect closure regarding Shashi’s legacy. It was by no means an easy wrong to right, but Arnav’s relentless pursuit in doing right by Khushi goes a long way in showing not only the true man that he is, but also his mettle and need to bring all the deserved happiness to the feet of the woman who defines his existence, his own happiness. That all she needs is his love is a moot point in the face of Arnav’s determination, but isn’t that why we all love him so? His instinctive protectiveness of his happiness and everything which does and should define her, has always been the most endearing quality in my eyes of your Arnav.

    “As adults, one of the first things we learn is how to defend our vulnerabilities. It’s necessary, but it locks us in as much as it keeps others out,” she snuggled into him, “Thank you for letting me in.”

    The sheer poignancy of this statement is utterly beautiful. As children we are so naively trusting of the world around us and age and experience truly makes us cynical of all this world promises to offer. To find someone who genuinely cares, who you can wholeheartedly trust, is a priceless gift. Your Arnav and Khushi know and understand this better than most; they embody it better than most. They simply LIVE it better than most.

    Lavanya’s closure in all of this – in finally being accepted as a worthy family member and not the dirty little secret was so delicately and perfectly handled. Again it was Arnav’s strength countered with his soft eyes for Khushi that stole my heart. Your Arnav’s unfailing need to always do the right thing by his family earns him great brownie points with me, as it’s a sentiment I can empathise with entirely. It is not always the easy route, or one that is often acknowledged for its difficulties and trials. But for those rare moments in seeing in another’s eyes the unbridled love and affection for your every effort is one which makes it all worth it.

    Although it’s not a firm closure – the three heroes of this story working to protect their women, and primarily Khushi was a collection of scenes I both loved and frowned at. There is more to come with all of this – particularly with Payal, and it will not be pretty, it never could be. But one cannot help but think that she is getting what she deserves and also feeling sorry for the pathetic state of her affairs. If she had only learnt to appreciate everything she had to treasure, she could have been a happy woman in every facet of her life. Working to systematically destroy Khushi’s life has only brought about the destruction of hers. Karma is a bitch, and the heroes are relentless. What a bloody mess!

    Khushi’s interaction with Garima was a perfectly showcased journey of her life. Her need for acceptance in Garima’s eyes, to the eventual unwavering love of Arnav who is faultlessly by her side – wonderfully shown ladies, truly. It both broke and mended my heart to see Khushi trying so hard with Garima, but her strength and belief in her love made me wish to scream hallelujah! That she finally realises that her happiness is a priority too, is a selfish lesson so necessary in life. If you don’t look out for you happiness others won’t either. Not unless we are all destined to find our own personal handsomely possessive tycoon’s on the streets of NYC!

    It was a brilliantly handled closure though for Khushi to acknowledge and understand that her past is honestly just that now – her past. She should not let the poison bleed into her future, as with Arnav by her side she is destined for much, much bigger things.

    And that was in essence the update for me, a closure upon the details that could have prized them apart yet only served to bring them closer. Very selfishly, I loved the fact that this update was about them and them alone. Everything you addressed was directly linked to their happiness, figuratively and literally – what a long way that lonely young woman has come who was once starved to the bone now alive with the vitality of faith and love

    Beautifully written ladies – and please do excuse me if my ramblings make little to no sense :/
    xoxoxo

    1. Wow manreet, wow! This is the very reason why I’m stalking the peanut gallery. What a joy to be able to read such beautiful commentary as this. I love the themes you come up, and I bet our duo does too.

      You’re not alone on the caveman, I stand firmly with you there. However, life is all about exceptions to the rule isn’t it? Ha, ha.

      If only there was a handsomely possessive tycoon’s on the streets of NYC to be had! I’ll be on the next plane out. Married woman or not! 😀

      1. thank you so much Pyre 🙂

        Honestly – it becomes such a challenge to not read what’s written in either the chapter or the peanut gallery. Particularly the latter as it is amazing how many themes and nuances are interpreted from S and K’s words. Hats off ladies its quite the feat 🙂

        And thanks again Pyre for indulging me and my ramblings xxx

    2. Manreet! What a gem of a comment you’ve left in our gallery. The fatigue of the day just washed clean away and now I’m all goofy smiles and grins 😀

      When you find your Arnav, I’m going to wish fiercely for a touch of caveman in his approach. It’s quite swoony when done right sweetheart =p

      I have said it before, but I’ll say it again – your themes are something I really look forward to. It gives a cohesive feedback on what we endeavor to tell. And dammit this makes me miss your writing and I need to find a time portal so I may indulge in some Salvation!

      HEE, that frown won’t last too long in Interlude #3. That I can promise you ^^

      1. Work still a bit of a nightmare??

        I really hope that’s resolved soon K, but in the meantime – the update was as honestly as fabulous as ever. And you’re way too kind to pass of my ramblings as anything meaningful. But I am going to hold you to telling me the themes you had chosen for each update. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but what the heck! 😛 xx

        1. The mountains we mention? Those are all on top of our K’s shoulders. I’m trying to dig her out at weekends 😀

    3. Manreet… you know I love your comments, but holy hell did this one give me a big happy. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking part in FWN. Lucky you these themed “ramblings” started later, otherwise I would’ve been greedily demanding it for every chapter 😀

      Read at your pace, because surely we write at our own 😛

    4. Is it weird that I feel bad for Trent and Garima – they are now trapped in the hells of their own making. I don’t necessarily sympathize with them though. They had a choice – they could have been compassionate and kind and Khushi being her amazing self would have returned their generosity. I feel bad for them because they lost out on knowing and having Khushi in their lives. But their loss is Arnav’s gain and rightly so! His female indeed – his to protect, his to cherish. As Khushi correctly pointed, once Arnav knew what he wanted, he didn’t delay his apologies and his confessions and that automatically makes him million times better than Trent.

      Lavanya being flanked by her brothers during the press conference would have been a sight to see, as would Anjali-Robbie-Khushi’s shopping expedition. Will we get to see Lavanya join the sisterhood ?

      And Payal – gosh she has massive daddy issues and needs professional help. How blind did Garima have to be to allow her own flesh live in such misery and toxicity ?

      1. The path we take in life is merely a connected series of decisions of the moment. Unfortunately it isn’t until you’ve reached your destination that you have the hindsight to see which ones were right.

        I think you’ll find the answers to the puzzle of Payal and Garmia in the final two updates.

  178. Okay.. So let me first say thank you for granting me access to the site. Much appreciated. 💗

    I have not yet read chapter #11 so will come back to comment once done👍🏻

  179. You girls need to seriously take a bow over and over again… I am catching up slowly but surely and am gripped with ever word you pen. The twist and turns, not to mention the straight to the point crisp writing is what I appreciate and absolutely love with FWN.

    The blog is stunning… and I for one am a visual person, so for me this is like walking through Bergdorf and browsing, browsing, browsing to my heart’s content!

    Loving FWN, this blog and you ladies. oh oh oh oh… Arnav is fuckalicious here… I am drooling!

    And now onto the interlude…

    Muahhh,
    Jigs

    1. A very late, but doubly warm welcome to FWN Jigs!
      Mmmmmmm… I too approve of fuckalicious Arnav, right there drooling with you 😀

  180. Thankyou for the chapter is this blog now open as previous or you are planning to make it private in case plz let me in as i am so happy to read it again as this story is one of my fav n i want to trad it till end n also your other stories which you are going to start after completing FWN, coming back to night11 i really pity on payal as in hatred towards khusi she destroyed her life n Trent was so right she actually hated her father but khusi was easy target to blame n so she did it.

  181. Hell… this is why one should never wait to comment in the PG… there are just way too many amazing contributions before me.. GULP…. but you’ll love me no matter what I yap on about right babes? 😀

    Again, thank you for this dedication. I wish I was able to be around more often, but I’m definitely here in spirit/thoughts/dreams.

    The highlight for me in this chapter is Khushi’s open declaration that Arnav is HER happiness. OMFG! I usually get swoony over the guy’s confession, but I just loved this Khushi so much. With her big heart and soul deep ability to love. I don’t think either one is luckier to have the other, simply, they are meant for one another.

    Trent is… surprising to say the least. But I agree with the girls here. We finally see an inkling of what made him attractive to Khushi at one point. Too little and much too late, but at least he’s redeemable. Payal now…. such incredible hate. What in the world does this woman see when she looks into the mirror? Can’t our fairy godmothers just zap her away somewhere? A bit of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo? 😛

  182. So so sorry for being so late to the party. I am in India on my annual holiday and access to wifi is tough to find. Add to that family obligations, and I find myself off the internet most of the time.
    Trent seems to have grown up at last. He has tried to knock some sense into Payal, but it hasn’t really worked. One does feel for her as this is such a waste of a whole life. Shashi might have been a good man, but he has hurt both his girls and is responsible for both their suffering.
    Waiting now to sée whee Payal ends up now.

  183. This is one of the most interesting stories I ever read. Going to read it again from the beginning as I hzve access to internet again 🙂

  184. Hi girls! Thanks for the invite. Had gone to India for a month long vacation and couldn’t get to the internet as often as I wanted.
    Loved the night #11. As much as I hate Payal, I feel sad for her as well. She is still the young girl trapped between the hatred between her parents. Seems like Shashi didn’t handle this well at all, by assuring her of his love for her. And Garima took full advantage of her vulnerability and fed her with lies and hatred. It’s really sad that both the men in her life betrayed her trust and love. I hope she bounces back and let go of her hatred towards Khushi.
    Anjali, Khushi and Robbie make a beautiful picture of friendship and trust. They are truly blessed to have found each other. I can’t wait to read Aman’s reactions to the gorgeous lingerie:-)
    No words to describe Arnav and Khushi. They are my ideal couple.

    1. Welcome back! We missed ya menakapuhan, although I too would also happily ditch FWN for a month long vacation 😀

  185. Hello girls… Thanks for the invite… 🙂
    Loved night 11…
    No matter how much Khushi suffered, she till thinks about Gupta family…
    I love the way Arnav has got her back… he would go think and thin for Khushi…
    I love the sisterhood… friendship is a beautiful bond… 🙂
    Oh my… Aman will definitely faint when he sees Anjali in lingerie 😉
    What will Payal do now??? Can’t wait for the next update 😀

  186. payal is like this because of the broken relationship of her parents..so khushi is moving in with arnav…i loved bond of robbie-khushi -anjali trio..

  187. A wonderful and mind blowing update. Arnav’s possessiveness of “his female” I should say lest he gets infuriated is absolutely adorable and their mutual trust equally one to yearn. Arnav letting Khushi go alone to meet Trent, or Khushi’s deductions about his actions portray the strength of their love. And Payal…well she is a despicable woman and Trent one of the top cowards. Trent’s question about loathing Khushi is something to ponder upon…too many skeletons in the cupboard. I hope to see more tender ArHi moments.

  188. Night 11- mind blowing stupendously brilliant update. .

    Felt in this update Arnav fulfill his 4 vows/ promises. ..

    ASR workholic working until morning in the office ..but this time best part was khushi is there with him

    Wow loved khushi’s biz sense n the way Arnav seek her opinion

    Loved his word my office. my cabin. My couch my woman. .scream his love…

    Totally enjoyed khushi’s way to deal with trey. . The way Arnav spoke n khushi lean on him for support ..shows he fulfilled his 2nd vow…

    His warning to trey.”no one know where u will be in huston river”- first vow to protect her

    Totally loved arhi at rooftop. . The way Arnav told her about gupta co n offer her to take over after her grooming.. answer to her question -4th vow besides her always ..

    Press conference Arnav Aman took the press head on.. lived their way n the way Arnav said he will protect his family.

    NK too good the way shut sheetal ..

    Payal totally go be case..
    She deserve ASR cold style robbie is correct..

    Oh he these 3 girls totally sisterhood loved them. .

    Garima I think she is the reason behind everyone’s unhappiness. . If she had set shashi free nothing like this would happen. . The nerve of Garima to still ask khushi to leave Arnav. .what the hell she think. .
    Totally loved the way khushi answered her .n Arnav’s entry too good. .

    Arnav gave what Garima needed..

    Arnav is right khushi is too good for her good..but love his condition move in.. (yehhhhh. .happy dance)…

    Khushi’s sincerity for those words. .

    Frustrated payal she has called it upon her. ..

  189. Taking the power away from Payal and Sheetal was a brilliant move. It allowed them to reveal the news on his own terms, and only reveal as much as they wanted to.

    Payal truly is crazy, isn’t she? She needs help, and stat. Garima should have seen the symptoms long before, and she probably would have, if her own hate and resentment for Khushi hadn’t overridden her better judgement.

    The sisterhood is a delight to read about, almost as much as the brotherhood (I just love Aman and NK’s conversations just a tad bit more)

    I hope Payal doesn’t fuck anything up too badly.

  190. The Raizada’s handled the press conference with power………sheetal was fixed……..Payal the real truth is she hates Shashi for betraying her mother and her……..she showed it on Khushi…..Amazing update……….

  191. With everything that has happened with Khushi, im glad things are going to be on the right track for her. She deserves all the happiness of the world and im glad Arnav is there beside her. 🙂

  192. ‘There was no anger or pain as she looked upon the features that had softened with age.’ Unquote…

    Ouch… ouch and double ouch… You guys are pretty vicious to those you don’t like… aren’t you? At age 26, Trent’s features have softened… the poor guy ( ok the creep ) should just commit Harakiri, right now! Coz the future is definitely bleak there.

    The fav part has to be the yank and hug scene at he restaurant. Obviously I am a sucker for the caveman style. And you guys have perfected it with YOUR guys!

  193. The girl bonding was so sweet.. Loved how Robbie and Khushi took away the doubts Anjali had about herself. Yeah.. Sisterhood.. There’s no better word for what they share.

    Payal needs therapy.. Her obsession of hating Khushi is bordering to the point of being dangerous. It’s no surprise the way she turned out considering how Garima herself is.
    And I think for once, Trent spoke something that is sensible whole talking to Payal. He is finally seeing the reality for what it is.

    And girls, love the quotes that you pick from various sources. So perfectly apt. The one in this update is my favourite. “Love cannot be found where it doesn’t exist, nor can it be hidden where it truly does.”

  194. Loved how the girls bonded and boosted Anjali’s confidence. What a bliss to have friendship/ sisterhood like that. I am a sucker for that type of friendships. Thats why I love Robbie so much. The most beautiful part I enjoyed in this story is the bond between the boys and the sisterhood between the girls. When is Lav going to join them.
    Loved the way Arnav gave back to Garima and his caveman yank and hug of Khushi. Always loved a possessive man.

    Paypal needs a shrink. It is too deep rooted. No advice from trenton her mother is going to open her eyes . She is far gone.
    Loved K’s empathy towards payal.

  195. I will be honest; I started this Night wanting to put in the comment in the end (here as I read the initial Trent-Khushi-Arnav convo ) that I am not convinced by the Trent Mathews angle of this story, somehow what happened years ago did not was just a very bad first experience. But as we end the night I like understand his angle. Good words by him. It has kind of taken over the other parts of the Night for me. Even the bikini lingerie part !!!!!