Night #5

Fifth Ave, New York

Hair damp, body tingling from the heady memory of Arnav’s touch, Khushi halted mid stride as her shocked gaze encountered Aman’s open appraisal, NK’s discreet wink, and Arnav’s carefully blanked face.

“Ummm…” she cleared her throat, “What are you guys doing here?”

Three sets of eyes watched as her face heated into a pink flame. Biting back a grin, Arnav’s eyes moved towards the ceiling and froze.

Dammit. How could he have been so careless? Once again he had been so lost in her; his usual self-preservation completely deserted him.

Like all the common areas throughout the hotel, the aerie housed eight cameras that went straight to a live feed where two high level security guards attended to them at all times. Security who had front row seats to the show he had personally provided in the last hour.

Arnav’s jaw flexed as he recalled the flicker of surprised wonder he’d glimpsed on Khushi’s face after he brought her to climax. The thought of some stranger’s gaze on her at such a vulnerable moment bothered him. That look was his.

Unexpectedly, he felt a hand rest on his tense shoulder; he cocked his head towards NK.

“It’s taken care of,” NK said quietly, with a slight head jerk towards the ceiling.

Arnav raised an eyebrow, Aman’s earlier comment about the cherry fully registering.

He opened his mouth to blast them when the corner of his vision caught on Khushi, smiling sweetly as his brother turned the Raizada charm on her. He knew she would be mortified if he brought up the cameras now.

Clamping down on the words, he gave NK a curt nod, and let the matter go.

✧✧✧

Waving goodbye to NK and Aman, Arnav led Khushi out to the main lobby.

“Arnav,” she called before they made it to the waiting limo, she made no further comment when he turned back to look directly at her, sharp, piercing.

“What is it?”

Forgetting her original train of thought, she stuttered, “Why… why are you looking at me like that?”

“I like how my name sounds on your lips… it adds an edge of anticipation to tonight when I know it’ll sound even better.” The delivery was crouched in such casualness of tone, she would have been deceived had he not been facing her.

Feeling momentarily robbed of oxygen; Khushi gulped in an extra lungful. “Where are we going?”

“Shopping.”

“Why?”

“What did you plan on wearing to dinner?”

Khushi frowned, “I have a pair of black pants and a coat. Does it matter so much to you what I wear?”

“To me? No, I prefer you in nothing at all. But to my world? It matters.”

“No money, no gifts remember? You promised me that. I can’t bend on this, Arnav.”

“I can afford it.”

“I know that, but there are certain… principles.”

He exhaled audibly, dismissing the driver. “You’re damned stubborn you know that?”

She bit her lips, clearly agitated. “Pot. Kettle.”

Caught between annoyance at her obstinacy and secret relief, he considered his options. His eyes caught on a billboard and inspiration struck.

“Fine. What’s your stance on borrowed clothes?”

“Don’t you dare look for loopholes! I won’t wear anything from AR.”

“Not a loophole. As hot as that body is Miss Khumari, you’re not built to fit what we have on hand for the models,” he gave her a wicked grin, “I meant my clothes.”

“Your clothes? As in menswear?”

“Yes, as in menswear.”

“Arnav, as you just pointed out so charmingly, I wouldn’t fit the clothes for your model, I definitely wouldn’t fit in your clothes.”

“Khushi,” his tone mocked, “I’m well aware of that. What surprises me is your utter lack of imagination.”

She regarded him with open distrust, “What are the terms?”

“You’re learning,” he replied with approval, “Ok, no gifts, no purchases. I expect every item to be returned by midnight. In exchange you will be my muse for the evening.”

“Your muse? I didn’t realize you took part in the designing and styling.”

“I haven’t, not in a long time, but when AR first started,” he shrugged, “Most women would consider it an honor you know, or at least feel very flattered to be taken under my… hands.”

“I’m not most women.”

“That much is becoming obvious. Well? Do we have a deal, Miss Khumari?”

“We have a deal, Mr. Raizada.”

“Good. Are you familiar with androgynous chic?”

✧✧✧

He whisked her straight through his bedroom. Khushi found herself feeling queasy as he ushered her into an elongated walk-in-closet, its size the equivalent of a second master bedroom.

Glass and steel in sleek lines ensured a masculine setting for the row upon row of suits that greeted their master, each carrying a more impressive label than the last. Armani, Domenico Vacca, Savile Row, Kiton and others she’d never heard of but was pretty sure were equally pricey. She could envision him walking in each morning and choosing his ‘weapons’ for the day.

Arnav thumbed impatiently through a collection of white oxfords. Yes, a collection. He favored a streamlined look she noted, with crisp white, muted greys, and monochrome black dominating the color palette of his wardrobe.

In the next hour he had her try on various combinations of her black pants and his shirts. There was a single mindedness to his approach that she found amusing if a bit alarming.

She was starting to tire as he made her put on yet another white shirt. Even Robbie, with her love of labels, didn’t possess this level of concentration towards dressing. Did it really matter if the shirt was three inches higher or lower on her thigh?

“Stop squirming,” he barked as he adjusted the collar.

“Arnav, this is ridiculous. You’ve made me change into six outfits already!”

Arnav stepped back to inspect the full effect of his latest choice.

“We’re going with this one.”

He had found an art gallery white silk dress shirt to pair with her pants. A charcoal silk tie hung loose around her neck and a solid black dinner jacket thrown casually over her shoulders completed the outfit . The oversize silhouette combined with her slimness created a chic effortless look that emphasized her feminine face.

“You may have inspired AR’s next show at New York Fashion Week.”

At her disbelieving look he shook his head. “You, Khushi, are a snob.”

“What!”

“You find fashion a frivolous pursuit don’t you?”

“I understand that there are many women around the world who devote themselves to it. I can appreciate the beautiful fantasy that comes down a runway. I even like some of the trends that trickle down to the chain stores. And I’m sure you make a sizable profit from it. However, I don’t have the time, the money, or the inclination to indulge in it, so how is it relevant to me?”

“Do you know borrowing from the men aisle is a time-honored tradition in which some of history’s most alluring women have partaken?” he asked suddenly.*

“What do you mean?”

“It was common for Katharine Hepburn to be sighted sporting a Brooks Brothers’ cashmere turtleneck sweater. Marlene Dietrich preferred slinking around in their silk dressing gowns. Coco Chanel built an empire by raiding her companions’ closets, nicking hunting tweeds and cardigans, which later became the foundation of her designs. And then there was Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic Le Smoking from 1966.”

“Le Smoking?”

“Yes, 48 years ago in Paris, when he sent the first Le Smoking – the French pronunciation of the British term for tuxedo – down the runway, he broke the last barrier for women.”

“How?” Khushi asked, intrigued.

“He introduced the world to the concept of women in trousers as part of evening wear. By pairing it with a white shirt, a large black bow at the neck, and satin stripes down wide pants, he was playing with a certain gender ambiguity. The style not only marked a shift in fashion, but also in power. His partner Pierre Bergé had it right when he made the statement ‘Chanel gave women their freedom; years later Saint Laurent brought them power’. If it hadn’t been for one man’s love of fashion and the desire to challenge norms, women may still find themselves putting on dresses for a night out. That’s why it is relevant to you, to me, to all of us.”

Khushi was staggered by his knowledge, further surprised by the deep respect resonating in his tone.

“You love it,” she said quietly with dawning realization, “It shouldn’t just be assumed you’re only interested in the profits.”

“I’m interested in profits. Money makes the difference between a good life and no life at all. However, if you have an eye towards success, comprehensive knowledge of your field is a requisite. There are those of us who live for their job. Not because we’re forced to, but because it provides a purpose. It’s not a bad thing. A businessman’s sanctum is his office, while a courtroom should feel like home to a lawyer. And if I ever require the service of a surgeon, only a workaholic is allowed to operate on me.”

“Don’t downplay it. Those weren’t the words of a workaholic; those were words of love. The kind of love a man has for a woman,” she looked at him speculatively, “or that of a child for his mother.”

✧✧✧

Khushi saw his body lock, his eyes darkening as wariness replaced warmth.

Aman’s advice ringing in her ears, Khushi drew herself up to meet his gaze squarely.

“What are you talking about?” Arnav demanded sharply. His breathing was too fast, his eyes opaque with suppressed anger.

“Sometimes talking about things makes it a little better,” Khushi said softly, sensing that they were dancing around something at the center of his psyche.

“You can trust me, Arnav.”

“Can I? I’ve heard that promise before,” he sneered.

“But …. it … it wasn’t from me.”

Something burned in his eyes at her words before he turned away abruptly. She took in his imposing back, so stiff with tension she was sure they would feel like granite if she reached out to touch. Her shoulders slumping in defeat, she looked towards the mirror he was facing and their eyes clashed.

His reflection held her eyes for a long time, his internal struggle palpable. Then, with his body still turned away, he shocked her by breaking the silence.

“My mother was a seamstress when we were in India. We didn’t have much, but what we did have was presented in the best way she could manage. She believed that the joy of dressing is an art.* A refined form of expression, a package of how you want to present yourself to the world, but also a glimpse to the person you are beneath. Clothes have history, they tell stories, they..” he stopped abruptly.

“Where is she now, Arnav?” Khushi encouraged quietly.

“She’s dead.” His voice went cold, the wall of ice slammed firmly into place.

Undeterred, her heart aching from the subdued pain she could sense in his words, she pushed.

“Did you start AR because of her?”

He kept silent for so long, she was prepared to let it go, when he spoke again.

“Yes. We named it after her.”

“Really? The media refers to it as an acronym of your name.”

“They assumed and we never corrected them. However, the company’s formation papers are under Anantha Raizada.”

“Anantha,” Khushi repeated, “That’s beautiful.”

“Yes.”

“Did you leave India after she …passed away?”

“Yes. It was unbearable to stay.” There was something hidden in that statement, more skeletons. But she instinctively knew he wasn’t ready for that. And perhaps, she wasn’t ready for that.

Instead she asked him, “Why New York?”

“Mahendra Mama sponsored us after Nani wrote to him, he and Mami moved here years ago since most of her family was here. They owned a small textile mill just outside the city.”

“How did you start AR?”

“The mill was doing well, but with extra mouths to feed, things were tough. Aman was too young, so while he went to school, I went with Mama to work at the mill. He’s a good man, but a poor businessman. He gave in too easily during contract negotiations with larger companies. After I learned the ropes, I started taking over. We discovered I had a knack for designing and our clientele changed as I improved.” Arnav shrugged, bypassing years of hard-won battles with ruthless competitors and the burden of caring for his family.

“Arnav, just how old were you?”

“Fourteen when we first came, seventeen when I started the company. Everything changed when we met an angel investor. He was a formidable presence in retail, but he had an eye towards couture. I convinced him to take a chance on us, and AR was formed. He was a good man, and a good friend.”

“Was?”

“He passed away several years ago. It was a loss to the business world, to his family and friends. AR’s first runway collection was dedicated to the most important woman of his life.”

“What did you call it?”

“Laramie, it means”

“Tears of love,” Khushi finished, startled.

“How do you know?”

“It’s my mother’s name.”

“NK mentioned she’s French.”

“Yes, a strange coincidence, isn’t it?”

“Yes, strange,” Arnav finally turned around and despite his own misgivings gave in to ask, “When did you lose her?”

“When I was twelve, she died in childbirth.”

“I’m sorry.”

“And your mother…?”

His eyes sliced through her, “She killed herself.”

Khushi recoiled at the blunt delivery of his words. “Oh, Arnav! I’m so sorry.”

“It’s better, actually, that she’s gone.”

“How can you say that?”

“She wasn’t really living before that. Her life with my father…. it broke her.”

Stricken, Khushi searched Arnav’s face for traces of any expression beyond the bleakness, but it was all there was. She didn’t understand what lay behind it, but she knew something had happened to this man, something horrible and ugly enough to force the burden of rigid self-containment onto his shoulders.

Wanting to ease him, she moved until their bodies touched. “You know, my mother named me double happiness.”

“Double happiness?” Khushi felt relief when he didn’t retreat.

“She said her name attracted sadness into her life, she didn’t want the same for me. So she chose the Hindi Khushi for happiness and the French Lacene for cheerful.”

“She sounds like a good mother.”

“She was the most wonderful mother, Arnav.”

“Yes, she must be, she gave the world a Khushi Lacene,” the words would have been flippant, yet his quiet delivery implied genuine intent.

The world faded away for Khushi, contracting until it only comprised of this moment.

“Do you think… she would have been proud of me? Of how I turned out?” she asked him earnestly.

Arnav tilted his head to one side as he studied the woman before him.

She looked stunning. The clothes showed off her figure to perfection, emphasizing her shape, exactly as he had envisioned. And her eyes… sweet eyes that held sensual promise. They made him want to lock the doors, take her and bury himself so deep, she’d never even look at another man again. He was fairly sure she wasn’t referring to all that.

Then he recalled her proud bearing the night they met, her temper when he wronged her, her refusal to accept anything she considered a handout, her grace when conceding a point, and the compassion in her entire body as he spoke of his past. She was all woman. A woman a man would be proud to claim. A daughter any mother would be proud to call her own.

Arnav didn’t tell her any of that.

“Absofuckinglutely,” he replied.*

A small smile broke over her lips, eyes deepening with suspicious moistness; she inched closer to him, laying a tentative hand over his heart.

“The man you are Arnav, the successful public figure the world sees and the glimpse of the private man you just gave me… she would have been proud of you, too.”

For a few taut seconds, she couldn’t read his expression. Then he muttered some curse under his breath she couldn’t quite catch before his arms closed around her. He bent his neck and pressed the side of his head against hers. Khushi suppressed a whimper of rising emotion as her arms wrapped around his waist. It was a hug of compassion, an acknowledgment of their shared loss. And the beauty of it filled her.

She eased his harsh breathing with tender hands, smoothing her fingers over his hair until he finally lifted his head and kissed her. His lips moved in a gentle caress, a balm to soothe the sting of his earlier rejection.

Arnav broke the kiss to nuzzle into the soft space between her neck and inhaled her scent, finding a comfort he hadn’t known he needed. He wished dinner was over.

Lifting his head he watched as Khushi opened her eyes reluctantly and smiled at him. A glint of tears shone in them, yet she didn’t allow any to fall. Taking her in, the promise of her, Arnav felt something shift in him. He wasn’t sure what it was, he only knew it was significant and he may never be the same after this.

“Are we going to stand here all night or are you going to take me to dinner so I can show off your creation?”

To that, he replied, “We stand here much longer, we won’t make it to dinner.”

She laughed then, breaking the spell around them. The sound so sweet he wanted to bottle it up and horde it for his own private pleasure. Since that wasn’t an option, he leaned in and took another kiss, feeling the vibration of her joy against his. Then, before either of them had time to dwell on what just transpired, Arnav took Khushi’s hands and led her out.

✧✧✧

10th Avenue, New York

Del Posto sat on a windswept corner of Manhattan. Stepping inside the restaurant, Khushi was overwhelmed by the explosive greeting of Italianate grandeur and opulence. The plush space of reds, browns and creams was dimly lit, making its statement with towering columns and curtained windows. Wrought-iron permeated the decor, including a beautiful grand staircase that served as the centerpiece. Amidst the light chatter of diners, well-played Gershwin tinkled in the background by a live pianist.

Nerves swirled low in Khushi’s stomach as she became acutely aware of the stares directed at them as they crossed the room towards the long dark bar, where NK and Aman were lounging in wait. Arnav took it in stride, his public face set into a slate of untouchable ice. She startled when she felt his hand reach out to take hers. He didn’t pause, nor did he look at her, simply lent his silent support as if he did it every day.

It bolstered her confidence and the stares of strangers lost importance. Lacing her fingers with his, she straighten her back to match his strides.

NK gave a low whistle when he caught sight of Khushi.

“Where did you take her?” Aman asked, his eyes skimming over her outfit with approval.

“My closet,” Arnav replied, as casually as if he had said Barneys.

“I’ll be damned. Khushi, you can definitely pull off androgynous chic, too bad you lack the height for modeling.”

Aman turned to the beautiful woman draped in a pale pink saree next to him.

“Khushi, there’s someone special I would like to introduce you to. She insisted on coming tonight. This is my fiancé, Anjali. Anjali, meet Arnav’s mystery girl, Khushi.”

“Jesus, Aman, you’re worse than a rabid fangirl,” Arnav snapped.

“As VP, I have to keep posted on the public perception of our company, especially of the CEO,” he turned to Anjali for affirmation, “Right, baby?”

She shook her head at him in gentle admonishment, then turned to Khushi, “I’m so happy to meet you, Khushi, I hope your encounters with Aman hasn’t left you with a bad impression.”

“Not at all, and the pleasure is mine,” Khushi stepped closer to take the hand Anjali had extended in greeting. Her body tensed when she saw surprise flash across the other woman’s face before it was masked. She felt an answering tug of recognition, almost certain they have met before. The unsettling thought was disrupted when Robbie strolled up to their group, looking stunning in an electric blue sheath dress she saved for special occasions.

Ignoring the others, her gaze fixated on Arnav.

“You must be Mr. Arrogant Selfish and Rich.”

“And you must be Roommate Sinclair.” Arnav returned lazily, yet his eyes were alert as she gave him a comprehensive once-over.

“That I am. I’m also the best friend who grew up with three brothers and has been taking judo since high school.”

“Are you threatening me, Miss Sinclair?

“No, I’m declaring my intentions to keep a close watch on you, Mr. Raizada. And I have front row-seating!”

“Robbie,” Khushi tried to cut in.

“One more thing, are you familiar with baseball, Mr. Raizada?”

“Doll, he has a dick doesn’t he? Of course he’s familiar with baseball,” NK interrupted.

Ignoring him, Robbie looked at Arnav, her height of 5’ 10” and the added three inches of heels set them at eye level, “Well?”

“Where are you going with this?”

“You see, I’m a fan of baseball, especially of the three strikes you’re out rule. In my book you’re already on strike one.” Robbie glared at him then. So deadly was her look, a lesser man would’ve found himself on his knees.

Arnav, however, was undaunted. Khushi swore his mouth twitched, but it was gone so fast she thought she might have imagined it. “I see. So you like to keep score?”

“Yes. Since she,” Robbie angled her head towards Khushi, “is too naïve for her own good.”

Arnav nodded, giving Robbie the full power of his assessing regard as he said, “Ok, how about this. Khushi 1, Arnav 0.”

Five pairs of eyes flew to him. He wouldn’t, Khushi thought, prayed.

“What score are those?” Robbie asked, suspicion in her voice.

“Orgasm counts,” Arnav deadpanned.

Robbie blinked at him then threw back her head and laughed. As the others joined in, Khushi turned mortified eyes towards Arnav. Not only was he unrepentant, the man had the audacity to give her hand a squeeze!

“Aren’t you full of surprises.” Visibly relaxed, Robbie turned to Khush, a wide grin on her face, “Well, well. You look smashing, Khushi!”

“Le Smoking?” she directed at Arnav, a hint of reluctant admiration in her tone.

“It was an inspiration.”

She beamed, “Damn, I’m not mad anymore. Feed me and we might even graduate to liking.”

✧✧✧

NK made quick work of introductions then motioned for the maître d’ who fawned and fussed as he led them up to the semi-private balcony adorned with flickering tea-lights. A white tablecloth, gold dinnerware, and gleaming glasses sat elegantly on the long table in invitation.

Arnav pulled open the end chair for Khushi, the ladies ended up on one side, while the men took the opposite seats. No menus were offered but a wine list, one closer to a leather bound novel, was discreetly provided. They were given several minutes to soak in the atmosphere before the head chef, sommelier, and two servers came out to greet them. Apparently, dining with the Raizada brothers conferred special status.

Robbie let out an inelegant snort.

“What’s so amusing?” NK asked.

She lifted her shoulders lightly. “Nothing…I’m just enjoying the spectacle of all the minions tripping over themselves to impress Mr. ASR… that has a certain ring to it doesn’t it?”

“Buona sera Signores! Signorinas! It’s a pleasure to have you dine with us.”

“Thanks for taking a last minute reservation, Marco.” Aman responded. “We’ve brought two uninitiated tonight.”

“Eccellente! We shall go with the tradizionale this evening then,” he turned to address Khushi and Robbie, “You will love it. Eight-courses to introduce you to the length and breadth of Italiano cuisine, from my hometown of Sicily to the Alto Adige. You brought your stomach?”

Robbie grinned, “Oh, we have definitely brought our stomach.”

“Buono. Buono. It’s an evening for champagne and conversation. I go to prepare, please enjoy yourselves.” he gave a lavish bow and left with quiet flair.

“What shall it be this evening, sir?” the house sommelier addressed Arnav.

After conferring with Aman and NK, he ordered a bottle of champagne to start their evening and a 1990 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva to complement their meal. Khushi was positive both must cost a small fortune since the sommelier gave a brief, but genuine smile of approval before he walked briskly towards the wine cellar.

Anjali asked for a gin and tonic, while Khushi opted for an Amaretto. She had the feeling it would be needed for later, the fact was confirmed when she met Arnav’s knowing eyes.

The table turned to Robbie, who hesitated for all of two seconds before giving NK a challenging smirk.

“I’ll have a martini,” she said sweetly.

“Gin or vodka, Signorina?”

“Vodka, up, no ice…. it wouldn’t be a bother to have the glass chilled, would it?”

At the server’s head shake, she added, “Olives, no onions,” Robbie paused in deliberation before completing the order. “two of them, on a toothpick… please.”

The minute the dazed server walked away to fulfill their drinks order, all three men burst into laughter.

NK turned to her, “You this particular in bed?”

She awarded him with one of her mischievous grins. “Depends, does it turn you on or off?”

“On, babydoll, definitely on.”

✧✧✧

Six sparkling flutes of Perrier-Jouët Brut Blanc de Blancs Belle Epoque arrived with fanfare.

“What shall we toast to?” Anjali asked.

“To midnight kisses and flying fruits!” NK tossed out.

“To morning swims and cherry bikinis!” Aman exclaimed.

Robbie hid a grin as Khushi blushed in the way only she was capable of, while Arnav’s face darkened with an ominous pledge of retribution.

Anjal, who had been quietly watchful, raised her glass and simply said, “To new beginnings.”

“I’ll drink to that,” Arnav responded quickly.

“To new beginnings,” Khushi repeated. Touching the rim of her glass lightly against his before the group joined in.

As the others drowned their flutes, Arnav couldn’t tear his eyes off Khushi as she fought off displaying surprise and pleasure as the taste of the champagne settled on her tongue. He was looking forward to tonight when the taste of her settled on his. His fingers tightened on the glass flute in a reflex action, to stop himself from reaching out and hauling her across the table and crushing that kissable mouth under his.

He hadn’t missed the male attention she’d garnered when they entered the restaurant. It took control not to snarl. Taking her hands in his had sent a message, but when she responded by lacing his fingers with her own, he had felt suddenly grounded. As if he finally found the center to balance his off-kilter existence. A dangerous woman.

✧✧✧

Conversation flowed easily with the help of NK and Aman’s quick wit coupled with Robbie’s flirty responses. Anjali was quieter, but as the meal progressed, Khushi noticed how she had a talent for filling gaps with lighthearted anecdotes. More than once she caught the elegant woman looking at her, her perusal discreet, but undeterred.

After taking a final bite of the Lobster alla Cesare, Aman set his utensils down and sighed dramatically. “It’s absolutely unfair for women to claim that guys only want one thing. Besides sex, we also want good food.”*

“What’s unfair is how you don’t have a potbelly considering the high level of fat you regularly feed it.” NK retorted.

“I’m told I have the body of a god,” Aman responded with smugness.

“A hot Greek god or one of those Egyptian ones with the jackal heads?” Robbie asked innocently.

At Aman’s gap, she grinned, “Next time a woman tells you that, ask her to specify.”

“Do you run?” Khushi asked Aman.

“He only runs when there’s an incentive,” NK replied with a smirk. “About a year ago we had a shoot with a snake theme, a friend of Arnav’s loaned us his pythons.”

“Don’t you dare, NK!”

NK was undeterred, “One of the python escaped and ended up in Aman’s office. Next thing you know, he’s running down fifteen flights of stairs shrieking the entire way.”

“It was not a fucking shriek!” Aman snapped, “It was a masculine cry of terror.”

“Your bromance is making some of us uncomfortable.” Arnav joined in drily.

“It’s lovely,” Khushi said, then added softly, “The love of man to woman is a thing common and of course, and at first partakes more of instinct and passion than of choice; but true friendship between man and man is infinite and immortal.

“Who the fuck said that?” Aman demanded.

“Plato,” she muttered, a bit embarrassed as the group’s attention focused on her.

She looked across the table and caught the smile hovering on Arnav’s lips. She had been exquisitely attuned to him all evening while the others bantered. She barely noticed the courses being delivered. She must have eaten, but for the life of her she couldn’t remember what. She found herself sneaking glances, delighting over the shifting nuances. The way his eyes crinkled slightly at the corners when he smiled, that unruly lock across her forehead that made her hand itch run a hand through it. The man was dangerous to her senses.

From the moment he sat down, Arnav had discreetly caught her hands under the table, negating her every attempt to pull free. As they ate, he would slowly stroke a thumb across her wrist, rewarding her with a sensual smile when he felt her pulse jump in response to his touch. If his intent was to drive her out of her mind before dinner was over, he had succeeded spectacularly. Every touch was added kindle the fire he ignited in her upon their first kiss, a scorching blaze that needed to be burned out before she went senseless with need. Unfortunately, Khushi knew her deliverance was in the hands of her tormentor.

✧✧✧

A sudden commotion from the stairs drew their attention. Khushi turned to see Supermodel Lavanya Kashyap walk up the balcony. She wore a figure hugging dress in simple white, veered from innocence by a highly dramatic plunging V-neck. Her body was coveted by both men and women, but it was the striking face, so blatantly sensual it evokes images of a pagan goddess, that had shot her to international stardom.

She halted abruptly when she caught sight of their table. Tension coiled inside Khushi when she saw bleak pain fill Lavanya features, stark as spilled ink on paper.

Khushi whipped back to Arnav when he abruptly dropped her hand. His eyes had gone from soft warmth to hard ice. He was furious. It was visibly etched in the taut line of his jaw and tightly pressed lips. Even his body changed, tensing into unyielding stiffness. Next to him, NK and Aman carried similar looks of unease.

Lavanya recovered her bearing, and without a word she walked past them to her dinner companion. Robbie took in the vibe, a frown marring her features.

“Is she an ex-girlfriend?” she asked bluntly to the table at large.

“No,” Arnav clipped.

She was about to push, when she felt NK’s hand squeeze her knee.

She looked up and he shook his head. “Later” he mouthed silently.

Not liking the mood, she muttered, “I need to go touch up, Khushi you coming?”

“Sure.”

Anjali stood up, “I’ll join you.”

“One thing I can never understand. Why do women go to the ladies room in groups?” NK asked, in a clear attempt to lighten the stifling atmosphere.

“To exchange secrets, big guy. Now talk business or something, we’ll be a while.” Robbie retorted.

She grabbed her clutch and headed in search of the ladies’ room, Anjali and Khushi falling into steps behind her, unaware or ignoring the number of heads that turned as they progressed across the dining room.

✧✧✧

As soon as they stepped through, Robbie turned to Anjali expectantly, “Is Lavanya Arnav’s ex-girlfriend?

“No.”

“Then why…”

“It’s Arnav and Aman’s story to share, not mine,” Anjali responded softly, but with underling firmness.

“Arnav and Aman’s?”

Perceiving Anjali’s discomfort, Khushi intervened, “Robbie, let it be. You’re putting Anjali on the spot.”

“Don’t you want to know?” At Khushi’s pointed look, she backed down, “Fine. Too many skeletons in the Raizadas closet, yeesh.”

Digging into her purse, Robbie paused long enough to reapply a fresh coat of fire engine red lipstick, “I’m guessing you came along because you wanted a moment alone with, Khushi.”

Surprise fused Anjali’s features, but she nodded. “If you don’t mind, then yes.”

Robbie shrugged, “I could use some fresh air – see you.”

“Have we met?” Khushi asked Anjali once Robbie left.

“Yes. … I’m not surprised you don’t remember; you were so distraught at the time. But your eyes, I’ve never forgotten them.”

“I…distraught?”

“Yes, it was a little over two years ago….in the middle of December at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx.”

Khushi trembled involuntarily as the words conjured an old memory. “…Red umbrella, that was you?” she asked incredulously.

“Yes! Red umbrella.”

“I always wanted to say thank you, but you left before I even realized…”

“I think fate was at play that day.”

“What do you mean?”

✧✧✧

Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York

2 years and 5 months earlier

The cemetery was suitably bleak, and there were no flowers to cheer the snow covered gravestones. The silence of the cemetery was deafening, as if somehow even the usually bustling ol’ New York knew better then to encroach on these sacred grounds.

She turned twenty-one today. Would they be proud of the woman she’d become? She didn’t have any answers, or anyone to ask. They’d been gone from her life for so many years now- memories of them, especially of her mother were dimmed- formed mostly from lingering wisps of snowy mornings, wiped tears and goodnight kisses.

Silent tears slid unheeded down her frozen cheeks as she huddled against cold stones, despairing and yearning for connection.

✧✧✧

Anjali Jha was on her way out of the cemetery when she saw a lone figure shivering violently on the snow blanketed grounds between two graves. She had presumed she was the only one there on such a frosty morning. Umbrella in hand, she moved closer, only to see a young woman with too thin arms wrapped around herself, as if fending off a blow.

She reached out and gently nudged a quivering arm half covered by the snowfall. When she opened her eyes Anjali was gutted by the raw pain emancipating from the sea-green orbs, the most stunning pair she had ever seen. It was the heart sick kind of agony she once felt when she lost her first love.

“Are you okay?”

Anjali watched as those arresting eyes glazed over, body shrinking inward as she kept her silent vigil.

The driver came up behind her, “Miss Jha, we need to return to the car before the snow gets any heavier.”

Anjali hesitated, feeling it was wrong to simply leave. Unable to get a response, she finally placed her red umbrella in the snow, angling it to shield the fragile figure from the gusty flakes as best she could.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” the words of condolence were whispered sincerely before she turned and walked away.

Not knowing that a few minutes later the still body jerked out of its stupor and feet scrambled towards the gates.

✧✧✧

10th Ave., New York

“I ran out not five minutes after, but you were gone.”

“We only made it three blocks before the car was caught in a patch of ice. I ended up at the local hotel that day.

“Who were you there for?”

“My fiancé.”

“Fiancé?”

“Yes, my high school sweetheart. He died in a car crash,” Anjali shared softly.

“I’m sorry.”

“And you?”

“I was …celebrating my twenty first with my parents.”

Sympathy colored Anjali’s eyes. “Over the years, I’ve always wished to run into you again. I came back to the cemetery so many times, but never saw you.”

“I also came that day to say goodbye. Life was too difficult in Bronx. I moved to Brooklyn and after that visits were limited to once every few months. But why did you want to see me?”

“I’m not sure, but it always felt like a missed opportunity. Besides, I wanted to thank you.”

“Thank me?”

“Because of that chance encounter with you, I’ve come to understand that while life is under no obligation to give us what we desire, it has a way of giving you what you need, just not in the form you expect. Do you know who I ran into at the hotel that day? Aman. He was there for only a night to check on management for Arnav since AR was considering the purchase of the hotel.”

Khushi eyes rounded as she grasped Anjali’s meaning. “Yes, a strange turn of events isn’t it? If I hadn’t seen you, I would have left earlier and may never have met Aman.”

“To be honest, it’s hard to see Aman as a soon to be married man.”

Anjali laughed, “He was quite the player then. That first year, I didn’t trust a word out of his mouth. But one thing you’ll learn, the Raizada men are incredibly determined. He simply wore me down. And along the way I discovered a genuine heart under the flash and charm.”

“Yes, did he tell you about the note he wrote to me?”

“Deep down, he’s a romantic. If there’s one person he loves more than me, it’s Arnav. They made many sacrifices for AR and for each other, whoever is lucky enough to stand beside either brother will really be taking on both.”

Anjali looked at Khushi with keen speculation, but she was wise enough not to pry further into the current state of their relationship. Instead she said, “When I reflect back on our brief encounter and the events that happened following it, I realized that you had to accept that the loss would always stay with you, but there were still opportunities for happiness, even joy. I thought I would never be able to open my heart again, but I learned I was wrong. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but”

“But you learn to dance with the limp.”Khushi finished for her.*

“Yes.”

“Thank you for your umbrella, that token of kindness got me through the winter,” Khushi said as tears gathered behind her lids.

“Thank you for giving me a second chance at love.” Anjali replied, her own eyes misting as she leaned in to give Khushi a tight hug. “And now we’re here. It’s a small and wonderful world isn’t it?”

✧✧✧

“What the fuck!” Arnav clipped when he took in their puffy eyes.

Aman shot out of his seat, going straight to Anjali. “You okay, baby?” he asked softly, his voice so at odds with his usual flirtatiousness, Khushi blinked.

Anjali mouthed one word, a name “Varun” and his eyes glinted oddly before he folded her into his arms. The action so natural and so sweet, it made Khushi ache a little even as she smiled at them. Her gaze went to Arnav, seeking contact as their meeting played over in her mind like a merry-go-round. How strange, how wonderful, it was to be alive.

Of their own volition, her feet took her to his side, and completely oblivious to all others; she bent to kiss the corner of his jaw. He kept silent, but his chin dipped and his eyes caught fire.

Glancing towards Robbie, she saw her friend observing Aman and Anjali with amazed delight.

NK, catching the soft sigh she couldn’t withhold, leaned over to whisper “Redeemed playboy makes the best husbands you know.”

“You have an uncanny ability to read minds, Handsome.”

Anjali extracted from Aman and went to put an arm around Khushi, she beamed at Arnav, “I’m expecting her at my engagement party, Arnav.”

“Jesus, what kind of conversations do women have in restrooms that turn them from strangers to fucking sworn sisters?” Aman muttered.

At Arnav’s brief nod, they finally settled down. Khushi stole a look to the side of the restaurant only to realize that Lavanya had left sometime during her interlude with Anjali. The beautiful woman’s pain bothered her, but judging by Arnav’s reaction, it was something best left alone.

The rest of dinner passed uneventfully, a whirl of delicious food and light conversation. Khushi was kept from relaxing in the enjoyable company by the merciless onslaught of Arnav’s sensual stares, arousing her own desire to a feverish pitch.

It was nearly ten when their evening came to a close. Khushi, with mounting nerves, had sucked back her entire Amaretto and was starting to feel the effects of alcohol combined with the emotional high.

“She’s a bit smashed.” Robbie declared to their table. Her tone was nonchalant, but Arnav sensed she was throwing down a gauntlet of some kind – at him.

“What kind of a drunk is she?” NK asked.

“An… interesting one,” Robbie replied, mischief sprinkled across her face.

NK and Aman exchanged uneasy looks. Arnav was a man who held his liquor well and did not tolerate a bad drunk. “Maybe Khushi should go home with…” NK started.

“No,” Arnav cut in. He turned to Robbie, “I promise I won’t hurt her in any way. Will you trust that?”

Her cat eyes ran over his tall frame, the chiseled face. He really was too handsome for his own good. However, before she approached the group at the bar, she had witnessed how Arnav took Khushi’s hand in his when he noted her distress. She also hadn’t missed how both ate dinner with only one hand. Before her was a man besotted.

She smirked at the knowledge, wondering how long it would take him to realize it, and more, to admit it. Robbie was a woman who believed in following one’s instincts. Observing him through dinner, she was inclined to believe this man was exactly who she dreamed of for her girl. So he was little edgy, a little cold, full of mysteries and too damn rich. Yet, weren’t the greatest love stories ever told riddled with trials and tribulations? Yes, yes, yes, her romantic heart encouraged.

If Robbie knew one thing as fact, she knew Khushi’s inherent warmth was capable of melting the iciest of hearts. And when she broke through, the universe had to deliver on the promise of happily ever after, right? She giggled at the thought, wouldn’t ASR run a mile if he knew what she was thinking. Shit, what did he ask? Oh right, did she trust him with Khushi?

“She’s happy, I’m happy. It’s as simple as that.” Robbie took a breath, then gave it to him, “Take care of her, Arnav.”

Arnav checked his urge to smile at the small victory; she had called him by name. Who knew her friend’s approval would hold such weight? He nodded solemnly, giving the proper acknowledgement her concession warranted.

They understood each other. Good.

He angled towards NK who winked, “Don’t worry, I’ll take Robbie home.”

Aman, wrapped up in Anjali, gave a casual wave. Although knowing his brother, tomorrow he expected a full dose of ribbing.

“An interesting evening, Miss Sinclair, it was a pleasure to meet you.”

“Oh, its Robbie now, otherwise I would feel inclined to call you Mr. ASR.”

“Alright, Robbie it is. NK, I expect you first thing tomorrow morning. Good night, everyone.”

He stood easily and held out a hand. Khushi allowed him to pull her up, a little unsteady until he slipped an arm around her waist and together they walked out. Khushi assumed she said her goodbyes, but with Arnav’s potent scent so distracting she couldn’t be sure. She had to stop herself from turning into his chest and inhaling the intoxicating mix of spiced aftershave and man.

Guiding her into the limo, Arnav didn’t know what to expect for the remainder of the night. As a rule, he didn’t take care of drunken women. As a rule, he sent them packing. Yet, when presented with the opportunity to do so just now, he had rebuffed it.

If he was honest, he was simply incapable of letting her go – tonight.

“Some privacy, Thomas,” Arnav said curtly to his driver.

Another concession to her, Arnav thought. When he had asked his driver for his first name earlier, the poor man had nearly gone into shock. There was a definite edge of power to the element of surprise, he mused. Khushi with her strange ways would make a formidable businesswoman.

Once the black partition slid into place, ensuring privacy, he turned to her, his eyes glowing. In the dim light, he looked slightly wild, Khushi thought, her breathing hitched as it mixed with the staccato of her heartbeat.

“Come here,” he instructed throatily. It was time to test just how drunk she was.

✧✧✧

With deceptive laziness, Arnav reached for her, sliding her along the black leather seat until their thighs were touching. Then, as if he suddenly couldn’t wait another second, he jerked her forward and slanted his mouth across hers.

Desire. She burned with it. Tiny flames licked across the sensitize skin he had teased all evening. It thickened her blood, pumped through her body, pooling low between her thighs.

She was incapable of concentrating on anything beyond the hot slide of his mouth against hers. Her hands curled into his shirt unconsciously when he touched his tongue to hers. She was falling, and he was her only lifeline.

One of Arnav’s hands glided down to her back and hauled her into him, making her arch against him. The kiss grew hotter, more carnal as his tongue danced with hers.

Blood roared in her ears. She was drunk. Intoxicated. Not from the alcohol, but by the man. The way he held her, the way he kissed her, the way he made her feel. Drunk, totally.

Khushi whimpered when his mouth left hers, only to sigh softly as she felt him trail hot kisses across her jaw. When he reached her neck he pressed his mouth firmly against her throat, until her pulse beat wildly against his tongue in heightened pleasure.

They were in a cocoon. Khushi wasn’t even aware of the bright lights as they glided through the city. She was only achingly aware of herself as a woman, with Arnav as her masculine counterpart.

She saw Arnav’s head dip down, felt his hot breath feather over her sensitized nipple before his mouth closed around it. Khushi sank back against the seat, the bones in her body melting at the carnal connection.

At her moan, he pulled back. “Say my name,” Arnav demanded.

“What?”

“Do you know what you’re doing? And with who?”

She gave him a slow blink, her mind still in a haze. How could he have any doubt? She opened her mouth to set him straight when she was interrupted by a hiccup. Her hands flew to her mouth and her eyes widened as she starred at him.

If he wasn’t so painfully aroused Arnav would have found that wide eyed stare fucking cute.

Grinning, he gently pried her fingers away, but the next words that came out of her mouth was something he didn’t anticipate.

“You’re Arnav. And you’re trouble.” She declared.

“How so?”

“You know how fitting it is that your name means the ocean? Because of you I’m not just in a mess of trouble, I’m beyond trouble. I’m in so deep, I’m over my head. But… but the water feel so warm, so…lovely and comforting, I’m beginning to wonder if I mind drowning… in the ocean… in you… in Arnav.”

His name was accompanied by her doing a face plant into his chest.

Her words touched a place he had buried so deeply, he was sure his own blood wasn’t able to reach it.

Suddenly he knew why Robbie had declared her an interesting drunk. Alcohol loosened her careful control over herself, she was completely uninhibited and unfiltered, doing and saying what came naturally. Ever a pragmatic, he filed the information away for later use.

“You want my participation or is this a one-sided conversation?” he asked.

“You input isn’t required at this juncture,” she muttered into his shirt, her haughty tone making him roar with laughter even as his arms slid around her.

Khushi felt the vibration against her cheek, the masculine arms anchoring her, and smiled – content.

✧✧✧

NK turned to Robbie, “Ready?”

“Can we walk?”

“Are you up for it?”

“Please, the lightweight left with your boss. A fifteen-minute walk should clear all the alcohol out of my system.”

“Ok, then” saying goodbye to Aman and Anjali they made their way out.

It was dark outside, the temperature hovered right around the low thirties. The chilly wind was an icy sting that could easily bring tears to one’s eyes, but NK barely noticed as he followed Robbie down a sidewalk. She seemed fascinated as they took in the lit skyline of Manhattan – a rare creature still enchanted with the city.

Seeing Robbie hug her arms to her chest, he offered her his overcoat. She surprised him by actually accepting it.

NK had a plan for the remainder of the evening, a plan with one crucial element: that he absolutely not kiss Robbie. He suspected she was expecting him to try, and he wanted to keep her guessing.

“Did you enjoy the evening?”

“It was… enlightening,” she smiled, but made no attempt to elaborate.

Fine, onwards. “Why New York? A move from a family farm in Indiana to the big city must have been a culture shock.”

“Yes. As shocking as the transition from the Outback to America I imagine.”

He grinned at her. Right.

“I couldn’t find what I wanted in Indiana.”

“And that is….”

“Lights, labels…. love,” the last said wistfully.*

“And out of those which have you found?”

“Lights I found on day one,” she grinned. “Labels are a little out of my reach at the moment, but they’re getting to be within touching distance.”

“And love?”

“Too many men who like to sell fairy tales in this city. But once you buy in, believing the extravagant promises….. poof,” she snapped her fingers, “you discover you just purchased a common pumpkin instead of the gold carriage.”

“Still believe in fairy tales?”

“No!” at his arched brows she conceded, “Okay, maybe, but a little less each day. Not everyone gets everything they wish for.”

He fell silent, acknowledging the truth of her words.

“Although, some wishes are easier to grant than others,” she grinned impishly at him, “I’m wearing them you know.”

“What?”

“Something black and lacy.”

He gave a startled laugh. “Do I get to see?”

“That part falls under wishes to be left unfulfilled.”

NK’s body tightened, damn if he didn’t love a challenge.

“Robbie?”

“Yeah?”

“I don’t peddle fairytales. I deal with facts. And fact is you’re going to cave eventually.”

“Don’t bet on it.”

“I think the odds are in my favors – shall we shake on it?”

He extended a hand, palm up. She starred at it, and then with a careless toss of curls, took it with a firm shake.

“What does NK stand for anyway?”

“The day I see you in black lace, in only black lace – I’ll let you know.”

“Hmm… tempting.”

“Your head clear?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll take you home.”

“I’m a big girl, NK, I can get myself home.”

He considered her for a moment, “Fine. Allow me to get you a cab at least.”

They walked back to the main thoroughfare and NK easily flagged down a taxi. Once Robbie slid in, he handed the cabbie three crisp hundred dollar bills. “I want her home safe.”

“Yes, sir!”

“You shouldn’t have.”

Despite his earlier resolve, NK leaned in to touch his mouth to hers, “Sweet dreams dollface, I expect a starring role in them tonight.”

He shut the door before she could respond, with words or with a slap. With Robbie, who knew?

The windows rolled down, “NK?”

“Yeah?”

“My ma gave me two piece of advice before I left Indiana, one of them was, ‘You can judge a man by the company he keeps’. You keep good company, Handsome.”

“What’s the other advice?”

“Oh no, ma’s advice needs to be earned. No freebies.”

He grinned, remaining at the curb until he saw the taxi disappear into the ongoing traffic.

“Well, fuck me.”

✧✧✧

Fifth Ave, New York

Arnav guided Khushi to his room and sat her down on the bed. He had been strangely silent during the rest of the ride. She reclined against headboard as he moved around the room. Under her watchful gaze he headed to the bathroom, coming out a moment later with a wet towel in hand. What was he doing?

The bed dipped as he sat down beside her. To her shock, he moved the cloth towards her face and gently wiped away her makeup. A taut stillness entered the air around them as he performed the intimate task. Something she had always thought only a husband would do.

“You hardly wear any makeup,” Arnav noted absently.

Once he was satisfied, he dropped the towel next to the night stand and brought his hands to Khushi’s face, his thumbs brushing back and forth against her cheeks. She was barely breathing now, hypnotized by the glitter of his eyes, by the heady sense of expectation in the air. She could see his jaw clench as if he was exerting control of himself and inwardly she trembled to think that he had to exert it because of her.

She expected him to kiss her then, could almost taste it. Instead, he reached towards her, smoothly removing her dinner jacket before urging her head down onto the pillow.

“What are you doing?” she asked, confused by his behavior.

He got up to remove his own, stripping off his shoes, socks, shirt and slacks in short order, until he was in nothing but a pair of black briefs. He went to flick off the lights then slid onto the other side of the bed, lying on his back on top of the covers.

“Taking care of you,” he said mildly. “I told Robbie that I would. You’re full of champagne and amaretto; I’m not taking advantage of that. So for now, we’ll sleep it off.”

There it was again. Sweet.

She wasn’t even tipsy, his kisses coupled with the brisk wind on her face as they made their way from the curb to his suite had ensured it. Yet, she didn’t want to rebuff his consideration. Such a complex man, what would it take to reach his depths?

“Go to sleep,” Arnav told her, his voice strained.

“Arnav?”

“What?”

“Will you… hold me? Like the other night?”

His arms immediately closed around her, as if they had been waiting in the wings for her cue. They pulled her deeply into his chest, until there was no telling where one of them began or the other end.

It gave her the courage to whisper, “I missed you… last night.”

“You haven’t known me long enough,” he responded warily.

“Shows how much you know,” Khushi scoffed, sliding downward and snuggling deeper. “I couldn’t even fall asleep.”

She bit down on her lips, unsure of his reception to the revealing confession. In typical Arnav fashion, he tightened his arms around her in acknowledgement, and then bossed, “Sleep, Khushi.”

✧✧✧

The vibration of Arnav’s cellphone against the nightstand jolted Khushi from sleep. A glance at the clock showed it was twenty minutes to midnight. She had nodded off for only an hour, yet she had never slept so deeply, her body felt fully recharged.

Energized, she eased out from Arnav’s arm, heading to the bathroom to freshen up. She examined her reflection in the mirror, still seeing a pale face stare back, but something was different. Her eyes were dancing, her skin ….glowed? Hmmm, either the skin care regiment Robbie kept her on was finally kicking in or she was in lo…

Her knees wobbled, her hands shot out to grab hold of the vanity for balance. No. That wasn’t possible. It was too much, too fast. The man was too far out of her reach.

Right?

Yet when she slept next to him, it didn’t feel too much, or too fast. Out of her reach? Perhaps, but what if he was willing to meet her halfway? Didn’t he already prove he could do so? He had given her a beautiful day and even though he had extracted the promise from her – again he hadn’t taken.

No longer able to support her shaky limbs, Khushi moved and plopped herself down on the bench seat of the Jacuzzi tub.

Breathe, she reminded herself as she tried to make sense of jumbled thoughts. It was the conversation with Anjali earlier that calmed the chaos. She could recall the love her parents shared despite their brief time together. Life was too short and full of danger. Her road to meeting this man had been filled with a lot of disappointment and heartache. Now that he was right in front of her, was she going to be a coward or boldly take a step forward?

She was the one who came to him this morning wasn’t she? And wasn’t it she, just plain Khushi, the one who found a little window into his guarded heart this afternoon? And wasn’t she the same woman who had worn an outfit meant to empower women and break the final gender barrier in fashion norms?

What was stopping her now?

Khushi believed in fate. She was meant to spend this night, if only this one night, with Arnav. To learn what it was that made women give their hearts to men, to know what made her mother sacrifice everything for a piece of paradise.

She wanted to belong to the man lying in that bed. She wanted to know what it would be like to be his.

Tonight was his, hers. Theirs.

She jumped to her feet, nervous excitement racing through her as she remembered the terms of their deal. Mr. Raizada may have decided not to collect, but Khushi Lacene Khumari was a woman of her word. She had promised to return every article of clothing before midnight, and she would damn well deliver on it.

✧✧✧

Arnav woke up to the feel of heated kisses along his jaw.

What the –

His stunned eyes caught sight of Khushi’s glowing one just before she leaned in and kissed him. Deep.

Arnav let her touch him, remaining silent and still until she ran her hands lightly up his chest, causing chill bumps to break over his skin as desire raced through him.

“What are you doing?”

Her palm settled over his heart, now pounding against his ribcage. Her lips curved, a movement both mysterious and sensual- a woman’s smile, “Don’t you remember our deal?”

“What?”

“You wanted your clothes back by midnight. It’s 11:58 now. How fast can you undress a woman?”

Arnav’s body went from drowsy to sharp arousal at her challenging words. Fuck if this was the alcohol talking she was out of luck because he was done reining himself in.

“Do you know what you’re inviting, Khushi?”

“Yes.”

He gave her a wicked smile as he sat up, yanked her into his lap and whispered hotly into her ears, “Baby, it won’t take a minute.”

His hands traveled up her silk clad back, and without a thought to what he’d paid for the shirt, tore it off her.

Arnav felt incredible satisfaction as her eyes, rounded in shock, flew to his. Before she could recover, he made quick work of her pants, stripping away her practical bra and panties, until there was only Khushi. He eased her down on his sheets, the stark black enhanced the rich creaminess of her skin, in turn making her eyes glow like magical lamps in the dark. Did she say she was drowning? Why then, did he feel he was the one lost at sea? Lured by her siren call…. his own mermaid.

“In about five seconds . . .” He starred at her lips. “I’m not going to give a damn if you’re drunk or sober.”

“I’m not drunk, Arnav.”

“Give me your eyes.” His fingers slid into her hair, tilting her face to meet his gaze. Khushi leaned into his touch. Drawn to it. Craving it. Through the arousal she saw gentle concern, and it nearly undid her. She didn’t care what tomorrow held, not when the need to be touched overtook all other desire. His hard body hummed with life above hers, and even the few inches of separation felt too far.

Khushi raised herself up, “Arnav,” she murmured, finding his mouth, “I want to make love with you.”

They both tensed at the request. Filtered moonlight and the dim light from the balcony cast enough of a glow to watch each other. Really see each other for the first time.

All sense of caution fell away, his mind, his being intent on one thing. Make her his. Arnav bent down, took her face in his hands and kissed her, exulting when her hands crept around his back and she kissed him back with equal fervor. It wasn’t hot. It was scorching.

He held her firmly, anchoring her against the hard framework of his body, showing her what it was to burn while still craving the heat. This time his kisses were longer, so consuming she could barely catch her breath. She molded her body against him until there wasn’t a millimeter of space between them.

“Khushi…you’re beautiful…so fucking beautiful…” she felt his ragged murmurs. His lips dragged hotly over the slopes of her breast, opened over the peak and taking it inside the wet heat of his mouth.

She closed her eyes, luxuriating in the taste of him and the slow kisses that explored and demanded. Arnav moved to cradle the side of her face, closing his hand in the heavy mass of her hair, he held it aside and kissed the column of her throat.

“You’re mine.” He declared his possession baldly.

“Yes, yours.” She confirmed, although he hadn’t asked a question.

Their eyes locked, hers misty green, his like black embers, then he reached towards his dresser, pulling out a small package. Khushi’s face flamed as she recognized what it was. How did lovers get over the awkwardness of such a moment? But she also felt grateful he had the mind to protect them.

“Khushi, look at me.” Arnav demanded gently. “In this bed, it’s you and me. No embarrassment, okay?”

“Okay,” she whispered.

Then to her shock, he took her hands and with unbelievable patience and sensuality, taught her how to roll the protection over him. She starred in fascination, he was…

“You keep starring like that, I’m going to come,” he told her, voice laced with wry amusement.

Her eyes jerked up, she caught the lip twitch and relaxed. She wanted this, and she had never felt safer …or so turned on. Her heart was pounding so roughly, it felt like it might exit her chest. He had been pushing her past her breaking point all night. But she wanted more. Wanted to be Arnav’s reason for losing control.

As if he sensed her thoughts, he slanted his mouth over hers, driving her mindless as he guided himself to her core, surging forth to join them. The sharp movement impaled her on Arnav, seating him to the hilt, the hot gloving igniting their bodies towards a roaring heat.

Her thighs tightened around his waist as her hands fisted in his hair in an effort to hold on. She gave another hitched breath, this one for a different reason as Arnav moved. It seemed he was everywhere, she felt his lips, his tongue, his hands. Still moving, he reached up towards where her hands tangled. He pulled one away from his head, slid it down onto the sheets, and laced their fingers. Holding tight, like he’d never let go.

He held her safely, her heaving body locked in his arms as he thrust into her softness, giving her all the pleasure he could. She felt him hit her center her and screamed into his mouth as nerves detonated. He had been relentless, holding back his own pleasure until he felt her shatter.

Then it was she who held him, clasping him to her body, arms tight as he cried out her name, a deep, hoarse sound, blind and insensible to everything but the force of his pleasure. Here was the magic she’d once dreamed of, and all the bright, beautiful colors the fairy tales had promised. Here was everything a woman who’d handed over her heart could ask in exchange.

The aftermath was a quaking silence interrupted only by the rapid harshness of their breathing. She’d never experienced anything that felt so right, not in all her twenty-three years. She felt reborn—raw, exposed . . . and incredibly alive. How could she have doubted? How could she have questioned being with this man? She belonged here in his arms and nowhere else.

Arnav was stunned, feeling unhinged by the intensity of what had just occurred. That wasn’t sex. Sex was pleasure, soft or rough; a basic appetite, insistent but easily fulfilled. What he’d just had with Khushi was as potent and inescapable as an avalanche, a fire that left him scorched yet eager to feel the flame again.

No woman had ever made love to him. They chased him, played games of cat and mouse, they flirted, they lied, they allowed him to take their bodies – often in exchange for something they wanted more. They didn’t wake him with kisses, they didn’t ask to make love and they sure as fuck didn’t blush as he entered …. the experience had been so erotic, he wanted it again and again.

He needed what she could give him, with her lip, with her touch, with the movement of her body against his. His home had never seemed empty until she’d appeared. Now that she was here he didn’t want to think about being alone again. How did he ever think one night would be enough?

Arnav felt Khushi press against him. Her lips were velvet, warm and silky, as soothing as it was arousing. She gave generously with her touch rather than take with any greed. In that moment, he could almost believe in her magic. Wanted to believe it.

“Stay with me,” he urged, voice roughly tender and coaxing. Khushi’s body gave an almost imperceptible jerk as she tilted her head back to meet his gaze.

“Another night?” Khushi whispered back, those mermaid eyes adorably bewildered.

“Yes.” He lifted a hand and captured a tendril of her hair lying slightly dampen at her neck.

“Why?”

He twisted it around his finger and felt its softness. “So I can come home to you, and do this again,” he replied quietly.

It was then that Arnav realized she wasn’t breathing. Something about her reaction made him recognize he was in total control of her. Here in his bed, she was simply his. The knowledge shook him.

After he spoke, without hesitation she responded, “Okay.”

He released her hair, running his hand across the sensitive spot where her delicate jaw met her neck. Her lips trembled.

“Okay, what?” Armav demanded.

“I’ll stay another night,” she replied softly.

He smiled into her eyes and Khushi let out a sigh.

Then, just like their first night, he pulled her back against his chest, wrapped his arm tightly around her waist and buried his face in her hair.

Khushi smiled to herself, before she fell into a deep sleep, tucked tenderly in her lover’s arms.

✧✧✧✧✧

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 WSJ Women’s Fashion by Alexa Brazilian

*adapted from John Galliano

*tribute to Mr. Big, Sex and the City

* adapted from $3.33 by Jarod Kintz

*adapted from Anne Lamott

*tribute to Carrie, Sex and the City

321 thoughts on “Night #5

  1. It was awesome I came back after 14 hrs I can imagine the time and effort you guys have put in. Details to perfection. I loved khushi’s outfit. The toast was so mischivious. And I never expected them to talk about the past so quick that was a suprise-gkumaravelu87

    1. It’s my OCD, S is quite tolerant ^^
      Ah, yes, they both opened up… hopefully it was only surprising and didn’t come off as forceful.
      We wanted to up the emotional ante. 😀

      Ugh… my head is hurting with this update. Hopefully a bit more tonight and the rest sometime next week.

  2. Hi … I just came across ur blog … N to say im lucky would be an understatement … Ive come across so many stories on ipk which ive nt read … Actually i never watched the show whn it aired but last yr n sept i came across a few scenes on you tube n tht had me totally hooked on to the show n i ended up watching the entire season… Bur what had me even more hooked on wr the stories on IF n even on a few blogs ( which as luck would hav it wr nt private since most amazing writers had moved their wrks on private blogs which was quite disheartening) . And now to come across ur blog which has such wonderful recommendations its truly amazing … Im more of a reader n do so to relieve the entire days stress mostly at night n thn commenting takes a back seat … But whenever its possible i try to … Ive started to read FWN n im finding it beautifully written … The current update is amazing n im really astonished to the extent of ur research on fashion houses n othr stuff … Truly u guys a doing a comendable job … Truly enjoyn ths story n looking forward to reading further updates … Also im following ur blog n will try to read ur other recommendations… Bit im really sorry if i cannot be so active as house kids n AD takes up more of my time … But reading us a passion which will continue … Just a request pls dont make ths blog private as readers such as me wil loose out on some beautiful wrks … Uve kept the writers index private thts fine … In sorry im rambling on ths blog whereas i shld be writing on ur othr blog … Bit since i was on a roll forgive me … Continue writing n keeping us updated on new stories … Thank you

    1. Something about a long comment just sends my heart racing with happiness =p

      Hi surileena – welcome to FWN!!!
      HEE, it’s fine, I read both peanut galleries, so either one will do.

      Considering how much I bitch about private blogs, I would never do that to you gals. Here or the ficverse. The Writers Index won’t be closed off forever. It is necessary for now as I deal with… certain unpleasantness and a revamp. It’ll open again first to active members of the blog as a thank you, then eventually to all. So there you go – shipperK’s public promise, feel free to point to this as evidence 😀

      That said, I will still put on my commander hat and ask for comments, for S & myself and for all our writers. I understand readers have lives, I’m not asking for essays, but just keep in mind, fanfic writers are fueled by comments, you don’t feed them, they tend to disappear or slam a password protected site halfway through a story.

      …. if that didn’t scare you away, I’m delighted to have your company. 😀
      FWN is like a baby I want to see grow into an amazing adult ^^ S and I have a deep love for IPK, big cities, fashion and intricate relationships.. combine all those elements and well…. Game On 😉
      Hope to see you in the coming updates!

    2. Welcome! We love company – so just come by when you can. 🙂
      We have promised not to make this site private, but it would be lovely to hear from more readers.
      As you can tell, writing is time consuming and takes a tremendous amount of energy – fuel us with your love!

  3. Gals, you stole my heart with this update. It is that good. This tale is rapidly becoming one of my most loved Arshi fictions. It is evident, you have put your hearts and souls into assembling fashion facts, intricate details on the cuisine, drinks, life styles of the rich and famous….. Picking up the characters of Arnav – Khushi and putting them on the streets of NYC, while still keeping their personalities absolutely unscathed. This is the couple I had fallen for. Great job, my friends.

    Robbie is just kickass and so much fun. How blessed is Khushi to have her as a friend.

    S, you had asked me earlier…. between my Ponytailed Parrot and the Audacious Flirt whom do I like better, right? A big quandary I tell u. I am vacillating and waffling over my choice. One of them is a hottie from down under and the other is a Raizada… I mean think about choosing between ‘ Belgian double chocolate chip’ ice cream from HD and frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity. I can’t decide. Hello… I want BOTH. 😉

    1. S has… ugh… shut down for the night HEE

      This was a really difficult update for us, as so many elements had to be put into place.
      Hopefully it was more enjoyable to read then write 😀

      But absolutely, this was the couple I fell in love with, how could we give them any less than our best?

      Robbie is a total gem isn’t she? We all need such a kickass girlfriday.

      What did you think of conversation between Arnav & Khushi?

      Belgian double choco ice cream and frozen hot chocolate? Ha! What would we do without your analogies =p Well… for now only Mr. Parrot is …sorta available. Our Robbie fights dirty when she wants something, so better make your move 😉

      Thanks for the company Priya — we absolutely appreciate and enjoy having you on this journey ^^
      Now go enjoy your vacation! How is New Zealand?

      1. New Zealand is sheep and cows, green pastures, meadows of wild flowers, emerald green bays, countless volcanoes and goethermal springs, underground caves lighted by glow worms, forests and waterfalls, scalding mud pools and icy-blue glaciers, Maori culture and streets lined with Pohutukawa trees in full bloom…. totally dhak dhak inducing and breathtakingly beautiful. 🙂

    2. Most love?!… hopefully we can live up to expectations 😀
      Yeah… K cracks the whip on the research, luckily we both find it interesting.

      Hahahahahah totally cheating! Ok, you can have Mr. Parrot and Mr. Flirty, I’ll take Mr. Broody 😀

  4. Thank you … Wil try n comment as n whn im able to … If nt on all updates thn surely on alternate ones … N now im just dying to read the next part .. Update soon 😜

  5. OMFG you two.
    This update is simply fanfuckingtastic, and we are only half way?
    I love how you incorporated Le Smoking – I had no idea that was YSL.
    The research you have put into this update alone stuns me. But then after reading Cloud Central for BWCV it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
    It blows my mind how update after update, you take the story to new heights, amplifying the emotions, deepening the character development.

    Arnav and Khushi’s moment in his closet was alternately HAWT and touching.
    I’m surprised you went there, but I trust in your reasons for doing so.

    lol I could spend all night reading the exchange between NK, Robbie and Aman. They are like the three monkeys. 😀
    We finally see La, you’ve also introduced a mystery with Anjali and OMFG the heated looks between Arshi in between …. I think my head might explode from everything that is going on.

    UPDATE SOON!

    and a toast to the ultimate New York playboy Mr. Big 😀

    1. Thank you Mel! What would K & I do without your steady and unrelenting support?
      muak!
      LOL, I think you can trust us …. there are so many skeletons in their closets, we thought it would be tongue in cheek to reveal a bit in one 😉
      heh heh, they are the three monkeys – imagine if Robbie went to work at AR – Arnav would be driven mad within the first hour!
      Don’t explode yet, we saved the hot stuff for the second half 😀

    2. Thank you sweetheart. ^^
      This update just kept snowballing on us…. but hopefully the conclusion will be satisfying for everyone.
      Pun fully intended =p

  6. Absolutely awesome.. I admire the research done into fashion history. U made it fit in to the story so soothly and yet gave it a lot value too.
    Im fairly sure that the Laramie Arnav was referring to was none other than khushis mother. Wonder how that wud turn out.
    Now i cant wait for the rest of it.. Pls don keep us waiting for long.

    1. Welcome to FWN mayabhi!!!
      I love that we are engaging new readers. 🙂

      Thank you! One of the issue we had with the show was that they never really maximized the potential of Arnav having a fashion house. Especially in the second half. This is our way of highlighting our favorite aspects from a beloved serial. 🙂

      Ah Ha! Someone caught the Laramie connection. Keep thinking along those lines ….
      More soon!

      1. Thank you for the warm welcome. I was surprised that u recognized me as a new reader, given that i had never introduced myself so.. Im actually honoured. It also shows how well you know your regular readers too.
        I guess im just trying to say that its commendable, both the writing and the time and effort u rspending with ur readers, replying to them too. Hope im worthy of it..

        1. Welcome to FWN! ^^
          We sort of notice everything, it’s the keen researcher in S and an occupational hazard on my end. 🙂
          ASR’s neurotic side is something we both understand personally and sympathize with.

          We write for two reasons. For the joy in weaving words together to tell a (hopefully) compelling story and a medium to connect. Every reader who decides to engage with us is absolutely worthy of our time and attention. Trust me when I say, we thrive on interactions with you guys. ^^

          So don’t be a stranger yeah?

  7. wow. amazing. Khushi’s dress was quite chic and I loved the detailing with which Arnav spoke about fashion. It shows the depth of your knowledge on the subject. I loved knowing about that and I’ll keep that in mind for my future references to fashion.
    Shi* there were cameras!!! Thank God Aman & Nk handled it. I wonder how red Khushi will go if she learns about that.
    Anjali has met Khushi before? I hope not with an image Payal has carved out of hers after that episode with Trent.
    Why was Lavanya so upset or who is she if not an ex?

    1. Thank you! Every woman should know about Le Smoking, we were delighted there was a window of opportunity to include it in this update. 🙂

      Khushi would definitely remember if Anjali was a member of Payal’s group… this is something else …

      On Lavanya…. she will be a major catalyst,in the story, but later – like we mentioned before – Chapter 7 will be a shitstorm. Feel free to guess her connection to Arnav. 😀

    2. You know what drove me ape-shit crazy in the show? The way the writers made ASR such a generic businessman! Other then the first fashion show, I never sensed he was the owner of a FASHION house. What a wasted opportunity.

      I’m glad we were able to add to bit to your couture knowledge bank 😀

      1. Yes a fashion house owner not giving much care to his own wardrobe. How contrasting it was from the promo “Hamare kapde hamein banate hain” !!!

  8. I came across this story from Jalebi Blast today it self and read it in one go. I loved it… especially Robbie. Looking forward to the next update! 😀

    1. Hey Simba! Welcome aboard the FWN Express ^^
      You read it all at once?! Wow!
      HEE Robbie is a favorite around the peanut gallery =p
      Hope to see you around as we trudge onwards!

  9. hey California garls,
    cudnt read it YET !!! But jus one more day n im all set for my journey homee !!! HOMMMEEEE !!!! Its all christmassy !!!! I promise u tomorrow by evng i will definitly read it !!! No hard feelings okay 🙂 🙂 who wants hugs n kisses !!! Here comes the biggie 🙂 :-* mwah !!!! Luv ya loooooaaads 🙂 stay blessed 🙂 ! N the kitty purrs
    -kitty

    1. Kitty, Kitty, Kitty — we’ve missed your purring around here =p
      No hard feelings, hope exams went well!
      Wait until Friday – then you can read the full update.
      Meanwhile… go read my OS 😀

      1. cal garls,
        u r such sweethrts 🙂 bigg bear huggs 🙂 chocolate kisses 🙂 mwahhh 🙂 fridy is 2morrw !! Wts cooking now !!! I can smell delicious 😉 haa ha cant wait dearies 🙂 gonna read nw !! Wher is cold cold water !! I hope thers gonna be more NK *no hard feelings arnie cant help it :p* cant wait to ROFLMAO =P I want a spl christmassy update 🙂 *pouting again*
        luv ya loooaaads ! I bet noone lovs u both more than me 🙂 stay blssd
        -kitty purrs =p

  10. Truly one of the more fascinating stories on the wonderful IPKKND? – So glad to have discovered your blog and stalked it through to this point. Some amazing work – each night magically capturing their little private world – loving Khushi and Arnav in this one – so true to type and yet so far from it too. And the supporting cast is super-duper too. The devil is always in the details, and with such intricate attention to detail, why would this narrative not be top notch? Just excellent. Take a bow, ladies. And here’s hoping to see a new update soon! As a writer I know all about the blood and tears it takes to knit together a beautiful piece that you are truly happy with and believe will speak to the people you are writing for. So I am in no way discounting the time and effort it takes to deliver something excellent. But as a reader I cannot help being greedy for more! So waiting…. 🙂

    Best,

    Anupama

    1. Anupama – Thank you for taking a chance on our story, for stalking it (HEE) but most importantly, for joining us in the peanut gallery. 🙂 The generous reception to our story bows me over.
      It definitely makes up for the late nights, hair tearing and increasingly threatening emails from my partner in crime 😉

      We hope you will enjoy the destination of FWN, but regardless your companionship is most welcomed during the journey ^^

      1. Nope…..not one of the writers on the forum, regrettably! Writing is my asli duniya job…..But yeah, enjoy remaining in the sapnon ki duniya with ArShi and the absolutely marvelous battery of writers Whose work have had the pleasure of reading! Keep up the great work!

  11. every time I come back, I keep seeing new buts added, but not the full update :/

    I warned you before K, I am a terribly impatient reader!! But I will wait for the entire night to be posted and leave an apt comment.

    No pressure.

    But you have been building to this for a while 😉

    Xx

    1. I know, this one is on me. Our update was ready, but a few ideas just wouldn’t go away, so I chipped at S’s resolve until the poor thing gave in. 😀

      Come back Friday – Night #5 will be fully cooked and ready for consumption.
      …hopefully no food poisoning will result =p

  12. WHOA. This update is shaping into something I didn’t see coming at all, yet you two obviously have it all well mapped out. Every scene is bringing the emotions to new highs – and what an incredible tangle of characters!

    I need time to process, but I promise to be back with comments.

    Like everyone is saying, please update soon!

  13. Wifey and mommy duties kept me away….so commenting late. God! Gals you really did some research work and your hard work just blowed me away. Take a bow sweeties. Myself has to do some google work,I totally sucks when it comes to the knowledge of fashion. The chic look you gave Khushi is unique……..loved the detailing. Arnav opened his heart pretty soon and the emotional exchange between the two……very well written. The toast was cute and Lavanya is not Arnav’s ex……hmmmmm. Let’s see how you play her. With the sexual tension building up a bucket of ice was a good idea S!

    1. Thanks Rani! Aww… no problem, completely understandable. Thanks for finding time to fit two erratic writers into your busy schedule. 😀

      Go refill the ice bucket – you’re going to need it come Friday 😉

    2. Sweetheart – your other duties are way more important. Come join us whenever you can. ^^
      I hope you’ll like that we have in store for La 😀

  14. Lovely update. The most touching one was the encounter & reminiscence between Anjali & Khushi. How they have helped each other unknown to the other. A true bond of friendship in making. That being said, Anjali will stand by Khushi in the future when the going get touch with Payal around once again! Payal is in for a treat with the 3 A’s , NK & best of all Robbie to protect Khushi.

    1. Damjar! Welcome to the peanut gallery – I won’t say welcome to FWN since you have been quietly supporting our efforts since day one. Thank you so much for that! But I’m so glad you decided to break the ice 😀

      Anjali and Khushi’s scene was one of our biggest challenges this chapter so I’m relieved it resonated.
      Yup, we are gearing up for a Payal appearance – I hope you gals like how that plays out.

      I believe that life just wouldn’t be as rich without good friends. Khushi is a lucky girl isn’t she? 🙂

    2. Hi damjar! Welcome, welcome!
      I can happily write an entire ff on friendship, it’s the romance aspect that is challenging.
      Hope you like where we take the story, especially with the upcoming showdown with Payal. 🙂

  15. Hey you asked me that which particular scene is mind blowing n for me ur whole update is just too good n that’s why I wrote it as you wrote every scene so nicely n all characters are justified n as important as main lead n especially Aman’s n NK,they are too hilirious.

    1. Awww… thank you! We appreciate the feedback, esp such a positive one! 😀

      Arnav and Khushi are easy, we are guided by our love of their earlier characterization in the show. The others we have taken more liberties, so we are delighted by the warm reception you gals have given to them, esp Robbie, someone entirely outside of the ficverse. 🙂

  16. Serendipity?
    So Khushi was inadvertently responsible for Aman + Anjali’s union
    And now in a turnaround, he is doing everything possible to get Khushi with Arnav.
    I love you two dammit!
    That was unexpected, but well played out.
    Sarah Mclachlan’s Full of Grace came to mind while I was reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3sjSnhZJk0

    I adored NK and Robbie’s walk. Sexy and also sweet.
    I just flat out adore them. I hope we’ll get a happily ever after for this wonderful friend.

    A few more songs for your playlist:
    He is We – All About Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnLE_2txSIA
    Madonna – I Love New York https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Q4pWB_tJE
    Death Cab – The Ice Is Getting Thinner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxx6K5tIuOc

    1. I love that song Mel! It’s absolutely perfect.
      And thanks for the rest of the playlist ^^

      … I’m a total fan of six degrees of separation (neon hinting =p)

  17. “You’re Arnav. And you’re trouble.”
    She declared.
    “How so?”
    “You know how fitting it is that your
    name means the ocean? Because of
    you I’m not just in a mess of trouble,
    I’m beyond trouble. I’m in so deep, I’m
    over my head. But… but the water feel
    so warm, so…lovely and comforting,
    I’m beginning to wonder if I mind
    drowning… in the ocean… in you… in
    Arnav.”
    Hyeeeeee rubba !! Im soooo dazed amazed totally crazed !!! Haye haye i cud jus read it again n again n again n NOT get bored !! Luvd the mistr big idea 😉 wat abt the hat !!! U cud’ve jus gav Sarah’a pic =p *it was jus a stupid comment* luvd the emotional drama thingy though !! Not a huge fan but not boring at the sam tym !! Fab ! It was 🙂 n luvd the triple date idea ! 😉 n hey isnt aman being a lil offenciv abt the ladies !! No fair but its kay :p n loving the BROMANCE !!! U cud ryt an ff jus on Aman-NK bromance well do include lil ARSHI romance too =p overall it is an interesting piece to read n hey it was worth the wait !! Gosh wasnt this

    1. I think at this juncture, I should point out I’m a huge fan of angst and drama =p
      Not in abundance and not senseless drama, but you do need it. Otherwise we wouldn’t have a story ^^

      Glad you liked the above lines. HEE, took us awhile to come up with it, but it’s apt yes?

      Aman is being Aman. He’s one of those individuals are is confident and rich enough not to worry overmuch about having a filter. No offense is meant.

      1. None taken 🙂 pretty lady 🙂 i luv this aman better ! Though i nvr rlly noticed an AMAN in the show =p no offnce !! Cant belive we hav one soo popular in the FF world =p but he is worth it !! Hey can u do me a favour !! Can u sent me a mail coz i tried n i cant sent one to u !! So i sposd maybe u cud u kno pretty plzzzzzzzz !! I wont accpt a NO !!! Plzzzzzzz *cute puppy face* which u cant deny !! Plzzz im xpecting a YES MAN !!! PLZZZZ !! the id is katderryntheresa@gmail.com

    2. When we first outlined FWN, we seriously considered modeling Khushi’s character after Sam from Sex in the City… but somehow it didn’t click…There’s an OS concept somewhere in there. 😀

  18. absofuckinlutely awwwwwwwsome !! N “katherine” thats my pen name !! N nw my pet name ! I din kno it was so populr!! N wat do u mean by the nxt one being THE FINALE !!! DONT U DARE DO SOMTHIN LYK THAT !! THER WILL BE NOONE WORSE THAN ME !!! I’ILL BE EX-FUCK-TREMELY ANGRY ! Pardon my choice of words ! Periods ! U hav no idea wat i can do !! The power of bashing *the evil laugh* no biggie the bst i can do is get down on my knees n “begging u plz don go…. n i say cal garls don stop.. wryting Faaawwnn ! I’ill be waiting so badly for readin u’ill be my shakspeare n i’ill ur kitty its an arshi story baby jus say yes” *tune it wid taylor swifts “lovestory” * the bst i cud think at sucha short tym 😉 =p its stupid this is wat happen wen the kitty purrs!!! Im waiting so start updating !! Luv ya loooooaaadds 🙂 stay blessed n i call my self DEgRtkatsbY !! Its jus a riddle !! Can u guess my name =p !!
    -kitty purrs 🙂

    1. Ugh… calm down tiger. I just meant the finale of this update =p
      We promised 12 chapters total, that’s what we’re going to deliver. 🙂

      I think the Bard would turn over in his grave if he knows you’re comparing his works with amateurs 😛
      Maybe a bit better than that drivel that’s Romeo and Juliet though… the story not the writing! 😀

      1. Im no bard !!! Im freakishly poor at poetry neithr i can understand a good one nor i compose a parody forget writing one !! But hey it was jus a try !! N yeah this tiger…. Is no real tiger jus a stupid kitty :p but im sooooooo into reading . That u myt hav noticed frm my hmmm watevr
        u call this thing this exageration that i show !!! He he he cant help it !! Genetically disordered type !! But hey that wat this is for ryt ! To socialize :p but hmm this somtyms a biiiigg world !! To big that u r jus a tine speck of sand !! I kno i make no sense !! I guess its the adrenaline !! But im nvr rlly normal though !!! Anyways keep up wryting i hope this age nvr ends that u keep on getting som good materials to read n u keep on making som rlly good frnds 🙂 hey its all chrismassy 🙂 stay blssd 🙂 keep rocking n rolling n wryting n wat not 🙂 luv ya loads
        -DEgRtkatsbY
        -nay its jus the kitty purring
        ps: this is wat happens wen the kitty purrs

          1. i know……
            i said im no bard……
            i mean not evn close to it
            im a shitty writer…. bt a gud man…
            (courtesy augustus waters)

  19. Knowing what a critical reader you are, I’m genuinely humbled you are enjoying FWN.
    And I also feel pressured to deliver on each update – ha!

    Ah yes, sexual tension….
    Go see if the ice bucket is justified! 😀

  20. That was pure bliss and love in open air. Robbie and NK’s convo was a treat to read. And the part where Arnav wipes her face in a towel showed how domestic they have become in a such a short period of time. Every girl will want a husband just like your Arnav in story. The moment Arnav realizes khushi is giving and why he wants her was so beautifully written.

    I never expected the when i read first the realization flickered in Anjali was some past. I thought she must have seen her during her engagement. This was a surprise and the connection you guys have woven around the characters are so much that we feel connected with each and every one of them. And the reason is they all make a great impact around the life of Arnav and Khushi. The phrase of Plato showed how well read khushi was.

    All in all this was a promising update. Justified the teaser in every way possible.

    Loved it 🙂

    1. It’s a bit filmy, but we couldn’t resist. Dream man material isn’t he? 😀
      We hope the Anjali connection didn’t come across as awkward….

      I’m very glad you enjoyed the update. Hopefully what we have in store shall be as well received. 😉

  21. i clrly absofreakishlutely make no sense ryt !! I jus read my comment n i was lyk “shit man ! Wat is this !!! I make no sense to me ” pardon for i’ve made a loooot of gramatical errors !! Man im sick or wat !! Sorry
    -degrtkatsby

    ps: is this one good or the othr one ! I mean is degrtkatsby good or kitty good !! The lattr is more preferable but i luv to improvise a looooot !!! =p perhaps tooooo freaking much

      1. Am I soo stupid.. Perhaps the adrenaline.. He heheheheheh never mind.. You don’t have to reply though.. or do.. or leave it.. hehehe wat am I doing..
        Kay then Kitty it is.. 🙂
        Much love n affection
        Kitty Purry..
        Big bear hugs n chocolate kisses…

  22. I think what I love most about this story is the sincerity with which you have created every character and given them real purpose. None of these [ridiculously good looking] characters are here to flounce around for the sake of it. The depth to them is what makes the story in its detailing incredibly special.

    I loved the interplay of tender emotions amidst passionate lust in the first part of this update between Arnav and Khushi. The skeletons in their closets are intriguing and I have my guesses in mind, so lets see!

    I also adore the graceful serenity of your Anjali. She is gentle,someone you wish to genuinely protect but she is not weak. I love that juxtaposition in her.

    The contrasting wicked flirtatiousness of Robbie and NK is a brilliant addition to the calmness of Anjali and Aman, and fire of Arnav and Khushi

    and that fire!!

    The sincerity of your Arnav is beautiful. It is safe to say that he really has captured my interest. But Khushi firmly has my heart. Such a fragile yet determined soul. Ravaged by life time and again yet determined not to give up or give in. Their similarities and contrasts make for beautiful chemistry and I can’t wait to read more

    Plus heartfelt emotion of this thought: “to come home to you, to this…”

    My heart faltered for a breathless moment…

    Damn this dhak dhak!!

    Xx

    1. Thank you for such a lovely review!

      What are your theories? I’m curious to know!

      Khushi is awesome isn’t she? Someone who has been ravaged by life, but carries a heart ready to love.
      I wish I was as brave…

      Dhak Dhak 😀

      1. Khushi could be any one if us. In small or large ways we can all identify with her and that is firmly why I personally love her

        My loose theory is that Arnav and Khushi are somehow connected with their pasts and that Khushi has actually seen a somewhat affluent upbringing. But in her very early life. Or she has affluent influences from her parents, I wish to say particularly her mother. She is an extremely well rounded and well versed individual. The hard knocks of life rarely afford chances to demonstrate understanding of higher levels of thinking past the need to cope in the daily survival. It’s late night here and I’m kind of rambling. I hope it makes sense!! Great work S and K 🙂 x

    2. HEE, they are ridiculously gorgeous aren’t they?
      I love how aptly you’ve labeled each couple 😀

      Arnav is… Arnav. What else can be said?
      But we hope the ultimate revelations will explain the man he is, both the public and private figure.

      Khushi… she is our heart. This story wouldn’t beat the same emotions without her.
      And I’m so very glad you picked up on that and appreciate what we are striving for with her character.

      Oh the dhak dhak! ^^

  23. Babes…..
    You know I’m rarely speechless, but after reading the full update last night, I couldn’t even form words or thoughts.
    It was incredibly beautiful. So much more than I expected from the teaser, and I was expecting A LOT.
    Your build-up from their first firework inducing public kiss to this incredibly intimate and private lovemaking….I think I fell in love along with Khushi.
    What struck me though, was when he guided her in putting on the condom. I had thought you would gloss over that – we might get a pregnancy or it’ll just be pushed to the background as something understood but not spoken of.
    Instead you touched upon Khushi’s embarrassment, upped the awesomeness of Arnav in how he handled her, and turned it into something both beautiful and damn hot.
    I now expect an AMAZING morning after scene – pretty please? (would it be too much if I added a cheery on top? :D)

    Now to my other couple. The conversation between NK and Robbie was sexy and revealing. They are the perfect foil to Arshi’s burning romance.

    Also, one thing I have enjoyed throughout the story was the Cinderella/fairy-tale references and elements. Midnight kisses, and now returning all ‘items’ when the clock strikes 12, and I finally caught on to why you insisted on 12 chapters K! With that I’m also worried. We’re only at Night 5… that means a certain wicked stepcousin is about to wreck havoc…. AHHHH update soon!

    1. Finally! Yes, 12 chapters for the stroke of midnight. A Hersey kiss for you Mel! 😛

      K and I had such a long chat over the condom scene.
      I’m glad it came across the way we intended. The first draft we had was more comedy then romance! LOL

      You want a morning after too? Such a demanding reader. Cannot promise you anything since this update had so many additions we have to edit the outline for the rest now. I’ll file it under advisement 😀

    2. Morning after?… we’re feeling the holiday spirits, although I must warn… we are also feeling feisty 😀

      NK/Robbie is really the result of comments from in the peanut gallery. We had something else in mind originally for their interactions, but this worked out even better.

      Oh the condom scene! S and I did have such an interesting chat on that.
      The entire lovemaking sequence had a ridiculous amount of drafts as we tried to capture the nuisances of their relationship. I’m just relieved no one threw tomatoes.

      Yay! HEE, you have been keeping tabs on our Cinderella references ^^

      Can’t wait to see what you’ll think of our little poem from Shyam 😀

  24. What an update!
    You two really took us on a roadtrip of lust – friendship – family – heartbreak – new beginnings – mysteries – and love
    All incredibly well written, making it a joy to read.
    I can’t believe I devoured 12,000 words in a sitting and it actually seems too short.
    There was definite magic my friends.

    The thing that stands out in every chapter, but especially this one is the bonds between the characters.
    So many possible connections, and from the looks of things, we haven’t even gotten to the bottom of it.
    It’s not just about a Arnav/Khushi union anymore, I want Robbie and NK to get their ending, I want to know about La’s connection to the Raizada brothers, and just more of the Aman-NK deadly duo banter.
    You gals have managed something very rare – making your readers care about all the characters.
    Outstanding job!

    I’m expecting the outtake to be up soon in the VIP room! 🙂

    1. Wow, thank you for much a compliment. I’m sincerely humbled.
      We just wanted this to be more than an average story, for readers to like our side characters and enjoy the research we’ve put in … that’s unexpected, but it sure makes me a very happy writer.

      More connections is a distinct possibility 😉

      We’ll get to Outtake next week. I’ve been working on my term papers, so we are a little behind.

    2. I’m still reeling from the fact that we WROTE 12,000 words in ONE update!
      Awww…. it makes me incredibly happy to hear how much the other characters mean to readers.
      I hope you’ll enjoy where we take each of their journey.

      And Outtake #1 is up!

  25. I am so mad at myself, I somehow had missed this update in the index and only saw it today. But anyhow, I wanted to tell you both fabulous update. In fact “Fabulous” doesn’t cut it, it was just awesome, brilliant !!! Loved it and am loving this story. Can I make a suggestion…. both of you should put it on IF so more people get a chance to read it. Believe me, readers will love it. YOU BOTH ARE THAT GOOD !!! 🙂 🙂 Loved the scorching attraction between Arnav and Khushi. Seriously it was HOT ! HOT ! HOT ! Also liked all the details in the story of which actor or designer was famous for what. Hats off for doing such in depth research. It was really interesting info. Can’t wait to read more. You guys are amazingly talented writers and I am ADDICTED to your writing. 🙂 🙂

    1. Thank you so much ship!
      Outside of the HOT! HOT! HOT! scene heh heh, what did you like about the update?

      on IF – LOL, I’ll let K share her errr… opinion on it.
      We did start a thread, but then it was deleted for mysterious reasons *cough, cough* and K got banned for the 3rd time.. or was it the 4th? 😀
      Anyways, we don’t really have good luck with IF, so it’s only WordPress for us.

      Writing for me is about the joy of it. K is more sociable and we are both quite happy with our current readers. I do sincerely appreciate the thought. 🙂

      1. I love the way you have portrayed the chemistry of Arnav and Khushi and Khushi’s character of not accepting gifts from Arnav, Khushi’s outfit and the in depth details you provided about fashion, loved their dinner, Anjali and Khushi’s past and of course the night after 🙂 – in short everything. 🙂

        All I can about IF, its their loss not yours. You and K are phenomenal writers and the readers on IF got deprived of reading that writing, so of course its IFs loss.

        Looking forward to the next update. I love this story. 🙂 🙂

    2. We’ll take ‘Fabulous’ ^^
      My feels towards IF ….
      When I first discovered it: http://www.ultraimg.com/images/jKB0z.jpg
      Three years late: http://memecrunch.com/meme/18LCC/stupid-fat-hobbit/image.jpg?w=400&c=1
      😀
      Kidding… mostly.
      I like IF for the fact that it has managed to attract such wonderful writers. I hate the politics, censorship and everything else. As a reader, it’s a necessary evil. As a writer, I’ve got better options ^^

  26. Just finished reading the rest of the update and I can’t believe I only found it now and but it was just WOW! I loved Robbie and NK’s flirty conversatipn and at the same time Khushi and Anjali having a past was completely unexpected! And for Arnav and Khushi… they are just too beautiful for words. I especially loved the parts when Khushi confessed of drowning in Arnav in her drunken state and also when he said “to come home to you… to this”, that is just etched in my heart. Thank you for this beautiful update and I look forward to the rest! 😀

    1. Unexpected, but hopefully not in a bad way.
      LOL I think everyone now knows how much I fret over the Anjali-Khushi connection 😀

      I’m very glad you enjoyed this update, especially the lovely glow around our lovers.

      Now we just need to work on “the rest” 😀

      1. The unexpected was anything but bad for me… I normally don’t like surprises but I LOVED this one! And “the rest” needs to hurry… very impatient but more excited!! 😀

  27. What an update! Steamy! Loved arshi conversation before the date, was surprised Arnav shared his past with her. Absofuckinglutely amazing that Arnav has started trusting her, and that hug, oh!
    Loved how he dressed her up, and the interesting bit abt fashion history. The Dinner! All the interactions were so interesting: Arnav- Robbie meeting was fun to read, score Khushi 1, Arnav 0, lol loved it! Anjali-Khushi their chance meeting in the past, that was unexpected, is there more to Varun? Lavanya has made an appearance! Like Robbie I’m very curious too :), Nk -Robbie were a hoot! Their story is such a joy to read, we glimpsed the romantic, sensitive side of Aman! And Arshi holding hands all thru dinner, sweet!
    Post Dinner: Burning hot! I had a feeling u’d make Khushi go for it, and how! You sure delivered the steam…can’t wait for the next update, counting till new yrs eve!

    1. HEE, I’m glad you enjoyed that little scoreboard pissing contest between Arnav and Robbie =p
      And also for catching all the nuisances of the characters. We aim for complexity, it’s a pleasure when it comes across. ^^

      More to Varun? Ah… in this crazy ficverse, who’s to say for sure?
      Tick Tock 😀

  28. Hello Ladies, Whoaaa… What a Night! 🙂 I went back and re-read the whole night update in once. As much as I’d love to write a love letter detailing each and every well written scene smoothly relayed to us a wonderful night, I’d just be repeating your entire update. So, here’re the ones that made the most impact on me as a reader in the progress of this story:

    1) Le Smoking ~ What a wonderful way to bring out the deeply rooted respect that Arnav has for women no matter what his bossy and overbearing personality may makes it seem otherwise at times. Also, I relived a few really good memories from my fashion crazed days.. And, Khushi looks all she is with the image it represents, so damn gorgeous. 🙂

    2) Discussions flow through so smoothly from fashion to deep between Arnav and Khushi. It brought about the soul connection of our duo for me personally. It’s unlike what they represented in the show, it’s much deeper and I ‘absofuckinlutely’ love it. 🙂

    3) Anjali & Khushi ~ What a surprise and meaningful connection the two ladies have. I can’t wait to see how Anjali reacts with what Payal brings about since she’ll be there at the engagement party.

    4) Dinner ~ The attention to detail. The relationship progress amongst the six of them and the easy banter, enjoyed it all.

    5) Lavanya ~ You ladies sneak up on us with the ever so subtle character intros in the midst of all the other fun, can’t wait for that story to come out.

    6) The MOMENT ~ 🙂 🙂 🙂 All smiles, there was definitely steam and sizzling hotness. But, there was something much more profound at play. It was not merely sex, it was in all senses, Sensual Love Making! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Thank you ladies for sharing yet again. 🙂 This story has become one of my most favorites Arshi fics and why not? It brings about so many subtle issues handled so very tastefully. 🙂

      1. 🙂 It can’t be helped. Fairy tales were such a big part of my childhood reading. Like it or not it shaped more than a few ideas of love for me. But, S & I try to give our little twists to things. No Disney version here! =p

    1. If ever the mood strikes you to write such a detailed letter, S & I would be happy recipients =p
      The appreciation for Le Smoking brings a smile to my face. It’s such a precious piece of history, it feels great to share it.

      We’ve had La in the wings for so long, it was time for her to make an entrance. Like we said on the cast page. She doesn’t have a large role, but a rather pivotal one 😀

      Sensual Love Making – perfect words there Huma. And its both relief and delight that our intent came across the way we meant it to. We spent a lot of time teasing everyone I was so worried we wouldn’t be able to deliver on the steam ^^ Beyond that, we have notions of modern dating, gender and romance tossed in the mix. It’s such a pleasure to have readers like you, who understand and appreciates our efforts. 😉

      Most fav? No no, can’t have you declaring that yet, you may still send tomatoes our way with 7 nights to go 😀

    2. lol I love how The MOMENT gets it’s special caps 😀
      Always love and appreciate your thoughts on our updates Huma, thank you!
      I’m curious to see what your reaction will be when we reveal the secret behind Lavanya. I’m dying to reveal spoilers!

      Sorry for this backward answering of comments. You gals are spoiling us so much, we can barely keep up!

  29. Damn! I am late….again(sigh!). This one chapter had so many unexpected wonderful events. The first one is surely the situation in which Khushi and Anjali met. The small gesture is written with so much sentiment that I felt a certain cord in my heart twist and eyes teary. Now Khushi has Anjali too…….lucky girl! Both Arnav and Khushi has painful past but are lucky enough to have such loyal and trusted friends. Lavanya…..is she a family? (Just guessing)

    Now coming to the most awaited steamy night! Another unexpected……..It stared with so much domesticity. Arnav wiping Khushi’s face with a damp towel and that too because he had promised her friend to take care of her……such a heartfelt gesture. Khushi waking him up with kisses and sleeping in each other’s arm after the loving shows how much comfortable they are with each other .

    All the memoriable incidents are occurring at the stroke of the midnight…..first the kiss then their love making……giving the story a fairytale effect.

    The picture with the red umbrella……loved it. Loved each and everything about the chapter.

    1. Arnav is a man of his word. He promised Robbie to take care of Khushi, and he will do so without fail. What surprises him and all of us though, is the tenderness of which he does it. This is a most unusual weekend for him. If you recall in Night #1 when we first meet Arnav, he’s restless, there’s even a little jealousy of how Anjali looks at Aman. For all his successes, he is lonely. Khushi came to his life at a very opportune juncture. 🙂

      So glad you enjoyed this update sweetheart. The umbrella photo is awesome yes? And note, it’s the only photo in color thus far 😉

      Is La family? … HEE you’re not wrong. Go read Shyam’s little rhyme 😉

  30. Ohhhh dear it was mindblowing awsummm:) really enjoyed it’ I thought it is abt 5 nights but you amazed me with 6 night to come up in new year’eve plzzzzz soooon im dying to read more of arnavs thought…!

    1. There will be a total of 12 nights ^^
      Plus 3 outtakes and 1 epilogue for the VIP members.

      Glad you decided to join us. What did you like about the update? ^^

      1. You must see the the feelings behind my words, not the length 🙂
        Moreover, too hot to think of words after basking under such an amorous scene!!!!!!!

        1. Huh, nice save =p
          It’s good, we enjoy all company – it’s the interesting mix of readers that adds spice to the story.
          HEE, this is why S recommends a bucket of ice to be on stand by. 😀

  31. you know the best part i liked was…Kushi’s insight on how much Arnav loved doing what he did …“Don’t downplay it. Those weren’t the words of a workaholic; those were words of love. The kind of love a man has for a woman,” she looked at him speculatively, “or that of a child for his mother.”..she understands him and they both could easily fall in love…… how Kushi is able to bring out his trust in her…Anantha (AR) .meaning endless…he has opened a part of his life to her like she did for him…
    it was fabulous on how you have gone in depth to the details of fashion..it just adds on the charm….
    the group dinner and how they all get along so beautifully ..i just love how Robbie has a mouth to match and how she spars…..Anjali seems to be a sweetheart…they are a true group of friends with love and respect for each other …there is so much to explore …NK and Robbie chemistry is too good.. and Robbie along with Aman and NK are ready to play all sort of cupid for Kushi and Arnav…Lavanya seems to be playing a very important role..i am sure the story behind her pain and the role of the raizada brothers will be open to us soon….
    then to end it with a mind blowing toe curling love scene…..and the most perfect request “Stay with me,” ….and then to Kushis why when he says So I can come home to you, and do this again,” reminded me of the ” math jao ” in the original thou the one you wrote packs all the punch…
    Sorry for the delayed comment….
    Wishing you girls a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…hope you party all night…hav fun 😉

    1. You’ve made some very awesome deductions mayurisb! Khushi is very attuned to people. Being one of those rare individuals who possess a natural warmth that others can’t help but respond to. Our guy isn’t used to women who is interested in Arnav, the man. With her so warm and loving, his iciness melts without any true intent on his part.

      Toe curling is a very good choice 😀
      We enjoy your company sweetie ~
      And a Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones ^^

    2. Your comment has me imagining Chris Hemsworth and Sidharth Malhotra with wings and a cupid bow HAHAAHAHAHA what an image! 😛

      Thank you for the wonderful comments and wishes Mayuri!

  32. Hey S&K
    First…sorry for the delay in commenting..That was a great update…no great in not even close..too good to be able to describe with my limited vocabulary..
    Now…before I forget… I can’t wait for Lavanya’s story to be revealed…
    Anjali and Aman are too good…Aman has great sense of humour and an awesome flirt…makes a great team with NK. Robbie is just SONE PE SUHAGA in their team with someone Arnav feels answerable to..I just can’t stope appreciating her care and concern she has for Khushi…
    Now Khushi has become so bold…I am happy as well as surprised by it… She has fallen for Arnav and it seems he had too…now where will this second night lead them too..? will it lead to further dates and forvevr…? but then there is Payal Mathew Trent lurking in the corner like dark shadow..ready to curb all the sunlight and happiness entering Khushi’s life…but she is sick man…needs a PSYCHIATRIST badly..
    Now Anjali and Khushi meet is very very interesting..I love the way they bonded..
    I think Arnav was talking about Khushi’s dad when he spoke about the fashion show tribute …but how is it than Khushi is left with nothing..? She is very well read and seems to have lot of passion for literature just like Arnav has for Fashion.
    NK seems the thread the waters with Robbie very carefully..I loved his strategy there…but am sure robbie won’t be easy..

    1. Hey jyothim, no worrries, we understand everyone is extremely busy this time of year. Thanks for finding the time to read and sharing your thoughts with us! ^^

      I’m delighted by your love for Robbie. She is a joy to write. Saying many things I wish I had the guts to say. 🙂

      You are thinking along the right lines, but I won’t say which part. Things will be even murkier in Night #6, but the big pay off will come with Lucky Number 7 😀

      1. I am not very good in lengthy analysis..but i shall try to give u a short one..

        Loved everything u have penned down..be it the anjali and khushi story, though they have met for few minutes, anjali remembered khushi and thanked her…

        NK and Robbie are awesome.. a lovely pair other than Arnav and Khushi..

        The love making was sensuous, hot and what not and yet beautiful ..very well written…not everyone can write this part..;)

        And you have showed how well ASR can design which even the show dint do it..

        1. 🙂 We would never demand nor expect lengthy comments, but we do love hearing from readers. ^^ It helps us gauge how our writing comes across and where to guide the story.

          Thank you for the compliment! Their lovemaking was actually fun to write. It was a matter of geography and descriptions. 😉 Although finding a balance between just enough and too much was challenging.

          I hope you’ll like what we have in store for our couples!

        2. Appreciate you making the effort to share your thoughts with us rshree. It doesn’t matter whether they are short or long. It’s just a lovely gift to hear from readers. 🙂

  33. How I love the length of the amazing updates! Its just a reader’s paradise to be presented with an amazing story with awesome content by the writers and that too at such length and still holding the interest of the readers as well as polishing every nook and corner sharply, not leaving any rough edge.
    I totally agree with Plato’s quote in relation to the friendship between a man and a man. I totally adore the conversation of the three men. I actually look forward to it more than often because that is when in that carefree surrounding they shed their inhibitions and respond with sarcastic jibes which reflect their inner being and sense of belonging shines throughout.
    I admire the way both of you dealt with Arnav’s revelation of the past.It just went out to signify the deep bond that has been emerged between the leads. And the understanding and warmth displayed by Khushi was appreciable and kind of expected too. And the perfect the way they found solace in each other after the heavy truth. Arnav’s dropping of the facade and making her privy to his secrets of his hard heart was signifying her entry to the heart of Arnav , the person while ASR somewhere took hibernation, never to rear his head again. Oh! And I wanted to thank you for that must known Fashion knowledge. Because I had the same views on Fashion as Khushi’s, The sentences spoken by Arnav did make me realise the depth of where Fashion comes from.
    Coming to the dinner, well I, like I mentioned earlier, crave the presence of the three enigmatic men in the same screen and add to it the presence of three beautiful women,it was bound to be alluring.The surrounding had a different air around itself – heady and anticipation-ary. Lovely, it was.
    The past revelation did hit the point and was one of the emotional highs of the story. That part was very aptly brought out with just the perfect amount of emotions. I also brought out the transient nature of life and how whatever happens is meant to be and has a reason. It also brought out how one should be happy with whatever he has.
    No guesses for Lavanya’s presence in the life of the Raizada brothers. Though I have a feeling that it is one of Arnav’s past. I kinda connect this with his thought a few updates ago which was along the lines that he wouldn’t make the same mistake that he made when he was too young and naive.
    The conversation between NK and Robbie was an engaging one. Somewhere it shows that how she hides her real vulnerable self under the wraps of a confident woman. She is a woman with dreams and till today seeks the fairy tales so read. Admiration and Respect is what this woman with a heart of gold demands and I unflinchingly have that for her. Oodles of thanks for giving birth to a character like her.

    Arnav yet again surprises and emotes a appreciable, tender feeling which just rightly reflected his true self. He restraints his need yet again for a woman who has come to mean so much to him in just 4 days and 1 night. Liked going into the recesses of Khushi’s thoughts and then comes the much awaited Love Making which rightly set the screen on fire . It was all sensual as well as soul wrenching.
    Well ,These lines says it all for Part Z “It wasn’t hot. It was scorching.” 😉

    PS: Even Though the comment was more like an essay, which did not do an iota of justice to the fabulous update. Thanks a million for putting in so much of hardwork and handwork. It is truly appreciated. 🙂
    PPS: I am really into songs these days. If you could let me know your tastes and preferences, I would be obliged to help out in some way.

    1. …. Not an essay, but a most delightful love letter. One which we are ecstatic to receive! 😀
      I’m still reeling under the fact that this update came to a grand total of 12,000 plus words! It definitely wasn’t planned! But the reception has been incredibly heartwarming.

      The ‘enigmatic three’ as you so aptly named them are a breeze to write. The banter between them is so much fun to write! Esp between NK and Aman. I’m glad it’s such a highlight for you!

      Fashion is my other love. I find the aesthetics, the history, the influence incredibly fascinating. Whether you choose to engage or not, Le Smoking is one very important piece of history that I every woman should have in her arsenal. I was thrilled we were able to work that into the story. Afterall, it’s New York and we’ve got a fashion magnate on our hands. 😀

      Your comments shows what a keen and observant reader you are. I’m so glad you found us! Yes, our Robbie is quite a dreamer, and a vulnerable one at that. Yet, she wins our heart over and over again, by being such a lioness! We will definitely give our sweetheart the ending she desires and deserves 🙂

      3 days and 2 nights actually 🙂 They met New Years Eve, which in our ficverse was a Friday. And this update covers Sunday. Quite a weekend yeah? 😀

      satyabaama was telling us how she wished this story could be translated to tv. HEE, then all our screens would be set on fire!

      On music – S likes alternative & new age, I like oldies (60s-80s) & blues and we both love rock. 😀 Whatever comes to mind while you read FWN would be appreciated ^^

    2. I don’t even know where to begin with this comment – other then to say I love all the points you make and thank you for giving us so much love and support. 🙂

      K is accurate in saying out of our readers, you’ve definitely hit on the core of FWN’s Arnav.

      Enjoy the 3 enigmatic men eh? heh, heh so do we. Depending on how much energy we have left by the end, we may do one last Outtake on the first time the trio met. I have this hilarious scenario in my head, but not sure how to approach it. Let’s see 😀

      1. I don’t know what to say except the fact that the hard work that both of you put towards the story deserves all the love and support. 🙂
        Eeep! S! I already look forward to the last outtake now! I hope you are able to pen down whatever is in your mind. #Excited. 😀

  34. These three words sums up this update for me – emotional, romantic and scorching hot!!!
    I had thought that Anjali may know Khushi because of Payal but this was a pleasant surprise and I loved it. Their connection just got more strong now due to that one fleeting moment in cemetery. Anjali told her the right thing that life is short.
    I’ll wait for Aman and Arnav to shed some light on their past with Lavanya. There is something more personal here. Are they related somehow? That’s my only guess for such coldness and the troubled expressions of everyone.
    Robbie and Arnav are finally getting along. Yay!!!
    NK is going to win the bet but Robbie won’t be losing too. 😉
    The last part was as you said scorching. They have gone ahead not only physically but have got glimpse of a life they can have together, of what was missing from their lives and have come closer emotionally.

    1. I happily accept those three words 😀
      It’s a relief that you gals are so receptive to the connection between Anjali and Khushi. You can’t imagine how much we stressed over that!
      You are definitely thinking along the right lines regarding Lavanya. It will be fully revealed in Night #7 ^^
      HEE, NK and Robbie…. there’s a hurdle or two for our feisty couple 😀

  35. To say I loved this chapter would be a great understatement, but I really did. Your writing talent is amazing!! Your way with words makes it all the more easier to actually visualise the whole story in my head is out if this world!!! Love how the true nature of all your characters is slowly immerging, can’t wait for more. Many thanks

  36. Loved this update!
    We usually do not get to see Arnav the designer in many of the fictions..But here you have actually showed us his talent…Good job on that!
    The dinner was really nice and how well they bonded over time..When Anjali recognized Khushi,for a moment i thought they knew knew each other from school but you guys gave us a different story..
    NK & Robbie is giving Arnav and Khushi a very tough competition..But I love Anjali and Aman too..they ,might not be the feisty couple like other two but they do share a great bond with each other..
    Finally the culmination .It was sexy enough to read but more than that it was the beautiful union of two souls…Arnav showed some tender but intimate moments …like the scene where he wipes Khushi’s makeup,those were simple gestures but truly heartwarming.

    1. The owner of a fashion house must possess some couture skills yes? 😀
      It’s a delight to see how well our three couples measure up against each other. I’m glad you see their differences and appreciate them as we intended.

      S & I wanted an Arnav who deserves our Khushi. Something we ranted over quite often when the show failed to deliver. We hope to deliver on this by the end of FWN’s journey. ^^

  37. The man is passionate about couture ain’t he? Love a man who has fashion flair and can assist in dressing up. Her reply about keeping up with trends when she cannot afford it is so refreshing. This Kushi is very well grounded and knows who she is, what she can afford and how she feels. Love this strong woman who does not mind putting Raizada in his place when he deserves it. I love how you are exploring this side of the Arnav Kushi relationship (them being equal and holding their own in arguments) in this fiction because Kushi’s character was butchered in the show after we were shown the strong independent and spunky young woman. For a moment I feared that Anjali was one of the 5 mean girls who participated in that horror show given you mentioned her relationship with Payal and the sad look she gave Kushi. I am glad she wasn’t because even though Payal and her weakling of a husband thought of and did the deed, those watching and laughing were equally to be blamed as these 2. Anyway, you guys turned her into a strong figure where their one encounter gave both of them the courage to move on with their lives. Also loved how Robbie sized up ASR and warned him to be better or else where Kushie is concerns. True friends do this for you and she showed her fierce possessive sisterly act to the mighty ASR. Now you have me wondering what up with Lavanya, hmmm. Not an ex girlfriend then what? NK is going to have a heck of a ride with this small town girl who knows just how to handle herself in a big boys world. Should be very interesting to see when she does show him the all black lace outfit. He will have to earn it big time. I love this ASR even more when he took off her make up. I know despite all the lessons from mum about cleaning your face before going to bed, when you are dead tired from partying or just a really long day this becomes the last thing on your mind. Here this dude is washing off her barely there makeup. This is super sweet in my book. And again, he checked with her if she really wanted to move on to the physical relationship when she woke him up before delivering another selfless act of lovemaking – I.e letting her get her release before him. Yeah, I’ll take him with all his faults any-day ladies. Super passionate love making – about time they did it with all their pent up feelings.

    1. Yes! That was the reason I gave up on the show. They took a delightful heroine, full of sass, and turned her into a deflated caricature of herself. Even Arnav too was terribly butchered. FWN is our birdie to the CVs 😉

      Yay! I’m glad you like Robbie. She was the one we stressed over a lot initially since she’s not part of the IPK ficverse. It’s heartwarming to get such a response!

      We thought Arnav (and readers =p) deserved the ugh… release after all that teasing. 😀

  38. OMG.. i cant get over this series… DAMN DAMN.. im in office and still cant stop reading.. I LOVE NK.. ok i know its Arnav and Khushi but .. Nk is brilliant.. can we have more of him and Robbie.. 🙂 and almost dreading the entry of the wicked stepsister.. also waiting for Lavanyas story… plz dont make her evil.. i have a soft spot for Lavanya.. cant wait 4 next

    1. Welcome to FWN pallavi! ^^
      Always lovely to see such enthusiasm!
      HEE NK & Robbie are definitely readers favorites.
      Stay tune for La’s story and MUCH MORE!

  39. Oh I lost my comment 🙁
    Oh tht makes me mad …happened 2nd time….
    Anyways…fantastic chap so much happened…. Loved all the 3 couples…. Robbie is a fantastic friend n I like her banter with NK …fun to read…oh Anjali n khushi have met before…that part was beautifully written….
    Oh the khushi n arnav sharing their past… Is tht angel Arnav mentioned khushi’s father??
    Both r in lover lets see how long Arnav takes to accept it n voice it…fantastic update again

    1. Ugh, it happens occasionally. We have experienced some glitches lately. Sorry about that.

      Glad you enjoyed the interlude with Anjali and Khushi. We sweated bullets over that scene!

  40. Gosh I love nk and aman can’t get enough of them… just love the way khusi wasn’t all about arnav’s money and wealth… arnav dress khusi in hus clothes. For dinner that was hot. Khusi meeting angeli and there encounter in the bathroom about how they knew each other was sweet and emotional… the six Musketeers cheers to mischieve lol… lavaya? Reading on to find out more about her…. God work again guys Jeep it up

  41. wow.. just wow… what a deal arnav… how wonderfully he created a masterpiece… he made her borrow his dress…. so freakin hot and cute…. they shared a bit of their past… why doi feel there is something more than just a mere coincidence of khushi’s moms name..
    initially i thought anji might have recognised khushi smwhr thru payal… but their meet was heart touching… sometimes a small moment makes a huge diff in our lives…
    and for once i love aman n nk as much as i lov arnav:-)) they r sweethearts… thanks for giving them equal space along with arnav…
    and this stupid cute couple even realize tht thy r already in lov with eachother….who knew the ASR can say smthng like come back home to u:-)))
    and wht is the mystery behind la??

    1. Yummy right? 😀
      Yes, I agree completely. There are certain people who enter our life so briefly, but leave a profound impact. Makes you anticipate the possibilities doesn’t it?

      The Trio is the product of a lot of readers love. Glad you enjoy them, and yes…. expect plenty more 😀

      Not love yet, but insane attraction and a sense of finally having met someone special.

    2. It was one of my favorite scenes to write, I’m glad you enjoyed Arnav playing personal stylist for Khushi.
      They are dreamy aren’t they? We know that inside ASR resides an Arnav just waiting for his Happiness to call him forth 😉

  42. Aman & NK are just too good! They have his back ALWAYS. Dost ho to aise yaar! Dressing her up in his clothes, that was sensual on another level altogether..

    Oh oh, Khushi struck gold with that analogy of hers. And boy did she hit bullseye or what. Getting to know Arnav’s background and his family was very interesting, such humble roots.

    Aww, Khushi’s French name is so beautiful. Her mother really named her aptly. Arnav’s thoughts about her clearly point out that he is in head over heels. Let’s see how long it takes him to accept hi feelings for her and work it out.

    Thumbs up to the play on the initials of ASR and Robbie. Can I say I LOVE Robbie’s attitude! You go girl.. And one more thing, for the life of me, I have been imagining Drashti as Robbie. I guess her close friendship with Sanaya and the fact that I relate much of Robbie’s behaviour very easily with how Drashti can be, makes it impossible for me to separate the two in my mind. As for Payal, she is faceless for me. Boy am I glad that I didn’t have anything in my mouth when Arnav rattled about “orgasm counts” Would have surely choked! 😛 God NK and Aman and their toasts had me LOL.

    You sure know how to make a girl go dreamy “The thought of other men wanting her made his hands curl into fists. Taking her hands in his had sent a message, but when she responded by lacing his fingers with her own, he had felt suddenly grounded. As if he finally found the center to balance his off-kilter existence.” Sigh.. You really awaken the romantic in me with such lines.

    Whoa whoa whoa, Khushi, those were stunning lines! To be able to quote Plato out of the blue and so perfectly just made me sit up and take notice and want to applaud you woman!

    Oh dear, there is a history with La eh? Eager to know what new plot twist we have in store. NK sure as hell lightened up the mood! I’m damn sure spending time in his company would be highly entertaining..

    Anjali and Khushi’s meeting in the past really squeezed my heart. God knows, Khushi deserves all the happiness in the world. And that journey has definitely begun. Anjali’s words gave me so much to think about. Such depth and yet so easy to relate to.

    Jesus, what kind of conversations do women have in restrooms that turn them from strangers to fucking sworn sisters? ROFL!

    It was great to get to know what went on in Robbie’s mind. She truly is a sister to Khushi! Aww he listened to Khushi and got on a first name basis with the driver, poor guy though had a mini heart attack! Why did that make me chuckle!!

    It’s getting way too hot in here 😉

    Aha Cinderella reference again, and my what a take! Take a bow ladies, just for this “Too many men who like to sell fairy tales in this city. But once you buy in, believing the extravagant promises….. poof, you discover you just purchased a common pumpkin instead of the gold carriage.”

    “Still believe in fairy tales?”

    “No!” at his arched brows she conceded, “Okay, maybe, but a little less each day. Not everyone gets everything they wish for.”” !

    For what happened next with ArShi :

    *Note to self — MULTIPLE buckets of ice cold water needed close at hand for each chapter*

    P.S. I hope I get to read the outtakes soon! Although, what are they?

    1. The Outtakes are extra scenes that aren’t critical to the story, but gives something extra for our amazing readers who are genuinely engaged with the story. They are also exclusively Aman and NK 😀

      We do like to get to know you as a reader before we extend an invite, but your love notes are expediting this greatly 😉

      Enjoyed the group dinner? 😀 It always delights me when you gals react so warmly to our supporting cast. Writing a fanfic has a lot of limitations, mainly that readers are only invested in the leads. We have been incredibly lucky in that regard.

      Good call on that note to self!

      1. Ooooooooohhh! More of Aman AND NK!!! Well well well, if that ain’t an incentive to hit the gallery more often, I don’t know what is! 😛

  43. Brilliant from the moment he wanted to buy her something, to dressing her in his clothes. (Seriously gorgeous scene), the sharing of lost loved ones, his explanation of why something touches your heart, (arnav and his fashion- here was something that brought this man to life- such passion for something what most men see as frivoulous, but adore on a woman… deep breath), to him grabbing her hand at the restaurant, knowing the paps will be around. I take it La was one of the women the brothers ‘shared’. Anjali and Khushis meeting at the cemetry… I always feel that if two people were to meet and become true friends the universe will somehow make it happen. Im just glad that Anjali wasnt one of Payals gang. I sincerely hope that Robbie and NK become a forever twosome, the girls got fire just what this NK needs. I loved how Arnav asked her who he was just go check her tipsyness, and then decided to let her sleep it off, before he took advantage, him cleaning her face was an Aaah moment, especially when he said he doesnt wear too much makeup, I would hve loved him to say something a bit more romantic there.. but hey ho hes Arnav. The way she woke him up, then his feelings of that experience gave us such an insight to his life and the never ending line of women queing up for his bedroom.but he obviously just wants someone to see him, not his money, his body or his company, khushi only wants his heart, by all accounts shes drowning in Arnav already, and enjoying the experience. Lovely.

    CAn I be cheeky to be added into the vip lounge please? Iwant to know the what these outakes are…ive probably got the names wtong, as I didnread all the comments bt caught sight of a few ..too busy to get to the next chapter. 😛

  44. Amazing. Hot and tasteful. I don’t know what more to say… It seems my mind has blanked out and all I want to do is read, read and read some more. But I can say this…
    Guess it’s true… Guess it’s true…
    I’m so happy to be stuck with you!

  45. Awesome update and very curious about Lavanya
    Really liked that Arnav didn’t take advantage of a drunk Khushi

  46. Beautiful update! Enjoyed the banter between NK and Robbie as well. And Lavanya is a mystery…looking forward to finding out what’s up with her.

  47. Just like Arnav, I also had given up on it but guys surprised the fuck outta us (speaking on Arnav’s behalf too)… Just like Arnav, I too had been okay with waiting (actually more than ok with it .. I was a mushy mess by the time he slept cuddling her in bed) but again, the intense passionate lovemaking was just beyond any imagination!! Great job!! And heck I love long updates so I am not complaining…

  48. Usually I’m failing for words, but this deserved as along as I could muster.

    Robbie-Arnav: My favorite has to be Robbie!!!! As much as I love Aman and NK, I love that’s she’s taken it upon herself to protect Khushi regardless of who is in front of her. Threatening ASR even before an intro, that takes guts! 😜 in any case, Arnav gave her a score she wouldn’t forget!😁

    NK-Robbie: he’s trying to play the game so he can have control, but it’s failing. She’s trying to play the same game but to save her heart from the ruthless breaking its adhered to.

    Aman-Anjali: the first glimpse of how much a single tear shed or a single word spoken by Anjali can unnerve him from the charming flirt to only having that one woman in the center of his world.

    Anjali-Khushi: that was unexpected, but I’m glad since Khushi has dived into the deep end of the pool, Anjali will hopefully help be her guide in troubled times. Robbie is the family Khushi never had who’ll break anyone’s bones if they mess with her, but Anjali can be the calm to help her see the patience she’ll need with Arnav.

    Arnav-Khushi: I’m speechless. The first glimpses of love, one acknowledged, the other still trying to understand. I can feel the bond between these two with the words you’ve penned. The emotion, the passion, the need, I can feel it all.

    Side Note: this had to be the longest comment I’ve ever written

    1. Don’t you hear the applause? 😛

      Really appreciate these thoughts rinku. Robbie girl is very dear to us, so I’m glad to know she’s #1 on your list!

  49. Read until night 5 in past few hours..

    You are an astounding writer..simply beautiful powerful writing. . Each n every word scream it.

    Totally love the bonding between all..
    The fight..

    The teasing. .
    The friendship

    The care
    The trust

    The love..

    Is there anyway I can get access to those password protected chapters? ?

  50. That was so beautifully portrayed. His vulnerabilities, her weaknesses, his strength and her faith so evocatively woven together. Yes, there were others in this chapter – Beautiful Anjali and her Aman … the intricate bond between the three men… sigh.. just a throat tightening, eyes brimming sentiment through out. Sigh..

  51. No Chaste tree berries need here! That was one delicious update, ladies. Loved every bit of it.

    And so we learn a little more about all of them. I’ve tried and failed in my attempts to resist Arnav’s charm. Hopefully, if the pattern stands, he’ll do something idiotic in the next update to bring me back to sanity.

    So Khushi’s mom’s name is the same as Arnav’s mentor’s wife? Hmm…any connection there? Investigation kareka padi

    Off to the next one!

  52. Amazing chapter………there is so much in arnav’s life………there must be some connection between khushi’s parents and Arnav………..

  53. Love and friendship. The two most beautiful things in the world. This is why im hooked. You’re creating magic and it has me enchanted. The story is shaping up and im really excited for whats next. 😀

  54. Obviously Arnav was on the same boat as me regarding the ‘cherry’ comment. So he was in good company. I wa going to say… I was in good company, but that lacked style, panache…

    Arnav’s secret relief, when Khushi refused his offer of clothes… was refreshingly honest, ok secretly refreshingly honest… As much as he didn’t care about the money… I am glad you showed his as being honest… in his own mind.

    Ok before we go any further… can I have his wardrobe… I mean not his wardrobe… but the WALK-IN CLOSET that is the size of a bedroom… Living in NYC that is my dream you know, Khushi was feeling queasy, I was drooling… I mean, I might even give up Arnav for that closet space… Maybe… hmm… something to think about.

    And then there were the BFFs. Of both the male and female variety. It is a pleasure to read those dynamics… a reminder of carefree school… ok more college days, where anything and everything is up for discussion and nothing is sacrosanct. One for all and All for one and damn the opposition, as Robbie aptly demonstrated. Obviously not an original comment here ( since everyone and their neighbor has observed this) but the supporting cast is absolutely gorgeous ( and not just in physical sense either). If you are borrowing this from real life, then you are very, very lucky.

    This was just FANTASTIC!

  55. I have an itty bitty, teeny tiny, very small, completely insignificant, not so noteworthy, definitely ignorable, possibly irritating observation. Should I or shouldn’t I? Hmmm… It might get some of my privileges revoked. Is it worth the risk? Maybe not… Hmm… never mind then.

    1. Lol! Please don’t ever hesitate to share with us the good and the bad. We are well aware of many shortcomings, but feedback is gold!

      1. No, as I said nothing important… Ok, here goes… Khushi wakes up by the blare of a car horn… Well, penthouse on the 80th floor? No car horns reach there… Just sayin’ Told you it was an itty bitty, teeny tiny, very small, completely insignificant, not so noteworthy, definitely ignorable, possibly irritating observation. LOL!
        But you asked for it!

        1. Fuck me that is totally valid. Awesome catch! But unless we can come up with something else…. car horn’s gonna fly under radar 😛

  56. This is one of the best! truly! right from the closet moments to the beautiful night…. so, so well done. want to enjoy the after effects and not disturb this feeling you leave me with.

  57. Lol I just shared the same thoughts as scrapbooker.. I happened to wonder the same! Cool for a man who claims to have the hotel under his control, he does have powerful cars under control.. You know that type, whose horns are so blaringly noisy to the point of crossing heights and leaps.. 😉 but yes, I know it is a terrible miniscule observation! 😉 I would have even been okay with Peppering of Arnav’s kisses, to wake the beauty up! 😀

    So after deviating a lot, I get back on track..Wow words are insufficient and insignificant. They will never do.justice to the expertise you have here. I can see the foreplay of future lovers is too potential and too intense to be missed and denied. So the dinner date of inspiration? And count of what? Orgasm? Seriously.. mortification at its best! Your tongue does it again Raizada.

    Anjali, a woman of class and etiquette. I like her already Jeez 😀 she is cool and their shared flashback. Something of it made my throat and wet with clogged tears.. for both of them. Gosh this Robbie is a mind reader too..! Perfect pair found and noticed..I can’t help but cheer at NK and Robbie’s conversation. They are just making me cheer and root for them. Day is not far,when I would beg you to write a whole damn OS (at the least) for me.. with whole of their sassy humor and witty mouth.

    So things did heat up and how and now! I loved every bit of their encounter.. the story is just making me go insane with it.. I wish I had the ability of a robot to scan the story and know it … the wait does kill! 😉

    Off to the next,
    Sadh…

    P S: I loved Khushi’s name.. Wow.. I loved it and the meaning.. a happy virgin? I mean Khumari.. a double happy one! 😉

    Lavanya’s past with them!? Kinda triggers me.. it has both A(s) involved. Well does and Arnav’s dad and Khushi’s mom share something?

    1. Alright, alright, alright. Since it’s been bugging me as well, the amazing 80floorsglasspenetrating car horn has been zapped out of existence! 😀

      1. Would you kill me, if I ask.how did Khushi wake up then? 😉 you brought it! #one form.of love letter! 😀 and.btw come on, I noticed better things.too.. 😛

        P.S:.Don’t think.I forgot Payal…well I loved this one for its purity…So simply didn’t want to spoil.with her.. 😛

        1. Nah, we don’t mind and actually really appreciate it when you gals point out things.
          The well timed pinging of Mr. CEO’s cellphone of course! 😀

          The thing with FWN… people are never quite who you think they are 😛

          1. Haha that’s better…I expected it to be that devilish cell phone.. all thanks to you, am cursing the very phone.through which I am reading.. but here.should I shout at the cell phone? Nah it helped things happen 😉

            Are you.hinting at something? Payal is not what she is..? Now now can we move on to the interlude.? Let me.leave my.thoughts for you to read and for me ponder!

  58. Amazing arnav dressed her in his own clothes it was so nice liked nk robbie bet now that all is well between arnav and robbie hope their story also progresses never thought anjali and khushi would be connected like this it was emotional as well as sensual

  59. Wow! This is easily one of the best Arshi stories I have accidentally stumbled upon. I read 5 chapters at a stretch as I just couldn’t stop to even comment. Very refreshingly different. Your Arnav is just simply hot hot hot….and Khushi is an amazing woman. I also loved all the secondary relationships in this story…Aman and Arnav, Khushi and Robyn and Arnav and NK……simply brilliant.

  60. Just finished reading update without reading the outtake. Missing reading the outtake a lot. Actually am crying to read it. Loved Anjali and Khushi’s story .I totally loved NK and Robbie’s pair. Yes. Yes. she is his forever and ever. . Absolutely no doubt about it.
    Wow just loved the words ‘Stay with me tonight”. I remembered Mat Jao. He will never ever let her leave all the nights of his life.

    I am going to use the word Loved so many times that you are going to warn me about it. LOL.
    Can I please have the access to read the first out take. Pretty please.

  61. I forgot to mention one more thing. My favorite in this update is Robbie. Just loved her conversation with Arnav. It is a blessing to have a friend like her .

  62. sometimes it seems the safest place on earth is in ones lovers embrace and anyother place is just restlessness and sleeplessnights!!very few people in this world are blessed to have such loyal friends who are more than their own blood!i definitely love your potrayal of nk and robbie and how they subsequently come together for their selves and love!cheers violetgirl

    1. This is such a beautiful, engaging and engrossing story. I just stumbled into it and can’t stop reading. Pls don’t mind my lack of comments, but I simply need to read it all up at one go before I stop to write my thoughts. Boy I’m so so rearing to reading more

  63. Beautiful update
    Some glimps to past,
    I thought Anjali might’ve been part of Payal gang, but glad she was not

  64. To midnight kisses and flying fruits!”

    “To morning swims and cherry bikinis!”
    To new beginnings…awesome update..loved their first meeting and dinner date..I like anjali and robbie…they both are so nice and caring people..nk & robbie are fun too..the girls talk in washroom was very touching..Aman is adorable and his jokes…
    I liked arnav and khushi scene just before dinner..first their talk on about their personal life and moms and then the full fashion sense and muse..that was really something…I like how khushi is dignified no money no gifts, no deals and loopholes…

    I also loved their LM..it was soothing and beautiful..make love to me…in their aftermath they are so cute too..

    Lavanya is here and I feel somehow she is connected to arnav…

    Thanks..I was able to see some music too,,it too good with scenes and wordings, the pictures…keep up the good job…

  65. Simply put this Tory and your words have blown me out of my mind. Can’t keep the pad down. Have to read on its a compulsion. Loving this Arnav and aman and nk. Wow. Just wow. When I have mor words I will come back and be more articulate

  66. The AD is relentless. But I couldn’t be kept away for long.

    ASR recedes and Aman emerges. He swallowed his anger to protect her pride. Now isn’t that first?

    “Pot. Kettle.” How apt. She’s learning to play his game, yet she’s made the rules her own. I am so proud of her for standing her ground. We all know how easy it would be to yield to Mr. Raizada and yet she has an inner strength that cannot be pound. And the point goes to Miss Khumari. Although Mr. Raizada seems only too glad to let her win this one. I’m glad his relief was kept to himself. Who knows what Khushi would have sent flying at him had he revealed his misgivings!

    And she nailed it, yet again! I’ve always thought it was Arnav’s molten-chocolate eyes that could see straight to the soul, but those enchanting green eyes of hers are no less. So much loss, at such a young age. For both of them. But while he has retreated into a shell, with iron gates surrounding his icicle heart.. and she, a double helping of happiness! But only she can melt away those prickly defenses.. And this is the first milestone. A barrier has been broken..

    If Aman is a rabid fangirl, I hate to think what I am! 😉

    Hmm.. Anjali knows Khushi? Something tells me it isn’t a bad thing.. some hidden connection? Anjali will be an ally, I’m certain.

    Robbie vs. Arnav? I don’t even know who to root for! But it’s a match of equals, with Khushi at the center. Oh god, poor Khush. But an unrepentant, teasing Arnav is irresistible. And Robbie is equally so! NK will have his hands full with this one.

    Anjali has a quiet dignity that has already won my respect. Her presence is very much needed, to balance the other volatile personalities at the table.

    “Masculine cry of terror!” Is there such a thing? Oh poor Aman.. and yes! Bromance > romance. Plato knew what he was talking about.

    Lavanya Kashyap. Somehow closely tied to the Raizada’s. My first instinct was similar to Robbie’s. But now.. One thing I’ve learned from FWN is that people are not always who they seem to be at first glance. Lavanya does not seem a threat to me.. She’s hurting as well. Now what remains to be seen is why..

    “while life is under no obligation to give us what we desire, it has a way of giving you what you need, just not in the form you expect.” These words ring with a note of truth tempered by experience. I love the bond you have created between Khushi and Anjali. Bound by grief, they can lean on each other.

    Robbie is a perceptive one.. and my romantic heart is singing in tune with hers. Yes, yes yes! I say. Let the story unfold!

    I love drunk Khushi. And I get the feeling. I’m drunk, intoxicated by this story you’ve woven K. And I find that I don’t mind drowning at all. Relish it even.

    Robbie’s ma has good advice. Curious to know what the other piece is..

    A hard shell, a soft core.. that’s our Arnav, hain na? The amount of self-control it must have taken to sleep and only sleep.. and so naive. When will he realize, it’s eternity he craves, a desire that cannot be whetted in one night? Soon enough, I hope.

    Another beautiful update K! I want to savor each word, and dread the day when this story comes to a close.

    ~ Anna <3

  67. Marvellous update. They took one step towards never broken bond which they are making.
    The heart to heart talk between them was beautifully written. He open his heart to her which surprised him too. She too didn’t hole back and hold him with both hands. Today his love for his profession could be seen they way he talk and dress her. I too got to know lot of things through this.
    Get together was awesome. They blended so well with each other’s as if they knew each other for long. He showed possessiveness when they enter hotel.
    Loved conversation between NK and Robbie was very interesting. They have become my second lovable couple next to Arnav and Khushi.
    Finally love making was hot and beautiful. And he wants her to stay with him more which i also looking forward to.
    Sorry for commenting so late after you give access to me. My kids exams are going on and I am still busy with them. Thanks for giving me access to your fabulous story.

    archnahardik123(IF)

  68. Aman and NK are super hot and at the same time such cute munchkins. It was sweet of Aman to plead his brother’s case. Arnav totally deserved to be maimed by Khushi for thoughtlessly coming to a rash conclusions.
    Ohh man u have cast miranda kerr for Robbie. I have a girl ctush on her.how can anyone be so beautiful! I love Robbie she has smart mouth and warm heart. Everyone should have her friend like. Robbie and NK are another pair I look forward to shipping.
    The part about Anjali and Khushi’s brief meeting was so touching.
    Payal, lavanya, shyam , trent among these I wonder who is to be the villain but I dont have to wait the story is already completed yeah! So I continue

  69. Lost your heart haven’t you Arnav? To love in front of which, the world fades away.

    Will Khushi ever know about the cameras? I wonder. NK and Aman, what would Arnav do without them?
    Some people we find, bring back that euphoria rendering the being with a warm glow and love shining through the eyes, doing work that one loves. That’s exactly what Khushi did to Arnav. The fact that he spoke with so much passion about his field of work, I find that trait really attractive.

    For small shoulders to carry such a big burden, oh how much they’ve suffered! No one is more deserving of happiness than them, and I’m glad that there’s double happiness now. I also see why Aman does what he does for Arnav. For the sacrifices that Arnav made in order to give him a better life, he recognizes and knows their magnitude. That’s a really nice thing that he acknowledges that daily and does what he can for his brother’s happiness. Are Arnav-Khushi connected by their past too, or am I reading too much into it?

    The dinner was so much fun. The six of them gel easily and there’s that nice warm and happy envelop we see surrounding them. That’s everlasting isn’t it? Robbie is again Kick-ass! Arnav holding Khushi’s hand throughout, how cute was that!

    ‘It was a masculine cry of terror.’
    How do you come up which such stuff S&K? I just cannot control my laughter!

    Lavanya- another mystery. Why did her presence give rise to an unexplained fury in Arnav? I don’t sense anger on her side, but only deep hurt. ‘Its Arnav and Aman’s story’ – it’s something related to the family isn’t it?

    Anjali and Khushi – another connection, another thread connecting two people. One who pulled the other from the deep pits of sorrow. And consequently Anjali met Aman. Both Khushi and Anjali found themselves at the beginnings of new roads, where they were led by shared moments of grief. There are these little threads of fate that connect to another, but remain hidden, only to be discovered years later.

    Khushi really is an interesting drunk, but she did make absolute sense in her drunk state. Falling and falling fast.
    Arnav taking care of Khushi, that gentleness – there goes my heart again. Sigh. ‘Give me your eyes’ makes a return – another sigh.

    It isn’t going to end with this night or another,
    they’re hearts bound forever, together.

    Beautifully written Night ladies! This brought a lingering warmth to my heart.

  70. Wow.. It’s a roller coaster.. Bonding of Anjali and Khushi.. Lavanya’s appearence .. Robbie’s sweetness.. And finally the Union of souls.. Beautifully written chapter.. Thank you 😊

  71. hi
    finally arnav sucucced to break khushi’s fear n how beautifully Arnav made love to her. khushi is in love alleady. Aman and NK are jems for Arnav.There is small past between Anjali n Khushi. new angle Lawanya.
    I m unable to.read ‘outtake’ why is that?? it says the blog owener need to invite the reader.Do I need account on this blog?? help me.

  72. I loved Robbiee….
    she is sexy as hell and amazing girl….
    Anjali is so sweet… no doubt Aman loves her…
    coming to the loving and passionate cresendo Arnav and khushi had…
    they are so freaking perfect…..!!
    it was hot yet filled with love…
    Best update….!!

  73. Robbie and NK… magic about to happen. Love both of their characters. You did a good job.

    Anjali and Aman turning out to be another favorite couple of mine

    I feel like there is a connecting past of these characters. I need to know what is payal’s motivation. For the first time I felt sorry for Trent for being stuck between a loveless marriage and old hatred.

    Payal’s words of ‘you betray in your heart everyday’.. was just heartbreaking. You guys did very well in the dialogue department, they break my heart, make me hot, make me laugh…

    I’m loving this bromance, hoping there is more <3

    What do I say about Arshi? Their journey to love is turning out to be very beautiful and fun to be part of.

  74. Sorry to comment backwards, but all the ones I did through my phone were never posted. Ahhh.
    Anyways, another romantic update. I couldn’t read the outake because of it being restricted, I probably missed the awesomeness.. would love to read it please?

    The way he personall dressed her, damn, I had acidity! is it weird? I found it so romantic when he did that…

    Also, I wrote this for all the nights…

    Just one more night, be mine
    For another night, do you promise
    I can’t let go, my heart says no
    Just one more night, be mine
    For another night, do you promise
    I will, I do, love you. My touch will tell you
    Just one more night, be mine
    For another night, do you promise

  75. First of all…thanks for such a long update…guys…
    & what a date….U guys bring Hollywood & Bollywood & Telly couple(Acc to d cast)…to dine at one place…& nothing seems out of place… As perfect as it would be…
    & I m looking forward to the NK&Robby’s fireworks & Aman& Anjali’s slow poisoning passion… Too….😝😆
    &now finally… they both found their home in each other😋😘…
    & I guess…bahut ssare rat baki hi
    Abhi….😁😉

  76. Love anjali and robbie. you take us through such conflicting emotions in only one update. Loved the update. It feels so good to see that anjali has given a chance to second love and loved aman and anjalis relationship. YOu have just given the right pace to arnav and khushis relationship. 😀

  77. Hawt 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥finally they are 1,totalky loved it and i can’t wait for nk and Robbie relationship to move foward

  78. Honestly these men, while they put up this cool, almost cosmopolitan facade of being incorrigible flirts, it’s truly a breath of fresh air that they aren’t the typical douche bags that women usually associate with their “types”. I really like that. They’re flirty, they’re bold, they’re borderline slap-able… but they aren’t your usual romcom’s insufferable assholes. They have good hearts.

    It’s hard to balance that in a story. You’ve done a wonderful job.

    Robbie is my dream girl.
    Arnav in my dream fling.
    Aman is my dream man.

  79. I was betting that you can’t write a chapter better than the last update and then you write this. I dedicate all the nice words in dictionary to you!

    The brotherhood is something to die for, they always have your back safeguarded. With friends like that you have almost everything in life. Dressing up Khushi gave a lot of insight to dear Arnav and Khushi and what made them the way they are. Also you taught me a few things about fashion. Thank you.
    Arnav Khushi’s entry and hand holding was perceived differently by each, shows the difference in thinking of each and their need and want.

    Anjali and Khushi’s relationship has so much potential to develop into something more, like Robbie and Khushi, but one will be her calmer side and the other will be her adventurous excited side. It will be fun to see the trios future interactions. Aman and NK, I have a huge crush on them, can’t decide. Can I have both, pls?

    What’s the Lavanya mystery?

    Arnav is such a gentleman when you least expect it. Khushi’s realisation, and the way she handled it is so amazing and heart touching. You wrote the lovemaking scene so beautifully, wrote it the way it should be.

    I am as eager to see NK and Robbie’s story as well as Arnav and Khushi’s.

  80. Wooow someone get me cold water please it’s getting very hot 😰😛 honestly i don’t have assy to write down here i have just two simple words intense, awsome. This chapter’s like master piece what more should i say don’t have words.Thankyou once again for beautiful story keep us bound like that cheers😍😙😘😗

  81. wow, what a date. It was so nice to see Arnav and Khushi share past about their mother. Its nice to see Arnav dressing Khushi. Thank you for wonderful chapters. I spent all night reading all the chapter so far.

  82. It was good to see Arnav trusting Khushi with the memories of his mother. The moment when both shared their grief for their respective mothers was so beautiful.
    With Khushi as muse, Arnav’s art is bound to come out as the best.
    Robbie and Arnav’s confrontation was amusing. She did what a best friend would do. Threatening ASR yet trusting him also.
    How small the world is, really? Anjali and Khushi had met before, and both had started on a new journey then.
    Aman and Anjali are so good as a couple. I agree with NK- ” Redeemed playboys make the best husbands” 😊
    It was also good that Anjali didn’t tell about Lavanya. It was the Raizada brothers’ secret to tell.
    Robbie is a mystery NK is determined to solve. He will, eventually.
    I need a cold shower after reading the last part. It was panty-droppingly hot. 😉

    ~Arunima

  83. Superb part.
    Loved it.
    Lav has some past with arnav and aman and that very tensed too.
    Love anjali and khushi past and their rebounding.
    Robbie and NK simply are awesome love them

  84. Even God doesn’t have the power to save me anymore!

    My rooms temperature just rose from a good 24 degrees to atleast 70 degrees! My god, all that passion is too hard to handle for normal people like us!

    Arnav making Khushi his muse was such a pleasure! And so damn well written, I can literally imagine every part of that scene word to word.

    The dinner was such a delight! The 6 of them will make such an amazing group! A little bit of everything. Amans stupidity, NKs quirky ways, Anjalis soft voices liners, Robbies chill nature, Khushis smartness and Arnavs scandalous ways! How does that sound anything but perfect to anyone?

    Anjali and Khushi have clearly helped each other in some little way in the past and I can very well see a beautiful friendship growing there! On that note, I think Robbie and Arnav would make a great pair too, no? They’d be down each others throat all the time! I’d be so damn cool to read something like that!

    Arnav and Khushi have really heated up all our insides and it would be best if I don’t say anything about that because no matter what I say, it can never be enough to justify how absolutely amazingly fantastic that last scene was! It completely stole my heart away! No kidding there!

    Another night, eh? I cannot even wait for it!

    1. While reuploading FWN, I was going through the comments again. Your thoughts and love letters are so very much appreciated. I loved seeing our lovers through another pair of eyes. Makes me itch to write a few new scenes 😀

  85. Cant explain what i am feeling right now this beyond amazing beyond perfection I love it so so much <3 now that they did it they will crave for more and more until they realise their love. I didnt comment before but I love all the characters specially Aman and NK and their bromance. Everything seems perfect for now I mean aman with anjali NK with Robbie ( well not yet haha ) and our Arshi. Well I wonder what past had Arnav and Aman with Lavanya ?? Erm I read before that NK and Arnav used to share the same women… is it what happened with Aman Arnav and Lavanya ? Did she play a bad game with them ?? Excited to know !!! Also Payal and Trend are about to divorce… payal is a bitch bcz of what she did to Khushi but her punition was to get married to Trend a man who never loved her haha. Talking about Trend hope Arnav will give him a big punch in his face anytime soon in this story cause he deserved it 🙂

    I guess there will be a part where Arnav will Khushi let her go ( guessed bcz of your soundtrack)… will Payal/Trend/Lavanya will be the reason of their separation…

    Oh and Shyam is not really an evil isnt he ? He is just competitive with Arnav thats all…

    Cant to read more.. btw I wanted to read the outake 1 but seems like I am not invited 🙁

  86. Wow!! It was hot!! Totally loved it!! Arnav is such a darling, didn’t take advantage of Khushi. Loved the dinner part. Can’t wait to read the next chapter!!

  87. Loving the bromance, the sisterhood and uuuffff the chemistry is literally the bomb. Anjali’s recollection was beautifully written ~ like the way you’re foreshadowing a future convergence of past with present.

    “Stay with me” The way he can’t seem to let go of her now is just…[L] Beautiful feels.

  88. Have I mentioned how hawt Arnav and Khushi are lol?? Im blushing but more than that there was an undertone of more in that, a sweetness and tenderness. I have to say I LOVE AMAN!! Him and Anjali need their own story. They seem like such a beautiful couple with their own sweet love story. How small is the world?! Anjali and Khushi and Aman? Six degrees of seperation for sure. I wonder if its the same with Khushi and Arnav? Cant wait to read more

  89. Loving the Mesmerizing story.. Everything is so superbly inculcated.. Aman, nk, Robbie, anjali are perfect and loved the group having nice time together.. Anjali is sweet.. She is connected to Khushi on entirely different level.. Finally ARSHI did it and after it Arnav wants to have more.. That was superb..

  90. No wonder this has been nominated by so many ! Their chemistry is sizzling…but I loved how Anjali and Khushi met…the wit and humor of all characters..including Robbie..and how slowly the story is being revealed

  91. What is New York without Mr Big? He’s the Chrysler building. He is New York! I just hope New York is big enough for him and Arnav! 😉
    The ties are getting strong, connections have been made and alliances formed. One more night so he can come home to her? Do either of you them realize what just happened?

  92. I have gone from night 1 to night 5 now, and I can’t read anymore becaue I absolutely have to sleep. But, Oh my God!
    One of my top favourite moments is when Khushi asks who’s crimes she’s being punished for! That moment. the force of it.
    And with this update, the realisation that comes to Arnav… that in his bed, she was simply his.

    Such beautiful moments you create, Sigh!

    I shall be back!

    Love,
    R

  93. Arnav sharing his past was such an endearing moment <3
    Is this generous man K's father ?
    The dinner was nice !
    You got me curious about La !
    I love how the characters seem to share this unknown bond and linked pasts <3
    And the last part *evil grin* It was awesome bas 😉
    P.s. I didn't know you had to read 12 nights before requesting acess.

  94. Awesome update!!!! I must say I absolutely love Robbie’s character! I love how protective she is of Khushi and I like the fact that she looks out for her – she even threatened Arnav! And of course the arshi scenes – I loved them! Why do I feel like there’s a connection between Khushi and the anonymous investor of AR…?

  95. Digging out the past ripping of old wounds allowing oneself to heal takes courage

    Loved the bromance loved the trio and their better halfs

    What’s the back story of Lavanya

  96. What a lovely group you have!! And i love Batali. How i wish i could be a part of that dinner.
    I like Robbie, NK and Aman the most. Still not convinced about Khushi staying back but thats just me, would like to read further.

  97. Daaaaamn… I read the chapters till now in one go and I gotta admit, the most awaited moment was just amazing 😀 beautifully written. Good job. And I really love the story btw.

  98. Khushi and Anjali meet was heart touching how come khushi did not recognize Anjali. Dressing up khushi in his clothes took it in another level.
    Robbie is a real sister to khushi and she made it clear to arnav.NK and Aman are flirty but very good at heart.Love to see the chemistry between the three trio’s .I have read this story before but reading it again as I loved it

  99. Wow intense, romantic, hopeless, caring, charming, humbleness..what more adjectives can I use against the characters…

    And you the author..what an amazing level of details from emotions to fashion to level of intelligence in the discussion..I just need few more reads before I can completely comprehend.

    Loved the passion the 2 have for each either..what a beautiful love story!

  100. I thk I need a cold shower now….

    Anjali and kushi ‘s past meeting… Its so touching.. Arnav and kushi sharing their past, dinner date… Everything was awesome…

  101. words fail me since i am not a writer, this 5th chapter was just enthralling . enjoyed the Robbie Arnav confrontation,
    I hope to read more about the Anjali Aman story . maybe here or in another ff, wondering about Lavanya.
    The best part of course was the Arnav Khushi progress from opening uo about their mothers to him holding her hand under the table & wiping her face free of makeup and finally to their passionate lovemaking

  102. woho!!! need to get my breathing back !!!!
    Lavanya has a past with both the brothers…… NK has met his match.

    Arnav is in deep trouble and he will soon realize that this one night stand won’t work and i wonder how he will get Khushi to stay for good .

    I couldn’t read OUTTAKE… if possible i would like access to that.

  103. Finally they cross the line bold khushi ready
    For him.. The 3 pair’s make good friends
    Somewhere khushi life link with arnav
    Beautiful update

  104. Fire! They are electric together. Sizzling chemistry.

    Im loving that they are all a good group of friends. Love robbie and her convo with arnav was so endearing and entertaining! I love how the characters are just thenselves with no gimmicks or games…you take them as they are and that’s what makes this whole ride so exhilirating.

    Intrigued with lavanya and her story. Im wondering how it involves both arnav and aman.

    Also…khushis dad is linked to arnav?!

    And finally….initially i thought that anjali might have been one of the bitches from high school that was in payals gang. Thankfully she wasnt!

  105. Excellent update
    Bonding of different types and different level.
    Amazing update.
    Arnav is opening up.Hooked up to the story.
    Sent u the request, pls if u can give access, I will be gr8.
    Thank u gals

  106. this is so beautiful ! the connection between Anjali and Khusi was so emotional . Well in Anjali-Aman’s engagement Khusi is going to meet with her past it seems

  107. I am still in a daze. What a night!!!! Phew.
    Arnav talkes alot and feels alot in the story. I like that cos it kinda gives a balance for both K n A unlike K always blabbering.
    I am so Intrigued to see how NK n Robbie would fair. If at all they are planning to go ahead with whatever they have.
    And I sense there is so much more to discover in all characters. Eager to read more.

  108. Good god! That was…. hot!
    The moment between Anjali and Khushi at the cemetery is so poignant… so beautiful
    Anjali stayed for 5 mins to help and met Aman… while khushi was serving at Anjali aman’s party and met arnav…. awesome… new beginnings indeed
    So many layers to arnav afterall he is the ocean… endlessly deep and full of mysteries…

  109. An intriguing chapter .
    Khushi has a sibling . Where n who is he/she
    How are Anjali n Payal connected ..
    Is there more to Anjali deep down compared to what is portrayed ??

    So many questions .

    A very warm n srnsisens Arnav . Loving him , though I’m sure there are going to be fireworks .

    Am loving this .

  110. So finally arnav made love to khushi. It was amazing and awesome. Too hot.
    So the stranger that helped khushi was anjali. How come payal knows anjali.
    The triple dinner date was awesome but what is the connection between lavanya, arnav and aman.

  111. Wow…that was hot! So many emotions…the haunting past, revelations…the bromance, even Anjali and Khushi’s past connection…all coming together beautifully!

  112. Wow….. Damn no words just wow…
    BTW I’m really curious to know about the history between lavanya and the brothers

  113. Another awesomely intense update. Love the electric connection arshi have. Wonderful bonding couple Aman and Angeli. Lovely that Aman is a Razaida and Arnavs brother. Enjoying NK s character and bonding among the 3 guys. Adore Arshi.!!!

  114. The red umbrella was Anjali!! That was unexpected and conversation between them was very touching… Loved the Arshi scene, written very beautifully..

  115. This story is beyond my expectations 👌
    Nothing read so far matches this level of hotness, sexiness and their sensual look towards each other …. you girls completely utilised & nailed the chemistry between Arnav & Khushi , I now feel sorry watching the show sometimes😉

    1. Thanks! That is a compliment indeed.
      Hell yeah, the show writers totally went to sleep at the wheels in not utilizing the insane chemistry between Barun and Sanaya.
      This is why we have the Ficverse. Righting the wrongs of the IPKKND Universe, one fanfic at a time 😉

  116. Damn…that was scorching and intense on Arshi scene. ❤️ Very sensual and freaking hot. Brilliantly written and I loved it. Now we have at least a picture of how Arnav’s past childhood and the creation of AR came about. I wonder if Khushi’s mother was the same woman that Arnav mentioned here. Robbie… she reminds me of my bestie 😄🙂 who I love to bits and I’m loving this character. With Khushi, I’m sure Robbie and Anjali will be close and became really good friends…right? I’m really loving this story and I’m so glad to come across it. Looking forward to reading all the chapters!

  117. Arnav’s commentary on evolution of fashion is eye opening! Reminded me of the powerful Miranda Priestly scene where she educates Andy how “just a blue sweater” ended up in her closet! Sure clothes don’t define who we are, but they definitely enhance our personalities in ways that appeal to more than just vanity!

    The dinner of 6 was excellent (and now I am going to search and see if I can find those wine – they sound delicious!). I love how secure Aman is in his relationship now, that Anjali could not only mourn her ex-fiance but also share the grief with him. And NK and Robbie are just fireworks waiting to explode!

    Khushi and Arnav are just an amazing power couple! It’s is almost like the sun and she is the sunshine (cliché I know!). The heat, the radiance, the attraction is ooof!

    1. Miranda Priestly is total badass. She was definitely an inspiration for us while drafting Arnav’s character here.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts as you read. We wrote this story so long ago, it’s refreshing to see it through new eyes. 🙂

  118. Hi SHIPPER K….what a brilliant update…Dinner of 6 was mind blowing….Now eager to know about Lavanya Kashyap….Red umbrella woman is Anjali….Kushi and Anjali helped each other unknowingly…Robbie is such a superb friend …Kushi is lucky to have a friend like her…Arnav is slowly opening up to Kushi …Hope Kushi will remove all bitterness in him and fill him with love…Brilliant and a mind blowing update…Loved it…Take care and be safe

  119. An encounter at the cold snow covered cematery led two women to a new lease of life. Khushi got up to take the challenge of the life and Anjali found love of her life. Two years later they meet again as love interesst of two brothers.
    Khushi Found herself rid of all inhibtion and asked Arnav to make love to her. Arnav asked her stay one more night.
    Loved the chapter.

    1. Our lives are woven and connected in more ways than we realize sometimes. A moment’s decision can lead to a completely different path.

  120. You guys are brilliant writer. you guys write with so much details, it’s really appreciable. Loved the update. They opened up so quickly. I thought that Will take time. The dinner was awesome. Loved their toast. Nk and aman are such a tease.I think I love them more. so that was anjali. Seems like they will share a bond of soulsisters. What is the story of lavanya? A big secret it Is. Nk and robbie is awesome. Love their banters. Khushi is lucky to have her. It seems like both Arnav and khushi is deeply attached and attracted to each other. But of them seems afraid to name it love. Looking forward for more.

    1. I view time as something really fluid. Some people take a lifetime to know, for others, it requires only a moment in time. 😉

  121. This is beautiful.. But I’m unable to read the next chapters. Could u please help me with it?

  122. omg i loved it. arnav is basically in love with her but he doesnt realize that as always. also, anjalis still giving me negative vibes. also please tell me that matthews dude isnt coming backkkkk loved it!!!!!!!!

  123. First of all thank God Anjali is not related to khushi’s bad past… big relief🙏

    I love drunk khushi😉 … and ever so considerate Arnav!!!

    Finally khushi is free from shackles of her past… and their chemistry is mind blowing!!

  124. S & K, Fabulous writing and collaboration by both of you!!

    The weekend is not yet over, but what a Sunday for Khushi and Arnav!!

    Aman, his “cherry” is just not ready to be plucked!!
    Rascal NK, slammed the file shut did he…haha…I see a date to the Mets opening game coming up!!
    Robbie, Khushi’s Angel always watching out for her.
    Anjali, grounded and a kind woman.
    Arnav, Knight Protector of his Lady lets Aman and NK off the hook for the “camera” handling. Some things best left alone, but retained an ominous pledge of retribution.
    Khushi is quick and sharp, The raven chides blackness!! 😆

    Khushi & Arnav’s witty banter thru principles, terms, fashion sense, menswear and borrowed clothes to be returned by midnight etc., etc., Arnav dresses his muse for an evening out. Through it all, Arnav is clearly in his element and what follows is a nostalgic glance back at yesteryear fashion icons and trendsetters. Loved it!

    Things turn a little somber when personal nerves are touched upon, but both open up and commiserate about their shared loss. Rather fast since it’s only been a couple of days since they met!!

    Laramie, the runway collection and Laramie, the mother!! Yes, a strange coincidence indeed!!
    I am sure we will be exposed to more “past happenings” as the story progresses.

    Dinner at Del Posto was a total success from the strength in joined hands, meeting Anjali, Robbie accosting Mr. A..S..R.. lol, gauntlet thrown, delicious food, bromance, under table seduction and Khushi’s Plato quote.

    Lavanya is a troubled connection to the Raizada brothers. Leave it to Khushi to notice pain in Lavanya’s eyes and fury in Arnav’s. The girl is intuitive. Not an ex girlfriend, but clearly a connection to explore.

    I did not connect the red umbrella Angel to be Anjali. I was way off track!!
    Wow, that is the day Anjali and Aman met, fate at work. A very touching flashback to that day in the cemetery and now, a new friendship in the making for Khushi, actually for both.
    An invitation to the engagement, oh my my, they are in for mega sparkles!!

    Robbie and NK share an enchanting walk and conversation ending in a send off via the NY carriage home!!

    A tiddly Khushi bares her heart out to Arnav. Arnav, unbelievably sweet, takes care of Khushi and puts her to bed. Just wow. Khushi in the bathroom later; I can just imagine her mumbling to herself.
    Very daring to awaken Arnav before stroke of midnight to fulfill the terms of the deal made earlier.
    And the rest of that night, well… potent and inescapable as an avalanche!!

    Arnav’s “Stay with me,”….“So I can come home to you, and do this again,” is heartbreaking. He is such a lonely man. The answer is right there, her for him and him for her!

    1. Haha congrats on catching NK in the middle of his little research project. 😀
      Arnav is representative of the loneliness we all carry. During life’s long journey, it is a blessing to find a companion who touches the soul. And yes, for Arnav it is Khushi, and for Khushi it will always be Arnav.

  125. Okay fuck not even half way through this thing and mind blown. For starters clearly these men don’t have boundaries yet the amount of respect they have for one another has me won over.
    Damn, the muse scene I think that was incredibly hot the idea of such subtle intimacy and genuine care for one another just reflected through that and I just loved that. I mean it just made Arnav ten times more hotter lol.

    I think of the best things I have come across in this piece is how friendship is valued. The value of friendship tends to extend beyond at a very deeper level. The way Robbie is threading them on hot waters or the way Anjali embraces Khushi like sisterhood that is one of beautiful things written.

    Secondly, onto that there is nothing like a man who knows how to respect, take a no and take care of his women. That’s exactly what we see how Arnav takes care of her drunkenness & that taking care of her makeup had me swooning. Like yes, he understands how important it is to take off makeup lol.
    But this gentleman does get rewarded and the way they are in sync to each other’s action is just lovely. The underlying theme of companionship and respect is so evident in this relationship.

    1. Friendship is one of the strongest building blocks of our life’s foundation. Who we choose to be in our life is a reflection of our values, beliefs and world view. It is true wisdom to tell your kids to choose their friends with care!

  126. This chapter is simply Funtabulous….

    I love how you showed Arnav’s passion to his work mentioning about Le Smoking etc. I had no idea what all that was and shows the research you have put into writing. Arnav and Khushi’s moment in his closet was both HOT and touching.

    I love the playful NK, Robbie and Aman.

    We see La, who is not an ex… intrigued for the story there..

    Loved the compassionate Anjali

  127. God
    Lavanya bring mysterious. Anjali and kushi ….thry met and their inner sorrow how they connected….NK and Robbie just love for them .
    Aranav is always possessive….
    God I am reading it almost 1 o clock here in a one go… ❤️❤️❤️
    How I miss this work 😔

  128. Beautiful chapter aman and nk are real tease a picture of arnav past and how ar creations came into existence like the friendship between Robbie and khushi the way they protect each other and conversation between anjali and khushi. The dinner was superb and their chemistry is scorching hot sorry late replies as I lost my phone and my laptop crashed just got it back today

  129. This chapter was all kinds of delicious! From Arnav dressing Khushi (the research you’ll have done!), to the wonderful dinner to post midnight passions…
    One thing I really like about the story is that your characters are so wonderfully fleshed out. The flirty exchanges between NK and Robbie are in contrast with the sizzling chemistry between our lead pair. And then you have the reformed rake (as historicals would call him) and the sweet miss who tamed him. I’d forgotten that it wan Anjali that Khushi met in the prologue and how it affected both of them. For Khushi the red umbrella gave hope to carry on, a reminder that world is not a cruel place, that there is kindness out there and people still care. And it let Anjali to Aman, changing both their lives in remarkable ways…

  130. This night from start to end was just superb,wow,hot , passionate.Aman’s python scene was hilarious.Robbie is a true friend to Khushi, enjoyed Robbie and Arnav’s encounter

  131. The highlight of this update for me has to be the touches they share with each other. Simple touches to ground each other, entice each other, or simply enthrall and surprise each other. This kind of intimacy comes from a long relationship…from knowing someone to know when to/ how to touch someone. I guess what makes their chemistry so flammable and the insane attraction they have is because they instinctively get each other! Hence, it feels so raw, so rare!

    I had expected more resistance from Arnav before opening up, but I guess with her, his ice walls stand no chance, do they? I am sensing that Khushi lied? She misses her mother and has memories of her mother but still she tells Arnav her mother died of childbirth? I am sensing that lie isn’t gonna fly. Oh look at that, I rhyme and all! 😀

    And that scene about the importance of Fashion! Ah, I almost predicted it in the first update I guess!! 😀 It was very enlightening to be honest! And Khushi’s strong principles, I’m sensing are built from a history. But that’s exactly what makes Arnav have certain amount of trust in her. They met each other at the right time in their lives. Love is a lot of things, but most importantly it is about timing!! 😀

    The group dinner was thoroughly enjoyable. Especially Robbie knowing what drink she wanted and how she wanted it. There is something alarmingly sexy about a woman who knows what she wants! 😀 I absolutely adore each and every line of conversation she has with NK. Those dialogues are hilarious and witty and sharp and oh my god, they make me realize how bland my conversations have been in the recent past! 🙁

    Aman and Anjali and their endearing hug. As far as I am concerned I had seen through his charm from the first update itself. I don’t share Robbie’s surprise and like I mentioned before, Aman is my absolute favourite here! 😀

    And finally! They make love. I have always somehow cringed at that euphemism but the way you guys have written the scene…it was anything but. It filled me with warmth and I can see why Arnav had to/ was moved to ask her to stay for one more night. It was absolutely heartwarming!!

  132. Whilst playing dress up, I love how we got to see another glimpse of Arnav. The man has many layers and we can slowly see it being pulled apart bit by bit. Cant believe the only brand I recognised was Armani, need to brush up 😂

    “Can I? I’ve heard those words before”…. oh Arnav !!

    That was such a beautiful tender moment between them in the closet… loving these moments the most!

    “You must be Mr. Arragant Selfish and Rich” .. and ladies and gentlemen Ms Robbie Sinclaire has entered the scene. Love!

    “It was a masculine cry of terror” hahhahhahahahha!!! Theres never a dull time with those two around!

    Nice how you guys kept the mystery around lavanya. I dont think any of us would have anticipated what is to come.

    It’s so interesting how Anjali ended being the one to give her the umbrella and she ended up meeting Aman to!! I like how you guys made everyone’s lives interlink in some way or another.

    Arnav now knows the name of his driver, progress at its finest 🙂

    Its seems like NK and the words Fuck Me/ well, fuck me are never too far apart 😂

    And the much awaited union ❤

  133. How can dressing up the significant other be so alluring and erotic !
    While reading I can visualize how it will be between them and Damn! It’s hot.

    All three couples (hope I can call NK and Robbie that) are a delightful treat.
    Something about Arnav and Khushi that makes them feel like eternal. Like they are destined together. No matter what, that will end up with each other.

    Anjali and Khushi ‘s piece (now I understand prologue better) very sentimental. Didn’t give much thought about Aman Anjali previously, but now after reading about her past and how they met, I can see that even younger raizada has a touching, heart warming love story. Will be looking them with different eyes now on.

    Lavanya 🤔 okay mystery there! Waiting for it to unfold

  134. Wow guys u are simply amazing .. I really want to jump thru to the next chapter but that wouldn’t make me a good Arshi fan so here I am while trying to just stop my with excitement and thank u again for this beautiful beautiful fanfic and the background snowflakes brilliant

  135. I have no words – you guys are bloody geniuses!

    Such a volatile coming together 💖🔥

    ‘So that I can come home to you and do this again..’ damn what a line !

  136. Love love LOVE… From how protective Robbie is of Khushi, to the unexpected meet with Anjali, and finally the moment between Arnav and Khushi. It’s clear to see Khushi knows where her feelings are headed, but I wonder how long it will take for Raizada… Eager to know how Lavanya is linked… This story is AMAZING❤️❤️

  137. Loved it, their first time was beautiful. With feeling. The dinner with their friends was great, especially Khushi and Anjali connecting. I don’t know what to make of Lavanya.

  138. Wat I adore in this story is everyone has their own part which blended so easily….. So the relationship ship between each other is so different and adds a special flavour to it……
    I just loved Aman and NK… I dnt know whom I loves more between them….
    Khushi and Anjali…omg I never expected such a connection between them… It was all meant to happen… She already formed a connection with Anjali unknowingly.. It was so painfully beautiful…. Khushi is vulnerable but yet damn strong girl with certain principles in her life….. This makes her different in his eyes and Arnav is falling so deeply for her

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