Night #7

Thursday night

Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York

Khushi: I’m staying here tonight.

Arnav: What?! Why?

Khushi: We’re having a girl’s night.

Arnav: What about me?

Khushi: What about you?

Arnav: Stay as late as you want, then come back.

Lips curved as his message flashed on the screen.

Khushi: Are you pouting? You’re going to have to learn how to share.

It took less than ten seconds for the phone to ring. She placed it to her ear with a grin.

“You’re very daring Ms. Sinclair, now hand the phone to Khushi.”

“The pout gave it away didn’t it? I’ll take better care next time. And the answer is no. She’s mine tonight.”

“I don’t share.”

“It’s time you learn. She’ll be returned to your glass tower tomorrow.”

“It’s inadvisable to stand between me and something I want,” Arnav warned.

“When want becomes something more essential, you’ll be given consideration. Now, if you require company, I’m sure Raizada Jr. and your Girl Friday are available. Goodnight!” With a devious chuckle she ended the call.

“Robbie, I don’t like these games,” Khushi stated with a frown.

“You’ve never tried, so how would you know?”

“Do you need to play with fire to know it burns?”

“Is that how you see it?” a note of hurt crept into Robbie’s question.

“It’s not a judgment on you. Never that, but it’s not me.”

“Okay, should we call him back?”

Khushi shook her head, then grinned. “No, the sisterhood needs a united front. I’ll explain to him tomorrow.”

“The sisterhood thanks you. Now, back to last night, you really said that?”

“Yes.”

“All of me for all of you?”

“Do you think it’s too much?”

“Are you kidding? I’m so proud of you. I’ll bet that threw him off his game!”

“It’s not easy with him, but I think this,” she placed a fist against her heart, “already chose him.”

“Would you prefer otherwise?”

“No, but I wouldn’t mind slowing down long enough so I could at least catch my breath. Or give him enough time to catch up.”

“He’s been matching your every step, Khushi.”

“I know and I feel his honesty. But he still keeps himself one step back. That step, the cold deliberateness of it, stops it all just short of …trust.”

“Honey, what he gave you wasn’t a baby step, but a giant leap.”

Khushi nodded slowly, lacing her hands together as she leaned back against the sofa. They had returned to the apartment after a light meal at the corner deli. Despite only a handful of days, entering it now felt foreign to her senses. There was no touch of streamlined masculinity to meet her eyes, no lingering scent of spicy aftershave to inhale with every breath. It was a space that held no piece of Arnav and her body ached with want upon noting the absence.

“I know. But I also sense that something happened, something devastating to make him so distrusting. And I’m afraid. I’m terrified of that dark hidden place.”

“His past or yours?”

“…. Both.”

“We all have one, Khushi. A past we cannot change. But is it such a bad thing? It’s what gives us an identity.”

“But it holds power, Robbie, power that can hurt. And what’s the use of running away, when it’s only too happy to chase you?”

“Then don’t run. Confront it head on.”

“Just like that?”

“Why not? Lucky you, your prince have the funds and the means to face any dragon. Why fight it alone? You threw out the challenge, he accepted. Give all yourself and ask the same from him. Give the lonely hearts something to believe in, Khushi. Give me a fairytale come true.”

Khushi hugged Robbie, “You know you’re always just what I need, when I need it?”

“I know.”

“Good. Then you’ll also know it works both ways. Princes come from all walks of life, but a modern fairytale start with a date.”

“One step ahead of you.”

“What?!”

“Next Saturday. You’ll even get to witness it.”

“Aman and Anjali’s engagement party?”

“Yes. It seems we should gear up for Act II of our group dinner.”

“Oh, Robbie, I’m so happy for you!”

“It could lead to nothing.”

“True, but you see I have this wonderful friend who told me that I deserve happiness. Her support gave me the courage to reach for it. I want the same for her.”

“Khushi.”

“If he wants you, your company, your body – enjoy it – who knows where it’ll lead?”

“Did you write down that little speech?”

“Yes, I tucked it safe in my heart.”

Robbie’s eyes brightened with suspicious moistness. “Damn. I can’t ignore my own advice can I?”

“It would take away the sincerity of them,” Khushi said softly.

“Total blackmail.”

“I learned from the best.”

“Alright. You’re on. Never let it be said, that a man scared the pants off Robbie Sinclair.”

“I thought that was the idea,” Khushi responded with a giggle.

“I’m going to have a chat with Raizada on his corruption of innocence.”

“Do you plan on trading secrets?”

Rich feminine laughter flowed from the tiny apartment, carrying notes of bliss into the hearts of those who paused to listen and understood its melody.

✧✧✧

Fifth Avenue, New York

“Nice to know we only rate an invite when you get ditched.” Aman accused as he helped himself to a generous splash of aged Scotch.

“Did you just conveniently wipe away the last two years of dating Anjali?” NK responded drily.

With a grin, Aman asked, “And what of the very delectable Robbie? Progress?”

“I’ll hit the home run before you do.”

NK laughed openly as Aman’s face darkened into a scowl. “Shut the fuck up.”

He turned to Arnav, “By the way, I expect my request for a month leave to be approved.”

“No one needs a month long honeymoon.” Arnav refuted.

“When a man has suffered a year-long dry spell, he’s entitled! And don’t you two dare laugh!” Aman exclaimed upon receiving twin smirks from Arnav and NK, “I have plenty of juicy stories I’m sure would be of interest to Khushi and Robbie.”

“You can take it up to the Board at the next meeting.”

“Dammit, what good is having a brother as CEO if certain things can’t skirt by the fucking Board? Did you forget her brother sits in one of those chairs?”

NK sniggered, “Aren’t you always complaining about nepotism? Shine by example, little man.”

“The only thing little in the room will be your …”

“That’s enough, Aman,” Arnav interrupted, “set aside your hormones and I’ll approve the leave tomorrow. NK, do you have it?”

“Yes, it makes for interesting reading.”

“Well?”

“Matthews came from a relatively upper middle class family. They owned several auto dealerships in Chicago, and acquired a sizable portfolio of properties in Bronx. He dated Payal in high school, but broke up with her right after graduation. No contact for the next two years. They started dating again after his family declared personal bankruptcy. Guess when he proposed marriage?”

“Her twenty-first?”

“Yes, the year she came into her trust funds.”

“Asshole,” Arnav replied with feeling.

“Who’s Matthews?” Aman demanded.

Arnav briefly outlined the story, including his suspicion that Payal Gupta was Khushi’s cousin.

“Fuck. That shit is whacked,” Aman muttered, “What now?”

“Depends, although what is Payal’s angle? As the only heir to the Gupta’s empire, why enter into marriage with an obvious gold digger?”

“There are not enough good men to go around,” Aman lamented, “she probably loves the little shit.”

“NK, what has your associate been able to pull up regarding Khushi’s connection?”

“Chet will be in touch in a couple days.” NK studied Arnav with narrowed eyes, “You’re not going to warn her are you.”

“I’ll be right by her side to handle them. But I need to know.”

“Know what?”

“Her natural reaction when confronted with him.”

“I’ll tell you something that you should be well aware of. Women do not like surprises, especially in the form of an ex-lover.”

Arnav’s jaw tightened. “Sleeping together one time does not make them lovers,” he bit out.

“Jesus fuck, Arnav, you really are a piece of work you know that? You’re jealous, and because you don’t know how to handle it you’re going to fuck things up.” Aman exploded.

“I need to know, dammit!” Arnav hurled back.

“Then ask her. Upfront. You told me to man up, well big brother it’s your turn. Someone finally pierced the impenetrable, shaken the unshakable, stop measuring everyone by a past you cannot change!”

“Did I ask for your advice?”

“No, but you damn well need it! And it’s because I care.” It was said with the simplicity of truth. “It isn’t often that those who love you see you act human, Arnav. I’m grateful as hell that a girl like Khushi came into our lives. I say ours because it’s not just you. And it’s time you recognize that.”

“Aman’s right,” NK added quietly, “We don’t share blood, but hell these last few years, we’ve shared more than many blood brothers. Your restlessness has endured a long while. Be honest with yourself and figure out why. Put your past and future on a scale to determine its present weight. It’s time to live your life, Arnav.”

✧✧✧

Tuesday afternoon

NK placed the phone to his ears, “Well?”

“All public records on Khushi Lacene Khumari go back five years. I hit a solid wall after that.”

“Meaning?”

“Means witness protection or money. This tight of a seal, I’m guessing lots of money.”

“What do you need?”

“A family connection would help. Can you confirm her last place employment?”

“Kumar’s Catering on the Lower East Side.” Going with his instincts, NK added. “Try Gupta.”

“Gupta…” Chet mused, “As in Shashi Gupta?”

“Yeah. And mate, I need you to move faster on this.”

“You know, when men exert this kind of-”

“Chet, move.”

✧✧✧

Friday evening

Fifth Avenue, New York

Khushi stepped into the penthouse with anticipation.

She deflated when she realized he wasn’t there. She allowed herself a moment to take in the unique scent that she will forever link with Arnav. Laughing at herself, she headed down the hall towards the bedrooms. She hesitated before the closed master bedroom.

Courage Khushi, she reminded herself, If you dared to claim the man, surely this private space must too be conquered.

Walking in she saw the unmade bed, there seems to be a tale in the rumpled folds. Had he also missed her?

Combating the yearning of her body, she’d spent another night at the apartment with Robbie. Latching on to the flimsy excuses of needing to take care of the laundry and doing her share of the cleaning.

For all her bravery before Robbie, she’d needed a respite from the whirlwind that was Arnav Raizada and the havoc he was wrecking as he carved a home for himself at the center of her chest. Stepping into his world, sleeping within the protective embrace of his arms has been so easy it was terrifying in its simplicity. However, despite her best efforts, the already difficult task of keeping her feet on the ground was made herculean when he determined to keep her among the stars.

Khushi looked at the wheeled carry-on at her feet ruefully. Playing offense was patently among Arnav’s strong suit of ingenuity. At the real threat of an entire personalized wardrobe to be purchased on her behalf, she’d given into his request of more- more nights, more of herself. The possessive demand in his words had kept her in a sensual thrall as she’d packed her clothes and toiletries under Robbie’s gleeful supervision.

Her eyes swept across the room. Two glossy packages stacked neatly on the dresser with her name printed across a monogrammed card snagged her attention. Before a frown could form she caught the feminine script across the bottom.

Khushi,
Please accept this as you would had it been a gift from an older sister and wear it tomorrow. Thank me by creating beautiful memories in it.
~ Anjali

A reluctant smile tugged at her lips. It would seem she had surrounded herself by people who didn’t hesitate to use emotional blackmail. Opening the larger box, Khushi gasped as she saw the exquisite creation of crimson with light touches of gold nestled against cream tissue paper. There was an embellished sleeveless blouse with a square neckline and a full pleated skirt with golden applique stitched skillfully along the edges. Finally she pulled out a delicately embroidered netted dupatta that added drama to the modernized lehenga saree.

She set aside the gorgeous outfit to hesitantly open the second box. A pair of strappy Jimmy Choos swirling with wicked red and elegant gold greeted her, along with a second note.

This is a bride’s request, you can’t say no! And remember this bit of wisdom from your older sister – good shoes will take you to good places.
~ Anjali

Khushi bit her lips. Anjali was too generous; however showing up in anything else at the party tomorrow would now be an insult. She lightly ran a hand over the rich fabric, then with a smile gathered up the outfit and headed towards the bathroom.

✧✧✧

Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York

The abrupt knock at a quarter to six startled her, company was not expected. Likely the persistent body builder from the second floor, Robbie decided as she headed towards the door. This time she will have to be firm. But when she checked the peephole, she didn’t see the excessively muscled body with leering eyes, but rather a mouthwatering if impatient NK.

She opened the door, leaned against it. “Something you want, Handsome?”

For a big man, he sure moved fast she mused as she shut the door and headed back into the small kitchen after he eased right past her.

“Cooking?” he asked in mild surprise.

“Yes, Minestrone Soup and there’s not enough for two,” she responded pointedly. “Wanna tell me why you showed up unannounced?”

NK’s eyes did a quick sweep, taking in her silk clad curves in the oversized sleep shirt that barely came to her thighs. “Maybe I wanted to see how you look without the armor.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “You have five minutes before I throw you out.”

“I would love for you to try.”

She flashed him a smile, one that offered a close semblance to a bearing of teeth, “It’s foolish to underestimate an opponent base on outer appearance.”

NK rocked back on his toes to study her. Model thin, but not of fragile build, he acknowledged. She was taller than most women, something he liked since it shortened the distance he had to cross to reach those pouty lips. Her face was far more vulnerable than she probably realized, but there was a sense of purpose that radiated from her pores. In all, Robbie was her own woman, capable of dealing with whatever life handed her. It would be interesting to test out how much she really learned from those judo lessons, but right now he had a more demanding agenda.

She stood still and a little wary as he approached. A faint smile touched the corners of his lips as lifted her onto the countertop before laying his mouth on hers. Startled, she flattened her hands on his chest and pushed, with a total lack of results.

NK lifted his mouth, a mere fraction of an inch, his cool breath wafted over her face as he demanded in a low, harsh voice, “Gupta, does that ring a bell to you?”

“What?” Robbie asked distractedly.

NK knew he shouldn’t be doing this. He hadn’t come over for this, but damn she tasted good and his body demanded more. He wrapped one hand under her knees to keep her steady while he slid the other around her waist, pulling her body against him as he pressed forward.

Robbie moaned aloud as he locked her in place, a shiver shot down her spine in recognition of his strength.

He bent for another kiss and she automatically lifted her mouth to meet his. She was unable to repress the little murmur of delight as NK urged her closer. He gave her bottom lips a light nip before thrusting his tongue into her mouth. Robbie’s hands clenched fistfuls of his shirt as she opened to him, curling her own tongue upward to stroke his.

NK lifted his mouth from hers again, his breathing ragged, but he banked down on the need long enough to rasp, “Gupta… does that mean anything to you?”

Robbie shook her head to clear it, sending rich curls dancing over her face.

He studied her closely, reading every nuance of expression. Not even a flicker. She didn’t know. Damn.

The haze of passion cleared and Robbie shoved him away. “Did you … did you come here and kiss me so you can get information for your boss?”

Robbie jumped off the counter, quickly putting distance between them. Shouldn’t she know better? When had a man every wanted her for just herself? Fury and something she refused to acknowledge as hurt blasted through her system, effectively dousing the fire that had burned brightly just moments before.

There was a lump in her throat that felt as if it were choking her. Forcing her voice past it, she hissed, “Get out.”

He had miscalculated, terribly. The current situation required for him to proceed with caution. With another woman he would have smoothed over the incident with a glib lie, but something told him only truth would absolve him now.

“Yes, I came here for answers, but I kissed you for myself,” he answered truthfully.

Robbie tilted her head back, “Your loyalty to him is commendable. Would you go as far as sleep with a woman to obtain information, NK?”

“You know it’s not like that.”

“Actually, I’m not sure if I know anything, other than the fact I want you to leave.”

“Robbie,” NK made to move towards her, “This is a unique situation and I handled it poorly.”

“Step back,” she demanded, “you’re right. You handled it poorly. Do you have any idea how many men see models as a small step up from a prostitute? How they expect little favors in exchange for …?” her voice gave out.

“Robbie, I’m not one of those men.”

She gave him a dry laugh, “There are many ways to make a woman feel like a whore, extracting information from her while using her body is one.”

NK winced. He had somehow probed an unhealed wound, one carefully hidden, and must now bear the consequences of reopening it.

“I’m sorry,” he told her with straightforward candor. “Tell me what I need to do to make you believe that.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Robbie returned dismally, “Just tell me honestly what you want, NK.”

“It matters, Robbie. But you’re not in the frame of mind to listen, so we’ll let it go, for now.”

“Your five minutes are long over. What the hell do you want?” she snapped.

NK exhaled roughly, but recognizing the wisdom of a strategic withdrawal, he pushed it from his mind to focus on the situation at hand. “Does the name Gupta mean anything to you?”

“Should it?”

“I hope it means nothing to you and to Khushi.” “What does it have to do with Khushi?”

Trust had to start from somewhere NK decided. He had fumbled this badly enough. No more half-truths.

“Trent and Payal Matthews will be at the engagement party.”

✧✧✧

Fifth Avenue, New York

Arnav pushed open the door and halted midstride as he caught sight of Khushi, bathed in a halo of light of evening sun. Trite words like stunning, gorgeous, came into his head, but really didn’t do her justice.

All he could see at first was bare back encased in acres of red silk. The classic design accentuated her beauty, the luxurious folds hinting at the luscious curves beneath.

His hand gripped the doorknob as the vision in bridal red turned to meet his gaze. A taut cord of tension thrummed with awareness between them. Fierce arousal gripped him, so sharp it edged of pain.

“Did you pack?” he bit out, forcing casualness into his tone and a safe distance between them.

“Yes,” Khushi managed as her eyes searched his across the room. Why was he so far away? And why were his hands balled into fists?

“Arnav, is something wrong?” Khushi asked.

Arnav stiffened. He was beginning to accept he needed her. Yet last night, tossing and turning alone in bed, was an uncomfortable reminder of the scope of his need. Would she run if she knew how close she was to being ravaged?

Dammit, she had asked for all of him, she should know that dark came with light. A path of retreat was no longer available to either of them. Decision made he went to her.

Gently, yet with unmistakable remorselessness, he pulled her towards him. Their breaths mingled as his firm mouth touched hers and she was lost in a heady world of sensation that obliterated all other thought. Soft, lush, long and deep.

Arnav. His name circled in her head before slipping pass her lips. “Arnav.”

Again, that elusive something stirred inside him. He drew back, hoping he’d see what it was, what it meant, in her face. He wanted confirmation, but Khushi’s eyes were clouded, green smoke blurring whatever was behind them. The thoughts quieted when he captured her lips for another kiss, both hard and tender. “I want to make love with you.”

Twin hearts stopped for an infinitesimal moment as the words slipped unconsciously through his lips.

Khushi raised shining eyes up to his. Seeing the glow in them, he couldn’t find regret in his words. So what if they made him vulnerable to her? He could no longer think beyond the passionate promise of her attire. The coupling of modern woman in traditional garb held a seduction he had never understood until this moment.

With care, he turned her around so that her back was to his chest. Her breath hitched as she felt him take hold of the decorated end of the dupatta and removed it from her neck. Air caressed her skin as the low cut bodice was revealed, until his knuckles glided over her, sparking a trail of fireworks upon each point of contact.

He pulled her hair over one side and pressed a kiss to the place where her shoulder met her neck and she realized that he was undoing the tiny fastenings holding her blouse together. It was loose in seconds and he pushed it apart to bare her back completely.

Khushi couldn’t and didn’t want to stop him when from behind her he unfastened her skirts with deft fingers, pushing it down until it fell to the floor to meet with the same fate as the dupatta.

When Arnav lifted her up into his arms, the romance of it made her heart ache. She felt like . . . a bride. A treasured one.

Khushi pressed her lips to the side of his throat, breathing deep. In that moment she was granted a wish she hadn’t known slept inside her – heat and heart from one man.

She could almost smell the fragrant scent of fresh tuberoses and as Arnav paused just before placing her down, she thought he must have sensed it as well. Such moments were made of magic.

Music whispered in her head as he laid her against the sheets. Her eyes were no longer clouded; instead they shone with a pure brilliance. Seeing her there, all curves, peaks and dark dips and hollows, he had to curb an age old instinct to brand this woman as his in man’s most basic way.

When he touched a hand to her cheek, she instinctively lifted her face to him. Time was stripped of importance as familiar lips mated in a new dance. Arnav brushed his lips over her, once, twice, savoring that delicacy of flavor.

The feelings inside her heart made her selfless without shame or fear, wanting only to share the beauty he inspired in her. Khushi gently stopped his exploration, encouraging him to ease back to the bed so she could rise over him. Her hands skimmed the rough textures of male muscles, delighting when they tautened at her languid strokes.

She linked their hands as she took him into her body. He filled, she surrounded. He surged up to meet her, holding her close as he pressed salty kisses at the hollow of her throat. And it was there, bodies tightly entwined that they let go of everything to sink under the surface, and toward the heart, together.

Arnav watched as her eyes closed, her head tipped back, her body bowed. Nothing he’d ever seen was more beautiful than in those moments when she lost herself to him.

In the aftermath she laid cradled in the crook of his arm happy and satiated.

“Arnav, not that I’m complaining, but what just happened?”

He raised himself up on his elbow and smiled down at her ruefully.

“It’s all your fault,” he accused, smoothing a tangle of dark hair away from her face.

“How is it my fault?”

“When you’re near, I get hard,” Arnav said reasonably.

“But… I didn’t do anything!”

“You’re breathing aren’t you? Evidently that’s enough.” He collapsed back on the bed and pulled her to his side. “Part of it’s the way you smell” he muttered, “and that damn dress was like a red flag.”

Startled, Khushi lifted her head to stare at him. “I love the way you smell,” she confessed. Then, to hide the red flush running across her cheeks, she tucked her head back into the hollow of his shoulder, inhaling the delicious scent responsible for her confession. Khushi closed her eyes on a smile, luxuriating in the feel of his body against her own.

Arnav kept her close as he held an internal debate. It was on the tip of his tongue to mention Trent Matthews. Both Aman and NK’s advice vied for an outlet, yet, the words refused to edge past his throat. After what had just occurred, he needed more than ever to see her reaction, to confirm that she was heart whole. Then he would honor his promise to her – all of him for all of her.

Arnav jerked as his cellphone vibrated and and Khushi’s rang from the nightstand. Reluctant to separate from Khushi, he stretched to grab both devices, frowning as he glanced at Caller ID.

“Who is it?” Khushi asked.

“NK and Robbie.”

“What are you doing?” Khushi asked with surprise as Arnav rejected both calls and turned off the alert for good measure.

“They’ve intruded enough; we’ll see them tomorrow anyways. Whatever it is can wait. Just us tonight, okay?”

Khushi bit her lip, thinking of what she had to tell him, and soon. But the temptation of what he offered was too much for her to resist. Something significant had happened between them and she wanted to indulge in the freedom of being with him wholeheartedly. Just this weekend. Then, she would open Pandora’s box. Whatever darkness lurked in his past or hers, as long as there is acceptance, they will be able to cross the bridge together.

She nodded and slid deeper into his embrace, pushing all thoughts of the world outside as  their bodies melded.

That was how they passed the night, catching brief snatches of sleep in between making love and murmuring drowsily to each other afterward. If the lovemaking was passionately heated, it was in the pillow talk that a deeper kind of intimacy was born, a quiet sharing of self that they had never given to another soul.

It was a night of magic. It was a night of love.

✧✧✧

Saturday morning

Upper West Side, New York

“Arnav, where are we going? I thought the party wasn’t until six?”

“We’ve been summoned,” he responded wryly.

“What do you mean summoned? By who?”

“You’ll know soon enough.”

Twenty five minutes later, the car turned down a private lane and joined the line of limousines on the driveway.

Before them was a three story French Renaissance mansion of white marble, unusual green roof tiles and copper cornices overlooking the Hudson. Even in the pale winter sunlight, it beckoned like an exquisite jewel box.

Butterflies began to multiply by a hundredfold in her stomach as Arnav held the door out for her. “Arnav, where…?”

“Nani’s.”

Khushi’s turned shocked eyes to him, “Nani… as in your grandmother?!”

“I don’t make a habit of calling random women Nani, so yes, my grandmother. She wants to meet you without half of New York in attendance.”

“Arnav! How can I meet her now? I haven’t had time to prepare! Why didn’t you say anything last night?”

“You knew you’ll be introduced to her at the party, what difference does it make that we’re moving it up by a few hours? As for last night… well, I had other things on the mind.”

Arnav’s eyes danced with amusement as two pink flags flashed on her cheeks. He wasn’t a man who had much patience for modesty, but damn if he didn’t find pleasure in Khushi’s blushes. However he could also read the tension in her eyes and it became imperative to ease her anxiety.

Taking her hands in his, he bought her closer, “Relax, Aman and Anjali are also here. They may call her the Dragon Lady, but she hasn’t eaten anyone yet.”

“But she can strip the skin off you with some well-chosen words,” a strong voice rang from behind them. “Thank you for the introduction, now are you coming in or not?”

Arnav kept his eyes on Khushi’s. “She doesn’t want to come in,” he called back.

“That’s not it,” she whispered, mortified. “You should have warned me so I could’ve…oh, never mind.”

She brushed past him to take the couple of steps necessary to bring her to the grand entrance.

“Namaste, Mrs. Raizada,” she gave a traditional greeting, with a slight bow and hands pressed together in a sign of respect, thereby missing the silent exchange between Arnav and his grandmother.

Khushi looked up and reeled in surprise. Arnav had his Nani’s eyes, although hers was a shade lighter, it was equally penetrating, sharp. Khushi felt vulnerable as they took in everything about her in one experienced sweep, while giving nothing away.

Something flashed in those astute orbs as Arnav came up behind her and placed a hand on the small of her back, but before she could discern the significance, she was given a regal nod.

“Welcome to Shantivan, Khushi.”

✧✧✧

Saturday afternoon

Fifth Ave, New York

“Hurry!” NK urged as he and Robbie rushed through ARNY’s lobby, clutching the newly printed file from Chet’s encrypted email. They were sitting on a land mine; there wasn’t a moment to spare.

But despite his best efforts, it was already ten minutes pass noon. All attempts of reaching Arnav and Khushi via phone lines had failed.

“Mr. Ryan!”

NK paused impatiently before the elevators, “Evans,” he greeted the hotel’s manager.

“If you’re here for Mr. Raizada I’m afraid you missed him. He left at nine this morning, but gave me this in case you came.”

He held out a phone.

“It’s Khushi’s,” Robbie identified.

NK snatched the phone from his hands, took Robbie by the arm and rushed out to hail a taxi

“Head to the Peninsula,” he told the cabbie as he powered up the phone.

A text popped up on the screen.

NK,
Nani requested a meeting with Khushi before the party. We’ll go straight to the Peninsula from there. Tell Miss Sinclair, she’s mine today. Don’t bother calling.
– A

“Unbelievable!… Does he always hold such a grudge?” Robbie cried.

“To be fair, I think we have horned in on them one too many times. He’s not a man who responds well to interference.”

“But expects others to jump at his command?”

“How many eighteen year-olds can carry the weight of being a CEO?” NK countered, “It’s a conditioned reflex now.”

“This is important, NK!”

“I know, but as long as he’s by her side, Arnav wouldn’t allow anything to harm her.”

“I’m more concerned that he will do damage.”

“He’s just wants to be sure of her.”

“And men say we are the unreasonable one. Is he deaf and blind? She’s in his bed every night and practically gave him an open declaration in response to his absurd notions of a contract. Does your Mr. Raizada demand a proposal as well?”

“She has more of him than any woman before her. Trust is earned, Robbie. But I can guarantee one thing- he will tell her about Matthews.”

Robbie stared out the side window as the taxi navigated through the dense traffic. She’d only read the first page of that report, not wanting to infringe further on Khushi’s privacy, but it was enough to fill her with dread.

“With his trust issues, what makes you so sure?” she asked NK quietly, her voice laced with apprehension.

NK reached over and stilled the fluttering of her hands by holding it in his, “Because despite being ruthless and cunning in his business dealings, he is an honorable man. Trust me on that.”

✧✧✧

Saturday afternoon

Upper West Side, New York

Devyani Raizada felt the coiled tension within her ease as she observed her grandsons and the women by their side. They made a picture, modern suits besides traditional dresses, sharply contrasting, yet seamlessly harmonized.

Khushi did not appear the grasping gold digger she had feared. She had not missed the earnest embrace Anjali gave the younger girl, nor the approving warmth of Aman’s eyes. But it was Arnav’s behavior throughout the formal brunch that gave her hope where there had been none. He loved.

She looked down at the plain jewel box in her hand. It had traveled with her across an ocean and miles of concrete pavement.

Her daughter had spent a decade saving up for this gift, one she regrettably will not be able to personally give. Devyani knew how much this day would have meant to her daughter and a bittersweet pang filled her as she opened the box to gaze upon the two identical sets of gold kangans nestled against faded white silk.

Lifting up the first pair, she beckoned to Aman.

“Your mother bought these when Arnav turned ten; it was her wish to see it adorn the wrist of her future daughter-in-laws.” The words were spoken plainly, but as she placed the weight of his mother’s love into his palm, Aman saw something he had never seen in his grandmother’s eyes. Not once. Not through the grief he was too young to remember clearly, not through the years of hardship as they built AR.

Tears. They shone with vulnerability in her eyes, yet she had never appeared more majestic.

He leaned down to kiss the side of her cheeks while making a silent vow to fulfill her dearest wish. They will have a family again and Shantivan will someday ring with the carefree laughter of the innocent.

He turned to the woman responsible for altering the course of his life. He glanced down at the gold bracelets he hadn’t known existed, rubbing a thumb over the engraved “A” at the center. With a slight shake, he slipped them onto his future bride’s wrists. A perfect fit.

A tiding of joy washed out the melancholic memories as she saw the bracelet on Anjali. Devyani brushed away the tear she had been unable to hold back. Today was a day for joy; all other sentiments must take a back seat.

She turned to Arnav just in time to see him take hold of Khushi’s hand, running a light finger over her wrist. Her heart shook as she recognized the look. Yes, she knew what it was. Something, only understood by lovers, and despite the passing years, she had never forgotten how it had felt to be the recipient of her husband’s tender regard.

A girl named happiness, for a boy who had experienced very little of it. There was a beautiful poetic justice in that.

She took one final look at the remaining pair of kangans before closing the lid. Soon, she promised her daughter.

✧✧✧

“Thank you,” Aman said sincerely to Anjali as soon as the door closed on the limo.

She turned to him in surprise, “What for?”

“For spending the morning of our engagement party easing the way for Arnav instead of being pampered as you deserve. And for making Khushi your equal in Nani’s eyes. The dress was perfect. I’ll bet the Dragon Lady is already in a wedding state of mind. A lesser woman would not have chanced being outshined by another.”

“You give me too much credit, Aman, I worry that I will fail in your expectations of me.”

“Never. You are Anjali, my Anjali, and that will always be enough.”

“Today is our Sagai and engagement party. Thank you for agreeing to adhere to all the traditions. I know you must hate it.”

“Ah, but I expect to be compensated. Arnav has approved our month long honeymoon,” he told her with a wiggle of brows.

She shook her head at his outrageousness before asking earnestly, “Do you resent me, for making such a request?”

“Are you doing it to torture me?”

“Of course not! You know it is part of my-”

“Belief,” he finished for her. “How can I ask you give that up? We are linking our lives, not melting two into one. There will still be a you and I in our us, Anjali, didn’t I promise you that?”

“I love you, Aman Singh Raizada,” she told him as she laid a cheek against his shoulder.

“Of course you do, I’m very lovable,” he informed her while facing a soft kiss on the crown of her hair.

A glow of joy suffused Anjali’s heart as she touched the kangans he had lovingly placed on her and quietly gave thanks to the mother-in-law who had blessed her world with this man. She could not wait to belong to him- heart, soul, and body.

✧✧✧

Arnav paused at the steps as he felt another vibration. NK would not be this persistent if it wasn’t of urgency. Frowning he pulled out his phone and scrolled through the seven missed calls and eleven text messages consisting of two words, “Tell her.”

Tell her.

He cast a glance at the woman by his side. What would she think if he told her she was the first woman he had brought to Shantivan? He knew the significance of it had not been lost on Nani, although, she was keeping her thoughts on the matter close to her chest. Genuine approval would not come easily, but Aman and Anjali are owed his gratitude for setting the stage.

His eyes came to rest on her wrist once again. They had appeared too bare the moment Aman slipped their mother’s kangans onto Anjali. He had an unnerving vision of those cuffs surrounding Khushi’s delicate wrist, a circle of gold protecting her pulse.

He wanted it, Arnav admitted to himself. He wanted her. All of her.

There was a heightened intimacy between them since last night. Moving him closer to giving a name on what he felt for her. The last few days have been the best of his life. Outwardly, he was same man from a week ago, yet she had incited a fundamental shift in a part of him he’d vowed would always be untouchable.

And he wanted to keep her there.

Tell her.

Arnav took hold of Khushi’s hand to stop her from heading to the remaining limo. What he needed to disclose required privacy, something they will not have at the party’s venue. Besides, they had a good three hours before the official ceremony began.

She looked at him, a question in her eyes. He was struck again by their unique color. Somewhere locked in memory he sensed a piece of the puzzle linked to Khushi, something he should remember, but it remained stubbornly elusive.

He led her back inside.

“Arnav, this is your Nani’s house, it doesn’t feel right to come in while she’s not here.”

“It’s mine actually.”

“But your penthouse…?”

“Shantivan is a family home. When I bought it I never thought I’ll live here,” was his cryptic reply, “Come, there’s no time for a tour, but there’s something I want to show you.”

He led her out the French doors at the back, turning down a covered path until they reached a glass house with a vaulted roof. Snowdrifts surrounded the windows, but she could see rich foliage peeking through.

He motioned her up the steps, and as soon as she walked through, the thick perfume of roses enveloped her senses. Everywhere she looked were vibrant colored blooms set against leafy shrubs of jade. There had to be at least three dozen variants.

“Arnav! These are glorious. Did you grandmother plant them?”

“No.”

She looked up in surprise. They were his she realized. A greenhouse of roses growing under the care of a shrewd businessman was somehow utterly delicious. There were so many layers to Arnav she wondered if she’ll ever peel back enough to reach the core of the man.

“They are beautiful,” she told him with sincere appreciation, leaning in to sniff at a crimson bud, “How do you find the time to care for them?”

He shrugged noncommittally. “There’s a local nursery ran by the Prakash brothers. I contract with them to come by for the upkeep.”

She flitted like a butterfly between his plants, unconscious of the sight she made to the man tracking her every movement with hungry eyes. So engrossed was she that it took her a while to realize it was completely silent. When she turned towards him, Khushi felt her breath hitch as her heart kicked up.

He was watching her as any romance serial hero would watch the heroine. With one shoulder leaned against the doorframe and his arms crossed on his chest.

He said nothing. There was a strange mixture of grim determination and fierce desire on his face. She exulted in the latter, but was puzzled by his forbidding countenance.

“Arnav… is something wrong?”

“Matthews will at the party tonight.”

“What?”

“Trent Matthews.” He dropped the name between them, eyes intent on her face.

She seemed at a loss for a moment, shock robbing her of thought.

“Trent? How do you know?”

“I had NK look into him. We found out he married a woman named Payal. Connecting the dots, I think it was safe to assume it’s your Trent.”

There was a telling emphasis on your Trent, that verbalized much more than his words. Trent had married Payal… it was news to her, but not unsurprising. However, she didn’t have the time to sort out those thoughts now.

“How long have you known?” she asked quietly.

Arnav dropped his hands to move away from the door. His expression was unreadable, but as he stopped before her she would see his lean body poised tensely, as if expecting a blow.

“Long enough.”

A suspicion swirled through her, “You weren’t going to tell me, were you?”

“No,” he confirmed.

“Then why…?”

Arnav moved like lightening then, his hands seized her upper arms with biting force as his dark eyes speared her with their intensity, “Because for the first time in my life, I feel alive and connected to someone dammit!”

Khushi felt her heart slam against her ribs as his meaning penetrated, taking away much of her doubts and fears. This man, did he even recognize the feelings behind his words?

“Are you… jealous?” Khushi watched in fascination as the muscle in Arnav’s jaw flexed.

“Yes.” He surprised them both by answering with bald honesty.

“You have no reason to be,” she responded simply.

“None?”

“Arnav, when I met Trent… I was lonely. He was handsome, charming and attentive. But whatever there was between us, it died the day he kept silent and did nothing… as…as,” she struggled briefly, but powered through, “I can’t say he meant nothing, but he has no hold on me now.”

His grip on her eased, but the tension remained, “It will never be easy with me, Khushi. I feel like I’m doing you a disservice, but I can’t let you go.”

“I don’t want to go anywhere, Arnav.”

“There are things we will have to talk about.”

“Yes,” she agreed readily, “but the past can’t hurt us if we are able to share and accept it. Like it or not, it shaped who are.”

“Are you angry that I waited until now to tell you?”

“It would be a lie to say no, but what matters is that you told me. Thank you, Arnav.”

“You should thank NK,” he responded with a grimace, “He’s determined to keep me from screwing things up.”

“Then I owe him a favor, and you owe him a raise.”

“Any more raises, he’ll be making more than I do,” Arnav muttered. He studied Khushi, perturbed by her lack of reaction. They were talking about the man who took her virginity with callousness and the spiteful woman who engineered the damn episode, how was she so calm?

“I would understand if you rather not attend the engagement, I can drop you off -”

She placed a light hand over his mouth, shaking her head at him.

“You were expecting a different reaction weren’t you?”

Arnav inclined his head.

She gave him a thoughtful look, “I don’t know what my reaction will be, but I can promise, I won’t hide it from you. Promise to be there with me?”

He nodded solemnly.

Khushi rewarded him with a smile, “Then I’ll be okay.”

Something Arnav recognized as triumph mingled liberally with relief washed over him.

His took her hand from his mouth, using it to pull her into his chest. His arms closed around her and he leaned down to brush her lips with his, a kiss of promise amidst the flower of love.

✧✧✧

Saturday evening

The Peninsula, New York

“NK, where are they?!” Robbie cried in mounting frustration, “Do you see the Matthews?”

“No, in this damn crush it’s hard to see anybody.”

“Why are there so many people?”

“Mohit Jha rarely gives up the chance to network,” he informed her grimly, “Fuck, finally! I see Aman.” He took her hand, nudging people none too gently out of the way.

“Where the hell is, Arnav?” NK demanded as soon as they reached Aman.

“They’re on their way from Shantivan. Why?”

NK’s tense shoulders relaxed at the news. “That rotten bastard, apparently you aren’t’ the only Raizada who likes theatrics.”

“Did I miss something?”

“Only the first act of a near breakdown. If this doesn’t work out with Khushi, I will personally bury your brother. Alive.”

“I’m honestly amazed it took you this long to develop homicidal tendencies.”

“Aman, Anjali!” Mrs. Jha rushed over, “Hurry, it’s almost the auspicious time, we need to get you both ready.”

“I’ll join you right after this,” Aman called over his shoulders as he dutifully followed the Jha ladies.

NK turned to Robbie, “Come, I need a fucking drink.”

“But, Khushi-” Robbie protested.

“He told her,” NK assured her firmly.

Robbie looked at him doubtfully, “How do you know?”

“When this is over, remind me to tell you about Shantivan.”

“We should still look for Trent and Payal.”

“Robbie, it’s been one hell of a day and it’s not even over. Right now I can’t even fight my way out of a damn wet paper bag. I need a drink. After that, I’ll make it my mission to be agreeable to you, okay?”

Robbie gave him a sheepish smile, “Sorry. We’ve relied only on each other these last two years, I can’t react any other way until I’m sure nothing will hurt her.”

“There’s nothing to apologize for. You and I have that in common. I told you Arnav will tell her, now trust me when I tell you, Khushi will be fine, okay?”

Robbie looked up at the gorgeously disheveled man before her. He looked every inch the Aussie bad boy despite ditching his uniform of jeans and a dress shirt for an understated formal suit in classic black. It was that wicked pony tail she decided.

He was a man who was willing to do just about anything for the Raizada brothers, particularly Arnav. She still felt the burn from the personal experience, yet, it was that very quality that made him so relatable.

When had their simple world morphed into this web of complex relationships? There were so many crisscrossed threads between them now, if one snapped, how would it affect the rest?

The unknown lurked like a foreboding shadow in her mind, but Robbie Sinclair wasn’t a woman who allowed regret to root in her heart. Sometimes the only way forward is through a leap of faith. Reining back her reservations, she gave into the urge to touch his five o’clock shadow.

“Okay, Handsome. Let’s quench that thirst.”

✧✧✧

“Oh the bride-to-be looks as if she’d stepped from the pages of Vogue!” an overeager guest gushed.

Payal plastered an indulgent smile on her face as she looked towards the ornately decorated stage of silken swathes of fuchsias, oranges, and turquoises with gold accents. The air was laden with the cloying scent of burning incense.

The entire venue was something lifted straight from an Eastern palace and placed at the center of the Peninsula’s posh ballroom. With the combined wealth of Raizadas and Jhas, it wasn’t far off from reality.

Under a canopy of white orchids and gleaming crystal was a woman in an ivory net chikankari saree with crushed red velvet and gold embroidery. It was undoubtedly a Manish Malhotra creation. Traditional bordering on archaic Payal thought with a sneer. Of course, it was only fitting for Anjali Jha.

Angelic Anjali, Flawless Anjali, Virginal Anjali.

There were times she had been terribly tempted to tear down the rose colored lens that tinted the other girl’s world while they attended Barnard together. Yet, she knew it would have been social suicide. As a Jha, she was positioned at the highest echelons of their circle. As the future Mrs. Aman Raizada she would be untouchable.

The thought brought an acrid taste of poison to her mouth.

How the hell did she ever catch the eye of a playboy like Aman? A man she had credited with a strong sexual appetite.

Let’s see how long you can keep from him straying, dear Anjali.

Payal giggled to herself at the thought, imagining with glee how the sheltered girl would handle an unfaithful husband.

As the formal ceremony commenced Payal kept one eye on the double door entrance. She was sure Khushi wasn’t there; she had positioned herself in the far corner all evening, ensuring she wouldn’t miss the anticipated moment.

Khushi. Her thoughts grew darker. The name was an omen, sucking the happiness out of others.

As Aman slipped a diamond solitaire onto a teary-eyed Anjali, Payal caught sight of the woman she hadn’t laid eyes on in five years entering on the arms of New York’s most eligible bachelor.

Arnav Singh Raizada. The nobody who’d risen from the streets into a household name in the fashion industry. A name whispered in awe, a presence well heeded, a power greatly feared. And he owed it all to her father.

She, Payal Gupta, should’ve been next to one of the Raizada brothers.

It stung that both had bypassed her, favoring a woman she loathed for her saccharine perfection and one she hated down to her last blood cell. It was a clear betrayal. How could they treat the daughter of their benefactor so?

She looked towards the open bar where her husband had been nursing his Perfect Pour all evening. Yes, look at your little slut on the arms of another man, even at a distance, she was fucking glowing.

Before clearing the entrance, she saw Arnav pull Khushi close, kissing her lips in a heated declaration of possessiveness. A twisted smile touched her lips as she saw Trent pale upon witnessing the intimacy. If the attention was not on the stage, it would have rocked this crowd to see a public display of affection from the eldest Raizada brother.

Her eyes narrowed with interest as she saw another couple intercept them. Shyam Jha and was that… Lavanya Kashyap?

She gave up on keeping an eye on the ceremony, giving the tableau her full attention. She could visibly see Arnav’s body tensing. Was the supermodel an ex-girlfriend? Surely not. Over the years she had kept tabs on both Raizadas and the revolving door of women who occupied their bed, however brief.

But clearly she was somebody to him. There was a rapid exchange of words between the men, before Arnav turned to Khushi. He leaned over to whisper in her ears then turned on his heels to storm away from the ballroom, a meek Lavanya dodging his footstep.

Payal grinned, whoever she was to him, someone was headed for slaughter.

She had planned to confront Khushi before Arnav, but after that little scene, an adjustment was required. A man being led by his dick would not provide her with an open ear. She needed a different target.

Her eyes went back to the stage, settling on the Dragon Lady. Of course, why target the arms when going for the jugular would be much more effective? Besides it was one more score to settle. It was that woman who had turned down her father’s hint of a marriage to unite their families.

Payal ran her tongue over her teeth before setting her face into serene composure.

The night was ripe for justice.

✧✧✧

Khushi eyed the man before her warily, their first encounter fresh in her mind.

She wasn’t quite sure what to do with herself. Arnav had asked for her to wait for him, turning away before she could voice her concern.

She could hear the clamor in the ballroom and felt guilty for missing the ring ceremony. Wishing to at least extend her congratulations she attempted to edge past Shyam, but found herself completely blocked by the solid wall of menacing male.

Looking up she encountered hard eyes, filled with condescending brutality.

“Eager to be the next Raizada bride aren’t you?” he mocked.

Before she could answer, he grabbed her arm and pulled her away from the view of the crowd.

Khushi shivered. This was the type of man you would not want as an enemy. She yanked her arm away from his grasp. “What do you want?”

“He’ll never marry a common girl like you. Not when supermodels like Lavanya are so eager to jump into his bed.”

“Why do you hate me?” she asked him with genuine confusion.

“I don’t hate you. To do so would give you too much importance. I simply want you to go back to whichever little hole you crawled from. You don’t belong here.” Shyam replied scathingly.

“Do you know what happens to people like you? You live and die alone,” she told him quietly.

Shyam came closer, invading her personal space. Alarmed, she instinctively backed away.

His voice with edged with cold amusement as he jeered at her, “Men like me will never be alone, little Khushi. Not when there are so many eager sluts like you willing to spread her legs for the promise of payment.”

Khushi flinched from the crudeness of his words, but she refused to be cowered by this man’s unexplainable spite.

“You have a filthy mind Mr. Jha, I won’t subject myself to it further.”

She turned on her heels, giving him her back as she walked away with determined steps.

“Go see what he’s up to or are you too afraid you’ll catch a passionate embrace?” he taunted.

Against her will, Shyam’s words cast a gray shadow of doubt. Khushi found her feet heading in the direction Arnav had gone earlier.

She flagged down the attendant charged with escorting guests into the ballroom, “Excuse me. Have you seen, Mr. Raizada?”

“I saw him head towards the terrace, madam. If you go straight down the corridor, there will be a flight of stairs on your left.”

Approaching the bottom steps, Khushi paused as she fought with herself. Why couldn’t she ignore Shyam’s words? What was Lavanya to Arnav? Nerves spiraled through her body as the possibilities crowded her mind. She licked her dry lips and began to ascend the stairs.

✧✧✧

“Ohmigod, it’s him!” Robbie cried, grabbing hold of NK’s hand.

“Who?”

“The bastard Trent, that’s who. He’s at the end of the bar.” Fury filled her at the sight of the man responsible for so much of her friend’s lack of confidence in herself.

“You sure it’s him?”

“I’ve starred at that photo from your report all morning, of course I’m sure!”

NK’s eyes skipped over the faces, landing on the man Robbie indicated, confirming it was Trent Matthews.

He was a fair man, one willing to give every person a chance until they proved beyond a reasonable doubt they were a lost cause. Reading the reports on the man in his sight placed him firmly in the category of men who lived up to the label of first class bastards. Spoiled, weak, and mercenary. He had zero tolerance for such deadbeats.

“How dare he show up! Considering how photos of Arnav and Khushi have been splashed on every news outlet, he must know she’ll be here. You’re not to stop me as I go and give him what he deserves.”

NK looked down at the agitated woman before him and grinned. She was always gorgeous, but anger added fire to her eyes in a way that turned her into a man’s wet dream. He’ll take a shot at a show of black lace tonight, after making it up to her for his massive screw-up.

But first, Matthews. “And what does he deserve?”

“A bloody pummeling, but to start, a punch in the face,” Robbie muttered.

“You’re a blood thirsty wench aren’t you?”

“What he did to her, NK!”

“I’m not stopping you, but save the bloody pummeling until after we get away from the witnesses, yeah?”

NK followed closely behind Robbie as she marched towards Matthews. He figured he could get them out of the ballroom fast enough after she’d had her shot, no one would be the wiser.

Robbie tapped impatiently on the navy dinner jacket, “Excuse me, Trent Matthews?”

He turned to her, a smile formed on his lips, one a man gives a woman he finds attractive, “Yes?”

Up close he was good looking, she acknowledged grudgingly. If one went for the clean cut All-American type. Thank god Khushi’s taste in men have improved.

“Is there some– ”

Trent’s head snapped back as a firm fist connected with his jaw.

“What the fuck!” he clipped as he toppled back from the unexpected attack.

Satisfaction poured through Robbie as he landed on his ass. Thankfully those who were taking full advantage of the open bar were mostly too drunk to take notice of what was happening in their corner. She had wanted to deliver that punch since the day she knew about this man’s existence. It made every judo lesson she panted over worthwhile.

She felt NK’s solid presence behind her as he leaned into her ears, “I’ll never piss you off again, dollface. That was one hell of a punch!”

She have him a grin, “Good, now you can show me what you’re made of. Let’s get him out of here. It’ll be good for everyone if Khushi doesn’t have to lay eyes on him ever again.”

✧✧✧

As the guests descended on the engaged couple, Payal took the opportunity to slither up to Devyani Raizada.

Namaste, Mrs. Raizada.”

The older woman turned to her in surprise. “Payal!  It’s lovely to see you child. I didn’t know you would be here. Did your mother come as well?”

“I came on Anjali’s invitation. We attended Barnard together. Unfortunately, Amma couldn’t make it, but she sends her regards. You know how she avoids crowds ever since…” Payal allowed her voice to trail off regretfully.

“Of course,” Devyani replied sympathetically, “Please send her my greetings and tell her our doors are always open to her.”

“Of course, I will. Thank you, Mrs. Raizada.”

“Well, I’m sure you want to catch up with Anjali. Thank you for stopping by to greet this old woman.”

“Actually, I wanted to have a word with you. I’m not sure how to say this, but I can’t stand by and allow you to be deceived. Especially since Father has always considered you as part of our family.

“What are you talking about, Payal?”

Payal lowered her eyes, “I caught the media coverage on Arnav…with that woman.”

Devyani stiffened, “You are acquainted with Khushi?”

Sensing victory, Payal went for the kill. “Yes, Mrs. Raizada, I am. You see, she had an affair with my husband.”

✧✧✧

“What do you want?” Arnav bit out coldly.

“I’ve told you, a chance.”

“And I’ve given you my answer, what makes you think I will change my mind?” Anger rose up in him, directed at her for showing up and invading his newfound happiness. Why did his past refuse to stay where it belonged?

“Arnav, I’m your sis– ”

“Don’t you fucking dare! You are only the unfortunate result of my father’s depraved lust with an equally corrupt woman!”

That hurt. Cutting deeply as he had meant for it to.

“Arnav, Amma already passed away,” she moved closer taking hold of his lapels as she pleaded with him, “Can’t we lay old ghosts to rest? You’re the only family I have now.”

“But she really isn’t is she? She lives on in you. Like mother, like daughter,” he threw out harshly. “How many men have you seduced and lived off of? Before you start, I do not keep tabs on you. It’s hard to ignore when your little affairs are splashed across the tabloids for the world to see. You’re beautiful just like she was and every bit of it is surface. Women like you are nothing but characterless parasites!”

Lavanya flinched under the sting of his words, her hands dropping to her sides as color leached from her face.

“Why don’t we skip to the truth? Are your sugar daddies not giving you enough? How much do you want from me to stay the hell out of my life? Just name your price and I’ll pay. Any amount as long as it keeps you from my family.”

Arnav watched her with eyes like flint, ignoring the anguish etching itself across her face. She looked terribly young and vulnerable in that moment, but all he wanted was to drive this woman away. Just looking at her caused him physical pain. If only she didn’t look so much like her damned mother.

Khushi felt something inside her curled up as Arnav’s words fell like splintered glass over her skin. She had nearly called out to him when she saw Lavanya grab hold of his suit. The two on the terrace were so involved they had not heard the door from the stairway open. Now, she wished desperately to turn back the clock, to erase the words eating at her like acid.

Where was the man who brought her the stars? Who kissed her tenderly in a greenhouse of roses just hours ago? Where was the lover who woke her with heated kisses and pulled her into his deep embrace in sleep? She didn’t know this cold stranger. With eyes that contained only ice of deep arctic chill. Yet they shared the same face.

She froze as those icy orbs swept contemptuously over Lavanya, watched as his lip curled back derisively after the insulting perusal.

His punishing words evoked a memory of another conversation of similar cruel accusations. Characterless. Parasite. She shuddered as the words beat cruelly in her ears.

“I’m not like my mother,” she heard Lavanya whisper.

Khushi turned away, unable to bear another moment. She rushed blindly down the steps as she fought the hurt that threatened to explode from her pores.

✧✧✧

Her feet burned, but she couldn’t stop. Demons of the past chased her thoughts as she rushed down the hallway, running straight into a hard chest.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she whispered. Not hearing the brokenness of her voice.

“What the hell, Khushi!”

Her head jerked up as Robbie’s voice penetrated the fog, and looked straight up into the eyes of Trent Matthews.

Her body lurched as if she’d been shot. Not now. She couldn’t handle this now. She pushed away from him, nearly losing her balance as she staggered back.The distance allowed her to see just beyond his shoulders.

Payal.

Standing next to her was a grim faced Mrs. Raizada.

Like a deer in headlights she stood rooted to the spot. Chaotic emotions swirled inside her, threatening to erupt in tears or screams. It was like being in a waking nightmare. Her dress suddenly felt too constricting, adding to the sense of cloying claustrophobia.

She couldn’t breathe. She had to get away. From him. From them. Now.

The thought gave her just enough strength to move. Ignoring Robbie’s distressed call, she made for the glass doors, struggling to open them and escape. Khushi tried gasping for air, but no matter how much entered her lungs, she felt unable breathe.

Frantic eyes scanned the streets for a taxi, but she could barely see past the film of wetness burning for release.

✧✧✧

Robbie was about to chase after Khushi when she saw an angry Arnav striding towards them.

“What did you do to her?” she demanded.

“What are you talking about?”

“Khushi! She just ran out of here as if hell hounds were chasing her. What the fuck did you do to her, Raizada?!”

A frown marred Arnav’s forehead. He though he had heard the door open on the terrace- had it been Khushi? Granted it wasn’t a scene he wanted her to walk in on, but why would she run?

It didn’t matter, he had to get to her and deal with the rest later. He exchanged a glance with NK, who gave him a brief nod. Without another word, he rushed out the doors.

“What the hell is going on,” Aman demanded as he joined the group in the hall. His eyes narrowed on the man being held hostage by NK and a smirking Payal next to his grandmother. Before he could open his mouth, he caught sight of teary Lavanya heading towards them. Fucking hell.

Devyani’s gaze swept over the scene, her wise eyes cataloging the individual expressions of those before her. There were too many pieces to the puzzle and much of it unknown. Regardless of the truth, she knew the situation had to be handled with care.

She held up a hand as Aman reached her. “Not now, Aman. See to our guests, we will speak after. NK, please request the hotel staff to prepare a conference room for us at nine sharp. I want all of you to be there,” she turned to her right, “you too, Payal.”

She paused just long enough to receive their confirmation before reentering the ballroom.

Weariness weighted heavily in her bones at the thought of what was to come, but she didn’t have the luxury of dwelling on the matter.

Right now she needed to be Devyani Raizada, the Chairwoman of AR with a ballroom full of guests with a voracious appetite for gossip. She will not feed it to them.

✧✧✧

“Khushi!”

Shit! Shit! Shit! She couldn’t face him right now. Where were the damn taxis?

“Khushi!” Arnav came up behind her, turning her stiff body into his arms, “Why are you leaving?”

“Let go of me,” she whispered.

“Tell me what’s going on,” he insisted.

She wrenched her arms from his hold, making a frustrated sound when he pulled her back to him.

“Give me your eyes,” Arnav demanded.

“I said, let go! You’re hurting me,” she cried out.

“Dammit, Khushi!”

Her eyes lifted to his and their gaze locked. The grief in them disturbed him. What the hell happened?

“Khushi, did someone say something to hurt you? Tell me and I’ll take care of it.”

As the words left him, it suddenly it clicked. In his rush, he hadn’t given much thought to the man standing beside NK and Robbie.

“Is it Matthews? Was he the man with Robbie and NK?” Arnav’s hand cupped her jaw as his face dipped close, “Oh baby, I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you ran into him.”

Khushi’s heart clenched. The gentleness of his voice made the hurt worse. She could feel the strength of his arms surrounding her, but heat from his body seem to mock her. She couldn’t handle being this close to him. Not now.

“I’ll tell you, but let me go, and step back.”

His hands flexed on her arms, a knee-jerk reaction. Arnav nodded before slowly releasing her.

Khushi quickly moved back, adding to the space between them. Her nails scored her palms, but she didn’t notice.

“We’re done Arnav.” She told him, surprising herself when the words came out steady and flat.

“Because of him?” Arnav demanded in sharp fury.

“No, because tonight I realized we are completely wrong for each other.”

“Do you still love him?”

“No! This has nothing to do with him. It’s you!” She choked.

“What the hell did I do? What the fuck happened?”

“I’m Lavanaya.”

“What?”

“I’m Lavanaya,” she repeated. “The unfortunate result of a man’s affair with a characterless woman, isn’t that what you said? An illegitimate daughter of a married man. That’s me, Arnav.”

Arnav reared back in shock as she repeated his words to Lavanya. They held a fierce bite coming from her devastated voice.

“My mother was my father’s mistress,” she fired at him, driving the point home as she watched his face closed down. No other reaction. That stung. They stared at each other, a few feet between them, but it could’ve easily been miles.

Say something she pleaded with him silently. Please, say something.

But Arnav only stared at her with a curiously blank expression. She’d gambled everything—and lost, but she hadn’t known the odds stacked against her, had she? Then Khushi did what life had taught her to do. She straightened her spine and pulled herself together.

With one last look at Arnav, she turned and walked away.

This time, he let her go.

✧✧✧✧✧

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!

470 thoughts on “Night #7

  1. That is what you call Girl’s day out. Loved how these two talk to their hearts content. They both equally care for each other. Poor Khushi,has to deal with a pissed off Raizada. I suppose, a carefree night before the impending storm knocks them out.
    Oh dear! K caught a flu…….you feel like you are about to die. I was down the last week and still feel like shit!
    Get well soon K!

    1. Ha! I did feel (and look) like death for a while there. Thanks Rani – all well now! 🙂

      Ugh, sorry to hear you had it too. Let’s hear it for good health!

  2. Awesome a girls night out… Poor Arnav…. He is already missing khushi… Oh loved their chat… Oh he figured out it was robbie … They share a beautiful friendship 😊
    Eagerly waiting for the next

    1. Sigh…. they do. Makes me jealous. I have good friends, but even my best friend isn’t Robbie! 😀

      I’ll be posting at least once a day. We’ll definitely get to Part II by the weekend!

  3. K – hope you feel better soon! I can’t stand being sick, I know you’re the same. We’re waiting for you capt!

    I actually love mini updates since it allows time to soak up the sections properly. However, you decide to share, just gimme! 😀

    Whenever I feel the boys are taking over my heart, you give a scene like this and I’m firmly back on the sisterhood’s side! FWN’s romance is epic, but FWN’s friendship is what I will cherish most.

    lol, only Robbie would have the guts to pull such a prank on Arnav and call NK a girl friday!

    1. I’ve always been Camp Arnav as a reader, but oddly enough, I’m firmly in a neutral zone as a writer – no favorites at all. 😀

      Haha, Mel’s been advocating for daily mini updates. That’s not even remotely possible, but we are considering other options. We’ll see.

    2. Sisterhood v. Bromance …. tough choice yeah? 😀
      Thank you sweetheart! I think our partners are the soulmates of our hearts and our friends are the mates of our soul. Does that make sense?

      I thought you would get a kick out of Girl Friday 😉

  4. Ok now I finished reading you guys are a tease. You give such a teaser and then give an update which does not have any clue of any of the teaser picture which indicates a very long update waiting for us. And S has a sleepless night and Captain K has a lot of reading and reviewing to do with a hot cup of coffee. I missed you guys soooo much 😀 just got my laptop back. Life given me lot of changes. Good luck guys with the story. Is Robbie in any way have a negative vibe in this story. Can you please please give me some spike 🙂

    1. Welcome back! 😀
      I was wondering if we needed to send out a search party 😛
      Good to see you here. Hopefully refreshed and happy with new changes 🙂

      None of our characters are perfect. We don’t believe it’s possible, not to mention that would be terribly boring. Keep in mind, we are only half way! 😉

      Yes, this will be a VERY long Night! 😀

      …. spike?

  5. Hello there I know i know what can I say I am enjoying my new job so far. And back to my favorite job that is reading all you lovely writers stories. So I guess we have to wait for the real Robbie. What happened to Captain K the super women from X men community?

    1. Oh no, this is the real Robbie. I meant there are other facets to her character. While we’ve sprinkled fairytale elements throughout, we like our characters to be grounded and human, with all the strengths and frailties 😀

      Our Captain must not be full mutant 😛 she’s been knocked out by the flu. Hopefully she’ll be back in a few days. 🙂

      P.S. Congrats & good luck with the new job!

      1. Ay Ay captain k. You are back so how u doing. Hope everything is good and back to fit and fine, I was about to report the avengers to find u a cure to that damn virus LoL. Anyway good to see you are back.

  6. K get well soon. …we need you back in full spirits (not literally ) 😉
    S…we love whatever you give us short or long updates we will lap it all up….
    So K n R havin a girls night out and Raizada does not like it much….3 cheers to sisterhood….

    1. Ha! Someday I might write a bizarro world of FWN for Halloween. Where everyone is either vampire, ghosts or witches … wouldn’t that be something? =p

      Cheers!

  7. K – Wish you a speedy recovery. Take care girlie!

    This reminded me of so many of my girls time. Sisterhood is awesome! 😀 Aahh.. the night is young, let us see where it leads. 🙂

    I agree with all of the above fellow venturers, FWN romance is superb but FWN friendship is what keeps it all together and interesting. It keeps me coming back for more. I am in for the long haul and wouldn’t mind in what ever form you give us the updates girls, so long as I got to be on this journey with you all. 🙂

    1. And for that, c’mere for the giant bear hug 😀

      There’s a certain irony to this. I’m the guilty one who constantly skip huge chunks of storyline to get to all Arshi parts when I read. I was skimming through the chapters and just realized how much space we’ve allocated to other characters. 😛

      1. Yipeeee…an update 🙂 K i hope u get better soon.. will post a detailed comment later.. but in a nutshell .. i have a massive girl crush on Robbie 🙂

      1. Hello S & K,

        I just want you girls to know that this has been a great update. I am functioning on very little sleep and much chaos right now, but I will return to comment on the update thoroughly. Meanwhile, I am just reading to give my poor brain a break and sort of pseudo cruise drive like state.

  8. Though this was short but it did not make me dissatisfied..Made me remember of all the times we had a girls night out..In fact when I was in New York ,I was texting to my friend’s boyfriend and he did realize way to fast(much to my annoyance) that it was not his girlfriend who was sending those messages.
    Back to the update..I love their K and R’s friendship and I hope even R finds her true love in NK..3 cheers to sisterhood!!!

    1. You too?! Hahaha, my girls and I do this a lot. It’s a good test to see if he’s a keeper 😀

      The response to R and NK is a delight and a concern. lol. Their fate is still up in the air at the moment 😉

  9. Get well soon k, and S, u r doing a fine job *thumbs up*,
    Sisterhood all the way, great one
    But this controlled release 😉 is making me hyper,
    Shout out to 7th, would u plz hurry up 🙂

  10. Poor K, down with flu !! I wish that you get well soon. Coming to the update. Lovely update. :):) Love the friendship and trust between khushi and Robbie. Truly amazing sisterhood !! 🙂 Coming to Arnav, I have a feeling that he is going to really goof up big time and make khushi very upset. Not listening to aman, NK or not talking openly to khushi is a bad idea. Looking forward to the next update and hopefully Arnav can be more open and free with khushi. 🙂

    1. He’s trying. Like Robbie said, he’s given Khushi leaps when he’d never given another woman even the tiniest of baby steps.

      Plus, would he be our ASR if he didn’t come with the massive relationship fuck ups? 😀

      Don’t worry, we won’t lead you gals astray… too much 😉

    2. Yes poor me =p … actually other than the achy head, I was well pampered 😀

      Our businessman is being taught something completely foreign. Give him time to acclimate HEE

  11. Dear K plz get well soon and S you are doing a great job 🙂 amazing girls night and a mindblowing confrontation of Arnav by hid besties ‘ he should hv realized his feelings nw…!!!! I hope khushi could make out when it will be engagemnt night 😉 i mean that asshole will be there plzzzzz arnv support her man …!! :-/

  12. I wish K gets well soon.
    I have decided to test my patience this time! Will wait till you post whole night 7 and savor the entire update at one go!!
    So 7th Feb it is.. 8 more days to go..
    Hope Sabr ka phal meetha hoga.. 🙂

  13. Ok now you have me voting for brotherhood. ..NK is right Trent and Payal will be a nasty a totally unwelcome shock for kushi ..Arnav is scared about kushi having feelings for trent…but then kushi has her robbie arnav and her god mothers with her…she will be good. ..

    1. We should make everyone pick a team 😀
      Oh ho! Someone is very confident in the sisterhood and the fairy godmothers… let’s see how they fair against wickedness and the the stroke of twelve!

  14. You girls remind me of those heady days of yore when I used to obsessively devour all the off-screen segments that I could find just to see this level of friendship and camaraderie that all the actors shared on the sets. It wasn’t just a bunch of actors coming in daily and being cordial and nice to each other. It was so much more than that which had always fascinated and amazed me. This is probably another reason why IPK is not simply another show for me- because whatever they portrayed on-screen was true and authentic and not only versatile acting. Similarly, the characters that you people have created here- though much different- are essentially similar. They all have forged bonds that are eternal and stronger than blood ties. And they never fail to crack me up. Even in the midst of some life-altering crisis. Seriously, who is scared of sketchy pasts when you have a brother like Aman, a bad-ass friend like Robbie and a girl Friday (;P) like NK???

    P.S.- Can we expect a S and K version of the terrace scene??? Because a certain CEO is being a pig-headed idiot.

    P.S.2- Get well soon, K. Here’s sending a virtual health care package for you 🙂

    1. I loved digging through all those off screen footage – the bromance! the chemistry!

      Such awesome compliments – thank you!!!

      Sketchy pasts are …. sketchy 😀 But I’m happy to know you’re enjoying our version of this beloved pair. We kept everything we loved about their characters, altering/infusing only what we wish we saw on screen. It’s our revenge on those evil cvs 😛

      P.S. Keep your eyes out… there’s a homage or two in this update 😉

    2. Aww thanks for the virtual care package sweetie 😀
      I’m delighted this story is evoking such fond memories of those off screen segments for you. After a point, I think I enjoyed those more than the show itself =p

      I’ll give you this: Be careful what you hear when eavesdropping around terraces 😉

  15. An update? Yeah! K, get well soon and drink lots of fluid. S, great intro to what is to come in Night 7. I love my girl nights which are not too frequent these days with 2 kids. Our time to get silly and have really nice chats. So Arnav, back off because Kushi needs this break ok? I love Aman but I really like Robbie. She gives the best advice and she should follow it too because the girl Friday is a good catch even for a temporary good time. I agree with NK and Aman, Arnav needs to fess up because Kushi will have enough to deal with on Saturday night without his interference.

    1. We are becoming the writer’s we’d always complained about! Erratic update schedule and still barely meeting deadlines lol

      Lucky us to have such understanding readers.

      2 little angels or monsters? 😀

      Wisdom v. Pigheadedness …. oh which shall our Mr. Raizada choose?

    2. At the moment I’m totally overfluided 😀
      Girl nights are important – don’t let go of them! They keep us young and more importantly … sane!

      Oh what to do? Our Mr. Raizada likes to define stubborn. 😀

  16. I tried my best to desist from reading. But couldn’t keep away. So all my plans to read the complete chapter are now down the drain.
    Arnav definitely has strong feelings for Khushi. But loke NK and Aman I too feel he must be upfront with her and tell her that that her ex is coming for the party.

    1. Down down the rabbit hole 😉
      I’m good thanks sweetie!

      Mr. Raizada – so much good advice flying your way – what do you plan to do about it? 😀

  17. So we have a boys night out also…
    Something about the delay in knowing more about Khushi is bothering me and its already Friday morning and the much awaited engagement is on Saturday..
    Matthews is an asshole ..living on Payal’s money…
    why is it so difficult to find out about Khushi?..Is she the step daughter of Shashi ?which makes her the step sister of Payal and probably that’s why Payal hates Khushi?…

    P.S:How is K doing?Hope she gets well soon..

    1. So many questions! I hope we can answer them by the end of the Night 😀

      Our captain is on her way to a full recovery 😀 She’s mostly achy and annoyed that her laptop has been confiscated lol

  18. How come I’m all stressed out? NK needs to find out now so I can have a guaranteed white knight in the wings for the engagement party.
    I’m assuming Arnav will be busy with Shyam and La….update update update!

    1. Where’s the sense of adventure? It’s no fun if a white knight if just around the corner…. sometimes we overlook the dark ones 😀

      Updating! updating! updating!

  19. Iam not good at stalking. Struck gold today! Robbie too liked Kushi’s statement”all of you for all of me”. Yay., spin away your magic. Hope you are getting better K. …take care

  20. That was dense. Pretty dense. We all want to know what is up with Khushi and what shit Payal or her family did to convert Khushi’s keep to her’s. Her father made Arnav, I wonder what his ‘natural reaction’ would be to this. 😉

    1. A warm welcome to FWN vivacereveur!
      You must share the story behind the screen name – I love it!

      lol, reactions are coming – both natural and intended – let’s see where this Night ends and if our stage gets filled with scented roses or squished tomatoes 😛

      1. Oh, I am glad someone other than me likes it too! 😉
        Though, isn’t it always such that the moments we feel could have most beautiful stories, come to us simply and without much hullabaloo. Potency is best tapped through chance! My name is the same. As much as I would have loved it to have some fancy backdrop, it is a mere translation of my actual name. 😀

        As for the climax of the night (pun intended?), I would say either of them would have a unique advantage. We are ready to tap them as they are thrown. 😛

        I must say, by the way, the cover image of this story is simply elite. That is the only word I thought, deemed fit!
        <3

      1. Thank you for the welcome! If it is this hearty, I am glad I came here! (Only one meaning intended. The Simple One.)
        This journey is already enchanting and making me look eagerly forward! Much love! <3

  21. Well is it Kushi Lacene Gupta before she became khumari ???then its going to turn really bad ..i wonder what all secrets they hide….
    Lacene a name common between Arnavs Angel sponsor and Kushis mother…cant just be coincidence. ..
    NK did try a wrong tactic and Robbie is not going to forgive him soon……i did hope the kitchen scene lasted more 😉

    1. Someday we’ll give black lace it’s full glory 😀

      Even though Arnav and Aman are the blood brothers, it’s NK that shares many of ASRs trait. Must be why they get along so well 😛

    2. To this I give you:

      “Do you think the universe fights for souls to be together?
      Some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences.”
      ― Emery Allen

      😀

    1. Oh sweetheart! Hahahaha! This was precious – I’m loving all my virtual care packages – thank you! ^^

      Also, thank you so much for inviting friends to join us on this journey! So unexpected, but very much appreciated! *hugs*

  22. Hey K how u doing? And S thank u soo much for posting the update so promptly.. 🙂 stalking pays…. so finally we get to see the vulnerable side of Robbie..luvd it. NK my boy u screwed up big time…better make it up to her soon or there will be no BL for u in the future..

  23. Reading about Arnav and khushi’s magical night was awesome. 🙂 🙂 Now I am very keen to know that what it is that khushi is keeping from Arnav and why were NK and Robbie calling Arnav. Really looking forward to the party. By the way, I loved the way you described the dress, made me visualize it. 🙂
    K, I hope that you are feeling better and better everyday. Take care both of you. 🙂

  24. Damn it ladies.

    I tried so hard

    So, so hard to patiently await the full update and yet here I am!

    Explosive

    Thus far the theme of this update:
    – the explosive and once carnal – now slowly loving need Arnav and Khushi have for one another is seriously heart warming on these winter nights. The raw longing they have for one another radiates in potent waves in the first half of this update

    – Aman’s explosive outburst in answer to Arnav’s potential to ruin his relationship really throws to light the love he has for his older sibling. Only one who fiercely loves his brother would so purely protect everything which has the potential to make his sibling truly happy.

    – NK and Robbie’s chemistry. Need I say more?
    Yet they both tread such a fragile thread in an effort to protect Arnav and Khushi respectively whilst wading the waters of discovery in their own relationship. Their natural personalities coupled with the myriad of secrets make these two central to many of the explosions here.

    – Finally Arnav and Khushi. Their blossoming love is so heart warming and I sincerely hope that any upcoming turbulence is met with a united front of their solidarity. All or nothing. I just hope they can abide by that

    Amazing update so far ladies xx

    P.S I hope you are feeling better K 😘

    1. I like explosions. The ones that goes off in the sky and those that cause havoc to the heart 😛

      I’m quite happy that you are able to catch the nuanced progression of Arnav and Khushi’s journey from passion to love. The sharing of the body is fairly simple, but the merging of the heart is rather complex isn’t it?

      I want an Aman in my life period. Actually, if we lined up these three in life, I would fight for Aman LOL

      Storms aren’t always bad right? There’s always a calm before it, they make trees grow deeper roots… or it just the oaks? 😛

      1. I agree to Aman. That man has made me fall for him hook, line and sinker 😋

        But no to storms. They uproot everything which was firmly understood to be the foundation of our lives. They destruct to the point where sometimes reconstruction becomes a nigh on impossibility. It not only tests your character, but your resolve, your patience, your humanity. Your entire understanding of your universe. Could a storm ever be a blessing? X

    2. 😘 Thanks sweetie!
      I think explosions should be FWN’s tagline =p

      Oh, you’ve hit the tender spot with NK and Robbie. It will be a challenge to balance their staunch loyalties and the growing chemistry between them. How many of us have had to make such a choice? Lover or Friend?

      On our stubborn Raizada and his lady…. hmmmm…. 😉

  25. Hope you are feeling better K…the flu sucks

    Oh the kitchen romp was nk and robbie
    I loved the convo nk, Aman, and arnav had…so much brotherly love there and all want arnav to be happy

    I still think khushi should know about Trent being at the engagement
    And Anjali is a sweetheart for sending those to khushi

    1. It totally does! But I beat it out… or actually drowned it out =p Thanks sweetie!
      I think we’ve sidelined Anjali a bit… expect a ramp up soon! :d

  26. Hey Girls,

    How is the flu, K? Sending you an effective medicine. A hug tablet and a kiss capsule. Take them every morning with shot of my love and a spoonful of honey and get well soon!!
    S, my love to you too. For doing all the work when K is recuperating.
    Loved this segment of the update. Left me hungry for more.

    The girl’s night was so much fun. The men in our lives just don’t seem to realize the indispensability of ‘only girl’s’ time, do they? Me and my girls meet up every 2-3 weeks (we are 6 of us!). We make it a point to take time off from our busy schedules, hubbies, children, work…etc and become Robbies/Khushis for each other. That is how we maintain our sanity!!

    The first part of Night 7 is a beautiful toast to sisterhood. I loved how you have brought out Khushi’s dilemma. On one hand she needs to have this evening with Robbie, knows that Robbie deserves her alone time and yet can’t keep Arnav out of her mind and heart.

    Just one night away from each other and how their hearts ache.
    “There was no touch of streamlined masculinity to meet her eyes, no lingering scent of spicy aftershave to inhale with every breath. It was a space that held no piece of Arnav and her body ached with want upon noting the absence.” Uff, the intensity in those words, S. I could feel Khushi’s longing when I read the lines. Almost felt like barging into my own Arnav’s work place and drag him back home!!

    “Rich feminine laughter flowed from the tiny apartment, carrying notes of bliss into the hearts of those who paused to listen and understood its melody.” Again, the beautiful bond these two girls share is so gracefully expressed, I can feel their unbridled, carefree joy.

    While the girls are discussing their respective men, the boys are enjoying their evening of bromance. Loved their banter!! This is FWN at its best. Impish but selfless friendships and fairy tale ever-afters.

    And ASR is well……ASR.
    “Sleeping together one time does not make them lovers,” .Somewhere in his heart he is certain that all of her belongs to him and yet wants to discern her reaction when she would come face to face with her ex. What a muddled, tangled, jealous soul. o_O

    So, the counter encounter is RoNK. I had been looking forward to it. But you know what S, I am glad for the neat fastball that Robbie pitched. I can’t believe I am saying this for my fav bird, forget about scoring a homer, I am sure they way she has pitched it, he would be having his balls blue, for some days to come. Here I was thinking being a jerk is just Arnav’s forte. Apparently moronic behaviour is quite infectious. Spreads quickly from one friend to the other. 😛

    Loved Khushi’s outfit. She has so many fairy god-mothers. You have composed poetry about their blissful evening, S. Love and desire oozing from every word. But I couldn’t fully enjoy the magic as the uncertainty of what lay ahead kept rearing its ugly head when I was reading it. Both have pledged themselves to each other fully and yet both have kept secrets from the other. I was so absorbed in the tale, when their phones rang, I almost jumped from my seat.
    ” If the lovemaking was passionately heated, it was in the pillow talk that a deeper kind of intimacy was born, a quiet sharing of self that they had never given to another soul. ” I am trying very hard to find some solace in this concluding line.

    1. Hahaha oh, K – tell your dragon he has competition! Try and beat a hug tablet and a kiss capsule! 😛

      Thank you Priya, but I’m just pulling my weight. 😀 This ship would sink into the abyss without our captain.

      I’m so glad you dedicate time for girls night out! It’s totally important for sanity’s sake.

      hahaha, you should, I’ll bet hubby would appreciate the surprise! 😀

      Well at least our Arnav isn’t a total caveman…. his logic just fails when faced with a threat, real or perceived, of losing his Happiness 😉

      I would love to take full credit for Part II, but thankfully we started writing last week and K managed this before the flu knocked her out. All I did was edit… and added a confession or two on olfactory perceptions 😀

      You’re not the only one stewing in uncertainty about the end of this Night! But take heart since there are still many more to follow. *chuckles* .. with just a hint of devilry

    2. Darling Priya – thank you for the tablets, capsule and shots of love! ^^

      I’m happy you enjoyed the ode to friendships ~ I shudder to think where I would end up without the support of my friends. It is one of life’s most beautiful melody, only understood by those lucky enough to experience it. 🙂

      HEE, we thought the case of blue balls should be shared 😀

      For most of his life, he’s had to fight for every possession. He’s naturally suspicious and only believes in what he can visually verify with his own eyes. No excuses for his behavior, but just keep in mind – it’s what made him the man he is.

      We are allowing our leads to guide us through the Night… let’s see what course they decide to take!

  27. Ok, time to earn my keep as the peanut gallery’s decoder.

    I didn’t think much of it until reading the nod to one of the biggest cockblock moments in IPK above.

    Thank you for giving it the much more satisfying FWN twist! I loved it! Arnav already has his answer regarding Khushi’s feelings, if only he would stop stewing in his jealous possessiveness. Hopefully he’ll recognize it as a pointless exercise before his heart gets overcooked.

    Ok, back to theorizing
    Numbers play a big role in FWN, besides the obvious 12, it occurs to me that 6 is also important. I couldn’t recognize the need to keep the story within a one week span, until now. 6 days together here must be a nod to the 6 months marriage contract in the show….. Am I right?

    And if I am… fuck, this night will end on some note!…. I can’t wait! 😀

    1. Do you appreciate the irony that Anjali for once had a hand in un-cockblocking a moment? 😉

      Omg! Overcooked heart stew?! Pyre I swear, you have a way with words. Why aren’t you writing!!! We should do a collab. What say? 😀

      To your theory I have a one word response – Fuck!

      1. Anjali is perfect. I’m not a fan of ‘Di’ so I’m so happy you went a different route with her. Actually it amuses me that she is Shyam’s sister and still a Raizada in a roundabout way. Very clever of you both to keep the connections but with a twist!

        Don’t you even! I don’t need to sink any deeper into this fandom!

        Lol, got my answer 😉

    2. My goodness, Pyre…..do you like use some voodoo sorcery and get into S & K’s minds to decode this stuff?? Girl, U are gifted.

      Seriously, a KPS collab would do us good. If not for yourself, do it for us. 😛

      1. Hi Priya. lol It’s because I’m only reading FWN…. my mind turns to it whenever I’m able to take a break from my studies. I actually swore off fanfics, but how can one say no to the combined power of K & S?

        I don’t have the patience to write, best for everyone that I stick to being a reader. 😀

  28. Hi … Firstly im really sorry for being so late … Its been so many days since ive been on the site … Was away for a weding … Secondly thank u guys for the invite to the vip lounge … Was away at tht time… Now finally bak home n whst i see is a plate full of so many goodies… I hav just skimmed through the outakes n the first two parts of night 7 ( ive still to comment on the last part of night 6 but im pkanning to skip tht .. My apologies in advance) . Ive loved the convos between NK and aman … N my love for aman has grown even more … I guess i wasnt wrong n voting for him .
    Comn bak to night 7 i still hav to read it thoroughly … U guys gav made robbie n nk fight … Plsss rectify tht asap 😜 so looking forward to BL n cucumber 😜 love the fire between thm
    Comn bak to arnav … he has major trust issues n he is being a total ass … I dont know maybe its n his past which im sure u guys will tell us soon … I think both arnav n khushi hav to believe n their partners n hav trust … Thts the thing missing … Their past has a way of ruining their present … Thy hav to come forth … N i still cant believe arnav is nt telling khushi abt trent … I dont know what he wants to see … She will be totally heart broken… I hope all goes well … Dreading the last part … So many truths r goin to be out … Just hope no one is hurt … N im sure Uve planned happys endings for all
    Ps: can v hav some aman anjali part also … Maybe my bias towards aman wants it

    1. Ooo, hope you had fun at the wedding!
      HEE, we sure have an avid fanclub of BL and cucumber =p

      Aman and Anjali…. hmmm… I’ll take it up with my co-chef to see what we can cook up!

  29. Oh you already updated…i somehow missed it… oh NK truth is the best way…. glad u r sharing with robbie…. oh n arnav didnt tell khushi abt trent…oh no… he is going to judge her based on her reaction…. looks like there is going to be some emotional drama … or may be robbie will tel khushi abt trent??
    oh n anjali is a sweetherat..so is aman….
    eagerly waiting for the next part…

  30. K – hope you’re feeling better babe!
    I’m still on vacation, will send photos soon. You two should consider coming out to Colorado – very pretty setting for daydreaming and writing! 🙂
    I’ll be back this weekend – hopefully in time for the full update!

  31. Just read night 7 as last week my son was ill so I couldn’t read it,anyways as always a very nice update the way you write about their friendship is rare nowadays they are jai n veeru of solely ,every character has their own importance in this story.

  32. Hey guys! New fan here! I got a scrap from Shree about this story so I came here to check this out and end up reading everything and I am very sorry for not stopping by to say something but I just could’t stop hehehehehe.

    I love Robbie here. She is just awesome and a kind of friend we all need. NK is Hot and make a good pair with Robbie.

    I still don’t Understand Payal………….I think she planed everything from the start but what she did not expect was Matt falling in Love with Khushi! I don’t like her.

    Lav and Shyam is weird but La is more and what is her hands in Arnav’s life?

    Aman is very cool and Anjali fits perfect for him.

    What can I say about our main lead…………. He is one crazy hot looking guy who will soon mess up everything coz he is jelly of Matt. I really hope that Arnav does’t do anything stupid. But More so ever I am scared how khushi will react. Sometimes we react they way we are not supposed to and a guy like Arnav can take things wrong.

    Its really cold in our place right now and this story makes me warm heheheheheh
    very Nice story guys.
    Thanks shree for telling me.

    1. Welcome to FWN Latha! ^^

      Aww…. what a lovely compliment – thank you!
      … although… be careful about devouring FWN, we are known to be a choking hazard =p

      Raising the temperature is the goal! 😉

    2. A warm welcome to FWN Latha!
      Oh, we have a cat and mouse in our mist! 😛

      The rest of the update will definitely warm you, just not with passion lol

      I hope we’ll see more of you in the peanut gallery!

  33. K, glad to see you back in action. I could have slapped NK for using that tactic on Robbie. No girl likes to be used like that for information – it does make you feel cheap. Glad she told him and he realized his mistake. Also glad, he is digging very hard and shared the info about Trent Mattews being at the party with Robbie, will she be able to share this with Kushi before d-day?
    Mr. Raizada did not need much to get aroused, did he? For once, he got to thank Anjali for creating the vision that his eyes feasted on when he saw Kushi. He is cooked and he knows it. Love how their lovemaking made Kushi feels like a bride because it was a brilliant nod to that IPK scene that Arnav completely fucked up as he was using his other brain to execute it. He stopped her from taking Robbie’s call, will they get to speak before meeting at the party? Hope so, I don’t want Kushi to get the shock of her life seeing the 2 evil messed up individuals. Better be prepared than give them the advantage as they know she will be there. But there is still a night and day till the party, so hopefully Raizada will use his mouth for things that include words coming out of it as well. Love Anjali’s advice on shoes and she is bang on.

    Going to ny city next weekend, so I hope there are more updates to get me in the ny kinda mind frame!

    1. It’s nice to be back ^^

      Aman has a two year advantage on NK and Arnav … too bad our older brothers are too proud (and pigheaded) to listen =p

      I was incensed by the poor handling of that scene in the show! And thrilled we figured out a way to give our own twist to it. 🙂

      hmmm… yes.. that mouth. So wickedly talented in some areas… and an utter fail where it’s needed.

      We’re working on the second half of this update… it’s currently a hot mess running at 8k words >.< (ahem!!!)

      But we'll definitely have up before your trip – gotta get in that New York State of Mind 😉

  34. Glad to Know that K is all well now! I am the latest wicket to fall for partial update! Couldnt resist myself!
    Cant believe NK screwed it up so bad. I had much more expectations from that first teaser pic in the kitchen! 🙁
    Loved the girls night and boy’s night!
    The magical night of Arshi before the d-day(d-night?) was surreal and pillow talk was cherry on top!
    cant wait for further parts of this night!

  35. “It was a night of magic. It was a night of love.”
    This line wants me to post a song but I don’t know how to post it here. So the song is “Pyaar ki yeh raat hai ab na jaa” 🙂
    Ooh that teaser was for NK-Robbie! I never thought it would be possible given Robbie kept him quite away even when she flirted with him.
    Aman and NK are right. Arnav should tell Khushi about Trent. But he is busy playing trust games with her.
    I wonder how she will react.

  36. I’m glad to hear that K is feeling better 😀 And as usual, I loved this update but I still can’t believe that NK screwed up that bad but at the same time I am glad Robbie made him realize his mistake and he accepted. But what made me happiest was the fact that NK decided to be truthful to Robbie and tell her about Trent. 😀 Eagerly waiting for part III now 😀

  37. Hi girls,
    That was a PASSIONATE AND HOT 2 nd part…THEY MADE LOVE and not had sex…but looks like its all the peace and togetherness before the actual storm hits them..will make them realize whether they are willing to have all of the other while giving all of themselves..
    Coming to Trent Mathews ..looks like he is not only spineless coward but a gold digger who takes solace in self pity… Had Payal any sense she would have never married a opportunist like Trent, but looks like she is far more sick….she doesnt mind ruining her own life just for having the satisfaction of being the person to destroy Khushi’s life… YET…I MIGHT ALL BE WRONG…CAN’T WAIT FOR THE GREAT REVEALATION…

    1. Payal’s mind works in very mysterious ways – even to us! She has her reasons, but its not the right time to go into that reveal just yet. 😀

  38. One haiku coming right up….

    Sitting here waiting
    For S and K to update
    Part three of the Night

    I will be a pro by the end of FWN…
    Other obligations of course comes first… but give us something soon! 😀

  39. 1. Done

    2. Not applicable in this case.

    3. How many more do you want from me? 😀

    4. Hiking is no fun… plus it’s midnight here.

    5. S – I’ll send you mum’s rigatoni D’s recipe and K – you’ll get the spinach lasagna one!

    6. But I only want to read FWN!!

    Hubby is glaring at me, I think my screen is too bright….. coming back tomorrow morning – give me something to wake up to babes!

  40. A couple of lines while we wait

    Its been days…
    and here i thought stalking pays..
    But im dissapointed again 🙁
    Come on girls already.. its the 8th

  41. Wow! Looks like a huge land mine. From the looks of it Khushi has gone thru a lot and lost a lot. But has so far had not had anyone to protect her. Now she has many who will not only shield her but destroy those who were the cause of her problems. The first in line being Payal.

    Thanks for the few lines, they were plenty at this time and projected more as well.

    Take your time ladies!!

  42. Urg ..I hate you both for torturing us…
    I think by BP is going to shoot thinking as to what is going to happen in the engagement…BTW why the hell is NK not able to reach Arnav..Arnav being multi-millionaire CEO and not able to get on call is kind of weird..I just hope Khushi gets a heads up about Payal and Trent before she goes for the party..
    I loved the moment shared between Aman and Devyani..I must say Anjali is a sweet heart for making Khushi at ease in front the dragon lady(I love that endearment)

    1. I swear it’s not on purpose. Just a really busy week on my end, a relapse of the flu for K. :/

      Ah you must have missed it – Arnav is purposefully not taking their calls. Like the case of the boy who cried wolf one too many times, he is sick of being intruded upon by NK/Aman/Robbie. Unfortunately for all parties, this is really bad timing. 😉

      We love our Dragon Lady too 😀

      1. But I thought Arnav was avoiding the calls only the night before.Anyways like you said its bad timing…
        P:S:K get well soon and hopefully we will see you in action all healthy and wealthy!

      1. Well dint anticipate a meeting with the dragon lady in advance.. also dint think shed approve this soon.. things are all humpty dumptyish at the moment.. sitting pretty and enjoying the view but with an awareness tht a fall comes next 🙂

  43. Fuck yes! I’m loving how Part 3 is shaping up.
    This chapter is really one big nod to all the things we loved and wished for isn’t it? I love you guys!

    Shantivan, Nani and the kangans were woven in so beautifully.

    Seriously, it pissed me off so badly the way the kangans was handled in the show. Pure stupidity. Now, I can’t wait for the day Khushi gets her pair in FWN.

    NK and Robbie’s car ride … a few interesting things……
    NK is super confident that Arnav will tell Khushi. That means chances are high he will. Which seems to hint that the star of the show tonight isn’t Payal and Trent. Everyone except Khushi is aware of those two, so… that leaves the mystery that has been killing me since you introduced her – Lavanya. No one knows she’s coming….

    Aman and Anjali’s car ride … is there a theme? 😀
    They are the surprisingly rock solid couple. I love how they are with each other. Arnav should watch and take note! I’m almost at the point where I wish we had gotten their backstory as well. At this rate, you two will never we allowed out of the FWN ficverse. haha

    Can you guys add in the time? I’m guessing we are somewhere in the late afternoon on Saturday. Which means the showdown is NOW!!!!

    1. Out of our heads Pyre! 😀 Not answering your speculations until later. 😛

      The funny thing is many tributes and nods to IPK were written without a conscious effort. It just … fits. I’m in agreement on the kangans. I wanted to own that scene, so we came up with this version. 🙂

      Anyways, I know we are taking our sweet time with this, but thank you for the love!

    2. I told you La was minor but important! ^^
      Haha, didn’t even notice our couple car theme until you mentioned it. 😀
      I hope you’re happy I fulfilled your request of photos for our other two couples!

      You are free to write Aman and Anjali’s backstory, HEE, we haven’t any more space to spare!

  44. Nani is a sweet heart, 🙂 aman and anjali are perfect, nk and robbie rock
    Everyone know barring khushi, i just hope nk reaches arnav in time and arnav tells khushi . its killing me to even think khushi’s reaction during engagement.
    And what are shyam and la upto, did u guys put some clues in outtake??!!!;)
    K,get well soon … Take care,
    S,well done *claps* 🙂

  45. I’m hoping Arnav tells Khushi about Payal and Trent being invited to the party.
    The kangan scene was sweet. Nani seems to have approved of Khushi as a bahu. Waiting now for the day when she will gift the kangans to Khushi.
    Anjali really is a lovely human being. Loved how she gifted the dress to Khushi.
    Can’t wait for the next chapter. How soon can we get the update?

    1. Nani’s approval is … tentative. 😉
      She is eager to get her grandson married off, but she’s a woman who deliberates carefully before making judgement.
      I hope you enjoy the rest of this update! All parts are finally up.

  46. Arnav always possesive n protective. …
    well now they have the approval of the Dragon Lady….she is elegance personified and her aged eyes does not miss anything. …having the happiness she wished for her grandchildren. …
    Anjali n Aman the most calm n understanding couple ….
    Well i hope the file NK carries is the key…..and i was wondering about Daniels and his lucknow trip all heading for the engagement party….
    S i have my eyes planted here 😉 we can wait and watch for the dhamaka that the roka day is…
    K take care of urself and get well soon. ..we miss you out here

    1. Actually we made an error, it’s their Sagai not Roka! Thanks to your comment, we caught that. 🙂

      Daniels isn’t forgotten. You’ll experience the result of his trip to Lucknow soon! 😉

    2. Thanks Mayuri…feeling much more myself this week. Hopefully this will mean no other sickness for yours truly this year! =p

      I can’t wait until we get to Daniels! We’ve saved up some explosions for the second half of FWN 😉

  47. That was a great chapter.. I loved it all..
    From how robbie was msging arnav from khushis mob. How he knew khushi enuf to know wat she wud not say n realized it was robbie.
    The banter between arnav aman n nk was heartwarming. Its great to have siblings n close frnds like that who totally understand u.. N guide u wen needed. I missed hanging out with my frnds wen i read that. I don have any sisters, but my frnds were just as great..
    NK n robbies encounter worried me as i was afraid she wud actually throw him out n not give him a chance to explain. Somehow i was more able to relate to wat robbie was feeling. I was surprised that Robbie doesnt know shes a Gupta.. I wonder how many more secrets khushi has.
    Arnav n Khushi.. They are and always will be an explosive couple.. Their confessions made it seem soo simple. But its wen we r in that state that we can really understand how difficult it is. But i guess they have covered all that distance.
    Honestly i expected a bit more happening between nani n khushi. But wat u wrote, gives us an idea of nanis thoughts n feelings which r just as important..
    Aman n anjali r really beautiful ppl indeed. The day of their engmt n they r here with nani to make arnav n khushi feel more comfortable. That was the sweetest thing..
    i am soo looking forward to wat comes next.. Khushi n Arnavs past, confronting Payal and Trent and a grand, Beautiful engagemt party..

    1. On Nani – she’s a mature woman who experienced much in life. Her reaction will not be as obvious and volatile as our young heroes and heroines.

      It’s in Khushi’s favor that Aman and Anjali clearly adores her. Nani is woman eager to get her grandsons wedded, but it will take much to win her on a personal level.

    2. There are reasons why Khushi guards her identity from everyone. Now that Pandora’s box is open…. many things will spill forth!

      Like S said, Nani is someone who has lived through much in her life. She deliberates carefully before moving forth, not like her two hot headed boys 😀

  48. Hello ladies,

    Just caught up on the last 2 parts. I must say I was surprised when Kushi was requested to attend brunch but then Nani is the dragon lady, matriarch of the family. She would not want to let a gold digger gets her claws deeper in her grandson and would want to nip any weeds in the buds. Oh Anjali, you are a saint. I can see the reason behind the outfit and Kushi owes her one for getting Nani on her side. Of course the fact that her grandson was deeply affectionate towards Kushi also helped. This Aman is so worth keeping girls! He respected her beliefs even if they are old school and he is horny. They are linking their lives and she is not not changing hers to morph into his. All music to my ears! Please let him have one heck of an un disturbed time on a secluded island with his wife after the wedding. He so deserves it.
    I am kinda worried that NK and Robbie will not make it in time to talk to Kushi so I am going to pin my hopes on NK’s unwavering faith on the man he has worked for for a long time. Pls do not disappoint me Arnav. I don’t want Kushi to suffer more humiliations at the hand of the deviant little troll and her unworthy sac of shit of a husband.

    Soon Naniji, soon the other kangans will find their rightful owners as well if your grandson plays his cards right that is.

    So it is finally time to attend the Roka? Can’t wait to slip in my Choos and LBD.

    1. Hahaha, Arnav better shapes up, Aman is stealing his thunder!
      We promise some much deserved fireworks for Aman in the epilogue 🙂

      I can’t wait for your thoughts on the rest of this update!

      …. I hope you’re comfortable running in the Choos 😉

    2. I hope you had a blast in NY Raila! Sorry we weren’t able to wrap up this update before that. But its here waiting for your comeback ^^

      Hee, Aman doesn’t require an island, at this point he’ll take a bed anywhere =p But yes, there will be some fireworks reserved for this pairing in our epilogue.

  49. I have read and re-read the chapters again and again and I must say… YOU GALS ROCK!!!! Every girl needs a true friend like Robbie Sinclair. I absolutely love the “bromance” between Arnav-NK-Aman, it’s a rare thing indeed. The way the entire story is woven is a work of art…very much like a tapestry. I believe Shasti Gupta, the angel investor is the lover of Laramie (Khushi’s mother), for whom ASR’s first collection was named. Hence the reason for his daughter Payal’s animosity towards Khushi. I can’t wait for your updates!!!!

    1. Welcome to FWN sheelashanu! Multiple readings?! Music to my ears!
      Hahaha, yes, the bromance often threatens to overtake the romance around here lol

      I hope you enjoy the rest of the updates! And do share your thoughts with us. 🙂

    2. Hi sheelashanu! Welcome aboard the FWN train ^^
      Wow, I’m thrilled you enjoy the story enough for multiple reads!
      There’s not much more we can hope for as writers. 🙂

      Do make yourself comfortable in the peanut gallery!

  50. Loved it till now. Now on Part 5 which was emotional for the both especially for Arnav.

    Arnav’s fear that Khushi will leave him, which he does not want to happen. How he would love to see his Mom’s kangan on her wrists shows his love for Khushi. Though he is yet to accept it wholeheartedly due to his past. But he understands that is what he wants. Yet he fears to what Khushi wants. But finally is happy that Khushi too wants what his Heart yearns for.

    Khushi on the other hand again due to her past has never yearned for anything. Since she fears she will never get what she wants and goes with the flow. Had it not been for Robbie even that would have not been possible. But she knows and feels it Arnav is her Home and she can achieve anything as long as she has his support and presence with her.

    Both are connected to each other, also looks like they have crossed paths earlier in life. Arnav feels the connection more than Khushi does, only time will tell how. Until they talk to each other and are out with their past and free of it their demons they can’t feel the peace they are looking for.

    Loved the way he has opened up to her and brought her home and to his refuge his Glass house Garden.

    1. I often felt Arnav’s gardening was wasted in show. Bingala did it wonderful justice in ‘The Games We Play’, K & I couldn’t resist writing our version of it. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Oh yes, there are many strings tying them together. Let’s hope it doesn’t get into a tangled mess 😉

  51. Don’t ever make me choose between Aman and Arnav, because right now I love them both so damn much.

    He told her! Thank you NK!
    And you set it so nicely against the greenhouse backdrop.

    “He was watching her as any romance serial hero would watch the heroine. With one shoulder leaned against the doorframe and his arms crossed on his chest.”

    lol loved it! Way to pay tribute to that little scene after Teri Meri. You guys are outdoing yourselves with giving a FWN twist to all the favorite scenes AND the ones that gave me pissy face.

    My eyes zoomed onto this little bit right here “She looked at him, a question in her eyes. He was struck again by their unique color. Somewhere locked in memory he sensed a piece of the puzzle linked to Khushi, something he should remember, but it remained stubbornly elusive.”

    You made Shantivan’s roofs green. I thought that was an odd choice. Coincidence? I think not! I’m pretty confident I know how all our characters connect. Will email you guys since I can’t wait for confirmation 😀

  52. Loved part 5.

    Birdie has proved time and again to be a really good friend by saving Arnav’s ass, just when he was about to royally mess things up. I would like him to redeem himself for Robbie. Make himself worthy of the BL.

    The official handing over of Ma’s kangans is a very emotional part, Girls. When the matriarch of the family slides the prized possession on the wrists of the new bride-to-be, Arnav realises the stark contrast of Khushi’s bare wrists. The moment when he realises that he will have all of her and settle for nothing less. What a profound point in time when he acknowledges he wants to make their relationship official, even in the eyes of the world. You have made both the kangan scene and the rose garden episode memorable for us. Something that ought to have been handled with a lot of soul, tenderness and maturity but was given a suffocating treatment in the show.

    Loved how Khushi has no qualms about proclaiming, with Arnav by her side she is ready to face any ghosts or nightmares of the past.

    1. Somewhere locked in memory he sensed a piece of the puzzle linked to Khushi, something he should remember, but it remained stubbornly elusive.

      How are their pasts interlinked? This antsiness will kill me. 😛

    2. I think I coughed up blood when I saw how Arnav gave Khushi the kangans in the show. Considering how much he loved his mama, it made no sense he would give them to her during that stage of misunderstanding. And to have Mami Bond in the background… the whole thing just became a farce.

      I also prefer our version 😀

    3. I guarantee you, our Robbie will make birdie WORK for a glimpse of BL 😀

      Sigh… the kangans was a particularly emotional moment for me.

      A mother’s loving wish should be treated with care and respect, I was so angry with the show’s writers for treating it with such a careless hand. >.< So of course… a FWN version was created ^^

  53. He told her , he told her, i was seriously not sure , he being a shrewd businessman i feared he would keep this from her and make judgments after watching her reaction during the engagement
    Btw, what has payal done? She is scaring me

  54. Allmy resolutions to read the full update simply dumped in trash! and with each partiall update my hunger for whole night 7 goes sky high.. Now if only that Sunday comes sooner..
    K dear lots of hugs and best wishes for speedy recovery! The virus is mutated and is taking much longer for viral infection to get away. Talking from first hand experience ..

    1. Sorry sweetheart, I know the wait for this updatewas ridiculous but I was literally passed out for the good part of the week. But it’ all up now! ^^

      You too? I hope it has fully left your system! This flu season has definitely been vicious! I getting myself a yard stick, people need to keep a 3 feet distance from us until my immune system is fully recovered =p

  55. Just read part3 thankGod that Arnav told khusi abt Payal n Trent as they are also coming n will see how they confront n now Arnav being with her will make her strong,let’s see,hopefully khusi also gets ka gams very soon.

  56. Nice Part 3.. Loved the way Arnav and Khushi are open about facing the past demons… But this is TEASE… building too much anticipation reading each part…n we are moving only by millimeter towards past.. I am actually starting to wonder if we will be told of what Robbie and NK are dreading even in next two parts… Why do I have a feel that you girls will make a U TURN towards Arnav’s Past that involve Lavanya and tease us there too…

    Anyways…w e ca only request N wait…

    I have a request though…when u guys put the next extension…please add a note to us readers if possible…

    1. I would like to think we are at least inching along =p
      We didn’t make a U turn – just gave you gals a head on collision instead 😀 Do let us know what you think!

  57. Hi S & K,

    I had missed the update, hence the late reply. I loved the update. It was just SUPERB !! 🙂 Both khushi and Arnav are fantastic on their own and surrounded by lovely friends like NK and Robbie. I love the honesty in Arnav and khushi’s relationship, it is extremely refreshing. 🙂 Also, it was really interesting that Nani met khushi before the party. Now can’t wait for the party. Wonder how the meeting will be with Trent and payal. How jealous will Arnav be. !!! Can’t wait !! 🙂 Eagerly looking forward to the next update. 🙂

    1. Join us when you can, never apologize 🙂 Everyone is busy, considering how long it took us to get through this update… we’re the last to throw stones lol

      I think our characters are sometimes TOO honest, but it’s sure fun to get them loose 😀

    2. I believe firmly that the only relationships worth pursuing are those built on a foundation of honesty. This is our guiding star for FWN. Yes, there are secrets and skeletons, but as far as thoughts and feelings, our heroes/heroines will never shrink from laying it out ^^

  58. Part 5 was so beautiful. …the garden scene was lovely….he looked like a romantic serial hero…dont we all love him in that avatar. …
    NK ever persistent. ..cant let Arnav mess up with his happiness. …
    Now that Arnav can relax about what kushi feels about Trent i wonder what nastiness Payal has in store for kushi….
    K n S are all set to build up as much anticipation for us until the DDay…. 😉

  59. So Arnav actually tells her about Trent and Payal making an appearance..phew..I am kind of relived …
    The scene where he shows Khushi his garden and just keeps looking at her was beautiful…haye our hero has surely a way with women at the right time..I hope things don’t get bad at the party

  60. Just wonderful update once again…
    Love how you have woven these characters and without changing their innate character you have spun the story as per the time and place…
    Love this robbie, NK, Aman and Anjali…
    Waiting to see how the drama unfolds at the engagement and how the matriarch will take it…

    1. Welcome to the FWN express rulama!
      We fell in love with two wonderful characters from IPK, then watched with pain as poor writing chip away at that love. We are hell bent on turning events into our favor 😀

      So glad to have you with us – make yourself at home in the peanut gallery!

    2. Thanks rulama ^^
      FWN is essentially all our favorite aspects of IPK, merged with our wist-list heh heh. I’m glad you enjoy our secondary characters. It’s incredibly heartwarming how well received they’ve been!

  61. I guess i too need to take a drink and sit back to watch all the fireworks. …..
    Happy Valentines day my lovely ladies. …
    K I hope you are fine i hope both u and S r enjoying the day

  62. “a circle of gold protecting her pulse” – such a beautiful way of describing his Maa’s kangans!
    Hope K is feeling better now 🙂

    1. Much more human this week, thank you! ^^
      I think the kangan scene was hands down my favorite to write in this update, so glad you liked our description of it. 🙂

  63. So this is where it all has come down to. Payal playing the negative role is some what interesting.but Arnav and lava ya seem to be a mystery that is unsolved. And turned out with Shyam who arnav loathes. Interesting twists. I guess there will be a lot of confronting khushi might come face to face with since there are people from her past.And the conversation with NK and Robbie mention how much they look after there closed ones. The amount NK new about Arnav. The assurance he had that Arav wold have confined with khushi.i hope she has the strength to face it all. You guys are doing a great job. If this was a series I wouldn’t have missed a single episode. You guys can write a American tv series with indian origins and you would have a sky rocketing TRP.loved it

    1. Hahahaha… oh TRPs….
      Nah, we wouldn’t dare. Fangirls scare me 😛

      I’m glad you’re enjoying this journey with us. It’s fun revisiting favorite scenes and giving it our own twist. I hope we’ll have you with us until the end!

    2. Ha! Likely it would be heavily censored and then we would be left with a lukewarm love story, who wants that?!

      But thank you for thinking we’ll be ratings success 😀

  64. Bitch Payal I hope Dragon raizada does not believe her as she must know that her grandson will never fall for such kind of a girl n plz no misunderstanding should come between our main couple.

  65. Payal is a first class bitch..And I don’t trust Devyani too much..Though she shouldn’t be judging Khushi as her grand sons are not saints!
    Too many things are happening and I hope things don’t get out of control..

  66. So kushi is a gupta too….i did think the same when i learned that her mothers name was dedicated by his angel sponsors daughter to a fashion line . ……well atleast the havoc payal caused is limited to the dragon lady as the truth is different and many people know the same…..but what Arnav did to lavanya in his anger shall be what kushi thinks is his opinion on her…oh what next i am sure he is not going to give up on her but how will he get her back .will the fairy gm play boys with their love interest play cupid again????oh when will you update next???
    I did love that punch robbie threw at trent…

    1. Robbie made the sisterhood proud didn’t she? 😀

      We just finished this update and already you’re demanding the next one?! My fingers and eyes are hating on me. Need time to recoup!

    2. There’s a saying that those who eavesdrop will never hear good things… this is unfortunately very true for Khushi. She won’t be forgetting his words anytime soon, but sometimes, there’s more to the story 😉

      Fuel us with love and we’ll move faster ^^

  67. Gosh!

    Terrible twist of situations and poor Khushi seems to be caught in almost all these situations. All that has happened in Khushi’s life, what she goes through, are due to individuals who are her so called family, but she is in the center of the Whirlpool. Will she get out of it and move on. Will Arnav stand by her, after knowing only the tip of the ice berg of the story of her life.

    Hope Nani gets the full story and protects Khushi, after all she is not the Dragon lady for nothing. Anjali is bound to protect Khushi along with Robbie. A

    Payal needs a ultimate lesson in life for having ruined and trying to ruin everyone’s life and peace of Mind. Shyam seems no better. These two are made for each other to tear their hairs out.

    Lavanya was bound to be Arnav’s sister, it was a given from the clues you gals had left behind. But the whole story is out now.

    NK & Aman are bound to put some sense into Arnav and bring Khushi back into his life for his Sanity.

    Amazing update with so many twists and turns. Looking forward to how things will move ahead.

    Thanks for the update K & S, Good to know you are doing better K.

    1. I do like seeing you in our peanut gallery 😀

      What’s a fairytale without a villain and a journey wrought with peril? 😉
      You are very confident in our group of friends, let’s see if they live up to such expectations!

    2. Unfortunately, no matter how much some of us wish it, we don’t get to choose our family. However, we do get to decide who our friends are, and there, Khushi is a lucky girl. 😀

      Ha! Shyam isn’t even interested in Khushi/Lavanya, I don’t think Payal would suit his palate any better 😉

      We are only at the halfway point, can you believe it?! Stay tune ^^

  68. Sons and daughters, the age old conundrum. ….so Lavanya was the secret of night number 7. Kushi’s identity was a given. All said and done, the masks havee been dropped the characters are fully formed,we are geared up for the final showdown…. Or is it.. .. Where r u taking us master puppeteers!!!!
    Thank you S&K

  69. You Gals are on a serious ‘un cock-up’ spree, aren’t you? You are on a mission to right all the moments of the show which were supposed to be the high points, but which were royally messed up by the makers. And one of the biggest ‘pig’s ear’ moments for me was the terrace scene. You gave us the reverse version, made Khushi chance upon an encounter between ASR and Lavanya, AND she actually waited to hear the entire conversation. Phew!!

    Night 7 began with two friends having a heart-to-heart and ended on such a sad note with one of them completely heart-broken, inspite of all efforts from her friend to shield her heart from any pain. 🙁 Well the clock struck 12, Cinderella had to leave the fairy tale behind and face reality. The Prince had to let her go….cos the blow was too sudden, too menacing, too formidable. I guess he needs time to come to terms with the truth.

    So what, if Cinderella did not leave one of her glass slippers. I have confidence in the strong, resilient, no-nonsence matriarch. I have full faith in NK, Robbie, Aman, Anjali and weird as it may sound I have hopes from Trent as well. Not gonna fret about about the venom-spewing Payal and consequences of her malice. Not worth it. Besides, since you Gals are working on the ‘un-botching up’ process, I am waiting for Arnav to discover her painful past, realise that since long an innocent girl has been running away from the demons that have been chasing her. Time for her to find peace in his arms. I am waiting for him to win her back, help her gain solace. That will be something to look forward to. Something I was pining for in a show that left me brutally parched.

    As for the way you have written the terrace scene and its aftermath, here’s a standing ovation, Girls. The entire scene was playing in my mind while I was reading it and I was feeling the pain and dread alongwith Khushi. Such eloquent was the piece. When you write for a big-banner romantic flick, don’t forget me. I want front-row seats to the red-carpet premiere. Come-on, Girls. Hollywood is right in your backyard.

    1. I agree with Priya. You two need to be working within the entertainment industry. For whichever country that rocks your boat.

      If FWN was a serial, I would happily turn into a screen junkie 😀

    2. lol, we are totally on a spree 😀
      And considering how many moments were botched up, we have much to choose from don’t we?

      I’m relieved to hear you liked our version of the terrace scene. I think I have a bald spot from all the hair tearing 😛

      Had Cinderalla been wearing Jimmy Choos, the Prince would’ve been out of luck! 😀

      You have a lot of expectations of us and our group of friends my dear Priya. I sure hope we won’t leave you brutally parched! 😉

      You are too much, but I’m thrilled you were so engrossed!
      Hollywood is indeed in my back yard, but it does not beckon. I prefer the red carpet in our VIP Lounge 😀

    3. A VERY serious ‘un cock-up’ spree 😀

      (S – I checked in the mirror this morning – I’m pretty sure there were two bald spots >.<)

      Our prince has a PA and a tenacious brother, glass slippers would've been overkill 😉

      Now, I'm curious. You have been the only one who steadily believes Trent will be of some use, how come?

      HEE, Hollywood huh? It is a short flight away, but unless we hit it with HBO, we'll spend our days frustrated with censorship =p

      Thank you Priya sweetheart for your thoughts on this update, I feel nervous whenever we post, but this one took the cake! Can you believe we're only half-way through this journey?!!! So much more to come, so hang tight!

      1. K, I have always felt that one rarely comes across a pure Devil. Evil that is born out of untainted spite. 99% of the world is grey. If an individual is being malicious it is usually the consequence of a prior experience. If they behave in a certain manner, it normally has a reason associated with it. Am sure there is an explanation for the way Payal behaves. That certainly doesn’t mean her actions are justified. All I am saying is that there is always a cause. And in the course of their lifetimes, people do get retribution for their actions and also a chance to redeem themselves. Doesn’t always mean they grab it!! But comeuppance, one simply cannot escape that.

        Applying the same logic to Trent. He joined hands with malice, heartlessly took away a girl’s virginity and in turn found himself trapped in a loveless marriage to a woman who is fiend incarnate. As you sow, so shall you reap!! However, now is his chance to make up for his callous actions. Life has offered him a chance to redeem. The girl he broke earlier is once again lonely and shattered. Even if he doesn’t help her find happiness, I think he won’t cause her further pain. The least he can do. He owes her that.

        Wishful thinking on my part?? Maybe…. but I like to see the good in people, even if there’s just an ounce of it in them. 🙂

        1. Oh no, not wishful thinking, but words laced with much wisdom. However, I cannot promise that our FWN heroes and heroines will see things as clearly as you … at least not yet 😉

  70. What a twist in LAVANYA’S case..Never thougt she was Arnav’s sister…
    I did have an idea about Khushi though and it looks like she is Payal’s step sister or is there another twist?
    What is Devyani planning to do?

  71. Uh oh that was unexpected. I was not expecting that by the end of the party khushi would be telling Arnav that they were done !!! Really interesting update. I wonder what will Arnav do now. Felt bad for both Arnav and khushi. 🙁 Also the misinformation that payal gave to the grandmother, wonder what will be the repercussions of that. Really looking forward to the next update. 🙂

  72. I tried to wait until the whole night 7 was up before reading it but I just couldn’t refrain, I kept checking back to read new updates. You guys are just so good at keeping us hooked on.

    Ahh, that kitchen counter scene, though I had wished it was for Arnav and Khushi in the Teaser, it was perfect for NK and Robbie.

    The Friday evening in his apartment and the Saturday at Shantivan and the garden of roses just made everything seem like all was going well, but fully knowing that something bad is going to happen at the engagement party.

    All I have to say about Payal is that she is such a bitch.

    It only made sense this way to have Lavanya as Arnav’s sister, since she was somehow linked to both Aman and Arnav.

    All these scenes happening all at once, the terrace scene was well written, as well as the scenes right after, running into Trent, seeing Payal, leaving Arnav…

    “This time, he let her go.”
    Not for long, he better chase her back.

    So this only makes sense for Khushi to be the sister of Payal.

    Can’t wait for the next update!

    1. Hahaha, yes we have received a number of complaints from the much abused refresh button 😀

      Would it make me diabolical if I said we enjoy keeping you gals on the edge of your seats? 😉 Glad you enjoyed this update. And yes… Mr. Raizada better start hauling ass!

    2. Excellent! It’s our goal to keep you hooked 😀
      I’m relieved that things makes sense, my pet peeve when reading FFs is that some events seem to come out of left field, and that is something we definitely did not want for FWN!

      When Arnav’s brains kicks in, I’m sure he won’t let his happiness get too far 😉

  73. Do I hate on you both for such a devastating end to this night or give a standing ovation for the fucking incredible storytelling?!!!!

    I absolutely loved Night #7. The lead up, the building tension, the false sense of security. The stakes are just so high because you two made us care for the characters.

    Payal is a headcase. The woman clearly has a problem with the world at large. Nothing will pacify her. I know the type, jealous of anyone who is happy, viewing all other women as competition. Just one tiny request – please keep her far from Khushi until Arnav is back in the game. Our heroine isn’t strong enough to deal with the bitch just yet.

    I love Robbie. Even more for the gutsy punch that Trent completely deserves. Another win for the sisterhood! I’m expecting a bloody pummeling! If Arnav doesn’t get his act together, NK has my consent to include him too. 😀

    Arnav’s words to La were harsh. The terrace scene was superb. I flinched right along with both of them. Our guy sure has foot in mouth syndrome.

    I’m pining my hopes on the Dragon Lady. Dragons are fire breathing protectors! She is too smart to simply believe Payal’s words. I wonder why she was against a marriage between Payal and her grandsons?

    The final scene while horrible to read was fantastic. I love how you mirrored Khushi and Lavanya. This will force Arnav to face his prejudice, since how can he love one and reject the other?

    1. You sure know how to hit my weakness for oxymoron 😀

      Would he be ASR otherwise? In the case of Mr. Raizada, foot in mouth is an incurable disease. Thankfully he does have some redeeming qualities. 😉

      The Dragon Lady is surely feeling the weight of everyone’s hopes LOL!

      Trust you to hone in on Payal’s throwaway thoughts. Well? Decode away! I’m eager to hear your theories.

      Thanks Pyre! The last scene was damn hard for us to write. We were so reluctant to part them, no matter how necessary it was!

      And yes, you hit it right on the nose. Arnav will have to reconcile with his past before he can move forth. In Khushi’s mind, she will forever link herself with Lavanya where Arnav is concerned…. this shall make for an interesting redemption track you requested yes? 😀

      1. Oh i am luving the twists revolving around Lavanya.. ASR has a lot of work to do with both the ladies.. lets c where he starts.. want to know wats going on in his mind..

    2. We can handle both, so bring it on! ^^
      I’m amazed by the faith our readership has in the Dragon Nani! Actually I’m quite pleased, it’s nice to know that we fleshed out these characters enough for these connections 🙂

      La and Khushi’s dynamic is another nod to show… done our way 😀
      That will be the key issue moving forth. Arnav cannot ignore the past, not if he wants Khushi in his life. This is give Mr. Raizada one hell of war between heart v. brain yeah?

      Duly noted on the pummeling 😀

  74. That was explosive, i trust devyani , and i hate payal, she may have her reasons to be such a b**** but rt now i just hate her.
    Khushi,dear girl, 🙁

  75. Whoa.. tht was explosive.. like 1 2 3 dhamaka… so many things happnd.. still trying to get my head around it.. lavanya is ASRs sister? Wtf.. never saw tht coming. Had a clue abt khushis secret.. the terrace scene was awesome… and i cant believe he let her go.. wat is the dragon lady going to announce..i hope she hasnt fallen into payals trap.. i think shes seen too much of the world to do tht.. this is getting serious and i cant wait for the next installment. PS im in love.. with Robbie ..

    1. lol, it seems NK will get his balls handed to him if he screws things up with Robbie. She has quite a fan club in the peanut gallery 😛

      We thought you gals were overdue some spicy drama 😉 Let’s see what fate and a group of determined individuals have in store for us.

    2. Heh, installment makes this sounds like we’re producing a serial instead of writing a fanfic 😀

      I’m so glad you enjoyed our terrace scene! Let’s see what our Raizadas do next – be it Dragon Nani, Perfect Raizada Jr. and… Mr. ASR himself! =p

  76. I feel devastated.. Why didnt arnav say anything or do anything.. Why didnt he realize the trauma khushi had gone through and is torturously reliving at the moment bcoz of him.. Im sad..

    1. To be fair, in a span of a few moments, Khushi went from being the woman he was tumbling into love with to everything he abhors.

      He’s too shocked by her revelation to do much of anything. But let’s see what happens when that much touted brain starts working again 😀

  77. Pharmacy school got me so busy…did not realize so much was updated for night 7

    Man Payal needs some help…so much jealously is not good for a person…

    And oh snap the ending of the night,..seriously what is arnav going to say or do

    1. Awesome! Good luck on your degree anita! I hope FWN provides an entertaining break in between study time 😀

      Maybe we can send Payal your way. Sedatives wouldn’t hurt 😉

      With Mr. Raizada, who knows? But I can promise you – Robbie will have PLENTY to say lol

    2. Wishing you success with pharmacy school anita! ^^

      With Mr. Raizada, it’ll always be a case of brain v. heart. So who’s to know which will win this upcoming round? 😉

  78. No. Nope. I have nothing to say right now. Except that you guys are so heartless- not only for throwing that curve at us but also for leaving us so unceremoniously dangling here 🙁

  79. Okay … Tht was hard hiting … Now need some time to actually grasp everything thts hapened … Need few more answers which im sure wil be thr n the next update … As for commenting well im right now speechless… It was a wonderful update .. Well worth all the wait… But nthn else comn to mind right now … Pls continue sooner than later … Wil get back aftr reading it one more time

  80. Yes I was right that khusi’s mother was mistress n she was born out of wedlock so the mystery is out n what will Arnav do now,he should stop her or otherwise will regret.

  81. Just outstanding!
    Payal got her revenge!
    Khushi and Lavanya sailing in the same boat…
    Knowing Arnav’s stance with Lavanya Khushi has taken her decision…
    Now what will Devyani discuss???
    Will Aman and NK back Khushi and strip Payal of her veneer along with ASR???
    If Arnav and Aman accept Khushi then they will have to accept Lavanya too…
    Waiting to see how things turn out…

  82. S&K, Wow is all I can say! Outstanding – your chapters have me on edge and biting my fingernails the entire time. I am enjoying how NK and Robbie’s relationship is evolving. I’m glad Arnav told Khushi! Payal indeed got her revenge. I hope Nani turns the table on Payal as to why she could NEVER become a Raizada bahu!!!! Arnav has lost his Khushi this time… as horrible as the ending scene was I can’t wait for the next chapter. Extremely well written.

    You should consider a series. The creativity in your writing is insurmountable. Your detail is unparalleled to what we see in Indian serials. You cross every t and dot ever I!!!

    Continue soon when your eyeballs are rested and fingers are no longer cramped from typing.

    1. Hello, hello! Welcome to FWN!
      Oooo on the edge and nail biting too? (high five S!) =p
      HEE, it seems Robbie isn’t the only one who’s feeling blood thirsty 😉 Payal will definitely receive all that she deserves, that you can count on!

      Thank you for deciding to join us and for sharing your thoughts. We love hearing from readers! Especially freshies ^^

      Yes, definitely need time to recoup, but we won’t leave you gals waiting… for too long 😀

  83. To begin with ladies – what an update!

    The theme for me here – is your life and you

    Your life really moulds the person you are to become and whereas some people are optimistically sweet, others are darkly cynical. But we need a mixture of souls in this world to fill in the spectrum of colours from black to spellbinding beauty.

    I will focus on ArHi, despite the fire of NK and Robbie, and assured serenity of Anjali and Aman – it is your central protagonists which carried away a bit of my heart and conscience with this update…

    1] There was such an aching tenderness within all of the interactions between Khushi and Arnav as they unknowingly fought to savour the precious entity of their blossoming love. I adore the fact that Arnav is in this head-over-heels and yet does not wish to be anywhere else but with the woman who has captured his heart so honestly. And Khushi – that enchanting enigma comes across as so beautifully gentle on the outside yet with nerves of steel within. They are a product of their lifetimes – for better or worse…

    2] I also simply adored the twist. I liked the fact that it was not far fetched and yet the pain was deeply haunting, probably because the build up was so achingly sweet. It now creates many questions of how they will move forward from here and if love truly can triumph all. My heart really goes out for both Arnav and Khushi here: unwitting victims of their parents misdemeanors. It reminds me actually of this poem:

    This Be The Verse
    By Philip Larkin

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    Needless to say I am deeply curious to know what Payal and Devyani will do next. These are two women I would never like to cross. They are both formidable forces of nature, carved by the seasons life has shown them. And Lavanya – she really does embody the entire update doesn’t she? An innocent victim of her parents actions which went onto define her entire existence, regardless of the seasons, they really do fuck you up your mum and dad…

    manreet xx

    1. “we need a mixture of souls in this world to fill in the spectrum of colours from black to spellbinding beauty” – So beautifully said Manreet ^^

      I can’t tell you how tempted we were in Night #5 to make our group of 6 full blown main characters, but then the voice of sanity returned! 😉

      Love better trumps all, otherwise there will be a long line of fangirls ready to give Mr. Raizada a deserved pummeling 😀

      HEE a more perfect poem for this Night could not be found!

      On a more serious note, I do enjoy reading your comments on our lead. Your tendre for Arnav and Khushi is most heartwarming sweetheart. More than anything it will be interesting to see how these two find their way back to each other, because surely these two have a mind of their own!

      1. It will be interesting more so because now they need to deal with the outfall of their emotions. Until now passion and desire was overruling rationality. The brief honeymoon period is well and truly over isn’t it? Xx

    2. I freaking love this poem, Manreet! It totally embodies FWN! What a mantra for every child fucked up by mom and pop 😀

      That soft spot you have for Khushi and Arnav makes your comment a joy to read.

      Although, when there’s a chance, lend it to our other pairs please. I’m very eager to peek into your thoughts on them, especially for Night #8!

      1. Hehe I’m glad you liked the poem S, and I’m about to read the new chapter now. I can’t promise I won’t be biased but I will certainly try 🙂 x

  84. Back from freaking freezing NY. Forget Choos, I was in my ugly Uggs all 5 days. But man, I love NY – they got style, attitude and everything that FWN is about. Just caught up to the last part of night 7 and man, you 2 need to take a bow – it was beyond expectations and filled with fireworks! Well worth the wait ladies. Can’t wait to hear more about Shantivan as I am sure there is a good story there. Turning the Kangan scene into what their mother would have wanted it to be was a very nice touch. Though the show came up with a great idea, they botched the ending in the delivery of the scene just like everything they came up with. Just like the I love you dammit scene – I love your take on this with his admission on how for the first time in his life, he felt connected to someone and did not want to jeopardize it. I just love everything that happened in that greenhouse. Yes their past made them who they are and it will do them good to share their bloody past with each other. More than anyone else, it was what they don’t know about each other that made the night end the way it did. I guessed la was the half sister but did not anticipate his treatments of her will be similar to what she went through as the daughter of the mistress. That damn terrace again! i am glad that Kushi heard it all or did she? See, I am of the school of thoughts that in anger, we only lash out at those who have caused us harm. He blamed her mom for his mother’s demise and as a child, he is entitled to those feelings. However as the suave businessman that he is now, he should move beyond this and see the bigger picture. I also felt Kushi’s hurt upon hearing someone else going through the rejection and humiliation she went through. I guess the old wound was reopened and became deeper cuts because these were coming from the man she loves. I was hoping he would say something but how could he when he was numbed by her revelation? They both need to do some thinking before they meet again. I feel that mr. Raizada really need to get the complete background on the woman he has fallen for. That familiar feeling he got upon seeing her eyes colour will explain itself very quickly.

    My hubby works for good old Mickey Mouse, so we have seen all the wicked stepmothers and stepsisters up close and personal. Payal is one badass stepmom/stepsister combo who will Get what she deserves and I am pretty confident that Kushi can deliver this personally to her. Does it not tell her something when she is constantly left on the outside looking in, when she is rejected over and over and the only way she gets anything is through tricks? I think she is underestimating Dragon lady Raizada – she did not become the respected business woman she is by taking what people say at face value. Her idea of a meeting with all affected parties is the best way to deal with it. However we have our hero and heroine completely out of sync with each other at the moment so hopefully Kushi’s name will be cleared even if she cannot be there in person.

    Robbie dear, I bow to you for doing what all the sisters enjoying this story have been meaning to do. Giving that scumball Trent a good taste of what traitors deserve. I like her attitude about her man as well. No regrets in life is indeed my motto. If you don’t risk, you won’t know what you would have missed. However, I know she will not make it easy for NK to get close to that black lace. I also love her protectiveness about Kushi when she went running to the exit. Mr. Raizada will have to answer to her as well.

    Cinderella left all broken hearted not because of the clock or ugly stepsisters but because the prince showed a shade of something that she did not expect. Not sure if the king’s men can fix this. The prince will have to go explain himself instead of sending his men this time. Fairy godmothers can only do so much, I am afraid.

    Halfway mark leaves me panting with anticipation for the next update. Please take pity on us readers and come back sooner?

    1. Was it your first trip to NY Raila? I’m glad to hear you had such a good time and was sensible enough to don Uggs! 😀 Choos have their place, but certainly not for a winter traveler.

      You know we savor your comments right? Always such a treat to read, even with burnt eyes.

      “i am glad that Kushi heard it all or did she?” –> She definitely heard it all, Loud and Clear, but as our NK have pointed out, there is often a disconnect between Arnav’s words and his heart. 😉

      That said, Mr. Raizada has to answer to a lot of ladies if he doesn’t get his act together, first in line is definitely our judo-trained fiercely protective Robbie 😀

      We are in conference with the king’s men and fairy godmothers to bring you gals the next Night as soon as possible. Keep an eye out for the new teaser! ^^

      1. No, I have been many times before but it was the first time with the kids in tow. I guess I was too concerned about them being warm enough in the cold. They were perfectly fine and enjoyed NY a lot. Just have to remember to take them in warmer weather next time. We are usually in California for this break but as we cancelled our ny trip last summer, I decided to do NY. Btw, I did get a chance to ditch the uggs for heels when we went to see Wicked.

        Arnav likes to react on the spur of the moment so maybe it was not a good idea for La to confront him at the party like that. I bet Shyam was counting on this reaction which is why he took La as his date. That man is nasty. I think Arnav will be doing a lot of thinking and grovelling pretty soon. Probably after getting his ass whipped by NK and Aman.

        Will wait patiently for the teaser.

        1. Sounds like a good time. Although, imagine if a certain dashing duo was playing personal escort… You would’ve experienced an entirely different wicked! 😉

  85. Shi*!!!
    This was bad. Arnav here has some double standards. He is hurting Lavanya by referring to her affairs when he also uses women for physical pleasure. If Lavanya is like her mother then he is certainly like his father. I’m not saying anything about Arnav accepting Lavanya because truth be told it’s difficult. Their situation is messy and complicated because Arnav’s father cheated on her mother. But another fact is that he dislikes Lavanya because she has her mother’s face and that face reminds him of the betrayal of his father. So basically it’s Arnav’s loathing for his father that’s forcing him to behave the way he is behaving. I feel bad for Lavanya because she wants to be a part of family but she isn’t being accepted because of her parents mistake. I’m taking that Lavanya here isn’t that bad.
    So Khushi is Payal’s stepsister and that’s why she hates Khushi so much? But Payal is wicked. She is hell bent on messing up everything good Khushi can have in her life. I guess like her husband she also deserves a hard punch from Robbie. Or may be Devyani Raizada will do that in a royal way 😉

    1. Arnav’s conundrum is that he doesn’t see Lavanya as her own person, but a replica of her mother. The woman who ruined his family by being the ‘other woman’ And as we are all well aware, Arnav has a really bad case of foot-in-mouth disease when his brain is fogged with anger. 😀

      Now that Pandora’s box have been popped open, we’ll address the finer details in the coming updates. I think it help bring clarity as to why Arnav is the way he is.

      (Khushi and Payal are half-sisters!)

      Heh, heh. Payal will get all that she deserves – that is a personal guarantee! But from who she gets her comeuppance… you’ll just have to stay tune to fine out! ^^

  86. that good 4 nothin Shyam who has a peanut 4 a brain aaannnddd I really don’t knw y he thinks he’s God’s gift to women wen he is soooo not!!! Robbie (soul sister) lettin her fists out der lol….u go girl!!! Ooooohhh n Payal she’s surely never gona get away wid wat she is planning….da Raizada’s wil set her *ss on fire, revenge is sweet my dear(I’ll be w8n)…..beware u hav been warned Payal!!
    Y y yyyyyyy is Arnav so heartless n says such mean n hurtful things in anger wen he realy doesn’t mean it n I hope he runs after Khushi n never lets her go cos ryt nw she’ll be jus so heartbroken especially da harsh words he used on La feels lyk it was indirectly mean’t 4 her.
    Superb update my dears …..absolutely loved it!!

    1. Arnav isn’t perfect, but he isn’t heartless. heh heh. Those that populate FWN’s world are the products of their past. These aren’t teenagers, but adult men and women who has accumulated much baggage along their journey. They just need time to decide what can stay and what needs to be chucked 😀

  87. S n K, Hope you are doing good and things are OK with studies and job respectively. Finished reading night 7. Actually refreshed the page thrice to check if was really the end.
    What started as a beautiful night you ended on a sad note leaving us as heartbroken as Khushi!
    So I will come up with comments later.
    One kostin though- You had hinted that there will be savior of khushi in night 7 but looking at where it ended doesnt look like there was any. Or you girls were hinting at Anjali for making Khushi equal in Nani’s eyes?

    1. S have been summoned home by her mama for the week, so I don’t think we’ll see a glimpse of her until the weekend HEE Mama S is … formidable 😀

      Apologies about that. Originally, we had two additional scenes for Night 7, but after we wrote Arnav and Khushi’s exchange, we felt it was right to end there. Maximum impact and all 😉

  88. I love Robbie! Bas! Way to go girl!
    Uff and then you had to have Khushi running into him?! Bechari, after witnessing that terrace scene (delicious twist to the original BTW) everything that could go wrong will and has … Sod’s law in glorious technicolor 🙁
    And having Payal witnessing it! I’m willing to sacrifice a Louboutin heel in the interest of the sisterhood if it means I get to crush her underneath it.
    Phew, and after having spewed a bit of irateness I want to shake Arnav. But I do get his reaction. Not that I condone it, but he will need a bit of time to come to terms with the disclosure. At the moment he can only see the point of view of the legal offspring. And time is something which he doesn’t have the luxury of, with the meeting convened by Dragon Lady for the next day.
    And now that all viruses have been conquered, I hope we get an update really soon. Please? Pretty please? With the obligatory bells on?

    1. Oh ho! Our Choos have been met and raised with Louboutins. I think it’s time to bring in Manolo 😀

      When a girl’s down on her luck… who else but Sod is at play? ^^

      Haha, shake away sweetie, but is if you want to get in on the pummeling, better get in line now!

      We have transmitted all requests to our overexerted brains and fingers, let’s see how they respond. Who knows? Workers go on strike a lot in our corner of the world 😉

  89. So much was revealed in one day – first Arnav and Khushi had the great night of loving each other. Then Arnav took her to Shantivan to meet his Nani – first time he did that with a girl and that spoke volumes about how he felt about Khushi.
    Arnav told Khushi (although after much persuation) about Trent. Payal’s conversation with Nani revealed their old relationship. Arnav’s conversation with Lavanya – wow that was a surprise!
    And finally Khushi telling Arnav about her mother – that was expected.

    Now Arnav and Khushi need to think about what all this means to them and their relationship – everything else is secondary right?

    Loved NK, Robbie, Aman and Anjali – for every mean person, there are so many good people in this world 🙂

    1. That just about sums up our Night 😀
      As important as their relationship is, they both need to turn around and face that ugly past before they can make any strides forth. Whether it’s together or not.

      And yes! The world is quite balanced with good and bad. Who gets attracted into our lives is a whole another matter. ^^

  90. I do hope Robbie goes after Khushi as shedefinitely needs a shoulder to cry on. So she is Payal’s half sister, which is why Payal hates her so much.
    Devyani is a shrewd and intelligent lady. I don’t think she will be so influenced by Payal as to ask Arnav to let go off khushi.
    Now that all has gone wrong with Khushi’s world, I do hope you’ll bring back ‘ Happiness ‘in her life as soon as possible. “)

    1. Hatred is a very ugly emotion, especially when harbored within someone who gives it much nurturing!

      Allow us some time to explore the repercussions of tonight’s revelations, but I promise, S & I are staunch supporters of ‘Happily Ever After’ 😀

  91. Lavanya is Arnav’s sister…now I didn’t see that coming! That was a googly!!
    Thanks for the super long update. But, was anticipating that Payal would face dust with Khushi being with Arnav, but maybe in the next update. Wonder what Arnav is going to do next to bring back Khushi in his life…enjoyed reading it girls!!

    1. You’re going to have to explain your googly to me, I went to Googleji and only got ‘googly eyes’ as the result! =p

      If alls well that ends well we wouldn’t need 12 Nights!

  92. Devastating end to a beautiFun night….so sad right now. Khushi and her past will always continue to plague their relationship….Arnav poor man…in his bid to get rid of Lavanya, he might have said too much…..I hope Payal and Trent go to hell….but wishes are not horses. Sigh! Okay…bring it on…let us see what happens next. Steeling my soul here!

    Best,

    Anupama

    1. Steel is not a bad thing to have going into the next Night….Be it of backbone or weapons 😀

      Heh, I think you may be the only one sympathizing with Mr. Raizada at the moment Anupama. Let’s see if it’s warranted! ^^

  93. OMG….such an interesting turn ov events…
    enjoyed reading every bit ov this fantastic update…
    awsssmmmmm…
    eagerly waiting to know arnav’s reaction….

  94. Whoa! What a loaded update! I read this in parts as u posted but wanted to comment after I read the whole thing at once. You gave us that super magical night, it was perfect…the love came through, u cemented their need for each other, then the intro with nani where arnav showed nani how important Khushi was to him, this makes me feel so much better after the rubbish Payal fed nani…(ur dragon lady is intelligent pls don’t let her be fooled😔). You delivered the promise of that party! The clothes, venue, guests evthg was exciting. Wish arnav had a role to play during the engagement since him n Aman r so close, he came more as a guest…but then that public kiss made up for it! I was cheering Robbie as she punched Trent, when do we get her to slap the hell out of Payal? Or do much more damage?! Lavanya being the half sister was such a shocker… Wow…u just keep making this better and better. I have a feeling u both love stories with angst… Can’t wait for what will follow after Khushi’s heart breaking departure! This was a great Update.

    1. Thank you Mel! I’m delighted to hear that we delivered on the party. So spent so much time building up to it, I had some serious moments of nail biting 😉

      Hahaha, yes. K loves angst! But we will refrain ourselves, and deliver only the amount FWN requires. Otherwise, we may have a mob on our train. 😀

    2. I do love angst, but we didn’t make you gals suffer for too long right? 😀
      Should we have Arnav and Robbie gang up on Trent in future? =p

  95. I commented on Parts I and II earlier but part III took my breath away!! So many twists! LAVANYA IS ARNAV’S SISTER? :O :O This was the the the twist that wasn’t even on my list of expected twists 😛 And they are over? :O Soo much in one part, you girls literally blew me away in the best way possible 😛 But I have to say I love they way Arnav confronted Khushi about Trent’s presence in the party and they agreed to support each other through this and one of my favourtie lines in this part is “His arms closed around her and he leaned down to brush her lips with his, a kiss of promise amidst the flower of love.”

    1. And where you sweetie? Hope things are alright and do come back soon! ^^
      I see we have another romantic in our midst 😉 Let’s hope we can make this loving bloom to full beauty!

  96. That was a dhansuuuu update dear wot a blast ufffffff every thing was perfectly organised ‘ i mean picturized’
    From nk, rubbie to metthew”anji to aman payal to nani’ shaym to khushi n from arnav to lavanya n den finaly arshi OMG it was ou standing but last part make me soooo sad (im lavanya) that makes me frozen on the spot now wot is he going to do ? Y didn’t he reacted??? Lots offf question n just you S n K just you hv answer to all …!!!!! Plzzz make it fast dears plzzzz

  97. Way late, but better than never right? 😀

    This was one of my favorite Nights. So much romance, anticipation, tension, twists, and payoffs! Hats off to both of you!

    I seriously loved everything, but some standout moments for me:

    I adored Anjali. For her gifts to Khushi (Those notes! She and Aman will make the cutest husband/wife match making pair ever.) She totally earned those kangans. I can’t wait until the sister pair is on Khushi’s wrists.

    I absolutely loved these lines: His eyes came to rest on her wrist once again. They had appeared too bare the moment Aman slipped their mother’s kangans onto Anjali. He had an unnerving vision of those cuffs surrounding Khushi’s delicate wrist, a circle of gold protecting her pulse.

    Sigh…. Arnav the romantic may be too much for my heart to handle.

    Arshi in the greenhouse. Just beautiful. I love how he can’t take his eyes off her and that near confession delivered ASR-style… PERFECTION.

    Robbie is officially the new face of the sisterhood. I actually whooped out loud when she socked Trent in the face. lol.

    I actually enjoyed that bit of Payal. What a crazy fucked up human being. I really anticipate the day Khushi delivers her comeuppance.

    The terrace scene – OMFG! The buildup to it…. there are no words. Just very well written and deserving of the climax.

    Now, you have me nail biting as I stress over what each character’s next move will be – esp Arnav. Can’t wait!

    1. Should we make a poster? =p
      I nail bite over every update!!! All the churny emotions and hormones HEE

      You know we don’t consider it late if it arrives with such length and breath 😉

  98. Robbie and NK steamy encounter …Nani approval of khusi… greenhouse filled with arshi lil bit of romance.. Robbie you go girl sorry you didn’t get to punch the other cheek of that assholes face, serve him right fir showing up bastard… what’s shyams fucking problem so wanted to beat the shit out of him for talking to khusi like that… Payal ufff!!! Can’t even find a word to describe her…didn’t like the way arnav handle lab at all made it even worst khusi heard almost everything… arnav letting khusi go after she reveal what she and lab had in common *tears*

  99. I am so late in commenting further on the rest of the Night 7, my apologies ladies. However, I still wanted to come back and share my thoughts from where I left off however short it may be.

    Night 7 has been everything I was expecting and then some. The surprises were plenty, I definitely did not see Lavanya as Arnav’s half-sister coming. 😛 What I loved the most was how human every character’s reaction has been portrayed. You girls revealed a lot and yet left me wanting for more.

    <3 <3 <3

    1. Thanks Huma. As FWN’s first commenter, you totally get a free pass 😛
      I’m glad N7 met with expectations and then some 😉
      Stringing those hearts on cupid’s bow and sending it back to you!

  100. i just came across ur story n m astonished and spell bounded by the way u hv woven the characters….. its so raw n yet so carved…. read 6 chapters in a go… and can’t seem to get enuf of it….just hooked to it…:)

    1. A warm welcome to FWN madness cathy 😉
      Now there’s an interesting turn of expression. Raw and yet so carved… nice!

  101. Just read this chapter and wow I have so many different emotions running through me.
    Payal is such a cruel woman to not only treat Khushi with hatred but also her own husband.
    I was surprised by learning about the bond between Lavanya and the Raizada’s, I really hope they accept her!
    I wish Arnav would have stopped Khushi, hopefully in the next part they sort out their differences.
    I feel sorry for Aman and Anjali for having so much drama at their engagement party, the poor couple!
    I hope NK and Robbie sort out the differences between all of these relationships.
    Well written girls 🙂

  102. Dear God, let nanni see through Payals words, theres a reason she isnt a daughter in law of the Raizadas. So let me get this straight, Payal is Khushi half sister, her father had an affair with Khushi mum, I take it she herself is a heiress to half the Gupta fortune,, she was probably given a decent education too, but because of her heritge Payal broke her heart, her own self belief and has spent the last few years struggling with waitering. When she probably could have a degree of some sort. Khushi Gupta, no wonder there is no easily obtainable info on her. I was commenting on Karma, wow Khushi got the the Raizada hot under the coller, but Payal got the heave ho. 😀

    OK girls Lavania is a half sister of Aman and Arnav.. now that one I didnt see coming! Brilliant, no wonder she has the looks. Come on Arnav, pull yourself together and be the man she needs in her life. Awesome love the way that this story has had me gripped from the beginning, with the plot twists snd turns. Ps NK need a slap the way he treated Robbie.

  103. Nooooooo. This is just too emotional. FIX IT. Ok that was dramatic enough. But really the feelings and emotions that you are pulling out of your characters is amazing. Feels like I am right there. Beautiful!

  104. You have changed quite a few things on the site yaaron! It looks even more chic! But I take time to adapt to change (even though it be a tiny one) so it’s gonna be a while for me to be happy about it.

    M sorry for the rambling, who cares about my eccentricities 😛

    Coming to Night #7

    That was a fabulously scintillating convo between Robbie and Arnav! I’m in love with the language you use! Awww the sisterhood! Reminded me of Maya Hill! Her talks with the sisterhood are AWESOME! Anyway, Robbie is out of this world! She gives some damn good advice yo and really makes me marvel at the depth of her character that you two have managed to write. YKWIMR! (you know what I mean right)

    LOL, the three musketeers are at it again. Is there any conversation among them that won’t crack me up or make me grin or sport a naughty smile! One wise man said “the best relationships are based on sarcasm and inappropriateness”. And reading these three’s conversations sure cements this in my brain.

    I’m so glad these guys are on Matthews’ trail. God knows Khushi deserves all that was due to her and more. Aman is so darn right, Arnav might just not like what happens when Khushi is brought face to face with her past like that. He is just.. wait do u guys understand Hindi idioms and proverbs coz I have a perfect one for Arnav in this situation.. Lemme know and i’ll tell you. 😉

    That gif was just *mouth drying up*.. God you two.. It’s already hot where I am and you out up such sinful imagery making it steaming… *glugs down entire bucket of ice water* NK is gonna regret that though. Men *shakes head* when are they gonna learn…

    “Courage Khushi, she reminded herself, If you dared to claim the man, surely this private space must too be conquered.” Truer words have never been spoken or written in this case 😛

    I wish you had given us a pic of the lehenga-saree that she is wearing. I’m really bad with imagining clothes. But but but, u gave us an img of ArShi from the “suhag raat” and for that *bear hugs*. The description of what went through Khushi’s mind was just dreamy and adorable. Arnav just got a bit more perfect for her albeit inadvertently.

    The urgency of NK & Robbie that you have juxtaposed with the calm manner of Nani makes for a nail-biting contrast. I hope NK is right man, I really do.

    About nani’s thoughts on Arnav & Khushi, poetic justice indeed! *cue applause*

    Aman & Anjali’s convo almost made me teary. What sorcery is this ha? Such heart warming interactions between individuals who don’t even exist for God’s sake. You two bring them all ALIVE with your words and that my darlings, is FANTABULOUSLY AMAZING!

    Wow such a garden would be a treat for the eyes, sorry for the cliched words, I’m too taken in to think of better ones. Ah the “titaliya” reference! I loved Buaji and Khushi’s masti in the show yaar. And that pose of Arnav! Reminded me of the sangeet night man! U are really out for blood with this update, aren’t you!

    “the past can’t hurt us if we are able to share and accept it. Like it or not, it shaped who are.” Well said doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    “When had their simple world morphed into this web of complex relationships? There were so many crisscrossed threads between them now, if one snapped, how would it affect the rest?” this is what I’m worried about too…

    I can’t figure Trent out, does he or does he not have feelings for Khushi? Or is he in this only for the money? Payal is way more wicked than I thought at first.

    oh and what a perfect img of Drashti! though as you know for me she is Robbie. 😛

    La is a HALF SISTER! Well I’ll be damned. so much for my guesses when she first appeared. *eating my words*
    you guys have a real talent for finding perfect pics! Kaha kaha se dhund ke late ho yaar!

    Well well well, that was a clusterfuck of the highest order. Khushi had to face so much and so many people all at once, no wonder it got overwhelming. *the red sari n Sanaya! *

    Nani is really the Dragon Lady yo! Glad that she kept in mind the hundreds of people there and went to minimise the damage caused, if any. Great ability to think on her feet.

    And that end makes me wanna bang my head against the table.

    Ok, are you guys on twitter? I’d like to stalk you plz! Or could you share your IF ids, would really want to be buddies!

    love,
    Aditi!

  105. What the fuck….. Too much of tension… I cant evn typ …. Eager to kno wats gonna happen nxt….. Omg omg omg…… This has become complicated……. So lemme connect som dots lavnyas mom had an affair wid Arnavs dad which led to Arnavs moms death…. N khushi is Payals dad illegimate daughtr jus like lavnya is arnavs dads’ …… No wondr arnav treats her like this….. Tat ws the least expected twist….. Nice work S & K =) I appreciate the twist <3 cant wait to read the nxt update ….. Still waitng 4 a rply
    most lovngly
    -kitty purr <3 hugs n kisses <3

  106. Omg what a power-packed episode!! So many revelations! So many misunderstandings! So Lavanya is Arnav’s half-sister! And what Payal said to Nani..does she believe her?? Also that last part was awful..omg feel so sorry for both Khushi and Arnav. Hope all is better soon in their world

  107. night 7.. simply roller coaster chapter..

    girls night.. sisterhood..

    love grew both side with this little distance.. made them understand how much they are into each other..

    beautiful gifts by Anjali.. loved the way she wrote it…

    Arnav Khushi passion takes new stage…

    wow he shut the phones..

    loved the way he got her to shantivan n intoduce to nani…

    nani saw the love in Arnav’s eyes

    n finally he told hher..

    wow!! loved robbie what a punch n shyam payal too evil…

    oh no La is step sis..

    khushi left 🙁

  108. I want to use the Eff word so badly after reading this…. What the eff happened…. Oh why? Why is Arnav not saying anything… ‘Say something’ that was what my mind screamed when he went back into his shell… Oh damn it!

    Shyaam has always creped me up and he did it here too. And I love him for that.. Hihihi… With a damn it!

    Payal hit the right ball. Good job Lady ! That was so bitchy. Ugh! Damn it!

    Devyani Raizada the real matriarch that she is… I loved how she handled this damned situation

    NK and Roobie… C’mn people how much can I fall for you two… I love these two for the protectiveness they have… Onh! But why couldn’t you guys set this all right! Damn it damn it!

    Trent Mathews, what do I say? You screwed all those years back and you screwed it even now. Damn it!

    Aman! How dare you put that ring on to Anjali’s when it was supposed to be MINE !YOU BROKE MY HEART! Damn you! *sniff *sniff

    In short it was a ‘Damn it all to hell’ chapter excluding the New confession among the flowers of love. But sadly nothing went right… As of now! Hume bharosa hai S & K par aur unke writing par! Pardon me if my Hindi has mistakes 😛 I ain’t that good with it ! 😛

    You guys pulled it off very well. The tension the restlessness the fury all were felt my this reader of yours and am sure everyone did too… 😉 I loved and lived it even though it wasn’t worth loving… Hahaha!

    Moving on to the next…. 😀

  109. Oh by the way , the fact that Lav was Arnav’s sister came as a crude shock…. Out of all I never guessed her to be HIS SISTER!

    And that Khushi was an illegitimate child was never an option with me… I toh thought Arnav and Khushi’s past were connected. Like between their parents’. But fortunately I was wrong… Hahaha! Am just too glad 🙂

  110. Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN.

    Arnav and his big mouth. I swear to god, if he doesn’t run after her in the next update!

    We see here the classic case of the parents’ fuckups screwing the kids over. Payal, Arnav, Khushi, Lavanya…the trauma they’ve experienced. My heart goes out to Lavanya and Khushi, at least Arnav and Payal have their moral high ground to stand on, but these two ladies have to bear the burnt of the society’s blame for reasons not under their control. What the rest of them forget is that, there are probably worse skeletons in their own closets.

    Thanks for the warning, K. I’m so glad I didn’t read this last night!

    PS: MB, where are you?

  111. Insecurities and betrayal are the worst feelings ever. We all go through this which is why it makes me very understanding of the situation. Im not defending any character but we all react to circumstances differently and all we need is patience. I hope things get better for all. 🙂

  112. Ok… Ouch… on so many levels! Good to know that Arnav doesn’t hold monopoly on being an ASS! NK did a remarkable job as well! LOL!

    And then at the end… when Arnav stays quiet, I almost screamed. I might sound like a nominee for loony bin, but believe me I know that these are fictional characters. Only less than a handful of times has the line between fiction and reality smudged, a little bit.

    Thankfully, I have read the story already so I know that everything is going to work out… otherwise at this point in time, I would be a wreck!

    As for Payal… to quote some person from some movie… ‘You Sad, Sorry Little (Wo)Man’!

  113. Holy shit! I don’t even what to tell now.. too much to know and understand.. I am.like no dang it.. I am not like it.. I want to so run away to the next update to see if Arnav went to her, but I can’t, unfortunately I have promised myself to give such a fitting story, proper respect.

    I can really feel the blood pounding in my heart and I had made a tiny guess of Lavanya being his sister and I am holy as hell as happy that it turned to be true. But I never knew that will change the present gimmicks. Is Arnav really leaving her to go?

    The past is still clouded.. I want to have the answers and how.. and Payal has got what she has given..! Wasn’t it her plan to have Trent do that to Khushi? Now then why can’t I even see a bit of remorse?

  114. What an intense chapter that was. What the hell happened there. Why is Arnav not saying anything. Say something man. Say something dammit! I hate that payal. I hope she rots in hell in the end. A brilliantly written high voltage intense chapter that was.
    SO LA is Arnav’s illegitimate sister and Khushi is Payal’s. Why did the Nani call for a meeting.
    Oh I can’t wait any more. Off to read the next chapter. This suspense is killing me.

  115. The party ended too quickly din’t it…..well..well….going to the next. Payal aimed perfect …Devyani Raizada…

  116. hi finally read this long and happening update..robbie teasing arnav and the girls night out..khushi going to shantivan..the engagement party, payal is so manipulative and we see so many dhamakas…lavanya and khushi both have to be more strong so difficult at times life can be..loved robbie and NK in this update..such loyal freinds..Nani is so observant and is happy for arnav..loved how anjali made it easy for khushi on her big day..such a warm and beautiful person, she gifted anjali and arnav loves her in that outfit..wow what a lm scene when they meet, their relationship is going on higher level..loved the pictures and the ending too..hoping arnav will fix it..

  117. Really liked Aman- Anjali bond. They are so sweet…
    I am not surprised that La turned out to be Arnav’s sister. I can understand Arnav’s anger towards her but I am absolutely disagree with his behavior and words to her. He and Aman can be cool as playboys and sleep around with many women, then how can he term La as a slut for having affairs…I somehow didn’t like Arnav at all for this. He is a hypocrite. He is jealous about Trent. How about all those women he slept with on the same bed that he now shares with Khushi?

    1. Haha you’re blazing through the Nights Channu! 😀

      Clarification on our alpha (not that I approve of his shitty attitude),but the words Arnav’s sprouting isn’t necessarily what he believes. They are the outpourings of the boy that is still very much hurting. Fair or not, he only sees her mother when he looks at La, the “other woman” in his father’s life.

      Yes, he’s jealous of Trent, but that’s stemming from an emotional place not a double standard on the v-card.

      1. Thanks for clarifying, SM. I can’t seem to put away my iPad when reading this story. I did a night out yesterday. 🙂 it’s an amazing story and more importantly, amazing storytelling that makes all the difference.
        I understand the jealous part now after your clarification and when I read the next few nights also.

  118. Btw, I forgot to comment about Payal…she seems to be a real bitch…at the same time, I don’t find any fault with her anger towards Khushi if Khushi is same as La is to Arnav. Her actions may be bitchy but her anger is truly justified. Arnav is as bad as Payal. He is playing with La’s career. He needs a reality check.

  119. Loved the you you described ma’s kangans .. Dint Khushi know that nothing comes good out of eavesdropping 😔
    Robbin made our sisterhood very proud .. Interesting to see how a certain Raizada changes his perspective towards Lav.. My heart goes out to her ..

  120. That was brilliant chapter..revealing all the secrets..Now what is Arnav gonns do..
    Poor khushi n lavanya..
    This chapter krpt me on edge..simply amazin

  121. hi
    PayPal is disgust. So everything is out in open. Khushi is shattered on hearing those words from Arnav. how will arnav clear this mess.

  122. That was one roller coaster ride.
    High on emotions….
    You both r remarkable writers.
    They realized that they found their soulmates but the obstacles in the way doesnt seem to end.
    Payal is a real villain. And Trent, I better not talk about that filthy gold digger.
    Robbie and NK what a pairing I love to read their verbal sparring, tongue dancing and many more things 😉

    Anjali is one sweetheart. I love her.
    About Khushi poor girl has suffered lot. Arnav should not have remained silent. But he might have been in shock. It struck a weak nerve thats why. Lavanya, dont know if she was being true in her apology but those words were vicious.
    Superb chapter
    and that line- a circle ofgold protecting her pulse that was awesome.

  123. what was that????
    such an unexpected twist….!!
    goodness ladies….
    u both are brilliant to bring such
    turns to the story….!!
    So lavanya is Arnav’s step -sis..
    payal played dirty….!!
    Arnav’s words to lavanya brought so much pain to khushi….!!
    And the last part was just soo heartbreaking….
    was he too shocked to stop her??
    Or he just let her go??
    Brilliant update…!!!

  124. Lavanya came as a surprise but Khushi didn’t because I knew it when I read abt the first show being dedicated to a special woman… I knew it was K’s mother..

    No sympathy for Trent but for Lavanya. She is the other Khushi despite of differences in the choices of life style they made.

    This night had a lot of my favorite scenes…

    Maa’s kangan. What a beautiful scene you wrote.

    Butterfly in his garden… another beautiful scene.

    Then Robbie and NK’s day…

    The Text exchange between Robbie n ASR…

    Damn it, I’m basically listing everything so know that I loved every single word you penned here.

    This is my favorite night.

  125. OMG- so much has happened in this chapter….the figurative volcano finally erupts after a period of simmering lava ,leaving behind chaos and ashes….

  126. Woww…Robbie & her Judo punch…🙌NK🙌 …..
    &Shades of Arnav Singh Raizada…
    & sincere but withered Khushi….😶&Oh…Lavanya is his sister..😱….
    &this wicked payal…..😠
    At the end….😕😢

  127. I knew that trouble was brewing since Payal came to the scene, didn’t expect it to come from Arnav though… Hmm hope he sees the sense soon… not too late.

  128. That was …..speechless….
    I thought she’ll mistake them hugging BUTTTT the twist, lav step sister and Khushi also illegitimate and Arnav’s reaction….. SPEECHLESS