Night #8

Pyre sweetheart – this one’s for you! Kya!

[ Love seeing so many new passengers aboard FWN, don’t be shy guys! We don’t bite 😀 – S]


Fifth Ave, New York

He woke reaching for her. In the weakened state between sleep and consciousness his body went seeking her warmth, only to be sharply reminded of her absence when he encountered nothing.

Arnav bolted upright in bed, jaw clenched from the effort not to yell out his frustration. Cursing silently, he kicked at the tangled sheets, raking a hand through disheveled hair as he turned towards the balcony.

New York City. She was dozing, resting up for the day scant hours away, but her energy still pulsed. In the predawn, tall sleek buildings loomed like overlarge shadows over the streets. Anything could be bought, sold, or traded within those shadows; a price point to every facet of lust. She understood this and wasn’t coy about it.

The city offered the chance for victorious triumph alongside the possibility of miserable failure and every shade in between. Here was the place that gave you exactly what you wanted out of it. However, the price demanded in exchange was often too high for most men.

For the first time, he felt the crushing weight of that price. Shoulders rigid, he starred out, exploring the unfamiliar feelings of emptiness. He was a man who lived in his mind, a businessman who shunned messy entanglements in favor of cool logic.

So why the hell did he feel so damn empty?

Because she was gone and he wanted to hold her.

Fuck.

They said it took twenty one days to form a habit. How the hell had he formed an addiction in only half of that time?

I’m Lavanya.

He closed his eyes at the onslaught of those words. Two words. With just two words she had upended his world. Damn her. Grim-faced, his honed features starkly etched, Arnav turned away.

Shower. Shave. Suit. Shot of caffeine. The rituals that defined his mornings.

Before her.

Why did they make him feel so damn empty?

Because she was gone and it was only now that he realized how much he had altered his routine for her.

Walking out the door, he deliberately ignored the file sitting in quiet accusation on the coffee table. It remained unopened since NK had tossed it there four days earlier.

He hesitated at the threshold, turning back for a second glance. Arnav felt something trying to break through, to pierce the numbness that had settled over him, but he shoved it down before slamming the door behind him.

Sunrise was a mere slash of insipid red above the city’s skyline as he entered his office. Work. The one constant in his life he could always depend on.

She had left him. So what? Arnav told himself angrily. The stone in his chest, the way his hands clenched for an unknown fight and his belly coiled with tension, had nothing to do with her. He had a damn company to run. An upcoming fashion show he had been neglecting. Yes. That had to be it. He was worried about the fashion show. Nothing to do with her. Or the way her anguished green eyes had …

He glared at his desk with antagonistic frustration. Dammit it, what was the point of lying to himself. He had no desire for work. He had desire only for one thing and he was afraid that he had just let that one thing slip out of his grasp.

Why was he so empty?

Because she was gone.

And he missed her.

✧✧✧

4 days earlier

The Peninsula, New York

“I’m Lavanya.”

“I’m Lavanya.”

“I’m Lavanya.”

Arnav stood rooted in place as Khushi walked away from him. Her words beating like a mantra in his head, coursing through his veins before they settled like a stone in his gut. A fist of panic clutched at his insides as the distance between them widen, but he was incapable of moving as he focused on brutally shoving down the memories that threatened to rise and choke him.

He felt the stab of an intense stare drill between his shoulder blades as a female voice cried from behind him, “Khushi!”

In seconds, Robbie stood before him, fury emancipating from every pore.

“How could you?!” Robbie demanded. “How could you let her go?”

For a split second she thought she saw raw pain flash across Arnav’s face but it was gone so fast she had to have imagined it.

His eyes were chips of ice as he turned to her. “Did you know?”

She gave him a disbelieving look edged with outrage.“You’re unbelievable you know that? Who the hell do you think you are to stand there and judge the rest of us? This is strike two, Raizada!”

Robbie fingers curled into tight balls at her sides as Arnav stood starring at her coldly. She wanted nothing more than to sock sense into the man before her, but Khushi topped her current list of priorities.

Instead she made do with a scathing glare, spinning on her heels to stalk down the sidewalk.

She had barely taken five steps before her upper arm was seized by NK.

She tensed, filled with the urge to lash out. “Let me go.”

“Robbie, calm down.”

“When will men learn that telling a pissed off woman to calm down is like throwing gunpowder over fire?!” she snapped.*

“Fine, then let me take you,”

“I think your boss needs you more than I do.”

NK’s grip was firm as he turned her towards him. His mouth compressed.

“Robbie, you’re not Khushi and I’m not Arnav. Don’t make the mistake I did. We protect who we need to, but you separate it from what’s between us. Get me?”

At her glare, he only pulled her closer, “Tell me you get me, Robbie.”

Robbie sighed, recognizing the wisdom and truth in his words. “I got you, but now I need to be there for Khushi. Go do some head knocking, okay?”

Satisfied, he gave her a reassuring squeeze before letting go.

“Call me, tonight.”

✧✧✧

“I’m sorry I ruined your night.”

She stood shivering as he hailed a taxi, rubbing her fingers up and down bare arms, eyes downcast, her entire body a study in defeat.

Aman looked at her. For the first time he allowed himself to study the young woman who shared his blood, but one he knew so little of. The weight of guilt was heavy as it settled on his shoulders.

“It’s not your fault, Lavanya. In fact, you should have been invited.”

Her head jerked up.

“Oh no, I would never expect… I’m… used to it,” she quickly reassured him.

Aman stiffened, his protective instinct surging as he watch her stumble through the words while quickly trampling down that brief flare of hope in her eyes. What the hell have they done to this girl?

Treated her like a dirty secret and ignored her existence for the last twenty years. Right.

He knew Arnav had his reasons, but when will they stop paying for the misdeeds of the past? This girl had grown up devoid of family and dignity; right now he felt only shame for standing by and doing absolutely nothing for so long.

She deserved more care than that. They all deserved more. Certainty settled into his bones. It was time big brother was made to listen to some hard truths.

“This family is capable of handling anything except for what happened in Lucknow, but Arnav isn’t heartless. He just needs to make that realization.”

Lavanya looked at Aman in genuine surprise. This was the first time they exchanged more than a nod across a room. She didn’t know how to react to the gentleness and was afraid to believe what his words hinted at.

“I don’t want to cause trouble, Aman,” His name felt foreign on her lips, but it brought certain warmth. She had been cold for so long. “I just-” Her words were interrupted as a cab pulled up to the curb.

“I know,” he gave her a strained smile, “I’ll be touch, Lavanya. Goodnight.”

Little sister.

✧✧✧

Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York

There was a lump in her throat that threatened to block air to her lungs. Khushi swallowed convulsively as she looked around in surprise. She was back at the old apartment, with no clear memory of getting there. She had simply walked and walked, the chill in her body made her immune to the freezing winds.

The shrill of the landline made her recoil in shock. The high pitch keening assaulted her ears as her knees stiffened before they gave way beneath her. Curling into a tight little ball, she tried forcibly to block thoughts of Arnav from her mind.

In the dark, she searched desperately within herself for the stirring of anger. Why couldn’t she be angry? Anger would lend her strength, strength she needed at the moment. The anger didn’t come, but hurt did. In waves.

She would have screamed if she’d been able to draw enough breath, but all she could do was huddle helplessly on the floor. In that moment when it became nearly unbearable, she felt a pair of arms close around her.

“Oh honey, I’m sorry,” Robbie whispered.

“Just hold me, Robbie, please? No questions just let me cry.”

“Shit! Shit!” Robbie cursed even as she gathered Khushi closer. “I’ve got you. Let it out, Khushi. I’m not going anywhere, okay? Cry it out, sweetheart.”

At those words, Khushi lost the last shred of control over her emotions. She clung to Robbie’s shoulders as her body wracked with sobs.

She cried until her throat was raw and burning, until her eyes became swollen from the strain. It was then that his words cruelly went on replay, battering away at her heart. But she had nothing left to give. Her tears had dried out, leaving only an aching hollow. Khushi closed her eyes to drown it all out and finally exhaustion reached its pinnacle, giving her the oblivion of sleep.

✧✧✧

The Peninsula, New York

He made eye contact with the bartender, tersely ordering a drink.

The guests were long gone, leaving behind enough of a mess that it required a full two dozen hotel staffers going rounds with oversized plastic bags and sweepers. His lips curled, only the best for a Jha, no matter the expense.

“What was your intent in bringing her tonight?” Anjali asked quietly as she approached the bar.

“I didn’t know, alright? No one thought to fucking share that the Supermodel was an illegitimate sibling of the saintly Raizada brothers,” Shyam replied curtly.

“Why? Why do you do things like this?”

“Not everyone can live up to the image of perfection, Anjali,” he sneered.

“Why can’t you be honest, Shyam?”

He looked at her disbelievingly. “You’re kidding right? You think our father, Mohit fucking Jha, would accept it?”

“It’s not about him accepting, Shyam. It’s you who needs to stop rejecting yourself!”

“You don’t even know what you’re talking about. And I sure as fuck don’t need life lessons from my little sister. Focus on your little wedding and leave me be.”

He slid a hand inside his jacket, producing a slim, leather-covered box. As he flipped the lid back, she caught the flash of rubies and diamonds. With a careless flick, he tossed the necklace at her. “Saw this at Tiffany’s, a fitting engagement gift for the Jha Princess don’t you agree?”

“Shyam, there isn’t any shame in ..” she continued, but she was only talking to his rigid back.

Anjali hands’ clenched around the cold strand of precious stones, her lips pressed together as hurt crawled into her chest. There was a time when they had been so close, when there had been shared secrets and lighthearted teasing.

Now her beloved older brother was a hostile stranger, a shuttered face across the dinner table with the jarring voice whenever he addressed her. She wanted desperately to break down the wall he’d fortified himself with, but how?

✧✧✧

Fifth Ave, New York

NK stalked into the living room ahead of Arnav, heading straight to the bar. With economy of movements, he plunked down a row of glass tumblers as if they were cheap plastic instead of fine crystal.

Running a hand through Arnav’s liquor inventory he deliberately pulled out the bottle of Elit by Stolichnaya. Carelessly, he poured the prized vodka across the tumblers. Slamming down the half empty bottle he threw Arnav a look of challenge.

“This is what you need right?”

“Don’t start, NK”

NK’s expression hardened as he held Arnav’s stare. “When will you realize that people can’t read what’s on your mind when you spew shit you don’t mean?”

“Back the fuck off!” Arnav demanded, running an agitated hand through his hair.

“You know what? I’m sick of cleaning up after your mess,”NK rapped out as he tossed a thick file onto the table between them. “That is Khushi’s file. You can man up, read it, then go fix what you broke, or you can drown in these tumblers and let her get away. And let me tell you right now, you let her go – a woman like her? Some fucker with more brains will come along and move right in. Then all you’ll be left with are regrets and empty sex.”

“Are you done?” Arnav snarled.

With unexpected speed NK maneuvered around the furniture, just as he reached Arnav, his arm pulled back, delivering a clean clip to the jaw.

“What the hell, NK!” Arnav shouted as he staggered under the force of the punch.

“A man I hold much admiration for once told me that truth doesn’t establish people, in fact, people establish the truth. What’s your truth, Arnav?”

“Get out.”

“I’m trying to help!”

“And I’m telling my employee to leave my property.” Arnav responded quietly in his coldest tone.

“Fucking unbelievable. You think you’re the only who’s suffered? Grow some balls, you dick. We all have baggage, but not everyone carries them around like weapons. And you know what? Consider the punch my resignation letter.”

Arnav blanched as the door slammed behind NK, the sting of remorse moving through him. Swearing he dragged himself off the floor and made his way to the bar.

Reaching for the first shot, he threw it back in one gulp, wincing as the liquid turned to fire down his throat.

Khushi. Lavanya. Khushi. Lavanya. Their names echoed in his head until they melted into a single beat.

In rapid succession he downed the row of vodka, waiting for the the alcohol to make it to his brain. Nothing. It was going to take a lot more tonight. To stop all these damn feelings.

Turning back to the bar he didn’t bother with the glasses this time, taking the entire bottle as he headed towards the sectional. In the dark he drank. Until he was able to bank all thoughts of her, of them. Until the walls that kept the rest of the world at bay slid firmly back into place.

✧✧✧

NK: “Still awake?”

Robbie: “Been waiting for you.”

NK: “Nice to know I can still keep a beautiful woman up.”

Robbie: “How did things go with the boss?”

NK: “Let’s just say, the boss part is now past tense.”

Robbie: “What?! The asshole fired you?”

NK: “Clearly, we need to work on your impression of my abilities. I quit, doll. A resignation letter delivered through a knuckle punch. How’s that for professionalism?”

Robbie: “You actually punched him?”

NK: “Clipped him in the jaw.”

Robbie: “NK?”

NK: “What?”

Robbie: “You just topped my list of heroes tonight.”

NK: “Yeah? Does it come with a reward?”

Robbie: “Greedy.”

NK: “Always. How’s Khushi?”

Robbie: “Asleep… she’s hurting NK.”

NK: “You okay?”

Robbie: “Other than severely high blood pressure and having to fight the urge to commit acts of violence, I’m fine.”

NK: “I meant your hand. That punch made contact with bones.”

Robbie: “Oh please, he had a weak jaw. Are your knuckles carrying manly bruises?”

NK: “Fucker has a steel jaw. I prefer kisses to bandages.”

Robbie: “I’ll keep that in mind.”

NK: “You in bed?”

Robbie: “It’s strange, but I always end up horizontal when I’m talking to you.”

NK: “Shouldn’t have told me that, Robbie-girl.”

Robbie: “I like that.”

NK: “What?”

Robbie: “Robbie-girl. Somehow it reminds me of the girl from Indiana. I miss her sometimes.”

Robbie quickly pushed the accept button as NK’s name flashed on her screen.

“You’re strange, you know that?”

“Says the man who just punched his boss in face on behalf of the sisterhood,” Robbie retorted.

“Only half the reason, the other fifty was on behalf of the male race.”

She hesitated, “How is Arnav?”

“Is that concern for the enemy?”

“He let her walk away tonight. That kills, NK. And while I wouldn’t hesitate to give him a case of blue balls, I think he’s hurting too,” Robbie’s voice trailed off.

“What are you going to do when we hang up?” NK asked, needing to change the direction of their conversation.

“Try to sleep I guess. Tomorrow promise to be one hell of a day. You?”

“I plan to fall fast asleep so I can dream of a beautiful blond with her flyaway curls and wisps of lace.”

“Mmmm… I think she’ll approve of that dream,” she replied with sultry sweetness.

NK felt himself stir in response. “I hope you’re this brave the next time I get you alone. Got a thing for fighters?”

“No, I think I’ve developed a thing for NK. Just NK.”

“Fuck me, I need to wind down not get riled up woman!”

His heated accusation brought her the first smile of the night, “Stop flirting then!”

“Needed to get my mind off things, you make an ideal distraction, Robbie Sinclair.”

“You’re worried about him aren’t you,” she stated quietly.

NK emitted a long sigh. “The stubborn ass is probably drinking himself to death.”

“What are we going to do with these two, NK?”

He took a fueling breath, steeling himself, “I don’t know the answer to that, Robbie. Just stay close, yeah?”

“I’m here. Go get some sleep.”

“Don’t hang up, tonight.”

“I’ll be on the other end of the line. Good night, Handsome.”

“Sweet dreams, Doll.”

✧✧✧

3 days earlier

The Peninsula, New York

Payal headed towards the conference room with smug glee pulsating under her skin. Even Trent’s adamant refusal to come didn’t bother her today. At the threshold she halted, her eyes sweeping over the empty chairs. At the head of the oval table, Devyani Raizada sat with hands folded, a steaming cup of tea on her right.

Reining back her annoyance, Payal forced her lips to curve in greeting. “Good morning, Mrs. Raizada, where’s everyone?”

“Shut the door and take a seat, Payal” Devyani responded mildly.

Payal moved nonchalantly to the chair at the other end of the table, “I’m sorry I had to be the bearer of bad news last night.”

“Are you? It was delivered with such relish I thought you were rather enjoying yourself.”

Payal schooled her features as she studied the composed woman; there was enough bite in the words to send her mind racing. “I’m not sure what you mean by that.”

“Do you know why the stock in your father’s company continues to decline?” Devyani questioned as she lifted the porcelain cup to her lips, her dark eyes clashing with Payal’s narrowed browns above the rim.

“I didn’t know we are here to speak business.”

“Indulge an old lady.”

“The Board believes, and I agree, that customers are fickle, there’s no sense of loyalty to be had anymore.”

“That is a misguided assumption. Stocks plummet when the CEO squander opportunities. Since you dropped your announcement you had over twelve hours to convince me. Yet, you left last night secured in your claims, whereas my grandson spent the time discrediting you from every possible angle, thus rendering the conjectures ineffectual.”

Payal’s mouth tightened, “Obviously you’ve made up your mind before this meeting. What is this then- a life lesson?”

“No, it’s my respect for an old friend. However, I want to make it clear that this will be the last time you receive such consideration from this family out of regards to your father. Besides, I’m well aware that a question has burned in you for a long time. I felt it was time to clear the air.”

“And what question is that?”

“You must have wondered why I never agreed to a marriage between you and my grandsons. It was the one thing I had to refuse your father. Do you know why?”

“Oh, do enlighten me, Devyani.”

The blatant disrespect needled no response in the older woman as she continued serenely, “Because to you, Payal, either Arnav or Aman would do. They were interchangeable. “

“Do you honestly think Anjali would be with Aman if he wasn’t a Raizada? Or that a girl like Khushi actually wants Arnav for himself? He’s her golden ticket.”

“I’ve lived a long life, child. While age alone does not lend wisdom, it does assist one in shifting through truths and lies. I’m inclined to believe Aman’s version of past events. It does evoke disgust, but not directed at Khushi.”

“You are inviting a snake into your home.”

Nani laughed even as she expression became steely. “That girl wouldn’t know what to do with venom in hand. But you do, don’t you Payal?”

Payal shoved the chair back, “I’m disappointed. My father would turn over in his grave if he knew how you treated me today. You’re choosing to protect a woman who took my happiness. Do not blame me for what happens next.”

“Your father would be ashamed if he was sitting in my position at the moment. His wealth may cushion you, but heed this. While I’m alive, no one hurts my family.”

“You’re an old woman clinging onto the belief that she’s actually in control. Chairwoman of AR’s Board of Directors is a mere title, I’ve wasted my time,” Payal hissed.

Devyani shook her head as she took in the bitter mien of the young woman, “Payal, if nothing else, reflect on this. Holding such resentment close to your heart will only eat you from inside. Hatred isn’t a weapon that you can casually use to attack those you perceive as a threat. It’s a curved blade, and any harm you do, you do it to yourself.”*

Payal’s insolent laughter echoed in the conference room as she yanked open the doors and stormed out.

Devyani exhaled deeply as she took another sip from the tea cup. The herb was especially bitter when cold.

✧✧✧

Gramercy Tavern, New York

“What’s the damage?” Aman asked as he met NK on the sidewalk.

NK shoved his hands into his pockets, “I quit.”

Aman snorted at the brusque answer, “NK, there’s not a quitting bone in that giant frame. Besides, this makes it what? The seventeenth time in the last six years?”

“No joke mate, I’m done.”

“He pulled rank didn’t he? Look, it’s not like you don’t know Arnav spews shit when he’s feeling cornered. You taking the girls’ side probably didn’t sit well.”

They walked into the bustling establishment, receiving a warm greeting from the maitre d’ before being led through the arches and straight to Gramercy’s private dining room.

“It’s a magnum night, bring us the Cabernet Franc, Quintarelli, Alzéro to start, sweetheart.” Aman requested with a charming smile for their waitress.

“Excellent choice, Mr. Raizada. Will you also be dining with us tonight?”

“Yes, tell Michael to send out his special, but no need to stop in. Looks like you guys have a full house.”

Aman waited until the staff left to fulfill their orders before turning back to NK.

“Look, take a few days to cool off. I’ll even throw in a raise when you come back.”

“Do I look like a man who can be bought with cheap money?” NK snapped.

“No. You’re a man who comes with a fucking premium price tag, but we’re too lazy to find a replacement.”

“Asshole,” NK retorted, but a grin eased over his stern features.

“Never denied that one,” Aman laughed, “I’ll even cover dinner.”

“Payal, taken care of?”

“The Dragon Lady did us proud this morning, but I’m going to need to you to put some eyes on that one.”

NK nodded, “Woman has more than some crazy in her. I’ll get a pair on her and Matthews.”

“Speaking of, saw him nurse the jaw last night. That you?”

“Can’t take credit for that. Robbie took care of the little prick on her own.”

“Hell, now there’s a fine woman,” Aman responded with genuine appreciation.

“I’ll drink to that,” NK agreed as the wait staff brought in their magnum and an array of house signature appetizers. “What did you tell our Lady Dragon?”

“The truth.”

At NK’s skeptical glance, Aman grinned. “No really, complete disclosure. You know she sees straight through the bullshit. We get through this, Nani will demand it anyways, so why hinder the process of acceptance?”

“You’re awfully sure Khushi will want anything to do with Arnav after this disastrous episode.”

“She’s in as deep as he is. Otherwise, it wouldn’t matter.”

“Why not just give up your day job to play Cupid?”

“Screw the Roman pansy, I’m the Greek Eros. And I recall taking on a consenting partner five months ago.”

“Who also told you we should have looked into the skeletons instead of going in blind.”

“NK, have you ever seen Arnav behave with a woman the way he does with Khushi? Hell, I feel like running down the street belting out Hallelujahs. Besides we knew it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing.”

At NK’s arched brow, Aman continued earnestly, “Think of it like a glass of water. Clear and pristine, but bland as fuck. Squeeze in some lemons, things get murky, but once you combine it with the right amount of sugar, it makes for one hell of a satisfying drink.”

“Did you just give me the lemonade metaphor?”

Aman shrugged, “It’s a classic for a reason.”

“Save yourself the embarrassment next time and don’t create your own convoluted version, yeah?”

“Dick,” Aman retorted, affectionately.

NK exhaled, “What now?”

Aman turned serious, “It’s not just Khushi anymore. Lavanya is part of this, too.”

“Feeling daring are we?”

“She’s blood, NK. Half, whole, what difference does that make? All I know is that the way she wore her defeat last night made me feel about two inches tall.”

“So what’s running around that Princeton brain?”

“I figured we’ll need to let him stew for a few days. He’ll fight it, but I give him a week tops before he goes crawling.”

“Good thing we have your experience with Anjali to call upon. Made my top ten favorite days to see Aman Raizada on his knees for a woman, although I’m betting the Arnav version will be equally memorable.”

“Your day is around the corner, jerk,” Aman muttered darkly, “And I’ve already claimed ringside seating.”

“Arnav,” NK prompted.

“Nani wants the first go. Khushi being Shashi’s daughter and the woman she turned out to be? I don’t think we’ll need heavier artillery. After that, it’ll be up to Khushi. Luckily there’s no challenge a woman loves more than unfucking a man.”

“Jesus, don’t let Robbie hear you.”

“You know that name is dangerously close to having a permanent place in your lexicon.”

“Got a problem?”

Aman grinned as he leaned back into the chair, “Nope, fucking thrilled for you.”

“Most days, you’re my favorite Raziada.”

“Hell, you’re going to order dessert aren’t you?”

✧✧✧

2 days earlier

It was time, past time, he told himself.

Nerves roiled in his gut as he punched in her number.

“Khushi? Please don’t hang up, it’s Trent.”

✧✧✧

Four Seasons, New York

Payal eased into the hotel’s plush lounge chair, carefully examining the glass of merlot in her hand.

Dark red. Like blood. Every fucking thing went back to that.

She could still feel the burn of humiliation from her encounter with Devyani Raizada. The ungrateful bitch.

Her fingers clenched until the delicate glass shattered, a large fractured piece slicing into her palm.

She watched in fascination as fresh red dripped over the broken shards.

Laughter bubbled in her throat at the sight.

She’ll remind them of their place. Every last fucking one.

✧✧✧

Present

AR Corps, New York

“The view doesn’t change when you’re looking from the same place,” Devyani stated as she walked into Arnav’s office. She’d been there long enough to read the lines of tension on her grandson’s shuttered face. It spoke volumes that someone as conscious of his surrounding as Arnav hadn’t even realized he was being observed.

“Nani,” Arnav greeted as he turned from the window.

“I took the liberty of telling your secretary to clear your calendar this morning.”

“Is there something you need?”

“Yes, I would like to have a meeting with my grandson.”

“Aman talked didn’t he?” Arnav demanded on a grimace.

“He’s concerned about you, as any younger brother would be.”

“I’m fine.”

She sniffed disdainfully at the air, “Is that why you’re standing there looking mean and miserable while reeking of alcohol?”

When she received no response, she headed towards the door, “Come.”

“Where?”

“Somewhere that will provide you with a new perspective.”

✧✧✧

Arnav raised a brow when they drove up to the pencil-slim silhouette of the 103-story limestone building. “Are you serious?”

“I went through a lot of trouble to clear the building for the next hour, so don’t think you have a choice. By the way, they are expecting a hefty donation at the upcoming fundraiser for the remodel.”

“Of course,” Arnav muttered as they walked through the main lobby. His eyes skimmed over the Art Deco inspired glass panels, lingering for a moment on the 24-karat gold and aluminum leaf mural that paid homage to the machine age.

The two elevator rides up through 86 floors were marked with silence. Less than a minute later, they stepped into the city’s highest open-air observatory. No matter what heights a man reached, the 360-degree view of New York from the Empire State Building was of unparalleled magnificence.

Nani tapped a curved fingernail against the railing. A wistful look entered her eyes as she took in the snow blanketed outlines of Central Park.

“Why are we here, Nani?” Arnav asked at length.

“I think that was my line the last time you dragged me here. Incredible how fast the years just slip on by…. Do you remember what you told me that day, Arnav?”

A wry smile twisted Arnav’s lips as the memory came to him, “Yes. I told you to get use to the view. Arrogant wasn’t it?”

“Absolutely, but I believed you. Only seventeen, but already a man in every way. I’m proud of you, Arnav, so proud to call you my own. But somewhere between that visit and now, I think you’ve lost your way a bit,” she paused, “Lavanya.”

Arnav stiffened. “We’re not talking about her.”

“We are,” she countered sternly.

She took Arnav’s hand into her own, understanding the flare of surprise in his eyes. This was something they had silently agreed to never bring up.

Because of her own selfishness, Devyani acknowledged. Because speaking of it would bring up deeply painful memories. So she had buried it, and in doing so, made terrible mistakes. It will sting to try and fix them, but it was only just.

“Fourteen years ago at this very spot you gave an old woman new dreams, Arnav. Something solid to cling on to, but it came at the cost of your youth.”

“Nani-” Arnav interrupted.

“Oh hush and let me finish. I’ve been a selfish woman, Arnav. Losing your grandfather then your mother … my world collapsed. Suddenly, at forty seven I was solely responsible for raising two young boys. And I was scared out of my mind. So terrified I had to lock up everything that happened in Lucknow to find the courage to move on. At first because it hurt too much and then it just became a habit. But now I see what I did robbed you and Aman of the truth,” she continued in an unsteady voice.

“It was an arranged marriage between your parents.” Devyani braced as Arnav turned to look at her in surprise. “She always wanted you to believe it was a love match, but in truth the Raizadas and Mallicks were neighbors for decades, we never considered another option. They tried to be happy, but when two different people are forced to share a life, it’s not easy. Your mother came to me within a year of marriage wanting a divorce, but in my day it was unheard of. So I told her a child would solve the problem,” she paused then to let go of his hands.

“Your arrival brought much joy into our lives, Arnav. Never doubt that. And for a time, things steadied between your parents. Aman’s birth kept up the appearance for several more years. Yet happiness eluded your mother and eventually your father turned to other women. I blamed him for her death, and he deserved it, but he wasn’t the only one responsible.”

As he absorbed her words, a myriad of questions sprang to Arnav’s mind. “Why are you telling me this now?”

“The two things your mother cherished from her marriage were her boys. Seeing you like this would break her heart. Children shouldn’t bear the consequences of their parent’s actions. I’m sorry, deeply sorry for every time I carelessly used the Mallick name against you. I made you deny a part of yourself because I couldn’t acknowledge the role I played in pushing my own daughter to seek escape from life. You are undeniably a Mallick, Arnav, but every inch is also stamped with Raizada.”

They stood in silence, unaware of the biting briskness of the wind.

“Can you forgive me, Arnav? For keeping this from you?” Devyani’s voice broke as he turned away. Her sin, Devyani recognized, was one of cowardice. If the penance was her grandson’s rejection, it was deserved.

Arnav starred out at the skyline as he sucked in a breath. This changed so much, but he needed time to process. However, he recognized one truth. The woman who was humbling herself before him was hurting deeply. When had he turned so blind?

She startled as he twirled back to her, taking her shaking hands in his. “Nani, how can you even ask that? Everything I am today, you had a hand in shaping. I’m sorry you had to carry the burden alone for so long.”

Tears spilled over unchecked as she starred up at him. The crushing weight of her secrets was given momentary respite. She should have had more faith in her boys.

“These words have been in my heart for so long, Arnav. I just didn’t have the courage to allow them an outlet. However, last Saturday, I was given hope as one grandson slipped a pair of kangans onto the woman he loved and the other brought me his heart.”

Arnav flinched at the reminder of Khushi.

“Am I wrong?”

He could have denied it. It was on the tip of his tongue to do so, when he realized it would be a lie. There had already been too many, so he countered, “How do you know for sure?”

She found her smile through the tears at his wistful uncertainty. “Your first waking thought upon daybreak, is it of her? The final image you hold in your heart before sleep claims you, is it of her? That’s how you know, Arnav. It’s rarer than most would have you believe. But when you find it and if you have the courage to withstand the trials that keeps you from being together, you will not taste anything sweeter than the fruit of that love.”

“She’s Shashi Gupta’s daughter,” he stated quietly.

“Yes. We live in very connected world, hmm? Make peace with the past, Arnav. We have so little family left, we can’t afford to lose another member. I lost something I’d thought I would have forever. It hurt something terrible to lose your grandfather, but you know what would have been worst? To not even have the memories of those golden years together. There is no hell on earth worst then regret.”

“What if it’s too late?”

“What do you want from her?”

Just the thought of her made him weak and senseless and stupid. It terrified him, but to not have her? It would be far worst, Arnav acknowledged.

“Everything,” he answered truthfully, “I want everything.”

Humor came into her eyes, “Then let me remind you. You’re Arnav Singh Raizada. When have you ever allowed anything to stand in the way of what you want?”

✧✧✧

Fifth Ave, New York

Twenty years was a long time. It was a long time for resentment to fester. It was a long time for walls to be fortified with righteous anger.

Robbed of the certainty he’d clung onto for two decades, Arnav’s mind scrambled to make sense of Nani’s revelations. In some ways it changed nothing and he almost wished the truth had not passed into his hearing. But life didn’t work that way. Each new piece of the puzzle had a place, revising the picture it presented to the world.

Arnav was conflicted as he reached for the dense file on his coffee table.

He respected Shashi Gupta. Had often deferred to the guidance of the man he looked to as a father figure. How to reconcile that image with the reality of a husband who dishonored his vows and a father who abandoned his child? He felt cheated to discover that the man he held in such esteem had feet of clay.

Laramie. He had assumed she had been Shashi’s first love. A girl he lost long before marriage. Unwittingly he had dedicated the first collection of his career to a woman who embodied everything he reviled, the same woman who gave birth to Khushi.

Khushi. As her name skated across his thoughts, Arnav’s hand tightened over the file. She had managed to slip past his guard to a place no one had reached. Not even his own family. Neither had it been an underhanded breach. She had demolished the high walls he kept rigid around his heart and she’d done it in broad daylight. A woman who had so very little, yet gave everything.

He wanted that woman, but the past came along with her. With that thought, Arnav flipped opened the file that would expose the life of Khushi Lacene Khumari.

As his brain processed what his eyes captured, the story revealed through the trail of legal documents began to hack at the ice in his chest. A seething anger crackled just beneath his skin as he starred at the blank space on her birth certificate above the line for father.

He hadn’t even given her his name. Khumari had been Shashi’s mother’s maiden name. He hadn’t given her his time. One Sunday afternoon a week had been all the time spared to her.

And when Laramie passed away during child labor, it had taken eight damn months before she was brought to live with him. Even then, she was kept like a dirty secret. He had been a regular guest in the Gupta’s household, and not once had she made an appearance, or even been mentioned.

Shashi’s will bequeathed the majority of his private fortune and five percent of his company stock to his wife. A year before his death, two separate trust funds, each containing twenty five percent of voting stocks in his company had been set up under the name of his daughter, Payal, and his niece, Khushi, to be accessible upon their twenty-first birthday. Equal shares, together they would give the women majority interest in Gupta & Co.

Yet, days after Khushi’s eighteenth birthday, the account was shut down and everything, including the stocks were transferred into Payal’s name.

His Khushi had been fucking homeless for a year. A horror unlike anything he’d ever experienced before slammed through him. It physically hurt to think of her being alone on the streets of New York.

Initially she had tried for office employment, yet every application was mysteriously turned down. After that she had taken jobs at cash paying diners and even several bars. A chill slid down his spine as he read the reports on the places she had worked, places where she would have been preyed upon.

Thank fuck she had met Robbie Sinclair.

I’m Lavanya.

Regret flickered into his awareness and then roared through his veins. He’d proved to be no better than the man he was cursing. Guilt, a taste he didn’t care for, quickly followed as his mind supplied the memory of two pairs of anguished eyes. Arnav forcibly shoved it aside, shifting again through the documents as a nagging compulsion consumed him. Something didn’t ring true.

He knew Shashi. Perhaps not as well as he’d thought, but Arnav refused to believe he had misjudged the man so completely. Whatever his reasons for turning to another woman, his loyalty was the first trait that sprang into the minds of acquaintances old and new. There had to be more.

It was then he noticed that a second file had been clipped into the back, labeled simply Shashi Gupta. Fucking NK, Arnav thought ruefully. The man anticipated what he needed before it even occurred to him. Amends had to be made there as well. Arnav rubbed his jaw, figuring he could handle an additional knock- or three.

The file contained annual divorce petitions starting from the date of Khushi’s birth. All of them had been rejected outright by Garima’s lawyer. However it was the final document that knocked the breath from his lungs.

Shantivan’s original deed. Shashi had drafted it in Laramie’s name.

The elusive something that had bothered him the day he brought her to see Nani finally clicked into place. The green tiles of Shantivan’s roof. Of course.They were a near replica of Khushi’s eyes. Her mother’s eyes.

Dread skated over his skin as he recalled a long dismissed conversation from the day he purchased Shantivan. It was four days before Shashi passed away.

“It’s a home meant for Happiness. Sorry… she never saw it. Only one man in this world I could entrust this to. I hope one day you’ll bring Happiness to Shantivan, Arnav. Promise… promise me you’ll try,” he wheezed.

Arnav felt gutted, filled with the sudden urge to go to her. To take Khushi in his arms and just hold her. His body tightened. Dropping the files back onto the tables, he stood up and began to pace the length of his living room. Standing by the window that offered up the unobstructed view of the Brooklyn Bridge, he forced himself to pause and give consideration.

She had suffered so much, would it be fair to bring her into his world? In the days he’d known her what had he given her other than his anger and arrogance?

Personal happiness had never concerned him. He’d been content to focus on building AR Corps, telling himself it was enough. But it wasn’t. Not now when he’d finally had a taste of more. Call him selfish but he couldn’t give her up. He may not be the best man for her, but he was willing to bet his last dollar that no man would ever want her more.

Khushi made her bed when she demanded all of him. The full impact of their promise pierced through him. He was willing to offer all of himself, if she still wanted him.

Arnav froze, momentarily paralyzed by the thought of very possible rejection. He was well aware that beyond his wealth he was no prize. What did he really have to offer a woman but a doubtful mind and a distrusting heart?

But Nani’s reminder rang in his ears. Right. He was Arnav Singh Raizada. He’d never failed to obtain what he wanted. Khushi wasn’t going to be the first. Galvanized, he stormed out of the building, heart banging against his ribs as his mind mapped out his next steps.

✧✧✧

AR Corps, New York

Arnav strode down the hall, ignoring the shocked faces of AR employees as they halted midstride upon witnessing the dishevelment of their normally self-possessed boss. He didn’t give one fuck. He pushed into NK’s office door open without knocking.

NK looked up and upon catching sight of Arnav, his face moved into a scowl. “I don’t have anything to say to you. VP just approved of my temporary leave,” he bit out.

“Too bad, the CEO is vetoing it,” Arnav responded.

“I’m compelled to remind you that there’s a specific clause in my contract that-” NK started

“I fucked up,” Arnav interrupted bluntly. Surprise flashed in NK’s eyes as he sat back in his chair. That was as close to an apology any man can expect to get from Arnav.

“Go on,” NK returned tersely.

“You know what’s in those files. Jesus, fuck NK,” Arnav said plainly as he slumped on to the closet chair, rubbing a rough hand over his face.

NK tilted his head to one side taking in the strain bleeding through the man before him. It seems the Dragon Lady had broken through. Still. Giving Arnav a leveling stare, he challenged, “Yeah? And what are you going to do about it?

“I recall my PA’s advisement for rectifying a fuck up is learning to crawl.”

As fury receded, NK made a fascinating discovery. Unless he was hallucinating, Arnav fucking Raizada just found his heart. A closer look revealed something equally unexpected. There was no trace of arrogance on Arnav’s face, in fact there was a hint of never before seen vulnerability mixed in with the exhaustion. And, he reeked of liquor.

He almost felt sorry for the bastard.

Prepared to relent, NK opened his mouth just as he registered the brisk knock on his door. “Come in.”

Pam, his secretary, stuck her head in, “Sir, I have a Robbie Sinclair on the line. She said she tried your cell and that it’s urgent.”

Damn, he must have left it on silent. “Put her through, Pam.”

Arnav’s body locked as Robbie’s frantic voice came through the speakers.

“NK, Khushi’s gone!”

✧✧✧✧✧

So… watcha think?

New Readers – Welcome aboard the FWN train.

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

*adapted from The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

*adapted from Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

329 thoughts on “Night #8

  1. Hi … So glad to see ya bak .. Hope K is doing betr … Wish her all the get well soon wishes … Sorry for replying late but just read ur earlier mesg .. Did nt know whn i recd it … Guess was too caught up with AD … What with exams just around the corner… I hope u both r doing well n hoping to catch up on FWN soon … Still hav to go thru the last update n the new one too … Stay well 😘

      1. Hey thanks … But my kud having exams though it feels im giving thm all over again 😜😜

  2. Hell fucking yes!!!! You’re back K!!!! I was all set to fly out to SF if we didn’t hear anything this week. Hope this means S also got her sanity back. heh.

    And I get a dedication too? Things are looking up! 😀

    I love broody Mr. Raizada, but what a stubborn ass. He clearly misses her, but already let four days slip by? Without even reading the file?! Robbie should’ve socked more sense into him.

    Speaking of …. NK was so hot in the above scene. I really like how he told Robbie they’re not Arnav and Khushi. So much testosterone and all in the right place. You need to give us an interrupted session of lace and cucumber SOON!

    1. My poor S…. HEE. She has some exciting stuff going on that is in parts stressing her out even as she does cart wheels 😀

      I hope you’ll like the reason why you’re getting this dedication. 😉 … well knowing your deduction skills, you’ll probably figure it out before we get to the end. Game on, buddy.

      Enjoy the brooding, it won’t last (too) long – promise! There’s a queue of ass kickers right behind him so ….

      We already decided when cucumber gets the bang on experience with lace So just chill and enjoy the sexual tension. =p

      1. I know! She finally shared about it. I’m so excited for her, but can definitely understand the cartwheels and stress. lol.

        GAME ON! How long will this update be? You guys mentioned that 7 was the last of the mega updates, but what is considered ‘normal’ in S & K’s rabbit hole?

        I may bitch about it, but it makes sense that Arnav is taking some time to deal with this. He wouldn’t be ASR otherwise. I do like how you portrayed his thinking process. The poor sucker is in so deep, he really doesn’t have much of a choice when it comes to Khushi does he? So, I’ll give him a few days of brooding, as long as it continues to be deliciously rumpled and shirtless 😉

        Damn. All I can think about now is bang on experience. Tease!

        1. Ha! I think it’s safe to say the rest with the exception of maybe 12 and the epilogue will be around 5K, give or take. Much more manageable than those mammoth updates =p

          If only Barun had that kind of build. 😉 Can you guess who is our rumpled and shirtless man?

          Yeah, yeah, come up with something more original. We already got plenty of that 😀

        2. lol, I’m good. Damn nerves got to me last week. But a phone call to the old man was chock full of solid advice. 😀

          No more mega updates. Not good for my grey matter.

          Well … it’ll definitely be a Big Bang 😉

    1. Now for the update. .i wonder why he put off reading the file on Kushi..is he scared of what he will find there….what about the promise all of me for all oh u…well i wonder how long he can stay away…
      NK is no fool and without a past and hangups unlike his boss he goes after what he wants” Robbie”….

      1. Oh you girls. The poor man is in shock, give him a little brooding time before we start on the ass kicking yeah? 😀

        Yes, Arnav would do well if he took a page from Aman or NK, but then he wouldn’t be our Mr. Raizada ^^

        All of me for all of you is easy to say when you don’t know everything about a person. Let’s see if our couple can live up to the promise of those words now that the past have been revealed!

      2. He’s mostly conflicted. On one hand he misses her, on the other he’s angry about the situation. Don’t forget, Arnav, has two decades worth of resentment regarding his past, it won’t be cake walk to get through all that emotional turmoil.

    2. Thank you sweetie. ^^ Yes…. AD…. mostly work related. I do have the world’s nicest boss though. Even I would have fired me by now =p

      How have you been?

  3. hope K’s feeling better and doing well now! and no matter how slow, the updates are still great as always ;D

    1. Oh I love seeing new faces in the peanut gallery ^^ Welcome aboard FWN sheethal!

      Awww.. thank you. Appreciate the health wishes and the compliment to our writing 😀

  4. Hi K ,glad that you are back. I am so sorry for disappearing for a while,my MIL was admitted to hospital and I had to fly to India. Hope you are doing good. Will have to read night 7 with a calm mind. So Khushi left him and he let her go! This man seriously need some ass kicking. Why I am feeling that we will find lady dragon leading the queue of ass kickers?
    And yes we need some action for the cucumber too.
    Still in a mess but sure will catch up. Take care. Love ya.

    1. Rani – you have been missed!
      Oh no! I hope things are ok now on your end. What a crazy start for 2015 >.<
      This better mean smooth sailing for us throughout the rest of the year! ^^
      Keep well sweetheart.

      No skipping ahead! Read the rest of Night 7 before you delve into this one. I look forward to your thoughts there.
      But yes, no grandson of her better fuck up on bringing the much awaited bahu home 😀

      (Hey S – I have a feeling if we don't deliver on some action for cucumber soon, we'll have a mob on our train =p)

      1. Thanks gals. There is still some crisis but hope it will get better. 2015 is indeed crazy. Mob on your train…..good idea.

  5. Nice update.

    ২০১৫-০৩-০৫ ৯:৩৬ GMT -০৮:০০, S&K’s Arshi FF Adventures

  6. Looks like someone is getting back to her old self – welcome back K! Do please follow your doctor’s order and get completely well, will you?
    Thank you for the update and any update however long or short will be greatly welcomed as we are in withdrawal mode here girl.
    What the hell is wrong with this man? Quit brooding and fess up to your mistake. How do you expect to get the missing part of your life back without reaching out? He is so used to the mountain coming to him or being moved to him by NK and Aman, that he is taking his sweet little time, dying a little bit with every passing second (and killing us in the process too). I feel he is not looking at the file because he feels guilty and frankly I would rather he goes talk to her than read the file. Look at our NK, he has learned his lesson and is making sure Robbie understands that no matter how protective they should feel for Arnav and Kushi, they differentiate themselves from them. NK is sure doing everything that will get him closer to his gal. Btw, mr. Raizada next strike means you are out so you better not mess up again.

    1. I can’t seem to help it. It’s like being freed from prison. Granted, it was a very cushy prison where I lacked nothing, but the warden was so damn bossy! 😀

      We promise to give you enough dosage this week to keep the withdrawals at bay ^^ But if the shaking starts, best to call in Dr. NK 😉

      I’ll let Mr. Raizada & Mr. Ryan answer you:

      Arnav: You’re asking Arnav Singh Raizada to apologize? Who do you think you’re talking to?

      NK: He’s going to strike out isn’t he? Well fuck me, but blue balls is not on my list of favorite things. *winks*

    2. Hahaha, Arnav really is king isn’t he? Although this time, even his men aren’t very motivated to give him anything but a good ass kicking!

      Should we get started on the betting pool?
      Will Raizada strike out? 😀

      1. No please don’t make him strike out because I wouldn’t want to be in Robbie’s bad book. That gal can kick ass even if he is Arnav Singh Raizada. Plus I really want to see him sweat it out with his foul (blue) balls. I love the AmanLavanya moment. It was very touching to see him realize that this girl through no fault of hers, share the same blood as him and I do hope he makes good on his promise to bring her inthe fold. A child can and should never be blamed for their parent’s mistake.
        Kushi will be ok after she lets it out. She will bring her walls back up and it will be harder for Raizada to get through that wall when he comes to his senses. I hope he is as honest as he can be with her when he does decide to face her. I am looking forward to Aman and NK giving him a few good kicks where it hurts the most for making her hurt so much.
        Now I almost felt sorry for Shyam at the end and certainly did not buy his bull about not knowing who Lavanya was to the Raizada. Or did he really think he was going to make Arnav jealous with her? I feel sorry for him because there is no worse feeling that being trapped inside and not being able to be yourself, especially in front of the people who matters the most – your family. God, how many same sex people go through this still in our days and age! I am happy society is making progress by legalizing same sex marriage but unfortunately not many parents are open to their kids preference, especially not traditional families. I feel Anjali’s loss as well about not having that closeness with her sibling anymore. If they were never close, she would not be sad but they used to be good buddies and now that is gone and replaced by this angry man who is being suffocated as he cannot be who he wants to be. I also felt Shyam’s resentment towards his perfect little sister who can do no harm. He is in a tough place for sure. But he is the master of his domain and hence needs to find the balls to stand up to his parents and society by coming out. Phew, what a way to start my morning! I am just so glad you both are OK and are back in the swing of things.

        1. Why Raila… I do think you share our diabolical streak towards blue balls 😀

          Oh, there is no doubt that Arnav will have one hell of a time getting back into Robbie’s good book and Khushi’s bed! But we will delve deeper into his demons and hopefully they will offer some insight to his current state of bullheadedness.

          I love your reading of Shyam. It’s actually pushing us to define his characters beyond the original scope. I hope the final result will leave a sense of satisfaction!

          1. Alright NK, you just topped my list of superheroes as well (and if you know my crush on Ironman, you would know how impressive that is)! Well done lad, you just took one for the sisterhood. Of course, the stubborn mule decide to drown his problems in the burning liquid but he has to wake up at some point and face reality. Love Robbie and glad she is coming around to NK. Hope he is not out of Raizada’s life as AsR definitely needs him to face reality. With friends like Robbie and NK to protect them, I think these 2 will be alright. Yeah Shyam definitely needs to be explored more . . .

          2. Now is the crush for Ironman, Tony Stark, or Downey Jr.?
            I find all three yum, so no judgement on the answer. 😀

            NK receives a pretty fair salary. Enough to compensate for having to occasionally play babysitter for one stubborn mule. 😛

        2. Damn, damn, damn. Every time I’m inclined to restrain Shyam into a smaller corner, you make a comment that this. Our updates constantly balloons into maha essays because of this 😛

          Robbie is making me look at judo very favorably. 😉

    1. Hi ranogill! A belated welcome to FWN!!! I’m glad you decided to join us ^^
      He’s Arnav isn’t he? As soon as his head gets screwed on straight, he’ll go after Happiness 😀

  7. You are back,and on my Birthday.!!! Hope all is well. It s snowing here,so all my dear ones are with me and a cherry on top your update. Thanks guys!!!

    1. GASP! You wouldn’t!
      S – that is like the height of evil threats! Do you know how much persuading it took to get my laptop back?!!! A lot of concessions were made!

      1. Captain, I wouldn’t even give it a moment’s hesitation, so behave!
        Must have been some concessions 😀
        But it is really nice to have you back. In case my long ranty message to you didn’t get that point across. lol

        1. Oh all right. I got a good dose of the peanut gallery today, should go be a model employee now. ^^
          That long ranty message….. I’m going to save it and play it back to you someday. 😀 Now I leave these addicts in your capable hands. Muak!

  8. Hope K is feeling much better, S having lighter calmer days.

    So each in their corner, thinking what happened four days ago and Arnav missing Khushi which he is not able to understand yet. Arnav unable to read the file, in fear of finding something which might keep Khushi away from him for life. On contrary if he reads it, the earlier the better, he will realize she holds answers to some of his questions from the past.

    NK is sensible, glad Robbie agreed with him.

    Looking forward to Dragon Lady making an entry and put some sense into Arnav.

    Waiting to hear on Khushi, she has been the brunt in all situations because of someone else. And lost a lot in her life. Hope her life gets better. Robbie is a true friend ever since she has known her, that is amazing.

    1. We’re back in the swing of things sweetie ^^
      Arnav is being Arnav, but he’ll come around…. eventually. 😀

      Khushi is hurting, but she’s got a staunch Robbie by her side. I’m more worried for Arnie. The hole he’s digging…. it’ll be one hell of a climb back up into Robbie’s good grace and Khushi’s embrace 😉

    2. Lighter calmer days …. ah yes, I remember you. Pre-grad school. 😛
      Thanks for the lovely wish damjar. I’m hanging tight to it!

      I hope our Lady Dragon lives up to expectations!

  9. Only you would use a word like hullabaloo K and somehow not make it sound ridiculous. 🙂 So good to have you back and giving S a boost of energy too!

    I must love angst more than I thought, but that opening was awesome! I love how you led us through his thinking process …. finally admitting that he misses her. If only he would communicate it into words! She so need to hear that right now.

    Hmm… so a four day gap between the events. In FWN’s world, we know a lot can happen in that time. Should I be worried?

    Wow…. Aman and La’s scene was unexpected, but touching. Aman is going to end up being my favorite character from FWN. Seriously, he just improves with every update. I can’t wait until he has that conversation with big brother! More soon please!

    1. Mel darling, the dictionary is my playground!
      Worried? Maybe. Just a wee bit. And a mile. 😉

      What?! No way? Someone dares to eclipse Mr. Raizada in your book? Wow, wow, wow. Color me stunned. 😀

    2. No one has more energy than our K at full capability 😀
      lol I was expecting some complaint from your corner my rom com lover!

      Yup. How well you know us. Well? Was it meaty enough?

      Aman constantly surprises me too. K and I have zero control over him now. Raizada Jr. does whatever the hell he wants. We’re just conduits 😀

  10. God you are guys are back and I feel like I have missed a lot being late..
    anyways coming to the update ..what the hell is Arnav doing ?its been 4 days since Khushi left and he is staring outside like Zombie..Does he actually think of Khushi like he thinks about Lavanya?why is he behaving like an asshole..what can Khushi or Lavanya do if their mothers had an affair with a married man/
    I love Robbie bas…Like she said someone should knock Arnav’s head…
    Lastly how come Aman is with Lavanya and is helping her out..And he considers as his little sister..aww I love this Raizada!!

    1. Nah, it’s always an ongoing party in the peanut gallery ^^
      But he looks so delicious as Mr. Broody! 😀
      We plan to delve into Mr. Raizada’s thinking process throughout the update, so hang tight.

      I love that Raizada too! Ah, sorry if it wasn’t clear, but after the intro, we dialed back for days to the event itself. Thus, Aman stepped up after seeing how devastated Lavanya was after her encounter with Arnav.

    2. Early birds gets the worm! 😀
      Arnav has very narrow vision. It’s either black or white for him. But little brother is trying his damnest to introduce some colors, so hang in there.

  11. Nice to see you guys back! K, hope you’re feeling better! Take care and get well soon!

    I hope Arnav is going to get Khushi back soon, but to be fair, Arnav needs to confront and accept his past before he can accept Khushi back into his life. At least he’s acknowledging that he misses her, and that she has already become a part of his life. This is where we need NK and Aman to kick some sense into him! (it’s been 4 days already and his still not taking any action!)

    I really want to know what’s inside the file!

    The exchange between Aman and Lavanya was really nice. A different perspective of how they saw La as, and how Aman isn’t as spiteful as Arnav is to La, and that Aman actually accepts La as his little sister.

    1. Working on it sweetie, thank you!
      Our stubborn Mr. Raizada needs a lot of sorting out. And there is no shortage of volunteers to do it! 😀

      To be fair, as the younger one, Aman doesn’t have the same memory of events the way Arnav does. Not excusing his actions, but do keep it in mind.

      Ah… THE FILE… expect the reveal by the end of the Night!

    2. that little bit on Shyam makes me curious now about his story, his past.. and Arnav totally deserved that punch from NK hah!

      1. Good, nothing we like more than sucking you deeper into the world of FWN ^^

        Yup. Totally deserved. I’m surprised NK was satisfied with one. 😀

  12. Aha! Two of the pics have been accounted..
    Waiting for the rest…
    Aman seems to be the softie and with a balanced head…
    Lavanya’s statement that she expects nothing is bound to resonate…
    Arnav… feel like hitting his head with a stick and knock some sense the hard way…
    Is he not making it easy for Shyam???
    Anjali seems to be very sensible and able to judge her brother for what he is..
    Shyam needs to be taught how to give a present be it the girl happens to be his only sis!
    What a way to present a gift… Instead of love showing aukat!
    Robbie and NK are two sensible people who are able to differentiate their lives from those of their friends’…
    From this you can infer that I loved what you have unraveled so far… Don’t you??? 🙂

    1. I love having you with us. Such a discerning reader is most treasured ^^

      Our boys do lack manners don’t they? Thankfully the women of FWN don’t take crap lying down. 😉

      Should we reward Aman and NK for being model males? 😀

      1. Thank you…
        Of course good behaviour wherever it is needs to be appreciated…
        That is what is lacking in this world and thats how role models come into being… 🙂

    2. Please make sure the sticks are extra thick. That skull is pretty tough!

      A sensible Anjali. A rarity in the world of IPK isn’t it?
      Shyam definitely needs a few lessons, care to offer your service? 😀

      1. Oh sure… Will do it gladly…
        You know about whipping sticks…
        The stick should not be thick but thin and flexible which gives whipping action…:)

  13. Good to have you gals back. Arnav difinitely needs a kick where it hurts the most. Wonder who’ll give it to him? Aman is the sensible one. Hope he can knock some sense in his brother. I felt for Lavanya. Why is she blamed for a mistake someone else commited? Her brothers should acknowledge her as their sister.
    What happened with Shyam? He seems to be holding in a lot of bitterness. I’m now starting to think he might not be a bad guy.

    1. I think a mob was forming on my doorsteps, we simply had no choice but to rush back 😀

      Yes, there is a queue forming to deliver that deserved kick in balls. Ha!

      Ah… we like to color the inhabitants of FWN with many shades. Black and white alone would be terribly dull. 😉

    2. A kick is okay, but be careful with those family jewels please. Khushi will want it intact for their future!

      Good guys, bad guys, who’s to know until the final close of the curtain? 😉

  14. Hey welcome back… Hope all is well 🙂 oh ho ab ye natak chod bhi do akdoo ji … N pls file dekho… Oh poor khushi… Nk well done … Oh i love u … Fo robbie go put aome sense in the arrogant jerk… Strike him … But not nk … Oh Aman u did the right thing :)… Whats up with shyam n anjali?? Eagerly waiting for next part

    1. It’s good to back ^^
      Hee, I think you gals have to balance between so many stories, its hard to keep them all in mind 😀
      We’ve dropped a lot of hints about Shyam along the way, but as for the break in the siblings relationship.. stay tune!

  15. Hello s n k ‘ first of all welcome K hope you are doing gud now !!! M glad to hv u back’ coming to the update itssss sooo senti yarrrr im still crying for poor khushi hw terrible she must be feeling:( n my hero rather I should say my thick head,ass hole hero ASR! Y cant he undrstnd or decide wot he wants in his life …!!!
    Khushi needz him in this state😔
    Robbie is such a gym 😊
    And Nk i thnk i like him 😉
    Plzzzzz make it fast dear your writing gv me spirit in every way 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed the update! Hahaha, so you only think you like NK? Poor thing, he’s trying so hard with all the muscle flexing and doing his damnest to win the girl. Me thinks Robbie will be easier to win over 😉

      1. Yeah im still thinking nk over robbie but the prblm is. The most egoistic n dashing man on the earth wont let me think beyond his existence’ i hope u know whom im talking abt dammm (ASR) im just stucked on him 😉
        Still ur each n every character is mindblowing
        🙂 there is nt any doubt..!!

  16. O wow.. finally start of night 8..cant wait 4 the rest.. but most importantly – how u doing k?

      1. Awww.. good to c u guys back in action.. and u have a ling list of well wishers 🙂 so hope u never have to c the inside of a hospital again..

  17. Welcome back K! Hope you are feeling better.

    Loved the way NK differentiated him and Robbie from Arnav and Khushi. Arnav needs to stop brooding. Glad he misses Khushi. His ego is not letting him read the file. He knows what’s in there :-|…I want to know too :-). Can’t beleive he has let 4 days go by. AAARGH!!! I am glad Khushi let everything out. Crying out helps you heal. Aman in being the big brother and reaching out to Lavanya…great first step to letting the past go. Anxious to know about what skeletons are in the closet to ruin Anjali/Shyam sibling relationship. What has mad him bitter.

    Eagerly waiting for the next part…

    1. Thanks sweetie. ^^
      But he’s only been brooding for half a chapter! 😀
      Agreed. Nothing like letting loose to get all those wretched feelings out.
      Well… the bigger the hole he digs for himself, the more groveling is to be expected yes? 😉

      1. Definitely drool worthy!!!i have to keep a tissue box handy😉.

        I know I will enjoy what the file contains. Can’t wait.

  18. Yaaay!! K is back, I hope you feel much better and you both have already started working your magic 😀 I loved it! Arnav misses Khushi so much but fails to realize why he misses her, I am waiting on that realization. Loved NK’s wisdom and am glad Robbie agreed with him. Aman and Lavanya’s scene was really unexpected but still very touching. Shyam… I have always hated him and will continue to so but still curious to know what made him so distant and bitter towards Anjali.

    1. Aww… I’m happy to be back! 😀 Fingers were just itching to start typing again. Thanks for the boost of confidence sweetheart ^^

      I’m curious too. HEE. A little apprehensive about delving deeper in Mr. Jha’s mind actually 😉

    2. Oh he knows why he misses her, just don’t want to admit to it. The bachelor is keeping hanging on tightly since he knows his days are numbered 😀

      Aman doesn’t have Arnav’s demons, so it makes it easier for him to accept Lavanya. There’s always that extra level of pressure for the oldest sibling. Sucks, but true.

      Damn, seems like we really do have to brave Mr. Jha’s mind 😀

  19. Well that was one well deserved jab NK placed on ASR….but will it knock the well required sense….4 days passed he still has not picked up the file or moved on…..but then he has a past that’s yet to unfold …..a past he has held on far too long as per others….we play the waiting game….
    Another puzzle is shyam Jha wonder what that story is…
    And dear Aman he is a sweetheart…..he has softened his heart towards Lavanya his sister……with him will all see what they ignored till now…
    Is next the meeting with Dragon lady?????

    1. We were surprised NK was able to refrain from raining down the punches 😀
      Arnav likes to … brood it out, but we won’t keep you gals waiting for much longer. The past is eager to come bursting out!

      Lady Dragon will have her moment, after we take a quick detour for some… signature RoNK conversation 😉

    2. Thank you. We were worried we’ll have a mob on our hands for bruising up that pretty face, but the sisterhood is firmly alive in the peanut gallery! 😀

      The wait if partially over! I hope it doesn’t disappoint!

  20. I cant imagine ASR like this.. all defeated.. 🙁 But i hate wat hes doing to Khushi.. Nk is so right..evryon goes thru bad times but no one holds onto them like this..hey wat hppnd to the press conf tht dragon lady had set up on Night7..

    1. Not so much defeated as being a stubborn ass. It’s what makes him so ASRish 😉
      Actually, what he does hurts him as much as it does Khushi. Arnav just needs to make that realization.

  21. 🙂 m glad that u guys are back…hoping that K is doing perfectly fine…
    update was, as usual, awsmmmm….
    enjoyed reading every bit ov it….

  22. It was high time somebody thwacked Arnav and oh boy! Am I glad it was NK….
    In addition to sticking one on he telling Arnav he could stick the job had me hooting for him… Good job!…
    Now that he is alone… Arnav as turned into a devdas… drinking directly from the bottle! Grr… He will just get a huge hangover and not oblivion…
    What will Arnav and Khushi do without NK and Robbie???
    Aman single handedly would not have been able to do it without the help of these two and Anjali…
    Would love to know what happened after the party…
    S & K…Loving this journey of Arnav and Khushi totally…

    1. Hahaha I think that has become the key question of FWN. What would Arshi do without the help of their friends?

      And I’m loving having your company on this journey! Seriously, where were you when we started FWN! 😀

  23. Ah, the Dragon Lady does not disappoint. She obviously knows fully well what Payal is up to. But I’m sure there’s still going to more to Payal’s evil plans…
    Those wise words of Devyani are exactly what Arnav needs to reflect on.

  24. Aww!
    The Jade dragon it is… Devyani Raizada… Wisdom personified…
    The wizened soul, with a pair of wise eyes is giving a pearl of wisdom to the embittered shrivelled young woman who is downright rude when things do not go her way!
    How well Devayani has stated… For Payal it was immaterial who the man she married as long as she had a part of Raizada legacy! But will the girl learn anything from it??? Nope! Her eyes has been blinded by jealousy and her heart is filled with the echo of all is mine, only mine!
    S & K once again you have come out with a brilliant update…

    1. Spot on regarding Payal! There are some women in the world who are simply too spoiled and blinded by their selfishness to understand the concept of sharing.
      Thankfully they are balanced by badasses like Robbie and classy dames such as our Lady Dragon 😀

    2. Ooooo what a perfect description for Payal!
      I thought you gals would enjoy the reason behind Lady Dragon’s rejection of Payal for her boys. ^^ When the heart is filled with such bitter malice, there is simply no room for genuine emotions.
      I do wish we had the time to explore her further, but I hope you will like what we are able to include in the space allotted!

  25. Hey.. Glad to see an update. I suppose ur in better health by now.
    This was an awesome update so far. You’ve covered so many aspects.

    Apart from the obvious distress that arnav n khushi were going through,
    The small exchange between aman n lavanya showed us amans thoughts, his understanding of lavanya’s pain and an insight to a possible change of situation there.

    The one between anjali n shyam was a surprise. I guess ther r things to be revealed there too. Its good to know that anjali had a sweet n loving brother. Have a hope that she would get him back some day.

    I loved many lines in the conversation between NK and Arnav.
    “When will you realize that people can’t read what’s on your mind when you spew shit you don’t mean?”
    It ahowed just how much Nk knew Arnav. Brought out a quality of him while taking of Arnav.

    “Fucking unbelievable. You think you’re the only who’s suffered? Grow some balls, you dick. We all have baggage, but not everyone carries them around like weapons. And you know what? Consider the punch my resignation letter.”
    Everyone has problems. Of course, some bigger than others. But still it does not give him the right to behave badly.
    Resignation in a punch was just AWESOME!

    NK and Robbie were their usual hot n sweet self. And i love them for it.

    And then the one between the Dragon Lady n Payal. But since i had an idea that nani was gonna be the righteous one, i was not surprised there.

    Its already building my excitement. Cant wait for the rest of the chapter..

    1. Sweet no, but loving brother yes 😀
      Hahaha, the interest in Mr. Jha is unexpected. We will need to up our game with him!

      You highlighted two of my personal favorites from the NK-Arnav encounter. Our NK is a badass isn’t he? 😉

      I hope you’ll find the rest of the update as engaging!

  26. I so love the dragon lady – calm, poised, respectful but yet secure in her beliefs when she strikes back. Payal is self centred and it is clearly visible to the world. All she has is her father’s fortune and reputation to rely on. The fortune may go very quickly and when it goes, the fake friends will disappear very quickly as well. Not sure how she will cope being lonely and broke. I love how Devyani got to the point with why she did not consent to Payal marrying one of her grandson. Payal should listen to the free advice just doled to her by the Dragon Lady because the end may not be that far away. Somehow I don’t think Sashi would leave his love child unprotected. So now I wonder what is really in the file on Raizada’s table. Is there info in there to wipe Payal too? I would love to see her out on the street.

    1. Feeling vengeful are we? 😀

      Payal will get all that she deserves, but it’s not quite her moment yet. So… let’s see what havoc one vengeful woman is capable of.

      Besides…Mr. Raizada needs the challenge for prove his manhood to one unimpressed Miss Sinclair! 😉

  27. Hell yes! NK did all us proud with that resignation. And Arnav, it’s going to take a lot to redeem him in my eyes. He belittled himself when he used the boss card.

    NK and Robbie’s conversation was so them I loved every bit of it. It’s sexy, but there’s a lot of underlying sweetness that shows how far those two have progressed. I say, time to hit the sheets! 😀

    Dragon Lady did not disappoint at all! What a fantastic set down to Payal.
    My favorite was how she didn’t pull punches in telling Payal why she would never be considered for a Raizada bahu. Three cheers for our matriarch!

    Now to my favorite part of this update so far – our bromance!
    I might have drooled a bit over that picture. Can just imagine those two hunks in their suits and bowties strutting down the street… fanning myself.
    I’ve said it before, but FWN’s friendship will one of the most treasured part of the story. Love the way they insult each other with so much affection and the care they both exhibit for the people in their world. Arnav owes everything to his bros.

    “Luckily there’s no challenge a woman loves more than unfucking a man” – lol, I’m REALLY looking forward to this!

    1. I just knew you were going to ream his ass for pulling ranking 😛
      The bedroom for our RoNK? My dear… that just lacks imagination 😉
      Cheers!
      They would be mobbed! And I would be leading the pack! lol

      Me too! Seriously. The unfucking will be so much fun!

  28. Nk smacking. Arnav in the face and resign after didn’t see that one coming but he deserved it.. lady dragon did us pround 🙂 that bitch Payal thou is she for real, what was she expecting a medal trophy lol.. the bromance between nk and aman loved it… why is that asshole Trent bothering khusi for I hope she hang up on him lol… Payal get a life nobody cares if you exist or not remember you made it that way, hope whatever she’s planning backfires in her face. Nani telling arnav about the truth of what happen between is parents marriage … hope he can left go of all that baggage he was carrying on his shoulders … and of course wanting khusi back in his life

    1. Hi kereen! Welcome to FWN!
      Saw your marathon over the weekend – we humbly thank you. Will get to your other comments soon 🙂

      You know what they say about a woman scorned…. 😉

  29. An enigmatic metropolis of startling contrasts, that’s NYC. You have included the distinctions so effectively in the storyline that they have become intrinsic to the tale. While on the one hand, the city is all about Park Ave, Broadway, Gramercy, SoHo-TriBeCa, there is also Harlem, Washington heights and Brooklyn.
    A stud of a fashion mogul staring at the famous skyline from the floor to ceiling windows of his penthouse, heartbroken and lost. His girl wounded and hurting, in a not-so-elite corner of the city. A wide chasm separating them and I don’t just mean the physical distance ….. So NYC… so Arshi. It is hard to imagine FWN in any other setting.

    ‘The’ ASR, so predictable, right? When in doubt, just shut himself off. It has been 4 days since he heard those two fateful words and he still hasn’t opened the file, lest he comes to know her pain and suffering had far exceeded his own anguish and yet he had let her walk away. But like Aman wisely said, let him stew in his own juice for a while. Cos a guy who hates and repels with so much passion, will redeem himself with limitless ardour. And when I say ‘redeems’, I include Lavanya as well. I just hope there isn’t a thrid strike and he is permanently barred an entry into Robbie’s good books.

    Aww, my bird has taken the first step towards becoming deserving of the BL!! “Shouldn’t have told me that, Robbie-girl.” -Smooth!! And with Robbie acceding to the advances, do I see the cucumber-black lace tryst happening in the near future?

    Lavanya-Aman exchange is very heart touching. I have always detested the phrase ‘illegitimate child’. A child is just that-‘a child’. The illegitimacy lies in the fact that adults do the deeds for which sadly the innocent child pays.

    My heart goes out to our Cinderella. Am not really worried for her. Robbie’s staunch friendship is her emotinal anchor. Besides NK has already smacked the numbskull :P. He will come around. 😉
    “Grow some balls, you dick. Consider the punch my resignation letter.” – LOL :-D. See, this is why I love my birdie.

    Love to see a level-headed Anjali-a concept alien to many IPK lovers. 🙂 I think the day Shyam yields to his own sexuality, will be the day Anjali gets her older brother back.

    And boy, did the Dragon Lady deliver. So blunt and unfazed. “That girl wouldn’t know what to do with venom in hand. But you do, don’t you Payal?” That one question has all the answers in it, right? Happy international women’s day, Devyani Raizada!! So now, DL knows the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    I have always loved Birdie-Flirtie banter. And when they discuss ‘ASR-The Jerk’, over a glass of wine, that’s just cherry on top!!

    Ooo, Trent has spoken with Khushi and Payal obviously isn’t done yet.

    That’s it from me for now, Girls. Have got a long, busy day ahead. Later…. Muaaah, my sweeties.

    1. This love letter….
      Priya. Priya. Priya. Muaaaaah!

      You could not have paid us a higher compliment. One aspect I especially enjoy researching while writing for FWN is the multifaceted soul of New York. It’s such a reward to hear it from one of cherished readers how it blends with the story. 🙂

      Your Birdie is hell bent on capturing hearts. I think he succeeded 😉
      I think reward for his efforts is surely around the corner!

      lol, K and I actually had a chat over our levelheaded Anjali the other day 😛 Wise words for our Jha siblings. Let’s see if gets absorbed into that thick skull!

      As for our ASR. When he sinks he really dives straight to the bottom of the sea. But surely no one will fight harder for his Happiness once the brain gives over to the heart, yes? And I think we’re all looking forward to seeing our stud on his knees 😀

      Thanks for showering us with love, despite your busy day Priya! Take care of yourself and your Arnavji 🙂

    2. Oh I’m so glad you brought up this point Priya!

      One aspect of the show that I felt was so under utilized was the rich setting the CVs originally came up with. Sheesh Mahal, Lucknow, Shantivan, Delhi with all its rich contrast and history was shoved aside for ONE POOL. And in the end, even that was butchered. >.<

      I'm ever grateful to the talented minds of our ficverse writers for picking up the slack. It inspired S and myself to marry the aspects of Arshi that fits so well with modern New York. ^^

  30. Dragon lady is scoring brownie points from me especially after the way she handled Payal..Payal now that is completely another specimen.I know children will naturally hate their half siblings..Arnav is also doing the same thing (hating lavanya)as Payal..it just that he is just not as malicious as her…I am not justifying Payal ,what she did with Khushi is pathetic and whatever she is planning to do also is going to be bad for sure.But I do hope someone shows here the reality that Khushi is not be blamed for anything,if at all she has any questions ,she should ask her mother since her Sashi is no longer alive to be questioned.
    The text conversations between Nk and Robbie were cute..I love this pair…I must say that Arnav and Khushi are truly blessed to have NK and Robbie in their lives..
    Finally Devyani is putting some sense into Arnav’s thick head.I can’t wait to see him woo back Khushi.
    Now why the heck is Trent calling?Is he trying to warn Khushi about what Payal is planning to do??

    1. We’ll take the brownie points 😀
      I know you were most particularly wary of what the Dragon Lady will dole out, I hope she did not disappoint!

      People react to how they perceive things. It doesn’t even have to be real! But the sane among us will change and alter our course when provided with new insights. That is what distinguish Arnav from Payal.

      Ah yes. The wooing. Ahem. Let’s see what kind of game ASR is capable of 😀

      Trent… feel free to throw out the guesses, because my lips are sealed!

  31. I loved Devyani Raizada here. She not only showed Payal her right place but also made Arnav see some sense and motivated him with words that he can get everything.
    I didn’t think NK will punch his best friend and will resign too.
    Thank God Aman is there otherwise God knows what could have happened!! He got his grandmother to fill some sense in that thickheaded brother of his.
    I’m sure Khushi is hurting as much as Arnav. Glad Robbie is there for her.

    1. But that punch was completely deserved!

      Sometimes when you’re in the thick of the situation its hard to see clearly. Those who have caring family and friends are truly blessed!

  32. Hey, welcome back K, now stay healthy!!!
    And S keep check on K on our behalf so that she stays that way 🙂
    Update was boom boom, devyani is really the old dragon,
    Brooding arnav tops my awesomeness list too, bring it on 🙂
    Khushi, my girl, I am so glad Robbie is there for her,
    And my favorite jodi, nk and robbie, what a pair!!!!

  33. And now to comment on the hated duo, I wonder what’s shyam’s story? He seems extraordinarily interested in raizada Bros life and Khushi,
    Payal, uske jaisa specimen kahan milega, she is malicious and have misplaced beliefs, she may have her reasons, but girl she excels in cruelty 🙁

  34. Just superb!
    How well Devyani has made Arnav glance at his own heart and understand his heartbeat!
    How well she has tried to correct her mistakes and given the right glimpse of how the life of his parents was!
    How well she has put it across subtly that Lavanya is very much acceptable to her just like Khushi…
    How well she has made Arnav see the past scenario and acknowledge that he needs to broaden his vision and see things from all the angles…

    Aman and NK… two of my favorites!
    Arnav needs to know how two of the best of people are with him…

    What with this Trent guy???
    Does he need more of Robbie’s punches???!!!
    The powerful punch seems to have punched a button in him and given him a feeling of punch drunk that he got the guts to call Khushi…
    Looks like just a punch from Robbie had him addicted to it!

    Payal… Tsk, tsk, tsk… Glad that she is drowning herself in alcohol…
    It would definitely give her the boost to make a mistake or two… hehe…* Evil am I not?*

    The final lines ….Humor came into her eyes, “Then let me remind you. You’re Arnav Singh Raizada. When have you ever allowed anything to stand in the way of what you want?”
    Just superb…
    Loved it S & K…

    1. ‘Devyani has made Arnav glance at his own heart and understand his heartbeat!’ – I love how you praised that rulama!

      Our Nani is very wise isn’t she? I envy Arnav his family!

      Oh he knows how lucky he is to have his bros, just not something he wants to share with them 😀

      lol. I almost pity Trent here. All he did was make one tiny phone call… 😉

      It’s alright, you’re among company. Payal draws out my claws as well. Tsk, tsk indeed.

  35. I’ve always loved Nani on the show, she was everything I wished for in a grandma – fun, caring, a sense of wickedness and very wise for her age. I think your Devyani just topped her. Admitting your mistake so your kids (well grandkids in her case) can learn from it is truly humbling. She was wrong in keeping the truth front the 2 kids which made them hate their father and Lavanya. But I applaud her for realizing her mistake and for making sure that Arnav does not make the same mistake. There is no greater feeling than love and she reminded him exactly what he has at stake and the mighty Arnav Singh Raizada does not let anything stands in his way. I am now looking forward to him going on bent knees and apologizing profusely in an attempt to bring back the love of his life. He needs to make peace with Lavanya too as part of this process.
    Where were these 2 bros when I was in NY? I would have ditched hubby and kids to join them at their table at Gramercy. I am glad you picked Aman instead of Akash to be part of this trio because Akash was a bit too much Mama’s boy for my liking. This Aman is so suave and debonair and matches his bro evenly. Anjali got a good catch there. Somehow being the younger brother gives you more breathing room and be more relaxed than the uptight first born who bears all the family expectations. So Aman definitely benefited from being the second born. He is repaying his bro by making sure he does not let his happiness slips away. No more plotting though because if these 2 are going to make this work, they need to work on it themselves. NK, whatever the Raizadas pay you is well deserved and you should take that salary hike along with many more dinners. You re certainly worth it and please do keep an eye on that psycho Payal and wimp of a husband Trent. I am worried about why he wants to see Kushi. So when do we get to see Kushi’s side of things?

    1. I’m humbled by the compliment! I really adored Nani in the show as well, it was a challenge to make our Devyani a worthy tribute!

      The image of our proud Raizada on bent knees is simply irresistible isn’t it?

      Akash. Best keep a lid on that one. My frustration with him actually exceeded all anger directed at Arnav even at his lowest point. So it was an easy choice to go with Aman.

      After some terrifying experiences with overzealous mobs, they have developed a bit of stealth while roaming the streets of New York. Although I do not blame you for wanting to ditch all in favor of a night on the town with two very yummy lads 😀

      Agreed. Arnav needs to earn the rights to his Happiness. It’s time to see what Mr. Raizada is capable of!

      I think it’s safe to say, Nine will be a spotlight on the members of our sisterhood. 😉

  36. Welcome back sweeties,how are you doing hopefully better,fabulous update now Arnav is going to win his lady love.

  37. I’m loving the bromance between NK and Aman, haha. Why can’t Arnav see that they are the best and what they do is for the good of Arnav?!

    Trent calls Khushi to apologize? To meet up with her? I feel like you gals are foreshadowing something bad between them is going to happen…..

    Someone needs to get rid of Payal .. NOW.

    Devyani is just the perfect person who can make Arnav stop running away from himself. No matter how much NK and Aman would try to talk sense into him (or punch sense into him), Arnav isn’t going to listen.

    Arnav needs to take action. Right now.

    1. Wow that last bit of update was so much information revealed…But omg.. ahh I hate you guys for ending it in such suspension! I feel like Khushi’s going to be with Trent and/or Payal. I hope Arnav finds her soon!!

    2. The bromance is one of my favorite (and thankfully the easiest) parts to write. 😀 He loves his bros, just not as showy about it.

      Mr. Matthews has things on his mind. But was the lady receptive? … I’ll leave that for you to ponder a bit.

      But Payal adds such spice! 😉

      Yes madam! One frantic Raizada coming right up!

  38. Aww Arnav baby… the bird has flown away….
    That would have brought down the intoxication…
    By the time you realized where your heart lay and why she was meant for you she has slipped like sand through your fingers…
    What will you do now… You’ll have to search for her in the maze of New York…!!!
    NK, your job now is cut out… Buck up pronto… But this time ASR will be around you to help out as he is no longer an ice mountain and you would be searching for his life giving red gold that makes him feel like a human…
    But don’t loose heart… For after the pitch dark midnight for the dawn to come, white has to merge with it bringing in various hues grey. When the daylight takes its place, its happiness all around comes with the chirping of birds…

    The story of Shashi is fascinating…
    Wonder how all the stocks meant for Khushi got transferred… Did Shashi himself do it to safeguard her from Payal and Garima??? He must have,,, That’s the reason he had sold Shantivan to Arnav… But what has really piqued my interest is how did Aman come across this??? While browsing through the records???

    Poor Khushi… How much she had to endure…
    Was it her fault… Atleast Lavanya had her mother but Khushi had no one… Though Shashi was there he never acknowledged her in public! And to have a blank in her Birth Certificate under the father column! Even when under his roof, was Shashi able to protect her??? Nope…. Wonder what made Shashi do so??? Was Garima blackmailing him with someother thing???

    Interesting last bit S & K…

    1. Sadly we are still in the midst of winter. Chirping birds will just have to await their season! 😀

      The File as obtained courtesy of NK and his slightly shady buddy – Chet. Public records are pretty easy to obtain, when one knows where to dig. As for the rest, Shashi Gupta was a huge name in business, a good private investigator can discover all sorts of info. That said, there are some things that a paper trail cannot reveal 😉

      We like to provide answer while bringing up more questions. Need to keep you gals on your toes!

    2. A caution on our file – legal documents do not necessarily reveal the human intent behind them! 😉

      Let’s see if our hero has what it takes to track down happiness, and this time, keep her in his arms 😀

  39. ‘No matter what heights a man reached, the 360-degree view of New York from the Empire State Building was of unparalleled magnificence.’ – I so agree.

    “Yes. I told you to get used to the view.” The arrongance in that one sentence and the will to conquer it all…Ufff.

    I am all praises for Devyani Raizada. For her to own up to her mistakes and acknowledge the fact that the decisions imposed by both the families on their children had not only made their lives miserable, but that the next generation was also suffering. Her silence over the years might have carved the ASR out of Arnav, but in doing so, a 17 year old had been robbed off his adolescence. Highly commendable, considering her age and stature.

    “the other brought me his heart.” “You’re Arnav Singh Raizada. When have you ever allowed anything to stand in the way of what you want?”
    I loved these lines, S & K. The exact words Arnav needed for him to realise he needed let go of the past and make every effort to hold on to what mattered. It was time for ASR-action.

    I had always known, Khushi’s past would be excruciating to read.
    Was it Shashi, somehow influenced by Garima, who transferred Khushi’s stocks to Payal’s name? Wonder if conniving Payal was behind the closure of Khushi’s account and the rejection of her job applications, leaving Khushi homeless and desolate. You know, now I can see, why Khushi had paid for NK’s coffee from her meagre tips. I mean she always had a heart of gold, but having been a homeless herself, her heart had just gone out to a person on the streets.

    Now that Arnav knows about Khushi’s plight, he would have a better comprehension of Lavanya’s situation too.

    So, without the divorce with Garima officially going through, Shashi could not give Laramie and their daughter what should have been their right. But he had secured their future in a way, by leaving Shantivan to Khushi. Arnav’s Khushi indeed is a princess.

    And lastly, where is Khushi? Has she gone to meet Trent after receiving his phone call? Or is it, that this time the pain had become too overwhelming. With no fight left in her, she just succumbed to fate and took off.

    You have woven such an intricate tale, S & K. Instead of focussing on the problem at hand, my mind keeps going back to Arnav, Khushi and the one night on a street near Times Square which changed their (and in turn my) life for good. 😀 And as much as I want the entire plot to be unravelled, it is really going to hurt when the time comes to finally bid farewell to these winter nights.

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth Priya!
      I’m so not ready to say goodbye to such amazing winter nights.
      S & I – what have you done to us?!

      1. I knoooowwww, Pyre. 🙂
        I mean it’s like all this time you have been leading a seeminly complete life, following the routine and then something as remarkable and captivating as this comes along, and you are left puzzled as to how you survived before this?!?

        btw, how are you girl? Hope you too found magic in the winter nights at your end. 🙂

        1. I’ll tell you. I was of perfect contentment. Dipping my toes in the occasional fic, nothing to sweat over.
          Now I spend my days stalking and my nights breaking down tidbits of a story that gives me the shakes when updates aren’t provided on a regular basis. FWN isn’t a story, it’s a drug. I’m too addicted for my own good. lol

          Nice to be among good company though. 🙂

    2. You are going to make a certain Captain very happy once she sees this note!

      Personally I was disgruntled over my own experience with the Empire State Building. Two hours of waiting hell amongst crying babies and pissy adults. But the view… okay, maybe it was worth it. 😀

      Aha! You’re the first person to ask after Garima. Even beating our Pyre 😛
      Well the fairytale included wicked sisters AND mothers didn’t it?

      How am I to respond to that?! I feel very blessed that FWN opened the door to so many new friendships. It is a most cherished gift, Priya!

      And hey, the winter nights may end, but we still have many nights amongst royalty and the scorching desert to look forward to! 🙂

    3. Oh Priya….. I lapped up all these comments with a happy sigh of contentment.

      When the heart is involved, it takes little to find one’s life entangled in a spiral of burdensome decisions. How to make all happy? Simply impossible. So we must forge on to the best of our ability and hope for the best.

      Arnav has half the answers. After all, a story told through legal documents alone is incomplete. Let us see what our heroine has to add to the picture before we take a step back and judge our painting. 😉

      Now how to express my love for your company without descending to trite phrases? It is connections like these that is the true reward of engaging in the ficverse. ^^

  40. loved the scene between the dragon lady and the evil sister.. i hope Payal recieves her just desserts soon . Felt so sorry for Khushi when the contents of the file were revealed. She deserves happiness. Am still not clear abt Shashia character. Good? Bad? Weak? Tragic? If he loved khushi why did he not acknowledge her? Why was she treated like a dirty secret? And why does Payal resent her so much? Tht doesn’t seem normal.. what did trent talk to khushi abt? I hope she hasnt gone with him.. girlzzz u wudnt do tht to us. Wud u? So many questions.. looking forward to getting them answered.. oh and i hope Khushi gives Arnav a really hard time when he finally finds her.. tht idiot.

    1. If you have a loose interpretation of ‘soon’ then yes, Payal will get hers 😀

      Excellent! I’m glad this update provoked a lot of questions. Mission accomplished! We like to unravel in pieces, so hang tight and keep your eyes and ears open!

  41. For fuck’s sake! You cannot hang us so heartlessly on this millimeter-line!

    Oh, God! How do you feel so profound to put it down through your pen? Creating a man is one thing. Living as him is completely another. We have no idea as to why Arnav is the way he is even after all he has been through. But one thing is for sure; when he cries, we cry. We are on the same page with him rarely; given how rarely he cries. But when we are, we are there fully.

    So much skirmish was bound to leave our thoughts overflowing.
    Much love!

    1. Heh. Didn’t you get the memo? We are the wicked duo 😀
      A little suspense is good for the heart. But we will promise not to overwork it.

      Compliments crouched with such eloquent touches… my favorite kind! Thank you!

      I couldn’t agree more. We may curse and threaten, but when those dark eyes moisten in remorse, no one is more eager to hand deliver Happiness into those waiting arms!

    2. You have a beautiful way of expression vivacereveur. Took a peak into your blog the other day. Why aren’t you extending your pen to the ficverse?!

  42. Arnav shud stop playing the forlorn lover. Y is he so stubborn n irrational!!
    He needs to tink wid his head not his *ss! he was supposed to be dis smart suave man not a
    egotistical brute!! Devyani a women of so much strength n character…..who gives has good as she gets…..I’m glad she showed Payal (tart)her place. NK wat an awesum friend but some ppl fail to realise wat dey miss until its gone.Just hope Khushi’s ok…..she must be emotionally exhausted by now……she just needs to be in a place where she is loved, supported n commforted so y did she leave? coz ryt nw Robbie is her only comfort
    U guys created FWN in a world that draws u in n won’t let u go!!
    A magnificent story with full of twists n turns……I’m truly loving it!!
    Every character generates absolute genuine emotion!! Awesum

    1. lol… I have not encountered ‘forlorn lover’ in a long while. But a rather apt choice! 😀

      Oh course! She is the grandmother to the Raizada brothers! The family rep needs to be upheld!

      Thank you Richelle, for the encouraging words. We cherish them and will use it to fuel the coming updates 🙂

    2. But he wears forlorn so well. 😀
      Stubborn? Yes. Irrational? I feel a need to defend. He became a man long before the burden should have fallen on him. It brings about a certain since of arrogance, because he wouldn’t have survived otherwise.

      What he really needed was to have his eyes opened. And lucky for all, he has a formidable Nani and two loyal brothers to keep him from veering completely off the road! ^^

  43. I lve NK for punching Arnav on the chin.
    I did say he was my favourite guy in this story.
    Love him even more now!
    Loved how Devyani dealt with Payal.
    Wow! What a woman.
    And then the way she broke through Arnav’s walls.
    She is one of the most interesting characters in this story.
    The end was a shocker.
    Has Khushi been kidnapped?
    But wasn’t Payal being followed?
    Then how did this happen?

    1. A fan of the Aussie? Better keep that on the hush hush. Priya is very possessive of her pony-tailed guy 😉

      Thank you! For some reason, Devyani was the character we sweated over the most. The matriarch is terribly intimating to tackle, so it boosts up my confidence to hear our intentions coming across!

      Kidnapped?

      my
      lips
      are
      sealed!

  44. Can I dedicate this Women’s Day to our dragon lady? A matriarch in every sense. “The other brought me his heart”……….spot on…..never misses her target. Even Arnav ,had to confess” I want everything”.
    The encounter between Payal and dragon lady was “spicy”. How I loved when she clearly told Payel that she was aware of her intention. I wonder is it Garima who influences her charecter? The divorce petitions that Sashi filed was rejected every time by Garima,guess she was not ready to let go of her husband and the fortune that comes with him!! Wonder what’s in store for the mother daughter.
    Resignation in form of a punch…….too good. NK must consider it every time he has to knock down some sense into that thick headed BOSS of his.
    Aman……he will surely make a wonderful big bro to Lavanya.The girls of FWN are damn lucky!
    Khushi goes missing……let’s see where we find her or with whom??? Arnav have some real crawling job!

    1. Feel free. But we rather dedicate it to our amazing ladies of the peanut gallery. Truly. How you all inspire us!

      So you’ve caught onto Garima… I’ll only say this. The fairytale included a wicked stepmother yes? 😉

      If the girls of FWN are lucky, then the men need to get down on their knees and thank the hands of fate for leading them to such fine women!

      Oh yes. C.R.A.W.L.I.N.G. 😀

    2. He may be willing to crawl, but I don’t believe his version of it will be in line with ours 😀

      It is human to want to hold on tight, even when you know the best course of action is to let go isn’t it?

  45. Hi S n K, Good to know that K is back with a “bang!” K I hope that you stay healthy.
    Just caught full night #8. Will need to come back to write something sane.

    But I must admit I enjoyed this night 8 more than night 7.

    1. I wondering where Miss Kitty went 😀 Good to see you Shree!
      Again I must thank you for spreading word of our story. It’s unexpected, so so very much appreciated!

      Why bother with sane when insanity brings so much more spice? 😉
      Shall look forward to your explanation as to why 8 triumphed 7!

  46. I must admit that I was too dense in not making the connection that Arnav expected better from Sashi who he holds in high regards than to repeat the treatment that his own father inflicted on his mother. Or even the one he inflicted on Lavanya himself. I love his reactions as he delved deeper into the files and his inquisitive mind looking for more. It is ironical that despite his views, he named his first collection about the other woman in Sashi’s life. Life sure is funny that way. The best part was his selfish decision to keep her in his messed up life because I do agree with him, the is no one who wants her, needs her and loves her more than him. Yes it won’t be easy but they can do this together. So the grovelling has started rightfully with NK first. Kushi going missing after the day (s) he had is not going to be good for his health but he sure as hell will not rest till he finds her. I hope she was not stupid enough to see the scum Trent Matthews. Or maybe she is doing what she always has done, run and start over again. Whichever it is, she has people who care for her now and who will not let her do it all by herself anymore. Let the chase begin . . .

    1. Arnav has tunnel vision. When one is so focused on scaling the highest peak, reminders are needed of nearby mountains.

      Karma enjoys her ironies that’s for sure!

      Yes, yes yes! It is due to that very reason that makes us so eager to deliver Happiness into those arms.

      Our girl is hurting, but her brain is still functioning! 😀

    2. Arnav’s definition of groveling is quite different from the rest of us 😀

      When the lover beats out the businessman, I do not think there is more swoon worthy a man. Our girl better watch out now that Mr. Raizada has decided to lay siege to her heart. 😉

    1. It’s backbreaking work to win back a woman you broke… especially when she has such a capable guard! 😀

      But… we like to think of it as a beautiful war 🙂

  47. Arnav has truly found his heart and his heart is with Khushi. <3
    Arnav not only realized how wrong he was for behaving the way he behaved with Khushi but also realised how unfair he has been to Lavanya. And that's a huge change in the arrogant man who was used to his ways, who never bothered to think things through from someone else' perspective.
    His anguish thinking about how Khushi would have lived all those years was touching. He was concerned, scared, hurting for her.
    The truth about his own parents and the truth about Khushi has brought about this change but where has Khushi gone? I hope she is safe because I'm sure she will still be ready to give all of herself in turn of all of Arnav. 🙂

    1. Arnav has always set his sights on man’s highest peaks. New York’s skyscrapers do offer up a challenge. Yet he forgets beyond them lay the unsurpassed beauty of the skies. ^^

      Sometimes, a compass goes a long way in pointing out the true North yeah? 😉

  48. I need time to assimilate all of my thoughts here. So many questions answered, yet so many more born.

    The poem I quoted before really does fit so aptly with these updates. They really do fuck you up your mum and dad.

    But the prevalent theme for me in this update is Home Truths.

    1] Khushi is as necessary to Arnav’s life as the air he breathes. It’s a home truth for him to reluctantly realise that this woman is one to whom he has calmly entrusted the heart he never realised he had. Be it in the cold, lonely nights, or the bottom of the bottle of Vodka. It is Khushi he craves and all that she embodies. Happiness, contentment… love.

    2] That Lavanya is an unwitting victim of a crime she did not commit is a bitter home truth for all of the Raizada’s to swallow. Twenty years on and they are still dealing with the fallout of one man’s infidelity. Lavanya’s vulnerability in light of the Raizada’s refusal to accept her really ate at me. All she has ever craved is acceptance. Such a simple hope the young woman yearns, and that the Raizada’s can love is wonderfully apparent, that they so cold heartedly rejected her, reinforces the idea that even with money or wisdom; nobody is perfect

    3] Khushi has witnessed such debilitating heartache in life, and it must feel like a home truth that she is incapable of escaping her past. Again – she was never at fault. A victim of life, trampled upon but not broken. I love and respect Khushi, I reply do. Because she embodies a resilience to life when others would have quit. I just hope that soon, Arnav makes good on his intentions. To hold that wonderful woman and never let go. To bring happiness to Shantivan…

    4] Home Truths and secrets shroud the Jha’s. They really are a Pandora’s Box of problems, but after realising such heartache into their worlds, will the hope left behind in Pandora’s Box illuminate their lives and problems too?

    5] Friendship is above and beyond all and this is a home truth for both NK and Robbie. They are beautiful pillars of support for those they love and fire when together. Together they represent hope in this story for me. Hope and voices of reason. I rely on them to cut through the bullshit of relationships they are wonderfully human enough to accept and work with and around people’s flaws. I love them for that I really do.

    6] Devyani is wisdom personified. Home truth. She stands by her boys and prioritises them above and beyond all others. And again I love her for that. She may be the dragon lady for others, but when it comes to her own, she fiercely protects. She isn’t perfect, but she is righteous enough and humble enough to accept her faults. And for that I admire Devyani, I really do.

    7] Payal is pining for a life she will never have. A home truth she is unwilling to accept with grace, and the conversation her husband has had with Khushi, will undoubtedly add fuel to the wrong fire. A fire that could destroy her world.

    8] Khushi is it for Arnav. Home truth. Now can he just hurry up and love that broken girl already?

    I hope this was unbiased enough for you S!

    A wonderful update as ever ladies, a lot of food for thought. As ever I look forward to the next round of fireworks xxxx

    1. Are we too greedy S? 😀

      Home Truths. It took us 6K + words, while you summarized it in two! I’m feeling rather inadequate…

      I’m glad S gave you the nudge, because how wonderful to read these thoughts from you Manreet! I agree on all the points, but #3 once again oust your feelings for our heroine. Which I absolutely adore.

      Don’t we all wish for that kind of resilience? To reach deep within and find the inner strength to provide solace and compassion when you have been deprived of it. It is what I most admire about Khushi’s spirit, both in the show and within our FWN endeavor.

      So yes. Time for our hero to put aside that bottle of vodka and go get the girl!

      1. Please don’t feel adequate, I feel so guilty! English A Levels left me somewhat addled with the ability to analyse and summarise beautiful work such as yours concisely. But its kudos to you and this wonderful storyline that analysing it is a joy for the latent student in me.

        I cannot wait for Arnav to get a shift on and win his lady love, although a quick glance at the teasers I really wanted to avoid has me worried. Curiosity really did kill the cat. :/

        I hope Khushi and what I am assuming to be her hospital stint is not as worrisome as first appearances would lead to me believe. Damn it ladies – your story and my subsequent heart problems will be the death of me! Xx

    2. Ahem, most satisfying. So much so I had to take a moment to soak it all in. 😀

      And sorry I took so damn long to get back to you. The latest update and my schoolwork has me in a daze half the time.

      I freakin love your Home truths!
      It really reveals your thoughts on individual characters AND tells us you’re not sleepwalking through updates … which to be honest, I think many readers do 😛

      Now off we go to fulfill #8! 😉

  49. I admit, it took a second reading for me to catch it. You two. So evil, but I love you dammit! Kya!

    After the hell Khushi have been put through, I fully expect Arnav to do everything possible to make her feel like a Queen from here on out. I will depend on our Robbie to make sure he delivers!

    For a moment there I was afraid he’ll be a noble idiot and let her go. Thank god our Dragon Lady reminded him that he is The ASR. I wholly approve of his selfishness, but it’s good he recognizes it.

    So my brain have been racing away upon seeing that taunting ending.
    I’m inclined to believe Khushi took flight as per her usual method of dealing with heartache. She is too smart to meet up with that wimp.

    Payal is determined to pitch herself against those she has zero chance of defeating. I applaud the confidence. I wonder who she’ll target next? Can we make it Aman? I would love to see him put Payal in her place. Think of the verbal fireworks!

    1. I agree that Khushi has taken flight too. But what intrigues me is what Trent had to say to her. Did he apologise? Ask to meet? Or did he reveal something important? Something that perhaps even goes against his own wife? The downfall of Payal is imminent in the upcoming updates. The question is – who has truly set the wheels in motion?

      Devyani?
      Trent?
      Or soon will it be NK or the Raizada brothers?

      Fireworks indeed! X

      1. These questions have been running around my mind all day. This state of frustration is not healthy when one has to work!

        My vote is Trent. He’s been in the background for much of the story. Considering the hands penning this story, I can’t imagine he’ll just remain a waste of space.

        To be a fly on the wall of that phone conversation!

        Also, your home truths were awesome to read. I find myself compelled to scroll through the comment sections lately. There’s good company here. 🙂

        1. Thank you so much dear, I never realised the comment was becoming so long until I pressed post! :/

          I’m inclined to say Trent too, but the man is such a damn coward. Is one slap from Robbie really enough to knock some sense into him?

          1. I doubt K or S will complain about the length of your comments lol
            Who’s to know, but I’m currently holding out for a Trent/Arnav confrontation.

    2. It’s mutual sweetheart ^^

      Duly noted. I’ll even drop Mr. Raizada a memo 😉
      Your wish list is getting as long as Mel’s. HEE. You know how it is. No promises, but we’ll give it due consideration.

  50. OMG! I am speechless. I loved it. What great revelations!!! I need to read it once again before I can write more…I will be back.

    1. I’m back. Awesome, wonderful update. Kudos. It must have taken a lot of patience on your part to write this update. I’m still reeling from it.

      Loved Arnav’s insight as he was reading through Khushi and Shashi’s files. He is always thinking outside the box, but his arrogance gets in the way. 😉
      Arnav has realized he is in love with Khushi—and not just a fling.

      I love NKs character. Strong and open minded. Hears both sides of a story before making any judgements. Glad NK punched Arnav. Knocked some sense into his thick head :). A true friend indeed.

      Khushi is a survivor. She has run away from those that hurt her…she will try to put the past behind her and rebuild her life no matter how much it hurts or how hard it is.

      Devanyi is rock solid. She may be a dragon lady. She has seen life and wants to protect her family at any cost. She knew when the time had come to reveal an ugly truth and come clean. She did. She was not afraid/ashamed to ask for forgiveness from her grandson. That’s someone with true character. She helped Arnav realize he needs Khushi in his life.
      PayPal is evil personified. Selfish as they come. Garima is to blame as well. She was not willing to let go knowing things were over between her and Shashi. Payal is following in the same direction. Waiting for her to fall off her high horse. I wonder who will be the one to push he off. 🙂

      Patiently waiting for the next night. Cheers

      1. Patience? No. Lots of hair tearing and swearing? Yes! 😀
        Arnav’s issue is very common. Things like business and acquisitions are linear equations they have no issue dealing with, but give them a problem of the heart? Total stone wall.

        Our NK is very ballsy isn’t he? 😉

        Oh our peanut gallery is out for blood! Payal should definitely watch her back. =P

      2. lol she’s rock solid BECAUSE she’s the dragon lady! 😀

        Okay I don’t blame our gallery for getting blood thirsty with Payal, but I do hope by the end you gals see more shades to her. I’m of the school of thought that no one is fully angel or demon. Just human constantly making decisions that leads to various roads and results. 🙂

  51. Awesome update. Beautifully written. Loved the parallel stories in the update. 😀 Really liked Nani and Arnav’s discussion where Nani makes him realize that his parents hadn’t had an ideal, happy marriage. Good that she also forced Arnav to acknowledge his love for khushi. But oh no, khushi’s gone. Hope that Arnav is able to find her and apologize to her for behaving like a jerk. Felt really bad for khushi that for a year or so she had by homeless. Anyhow, can’t wait for Arnav to apologize to khushi and get their relationship back on track. So looking forward to the next update.😊

    1. Hi ship! ^^
      Ah…. if anything, there is always more to the story. 😉
      We are shaped by our experience, both good and bad. While the lessons can be incredibly painful, it is those very trials that sets the human spirit soaring.

      I’m of the mind that happiness is earned. We are contrary creatures, are we not? If it comes too easily, it’s dispensable. But when you sweat blood for it, it becomes a cherished treasure. ^^

  52. Such a pivotal chapter. Some truths revealed, some questions answered while a lot other raised. Confrontations, revelations, acceptance, apologies. Life as they know it is changing. And every character had its own shining moment. A significant presence even if short.

    Dragon Lady doesn’t mince words, does she? Not when drilling some sense in her grandson or showing a loony, cold woman her place. She is strong and resilient, yet oddly vulnerable. A true Raizada who has kept what little is remaining of her family together by sheer will and strength. I loved how she frankly and bluntly told Payal why she could never be fit to be her family. She would have ruined my boys’ lives had she married one of them.

    I love how genuinely human all your characters are. With real faults, desires, fears and regrets. They have erred, they have wronged and have been wronged. They have made mistakes, kept secrets and inadvertently hurt others. But have also accepted them and are trying to rectify them. Even if there is a possibility of being too late.

    And our hero? How can one person be so aware of every other thing except his own heart? So easy to love and so difficult to understand. Sometimes it is hard to believe that he is the elder, more experienced one because NK and Aman sure make a lot more sense. Luckily, he has so many people who love him, fight for him, do not hesitate to give him a reality check from time to time. And still stick around even when he is acting like an annoying, recalcitrant child.
    But, then, I love reformed assholes and feisty heroines. And Arnav certainly fits the bill of the former, while thankfully, having enough of the latter to keep him in line for a lifetime 😉

    Waiting for the next night S and K! Bring it on!!!

    1. Thank you for that sweetheart!^^ In truth I almost wish we hadn’t included so many characters in FWN. There is a certain sense of guilt and dissatisfaction that we can’t do them all justice. Although, we will sure as heck try!

      I’m thrilled by the comments on our Dragon Lady! Truly unexpected, but most rewarding.

      As the eldest myself, I can definitely sympathize with Arnav. There is just that bit of added pressure that can be a damn burden.

      Perfection is a nice idea, but I gravitate towards flaws. It’s that edgy unknown that makes our interaction with each other so fascinating.

      HEE, the romantic genre would collapse on it’s head without the ever delicious reformed assholes and their feisty counterparts! 😉

    2. How did I miss this baby!

      You’re after my heart with this love note eternalallure!

      Humanness is the essence of FWN, it is what K & I try to relay with our limited abilities. Because life isn’t about the hero or the big bad.

      It’s just people, making decisions that takes them down promising paths and harrowing ones. Some have the vision and strength to turn back when the road they’re on gets murky, while others continue to tumble down a thorny one.

      It’s what makes life so damn interesting. No guarantees, just possibilities – both good and bad, make of it what you will!

  53. That was one amazing update Ladies, with all the characters background unveiled.

    First and foremost. Loved the Dragon lady. She was fabulous in unmasking Payal. She also put Payal in her place and is fully aware that Payal will continue to try to take them to task. Dragon lady will Protect Khushi. She is aware that the three men around her will take care of Khushi, at the same time has ensure Arnav needs to view things from a different point of view.

    How true if Nani had been open to her grandsons, Lav would have had all the love she deserved and Arnav would not have been so angry at life. Even without this information he would have brought Khushi back, but now things are much clearer for him.

    Loved NK & Aman and NK/Robbie’s conversations. Also the understanding between them.

    Trent needs to grow a back bone. Shyam needs to come out of the closet instead of harassing the women around him. He has a friend in his Sister and needs to hold on to that when she is standing by him.

    What is Payal’s Problem. She destroyed a girl’s life who was her sister just for her Father’s mistake. How could she make Khushi homeless and also insult her through Trent. Why has she destroyed her own life with she had everything. What was the need to take things away from Khushi and ensure she does not have a job as well after everything.

    If only Shashi had ensured a secure future for Khushi. In the end he ensured at least Shantivan will go to Khushi some day.

    It is going to get further interesting from here. Each trying to get their sanity back from the situations life has thrown at them and for what they have to prepare themselves against Payal as well.

    1. And to think, we haven’t even revealed the full story yet! 😀
      As mere human beings, we are ruled by our perception of the world. The best we can do is TRY.

      In the end, we must decide what matters most to us. Fame, money, revenge, love or family. They are all choices that comes with their own unique set of rewards and consequences. 🙂

    2. You did a great job highlighting the aspects that makes people and life so interesting damjar.

      We are human. With pretty limited vision no matter what some of us like to think. Our actions and words are often guided by a narrow perception of right and wrong. It is only when we step into someone else’s shoes that we are able to take on a new perspective. This is the case with our Dragon Lady. She lost a husband and a daughter. It’s normal to grieve, but in her grief she couldn’t see the damage that it was causing her grandsons.

      A lesser person would’ve clung to pride, but not a woman who earned the title of Dragon Lady! She love her boys, for them she forced herself to see beyond her own pain so that she can admit a mistake. It is this acknowledgement of human weakness that really distinguish the strong from the weak. 😀

  54. Finally I finished reading most of the comments as well! They are almost as enjoyable as your updates.
    And I swear I look out for Pyre,Raila, Priya.. The first 2 are master decoders.
    After reading the comments, I feel short of words.
    I dont have a ready answer why I enjoyed Night 8 more..
    One thing is night 7 left us in tears and heartbreak whereas #8 came with revelations and hope??
    A few highlights really stole the show for night 8.
    1)Resignation delivered through punch!! Oh.. I love NK’s ishtyle!! I wish I could do the same to 1 or 2 of my former bosses.. 🙂
    2)Of course the dragon lady and the way she showed Payal her place. What did Aman share with DL about Payal btw ?
    3)Loved the scene between Aman and Lavs. I hope one day that “Little sis” comes out loud and clear for the world to hear and Lavs to heal.
    4)I am little intrigued by Shyam. Apart from his sexuality I dont get some of his motives. Whats his equation with Raizada bros? Why bring Lavs purposefully at your own sister’s engagement?
    Why so much interest in Raizada business? When he is gay why he behaved the way he did with Khushi on night 1??
    5) I feel though there so much focus on Payal as main villain , Garima also has substantial role behind the curtains!
    6)I cant believe ASR sat on that file for 4 days!! But anyways they say better late than never.

    I see teaser is here. But what we gonna get next? An interlude or night 9!!

    Finally reminder of TDL’s words to ASR abt Khushi missing – “Then let me remind you. You’re Arnav Singh Raizada. When have you ever allowed anything to stand in the way of what you want?” Time to use your Shatir Dimag ASR!!

    1. Thanks Shree 🙂
      I’m with you. The peanut gallery has become a must read for me. There’s a lot of really awesome interpretations that adds to the overall enjoyment of the story.

    2. I’m in awe of the scope of intellect and imagination bursting from the peanut gallery. The journey truly isn’t a worthwhile adventure unless you have the right company. ^^

      HEE, I think you found your voice just find. And thank you for indulging us with it!

      I’m 100% behind you there. If only I had NK’s strength and balls. =p

      Our Junior Mr. Raizada is a lawyer who knows how to present a case. But really, she is the Dragon Lady for a reason. Payal isn’t the type who works too hard to hide her nature.

      I do wish we had the time, scope and energy to flesh out all our characters. But since this is ultimately Arshi’s story, we will have to curb our curiosities on some of FWN’s inhabitants. They will get their moment, but fair warning now, 100% satisfaction isn’t a guarantee. 😉

      Originally Night #9, but after we just went through our brain storming session for the final chapters, it’s been switched out for Interlude #2. Let’s see how Mr. Raizada measures up to all these expectations! 😉

    3. Magic words there Shree. Reading both maha updates AND the peanut gallery comments?!!!!!! A herculean feat there 😉

      1. I recommend getting a lawyer on retainer before making any such attempt in future – no matter how provoked! 😀

      3. I feel like we are going to shortchange La. It’s unfortunate, but seriously, there is not enough room in FWN to give her full justice. But we will do our best to bring her closure.

      4. Same goes for Mr. Jha

      5. I hesitate to really call anyone a villain in FWN. We see them as people, some more damaged than others and are more easily susceptible to the darker shades of human fragility.

      6. At least he didn’t wait 6 years right? 😛

  55. Finally caught up with this. Although no arnav-khushi together, this chapter was thoroughly enjoyable. Loved NK-Aman camaraderie, though I am yet to form a liking for Aman-Robbie.
    Phew, nani was tough! My favorite character after Arnav is NK definitely. Not much tears in the chapter, thought I had anticipated a lot more.
    I already have the next chapter ready to read, yay, will get to it soon!
    Oh, a mention of the graphics to the chapter links, love it!!!!

    1. I’m curious as to your immunity to Robbie and Aman – do share!
      I thought there would be more waterworks as well… but we scraped it. We’re not dealing with dramatic teenagers 😉

      Ah thanks for noticing and commenting on my tweaks 🙂

        1. I think it goes without saying we are all ardent fans of Arshi lol
          Oh? Not enough drama and tears? Should we ramp that up? 😀

  56. my hero of this update is the Dragon Lady…. what a woman… loved that it was Devyani who showed Payal her place….
    now the young raizada saw the sense little earlier than arnav….good that he realized to let go pf past. there is no mistake of la in what evr happened in the past…
    in earlier chap when u wrote payals dad as Sashti i thought u changed his name on purpose:-))
    so thts the reason for payals hatred towards khushi or is there more?? wonder how Garima treated khushi and why did sashi hide all these years abt khushi??
    arnav is angry on la coz she reminds him of la’s mother , who was the reason for his mothers suicide… its hard to believe that such a sensitive and sensible man like Arnav hate La for that reason.
    i have a doubt…its clear that Nk and Aman didnt knew khushi’s past, why didnt they check her past a little,,,,atleast who her parents were when they want her to be arnavs partner??
    And another pair of sibling relation turned from happy to sad…wonder wht is the reason behind the change in shyam?? is it coz Anjichose a raizada whom he hate?? is it just business rivalry or something more?

    1. Sorry, we do edit, but typos are inevitable.
      It’s human nature though isn’t it? We can be cool headed and collected in one matter, but completely irrational in another.

      Ah… you little doubt is cleared up in one particular Outtake. 😀

      And hang tight for a better understanding of Mr. Jha. He’s up next in N #9.

    2. I think Night #9 should help clear up Arnav’s difficulty in dealing with Lavanya. Or at least we hope it does!

      Devyani totally earns her name as the Dragon Lady yeah? 😉

  57. This update had me on an emotional roller coaster!
    I felt anger towards Arnav in the beginning but I understood that he was sort of justified due to his past.
    I feel shocked by Payal’s lack of respect for Devyani. I’m happy Devyani dealt with her in a firm “stay away from my family” manner haha.
    I felt so sad for Khushi, just thinking about her past makes me upset. It also raises a few questions which I am sure will be answered.
    You have answered many questions in this update and each answer has added more “flavour” to this story.
    I hope Khushi is found soon!
    Good work on this update 🙂

    1. We like flavourful dishes so thank you 😉
      When you have questions, please do share them with us. Sometimes we assume certain points come across, only to realize otherwise, after we go through the peanut gallery. So never hesitate to let us know! It also reminds of certain loose ends.

  58. Oh I wish I could show you my applause! Nanni, dragon lady, indeed saw though Payal with the help of Aman, hell Arnav had better give him a two month honey moon in the caribbean ar least.
    The guy told nanni the truth, made sure Payal knew her place. More applause. Its heartbreaking to know of Shashi an Laramies story, Shashi loved khushi, no doubt, Garima didnt allow the divorce much like Payal is doing now. Im assuming that Payal and Garima used the money to buy off all decent paying jobs that Khushi applied for. I love the bromance between Nk and Aman, but even more so between Arnav and NK. I have to say Khushi breaking down like she did in Robbies Arms was heartbreaking. I know this sounds strange but im glad Khushi was here because Shashi loved Laramie. Not learn to crawl Arnav….

    JUST BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. KHUSHI IS GONEEE !!!! What do u mean khushi is gone… Gone where !!!! Too many revelations…… Omg Arnav is sooo fucked up !!!!! Screw him… Omg the dots…… Omg…. Sorry 4 the tiny comment cant wait to read the nxt part. Im gonna kill u both n commit suicide if i don gt to read the climax today…… Its so fuckng interestng……
    much luv
    -kitty purry <3 <3

  60. Been gone for too long…slowly catching up now

    Learning so much about khushi’s and Arnav’s past…hope Arnav can fix whatever she screwed up and can find khushi’s…that poor girl is broken

  61. Sigh, you put up such awesome images of NY and my bestie works as well there leading to me feeling like I’m missing out. *pouts*

    Arnav had better man up and go crawling before I get tempted with Indiana Retaliation. You two have done a great job of letting us readers get a peek into his thoughts and state of mind at this juncture. It melted me though, just a teeny bit but ha. He is miles away from being forgiven.

    “When will men learn that telling a pissed off woman to calm down is like throwing gunpowder over fire?!” I’m gonna make this my whatsapp status one of these days 😛

    Awww Aman! This guy continues to surprise me.

    It was difficult to read about Khushi’s breakdown. Thank God for Robbie.

    What is up with Shyam??? Why does he behave like this? I have a theory, might be outrageous and totally off the mark but I’ll still be bold and share it with you two. I think that he might by gay. Hear me out you two before dissolving into laughter. He talks about “living up to the image of perfection”, his father “accepting the truth”, Anjali telling him to stop “rejecting himself” and “there isn’t any shame in…”, also his interaction with Khushi, while they were meant to appear sexual advances, somehow I think he wouldn’t have gone that far. Again when he asked La to be his date for the event. Let’s see how right/wrong I am!

    Whooooohoooo NK! That was a well deserved punch and some great advice before that. I’m beginning to think him and Robbie would make a killing as shrinks!

    Am glad Devyani saw right throught that charade that Payal put up. I guess intelligence runs in abundance in the family. Again Aman! Man he sure is taking on the role of a fairy godmother for Arshi here. Putting his lawyer skills to good use from what I read!

    “Why not just give up your day job to play Cupid?”

    “Screw the Roman pansy, I’m the Greek Eros. And I recall taking on a consenting partner five months ago.”

    “Who also told you we should have looked into the skeletons instead of going in blindly.”

    “NK, have you ever seen Arnav behave with a woman the way he does with Khushi? Hell, I feel like running down the street belting out Hallelujahs. ” I laughed so hard at this!

    Trent and Payal are bad news yaar. and they show no sign of giving up at all.

    Nani and Arnav’s conversation was beautifully written! Such evocative language, kindling so many emotions in your reader through just words is commendable to say the least.

    Shit am damn sure that Payal was the one to ensure that Khushi didn’t get any job and had to be homeless and when she did get work, she was at some of the most dangerous places in the city. For a girl looking like her, it really was a miracle that nothing bad happened. Damnit Garima seems to be no better, rejecting divorce applications and all. But he really should have paid more attention to Khushi and her needs as a child and then as a woman. Awwww the fact about Shantivan made the romantic in me go all googly eyed. And call it fate/serendipity but Happiness will be coming to Shantivan permanently after all! And a yummy Barun img to top it off! Sigh the good old days! Can’t imagine it’s the same guy when I look at his recent pics.

    Oh dear, what new catastrophe is awaiting us??? I just hope Payal/Trent haven’t gotten a hold of her. 🙁

  62. Arnav giving up his arrogance and ego for Khushi is very essential and glad that it has finally occurred.
    I hope that khushi is okay.
    Awesome update

  63. Hey guys! I know I have been gone for a very long while now but these were a few rough months for me but I am back now! I stopped at the teaser of Night 8 the last time and wow! That was an amazing update!! I loved it! Especially the comparison of the old tiles of Shantivan and Khushi’s and her mom’s eyes. That was beautiful 😀

  64. night 8 what an amazing chapter.. so much happened…

    NK punched Arnav n left him…

    robbie was there with khushi

    Aman realised its time to rectify things

    loveds Aman NK discussion…

    premium price tag :)..

    Nani truly a dragon lady.. the way she tamed down payal… wow!!

    then the way she spoke to Arnav..

    Arnav finally read the files… oh god why Shashi didnt take care of Khushi??? after her mom died…

    the way he came to NK’s cabin wow…

    its totally roller coaster adrenaline rush to read it

  65. Damn it ! Damn it! This was so very painful.

    Unless for Aman I would have ended up crying…. Aman you are definitely MY Man… Let go of Anjali… Pleaseee ! 😛

    Oh ! My heart went out for Khushi… That girl has suffered a lot. And again she had to suffer with this A**hole Raizada. Why didn’t he stop her damn ut. NK has the best names for him. Hmph!

    Talking about NK, he is an emotional man, I see! He is fascinating, yet. 🙂 Robbie and NK are on track. I want them to confess soon. *fingers crossed.

    What is it with Shyaam, I wonder ….

    Oh Aman you are THE MAN here. Even though he was known as a Playboy, he sure is a responsible man. I admire the fact that he accepted his fault, be it for himself. Yet he did accept and that makes you the best person alive. And I am looking forward to see him bringing Lav into their family. Oh ! He is going to be a lovely husband 😀

    Arnav you better do something before there is more damage. JERK ! And all the other names that NK has for you 😐

    But but I loved the bond between Arnav, NK and Aman the most till this update. More so than Khushi and Roobie’s 😀 it’s really touchy. These three men are so deeply connected and so emotional but they have a brave front. I JUST LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

    Well no comments on Payal. She smells disaster 🙁

    I am looking forward for more and hence going to the next Night 😉

  66. I love this chapter. Reading about Shashi, it’s holding up a mirror to Arnav’s own behavior towards Lavanya, and it’s about damn time!

    Aman is seriously turning me on. His intelligence that he hides behind his crude jokes and pervy exterior, is such an alluring thing. Yum!

    NK was awesome as usual.

    And Devyani, wow! This is why she’s the dragon lady.

    My stance still stands on Payal. Your parents don’t make you the person you are, not entirely, your choices do, and Payal makes the worst kind. No sympathy here.

    Trent…please go die.

    Off to the interlude!

  67. Pain. Just so much pain. All these characters are all so interlinked with each other, im absolutely in a lil more in love with this story, so amazing and just the right story for me. Waiting for the unfolding of events. 😀

  68. What a small world we live in. If we think about how all the characters have landed where they have… the plot twists are remarkable… yet completely plausible… my fav kind. Arnav’s realization regarding what Shashi meant when he asked Arnav to bring happiness to Shantivan raised goosebumps… the good kind.

    Where did it all begin? When Arnav met Khushi? When Aman met Khushi? When Payal and Trent did the unmentionable to Khushi? When Shashi built Shantivan? When Shashi took Arnav under his wing? When Shashi met Khushi’s mother? When Arnav’s parent went through what they did? Coz each event has to take place for us to reach a certain point in time. Whew! I think my brain just cramped.

    Oh yes… Thank you for making Arnav finally realize what Khushi has been through… so he can now park his own emotional baggage somewhere…

    2nd reading hai S… 2nd reading hai… Cool it!

  69. And I read this Night too.. how painful to digest too much of truths and revelations. It made me bleak in horror and blanch in fear…I still feel the story has just started.. there is still more to it.. more to what we know and more to what you have revealed.

    Arnav has realised where his heart lies and who holds it! But is it too late already? Dragon Lady for sure.. I loved her verbal combat with Payal. I abhor her and will continue to pepper her with my share of abhorrence until she fu*king opens her bloody mouth and states the damn reasons behind her actions.. I still cannot find any good reason to support her or show even an ounce of pity. I am all for you NK. You did it right and how! They really killed the talk.. NK and Robbie really are no less than ArHi.. wait a minute,maybe a little more less foolish..

    Finally was Trent responsible for Khushi’s gone?

    Off to Next, (which I guess is Interlude),
    Sadh!

  70. A very important chapter as the truths and revelations come out.I loved Dragon lady in the chapter . Wanted to salute her for the way she handled Payal and Arnav. Is Arnav too late? Where did Khushi disappear? Loved NK and Robbie. They are my favorites . Oh my God what am I saying? When did this happen?

    Did Arnav know khushi in her childhood? Where did this all begin?

    Want to write much more. Cant wait I am off to reading the next update.

  71. hello…

    I love nani in this update the most..although we are humans and do make mistakes but she is graceful and honest about it..just adore her..nk gave a punch..him and robbie are awesome so is nk and aman..they are such good pals..khushi’s pain is unbearable..arnav is bewadaa and he is still does not realise..he did not see the file..lavanya is humble and aman realises that it is not her mistake..do not know what payal wants to do…good that nk and aman will be keeping track on her…nani and payal’s meeting was too good..hope to find khushi soon…GN..thanks…

  72. Loved this chapter. Dragon Lady opening up herself to her grandson atop NY was too good. Beautiful words ! I am floored.

  73. Awesome Nani. We could see glimpses of this nani in the show. Kudos to both of you for fleshing out her character so well. Dragon Lady indeed.
    Cheers for NK’s brand of resignation. I hope Arnav’s jaw hurt – the idiot. Men are truly from Mars and ASR is the president of the planet.
    Love, love, love this Robbie. As for Payal, I can’t help but feel sorry for her. Now I’m off to read the next chapter.

  74. I love Aman and NK. They are just superb…Arnav is damn lucky to have them both. I really loved the Dragon lady too. Wish the show had this Nani.

  75. Ohh….There was so much pain in this chapter….:( Aww…Khushi was so hurt….But I even feel really bad for Arnav…….IT’s just the situations that making it worst….and Dear…I want to admit……I LOVE the 3 specific male characters of your story…and NK is ON the top ^_^
    Going forward…..To read more…and OMG….Khishi is gone…And i bet Our Heros will find her..:D <3

  76. I didnt like the way arnav behaved with khushi n I m not liking trent n payal behaviour especially payal who can do anything to take revenge from khushi,hoping tht arshi will be bk together soon bt khushi shouldnt forgive arnav so easily

  77. Great update….!!
    Nani rocked in this….
    The way she took payal was awesomee…
    And then the way she knocked some light into Arnav’s brain was great….
    Now Arnav knows….
    He really fucked up badly….
    and he needs to correct it….!!
    “where is khushi gone…???”

  78. Nani became my favorite in this one, I was like ‘you tell her nani!’ when she set Payal straight.

    Payal…

    Even if mom n pop effed her up, choices of vengeance and having the hatred burn her heart was all hers. She got everything while Khushi got nothing and still, Payal left no stone left unturned to hurt her as much as possible. All her schemes.. what did they give? She is still unhappy and will remain so until she let’s go of this hatred. Something tells me that coming this far in life she is never going to let go.

    The scenes were brilliantly crafted, you people have so much talent. I’m glad I have the privilege to read your work.

  79. How brilliantly you ladies potrey the complicated web of feeling and individual perspective of all the characters.
    Warming up to Nani finally.
    Feeling sorry for La and Arnav’s parents pridicement – incompatibility mustbe so soul destroying.

    On a happier note- looking forward to Arnav wooing Khushi.

  80. You guyz are brilliant. Cant wait to read more. really want arnav to fix things both with lavanya and khushi.

  81. It’s good to see nani step up to talk some sense’s into that thick skull of arnav,loved her in this chapter,nk and Robbie are getting naughtier And shameless by the day and omg were the hell is khushi,hope she is ok

  82. Ladies, you weave magic with your storytelling.
    Every conversation held so much emotion.
    Now that I know Shyam is gay, I can fully understand the conversation he had with Anjali. I agree with Anjali. I think he is afraid of admitting his sexuality to himself.
    Robbie and NK! They make a perfect pair. I love them.

    NK & Aman- They love Arnav so much yet they are not afraid to punch him on the face when he screws things up. Aman is more sensible behind his careless facade.
    Devyani and Payal- The Dragon Lady slayed her. But Payal is an uncaring bitch. The venom in her has created such a haze that she doesn’t even know she is already in the path of her downfall.

    1. Devyani and Arnav- The old lady can never see her grandson hurting himself. She helped Arnav seek his happiness.

      The files were a box full of revelations. I am amazed at how wonderfully you have spread dots that connect Arnav and Khshi’s lives from the beginning. Indeed, Arnav brought Happiness to Shantivan.

      Lastly, Robbie’s phone call. Damn! I want to read the next part soon but have to wait for another 2 days! 😔

  83. EXCUSE ME? WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY KHUSHI IS GONE!
    HELLO? HELLO? ANYONE THERE?
    DAMMIT
    HOW COULD SHE LEAVE? WHERE DID SHE LEAVE? DID SHE GO TO MEET TRENT? HE HAD CALLED, RIGHT!

    FUCK MY LIFE SOMEONE!

    While this chapter has obviously made me happy in so many ways including Lady Dragon getting through Arnav and he finally had a moment of enlightenment, I’m not sure about how I feel not knowing where the fuck Khushi went!

    For the first time in the whole story have I actually liked Nani! Coming up to Arnav at the right time and getting him to realize the mistakes he is making in life was really needed and it makes me really happy that she has successfully done it. It was needed for him to understand what he wants from her!

    Payal needs to know her place and I really need to thank Nani for atleast trying to make the bitch understand. Its a different thing that sometimes it is really difficult to get things into thick headed idiots!

    Can’t wait for the rest of the chapters! I’m dying! Come back soon guys!

  84. i love you guys. that was beautiful….it was like suffering with arnav all the way. i mean you are giving all of us something special without any compensation other than our word for what we think hats off guys…

  85. Haha loved how NK resignation style … haha n Arnav thinking he can take on more punches from NK to bring him back!!!
    Payal …. grrr
    What does Trent want from khushi now??
    I love Aman … he is the man … actually I can’t decide who I love more him or NK… oh no 🙈
    Where did khushi go???? I don’t remember this part
    Fantastic chapter as always!!!!

  86. Amaziing this story should be a real one like I want to see this in an adaptation of a movie or show idk this story is soo cool and the cast is puuuurfect I love them all even the bad ones lol.
    I am feeling so so bad for Lavanya why the hell did raizada brothers ignore her all this time?? couldnt they forget the past ?? It wasnt her in fault in what happened…

    Did I tell you that I love those pics you use inbetween the paragraphs?? It puts you really in the story litterally you always manage to find the perfect pic for the moment. Thats one of the reason why I wish this story was a real movie or show ( well even if it exists reading it will still better I swear)

    Erm wanted to say I actually am not an english native speaker of english so thats why my comments are not so good. Wish I can developp constructive comments about this amazing story but my poor vocabulary doesnt allow me that lol ( yeah but dont worry I somehow manage to understand that story perfectly)

    But really this story is really really great 😀

    Oh and what was that did Trent called Khushi what the fuck happened ?? Do tell me Khushi went to meet this idiot. Hope she will give him a big punch and his face just like Robbie did lol. Cant believe she suffered so much. A year homeless. All her fortunes transfered to Payal’s account like wtf 🙁

    I wanted to say that I hope she is going to suffer but I realise that her situation is not really joyful. I meant her husband never loved her, she is jealous of every one of every thing. Really I feel pity for this bitch honestly…

    my favorite couple in this story is Nk and Robbie. Not that I dont like Arshi lol but I love how NK and robbie are flirting and teasing with each other.

  87. Wow! What an interesting update. Khushi deserved so much yet she was robbed and lived a life she didnt deserved..I hope payal and garima will pay for every injustice they did to khushi.
    I love nani and arnav convo.
    Moving on to read next chapter.

  88. How do you guys come up with such an intriguing story.. what a mind blowing update.. so many skeletons are out now.. there are chaos all around and finally when Arnav is getting somewhere close the call from Robbie is heart breaking news.. loving it

  89. OMG this update really tugged at my heartstrings! Those green tiles 😥 Love how tightly you have woven everything together Can’t wait for Armav to get to his Khushi. And yeah, Karma needs to give NK some heart and black lace ASAP!

    That reminds me of poor Aman…and his never ending dry spell 😂
    Delightful story. An absolute page turner ❤️

  90. I have so many things to comment on and if I do, I’ll fill the rest of this page lol. So I’m going to do the short version of some of my highlights of this chapter.

    Firstly, New York itself is a character in this story. Its as real to me as anyone else in the story. It lives and its various weather nuances seem to reflect the moods and situations.

    Aman – I respect his kindness to Lavanya but my perspective is that Arnva was right and entitled in his place for how he felt about what he considered his family’s dirty laundry. In some ways, Aman has had the easy life because Nani and Arnav sheltered him.

    Aman and NK – Aman is Hilarious!!! My favouritre line “we’re too lazy to find a replacement” lol. NK and Aman need to have their own adventure stories – their witty repartee kills me. MAYBE a epilogue on all three rogues comparing marriage notes LMAO! I’m glad NK stayed back. Arnav needs him as his conscience and wingman:).

    Truly TG for BFFs who are there as ports in storms.Robbie is a sweetheart. I’m glad Khushi has here after all the hard knocks.

    Shashi Gupta – the less said of that man the better. Isnt it sad that inspite of having two blood daughters, the only person who even got vague fathering from him was an almost fully grown unrelated Arnav. I actually feel sad for Khushi that such a spineless man was her father.

    Nani is the BOSS. Truly a matriach in every sense. Kudos on her talking to, to Payal. And what is admirable is that she has false pride. She was willing to share her burdens to free Arnav. That is true familial love.

    Lastly, Arnav Singh Raizada. I dont like SAD Arnav. Mad Arnav, Bad Arnav, angry Arnav, sexy Arnav, flirty Arnav YES. But never sad Arnav. I love Arnav’s character so much because he refuses to brood or self-pity. He’s a damn the torpedoes man who always looks forward and finds a way. Arnav should always have his HAPPINESS:). Cos thats when he’s at his best! Lol

  91. Fantastic update… Kushi n Lavz have traveled in the same path and much worse for Kush as Shashi didn’t give his name to her… At this point Arnav must find Lavz and have peace with her and then try bringing back Kush. Oh it’s painfull to see them apart. Loved NK n Robby more than anyone in this chapter…
    Cheers

  92. Loved Nani’s smart moves with Payal !
    Proves why she is the Raizada head 😉
    Nk’s punch was totally awesome <3
    Now I want Arnav to find and keep Khushi

  93. I’m so glad Nani saw through Payal’s words! And I loved NK’s reaction man! He even punched Arnav! But he’s a really good friend and I love him for it! I’m so glad Nani finally made Arnav see sense… But I hope it’s not too late – where did Khushi go?!

  94. I’m falling short of words every line is so heartbreaking 😭😊 there’s love there’s hope trust family and the never say never attitude

    Bring it on ladies😁

  95. INTENSE, I love arnav I really do but the bastard needed some head nocking, I love how NK stood up to him and punched him, that was really satisfying 😀
    I also like the fact that khushi’s innocence was quickly proved thanks to aman and it didn’t take much drama, poor thing last thing she needs is more hurt and hearbreak
    and last but not least I appreciate the fact that even the story is mainly about our all time favorite couple Arshi but still we can’t help but fall for NK-Robbie, you really did them justice, just couldn’t help but wish for more glimpses of Aman-Anjali but still this story is just AMAZING, very beautifully written and delivered. Keep up the good work 😀

  96. Interesting…. Never came across a story like this… Always I use to guess wat next… But my guessing is going always wrong in this story… Happy to read a story like this

  97. As usual besides Arnav khushi saga i just adore NK Aman .
    From a border line alcoholic Arnav is close to becoming a full time alcoholic Thank God he has come to his senses , the dragon lady is goddamn good at making him see things in the right persepective . lavanya and Anjali need more coverage -hope to see some in the future

    when can i enter the lounge or the Vip??????????

  98. So shashi wanted to bring khushi to shantivan n now wants arnav to do it where shashi failed.
    Cant believe khushis shares were transferred to payal. Lols like payal learnt her venom from her mother.

    Off to read the next chapter to find out where khushi is!

  99. Beautiful update.
    Every coin has two face, this chapter is all about that.
    Loved how nani’s and Arnav’s conversation figured out.
    Arnav connected dots very well.
    Payal ia hopeless cause.
    Thank u for this very wonderfully written update.

  100. Excellent…
    You have weaved beautiful characters in this story..

    Each character has a speciality

  101. I am biased but still I feel bad for arnav. His life was full of bitter encounters which had made him bitter in return. And please no…..i don’t wanna know that Khushi ran away. I hope she just stepped out fresh air or something.

  102. Woo! The lives of Arnav,Lavanyaa,Khushi and Payal are all intertwined. It must be Payal who stole Khushi’s inheritance.Great story so far.

  103. Very content with this chapter . No more misunderstandings , everyone addresing issues head on .
    Dragon Lady was brilliant .
    I just hope Khushi is shown in a different light.. not one to disappear and wallow in self pity . Really wouldn’t like that.

  104. Wao you nailed it girls. Finally arnav got some brains. Thanks to name, nk and aman who played their part well.
    Oh where is khushi left now.

  105. Shantivan belonged to Khushi and Shashi asked to bring happiness to it. Where has Khushi gone? Arnav has a long way to bring Khushi back.

  106. Love the relationship between nk and arnav…..
    Oh god for the love of life what’s with the gupta women and living in a loveless marriage
    I think she went to the cemetery!

  107. What a story like a vine filled hidden truths greed oh so much , but still so intriguing a d grippi g.

  108. Like i mentioned earlier, this is NOT the first time ive read this story. Right now I’m heartbroken and in tears. Have to read the next episode. Feel for Arnav and scared about Khushi

  109. I just love NK and Aman.. the way they looking out for Arnav is commendable…thank God Nani made Arnav see some sense.. where has Khushi gone???

  110. A penitent Arnav is always welcome, and this time I was hoping Khushi would give him a hard time, but her vanishing was unexpected. NK and Aman are always great, and this time Nani came out ace. Loved this and Robbie- NK are a special bonus. Please don’t leave us hanging over the cliff, haul us up soon please

  111. Oh the ending was unexpected,, hope Arnav would find khushi soon, so I was thinking something happened in the party, right?
    And waiting to read about lavanya more.
    So many things are revealed in this update,, payal for Arnav or aman,, Jesus!!
    And I might sound like a bitch, but I did feel a bit sad for shyam too in the update,,
    Aman n NK are my favorite though.
    Take care
    Welcome back
    Enjoyed reading the update
    Such a flawless story,, I feel blessed as a reader to have stumbled upon such a masterpiece.

  112. Why the cliffhanger!!! OMG!!! where has khushi gone…. what was payal gonna do….. what did Khushi and Trent talk about…. and most importantly WHERE IS KHUSHI!!!

    So many things were revealed about his parents Shashi.and Garima…

    Eager to see what happens next

  113. Wow… that’s quite a revelation for Arnav about Khushi. As for Payal, she’s really a vile and revengeful woman who hates Khushi to the core, all because of the past. As for that wussy Trent, I hope Khushi didn’t go and meet him… that’s really a mistake if she does. I truly love Robbie for being the true friend that Khushi has in her life, and yes, she and NK definitely are made for each other.

    I really love this story… I can’t believe that I had missed this in the past and I’m so freaking glad that I came across this. It’s brilliantly written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading each chapter. The only thing I’m kinda irritated is that I didn’t get the notification via email of new updates. Luckily I saw your tweet in Twitter… and I realise then that I’ve missed two chapters/updates. So from now on, I’ll keep on the look out for your tweet on this.

    Lastly, awesome job on this! *thumbs up*

  114. Absolutely amazing! I had expected that Shashi would be Khushi’s dad but leaving Shantivan to her woah. Payal is literally a pain in the ass why can’t she see how innocent and nice Khushi is. Loved NK’s punch lol. Where did Khushi go please don’t tell me there’s gonna be a gap now. Loved it!!

  115. Your Nani… Dragon Lady is someone I definitely want in my corner. She is formidable and how!
    So glad that the shatir dimag is making an appearance from underneath the cobwebs of alcohol and mistrust.
    No one does self flagellation better than Arnav and yours seems well on his way. If ever there was a character who made me want to kick him and hug him at the same time, it’s Arnav Self-destructive Raizada.
    I don’t know if anyone has ever said it before, but Payal, encaged in her bitterness is what ASR could have been if he didn’t have Nani, Aman and NK in his life.
    Family can build and destroy. Blessed are those who have people who care around them.

  116. Well, well. This is the kind of repentance me I approve. I think grief, anger moulded together with hurt are the perfect antidote for healing and that is something both of these souls need.
    Arnav has been holding onto hurt for long that it just shows he’s afraid to let his guard down and for once he’s willing to give it a shot. The fact that he is joining the dots with Shahi and Payal makes it all the more interesting and definitely more of the past is yet to be unravelled. And where the hell could have Khushi gone.

  117. Deviyani raizada tld Arnav the truth about his parents marriage and her own role continuation of their misery. Arnav blamed his father for straying and hated Lavanya because she was the daughter of his father’s ‘mistress’ When he read the file he found that Shashi wanted to devorce Garima and marry Khushi’s mother but Garima refused to give him divorce. Shashi had loved his daughter but he was forced to keep er away.
    Payal perhaps hated Khushi because Khushi was Shashi’s daughter while she was not.Garima had told her that.
    Before Arnav goes after Khushi,Robbie told NK that Khushi had gone.
    Thank you for the update.
    Have a good weekend.

  118. Devyani Raizada is a badass (in a good way!). I can somewhat understand Payal’s resentment and feeling of betrayal as a child, but nothing justifies the vitriol in adulthood. I am so glad that Devyani Raizada didn’t succumb to Shashi’s requests of getting either of her grandsons married to Payal.

    NK and Robbie are just too cute. Did I mention, how much I love Robbie ?! 🙂

    Both Arnav and Khushi have had disappointing fathers. But at least Arnav had a family to take care of him – Khushi has had to plough through life alone and yet for her to be so dignified, independent and virtuous is simply commendable.

    I hope Arnav finds Khushi and Shantivan’s happiness soon 🙂 Please update soon, pretty please with cherries on top 🙂

  119. Loved how devyani handled payal single handedly… Dragon Lady😂

    Wonder how khushi’s trust stock is transferred on payal’s name? I guess Payal’s mother have something to do with it.. no worries our Arnav will definitely look into it

    NK & Aman are backbone of Arnav… n Arnav sure deserved that punch😜

    Why that bastard trent is calling khushi.. surely he needs another punch from Robbie!!

    Eagerly waiting for the next chapter to know where khushi have gone

  120. My..
    What a cliffhanger you have left us with!
    Just when we thought a reunion was round the corner.😉

  121. Hi ShipperK…what an awesome update..The transformation of an arrogant man to a humble one is tremendous. Now Arnav is worried whether Kushi will take him back and feels she deserves a better person ..How beautifully you have portrayed the transformation…Arnav is lucky to have Aman and NK.. Felt sorry for Lavanya…Kushi suffered a lot being born as Shashi Gupta’s illegitimate daughter. But thank god she got Robbie who is more than a friend to her. Hope Kushi is safe …Loved Devayani Raizada…she is really a Dragon lady but with a kind heart…Eagerly waiting for the next one. Take care and be safe

  122. I am so glad you wrote this chapter, it makes me feel better for Khushi. Atleast now Arnav will be there for her … I wish I had NK & Aman as my friends 💕 They are super duper awesome…. Robbie is a saviour and bad ass when it requires …

    Really looking forward to your next update …

  123. Dragon lady killed it. It so suits Deviyani. She handled Payal so nicely. She took a great decision by rejecting shashi. Anjali and Khushi are perfect for Aman and Arnav. I love Aman and Nk so much. And Robbie as well. They have to be mentioned in every comment.Nk was right to punch Arnav. What the hell tarent wants. This chapter was full of revelation.

  124. I love Devyani Raizada. Her wisdom, to the point response and honesty.

    It is quite a revelation about Sashi and Kushi life till now.

    Why the differences between Anjali and Shyam ?

    Kushi, where did you go now?. Hope Arnav is not having panic attacks. Eagerly waiting for the lost and found team to bring back our Khushi.

  125. Arnav has a great support system in Aman and NK. Arnav sure deserved that punch.

    Aman-NK interaction was as always Witty and Hilarious!!! “We’re too lazy to find a replacement” lol. .

    Robbie is a sweetheart. I’m glad Khushi has her with her.

    Kudos to Nani about the way she dealt Payal.

    Why is Shyam bitter to Anjali?

    Looking forward to Arnav getting his happiness:)

  126. Awesome update… is all about breaking through
    Each other carrying weight…
    Looks like first breaking is arnav..
    Did khushi going to meet trent or payal did something

  127. Night-8 superb What the NK punched Arnav,but I liked it he deserved that punch.Dragon lady saw true colours of Payal and dealt with her.Khushi’s gone does it has something to do with the phone call from Trent.Ok off to read the next night

  128. From Arnav and Khushi’s very first encounter, everything has been very intense between them but this small separation, albeit painful, is what they exactly needed to truly understand the importance of each other in their lives and how deep they truly feel for each other.

    “Uh no, I would never expect…I’m…used to it”…. that line made me sad 😭 Lavanya doesn’t deserve this, especially when she has no one left by her side.

    Arnav can truly be an annoying ass when he wants to be cant he! Totally deserved that punch, that was a low blow from him with regards to NK.

    Nk and Robbie’s convo brings much relief with all the intense emotions going around.

    Glad to seeing Devyani put Payal in her place.

    I’m loving Aman more and more, his truly becoming an equal ❤

  129. Wow, you truly see and feel all that is Arnav Singh Raizada in this update! The man that he is, the boy that he was…his demons. His insecurities and his determination. This update, I would call an ode to Arnav.

    The story is so well-woven, with all the storylines falling into place. There is a certain irony in Shashi extracting a promise from Arnav to take care of Happiness? Had he known? Or were they hopeful last words of a dying man?

    Garmina rejecting divorce petitions makes for a mentally sick woman. I think Payal inherited the same when she refuses to divorce Trent. Once spoken words by Payal , ” An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” were in fact true for her own self.

    NK and Robbie truly have my heart. I see they are slipping through outrageous flirting into genuine care for each other.

    The only character that beats me has to be Shyam. His hostility bears no explanation!!

    As for Arnav-Khushi-Lavanya… it all ties up to one single thing doesn’t it? Khushi is just the answer to conquering all of Arnav’s demons. Fate and Timing at play here!!

    1. Arnav and Khushi’s life is beautifully entangled.

      Him accepting Khushi is no more about love. It’s about changing his belief on something he was harbouring for so long. That’s irony of life.

      Thankfully, Arnav is ready to crawl this time.

      I hope Khushi can find it in herself to trust him again.

      The whole family, albeit small in number, have such a wonderful books.

  130. My heart goes out to Lavanya and Khushi… Both suffering at the hands of their parentage… I hope Arnav is able to get past his struggles and get Khushi back… And atleast try to be civil with Lavanya.. She really doesn’t deserve any hate… Aman has my ❤️ …Love

    1. This was so sad for Khushi, Arnav, Nani and poor Lavanya. Shashi didn’t do right. Hiding Khushi made her feel ashamed and unworthy so she gave up everything her father left for her. I can imagine the taunts after her father’s death. I feel sorry for Payal and Garima too. Garima could not let Shashi go and Payal sucked up all the bitterness of her mother, Khushi and her mother destroyed her world. It comes back to Shashi, he should have left Garima if he did not want her coz two women at the same time is really low in my opinion.

  131. NK punched arnav? he earned it rightfully so! anything could have happened to her in those 4 days!
    Glad nani put arnav into good perspective. 👏
    I dont get shashi’s claims that he loved khushi’s mother. If he really did, he wouldnt have let her suffer like that and definitely acknowledged khushi publicly and rightfully. Poor khushi, she suffered so much when she was actually a heiress to gupta fortunes!
    arnav coming to apologise to NK has my heart ❤

  132. Arnav too 4days to come into sense…. But I can’t blame him…. The truth was so hard for him to accept because he was living it for years…. I am Glad that Devayani singh raizada finally revealed the truth of his parents Marriage to him….
    NK was bang on…. He tried to make him come to sense and Robbie she is the only strength of khushi now… She is hurting so much….. The mistakes of the parents are payed by the children here… They needs to let it go…. Khushi’s past is so heartbreaking… Somewhere her father is responsible for Wat she is going through now. if he had strong enough to stand for khushi…then her life would have been different

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