Night #9

 

 S & I would like to dedicate this Night to Raila – For stumbling upon our rabbit hole, making yourself at home, and a shared appreciation for feisty women and the men who loves them.


She was alone. Surrounded by currents of twilight blue. Not thunderous nor stormy, but purring and frolicking as it wrapped sensually around her body. A sea embrace.

She knew she was dreaming. That was the best part. If given the choice, she would have stayed there, forever. It would be so easy to keep her eyes closed and cling to the utter peace.

Something shifted. The waves offered a final caress before bowing to the wind. She felt herself gently ushered towards the shore. She fought the separation, wanting to stay and explore the water’s depths. But the choice wasn’t hers.

Lying on beads of pale gold, her salty tears seeped from their green prison to become one with the ocean.

✧✧✧

She woke up under heavy blankets, eyes wide as she took in the unfamiliar room lighted by the faint rays of early morning. Turning to her sides, she rubbed a hand over the sheet. Finding them cool she wondered how long he’d been gone.

A sigh escaped her lips as she reached towards the single velvet bloom on the pillow that still held the indent of his head. Even as she brought the rose up to her nose, it was the lingering scent of spice and man that evoked the ache of longing in the pit of her stomach.

Tracing her finger lightly over blush red petals, her mind drifted over the past week. Her memory of the two night stay in the ER was blurred snippets of consciousness where Robbie and Anjali had played both guards and companions.

On the morning of her discharge, Khushi had been stunned to find herself in the company of Devyani Raizada. The doctor was confident in her release, but private care was highly recommended for a full recovery. Mrs. Raizada had insisted that recovery be made at Shantivan.

Ardent protests had fallen on deaf ears. After years without, Khushi was quickly reminded of the steely strength of maternal power. So she had given in, and within the hour a helicopter had flown them out of Bronx to land directly on the estate’s helipad. Settled into one of Shantivan’s lavish guest rooms- the suitcase she’d left at Arnav’s penthouse had mysteriously been delivered overnight- she had been pampered and indulged from head and toe. It was disconcerting, but she couldn’t deny the warmth that suffused her.

There was only one dark cloud hindering her recovery. Through it all, she never caught sight of Arnav.

She could recall the cemetery, the storm, and the cold. But the memory of being held in his arms was hazy at best. Had she dreamed it? Robbie had filled in much of the blanks, with emphasized details on Arnav’s reaction upon finding her. Yet, for reasons unknown, he had chosen to withhold his presence in her waking hours.

She knew he slipped into her bed every night. He hadn’t made a secret of it. She had woken each morning to see a new rose from his greenhouse on the pillow next to her, nestled within the dent that attested to his visit.

As she had done with the two sister roses, she ran the velvet across her cheek, knowing he intended the caress in lieu of his lips. Khushi’s expression turned thoughtful as she considered how to respond to his silence.

She had found the lack of words both soothing and smothering, recognizing the need for the mental break the last few days had accorded to them. However, who can guess where Arnav’s brain would take him during a prolonged period?

It was time to face each other.

✧✧✧

She was furious as she pounded the door. No, she was beyond furious.

“NK Ryan, open the damn door!”

She knew he was home, their date was in less than half an hour. On a theory she tried the knob. It turned without protest. Unbelievable. This must be the only unlocked door in the state of New York. Did the man believe he was still in the Outbacks?

She peeked through the crack, where was he? Normally she would be horrified for even contemplating such an intrusion; however, her current grievance with him had just enough momentum to carry her pass the threshold uninvited.

The sound of running water explained his non-response. Robbie tapped her heels on the hardwood, debating her options. Just as she reached the bathroom, the door was pulled opened, releasing a cloud of steam. As it cleared, her eyes fell on wet male.

He wasn’t truly handsome, Robbie decided. His features were too bold for the term. He was miles away from model fit. Those well-honed muscles held tales of a disciplined boxer, one who without doubt practiced his art in some dingy all-male gym. NK had the aura of a man completely at ease in his own skin. A woman had the choice to take him as is, or not all at. It was that devil may care attitude that made him so mouthwatering.

It took all her willpower not to close the distance between them and lay her mouth on him. Just what kind of lover would NK be? The question had been constantly on her mind after each date. They had gone on two this week, each one ending in a mindless torrent of hot kisses that left her aching for that ultimate connection. Robbie licked her parched lips, feeling her heart pick up speed as his eyes zeroed in on the movement.

A smirk hovered on those full lips as he took her in. “What couldn’t wait, Doll?”

The knowingness of that smirk jerked her out of her thoughts. “Stop bragging and throw on a towel,” Robbie said on a toss of her head, “I have a bone to pick with you.” She cringed slightly at the poor choice of word when his smirk deepened into a full blown grin.

Because he wanted to see just how far he could push her, NK walked deliberately into the living room, giving her an unobstructed view of his body.

No virginal blush or outraged gasp, instead she gave him a long measuring survey, lingering with boldness at his proud display of manhood. NK had to force down the desire to laugh. This woman gave as good as she got, even better, she had no idea what a fucking turn on it was for him.

Everything about her turned him on, NK amended. From those golden curls to her heel encased feet. It was all too easy to imagine them crossed behind his back.

Knowing full well why she was in a rage, he turned towards the bath, nabbed a towel off the rack and casually wrapped it around his waist. Leaning against the door frame, NK aimed his entire focus on Robbie, “Well?”

Robbie waved her phone at him, “Are you responsible for this?”

“You going to clarify that or am I supposed to take shots in the dark?”

“I just got a message from my agent. Apparently Victoria’s Secret reached out for a personal audition,” her eyes narrowed, “Did you have anything to do with it?”

Having already decided that honesty was the best policy in dealing with Robbie, NK didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”

Robbie’s jaw dropped at his casual confirmation. Anticipating her anger, NK moved until his body was inches from hers. Just a taste he decided before swooping down, effectively sealing her indignation with his lips.

Robbie reeled. Each taste of this man lived up to every secret fantasy she’d ever indulged in. Hot, wild, demanding, his mouth slanted over hers, exploring the unique dips and curves with shameless enjoyment.

She was going to stop this in about ten seconds. She was, Robbie assured herself. But when NK demanded entry, she gave it to him. That sensuous slide of his tongue against hers ignited a fire only he could douse. This wasn’t a kiss, it was a full-out assault.

Resistance was as futile as holding on tight to a ledge miles above ground when you knew a fall was inevitable. But damn if she didn’t try. Her ten seconds were definitely up. Way past up. Mentally bracing, she yanked herself out of his arms, her chest moving rapidly in and out.

“Dammit NK! You’re out of your mind if you think you can kiss your way out of this!”

“You’re doing a fine job driving me out of my mind,” NK muttered. Sighing he eased back. “Before you fly into feminine outrage, hear me out. You’re beautiful Robbie, fucking gorgeous, but every block on this city is chock full of textbook pretty. Your current jobs are decent, but they’re not enough to take you much further. And we both know how short a model’s career is.”

“NK-” Robbie started, but he placed a finger over her lips.

“I reached out to a colleague, showed him your photo. Yes, it’s a favor, but that’s as far as it goes. The audition is going to be all Robbie. They’re in the business to make money, if they don’t think you can sell bras and swimsuits, you’ll be politely shown the door. I did it for you because I can. Fair or not, it is how the world works. Don’t let something as stupid as pride stop you from grabbing the chance. No one will think less of you for it.”

“I want to make it on my own, NK. To prove to everyone back home that they were wrong.”

“Why do they matter? You’re you that should be enough. I’ll be honest; I’m not exactly looking forward to seeing your ass displayed on one of the world’s most anticipated runways for every dick to jack off to. But it’s your body, dollface, you need to decide. Now, are you going in for the audition or do I make a call?”

Exhaling, Robbie tilted her head back to look at him, feeling her anger fade away. Why did he have to sound so reasonable? “I’ll audition, but you need to know your caveman tendencies aren’t always going to fly, Handsome.”

“Yeah, they are, because it turns you on.”

Clamping her lips shut because he was stating a truth she glared at him, causing NK to roar with laughter.

A reluctant smile formed on her lips. “NK?”

“Yeah?”

“Thank you.”

“We done with this scene?”

“Yes…”

He reached out and pulled her to him, “Is steak on the menu for dinner?”

Robbie bit her lips. “No.”

NK slid his hand to the back of her head, leaning in until the sultry scent of her wrapped around him, “You on the menu?”

Robbie’s nerve endings sizzled as his hot words sent her straight into a lust-induced fog. Oh how she wanted this man. In a hungry, shameless, uninhibited way that should frighten her. But there was no fear, only need. She took a deep breath before giving him a jerky nod.

Robbie gasped as NK maneuvered her against the wall. He pulled open her coat, those long fingered hands making quick work of buttons and zippers. When her dress pooled to the ground, he eased back just enough to inspect what he’d unwrapped. He eyed the black laced lingerie and garter belt with approval.

“Am I just lucky or is this meant for me?”

Insufferable bastard, Robbie thought with affection. “I like prints and colors, but ever since an Aussie told me about his little fetish I’ve been wearing black lace…. just in case.”

NK grinned at the bite in her tone, even as the wicked scraps of black over milky skin held his attention. “I hope you’re prepared, Robbie-girl.”

“For what?”

“To be set on fire,” NK murmured before he crushed his lips over hers in a drugging kiss.

“NK… the bedroom,” she whispered urgently.

“It’s too far,” NK muttered, dragging his mouth down to the sweet curve of her neck.

“It’s a few feet behind you!”

“Too far,” NK repeated as he nibbled at her shoulders, giving her bra strap a playful tug with his teeth. “Don’t tell me you’re shy.”

“Well.. it’s umm… been a while.”

He considered her words for a moment before nodding to indicate he understood what she was trying to communicate. He reached for her hands, guiding it to the edge of the towel. Robbie’s hands clenched as her eyes flew up to meet his. Holding that eye contact, he silently urged her to loosen the knot.

“There’s only the two of us here and now” He pressed deeper into her, just enough for her to feel the unmistakable desire she’d aroused in him, “This is all you, Robbie, what do you want to do with it?”

Well, he couldn’t make it any plainer. Robbie looked past NK’s shoulder. The bedroom was far away. Her fingers glided across his abdomen, mapping the planes of his muscles. Refusing to meet his eyes, she whispered, “Here,” then promptly burrowed her face to his chest.

NK burst out laughing. He was a man with a healthy appetite for sex, but laughter had never been part of it. He found the experience strangely erotic.

He hitched her up against the wall so his mouth could close over a lace-covered breast. A moan came from the back of Robbie’s throat as her arms lifted to wrap around his neck. Clinging for balance. Or maybe just for sanity.

His hands slid up her spine, causing flames to lick at her skin along the way. He reached for the clasp, and with a quick practiced motion the bra dropped from her skin.

“Put your hands on me,” NK demanded.

“Where?”

“Anywhere. Everywhere,” he bit out before moving his hands lower. There he paused, “You have any sentimental attachment to this?”

In a daze, Robbie blinked at him. “What?”

“Your panties.”

“I don’t care, just don’t stop touching me,” she panted.

“Who’s stopping?” NK gave the wispy lace a satisfying tug. Before it hit the floor, he had his mouth back over hers.

“Fuck me, we need to take this to bedroom Robbie. Need protection.”

“Hurry, NK,” she chanted softly in his ears as she rocked against him, her soft hands soothing and tormenting his skin as she touched every inch she was able to reach. He yanked her up in his arms, walking the few agonizing feet until he was able to tumble them down into the bed. Between voracious kisses he tore at the foil package, allowing her to glide it down his length.

“Wait! Wait!” Robbie pushed a hand against NK’s hard chest.

“Are you fucking kidding me, Robbie?!”

“Name,” she demanded.

“What?!”

“Your name, Handsome. You get black lace, I get your full name, remember?”

“Seriously? You want to do this now?!”

“I don’t sleep with strangers.”

“Noah Katlyne,” he bit out.

“That’s-”

“My mother insisted on naming me after her mother. Father tried to intervene. They tossed a coin, he lost.” he glared down as he felt her vibrate under him. “You let that laugh escape, there will be consequences.”

“What kind of consequences?”

“Wanting a punishment, Doll?”

“No, I just want you inside me, Noah Katlyne,” Robbie said simply as she lifted to place a kiss on his jaw, her honesty, raw and refreshing.

NK took a moment to study her, taking in the hair rioting in a golden halo across his sheets and the shining eyes holding an interesting swirl of laughter, desire and tenderness. She was exactly where he wanted. This was exactly what he wanted. Fueled by a need to give this woman whatever she desired, he lined their body.

Robbie cried out as he filled her. He was huge and hard, but she was held enthralled by the contrast of the burn in his eyes and the gentle rhythm he set so that her body could adjust to him.

As she scrambled frantically toward the first peak, he drove in completely, pressing hot kisses over her neck and shoulders. Light from the bay window slanted in, cutting across the rumpled bed as two lovers moved from brightness to shadow and back again in an age old dance. It was a passionate wrestling, ripe with purpose and desire.

“Fuck me,” NK bit out between breaths.

“I am,” Robbie returned as she wrapped her legs around him.

“Jesus, you pick your moments to throw sass you know that?”

Robbie threaded her fingers in his hair, “Yeah? What are you going to do about it?”

He grinned. Fuck him, she was all woman, all vixen, all … Robbie.

He leaned his forehead until it touch hers, “Make you scream my name.”

He felt her body tighten around him, the flush stealing over her skin a testament to how close she was. The sight was enough to push him towards the edge, a desperation he communicated to her through the increased speed of his thrusts.

“Come with me,” he urged roughly, burying his face to in the top of her hair as he clutched her tightly to his body.

Robbie felt overheated as she strained against him, meeting greed with greed. Their joining wasn’t an easy exploration; it was all heat and hunger, a warring of strength and passion.

She cried out his name on a gasp of pleasure, arching up to meet him thrust for thrust, and together they embraced the little death.

✧✧✧

AR Corps, New York

Arnav stared out the window, fighting the urge to get up and pace. Time was up. He knew this with absolute certainty when he’d woken up beside Khushi this morning.

Her doctor had given the all clear, and had discreetly informed him that she could resume all normal activities. Jesus, spare him the white coats and their euphemisms.

He was buying one more day to cement his plans, buying one more night to simply hold her in her sleep. It had become a necessity to reassure himself every night that the precious pulse still beat within those slender wrists.

Tomorrow night would be their moment of truth.

Being unable to predict the outcome didn’t sit well with him. In fact, it set him on edge. He knew how to outwit a rival, how to outmaneuver an opponent. He sure as hell knew how to fight for what he wanted or intended to have. He’d had to, in order to survive and then to succeed.

Balancing his needs with someone else’s was not something he was accustomed to. But for her he would.

That did not mean, however, that he hadn’t planned to his advantage. He had personally chosen the stage to wage his war with her, for her. The stakes were too high to leave to chance. For a man who had been wary of women all of his life, it was staggering to admit his happiness now depended on one.

✧✧✧

East 52nd Street, New York

Aman adjusted the crisp white cuffs before taking a step back to admire the flawless silhouette created by the narrow cuts of the navy pinstripe jacquard two-button suit. It was difficult to rein in the sigh of pleasure.

Brioni. Seventy years of Italian luxury built on the tradition of only the finest fabrics and personalized tailoring executed by hand at the Penne di Pescara factory on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. When a suit takes 186 steps and 18 hours to be crafted, you know it was going to fit right. You should also expect it’ll have a corresponding price tag.

Donato Liguori, Brioni’s master tailor, had outdone himself. Everything they had discussed eight weeks ago had been brought to life with perfection, down to the hidden slit he’d requested on the interior left of the jacket for a small photo of Anjali.

“You can stop preening,” Arnav said dryly from behind him.

“Nice of you to decide to be mentally present for my final fitting,” Aman retorted easily as he looked over to Arnav. His brother had plopped himself down on the boutique’s chair an hour ago and promptly lost himself in thought. Heavy ones.

“Why isn’t NK here? Doesn’t this fall under best man duties?”

“He came along for the ring shopping and the consultation. Apparently I don’t hold the same appeal as a leggy blond. And besides, I wanted you here.”

A look of surprise flashed across Arnav’s face. Aman barely suppressed an eye roll. Truly, how did they come from the same womb?

“Arnav, NK may be my best friend, but you’re still big brother. These are the key male bonding moments. Try to keep up. Now, should I go with the striped Herringbone tie in charcoal or the striped Chambray silk in light blue?”

Arnav shook his head ruefully. It was still a challenge to reconcile the image of the mischievous boy with scraped knees and ripped jeans with the grown man in his formal wedding attire. There had never been the luxury of time as teenagers for the normal bonding that other brothers shared.

He’d missed out on soccer matches, too many birthdays to count, and hell, even half of Aman’s high school graduation. Had NK not entered their lives, he likely would’ve allowed them to become strangers. Arnav felt a pang of loss, but just as quickly the sense of gratitude overrode it. Life hadn’t forsaken him, even when he had carelessly shunned her gifts.

Aman watched as Arnav moved over to the glass display, riffling through silk ties and pocket squares with intense focus. He took in a deep gulp of breath before blurting out, “I found her for you.”

“Found who?” Arnav asked, his focus still on the rows of fabric.

“Khushi.”

Arnav’s dark eyes rose to clash with identical orbs, they narrowed in focus. “The rest of it.”

“Nani was angling for an arranged marriage, and hell Arnav, you were in the frame of mind of agree with her. It was a preventable tragedy. Thus, I prevented.”

Tension built in the drawn out silence until Arnav spoke, “By interfering.”

“If well-meaning intervention is a crime, then yes, I’m fucking guilty!”

“Does NK kno- of course he does.” Arnav looked thoughtful for a moment, “What would you have done if I’d ignored her?”

“I’ll take the Fifth on that.”

“Did you plant the photo?”

“Fuck no! We figured you’ll see her and chemistry will take care of the rest. We didn’t expect it to happen so publicly.”

Aman backed away when Arnav casually picked up the Herringbone tie along with a geometric silk pocket square and headed towards him.

“You’re not going to strangle me in a silk noose are you? I won’t deny that it’ll make a dramatic statement, but it’s inadvisable in criminal law.”

In a move that surprised both of them, Arnav flipped the collar on Aman’s shirt, looping the silk around before skillfully setting it to a Windsor knot. He gave Aman a leveled look before tightening the knot carefully and drawing it up to the collar with heavy handed pressure.

“Looks better than any of your half-ass attempts,” Aranv said calmly as he folded the pocket square into place before taking a step back to admire his work.

Aman blinked, “Should I have NK schedule a MRI? Because seriously, who the hell are you?”

“Oh, you deserve a beating, but your timing is impeccable. I have too much respect for the work that went into that suit to deck you in it. Besides, I think I prefer for you to stew a bit.”

“Arnav, we were desperate,” Aman said sincerely, causing Arnav to slant his gaze over to him.

His lips twitched, “Was I so unbearable?”

“No. Just restless. The kind that makes a man dangerous, and those close to him uneasy.”

“You took quite a gamble, little brother.”

“Big risk, big rewards. You taught me that.”

“And apparently your future wife taught you something else,” Arnav paused, “that little speech on the night of your engagement?”

“I did wish for you to meet a woman who ties you up so badly, you can’t think straight. Although, I’m rather stunned by the universe’s ability to deliver,” Aman replied on a rich laugh.

Arnav’s expression darkened, “That shouldn’t be wished on any man.”

“Arnav, the way you are when you’re with her? A fucking miracle. Yeah, you two have shit to go over, but with two experienced men to provide you with sound advice and a Dragon Lady fiercely playing gatekeeper? Battle’s half won.”

“I’m surprised NK didn’t look into her.”

“He spent months hanging out at the diner, we ran a basic check, but I asked him not to dig further.”

“Why?”

“I wanted no bias towards her, because she was going to give you what you needed. All my life, you shouldered the burden and took all the risks for me, Arnav.”

“I wasn’t looking for payback, Aman. We’re family.”

“Yeah we are and it was about damn time both of us realized it. We’re not alone anymore, Arnav. There’s Nani, an NK, three incredible women reckless enough to choose us, and… Lavanya.”

“You’re feeling brave after my suit comment aren’t you?”

“Gave you time, Arnav, we can’t go back to pretending she doesn’t exist.”

Arnav nodded slowly. “I need to clear things with Khushi. Then we’ll figure out how to approach Lavanya.”

Aman took in their reflection in the mirror. They were standing shoulder to shoulder. Equals. Finally.

He tilted his head back and smirked as he met Arnav’s raised brow, “I think I’m an inch taller than you.”

Arnav turned to give him a derisive look. “The hell you are. I know those shoes have inserts!”

Master Liguori halted before the door in shock. In all of his years of tailoring for the Raizada brothers he had never personally heard such a sound coming from the private suite. Laughter. He shook his head, Merda! it was true, amore could change even the most taciturn of men. His expression turned thoughtful. It would be the ultimate coup for any design house to dress both Raizada grooms. He needed to make discreet inquires, after all, love may feed the heart, but the stomach needed a different kind of substance.

✧✧✧

Robbie starred at the ceiling. Sunlight was rapidly retreating, plunging the room into shadows.

She glanced over at NK. A smile tugged at her lips as she took in the spiky lashes lightly touching his hewn face. Noah Katlyne. She gently pulled out the rest of the sheets, inching off the bed. Robbie gave out a shocked yelp as his arm snaked out, nabbed her around the waist and rolled her beneath him. She swallowed as NK propped himself up on his elbows and kept her pinned there with his body.

“Where the hell are you going?”

She looked up to him in confusion, “Home.”

“You have something against this bed?”

“No, why?”

“Is this bullshit games, Robbie, or do you honestly don’t get me?”

“Maybe if you quit the caveman speech, I’ll get you.” Robbie snapped as she pushed at his chest, jerking herself from the bed.

He studied the way she held stiffly to the sheet, “Apparently Khushi wasn’t the only one who had shit taste in men.”

“NK!”

“We’re not going to go there, Robbie. First, I find it a pointless exercise. Second, whoever came before didn’t matter enough to stick around. That goes for both of us. Now you have two choices.”

“Nice to know I’m being given options.”

His eyes narrowed. “You can go put on your armor, head out the door and we’ll consider this a one off. I’m getting to an age where I’m no longer interested in fuck buddies. Or you lose the attitude and the sheet so we can explore whatever the hell this is.”

They starred at each other across the bed.

NK, however, wasn’t done, “You’re a romantic in a city that sells the shell of it at a premium price. I don’t peddle fantasies, but I won’t lie to you either. You want love letters? Then write them with your nails on my back and I’ll return them with my tongue between your thighs. When you’ve orgasm out you can fall asleep on top of me.”*

Robbie’s entire body locked as his words rained over her. She’d been given words of romance and dreams, only to wake up to find them false and empty. This man wasn’t offering that. He was handing her real. The kind of real she had started to believe wasn’t in the cards for her.

“Stay,” the word in his husky voice sent butterflies swooping through her stomach. A woman would willingly give up everything to hear that every night.

It took all her strength, and more courage than she’d known she had, to expose herself to him, inch by inch, this time of her own volition. NK didn’t make it hard for her. When the sheets fell to the carpet, he opened his arms, and she went straight into the hard embrace.

“Sorry. I just find it easier –”

“To do the leaving, rather than being left?”

“It isn’t fair that you understand the female brain so well,” Robbie huffed under her breath.

“Got four sisters, babydoll, a man learns a thing or two from being around that much estrogen.”

She turned in his arms, “Four?! Where are they?”

“Back in Australia with Mum and the old man. All married with their own miniature brats now.”

“Mum and Dad!”

“Why are you so shocked? I didn’t hatch from an egg in the Outbacks you know.” He flashed her a grin.

“It’s just …. I figured you were a lone wolf. You know, with a shady past and all.”

“I see you read a healthy amount of romance with your fairy tales.”

“They make for better entertainment than those stuffy critically acclaimed hardbacks.”

NK chuckled as he traced a light bruise on the delicate skin, “I was rough with you.”

“Did I forget to thank you for it?”

NK lifted his head and smirked. “I guess screaming my name five or six times was thanks enough.”

Robbie laughed, allowing it to expel the last of her fears. She reached out tentatively, running her fingers lightly over his upper arm, pausing when her exploration met with a jagged scar. “What’s this from?”

“Fell off the horse on the ranch when I was nine, didn’t see the rake.”

Her fingers traced to another on the side of his chest, “And this?”

“Boxing.”

“This?”

“A little accident while rock climbing.”

“So reckless,” she sighed. “Don’t you realize you’re mortal?”

“We’re all going to die,” NK responded easily, “I just want to feel alive while I’m still amongst the living.”

“NK?”

“What?”

“Let’s make a deal.”

“I think Arnav is rubbing off on you. He can be a charmer when he puts effort into it.”

“Hmm, no it’ll be an elusive one between Noah and Robbie.”

“You’re not going to go around using that are you?”

“I won’t’ wear it out, just special occasions.”

“This a special occasion?”

“Yes.”

“Ok, let’s hear it.”

“You keep me on the edge of wild, and I’ll keep you on the right side of safe.”

“Works for me,” NK laughed freely before dragging her on top of him, “Now, let’s get you to that edge of wild.”

✧✧✧

Manhattan, New York

Shyam Jha seldom allowed the taste of regret to settle upon his tongue. It was there now, ashy and bitter.

He sat across from a portly HP Daniels, who was virtually vibrating out of his skin as he eagerly presented his discoveries in Lucknow.

He had contacted the man on a whim, funding his trip out of curiosity and the desire to gain an upper hand on Arnav. The skeletons that fell out of the closet weren’t scandals, they were secrets. Terrible ones.

His gaze slid over to the mantle where members of the Jha family featured prominently in gilded frames. It settled over the photo of a young Anjali, one he had personally taken. Her eyes were pleading, carrying a look that use to make him incapable of refusing her requests. That was before-

He turned back to Daniels. Making a motion towards the documents spread over his desk, Shyam questioned, “Is this the only copy?”

“Yes.”

“How much?”

“What are you talking about?”

“How much do you want for them?”

“Are you saying you aren’t willing to go public with this?” HP laughed incredulously, “I came to you first because you set this in motion. No one is going to bury this. Arnav Singh Raizada deserves to be taken down a notch or two.”

“One million.”

“Say yourself the time and breath. I’m getting these printed.”

“Five million.”

“That asshole deserves everything coming to him. What do you care?”

“My sister is marrying into the family, so watch yourself, Daniels.”

“What’s your angle in this, Jha? That’s the only thing I can’t figure out. Anyways if you wanted a lap dog you contracted with the wrong guy. I’ll pay you back for the expenses once I get my check for this.”

“Get the fuck off my property.”

“You should keep in mind that I make a bad enemy. I have a nose for sniffing out the dirtiest secrets people like to keep hidden. I don’t think you want me turning that particular skill on you.” He gathered the documents and slammed out of the office.

Shyam walked towards the mirror above the mantle, carefully avoiding Anjali’s photo. He moved until he was inches from his reflection.

For long moments he stared, eyes intent on the scornful curl of his mirrored visage. He fisted his right hand before drawing back, slamming it repeatedly at the image, until glass shards and blood filled his vision.

✧✧✧

Upper West Side, New York

Khushi glanced over at Devyani Raizada as they made their way around the estate’s private grounds. They had quickly fallen into a routine of a late evening stroll, when the sun lit up for one last mêlée of colors before seeking its nightly companion in the Hudson.

Khushi wasn’t sure what to make of the Raizada’s matriarch. That she was a woman of formidable presence goes without saying. Her words held wisdom, her steps carried grace. She ruled those within her orbit with a firm gentle hand, with precious little escaping those keen eyes. She was a woman of virtue, one who held herself and those around her to the highest regard.

Khushi didn’t know what to make of the invitation to stay in her home nor her careful silence on Arnav’s nighttime visits. For surely the man did not spare a thought to decorum!

“What do you think of Shantivan, Khushi?”

Pulled from her reveries, Khushi took her time taking in the luminescent property. There was grandeur, but something else. A tenderness in every critical detail, guided by a force stronger than that of aesthetics. Spending time within the pristine marble walls only cemented her first impression – Shantivan was an exquisite jewel box.

“I once overheard my father saying to a friend that a home is life’s dressing room, from which we may privately rehearse for the social stage. At the time I had no idea what he meant. I do believe you have a stunning dressing room, Mrs. Raizada.”

Upon the deep pause after her comment, Khushi winced, “I hope I haven’t offended you.”

Joyous laughter bubbled forth as Devyani eyed the young woman with appreciation. “I do believe that is the most honest compliment Shantivan has ever received.”

Khushi’s face eased into a smile of relief, “A lot of love must have gone into building it.”

“Yes, a lot of love and much hope that happiness would reside in it.” Devyani’s expression turned thoughtful, “Khushi, has Arnav spoken about his angel investor to you?”

“He mentioned him briefly. A good friend and a good man was what he told me, and that his passing was a heavy loss.”

“It was. The Raizadas owe much of our success to him, and it seems he has decided to give us one final blessing. He was a rare breed amongst businessmen, a true romantic. He built this home, oversaw every stage of its design and construction. A labor of love that regrettably did not end in the way he’d hoped. He passed on that hope to Arnav when he sold this property right before his death. His wish was that someday, my grandson will bring Happiness to Shantivan… Last Saturday, he finally did.”

Khushi’s heart skipped a painful beat, surely …

“Shashi Gupta built Shantivan for Laramie, Khushi.”

Her breath caught, “Shashi, my father?”

“Yes, your father.”

“How do you…”

“If anyone told me they pulled a background check on me I would be furious. You have every right to call him out for it. Nonetheless I ask for your pardon this one time. Those boys are highly protective of each other; their intent was to protect not pry.”

Bewildered, Khushi found herself on the garden’s stone bench, her mind racing as she connected the dots.

Devyani eased down beside her, saying nothing as she allowed the information to soak through. She has had many conversations with Arnav during Khushi’s recovery, overdue ones that finally opened the locked doors between them.

“Shashi loved you. He had a fine ability to speak in allusions. In retrospect the many times he spoke of Happiness he was referring to you.”

Khushi turned to face Devyani, “You don’t find my presence offensive? I’m just like,” she bit her lips.

“You can say it, child. The days of sweeping things under the rug are firmly behind us. You are and you aren’t Lavanya. Life has a way of challenging our beliefs, of testing our strengths. There is no true right or wrong, only circumstances and how we react to them. That boy’s endured a lot,” she continued quietly. “Do not judge him too harshly for how life shaped him to be. What I saw of him with you – I was beginning to despair that Arnav could ever be like that. Not with anyone.”

Khushi swallowed, “He’s avoiding me.”

Devyani shook her head on a smile, “He’s preparing.”

Her voice grew firmer and more insistent, “You lost your mother at a very young age. I’m sorry to hear that. You will discover that for a relationship to last, the woman needs to be stronger. Men like to believe they are the shelter, and we won’t take that notion from them, but a woman is the rock that ensures it stays in place.”

“Mrs. Raizada-”

But the elder Raizada wasn’t done, “Do you love my grandson?”

Khushi swallowed, “I… I…”

“You cannot force love, nor can you shut it out. My grandsons are not saints, but they are good men. Don’t play with his heart, taking bits and pieces when it suits you. Too many women are eager to wreck such havoc. Either take all of it or leave it alone.”

Khushi hesitated before saying honestly, “I barely know him.”

Devyani’s eyes went distant before they focused. “Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’ll crack your soul open, spilling out secret contents for the world to see. It’s a raw kind of beauty that will turn you inside out, but once the thunderbolt hits, you are irrevocably changed.* That was how it was for me the first time I met my husband. Do not bother with what conventions tell you, listen to your gut instincts, it’ll serve you better.”

“He left this for you this morning,” Devyani said, handing over a monogrammed card.

As Khushi reached for the note, her hands where taken in a gentle hold.

“The door to your bedroom has a lock from the inside, Khushi.” Devyani ignored the flush that tinged her cheeks, “Ask yourself why you leave it unlocked for him.”

Khushi glanced down, unconsciously tracing his initials as she read the message.

Tomorrow night, 7. Dress warmly.

“I want one thing before I die, to know that my daughter’s kangans are on the hands of women who can teach my boys the value of a woman’s heart. It’s selfish, but he set his sight on you, and that means I will do my best to make sure he gets you. I didn’t fight for my daughter’s happiness, I will not make the same mistake with my grandson. You won’t be up against one Raizada, Khushi, but all of us.”

Khushi felt tears stinging the backs of her eyes. “Mrs. Raizada.” But she suddenly found herself being drawn into a gentle embrace.

When Devyani moved back she asked solemnly, “Will you promise me, Khushi? When he comes to you with his past, his secrets, will you promise to listen to what he has to say with an open heart?”

Khushi felt something unfurl in a quiet corner of her being, an amber glow of warmth that was slowly driving out the cold that had resided within her for so long, “I promise.”

✧✧✧

Chelsea, New York

“How are the stock markets this morning, husband?”

Trent looked up from his perusal of the Wall Street Journal on his tablet to stare at his wife. She was smiling. A genuine smile rarely graced Payal’s face. In the past year, he could count on one hand the number of times he’d seen it, and not once had it been directed at him. An uneasy foreboding slid through him.

NASDAQ is down two percent,” he replied carefully.

She clucked her tongue, “Well, don’t let that affect you.”

It was then he noticed the file in her hands. She walked over to him and placed it next to his coffee.

“What’s this?”

“Your heart’s desire – hand delivered divorce papers.”

Trent’s eyes narrowed. “What games are you playing, Payal?

“It’s what you wanted isn’t it?”

“Why now?”

Ignoring his question, she took a look around the house, the finest Chelsea real estate had to offer. And yet, despite her efforts, it had never turned into a home. “I’m moving back with Amma. Give the papers to the attorney once you sign.”

She left without looking back, and he let her go without a word. The soft click of the door shutting behind her served as a loud and final death knell to their marriage.

Trent reached out a cautious hand for the papers. She had even made tabs for the pages that required his signature. Trent’s laugh was self-mocking as he reached the page that stated her grounds for filing.

The stark row of black letters leaped at him.

Infidelity.

And suddenly he understood. Once again, Payal was forcing him to make a choice.

His freedom or Khushi’s honor.

✧✧✧

Upper West Side, New York

Her heartbeats were a crescendo of staccato notes as she descended the spiraled steps. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, she froze. Unable to do anything, but drink in the sight of the man standing in wait for her.

He looked tired, but his eyes were just as hungry as they raked down her outfit. The thick black jersey maxi fitted her like a glove. It was the reason Robbie had insisted on buying it for her last birthday and bringing it over from their apartment this morning. Now, as his eyes traced the lines the dress both concealed and highlighted, she was glad.

Khushi was surrounded by warm wool before she even realized he’d thrown a coat over her.

“Mine,” was all he said as he tightened the waist belt. Her eyes lifted to his. Was he referring to the coat or her?

“Ready?”

Was she ready? Since receiving his note, she had felt the weight of tonight’s conversation settle like jagged rocks at the pit of her stomach. She had spent the day mentally preparing, as deliberately as a general on the eve of battle. It was necessary when one’s opponent was a Raizada.

Taking a steadying breath she nodded, placing her hands in his.

Khushi was surprised when he led her to the estate’s helipad. “We’re flying?”

Arnav said nothing as he lifted her onto the helicopter. As she settled, he reached for the seatbelt, allowing his fingers to linger as he buckled her in.

“Arnav.”

“What?”

“You’re cheating.” she accused softly.

The corner of his mouth lifted, “Do you find it so hard to resist?”

“We’re going to talk tonight. Talk, Mr. Raizada.”

“Okay,” Arnav agreed easily. Khushi’s breath hitched as he leaned in until his face was mere inches from her. Khushi closed her eyes. She felt the fluttering touch of his lips on her eyelids before his murmur reached her ears, “The secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that [she] cannot fathom our real intent.”

Arnav grinned as he pulled back, but to his surprise, Khushi had a hand on the lapels of his jacket. She used it to draw him close, just before their lips met, she whispered, “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak… You’re not the only one who read The Art of War.”

“I didn’t think Sun Tzu would appeal to you.”

“It’s a classic. Although I think they should change the marketing to target women looking for a good primer on how to deal with alpha males.”

Pride flashed through Arnav. This woman, his woman, was not only a prize but a worthy opponent as well.

“Where are we going?” Khushi asked as he climbed in.

“Neutral grounds.”

“Arnav, the fact that you chose it, guarantees it won’t be neutral, but advantageous to you.”

His look was solemn as he turned to answer her, “I’ve been a businessman for too long not to evaluate the risks of every venture. This is important to me. I couldn’t afford to leave room for errors.”

“I’m not sure how I feel about being considered one of your business ventures.”

“Not just any venture, Khushi, but the most important one.”

✧✧✧

Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina, New York

An hour later, Arnav encouraged her to look out the window as the copter began to descend.

At first she couldn’t make out much through the rolling blanket of fog, but as if on cue, the harbor lit up. Before her was an aqua canvas of floating white palaces, lining the docks like ivory keys on a Steinway piano.

It was a majestic showcase, yet Khushi couldn’t help the sense of disappointment that he’d chosen such an empty vessel of wealth for their conversation. It served only to remind her that there was an ocean of distance between them; in lifestyle, in belief. Was it even possible to meet in the middle?

Arnav kept a sharp eye on Khushi as they landed on the helideck of his five deck yacht. Her face was too expressive to mask her thoughts. She saw through the transient trappings of wealth to the emptiness beneath. Thank fuck. He was banking on this very reaction.

Waving off their pilot, who’d been instructed to return tomorrow afternoon, Arnav turned to Khushi. “You’re disappointed.”

Since he put it out as a statement instead of a question, Khushi didn’t hesitate to confirm, “Yes.”

“I didn’t take you out here to show off a toy, Khushi.”

“Then why here, Arnav?”

“You’ll know soon enough, but I need to clear up something right now. I have money. More than one man should. I’ll be lying if I said I don’t appreciate certain privileges it brings. However, you also know that I wasn’t born to it. You’ve made your point that you cannot be bought. I would like my actions to be weighed with something of more value as well. Can you give me that?”

She searched his eyes, and then nodded slowly.

“Good.” Arnav rested his hand lightly on the small of her back, guiding her into the elevator. It bypassed the sun and upper deck, opening with sleek grace onto the main deck. “Too cold tonight for you to explore, we’ll leave that for tomorrow.”

Ignoring the implication of his words, Khushi stepped out of the lift, “Do you entertain here?”

“No. We purchased this four years ago as a getaway vehicle. Other than the crew when we take her out, only NK, Aman, Nani and I have been on The Jalpari.”

Khushi absorbed that quietly as she took in the surrounding luxury. In what she had come to expect of anything owned by the Raizadas, the space was stunning. A fine balance of classic and modern, designed with an elegant fusion of well-chosen wood, leather, marble and metals.

“Who named her?”

“Who do you think?” Arnav asked dryly, “It was supposed to be A.N.A. for our initials, but I was tied up in a meeting and Aman was feeling fanciful.”

“A.N.A. lacks imagination, Arnav.”

“Maybe, but at least it doesn’t evoke thoughts of Disney’s redhead.”

He was rewarded with her warm, earthy laugh. Arnav looked down at her as a surge of hunger tore through him. His arms circled her waist and with one motion brought her colliding with his body as he bent his head to capture the magic of them. It wasn’t soft or gentle, but hard and deep. The force of his mouth opened hers as he held her to him with almost painful pressure. It was a kiss of pent-up longing. And for the first time in days, the world felt overwhelmingly right.

“Sorry,” Arnav said on a harsh breath as he forced himself to pull back, “I just needed a taste of you.”

Khushi’s heart had lunged wildly in her chest the moment their lips touched. The ache that swept through her made her want nothing more than to sink into the passion simmering between them and to hell with any conversation.

“Don’t apologize. I..I needed that too,” she told him honestly.

“Dammit, Khushi! How the hell do you expect me to respond to that?”

“Can you just hold me, Arnav?”

The air around them started to undulate as the words passed through her lips.

“Fuck, Khushi,” Arnav whispered as he reached for her. In a gesture that was incredibly natural to both, she slid into his arms as he tucked her tenderly into him.

They stood like that for long moments, together comforting and being comforted.

“Come with me,” Arnav finally said, as he gave her a final squeeze before letting go.

“Where?”

“To my room.”

At Khushi’s look, his lips twitched. “Not what you’re thinking, there’s something I want you to see.”

“How many cabins are there?” Khushi asked as they made their way down the hall.

“Since it’s meant for our private use, we went with four suites, two on the Upper, and two on the Main.”

As they reached his private quarters, Arnav hesitated before opening the door and urging her in before him.

The first thing Khushi noticed was the stark difference between his penthouse and the room before her. Whereas the former often struck her as cold and devoid of the personal touches that turned four walls into a home, every inch of this space was stamped with Arnav.

Center stage was a queen bed, made up of warm ivory silk and outlined in a classic Greek motif. To the left was a starboard balcony that echoed the design of his bedroom, but here it was furnished with a coffee table and lush armchairs that made it effortless to imagine sharing an intimate meal between sky and sea. The right side was connected to a private study, complete with leather-clad chairs and desktop, but it was the silver photo frames tucked discreetly between volumes of books along the gorgeous cabinetry that warmed her.

This was the inner man he didn’t show the world. And he had just allowed her to walk right in.

Feeling Arnav’s presence behind her, she moved further into the suite. As she turned towards the elliptical panorama windows that framed the views, Khushi was brought to a sharp standstill. On the opposite wall from the bed, connecting the clear glass, hung a painting of a mermaid.

She sat in the arms of the ocean, long black hair cascading down her back, an expression of yearning etched across her face as she gazed out. However, it was the color of the eyes and fishtail that made Khushi catch her breath in stunned wonder, sea-green, a surreal likeness to her own.

She turned to Arnav, eyes wide with shock.

He came up beside her, absentmindedly removing the wool coat.

“Aman had it commissioned when we bought this. Ancient sailors often anointed their ships with occuli to help them find their way across rough seas. Since we couldn’t have that on the yacht, he wanted this to replace the figurehead for luck.” Arnav turned Khushi back to the painting, “The artist visited Shantivan while he was working on this and was inspired by the unusual color of the roof tiles.”

“It’s in your room.”

“It didn’t feel right in the other rooms.”

“Was that why… New Year’s Eve?”

Only three people knew of this painting. Arnav didn’t doubt that this was why Aman was convinced his gamble would pay off. Hell, it was the reason he’d been unable to turn away himself.

“As insane as this may sound, I feel as though everything in my life has led me to you. I searched for her in every woman, and didn’t even realize it. It wasn’t that I never wanted a relationship, it just never felt right. No woman lived up to the fantasy- then came you.”

“Arnav.” She stopped at his name.

“I told myself you couldn’t be real. I wanted to keep you at a distance, yet hold you close. I wanted to give you everything and yet nothing. I want a right to tell every other man to stay the hell away from you. I wanted to tell you my secrets, but I was fucking terrified you’ll walk once you know. But it isn’t about what I want anymore, but what I need. And God help us both Khushi, because I need you.”

✧✧✧

“You say you need me, but you’ve been manipulating my emotions all night, Arnav.”

“Don’t ask for fairness, Khushi, because you won’t be getting it. I will however, give you honesty. I warned you when you asked for all of me that you may not want everything I am.”

“You hurt me.”

“Yes,” he admitted, “And I paid for it when I found you damn near frozen in the snow. But you listened in on a private conversation.”

“Arnav, the words you used against Lavanya!”

“I know. They drew blood, but I didn’t leave that night without bleeding myself,” he turned from her, walking out to the balcony to stare into the dark.

“I can offer up dozens of apologies, but they won’t wipe the memory of that night from your mind. So I’m asking you for a chance. I have never explained myself to anyone, never had to balance my needs with another,” Arnav tilted his head back as he looked at her standing in the center of the one place he allowed himself to simply be, “For you, I’ll try. Will you listen to my story, Khushi?”

At her nod, his eyes turned distant as he forced himself to return to a time and place he’d shoved to the furthest reaches of his mind.

“I grew up believing my parent’s marriage was a love match. Our lifestyle was modest, but I never felt it was lacking. As I got older, I started to notice how they rarely spoke to each other unless Aman and I were present. When I asked my mother, she would explain how father worked hard to feed the family and a good wife was to be understanding in face of such noble exhaustion. It excused his ever increasing work hours and the weekend disappearances. I could sense that it wasn’t right, but why would my mother lie to me?… Why would she lie?” Arnav repeated to himself, as if he’d forgotten she was in the room with him.

Khushi remained silent as he shook off his thoughts, continuing in a voice that grew increasingly raspy.

“When I was eleven I heard my parents arguing. It was shocking since they never raised their voices. The walls shook, as if it too was shocked. I snuck into the kitchen and from the doorway I could see my father looking on impassively as my mother screamed at him. Next to him was a woman I’d never seen before, holding a small bundle in her arms. Later, I learned it was a baby – a baby girl.”

“Lavanya?”

“Lavanya,” Arnav confirmed.

“What happened?”

“My father backhanded my mother across the face and then he left with that woman. Before she walked out she looked unerringly to where I was and smiled. Triumph in every pore. I never forgot that look. Lavanya is the spitting image of her mother. Logically, I know they are two different women, but it is damn difficult to remember that when I look at her.” Arnav paused, running a hand down his face, “He didn’t come back. I learned a lot of hate in those weeks, Khushi. The man I had been raised to respect had suddenly become a monster. Ma didn’t know I was there that night, and she made all kinds of excuses for him.”

“There’s more isn’t there?”

Bitterness entered his voice, “Lucknow isn’t a small city, but gossip is quick to spread. A reporter came by one afternoon, she was pretty, very pretty and sympathetic. She asked me about my father. In my anger and confusion I told her everything. The next day it was printed in black and white in the Lucknow Journal. Turns out, the woman who ran off with my father was the District Magistrate’s wife. That article made her career while she made my mother out to be the fool.”

“Arnav, you were a child.”

“I was an idiot. I promised myself I would never allow any member of the press to take advantage of me or mine.”

Nor any woman either, Khushi thought to herself. She hesitated before asking, “Your father?

“He disappeared, no one could find him. But the headlines, the scandal, they hounded our steps. My mother couldn’t step foot out of the house without neighbors wagging their tongue at her inability to hold onto her husband.”

Chills of horror trickled down her spine as she recalled their conversation in his walk-in. She knew what was coming. “You … found her.”

Suddenly he was eleven again, barely comprehending what he was seeing, unable to get a response out of the lifeless body he was shaking with all his might. His voice was a hoarse croak as he answered, “Yes. I came into her bedroom when I found out she’d holed herself all day. Two pools of blood greeted me. She’d slit her wrists, choosing to drain herself of life.”

Instinct took over and ruled her actions as she rushed to him, wrapping both arms around Arnav’s waist. He was shaking, Khushi realized. She could feel the tremors as he pulled her into him.

Arnav eyes were stark with savage emotion. He drew a shaky breath, locking his jaw as he fought to regain control. She saw the battle, saw what it cost him to win it, but in seconds his hands were steady and his face blanked.

“Beside her was their wedding photo. When I held her wrist, hoping desperately to find a pulse, I made a wish then. I wanted the man who’d betrayed his family to die.” The words were foul and jagged along his throat. Arnav released her shoulders, letting his hands drop to his sides.

“I got my wish, Khushi. They found him. Murdered. Rumor was the Magistrate sent men to do the job. I didn’t even go to his funeral.”

The grooves around his mouth deepened. “And do you know what’s worst? Nani told me that it wasn’t even true. They never loved each other. My father ran away because he didn’t give a damn. And my mother took her life to escape.”

His eyes were vulnerable as he looked at her, “How can I expect a woman to want to stay, when I wasn’t enough for my mother to keep on living?”

✧✧✧

His face was inscrutable as he waited for her answer, eyes dark and watchful, body taut with tension. As if preparing himself for a blow, Khushi realized. Her mind was a chaotic swirl of thoughts, but one thing came through to her with absolute clarity. She couldn’t hurt this man. His pain was hers.

“I grew up promising myself I would never be like him. I succeeded, but the man I did become is no prize. You should walk away, Khushi, run far away from the man who will only taint you.”

Her heart clenched, “If I do, will you let me go like last time?”

She watched fascinated as a pulse beat at the base of his throat, before his eyes lighted with determined fire.

“No,” Arnav admitted, “A fair man would let you go, but my one virtue is being well aware of the depths of my selfishness.”

She looked at him, her eyes grave as she voiced her heart, “I love you, Arnav.”

Arnav didn’t hide the lighting flash of relief in his eyes, “Is that love enough for you to forgive me for hurting you? Enough for you to come back to me?”

She took a step back. “You are right. I should not have listened to a private conversation. But neither of us can change the fact that those words were said and heard. Just the thought of them chill me to my bones, Arnav.”

“Does it make a difference if I tell you I regret them?”

“Why do you regret them?”

“I know what you’re asking. It will not be easy to mend the years of bridge burning with Lavanya. I have promised Aman I will try. Although quite honestly, she may no longer want anything to do with me.”

“Arnav, with family all that is required is acceptance.”

“Something you didn’t get.”

“No.”

“You know that NK pulled a background check on you for me. I want to tell you that I’m sorry for the invasion of your privacy, but I’m not. The woman I know you to be would rather suffer quietly than burden anyone with your troubles.”

“Arnav, you need to stop relying on reports for things outside of your business ventures. There is a human element to everything. I wasn’t mistreated. Papa did his best and Garima wasn’t cruel, merely… indifferent.”

“And Payal?” he challenged.

“But life gave me a Robbie, Arnav. A sister in every way but one,” she countered him.

“Dammit you were homeless for a year, Khushi! Why? What happened when you turn eighteen? Why the hell did you sign over 15 million dollars’ worth of shares?”

She hesitated.

“Khushi.”

“Garima gave me a choice. If I walked away, she was willing to lay my father down to rest next to mother and my little brother.”

Arnav’s face hardened. “Hell Khushi, that’s making you sign under duress!”

“I’ve never regretted the decision. It was the one thing I could give them,” she said simply.

Something occurred to him then, “Why didn’t I see you at Shashi’s funeral?”

“I couldn’t bear it. There were so many people there, so many well-meaning strangers. When we buried my mother and little brother, they kept on telling me I shouldn’t cry. That they had gone to a better place. But, I wanted to, Arnav. I wanted to wail and throw a tantrum. I wanted to scream and cry. So I waited until the funeral was over… and did just that.”

“Your father was a good man, Khushi. One of the best men I ever met.”

“Has your opinion of him changed, now that you know about me?”

“He spoke so often of your mother, I felt I knew her. What he didn’t elaborate on was when she was part of his life. Somehow I’d always assumed Laramie to be a girl he loved before he was married. As he became a close friend, he would often lament on how he wished he could have given her the happiness she deserved. Three years after I met him, he went through a period of heavy depression. It must have been when he lost your mother,” Arnav paused for a long moment of consideration, “I’ll be lying if I said this doesn’t change how I perceive him. However, his actions brought you into the world. How can I regret that?”

“Arnav, you grew up wishing not to become your father. In truth, I felt the same way about my mother. It was buried so deeply, I didn’t realize it until I heard those thoughts voiced through your words to Lavanya. Until you’ve walked down the same path, it is so easy to cast blame and pass judgment.”

“Then let’s lay it to rest, Khushi. I know your past, you know mine. That threat is gone. Let’s go back to how we were.”

“But I don’t want to go back to how we were.”

He flinched, “I see.”

No, he didn’t, but she had prepared for this. She only needed to gather her courage.

“I love you, but I’m also scared of that love. You have the power to hurt me, a power that I handed to you.”

“Khushi, what-”

But she interrupted him, “I grew up carrying judgment in my heart towards the woman who did nothing wrong, but allowed herself to fall in love. She should not have chosen a married man, but with how I feel about you, I cannot say for sure I would be able to stop myself if you weren’t free. As a daughter, I wronged her. But as a woman she should have asked for more. She should have asked for all of the man.”

“What do you want from me, Khushi?”

“When I asked for all of you in exchange for all of me, it wasn’t a fair question. There were too many secrets between us. Your grandmother asked me to listen to what you had to say with an open heart. I have Arnav, and it hurts me that you were burdened with something that should never be placed on a child’s young shoulders. Where others may have allowed themselves to break, you used it to build yourself up. What you’ve made of yourself is something to be proud of. You’re more than your money, Arnav. If that was all, you wouldn’t have the loyalty of your grandmother, Aman and NK.”

She took a fortifyng breath, “In the eyes of the world, we can never we true equals. However, between us, in your eyes, I need to be. Respect is just as important as love. I don’t doubt my father’s love for my mother, but she was not an equal in his eyes. If she was, he would never have given her half a life. I cannot walk away from you, it would be akin to denying myself air.”

“Khushi, come here.”

“I don’t want to change you, Arnav. In bringing me here, in trusting me with your past, you’ve shown that you are willing to compromise. That makes all the difference. Your grandmother asked me not to play with your heart. I won’t. I’m handing you mine. Please, please take care of it.”

“Khushi, come here.” Arnav repeated.

“We need to discuss this, Arnav.”

“We can discuss it with you in my arms.”

She gave him a glimpse of the naked emotions brimming in her, then walked straight into his arms.

“Give me your eyes.” Arnav murmured. When she looked up, he traced a finger down her temple, capturing a tendril of her hair. A deep note of husk entered his voice as he gave her the words, “I love you, Khushi.”

Her lips were trembling. Even when she pressed them hard together, they vibrated under the influence of her roiling emotions. “Make me feel your love, Arnav.”

On an impulse he moved to the bed, lifting her astride his lap so that they were face to face. It was an intensely intimate position for talking, physically and mentally, but it felt right.

“Equals?”

“Yes, Arnav.”

He nodded. “I will give you four promises in exchange for one.”

“We need to break your habit of making deals in bed.”

With a solemn smile, he rubbed his jaw against her head and continued steadily, “I will make you an equal, Khushi. I’ll do it by standing before you when you need protection. I’ll do it by standing behind you when you need my support. Inside you when you need my passion, and always, always beside you as your man. In return, promise to stay with me. Because when I touch you, I touch happiness.”

✧✧✧

The words, no the vows, slid through her. Past all armors, past flesh and bones, and settled into her heart. Healing wounds and burying him deep. Her doubts were overshadowed, consumed, obliterated by the emotions that suffused her.

“What do you say to that, Khushi? Do we have a deal?”

She answered him by interlocking his lips with her own, softly sealing the promise between them. He slanted his head, deepening their kiss, giving her his hunger as he fed on hers.

She flowed like water under his hands, each hum and whimper of desire that sounded in her throat lit an answering flame within him that ruptured new needs. He fell back into the mattress, rolling them until she was beneath him.

“Let me see you,” he murmured, voice thick with love and lust.

Lightly, gently, mindful of her trembling, he loosened the dress, slipping it above her head. She was warm satin beneath, a delicate feast for eyes and hands. His mermaid, Arnav thought, dazed with the discovery as he bent over her.

She arched to meet him, shuddering with pleasure when his mouth closed over her breast in possession. Every movement conducted with exquisite control, even as his hands slipped sensually over the rest of her body, sending tiny eager pulses soaring.

His tenderness was unexpected, so terribly seductive, Khushi lost herself to his touch. “Tell me what you need, Arnav.”

“Just this,” he answered, as he stripped himself of his own clothes, “Just you.”

This time, when he tore open the foil package, she took the condom from him. “Let me.”

Despite her bold words, a blush tinged those cheeks as she sheathed him. When she finished the intimate task, she looked up at him with eyes that echoed the sea and lit by love. She was his, Arnav realized. His to touch whenever he desired, his to hold when his heart thundered, his to cherish as passion shimmered over her. His.

There was no triumph upon this realization; instead a sense of homecoming flowed through Arnav. Sliding his fingers into the shiny black curtain of her hair, he turned her face up, raining kisses over her face, burning a path down the length of her throat.

She responded by giving his overheated skin a dainty lick before returning to the mouth she could never get enough of. The admittance of love took the needs of their bodies beyond the boundaries she had known before, a new plane of pleasure where nothing existed, but the touch of her lover.

She wasn’t aware of the tears until he chased the salty rivets with his lips. Her breath hitched once, then shattered on a sob as Arnav joined their bodies. She pressed her face into his shoulder, holding tight, to the feeling, to the gift.

In the aftermath of their lovemaking, as he had done since their first night, Arnav folded Khushi into his arms. Undone by the events of the night, she kissed the spot just above his heart, before burying her face in the middle of his chest, “Love you, Arnav.”

Peace. After two decades of restlessness, he had found peace in her arms. Placing a kiss on her crown, he tucked her closer before responding, “I love you, my Khushi.”

With that final exchange, the two slipped into a quiet slumber.

Heart and soul anchored to each other. Home.

✧✧✧✧✧

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 a Tumblr post with no known credit.

*adapted from Sempre by J.M. Darhower

546 thoughts on “Night #9

  1. LOL, Refresh Hell is right. Especially since I’m quite eager to meet Mr. Cucumber!

    You guys are hilarious and so very loveable. Almost 6 months? How time flies. I think I’m ready to set up permanent residence in the Peanut Gallery, what are my housing options?

    And here’s looking forward to forever for Happiness and her billionaire! 🙂

        1. Mel sweetheart! It feels like you’ve been away forever. Sooo good to have you back and all the headache behind you. ^^

          HEE, agreed on the property tax!

  2. NK may finally be getting his due’s but my inherent bias towards Khushi means that I simply cannot wait for her to meet her happiness in the loving arms of her billionaire, especially as the winter nights in reality are beginning to draw to a close ladies.

    Promises littered amongst the rays of sunshine should finally be due to glow bright and yet the darkness of Shyam still lurks :/

    Here’s hoping that the dragon lady outwits us all! 😀 xxx

    1. Dragon Raizada will have her moment, but K & I felt it was damn time our hero and heroines reached out and nabbed their own rays of sunshine 😀

    2. You need to share why Shyam has you more worried then Payal!

      Since we are mutually bias towards Khushi, I cannot wait until we reach the fulfillment of those rays of sunlight and your thoughts on it. ^^

      1. I don’t know Shyam’s motive. But I do know that Arnav will protect and avenge Khushi from the likes of Payal. Plus – she is already active on his radar. Shyam is too dark a mystery for me.

        I cannot wait for these days either!! Xx

        1. I feel like my hands are tied on Shyam. There’s not enough room in the story to explore him with any level of depth and it’s unfortunate since he seems to capture the imagination of quite a few readers, including K and myself.

          But SOMEONE is stubborn about her number of chapters so what to do eh? 😛

          1. Hehe I understand completely and it is a shame, but perhaps an outtake could be dedicated to the man at some point? Technically that isn’t a chapter so… 😉

          2. We are dealing with Ms. Hard Head when she sets her mind to it. Pyre and Mel have been petitioning for an Aman Outtake, I’ve been begging for another Interlude… have at her. Your third request may be the charm 😀 I need more chapters dammit!

          3. I highly doubt it S, she came to me with an idea for an OS which soon spiralled into an TS and despite the excitement we have achieved exactly zilch :/

            If you are reading this K, you are a beautiful woman in demand, pretty please with lots of lovely cherries on top can you make our wishes come true? Tell AD to bore off for a few weeks! *please imagine here Khushi style big puppy dog eyes and a cute pout heh?*

            xx

          4. Is that a complaint filed against the captain? 😀 She’s been buried under work lately and my constant texts as I attempt to break through my first case of writer’s block.
            Good choice with the puppy eyes and pout. Let’s hope it penetrates … otherwise we’ll all end up with hands over our ears 😛

          5. I would call it less of a complaint and more of a shameful guilt trip! To be fair we are both buried under work and neither is able to fully commit or let go so our timelines are perhaps best described as brilliantly desi… in other words; unreliable and everchanging!

            But K; I am still hoping that the big doe eyes melt your heart enough to grant the additional parts S is seeking!

            And S: we’ve all been there, and I’m sure you will figure it all out eventually. Writer’s block can be a curse and an eventual boon when you realise that the thoughts and words today and much better than what you had hoped for and anticipated yesterday! Xx

  3. Refresh Hell sounds apt. 😛 Though I may not be around as much now a days in the peanut gallery, please know ladies that my heart is here. Looking forward to more of the rabbit hole we’ve come to love so much. And, thank you for continuing to gift us with your presence in one of the best ways possible. 😀 Muaahh… Eagerly awaiting Mr. Cucumber & Robbie, the darling of all. 😛 Not to be greedy but some action on our recently converted to Humble Humanity from nut headedness Raizada with our already very humble Khushi. 🙂 O and also Aman-Anjali, some Lavanya, and the Lady dragon. Okay, all of them… 😛

    1. Hi Huma 🙂
      I second this greedy request. I want more of everyone in the next update!
      NK absolutely deserves some naughty times, but so does Arnav babes.
      Will we be getting to witness Aman and Anjali’s wedding? I so want a honeymoon scene for them too. Little brother has the worst case of blue balls ….

    2. Humble Humanity?! lol, he found his heart, but there’s been no personality transplant that I’m aware of! 😛

      Very Greedy 😀

    3. Are we so demanding that we cause literal guilt pangs? =p
      Love your company sweethearts, but you know we understand when you have other priorities. Or… at lease we try 😉

      S is trying to talk me into another Interlude. Don’t encourage her!

  4. Why do I feel so much guilt over the missing in action line?
    Mel is back babes! I have missed you two and FWN so much. All crises have been dealt with and I’m more than ready to hang out in the PG.
    OMFG S!!! – that April Fool’s prank was evil incarnate! I just felt so much relief to realize it was a joke, I can’t even muster up a laugh. K! How could you let her?

    By the time we wrap up this story, I think my vocab will be much extended. 🙂
    The site just gets better and better K. I love what you did for FWN’s index, very sexy and modern.

    1. Mel, I am in the same boat. Guilty over not being as active, AD has completely taken over… How have you been? I am so glad that all your crisis have been dealt with, can’t wait for that to happen with all of mine. Welcome back! 🙂 FWN rocks not just for the story, but for our lovely S&K and for having this platform to interact with each other. 😀

      1. I’m much better now, thanks for asking Huma. AD was just so stressful last month. I hope you’ll find your calm much sooner!
        The good thing is that our two demanding writers are also very understanding despite their poking fun at our expense 😀 And who else would encourage us to abuse this platform so earnestly?

    2. Mel Mel you’re back! I’m glad to hear you’re better now.
      I’m of the mind that S spends her days coming up with new ways to torture us. And our Cap just gives in because it would be too much trouble otherwise. lol

      1. OMG I can actually see S doing that. haha. It’s so good to be back. The first thing I did logging online was doing a pitch stop by the Ficverse and then it was straight to FWN. Are we hooked or what? 😀

        Let’s go bomb those two with the request for a fourth outtake!

    3. I already sent you an epic welcome letter, but it’s soooooo damn good to see you back in the PG.

      I don’t think you vocab will be the only thing extended *cough, cough, chokes* 😛

    4. Do you think I exert any control over that imp? 😀
      Besides, a little heart exercise won’t hurt the organ, and is quite beneficial! ^^

      Love having you back here sweetheart!

  5. Am very happy in falling in the hole. I would have miss such an amazing story. U have blended the characters so well and the result is three adorable couples, arnav khushi,an an anjali,nk Robbie. I just live them. NANI is just nani. I think all of us would like ours to be like her.

  6. Hey Girls,

    Sorry for going all incommunicado. Had to fly to my home town. Had an urgent family matter to attend. Twas one of those times when your idealised sapnon ki duniya is jolted by the trials and tribulations of real life, and so an overloaded fortnight later, am finally back to routine.

    I hope you missed me, S & K. You better have. 😀 Or else am gonna catch the red-eye to SF, hound you down and make sure you never, ever forget me. And then am gonna make stops at all the places my friends here call their home and then make sure they do not put me away to oblivion either. So SF, then Baker Street, then…..which reminds me, what’s up my dear Holmes ? 😉

    Gosh, it feels good to be home. <3

    1. And awww, my uber sexy parrot is gonna get some. 😉 Am I in time for some cucumber action or what!!

    2. Dr. Priya! Is tonight a reunion or what?
      Of course you’ve been missed, first by your Holmes and then by two writers who’s been cribbing to me how much they miss love notes from a certain someone!

      I hope everything is ok on the family front? Such emergencies are tough on physical and mental health.

      Welcome back 🙂 And right on time too. Mr. pony tail parrot is getting some major action soon!

      1. All’s well, now. Being continually away from ones parents and siblings does take its toll. But hey, all one can do is take it in stride and just go with the flow.

        About time for some BL-C action. 😉
        I am so damn smitten, totally gone for my Parrot. <3 Night #8 and the second interlude only reinforced my absolute faith that I have fallen for the right man. 🙂 I would not have relinquished my claim on him, but for Robbie. Her ability to get in 'The ASR's' face and disarm him with her bluntness and candour, makes her a very special exception.

        So, Robbie my girl, NK is all yours. Am sure my parrot won't mind being restrained in the cage of your warm and loving arms. You guys are so meant to be.

    3. P.R.I.Y.A.!!!!!

      Sorry to hear that, but damn glad to have you back with us. Welcome home dear! Of course you’ve been missed. Very much so. Why catch the redeye to SF? LA is more fun and we have better weather 😀

      I so wish we had a girl version of bromance, because you Pyre crack me up 😛

    4. Was this a love note or a threat? =p
      Don’t fish when you know how much you’re adored!
      I’m delighted you’re back, and hope family matters will ease it’s obligations.

      Although, a red-eye to SF may result in a permanent move! 😉

  7. Finally some action for NK and Robbie and Arnav’s not so empty arms … Signals an amazing night and I for one cannot wait to read it !! So looking forward to Night #9 !! 🙂

  8. Mr Cucumber!!!!!???? ROFL. Yikes!! Surely he deserves a better moniker despite the size of his nether regions. Having said that, I am dying for Robbie to confirm the comparison.

    6 months?? feels like forever when I am stalking this page looking for updates. 9th April seems like an eternity as I wither away waiting. Sigh 🙁 But like they say, all good things comes to those who wait, so wait I shall. Some things are just worth waiting for 😀

    1. What can we say? He’s a no fuss, plain speaking man. It fits 😀
      Stalking is good for the writer’s soul and a bit of withering won’t harm you either 😉

      If I had a blushing bone in this body, it would be crimsoned by now from all the lovely compliments and good company. Thank you!

  9. Heya! Just came across this fanfic and i have to say that this is simply woowww!!! Loved the story and am completely glued to it…i especially,love the bromance between Aman and nk…cant wait for night 9!!!!😁

    1. A warm welcome to FWN skywalker!
      The name sends my brain instantly to Star Wars 😀

      Completely glued huh? Well, won’t you be kind enough to tell us what made the story so sticky? 😛

  10. OHHHH I found the Peanut Gallery! LOL I didn’t realise I’d already been using it but oh wells
    I’m one of the unfortunates that fell down the rabbit hole and I’m still stuck down it. AHH 4 days!!! Can’t wait SO EXCITED THIS IS GONNA BE GOOOD
    Aw finally NK gets his black lace 😉 He’s been so patient bless him
    “Mr Cucumber” my goodness what have you girls got planned for us?

    1. Your confidence in us is truly humbling. Ugh…. makes me want to nail bite lol.

      Ummm… just some heat, some kisses, a pouring of words, and a mad dance … or two 😉

  11. Uhh…hi…One of the blogs that i read…reblogged yours…and i stumbled upon yours…its lovely yaar.. i can’t believe that its your first story…its so gripping….i have my CA Final exams in a month…and here i am reading away this story…my parents are so fed up of my reading obsession and upon that i stumble upon your story…seriously guys loved your story… btw if you’re also interested in reading than do read Anonymous’s blog…she is a wonderful writer too…

  12. Oops…i forgot to mention her blog address…its fictionpur.wordpress.com
    If you’ll are up for reading…then do give her a chance…shez a superb writer..

    Now coming onto FWN, What do i tell you…your story has wrapped in around its little finger… the best and the most interesting character in the story is definitely Nani n Anjali…they are potrayed in a way they should’ve been potrayed on the show..i had expected Nani to be that Matriarch of the family who takes decisions and can actually stand up to his grandson’s arrogance… but sadly she was not…similarly for anjali i had expected her to be strong as she too faced the same situations…infact worse because of her polio but ever her character was butchered…
    Now coming onto Shyam… he is gay??!!! 😮 Actually I read a few comments in one of the night updates…n there a person said that Shyam is gay…i dun remember reading shyam is gay …is it true? if it is true then in which night is it specified…? please do answer…I’ll read that night again..
    Nk n Aman – Hayye…mar jawan gud khake…i love them…so different from our IPKKND….and Aman actually has dialogues here….rather than just listening to his boss ka order n arranging meeting…
    Robbie Sinclair…. Now she is the bestest best friend one could ask for…the only problem is i have zero knowledge abt sports and i didn’t understand anything about ur baseball rules as regards arnav’s mistakes… i meant it said for homerun u need 3strikes…so what does homerun mean?

    Anyways…gtg…mom giving me those killer looks .. so if i dun keep my phone down now… i’ll have to kiss my phone goodbye until exams…so its better i say you goodbye as of now..ciao!!…

    1. No, no. We don’t do little fingers around here. It’s long, lush, manly digits only! 😛

      I’m glad to hear we are delivering on Nani and Anjali. Agree with you completely about the horrible butchering of their characters on the show. We are humbly doing our best. Although, honestly, no one has done a better Anjali than Maya in her delightful tale – ‘Khushi’ Do check that one out.

      FWN is all about text and subtext. Some things we like stating outright, others we flirt with words. For Shyam… you’ll have to read between the lines 😉

      Ahem…. before I launch into the language of love sports, you need to confirm your age! K & I don’t want to be held responsible for misguiding our youngsters 😀

      1. I am 21…I said CA Final yaar…so I’m obviously not a minor :p …you’ve to read in between the lines dear.. 😉 :p
        Hahah…Dun mind..jus kiddin…and do give me the link of the story you’re talking about…would love to read..

        Btw what does this mean “No, no. We don’t do little fingers around
        here. It’s long, lush, manly digits only!” ??
        I’m a bit slow…and I have no shame in accepting that so you’ve to explain me clearly… :8

        Oops sorry forgot to introduce myself… I’m Tara.. Age 21 😉 (This indirectly means introduce yourself too! :p )

        Now coming to sports…well the problem is that I hate sports…or maybe I loathe sports…so I have zero knowledge about it …

        1. Shit! Sorry! My eyes went right past that. Cool.
          Here’s Maya’s Khushi – http://mayahill.com/khushi001/
          Hands down one of the best Arshi ff penned. Enjoy!

          Your your honesty is refreshing Tara. The fingers comment is just innuendo 😉

          You can call me S 😀
          As for age…. K and I are going to toss out a poll soon. We are curious to know how old our readers think we are, so hang tight!

          Hahaha, a liking of sports isn’t necessary for this. The Urban Dictionary has kindly laid it out – so here you go! 😛 http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Sexual+Bases

    2. Yes, we are well versed in Anon’s tales ^^
      I’m glad you’re enjoying this tale and will leave matters of sport discourse to S!

  13. Three freaking days fr d next part.. y r u guys doin ds… telling der wil b 7 course meal n just giving a glass of lime.. ok..iI will wait.

      1. I am here, as always…
        somehow couldn’t read the complete interlude…
        now as I am gonna read that…will surely share my thoughts…
        but apologies to keep u waiting….hope u won’t mind…

  14. Yayyy can’t wait for 9 🙈🙈
    So excited for nk 😂
    Congratulations on your 6 month anniversary
    Eagerly waiting for the update
    Hopefully khushi will find happiness in his arms 🙊🙊

  15. Ooo night 9 promises to be hot and heartwarming at the same time 🙂 looking forward to it

  16. Cn’t wait for chp 9
    Waiting for the update dr
    Hope Arnav and khushi will find their happiness together and will stand for each one
    Cngrats on yr 6 mnths anniversairy 🙂

  17. I kind of stumbled in this land of fantasies and dreams and wish not to wake up any time soon but rather become a part of it forever.
    congrats on the 6 months anniversary! a day to cherish the unbelievable achievements and the so very deserving success. Cheers ladies!

    1. A warm welcome to fantasies and dreams menakapuhan!
      My motto is simple, if it’s delicious, drown in it 😉

      Don’t be a stranger in sharing your thoughts, you have two greedy writers who enjoy devouring them.

    2. A hearty welcome to FWN menakapuhan^^
      May you not regret the decision to plunge yourself down this particular corner of the ficverse 😉
      We look forward to your company!

  18. Oh, I see the work of a tease. A nail mark here, a close swish there and a promise is all that remains in your clutches. Well, you have our attention. All of it and some extra. Bring it on, Babydolls. 😉 Let’s celebrate this gala with a bachelorette. Mix some Red with the black. :*

    1. Oh, the weight of your attention is felt. Rendered most visually in my poor jagged nails 😛

      We plan on throwing a grand ball for the event, so prepare another worthy lipstick! 😉

  19. Dreading yet excited for refresh hell! Can’t wait for the Khushi/Arnav reunion and the explosions that are sure to follow! Also wondering if there will be more development on the Lavanya/Aman (and eventually Arnav–fingers crossed!) relationship?

    1. Why dread something that has surely become routine? 😀
      Now I have a bone to pick with you. No explanation of disappearance? No lengthy notes of love? 🙁

      On La…. hmm…. yes and no 😉
      We truly never planned a large arc for her character, but as demand grows… it has fallen into our consideration pile. The threads will be neatly knotted, but how lengthy and elaborate shall depend on time, energy and love!

      1. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice! I’m so sorry, school has been insane, and as a result I’ve had to put fun stuff (and your guys’ writing is at the top of my list of fun stuff) on the back burner 🙁 Once summer comes around I will have more time to write you the notes of love that you guys deserve! 🙂 Although I’m hoping I’ll have time this weekend to get caught up on the last couple of nights 🙂 fingers crossed!

        1. Oh we notice. It’s an occupational hazard 😉 Good to see you here again vyomashah!
          Ah careful about that promise, S has a steel trap memory and will definitely hold you to it!
          All kidding aside, we understand life can be hectic – come hang out whenever time permits ^^

        2. Oh it’s been noted 😛 Absence makes the heart fonder and all that 😉
          No worries, I like to tease. Concentrate on school, it should definitely be your priority! (I really should take my own advice… although I may get mobbed at this point :P)

          Hop in and hang out with us when there’s time. BUT! I’m expecting a bang on essay from you upon the conclusion of FWN!

  20. When will Mr.cucumber get his much awaited black lace??? Gals have some pity on him……to leave the poor man high and dry…….bahut na insafi hain!!

    1. I think the only one who should be pitied is our poor Aman lol
      But his case of blue balls is out of our control… NK’s shall be addressed shortly 😉

  21. All I did was add flames to this, but I feel so proud to offer up something meta to you guys. How appropriate that this comes from me right? 🙂

  22. Ah ha…the dragon lady strikes, keeping her grandson’s love close and confined. Good move on her part. Arnav gets to keep his presence felt even sight unseen, out of sight but not out of mind.

  23. That was awesome !! So Arnav rescued khushi and his Nani was supervising her recovery at shantivan !! Wonder why Arnav was not willing to face her when he clearly spent the night with her. Why only the flowers ?? Really lookng forward to their next meeting. 🙂 Nk and Robbie were cute. Can’t wait for your next update. 🙂

  24. Amazing update as usual. can not wait to see whats going on with ASR. Whats going on in his mind now. Glad that khushi is getting some care which is so well deserved.

    1. I’m glad we’re seeing more of you here. Don’t be shy, every friendship and connection begins with a hello! ^^

      Thank you! Ah… sometimes I’m not sure even the man himself really knows 😉 But we’ll guide him though it!

  25. wow.. khushi in shantivan… cool.. wonder how payal wud react learning tht… and our dear ASR might be busy learning to crawl or watever:-))
    and finally Noah got to see the black lace…. three dates already in a week… good job . that was hot…

  26. It is official. Noah Katlyne Ryan owns me. (lol, I would never have guessed the name and I love the reason behind it! No wonder he chooses to go with the initials.)
    What an update!
    Do you two know why I so willingly subject myself to refresh hell? Because you guys manage to capture that fine balance between passion, fun, and heart. Every single time.

    I really appreciate how NK and Robbie’s relationship is written so differently from Arnav and Khushi’s. From their innuendo filled bantering to their hot as hell ‘connection’. Robbie is right in saying NK’s attitude makes him mouthwatering, although those flexing muscles don’t hurt. Laughter and good sex… a powerful combo isn’t it?

    On to our heroine. How deeply am I supposed to read into that dream?
    Why do I find Arnav’s phantom lover approach so hot? Khushi is right though, it’s time they face each other. I know you two are busy, but I’m very eager for next parts! Don’t leave us hanging too long please. 🙂

    1. Gah, you!!! Hugs, darling.
      Honestly, at this point he owns me too 😛

      By the way, because you and Mel have been so very persistent, I caved regarding Aman’s honeymoon. Although it won’t be an outtake. But! It won’t be what you’re expecting! 😀

      I loved your various interpretation of the dream by the way. We’ll come back to it at the end. Go check out the bromance ^^

    2. Spreading yourself a bit thin aren’t you? 😀
      What would we do without Pyre? I don’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your company and endless support. MUAH!
      The most powerful combo of all! What more could a girl ask for?

  27. OMGGGGG it was so hot
    Loved nk and Robbie love making
    Hahaha Noah katlyne
    Everything is perfect
    Nk got lace and Robbie got to know his name ❤️
    Coming to arshi
    Can’t wait for khushi to confront Arnav
    Red roses 😍
    Loved it
    Please continue soon
    Thankyou
    Lots of love
    Laters baby 😂😘

  28. Woah I am loving this chapter..
    Starting with Khushi..so Arnav is not meeting her face to face but he is there for her ..I did not think that she would be in Shantiivan..anyways I think we are going to gave the much needed talk between A and K.

    NK and Robbie…their part was hot but not in a vulgar way..Btw I love the name Noah..

    1. Your presence have been missed Meera! I hope it was just a case of a busy AD. ^^

      I have a soft spot for the name Noah. But S fought me tooth and nail over his christening! 😉

      I think you in particular will enjoy their overdue talk. We will finally address a question we’ve been dodging since Night #1 – Why the instant connection?!

      1. I missed being here..AD and word press was giving me a hard time to comment ..not that I was not aware of the updates …But its good to be back in the peanut gallery!

    2. And she’s back! Was wondering where you disappeared to, glad to see you here again meera. 😀
      I swear I feel like a mother bird looking after her nest when I check in on the peanut gallery LOL
      Dragon Lady isn’t going to let such an opportunity slip out of her fingers!

  29. lovely chapter….

    i guess arnav is scared to face kushi, can not wait how kushi will catch aranv….

    no comments on NK and Robbies, they deserve each other bus, but Nk name that’s surprise, can not stop laughing….

    thanks for the update…
    If id is kushiarnav1…

  30. What an update! Love it…

    Happiness is at Shantivan! Dragon Lady is there helping Khushi recover with maternal power. Arnav has chosen to be behind the scenes to let Khushi know he is there. Don’t know what he fears by bringing himself in front of her. How sweet…roses from his personal greenhouse. He would not just give them to anyone. Khushi knows she is special, but no idea to what extent.

    NK and Robbie what a riot. Love his name – Noah…so innocent sounding, but not ;)…They crack me up with their sass. There is hotness, passion, sexiness and just simple NK and Robbie.
    He finally got his black lace fettish satisfied…for now.

    And then you leave us hanging and pleading for more….

    1. Maternal power is awesome isn’t it? 😀
      Of course not! She is very likely the only woman to receive those precious blooms. ^^

      Good that you caught the ‘for now’ aspect! 😉 We don’t want to leave you gals hanging, but time is a rarely commodity these days. We do try!

    2. Absolutely not! Those roses are of premium quality dammit! Can’t just go handing them out carelessly 😛

      I’m glad you enjoyed RoNK, although plenty of readers will complain about the time we dedicate to them, how can we not when they played such crucial roles in bringing Arshi together?

  31. I’m so tempted to start reading!! BUT I CAN’T! I like reading all in one go so I will patiently wait, even if it means staying up til half 3 again!! I’M SO EXCITED HERE GUYS

      1. LOL oh sorry haha, I just realised a few days back I didn’t have a picture and that’s my favourite of Arnav and Khushi. K had a slightly different one. In her’s he’s holding her from behind (insert hearty eyes emoji)

        1. Haha it’s cool. I just instantly connect red arshi with K. 😀 I love all the photos from that photoshoot, so we’re good. 😀

  32. Heeeey! New reader here! Read all the chapters and must say I am hooked! The story line is amazing and absolutely love all the characters. They all have their individual unique traits. It’s great to see how all the characters take their relationships very seriously. Whether it is family or friends. They will do anything for them. Go to any extent. NK cracks me up. Finally he got on with Robbie. They both deserve one another. Robbie’s got her Prince Charming. Now waiting for khushi to have THE talk with Arnav. Do continue soon!

    1. Welcome to FWN sakhter!^^
      I firmly believe you get what you put into life. This a group of individuals who have experienced hurts, they have made mistakes and bad judgement calls, and now learning how to move on and build a new future from it. Hopefully one that is brighter.

      Don’t be a stranger and enjoy the rest of the ride!

    2. Oh good, we caught another unsuspecting fish 😉
      Welcome to FWN sakhter!
      Hahaha I’m rather amused by all these comments of ‘finally’, when our story thus far covers a period of 3 weeks! 😀

  33. i’m not sure how to decipher that dream, and not sure what it’s meaning/implying…

    It’s nice to see the Dragon Lady be so protective of Khushi and make her stay at Shantivan. Happiness is finally at the place where she belonged.

    Very much anticipate Khushi and Arnav’s confrontation. It’s about time this situation between them is resolved. It’s interesting to have Arnav stay visibly out of her sight to let her recover, but at the same time clearly show his presence and his care to her by being by her side every night and leaving a rose on the pillow every morning.

    Noah Katlyne . Never would have ever guessed that hahaha. but holy shit that was so hot between NK and Robbie.

    1. Go back to the dream once we wrap up the chapter and I’m sure it’ll be much clearer. You know we love teasing you gals, even within the story itself 😀

      The making of a romantic hero yeah? 😉

      S & I argued forever over the name! HEE.

    2. Poor girl will find that it’s easy to enter, but difficult to leave! 😀
      He isn’t that considerate. lol Arnav is a strategist at his core. He may be in love, but winning is part of his DNA, so her recovery time is also Arnav’s time to figure howdoIgetthiswomantostaywithmewiththeleastamountofgroveling 😉

  34. I have not read it yet I nor did I go through the note. I came to say a big hello and a very big sorry asli duniya was taxing me and was down with very bad health issues. As soon as I recovered here I am coming back to my girly. I missed you guys captain k and S you have done wonders so what I want is to which you both great imagination crazy thoughts to complete this venture in style. Good luck girls for the long marathon on night 9. Waiting to know what’s on the platter . I hope our dragon lady is involved

    1. Not worries sweetie. It makes me happy that you care enough about us and story to drop by even when life is hectic. Truly humbling. 🙂
      I hope the health issues are improving? I really hate being sick, so wishing you the speediest of recoveries!
      Your health and obligations takes priority, just come hang with us when possible. ^^

    2. Thank you! I hope you’re feeling better health wise gkumaravelu, because that totally sucks. Don’t feel guilty, come chill and marathon with us when it’s possible.

  35. This is S and K writing about my fiery RoNK. Need I say more!!
    The passion is well penned as always. You didn’t go overboard, at the same time it wasn’t mechanical at all. The entire scene was intense and yet soft and totally becoming this red-hot, cute, goofy and cheeky couple!!
    It conveyed their journey up till now. They had a bumpy start but they found each other and they found everything. <3

    “Your name, Handsome. You get black lace, I get your full name, remember?”

    “Seriously? You want to do this. Now?!” 😀 LOL…… This just killed me, S & K.

    Noah Katelyn… WHAT??? That's what Birdie's been christened?? I think am gonna stick with 'NK Ryan' for my ponytailed, brawny, all-man boxer from the outback.

    Now coming to A & K. Khushi's dream has left me 'at sea'. Pun intended. So she is revelling in the protective embrace of the sea when the waves lead her to the shore and reluctantly she has to let go of the soothing ripples of the water??? Please shed some light, my dear Holmes. 😉

    1. Priya! You have been terribly missed sweetheart! It’s really feels like we have a full house in our Peanut Gallery again. ^^

      Hahaha, well thank you for not finding their union mechanical! =p
      Yes, yes, I know all about your feels towards our manly NK, but Noah Katelyn represents the lovely gentle man beneath the brawny, all-man boxer badass yeah? 😉

      Ha! Your Holmes already sent me a lengthy email filled with guesses, but I asked that she refrain from talking about it here. By the end of the update, I’m sure you’ll understand our intent, if not, THEN yell for your Baker St. buddy 😀

    2. And how are you doing Priya? I hope things have completely calmed down.
      lol I knew we would get some reactions to that name 😀 Birdie finally got his fantasy fulfilled…. not bad right? 😉

  36. loved the update..wonder whats going on in ASR’s mind. feeling too guilty, i think.
    cannot wait for that confrontation.
    superb update. two thumbs up.

  37. Is that all or is there still more to come!? I’m so confused!! But I’ve loved what I’ve read so far. NK’s in I REPEAT NK IS IN aw yay so happy for him!
    But what’s going on in Arnav’s head? Bechara must be feeling like crap, hopefully you guys can find a way to sort out Arnav and Khushi’s mess 😉

  38. Let me start by saying how sorry I am for the lateness in getting back to the story. I have no excuse except that all my projects started at the same time and sometimes I need to remember that it is ok to delegate. Got to get that control freak out of me.

    Thank you so much for the dedication. Love you gals! I have missed so much in the short time I have been away. I will be back to the refresh hell shortly as a more regular visitor.

    I love that scene at the beginning of this chapter, floating in the ocean without a care and feeling wrapped up by the waves. There is no better feeling than that for me having spent countless hours in the Indian Ocean in similar fashion. I also love how this is also a comparison to Arnav’s name – him being the protective warmth the ocean. Even if he was not there in person, he made sure she felt that warmth. Sappy of me, I know but I love that in a guy, not overboard romantic but just enough to make you remember him. The roses make sense now as he had to leave something behind for her to have during the day when he is not there with her. I guess she is fully recovered now and the tigress cannot wait anymore to face the man in person and see what is going on in that head of his. I am so glad that Robbie told her about his reaction and actions after finding her in the cold. Cannot wait for that conversation to happen now.

    Of my Noah Katelyn! He just got sexier to me for using that initial in his life. Yeah, parents torture their kids with the names they pick. I hated by middle name throughout my childhood as I swear my father could not have picked a more ancient name but now I love the symbolism behind it. He could have dropped the K but keeping it shows an appreciation for both the women behind it. You gals just had to throw that naked beast coming out the shower image at us, didn’t you? No wonder Robbie gave in finally. The fact that he was torturing her with the kisses that were leaving her wanting more combine with the visual picture shows how confident he is in his skills where he did not push himself on her but waited till she was ready. That was hot and steamy. Btw, I am with NK about using the leverage he is providing her in moving her career. He is simply opening he door and it is all up to her to seal the deal. It is not taking anything away from her in reaching her goals. Same thing apply in corporate world as it is really who you know and how to network to get to know more. Simple as that. So you go get those wings darling Robbie as you have been nothing but an angel to Kushi.

    1. I feel you about the control and the delegation. It’s so hard to entrust other people with tasks! But, please no apologies to us. We love having you here, but only after other obligations are met.

      Writing FWN is bringing out the romantic in me! It’s nice to know S & I are not alone on the sap =p

      Oh! I knew you and Pyre would catch the intent behind his use of initials. He could’ve have simply gone with Noah and not mention his middle name, but that’s not our guy. 🙂

    2. lol I’m the opposite. I will delegate EVERYTHING I can get away with 😀
      Your comments often keep me sane (and prevent the serious head banging), a dedication was a must. MUAH!
      It depresses me that a romantic heart is so often sneered at these days. A woman CAN be empowering and dig a chick lit you know? They are not mutually exclusive of each other.
      Honestly it’s awesome to write on RoNK. There’s no pressure or expectations, we can take them wherever we want. While I love Arshi… damn canon is like a pressure cooker! 😛

  39. ahaan…so arnav is not facing khushi….
    eagerly waiting for the confrontation…
    NK n Robie…they are awsmmmmm…loved the chemistry between them…
    fantabulous update dearies….

  40. Hi … I kept waiting for my email box to beep on the 9th to tell me u guys updated but it never did ….curiosity got the betr of me n i opened the site to check n lol thr is the update … As always amazing … Was just going thru the interlude n found out tht i missed reading all the othr parts aftr the first one …. God i guess my ipad forgot how to refresh …. Comn bak to both the updates … Oh i just love NK and Aman … Guess u guys hav paid extra attention to them than r poor arnav …. N aftr ths update totally drooling over NK …. Loving it till now … Never could hav guessed trent could be such a jerk …. Thot he must be apologetic for his past actions but tht guy deserved what he got …. Eagerly waiting for the other parts …. Read the entire interlude …. Glad arnav realised his mistakes …. Wil write more aftr i read both the parts again …. Thy r sooo long have to re read to remember … Now waiting for more

    1. You should be well accustomed to our updating style by now! 😀
      We have equal love for all of our heroes. However, with Arnav and Khushi we are restricted by canon, a personal choice really. It is much easier to play with the dynamics of the others as they are more a product of our imagination then that of the show.
      But we promise a satisfying ending for all of them, so just sit back and enjoy the journey. After all, isn’t that the best part? 🙂

    1. While Arshi is our main couple, we enjoy digging into the rest. Enjoy the parts as they are, and let us guide you through the tale! ^^

  41. Dragon lady is really something special . love the way she made everything possible for khushi speedy recovery…. one work for Robbie and Nk Steamy encounter.. F*@KING HOTTTTTTTTT!!!!! Did I just say one word lol

  42. Sorry guys. Travelling ryt nw… wil read once I am back… n I want to read d epilogue too..

  43. I read this Story in one go and I am absolutely loving it…
    It is a roller-coaster of romance, emotions and drama…
    Each character is unique in their own way… but my fav is NK & Robbie… but Dragon lady definitely has her moments… last but not the least is Arshi…
    can’t wait to read more 🙂

    1. A warm welcome to FWN varsha! ^^
      Thank you for the kind comments and we hope to have your company for future updates!

      Our Aussie and his golden girl is yummy yeah? 😉

  44. Awesome update dr khushi in shantivan..Thinking why Arnav is not talking to Khushi???
    can’t wait for the next update 🙂
    Nk and Robbie is hot hot hot and love their chemistry dr…

  45. Woah!!!! Finally nk and Robbie getting on with their life :), arnav is in for some major showdown , super going, k and s, 🙂 waiting for further updates

  46. So Kushi is fully recovered and there will be no more sneaking in her bed to hold her while she sleeps. He knows it as much as she knows it. It is time to pay the fine, mr. Raizadha. funny how fearless, successful men shake in their boots at the prospect of having that too important discussion with the women they love. I think they realize how high the stakes are and what they risk to lose if the conversation does not go well. Arnav has planned the upcoming discussion to his advantage by choosing the setting (Shantivan) but the question remains about whether he will be able to erase the pain caused by his callous treatment of Lavanya. I think he has learned his lesson and has accepted how indispensable she is to him. He has been shaken at nearly losing her and has come to grips with the lavanya’s relationship after the chat with Nani. It is all about how he approaches the inevitable talk and his reaction to what she has to say. I think she will be quite surprised by what he knows as well. Can’t wait for the sun to go down . . .

    1. For you a disclosure – his chosen battleground isn’t Shantivan 😀
      We are very eager for the sun to go down as well because this will be a whopper of a conversation. We’re talking full past disclosures, ASR-style groveling, and finally addressing the question that we’ve been dodging since Night #1 – Why the instant burn? 😉

      But you know us, the best will be saved for last!^^

      1. Geez, the yatch is them isn’t it? Not NK or Aman? I really can’t wait for this face off . . .

        1. You’ll like this well chosen battleground lol
          He may have discovered a heart, but in the end he is still Arnav Singh Raizada. 😀

  47. Well written four parts. The intimacy was written in a way which did not go overboard but had a edge to it. And took us to a hot place 😛 and I am waiting for the confrontation between. Our fav couple to see what you hav in store for them. And also wanted to know what happens with Aman and lavanya

  48. OMFG! I’m just loving this update.
    Khushi is definitely the only woman to ever receive roses from ASR’s beloved greenhouse. I see that it’s another S/K twist on one more failed track from the show. I have this filmy wish to see him use those roses on her himself! 😀

    Noah Katlyne is collecting hearts all over the PG! While I’m stubbornly holding on to my own, it’s really hard to resist that charm. You two have created a very mouthwatering man. Happy for Robbie, because boy do those two deserve their own fairytale. HAWT! I congratulate you both on making a grown woman giggle her head off at their exchange. I love the boldness of pairing laughter and sex, because why can’t we have both?

    And now to the highlight for me. Aman and Arnav. First, little brother is just so cute! I enjoyed the preening. Understandable considering the man and the clothes! I’m so happy he confessed, and their exchange was perfect. For a moment, I really did think Arnav was going to strangle Aman! lol And that ending, of them standing side by side… bromance at it’s best!

    1. Hell Mel. lol hmmm.. not a bad idea actually. Although to be honest, Bingala did such a damn fine job with roses and Arshi I really don’t want to go that route.

      Absolutely. A woman can and should ask for both! (actually, it goes for a man too 😀 )

      I really wish we had more time to delve into his business and fashion empire. Lately, I’ve become fascinated with haute couture, but … the limitations of time… sigh…

      Glad to have you back. Really.

    2. Ahem… we may grant that wish in Night 10 😉
      HEE, I just fell in love with the name Noah while going through baby names. The Katlyne however was fought over tooth and nail.
      We considered making his suit peacock blue… but thought that would be hitting too hard. =p

  49. Awesome update. Loved the male bonding between aman and Arnav and good that aman told Arnav that he had found khushi for him. Arnav seems to be mellowing down since he has fallen so hard for khushi !! Looking forward to reading more !! 🙂

    1. Actually, it was Anjali who set this ball rolling. We’ll have a long lengthy note of our thought process after wrapping up FWN. Hopefully you’ll find it an interesting read 😉

  50. Bravo aman, I was really worried about arnav’s reaction, i didn’t want this meddling to affect arnav, thank god that ateast for the time being it looks to be alright, next update to be fireworks I assume 🙂

    1. Arnav isn’t unreasonable. He never was. There is a temper and certain biases, but he didn’t get where he did without using his brains. 😀
      You know how we like to save fireworks for the end 😉

  51. Finally Aman said about him and NK being the ones who helped Arnav find Khushi..I am glad that Arnav did not get mad at him for his interference…hell how can he be mad when he has found his soul mate in Khushi all thanks to Aman…
    You know ,we give importance(at least I do that) to a woman’s wedding dress fitting so it was good to read something about a man’s fitting session with a designer..

    1. I have a strange fascination with men’s clothing. lol There’s been so many scenes with the bridal fitting we wanted to offer up a different spin – glad you liked it!

  52. I am losing my patience , please , waiting for arshi encounter . I hope khushi wont forgive Arnav that easily .

    1. Oh, I expect all patience to be loss by the time we finish our story 😛
      Honestly, though, if your preference if Arshi only stories… we aren’t the writers for you. 🙂

  53. I love this bro moment – it gets awkward sometimes expressing your feelings to your siblings as you assume they know you love them already but I think it is harder for men to do this than women. You two have done such a great job with this part, it was real and not mushy as these are grown up men. The brooding Arnav and the happy go,lucky little brother in a fitting room. Aman knew exactly what to say and how to say it – he is a lawyer alright but the type who knows how to read people well. I love how Arnav mused on the missed chances to get closer to his brother and how Aman felt like he owed his brother everything. His need to give back the happiness to the man who allowed him the freedom to be who he is was a big gamble but he learned from the master and it paid off. I also thought Arnav was going to strangle him but he is too grateful to even consider this. The image of them side by side was a great way to conclude this part. They are equals, they have got each other’s back and they are family. Now Arnav needs to complete this title picture with his talk with Kuhsi and Lavanya. Great update!

    1. Thank you, thank you.
      And what do you mean he didn’t consider it?! It was purposefully subtle, but he put in much more pressure than necessary when he tightened the tie 😉
      Aman and Robbie is our answer to the complete waste of space Akash and Payal turned out to be in the show. I was furious every time Payal stood by and did absolutely NOTHING as the Raizadas and Guptas poured their ire over Khushi. What kind of big sister does that?! And Akash…. lord save me from men without backbones.

      1. My sentiments exactly on Payash – they had no backbones. Even if they could not understand the situation, there was no reason for them to turn a blind eye to what Kushi was being subjected to. Must have been very frustrating for the actors playing these dumb characters.

        1. It made me so angry because this was the same Payal who dared to yell at ASR and the Akash who was protective of Khushi when she worked at AR. Marriage somehow stripped them of their backbones AND common sense >.<

    2. HEE, we had to restrain ourselves from descending into mush fest 😀
      We see them as two sides of the same coin. The surface may be different due to their age gap and life responsibilities, but that core of steel is a bond they share.

      S and I are still trying to find an appropriate moment to shine a spotlight on Aman’s lawyerly hotness. A certain Matthews should be wary 😉

  54. I completely forgot to comment on Ronk because I was so enthralled by the bros. Real is what a woman needs not the Fairytale that you know will come to an end soon. Robbie, take his words for what they are as they are poetry in itself not the kind that is mushy but the one that you can trust and build on. He cannot be anymore real if he tries to. Let him soothe away the scars left by those whose words were too superficial to stay. This man is a keeper girl, take your chance. I love the quote on the love letter – so appropriate.

  55. Since I like the 2 other pairs in this story, RoNk romance/passionate encounter was awesome. It really fits perfectly in the story. Arnav-Aman conversation shows the bonding between brothers. I like it.

    1. Appreciate it cherie. We are fond of RoNK… obviously :P, but I can actually feel the frustrated vibes coming from readers lol!

  56. Love the brotherly bonding with Arnav and Aman :)… “You’re a romantic in a city that sells the shell of it at a premium price. I don’t peddle fantasies, but I won’t lie to you either. You want love letters? Then write them with your nails on my back and I’ll return them with my tongue between your thighs. When you’ve orgasm out you can fall asleep on top of me.” I
    think I blank out after those line lol *WHEW* NK AND ROBBIE chemistry is really something else…. did I mention you gal a really awesome writers 🙂

  57. I dunno what to say about Shyam – I can’t read him at all in this moment. He wanted dirt on Arnav and funded the trip but he does not want them publish. I am guessing he is being protective of his sister as her wedding is just around the corner. Or maybe family does matter to him after all. However, he is unsuccessful at buying the damaging proof. So how will he stop the slime ball reporter without his dirty secrets coming out? He may just have to work with his enemy Arnav Singh Raizada before anything is printed by the press. Why smash the mirror? He does not like what he has become? A broken mirror will bring you 7 years of bad luck so he better beware of consequences . . .

    1. I’ve come to notice that whenever we do a dedication, you poor gals feel especially burdened to shower us with comments 😀 ….. GOOD! lol
      We never viewed Shyam as a villain. Just a very misguided soul…. there is so very little room as we head towards the end, but we have a (hopefully) fitting end for this man.
      Man I hope not. I broke my car mirror a few months ago…. can’t afford 7 years of bad luck!

  58. Something just occurred to me while reading Arnav and Aman’s bonding moment. You two have been guiding us through Arnav’s redemption track! I was so focused on waiting for it to begin with Khushi, it’s now clear that you’ve chosen a different path. Upon some reflection, it’s a fantastic choice.

    The change in perspective started by the Dragon Lady, the apology to NK, becoming answerable to Robbie, becoming Khushi’s champion in the exchange with Trent, recognizing Aman as an equal. It goes to follow that Khushi is the realization of his heart and the acknowledgement of Lavanya a way of laying his past to rest. A real journey of becoming a man worthy of his friends, family and love.

    I’m so glad you did a follow-up to Robbie and NK. I can see where Robbie is coming from, but I hope she grabs onto those muscular shoulders and never let go, because that man is as real as it gets.

    On Shyam….. I’m not surprised he’s behind the reporter’s no good activities, but why the sudden change of heart? I hope you guys will give us a glimpse as to what happened between him and Anjali. Now, mirror breaking is usually one of two things. Anger or self loathing. I’m going with the latter here. He clearly doesn’t like the man in the mirror… shame? fear? Do give us a conclusion on this strange man ladies!

    1. Pyre, let me hand over my heart. How you nailed! K and I spent so much time discussing how to handle Arnav’s redemption track, and we got ambitious. While love is an important part of life, it isn’t the end all. We wanted Khushi to be a catalyst for Arnav to recognize that life did not forsake him. Our romantic hearts will be disappointed in us for this, but well… it just felt right.

      hmm… yes. Those muscular shoulders 😉

      Promise you a conclusion… satisfaction can’t be guaranteed though.

    2. I knew you would be able to read our heart! ^^
      Like S said, we got …. ambitious. There are so many fantastic Arshi centric redemption stories in the ficverse, we wanted to expand on it and cover the equally important aspects of the man.

  59. good to know khushi is safe…

    it was high time that robbie n nk bared to each other., mind, body n soul…

    loved the moment between aman n arnav…esp “They were standing shoulder to shoulder. Equals. “…i hope they extend an olive branch to Lavanya too.. she too deserves it…

    n..n..n..n… neva knew even Shyam can have a soft bone in him….

    just waiting for AK confrontation….

    1. Body? Hell yes! Mind? We’re about there. But soul? … not quite 😉
      We’ll come to Lavanya soon.
      On Shyam…. no one is all black or white. Otherwise, things would be pretty damn boring 😀

  60. And the Dragon Lady strikes again! (I’m so glad you posted this part, next to Arnav and Khushi , I was anticipating this conversation between our matriarch and Khushi the most.)
    What a conversation it was too!

    It slipped my mind that Khushi was still in the dark about Arnav’s connection to her father. I’m glad the reveal was given with care and within the walls of Shantivan.
    Colpo di fulmine will not be forgotten anytime soon! Wow!

    About her observation on the unlocked bedroom door… lol what a moment to brave. I do appreciate how well Devyani understand her grandsons and that she doesn’t make excuses for them.

    These lines went right through me…“I want one thing before I die, to know that my daughter’s kangans are on the hands of women who can teach my boys the value of a woman’s heart. It’s selfish, but he set his sight on you, and that means I will do my best to make sure he gets you. I didn’t fight for my daughter’s happiness, I will not make the same mistake with my grandson. You won’t be up against one Raizada, Khushi, but all of us.”

    It shows how far along the Raizada has come. A united front to win happiness for their pillar of strength. I do think there is a certain degree of selfish emotional manipulation in her words, but as a mother myself, I do not begrudge her for it.
    Friday is just too far away!

    1. This echoes the Nani I loved in the show. I wished they had given HER more screen time instead of wasting it on mopey Anjali. Hair-tearing…. :/

      She is ASR and Aman’s Dragon Lady! She cannot be conventional nor too soft to press an advantage! 😀 Yes, I can understand why you see it as emotionally manipulative, but I think it’s clear that she is well aware of Khushi’s feelings. Nothing she say would matter if Khushi’s heart is closed.

    2. HEE, I experienced second hand embarrassment for Khushi while writing that! Who but our indomitable DL would call out her grandson’s nighttime activities! 😀

      She’s a Raizada not a saint! And while I’ve been on the receiving end of such an attitude, I can understand where it stems from. Devyani is both grandmother and mother to these boys… and to an extent, she had to be strong enough to make up for the lack of a father figure in their lives. I think she did a wonderful job, but it does create a fierce sense of protective.

  61. awesome….i read it second time…. i loved protective arnav,…love khushi who leave her door unlocked for arnav,…and waiting for next update to see them talking, fighting and loving

  62. Firstly, THANK YOU for all the lovely updates.

    I am AMAZED that Robbie remembered to ask for NK’s name at that particular juncture when she had a “cucumber” to sheath 😀

    RoNK’s coming together was so THEM. You guys NAILED it!! Robbie maintained her sass but her vulnerability still came across loud and clear. What can I say about NK except where do I get a man like that? Sigh!!

    “You’re a romantic in a city that sells the shell of it at a premium price. I don’t peddle fantasies, but I won’t lie to you either. You want love letters? Then write them with your nails on my back and I’ll return them with my tongue between your thighs. When you’ve orgasm out you can fall asleep on top of me.” – Aaaargh, I am rendered speechless.

    Arnav-Aman…truly how DID they come from the same womb!!?? Loved the very subtle bonding. Superbly executed. Anything more dramatic would have been completely out of character.

    Shyam Jha. Don’t like him. Not in the show, not here. Looks like he is going to be hoisted by his own petard for acquainting himself with a lowlife like Daniels. Whatever info Daniels found, the Raizada’s (and by extension Anjali), will ride out the storm.

    Love how Devyani Raizada steers Khushi in the right direction without being high handed. Especially love her for her silence on Arnav’s nocturnal visits even whilst she subtly makes Khushi realise that those visits are obviously welcomed.
    “Life has a way of challenging our beliefs, of testing our strengths. There is no true right or wrong, only circumstances and how we react to them” – truer words have not been spoken.

    Can’t wait for Khushi – Arnav conversation. It’s bound to be worth the wait 🙂

    1. The studies on what goes on in the female mind during sex are quite…fascinating 😀
      If there’s an NK out there, you’ll have a fight on your hands. I call first dibs!

      Hmmm… interesting take on Shyam. One day I want to write an OS dedicated to this much abused character lol

      She is worthy of being ASR’s Nani yes? 😀

      Thanks for the company, the compliments and the confidence in our ability sheelashanu! Really appreciate it, and it was a pleasure reading your thoughts. 🙂

    2. I’m delighted in your reaction to RoNK. The biggest surprise to us while writing FWN is the warm reception to our supportive cast members. It means so much ^^

      Perception is everything in life, often beating out the reality. Devyani is a woman who have experienced much in her life. She love her boys and at the sunset of her life, she wants them to find happiness with women who will cherish them as much as she does ^^

      Ah, thanks for the vote of confidence! It’s up, do share your thoughts with us once you get to it 🙂

  63. Ohh, dragon lady you sure know where and what to say, arnav and khushi finally going to talk, eagerly waiting…
    S, hope u get out of writer’s block soon, I am sure you both will be bang on with A&K talk…

  64. Aman told the truth to Arnav about this plan that’s great though Aman was anxious about how Arnav will react😀
    Finally NK and Robbie are together after a lot of confusions and arguments
    Quite confused about what is Shyam planning to do… He do want to disgrace Arnav but for the moment his sister is being the hindrance, therefore preventing him from doing anything. But will he keep quite all the time?
    Conversation between Khushi and Nani was interesting though it was a surprise that Shashi had build Shativan for Laramie…
    Looking forward for the most waited conversation between Arnav and Khushi!!!
    Continue soon😉

    1. We did consider a silk noose 😀
      An important distinction – Shyam wants an upper hand with Arnav, not to disgrace him. His sister is marrying into the family and also he’s just one very confused man.

      We revealed this during one of the past nights!
      Yes, madam. We will deliver it soon 🙂

    2. Shyam is a very very confused man. He’s grappling with who he is and who he wants to be. Arnav is a convenient target to work out his frustrations 😀

      Ah, it brings a smile on my face whenever I see a comment that tells us you gals are looking forward to our updates. Thanks Alai! ^^

  65. I love Devyani Raizada, her wisdom, her calculating mind, the lessons she has learned in life, her ability to not pass judgement and above all her protectiveness of her cubs. Reminds me of my mum a bit. Not easy for an Indian lady to adapt as much but she did and she definitely does not force her old views down but rather share her experience. I was wondering who would share Shativan’s secret to Kushi. I am glad it was her because she is setting the stage for her grandson. She is also making Kushi realize that even though Arnav said what he did to La, he also admired her father a lot fully knowing about Laramie and made a promise to bring Kushi to Shantivan, maybe not knowing exactly that Kushi will turn out to be figuratively the girl he falls in love with. I love her gentle warning about Kushi not going against the one Raizada but against the clan as they are united in their acceptance of her. I love her advice on love, yes it is a thunderbolt. How do you know if you are in love? She did not give her a long definition but simply made her look at her actions. Why did she not lock her door? Why does she need him close to her? Everyone should have a grandma like her and I am gonna claim her before anyone else does. She just made Arnav’s job a lot easier. It is up to him to really mess it up now.
    One last thing on my long rambling is that while Kushi opened up to him about her secret right away, he did not. Sometimes we get in so deep that we forget that we are not the only one with a tragic past. If the other person is not showing it, it dos not mean that they did not have their share of grief as well. Now Kushi needs to listen to what made the man what he is today and how she transformed him into yet a different avatar. Only then, will she be able to make a balanced decision. On whether he deserves another chance or not.

    Well played gals, truly enjoyed how you have set up the whole redemption of ASR!

    1. http://mashable.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/rainbow-vomit.gif

      Raila… you really do give a satisfying case of rainbow vomit 😀 I mean that in the best of ways!

      If I can only have two female influences in life – I want a Devyani and a Robbie.
      The best advisers are whose who guide us to make our own decision. This is her true wisdom. And of course there is a touch of Raizada arrogance and calculation, after all her cubs are Arnav and Aman 😀

      If Arnav messes up after all this, you’re welcome to club him 😛

      I’m sure not everyone will like our version of his redemption, but it felt right to go this route. Although… we do want his redemption in love to be explosive too 😀

      1. I’ll print the rainbow vomit for the hubby, he will have a good chuckle at it. What can I say, you write and I yak

    2. You make a good point about how it must not be easy for an Indian lady to adapt so much. I do find that women who enter the work force in a new country adapt much quicker than those who are home makers.

      This is one aspect of the show I struggled with. For all the supposed ‘love’ of they chotey, the Raizada ladies were quite happy to let Arnav shoulder the burdens of their family. While the show started with an already successful Arnav, I doubt he had a help hand during the years he built AR. Selling some jewelry to help fund him in the beginning is a cop-out. Incredibly frustrating and rather insulting to the predominantly female audience.

  66. I am curious to know about Shyam..what happened between Anjali and him?He wanted to know the dark secrets of Arnav but now he doesn’t want to get it publicized..why does he not want to do that?is it just because of Anjali?
    Interesting talk between our happiness and dragon lady..but somehow I was not impressed with our matriarch ..she was completely selfish and her talk just revolved around how Arnav is that and blah blah..Yes she did agree that she is being selfish..but theses lines ” Don’t play with his heart, taking bits and pieces when it suits you. Too many women are eager to wreck such havoc. Either take all of it or leave it alone.” really turned me off.Seriously it was her grandson who almost screwed up everything and then she tells all this..I don’t know if I am being unreasonable and not making sense but my high expectations from the old lady let me down in this one.

    1. I have mixed feelings about their conversation. On one hand, I did appreciate how she doesn’t shy from admitting fault, but Meera is right in pointing out that Devyani was being completely bias!

      This may be a reflection of my own experience with my mother-in-law, but I didn’t like how she warned Khushi from playing with Arnav’s heart or the guilt tripping at the end.
      I’m going to pin my hopes on Khushi. She agreed to listen with an open heart, but I need you two to promise me it’ll be with her brain functioning at full capacity too!

      1. I had a feeling this would trigger your ire 😀 She is more fair minded than your average Indian mother-in-law Mel! But this is her Arnav. She wants happiness for him. I do believe that she is wise enough to see the depths of Khushi’s feelings, otherwise such a request would not have materialized.

        As for your hopes…. Advice can come from everyone, but ultimately it is the couple that needs to decide their course yes? 😉

    2. You make total sense and definitely not being unreasonable. I’m grateful you feel comfortable enough here to share your thoughts on this!
      I personally cheered her actions. She love her boys, they are all she has. And while she recognizes it as selfish, she does it anyway. Is it fair? No. Does it stay true to the kind of woman she is? I’d like to think so.
      The matriarch is a sharp and cunning woman. That is part of her Dragon Lady DNA. It doesn’t, however, exempt her from human weaknesses, so I’m weirdly delighted that you called her out on this.

      1. Oh we had endless debates on this one. Thanks for giving us your input Meera!
        I’m in complete agreement that it was selfish of Devyani and even slightly insulting. However, we ultimately left it there because it is what makes her human. She is no saint and in a roundabout way I love her more for it. Because the kind of woman she is? Once Khushi becomes ‘theirs’ no one will be more protective of her than the Dragon Lady herself.

  67. the conversation between devyani(aka the dragon lady) and khushi was so heart touching…. it just brought tears in my heart… u so aptly depicted a mother’s heart …. yes it was her grandson’s fault.. but mother’s are biased… because somewhere they’ll always be a child… n she has also known his past… so she’s somewhere bound to take his side… no matter what…

    eagerly waiting for ak… 🙂

    don’t noe how many times i ve already refreshed this page..:P

    1. HEE, we do warn you gals about Refresh Hell 😀
      I’m glad that you recognize that her bias stems from a protective place. I think that is incredibly true. No matter how old we get, we remain a child in our parents eyes. There is a special beauty in that. ^^

  68. ahaan…so Shantivan belonged to Khushi’s father…
    wasn’t expecting this…
    loved the bonding between aman and arnav…so heart warming…
    n the conversation between Devyani and Khushi was just perfect….
    eagerly waiting for AK part…

  69. I read the story in one go!. I am have no words to express your writing skills. I would say you are a born talent. Hope you would continue the next update soon. Can’t wait to find out the confrontation between Arnav & Khushi!.
    You have guts, the way your articulated the story is amazing. I am rely in love with KN and Robby, Specially Robbie, she has nerve and courage to face the most notorious people without hesitations.
    How do I get the update notifications!. I’m totally new to this.

    1. A warm welcome to FWN sharuag ^^
      I’m always impressed when someone say they read the story in one sitting. Esp since I know how much wordy we are 😀
      Thank you for the compliments and we look forward to your company!

      If you’re interested in getting update notifications, you can hit the follow button on the top bar, or sign up with your email through the function on the sidebar.

  70. lovely lovely extension after nk and robbie hot scence…

    love the conversation between man and arnav, thank god arnav reacted well…and the way u written all the conversation in dressing room wow… i can clearly imaging 2 brothers talking in an affectionate and warm…..
    finally nk and robbie coming tot he talking terms,they deserve each other….

    we can not judge shyam, here…wondering why he did that…it clearly shows he cares for the family and people feelings or something else he is going to do…

    love devayani raizada, i can imagine( rohini hutagani hindi actor she played so many grandmother roles) warm, loving at the same time strict…wow what a conversation the way she is telling everything to kushi, it clearly shows, Mrs raizada decided kushi is the one for arnav…how naughtily she asked kushi why didn’t u lock the door from inside( super granny)….

    cannot wait for the arnav and kushi meet..

    1. Ha! Super Granny indeed 😀
      Thanks so much chandugali for the kind words. I’m delighted that our words make it easy for you to imagine the scenes. The best kind of compliment ^^

      Neither S nor I watch that many tellys, so we opted out on choosing a dream cast for the Dragon Lady, so we’ll leave it up to you gals to fill in the blank!

  71. Devyani played a true matriarch. Khushi desperately needed a safe motherly cocoon where she can nurse her wounded heart.
    My my! What a steaming Ronk make out. NK’s action always awed me and I was little surprised to see him laying his heart open so easily……but no doubt I’m happy that it is with the right person.
    Was dilly dallying to comment now or at the end of all 10 updates,but thought to do it.
    I forgot to mention, Our Mr.Asshole can be really sweet if he wants to…..the gesture of keeping a rose beside Khushi was such a heartfelt gesture and also his helping Aman out with his marriage suit……..love this Arnav sometimes when it peeks out from its ASRish mask.
    What is Shyam up to? I see that HP Daniels will find a better person who can make good use of the secrets……who better than Mr or Mrs.Mathews.

    1. Out of our trio, NK is a man who doesn’t apologize for who he is and doesn’t want to waste precious time beating around the bush. Between him and Robbie – I think it’s safe to say that there is chemistry, respect and the start of something more. Love, however, has not entered the equation. ^^

      HEE, why dilly dally? Comment often, you know it makes us very happy 🙂 We are eager for your thoughts on the final part of this Night!

      It has always been the Arnav within the ASR that we find so fascinating though yeah? Because really, without it, we would have an Akash on our hands and well…. it’ll be tough to summon up fireworks 😉

  72. Outtake 2 had left me with a sense of foreboding about Arnav’s reaction to his bro and friend playing the intrusive fairy godmothers!! But I guess Arnav has evolved as a person, every step of the way, as he fell in love with his Happiness, confronted his past and her agonising life story, witnessed the indomitable spirit of the lion-hearted Dragon Lady, not to mention the support and potency of bromance … Which explains the lack of classic ASR backlash at Aman’s confession. 🙂

    How essential is character growth to the progression of a story… Something which the creatives completely ignored, what with the characters in the show repeating the same mistakes over and over again. 🙁
    So Girls, pat yourselves on the back for giving us that.

    Another aspect which was highly anticipated and totally delivered by you, was the heart-to-heart between Happiness and Dragon Lady. The matriarch’s calm and yet commanding demeanour. The discreet manner in which she made Khushi cast off her hesitancy and accept her love for Arnav with an open mind and heart. Her words laced with wisdom making Khushi acknowledge the fact that not only did she belong but that she also owned both, a rightful place in Shantivan and in Arnav’s life. Loved it.

    1. Aww thanks sweetheart. I’ll be the first to admit – this is a hyper jump in character growth 😀 In reality, it takes months and even years for this much change. However, if we went with that FWN would be another 50 chapters and we would all throw up our hands in defeat. =p So forgive us for the lack of realism there.

      Although, S will make an argument that his growth as a person started with seeing Anjali and Aman together. Proof that there are good women in the world.

      I can’t wait to see what you have to say about the final part of our update – because Happiness is finally in the arms of the right man!

  73. Uff. Late to the party- in my defense, the last few weeks have been insane for me, unfortunately. I’m loving this story- I can’t help but ship NK/Robbie, and goddamn, that was one hell of a sex scene. You have fire between all of your characters- Arnav/Khushi, and NK/Robbie, and you always leave me wanting more 😉 Further into the rabbit hole I go!

    1. Nothing quite like a willing victim! 😉

      It’s cool, we struggle with other obligations as well. Join us whenever possible – the party is always ongoing in the Peanut Gallery!

      If someone doesn’t fire up your blood, what’s the point? Too often the physical is downplayed, when it’s one of the most important aspect of a relationship. I’m glad we got you shipping RoNK 😀

  74. whats with payal now…what is she planning?????…
    din’t understand the last line Mr trent used…his freedom or kushi’s honor????what does that means….

    1. Payal is giving Trent a divorce on the grounds of infidelity. If he signs it, he is admitting to a sexual affair with Khushi whilst being married to Payal. It will mean freedom from Payal for Trent but in doing so he will be lying about his relationship with Khushi. So he can either choose to lie and be divorced from Payal or be truthful and remain married to Payal but save Khushi’s reputation/honour.

  75. How are you s n k? Hope fine. Long time. I have been traveling since a month and its still on.
    Finally I learnt a few basic things at using internet from Cellphone. So cursing auto correct here I am. Still not comfy with writing from phone. So this is gonna be short.
    You girls are killing us softly by postponing arshi encounters and raising our anticipation sky high!

    1. Oh! Where to? I hope you’re enjoying yourself Shree. No worries about us. Hop in once you’re home and enthrall us with tales of your adventures!

      Ugh… we’re going to need to get you gals to lower expectations. About… 20 ft above around is good 😀

    2. Strumming my pain with his fingers
      Singing my life with his words
      Killing me softly with his song
      Killing me softly with his song
      Telling my whole life with his words
      Killing me softly with his song
      …. 😀

  76. so Trent can either choose to lie and save himself or be honest and save Khushi’s reputation. Quite a master stroke by Payal …putting Trent in a position where he will most probably see obtaining a divorce from Payal as being free to pursue Khushi with the added bonus of effectively ending her relationship to Arnav, giving her no choice but to turn to Trent. However, in the process he will be assisting Payal in dragging Khushi’s name through the mud and destroying her all over again. I hope that despite being the complete asshole that he is, he does the right thing and thwarts Payal’s diabolic plan.

    1. We like going full circle. Back in high school Payal gave him a similar choice. Now many wasted years later, will Trent grow some balls and man up? Or will he succumb to weakness and save his own ass? 😀

  77. Urg..the torture doesn’t stop..
    The question is will Trent sign or not?Initially I thought as to how can Payal prove that there was any relation between Trent and Khushi after her marriage with Trent but then realized that Payal doesn’t want to prove anything ,she just wants Khushi’s name to me maligned in front of the whole world …She is such a bitch.
    Trent not signing the papers will do good for Khushi but then I don’t want K to get any favor from him..Wish there was another way for her name to be not involved in all this..I don’t care for Trent ,I am just worried about K and how she will handle it ..

    1. Yes! She doesn’t need to prove anything. As high profile as they are, the media will eat up the rumors. Even if they prove false, Khushi’s name will still be maligned.

  78. Awesome update dr..
    Nk and Robbie is so romantic
    Shyam cant say anything right now cause I dnt understand him hope he will nt destroy Arnav or Anjali life…Love how Devyani talk to Khushi with love and tell her that her father build shantivan for her mom…Trent hope he will not come to khushi if he will then khushi must tell him his truth how hurt she felt and she dnt want him now…And last not the least hope khushi will listen whatever Arnav tell her about his past I dnt want they have any problem now…
    Continue soon cherries 🙂

  79. With an army of good men on her side, kushi does not have to worry about these poor excuses for human beings. I ain’t worried as I think this is more to torture her wimpy husband than hurting Kushi. I feel Payal is simply trying to tighten the noose around hubby’s neck more than anything else. Trent will be really delusional if he thinks that by signing the papers, Kushi will come to him whether ASR is still in the picture or not. I have faith in Arnav as I truly believe he has learned his lesson and will not doubt his Kushi, neither will Devyani, Aman, NK and Robbie. If I was Payal, I would be more worried about what the Raizadas will throw at her for pulling such a stunt. So I say let the war begin, yeah?

    1. We wanted to see if Trent managed to grow a pair during all these wasted years. Once, he chose himself. For all his declarations of love, is he willing to sacrifice himself for Khushi? And more, is he willing to do it without her ever finding out?

      Arnav has made his declarations to his lady. Now, it’s time to see how each man back up their words 😀

      Oh… Payal. It’s never a good idea to go against someone who is willing to do anything to protect his brother’s Happiness 😉

  80. Wow.. A lot hapnd… including robbie n nk.. hmmm.. interesting till far… r u guys keeping d best fr d last arnav khushi confrontation. Hmm.. I love nani… waiting for the next part…

  81. Wow! What an update. Let me start with NK and Robbie … the chemistry was undeniable from the beginning and now somewhere the lust has given birth to genuine emotions. loved the way NK was so straightforward as well as so understanding. Hope to hear Robbie’s story sometime. There is a reason why she has hardened her heart so much.
    With buddies/brothers like Aman and NK, Arnav is covered fully and well. The love and respect for each other is there for everyone to see.
    Khushi is still hurt and confused after the incident and it hasn’t helped when Arnav has been avoiding any conversation with her. Loved Nani for her protectiveness for Arnav. Her heart-to heart talk might give Khushi the needed boost which she needs to explore her heart and find out if she does have any feelings for him.
    I hated hated this Trent fellow for the cowardice he showed towards Khushi. And Payal was actually right when she said he could have always said no to her proposition in the first place. He never actually loved Khushi or else he never would have humiliated her. Payal and Trent deserve each other and I hope they make each other’s lives hell. Hope Payal knows if she tries to hurt Khushi she’ll have to answer to the Raizadas coz Khushi is no longer alone.
    I have no idea why Shyam dislikes Arnav so much. Hope Arnav is prepared for the tsunami when it hits with full force.

    1. As much as we would love to explore all our characters, there isn’t time… nor stamina 😀
      We’ve given hints and alluded to why she finds it difficult to trust in a man’s words. After dating one too many assholes who give promises easily, but break them just as carelessly, it’s hard to let yourself believe it, when the right man comes along. But we’re confident in our NK’s…abilities 😉

      That they have feelings for each other is not in doubt. However, a relationship needs more than love to thrive. I hope you like the final part of this update and how they resolve their hurts. ^^

    2. Man I wish you’d found us earlier menakapuhan!
      Chalk it up to meeting one too many assholes. A girl learns to protect her heart.
      lol yes yes Mr. and Mrs. Matthews well receive a deserved ending. 😉

      We’ll get to Shyam in the next Night.

  82. I bet Trent will sign the divorce papers. Assuming that when Arnav hears the rumors of infidelity as the reason for divorce, he will shun Khushi and she will automatically land in Trent’s arms. This will make her realize that Trent’s love for her is true.

  83. hmmm… so payal is really playing for high stakes here…
    Trent being what he is… i think he will sign those papers… he seems to be the type…. you know what i mean… 😉
    I am still wondering about Shyam… what exactly is going on in his mind….

  84. came across this story today…. thanks to Aayat(aquagal)….. and read all the chapters in a go……… all i can say is WOW….. i am loving it….
    ArShi meeting for the first time…… that instant attraction…… that pull….. and that kiss at the beginning of the new year….. indeed a new beginning it was……
    and since then the course this journey, its AMAZING…… how this instant chemistry turned into care….. sharing the past…… the intense-overwhelming feeling which they were yet to recognize……. the protectiveness…. the possessiveness…… the passion…… that blooming love……. knowing each other better….. the separation…….. the pain……. finally the re-union……. the confession of love……. every bit of them are so well portrayed…… brilliantly put into words……
    and what perfect characterizations…… their bonding, the protectiveness towards each-other….. the interactions between them…… WOW……. its brilliant…….
    and i have to admit, Robbie is the cherry on the top of this beautiful piece of creation……. also loving her-NK & Aman-Anjali jodi…… even the Dragon-Lady nani, she’s soooo wise and strong……….
    really how small a world we live in….. how its all connected….. wow….. cant hate that bitch Payal enough…. she’s disgusting….. and loved Arnav’s take on that jerk Trent…… it was awesome….. hope he wont come in the way of Khushi’s happiness anymore……
    and finally Khushi was at home….. to the place which was always meant for her….. and now waiting for that much awaited moment in ArShi’s lives when he’s gonna bare his heart open for his lady…. dying to see next…..

    one query, i’m not much familiar with how things in WordPress work…. how can i get notifications of the following updates…. i already pressed the follow button….. but will i get mail or i gotta check by login to my wordpress account…. both are okay with me, its just it would be easier for me if i knew what to do…..

    1. ohkay, i got confirmation mail saying i’m subscribed to the site already, and i’ll receive email notification… please ignore the query part of my comment…
      thanks again
      Nishu

    2. A warm welcome to FWN nishu! ^^ We’ll have to thank aquagal for kindly sending unsuspecting souls down our rabbit hole 😉

      That’s a LOT of chapters in one sitting! Thank you for the compliments 🙂 I’m delighted that you found the characters so engaging. We are going to look forward to your company.

      And yes, while the world can be vast in term of geography, we are all much more connected than we think.

    3. Awesome! Welcome to FWN nishu!
      Glad to have you with us and do make yourself right at home.
      Hell, I’m so impress when you gals read through all the chapters at once…. I hope there wasn’t a brain melt afterwards lol

  85. Very much anticipating Arshi’s confrontation.

    Good on Aman to finally let Arnav know that he was the one who brought Khushi into his life. And the bonding between Aman/Arnav was really nice, how Arnav tied Aman’s tie and how they shared some laughter that has never happened before.

    I’m glad that Robbie has NK, who’s worth it for her to love him.

    Shyam’s story. You guys just love to give us little hints and then leave us hanging. What does that picture of Anjali make him think about?! Why does he avoid it? What’s happened in his past that makes him hate the image of himself? I’m so curious!

    The conversation between Nani and Khushi was really nice. But of course the Dragon Lady lives up to expectations. She knows. Everything. It was really sweet of Nani to let Khushi know that Shantivan was built for her, and that she trusts that Khushi is the one destined for Arnav.

    Hmm, I wonder what else is does Payal have up her sleeves?

    I think Trent is not going to sign the divorce papers, he will choose Khushi’s honour over his freedom. Why would he choose to hurt Khushi again, if he had called Khushi to apologize to for what he did to her in the past.

    1. You know by now that teasing you gals is up there on our fav things to do 😀
      We have a LOT of grounds to cover on the remaining 3 nights, so hang tight!
      Ah, but he didn’t call Khushi up to apologize. He had the gall to tell her he still loves her and wants another chance. Ballsy yeah? Now that Arnav has put into words his feelings for Khushi, we want to explore how these two men, both in love with our heroine, will back up their words with action! 😀

      Do share your thoughts on the last part with us!

      1. oh.. well i guess that changes my thoughts then.. Since Khushi definitely isn’t gonna give Trent another chance, and Trent wants his freedom, and if he can’t get Khushi, he might try to ruin things between Arnav and Khushi..?

  86. NK and Robbie are so perfect for each other… i loved the excerpts that included them, it was just so passionate and romantic. I also loved and admired the conversation between Khushi and Nani. I’m just hoping for more Arnav and Khushi in the next part. I love the work of you both… Thank you so much for sharing it and for continuing <3

    1. Simba! We’ve missed having you in the peanut gallery. Glad you’re okay ^^
      Thanks darhling for always being so generous with your compliments. We hope you like how we handled Arshi 😀

      1. I’m sorry for not being here… as I said in my comment in Interlude #2, these past few weeks have been very long and hectic with assignments, exams and all those stuff but I am back now 😀 I did like the way you handled Arshi but I hope I do see more of them in the coming parts.

  87. I absolutely loved the bonding shown between the brothers. Looks like NK helped these two out by reducing Distance. Otherwise they might have been strangers that share the same blood. You could see the effect khushi had on Arnav the way he dealt with the situation. He was calm rather than attacking Aman. And Aww Aman is so in love! Bless

    NK has a family! I was with Robbie in thinking he has no family. Now it makes Sence how he just knows what women are thinking and knows exactly how to react to them. He doesn’t beat around the bush. That’s what I like about him. Honest and straightforward.

    Shayms little meeting was very intriguing. He has a soft spot for his sister after all. No matter how much he might hate Arnav at the end of the day his sister is going to be part of that family. I wonder what he is hiding though. Hmmm.

    The coversation between khushi and devyani had to be the best one. Devyani is the lady of the house. She learnt from the past and will not make the same mistake again. She will do anything for her grandsons happiness. Making khushi realise how deep her feelings are for Arnav despite the short duration of time they have known each other for was the highlight. Telling khushi about her father and hinting that khushi is finally home , where she belongs was beautiful I’m telling you these raizadas are very persuasive! Khuhsi has nothing to worry for. She has the Raizadas behind her- Who are hell bent on protecting what is there’s. And they have accepted khushi as their own.

    1. If you meet a man like NK – I have one piece of advice – hang on tight! ^^
      I’m fascinated that everyone assumes he hates Arnav. Heh, heh. He actually doesn’t 😉

      The Raizadas have suffered much loss. It has hardened them, but also gave them a fierce determination to reach for what they want. This is why they are so successful. Some people call it selfish, I call it knowing your damn mind and pursuing life.

      1. You are so right! These boys got it hard when they were young which as a result pushed them to work hard. They chose this way of life rather than use their past as an excuse to blame everything and evryone for any shortcomings. They chose not to give up. You are such amazing writers! You have written in a way that the readers can related to all the characters. Keep up the good work gals!

  88. Wow..i have been missing out on action….
    Well its hard to decide on what n where to comment on……the black lace dished out smoking hot….Ronk was is hot n hotter…..with all that you see is all u get n all cards on table they r unlikely to have any mus and will be easiest to be in love…..
    Aman accomplished what he set out on a love n life for him n bro…he is a happy groom ..i love their bonding in the dressing room.
    Well HP daniels a dog with a pound of flesh…..set on by Mr.SJ..who regrets what he did enough not to even face his own reflection. …wonder what’s HPs next move (i wonder if its hilarious or cheeky of u girls to name Daniels as HP….)
    Dragon lady with iron will a gate keeper for the Raizadas…a protective mother ..she is set to right all wrong. ..
    Payal wonder what her game is…ssetting Trent free even if its to sling mud on kushis charecter she shld have something more up her sleeve…she is vindictive. …
    And lastly the awaited meeting Arnav n kushi…will all secrets be revealed. ..

    1. I’ll make it easy – comment on EVERYTHING! 😀

      Oh that is an accurate description of HP. The man is still pissy over that broken camera and getting his pride stomped on by Mr. ASR 😉

      You know you’re the first to comment on that?! We were waiting and waiting. Hahaha. This is a meta revenge for those ever changing Prakash brothers 😀

      That Payal and Trent’s marriage is broken is pretty obvious. She hung on for so long to torture HIM and also out of pride. Now, however, she has a bone to pick with Khushi and the Raizadas. Arnav is a high profile public figure, even if it’s a rumor it will affect his business and image. Payal is very aware of this. So let’s see what damage she’s able to wreck!

    2. RoNK’s love may be easier since NK is pretty damn laid back, but Robbie is a tough nut, she’ll def keep him on his toes 😀

      I’ll take cheeky 😉

  89. I love and hate you both in equal measure right now. What an update!
    I have a lot of thoughts. They need sorting, but I want the final piece tonight guys!

  90. This was raw as in baring the pit bottom of your heart raw and reminded me of the Arnav screaming his head off and red eyes after the terrace scene. i just want to craddle the poor baby in my arms and never let him feel like that again – questioning whether a woman would want to stay with him when his own mom did not. I know Nk is hot and Aman is super savvy but now I know why I love Arnav with all his faults and all – I love the tortured soul buried deep inside the cocky confident successful businessman. I know his feelings toward Lavanya was biased and unjust but dammit that poor kid suffered silently without being able to make sense of anything that was going on around him. His own mother was not able to explain the situation to him and he had to make his own observations. How many times do we jump the gun and come to a conclusion even as adults? So now, imagine the torture this confused panicked little boy must have experienced watching his father slapping his mom and leaving with a smiling woman and his mother taking her own life as a way out. We all worry about the trauma to our kids in various situations and try to get counselling but did this child get any? He had to grow up fast for his brother’s sake and what he saw became reality. No, his confessions do not erase the pain that Kushi experienced at his callous words but there are 2 sides to all stories and his behaviour came from deep rooted beliefs about the tragedy that he experienced as a young child. I am not surprised that Kushi was comforting him by the end of his narration. So now what he is due to his past is out in the open. but who he will be now that he knows the truth is what Kushi should be interested in. Is he willing to give a name to his relationship with Lavanya? I am hoping we get to see a glimpse of how Arnav felt about Sashi and Laramie’s relationship before this conversation is over.

    I love the mermaid and her connection to his Kushi. Mermaids are truly mythical creatures and Arnav is lucky enough to have his become a real creature in flesh and blood.

    1. Oh, Raila thank you for this comment. You get our Arnav in a way I just want to reach into the screen and give you a tight hug. We struggled to find the right balance in explaining this man, what makes him who he is, and why he reacts a certain way. I just hope our version is a notch up from that ‘Maaaaaa’ we kept getting in the show. 😀

      You’re so right. It doesn’t excuse his actions, but only a heart of stone would fail to react to the little boy who was never given proper closure.

      Ah I’m glad you didn’t find it too mushy. =p We were feeling fanciful and what other creatures depict that better than mermaids?

      1. I hated that Maaa scene so much because they failed to deliver on that scene. In no way, shape or form did they tie it to who the man became. Your version tie it all together very nicely to the point that everyone including Kushi want to hug him. This by far was my favourite night and as I said my favourite redemption track.

        1. In our first draft of FWN, this update was meant to be the finale. However, due to the questions and comments in the peanut gallery, we got to thinking …. (you know that isn’t always a good thing 😛 ) But it kept bugging me, and of course that meant I kept bugging K, on how many stories end at the all important declaration of feelings. When we all know that there’s so much MORE after that. So… the final three is an exploration of how Mr. Raizada is going to live up to his promise 😀

  91. Awesome , simply mind blowing update.
    Every thing about this update was perfect, the convo b/w brothers, the Shyam snippet , Robbie n Nk, Nani n khushi , payal n her husband ,N finally Arnav’s confession.
    Every scene was correctly placed that the final impact of arnav n khushi’s convo brought tears to my eyes.
    Shashi n Laramie’s love was eternal n beyond understanding of many, bt it was true love n as pure as the drop of dew that gives birth to the pearl n they did give birth to a beautiful pearl as pure as their love.

    For the next update I am just hoping that arnav n khushi get together asap , N that news is not released , I want it to be stopped.

    And I think Shyam n Lavanya will make a good pair.

    P.S- hey I am following this blog, bt I did not receive notification Of the update. so , can u pls help me with this problem.

    1. Wow, thank you so much sweetsaakhi!!
      We plan a lot of time (too much time) mapping out the order of our scenes for maximum impact. It’s a joy to see it pays off.
      I totally approve of the pearl analogy! 😀

      WordPress will send out an email when we first post a chapter, but we’ve disabled the email notifications for subsequent updates of the same post. Otherwise we’ll be spamming your inbox!

  92. Great update again girls.. shyam? I wounder what that photo of angeli is all about.. what could it be that he’s hiding hhmm?..wonder what that lil f@*ker hp Daniels have up his sleeve UFFF!

    it was a lovely conversation between Nani and Khushi it shows how firm the dragon lady holds her grounds in protecting what’s left of her family.. she’s really fond of khusi and wants what’s best for her and arnav; telling khusi about ur dad and making her realize that she was finally home

  93. Wow! It was a wonderful experience to go through their emotions. Until I read this chapter I was under the wrong impression about Khushi’s father. Any way it was a wonderful reunion of the lovers. Both of them are wounded by the past. Let them heal each other. Nk and Robbie is also a wonderful pair. Even though Aman and Anjaly is an established pair they are not described as the other two pairs.

    It is wonderful experience to read your creations unlike any other FF’s I have read on these characters.

    Tessy

    1. Thank you so much Tessy! ^^
      It was mentally and emotionally exhausting for our couple but two poor writers as well! =p I’m glad you enjoy the distinctions between our pairs. It is often a challenge, but we are trying our hardest.

      The ficverse is full of wonderful writing, but I’m glad you find FWN engaging!

  94. loved that they talked about their pasts, their pains and everything….. now no more secrets between them…… also khushi demanding respect along with love….. its so true, love cant be enough without respect….. nd the confession….. his promises…… so damn beautiful…….. AMAZING one……. loved it so very much….. waiting to read ahead…….

    1. HEE, our ladies here will tell you we are very undisciplined as writers 😀

      Yes, love is important. But without the pillars of trust and respect, a relationship will collapse.

  95. Ohh, I can understand ur exhaustion, well-done both of you, that was such a raw and honest dialogue between two, gave me goosebumps,

  96. YES YES YES YES YES finally!! This update was so worth the wait! Arnav and Khushi are finally one in all true sense. The last part was oh so passionate and intense and it was just amazing. So they finally know each other past, each others secrets. The level of understanding and their need for each other is simply overwhelming.

    What is Shyam up to though, he confuses me. And this Payal UGH he and Trent need to MOVE out of the story, they annoy me so much

    Overall a great great great chapter and so eager for the next

    1. Thanks ganga! ^^
      I don’t envy them the emotional upheaval!
      But they are so entertaining! I’m sure you’ll enjoy how the Raizadas deal with Mr. & Mrs. Matthews. 😉

  97. I’m not sure how I came across your site… But boy am I so glad I did! This story is nothing but amazing… A few things that stand out for me are the “bromance” – the witty banter, the implicit trust and solidarity. Each character has their own flaws but you bring it out in such a way that they compliment one another. I love the dynamics of NK and Robbie – they are really made for each other!
    My heart breaks for Arnav – so much to deal with at such a young age… We are what our experiences make us definitely rings true with him. I loved the mermaid pic and its significance and how it didn’t feel right in any other room.
    I just love this story – thank you for sharing with us – you are very talented ladies!

    1. Welcome to FWN nuttsk! ^^
      We love company, so however you discovered us – yay!
      HEE, I think our bromance often steals the show, glad you’re enjoying it.
      Do share your thoughts with us in the coming updates.

      What can I say about our mermaid, other than we are romantics? 😉

    2. A warm welcome aboard FWN nuttsk!
      Glad you found us, however that may have came about…. I’m guessing Googleji 😀
      Thanks! Hope we’ll have more of your company as we charge forward.

  98. Ladies, take a bow. You have surpassed my expectations with his redemption. I don’t think ipk even exists in my memory anymore. I have read many redemption stories because everyone was pissed at the show’s comical delivery of this important part of rebuilding their relationship. There were many good ones but yours is as real as it gets, the past was very effectively used to depict the man he is today. He made no excuses but simply laid it out on a plate, bared it all for her to see. He understood how he hurt her and showed his insecurities about not knowing how to deal with La’s situation. I simply love the part about acceptance because truly for children that the society calls bastard, that is all they ever want and simply not be on the outside looking in. I love Kushi for standing her grounds, confessing her love but asking for what she needs. Her mother loved with all her heart but I wonder if she ever asked for anything back from Sashi. His vow to her is everything a woman want isn’t it, for her man to have her back, be her support and her equal? God, I love this man.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for an amazing chapter and story.

    1. I hope you enjoyed ‘your’ Night 😀
      There was so much pressure to deliver on this, and I’m just glad we made it through with sanity intact!
      What a compliment! You’re going to make our S quite gleeful 😉
      There are so many redemption stories in the ficverse, really incredible ones, we had to rack our brains for a less traveled road. Thank you for appreciating it for what it is and the wonderfully supportive company along the journey ^^

    2. I have an inkling you read many Arshi stories, so it’s an honor to receive such praise from you. Thank you!

      Perception and acceptance governs our interactions with one another. The older I get the more I realize that reality plays a distant fiddle to both.

  99. Loved it the way each character you potrait was amazing n loved the conversation between dragonlady n khusi the way she asked her not to break his heart n atlast they solved their problems n came out of their demons so now lets see what happens in future,well i dont understand this shayam fellow.

  100. Phew finally we get to read the much awaited conversation between A and K.
    Everything about this last part was great.The way Arnav opened his feelings was remarkable.It was not about his redemption it was about who he is and from where he comes.The mermaid painting and its resemblance to Khushi was fascinating (I don’t know what other word to use here).On a side note ..are you guys saying that the picture is exactly the same way as you have shown coz I can’t see the eyes of the mermaid or is the mermaid looking towards us..

    Arnav laying his soul for Khushi to see was one the best parts in this update..Its kind of sad to see children suffering for what their parents do.What Arnav father,lavanya’s mother,Sashi and Laramie did was not right.what all of them did was cheat their respective spouses except for Laramie who was not married but was part of adultery.At the end of their actions its Arnav ,Khushi,Aman,Lavanya were affected and grudgingly even i have to except that Payal also was affected.

    Gosh I fell in love with Arnav for the way he made the deal he made with Khushi…No better words and promises or worldly belongings can beat these lines… “I will make you an equal, Khushi. I’ll do it by standing before you when you need protection. I’ll do it by standing behind you when you need my support. Inside you when you need my passion, and always, always beside you as your man. In return, promise to stay with me. Because when I touch you, I touch happiness.”

    And their reunion was splendid…My only regret is that I should have read Arnav and Khushi’s part together to get that high(effect) but then my patience was wearing and I kept refreshing to read whatever you guys gave.

    1. Meera, your comments got caught up in our spam filter. Fixed it and the original is up there 🙂 Will get to your question shortly!

    2. On the mermaid – think of our photos as an enhancement. I know you can’t see the eyes, but this was our favorite among all the mermaid paintings we dug up. Storywise however, her eyes are visible.

      I’m quite flattered that you kept refreshing. Seriously, it is one of the nicest compliments. ^^ Although I do apologize for the drawn out update. Part of it is conflicting schedules and other half is because we wanted to achieve so much with this update!

      It seems like we do have a meera-approved reunion of our lovers! 😉
      Our Arnav kills when he brings his game doesn’t he?

    3. I’m happy to take your ‘fascinating’ 😀
      In the throes of lust and/or love, I think the last thing people think of are consequences…. and yes, children often bear the brunt of it.

      Yes, yes… we are aware of our crappy posting schedule. Appreciate you thinking with us despite it 😀

  101. awww….perfect…..
    its awsmly perfect…
    both of them has seen so much tragedies in their lives and are definitely made for each other…
    glad that arnav has shared his deepest secrets with khushi…
    loved the last bit ov update…
    FANTABULOUSSSS….

  102. I am completely blown away by the sheer brilliance of this chapter. You girls deserve a standing ovation for giving us this stunning night. Every detail, backdrop, dialogue, nuance and feeling reflected the meticulous planning, effort and hard work that goes into everything. The interactions were steeped in purity, fairness and honesty. Complete, raw honesty.

    You guys perfectly showed how Arnav’s past has shaped up his present- the man he has become, the mistakes he made, his difficulty to trust and reluctance to open up. Behind the veneer of toughness is still a eleven year old child who saw his father abandoning his own family for anther woman,who witnessed the cruelty and ugliness of media and saw his mother lying in a pool of blood lifeless. He moved away from his past but didn’t move on. This is the redemption track we all were waiting for but didn’t get. They all had played that black and white ‘Maaaa’ clip so damn much that I was hoping for a bad-ass back-story that would justify his being such an asshole to Khushi. But instead we got a vague, half-baked past and a caricature of a redemption track. But you people have effectively rectified that oversight with your version and have given him the happiness he so deserves with his mermaid. A difficult man but the best one. Those vows that he made bared his true self and no woman with a heart worth knowing could possibly deny a man with such a beautiful soul.

    Perfect, perfect update girls.

    1. Oh that ‘Maaaaa’ clip nearly drove me up a wall .. or two! And then they didn’t even deliver on it. >.<

      Thank you so much sweetie for this compliment! I'm just relieved and delighted our intent came through.

      As much as I adore Aman and NK, it is Arnav's complexity that holds my heart enthralled. We just had to deliver on the promise of Happiness for him. Although… he did have to earn it!

      The vows have been said (and sealed with a kiss!) Now let's see the man rise to the occasion and back up the words with actions. Because every woman knows, a man can say pretty words, but it is his action we need to keep an eye on. 😉

    2. Lots of pretty adjectives there. My eyes greedily devours 😉
      Hell, I was ready to punch someone in the face when they finally delivered the story behind that ‘Maaaa’ clip. And yeah, half backed caricature sums it up.

  103. P.S.- I had written an even longer comment but it somehow, to my absolute horror, got deleted while typing 🙁 I almost fucking cried…

    1. Sorry sweetheart. You’re not the only one having this problem. I’ve written several comments that wordpress just ate up. I’m going to check to see if its WP or our site.

    2. I think your comment got caught up in a page refresh. If you use mozilla or explorer it happens a lot. 🙁

      While writing longer comments I usually type it in word and copy/paste.
      Thanks for taking the time to rewrite sweetie, although… you are always welcome to write moar 😀

  104. Read all the updates in a go and must say u people r doing brilliant writing :)…the story is very very gripping…loving nk and aman loads here …and nani is simply a gem of a person :)…very positive soul…she is playing so much imp role in shaping up arnav khushi lives including nk and aman :)…and robbie an amazing and fantastic friend there :)…would love to be part of the FWN…looking forward

    1. Welcome to FWN lala! ^^ Thank you for hopping in and dropping such sweet lines. We look forward to your company in our coming updates!

  105. One moment I was afraid of khushi’s reaction. Great they have cleared their past n settled everything between them. I want just romance now.

  106. Frst I need a cold drink.. it was damn hot..
    Dey cleared der misunderstandingss.. Khushi does not need his charity..she s a proud grl.. Kudos fr u guys fr dat.. but d storm is still waiting outside. Trent.. wat did he do? N shyam .. I think he is gonna help arnav. Waiting for the teaser..

    Sorry abt not commenting often.. guests at home..n I have no practical me tym.. hope to catch up u guys soon

  107. I loved the update and especially Arnav’s line when he tells khushi “when I touch you, I touch happiness.” I thought that was so beautifully put, summarizing succinctly Arnav’s love and feelings for khushi. This was a lovely update. Loved Arnav and khushi’s love confessions to each other as well as their discussions on their family backgrounds. Really looking forward to th next update. 🙂

  108. And it’s finally here!!
    Okay – to begin with I LOVED the opening paragraph. The analogy of the Ocean and it forever being out of reach and yet her hazel green eyes connecting with its currents in more ways than one – especial with that amazing picture – honestly it was one of my favourite parts of this update. But of course not the only one

    In my heart the prevalent themes of this update is revelations:

    1] To Khushi the revelation that Arnav unfailingly spends each night with her yet says nothing more is testament to the depths of his true feelings. I often believe that one’s silence speaks more than a thousand words, and his devotion to her may be frustrating but the undeniable love is clear to see for her parched heart

    2] That Robbie and NK were going to be nothing short of mesmeric fire is by no means a revelation, but that NK is actually a family man with roots must send a sense of reassurance to his heroine’s heart; that beneath the muscle is an honest heart of integrity. His full name was a beautiful comedic moment in a heartbeat of passionate ecstasy and it honestly gave me the biggest smile.

    I do adore the honesty of why lies between them. It’s refreshing as it is endearing and with each passing update they carve a little more space in my heart with the story, they really do

    3] I actually love Aman. I honestly really do. His revelation could have cost him his relationship with Arnav. Particularly because; Arnav is a man who places his faith in only those he knows and loves, Aman’s honest intentions could easily be misconstrued as interference by Arnav, and yet when that very interference is responsible for literally bringing happiness into his life, Aman can no doubt proudly declare that for once he was able to do right by his brother. He gambled but the rewards far outweighed the risks and it is no doubt a beautiful reassurance of their bond as it a renewal of their relationship for this new phase in their lives. The execution of this segment was perfectly crafted with the perfect blend of humour and honesty you girls unfailingly nail each and every time.

    4] It was another revelation to know that whatever unknown vengeance Shyam was earlier seeking is no longer a primary objective for him. Some secrets should remain buried and that he respects that sentiment increased the respect I have for his character. It is a real shame you will not be able to explore him further as I would love to know more about this dark enigma

    5] Another spineless wimp I care much less for is Trent. Payal’s curveball does not come unexpectedly. In fact; I expect her to be such a perfect bitch and her statement for divorce is honestly no revelation whatsoever. I am however incredibly intrigued to know what Trent does next. I had earlier pegged him to be a good man trapped in a bad situation. I know believe he and Payal honestly deserve each other. If all they know is how to play others, they can continue to play themselves, I honestly have neither time nor respect for such individuals.

    6] Arnav’s revelations were gifted to a woman who wanted all of him in return for no less. This final part was utterly poetic in what you wished to portray. And you did it with aplomb ladies you really did. Every little detail and nuance of their relationship was captured with utter perfection and their union was nothing short of being swoon worthy. I just hope that you have no further obstacles in store for these two and that now all of the couples are together, they are able to face every adversity with love by their side.

    Sorry for the ridiculously long rant, but it was truly a fabulous update, well worth the wait ladies!!

    1. That is so interesting that you tapped into the revelations theme, since we named this chapter ‘Reveal’ in our draft. We actually name all the Nights, but for some reason we don’t include it… (S did we have a reason for this?)
      I’m thrilled by your words on our RoNK. Truly. We took such a gamble on highlighting their story, the warm reception does my heart good. 😀
      On Shyam…. my frustration is endless. Time and energy playing a huge factor. Although we are figuring out how to give him a deserving end even if it’s not as fleshed out as we would like.
      I think we’ve put our Arshi through enough heartache, however, external factors are out of our control 😉 Also, those vows are beautiful, but we need to put them to the test of fire don’t we? ^^
      Have we ever complained about a long rant? You know we love them, and as always you indulge us sweetheart!

      1. Now I’m deeply curious to know what you have named the other chapters in the drafts. Could we possibly learn in the Author’s Note at the end?

        As for Shyam – I was thinking that given our collective fascination but your limited time – would a spin off OS be possible at the end of all this? Something that perhaps addresses some of his secrets and flaws. Basically, something enough to leave us lingering for more, but nothing our imaginations would not be able to complete for ourselves – thoughts?

        And for RoNK – you have created such adorable characters it is impossible not to fall in love with them!

        Meanwhile I am so glad that ArShi are now undoubtedly together, no matter what your external forces may choose to throw their way! Xx