"Family isn't just about whose blood runs through your veins. It's about who never left your side,
stood up for you and believed in you."
- Adrien Body
"Are you singing Gupta?"
Khushi looked up from her paperwork unable to wipe the grin off her face. "What's it to you Parker?"
"Nothing. Except your tone deaf and my ears are dying."
"Leave her alone Matt! Can't you see she's in lurveeeeee" Jahnvi teased.
Shagun and Meg laughed as Khushi threw her pen at Jahnvi's head.
Matt grinned. "That's right. I heard lover boy waited all night for you in the lounge."
"Oh yeah, Mr Dreamboat even brought her flowers." Meg jibed. Shagun rolled her eyes as she saw Matt stiffen, jealous of Meg's opinions about another guy.
Khushi leaned back in her chair with a silly little smile on her face as she remembered the way all his features had softened as he slept. Her heart did a little flutter.
Meg, Shagun, Matt and Jahnvi stared at Khushi as she became lost in her own little world. Clearing his throat Matt tired to garner her attention. Looking up, Khushi instantly coloured realising what she had done. Reverting back to auto pilot she scowled...
"None of us get paid to sit around. Go! Shoo! Save lives."
The four looked at one another knowingly and snickered. "Aye aye Dr. Gupta."
As everyone got back to their respective jobs, Khushi found it incredibly difficult to concentrate on the discharge papers as her mind wandered back to the evening before. Flashes of those memories ignited a dull hum under the surface of her skin, the energy making her restless. There was something dangerous about the way he looked at her. Almost addictive.
"I grew up in a tough neighbourhood." she softly confessed, continuing to stroke his cheek. Arnav watched as her eyes took on a distant quality, his heart beating painfully fast as he reacted to her touch. "I lost my parents when I was young and there was no one to look out for me. As I started growing up I got unwanted attention." Her voice was no louder than a whisper. "I've always been petite so knowing how to protect myself became a priority. Anyway I'm so used to living alone that when you touched me I reacted on instinct. I didn't mean to..."
Arnav put a finger over her lips, silencing her with his eyes. There was no need for her to apologise.
He pulled her down so that she sat across his lap. The intimacy of the situation brought about a rush of blood to the head. The room was silent save the soft lilt of the music from the ipod dock. She closed her eyes and listened to the harmony of their heartbeats and the crescendo and decrescendo of their breath. Slowly he ran his hand up and down her back trying to provide comfort, guiding her head to his shoulder. Her body relaxed into him, moulding itself to his form. Sitting in the cradle of his arms, she let herself go, his touch cathartic. A little while later her face began to feel moist.
Khushi realised.... she was crying.
The longing of a lifetime broke at its seams. Clutching his collar she began to sob softly. Arnav stiffened unsure of what had brought this on. Whispering softly in her ear, he held on to her tightly, trying to ease her pain. Khushi cried for all her lost dreams and shattered illusions. Khushi cried at the hand life had dealt her. Khushi cried for the love she had never known. After a while she sat up. Arnav wiped her eyes. Cupping her cheek, he ran his thumb over the plump mound and asked with his eyes earnest...
Khushi averted her gaze, embarrassed by her behaviour. "I..." her voice cracked. She tried again. "I've never been held that way by anyone."
Arnav felt as though someone had plunged a knife into his chest and ripped out his heart. Smiling, he kissed her cheek softly and tucked loose wisps of hair behind her ears. His fingers skimmed the soft flesh of her sensitive lobe and he whispered.
"Better get used to it then Gupta."
Khushi looked at him with wide eyes, taken aback by his response.
"I'm serious. I can't have you ruining my shirt every time."
She looked down to the wet patch near his right shoulder region. Punching him lightly, she accused..."You're a bastard."
Arnav grinned. "And she's back."
Khushi rolled her eyes and tried to get up. Grabbing her wrist he pulled her back down. "Don't feel embarrassed about what just happened. I'm glad that it did...that you shared that with me."
Khushi gulped uncomfortably and looked everywhere other than at him. Putting his finger under her chin he made her look at him. "I'm serious Khushi." Holding on to her hands he steeled himself. "I lost my parents when I was very young too." Khushi looked at him in shock. "I hated them for it. Never forgave them. But I was lucky that I had a sister and nani. You...you had no one. I can't imagine..." Arnav shook his head. "What I am trying to say is that you're not alone. Not anymore. Not if I have something to say about it. Ok Gupta?"
Khushi nodded confused by all that she had heard. Arnav watched as she withdrew from him reverting back into the hard casing of the shell she had spent so long building. Standing up she brushed herself off and made herself busy putting the chocolate batter for the muffins in the oven. Arnav waited to see if she would acknowledge him. She didn't. Instead she was intent on pretending as if nothing had ever happened. Accepting the fact that it would take her time to open up to him, he decided it was best if he left.
"I should probably go...I never meant to stay so long anyway. Thanks for breakfast."
Khushi stood in the far corner of the kitchen looking at the floor and fidgeting with her top. "You don't have to thank me. You were the one who made it."
Arnav rubbed the back of his head. "Yeah...well..." he trailed off awkwardly. Picking up his jacket and keys he walked toward the front door. "See you soon Gupta?"
She nodded holding the door open for him. Standing in the hallway, half way out the door, he hesitated. Khushi looked up into his eyes confused. It was almost as if he were waiting for something. Holding her gaze he searched her eyes. A second later he shook his head, dissipating the fragility of the moment and walked to his car without so much as a second glance.
Khushi closed the door disappointed. More so in herself than in him. Leaning her back against the door she let her eyes flutter shut and heard the ghost of his voice whispering in her ear. Better get used to it Gupta. How could she possibly explain to him that this was precisely what she was afraid of. Life had taught her not to depend on anyone. Not to 'get used' to anyone. What if it didn't work out between them? What if she depended on him and then he left her. Khushi didn't think she had it in her to recover from that....to recover from him.
The door bell rang and her eyes snapped open. Turning around she opened the door. Arnav stood on the steps looking a little out of breath.
"Umm....I forgot something."
"Oh...sure." Khushi stepped aside to let him in. Looking toward the living area...."What did you leave behind."
Realising that she hadn't got an answer, she turned her gaze back to Arnav only to see him staring at her intently as if trying to decide something.
"Screw it!" Arnav cut her off, pulling her forward on to his chest and bending down to kiss her. Khushi squealed in surprise, the noise cut off as claimed her, unrelenting in his assault. At first the shock of it all made her fall limp in his arms. With her neck supported by his hand she let him take control, enjoying the feel of him against her. His touch was feather light at first, teasing her, dropping soft kisses on her eyelids, her cheeks, her nose, her earlobes, her jaw, down the column of her neck and finally back to her lips. Her face was now flush and her breathing heavy. Khushi was lost in the cocoon of warmth floating on the natural high, curling her toes and arching her back. Surely this much pleasure could not be real?
Slowly, Arnav began to encourage her to take part in the dance, coaxing her to kiss him back. Timidly she nibbled on his upper lips, her hand splayed against his chest. The innocent gesture liberated a carnal growl from deep inside his chest, reverberating against her palm. Khushi gasped and without a moments notice Arnav darted his tongue out to consume her fully. Gripping his upper arm, Khushi felt his biceps flex under her touch. The compounding sensations were all too much. A soft whimper escaped her, and he squeezed her closer into him.
Just as quickly as he had initiated the kiss, he ended it, pushing her away. Breathing heavily he gasped... "Can't... breathe...damn... nose."
"Whaaa..." Khushi mumbled still slightly dizzy.
Registering the plaster on his nose, she began to giggle hysterically holding onto her stomach. "It's not funny!" he growled which just made her laugh more.
Standing up he yanked her forward brusquely, his arm around her waist. "That shut you up didn't it?"
Lightly biting her cheek he complained... "Damn you Gupta. It's all your fault. If you hadn't broken my nose I could have kept kissing you."
Shyly she looked down and pushed him away. He stumbled back a little. Walking backward out of her door he looked her in the eye...
"I will see you soon Khushi."
Swinging his car key's around his finger he turned around and left.
Had it not been for the support of the door her knees would have given way. Khushi. No one had ever said her name that way. As if it were a tender caress. She blushed and smiled.
Screw it indeed!
"Can I please have my resident back?"
Khushi vaguely registered the hand waving in front of her. Her elbow slipped of the table and she momentarily lost her balance. Dr. Danes rolled his eyes.
"Dr. Gupta stop day dreaming about your boyfriend and come with me. I'm doing a ward round, bring all the patient files."
Khushi flushed embarrassed by her behaviour and cursed Arnav Singh Raizada under her breath. The interns were off doing their exams and she was left doing the grunt work. Stacking file after file in her hand she waddled a bit like a duck, trying not to drop anything. Still she wouldn't be Khushi Kumari Gupta is she didn't fall flat on her face once in a while. Cursing her bad luck and rubbing her sore back she began to collate all the files off the floor.
"Ummm....excuse me?" a sweet female voice interrupted her.
She looked up from the floor to see a woman in her mid thirties wearing a saree catching Khushi slightly off guard. She was beautiful. There was no two ways about it. Her hair was done up in a high pony tail and she wore a black chiffon saree with a dull gold blouse. The woman was married, the black and gold beads of her mangalsutra peeping out from behind her palla. Khushi suddenly felt very daggy in her scrubs. Standing up with the files in hand she replied...
"Can I help you?"
"Yes. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of Dr. Parker's office?"
"Did I say something wrong?"
"Oh no no! It's just that the word office around here is funny. I don't know about is office but I could point you toward his cubicle."
The woman's concerned face fell away and she smiled. "Please... I would be grateful."
Khushi looked over her shoulder, trying to balance the overflowing files. "Down this corridor, third door to your left." Just at that moment Matt stuck his head out the door. "Oh look there he is now."
The woman politely thanked her and walked away with the poise and grace Khushi had dreamed of her entire life. She did, however, notice a slight limp in the woman's gait. Khushi observed her curiously for a second and then made her way to ward rounds. Her journey was a short one as she stopped dead in her tracks hearing Matt's voice boom down the hall.
"Anjali! Come on in....I was waiting for you."
I'M BACK! GO ME! Two updates in two days. I should get an award. Anyhoo I promise a more in depth Author note after YLME update.
Please though know that when you guys comment it does make my day!