19: To Have And To Hold.

 

His tongue plundered her mouth, exploring the moist crevices, before sucking at her lip with primitive abandon. The hold on her waist was vice like while his other hand caressed the back of his neck, weaving long fingers into her silken tresses in a way fiercely demanding.

With a sob, she wrapped her arms around his body, knowing intuitively that it was not just sex that he sought from her…that he needed from her. The silent vibe of human suffering, of naked desperation, of unimaginable despair that emanated from him struck her heart. It shook her whole being.

Her heart hammering against her ribs, she could feel every move of his body as he kissed her mouth again and again with a primeval, unquenchable thirst. Passionately drinking of it’s sweetness, it’s essence, almost as if it held the elixir to attaining freedom from human suffering.

“Khushi”, he whispered, huskily, biting her lip and stepping in further to eliminate the barely existent space between them.

He whispered her name against her skin again and again even as his lips left a trail of moist kisses and ragged warm breath along her cheek and jawline before coming to rest against the smooth column of her neck.

“Can I ever forget, Khushi?, he asked with a catch, his voice steeped with soul shattering despair, “I just fool myself, don’t I?

Warm tears ran down her side-turned face as she tightened her arms around him, one hand burying itself in his hair, unable to find even a single word to comfort him with.

Feeling her response, his body shuddered imperceptibly, and raising his head, his lips hungrily latched onto hers again…for a long time…before moving down to nuzzle and taste the lilac scented skin of her neck. Her breath hitched as she felt his warm tongue caressing the sensitive crook of her neck.

While his lips continued with their ministrations on her neck and earlobe, his hand snaked up through the minuscule space between their bodies and reached her breast. He cupped it through the thin silk blouse before caressing it’s sensitive peak with his thumb.

“Stop me, Khushi”, he whispered against her ear, even as his fingers unbuttoned her shirt, one by one, “You’ve got to stop me now”. No getting any response from her, he raised his head and looked down at her in the soft glow of the overhead recessed lighting.

His fingers still on her heaving chest, his bloodshot, restless eyes, hazy with pain and desire held her gaze, questioningly.

“Khushi?

Khushi gazed back and gradually something shifted in her expression…

He inhaled sharply as wordlessly, she eliminated the intervening distance, slid her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a tender, loving kiss, that carried within it, all the solace she couldn’t find words to express.

A surge of anticipation coursed through their veins and their hearts raced as he kissed her back, both oblivious to the blizzard raging outside..or even the weather emergency alert sounds coming from the family room TV.

It didn’t take long for the nature of their kisses to change and fervently, their tongues dueled and mated, one breathless kiss after another, while Arnav’s usually nimble fingers fumbled trying to unbutton her blouse. After finally succeeding and sliding the blouse off of her, Arnav pushed the silken straps of her nude colored brassiere down her petal soft shoulders and looked down with his breaths fast and shallow, his eyes intoxicated with need.

“Khushi, you can still stop me if you like…”, he began..

Interrupting him by a lingering caress on his stubbled cheek and angled jaw, her eyes softened as she whispered ,”I know”, but then, her hand traveled further down to unfasten his tie and letting it fall to the tiled floor.

With an incoherent utterance, Arnav stepped closer, joining their lips in a kiss again, while his body pinned her aganst the counter and his arousal pressed against her bare belly. Slowly he moved his lower body against her softness, and Khushi matched the sensual rhythm, even as her hands caressed his toned back, feeling every dip, every curve of his hard muscles.

While still kissing, his caressing hands reached her bare waist, and firmly catching hold of it, he hoisted her up on the granite counter with a single effortless movement. Even as she wrapped her legs around him, he reached for her brassiere hook at the back…and soon it had joined the rest of the clothing on the floor.

Khushi gasped as he held, felt and caressed her firm mounds, before bending down slightly and taking a stiffening peak into his mouth. As his mouth and tongue wreaked havoc on her senses with their passionate ministrations on the sensitive nubs, Khushi clutched at his hair, feeling a molten fire building in the core of her femininity.

Khushi didn’t quite remember the details of how they reached the dim lit bedroom or just how their remaining clothes were impatiently divested and strewn on the carpeted floor, or how his glasses and her insulin pump ended up at the nightstand, but very soon, they were lying together in bed , skin against skin, with not even a stitch to separate them.

Lying on her back, Khushi half noticed the raging blizzard through the window. An oblique blur of thick falling snow that almost obliterated the background of glittering Cleveland skyline. Despite the bleakness that surrounded them, Khushi closed her eyes and savored the first time sensation of his weight on her body. It caused a frisson of warmth and contentment to course through her veins.

She felt his lips moving against her bare bosom as he rested his aching head against it for a brief, rare unguarded moment and told her just what she meant to him…and how much he needed her in his life.

With her eyes welling with silent tears, she wrapped her arms around him, moved beyond words by this stirring expression of vulnerability. As her hands ran up and down his bare back in a slow caress, his muscles clenched under her touches and raising his head, he swooped down to devour her mouth again in a kiss, that reignited the fire between them.

With their passions reaching new, previously unimaginable heights, he moved over her arching body, caressing and kissing every silken inch of it, and leaving a trail of moist love-marks in his wake.

Khushi matched his passion in equal measure. Her fingers traveled through the sprinkling of fine hair on his chest, the rippling muscles of his shoulders, the firmly toned contours of his abs, and interspersed this sensuous exploration with breathless, inexperienced kisses.

Groaning in response, he stalled her by firmly catching hold of her delicate wrists and pinning them on either side of her pillow. Then, he swooped down to hungrily devour her mounds and Khushi squirmed in ecstasy that was almost too much to bear.

Feeling his tongue doing crazy things to her sensitive, rose colored peaks, she cried out his name, and after a while, Arnav released her wrists, and slid down her body. With his callused palms, he traced the curves of her waist and belly. Nuzzling, nipping and sucking her sensitized skin, he made his way further South and sent the butterflies in her stomach into a state of frenzy. Parting her legs, he nuzzled against her inner thighs, tantalizingly, before reaching her thrumming core and gently working it into a state of readiness with his fingers, lips and tongue.

“Your first time, Khushi..?”, he came back up and asked, tucking errant strands of hair behind her ear. It sounded more like a statement than a question. When she assented, he kissed her on the forehead in a wordless promise that he would not hurt her. Then, he got off of the bed to fetch protection.

Parting her legs, he took his time sliding inside her, his intent gaze locked with hers watching for any signs of discomfort. Feeling herself stretch, Khushi’s heart pounded and she wrapped her legs around him, watching as he steadied her body by a strong hold on her tiny waist. Soon he had begun the age old, primeval rhythm and her whole body was being racked by powerful, rhythmic thrusts that left small ripples of pleasure in their wake. She joined him in his frenetic quest for a crescendo, crying out his name, as she felt herself clamp around him. Swearing unintelligibly, Arnav fell off the precipice and took her with him. Their bodies and minds became awash with intense pleasure waves that ebbed and flowed for a long time.

His forehead covered with beads of perspiration, he collapsed onto her bosom, his hot breaths fanning her skin. She hugged him close and lay still, waiting for her own breathing to calm down.

Tenderly, she weaved her fingers through his hair, smiling a little as she felt him relax and snuggle comfortably in the valley between her breasts. An intense protective tenderness rushed through her heart and she mused if it was even normal to feel this maternal towards your lover.

Silence reigned inside the room while snow fell unabated outside. It fell in thick sheets, quickly filling up the roads and weighing the rooftops and bare tree branches down. The driving conditions became increasingly unsafe and very few vehicles were sighted braving the weather on the desolate roads.

“Arnav?, Khushi called after a while…worried about the conditions of the roads and the probable lateness of the hour.

Not getting any response and listening to his even breathing, she realized amusedly that he had fallen asleep. Using her as a human pillow and almost crushing her with his weight.

“God knows when was the last time he’d slept peacefully like this”, she thought with her eyes moistening. Drawing him closer, she made no attempt to awaken him. Her body felt languorous in the aftermath of a storm called Arnav.

“Just ten minutes before I wake him up”, she murmured, closing her eyes.

 

 

***

 

 

With his eyes narrowed in concentration, he positioned himself low over the pool table, perfectly in line with the cue and the solid balls. He test glided the cue stick in the groove between his left thumb and index finger before striking the cue ball. As the cue ball hit the targeted Eight ball, it scuttled towards the table edge before rebounding against it and going straight into a pocket.

A small group of young men and women, including the person who’d just lost, stood around the table and erupted in appreciative sounds and comments.

“Kickass!

“Holy crap!

“Unbelievable”

“Beautiful”

And some rambunctious ribbing directed towards the person, who’d just lost three games in a row.

“Woah…you got completely owned, Jeff”, grinned a tall brunette, his girlfriend, looking up at him “And you’ll have to buy us drinks again”.

“Sure”, said Jeff, goodnaturedly, “Though you only get to have a mocktail. You’re driving, remember. Hope the roads get plowed before this place closes”.

“I hope so too”, said Aman, whipping his cellphone out to check weather.

“Ok..the major roads are expected to be clean by 2…so we’re good”.

While Jeff and the rest of the group headed off to the adjoining bar, his girlfriend lagged behind to fall in step with Aman.

“Since lady luck is kind of smiling on you tonight”, said Madison, with a twinkle in her eyes, “Should I try to hook you up with a very lovely friend of mine? She’s here right now with a group of girls”.

Aman paused for a second, an uncharacteristic rebellious voice within him making him seriously consider the proposition.

“Time to move on, Aman”

“It’s high time, you started living your life again. That too on your own terms”

“Free from the shakles of cultural, familial expectations…”.

“Look what happened when you did decide to toe to the line for once”.

Then he remembered, he was supposed to meet Khushi tomorrow. He recalled the phone call he’d got from Khushi a week ago, where she’d expressed a hesitant desire to meet up somewhere to talk.

The rational part of his brain knew intuitively that this meeting was probably meant to serve as a much delayed closure to their ill fated relationship. Yet, he just couldn’t stop himself from hoping…

Foolishly hoping as he derisively called it.

Aman was at Babs’ Underground Lounge, an upscale bar, lounge and pool hall in the heart of historic Downtown Cleveland. It’s clientele mainly consisting of older, more mature, professional individuals.

It was a hugely popular joint that offered a well stocked bar as well a wide variety of sumptuous cocktails . It’s decor was stylishly eclectic and the ambience was intimate with it’s low, moody lighting accentuated by understated jazz in the background.

The interiors emanated a relaxed vibe with a lot of comfortable seating options available in red and gray leather.

He was walking towards his friends, a drink in hand, when his phone rang.

He rolled his eyes inwardly but his mouth curved in an amused smile.

Anita.

She called him from time to time to have these random but highly entertaining conversations, that sprung out of nowhere…continued full steam for a while and were usually abruptly ended before they could lead to something consequential.

He didn’t quite know what to make of them or of her.

He had her filed in his mind as ‘Ex Flame’s Crazy Younger Sister’.

 

 

***
Khushi stirred in her sleep, feeling an unaccustomed weight on her body that kept her pinned down on her back, not allowing to move even a single muscle. She frowned hearing her phone’s familiar ringtone in the background.

Opening her eyes with a start, she discovered that Arnav was still deep asleep, and she was still being used as a human pillow. Her body was aching and badly cramped and it required an enormous amount of dexterity on her part to wiggle herself free without waking him.

As she freed herself, he sighed in his sleep and turned to his side, and very quietly, she got off of the bed and picked up the flat sheet and comforter that had slid to the floor.

She tucked the comforter around him and took a moment to stare at his face that looked so boyishly guileless in repose. Firmly wrapping the sheet around her, she padded out to the family room, where her handbag rested on an end table.

She observed nervously that she had two missed calls from home. But, it was only 7 in the night, she noted with slight relief. For a moment she’d thought that she had slept through the night. Taking a deep breath, she called home.

Her mother picked it up almost at once in a telling manner.

“Khushi, I called you twice. Your father and I were just watching the weather channel and It’s expected to snow all through the night. They should have just canceled the party.The roads are terrible and there’s no way, they’ll be plowed before morning. Do you know of a friend who lives close-by? So you can stay the night with her. I know, Aarti lives somewhere close”.

Her heart pounded and her palms suddenly felt clammy.

“I think that’s a good idea”, she heard herself say,”I’ll text you if I find someone”.
As her mother hung up, she took a deep breath again. Suddenly the prospect of being able to stay with Arnav at a time when he needed her so much caused her doubts to melt and her guilt to be temporarily silenced.

“I’ll worry tomorrow”, she said to herself as she walked over to the kitchen to get something to eat. Her stomach was rumbling inelegantly serving as a reminder that she hadn’t had her dinner and that lunch was a long time back.

She had just taken a milk carton out from the fridge, when Arnav entered the kitchen sleepily, clad in just a pair of boxers. His newly discovered sculpted physique in full display, Khushi’s heart raced in remembrance of their lovemaking. Khushi placed the milk on the counter and turned to face him, a shy smile lighting up her features.

A tiny smile tugged at the corner of his mouth even as he steadily gazed at her from the doorway with his eyes soft with tenderness.

She made a beautiful picture, wrapped up in a pristine white cotton sheet that left her shoulders and arms bare. Her flushed face was untidily framed by tendrils of hair that glistened in the kitchen light. In a heartbeat, he eliminated the distance between them and engulfed her in a crushing embrace.

His arms tightened possessively as he buried his face in the crook of her neck, and murmured, “I thought you’d left”.

“Silly, I would’ve never gone without letting you know”.

Raising his head after a while, he regarded her with his caramel eyes flickering with emotions.

“I wish”, he paused trying to gather his thoughts together,”I wish our first time didn’t have to be like this”.

His Adam’s apple bobbing, he continued, “You deserved to be surrounded by happiness and laughter when this happened. But all I had to offer was misery and darkness. That’s all you got from me”.

With her heart squeezing, she slid her arms around his neck and hugged him close.

“But I have no regrets. None at all”, she said.

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8 thoughts on “19: To Have And To Hold.

  1. Reading SF the second time .

    This is where I’m left indecisive …..

    Did Khushi do the right thing by going all the way ????

    I’m still uncertain abt the correctness of her action…

    No doubt Arnav needed her , but 😐😐😐

    Still uncertain

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So they do eventually πŸ™‚ to be honest I was expecting some interruption one way or the other. Finally i was glad that there wasn’t. More than the physical side to it all, he really needed her amidst all the grief, self imposed guilt and pain he’s been going through that would’ve eventually drove him beyond the realm of sanity.
    She may not have had her first

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She may not have had her first time amidst laughter and joy, but to get to know that she was there for him at a time when he desperately needed her, and that she could ground him and pull him back from an abyss of grief is more than enough to make it just as special

      Liked by 1 person

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