Even as the soulful notes and sounds of Sufi music surrounded them, Arnav took his aviators off to hook them on the front of his shirt. He turned his head to look down at their clasped hands. Resting her small hand in one of his, he straightened her palm to study the intricate, dark maroon, paisleys and vines henna design adorning it. Bowing her head to admire it as well, Khushi mused that an uncomfortable night spent with henna on both hands had definitely been worth it. Covering both sides of her hands and extending beyond the wrists, it smelled delicious too, Khushi brought her free hand close to her nose and inhaled deeply.
Seeing a prominent A at the center of the design, Arnav circled it with his index finger and turned towards her with an eyebrow raised in genuine puzzlement, “A for..
Smiling amusedly at his ignorance, Khushi’s eyes danced as she teased him, “A for Apple, Atomic Bomb, Alligator…”.
“A for Arnav of course”, she finished, laughing at his narrowed eyes, “It’s a tradition to have your hus…significant other’s first initial included in the design”.
“Ah…sealed with henna?, he joked, his heart warming with an inward smile at her barely noticeable correction.
“Something like that”, she said with a slow smile, leaning against the backrest, her heart leaping as his eyes glowed down at her, lazily caressing her face. Shafts of sunlight wove through the receding trees to fall on them. Streaming across the car window, they projected fast moving tapestry of light and shadows on their faces.
A thought niggled at the periphery of her mind which she didn’t fully acknowledge, which time had long taught her to leave unacknowledged.
Thought of another henna adorned hand, anxious and hopeful, with a similar A buried in it’s midst. Although her naturally empathetic heart felt a twinge of residual sadness and guilt, she had learnt the hard way of the need to balance the worthiness of a thought with it’s practicality, with it’s compatibility with happiness. Her happiness. Their happiness.
She had learnt of how staying happy could be turned into a choice. A shift in perspectives, a tweaking of inner controls, a lesson in gratitude.
Her heart focused on the face in front of her and her eyes lingered lovingly on it’s familiarity. The wide, slightly peaked forehead, the sharp, aquiline nose, the firm, determined mouth and those caramel eyes that appeared shot with his favorite drink at the moment.
“You look different without glasses”, she said softly, her eyes smiling into his, a languorous warmth spreading through her body.
Arnav’s lips curved as a thought struck him , “You’ve always known me with glasses, haven’t you?
“Meaning”, he sighed, “I started wearing glasses quite recently. After Aarav went…”.
With his voice trailing off, he directed his gaze towards the window and Khushi had a sudden heart wrenching vision of him moving into that dark, desolate apartment, embittered and shattered, struggling to keep his pieces together and probably drinking himself to sleep everyday.
Khushi squeezed his hand that still interweaved in hers was resting on his knee. Even as her throat constricted and her eyes pricked, Arnav turned to look at her again. His eyes were tender and wondrous as he asked, “You came to know me when I was at the darkest point of my life. When I had changed, perhaps irrevocably, from the person I had been for most of my life. When I’d changed into this bitter, messed up…Why do you love me so much, Khushi? What is there in me to love? I wish we’d met earlier…
Taking in a shuddering breath to ward the tears away, her eyes held his in an unflinching gaze as she replied, “I don’t. I don’t wish we’d met earlier because who I fell in love with is the man you are now. The man you were when destiny brought us face to face at the Cleveland airport. A man softened by fatherhood, strengthened by grief, mellowed by life. A man who, despite the unimaginable pain raging in his heart, faced each new day with courage and dignity. A man, who despite having gone through the trauma of a failed relationship, was brave enough to believe in love, to open his heart to love…
“A man with a fucked up, scarred heart”, Arnav’s mouth curved in a bitter grimace as he interrupted her, “whose love couldn’t prevent him from hurting the very person who meant the world to him”.
“No”, said Khushi emphatically, her eyes clear as the skies in her absolute belief in him, “The man who hurt me was just a fallible human with an overwrought and insecure heart. A man burdened with fears arising from unimaginable circumstances. A man who is much too harsh with himself”, she paused and smiled a little, “And a man whose innate honesty in being fair to all doesn’t prevent him from being unfair to his own self, from believing the worst of oneself…from lying to oneself”.
With his eyes clouding at this touching display of faith, he turned his head to gaze out at a small, overfilled three wheeler, whose overzealous driver tried it’s eat to overtake their SUV in what seemed to be an unnecessarily precarious manner to him.
Clearing his throat he said, “You are making me sound much nicer than I really am”.
Feeling her rest her head on his shoulder, he glanced down at her upturned face and smiled. With the back of his fingers he caressed her cheek lightly, “Not that it doesn’t feel great to hear it from you”.
While her eyes shone with a soft hazel fire, his smoldered with an intention, a desire and a vow to love, protect and cherish her. In every way known to him. For the rest of his life.
They were soon half way down their destination. Approaching a small roadside dhaba in midst of rolling fields, their driver turned the radio off and glanced back slightly to inform them of his intention to take a short break.
They got out of the car too to stretch their legs, walking up to a small wood framed woven bedstead, charpai. It rested under a neem tree with a gnarled trunk and thick, shady branches and was one of an untidy row of five. Even as the charpai creaked under their joint weights, a small boy of about six or seven came out from a ramshackle bricks and thatched roof building to take orders.
Arnav surprised her by ordering tea for both of them.
It was cool under the old tree and looking up at the blue sky, Khushi was relieved by the complete absence of Monsoon clouds except for a few fluffy, good-weather ones. Ignoring the curious stares that were directed their way, they gazed together at water logged paddy fields that stretched all the way to the horizon to blend with the distant Vindhyas range. Now and then, a humid breeze would skim over the verdant blades with light fingers and reach them too.
Their piping hot tea was brought in small unglazed, earthenware cups and even as they talked and laughed amidst small sips of the sweet, cardamom flavored brew, a small crowd of curious children, of all ages and sizes, gathered around them.
Arnav watched as a little boy with a bubble wand in his hand slowly blew through it. Time seemed to stand still while a stream of bubbles, big and small, transparent and iridescent, floated against the vast blueness of the sky..
Khushi turned to look at him and there was something on his face, something indescribable, that caught her attention. Before she could say a word, Arnav said slowly, “Aarav used to love doing that”
He turned towards her and smiled a little..
“He would make me carry him to chase the bubbles, to catch them on his palm before they bursted. And with every bubble he caught, he would shriek with joy”.
For a moment, Khushi forgot to breathe. She just gazed at Arnav and at the smile that flickered on his lips. It was a precious moment. One of those blessed moments when the balance of past memories tilts more towards happiness.
It was the first time Arnav was able to share Aarav’s memory with a smile.
Perhaps wanting to save the moment like a bubble on her palm, Khushi sat still and silent, holding her breath, not blinking her eyes.
After a moment Arnav’s smile wavered and his eyes darkened beneath his sunglasses.
“Do you really believe that prayers are heard? That our thoughts can be felt by someone no longer with us?, he asked, a seemingly unrelated question whose underlying train of thought was somehow clear to Khushi.
Finally exhaling, Khushi thought in silence, searching for a response deep within herself.
Faint notes of a song reached them. They came from a man’s bike who rode along a dirt lane with a transistor strapped to it’s carrier. It mingled with the sound of the village flour mill in the background.
A gust of air ruffled their hair and the overlying leaves. It smelled of wood-smoke and wet earth.
“Your question reminds me of one of my favorite poems”, she said softly. With her eyebrows knitted in concentration, she recited that poem, her voice clear, her recitation slow, her manner totally unselfconscious.
If radio’s slim fingers can pluck a melody from night and toss it over a continent or sea;
If the petaled white notes from a violin are blown across the mountains or the city’s din;
If songs, like crimson roses, are culled from thin blue air…
Why should mortals wonder if God hears prayers?
There were many things about Khushi that Arnav had yet to learn. That she was one of those rare individuals who could effortlessly and matter of factly weave a poem or a verse into a conversation was one of them.
Without a word, Arnav placed his arm around her shoulders and drew her close. A sudden outburst of giggling made him cognizant of the surrounding he’d momentarily lost touch with. He blinked and looked at the the children who seemed to be having a singularly entertaining morning. Arnav smiled amusedly at them; meanwhile the little boy sent another flotilla of bubbles sailing through the sky. They both watched them being carried off by the breeze with their eyes warm and content. The balance of present moments was definitely tilting towards happiness too…
After a while Arnav turned towards the car to check if their driver was back. Seeing him, he rose and offered a hand to Khushi.
Pulling her up, he looked at her. Her chestnut hair gleamed under the sun, slightly wind blown and untidy. His face was intent as he lifted a hand to smoothen it, combing it down her back with his fingers. He was deeply moved and fumbling for words. He decided to opt for the lighthearted.
His lips twitched into a small smile.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep”, he recited with a grin, “But we have promises to keep and have miles to go before we sleep. So, sweetheart, we’d better get going”.
Time and distance flew by as they sat encompassed in a heaven of their own making, the SUV purring steadily on the highway. The dusty asphalt in front of them led towards the rocky Vidhayas range. It awaited them in all it’s craggy, sandstone glory.
They were headed towards Mirzapur.
Mirzapur, a small town on the banks of River Ganga, was nestled among the jagged cliffs, waterfalls and rocky plateaus of the Vindhyas. A place Khushi had once visited as a child. She remembered very little of it, just a kaleidoscope of fragmented moments, but they were all linked with an indescribable happiness in her mind..To Khushi, that was reason enough to choose it as the destination for their first outing.
With expert help from her Maasi, Bua and cousin, she had prepared a neat, handwritten and very detailed itinerary for the day. There were many places and attractions in the vicinity that were worthy of being visited, with Mirzapur being a place of great historical significance, but not enough time so she’d kept her list short.
Just a couple of places that had piqued her interest the most. With the sun nearing it’s zenith, it was getting increasingly hot and humid. That was enough to deflate enthusiasm out of even the most dedicated of tourists.
While looking at Google search results together last night, Khushi had tried to involve Arnav in the planning too but he showed tepid interest in most touristy activities.
“It doesn’t really matter. Wherever you want to go. I’ll just follow you obediently”, he’d said indulgently not wanting to put a dampener on her enthusiasm by letting on that he’d rather be spending the entire day in activities of a different nature altogether.
Reaching Mirzapur before noon, they stepped out of the car onto a crowded street thrumming with festive energy, dazzling sunshine, loud music and multihued paper banners strung across the streets. They had stepped right into the middle of the Lohandi mela, a fair held every Saawan(month of rain) around a historic Hanuman temple.While the temple, decorated with scores of ghee diyas, was vibrant with devotees, the surrounding area buzzed with an amalgam of festivities and business with various eatables, clothes and religious memorabilia being sold by seasonal vendors.
Reading up on it hadn’t prepared Khushi for the sheer scale of it and slightly overwhelmed, she paused with her eyes hesitant, wondering if it had been a good idea to include the event in her itinerary.
Putting a protective arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. His voice was warm with silent laughter as he sniffed and said, “I smell jalebis. I’m sure Dr. Gupta is feeling a little hypoglycemic after that long ride”.
Khushi laughed in remembrance of an unforgettable afternoon in Srinagar, all doubts vanished and a warm glow settled deep in her heart.
As Arnav navigated them through the sea of humanity, Khushi winked at him and said, “Aren’t you glad to have me by your side? To protect you from being trampled by cows”.
With his eyes gleaming with amusement, he said somberly, “Oh most definitely, yes”.
They’d soon reached the source of the sweet aroma, the mithai shop where jalebis batter was being swirled nonstop onto a wok full of bubbling hot oil. However, much to her surprise and indignation, she wasn’t allowed to eat more than two, all her dignified protests met with a sudden display of steely authority that brooked no questioning.
A little riled, she grumbled as they left the shop. Deciding it was wise to set limits and boundaries right from this initial stage of their relationship, she said “Arnav, let’s make this clear from the get-go. I am not going to allow you to boss over me”.
“Oh yeah?, Arnav teased, looking down at her upturned face with his hands in pocket, “Is that a challenge?
“If you want to take it as one”, Khushi narrowed her eyes at him.
With a laugh, he slipped an arm around her waist and side-hugged her, “I just care about your health, honey, that’s all”.
His voice was caressing like a silken feather and roused a thousand fluttering butterflies in her stomach. Even as her heart soared up to the kites waltzing in the skies, she smiled good-naturedly, the golden flecks in her eyes glittering in the sun. She gestured towards a roadside cart that was loaded with glass bangles in every hue of the rainbow.
Threaded on rough twine pieces with their ends knotted, they shone and shimmered, heaped precariously upon the cart.
Halting in front of them and picking up a bunch of red ones, she admired them, unable to decide if she should get them or not. “Glass ones break so easily”, she murmured after a while, putting them back.
They spent about an hour there, strolling through the labyrinthine lanes, pausing now and then to look at odds and ends, just letting the whole ambience to seep in slowly.
It didn’t take Arnav long to catch on to Khushi’s notorious shopping style and when she stopped at a Rajasthani stall next to admire a deep maroon mirrored tie and dye cotton stole, he cut her vacillations short by buying it for her. She stood wide eyed as he proceeded to wrap it around her head in front of a highly tickled stall-owner.
“There”, he drawled observing her bemused face and thwarting a mad desire to kiss her thoroughly , “Looks good on you and will protect you against the sun too”.
They had lunch at a small, unassuming pure vegetarian restaurant, which came highly recommended by not only Khushi’s aunts and Isha but a bunch of reviews on trip-advisor as well. Their food was served in a traditional bhojpuri thalis with katoris containing an assortment of subzis, dals, rice and raita arranged around poories and rotis. The ambience was soothing with a faint scent of prayer incense lingering in the air and a cool, modestly decorated interior serving as a blissful haven from the heat, dust and madness of outside. By the time they were done lunch and a visit to the Hanuman temple it was one and already time for the last item on their itinerary.
A brief sojourn at the Chunar Fort before heading back home.
The Chunar Fort, an imposing red sandstone structure, stands on a steep cliff on the southern bank of River Ganga. It provides awe inspiring views of the river from it’s stone lattices and terraces on the North. It has a rich history dating back from King Vikramaditya to Mughal empire to British rule but, as Arnav and Khushi soon discovered, it wasn’t maintained in the manner it rightfully deserved. Most of it was occupied by the state police as a training center.
They reached the fortress through a narrow, uphill road which was flanked by gulmohar trees on each side. Their hunter green foliage contrasted picturesquely with the profusion of scarlet blossoms. The earth, Khushi noticed, had a reddish hue to it in these parts.
They spent some time exploring the fusion architecture and the intriguing history of the fort, walking hand in hand down stone pillared cloisters and corridors, surprised to find them almost deserted. They were soon mystified as to why the tourism potential of such majestic fort, that too in such a picturesque location, has not been exploited so far.
“There are talks of ASI, The Archeological Survey Of India, working on the process to reclaim the fort”, Arnav said, looking up from an article on his phone, his aviators perched on his head. Sunlight filtered in through a latticed window and caught the caramel of his eyes. It also reflected off of the mirrors on Khushi’s stole and covered him with light circles.
Khushi barely heard what he said. She was mesmerized by a glimpse of something rare in his eyes. Serenity.
On an impulse, Khushi stepped up and wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug.
Hugging her back in a bone-crushing embrace that lifted her a little off her feet, he laughed and said, “Wow, that news certainly makes you very happy”.
Even as he put her back on the ground, she looked up at him with a smile that wavered at the edges, “Yes, that makes me very happy”.
Arnav’s eyes flickered at the emotion thrumming in her voice and drawing her close, he joined his forehead against hers. “And seeing you happy makes me happy”, he murmured before approaching footsteps and voices made their draw apart.
They went up a flight of narrow, well worn, stone steps next to reach a vast terrace whose high stone ramparts were mounted with a multitude of cannons in the hey days. It also provided a breathtaking view of River Ganga.
Standing in front of a parapet, Khushi gazed at the panoramic vista, noting the small boats that dotted the murky waters and the hazy outline of a bridge in the far distance. Her hair whipped crazily in the strong wind and she smiled when Arnav came to stand close behind her, resting a hand on the parapet on each side.
Their faces were contemplative and their eyes tranquil. There is something about historic places and the way they compel your thoughts to dwell on time, mortality, and the ephemerality of existence. It gives a sense of one’s smallness in universe. It gives perspective.
After a while, Khushi smiled and picked his hands with both of hers.
Stretching their joint arms on either side like wings, she closed her eyes and leaned back against his chest. “This is such a Titanic moment”, she grinned.
Chuckling amusedly, he wrapped their arms around her and pressed a kiss on the crook of her neck, “And you are such a filmy girl”.
The tolling of bells and flutter of pigeon wings made her open her eyes. She looked down towards a small temple on her right. It was built on a plateau with steps, hand carved in stones by people of a much earlier civilization, leading down from it to the river below.
The temple was quite far from them but from their vantage point they could discern that a mass wedding, probably organized by a social organization, was in progress. A couple took their seven vows around the holy fire while several others waited patiently for their turn.
“Seven vows”, Khushi said softly, still firmly ensconced in his arms. “To love, cherish and protect each other for seven lives”.
A shadow crossed Arnav’s eyes as he gazed unseeingly at the circumambulating couple, his thoughts tangled in the past.
“I still believe that a relationship can’t be made or broken nor can fidelity be imposed by a ritual or a signature”, he said with a touch of his old bitterness, “True emotions, in my opinion, are far more sacred than rituals and a lot more binding than signatures. When these emotions exist between two adults, validation from society, although admittedly necessary at times, is simply superfluous When these emotions do not exist or cease to exist, sacred vows, be it to spend all seven lives together or to not part until death, become immaterial. These vows should not be used to turn marriage into a noose around neck, all in the guise of a ‘holy’ duty”.
Turning around in his arms, Khushi looked deep into his shadowed eyes, “Arnav, I understand your views. I respect them and even agree with them to a certain degree. Strictly speaking, you’re right, sincere emotions between two adults do not need societal validation; but like you yourself said, it becomes necessary at times because we, our loved ones, are a part of this society too…”, Khushi hesitated for a second with her eyes hazel orbs flickering with thought.
“Having said all of that”, she continued after a moment, “I still believe in marriage. I still believe it’s a beautiful institution when entered into with the best of intentions or emotions. I still believe that marriage as an institution was divinely ordained and not invented by mankind. But yes, you’re absolutely right too when you say that marriage by itself should not be considered bigger than these emotions or intentions”.
Something on her face made him regret initiating this discussion.
He cupped her face with with both of his hands. His touch was warm and gentle and his eyes intense as he said, “All I mean to say is that ritual or no ritual, signature or no signature, you are already all my life”, he paused and a tiny smile hovered over his lips, “all my seven lives if you’ll have me…and nothing or nobody can change that”.
Even as warm tears pricked the back of her eye lids and her throat choked, she whispered, “You are all my seven lives too”.
As another group of tourists emerged on the terrace, they stepped back from each other and clearing her throat, Khushi fished her cell phone from a small, Dooney & Bourke cross body bag she was carrying.
With a smile, she slipped an arm around his waist to pull him close. Holding the cellphone in front of them with her free hand, she grinned up at him and asked, “Selfie?
“Of course”, Arnav replied dryly, “A millennial got to have at-least one selfie to make his love story complete”.
Moments later, he was laughing out loud at her comical changes in head tilts and expressions to get that elusive perfect shot.
As Khushi joined him in laughter, she did end up getting a near perfect shot. Just as she had planned.
“And now we’d better leave”, said Arnav glancing at his Maurice Lacroix after sobering, “If you don’t want to miss your cousin’s wedding”.
Later as Mirzapur fast receded to the realms of memories, Khushi felt a twinge of sadness. She left behind a silent promise to visit it again one day.
Having left a little after three, they expected to be back in Allahabad around five and Khushi rested her head on Arnav’s shoulder with a contented sigh. Tired out, she didn’t even realize when she fell asleep, having one of the most relaxing naps of her life.
When she woke up, the clouds had returned and they were just entering the outskirts of Allahabad. Her heart filled with immense happiness at finding the person she’d woken up next to. While she did some necessary repairs to her face, their driver asked without glancing back if he should head towards the bungalow or the hotel.
“Hotel”, Arnav replied before turning towards Khushi. His eyes held a question and Khushi’s eyes flickered a little shyly in response. With their hearts beating wildly, they gazed out the window together.
It was only late afternoon yet the natural light was dim enough to create the illusion of an unnatural dusk. The wind picked up as they neared their hotel, ruffling the treetops into a frenetic dance against a backdrop of rainclouds. Rainclouds that looked poised to rain any moment now.
Turning, Arnav lowered his lips to her ear.
“Don’t worry about it”, she replied to his query in a soft whisper, “I’m covered”.
Desire thrummed through their veins like a potent intoxicant. It wasn’t long before they reached the hotel and had walked down the lobby and the corridor to reach his room.
With the door clicking shut behind them, he pressed a gentle, reassuring kiss on her lips, “I’ll be right back. Unless you want to use the restroom first”.
Khushi freshened up after Arnav and when she came out of the window, Arnav had turned the lamps on and drawn the curtains.
Seeing her, he decimated the distance between them in a few eager footsteps and pulled her flush against him.. While his hands traced her curves, from the dip of her waist to the swell of her hips, he suckled at her neck, ending it with a sharp nip.
“I want you so badly, baby”, he groaned against her satin skin, “Not sure if I’ll be able to be gentle with you tonight”.
Weaving her fingers through his thick hair, Khushi felt herself aroused like never before.
His voice alone is enough is push me over the edge, she thought bemusedly even as her breasts strained against their confinement and her core pulsated with a molten force.
“Arnav”, she heard herself say huskily, “Can I see your tattoo?”.
Arnav raised his head and looked at her, his eyes dark with desire.
As her question sank in, his lips curved in a pleased smile. Stepping back a little, his hands reached for the end of his polo shirt. In a single, seamless, unselfconscious movement, he slipped it over his head and tossed it carelessly on the bed.
Without a word, he turned, shoving his fingers into the pockets of his jeans..
“No”, Khushi whispered before stepping up to stand close to him, her hot breaths fanning his skin, her hands tracing every contour, every curve and every bulge of his expansive back, loving how his muscles clenched under her fingertips in response.
“Still don’t see it”, she said, tracing the curvature of his spine with a light touch that caused insane desire to shoot southwards towards his manhood.
With a hoarse laugh, he unzipped his jeans and lowered it’s waistband a little bit, “Now?
It was a small anchor inked in black on the small of his back. “Yes”, she murmured huskily, tracing its design with a finger tip, “I like it”.
Arnav turned around to face her. His eyes appeared intoxicated as they met hers. Cupping her hips with both hands, he pulled her flush against his straining arousal.
“Look what you’ve done to me”, he said before swooping to claim her lips thirstily.
Their kiss was wild, uninhibited with tongues dueling boldly, exploring every accessible moist crevice, drinking every drop of nectar off of each other.
With both unleashing passions like never before, their hips moved in unison in a primeval mating dance and cupping her derrire, he pushed her even closer.
Breaking off their kiss for much needed oxygen, Arnav grabbed the hem of her kurta and slipped it off of her head. He blinked slowly, mesmerized by her breasts straining against the fabric of her white eyelet cotton brassiere.
Cupped them with both hands, his thumbs teased their nipples to hardened peaks. With impatient fingers, he reached for the hook at the back, removing her brassiere and letting it fall on the floor.
He cupped, molded and kneaded the bare flesh, rolling the rosy peaks between his thumb and fingers in between. After a while, he bent her willowy body back slightly and swooped to take an aching peak in his mouth. Hungrily ravishing them, he exhaled in satisfaction when she moaned his name and arched closer.
When she appeared close to the precipice, he stopped and took her lips again. Without breaking their kiss, his hands moved down to her thighs, parting her legs and effortlessly wrapping them around him.
Both were oblivious to the thunderstorm raging outside with raindrops drumming on rooftops and lighting lighting the skies at regular intervals.
Walking up to the bed, he lowered her on the bed with the rest of their clothes soon joining the pile on the floor too.
With his toned body poised over hers with tautened muscles, Arnav looked down at her flushed face and kissed her forehead. His caramel eyes were hazy with desire and conflict as he tucked a stray tendril beneath her ear. He had always felt her to be so small and delicate compared to him that in their previous love makings he’d always held back a tad bit, not wanting to hurt her. But today he was afraid of the sheer ferocity of his desire…of his control slipping…
“Khushi, I’m sorry if I’m too rough with you tonight”, he said intently, his Adam’s Apple moving up and down, “I’ll try my best not to”.
Khushi’s eyes, olive green with desire, softened as she slowly caressed the very enticing column of his neck. Raising herself up, she emblazoned his warm skin with a trail of kisses while her fingernails dug deep into his back. Sucking a spot just below his ear, she breathed in and tasted his skin before sinking her teeth into it. As his breath escaped in a hiss, she felt a heady satisfaction, a sense of power like never before.
A contented groan escaped his throat upon getting her implicit reassurance. After that he made tempestuous love like never before. For Khushi, the sheer enormity of his passion was at times exciting, and at times overpowering.
There were moments when Khushi matched it in equal measure and moments when she was content to just let herself float adrift in the strong, wild and dark waves of his unbridled desire…in the tsunami called Arnav.
Not an inch of her body was left unkissed or untasted be it the back of her knees or each of her pink toes. With her body slick with his saliva and marked all over, it wasn’t long before their passion spiraled out of control, clamoring for urgent release.
Holding her hips with both hands, he lifted her even as he entered her with a sharp powerful thrust. Feeling herself stretch, she arched her clammy body up, letting him set the rhythm, strong and urgent, in their mutual, primeval quest.
They fell off the precipice almost in tandem, with aftershocks rocking their joint bodies and Arnav crying out a profanity as he released his load deep inside her.
A little while later, she lifted her head from his chest and glanced at him, her soft hair falling down to brush his bare shoulder. He opened his eyes lazily and met her gaze, the yellow lamp light illuminating the smile in their caramel depths.
Her eyes gleaming quietly in response, she pushed his hair back from his forehead, while Arnav’s eyes clouded in trepidation at a sudden thought.
“It will be so hard to leave you tomorrow”, he groaned.