He was in absolute control over every aspect of his life, but especially over himself, over his heart. This was his core belief. And then she happened, and at first, he was absolutely sure that nothing would change. He had married her. He had...needed to be with her. He had accepted her as his, by degrees so tiny, by actions so small that he never remembered them later---he only knew that he had.
She wouldn't cause a single heartbeat to skip, he vowed. And then she would stumble, and he would find her in his arms, a fragrant duty that he lingered over, his heart hammering at the thought of her pain. She would fall ill, and the nights would turn into days as he worried and paced and made everyone else's lives hell, since he burnt right alongside her.
Not a single murmur would disturb the tranquility of his thudding chest, he was sure of this. And then she would dance at a Festival, or run chasing butterflies through the fields surrounding his home, and his heart would soar with every movement, would glide along her every footstep. Not a single ripple to heat the blood rushing through his body, he promised. And then...his skin would tingle from her touches, her breasts would rise and fall with her quickened breaths as he caressed the rich promises of her body.
Such would be his control that he would look upon the sweetest face in the world, and he would see nothing there, nothing at all.
And then... she would smile.
Her eyes would light up, the emerald and agate shards in her hazel eyes turning translucent, the huge orbs glittering with reflected joy, as if a switch to a light had been turned on within. Fascinated, he would watch her lips, luscious berry pillows, wet with the glaze of her mouth. The lips that gave him sleepless nights would curve upwards, denting a small dimple into one plump, silky cheek. When she smiled, her normally gentle features looked irradiated, her face turning ethereal as if he had done something so magical, it reflected out of her as rays of joy. And finally, her skin, something of an obsession with him, would tint with delicately flushed color-- the soft rose-pink of a desert iris, his favorite flower.
He did everything he could think of, to create that smile. This was an unexpectedly difficult task. Not being a man who knew anything about pleasing a woman, at first he worried incessantly over how to accomplish this. It was terribly, vitally important that she smile. That this delicate, astoundingly complicated, mysteriously layered woman be nothing but happy in his care. This fantasy made flesh, whom he had somehow, in some unknown manner captured for himself--- that she smile with her entire being.
He could protect her, watch her, feed her, defend her. He could obsess over her every word, analyze every expression, guard her comfort, predict her needs before she thought of them. He could cherish her health, clothe her in silks and colors, he could work himself to the bone to give her anything she even glanced at. All that was normal, all that was easy. He simply devoted his entire being, his focus, his piercing intellect, his strength and tenacity to doing all that.
But the smile... that was his reward for every moment's worry, for every sleepless night, for every frantic heartbeat when she was not right there, before his eyes. For months, he had not known of a reliable way to bring out that smile. But accidentally, one day, he did. After that day, he relied on what had once worked, and simply repeated that action, as often as he could. So now he depended on what she had herself asked from him, once upon a time, and his reward was the smile.
He bought her bangles by the dozens, in every color, silvered, gilded, studded with stones or glinting with glitter. Whenever he saw her in a new ghagra, whenever the sounds from her wrists dimmed, whenever the smile had not occurred with the frequency that he demanded of it, he bought her bangles. He hid his offerings in unexpected places, waiting, like a hunter with a deer at bay for her to find them as she reached into wardrobes or folded her clothes. The tinkling sounds heralding another gift would cause her to turn to him as he watched her, and the smile would break out like the dawn of a summer day.
He loved the ritual that followed, hungrily watching her to make sure each step happened correctly after the next. First she would exclaim, her eyes rounded with delight, at the surprise he had planned, touching the long line of crystallized glass with a delicate fingertip. He always touched them himself before he bought them, to make sure there were no edges or rough spots on the bangles that could mar her skin. No bangle seller in Chandigarth dared to give the frightening Major substandard bangles with jagged edges when he showed up in their stores. But he made sure of their perfection, anyway.
Then she would hurry to the mirror, her graceful skirts swaying as she sat down before her dressing table, eyes sparkling with joy. He liked to watch her reflection at this point, so he would angle himself behind her to get the best view as she hurriedly grabbed the bangles she was already wearing to remove them from her white arms. He liked the tinkling sounds these older bangles made, ones he had probably bought the week before, as she laid them into a collapsed pile on her table, careful, even of these older gifts, because he had given them to her.
She would collect the older bangles, hanging them from the miniature pole things she had there on the table, where her bangles resided. When he went to the bangle stores, he often bought her new miniature pole things, because the bangles he bought her almost obsessively would overflow from the older stands within weeks. They hung on these stands, tinkling in the breeze, turning the table that once held just his comb and cologne into a fairy land of color, a feminine display of adornment.
She never tossed these older bangles, and he knew she did not throw any away because he sometimes counted them, noting their color and pattern as carefully as he would note a vital clue in a case, just so he would not accidentally purchase ones she already owned.
The new pair would now be graced with her attention. She would turn them upto the light from the window, examining them with shining eyes, turning them in her hands to check the fit, to see the entire pattern. The fit was never an issue, of course. If anything, the bangles were always a shade larger than they needed to be. The Major hated seeing any accidental red streaks from a too-small fitting, and knew her wrist's measurements to a millimeter. She would then lower the bright glittering mass to her skirts to check if the color matched her new dress.
It always matched, exactly, because the Major always bullied Sunehri into giving him a small scrap of cloth from any ghagra her Paro Bhabi ordered from their tailor. The Major had once gone all the way to Jaipur to match his bride's new bangles to a particularly difficult aquamarine shaded dress. The bangle hues were vital, there were so many shades of the same color out there, and the glass churis absolutely had to match her outfit exactly. No, he did not allow any compromises when it came to their color.
Next the bangles would be divided into carefully symmetrical halves, the exact number for each delicate wrist. His bride's little frown corrugating her brow as she counted beneath her breath amused the Major as much as the anticipation of the next step fired his veins. After the counting into two symmetrical stacks was done, she would lay them back on the table, circles of color stark against the whitewashed wood. And then, his favorite part of the ritual would occur.
She would glance at him over one slim shoulder, her eyes wide, shining with shy entreaty. The smile, that bewitching, heart-beat increasing, blood heating smile would shimmer before his eyes as her delicate eyebrows would rise, a silent question in their expression. And he would wait, his heart hammering, for her to pout at his silence, and then turn fully towards him, still in her seat. He would not move, he would not breathe until she turned to raise both wrists up to his gaze, her fingers bunched into small fists, her naked wrists raised to him, as if waiting for his manacles, begging for his handcuffs. And then she would smile, coaxingly, into his eyes.
An adoring prisoner in her supplication, both upturned arms raised to the military man standing within inches of them. And then the Major would drop to his knees, holding each hand in his own, sucking on each fingertip. he would take his time, smoothing his lips across the creamy skin and licking the soft veins of his bride's naked arms. Blindly reaching for the bangles behind him, he would grab each handful, and ease each glittering circle down his bride's fingers, his mouth, his lips and tongue following every single bangle as she shuddered and trembled before him.
Pure lust, warming his muscles, strengthening his reflexes, an honest fire in his gut was his next pleasurable enemy. He wrestled the flooding sensation down, knowing, by the darkening of her eyes that she felt it too. Her eyes would capture his as he looked into them, touching her skin, feeling her soft trembling reaction to his slow caresses as his fingertips traced patterns and whorls into her arms. He would hear her breath quicken as he allowed his moustache to tickle the tender, exposed skin that gleamed beneath her bangles, teasing him with its white, pearly glow.
He loved this moment, with her wrists under his lips as her eyes looked wild and untamed, mirroring as strong a need for him as his fierce gaze did for her. But part of their ritual was this denial, part of the ritual was this mutual hunger, that simmered and yet went unanswered, at least at this moment. Because the point of the gift was the smile, and that smile--- wavering, tender and filled with both longing and delight brought him the kind of satiation no physical act ever could. His heart would do somersaults as he delayed the act of finishing his task for as long as he could.
Regret once the adorning was over flooded him every time, making him decide to buy her two dozen instead of one in the future, three dozen, the time after that--- just to hold her wrist and her fingers in his own clasp for a few minutes longer.
And then she would turn, gently disengaging his hands, flustered as she tossed her long hair over her shoulders to graze his cheeks as he stood up behind her. He would will himself to move, knowing that he could not, still too aching, too stunned with love to step back from her just yet. And, as he stared into her eyes, he would see her lift her wrists, jingling her bangles at him, the sound washing over him as he stood, besotted, right behind her in the mirror.
And then her smile, tinged with mischief would once again flash, as she playfully pushed him back from her dressing table. Giggling softly at her thunder-struck husband, she would dart out of the room, laughing, calling out in a voice of suppressed joy for her sisters to come and see her latest gift from her Major Saab.
He would remember the promises he had made to himself, not so very long ago, and a lifetime back. He was in absolute control over every aspect of his life, but especially over himself, over his heart. He had been both totally right, and devastatingly wrong. Because he was both in control, and rioting in chaos. Because every aspect of his life, himself, his heart---was now, simply---her.
Edited by napstermonster - 2014-05-24T12:09:05Z
And then...he would smile.
Topic started by napstermonster
Last replied by KhushiParo