ASYA FF: Prem Kahani Hai Mushkil (Updated Ch. 130 Page 90 Oct. 11)(Page 26)

Posted: 2015-08-05T12:20:31Z
Mere Dil Pe Fateh Lehraane, Meri Rooh Ko Bhigaane, Ye Noor Kahan Se Aaya
Chapter 116
"AARRGH!" Asad did his best pirate imitation as he slammed a fist on the steering wheel. He slowly maneuvered the car to the side and pulled over. 
"Asad calm down. It's nothing big. Don't be so upset!" Dilshad chided him for such a violent reaction.
She'd never seen him lose control like this over a minor setback. They'd all glanced anxiously at Zaid to see if his father's outburst had woken him up.
No, Zaid slept on.
"Yeah, Mr. Khan, it's no big deal. I can help you fix a flat tire in seconds. I know cars like the back of my hand, trust me." 
Asad took deep breaths.
And even more deep breaths when he heard those words: "trust me." 
By that time Zoya had already unbuckled herself and opened the rear passenger door. 
Asad wheeled on her. "No! Do NOT step out of the car. I'll do it." He unbuckled his seat belt. 
"But, Mr. Khan---" 
"Zoya, I said no!" he hollered as he got out. 
Zeenat smothered a giggle. 
Her son-in-law had wised up to Zoya's tendency to jump in and be the fix-it expert. Zoya's enthusiasm for mechanical projects was persuasive if not contagious. She and Anwar would cross their fingers but cheer her on. Then behind her back Anwar would bring in a pro to double check Zoya's handiwork. And surprisingly Zoya's workmanship held up.
Asad shrugged off his suit jacket and clawed the tie at his neck while muttering curses. This was not his day obviously. The universe was conspiring against him getting lucky.
Asad sighed.
Or may be this is what having kids meant. Though how did parents ever get alone time to even produce a second child? 
His head felt fogged up with the evaporating fantasies of thongs and heels and the encroaching dread of changing a flat. When was the last time he'd done it? Did he even know the steps? Shouldn't be too hard, right? 
Asad shook his head to clear it.
He needed his wits about him. It was late and not too many cars were out on the street"which was good and bad. The flat was on his side of the car"one sideswipe by a drunken driver and it could all be over. 
He rolled up his sleeves and snapped the trunk open. But of course, Zoya wasn't one to stay put. Asad gritted his teeth when he heard the door slam and heard the rapid clicks of her heels. He saw her round the car as he was rooting around for the necessary tools and supplies. 
"Zoya get back inside," he hissed. This no time for our trip-fall-catch routine. 
"Mr. Khan, it'll go faster if I help. I know exactly what to do!" 
Of course she would! "I don't need your help! Now get back in."
Asad pulled her by her elbow to the side and tried his best to talk calmly. Why didn't she get it? And why in god's name did the tire have to bail out on them right now! He had a good mind to kick it in a childish tantrum. 
"Babe, it's past midnight. Do you even know what kind of attention you'll attract standing by a stalled car?"
Flashing that near-naked back? In those ball-burning heels?
He stifled a groan. 
Zoya's eyes had already widened in alarm. She sucked air. No, she hadn't thought of that. Allah miyan, what's wrong with this country? 
Asad cleared his throat. "Do you really want me to take on Bhopal's finest gundas at this hour? Or do you want to get home in one piece for some hot and heavy action?"
She bit back a moan. "Then I'm calling Ayaan so he can help you." 
Asad's head dropped back and he sighed. "Fine. Do what you have to do. But just stay in!" 
If it kept her inside the car and out of sight, then yeah, anything was fine. She could call Dhoni too if it kept her happy--and safe.
She'd just ended the call with Ayaan when Raziya called. "Why didn't you text? Have you reached home safely? I'm sure you forgot like always!" 
Zoya explained what had happened and Raziya fretted. She calmed down only when told about Ayaan coming to the rescue. She mumbled something about kids these days not listening to grown-ups and acting too smart for their own good. Couldn't they have stayed back at the Siddiqui house then this wouldn't have happened? She hung up abruptly after more grumbling--didn't she tell them that it was too late? Did they listen? "Apni man-mani karte ho!"
And of course, Bhopal's finest gundas seemed to have a thing for Asad and Zoya too. 
Asad had jacked the car up and was removing the tire after loosening the lug nuts when two bikers swerved around the car drunkenly. The one in the back chugged from an open beer bottle and sang lewd songs.
Zoya's sinking heart echoed Asad's.
No, it wasn't that they couldn't take these losers on. The Jahanpanah and Jhansi ki Rani duo had taken on much worse and kicked serious butt. It was just that this was going to be one more annoying roadblock to delay a well-earned night of passion. 
Asad tried to ignore the men as they buzzed around like mosquitoes hoping that they'd get bored and drive away. He just prayed that they wouldn't get too close and see three women in the car. And please, Zoya, just stay the hell inside and don't try to be a hero.
The hooligans gunned their motors and started to play a cat and mouse game with a man who looked well-dressed and urbane--he'd make an easy mark and probably wouldn't put up too much of a resistance--these yuppies never did. They edged closer to Asad pretending to bump into him and taking several swipes at him. He jumped away to the side deftly dodging their attacks. 
Some stray cars zipped by, scurrying away from the potential of random violence. 
Asad gritted his teeth as he lunged away from one more drunken thrust and being fresh roadkill. He knew that a word from him could imflame the situation further so he stayed silent and avoided eye contact.
Inside the car Zoya was already rooting around in her bag for tools she could weaponize as Zeenat and Dilshad hyperventilated. Rifling through her purse her hand skimmed across Asad's Epi-pen. Would this work as a weapon? She discarded the idea after considering it for a second. No. Administering it would be clumsy and she didn't know how it would affect someone without allergies. 
Zoya glanced at Zaid.
Thank god he was fast asleep. Dobby mewled and scratched at the door of his carrier so she released him. He'd be less noisy when loose and possibly a weapon too; he'd proven his warrior credentials time and time again. 
Thank god too that she wasn't one of those girls who changed their purses regularly.
No, Zoya probably had fossils and rich ecosystems thriving in her bag.
Her hand wrapped around her favorite pepper spray. Thank you Allah miyan! And Mr. Khan, aren't you glad that I didn't listen to you and clean out my bag!
But she had one worry. What if the spray was too old and wouldn't work when needed? It had happened to her once much to her embarrassment--because she'd been trying to threaten Mr. Khan with it after her "Aap shakal se hi lecherous dikhte hain," comment. 
Zoya scrambled for the baby's diaper bag and looked in the pocket in which she'd stowed her make-up for the party today. Was there anything here that could come in handy? Yes, the hair spray can! She popped it out, shook and uncapped it. She handed her curling iron and brush to Zeenat and the can and nail file to Dilshad. 
"Ammi, here you go. Squeeze this into anyone's eyes if they try to act smart."
Sure, they'd locked their doors. But still. Zoya was terrified for both Asad and Zaid. She pulled out Zaid'd swaddling blanket and covered his car seat with it. What if these gundas smashed through the glass? At least the blanket would protect him from the flying glass. Should she unbuckle the car seat and put it down by their feet for better protection? 
Zoya prayed that Ayaan would come soon.
Raabert, hurry! 
Outside, the bikers continued trying to rattle Asad. They mistook his restraint for cowardice. 
Big mistake. 
As they tried one more slash at him, Asad grabbed the handle bar to stop the wheel that was inches away from crushing his legs. They must not have been very astute because they didn't see the muscles in Asad's arms bunch and flex as he held the handle in a fierce grip. 
"Sambhal ke!" Asad said in as brotherly a tone he could muster. 
"Abey, sambhal ke chal tu!" one of them slurred as the other laughed. 
Asad put his hands up and stepped back. May be if he didn't entangle with them any further then they'd get bored and leave. 
No such luck. 
When one of them grabbed his collar, Asad's patience broke. His fist whipped out to take the pillion rider out. The beer bottle smashed to the ground, the streetlight glinting off its dark jagged edges. 
The man's head snapped back as he toppled off the bike and fell flat on his back. The impact left him breathless; he cried out in pain.
The other guy was feeling brave. Outraged at his partner being taken out he revved to aim the spinning wheel straight at Asad. 
Zoya knew that this was her window of opportunity. She knew that Asad could take care of himself. But the guy on the ground was just stirring and would strike soon. What if he tried to go at Asad with the broken bottle and attacked him from the back? Not if she had her way! She sprang out of the car. He'd fallen behind the car--out of the sightline of both Asad and his accomplice.
"Zoya!" Zeenat called out in panic. She tried to grab Zoya's arm. "Don't! Ya Allah yeh ladki!" 
But Zoya was unstoppable. She had a plan. She'd already snatched the hair spray canister out of Dilshad's hand and now aimed both cans at the clown's eyes.
And squeezed.
Thank god there was no malfunction this time.  
The man screamed and rolled in agony.  Zoya kicked some of the broken glass under him. It pierced his skin as he rolled over it and he yelled out and cussed some more. 
"Serves you right, you--you luchha! Bloody kam*ina!" 
Before he could recover, she popped back into the car and locked herself in.
Zoya didn't realize that she'd been holding her breath until it whooshed out in relief. 
She turned to check on Asad. He was still grappling with the biker who he'd pulled off the motorcycle by now. The man's head snapped hard when Asad smacked his nose with the heel of his palm. 
The bike lay on its side, its wheels still spinning wildly. 
A truly incensed Asad had dragged the guy's helmet off and now whomped him hard on his head with it multiple times. He really wasn't in the mood to mess up his hands; he had better things to do with them later. 
One well-placed knee to the nose and groin--a shorter and swifter version of the girls' S-I-N-Ging--and this jerk was out too.
Zoya leaped out again to redo her spray and broken glass routine to finish off this guy too. With a cherry on top.
"Zoya!" Asad hollered at her. What was wrong with this woman? Why did she never listen to him? 
But hey, she was furious at these men too. For good measure, Zoya stomped on the goon's hand with her heel breaking his bones. Another high-pitched scream and he crawled blindly into oncoming traffic. Horns honked and wheels skidded and braked.
Curses rang out in the night. 
"Mr. Khan, we've got to hurry before these morons come to. Now don't try to stop me from helping you!" She moved toward the trunk. 
Asad brushed the hair out of his eyes and blinked at her. Then again, when did this woman ever listen to him?
He was breathing hard. 
This was not the kind of hard breathing he'd had in mind a half hour ago.
They both turned on hearing the roar of another bike. More gundas? 
"Zoya, get back inside. NOW!"
Asad seethed. This was seriously getting to be a bit much--a total dash mein bumboo to quote his brother. They were surely stuck in the middle of some third-rate Indian soap opera that procrastinated the lead couple's suhaag raat for months. Asad rotated his wrist and turned to glare into the fickle night. By god, he'd pound the next ass that messed with him to a fine pulp. 
Ayaan flipped his visor up and waved out to them. A guard from the Siddiqui house sat behind him. 
Zoya and Asad exhaled.
She hadn't been more relieved to see Raabert. Ever.
An equally grateful Asad shooed Zoya back into the car and together with the other men he had the car up and running.
Ayaan shrugged his shoulders and pointed his chin to the guard who was helping put away the tools. "So annoying, Bhai! Mumani wouldn't let me leave the house without bringing this guy along. Can you believe it!" 
Meanwhile with some help from Zeenat, Zoya rebuckled Zaid's car seat into place. The good boy that he was, he'd slept through the whole drama. Good god, would he grow up watching his parents fend off gundas on a routine basis? She hoped not. 
Ayaan left after a complicated handshake with Zoya and a quick pat on the back by his Bhaijaan. Funny, it seemed Bhai couldn't wait to get rid of him.
When their eyes re-met in the rear view mirror this time, there were no more shy glances filled with promise; an impenetrable intensity crackled between them. It was a silent war cry; it would smoke everything that got in the way.  
Asad exited the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist. He watched Zoya hum to Zaid in the rocking chair as he toweled his hair dry. Dobby dozed by her feet--far enough out of the rocking chair's way.
Zoya handed the baby to him and rose to take a shower too. 
Asad pulled her to his side with his free arm. 
"You must be exhausted," he whispered. Asad tucked a finger under her chin. "Don't worry about me. Go take a relaxing bath and get some rest after that."
Zoya rose up on her toes and kissed him on the cheek. Then she turned around to go freshen up.
Asad looked down at Zaid's face and all his fatigue and aches vanished.
To sleep like a baby was the best kind of sleep, wasn't it? But that watching a sleeping baby could be just as mystical, he hadn't known.
Until now.
He couldn't resist stroking the rounded cheek and smiled when he saw the parted mouth. 
Zaid's chest rose and fell in a timeless rhythm keeping some cosmic time. His perfect half-moon eyelids quivered and the dark lashes whispered against the lush cheeks. Asad bent his head to brush a kiss on the smooth forehead. He couldn't resist inhaling the baby smell.
He looked down at his son and lost count of all time.
He didn't realize that he was gently rocking the baby as he walked up and down the room. He stopped to stare out of the window feeling Zaid's slight weight in his arms.
Asad's trance was broken only when he felt a soft kiss on the back of his bare shoulder. Zoya wrapped her arms around him and the baby.
"You're still up?" she asked. 
"I got lost in him," Asad echoed her hushed tones. "Just looking at him is therapy." 
"I know, right?" she whispered. "I was thinking exactly the same thing when I was rocking him right now. I could watch him for hours." 
Asad moved to lay a tightly swaddled Zaid in his crib and Zoya covered him up. She brushed the baby's hair off his forehead. 
"Sweet dreams, baby," she whispered in his ear. "I love you."
When she turned around she couldn't help but smile to see Asad's tousled hair. He was watching her with his arms crossed over his chest. Zoya's hand rose to brush the father's hair off his forehead too.
"Everyone's right, you know. Zaid looks exactly like you," Zoya remarked softly.
Asad arrested her hand and held it to his cheek. He kissed her palm. "And you love it." 
"Yes," Zoya said simply. She did. 
He pulled her to him and she sighed in his embrace. It felt so right to be held like this. 
"Asad, you're sure you aren't hurt after that fight? I wish you'd let me ice down those knuckles." 
"I'm absolutely fine. All these weeks of punching away at my sandbag sure paid off." And all that pent up se*xual frustration. 
"Yes, you were a lean, mean fighting machine," she murmured in his ear. They swayed lightly. "A pure joy to watch." 
But seriously, thank god those idiots weren't armed. Zoya shuddered to think what could have happened. They'd come under attack too often in the past--each grisly encounter flashed before her eyes on a sickening loop: Akram's farmhouse. Mangalpur. Agra. The doll factory. Mangalpur again--- 
"And you were my pepper spray goddess--as usual," Asad drawled shaking her out of her spiraling descent into a cheerless reverie. 
"Don't forget the hair spray," she murmured into his shoulder, inhaling his scent. 
"Hair spray? You gave them a makeover too?"
She giggled quietly. "I did what I had to do." 
"You always do." 
They fell silent and held each other in the semi-darkened room. She felt him harden against her but had no energy for light banter. Any other time and she'd have teased him with a, "I know that's not a gun so you must be real happy to see me, Jahanpanah!"
But not now.
The crashing adrenaline had left her drained. Zoya sighed in contentment as Asad lifted her in his arms and laid her on her side of the bed. 
He dropped a chaste kiss on her forehead, "you're dead on your feet. Get some rest." 
Zoya snagged his hand to stop him from walking away. 
"Asad," she called out softly. "I need you." 
"Shh," he whispered. "Later." 
Why else would she be wearing her ivory satin slip that fell just a few inches below her happy place?
And that peek-a-boo thong with its beckoning strings and straps that had yoked them together all evening in a wet clasp?
She sat up and tugged his hand to her bre*ast. 
Asad expelled his breath that he didn't even know he was holding and sat down by her side. As he opened his mouth to protest again, Zoya covered it with her fingertips and shook her head. Her dark eyes spoke volumes--just love me, please. 
Those eyes were speaking the language his body craved to hear. With a groan Asad swooped to kiss her and press her down into her pillow. He understood perfectly: no words, just tender lovemaking, please. And hurry!
She ran her hands over the hard planes of his shoulders and warm chest as if she'd never touched them before. Her hand crept down to loosen the towel at his waist. She wanted to feel his weight on her, his heat on her--she'd missed that so much for so long.
Asad shifted to toss the towel to the floor and covered her body with his. Her soft moan of pleasure made his blood simmer. He feathered kisses along her jawline and then her throat.
Zoya arched her neck giving him better access. Her body shimmered silver in the moonlight. He flicked his tongue to tease the pulse at her throat.
Zoya's nails dug into his back. She parted her legs to cradle him. 
"Zoya, I missed you so much!" Asad breathed.
His thumb hooked under and slid the spaghetti strap down as his mouth sought her cleavage.
Their heated bodies couldn't seem to make up their minds--when he slowed down she wanted him to hurry; when he hurried, she'd slow him down.
When he trailed kisses to her bre*ast and sucked hard she writhed under him. She'd wanted this so bad. 
Asad gasped as pure sweetness flooded his mouth. He'd wondered about this new taste for months. 
"Oh god, Zoya!" His eyes stung as he looked up at her. 
She watched his face. She'd wondered too about his response to this change in her body. 
"You're so beautiful," he sighed as he dipped his head to tug at her again. Liquid desire blazed through and puddled between her legs. Her knees clung to his sides and Zoya's hands fisted in his hair. Her slip rode up to her waist. Asad hissed at the raw heat radiating from her. 
His hand moved to stroke her misted center but it encountered the thong. That thong! He'd forgotten all about it. Asad's mouth curved. "Good girl," he murmured. 
And just like he'd lowered her strap he hooked the thong with a thumb to pull it down. Very slowly. She thrashed under him. His mouth followed to drag it to her knees. Asad's teeth skittered across her undulating hips and then his lips moved up to drop tender kisses along her inner thigh. Her bolting pulse and drugged mind tracked that tongue slowly journeying up ... and closer. She wanted him to hurry; she wanted him to linger ... one firm, steamy lick ... and she was bucking wildly.
"Please Asad, right now. Take me right now!" Zoya sobbed. 
He growled in the back of his throat as he rose to do her bidding. He'd do justice to their thong fantasies some other time; Asad flung off the silk and lace barrier not caring if he'd ripped it. He couldn't wait either--feckless gods and goddesses and crappy soap writers be damned to hell.
She cried out as he entered her and Asad froze. 
"Zoya, are you OK?" 
Breathing hard she kissed his shoulder. "I am, now. Don't stop, please!" 
"Are you sure?" 
"Yes, please!" 
And he couldn't hold himself back as he rammed in setting a demanding pace. Zoya bucked harder. She raked his arms as he moved deeper. 
"Oh god, you're so tight," Asad panted. "As if it's our first time." And she convulsed suctioning him hard. 
She wept.
"Did I hurt you?" A worried Asad asked when they held each other later. 
She'd pillowed her cheek on his shoulder.  "Never," Zoya sighed. 
"Then why were you crying?" 
"I missed you so much." 
Asad tucked her tighter into his side and kissed her on the head. "Get some sleep now. There are no guarantees for when or how often I'll wake you up for more Asad-Zoya happy times." Hooking a finger under her chin Asad kissed her lightly on the mouth. "Cos. babe, I missed you more."
He grinned looking down at her. She'd already fallen asleep. 
But Asad stayed true to his word too. He gave her just a couple of hours to regain her strength. He wasn't going to waste this night sleeping. There were too many virginal nights to make up for.
He let her sleep late the next morning as he got ready for work.
She'd woken a little after 6 to change and feed Zaid and then crashed again. Zoya slept through the baby's next waking up and cooing. Asad carried him to Dilshad and Zaid had entertained both his Dadi and Nani. 
Asad came back to brush the hair off her face and kiss Zoya, "hey sleepyhead." He took her hand in his and kissed the top. "Zaid's with Ammi. Sleep as long as you want." 
She mumbled something. 
"What did you tell Ammi?" Zoya asked cracking an eye open. Her lids felt weighed down by dumbbells and glued shut with super glue. She was too sleepy to feel shame at what her mother-in-law might think of her. 
Asad smiled. "I told her that Zaid was fussy all night and didn't let you get much sleep." 
She mumbled again and turned over. The sheet slipped off her bare shoulder to give him a delicious peek. Asad's head bent toward her imperceptibly. He wanted to--- 
"Blaming my baby for keeping me up all night when actually it was Zaid's Abbu!" 
Asad blushed. He knew she'd say that. "Fine, you can punish me when I get back."
As he was about to close the door behind him, Zoya called out to him.
"Come home early. After all, Zaid supposedly kept you up all night too, right?" 
"No babe, he wasn't the one who kept me up. It was Zaid's Ammi. And if you don't let me go now, I'll make sure that you don't get any more sleep." 
"Shh, Mr. Khan, don't even think about it. I'd better be able to walk straight when I get up or I'm going to kill you." 
He laughed softly. "Think of what I did to you with every step you take today ... with every breath. And get ready for Act two tonight. I have a bedroom wish list---" 
She groaned. She knew exactly what would be on the X-rated wish list of his. Her husband had dreamt up elaborate plans during his term of forced celibacy and she was to be the erotic laboratory subject. 
"I love you," Zoya whispered. "And pick your poison--I'll fulfill two fantasies on that wish list of yours tonight!" 
"Just two? I had at least four in mind." 
"Asad!" She reached around and picked up the discarded thong from last night to throw it at him. He palmed it easily and shoved it in his pocket. 
"I love you too." He closed the door softly after him. He'd already drawn the curtains so that the climbing sun wouldn't disturb her.
A pang of guilt stabbed him as he pulled out of the driveway. Had he been too exacting last night? But after that first session of mellow lovemaking and a brief rest, Zoya had come alive for round two. She'd straddled and ridden him hard and he couldn't take his eyes off those glorious bre*asts kissed by a moonbeam.
He got hard just thinking about them now. 
OK, may be the fourth time was too much. His errant tongue had darted and sought her hot center and she'd shuddered awake calling out his name.
She'd been so wet, balmy, so ready for him; he'd slid in for an exultant home run.
His shoulders still showed the marks she'd left on him; she'd punished him by digging her nails into his butt.
His pocket felt heavy with her scent.
Asad groaned and swung a U-turn. He didn't care about the blaring horns or the gaalis that came with them. 
When he got home Dilshad and Zeenat looked up in surprise.
"I forgot my thumb drive--so I decided to take the conference call here." 
They nodded and went back to gushing over their favorite grandson. "We'll take Zaid with us upstairs so we don't disturb you," Dilshad said.
He smiled when he heard Zoya in the shower.
She looked up in alarm when the door opened but smiled too when she saw Asad enter. Naked and hard. 
Asad walked into the shower cubicle and bent his head to take her slippery nipple into his mouth; he tugged hard trapping it between his tongue and the roof of his mouth. He'd craved this touch and taste all morning.
Zoya let out a whimper as she writhed under the shivery onslaught.
She felt the caroming sensations of that tug travel right down between her legs. Another one had her knees buckling. Only Asad's arms held her up. 
He pushed her to the wall pinning her hands up above her and interlaced her hands with his in a powerful grip that yanked her bre*asts up even higher.
The water splashed and laved over them unable to mute the soft cries and sighs.
Asad mounted her as their eyes locked in that eternal embrace and he began to rock her. She tried to wrap her legs around him but Asad wouldn't let her--he kept her pinned with his body. 
"Asad, please, please, please! I need to."
He silenced all protests; it drove her nuts as he knew it would.
The sensations rippling through her were crescendoing and she felt powerless. She could feel the orga*sm within reach yet it kept receding.
And he knew it too. 
Zoya twisted and churned. She clawed at his hands begging for a dual release from the torment. Finally he let her hands go to hold her by her hips hitching her higher, pounding harder; and finally she clung to his waist by her legs. Zoya contracted her pelvic muscles to punish him and Asad grunted with the effort to control their crash.
The multiple rounds over the past night had already made her flesh ultra sensitive. The slightest nudge as he cupped and kneaded her butt and she was falling. Spilling and falling.
And so was he. 
"Oh baby, baby, baby!" Asad's voice cracked as he moaned against her throat shaking through the last throes of his passion. "The day I've had enough of you will be the last day of my life." 
"Asad, shut up!" Her eyes stung all of a sudden. "Take that back!"
"Nahin, yeh nikaah nahin hoga!" 
Nuzzhat gasped. She never expected to hear these filmy words come from her mother's mouth. The words "no" and "nikaah" in the same sentence? Her mother must be possessed by some alien spirit. 
"Ammi, but----" Nikhat was aghast too. 
Rashid and Badi Bi were equally taken aback by Shireen's vehemence. And that too on such a topic. 
"But Shireen, I thought you'd be so happy at this rishta. We know and love Faiz ... and now that the kids have finally agreed to marry then why would you object?" 
"I do love Faiz. I have nothing against him," Shireen spoke firmly. "I would have never said no to this alliance. But I won't lose another daughter to the US." 
"Par beta, these days there is Skype and Facetime ... they can come every year," Badi Bi tried to explain to her daughter-in-law. 
"Ammi, if they want to get married so bad then Faiz can move to India and I would have no objection to this wedding!" 
For too long she'd seen Najma and then Nikhat pine away quietly for their long-distance husbands. She'd seen Dilshad weep tears of blood when Najma left and Shireen's heart had quaked. Soon she'd be in her shoes.  
Shireen rose and stalked off to her bedroom.
Nuzzhat too sprang up and rushed to lock herself in her room. 
Rashid rose to follow her but Nikhat held him back with a hand on his arm. "Abbu, I'll go talk to Ammi. You check on Nuzzhat."
"Ammi?" Nikhat knocked on the door and opened it to step inside. 
The room was dark, the curtains drawn. Shireen was sitting on the bed twisting her dupatta in her hands. Nikhat switched on a bedside lamp. Shireen sighed when Nikhat came and sat next to her and took her hand in her own. 
"Ammi, you're not happy with my marriage? Is that why you don't want Nuzzhat to marry Faiz?" 
"Nahin beta!" Oh lord. She hadn't thought about how this would affect Nikhat. She framed her daughter's somber face in her hands. "I love Feroze and Faiz. I would love to have Faiz as my other son-in-law. But I can't let her go so far away after you've gone. How will I live without you girls? Itni badi saza nahin do hamein!" 
"But Ammi, Nuzzhat finally agreed! She and Faiz actually like each other now." It had taken months but finally they had these two exactly where everyone wanted. "Do you think she'll agree to marry anyone else after this?" 
Shireen's heart contracted. Yes, Nikhat was right. Nuzzhat was more headstrong and stubborn than her older daughter. She would stand up to her mother's decision and Shireen didn't know if she had the energy or the will to face the relentless offense Nuzzhat would mount. She'd already shown her mettle in arguing for and winning on the issue of her joining the street theater troupe.
"I've already given them one daughter, don't ask me for another one." Shireen had made up her mind too. 
For as long as she could she would oppose this rishta. She had never taken such a bold stand and this was a hard decision to come to. She may have nagged to get her way in the past but eventually she always bowed to Rashid's will.
But she felt too strongly about this issue to not take a stand.
She didn't know how hard it would be to go against her family. She didn't have Dilshad's spine or spirit, nor Zoya's mad-hatter grit or courage ... But on this she was firm--not one more daughter. 
Nikhat saw her mother's squared shoulders and sighed miserably. Somewhere a part of her understood her mother's grief. As much as she yearned to be with Feroze she fretted about leaving soon for the US. This was her home, her family. And she would be paying a high price to be with Feroze. She probably wouldn't see her family in person for a good year or so. Skype and Facetime were all good and fine, but could you touch each other, feel a hug or a hand on one's head? Didn't she already know this from being parted from Feroze for so long? 
She gripped Shireen's hand tight. They sat in silence. Nikhat would not say another word to persuade her mother. A mother had a right to worry about her children--no one could convince her not to.
A part of her was actually proud of her mom standing up for a daughter--too often she and her sister had felt the sting of being mere sidekicks to their brother in their Ammi's eyes.
Nikhat also knew her sister best: Nuzzhat was strong-willed and smart. She'd find a way to her destiny.
But for now Nikhat resolved to quietly support both mom and sister--she had limited time with each. She would have loved a marriage between Nuzzhat and Faiz. But may be the new lovebirds needed their own love story and its obstacles to forge an ironclad rishta. She'd silently root for it. But Ammi deserved to have her fears allayed too.
"Ammi says no!" Nuzzhat texted Faiz. She'd figured out the time difference like the back of her hand by now. It would be early morning there. 
"WHAT?? You're not serious," came the furious reply. 
"I am. And apparently so is she."
He called up to continue their conversation. If he tapped any harder on his phone it was likely to shatter. "But why? Does she have something against our family? She loved Feroze Bhai!" May be it was him that Aunty didn't like?
"She still does. But she hates the idea of both her daughters being million of miles away from her."
"It's not millions of miles. And she should be thankful that New York is at least 3000 miles nearer to India than San Francisco." Faiz breathed a sigh of relief. So it wasn't him that Aunty was objecting to. For a second there ...
Nuzzhat sniffed. 
"Nuzh, hon?" 
"Faiz, if Ammi doesn't agree ... I might not be able to ..." 
"Are you serious?" 
" ... I don't know. I've never really stood up to my parents on big things. Minor stuff, sure ... But this ..." 
"Nuzzhat, this will probably be the biggest decision of your life. And you'll let someone else decide for you!' 
"She's not someone else, she's my mother!"
He just didn't get it. He didn't get what it meant to be a daughter--and that too a daughter in India. Invisible male privilege couldn't understand how hard it was for a girl to oppose her family. 
"And she's kind of right, you know?" Nuzzhat continued to explain. "Why do you have to be so far away? Look at Ayaan Bhaijaan and Humaira--they have the luxury of seeing their families every day. But Najma and Nikhat Baajis don't. And if I marry you, then I won't either." 
Faiz fell silent. He really had no response to this. She'd known this before hadn't she? It was no surprise. He didn't just spring this on her. 
"When Nikhat Baaji leaves in a month I don't know when I'll see her again. And I've never spent a day apart from her since I was born!" 
"Except when she went on her honeymoon," he drawled softly.
"Faiz, you know what I mean!"
"I'm kidding. Of course I know what you mean. I feel the same way about Bhai." 
"But at least you've had some practice being away from your family since you went to college." Nuzzhat was close to tears. When she heard Faiz sigh she felt guilty for unloading on him. 
"Look, it's not as if we're getting married tomorrow," Faiz explained patiently. "Not before I've finished my post-grad and you've finished your studies. Aunty has a good two years to get used to the idea. We're just talking about an engagement, aren't we?" 
"You don't get it. Two years may not be enough to get her used to the distance. And it's not easy for me to speak to my parents so openly about my own marriage. It's easier for you. You're expected to be independent and make your own life decisions." I'm not. 
"Are you just venting or are we seriously talking about breaking up?" His voice was subdued but tense. 
Nuzzhat gasped. This wasn't the madcap Faiz who'd patiently courted her over the phone, Facetime and Facebook all these months, having ridiculous gag gifts delivered to her doorstep followed by flowers and chocolates. 
It was only last month that she'd finally admitted to herself that yes, she was in love with him. May be she'd always been in love with him. Even during their spats and leg pulling. Even when he'd winked at her at Nikhat Baaji's nikaah and announced, "why mess with tradition?" when everyone was teasing them about the Khan family one-nikaah-one-sagai-free tradition.
She'd probably fallen for him because of that outrageous sense of humor. And that temper--it flared up after a lot of simmering but cooled down faster than melted wax. Omar Jeeju was funny too; but Faiz had that extra zing of wry humor--it was snarkier and darker. It was a personality that develops when one grows in the shadow of a golden child--the elder sibling that could do no wrong. And Nuzzhat kind of knew what that was like, didn't she?
She'd tried hard to put up a stiff resistance all these months: I will not fall for him had been her silent mantra initially. It's too pat, it's what everyone else wants for us and I won't be that predictable. I won't let Naz aunty win. She'd hated the idea of the moms making plans for the next nikaah within the khandan.
That script of jhat-mangni-pat-byaah I won't follow.
Hah! The plans she'd made. The walls she'd built. 
And Faiz had smirked, teased, and shot them all down. 
"Nuzzhat?" Faiz prompted her. She remembered what he'd just said. Breaking up? 
"Can't I even vent without you thinking the worst of me?" She felt anger bubble up inside her. "Will I have to walk on eggshells with you each time I feel the need to say something that you find mildly upsetting? You'd better not expect me to be one of those quiet biwis who say nothing to oppose their husbands!" 
He laughed. 
"Faiz, I'm not kidding! This is serious." 
"I know, serious as a heart attack," he quipped. "I'm laughing cos. you just admitted to spending the rest of your life with me as my wife." 
"No, I didn't." 
"Yes, you did. If there was a replay button on our conversation I'd have replayed it back for you so you could hear yourself." 
Nuzzhat frowned. "I just said that you like twisting my words to make me out to be the bad guy. I never said anything about breaking up. Or about marrying you."
"You said that I shouldn't think that you'd be the kind of wife who walks on eggshells when expressing contrary views to her husband. That sounds like marriage talk to me." 
"Any husband! I was talking generically and didn't necessarily mean you," she yelled at him in frustration.  
"Oh honey, there's nothing generic about me. I'm the real deal, not a knock-off, and you'll be marrying me. Only me." 
"Even if Ammi opposes our Nikaah?" Her voice had fallen and the uncertainty crept back in though her heart had done that twisty thing when he called her "honey." 
"Even then. And I can't believe that you are willing to give up so easily without fighting for us. May be I need to rethink our nikaah. Do I really want to marry a girl who doesn't have the guts to fight for me?" 
"FAIZ!" He'd just been so confident about their "real deal" status. So what happened now?
"Don't yell at me." He felt a stab of justified anger too. "Do an honest self-check and tell me clearly--what's it going to be: us, or your mom's fears?" 
And he hung up without a goodbye.
She could have screamed. Here Ammi was going to give her hell and there ... there Faiz was now acting up. How was she going to juggle an upset mom and an offended overseas lover?
"Zoya Bhabhi!"
"Nuzh? What's wrong? Why're you crying?" Zoya was worried now. She was used to Humaira or Najma calling her in distress but not everyone's little firebrand. 
"I'm not crying," she sniffed. "I'm so mad that I want to kick something!" 
"Ooh, do tell!" her Bhabhi gushed. "OK, start from the beginning," she ordered as she settled with Zaid in the rocking chair. He watched his mom's animated expressions as she talked with his youngest Phuphi. He let his Ammi play with his fingers. She seemed to love that. And he liked it too. He loved to feel her fingers throb and pulse against his when she joined his fingertips with hers. 
"You know about Faiz and me, right?" 
"Who doesn't," Zoya teased. 
By now it was an open secret in the family. The only people who probably didn't know were Asad and Siddiqui Saheb. And even that might not be true. They all'd seen the chemistry in Mangalpur and Naz aunty wasn't one to keep silent about her jodi-making successes. Her social media accounts had blared the Faiz-Nuzzhat love story loud and proud. Najma had nicknamed them "Faizhat" but it was Zoya's portmanteau for them that had really stuck: "Nuff." 
"So, what have Nuff done now?"
"Naz Aunty called to formally discuss our engagement but Ammi now says no." 
Even Zaid blinked in fear. Why was his Ammi looking so stunned and shouting? He started to cry. 
"Aw, poor baby! It's OK honey, Ammi's right here, and she's not mad at you." Zoya soothed.
He quietened though he continued to fuss a bit. Zoya gasped softly when she heard Nuzzhat sniffle at the other end next. 
"Nuzh baby, what happened to you now?"
"Bhabhi, Faiz calls me honey too ... but right now he's not talking to me!" She bawled. 
Ah. Now Zoya got it. "So he's mad at you because Chhoti Ammi is against the nikaah. But why on earth is she even against the nikaah? Where is she even going to find a better damad?" 
Nuzzhat took deep breaths and said in a small voice, "she says that doesn't want to lose both her daughters to the US." 
"Aww," Zoya whispered. "I kinda get it, you know. I don't blame her." Zoya started to feel a crying jag come on. Weepy all of a sudden, she looked down at Zaid and clutched him tight to her. He wailed. And Zoya began to cry too.
"Zoya Bhabhi, is everything OK? Zaid?" Nuzzhat wiped her own tears alarmed for the two of them. 
"We're OK," Zoya croaked. "I just get all weepy and emotional these days."
"I'm sorry I made you cry." 
"It's not you, Nuzzhat. Aapi says that Zaid's only way of communicating with us is by crying. And me? Well, the doctor says it's hormones. Your Bhaijaan goes cross-eyed when both of us take off." 
Nuzzhat giggled trying to picture her Bhaijaan juggling two crybabies.
"How do you manage," she asked. 
"I wouldn't know how to manage without Mr. Khan," Zoya mused. "Somehow he calms us down. He'll play the guitar or hum, and Zaid's eyes light up. He'll chirp and chant his own raag and they both take off on their own riff." 
"Bhaijaan is a great husband, isn't he?" 
"The best." 
"Growing up I was always a little scared of him, you know? I kind of just assumed that he'd make one of those stern and conservative husbands." 
Zoya laughed. "Truth be told, in the beginning so did I! But he proved us all wrong, didn't he? I couldn't have found a stronger champion or friend. He just somehow knows when to push back against me, when to spoil me, tease me, when to let me be myself, and when to fight for me." 
Zoya blushed thinking of Asad and mentally adding more things to that list: when to pin me against the wall and steal some sugar, when to sweep me off my feet and silence me ... when to charm me or push me into being a really bad girl that might need to be handcuffed or spanked---
They fell silent each thinking about the men in their lives.
"Thanks Bhabhi," Nuzzhat said finally. 
"What for? I did nothing." Zoya smiled as she watched a dozing Zaid"he clutched her finger in his fist. Tight. She bent to kiss his forehead. Sleep tight, baby.
"You did everything. You helped me decide what I want." What I really want.
As Nuzzhat hung up she took a deep breath. Who was she kidding? She wanted what Zoya Bhabhi and Bhaijaan had. And for that she'd need to roll up her sleeves and take charge of her life. Ammi, you better watch out--I love you, but I'm not going to back down and take no for an answer. And Faiz? Faiz, I love you too but you better smarten up! And you can forget about guilt-tripping me into thinking that I'm a weakling just cos. I don't always agree with you. Deal with it.
She whipped her phone out and texted him. The fingers punching in the letters on the screen were as firm as her resolve. "When you're done being a sulky little goat, call me and we can discuss a plan of attack to get this show on the road--together. As a team." 
She giggled. That "sulky little goat" dig was so going to light a fire under his butt.
Five, four, three, two ...
Her phone rang on the dot.
"Maaiiin," he bleated playfully.
Nuzzhat fell off the bed laughing.
See? He always knew the right buttons to press. And he knew how to be totally unpredictable. She really hadn't expected him to be so good humored about being called a sulky goat; she thought he'd be hopping mad. But then, that was Faiz--charming, contrary, and a livewire to boot. 
"So goaty, how do we do this?" he asked. 
"Goatee? I'm a beard now?" 
"If I'm a goat, then ..." 
"That still doesn't make me a goaty." 
"Goatni?" Faiz teased. 
"Haha, that's cute but I just checked--a female goat is called a nanny goat." 
"Right, and a male is a billy goat. So nanny goat, what's our plan of attack?" 
She started to giggle.
"Nuzh, what's so funny? Our plan of attack is to play a laughter track?" 
"Get ready, Billy. Bakra hamesha qurbaan hota hai!" 
"Main, aur qurbaan? Qubool hai!"
She'd laughed again when he said "main?" in that bleating goat voice. But Nuzzhat gasped and moaned at his softly promised, "qubool hai." She'd heard the smile in his voice and a fist of desire punched her smack in the gut.
Aww. What a sweetheart. Though she'd have to watch out with this one--he'd make sure to keep her on her toes. 
Well, she was no doormat either. Bring it.
Song in Title:
Teri Meri Kahani (2012): "Allah Jaane"
Edited by dixeij - 2015-08-05T12:21:43Z
Posted: 2015-08-05T13:46:58Z
Posted: 2015-08-05T14:10:15Z
Loved the latest chapter ! Those goons were clearly no match for poor sexually frustrated Asad LOLand typical Zoya just had to be part of the action LOL And yass finally the sexy times are back Blushing And Nuzzhat wants to get married already Shocked In my mind I always felt that she's young , probably cause the actress the played her on the show , looked super young . I'm sure Shireen will change her mind  though, but it would suck that another family member is being lost to the US ! The whole Khan clan needs to make a trip to the US tbh LOL When are you updating next ? Looking forward to it ! x 
Posted: 2015-08-05T22:33:50Z
wonderful part loved it
asya fighting goons wow
their moments were amazing
thanx for pm
Posted: 2015-08-06T10:40:48Z
Originally posted by -ABI-

Thanks ABI! What a cute gif - love it!
Posted: 2015-08-06T10:49:00Z
Originally posted by countingstarz

Loved the latest chapter ! Those goons were clearly no match for poor sexually frustrated Asad LOLand typical Zoya just had to be part of the action LOL And yass finally the sexy times are back Blushing And Nuzzhat wants to get married already Shocked In my mind I always felt that she's young , probably cause the actress the played her on the show , looked super young . I'm sure Shireen will change her mind  though, but it would suck that another family member is being lost to the US ! The whole Khan clan needs to make a trip to the US tbh LOL When are you updating next ? Looking forward to it ! x 

Thanks so much countingstarz! Hayee, Asya sexy times - much needed. 

Yeah, Nuzh is young for me too but according to my timeline in the FF by now she is almost 2 years older. If she was 18 when QH began, now she's about 20. And I was extra careful to mention that they would get married in 2 years, not before. I hate the idea of girls marrying before they complete their studies - I did my postgrad after marriage and man, was it hard! 

About the update - I don't know. I'm feeling stuck. Written a few pages but not yet satisfied with them. I need to keep the ideas percolating hoping for some magic. Could take a while.
Posted: 2015-08-06T10:51:28Z
Originally posted by nilusoni

wonderful part loved it
asya fighting goons wow
their moments were amazing
thanx for pm

Thanks nilusoni! Arre, Asya fighting goons is tradition! For me, it's more iconic than the Mitwa moments. I have them fighting goons a lot! Earlier I used to find the action scenes harder to write; it's becoming a little easier now. 
Posted: 2015-08-08T12:09:19Z
Have read this story earlier, though i think i lost track in between. But not to worry I am catching up :P

Update soon again. Waiting :)

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