Hi guys! I was an old writer but stopped because I guess you could say I lost my inspiration. However I believe I have it back. When I used to be a reader before I became a writer I always used to hate it when a writer left a really good story unfinished. I have a few stories to finish up before I can begin new ones. Because I have been gone for so long, I don't know which of my readers are still currently using India forums or not, which is why I will be completely clearing out my PM list. I will send one last message to the readers on my list before I delete all of them. The ones who are willing to give me another go and continue reading my stories will just have to add me back and I will accept.
For my index of already completed stories : https://www.indiaforums.com/forum/topic/3870424
For now I will only be updating My Reckless Surrender until further notice.
My love is like an ocean
It goes down so deep
My love is like a rose
Whose beauty you want to keep
My love is like a river
That will never end
My love is like a dove
With a beautiful message to send
My love is like a song
That goes on and on forever
My love is like a prisoner
It's to you that I surrender
Prologue - Above
Part 1 - Below
Part 2 - Below
Part 3 - Below
Part 4 - Below
Part 5 - Page 2
Part 6 - Page 2
Part 7 - Page 3
Part 8 - Page 3
Part 9 - Page 3
Part 10 - Page 4
Part 11 - Page 5Edited by khushiforever - 2019-07-20T18:47:39Z
Raizada Castle was known to be haunted. By what? Nobody knew. There were stories of ghosts, spirits, zombies and all those mythical creatures. Khushi somewhat believed them. Ghosts and spirits, yes. Zombies, nah.
She put down the plate of food on the table in front of her uncle, Shyam. He wasn't related to her by blood. He was her mother's sister's husband. He was in his mid-fifties. Khushi's parents had died in a car accident when she was eight years old. Her custody was given to her mother's sister and her husband. The couple had taken care of her well but to be honest, she despised her uncle. He would stare at her in ways that made her want to crawl in her own skin. When Khushi was 21 years old, her aunt had died from a stroke, leaving her alone with her uncle.
That was when it began. Her aunt's grave hadn't even turned cold when Shyam had suddenly begun advancing towards hers. Not like in walking but intimate. For example, once when she had been trying to reach a jar from a high shelf, he had wrapped an arm around her waist and reached from behind her for the jar.She had immediately jumped away when he had let go and he had laughed at her 'childish antics'.
Shyam was a police officer. He demanded attention. He had ordered her to never leave the house. It took her days but she figured it out : He didn't want other boys to look at her and her to look at them.
Her uncle's loud chewing made her come out of her thoughts. Khushi sat down across from Shyam. She forced a smile on her face when he grinned at her.
"So how was your day?" he asked grabbing his spoon.
Boring and like prison, she wanted to yell "Nice" she stuck with instead.
"Khushi" she hated the way he said her name but remained quiet "You're 25 years of age now. The time to marry" Khushi shot up her eye. The way he was staring at her told her she was not going to like what he had to say. Shyam leaned on his elbows. On the small table, there was hardly any distance between their faces "I know you aren't interested in someone right now" That's because you won't let me out of the house, Khushi wanted to scream "So why not me"
How dare he! He was at least 30 years older than her. Perverted old man! Khushi struggled to regain her composure "I...I beg your pardon"
Shyam pushed his chair back and stood up. He calmly walked up to her and sat next to her, much to her dismay. He didn't really smell the greatest.
"Your aunt couldn't give me an heir. You and I aren't related by blood. Besides" he grabbed her hand and caressed it "You are young, beautiful, healthy" With each characteristic he listed off, his hand crept higher and higher up her arm.
Khushi stood up so quickly her chair almost fell to her ground. She snatched her arm from him "I-I'll think of it"
He smiled and stood. Grasping her chin between his thumb and index finger, he pulled her face towards him "The answer better be positive, girl. I didn't give you a roof to live under for nothing"
Khushi pulled back and rushed to her room securely locking the wooden door. She leaned against it. I have to get out of here, she thought to herself. Shyam went to bed at midnight. She knew because that was his nightly routine.
Khushi glanced at the clock. It was 11. Enough time for her to pack. She would rather live in that Raizada Castle and be haunted by ghosts and spirits for the rest of her life than spend another second here with Shyam.
It was 1 AM. Khushi could hear Shyam's loud snores even with the door closed. She tiptoed outside with her bag and quietly shut the door. She wanted to scream : Freedom! but she knew that would just end up with her getting caught.
She had never been out so late so the hooting of the owls and howling of the coyotes living in the forest far in the south made her flinch. It felt as if her hearing was heightened. But then again it was survival of the fittest. Khushi was all on her own and she'd be damned if she was chicken enough to go back.
Raizada Castle was farther than expected but then again she was on foot. The roads were quiet and it was a relief that there wasn't anybody lurking in the shadows.
It was 3 AM when she finally reached the castle. Please be open, please be open, Khushi chanted in her head as she reached out to push the doors open. Magically they did. Khushi nearly sobbed in relief. She didn't waste a moment further and ran inside. It was huge. There wasn't really much furniture inside. It was dark and Khushi was too tired to explore. Besides she didn't even know where the light switches were. There was a leather black couch in the living room on which Khushi laid down and decided to sleep. She was safe.
Or was she...
Arnav knew there was somebody in his home before he opened his eyes. To be specific, a female. He frowned. He was sure that everybody in Manderville was afraid of his castle. He had personally made sure of it.
Arnav rolled his eyes. Foolish woman she was if she thought she could live here. He smirked. At least he would not have to go hunting tonight.
He followed the scent of her blood from his room to the living room downstairs. There she was. Sleeping on the sofa. Not knowing there was a predator lurking by. She was really beautiful. He could tell she was stressed just by the lines on her forehead. Arnav tilted his head. Maybe he could let her stay for a few days.
Arnav scooped her up and went upstairs to his bedroom. Gently laying her down, he lied next to her. He pulled back the strands of hair that was covering her face and glanced at her neck. Just a small bite...
Khushi slowly opened her eyes. Whether it was night or morning she did not know. The dark black curtains hid any light that could have came in.
Khushi tried to get up but the weight on top of her prevented it. She struggled to move and then noticed the weight was an arm. A very muscular one at that. She slowly turned around. An unknown, very handsome man was sleeping behind her. She screamed.
He jumped "What!"
"Who are you!" she screeched.
He frowned "I am the owner of this house"
Khushi gasped "But I heard no one lived here; that it was haunted"
He stood up "Probably to keep children from going out at night. Who are you?"
"I-I am Khushi Kumari Gupta. I am so sorry I broke in. I-I thought nobody lived here except for-"
"Ghosts,zombies and spirits?" He raised an eyebrow. Khushi bit her lip and turned red. The man sat down on the bed near her "My name's Arnav. So Khushi, why did you come here despite all the rumours?"
"I...I ran away from home" she said softly.
"Family problems?" Khushi nodded. Arnav leaned back "I'll not ask since that's personal. You're welcome to live here. Just so you know I am always away in the mornings. Business reasons. I come home at about 6 or when the sun sets. You're free to explore the house. Garden's in the back when you want to do some gardening"
Khushi frowned "How do you know I like gardening?"
He smiled "You seem like a gardening person. Tools are in the shed nearby. Food's in the kitchen. I'll see you this evening" With that said he turned and left.
Khushi blinked.Was that it? So he was just going to let her stay?
Arnav walked out of the room. She's a strange thing, he thought to himself, but her blood was magnificent. It made him crave her even more but he knew when to stop. Arnav was glad the last couple who had tried to move in a couple of days ago had left some food. Khushi was going to need it as much as he was going to need her.
Khushi brushed her teeth and took a shower. Her stomach rumbled hence Khushi went to the kitchen. When she opened the fridge she noticed there wasn't much food but enough for her. She cracked a few eggs and made an omelette. When it was done she put it on her plate and sat down on the black marble table.
A black cat jumped on top of the marble table.
Khushi frowned "Shoo" she said "Go go" The cat refused to move and sat down "Go grab a mouse for breakfast or something"
The cat jumped down from the table and scurried off. It appeared 2 minutes later with an actual dead mouse in it's mouth. Khushi squealed and leapt off her chair.
She widened her eyes and took a step closer to the cat "You understand exactly what I say don't you"
The cat put the dead mouse on the floor and sat down. He bounced his head in what Khushi took for as a nod "That is so cool. I wonder if Arnav would mind if I kept you as a pet" Khushi paused "What should I call you?" The cat jumped up on the table and raised his head towards her. Khushi let her hand pet the cat "Would you like to be called Arnav?" The cat blinked before he lied on his stomach and purred. Khushi grinned "I'll take that as a yes. I just hope the human Arnav doesn't mind. I am not really very creative with names" Khushi sat down in front of the table and cut a piece of her omelette.She held it out to the cat "Want some?"
The cat sniffed it before he bit into it and chewed it. Deciding it was tasty he ate the rest from her hand. Khushi giggled when he licked her hand. Khushi ate her food. When she was done she put the dish in the sink "Want to do some gardening with me?" she asked picking up the cat. The cat purred as he rubbed himself against her chest. Khushi grinned "I'll take that as a yes.You can help me dig"
When Khushi entered the backyard she was astonished. The dirt was everywhere. Weeds were in and out of the dirt. There were very few dead flowers laying around.
Khushi sighed "Guess this explains why a man needs a woman beside him. At least it's nice weather"
The cat suddenly screeched loudly. He leapt down from Khushi's arms and ran under the shade of the tree.Khushi put her hands at her hips and frowned "You are going to help me right?"
The cat shook his head and licked his paw. Khushi scowled "But you agreed. It's such a nice sunny day. Would you rather stay under that shade or enjoy this beautiful day?"
In reply the cat sat down under the shadow of the tree. Khushi scoffed "Fine. Be like that. I can manage without you"
Khushi opened the shed and took out the needed tools.
Khushi looked at the newly made garden and smiled "Now that looks so much better" Arnav, the cat meowed as if agreeing with her. Khushi frowned at him "No thanks to you. You know you could have helped by simply digging"
The cat showed his teeth at her and Khushi had a pretty good idea he was laughing at her. Khushi huffed "See if I care enough to share my omelette with you again"
Khushi went inside and glanced at the clock. It was almost 6. Khushi looked out the window. The sun was also setting. She sighed as she gazed at the sunset.
Khushi turned around. It was Arnav. He was nicely dressed in a black jacket and casual dark blue jeans. He was indeed a nice sight to see.
"Are you, like, checking me out?" he said gesturing to himself.
Khushi blushed. She shook her head and then looked around. She frowned "Where'd he go?" she murmured.
"Who?" Arnav asked.
"Ar-I mean..um there was this cat who had showed up this morning. I was actually umm hoping to keep him as a pet"
Arnav chuckled "And you named him after me?"
Khushi turned red "I'm not good with names" she squeaked.
Arnav laughed and sat down on the couch "The cat comes and goes as he pleases.As long as he does no harm I have no problem"
Khushi nodded and sat down across from him "I just want to thank you for letting me live here"
"No problem" he waved it off "But if you would like to repay me then there is one way"
Suspicions raised in Khushi's mind. She didn't know this man at all. Yes he was gorgeous. With dark brown eyes like his, anybody would get lost but he could be a criminal for all she knew. Heck he even lived in a rumored castle.
He smiled wickedly as if he knew what she was thinking "Go on a date with me"
For PMs please buddy me at KhushiPM
Khushi blinked. Was he serious? When Arnav's face didn't show any face of mockery Khushi felt her stomach flip. In a good way.
"You want to go on a date with me?" she confirmed.
"I'm certainly not asking the cat" Arnav chuckled.
Khushi blushed "Of course" she murmured "Tonight?"
Arnav nodded "Why not?"
Khushi bit her lip "Well the thing is..I haven't ever been on a date so I never actually bought a dress for the occasion..." she trailed off uncomfortably.
"No problem" Arnav said "I've bought you a dress and it's on your bed. I'm going to go freshen up and then we'll go. Don't take too long"
He turned and left. Khushi gaped after him. Well then!
The dress was both simple and beautiful. It was a lovely shade of light pink that ended just below her knees. It was a fit and flare type of dress. Khushi loved it. She admired herself in front of the mirror hanging off the wall. She took out the lip gloss she had packed and hoped Arnav would like the way she looked.
Though Khushi had only known Arnav for a day or so, she had come to really like him. He was both so handsome and mysterious. There was this dark glow about him that she couldn't put into words. There was this dark aura around him that made her both want him and beware of him.
That's when she remembered that Arnav knew she had named the cat after him. She frowned. She hadn't really told him so how did he know?
A knock on the door brought her out of her thoughts.
"Khushi? Are you ready?" came Arnav's voice.
"Just a second" Khushi replied.Giving herself one last look, she opened the door and smiled at him. She twirled in a circle "How do I look?"
His eyes darkened as he assessed her from top to bottom "Good" he muttered.
Khushi's face fell. Only good? Though she hadn't really been expecting him to praise her excessively, she had been hoping to get something out of him better than a 'good'.
"Ready to go?" he said.
Khushi put on a small smile "Yeah"
Arnav could sense her sadness. No matter what she thought she couldn't hide it behind that fake smile.
He wondered if perhaps he was the cause. He didn't think he said or did anything wrong. Arnav gave her a quick glance. She was right beside him in the car looking out the window with a neutral face. He wanted to read her mind but knew that wouldn't be right. She deserved her privacy.
Khushi looked ravishingly in that dress. It made him regret ever buying it. Maybe this date wasn't such a good idea, he thought. After all he barely knew her. Besides, he wasn't planning on letting her live in his house forever. He just hoped he would keep his hands off her. Arnav didn't want Khushi to think he was some sort of pervert.
That thought made him remember that she had run away from home. He wondered why. Arnav glanced at her again. She was a mystery and Arnav loved mysteries.
He would figure everything out and would not even have to read her mind.
"We're here" Arnav said stopping the car.
Khushi looked around. Weird, she thought. All the years she had lived in Manderville and she had never seen this club. Khushi read the name : Night Lovers.
She glanced at Arnav. Well he sure did seem to be a night lover. Arnav smiled at her and gave her his arm "Shall we?"
Khushi put her hand on his arm "Of course"
Arnav seemed to notice her uneasiness when he realized how stiff she was "What's wrong?"
Khushi shrugged "It's just I've never seen this club before"
He chuckled "Let's just say it randomly shows up"
If only Khushi had known how true those words were...
All eyes were on Khushi. She felt very uneasy. She clutched Arnav's arm tightly. In response Arnav patted her hand and glared at every person staring at her. Once they met Arnav's gaze they immediately looked away.
Sensing that, Khushi relaxed slightly. Arnav had her seated at a nice secluded table. He gestured to the bartender. When the bartender came over,Arnav asked Khushi "What would you like?"
"Just a soft drink please"
Arnav looked at the bartender "Get me what I usually take and her an orange juice"
The bartender raised an eyebrow "Orange juice?"
Arnav scowled "Yes. It's when you squeeze an orange and add some sugar into it"
The bartender frowned "Fine" and then he left.
Arnav smiled at Khushi "How are you finding the club?"
"It's nice" Khushi said softly "I like the decor"
And she was honest. The club had a modern touch to it. A look that you would expect in a city. There were small chandeliers above every table and scented candles. The furniture looked very expensive. The walls were a gentle shade of blue and the floor covered in lovely tiles. In fact she wondered how the ladies wearing heels on the dance floor hadn't broken any of them.
Arnav leaned back in his chair, relaxed "Tell me about yourself"
"Well there's not really much to tell" she shrugged "My name is Khushi Kumari Gupta. I completed my education. I was born here in Manderville. My parents died when I was young so my custody went to my mother's sister and her husband"
"Why did you run away?"
Khushi looked at him "I thought you wouldn't ask since that's personal"
Arnav smiled "Curiosity can get the best of people"
Khushi looked away "I..um..well..the thing is-" she hesitated.
Arnav shook his head "Forget it. I'll wait until you're more comfortable with me" he looked around "Where is the bartender with our drinks" he looked at Khushi "Stay here and don't talk to anybody"
Before Khushi could say another word, Arnav disappeared. She frowned at his back. Really? Don't talk to anyone? What was she? A child?
However, not even a minute had passed before a man covered in black took Arnav's seat. He grinned devilishly at her "Hey sweet cheeks"
Khushi stared at him bewildered but decided to follow instructions and didn't say a word. He grabbed her hand "Soft just as I had imagined"
Khushi snatched her hand back "Who are you?" Well there goes that rule.
"A friend? A lover? A hypnotist? Whatever you want" he winked.
Khushi leaned back in her seat "Sorry but not interested"
He frowned "You're interested in that Arnav? That brood? But not me?" he leaned towards her "What is he best in? Pleasure in bed or in your veins?"
"Rohit" came Arnav's voice full of steel. The bartender stood behind him with the drinks in his hands "Get away from her.She's mine"
Rohit smirked "And what sort of claim have you put on her?"
"That's my business. Now out!"
"No" he said stubbornly.
The bartender placed the drinks on the table "Look mate" he said in a heavy southern accent "We want no trouble here. Let the chap take his spot with the lady or you hit the doors"
Rohit leaned back and shrugged carelessly "No"
"Then hit the doors it is" In a fluid motion Arnav picked up Rohit and threw him towards the exit doors.
Khushi gasped, getting up from her seat. That must have hurt really bad. However as if it hadn't affected him, Rohit got up and charged at him but luckily two muscular guards caught him.
"Out with him lads" the bartender said.
The guards nodded and took him out while Rohit kept swearing.
The bartender left. Arnav took his seat "Your orange juice" he said giving her the glass.
Khushi stared at him shocked "How can you act so cool after all that happened"
He shrugged "Nothing out of the ordinary. You'll get used to it"
Khushi frowned "Are you telling me you get into meaningless fights?"
"Only when I'm bored" he said casually.
Khushi scowled "That's not right!" she said "You're acting as if you only live to waste time"
Khushi finished her juice "I want to go home"
So did this mean they just had their first argument? Khushi wondered.
She looked at Arnav who was looked straight ahead "It's not my fault" he suddenly said.
"Well it's not mine either" Khushi said crossing her arms against her chest.
Arnav sighed "Look let's forget this ever happened and have a proper date tomorrow"
Khushi nodded "Alright"
Even she wanted a redo. Arnav smiled and stopped the car in front of the mansion "Good night"
Khushi frowned "Aren't you coming inside?"
He shook his head "I have some...business to attend to.See you tomorrow evening"
"Oh okay" Khushi said "Good night"
He nodded "Good night"
It was dark. Khushi couldn't see anything. It was cold. So cold.
Suddenly she heard a growl. Khushi gasped and turned around. Fiery red eyes glowed at her. Khushi screamed.
The glow of his eyes showed her something shiny. His fangs.
"No!" Khushi cried as she ran as far as she could.
Suddenly he leaped on her crushing her to the ground. He pulled her hair and let out another growl before diving down and...
Khushi sat up completely awake now. She gasped loudly and looked around. It wasn't dark at all. In fact the sun was peeking through her curtains. Phew. She was in her room at the mansion. Khushi ran her hand through her hair "Just a dream" she whispered.
Suddenly something soft and furry nudged her. Khushi looked at it startled and then relaxed "Oh it's just you Arnav" she said petting the small cat "Where were you last night hmmm?"
The cat meowed in response and purred against her.
Khushi smiled "Time to get ready for a new day"
Once Khushi had finished brushing her teeth and taking a shower, she went down to the kitchen with Arnav, the cat, on her heels.
She made tea for herself and set warm milk for Arnav which he had drank thirstily.Khushi looked out the window and noticed something.
Not something, but someone. Not someone, but a whole army.
A whole army of police officers and Shyam Manohar Jha was one of them.
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Khushi let go of her cup of tea in shock. The cup scattered into several broken pieces. Arnav, the cat, let out a yelp. He followed her gaze out the window.
"My uncle" Khushi answered shocked "How did he find me"
Suddenly there was a huge pounding on the door. Khushi grabbed Arnav, frightened. She held him up against her chest "I don't want to go back!" she cried.
The cat let out a loud meow before clawing himself out of her arms. Khushi winced and let him go. The black cat ran and disappeared.
Khushi looked around. What was she going to do? The banging on the door only seemed to increase. No matter how strong the doors probably were, Khushi was sure they would eventually break.
Suddenly a hand encircled her wrist and pulled her. Khushi gasped and looked up "Arnav!" she said in relief.
Arnav had a strain on his face. His lips were pursed and a vein was popping out on his neck "Come on. Follow me"
There were so many questions Khushi wanted to ask but she knew it wasn't the right time to ask anything so she quietly and quickly followed Arnav to a corridor. Arnav pressed his hand against a brick in the wall. The wall made a groaning sound before shifting and opening to reveal a dark staircase with no source of light.
Arnav gave her a tug "Go!"
"But-but I'm scared" Khushi shivered.
He scowled "What do you mean?"
"I-I'm scared of the d-dark. Wait! Where's Arnav? The cat?"
Arnav cursed "Look for him later. Now's not the time" he reached into his pocket and pulled out a lighter "Here. Use this and don't make any noise until I come down to get you"
He didn't wait for her response. He pushed her inside and pressed his hand on a different brick. The door immediately slammed shut.
But not before Khushi saw Arnav grit his teeth.
Not in anger.
Arnav could hear the grunts the men made as they used something pretty large and heavy to break the doors. Arnav frowned and just opened the doors. The men went flying in. They groaned and muttered curses. Only when they realized they were actually inside the castle did they look up.
Arnav sighed and gave them an irritated look "May I help you?"
An elderly man quickly stood up. He looked to be in probably his 50's or 60's. He wiped his hands on his jeans "I am Inspector Jha. My niece had gone missing and I believe she is here"
Arnav scowled "Just because you're in the police department and have assumptions your niece is here doesn't mean you have the right to barge into anybody's home including mine"
Shyam took out some papers and handed it over to Arnav "I had come prepared"
Arnav glanced at the papers and muttered something under his breath "Fine" he grudgingly agreed "Look. I don't have all day. I've got important things to get to but don't think I won't be keeping an eye on you. And don't touch anything irrelevant"
Shyam nodded "Of course"
Arnav gave another frown before walking off and disappearing when he turned left.
A constable came up to Shyam "I thought nobody lived in the castle. I also heard many rumors about it and how nobody survived and escaped without being terrorized"
Shyam frowned "So did I but someone must have tamed it's beast" and then he shook his head "I don't care. I just want Khushi"
Shyam laid out instructions for everyone and then set to the search. Then he noticed a black cat. He scowled "Shoo"
The cat, however, seemed to have a rebellious nature. He sat down and stared at Shyam through dark brown, almost black, fathomable eyes. Shyam growled but the cat didn't budge. Shyam rolled his eyes "Fine. Whatever. I couldn't care less about you. Once I find my Khushi, I wouldn't have to see you ever again"
The constable shook his head again "Sir we have checked over the castle twice now. Your niece isn't here"
Shyam frowned "You didn't-"
"Inspector" Arnav cut in coldly, appearing practically from nowhere "I think it's about time for you to leave. I am a private man and would prefer to be left alone"
Shyam looked around hesitant as if hoping Khushi would suddenly pop out from the wall or appear out of nowhere like Arnav did.
Another constable nodded "Yes sir.We must depart"
Shyam scowled at him and then looked at Arnav "I'll be keeping my eyes open"
Arnav nodded "That is after all your job"
Even though Arnav said that with a straight face, Shyam could tell he was being sarcastic. With a stiff look, Shyam turned and left with his companions.
When everybody was gone, Arnav quickly shut the door and locked it. He leaned his back against it and let out an animal-like cry. The pain was unbearable. It grew worse the longer he fought it. He groaned and clenched his eyes. He breathed heavily before getting up "I have to get Khushi" he murmured under his breath.
With a curse Arnav quickly walked, almost running, to where the brick wall was. Pressing his hand against that same brick, the wall obliged and opened.
Khushi looked up and smiled.
"They're gone" Arnav said.
Khushi ran to Arnav and hugged him tightly "Thank you, thank you ,thank you" she kept repeating, her smile stretching to a grin.
Arnav nodded stiffly and pried her arms off "Okay now I must go"
Just as he turned to leave, Khushi grabbed his arm "Arnav?" she questioned "What's wrong? You don't look alright"
"I..I must go" he broke free from her hold and almost ran away from her.
Khushi went to follow but lost him. The castle, after all, was pretty huge.
Khushi heard a meow. She turned around "Arnav!" she picked up the black cat and patted him "Where were you, hmmm? You always seem to be disappearing whenever I need you or am looking for you. I wonder just where do you disappear off to"
Arnav, the cat, seemed to enjoy her touch. He rubbed himself against her in her arms and closed his eyes.
Khushi smiled "You always seem to be so tired and sleepy" Khushi sighed "I might as well take a nap too"
Khushi went up to her bedroom and laid down. She laid Arnav next to her. He opened his eyes for a minute and let out a small whine before closing his eyes and going back to sleep. Khushi smiled and caressed his head before letting out a sigh and closing her own eyes.
"Nooo" Khushi whined "Let me sleep"
However Arnav seemed to be all energetic now. He licked her cheek and nudged her. Khushi sighed and finally opened her eyes.
"What time is it?" she groaned.
Arnav, who was lying on her chest, turned around and looked at the clock above. Khushi followed his gaze. It was 4 PM. That was one long nap she had.
Arnav pounced off and jumped down to the floor. Khushi got up "I need a shower" she muttered. Khushi walked to the bathroom and frowned when she noticed Arnav following. She giggled "You naughty little thing. You stay here. I will be taking my shower alone" and then she closed the door on Arnav's snout.
Khushi frowned as she looked around. She had forgotten her clothes outside in the bedroom...but Arnav was there.
Khushi shook her head. It was only a cat. Not like Arnav was a man that she needed to be shy or embarrassed from. Wrapping a towel around herself, Khushi opened the door.
Arnav, who had been resting on the floor, raised his head and stared at Khushi as if penetrating through her. Khushi cleared her throat and felt somewhat uncomfortable when he didn't look away from her.
Khushi scowled at Arnav "What are you staring at? Don't you have some other female cat to go after?"
The cat didn't do or say anything. He only followed her with his eyes. Khushi made a face. She quickly grabbed her clothes and raced to the bathroom. For extra security Khushi locked the door.
There was something weird about that cat. Yes, Khushi didn't really have much experience with cats or well any pets or animals but Khushi was more than sure that cat was not completely normal. There was something about him that...resembled to Arnav.
Khushi vigorously shook her head. No way! It just wasn't possible. It couldn't be. No scientific logic could explain that.
"I am over-thinking things" she murmured "If things go at this rate I'll be needing to see a psychiatrist"
Once Khushi was decent she opened the door. She gasped "Arnav!"
And this time it was the human one...
He smiled at her "You seem surprised to see me"
"Oh, it's just I was expecting you at 5"
"It is 5"
Khushi glanced at the clock "Oh" she said "So it is"
Silence prevailed between them. It seemed awkward. Khushi wondered how to break the tense air. Arnav, however, beat her to it.
"So" he began "You wanna explain about this morning?"
Khushi sighed. She should have expected this. She licked her lips "Um well..."
When Khushi didn't say anything for a good two minutes, Arnav spoke up again "How about you first tell how Shyam Jha is related to you"
Khushi nodded "I'll keep it short and brief. My parents died when I was young. My custody was given to my mother's sister and her husband. Shyam is her husband and my uncle"
"There's something you're leaving out" he said.
Khushi frowned "What do you mean?"
"There was something about him that a normal uncle wouldn't be like. You share a more stronger relation" he said "But I believe that's only on his side"
Khushi's eyes fell downcast "You...You're right" she said softly "He-he..Shyam..He wants to marry me"
Arnav looked at her astonished. The nerve of the old man! "That's why you ran away isn't it" he said just as softly.
Arnav stood up and walked up to her.He enveloped her into his arms "I promise you, Khushi, I won't let him come near you or harm you, and I certainly would never allow him to force you into doing something you don't want"
Khushi smiled faintly "Thank you" she whispered "You know, he rarely let me out. I never really got to experience some things which I've always wanted to"
At that very moment he wanted to fulfil all her wishes. Arnav smiled and looked at her "I promise you I will fulfill those wishes and dreams of yours. I'll keep you happy"
Khushi looked in his dark, molten eyes and couldn't help but feel herself drown in them. Unconsciously her hands clutched at his jacket. She raised herself slightly and pressed her lips against his.
Arnav closed his eyes and let Khushi do whatever she was doing with her sweet lips. Gosh it had been so long since he had cared for another being. Not after all that had happened decades ago. He wrapped his arms around her waist and supported her leaning weight against his as she tried to reach his height. She wasn't that short but still, it felt good to hold her.
Arnav could tell she was inexperienced and he liked that. He could feel an unknown strange feeling settle within him. It felt alien-like and warm yet he seemed to like it.
He responded gently to her kiss not wanting to fully ravish her just yet. He coaxed her mouth open and invaded it with his tongue. Khushi didn't fight him. She held on to his biceps and tried not to let her knees buckle. He literally took her breath away.
Khushi broke free and slowly fluttered open her eyes. A light blush fell on her cheeks. Arnav smiled "Come with me"
"To where?" Khushi asked.
"Out of the village. To the city. It's quite beautiful there" Arnav said "Especially at night"
Khushi grinned like a little kid "Okay! I'll get ready" she suddenly paused and looked around "Oh wait, where is Arnav?"
Arnav chuckled "I'm right here silly"
Khushi smiled and shook her head "No no I mean the cat"
Arnav looked around and shrugged "Probably went on a hunt or something"
Khushi bit her lip. Should she ask him? No! That would make her think she's mental or crazy.
And besides...she wouldn't want that.
Khushi sneaked a peek at him. Okay so maybe she was attracted to him. Okay okay she definitely was attracted to him and it wasn't just his looks. His dark personality and mysterious aura gave her a pull but who else wouldn't feel the same? She sighed.
Khushi couldn't wait for her second date...
Arnav didn't need to read her mind to know what Khushi was wondering. It was written all over her face.
He needed to be more careful around her. She was getting suspicious and if her suspicions kept growing then they would eventually be confirmed and if she learned what he actually was, she'd run away and spill the beans to all the villagers. Then once again Arnav would have to find another suitable and quiet neighborhood, and start from the very beginning.
Arnav looked out the window and watched the sun finally disappear as it finished it's set. He was taking a risk in letting Khushi live here. He should have sent her out the minute he had seen her but there had been this innocent glow about her that he liked. That he had perhaps wanted to keep.
Arnav shook his head. Great. Now he was beginning to talk the way Akash used to before...
Arnav sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He missed his dear old friend and wished he could have helped in some way but there was nothing he could have done. Seeing his friend becoming more like a lifeless corpse every single day had been agonizing until he finally...
Arnav clenched his jaw. He didn't want to think about it. He didn't want to fall in love.
Like Akash had.
That had been the reason of his death in the first place.
"I'm ready" he heard Khushi say.
Arnav turned around and swallowed.He could control his emotions.He had to.
There was no such thing as love.
Which meant attraction.
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Going out at night had become their routine. It was fun and something they both enjoyed. They also learned new things about each other everyday. For example, Khushi did not know Arnav was ticklish but now that she did, she used it to her advantage all the time.
Arnav helped her explore the world at night. She had always considered going out after dark wrong and unsafe but he taught her otherwise. He had taken her skating, to escape rooms, clubs, and much more. With him it seemed as if the world was alive only at night. Mornings became boring.
One evening, Khushi was sitting on the brand new couch they had bought only a few days ago. For some reason he had never bothered going furniture shopping,. How he had lived in the castle was beyond her.
Khushi glanced at the clock (also new) hanging above the mantle. It was 6:30 PM. Where was Arnav? Bouncing her knee lightly, she kept glancing at the clock again and again. Now it was 6:45. What was Arnav doing? She sighed and looked around for the black fur ball. Even the cat was missing now.
She decided to take a nap in her room upstairs. Arnav would surely wake her up whenever he came.
It was 10 PM at night when Arnav entered the house. His face was drawn. He collapsed on the leather couch. He leaned back and closed his eyes.
Today was the day...
The day it had all happened...
Arnav still remembered it like it had all happened only a few minutes ago. All that screaming. All that crying. All that blood. He shook his head. It hadn't been his fault. Why was he being punished for something he had not done...
"Ahh still suffering from the curse huh?" a feminine voice filled the empty air. Arnav snapped open his eyes and jerked to a stand.The female sitting on the other smaller couch smiled at him casually "Relax. It's me"
Arnav nodded in acknowledgement and sat back down "Lavanya" he greeted.
Lavanya leaned back into her seat and looked him over. She raised an eyebrow "You're still stuck" she stated "You should have heeded my advice"
"No" Arnav said firmly "I am not letting anyone die because of me"
She chuckled "It shouldn't be in your nature to be so self-sacrificing. You're not human" And then she winced "Actually I'm not sure what you are anymore"
Arnav shook his head and looked away. Suddenly his thoughts turned to Khushi. Where was she? He knew he was a few hours late but surely she wouldn't have left...would she? Panic filled him.
Apparently Lavanya noticed because she asked "What's wrong? You look worried"
"Um nothing but you should leave now" Arnav got up "I've got some business to attend"
Arnav let his senses float. He heard a faint heartbeat coming from upstairs. Taking a nap, he presumed.
Lavanya got up too "You're lying" She widened her eyes "Oh my goodness" she breathed "You actually have a human in here"
"Stop reading my mind!" Arnav snapped.
Lavanya smirked "You're the one who left it open"
Arnav frowned and quickly blocked her "Leave"
Lavanya did the exact opposite. She walked around and looked around "I can't believe I didn't notice your new furniture. Shopping with the human I presume"
"None of your business"
"Ahh she's a female" her eyes sparkled up "So you are trying to break the curse. You did heed my advice"
"No" Arnav shook his head "She'll be leaving soon"
"You did heed my advice"
"No" Arnav shook his head "She'll be leaving soon"
Even though they hadn't said her name, Khushi knew they were talking about her. Tears pricked the corners of her eyes. She had come to really like Arnav and thought maybe the feelings were mutual. Khushi closed her eyes tightly, trying not to cry.
She took a deep breath and opened them. She looked at the woman with Arnav. Maybe she was his girlfriend. Maybe she could be his wife. They both did seem to be very comfortable with each other. In fact they were only standing a couple of feet apart.
Khushi turned around and went back to her room. She packed whatever little things she had. She was leaving.
"She could break your curse" Lavanya's voice grew louder.
Arnav covered her mouth with his hand "Shush.Khushi's sleeping"
Lavanya pushed his hand away "Khushi" she smiled "Even her name sounds perfect"
"You know I don't believe in love anymore. The solution to my curse is meaningless" Arnav countered back.
Lavanya frowned "Arnav-"
"Please Lavanya" he said "Let me handle this"
Lavanya sighed "Fine" she said "But come with me"
Lavanya grabbed Arnav's hand, turned, and they both disappeared.
They both reappeared in a grave. Three graves to be precise.
One belonged to Arpita Sangarah. One belonged to Sheetal Sangarah. One belonged to Arsh Sangarah.
Arnav clenched his jaw "Why did you bring me here?"
"To show you your fate" Lavanya said "Arpita's curse will reach you in only a matter of a few months.That human living with you could be the only way for you to survive and maybe even find a reason to be happy"
A few minutes passed by with only silence until Arnav finally broke it "I'm leaving" he said before turning and disappearing.
When Khushi came downstairs, nobody was there. She sighed and continued dragging her suitcase behind her.
She pushed open the doors and went through the tall gates, not knowing exactly where she was going.
When Arnav came home, he could sense something missing. Khushi's presence had recently been in the living room but for some reason it led to the doors and out the gates.Surely Khushi couldn't have left in the short time he'd gone with Lavanya. Why would she even leave?
Arnav searched the mansion thoroughly and even screamed her name only to be responded with echos. He ran up to her room. Empty. He turned to her closet and threw it open. Empty. As if she'd never been there. Why did his home suddenly feel empty. He had survived centuries alone before her. If anything, he should have been glad she left on her own. Yet in the end he knew that he needed to go find Khushi and bring her back and that's exactly what he did.
Khushi hadn't gotten far from the mansion in only half an hour. However she was tired and cold and hungry and lonely. She suddenly wished she had searched more thoroughly for the cat and brought him with her.
A hand suddenly grabbed her arm "There you are!" a familiar gruff male voice growled.
Khushi's heart stilled. She turned around quickly hoping it wasn't him.. Anyone but him...but it was "Shyam" she whispered.
"Do you have any idea how long I have been searching for you" his face turned into a scary scowl "Oh I can't wait to take you home and show you your place"
"No!" Khushi shouted "Let me go!" she frantically looked around hoping for any helpful faces.
"Everybody's asleep. The whole town is" he pushed her against a wall and grabbed her jaw "You know what? I was just being too kind by deciding to give our relationship a name called marriage but what I really wanted from you was your goddamn body"
"No!" Khushi cried trying to push him away. His touch disgusted her "Don't touch me! Leave me alone!"
Shyam twisted her arms behind her back and held them with one hand "I'm still going to marry you anyways" He continued as if she never spoke. "I can't have people marring my heir's name by calling him a bas***d" He used his other hand to stray down along her neck, heading for her chest.
Suddenly Shyam was pulled back and thrown down across the cement floor. Khushi immediately collapsed to the ground and watched as her rescuer beat Shyam up. Tears swelled in Khushi's eyes and dripped down her cheek but she didn't even try to stop him. Not that she wanted to anyways. Once the rescuer seemed satisfied with Shyam's bruised and un-moving body, he finally turned to her.
Khushi looked up at him. The moonlight gave away his face "Arnav" she whispered, another tear falling down her cheek.
She got up and stumbled her way to him. Arnav caught her easily and held her in his arms gently but firmly as she sobbed "Hush" he said gently rubbing her back "I'm here now. I'm not going to let anyone hurt you or anything happen to you"
Khushi tightly clung to Arnav until a wave of sleep hit her. It all felt too suddenly. Her eyes closed and she fell. Only to be caught by him.
Khushi needed her sleep, Arnav thought to himself. However he would talk to her tomorrow regarding why she left the mansion. He picked Khushi up carefully and looked at Shyam.
Shyam needed to be dealt with. Even though he was pretty old, he still had his puny human heart working feverishly even after all those hits Arnav had given him.
He looked back at Khushi. Should he heed Lavanya's advice? It would be a win-win...that is unless Khushi declares her feelings too soon. That wouldn't do.
Arnav sighed. He'd figure out everything tomorrow, he decided as he began carrying her back to the mansion.
What he didn't notice were two old women watching him...
Khushi slept through the whole night under Arnav's unmoving and watchful eyes. The next morning when she awoke, the cat was lying beside her, asleep.
Khushi looked around and recognized her bedroom in Arnav's mansion. She sighed. Arnav had found her and brought her back.
Confusion hit her. Why would he bring her back if he was planning for her to leave anyways? Shouldn't he have been happy that she was gone? No confrontation or messy work. Maybe he felt guilty, Khushi thought to herself. Tears pricked her eyes. Hurt flooded her. Why, she didnt know. Why was she becoming so emotionally attached to him? Was it because she had been isolated for so long? Khushi stuck with that theory. It seemed the most likely.
Khushi glanced at the time. It was 12 in the afternoon. She had slept for quite a while. Khushi looked around for her luggage. It was missing.
She got up and opened the closet. Ironically her clothes were all set in there as if never touched. The bag was at the bottom in the corner. Great, Khushi thought, now I have to pack again.
Yes. She was going to be leaving.
But this time not alone, she thought to herself, glancing at Arnav. The cat, of course.
It was 4 PM when Khushi was ready to leave. She gathered Arnav in her arms and picked up her bag.
Arnav meowed at her rather loudly and even lifted a paw to her face. Khushi shook her head "No" she said "He's the one who doesn't want me here so why should I stay?"
Arnav began struggling and meowing more loudly. Khushi, reluctantly, let him go. Arnav fell to his paws with grace and turned around. He sat down in front of her and looked up at her.
Khushi's lips trembled "You don't want to stay with me either?" she pressed her lips together "Fine" she said "I don't need you or that other Arnav"
Moving around the cat, Khushi made her way out the door. The cat had already wasted 10 minutes but not anymore. Arnav continued to meow at her as she walked to the gates. He finally quietened down once he realized she wasn't going to stop but he did silently follow her. Khushi didn't say anything.
Once she was back in the village that's when she began getting nervous. Shyam was nowhere in sight. He was most likely in a hospital after the way Arnav had beat him.
But that's not what Khushi was nervous about. Nobody really settled into their homes before 7 at night and it was still under 6. Almost everybody was outside.
And they were all staring at her.
Khushi fidgeted with her hands and glanced at the cat still trailing behind her. Even he was noticing all the attention but at least he didn't look so worried.
From the corner of her eye, Khushi saw some people whisper to their neighbor and nod while gesturing to her and shaking their heads. An old woman sneered at her "You're disgusting"
Another woman, not as old, yelled "You should be ashamed of yourself!"
Everybody else nodded in agreement.
Khushi looked at them shocked "What?"
"What did you think? That we wouldn't figure anything out?" a man said.
"What are you talking about?" Khushi cried.
"We saw you last night with a man. He was carrying you to his home and we all know you're not married" another old woman said.
Khushi shook her head "I can explain"
"Explain what?" Another man said "That you've been sleeping around with a stranger? And that too outside of wedlock?"
"You're a disgrace to women!" a young woman yelled.
Tears rolled down Khushi's eyes "No" she whispered "It's nothing like that"
A big, warm hand slipped in hers "I'm the man you saw with her last night"
Khushi looked up, shocked to see Arnav. The human. What was he doing here?
Everybody looked at the two old women who scrunched their eyes at Arnav and then nodded "Yes" they said in unison "It was him"
Arnav practically stared everyone down "Khushi is my fiance. We are about to get married"
The day was full of surprises, Khushi countered. She looked at Arnav, her eyes wide.
The villagers looked at each other "But it's still not right. You can't be staying together until you're married"
Arnav looked at Khushi's tear stricken face "Then we'll marry now" he said softly.
Khushi shook her head frantically "No Arnav! Don't do this. We both know you don't want this"
He frowned "I never said that"
Now Khushi was sure if Arnav gave her another surprise, she would just have a heart attack. The villagers, on the other hand, cheered. Arnav gently pulled her towards the nearby mandir. Khushi looked back for her cat but once again he had gone missing. She looked back at Arnav and tried to pull her hand from his but his hold was strong.
"I won't be forced on you Arnav" she whispered.
He looked at her for a second and shook his head "If I had felt that you were forced on me, I wouldn't have let you stay in the mansion for so long"
Khushi pondered over his words in her head. Arnav used that time to bring her up the stairs of the temple.The villagers followed them and gestured to the priest.
In short time Khushi became Arnav's wife.
Khushi Arnav Singh Raizada
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Topic started by khushiforever
Last replied by mu12