I'm returning to IF after quite some years so most of you may not know me. I lost access to my old account "Sur_10" and hence made a new one that resembles it closely. I was always more of a reader than a writer but have had the inkling of writing something silly for some time now. Posting this as an Arshi FF as those are the last characters I remember (Yes, I am THAT old).
Feedback is welcome and I'll try to be regular with updates. You may notice a certain similarity between this and a couple of other writers' amazing FFs and though I try to keep the content original, it's hard not to be inspired by your favorite authors. Look forward to feedback.
Edit: Some of you asked about Arnav and Khushi's ages in the story: They're both around 30 (conversation in the first chapter is from when Arnav was around 14-15 years old.) They work in private investing (PE or Hedge Funds), where the job is to buy and sell companies with private capital. If this all seems alien to you, just know that the field is highly competitive. Also, IF is not allowing me to post hyperlinks so the TOC will be manual.
Chapter 1: Devil Alert - Page 1
Chapter 2: Reflections - Page 3
Chapter 3: The Perfect Life - Page 5
Chapter 4: Evolving or Devolving? - Page 5
Chapter 5: The Witch - Page 6
Chapter 6: The Abyss - Page 8
Chapter 7: The Road Less Taken - Page 8
Chapter 8: The Next Step - Page 9
Chapter 9: Common Ground - Page 10
Chapter 10: Blur - Page 11
Chapter 11: Missing - Page 13
Chapter 12: Red Flags - Page 13
Chapter 13: Too Late - Page 15
Chapter 14: Bleed - Page 19
Chapter 15 - Shift - Page 20
Chapter 16 - Storm - Page 21
Chapter 17 - Catalyst - Page 24Edited by Sur_01 - 4 months ago
“What the…” Arnav muttered as sharp edge of the staple pin pricked his finger. No matter how many years he spent working, he felt there was no way he could get better at paperwork. Infact, paperwork was one reason he was initially apprehensive of getting into any corporate office job. As usual, it had been his Di who had convinced him that the world of finance was perfect for him.
“This is one of the very few fields where they will find a good use of your sharp tongue and tolerate your temper.” She had said with a smile. It had annoyed him but most things used to annoy him, so he did not think much of it. Fast-forward fifteen years, he was doing pretty well as a part of a well-regarded fund house.
He had taken well to the fast-paced work and the nature of the job constantly fed his competitive streak as he sourced and ran some of the biggest deals in the country. Such as the one he was preparing the final paperwork for. He had spent the last three months on this company and was fairly confident that he had managed to convince the owner to sell it to him. As his cab pulled into the lobby of the office building, he closed the file and looked up to see her.His eyes almost narrowed as he got out the car and slammed the door behind him.He must have been loud as it made her look up and she gave him a wide smile. Ora sneer – which was more likely, given their track-record. Khushi Kumar Gupta was there as well, which was going to be fun.
Khushi worked for a rival fund and seemed to have a personal vendetta against him as she seemed to be bidding for exactly same companies as he was. It was true that it was a small world and the same set of investors typically went after similar targets,yet he felt he and Khushi ran into each other more than often. And hence, it was quite a lot of fun to win against her. Of course, he had lost deals to her as well, but that’s just good old chance. At least that’s what he told himself. He held the door open for her as they entered the office.
“Looks like you can’t help but follow me around” he remarked as he followed her into the elevator.
“Of course Mr. Raizada. I’m tracking you 24/7 since I clearly have a lot of free time on my hands” she said flippantly as she pressed the button on the elevator. She was dressed in bright blue saree today with her hair flowing past her waist. He wondered why she couldn’t dress more like normal women in the industry – pantsuits, dresses,skirts. Nobody he knew dressed like heroines of music videos in the ‘90s except her. But then, this was Khushi and he had no idea what to expect from her anyways.
“Who knows Ms. Gupta.I’d ideally outsource a task like that but then, I wouldn’t expect you to think of an idea like that with your limited intelligence.” He upped the stakes a bit. He knew he was being mean but with barely fifteen hours of sleep at that week, a man needed some entertainment. She turned around angrily to look at him but then caught herself and smiled coolly.
“And yet, with my limited intelligence, I won over you last time. I wonder what were to happen if I’d been a shade smarter, Mr. Raizada. Shall we?”
He nodded curtly and was greeted by the owner who seemed chagrined to see them together.
“Oh I didn’t realize you’d be here before the afternoon, Ms. Gupta.” he shot a quick look at him.The man was definitely a fool if he thought Arnav didn’t know he had competition. After all, wasn’t that what the post-work drinks sessions were for?
“Ofcourse Mr.Khandelwal, its completely on me. I thought I’d drop our final proposal in person as I was passing by. Our meeting is still scheduled for 3 P.M. Till then,I’ll leave you to enjoy Mr. Raizada’s pleasurable company.” He didn’t miss the sarcasm as she handed a enveloped binder to Suresh Khandelwal and shook hishand.
“Ofcourse, much appreciated,Khushi. See you then. Arnav, this way please”
Arnav followed him into his cabin, trying his best not to stomp. He was going to make sure that she was not winning this.
Khushi slumped against the elevator wall and sighed. The day was going to be a tough one as she had already seen the devil. Why couldn’t Devi Maiyya just transport him into another universe where she didn’t exist. He was a combination of perhaps every single quality she despised: born with a silver spoon and bred like a prince,had the luxury to study abroad and pranced around thinking he owned everything.She had seen only two emotions on his poker face since she had the misfortune of knowing him: disdain or condescension. If the expression wasn’t enough, he had come down heavily on her with his mean comments. Initially, it had shocked her.But eventually, she reasoned that he was an entitled little brat who threw a tantrum when he didn’t get what he wanted. Hence, she couldn’t resist the urge to hit back. If his royalty Mr. Raizada thought that he could walk all over her just because she came from lesser means, he had it all wrong. She may be a bit rough around the edges compared to purebreds like Raizada, but she sure knew how to fight. After all, she never started this, did she? She pulled out her phone from her bag and texted Payal, her work buddy.
“Devil Alert.Situation just deteriorated.”
Topic started by Sur_01
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