Khushi picked a deep maroon sari from her wardrobe that Arnav had gifted her at random a few weeks ago. Once she finished draping the sari, she wore two stud earrings and she clipped her shoulder length hair while her short bangs covered her forehead slightly. Her makeup was very neutral as she always preferred a natural look. She opted for slippers as she hated heels with a passion as they hurt her feet quickly, so she happily wore slippers most of the time. She looked at herself one last time before leaving her bedroom.
On her way to AR, she couldn’t help but wonder why Arnav had asked for her to come to the office during his routine morning call to her. She tried to get him to reveal why he wanted her to come, but as always he was adamant.
Half hour later, Khushi walked into AR Designs and made her way up the whimsical red stairs that led to Arnav’s office. She stood outside his open office door and drank in the sight of her husband, who was still unaware of her presence. He was wearing a crisp white shirt, accompanied by a royal blue tie, his pants and jacket were black. Khushi’s eyes fell on his deserted jacket on the couch off to the side of his desk. Her attention returned to him when he muttered something to himself as he flipped a page, totally engrossed in the file in front of him. Adorable! Khushi cleared her throat as she brought her hand up to the door, knocking it.
Arnav’s eyes darted towards the door; a pleasant smile graced his face as his eyes ogled at his wife’s smiling face. He dropped the file on the desk as she closed the door behind her, walking inside. His eyes trailed down her figure, she was looking exquisite and she was wearing his gift.
As she sat down in front of his desk, she snapped her fingers, breaking his trance, “So what’s the surprise?”
He chuckled at her impatience, “No hello, and no kiss? It’s simply straight to the point?”
She groaned and got up, she walked around his desk and plopped herself onto his lap, with an endearing smile, she said, “Hi” She gave him a feather like kiss on his lips, “Okay now, the surprise!”
He licked his lips, tasting the strawberry lip gloss she had applied; he smirked and retorted, “I love strawberries.” He loved when she applied it.
She bit her lower lip, tasting her own strawberry lip gloss. She loved applying it for him.
He snapped his fingers in front of her, this time breaking her trance, “I would love to taste more of that strawberry…” He inhaled her scent at the crook of her neck.
She moaned feeling his lips on her neck, but quickly realised where they were. She pushed him slightly, only for him to grunt in annoyance and hold her waist firmer.
“Arnav…” She reprimanded him as she looked around his office making sure there was no company.
He muttered against her ears, “We got the first shipment today for your Banno Collection, it’s in the basement.” He leaned back to see her reaction.
She gasped, “This is such great news…” She immediately closed her eyes and folded her hands to thank her Devi Maiya.
Some things never change, he thought as he adored the way she always put God first.
As she opened her eyes, she met her husband’s chocolate eyes. Admiration, pride, passion and a galaxy of love, it was all written in his eyes. After three years together, he still made her blush. His gaze could make the least shy woman, fall flat in front of him, but of course this particular gaze was solely for his Khushi.
He pouted at her, “Now where’s my thank you?”
She wound one hand around his neck and pressed her other hand to her lips, sending him an air kiss. “Muah”
She shook her head and put her finger on his lips as he leaned inward, “Aman’s coming in this direction…” She rose from his lap and adjusted her sari.
“Not fair” He frowned as he saw Aman walking out of his cabin.
She laughed at him, “Darling do you forget that you’re the one that had glass walls installed in your cabin? And besides you were the one who hired Aman.”
He leaned back against the office chair and sighed, “I was single when I had them installed and as for Aman, he’s my best friend and he was desperate for a job.” As soon as he said the latter bit about Aman, he knew she was going to attack him, after all Aman was like a brother to her.”
Khushi pointed her finger at him on cue, as she warned him, “Take that back!”
He shrugged, “Fine I take it back…he’s great at his job but his timing sucks big time!”
The door was knocked and Arnav responded, “Come in Mathur.” Aman opened the door and entered.
Khushi smiled and hugged Aman, “How are you Aman?”
Aman returned the smile, “I’m great bhabhi, and it’s nice to see you.”
She waved her hands in front of herself, “Aman you saw me two days ago -“
Aman cleared his throat, “I meant here in the office…” Seeing Arnav’s stark expression, he changed the topic, “By the way, congrats on Banno.”
She grinned with excitement, “Thanks Aman, I’m so thrilled.”
Arnav got up from his chair and walked around to Aman, “Mathur I’ve read the files so you can take them and prep for the meeting later, I’ll be back in an hour.” He then turned to Khushi and asked, “Ready?” She nodded and smiled at Aman, “See you later Aman.”
Aman nodded and the couple walked out of the office. He chuckled to himself as he watched his boss and bhabhi go downstairs. As he was about to pick up the files, he felt his phone buzz. He pulled it out and checked his notifications.
Aman’s smile washed off his face, he lifted his eyes from his phone and looked out the window, catching Arnav smirking at him from downstairs. Just as he found his lips curving once more into a smile, he quickly picked up the files from the desk and fled to his own office.
In complete silence, Arnav and Khushi made their way down the stairs to the basement. Arnav looked over his shoulder at Khushi, this was probably one of the few moments where his wife welcomed silence. Whenever she was nervous, she hated speaking or anyone speaking to her, this was the sole reason why he didn’t dare tease or try to make conversation with her.
Khushi exhaled sharply as Arnav turned the knob on the basement door. She patted her stomach, feeling the butterfly sensation engulf her insides. She spoke to herself, Breathe Khushi… All you hard work is inside, waiting for you to see it.
She reached for his arm as they walked into the dark room. “Just a sec” He said as he locked the door behind them and flicked the light switch on.
Her eyes widened and her mouth hung open, as she scanned the basement filled with countless boxes and numerous hangers accommodating saris’ of all colours and designs.
He nudged her hand, “Go on… it’s all yours.”
She abandoned his arm and moved to the closest hanger. As she ran her hands through the fabric, she glanced at him. “I can’t believe it’s all real, it’s finally here.”
He strode towards her and wound his arms around her waist, “It’s all because of your months of hard work. I’m so proud of you.” He winked at her beaming face, “Now that this process is over, I can finally get my wife back without all of her electronic devices.”
She giggled, “Over the months I definitely became Mrs ASR, always glued to my laptop and my phone.” She wrapped her arms around him and snuggled into his chest, “Thank you for giving me this opportunity to do something on my own feet.”
He cradled her head as he remembered the night a few months ago, that started this whole process.
He walked out of the bathroom and saw his wife on their bed, lost in her thoughts as she applied lotion on her hands. He sat cross-legged on the bed and kissed her head lightly before picking up the TV remote.
She placed the lotion on the nightstand and turned to him, “Arnav…”
“Hmm” He answered as he surfed through the TV guide.
She took the remote out of his hand, “I need to talk to you.”
He craned his neck towards her, “I’m all ears…go ahead.”
She pressed her hand onto his, “I love you a lot but sometimes I feel…”
He widened his eyes, “Are you breaking up with me wifey?”
She smacked him against his chest, “I’m serious here…”
He cupped her face seeing her tensed face, “I’m sorry… go on, no jokes!”
She nodded and began, “Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in the shadows of your ASR image. I want to do something, I want to be independent.”
His face paled, “I never knew you felt this way. I-”
She cupped his face, “I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished, and it’s only because of that, it has made me realise my own dreams. I want to create something that I can be proud of.”
He touched her hand that was on his cheek, “If you want to be independent, then I will be support you all the way. What exactly do you want to do?”
She smiled, “I want to launch a fashion collection for women of all calibers, something that any woman can afford, but not compromising on the quality or design.”
Arnav watched on as she got off the bed and went to her side of the cupboard. She took out a sketch pad and gave it to him. “I’ve made some rough sketches, these are some designs that I really like.”
He turned each page, glancing at her expectant face every so often. As he got to the last one he looked at her in amazement, “These are incredible Khushi. The designs are so elegant yet not over the top.” He paused and said with much thought, “Seeing your portfolio, from an unbiased perspective I think AR would be honoured to have you with us.”
She looked at him, her expression filled with shock and excitement, “Really, you think I can do this?”
He nodded and pulled her into his arms, “Khushi I know you can, I trust you and your vision completely.”
Arnav smiled, placing a kiss on her hair, “What you’ve achieved baby, it truly takes a lot of passion and bravery to pursue.”
Khushi looked up at him, “This all seems unreal.”
Arnav suggested, “Why don’t you look around and you can decide which one you’ll wear for the fashion show.” He was quite amused by her childlike expression as her eyes brightened.
She nodded and began inspecting the hangers and boxes while Arnav sat on top of the table looking on at his adorable wife. After a while, Arnav asked, “Anything caught your eye?”
She tapped her finger against her chin, unable to decide, “They’re all so beautiful.”
He jumped off the table and grabbed a metallic blue gift wrapped box from a shelf. He strode towards her, “Well there’s one I didn’t show you yet. It’s special because it’s a mixture of the two of us. I fused one of your designs with my own. I hope you like it.”
She quickly unwrapped the box and took out the sari, it was red in colour with silver embroidery. She held it against her chest and shoulder as she walked towards the mirror.
“It’s exquisite! I love it.” She said as she looked at his reflection in the mirror.
He nestled his chin on her shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her waist. “I’m glad you do. You know how much I love seeing you in saris.”
He unpinned her pallu and let it hang loose, exposing her stomach. She held her breath as his hands found its way to her waist as he tugged at her pleats, pulling it out. His gaze burned her skin as he held the pieces of her sari, walking in circles around her to free it from her body.
Khushi held his hand as he reached for the hook of her blouse, “Arnav…”
He whispered near her ears, “Shhh…” causing goose bumps on her skin. He unhooked the blouse and pulled at the strings of the dori. He pushed the material off her shoulders and through her hands, freeing her from the blouse entirely.
Her hands covered her chest while she stammered, “A rrna v nnot h ere…”
He pushed his finger against her lips, “Relax…” He titled his head, making eye contact with her hazel coloured eyes. “Trust me?”
She nodded immediately, “Of course I do.” She closed her eyes as he walked away for a brief second.
“What are you doing?” She asked opening her eyes to see him sliding another red blouse up her arms.
He whispered, “I want to see you in this sari. I’m going to drape it for you.”
Hearing his words, Khushi gulped, the act of him dressing her, running his hands all over her body, she felt as if her body was on fire.
He looped the sari around her, making an initial knot. He firmly held the edge of the sari as he made two circles around her, then he draped the latter end of the sari over her shoulder.
His skilful hands made the pleats effortlessly with the excess material. He fastened a pin to the pleats, holding it in place as his hands dipped below her navel securing the pleats. He adjusted the material across her shoulder and clasped it onto the back of the blouse with another pin.
He turned them towards a floor to ceiling mirror. He adorned the pallu over her head and looped his arms around her waist, making her back hit his chest. “Beautiful!” He remarked. My banno!
The following month had passed by in a flash; Khushi had worked with an experienced team to handle the necessary arrangements for the fashion collection. After countless hours of brainstorming and ideas thrown out, finally her fashion show was going to be a reality tonight.
This was going to be her first official walk on the ramp, minus the forced attempt the night she met Arnav in Lucknow. She was extremely nervous for her walk but her nerves slightly dwindled because Arnav was going to be accompanying her for the final walk, where she was supposed to address the media and audience.
Khushi peeked out from behind the stage; there were a lot of media and people gathered for the fashion show. She exhaled and nibbled at her freshly manicured French tips. She then made her way into her green room, only after double checking all the models.
She heard a prompt knock on the door as she adjusted her necklace, “Come in.”
As the door shut, she looked up and her eyes caught the brown eyes staring at her through the mirror. Without uttering a word, Arnav moved towards her back and pressed his hands onto her shoulders, as he began massaging her tensed muscles.
“I needed this.” She said as she felt some relief.
He cupped her face and drew her closer in his arms, “This is your moment, shine my love.” He kissed her head and left the room, knowing she needed these last few moments to herself.
She looked over her shoulder and smiled, seeing Arnav’s reassuring face as her introduction was announced. “With great privilege and honour I would like to welcome the showstopper and the woman of the hour, the creator and inspiration behind Banno, Mrs Khushi Singh Raizada.”
She said a prayer to her Devi maiya as her right foot touched the stage on cue. A sense of pride and joy filled her as she held her head high and kept her hand on her waist, as she began walking the length of the runway. The sea of photographers clicked in unison while the audience erupted in applause. As she got to the end of the runway, she stopped and posed for the photographers, then she gracefully swirled, giving them a glance over her shoulder. With even more confidence now, she began making her way back up the runway.
As she stepped off the stage, her heart was in overdrive, she touched her chest trying to slow her breaths, as she felt an adrenaline rush seep through her body. She barely had time to comprehend anything as Arnav swept her off her feet and twirled her around, “You did amazing out there.” He kissed her forehead, setting her down.
She wound her arms around him immediately, pressing herself further against his body, knowing that he was the key to calming her down. As her breathing settled, she relaxed and pulled away from him.
He held her chin, “Okay?”
She nodded as she broke into a smile, “That feeling on the stage was mind-blowing!” He chuckled and gave her some space as other AR staff that were backstage congratulated and complimented her.
After a few minutes, all of the models had filtered out onto the stage at their respective positions, Khushi stood waiting for her call to grace the stage once more, this time with her husband at her side.
“Now I’d like to welcome once more the creator of Banno, Mrs Khushi Singh Raizada, accompanying her is her husband and CEO of AR Group of Industries, Mr Arnav Singh Raizada.”
With bright smiles, they walked onto the stage, as the engaging music filled the atmosphere. The models, along with the audience clapped as Arnav and Khushi got to the front of the runway and began posing for pictures.
Arnav turned on his mike near his ear as the uproar simmered down. “Thank you all for being here tonight. I would like to say AR is honoured to be part of the Banoo Collection. But as a husband I would just like to say I am extremely proud to call this woman beside me, my wife. She’s not only an ideal person at my household, but at the work place, she is equally, if not more capable. She has left no stone unturned to pursue her true passion, Mrs Khushi Singh Raizada.” He stepped to the side as he clapped his hands in her direction, giving her the spotlight.
She scanned the crowd in front of her and lastly turned to Arnav as she turned her mike on, “Today I’m standing in front of you all because of two reasons, one is my passion for achieving my dream and the other is my husband, for believing in me not solely because I am his wife, but because he saw the potential that I had, to create something unique and worthwhile. Thank you for being my pillar of support and giving me this platform to showcase my talent. Thanks to everyone made my dream a reality and especially to everyone who came out to support our hard work; I’m extremely grateful.” Khushi clasped her hands against her chest, feeling quite euphoric as a hearty applause made its way to her ears once more.
Khushi stared at her reflection in the pool as she sat on the ledge with her bare feet dangling in the water. She heard a footstep behind her and felt herself being engulfed by the warmth of her husband’s arms. She nuzzled her head in the crook of his neck, she groaned inhaling his masculine scent.
“Baby… you were amazing tonight.” He said, trailing his fingers down her arm.
She nibbled at his ear lobe, now sitting in his lap, “With you at my side, I can touch the skies.”
Without warning, he hoisted her off the ground, earning a yelp from her. Once she recovered, she giggled winding her feet around his waist and her hands in his hair.
With one arm supporting her back and the other tangled in her hair, he pressed his lips against hers, she opened her mouth momentarily and his tongue entered her needy mouth. He moved into the room with her in his arms without breaking the kiss.
He set her down at the foot of the bed as he shut the poolside door and drew the curtains. As he turned to her, his eyes grew dark with desire as she undid the knot of her robe and pulled it off her shoulder, letting it pool at her feet. He pulled her bare body taut against himself, pressing his lower body onto hers. He moved her hair to the side and kissed her shoulder as she gripped his arms, pushing them onto the bed.
Honestly this did not turn out the way I expected it to, I don’t know how I feel about this. Though I would love your views and comments. Let me know how it was. Thank you!
Edit: I’m pretty okay with it now, I’m glad so many of you loved it, Thank you once more!
Btw; when Khushi visited Arnav at the office, this is the sari I visualized her wearing 🙂