T’was the night before the wedding at almost midnight, and all was not quiet in the Gupta Mansion. The inhabitants were scampering around with preparations for the big day. From the young to the old, from family to friends, not a single person was left out. Not even the bride.
The process of planning a wedding down to the execution had become a major thorn in her side. Pricking and pinching every step of the way. With all the organizing… the never ending rituals… the unwanted guests and their absurd advice… she was ready to unleash her claws.
And theirs was going to be a small wedding, due to her insistence of not inviting the entire damn world that fell under the Guptas prominent social circle. She couldn’t even begin to fathom how things would have turned out, if that had been the case.
She shuddered at that thought, as she made her way inside her room with yet more things her mother had requested to be added to the pile high mountain in the corner of her bedroom. All essential for her shaadi apparently.
She stilled in place, hearing the text alert on her phone.
“Hai Devi Maiya, how did I forget my phone up here?!”
Oblivious to the delicate chunri and jewelry, she tossed it on the bed, making a mad dash towards her phone. Her heart knew exactly who would be texting her this late at night. Come to think of it, she had not spoken to him since this afternoon due to their separate Haldi, then his Bachelor party which was scheduled in the evening.
Shocked, her eyes and mouth widened seeing the back to back messages on her phone coming through the past hour. She swore under her breath for leaving the phone in her room, as she began swiftly tapping the keys on her mobile.
Was he out of his mind to come here the night before the wedding?
Without waiting for a reply, she called him, closing her bedroom door for privacy.
“Ciaooooooo Babyyyy!” She rolled her eyes, moving the phone further away from her ear, as he yelled into the receiver. “Khushiiiiii, why didn’t you respond back to me? I was so worried that something had happened to you… you don’t love me anymore.”
“No! I refuse to listen, since you don’t listen to me. No! No! No! I am coming to see you right now, that’s it! I have to tell you that I love you… Ti amo, Khushi.”
“Arnav, I love you too. But you can’t come here, everyone is still downstairs…”
“Screw them! I don’t give a rats ass about what they think. They’re so mean, keeping my happiness away from me the past few weeks, ever since we got engaged. First they took you to Delhi for shopping… like come on! Who the fuck goes to another country to shop?! Then you left me to come to here, to San fucking Diego… then… then… wait, what comes after? Mathur, what the fuck happened after she left me in Chicago for San Diego?”
A lightly buzzed, Aman smirked in amusement at his friend who was gone. He could hear Khushi’s annoyance coming through the phone, trying to get back Arnav’s attention.
“She’s been busy with the wedding preps and all the rasams.” Aman said, leaning back against the fake pleather seats of the run down cab they were given this late at night.
“Yup. That’s it. Thanks, Bro! I love you, man.” He paused, sliding closer to kiss his cheek. As the taxi came to a halt, he barked out an order. “Can you tell this guy to get his ass moving? I want to see my Khushi…” He glared at the driver, but frowned as Aman tried to snatch his phone away.
“Bro, we are almost there… here, give me the phone so I can talk to Sweetheart.”
“No, I am not giving you the phone. I want to talk to her. She is mine!” Arnav slid to the other end of the seat, refusing to give his phone. “Khushi… Khushi… oh Khushi…” He sang into the phone, as she placed her hand on top of her head in exasperation.
“Haan, I am here. Babe, will you do something for me?” Her sweet voice, made his heart swell, as he nodded. “Arnav?” She questioned a moment later, not getting a response.
“For you… I would do anything.” He declared, stretching out his arm. Aman ducked, avoiding a hit to the face. “But don’t tell me not to come to you, capisce? Oh look we are almost here. About fucking time.” He said noticing the familiar sights, as the cabbie picked up the speed.
“Arnav, please give Mathur the phone… for me. Can you do that for me?” Her heart almost came out of her chest, as the bedroom door opened. But she sighed in a sense of relief, seeing it was Lavanya.
“Okay, but I will see you in a few minutes. Let me yell at this idiot driver, while you talk to Mathur.”
Hearing the unpleasantries coming out of Arnav’s mouth, Khushi cringed. She put her hand over the receiver to fill in her friend.
“Lavu… Arnav is on his way here and he’s had a bit too much to drink! What the hell am I going to do? Everyone is still gathered downstairs.”
“What?! But…” Before she could continue, Khushi put the phone on speaker, as Aman spoke up.
“I am so sorry, Sweetheart… Raizada here insisted…”
“And you decided to bring him? How dumb can you be?”
“Shut up, La! No one even asked for your opinion. I suggest you mind your own damn business.”
“The nerve of you. You’re such an idiot, no wonder you can’t find a girl.” Lavanya retorted back to Aman.
“Like you have guys at your beck and call… God help the guy that ends up with you!”
Khushi looked on in disbelief at the usual cat and dog fight between these two, as they continued bickering.
Was it a full moon outside?
It had to be with all the crazies surrounding her. She needed to act fast, hearing the driver announce they had pulled up inside the development.
“All of you, just be quiet!” She yelled out.
The conversations came to an abrupt stop. No one said a word, not even Arnav. During the moment of silence, Khushi quickly devised a plan. Some might think she was crazy, but she was actually looking forward to seeing her crazy but sweet soon to be husband.
There was an adrenaline rush pumping inside her at being able to spend a few minutes with the love of her life, t’was the night before their wedding after all. In spite all the drama he had created, she was supposed to be dramatic? Well not tonight…
Twenty minutes later, Khushi snuck out to the backyard towards the pool house. She wrapped her pashmina shawl around her, as a slight cool breeze swept over her. Inhaling the fresh air, compared to the stuffiness inside the house, she felt her body relax.
He stood leaning against the wall, captivated by her ethereal beauty. That was his Khushi. The shimmering glow emanating from her, as she stopped in front of him, had him completely besotted.
“Bellissima…” He whispered, putting his arm around her waist and pulling her up against him. “… you came…” Her voice stuck in her throat at the intensity in his darkened gaze, staring into her eyes.
“I didn’t have a choice, did I, Bello?” She finally spoke, caressing his perfectly shaped light stubble covered jaw, courtesy of Ma who insisted he look crisp and sharp for tomorrow. Even his hair was trimmed to a shorter length.
He shook his head at her question, curving his lip at the corner in a lopsided smile.
“You really shouldn’t be here, Arnav. What if someone sees you?”
“I needed to make sure you were okay… What if you left me, Khushi?” She held her breath, hearing the vulnerability in his maudlin laced tone.
“And what makes you think you are going to get rid of me that easily? Never Raizada, after tomorrow… you will be stuck with me for the rest of our lives.” Came out her cheeky reply, to bring back the sexy smile that made her heart thud against her chest.
“I wasn’t sure if those evil people living inside the mansion would try to make you change your mind… they hate me you know.”
She tilted her head, seeing his lips go downward as he pouted.
“I love you enough to make up for their disapproval. Khushi Kumari Gupta has made up her mind that she is only going to marry…” He straightened his posture, and confidently pointed to himself. She nodded, but turned to face the house as the patio lights were turned off. “You need to leave now, before someone comes out here… We have an early start tomorrow, and you need to get some sleep. Otherwise I can guarantee you will wake up with a hangover…”
He adamantly shook his head, pulling her closer until he was fully pressed against her.
“Hangover, and me… impossible! I am not as drunk as you all think I am. Arnav Singh Raizada is here for one purpose, to tell his Khushi that he loves her. Very much.”
“Oh really? Please enlighten me then, because in my book you are totally…” She stopped, tightly clutching onto his shoulders, as he swept her hair over her shoulder.
A sudden onslaught of sensations erupted, as he pressed a hot kiss on the side of her neck. She tilted her head, surrendering herself to give him better access as he continued to trail open-mouthed kisses, suckling gently along the enticing column.
“I would love to more than enlighten you, Khushi. What I would love to do to you right now …” He paused above her lips, as the soft pant of his breath sailed against her tender skin.
“What do you want to do to me?” She boldly whispered, bringing her lips closer to his. “Is this what you want, Arnav?”
Words weren’t necessary with the haze of desire surrounding them. She pressed her lips against his, letting out a soft moan, as his hands went inside her t-shirt.
He groaned, deepening the kiss, his hands gliding across the bare planes of her waist, moving in a frenzy up to her breasts. He bit her lip, sweeping his tongue across her lower lip to gain access to taste the sweetness of her mouth. She wound her hands around his neck, pulling him closer as her chest pressed against his.
She pulled away dazed from the kiss. Her hands holding onto his chest, feeling her knees giving way. But he held her up, pressing his forehead against hers. They stood in each other’s arms in silence, gathering themselves.
“Hmmm…” He stared into her eyes, lost in the moment that belonged to them.
“I can’t believe we’re getting married tomorrow.” She spoke softly, as the corner of her lips pulled up in a smile.
“And you will be mine, forever.” A wide smile broke his face, as he possessively kissed her deeply.
“Yours, always. I love you, Arnav.”
“Ti Amo il mio amore.”
I couldn’t help but write this Drabble, okay more like a OS based on the word count… it came to life from a chapter when Arnav and Khushi discussed the night before their wedding where Arnav was tipsy 🙂