“You are cordially invited to AR’s New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball…”
The words played across her lips, as her fingers danced over the gold embossed lettering, layered on a black cardstock paper.
A glimmer of light in the darkness of the car seized her attention from the corner of her eye. And she smiled, looking down at the source winking up at her.
An intricate champagne gold Colombina mask embellished with Swarovski crystals and lace often worn at Venetian balls. Like the one she would be attending. But this mask was special. It had been made just for her down to the custom fit. At least that’s what she was told, when her face was measured.
She brushed the lace trim edged around the mask before gripping it tightly, as the car came to a halt having arrived at her destination.
She turned to look outside the tinted window, taking in the crowd gathered. Like her, there were a couple of guests arriving late. But mostly, media armed with their equipment had lined up to capture the arrival of prominent members attending the gala.
Her nerves were frayed to the quick at the reminder of the guests she would come face to face with tonight.
Did she want to be recognized… tonight?
A part of her wanted to be invisible to be able to live in the moment… to soak it all in. Without answering any questions. Without the socializing that came along with attending these events.
This was out of her league. She was well aware of that, despite what her family might want her to believe. Her life growing up was on the opposite end of the spectrum at the extravagance being displayed. A hardship of an upbringing as an orphan living with her foster parents, where they survived on the bare minimum to get through each day.
However she would be lying if she didn’t dream of such a fairytale for herself. She did. Every little girl’s fantasy of being a Princess, and having a happily ever after with her Prince Charming. The ones she had read about.
She shook her head, admonishing herself at the directions of her thoughts. This wasn’t the time to go down memory lane. It was time to attend the most prestigious, talked about gala that Delhi had ever hosted to ring in the New Year.
Which she was extremely late for…
She nervously took in her appearance, to make sure nothing was out of place. And sure enough, there was nothing to worry about. Not tonight.
She was dressed in the finest designer ombre, cascading gold lehenga, complementing her half mask to a T. An alternate universe of Indian fashion designed specifically for her to blend with the Western modern gowns to be displayed at the Black Tie affair.
And the credit went to her fairy Godmother. She had fussed over her with the help of other members of the household, set on a mission to ensure she stood out.
But seeing their excitement about her debut, she didn’t have the heart to tell them that she would rather not standout.
The beat of her heart picked up its pace, as she donned the mask. Indeed the fit was sculpted to sleekly hug her face right down to the tip of her nose.
And in that moment, looking into the car mirror, a part of her was enthralled at hiding her identity behind the mask.
She took a deep calming breath, just before letting herself out of the black shiny Bentley. Even though she should have waited for the driver to come around, the truth was she didn’t have a minute to lose. She was already two hours late…
And at the stroke of midnight, this Rajkumari needed to be back in the confines of her own Mahal…
Giving her driver a slight nod, letting him know he was dismissed, she began her never ending walk up to the venue.
In spite of her trepidation at being out in public for the first time in six months, she kept her nerves at bay. With increasing confidence, she took calculated steps on the black and gold carpet, with a small smile adorning her lips. All the while, the flashes of the camera were upon her, clicking away. Though she didn’t miss a beat, keeping her poise intact.
The assemblage of photographers were left disappointed, not being able to confirm the identity of the mystery woman who swept by without a glance in their direction.
Could she be the woman that they had been targeting all evening to get a glimpse of?
It had to be her…
Sheesh Mahal was glowing majestically with muted yellow spotlights accentuating the beauty of the palace. Even though it was a resort destination frequented by the elite, to her it had the elegance and grace of an old haveli. The limestone and marble covered facade, the layer upon layer of intricately detailed designs, not to mention the regal structure were living proof of its rich past.
And as she climbed the steps with a posse of eager eyes on her, she felt like royalty. A Goddess to be exact with the mask bedecking her face. But the question plaguing her mind, since she had left home… would she be able to live up to it tonight?
As she stopped at the top of the steps, a gentle breeze blew across her face. It was as though the whispering winds were carrying a secret. One, only she was privy to…
She was greeted by the commissionaire, holding open the wide wooden carved doors to unveil the masquerade ball.
The event was in full swing in the grand ballroom to welcome the New Year amidst a sea of decadent guests, showcasing their Venetian masks.
A soft gasp escaped her lips, taking measured steps inside the ballroom. Her eyes wandered, captivated at being transported to another time. A moment later her feet strolled into the ballroom, glancing around the soaring ceilings. The glint in her eyes met the twinkle from the diamond chandeliers layered with gold chains. The magnificent antique fixtures wavered a sparkling light onto the walls and down to the floor.
The night was filled with evocative strains of divine music and dazzling live performances at each corner of the ballroom, rich with a mythological theme.
But her eyes were fixated on the dance floor, as couples danced away to their heart’s content. Even her own feet lightly tapped on the marble floor beneath her, as the classical music beckoned her. Almost insisting she take the plunge.
But she couldn’t go out there alone.
Not without being in the arms of a gentleman.
His gaze had been fixed on her from the moment she entered the grand room. Never wavering away, following her every move, as she walked around, oblivious of the attention she had sparked inside of him.
His heart skipped a beat, when she stopped near the dance floor, meticulously taking in her surroundings. One that had him thirsty to see it through her eyes. A sudden urge to know what she thought of the ball overpowered him.
However he had his answer, catching the glimmer on her face, as her lips curved up widely.
As he took his eyes off of her for a brief moment, he noticed the many eyes that were drawn to her. She stiffened at the unwanted attention, clutching onto the side of her lehenga.
He could see the internal debate she was having with herself, as she looked back at the entrance to the ballroom. Then, her eyes scanned the room, as though seeking for someone in the crowd of over three hundred gathered guests.
She took a long deep breath, having come to a decision of sorts. One that might have her bolting out of the venue it seemed, as she took a couple of steps away from the dance floor.
It was then that he made his move, stopping her in her tracks.
“Looking for someone my dear lady?”
She felt as if her heart stopped, hearing the husky voice from behind her. She whirled around to find him a few feet away, keeping a respectful safe distance.
Their eyes locked onto each other, trying to gage the other. But neither the jaded greens, nor the molten chocolate brown orbs, gave anything away. Though they were allured in each other’s presence, unable to look away.
Enticed by the man behind the opulent golden mask, she glanced him over taking in his appearance. The man was attractive, very attractive to say the least, dressed in a slick, fitted designer black tuxedo and a black silk bow tie.
She knew he was waiting for an answer. Gathering herself, she cleared her throat before speaking up.
“No one in particular… and you?” She gestured around, seeing the many female eyes ogling him.
“Really? No one? I am surprised a beautiful woman like you is here alone.” He responded, cocking his left brow, avoiding the last part of her sentence.
“Why is that a surprise, Mr…?
“Raizada… Arnav Singh Raizada.” He paused, extending his hand out, which she shook. But quickly pulled away, feeling a spark ignite when his fingers had laced with hers. Amused, he merely smiled at her reaction, and continued. “Well, I wouldn’t leave you free for a second. But I guess it’s my lucky night to be in your presence tonight. Ms…?”
“I don’t give my name out to strangers.” She declared but stopped herself from saying anything further, hearing his throaty chuckle. One that seemed to have captured attention from a few guests.
It wasn’t everyday one of the top International business moguls, who happened to be hosting tonight’s event, laughed to his heart’s content. The man rarely even smiled, so this in itself had piqued their curiosity.
But it was short lived, when the laughing came to abrupt stop. And the inscrutable mask was once again displayed to direct the unwanted attention away from them.
She watched him intently, switching his demeanor in a matter of seconds. But there was no mistaking the emotion that reflected in his eyes, which were once again fixated on hers.
And it was all for her.
She could feel the heat growing on her cheeks. More so at the close proximity, as he eliminated the distance between them.
Instinctively she took a step back. But that didn’t stop him from taking one forward.
“You don’t need to give me your name… for now. But at the end of tonight, I will make sure…” He paused, bringing his lips to her ear, and whispered. “You will… not just your name, but you.”
She closed her eyes as the insinuation hidden in those words set her pulse racing. And his fiery touch on her exposed waist didn’t help keep herself together, as he slid his hand inside her dupatta.
But she needed to stop him, well aware this couldn’t go any further with all eyes on them. Taking a heavy deep breath, she opened her eyes to respond back.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that Mr. Raizada.” Seeing his eyes flicker, she knew he was surprised. But his eyes went blank, as he questioned her.
“So, you do know who I am, right?”
“What does who you are have anything to do with me?”
“Interesting choice of words. I would think they would hold some significance, Rani.”
She didn’t fail to notice the teasing tone, as he gestured towards her perfectly well put together appearance.
But was this really her?
“Not sure I have earned the title of being a Rani, as you have put it. You are out of my league, Mr. Raizada.” She hinted at her own deep despondency. Something she rarely voiced, but something about him made her open up.
“I think Rani suits you, therefore that’s who you are to me. And I, Arnav Singh Raizada, am here at your service. Shall we dance?” He bowed down to her, extending his hand out.
Her celestial eyes shone behind the mask as she placed her delicate hand in his. He smiled in satisfaction, placing his hand on her waist, before whisking her away.
Their bodies molded perfectly together, as they positioned themselves on the dance floor. She followed his lead, swaying along in harmony.
Both unable to tear away their gaze fixed in a trance. The rhythm of their bodies reveled together in a dalliance, as they seamlessly moved back and forth. The intoxicating air drawing them closer together, as his hand tightened around her waist, pulling her up against him. Their heavy breathing giving away a warmness deep within inside of them.
He was infatuated, feeling her heart pounding next to his chest. It was a reflection of his own heart that she had captivated. And as if she knew, she placed her hand over his heart.
With the slow music switching over to an upbeat tempo and the crowd getting louder, he clasped her hand in his, leading her off the dance floor.
But he grunted in irritation, hearing his assistant call out for him.
“Sorry to interrupt, ASR.” The man paused, seeing the tautness of his boss’s jaw which was never a good sign. However he continued to speak in one breath, as his boss coldly stared at him. “You are needed to address a few prospects for our expansion next year. Then your thank you speech for the fundraiser tonight is in thirty minutes…”
“What the f**k! I’m bloody aware of what you need from me. But I am busy at the moment!” He bit out furiously. Just as he opened his mouth to lash out further, he stopped. The anger subsiding, feeling her hand on his shoulder.
He gestured to his assistant to leave. And as the man scurried away, his turned to face her.
“Do you have any idea what you’re doing to me?” His soft voice, exposing her ardor with her flushed expression. He smiled seeing her thus affected, as he took her hand in his. “Give me an hour, please? I want to ring in the New Year with you…”
“I am sorry but I can’t… I need to leave soon. It was nice meeting you Mr. Raizada.” She gave him a small smile, raising her hand to caress the side of his face.
It was better this way… she sighed at the thought, as she began to walk away.
She stilled, shutting her eyes at the profound impact of those two words were having over her. The truth was she didn’t want to leave…
How could she convince herself to stop feeling the emotions that were overflowing being near him?
Could one ask their heart to stop pounding against their chest elated at being the center of a man’s world?
Was it selfish to cave into the desire her body was yearning for under the intensity of his gaze?
She knew she should pay attention to the voice of reason at the back of her mind.
But she didn’t want to.
She turned, looking searchingly into the darkened chocolate depths that had made her body shiver with anticipation on the dance floor. It was still there, luring her to him, as a slow warmth seeped deep down into her pores.
In that moment, everything ceased to matter with her mind only focused on giving into him.
She pulled out a card from the hidden pocket sewn inside her lehenga.
“This is the key to my suite… the Presidential suite on the top floor.” His eyes widened in surprise, as she handed it to him. “I’ll be waiting for you, Mr. Raizada… till midnight.” She raised herself on her tiptoe, and placed a kiss on his cheek.
She had sent his heart into overdrive with her invitation. A part of him knew this was risky.
However desire hit him hard. He wanted her. And he wasn’t going to lose this opportunity to be with the woman who had bewitched him tonight.
With his mind made up, he gave her a slight nod. And getting the confirmation she needed, she walked away getting lost among the crowd.
Not wasting any time, he fulfilled his business obligations in less than an hour. He entered the elevator with a spring in his step, pushing the button to his destination.
“Rani…” He whispered, as the doors closed shut.
The name he had given her suited her well… Queen. She looked the epitome of elegance, as she had handled herself with such grace around the inquisitive guests seeking her attention.
While he had hosted a few business associates and delivered his speech, his eyes had followed her throughout the ballroom. He couldn’t draw them away from her. And neither could she.
The elevator stopped, bringing him out of reverie. Unable to wait any longer, he took swift long strides to the only set of double doors that were on this floor. He lightly tapped on the door, before opening it with the key she had given him.
He sucked in a deep breath, as the impact of her ethereal beauty hit him hard, making his way inside the living room area.
The soft flickering glow from the candles lit the room, outlining her silhouette. Her rounded curves and slender body extenuated, showcasing nothing but perfection.
As he walked towards her, he inhaled the scent of the roses, red roses, along with the tantalizing scent that was her.
He stopped behind her, as she continued to gaze out at the darkened sky with her barely covered back facing him.
Unable to stop his twitching fingers, he pressed them against her soft skin. She stiffened, but soon let out a soft moan, as he trailed them down only to stop at her waist.
And as he slid his hands around her waist, she relaxed. Pressing her back up against him at the touch of his lips against her warm skin.
“Hi…” His husky voice, whispered inside her ear, before turning her around to face him. Goosebumps erupted across her skin, feeling his hands lower towards the waistband of her lehenga. “I hope I didn’t keep you waiting long.”
“No, you didn’t. In fact, I wasn’t expecting you here till later. It’s only eleven o’clock. By the way thank you for the beautiful roses and candles. It was an unexpected surprise, but how did you…”
“I hope it was a pleasant surprise… as the owner of Sheesh Mahal, everything is within reach. I would like to think of it as a perk. All I need to do is say the word, and voila…”
“Like magic, flowers and candles dressed up my suite… And, me? Do you want me, Mr. Raizada?” She whispered, raising her hand to slip off his mask.
“More than you’ll ever know, my Rani.” He spoke with conviction, raising his hand to remove her mask to reveal her face that he was longing to see, to touch.
But his heart thudded out of his chest, when she shook her head. It seemed she wanted to keep herself disguised.
“Am I really… yours?”
He nodded, shutting his eyes, as her fingers traced the scar below his eyebrow. Before ever so lightly placing a kiss on it, as if she had the power to eliminate his flaws
And God knew, he had many. Way too many. Not many women would put up with a man like him. But it seemed she was willing to.
“Mine. All mine.”
When his eyes possessively met hers, her breath caught in her throat at the intense passion igniting inside of them. Her body immediately reacting to the seduction that was pulling her to him.
Realization dawned on them, nothing superseded at the moment than to give into the temptation burning inside of them. Right or wrong.
And while there was so much to explore… to talk about… for now, it seemed surrendering tooblivion was the only option.
“Do you know how exquisite you look tonight, beautiful…”
She wanted to respond, but words failed her at the moment. Instead, she let her body speak for her, submitting herself to him.
The breath left her body, feeling the tender brush of his lips, just above the kundan necklace she wore. She let out a soft gasp, as he expertly released her hair from its confines of the clips that held it neatly in place. He ran his hand through her hair, as the kisses became harder and more urgent, burning her skin.
Her resistance crumbling with each passing second, whispering out his name. Surprising him, and herself.
He looked up to find her seductive darkened emeralds, staring up at him. She was an enigma, one he desperately wanted to unravel tonight.
He pulled her closer until her body was pressed up against his.
As he lowered his head to hers, she closed her eyes in anticipation. She had been waiting all night to feel his lips on hers. Waiting for him to kiss her. And when his lips touched hers, she was amazed at the gentleness of the touch.
She could feel herself falling deeper and deeper into the spell that he had cast upon her since the moment she had seen him.
He had never felt this way before.
As he deepened the kiss, the intense sensations that flooded through him were unparalleled. He lost himself to her thrusting his tongue against hers, as she wrapped her hand around his neck reciprocated with the same fervor.
Their breathing heavy as they pulled away, just as the ping of a message alert went off on her phone.
He noticed she stiffened, taking a couple of steps back. The earlier look, fighting an internal debate was back. He urged her to check her phone, hearing another incoming message coming through.
She knew she had to check her phone. What if…
Without wasting any time, she pulled her phone out of her pocket. She glanced at the screen, before replying then threw it on the couch.
“Is everything okay?” He asked, as she raised her hand and pushed her hair back.
“Now it is, Mr. Raizada.” She spoke with certainty, walking up to him.
“Are you sure about this?” He didn’t know why he asked, but a part of him wanted to make sure she wanted him as much as he wanted her.
There was one way to convince him, she thought. One that didn’t require words, but action. She kept her gaze steadily fixed on him, not removing it for a moment.
She took a few steps back and began to undress herself, piece by piece. Starting with her dupatta, then the heavy lehenga. She dropped them, puddling around her feet, exposing her sheer nude shaded thong. Next came her choli, he had already untied the top string; all she needed to release was the knot of the other two.
She smiled knowingly, she had him right where she wanted, as his mouth widened. But as she threw her choli exposing her bare chest, he closed it, swallowing thickly.
“Like what you see, Mr. Raizada?”
He stared at her for a long moment. And all she could do was wait, while her heart pounded against her chest being exposed.
When he finally spoke, his husky voice sent shivers down her spine.
“Like would be an understatement, Rani. But now I feel overdressed… so if you don’t mind, why don’t you help me undress.”
“It would be an honor.” Came her bold reply, as she approached him.
Without any hesitation, she pulled off his bow tie. Her hands had been itching to remove it. Once exposed, she began to place light kisses down his throat, unbuttoning his shirt. She leaned back, pushing it off of him and tossed it into a corner.
She wasted no time, as her hands went down to his waist, yanking off the belt. He groaned as she gave him a searing look, stroking him through the fabric. But he needed to take back control. He placed his hand on top of hers, bringing them to his lips for a lingering kiss. He removed his pants, leaving his boxer briefs on.
The temperature rising, as their naked gaze met exposing an undeniable need for each other.
They reached for each other at the same time, ready to fulfill that craving. Their lips meeting in a passionate kiss as their arms went around each other.
He pulled away, feeling her swollen breasts brushing against his skin teasingly. His hands reach up to cup them, kneading them possessively before he marked them. Lowering his lips to her breast, suckling hard one at a time.
She clutched onto his shoulder, as he dropped to his knees, gently pulling apart her thighs. He looked up at her with a wicked grin, tearing off her thong. At that moment, she had no time to think or say anything further, as he began to torture her.
Her head fell back, as his finger seeked out her throbbing spot. One finger worked slowly assuaging the ache, before another joined thrusting inside of her core rapidly.
Feeling her knees give in, along with the need to be inside of her, he stopped. He stood up, and took her lips in a languid kiss.
“The bedroom.” She gestured, as they pulled away. In an instant, he swung her up in his arms and carried her inside.
They were welcomed by darkness with only a dim shadow of light coming from the candles in the living room.
As she lay beneath him, her mask glinted capturing his attention. Her hands tried holding it down in place, but she knew it was futile.
He needed to see the face of the woman he was about to make love to. His hands went on the mask, removing it gently. As he unveiled her face, all he could see was her silhouette in the darkness.
But the urge to see her was quickly forgotten, as she speared her hands through his hair, pulling him closer. This time she kissed him, riding along the mindless current of their desires.
Feeling his hardness pressed against her, she tugged off his boxer briefs. He groaned, as her fingers trailed his length, before stroking it back up.
She was putting him through hell, he knew it.
Without any warning, he thrusted inside of her, finally coming together. Lost in desire, they began to move in a rhythm that started out slow then increased. The slap of their bodies and her cry of pleasure filled the silent bedroom as he pounded into her.
A riveting unnamed emotion coursing through them, as they climbed closer to their peak. Both of them holding on, not ready for the heated passion to end. He buried his face into her shoulder, as she moaned his name.
His thrusts becoming frenzied and desperate. She matched him with every stroke, as her hips arched into his.
The intensity magnified as they soared higher and higher sending them spiraling over the edge. She let out a scream with her climax, trembling with the force of her release. He groaned in satisfaction coming apart, collapsing into her embrace.
They lay there for a long moment, stunned by what just happened tonight. Their hearts continuing to race, beating against their chest.
Neither had expected their night to turn out the way it had.
She wrapped her hands in his hair, as he slowly raised his head, looking into her eyes.
“Tum theek ho?” He asked softly with a hint of concern, brushing away the wet tendrils from her face.
“Haan, hum theek hai… because of you, Mr. Raizada…”
“You.are.mine.” He punctuated each word with a soft kiss claiming her lips.
Words she could feel coming from deep inside of him, making her believe in the fairytale she had once dreamt of.
They both smiled convinced, finding peace in each other’s arms, as they closed their eyes.
For now allowing themselves the solace of sleep.
The faint tapping, dancing across the window, caused him to stir. His dream that consisted of herended abruptly, bringing him back to reality. His eyelashes battled against his lids, debating whether to get out of bed or go back to the world of fantasy.
He groaned, raising his head to see the clock on the nightstand. It was almost four o’clock. He reached for her again, only to encounter emptiness. He sat up, leaning against the headboard, and spotted a note on the hotel stationary, along with a shining gold mask.
A smiled curved his lip, recalling that his fantasy was not a dream. But was in fact very real.
They had seeked each other again right before midnight to find ecstasy together. Their moans and cries, as they became one had heralded the fireworks above Sheesh Mahal bringing in the New Year.
He had felt complete with her. Something that no other woman had ever made him feel.
And now, he was left alone. Desolation swept over him, reading her note.
“Happy New Year, once again, Mr. Raizada! Thanks for an unforgettable evening… one that I will cherish, hamesha. And I hope you will always remember your Rani. Maybe I will see you around…”
The note slipped out of his hand, falling on the floor, as he picked up the mask. He stared at it, picturing the face behind it, with her jade green mysterious eyes.
“Why did you leave me tonight, Rani?” He whispered to the mask as if it had the answers he was seeking.
The answer to that question, and her eyes, haunted him on the drive home. But he put those thoughts aside walking inside Shantivan, a grander than life ancestral home that had been in his family for three generations. And who knew how many more to come.
The walls, silent at the moment as he walked to his bedroom, would be ringing with non-stop chatter and laughter at sunrise with his family. But, as always, he would be a quiet spector. At least now he participated when something interested him, unlike before.
His family meant the world to him. His Nani had embraced him and his sister, when their parents met with an unfortunate accident. His Mami and Mama had treated him and his sister as their own. Often times showering them with more love than their own son, Aakash.
They were his weakness, and he would forever be indebted to them. Therefore, he made sure all their wishes were fulfilled.
As he climbed the stairs, his ears perked up, hearing the sound of a baby crying.
He quickened his pace, knowing exactly where it was coming from. A piercing pain went straight to his heart, hearing the newborn’s helpless cry. But as he opened the bedroom door, it had subsided. The newborn cradled in his mother’s securing arms.
“Is that better my sona baccha?” She cooed softly, placing a gentle kiss on his perfectly rounded ivory almost bald head.
He stiffened, as guilt swept through him, wearily taking in the sight. His wife breastfeeding their son of six weeks, swaying gently on the plush royal blue rocker.
Their baby boy. His son, Advay.
How could he have been so careless tonight?
What had he done?
“Look Advay, Papa’s home…” In spite of the late hour, or the lack of sleep as she cared for their son, since his birth six weeks ago- her face glowed with a bright smile.
The shame from his actions tonight clawed at him, as his eyes met his wife’s tender gaze. Unable to face her, he quickly turned away after giving her a small smile. He dropped his tux jacket on the chaise, and then joined them, kneeling in front of them.
He placed a kiss on top of her head, and then his son’s, overwhelmed with the love from them. Advay had changed his perspective on life since the moment his wife had told him she was having their baby. He never knew the amount of love he had inside of him, until he held his son for the first time.
“Hi, my boy. Did you miss Papa today? I haven’t seen you since yesterday morning. Seems like your Mommy’s feeding you way too much.” He grinned, squeezing his son’s chubby thighs.
Advay was completely oblivious. His son was on the verge of a comatose state with his feeding, and falling into deep sleep. Life was easy for a newborn, sheer bliss.
“It’s not me feeding him, Arnav ji. I swear I don’t understand how he gets so hungry. Feeding him has become a full time job… every three hours, like clockwork.” She shook her head in exasperation, but he knew his wife would happily, sit here and feed him for the full twenty-fours if that was required.
“Thank you, Khushi.” His voice cracked, taking her hand in his and placed it on his chest, on top of his rapidly beating heart.
Torn between her son and her husband, she didn’t know who to give her attention to. It was apparent something was bothering him. And all she wanted was to make it better.
“What’s the matte…” She stopped midway, as Advay latched off her breast, apparently done and fast asleep. She sighed, fixing the straps of her nightgown, as her husband took their son out of her arms.
“Why don’t you clean up… I will burp him and put him down in the cradle.”
Khushi nodded, walking away towards the bathroom. But turned, leaning against the doorway, soaking in the two most important people in her life. First her husband, then her son. In spite of what Arnav thought, she loved him a teeny weeny bit more. Because if it weren’t for him, she wouldn’t have had her Advay.
Her life, the reason she woke up every day to embrace life to the fullest.
By the time she freshened up, her husband had their son snuggled securely in his cradle next to her side of the bed. She had to admit, he was getting good at taking care of their son’s littlest needs.
He held his arms out to her, and she didn’t hesitate before walking into them.
“I missed you.” He whispered, as she looked up at him.
“So did I… I’m sorry about tonight.” He placed his fingers on her lips, and shook his head.
“I’m the one that should be sorry, Khushi. I feel so guilty about…” And now she stopped him from saying anything further, seeing the dullness in his eyes.
“How was the ball? I hope you at least enjoyed yourself tonight.”
“It was boring! You would have hated it.”
“Really? I doubt it… bet I would’ve loved it! Waise how many Chudails dared to hit on my Rajkumar?”
“You really want to know…” He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close up against him. She nodded. “Soch lo… you might not like what I have to say about this one particular woman I met tonight. She was…”
“Never mind, I am going to sleep now. Before your son wakes up again, screaming bloody murder for his feeding.” She turned to walk away, but he grasped her hand, stopping her.
He walked in front of her with one hand behind his back, and stared into her mesmerizing eyes. The same eyes their son had inherited.
He raised out his arms, revealing a gold mask. Not just any mask. But one that he had custom designed, down to the fit for its rightful owner. She sucked in a deep breath, shutting her eyes, as he placed it on her face.
“A perfect fit on my Rani.”
Her jade eyes flashed open, as he raised one hand to caress the softness of pink hue that stained her cheeks.
This woman indeed was his queen, who had changed his life for the better when she agreed to marry him over three years ago. Giving him what he had never dreamt of for himself… love and a family of his own.
“I am sorry, sweetheart, for insisting you join me tonight. I know you weren’t too keen on leaving Advay home alone for the first time without one of us being around. I feel so guilty, taking you away from him, when he needs you more. Not to mention, how tired you have been these past few weeks taking care of him. But I needed you, Khushi.”
“And, I needed you, Arnavji. There is nothing to be feel guilty about. Since, I actually enjoyed our private party. Thank you for going along with me.”
Her mind recalling what the night was meant to be… a wife playing her role as a hostess by her husband’s side for a couple of hours. It was supposed to be her first public appearance after being on bed rest and then Advay’s birth.
But what it turned out to be was another story.
A fairytale evening filled with passion with just her and her Rajkumar. Just the way she wanted.
It was about them.
Only them… and their happily ever after.
He leaned forward and kissed her waiting lips gently. Not just once, but twice before pulling away and leaned his head against her forehead. His huskily voiced whispered against her lips.
“My Rani glittering for me rather than the boring glitterati. A perfect night… Happy New Year!”
And she lost herself again in the maelstrom of sensations that his touch aroused in her. She whispered inside his ear, before they continued their private celebration with the New Year on the horizon.
“Happy New Year my Rajkumar!”
Dedicated to all my wonderful readers who have been so kind to me this past year. They blindly trusted me, joining me on Revealed, a bumpy hell of a roller coaster ride and have stuck by my side. For that I am truly humbled and grateful.
Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year and perhaps another bumpy journey ahead.
Thank you all for taking the time out to read! Hope you enjoyed it… waiting eagerly for your thoughts.
An oneshot that was inspired by Shipper_K, thirstily seeking a fairytale. And let’s just say this is what I have come up with. Not sure if it meets the requirement…
K, I do hope I succeeded in quenching that thirst of yours! 🙂
Loads of love,