This book if I get around to finishing and publishing it will be called ‘NOW & FOREVER‘. It is the continuing saga of Shaan and Ruhi who you met in INCONVENIENT RELATIONS BOOK 1. It abounds with passion and suspense. Below is chap 2. Enjoy!
“Shaaaaaannn! I’m sorry for all I’ve done! Don’t leave me. Please!”
He didn’t resurface.
“Pleeeease Shaaaan!” Ruhi screeched at the top of her voice trying to outdo the wind that kept flinging the words back onto her face.
Still he didn’t pay heed. Did he not wish to? A panic seized her entire being. That must be it! He’s riled at me! God what have I done?! This can’t be happening! He can’t do this to me!
Scrambling to the side of the raft she readied to jump back into the muddy waters when several hands gripped her legs and hauled her back.
“Let me go!” She yelled, kicking at her captors with all her might and spluttering as a wave washed over the side of the raft. “I have to go to him! He needs me!”
They didn’t listen, instead, held her down but it was proving tough to do. She was nimble and desperation lent her limbs vital strength despite her injuries. She kicked, missed, then kicked again, this time connecting as someone let out a loud yowl and the hold loosened. She tried again to pitch herself overboard, but was overpowered and flipped on her back.
“Are you off your head kid?” Andy Sr. got in her face. “Do you want to kill yourself?”
“I will do what I want! Get off me! Don’t you see? Heeees drowning out there! I nnnneed to save his life!” She continued to kick and scream even though she could feel her strength failing. Her Shan had put himself in danger to teach her a lesson and she felt guilty as hell. Then she began shaking violently as her sensorium started to fade and her head took a trip to the clouds. She was feeling woozy and nauseated. Andy Sr’s voice receded, drifting to the end of a long tunnel. His face became distorted, all squiggly with fuzzy lines and shapes.
“Shan!” She wailed again in despair, holding on to consciousness for dear life.
“Kid…you are in shock. You’ll surely die if you jump in now. You’re bleeding from your leg. It needs attention. Your young man is healthy and strong. My son will get him out fine!”
“No!” She was growing weaker yet she wasn’t giving up. “He won’t return till he sees me, I know…. I can’t…can’t let him die. I have…. to go to him….” Her arms flailed wildly trying to beat her captors off, when suddenly there was a flash of light followed by a pitch darkness.
After what seemed like an eternity, Ruhi blinked open her eyes in a tiny enclosed space, which looked vaguely familiar. She moved then cried out in pain. Someone was jabbing at her right leg repeatedly with a sharp knife. Gasping, she pushed herself up onto her elbows and spotted a large gash that had been sewn up and whoever had done it was definitely no Pablo Picasso. Then everything began falling in place and panic gripped her insides again. “Shaaaan! Where are you? Shan! Are you alright? Why don’t you answer me?”
“Finally you are up!”
“What?” Ruhi gazed in confusion at the woman who was smiling widely at her. OMG! She is the same bitch who caused me to lose my mind! “No!” She exclaimed trying to scoot back. “Go away! I don’t want you near me. Where is Shan?”
But the bitch looked unruffled. “It’s all right. I was asked to keep an eye on you. You’ve been out for a long time. And who is this Shan? Are you talking about your husband?”
“Yes I am.” Ruhi replied glancing around recognizing the place to be their tent but what was the bitch saying? She’d been out for hours?
“What happened to him? What happened to my husband?” She demanded sternly of the woman, but her eyes betrayed the dread she felt.
“I bet he’s fine. Ole man Andy told me when he brought us back here after you crashed out. He fixed you up then went back. Don’t worry, he was sure his son had rescued him.”
“Then ..then why aren’t they here now. It’s getting dark and we started early in the morning. They can’t take that long! You aren’t telling me everything!” Ruhi said, grabbing the woman’s shoulders and shaking her. “Is he dead?! Tell me. Is he?! …Did I kill him?!”
“Of course you did not! You’ve got to be mad!” Stella retorted calmly. She could see the young woman was as deeply in love with her man just as he was with her and the poor child was terrified. She tried to pacify her by stroking her arm but her offer was rudely rejected. “It was an accident. You did no wrong. It takes much longer to ride upstream. We had to take a detour which happens to be twice the distance. Calm down, he’ll be fine! He’s strong and won’t give up so easy.”
“No.” Ruhi shook her head. “You’re wrong. He’s stubborn just like me. He won’t come back till I say I’m sorry. He just won’t! I need to go to him!” She stood up, then wobbled as a wave of dizziness hit her.
“You’re weak and in shock with all the pain and blood you lost. Here drink this!” Stella handed her a flask and when Ruhi refused, she forced it into her hand. “Drink if you want to go to him.”
Ruhi looked doubtfully at her before taking a tentative sip, then immediately began to splutter and cough. “What is this?”
“Brandy.” Her companion smiled at her reaction. “Drink some more. It’ll do you good, warm you up.”
True, Ruhi felt a welcoming heat spread down her throat. But she gave the flask back. “No, I can’t afford to lose my senses. Not now!” She tried to get up again and this time managed to stay upright. Encouraged, she ducked out of the tent and saw that twilight had settled in.
“Why wouldn’t he come back? I could see he loves you very much.” Stella asked following her out.
Ruhi glanced back at her and burst into tears. “Because I’m a fool that’s why! And he’s deeply hurt. He has been nothing but kind and caring while I’ve always treated him badly, accusing him and calling him names for no reason whatsoever. I made a mockery of his love.” Then she saw the puzzled look on Stella’s face. “You won’t understand.”
She turned to the river and frantically scanned its expanse. She was fighting a feeling of despondency. Yes I need to be punished with nothing less than execution for my deed but please God not this way, not by taking him away from me! ..Please!
She noted some movement downstream. A couple of men were heading their way.
“There! They are back!” Stella exclaimed excitedly.
Yes they were back. Ruhi saw both the Andys looking tired and drawn. But where was Shan? She hobbled toward them as fast as the throbbing agony in her leg would allow. “Where is he? Where….?” Just then her eyes spied them carrying something wrapped in a blanket, something long and heavy. “Nooooo!” She screamed, gasping as her chest contracted in anguish.
“This isn’t true…It can’t be true!” She stumbled after them as they headed into the tent with their burden.
They didn’t say anything bit laid the tall bundle down gently on a sleeping bag.
She dropped to the ground and scrambled to pull off the blanket, desperately hoping it wasn’t him. But it was. It was her Shan.
“Nooooo! It is true! He’s dead! I killed him!” She wailed piteously collapsing on his chest.
“No kid. He’s just out cold. He ain’t dead.”
“What?” Ruhi looked up with bloodshot eyes and was surprised to see both the father and son smiling. So there was still hope, it wasn’t all over. She shook Shan’s shoulders, calling out his name but he didn’t stir.
Andy Sr. placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “He might have a concussion though I didn’t see a scratch on his head. He’ll come around…just watch over him.”
Ruhi stared at him in disbelief. “He’s unconscious! There may be internal injuries! He needs a doctor. You have to take him to the hospital. You can’t leave him like this! Call 911!”
Andy Sr’s reply was somber. “We’ve no signal down here and the landline in the camp is dead. The nearest phone is way down in that direction,” he said pointing his fingers to the south. “And the only way there is a gruelling 10 mile hike which I’m pretty sure no one’s up to. What we can do is stay on the lookout for the chopper patrol and hope they see our flare when they fly by.”
“But…he’ll die My husband will die! Please, you’ve got to do something!” Ruhi cried desperately.
“Listen kid.” The old man squatted down next to her. “His breathing is regular and his pulse is strong. He’s just hypothermic and needs to be warmed up real good. You can do it. Take off his clothes and wrap him up. We have plenty of extra blankets. I’ve seen this happen plenty of times. He’ll be right as rain by morning.”
“No. You’re lying. You can’t leave him like this. You can’t let him die!”
Andy Sr. gently squeezed her shoulder and after handing her several blankets his son had just brought in, left, after saying he’d work on trying to get help. “Just keep him warm.”
“No. Please don’t go. I need help!” Ruhi cried but they didn’t appear to care. The blond bitch, she too exited after giving her a tight hug, leaving the flask of brandy behind.
Feeling helpless, not knowing what else to do, Ruhi turned to examine Shan. She ran her fingers gently over his pale face, his scalp and neck and skimmed his body over carefully with her eyes. Yes Andy was right; she didn’t see any wounds either. And he seemed to be breathing just fine but why wasn’t he opening his eyes?
“Oh what can I do? Shan please tell me! Why did this happen? You must really hate me now. I’m such a horrible creature to have brought you to this!” She burst out passionately, then bent down, and held his face tenderly between her hands. “Oh… darling! Darling! Why did you do this? Why do you love me so much? Why did you hurt yourself? You should have let me be. I’m so stupid and foolish. I was blinded with jealousy. I couldn’t see you being nice to another woman. Don’t you see?”
“Please open your eyes and say you forgive me…please listen to your Ruhi!”
She grabbed his hands and rubbed them hard just the way he’d done the night before. Tears sprung from her eyes when she remembered how he’d scolded her for keeping her wet clothes on.
“And you are not even shivering!”
She unbuttoned his shirt and quickly got rid of his clothes, hesitating only momentarily before removing his underwear. Then, drying his body the best she could, she cuddled up against him, wrapping the blankets around both of them. Placing an ear on his chest she felt reassured by the loud and even rhythm of his heart as also by the feel of his breath warm against her open palm.
Gently kissing his cold lips she blurted, “I’m mad, utterly mad about you. I adore the very ground you walk on. If anything happens to you, I’ll surely die… I love you like… like I’ve never loved anyone else in my life. It’s a feeling I never imagined. And when you said you loved me too, I felt that God had given me the best gift ever! Please…don’t take away that gift! Penalize me…do whatever you want with me, but please live for me!”
Her mouth grazed his cheek then slid loving across his rough jaw and she felt her heart squeeze in agony.
“I’m so impulsive and crazy! I don’t know what I’m doing or what I’m going to do. I just do it. It’s terrible to be me!”
“Shan! Please!” She sat up and tapped sharply on his cheeks, then, propping his eyelids open with her thumb, she checked his eyes with the LED lantern and she saw the pupils react– grow smaller and bigger.
“I don’t know what it means but I cannot let you die! Got it Shan? You’re not allowed to leave me! Say you forgive me just once and if you wish I will …I will go away. Even though it’ll surely kill me. But I’m willing to do it for your sake. If that’ll make you happy.”
But regretting her words right away, she instead chose to compromise and addressed his chest with the utmost sincerity. “From now on, I promise to be an obedient wife. I’ll follow your wishes to the T, be compliant, submissive and never ever think for myself again…never…”
“Really? You won’t?”
Startled, she glanced up, and saw him looking at her with his eyes wide open and they were twinkling with amusement.
“You… are alright?”
He smiled. “Yes.”
“Oh!” A look of joy and relief transformed her face. She smiled then laughed and pulling his head to her chest, hugged him tight. “You’re fine! God be blessed you are fine!”
She rained blissful kisses on his face. “He listened to my prayers, he saved you. I’ll be forever grateful to him! He can count on me as his devotee for life!”
“Uh..huh Ruhi. I was actually fine all along.”
“I… was never in any real danger.”
“What do you mean?” She drew back, confused.
“It was just a little game. Tit for tat.”
“A game?” She shook her head in bewilderment. “Then what about what Andy said?”
Shan grinned looking slightly abashed. “They agreed to play along when I told them I wanted to show my wife whose boss.”
“You did what! You dared to play such a filthy dirty trick on me, that too of the worst kind! Making me suffer thinking I’d lost you. Think you’re dead when you were perfectly fine all along?” Her eyes welled up with tears of reproach. But the very next moment her hands curled up into fists and pounded on his chest. “How could you, how could you be so unimaginably cruel? How could you?”
He sat up, locked her hands in his and tried to pull her into his arms but she fought him. “But of course what else could you do? How can I expect mercy when I show none?”
“No darling, I didn’t mean it that way! I’m so sorry.” He said.
“No! Don’t!” She pushed him away and moved back. “Don’t say sorry. It’s me who is sorry! I’m mad…insane…my mind …my bloody crazy brain makes me do all these bizarre things”
She said fiercely, her eyes wild and bright. “I don’t deserve a man like you. You are way too good for me. Go away please…before…before I hurt you anymore. I’m not worthy of your love. I never was. It was all just a beautiful dream I saw.” She turned away and flung herself face down on the sleeping bag.
“No Ruhi! Don’t you ever say those words again!” He pulled her up and forced her to look at him. “Are you off your rocker?”
She shook her head, her face filled with abject pain. “No it’s the truth. I don’t deserve you. You are so sweet and tolerant and I, I’m the worse kind of bitch that ever lived. We aren’t meant to be together. I’ll surely wreck your life..or what’s left of it. Its better we part now.”
“Oh you sweet, stupid girl” He smiled, drawing her into his arms and rocking her gently. “Can’t you see? You’re the only reason I’m alive right now? Without you, I’d be breathing but my soul would be dead. You and you alone have shown me what love is, to rejoice in the feeling, to be driven to the brink of madness just to be near you, to hear your voice.”
“Then why…did you pretend?”
“Because I wanted to hurt you.” He said gazing intensely at her. “I wanted to make you suffer the way I did for the horrible words you said. What made you do so? Tell me.”
She sucked in her lips and screwed her eyes shut searching for a reason which would satisfy him.
“I… don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe the sight of that woman next to you made me anxious, reminding me of the pain I’d felt and I, without thinking just blurted it out, even though I knew you’d never hurt me again, because…” she shrugged her shoulders.
“Because you’ve started to take your hubby for granted, knowing he’s so crazy about you that he wouldn’t lift a finger no matter how mad you make him, right?”
“I guess…” She stared at him in wonder. “You seem to know me better than I do myself.”
Shan chuckled. “Confessions of an armchair psychologist.”
She then said in a desperate tone, “Can you forgive me? Give me a second chance? I promise I won’t play with you again. I give you my word!”
He shook his head.
“What..? You won’t?” She looked aghast.
“Never!” His expression remained stern.
“Never… will I forgive you if you change yourself even a teeny, tiny bit. Understood?”
Her eyes filled with confusion again. “But why?”
“Because I love you just the way you are, your games, your charades, they surprise and delight me except…”
“I’d like to be forewarned, so please give me a sign, so I can prepare myself instead of getting nearly killed like I did today.”
The corners of her mouth lifted and her eyes fluttered bashfully thrilling at the intensity of his affection.
“And now for your punishment…”
“What..?” Her eyes widened in surprise as he gently lay her down and settled himself over her.
“This brute of a husband is going to make love to his spunky wife!”
She blushed pink. “Is that a punishment?”
“Don’t you consider it one? Like you declared so vehemently this morning?”
He could see her fighting a smile as her color deepened and she looked away.
“Hmmm…this is something I’m going to have fun with.” He said hooking her untamed tresses behind her shoulder then calmly taking her earlobe into his mouth.
She sucked in her breath sensing the sharp edges of his teeth then moaned as his mouth moved down to make love to her throat.
“Stop it!” She gasped pushing him back. “Please!”
“Oh c’mon!” His brow furrowing with irritation. “You know you can’t say no to me!”
She retorted while trying to catch her breath. “Yes…I can’t. When you kiss me, even touch me, I lose myself, leaving you free to do anything you want!”
“So? Let’s get on with it!” He muttered bending to take possession of her lips.
“So…!” She continued to resist thought clueless as to why. “I, I wish to see if I find you just as irresistible otherwise!”
“Ruhi! You are f***ing loco!”
She giggled nervously. “Guess I am. Why? Are you afraid you’ll lose?”
“Absolutely not! I’ll make you beg and you won’t even know it!” He grinned warming up to the challenge. Then propping himself up on his elbows on either side of her torso, he enveloped her entirely within his sensuous gaze.
They stared at each other, neither wanting to give in yet knowing the inevitable was just a matter of time.
She tucked in her lips to prevent them from quivering. The pace of her breath had heightened. She was on the edge of losing the battle of wills and knew he could sense it too.
Suddenly a coy smile lit her face. “Hmm…this is way too one sided.” She said wrapping her arms around his neck and was pleased to see him startled. “I want to see if you can resist me too.”
“Of course I can!”
“I don’t believe so.”
What is she trying to prove? This is becoming intolerable. His mind was already on its way to getting addled when he felt her soft feet curl around his ankles and her hands like feathers glide over his naked back before her long slim fingers dipped into the hollow of his spine.
Shuddering with uncontrollable desire he gave up and pulled her roughly onto his lap. “Stop it darling!” He cupped her face roughly in his hands. “Stop this torture. You know very well what both of us want.”
Her eyes closed in passive acceptance and she lifted her arms allowing him to pull off her linen top. Her breath fought to escape the confines of her chest as his fingers slipped under the straps of her undergarment and slid them smoothly down her shoulders and in another instant the barrier gone and she felt his muscular ruggedness grazing her firm young flesh.
Embracing her with an ample tenderness like one would a fragile new born babe, he lay her back down and nibbled at the sensitive skin along the base of her neck. She quivered with ecstasy as his mouth relished the flavor of her skin; her dazed brain paid scant attention to the words he whispered.
“I love you with a blind passion which has no equal in this world or beyond. I’m not a man of many words so I guess I was trying to transcribe them through my actions. Please, forgive me if I hurt you…I never meant to.”
She let out all her pent up breath in a prolonged sigh arching her back when she felt his warm tongue paint her throat then run down the valley between her breasts to the gentle swell above her waistline. A loud sob escaped her mouth when his mouth sucked and teased her sensitive midriff and his hands defined the smooth lines of her flank.
She gasped clamping her feet down hard on the ground when she felt his hand slip between her thighs. Her fingers gripped his scalp tight attempting to resist the eventual.
But he didn’t let go, instead slid up and began exploring her torso with his mouth, leisurely tracing the rifts and valleys of her rib cage setting her dermis on fire and then as her breath turned ragged and struggled to find a rhythm, he scaled her smooth and firm mounds of enticing flesh and locked on them as if to find sustenance and heavenly solace.
She whimpered crying out his name.
“Oh sweetness of my heart.” He heeded her call by coming up and gently licked the moisture off her eyelashes, then unable to hold himself any longer sought her mouth and proceeded to suck them dry.
She coddled his strong shoulders in her arms and hugged his waist snugly with her thighs even though the movement greatly aggravated the stinging pain in her leg. He, accepting the invitation, instantly thrust and locked himself securely inside her and this time she went along willingly with him on an unforgettable ride to a yet undiscovered celestial object.
Ruhi gazed at the silver moon through the window of their double walled tent while Shan rearranged the sweat ridden locks around her face and licked the beads of perspiration off her forehead.
“Love is such a simple word yet it packs a meaning so sublime. Nothing else compares to it. I’ll give everything up for you darling. Promise to never ever leave me again, will you?”
She turned to look at him and said somberly. “I will never leave you. Ever.”
“So, was I a brute?”
His words prompted an instant shy smile from his spouse who then turning her face into his neck placed a feather light kiss.
He let out a sigh of relief. “Phew! You’d got me worried there.”
Her head remained nestled on his shoulder.
“Darling why so quiet?”
“I was wondering what heaven is like? Is it like a sudden flash of blinding light which envelopes you in its brilliance, saturates your entire being with pure bliss then leaves making you pine for more?”
“Did you experience something like that?” He asked smiling.
She nodded blushing. “And you?”
“Hmmm…” he sighed turning his face to the moon. “Like the most dazzling meteor shower anyone has ever witnessed.” Then, jerking her plaint body against his, he grunted. “And the best thing about it is I can summon it at will, anytime, anyplace. Just like now.” He kissed her again.
To buy INCONVENIENT RELATIONS BOOK 1 and my 2nd NOVEL THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE click HERE!
My 3rd book ‘MILAN- A WEDDING STORY’ will be out soon!