Chapter 10

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Arnav knew his relationship with Khushi was going to be an absolute bliss. And it was going to be pure agony too.

But it was an agony he was choosing to endure.

That she was penitent enough to not look into his eyes while demanding he signs his death warrant, proved that he hasn't chosen wrong.

Not that he was going to sign any such thing. And he wasn't going to lose Khushi again, either. Yes, he was crafty that way.

"Look at me, Khushi," he repeated once again.

This time, Khushi gulped, and hesitantly brought her beautiful eyes to his face.

"You don't want me to harm your brother, did I get that right?"

She nodded after a heartbeat.

"Did you ask for the same promise from him or am I to be the sole martyr?"

She shook her head frantically. "No, of course not. Bhaiya is not going to harm you."

Arnav scoffed.

"You know that, right? Because papa took a promise from dadu."

"So you know about Ranjan uncle's last wish?"

Khushi nodded slowly. There have been too many arguments in Vaghela household over that particular promise to not know about it. Dadu had been uncharacteristically strong with bhaiya on the topic of harming Arnav in any manner. Dadu, who wouldn't hesitate to pluck his kidney out and present it to his beloved heir on a silver platter if he so desires, didn't budge an inch on this issue no matter how much bhaiya raved and ranted.

"Did you know that your brother has broken that promise already?"

Her eyes widened."What?"

"Eight years back."

Color leeched out of her pretty face. 

"Two years after I was shown the door of your palace, your bhaiya tried to kill me."

 She had no bloody idea!  

"It can't be so... Bhaiya would never do that. He ... he would never go against dadu's wishes," she sputtered.

A self-deprecating smile escaped Arnav's lips. So this is how it is going to be. She would never believe him over her brother. He knew how attached Khushi was to that Asshole and he had prepared himself to disregard it, then why does her very first disbelief in him hurt so much? Why did it hurt that her first concern was that her bhaiya didn't do anything, not about what happened to him during that murder attempt?

It hurt as much as it had hurt than when he had eagerly come back to work after his 'accident', in hopes of seeing Khushi. He didn't live in Vaghela Mansion anymore and had to bunk with Lalaji's other men at a warehouse turned dormitory. Even before Ranjan uncle's ashes had cooled down, Akash had personally thrown all his belongings out on the road. He did not have a single rupee on him and was at a loss as to where to go. But Lalaji interfered and sent him to the warehouse. He, however, couldn't override Akash's decision to stop funding his education. So he gave him small time job of a runner which entailed collecting drug money, protection taxes and debts owed to Vaghelas. Generally by using mindless violence. A definite step down from the responsibilities Ranjan uncle had trusted him with. But then, beggars can't be choosers.

Anyway, during one of his such errand, his well-kept bike's tyre had busted out of the blue. He lost his balance, and his skin and skull had split open at the impact.  It was a truly a miracle that he didn't die, seeing how the bust sent him headlong in the mid of fast traffic. Someone, Lalaji's enemy he'd thought at the time, had made a fool-proof plan to terminate him. A bullet hole in the said tyre told him that they grossly missed their actual mark though.  But why shoot the messenger? However, considering the line of work he was in, he just thanked God that he lived another day to see his princess. He hadn't wasted time waiting for thirty-five stitches to dry, a concussion to heal or two broken ribs to mend, and had shown up at Vaghela Mansion within a few days. Nobody had expected him back to work so soon. That was one time he had heard Lalaji yell at Akash. That intrigued him, the rarity. But as they say, eavesdroppers never heard anything good about themselves. And he heard a lot more than just about himself that day. Not a single thing out of it good.

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