Chapter 27

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Khushi smiled at the night duty nurse and quietly closed the door behind her after checking up on her grandfather. He was sleeping peacefully, under the effect of pain-killers probably, for it has just been ten days since he had been shot. He was moved back home as soon as he was out of danger. In the business, to which their grandfather had dedicated his life and sacrificed everyone else's, it was considered wise to recuperate in one's stronghold. Lying helplessly in the public building, where security arrangments could never meet the rigid standards, no matter how meticulously they were made, was akin to tempting the fickle fate.

Without making a noise, she moved to the room two doors down. Similarly, she opened it and took a silent stock of the situation there. Her brother was sleeping and his male nurse was dozing off in the comfortable chair in the corner of the room. These days her brother didn't require much night time care. Satisfied, she closed that door as well. The room next to it belonged to her sister-in-law and was closed. She was taking online classes from an American university and was generally up late in the night to attend live lectures, and thus slept till late as well.

Archie, an early riser, she knew would be at the gym at this time in the morning.

She padded down the stairs to the kitchen, giving a cursory glance to the early morning breakfast preparations that were a new thing in the house. She then walked to the living room and sat on the living room couch, alone with her thoughts. This huge stately house that had brimmed with energy just a few days back, was quiet as a mausoleum now. Her brother and grandfather were confined to bed, her sister-in-law was never a chirping butterfly and she herself found the energy required to smile quite lacking in her. The only one who kept this place alive, if you can call it that, was Archie. He tried his best to keep her spirits high and days moving. In fact, looking at the turn of events in her life her best friend had extended his original two weeks stay indefinitely, and she was extremely glad for that.

"Up early again I see," Archie came and sat beside her, breaking her chain of thoughts.

"Couldn't sleep."

"Or couldn't wait to wake up and rush down?"

Khushi knew this conversation was coming from four days back.

Archie made a show of turning around and looking up at the wall clock for time. "Six-thirty," he noticed out loud.

"Say what you want to say, Archie. Stop the drama."

"It is clear that you are getting up this early since the last five days for Arnav. It is his time to come back from his club."

Khushi shrugged. "I want him to be as comfortable as possible here. Is it a crime to wait up for him for breakfast when he is doing so much for us?"

"Including moving in here? The place you say he hates with his soul? In the exact same room that he'd occupied ten years back?"

"That room has been long renovated," she defended lamely, trying to make light of the situation. The truth was that seeing him living in this house, in that room, again, had profoundly felt like life coming to a full circle.

"You know what I mean. You know what this symbolizes."

Yes, she knew. It had come as a shock to her as well when along with her dadu, Arnav had arrived too. With his suitcases and all. And then had proceeded to settle in the room that had been his when he had stayed here. Khushi didn't know what to think about it. But Arnav hadn't wasted time in clearing his intentions. And he had none to claim the ownership of this house. His lawyers said that the house would stay a Vaghela property as intended in Lala Amarnath Vaghela's will. So would all their personal assets and accounts. However, the club and the business were Arnav's now. The legal paperwork, however manipulated it was owing to the fact that most of it were illegal enterprises, was in place as they briefed her in a meeting three days back. Arnav had plans to dismantle mostly everything except for the clubs. He shared his plans to demolish the clubs and use the land for property development with her. She had no objection to that. In fact, she had no objection to anything. As she had said earlier, she wanted no part of her family's business.

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