Chapter 29

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As the aircraft touched down, Khushi started winding up her long chain of thoughts, as long as this flight from Zurich to Delhi. And what thoughts they had been! It was like she had relived her whole life in her mind in those scant hours. Having just left her brother permanently at a facility in Switzerland had left her feeling rather poignant. The feeling, she guessed, similar to when one left their parents at an old age home.

Tiredly, she collected her hand baggage and stood up to deplane. Luckily this time there was no extra security check in her honor. Vaghela name had lost almost all its steam in the past year. It was a brief respite, she knew, for she was going to get a new surname soon, the one that was all the rage these days in power corridors. Singh Raizada.

And sure enough, her future husband was waiting for her as she exited the airport. Patiently waiting next to his car, emitting a strong fuck-off vibe to four very wary policemen standing a few feet away. A smile broke out on her tired face and her mood automatically uplifted. Arnav's lips also curved up at her sight. Walking towards her with eager strides, he stopped a couple of feet away, as if silently drinking her in. She was sure she was doing the same.

"Hi."

"Hi."

"How was the flight?"

"Fine."

A moment's pause preceded the guarded inquiry, "All good in Switzerland?"

She nodded.

He nodded back and took hold of her baggage trolly and started pushing it towards his car.

Khushi didn't expect, or even want for that matter, any more conversation on the subject. She had made an absolute peace with the fact her brother and Arnav would occupy two mutually exclusive spheres of her life. They would never overlap each other's zone in any way or form. It didn't bother her or made her feel guilty now. It was the way it was. Increasing her pace, she fell into step with him and walked to the vehicle.

While she watched Arnav put her luggage in the boot, the memory of Aman doing the same last time she had arrived leaped up in her mind. Her heart again grew heavy.

"Can we go and visit Vansh first?" she asked Arnav.

Arnav looked startled at her request. "Its 2 am, Khushi. Everyone must be asleep."

"Oh, yeah, of course. I didn't realize the time," she replied disappointed.

"What is it, Khushi?" concern laced his voice.

"Nothing... just that the last time I was here... I guess I am missing Aman."

Understanding dawned on his face. "I'll take you to meet Vansh first thing in the morning, okay?"

"Okay," she mumbled.

Arnav gave her a charming smile and prompted her to take a seat on the passenger side.

They rode out of the airport in silence. Khushi tried not to notice two other cars that started following them just a couple of kilometers out of the airport premises. She was used to this lifestyle now. Arnav was trying extremely hard to go legit, but it was going to be a long process that would take years. Even then, he had confided in her, they will never be cent percent above the board in this lifetime. Tentacles of a life in crime were too strong. Proper fruits of all his labor in this direction will be truly enjoyed by the next generation only. And that prospect had made him more determined. He was more than willing to work for it, for them, he had said. Khushi agreed to his plan.

Diverting her mind, she asked, "How is bhabh... Natasha settling in?"

"Pretty nicely. She wanted her father to be barred from contacting her so I have made sure Desai cannot enter the apartment complex. I am told her mother came to visit her once, but that was it. No repeat visit from her."

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