I am well and fine! Sorry for the extremely late update, for some odd reason TU was not working in my region for the past few days which is why I couldn’t update or comment. I did take the time to reply to all of your comments, but I am not sure whether they will be posted or not.
Anyways, link to the previous part: http://www.tellyupdates.com/bond-chapter-23/
“Pictures please,” Hoff called out cheerfully while several photographers pounced for clicks. Sana clutched the award tightly to herself as her body went taut, sensing Aarav next to her.
“OMG! Look at you, 3 awards, it is totally your night today,” Sia snapped her out of her thoughts and dragged her to the other end of the stage.
“Yeah,” Sana mumbled as her eyes frantically searched for Aarav’s.
His icy blue eyes softened as soon as her hazel eyes grabbed his attention, sending more crazy vibrations through Sana’s body which made her quickly avert her gaze. What was going on? It was not due to his gaze, but his face had a mischievous smirk. Almost like he had a plan.
“Now, for the performance this evening, instead of our usual stunts, we have something new this year. Please welcome Sana Ross, Helly Bark and Kat Wang to the stage please,” Hoff welcomed which created a suspicious buzz amongst the crowd.
Sana scowled skeptically and proceeded up the stage with few of her friends. The minute the three ladies made their way to the stage, Hoff bowed to them in a comical manner and continued, “We are going to have a live painting competition, due to the courtesy of Aarav Ross.”
Sana blinked her eyes to register his words and snapped her eyes back at Aarav’s, whose smirk widened while she threw death glares at him. That jerk!
“The rules are simple, all of you must paint an emotion which best describes your mood now,” Hoff explained the rules while Sana stared at Aarav in the blackest glare ever while he winked at her.
Sana rolled her eyes in frustration, no doubt hers was going to be a painting of her stabbing Aarav. People from either side appeared on the stage, carrying canvas boards, pallets, and a huge paint kit.
“All the contestants ready?” Hoff muttered from the side as everything was arranged before them.
“Can I drop out?” Sana hissed at him as she glared at the board with irritation.
“And prove to the entire world that you are a coward, I don’t think so,” Hoff commented in an encouraging tone.
“Ready,” Sana growled with defeat as she picked the paint brush.
“Let the competition begin,” Hoff announced elevated which made the entire audience erupt into applause. People glued their eyes to the three ladies busily creating a masterpiece.
Sana saw Helly and Kat hurriedly start off from the corner of her eyes while she sighed with confusion. She knew that both of them were trained painters too and they clearly had more knowledge about this than her.
For Sana, the painting was her passion, her way of escaping reality and drowning into her dream land. Her fingers danced through the canvas only when she had an idea and the will to paint. Ideas couldn’t just pop up when a painting was forced, like now. At the moment, painting felt like a burden to her, filled with immense expectations of spectacular results. Her mind just blacked out, stopped all processing while she shifted her gaze from side to side for ideas.
“That looks great, very clear,” Saanvi startled her, making her flesh rise with sudden goosebumps.
“I am so lost,” Sana declared profusely as she narrowed her gaze at her empty canvas.
“Oh come on! Just draw any random emotion,” Saanvi bluntly said as she leaned against the side of the canvas.
“It is not as easy as it sounds,” Sana countered exhausted as she picked up her size 2 brush and dipped it carefully in the color black, unsure of what she was doing.
“I know, that’s why I am here to talk to you,” Saanvi clapped her hands cheerfully while Sana shook her head in disbelief.
“Let me guess, no one else available?” Sana asked and Saanvi shook her head sheepishly.
“Are you still doing law?” Sana decided to carry on the conversation as her fingers worked an abstract art on the canvas.
“Yep and as everyone else, it’s Oxford,” Saanvi said in a heavy, dreadful tone.
“You make it seem dreadful,” Sana mocked her tone, dapping a good chunk of white on the canvas.
“Whatever, how’s it going in your end?” Saanvi enquired which fouled Sana’s mood.
“I hate Aarav Ross so much, you wouldn’t believe what he did to me,” she scoffed in a displeased tone as anger burned through her body like a fiery volcano.
“Oh, I will.”
“No, he threw all the popcorn packets out, made me go through this competition,” Sana explained in a disgruntled tone as flashed off his smirk filled her mind. That idiot. How could he?
“I think you are being way to hard on him,” Saanvi concluded in a firm tone.
“That’s it! What do you see in him that I don’t? You liked him the minute you saw him,” Sana accused her in an aggravated tone as her movements became more harsh and rough.
“I don’t know! He is just like you, stubborn, has way too much pride to be true and pretty rich,” Saanvi stated with a shrug while Sana rolled her eyes.
“Oh please, I am nowhere like him. His ego is the size of the planet,” Sana responded as she cursed him inwardly.
“How cocky!” Saanvi exclaimed brightly while Sana scowled at her.
“That line wasn’t even-” she retorted sharply recalling her previous words.
“No, the painting,” Saanvi pointed to her painting by smacking Sana on her arm.
Sana rolled her eyes and for the first time actually glanced with full attention at what she was painting. The first reaction after looking at her picture was an audible gasp as she dropped her paintbrush. This gasp let the entire arena stare at the projector where her painting was being displayed.
She drew the portrait of Aarav Ross, her husband. Each and every detail was shown with utmost perfection. She freaking had him memorized, even with her painting this portrait in a subconscious mind, she was able to get the lines on his forehead, the intensity of his blue eyes and the mild tan in his skin.
“Wow, I think we have our winner here,” Hoff declared evasively while the audience burst into cheers.
Sana gulped hard, staring at the portrait with bewilderment, “So, Mrs. Ross, very nice portrait of your husband. Now may I know what emotion this is?”
“Well, this is, ugh…well, it is,” Sana stuttered sheepishly as she refused to utter the word ‘love’. It was NOT LOVE!
Sana throat parched and she felt a loss of words to explain this emotion which was totally subconscious.she could feel Ansh burning holes in her head even without even trying to look in his direction, “It’s frustration.”
“What?” Hoff questioned boggled as examined the painting.
“Well, Hoff, I think everyone knows my love for popcorn right?” Sana blurted out bluntly while she felt Saanvi nudge her to stop.
“Yes,” Hoff answered, trying his best to hide the extreme confusion in his voice.
“Well, this gentleman right here, refused to give me my love for popcorn which is why in the form of painting, I vented out all my frustration,” Sana reluctantly said with modesty as she stared right at the audience, looking everywhere but Aarav.
“That’s a unique way of presenting it but nevertheless, our winner is Sana Ross,” Hoff finished the contest while Sana grinned uneasily.
“Thanks,” she muttered in the microphone while her painting was placed on the display for people to look at. Embarrassing much.
Her face flushed pale and she couldn’t understand why mother earth wouldn’t open up and swallow her up.
“Congratulations,” Saanvi appreciated with a hint of mockery in her tone while Sana glared at her furiously.
“Sana, congratulations!” and “Long time no see! How are you?” were thrown to her from either direction as she descended down the stairs which made Sana even more annoyed.
She sighed and opened her mouth to reply to all their questions when she heard a waiter say, “Ma’am, somebody is waiting for you outside,”
“Me?!” The waiter gave her a nod and headed out of the arena.
“Coming,”she threw behind her shoulder before turning back to the crowd that gathered around her “Excuse me.”
She proceeded outside which anxiety looming into her and millions of thoughts about her emotions swirling through her mind. As she stepped outside, she sensed a breezy, hot wave from behind and an iron grip clamp her hand and drag her to a dark corner.
“What are you doing?” she growled with vexation as she breathed a sigh of relief seeing the familiar blue eyes capturing her gaze.
Aarav gently pushed her to the wall, placing his hands on either side and sliding his eyes through her body as he huskily mumbled, “Great stunt you pulled back there.”
Sana flushed with embarrassment before scowling, “You were the one who decided to host such a stupid contest, so bear the consequences.”
He chuckled at her which rose her pulse rate and a huge lump formed in her throat.
“Why?” he demanded in a hoarse voice while Sana blinked her eyes, figuring out the meaning behind his words.
“Just as I said before, you were the one-” Sana rambled on her explanation, nervousness evident in her voice while Aarav shut her off.
“No, why did you paint me?” Aarav enquired in a bucked tone while Sana roamed her eyes throughout the black walls surrounding her.
“Aarav, I..I,” she stuttered to come up with an answer, avoiding the question.
“You?” Aarav pressed the question even more as he leaned in even closer, his minty breath mingling with hers.
“You know why,” she breathed out, at last, inhaling his manly cologne which passed more lethargic heat down her body. Both of them knew what had happened. One more month and they will part ways forever. Alas, the damage had already been done, they have done the most damage they could possibly to each other.
“Oh, I do. But I want to hear you say it,” Aarav whispered in a low, dangerous voice in her ear which stiffened Sana like a sharp rod.
She sucked in a deep breath as his intense eyes drilling holes through hers while he scoffed gravelly,“Sana, say it.”
Her stomach grew tatuer by the passing second and she forced her brain to think before it completely gave up on her, finally uttering, “Everyone is waiting to talk to me.”
She gave him a sheepish grin before slyly escaping from his grip as she heard him yell from behind, “Sana!”
“Sana, dear, how are you?” she encountered with her parent’s friend as soon as she stepped into the arena.
“Good and you?” Sana asked her a bit breathlessly.
“Why do you look so flushed? Are you okay?” the lady enquired which made Sana revive the incident that just occurred and flush even more.
“It is just that everyone is praising me,” Sana covered up with a lie while the lady smiled at her.
“Well, darling you deserve it and you know it too. What you did with the Sen empire, I doubt if any other person could have. Your parents would have been so proud of you,” she said politely and blessed her.
“They would have,” Sana whispered sadly as brim tears swept through her eyes in place of joy.
“So, you are telling me that you spent a million euros on buying video games!” Sana exclaimed in shock at Saanvi who was grinning proudly. Saanvi just told her that the million dollars she won the bet with Arhaan were spent on her buying more games for her Xbox and PlayStation.
“Yep!” she swanked with her chest filled with pride.
“Wow, did you leave any games for the rest of the world?” Sid snickered with amusement.
“She left 3 because she felt guilty,” Sanay answered with mockery while Saanvi hit him playfully.
“Saanvi? Are you freaking nuts?” Sia stated in horror while Saanvi chuckled.
“Of course not,” Saanvi brushed off their frights.
“She is lying. Let me tell you what exactly happened. So, she went into the store even though we asked her to order everything online so that she doesn’t embarrass herself but she has too much pride to listen. Anyways, she went to the store, instead of taking a cart like any other normal person, she decided that her hands were the size of the universe, so she filled her hands with video games. One accidentally fell, unlike other normal people, who would ask for help, she decided to be a superwoman and pick it up with over 70 video games in her hand. While doing that, she tripped and kissed the floor in front of this youtuber who captured the video. Normal people would just talk to him politely to delete the video but Ms. Saanvi Sen decided to snap and curse him and the guy ended being more short-tempered as her and uploaded the video on Youtube. So, she had to give 75% of her games to this youtuber so that he could take the video off, she kept the rest of the 25% and left 3 in store for the rest of the world,” Sanay narrated the whole incident while all of them dropped their jaws and glared at Saanvi with wide eyes.
“Dude, can you please stop the ‘normal person’? I think everyone knows I am not ‘normal’. God created only one model like that and that model is standing right in front of you,” Saanvi boasted enthusiastically.
“That was supposed to be an insult,” Sanay retorted with disbelief.
“I changed it to a praise. Now, let’s go and attack the food,” she declared shortly, pulling them all to the food counter.
“How much did she eat before coming here?” Sana jeered at Saman bro as they made their way to the counter.
“12 pancakes, 4 granola bars and 3 cups of orange juice.”
“And guess what she calls that? Snack,” Sid threw in between, earning a hearty laugh from the three of them.
“The girl is lucky to be born with super fast metabolism,” Nisha di said in a dreamy haze.
“Here you go,” she halted in her tracks when she saw Aarav give popcorn to Amay.
“Oh! So he gets popcorn but I don’t?” Sana stormed towards them and grumpily ordered.
“He is 1 and a half year old while you are 21,” Aarav stated matter of factly.
“So? The popcorn packets doesn’t specify an age, does it?” Sana huffed with irritation as she saw the young child gobbling away all her popcorn.
“You are jealous of a person who is 11 times younger than you,” Aarav said in a crestfallen tone, unable to hide his amusement.
“Does jealousy have criteria of age?” she seethed muttering a few curses under her breath.
“Give me my popcorn,” Sana literally stormed her foot like a 5-year-old while Aarav grabbed her arm and dragged her outside.
“What’s with you and walls? Do you want me to die?” Sana scowled fiercely as he back slammed a brick wall.
“What?” Aarav’s breath fell on her face, sending tingles through her body.
“If you continue to push me like this to walls, then I am surely going to die with sprains,” Sana snapped brutally as she tried to escape his talks.
“How about we save our words and time?” Aarav hotly said.
“Can you please be a little clearer?” Sana asked her clarifications as she leaned more against the wall as his face moved in closer.
“Why don’t you just say why you painted me and I will give your popcorn and also you don’t have to be clamped to the wall,” Aarav huskily gave her an offer.
“Think about it, double offer,” he repeated it in her ear while Sana sensed her body giving into his warmth. Oh, crap! No.
“What if I say I don’t want popcorn?” Sana blurted out dubiously.
“I’m not going to let you go,” Aarav said casually and moved his hands towards her face.
Sana gazed deeply at his ocean blue eyes, surrounding by tiny golden streaks, which were opening the curtains right into his soul. She gulped hard as his eyes flashed the same emotion screaming through her body while her her breath hitched in her throat. Without thinking twice, she crashed her lips to his.
Aarav blinked with amusement at her initiative before kissing her back. The kiss was slow and passionate, not extremely complicated like Sana thought it one would be but it didn’t stop her skin from prickling with goosebumps, her legs curling and her knees buckling from the passion and yearning. Tingles kept forming in the pit of her stomach even after she pulled back breathless and shocked from her overwhelming emotions.
“There is your answer,” she said breathlessly with closed eyes before exerting a slight push on his chest and running back into the arena.
Aarav ran a hand through his hair, beaming with extreme confusion at the turn of the events. This was not supposed to happen, now that it did, he didn’t know what to do.
Sana had an artificial grin plastered to her face as she stood in the crowd, listening to Mr. Morris praise her or that’s why she thought he was doing. Her mind was running in million different directions, her emotions were a huge mess and her life was turning into a tangled web. After her bold move back at the smaller dining room, Sana did all she could to hide from Aarav throughout the party. She couldn’t seem to get his gaze of amusement off from her head.
Why did she have to be so bold? Couldn’t she just deny everything between them and leave?
“Hello, Sana,” she heard a deep, old voice from behind to reveal a tall man in his late fifties, a light while stumble and a warm smile approach her.
“Hello, Mr.Garris! How are you doing?” Sana gently asked giving him a side hug.
“Extremely well and you?” he formally offered back greetings.
“I think good is an understatement after receiving 3 awards,” Sana joked followed by a light chuckle.
“Ah, so it is,” Mr.Garris agreed with a smile.
A pleasant silence filled the atmosphere for a moment with Sana still lingering back in her thoughts about her actions with Aarav, the background music humming and voices from the chatter illuminating her ears. She glanced at her cousin’s joyfully eating dinner which she refused after losing appetite after their kiss.
“But I think it is a little tough for you to manage professional and personal life at times like this,” Mr. Garris broke the silence.
“I am sorry,” Sana politely begged her pardon with a frown on her face.
“You are very good at covering it, my lady.”
“Pardon me,” Sana still said with a smile, unsure of what was happening.
“I know about the huge loss the Ross company has faced. It might be tough for you to take care of everything happening right now,” Mr. Garris said apologetically while Sana’s face fell.
“Loss?” she whispered to herself as something inside her crashed.
“We weren’t aware that the market crash would have such a big impact on our industry. I mean, 100 million is not a small amount,” Mr. Garris continued while Sana was lost in her thoughts.
“Excuse me,” she excused herself and quickly dialed her PA’s number in worry.
Loss? How come she didn’t know?
“Kylie, can you give me the reports of the stock market crash?” she spat out tensely in an alarming tone.
“Yes, ma’am,” Kylie obliged while Sana bit her lower lip in tension.
“The stock market crash doesn’t have an impact on any of our partnering or invested companies,” kylie informed her which sparked hope in Sana.
“Oh,” she breathed with relief, rekindling her emotions together.
“But, it did cause a huge loss for the Ross company,” Kylie continued and with that one sentence, Sana’s emotions came crashing down.
How was that? Many were asking more ArSa scenes so here they are! Who is shocked that Sana took the initiative and not Aarav? Hands up!
Do you think Aarav knows about his loss? I wanted to add so much more but I got a little carried away with ArSa romance! But I hope you like it and DONT FORGET TO COMMENT your views so that i know what you are expecting!!