Sunday, 2 October 2016

part 4 : A gypsy's fantacy

part 1-3
As soon as the realization of her wedding embraced her she ran across the room to stare at the mirror. Her eyes grew wide and she screamed at the top of her lungs.
In few moments her door was banged hard and she went quiet.
"Miss Malhotra open this God damn door or I am going to break it." Armaan demanded furiously.
Shilpa turned around staring at the door like it was satan himself grinning at her with his horns upright proud and wicked.
Armaan went shocked at the other side for a moment then decided he really needed to break it.
"Is it one of those times when you have your fits?" he demanded from outside.
"NO! It is one of those times when my cannibal genes take over and I EAT PEOPLE!" she screamed back trying to find sharp objects to hit him with.
"Open the door right now or I really have to break it."
"TOH TORDE KAMEENE KAUNSA MERE BAAP KI PROPERTY HAI!" she shouted back staring at the door with daggers as if telling the nonliving object to follow her command.
"EXACTLY! MERE BAAP KI PROPERTY HAI ISLIYE NAEE TORRA! APNE HI GHAR KO TORDOON MAIN?" Armaan replied back in her tone. Then he shouted out for a servant telling him to bring the key.

Armaan heard things flying all across the room and his eyes widened. Did the kiss drive her totally mad? He could not have been that bad?
"Armaan placed the key in turning the lock slowly. All his servants had gathered but he dismissed all of them with a hard glare. Slowly, chanting his prayers and wishing for a good afterlife in case he didn't make it alive he stepped in but it all had gone quiet. She was nowhere in sight. All the vases and delicate decoration pieces were sprawled all over the floor in pieces. "Oh Lord that was a freaking expensive vase Miss Mlahotra."
But no one answered him. He looked around then found her under a table crawling to the other side on her knees. He stared at her for a moment not believing his eyes then unwantedly a grin came to his face as he went to the other side and bent making her halt.
"Hello?" he said raising his eyebrows.
"Hello." She raised her mouth in an awkward embarrassed smile.
"May I know what was this?"
"I-I had a panic attack." She confessed crawling back under the table.
"Panic attack darling?"
"Ermm I have panic attacks. When something ermm something unlikely, well at times I have panic attacks when something too startling happens in my life. I hyperventilate and well you know the rest." she roamed her gaze around the room pointing guiltily.
Armaan stared at her as if trying to soak what she just said then he bit his lips trying his best not to laugh.
"And when did these panic attacks start?"
"When I was seven." She shifted and sat comfortably under the table.
"I saw my mom sleeping with some man in my room. When I went out to tell my dad he too was sleeping with someone else. Then I came out of both rooms, out in my garden and then screamed at the top of my lungs. I'd caused quite a distress interrupting them both in whatever they were indulged in. I didn't even know what they were doing back then."
"Shilpa come out from under the table." She shook her head wildly. Armaan smiled at her ducking under the table. "Then make space for me too." She said softly moving her over.
"Oww." Her head hit the top edge and then she grinned moving her head down.
"So you had a fit because I kissed you? Am I that bad?" he looked at her keenly.
"N-No I well I had a fit because I think I kissed my sister's fianc." She looked around making up a lie.
"Forget it happened." He muttered under his breath looking away.
"Already forgotten. You are the worst kisser I have ever met. Another reason for my sister to not marry you. And AND HOW COULD'VE YOU KISSED YOUR FIANCE'S SISTER? HOW? YOU ARE SO SICK!"
"Let's get back to the first statement. Worst kisser?"
"Definitely the worst." Then Shilpa's gaze fell over his hands that had Nano safely encased between them.
"Yes Nano. You saved her than left her stranded in a forest." Shilpa gaped guiltily and then muttered reaching to take it into her hands, "I-I don't know what had come over me.  I didn't even realize. Thank you so much. You brought Nano for me."
Nano looked around the room in utter fascination whimpering because of her broken wing.
"We'll fix you sweetheart." Shilpa whispered with an affectionate kiss over the top.
"Shilpa- Armaan started but she clipped her. "I hope you won't tell anyone of my panic fit and the err kiss. It doesn't change a thing. It was momentary insanity." She looked around.
"I won't. And that kiss meant nothing. I was just trying to prove a point. I didn't feel a shit. I need to go. Please if you get into another fit of yours don't lock the door."
He got out of the table and Shilpa watched his hasty departure. Tears stung her eyes as she realized this was the man who said she belonged in the forests with cannibals, who was marrying her very sister. And for some reason ridiculous anger surged through her. "SAALA KAMEENA MERA HUSBAND HOKE DOOSRI SHAADI KARRAHA HAI? IT'S NOT EVEN FREAKING LEGAL! ITNE MAZEY SE SHAADI KARRAHA HAI! KOI FARQ HI NAEE PARTA KE ISKI EK WIFE HAI!" Shilpa tried moving up in anger but slumped back moaning in pain and holding her head as it crashed against the table. "ISKE TOH GHAR KI HAR CHEEZ MERI DUSHMAN HAI!" she whined staring at Nano.
Armaan paced impatiently in his study. He had not planned to kiss her. The attraction he felt for her was dangerous, palpable. With every encounter he had with her his patience and resistance was eroding. He was hardly hanging on to a strand of sanity. The kiss had been too sweet oh Lord. Only if her mouth didn't feel so good between his, only if her body hadn't fit so perfectly against his, only if he would've not felt his senses exploding with just the lightest of her touches he could've resisted her, but as it was now he wanted her even more. Having the taste of her, it was driving him mad. He needed to have her and he needed to drive her away, the two opposite forces were clawing at his heart.
"Abey oyye choron ki tarah kyun aarahe ho?" Shilpa poked at Rahul pushing off the veil.
"Toh tumne hi toh kaha tha chupke aana." Rahul looked at her quizzically.
"God seriously! Ek Muskaan ek yeh aur ek who namoona Armaan. MUJHE UTHAALO!" She chided him scornfully.
"SHILPA! Forget it. Where is Muskaan?" He looked around the garden.
"Tumhaare liye aarti ki thaali leke wait karrahi hai." Shilpa gave him a sarcastic smile he quite didn't catch.
"Oh really? Where is she?" His eyes now moved around impatiently.
"ABEY OYYE!" she hit him hard over the shoulder making him wince, "Muskaan doesn't even know you are here. The moment she does she will run in the very opposite direction after all she is her mother's pet." Shilpa chided.
"What are we going to do?" Rahul looked at her now, his gaze focused.
"Well I have the perfect plan. I am going to introduce you as my boyfriend and manipulate Mr. Malik in letting you stay here."
"You and I both know that won't change a thing. Muskaan is too adamant like you. She won't be moved even if I am near her and-
Shilpa clipped him, "I know silly boy. Let me continue you oaf. Muskaan loves our mother but she loves me even more. If somehow we manage to show her I have feeling for Mr. Malik and have fallen in love with him she'd retreat. She'll hold your hand and run as far as to Antarctica and mind you if my sister dies of cold I will KILL YOU!" she snarled the last two words.
"And how on Earth will we accomplish that? From what you have told me you and Mr. Malik hate each other."
"Oh well we do. But Muskaan doesn't know. I'll manage it. I will pull it off. I always do." Shilpa replied with an air of arrogance.
"Oh yeah right. I've brought someone you asked for." He looked down at her rolling his eyes.
"Yes darling your buff. It seemed like Buff couldn't stay away." They walked back to his car tip toeing and Shilpa leaped inside taking Buff in her arms carefully. "OMG OMG MY DARLING MY BABY, MAMA missed you so much." The puppy wrapped itself around Shilpa protectively snuggling closer into her embrace. "You know Mr. Malik does not hate animals at all and he lets mine live here." She stopped remembering the morning table encounter and then giving him a sheepish smile added in the end, "or so I have deluded myself with."
"He'd let Buff stay?" Rahul raised a brow.
"Well Buff does not need his permission." She lifted her chin replying him haughtily.
"The hell not." Rahul grinned at her.
"Go away you pigheaded foolish lover. Come back tomorrow." She narrowed her eyes at him and turned around with Buff in her hands. Buff was a black pug. She loved it dearly. Pugs caught diseases quite easily and thus they needed special cares especially seeing to their health, not letting them go overweight, cleaning their ears and taking keen care of their heavy wrinkles. She loved Buff. She had found him around a river two years back and it had been moaning in pain. Buff had had an eye prolapse and she had taken it to a veterinarian and with gradual medical treatment Buff had become better. Buff was too sensitive. Unlike other of its kind Buff could get aggressive at times but the aggression was almost very mild. It was only concentrated on people it thought posed harm to Shilpa and she loved it dearly for that. Other than that buff was too kind and playful.
Armaan watched the secret interlude between Shilpa and a man from his window. No one knew there was an added tinted window in the library at the very corner which showed crafty black from the outside but from the inside he could see everything. This one place of his library was deeper inside the corridors of his library leading to a room through another door that no one else knew of. Armaan at times came here when he wanted absolutely no intrusion and moments of complete solitude.
He stared with sharp calculative eyes considering the possibilities. Who was the man? The only thought that sliced through his brain was that he was a lover. But shilpa told him she had stopped dallying around, stopped having relationships. Or was she fooling him all this time? Using emotions to lure him? Mocking him all this while? He fisted his hands in anger as he saw them walking away towards a car. Where were they going? How dare she bring a man to his house? She could not have thought he would entertain her lovers? Armaan turned away from the window as anger seethed through him with a full-fledged force and another emotion he refused to accept ' jealousy.
"Miss Malhotra," Shilpa turned around taken aback for a moment as Armaan walked towards her from the other end of shadows. His eyes were narrowed and sharp, the black glinting in them even more vividly. "I suppose it's time you abide by some rules." His gaze then fell over the puppy encased in her hands.
"You scared me for a moment." She laughed uncertainly. What had gotten his mood? Some devil's spawn?
Armaan didn't say a word as he walked to her his eyes straight and blazing through hers as he made his way across the lawn like a prided predator. His stance was arrogantly stylish and dangerous.
Armaan stood an inch away from her and his face remained impassive as he asked her in a crude tone, "What made you think you can do whatever the hell you want in my house? Who was that man? Having late night rendezvous in my garden without my permissions with people I don't know is something I do not appreciate. Do you understand?" he leered out a stern command, a tone he had never before used with her. The dangerous threat made her body irk with goose bumps. She gulped down, intimidated by a man for the first time in her life. Now teasing the lion didn't seem a good idea. She simply nodded however her face remained as impassive as his. Damn her if she would let him see himself intimidating her.
"And this- Armaan's gazed moved to the puppy when she interrupted him offended by the look he gave buff, "This is buff. And before you say a word about him let me tell you buff is really very nice. He loves everyone.  Touch for your self and see." Shilpa enjoyed the look of displeasure on Armaan's face as she thrusted forward Buff who stared back at Armaan with brooding golden eyes.
"I think you should keep it with you- Armaan clipped her hastily moving back.
"Oh no no Mr. Malik. Come one I'll show you. With dogs all you need to do is never show them fear. You have to be in control from the very moment and let them know who is the master, but also be gentle and loving to them. They are the most amazing pets ever." Armaan could feel the admiration and awe in her voice as she spoke. Taking his hand she kept it over Buff showing him how to pet him, telling him about all the delicate places, encouraging Buff to go into Armaan's arms. Armaan took the pug from her and held it and stared at it awkwardly for a moment. The dog seemed to relax and their enmity for each other seemed to die as Armaan held it smiling at the cute little pug. Then he abruptly remembered why he was here and handed the dog back to Shilpa. Shilpa made a move to go when he held her wrist pulling her around and making her face him. The look on his face made her wish there was atleast a distance of continents between them. "I can play a lot rougher than I have Shilpa. Don't think you can best me in whatever sick game you are playing." His voice was low and guttural, sending chills down her spine.
"And," it became huskier as he smiled; a deep charming smile that made her toes curl, "Do not bring a whole zoo here please. Even my house is not that big."
"Haven't you heard Mr. Malik?" Shilpa raised a brow giving him a challenging smile back, "the more the merrier?"
"So I have." He smiled back and watched her turning around with a smile and walking back into the house. He watched the way she was walking, the sway of her lascivious hips, the delicious movement that tied his loins into knot and he looked away with a snarling curse knowing he wouldn't have any sleep that night.
But who was the man she met? He should have damn asked but one look at her always made him forget every bloody thing. She was too bad for his self-righteousness. She had to go. He had to make her leave.
"Muskaan," Muskaan stopped sewing the piece of cloth in her hand, her fingers halting abruptly as his silky voice laced through her mind. She turned around only to find to arms trapping her amidst the chair.
"Rahul?" she whispered unbelievingly.
"This is what you chose for yourself? This hell? You've been crying your eyes out and don't try to deny it. I can see it on your face." His fingers moved to brush feather light caresses against her cheek making her sink into the feel of heaven and close her eyes momentarily.
"Muskaan this is not life. Don't do it to yourself." He bent down whispering huskily as his lips brushed across her nose.
She hitched in a breath. Her fingers curled in the piece of cloth as she devoured his presence, his scent, his closeness.
"You love me. We both know it. I love you. I love you more than any man could ever do." He was in pain, it was present in every fiber of his voice, it lanced through him as he cupped her face between his hands carefully pulling it up to his and bending his lips to peck hers lightly. He moved back to look into her teary eyes. "Come away with me."
"I-I can't." she was past the stage of defenses and denials. She loved him too much to stand up to him and with a blank heartless countenance shove him away from her. These past days she had done nothing but missed and loved him. She couldn't live without him.
"Why not Muskaan? Don't you see? Your mother is a selfish bi-
She clipped him. "Stop it." Muskaan reluctantly moved his hands away standing up.
"Rahul please go away. You shouldn't have come here."
"I am not going anywhere. What is wrong with you Muskaan? For once think logically. What do you think you are doing? Destroying your life, my life and the man's you are marrying. Muskaan you love me then how can you even think you'd marry someone else?" he turned her around.
"Please Rahul. Don't force me to choose between you and mother. Please I am begging you. You say you love me then don't make me choose. I cannot disobey her wishes. Please. Go away from here. If you ever loved me then just go." Muskaan turned around to go when a stern voice halted her, "Who is he?" both of them turned around to see Armaan who stood in the doorway of the parlor, assessing the stranger with sharp calculative eyes.
"He- Muskaan began when Shilpa entered from the other door and clipped her, "He is my boyfriend. I am so sorry Mr. Malik I couldn't tell you before. You see he and Muskaan had been great friends in college a little great then me and Rahul and me and Rahul are a couple so I hope you won't mind if he stays here after all he is Muskaan's friend and my boyfriend, he has a right to stay here and attend his friend's and sister in law's wedding." Shilpa tried her damn best to be convincing.
Armaan's sharp unemotional eyes grew fiery in a blink. "This is the man you met last night? Didn't you?" He glared at Rahul noticing him again and drew the answer himself seeing the resemblances.
"Oh yes." She offered breathlessly rendered speechless by his gaze.
"He will not live here. Not under my roof under any circumstances." Armaan's crude glare focused on her.
"Why not?" Shilpa demanded furiously.
"Because I think you have forgotten the fact that this is my house not yours. Who do you think you are? Calling all the weird species on Earth to live here? Miss Malhotra enough of your nonsense. I won't tolerate it anymore." His eyes glittered dangerously.
"Fine. If Rahul goes so do I. Decide Muskaan. It's your wedding too. Do you want me to leave?"
Muskaan stared amidst Armaan and Shilpa being careful not to spare a glance at Rahul. Shilpa really was evil to demand such a thing from her.
"Armaan please- Muskaan began when he sneered marching out of the room without a word. Shilpa winked at Rahul going after him not wanting any kind of confrontation with Muskaan for that moment.

"How on Earth am I supposed to show Muskaan I have an interest in that conceited pompous ass?" Shilpa moved across the swimming pool room pondering wildly.
She stopped in her track hearing Muskaan's laughter ringing in her ear. She turned around to see her walking with Rahul but went frozen seeing Armaan's charming smile as he walked her across the room. She rubbed her eyes staring at them in awe striking shock. No no no she thought.  Armaan held Muskaan's hand and pressed a soft kiss over the edge of her knuckle making her blush and Shilpa burned with jealousy.
This idiot pervert man was supposed to be her husband. He was her husband and he was here flirting with her sister like nothing happened, like he wasn't married to anyone;The heights of bizarreness.
She'd teach him a lesson she thought stomping her feet to gain their attention. Armaan gave her an implacable roguish smile as if he knew all along she was there.  "Hello to you too Miss. Malhotra." He offered her a raising brow his smile expanding unabashedly.
"Muskaa what are you doing?" Shilpa gave her sister a hard glare.
"Why Miss Malhotra I suppose she was having a walk with her to be husband. Do you offer any objections?" Armaan cut her interestedly amused by the whole interlude. "Not at all," Shilpa shrugged giving him a bittersweet smile that said: Shut up before I break your teeth.
Shilpa saw Rahul across the room wandering the corridor aloofly. She tried whistling to hint him looking around then offering Armaan a curt smile as he watched fascinatedly amused. Rahul however caught her hint coming into the room.
"Heyy guys," he offered uncomfortably. Armaan's mood quickly descended as his face went chillingly hard.
"Hello Mr. Garewal," he offered annoyed, his eyes cutting to Shilpa.
"Baby," Shilpa crossed the room hugging him.
Armaan watched uninterestedly but then his eyes cut to Muskaan and his interest came back. She was staring at Rahul and Shilpa uncomfortably, with a pang of jealousy. It was all too interesting now. A wicked smile came to his lips and Shilpa stared at him suspiciously.
"What is so funny Mr. Malik?" she gave him a crooked stare.
"Nothing. I was wondering you both look like siblings more than a couple. Like a brother to a sister."
Rahul choked stunned staring at Shilpa horrified who stared back glaring at him whilst Armaan gave her a charmingly decadent smile being right on target.
"Excuse me?"
"Excuse me," Muskaan left the room and even though tempted to stay Rahul made a curt defying statement and left after her leaving Shilpa with Armaan.
"Who do you think you are?" Shilpa snapped at him angrily.
"Exactly who I am unlike you." Armaan stood firm at his place enjoying it now. All his burning anger seemed to evaporate like it never happened. She didn't belong to Rahul. The revelation did something to him, moved him exceptionally.
"He is my boyfriend. We don't need to give you any proof. How dare you think he is my brother you jerk." Shilpa stepped forward. Armaan's smile faded as he noticed she was clad in a satin blue nightgown. It was tied over her waist. Heat washed over him as he wondered if she wore anything at all beneath the robe. It would be so easy to take a step and part away the knot and see the hidden fantasy behind. Finally see the colour of her nipples, the the shape of them, the soft bone structure, the lower edge of her- he shook his head looking away. He was too uncomfortable now. He took deep breathes trying to hold back keep his desire at bay. Damn the woman.
"Mr. Malik? What happened? Cat got your mouth huh?" Shilpa folded her hands over her chest. His eyes followed the movement of her silk gown as it folded against her breasts moulding into the shape of the nipples.
Armaan stepped towards her unconsciously making her stare at him uncertainly.
His gaze lowered to the lovely bare feet, the polished toe nails. He wanted to run his finger across the soft surface of her toes up to the inside curve of her thigh, run his tongue along each inch of her body.
His blue eyes grew molten, ink spreading through. Shilpa hitched a breath as his colour heightened. All amusement and challenge was gone from his face. It was dark, hard and filled with an emotion she was afraid to recognize.
"The way you look at him, the way he looks at you. It's not how a man looks at his woman." He said huskily drawing near. Shilpa stood her ground after reaching the edge of the pool refusing to be intimidated she said haughtily, "All men do not display their sexual innuendos like you Mr. Malik."
"He doesn't make you breathless when he's so near." Armaan stood an inch away from her staring into her big green eyes.
Shilpa felt her stomach clench as his waft breathes flew across her face. Something churned inside her sending bolting desire through every fold of her body, her skin heating up.
"Armaan," she said breathlessly as his face dipped down over hers.
"He doesn't look at you like this. Like he wants you, like you are his." His nose brushed against hers and she took a step back panicked and she let out a shriek as she fell into the pool the water splashing with a "whoosh"
Armaan stared at her for a while bursting into spurts of laughter then. Shilpa stared at him angrily going to edge and pulling his leg hard. Armaan let out a startled groan as he fell into the water too. She ducked his head inside grinning. He came up angrily but she dodged him swimming to the other end faster as he chased her. She reached the other end climbing up but he held her leg pulling her back into the water.
Her gown's knot came off and it fell apart hanging loosely across her body. All laughter left him again as he stared at her in the fitted small nightie she wore inside. It was cut low at her breasts ending at her mid thighs. Not realizing Shilpa groaned fighting him off but he pulled her across the edge of the stair pushing her to the wall that held the stair steps. Shilpa gasped as she saw the dark untended violence in his eyes. His mouth moved in an instant and the other it was on hers. She gasped then braced herself against the edge of the stair pushing forward into him, her hands going into his hair. He muttered a curse moving away but she pulled his head back and he complied with a violent surrender losing all control. His hands held the stair supporting rods caging her, his knuckles turning white with the pressure of them as he kissed her trying not to go wild, hanging on the last strand of his control. Shilpa's hands moved raking through his hair urgently then going inside his shirt and heat exploded through him.
He seized her roughly against him, his mouth tilting over hers. The kiss went urgently fierce from patient. His fingers closed into her hair rather violently holding her face firm against his. He tilted his face against hers. His tongue pushed inside her mouth ravaging every deep corner and his lips enmeshed against hers more intimately. He couldn't control the desire that flooded every vein in his body, the need to have her, the desire he had for her. He couldn't stop either. Every rational thought, every sane thought left him and all that remained was her enticing scent, her soft wet flesh that clung to him, her hands that rose burning raging fires through each inch of his flesh they touched, her mouth that was sweeter than heaven that almost drove him mad. He thrust against the wall beside the staircase. Her back bumped against the wall with a pressure splashing more water against their clinging bodies. Her fingers moved up rubbing against his moist nipples, her thumb brushing softly then her fingers replicating the movement. With a harsh guttural growl he pulled her legs over his hips. His hands skimmed inside her nightie. His hands moved up to mould the mounds of her breasts inside the wet chemise. He closed his fingers against hers and she vibrated with the effect her mouth retreating and falling back with a moan.
Armaan pulled at her hair tilting her head harshly as his tongue traced the delicate pulse against her throat sending shudders of overwhelming pleasure through her. He traced wet urgent kisses over the line of her throat descending to her collar bone, kissing each glistening inch, moving his tongue down to brush against her breast. She felt him hard against her. He moved positioning his sex right into the crook of her mound. She could feel his steel hardness pressing into her.
He tugged urgently at her straps pulling them down. His mouth lowered to taste her breast whilst his thumbs brushed against the dark brown patch of her nipple making her shudder in his arms.
"f**k." He muttered feeling his head almost explode. His breathes were as harsh and hoarse as hers. She felt Buff's displeased growl behind her and froze. What was she doing? Reality washed over her and she pushed Armaan away with a horrified growling protest.
Both of them breathed harshly, both of them raw and at the edge of their controls. Their gazes clashed and the intensity in his scared her. Just few moments more and he would've had her. He would've eased the burning ache. He was shaking badly. The pain shot through his brain and he almost exploded with the effort to control himself. Every cell in his body begged him to drag her, move her dress up and thrust himself deep inside her whether she wanted or not but he fought hard for rationality. He lowered his head turning away breathing deeply.
"Go away."  He muttered under his breath.
"Armaan," Shilpa shook with the effort to move.
"Go away f**king go away. GET OUT!" he screamed knowing if she didn't he won't stop. He needed control, he searched for it maddened but it felt so farfetched.
Shilpa tied her gown again quickly hurt and ran out of the pool taking buff in her hands. Armaan punched against the swimming pool's inner wall. His hands braced against the wall, his knuckles went hard as he took deep breathes, again and again to control himself and after moments he allowed his body to move. And the only thought that crossed his mind was that it was too familiar. The touch, the scent, the feel. He knew it. He had felt it before and every fibre of his body claimed the truth but where?
Muskaan and Rahul walked across the lawn dazed.
"She loves him?"
"I told you." Rahul answered instantly but his attention was somewhere else. Shilpa had promised him that she'd make Muskaan believe she loved Armaan but what he and Muskaan had seen in the pool. Shilpa couldn't have, would never seduce Armaan. He knew it. She never had it in her. He tried coming in terms with what they'd seen. He had taken Muskaan back so they could fetch Shilpa and Shilpa would confirm what he told Muskaan about her feelings for Armaan but both of them had stopped in their tracks staring at Armaan's back and shilpa's hands in his hair. They went on each other like deprived animals and he had to quietly drag Muskaan away.
"Rahul- Muskaan said coming out of her daze, "She loves him. You are right. I can never take her love away from her. I I mom would never allow it. Let's let's run away." She drew close and hugged him and he knew somewhere Muskaan was elated that innocently yet her sister had solved a problem for her.
Shilpa changed and flung herself on the bed bursting into tears. She remembered the way Armaan had turned his face away from hers and screamed at her to go. He must have been mortified. No man ever wanted her. He would've had a taste of her and have been repulsed. But then why had he reacted to her the way he did? She was attracted to him. Shilpa couldn't deny the fact but physical attraction wasn't what it was. If it would've been just that she would've resisted him but her feelings for him were more complicated than the Grand canyon. Why had he driven her away like that? Was she so bad? Once again a man had a fool out of her. The way he'd shouted at her rung in her ears. She would never let him take advantage of her again she thought sourly.
"Shilpa," Shilpa turned around to see Rahul standing in her doorway. She wiped all remaining traces of the tears and stared at him.
"Your plan worked like magic. Muskaan thinks you are in love with Armaan Malik and she wants to run away with me." He sounded sourly displeased.
"Plan? But we didn't- he clipped her.
"We saw you in the pool. You and Armaan Malik." It was enough to drain colour from her face.
"Tell me Shilpa why I think it was not pretence?" he stepped in.
"What-what are you saying? Of course it was a pretence. What else could it have been?"
"That you'll tell me better when you stop lying."
"Rahul I am not lying." Shilpa snapped back angrily.
"Shilpa look I care for you and this is why, I care for both of you and I don't know. You have always been guarding Muskaan never realising you yourself need it the most. You are to marry that son of a bas***d Modhi and here you. I know you well to know you'd never kiss a man without emotions. Do you love him?"
The question startled her. She'd never thought of Armaan that way, she couldn't love him she wouldn't..
"I love him." She did she realised with a sour taste in her mouth. She loved her husband. She had no idea how she came to love him in such a short period of time. But then love did not come with rules and boundaries. It happened anywhere and everywhere. Shilpa loved him. She loved the man who pretended he was hard and arrogant and needed no one when in reality he needed someone to love him, someone to care for him, someone to tell him how much he meant to them. She loved the man who ached for someone to tell him that they're dependent on him, that they count on him, that they love him. He did it all for his mother and siblings without a word. He was a man who behind his harsh exterior wanted to be loved, wanted someone to scold him, someone to make him smile, someone to kiss away the creases over his brows, the tiredness of his work. He wanted someone to finish the loneliness that had caged her. She loved his smile, she loved his anger, she loved his care, she loved his tenderness and she loved his passion. She couldn't hide from it. She loved Armaan Malik. The man who was her husband.
Rahul seemed as startled as her. "Shilpa I don't want him to hurt-
"He won't. I won't let him. I won't tell him. Rahul I love him. Love does not mean that he has to love me in return. Love does not mean he has to promise me his whole life. Love does not mean he has to sit me every moment and pledge his love and loyalty to me for his whole life. I love him for the man he is and I always will but my love does not come with obligations. I will always love him and his love is the most beautiful part of me now. I will live with the happiness and beauty it brings to my life. I will cherish it Rahul. I don't need anything else." Shilpa told him earnestly.
"Everybody cannot be you Shilpa. You-you are amazing. I wanted to tell you me and Muskaan leave tonight. It's just 7 p.m. now. How are we going to stop Armaan from coming after us?"
"Oh don't you worry. Leave that to me. You just take Muskaan and go away." She waved nonchalantly to him. Rahul nodded and moved away but then he halted.
"The way he looked at me today morning Shilpa, when you came to me and hugged me. It was the look a man gives to another man when he tries taking what's his." And then Rahul left without another word.
"Mr. Malik," Shilpa entered Armaan's library to see him engrossed in paperwork.
"Get out I don't have time for you now." He gave her a curt reply not even acknowledging her presence.
"What an irritating idiot." She scrunched her nose but stepped inside the room nonetheless.
"Miss Mahotra look don't test my- he stopped staring at the suitcase in her hand. He halted right there. Thousands of thoughts crossed his mind, each of it scaring him.
"Are you- are you going?" He asked getting out of his chair, his face disturbed.
"Yes. Finally you can breathe in peace."  She gave him a bright smile.
"Why?" Armaan asked suddenly his heart racing so fast. Was it not what he wanted? What he needed the most? Then why was he feeling such an ache, emptiness inside him?
Don't go his eyes pleaded. Don't.
"Mr. Malik?" Shilpa rose a brow inquiring. "Will you not bid me a goodbye?"
"No. Tell me Shilpa did you accept your defeat so easily? I thought you had more guts than that." He stepped closer.
She laughed; her laughter filled his ears like a sweet melancholy. How would he survive without hearing it again? Without seeing the way her eyes sparkled when she laughed, the way her whole face glowed?
"Aisa hi kuch samajh lijiye." She grinned again.
"I came here to give you something." She said softly stepping towards him. Shilpa held out a teddy bear. It looked old with all the rust and a torn ear but it also looked well cherished, like a prized possession. Armaan stared at it awkwardly then back at her quizzically.
She sighed staring at the bear with all the love she had, "When I was eight I stopped expecting my parents to love me. They never did. And I knew they never would. I had two options. Either I could have cried in my misery, whined or turn stronger never letting anyone see how weak I was from inside, how lonely I was. I had no toys, nothing the other kids of my age had. My parents never had time to cater to my wishes.  I had vowed unlike me I won't let Muskaan be as lonely as I was. But when Muskaan turned 7 and I had been ten one of my mother's friend gifted Muskaan this teddy. Muskaan didn't like it. She had her dolls to play with. Muskaan never shared her toys. I never asked because she was my sister, my baby sister whom I treasured more than anything. The moment I saw this teddy bear I wanted it. It was thrown at a side in Muskaan's nursery. For the first time in my life I had craved for something. I had went in her nursery at night and stolen it. I was very guilty but I had placed it against my heart and slept with it. After that day I never felt weak. One day mother saw it with me. She was very angry. She tried snatching it from me and because of that one ear came off. I cried the whole night that day and she went away calling me a thief. This bear is more than a still lifeless stuff toy to me. It it means life. I always shared every moment of my life with it. It made me feel happy; it never made me feel lonely. It listened to me, it loved me back. I know I sound like a lunatic but I want to give it to you. Please don't ask me why but maybe because I know you'll cherish it the way I did because you know its value, because it'll help you. It'll remind you of me." Shilpa thrust out giving the teddy bear to Armaan who held back the pain and anger over her parents who caused her such unbearable pain and to think she was only a child back. He wanted to wrap her in her arms, cradle her, love her, spoil her, erase away every memory of her childhood.
And then a sudden realisation hit him. Shilpa was giving him the most cherished part of her life, something she loved more than anything. She was giving it to him. Nobody had ever given him anything. No gift, no token of appreciation. Nothing. For the first time in his life someone was giving him something so special and the realisation touched him, shocked him. She was right. He would cherish it like he would guard his own life.
"Thankyou," he offered softly.
"Your welcome," she blinked back. Armaan turned around and went to keep the bear while Shilpa stood their nervously. That done now she had to proceed with her plan. She wanted to give it to her, it was no part of her plan. She wanted to do it before he hated her for what she was about to do.
Armaan came to her when she moved in two strides and hit him hard on the head with a vase making sure it hit hard but did not turn out lethal. He let out a painful groan then slumped down to the floor.
"Oops I am so sorry Malik." She said urgently looking at his head for any fatal injury but there wasn't any. She sighed in relief then wondered how would she drag him to the chair.
"RAAAHUL." She screamed at the top of her voice when he came inside.
"Slowly woman there are other people, especially his loyal servants and his drama queen of a mother and the only sane sister."
"Oh well, would you please help me now? Drag him to the chair and tie him and be gentle and careful you shit."
"Why? Afraid I am going to hurt your prince charming?" Rahul asked sarcastically helping her to drag Armaan to the chair.
"SAALA KITNA THOOSTA HAI? HIPPOPOTAMAS SE ZYAADA WEIGHT HAI ISKA." Shilpa breathed heavily helping Rahul to move him into the chair.
"Aadhe se zyaada weight toh muscles ka hai," Shilpa continued endeavouring to move him into the chair. "ITTE MUSCLES KIS KAAME KE KE JAB HEARTATTACK AAYE KOI UTHAAKE HOSPITAL HI NAEE LEJAA PAAYEGA. PHIR BETHAREHAGE APNE 4OO TONNE KE MUSCLES KE SAATH. DOOSRON KI HADDIAN TORNE KE LIYE BACHEGA HI NAHIN." Rahul suppressed his grin as she blabbered and blabbered on.
"Done." He muttered and Shilpa heaved a sigh of relief. "Now we need to tie him and make sure the ties are very strong. Finally you are at my mercy Mr. Malik. MUHAHAHAHA." She expressed with implacable glee.
Shilpa stood over the chair and started jumping, "IVE GOT THE MOVES LIKE JAGGER IVE GOT THE MOVES LIKE JAGGER IVE GOT THE MOOO-OOVES LIKE JAGGER. ARMAAN IS MY BEGGAR ARMAAN IS MY BEGGAR," and she went on destroying the whole song.
"Shilpa?" Rahul asked contemplating her sanity.
"OH GO AWAY! RUN AWAY WITH MUSKAAN ALREADY. OMG ARMAAN IS MY PRISONER." She stared at him wide eyed then giggled again jumping up and down.
"Saale kameene ab lega merese panga? Teri toh. Accepted your defeat easily?" she mimicked his words to her, "Defeat my foot.  AND IT GOES LIKE THIS' IVE GOT THE MOVES LIKE JAGGER IVE GOT THE MOOO-OOO-VES LIKE JAGGER!" she did a touchwood dance.
Armaan woke up with a grunt blinking his eyes. His head hurt like the very devil as he tried moving his hand to hold his head but his hands didn't move.  He looked down panicked and went frozen. He was tied to the seat. His legs and hands were both tied separately to the chair to make sure he can't any of it. The ties were really strong.
"What the f**king- he started cursing when he felt Buff sitting in his lap and staring at him innocently.
"Buff?" he started but stopped seeing all his library books scattered across the library. Shilpa's stupid rat he thought and then caught it on another shelf trying to nib at the page.
"OMG NO NO NO DON'T DON'T YOU TOTTY. TOTTY STOP." He shouted when Shilpa came inside the room with a plate of pizza and coke for her and the other plate on the tray for Buff and totty.
"Come my babies have some food." She smiled sitting at the table not realising Armaan was up while he stared at her with narrowed eyes.
Shilpa placed the plate and brought totty and then she turned to get Buff who stared innocently at Armaan and stopped realising he is awake.
"Oh you are awake." Shilpa moved not scared of him and taking buff from his lap she let it down feeding him. Then she made herself comfortable in the other seat. She took the pizza and started gulping while Armaan stared at her contemplating what will be the most painful way to kill her.
"Don't bother with it. When you are free I'll be gone forever. Oh and don't stress your little brainless mind so much. I tied you so Rahul and Muskaan can runaway easily. AHHH YES MR. MALIK I WIN. I WIN I WIN! Shilpa squeaked happily. I told you I always win. Now no no don't get so angry young man. You see you cannot do much but sit in that chair and gawk at me like a wounded wolf but that's not going to help. Do you know you were unconscious for four hours? I think it's in your system to never get sleep for more than four hours maximum in a day." She sighed.  "I really think you should do something about that. You need sleep; you are in dire need of a proper sleep."
When Armaan didn't say a word but kept staring at her dangerously she said, "OMG I am so sorry for being so uncivilised and mannerless. You want this pizza too don't you? I know I MEAN HOW CAN SOMEONE RESIST A PIZZA? If you ask politely and sweetly I will give you one." She gave him a tauntingly sweet smile.
"You have no idea what you've started." He said softly. So soft that it sent chills down her spine.
"On the contrary I have. Don't worry I will go away in the night when Rahul texts me that he and Muskaan are married then call in the morning and tell your butler to untie you."
"Untie me. Now." His voice was a brook no argument tone and if she feared for her welfare a bit she would've run across the room and untied him but as she didn't she sat coolly against him in her chair and ate her pizza.
"Ermm no."
"Shilpa. I am going to say the last time. Untie me." He glared at her with black dark eyes.
"N-O NO." she spelled it out and then almost jerked in her seat as he fought the ties madly putting all his force almost breaking the chair into two but she was smart and she had double tied each tie making sure it could be only cut off.
"Chill Malik chill. Tumhaara BP shoot karjaayega yaar." She took another piece of her slice.
"All that. All that was a f**king pretence?  I know what you must've done. Muskaan wouldnt have gone with that idiot until you would've made her believe that you and I had something? Didn't you? You fooled me all this while. You played dirty games. All that in the forest and in the pool, it was all a f**king ploy wasn't it? What an amazing actress you are." He spat with so much fury she felt it scrap through her skin.
No it wasn't a lie. I love you damn you. It was at the tip of her tongue. But then she stopped. No she couldn't tell him. It was good for her, good that Armaan thought she played him. He wouldn't know her weaknesses, he wouldn't know she wanted him. There would be no reason for her to feel guilty with him, feel repulsed or unwanted. It was the perfect solution. She didn't take in the fact how much it will make him hate her.
"Wow Malik. You know everything don't you?  You couldn't have thought I would want you so much? It was just a game to show my sister and see? I have accomplished the goal so I don't give a shit about you anymore." She gave him an abashed grin.
"I didn't know women as disgraced and characterless as you exist." He spat indignantly.
"Everything is fair in love and war."
"AHHH Rahul took Muskaan away likea gypsy." Shilpa squeaked.
"Gypsy? Yes gypsy." She clapped her hands excited. "You know gypsies? They don't have any proper houses or anything, and they have so many traditions we normal human beings find so unlikely. But then theyre romantics when it comes to take their brides. I love gypsies. They don't propose them the sweet gentle way we ask will you marry me kind. They abduct their women, take them away and then ravage them. Oh and of course the ravaging and abducting is consensual. And then they belong to them. How romantic is that? It- it's a beautiful gypsy's fantasy." Shilpa's eyes glittered.
"I think its pathetic." He muttered.
"It is not! You don't know the meaning of beautiful you conceited ass."
"I think you live in too many fantasies Miss Malhotra. All of this is friggin bullshit." Armaan stared at her hardly with those same cold hatred filled eyes.
"Whatever Malik. Fantasies or not I won from you." She gave him an open grin.
"By throwing yourself at me?" He mocked her.
"I didn't throw myself at you. It was you. You were the one who couldn't control himself around me." Shilpa accused back angrily.
Armaan looked away for a moment angry. "If a damned wh**e throws herself at you, calls you take her you can't really help it can you? I am a man afterall."
"I am not a wh**e," Shilpa spat back angrily.
"Oh are you not? Now I doubt all your stories, even those were made up weren't they?" He said back furious himself.
"What will you do if they were? You can do not a thing. You wanted me. I just used the opportunity at hand. It all just made my plan easier."
"Want you? You are as you said you were. A pathetic animal freak mannerless girl whose very sight disgusts everyone. Your real place is a mental asylum or maybe a zoo with all your animals." Armaan chided hardly. Shilpa felt hurt at his words, deeply cut. It was true she'd hurt him but the hurt cut through her heart. Tears threatened to slip. She hardened up standing and going across the room. She lowered herself to him her mouth moving against his side cheek making him jerk.
"Get the hell away you bitch." He turned away his face.
"Why Malik? I am just trying to prove you don't want me. Then why do you care? I am a wh**e after all. Am I not?"
Her fingers came to his face holding it firm as she dipped her face down to brush a kiss against his lips and he jerked as if hit by a high jolt of current.
"Don't do that." His breathing was harsh, his voice was barely away from violence.
"I will." Her finger moved down his shirt to the revealed space of his chest down to his jeans. He hitched in a breathe freezing. She smiled at her effect on him.
"Try acting indifferent now." She brushed her fingers against his hardness and he cursed in his throat jerking at his ties, "Don'" he emphasized on each word his voice almost inaudible and raspy.
"Why Malik? Cannot stop yourself from wanting me?" her fingers moved down slowly rubbing in slow languid circles.
"PLEASE." He almost begged, "STOP PLEASE!"
"STOP THIS OR RELEASE ME." He said in a steel voice now.
"If you don't stop this now I am going to make you wish you were dead before you even thought of crossing my path Shilpa."
"Oh you and your idol threats. I ain't afraid Malik." She dipped her mouth biting his ear erotically. Armaan moved his face in her hair then moving up to bite her chin harshly. He parted his legs as much as he could to let hers fit in and she did, moving to accommodate herself against him even more intimately.
"You never wanted Muskaan," she nibbed at his ear lobe, "it is me you want."
He moved up kissing the side of her lips then clamping her legs hard around hers pulling her down and pulling her lips into his. He held her tightly against him, his legs clasped around hers like bands of steel.
He kissed her fiercely. It was impatient and raw, like a primitive hungry attack that lacked skill and patience. It tore at her own control making her moan against his mouth.
Shilpa's cell run and she pushed away with a curse. Armaan let go off her with a curse getting to the table to pick her cell phone up.
"OMG. Rahul and Muskaan are finally married. WIPPEEE! THEY ARE MARRIED." Shilpa jumped like a little kid. Oh man I've defeated you mother."
Shilpa then stared at Armaan who stared at her with an unleashed intense violence. She moved forward.
"Ermm- he cut her.
 "UNTIE ME." He growled at her furiously almost scaring her as she backed away regaining her composure.
"Not until I am gone from here." She sat across him putting on her boot staring at him with a smug, "I told you Malik I always win."
"Listen to me carefully you f**king damn tease. The moment I am free Shilpa your hell will start. So run away as far as you can go to save yourself from me because I am giving you a headstart. The moment I get you you've no idea what I am going to do to you."
The menacing softness of his words, the cold eyes scared her. She was scared. Deeply and utterly scared. But she didn't try showing it to him. She was leaving him forever. She was going away and even if he didn't know she'd miss him the most.
"Goodbye Malik." She whispered hitting the vase again over his head with a guilty apology.
Armaan woke up the next morning as a servant shook him. He was untied he realised sourly. His head hurt intensely and so did his whole body. He needed a hot bath and a tablet.
His servants were staring at him utterly scared, bewildered and shaken.
"WHAT? GET OUT NOW!" he barked at them standing.
"Where is Shilpa?" he asked hoping she was there.
"Sir Ma'am left last night." The servant perspired as he answered. Armaan dismissed him with a hard scowl.
He looked over his utterly dishevelled study and turned around angrily when he saw the bear still there. He went closer to see a note attached.
"Amongst everything I didn't lie about this. It was meant to stay with you Armaan. I really hope you'll remember me. Shilpa."
Armaan stared at the bear more carefully now. It looked so familiar. He might've seen it somewhere when he was small? But he knew well he had never gotten bears to play with or seen others then where? He moved his hand over the bear and as it brushed across the back zip it was undone and a small chit was coming out. He unzipped the back curiously and instead of cotton there were a lot of folded papers inside. Armaan blinked. Shilpa had said she shared her thoughts with the bear, she might've placed those letters?
He opened a letter to read something back from when she was fifteen and had stumbled across a wounded owl. He smiled all of a sudden, then there was another when she had saved her sister from a boy who was trying to flirt with her and hit him hard on the head. He grinned thinking this head hitting was some trademark. Then his hand caught another. He read and went still.
3rd July 2010
I Shilpa Gupta hereby take you Armaan Singh as my beloved wedded husband and promise to fulfil all our vows.
I Armaan Singh take you Shilpa Gupta as my wedded wife and promise to fulfil all our vows till death do us apart.
The teddy bear fell from his hands as a flashback hit him hard.
"Armaan we will write our vows on this paper so I can put it inside my teddy." She giggled after they walked out of the court.
"Teddy?" he giggled back.
"hmm teddy. I always write everything about my life and put it inside my teddy. It is really important."
"First you show me your face now. You said I'd runaway if you showed me your face. See I didn't. we are married now and I wanna see my beautiful bride."
Shilpa giggled moving away. "Okay let's take a bargain. You write it on this paper so I can put it inside my teddy then you can see my face." She brought a nice clean paper putting it over the wall.
"Okay." He smiled swaying a little and then took out a pen.
"Let's write our vows." Shilpa giggled taking the paper from him.
I Shilpa Gupta hereby take you Armaan Singh as my beloved wedded husband and promise to fulfil all our vows.  She smiled seeing the paper and handed to him. "Now your turn."
Armaan smiled then wrote back: I Armaan Singh take you Shilpa Gupta as my wedded wife and promise to fulfil all our vows till death do us apart.
"Now where's your teddy?"
"Back at home." Shilpa pouted at him. He smiled pulling her closer.
"Now your end of the bargain." And he lowered her mask. Her breathes hitched in his throat as he saw her breathtakingly beautiful face.
"God I love you." He whispered taking her lips.
Armaan stared at the empty space when a man intruded his study. He turned around to see his lawyer the man who had been on search of his missing wife since three years.
"Sir I am so sorry for coming uninvited but I have news for you. I know who is your wife."
"Who?" Armaan asked uncertainly dazed.
"Shilpa Malhotra. She is the daughter of Shashank Gupta who is the CEO of Gupta corporations. Sir her real name isn't Shilpa Gupta it is Shilpa Malhotra. Sir the reason she calls her Shilpa Malhotra is that she has taken her aunt's sirname who had never married, that is taking her own mother's sirname for now but her legal name is Shilpa Gupta like yours is Armaan Singh Malik."
Armaan closed his eyes letting the truth sink in. all their moments flashed across him, a tornado of reminiscence hitting him hard.
"Wow Malik. You know everything don't you?  You couldn't have thought I would want you so much? It was just a game to show my sister and see? I have accomplished the goal so I don't give a shit about you anymore."
Suddenly an implacably wicked grin came to his lips. "My wife it is."

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