Monday, 18 December 2017

Chapter 39 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF


Previously on...
Armaan and Riddhima prepare for the Paris trip.
Dr. Shashank encourages them and the gang wishes them good luck before leaving.



Armaan and Riddhima settled in their seats on the flight, gearing themselves up for a long journey.
Riddhima scowled at the air - hostess who was giving Armaan more bhaav than necessary. She was finding reasons to come to their seat again and again, asking Armaan (only Armaan and not her, not once) if he wanted anything.

Not to Riddhima's surprise, Armaan was soaking up all the attention.
"Sir, ye lijiye aapki coffee," The wicked - botoxed - witch said, bringing Armaan a steaming cup pf coffee.
"Thank you, ma'am."
"Ma'am nahi, please. Aap mujhe Sheena bula sakte hai."
"Thank you, Sheena," Armaan replied.
"You're welcome, sir."
"Ab aapne mujhe aapko Sheena bulaane ki permission di hai, toh aap bhi mujhe Armaan bula sakti hain."
"Please, agar tumhe kuch bhi chahiye, toh mujhe zarur batana, Armaan."
Armaan thanked her and she left.
"Yeh lo, Basket, tumhaari coffee pi lo. Tumhaari coffee ka time ho raha hai aur agar tumne nahi pi toh phir headache hone lagega," Armaan said, giving her the cup.
"Rehne do, mujhe nahi pini tumhaari koi coffee - woffee. Jaakar us Sheena ko hi pilao tum," Riddhima said, annoyed.
Armaan chuckled on hearing her ramble. He absolutely loved possessive Basket!
"Basket, woh toh sirf meri madad kar rahi thi. Ab tumhaare liye coffee laane khud toh nahi jaa sakta tha na, isliye usse bol diya."
"Aur woh jo tabse tumhaare saath flirt kar rahi hai uska kya?"
"Woh flirt kar rahi thi na! Maine kya kiya?"
"Tum usse bhaav kyu de rahe the? Mazaa toh tumhe bhi aa raha tha na? Itni saari attention jo mil rahi thi!"
"Basket!" He made her look right into his eyes.
"I love you," he whispered.
She smiled inspite of herself.
"I love you, too," she replied.
Armaan handed her the coffee and kissed her forehead.
Riddhima kissed Armaan's cheek and rested her head against his shoulder, snuggling closer.
"Ek baat batao?" Riddhima asked, giving him the coffee after drinking some, as they shared from one mug.
"Kya?"
"Tum hamesha kaise jaante ho ki mujhe kya kehke manana hai?"
Armaan looked at her grinned. He kissed her forehead again and whispered against her skin, "Kyuki main apni Jaan ko bohot achche se jaanta hu. Aur mujhe pata hai ki usse kab kya sunne ki zarurat hoti hai."
Riddhima blushed and hid her face in his neck on hearing him.
"Agar itna pyaar karte ho toh mujhe tang kyu karte rehte ho?"
"Basket, tum bhi jaanti ho na, jab tak ek baar tumhaara gusse se laal hua chehra, ekdum irritation se bhara hua, nahi dekhu toh mera din hi poora nahi hota!"
"Achcha?"
"Haan. Tumhe pata hai, jab kabhi humaari kisi bhi stupid cheez pe ladaayi nahi hoti na, mujhe lagta hai ki tum mujhse sachma naaraaz ho."
Riddhima smiled and nodded.
"Tumhe kuch pata hai?"
"Kya?"
"Mujhe bhi aisa hi lagta hai. Jab tak tum mujhe aakar thoda irritate nahi karte, mujhe pareshaan nahi karte, mera din kabhi poora nahi hota."
Armaan smiled widely on hearing that.
"I love you, Jaan," he whispered.
"I love you, too."
They shared their coffee, whispering for a while.
Soon, Riddhima dozed off. Armaan shook his head fondly. He carefully removed the seat divider between them and pulled her into his arms, snuggling closer to her. Riddhima got comfortable, resting her head against Armaan's chest, nuzzling closer.
Armaan buzzed for the air hostess and Sheena went in, smiling in anticipation. Armaan was definitely interested in her, if all the talking they'd been doing was any indication. He was hot. And looked like a great catch. She would have fun with him that was for sure.
However, her smile vanished when she saw the girl who had been giving her all those dirty looks wrapped up around him. And, to top it off, Armaan seemed to be loving the fact.
"Hey," she greeted him.
Armaan quickly put his finger on is mouth indicating her to stay quiet.
She looked confused, so he pointed to Riddhima sleeping on his shoulder.
"Ek blanket chahiye thi," he whispered.
She smiled fakely and moved to get him a blanket. Who was that girl? With the attention Armaan was giving her, she was sure he was single. Maybe she was just a friend.
"I love you, Basket," she heard him mumble as she got back with the blanket. Not a friend then, she thought.
She reached just in time to see him kiss her head.
"Here you go," she said, moving to drape the blanket around Riddhima. Armaan stopped her before that.
"Thanks, Sheena. I got it from here," he said taking the blanket.
She walked away, looking at how Armaan draped the blanket over the girl and himself, tucking her into himself.
Definitely not friends, she thought. Shame. But, atleast they made a cute couple.
Armaan and Riddhima slept for most of the flight.
When they weren't sleeping, Armaan was trying innovative ways of romanicing with Riddhima in a room full of people.
When they got to Paris, a driver was waiting at the airport, ready to drive them and some other doctors to the hotel.
They waited for 2 more doctors, whose flight was scheduled to land in a few minutes.
Armaan and Riddhima took this opportunity to get acquainted with the others who were to be a part of the conference.
The people were really friendly and everybody gelled along well. In no time, they were talking as if they had been friends for life. There were Akshay and Anuj, who were doctors from LifeLine, the other leading Indian hospital, just after Sanjeevani. From Holy Hills, LA, there were Skye and Alex, both of whom Riddhima had met when she had gone to LA with Anjali, from London, there was Charlie and Bill who worked at New Hope and from Sydney, there was Julia and Ronnie who worked at The Guardian.
"Nate!" Riddhima shouted on seeing a guy walking towards their group. The guy looked up and smiled widely on seeing her. He broke into a jog, quickening his pace and hugged Riddhima on reaching them.
"Hey Ridz! I didn't know you were going to be here."
"Well, I didn't know you were going to be here either!"
Nate just shrugged sheepishly.
"So, are you alone or...?" Riddhima asked.
Nate grimaced. "Definitely not alone."
"Who? Don't tell me, Erica?"
Nate nodded miserably.
Riddhima burst out laughing. Then, she patted his cheek in a sympathetic manner. "All the best, hun."
Just as they were talking, a drop dead gorgeous girl came and stood behind them who had all the boys gawking at her openly.
"Ridzy! Hi! I didn't know you were going to be here," she said, with a smile that was clearly fake and forced.
"Like I was just telling Nate, I didn't know you guys were going to be here either," she replied with a smile that was just as fake.
"Come on, I want to introduce to somebody, Nate."
She pulled Nate by the hand and pulled him towards Armaan.
"Armaan, this is Nate, one of my friends from London. Nate, this is..."
"Ammy. Your Ammy," Nate completed for her.
"Yes, Armaan. How did you know?"
"Doesn't take rocket science to figure it out, Ridz," he replied.
"Hey, I'm Nate, Ridz's friend from Seven Cross."
"Nice to meet you," Armaan replied, holding his hand out to shake. Nate looked at him and shook his head, pulling Armaan into a hug instead.
"You're Riddhima's man! That makes you family. And we always hug in our family, don't we, Ridz?" Nate asked as he let go off Armaan.
"Uh huh."
Nate and Erica were introduced to the group and then they all headed towards the car. The driver helped them place all their luggage and settle into the car before driving off.
As soon as the car was moving, Nate removed his cell phone from his pocket and punched in a few numbers, calling someone.
"Hey, beautiful," he greeted.
"Yes, we just landed... on the way to the hotel now... yes she behaved, mostly... uh huh... yes... yes... I know... I miss you, too, sweetheart... you wouldn't believe who I found here! Ridzy! And her boy! Can you believe that? Yeah... now? Sure hang on," he said, rolling his eyes. He gave the phone to Riddhima.
"For you," he whispered.
Riddhima smiled widely before accepting the call.
"Hey, Lav - Lav," she greeted. "Yes, I'll make sure she behaves... no, I'll make sure the bitches stay away. Promise... yes, I won't let Nate flirt with anyone either... yes, I'll look after him... yeah... no... yes, I'm sure... no don't worry about that! Yes, of course! Uh huh. I'll see you at the wedding! Of course!"
Nate rolled his eyes, taking his phone back from Riddhima.
"I was talking na!" Riddhima exclaimed.
"Yes, you were. I am talking to her now, okay? You guys can gossip later," he said into the receiver, so that Lavender heard him as well.
Riddhima burst out laughing. "Okay, Mr. Romeo. You can talk to your wife. I get the point."
Nate just stuck his tongue out to her.
They reached the hotel and the driver unloaded their luggage. The receptionist was waiting for them already.
"'Ello! Eet ees our pleazure to have you as our guests," she greeted in a thick French accent.
"To increase ze interaction between ze docteurs, ze organizers ave decided to put representativez of different countries in the same suites. Each will ave 4 rooms. Hope you do not mind," she continued.
When she was met with sounds of approval, she proceeded to give the doctors their room keys.
As fate would have it, Armaan, Riddhima, Nate and Erica were all in the same room.
"Well, this is great! Now I don't have to go through the awkward process of getting to know my roomies!" Riddhima exclaimed.
Armaan and Nate chuckled and Erica smiled fakely. Truth was, Erica didn't want to be anywhere near Riddhima, but then, she didn't want to miss out on the eye candy that was Armaan and Nate either.
Riddhima had been one of those girls who everybody liked. When she had started coming around with Rahul, everyone at the hospital had immediately taken a liking to her. She quickly got close with Tessa, Ray, Donna and Nate. And Tessa and her never backed on an opportunity to make Erica realize her mistakes or point out her behavior. So what if Erica liked to flirt with men? If they were married, it was their responsibililty to stay faithful, not hers. So, she never minded any of her flings with anyone.
Erica sighed. It was going to be a long week.
They went to their room and quickly settled in. Everyone decided to rest for some time before they had to meet all the doctors in the evening for dinner. As the conference was going to start from the next day, the organisers had decided to give the participating doctors sometime to get to know their peers.
Armaan and Riddhima made plans to go exploring, mainly because Riddhima didn't have the patience to wait for long. They weren't really tired as they had slept on the flight.
Armaan took a shower and changed, coming out of his room.
"Hey," he greeted Erica, who was sitting in her PJs, watching TV.
"Hey," she replied, turning to look at him. He loloked even more handsome now that he had washed the trip away.
"I don't think we got acquainted properly. I'm Erica," she said, holding her hand out.
"Armaan," he replied, shaking her hand.
They made small talk for sometime, but Armaan was feeling uncomfortable with the way Erica was checking him out.
Riddhima's phone started ringing, which Armaan was thankful for. He could finally move away from Erica with a legitimate reason. He thanked Heavens that Riddhima had forgotten her phone in the living area when she had retired to her room.
Erica sighed. "It's been ringing for quite a while now. She should have taken it in," she said.
"I got it," Armaan replied, answering the phone.
"Hello, beautiful," he greeted.
Erica was surprised that Armaan had answered Riddhima's phone.
"Armaan, beta tum theek se pohonch gaye the na?" She asked.
"Haan, Maa. Bas abhi hotel mein check in kiya hai."
"Safar mein koi problem toh nahi hui."
"Nahi, Maa. Sab achche se ho gaya tha. Aap itni fikr mat kijiye."
"Kaise nahi karu. Mere dono bachche hai wahaan."
Armaan chuckled.
"Ek baat bata, Riddhima ne tujhe zyada pareshaan toh nahi kiya na?"
"Nahi, Maa. Riddhima ne mujhe pareshaan nahi kiya."
"Aur tune usse kitna pareshaan kiya?"
"Maa! Aap sabko aisa kyu lagta hai ki main usse bohot pareshaan karta hu?" He asked indignantly.
"Matlab thoda toh kiya, haina?"
Armaan sighed. "Ab thoda bhi pareshaan nahi karunga toh din kaise poora hoga mera?"
Padma Mom chuckled on hearing this.
"Bas itna pareshaan mat karna ki tujhse naaraaz ho jaaye. Nahi toh phit mujhe kahega, dekhiye na, Maa. Aapki beti toh har choti baat pe naaraaz ho jaati hai."
"Haan, baba. Nahi karunga. Pakka."
"Theek hai. Ek doosre ka khayal rakhna, samjha?"
"Haan, Maa."
"Riddhima hai kya wahaan?" She asked.
"Nahi, Maa. Riddhima toh fresh hone gayi hai. Uska phone bahaar hi pada reh gaya. Bhool gayi hogi apne saath le jaana."
"Achcha theek hai. Usse keh dena ek baar Rahul se baath karle. Phone aaya tha uska."
"Jee, Maa."
"Theek hai. Rakhti hu main ab. Dhyaan rakhna."
"Haan, beautiful! Love you!"
"Love you, too!"
Armaan smiled as he hung up. He loved that Padma Mom was so worried about him.
"Checking in at home?" Nate asked as he came in.
"Yeah. It was Riddhima's mom. She..."
"Worries too much?" Nate cut in.
"Yeah, you could say that."
Both the boys chuckled.
"I see you're dressed up," Nate said, eyeing Armaan who was dressed in a tee and jeans.
"I see you aren't," Armaan countered, pointing at Nate's shorts.
"Lazy day," Nate grinned.
Armaan shook his head. "Riddhima wants to go exploring."
"Of course she does," Nate replied, rolling his eyes.
"Basket!" Armaan shouted, banging her door. "Kitna time lagega? Jaldi chalo! Late ho raha hai!"
When he didn't get any reply, he knocked again. "Basket?"
And a third.
And a fourth.
"Basket main andar aa rahan hu!" He warned her.
When he didn't get any reply still, he opened the door and went in.
"Basket? Jaan? Riddhima?" He called out, when he saw that the room was empty.
He was looking around, confused as to what to do, when Riddhima came out of the washroom, dressed in jeans and a tee.
"Kya hua Armaan?"
Armaan who was too busy staring at her, didn't realize that Riddhima had asked him something.
She was just so beautiful. He couldn't believe that he was lucky enough to call her his.
"Armaan!" Riddhima called again, snapping her fingers in front of him. This brought him out of his trance.
"K - kya hua?"
"Yahi toh main pooch rahi hu. Kya hua?"
"Kuch nahi," Armaan replied shrugging, "Bas dekhne aaya tha ki tum ready ho ya nahi."
"Oh. Bas 5 min haan Armaan. Phir hum chalte hain," saying so, Riddhima moved to the dressing table.
Armaan moved with her and hugged her from behind. "You're so gorgeous, baby," he whispered in her ear, kissing her earlobe.
"Well, you're not so bad yourself," Riddhima replied, applying her mascara.
"Main yahaan tumhe compliment de raha hu, aur tum... huh," he said, nuzzling her neck.
"Haan, toh main bhi toh compliment hi de rahi hu. You're not looking all that bad."
"Basket..." Armaan whined.
"Achcha baba. Tum bohot his handsome lag rahe ho. Khush ab?"
"Bohot khush," Armaan replied happily, kissing her neck.
"Armaan!" She yelled, exasperated, yet pleased.
"Kya?" He asked innocently.
"Tumhaari badmaashi phir shuru ho gayi na. Chalo, jao, mujhe ready hona hai."
"Toh main yahaan hut oh tumhe kya problem hai?" He asked, placing a smacking kiss on her cheek.
Riddhima grinned and kissed his cheek in return.
"Problem yeh hai ki tum toh apni shaitani se baaz nahi aaoge. Aur agar main jaldi ready nahi hui toh hum baahar nahi jaa paayenge!"
"Haan, toh baahar jaana zaruri thodi hai! Hum yahaan room mein bhi bohot mazaa kar sakte hai," Armaan replied cheekily.
"Armaan! Please na! Mujhe baahar jaana hai! Aur Di, Muski, Nikki aur Dr. Kirti ki itni lambi list hai, shopping bhi toh start karni haina. Please!"
"Yaar, yeh Nikki aur Dr. Kirti toh theek hai, lekin Anjy aur Muski ne kyu tumhe list di hai? Woh bhi toh aa rahin hai thode time mein."
"Haan, Armaan. Lekin tab shaadi ke preparations mein busy honge na. Toh time nahi milega."
"Hmmm," Armaan agreed, nuzzling her hair.
"Toh jao ab."
"Hmmm."
"Armaan."
"Hmmm."
Riddhima pushed Armaan away, who was too busy nuzzling her hair and neck to listen to what she was saying.
"Kya hua?" He asked, annoyed.
"Jao ab. Main aa rahi hu."
"Okay," he said sadly.
"Nautanki," Riddhima muttered, shaking her head. "Armaan!" She called as he moved towards the door.
He turned to look at her with the same sad expression.
"Kya?"
Riddhima just shook her head and gave him a peck on his lips.
Armaan smiled widely.
"I love you," he said, moving out.
"I love you, too."   

xxx
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