Saturday, 30 December 2017

Chapter 45 : I'll Love You Longer Than Forever - AR FF

Previously on...
Armaan's story. (Cue the tears.)

Chapter 45

"I love you!" Riddhima said to Armaan as she threw herself in his arms, holding him tight.
"I love you, too," Armaan replied, smiling widely and hugging her just as tight, amused and confused by the sudden hug.
He looked up at Emma, asking her if everything was okay. She shook her head imperceptibly, making Armaan worried.

Armaan tried to pry Riddhima away, to look at her, but she clung on, refusing to let go.
"Basket? Kya hua?" He asked her softly.
Riddhima shook her head. "I love you," she mumbled into his chest.
"I love you, too," he repeated. Sensing that she might be inclined to talk if they were alone, Armaan decided it was a good time to tell her about the date.
He picked her up and took her back to their room. He laid her down on the bed and got in beside her, sensing that she needed this closeness between them to calm her down from the hysteria that was just bubbling inside of her.
He held her close and murmured sweet nothing in her ear, kissing her and telling her that he was here, that he loved her, without even saying the actual words.
Riddhima didn't know how, but he always knew what to say, to do and to be to calm her down. He always understood her without her having to say anything. That was what she loved so much about him. He understood her better than anyone else.
When she had calmed down a little, Armaan pulled back a little to look at her face. "Hey," he whispered, kissing her forehead.
"Chalo, jaldi ready ho jao. Hum bahar jaa rahe hai," he told her.
"Kahaan?" She asked.
"Yaad nahi, tumhe aaj date pe lekar jaa raha hu na. Kal se toh sab honge, phir pata nahi tum mujhe itna bhaav dogi ya nahi. Isliye."
"Armaan!" Riddhima shouted, appalled and hit his arm.
Armaan grinned. She was getting back to normal, somewhat. Good.
"Seriously. Jab sab hote hai, toh tum mujhe bilkul bhi bhaav nahi deti. Armaan Di aa jaayengi, Papa aa jaayenge! Armaan koi dekh lega. Bas, yahi sab kehti ho," he pouted.
Riddhima smiled and kissed his pout, because, how could she not?
"Haan, toh tumhe kaun kehta hai, har waqt badmaashi karne?"
"Kya karu ab? Tum hamesha itni zyada beautiful dikhti ho toh mujhse control kaise hoga?"
"Armaan!" She scolded him again, blushing deeply.
Armaan smiled widely and bent his head to kiss her. Riddhima tangled her hands in his hair and pulled him closer, kissing him back fervently.
When it became necessary to breathe, Armaan pulled back, only to place open mouthed kisses on her neck and collar bone, as Riddhima returned the favor, nipping and licking on his neck. Armaan tightened his arms around her and kissed her with more fervor when she kissed his earlobe.
They continued their exploration for sometime, kissing and nipping and licking as the room filled with their whispers and sighs and moans.
When they were both out of breath, Armaan pulled back and collapsed on top of Riddhima. She smiled and wrapped her arms around his waist, hugging him close as he hid his face in her neck.
"I love you," he whispered, placing a soft kiss on her neck.
"I love you, too," she replied, kissing his hair.
Armaan looked up so he could look at her face when he asked, "Riddhima kya hua?"
Riddhima tensed for a second before shrugging her shoulders. "Kya hua?"
"Yahi toh main tumse pooch raha hu. Kya hua hai? Tumhaari aur Emma ki kuch ladayi hui? Kya usne tumhe kuch kaha? Tum itni tensed kyu ho?"
"Kya hum baad mein baat kar sakte hai? Abhi humein ready hona chahiye na? Ya tum ab mujhe date pe nahi leke jaa rahe?" She asked.
"Jaan," Armaan sighed, upset that she was trying to change the topic.
"Please, Armaan. Hum baad mein baat karenge. Main tumhe sab kuch bataungi. Promise. Lekin kya ab hum jaa sakte hai?"
Armaan frowned but nodded. He didn't like this, but he would trust Riddhima to tell him what was bothering her when she was ready.
He got up and then went to the bathroom, to get cleaned up before leaving Riddhima to her devices to get ready for the date. He looked in the mirror and was surprised to see a purplish bruise forming on his shoulder. On closer inspection, he could find the teeth marks around it. That little vixen! He thought, she's given me a hickey.
He grinned stupidly looking at it in the mirror with utmost attention. A hickey. Wow! He knew that Riddhima could get really passionate in the flow of affairs, but this was the first time that she'd actually given him a hickey. First of the hopefully many, he thought.
He absolutely loved it when she got incredibly passionate during one of their sessions, but those instances had been few and far in between. However, since that night at the Merlin Rouge, she seemed to have let go off a lot of inhibitions and had also initiated many of their make out sessions on her own.
He was absolutely loving this new Riddhima.
He shook his head and freshened up, coming out of the bathroom only to find Riddhima staring intently at her neck in the mirror.
"Hey," he whispered, hugging her from behind and kissing her cheek.
"Hi," she replied.
"Kya hua?"
Riddhima blushed deeply.
"Oyye Hoyye, madam kis baat par itna sharma rahi hain?" He asked.
"Armaan," she whispered.
"Bolo na Armaan ki Jaan." (This just gives me the tingles everytime!)
It was then that he noticed the bite marks that adorned her neck.
"Oh!" he said, grinning smugly at them.
"Kya?" She asked, annoyed.
Instead of replying, Armaan bent down and kissed a mark.
Riddhima hissed.
"Hmmm..." Armaan mumbled.
"Armaan, yeh kya kiya tumne?" She asked, pointing at all the hickies that seemed to be spread out her neck and shoulders.
Armaan looked up, scandalized. "Aur jo tumne kiya, uska kya?"
"Maine kya kiya?" She asked, confused.
"Kya kiya?!" He scoffed, pointing at the huge purple bruise on his shoulder. "Yeh!"
Riddhima blushed a bright shade of red on seeing it. "I'm sorry," she whispered bashfully.
Armaan chuckled, shaking his head. "Tum sorry kyu bol rahi ho? Please! Next time kabhi iske liye sorry mat bolna. In fact, main toh chaahta hu ki tum roz hi mere saath aise behave karo. Aur agar tum mujhe ek din main kayi baar bhi karna chaho, toh main kuch nahi kahunga. I absolutely love having your mark on me."
"Armaan!" Riddhima reprimanded him, but the scolding lost its meaning as she was practically breathleass and panting.
"Kya?" He asked.
Riddhima shook her head. "Tum kabhi nahi sudhroge na. Kuch sharam - waram hai ya nahi?"
"Arre tumse kaisi sharam? Aur jab tumhe karne mein sharam nahi aayi, toh mujhe bolne mein kyu aani chahiye?" He questioned cheekily.
Riddhima blushed again, and hid her face in his chest, hitting his arm. "Armaan!"
"Oyye Hoyye," he whispered, kissing her temple. "Chalo, tum jaldi se ready ho jao."
"Lekin Armaan, main pehnu kya? Hum kahaan jaa rahe hain?" She asked.
"Hmmm," Armaan pretended to think. Then, he moved to his wardrobe and pulled the doors open. He picked up a box from the shelf and placed it on the bed. "How about this?" He asked, grinning widely.
Riddhima shook her head and opened the box. Inside was the most beautiful evening gown ever.

It was really simple with no added attraction of any kind. No frills or lace or jewels of any kind, which made Riddhima like it all the more.
"This is really, really beautiful, Armaan," she whispered, smiling up at him.
"Not nearly as beautiful as you," he replied, kissing her forehead. "Go, get changed. There's other stuff to match this in the wardrobe."
"Armaan, tumhe yeh sab karne ki zarurat nahi hai," she said.
"Kya karne ki zarurat nahi hai?" He asked, perplexed.
"Yeh sab," she said, gesturing towards the dress. "Jabse hum yahaan aaye hain, itne saare presents aur gifts - dresses aur jewelery di hai tumne mujhe. Aur itni saari dates. Restaurants mein dinners aur cruises aur pata nahi kya kya. Tumhe yeh sab karne ki koi zarurat nahi hai. I mean, is sab mein faltu hi itne paise..."
Armaan shook his head and kissed her hard, stopping her mid rant. "Stop it, Basket. Kuch bhi kehti rehti ho," he said once he pulled back, smiling at the dazed look she had on her face.
"Sahi hi toh kaha maine Armaan. Tumhe mujhpe itne paise kharch karne ki koi zarurat nahi hai," she replied.
"Kyu? Kyu nahi hai? Aur waise bhi, tumpar paise nahi kharch karunga, toh kispar karunga?"
"Armaan, tum koi aur useful cheezon pe bhi kharch kar sakte ho na. Yeh sab important nahi hai."
"Mere liye important hai, Jaan," Armaan said, suddenly getting serious. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close. "Saari duniya dena chahta hu main tumhe," he whispered, looking deep into her eyes.
"Armaan..." Riddhima started, not knowing what to say.
"Shhh. It's okay, Riddhima," he said, pecking her lips.
Riddhima nodded.
"Good. Ab jaldi se ready ho jao. Main bhi ho jaata hu. Humaari 8:30 ki reservation hai."
Riddhima nodded, smiling beautifully.
Armaan kissed her head and left the room after pulling a suit bag from his cupboard.
Riddhima shook her head, blushing at his antics. He was never going to change.
She changed into the dress quickly and opened his wardrobe to find a few more boxes in there. One of them contained a pair of heels to go with the dress. They weren't all that high, thankfully, Armaan knew of her aversion to heels which were too high. She smiled and put them on.
Apart from that, there were some accessories. A clutch and a chain. She put the chain on and put some of the essentials in her clutch and she was ready to go.
But, before leaving, she had some arrangements to do. If Armaan was going to surprise her with his mystery date, she was going to have a good after - date surprise ready for him for when they got back to the hotel.
She called the receptionist and explained to her what she wanted to do, going into the minutest of the details because she wanted it to be perfect. The receptionist smiled at the excitement that was obvious in Riddhima's voice and silently blessed the couple, who were very much in love from what she knew. She had observed them in the past few days and could easily say that they were one of the most beautiful pair she had come across in a while. And, that was saying something because she worked in one of the best hotels in Paris, where tourists flocked all year round, most of the honeymooners or couples looking forward to a romantic getaway.
After discussing in detail, their plan for the night, Riddhima hung up, thanking the receptionist profusely for all the help that she'd volunteered to do.
She opened the door, only to catch Armaan mid knock.
"Hey," she said, leaning back a little.
But Armaan seemed to be frozen. He was gawking at her with his mouth wide open.
Riddhima blushed under his intense gaze. She moved forward and closed his mouth. "Achchi nahi dikh rahi kya?"
He looked up, horrified. "Kya?" He asked stupidly.
"Achchi nahi lag rahi kya? Tum aise dekh rahe ho. Isliye pooch liya."
He shook his head. "Tum bohot hi zyada achchi lag rahi ho," he mumbled, moving forward and wrapping her up in his arms.
She smiled. "Tum bhi kam bure nahi dikh rahe," she replied. That was a huge understatement. He looked undeniably sexy in his black suit. (Imagine ITA 2013 KSG).
Armaan grinned. "Let's go," he said, kissing her head.
They made their way out of the room and Nate hooted on seeing them.
"Nate!" Riddhima shouted, blushing again.
"What? You guys look hot together," he replied shrugging.
Armaan chuckled and Riddhima seemed hide even deeper in his arms. "Thank you," Armaan said, doing a courtesy.
"Out with you guys, then! I'll see you in the morning. We have to check out by 10. Cole called. They'll reach the villa in the afternoon, but they've left keys with the guard for us," he explained.
"Cool," Armaan said. "We'll have time to drop Emma off then."
After those parting words, Armaan and Riddhima made their way out of the hotel. A limo was waiting at the curb for them.
Armaan opened the door for Riddhima and she slid in, seemingly surprised, gawking openly. Armaan got in beside her.
"Armaan! Yeh sab ki kya zarurat thi?" She asked.
Armaan just shrugged and pulled her close to him. He kissed her temple. "Love you," he mumbled against her hair.
Riddhima shook her head.
"Where to, sir?" The driver asked in a heavy French accent.
"The Eiffel Tower, please. Thank you," Armaan replied.
The driver nodded and pulled the glass up.
Armaan pulled a bottle of champagne from the chiller and opened it. He poured it in two glasses and gave one to Riddhima, who surprisingly liked champagne as she'd discovered in the past few days.
"To us," Armaan whispered, clinking his glass with hers.
"To us," she replied.
"Mmm... This is amazing, Armaan," she said.
He grinned in response.
After emptying almost half of the bottle, they feasted on the chocolates that were also stocked in the mini fridge in the car.
"This is really good," Riddhima moaned, failing to notice how Armaan's eyes darkened at her tone.
"You've got a little..." he gestured to the corner of her mouth.
"What?" She asked.
Armaan shook his head and moved in closer, dipping his head down and kissing the corner of her mouth, licking the chocoloate there.
"Mmm. This is really good," he mumbled against her lips.
Riddhima smiled.
He kissed her harder in response. They spent the rest of the ride making out furiously in the back of the car, missing on seeing all the picturesque places that were a part of the tour. But, they didn't care anyway.
The driver knocked on the parting glass, causing Armaan to look up from his current place in Riddhima' neck.
"What?" He asked, unable to keep the irritation out of his voice.
The limo driver smiled knowingly at him before he replied. "We're here, sir."
Armaan smiled back sheepishly.
"Thank you," he said. Armaan opened the door and got out, righting his disheveled clothes. He held a hand for Riddhima and took it, coming out as well.
Armaan paid the driver and thanked him, pulling Riddhima with him.

"This is absolutely amazing," she breathed looking at the gorgeously lit tower.

Armaan stood next to her, admiring it as well. "Come here," he said, pulling her so that she glued to his side.
"Kya kar rahe ho?" She asked. He just smiled and turned around. He pulled his phone from his pocket and turned the camera on. He captured a picture just as he bent his head to kiss her.
Riddhima pulled back on hearing the shutter. "Armaan," she mumbled, blushing.
Armaan shook his head and looked at the photo. "We look cute together," he declared as he quickly changed his phone settings to make that his display picture.
Riddhima laughed. "Send it to me." Armaan nodded and did the needful.
"Chale ab?" He asked.
Riddhima nodded and they made their way upstairs.
"Reservation for Mallik," Armaan asked the hostess. She checked her laptop and nodded.
"Of course, sir. This way," she said, leading them to a secluded room.
"Your server will be here shortly. Hope you enjoy your meal," she said.
Armaan and Riddhima nodded their thanks. They made their way to the table and Armaan pulled a chair for Riddhima, making her sit. Once she was settled, he moved the chair across from her beside her and sat down.
Riddhima rolled her eyes. "Isn't the whole point of keeping that chair there ki tum wahaan baitho?" She asked.
Armaan shrugged. "Mujhe yeh zyada pasand hai," he replied.
Armaan bent and kissed her instead of answering. "Oh," she said when he pulled back.
"Oh," Armaan replied, smiling knowingly.
"Riddhima, aaj subah kya hua tha?" Armaan asked again as they ate.
Riddhima shrugged.
"Jaan, please. Tum nahi bataogi toh main Emma se pooch lunga," he said.
"Maine aaj Emma se tumhaari treatment ke baare mein poocha," she finally replied, suddenly finding her food very interesting as she played with it, refusing to look up at him.
"Jaan!" Armaan whispered, stunned.
"Main jaanti hu mujhe nahi poochna chahiye tha. Lekin tumne mujhe kuch bataya hi nahi. Toh main kya karti?"
"I can't believe Emma ne tumhe bata diya," he mumbled.
"Armaan, mujhe kyu nahi bataya kabhi?" She asked, her eyes shining with unshed tears.
"Tumhe woh sab jaanne ki kya zarurat hai? Ab toh sab theek haina."
"Toh tumne kyu Rahul se meri treatment ke baare mein poocha?" She backfired.
Armaan was surprised that she knew about that.
"Aisa ghooro mat. Of course mujhe pata hai. Tumhe kya laga Rahul ne mujhe kuch nahi bataya?"
Armaan shrugged.
"Armaan..." she prodded.
"Riddhima, un kuch mahino mein jo hua, woh important nahi hai. Aaj kya hai, woh important hai."
"I'm sorry," she whispered.
"What?" Armaan asked, flabbergasted. "Tum kyu sorry bol rahi ho?"
"Armaan, maine tum par shak kiya. Maana Papa ne mujhse jhooth kaha, lekin maine unki baat maanli. Aur itne mahino tak tumse nafrat ki, tumse door rahi. Mujhe kabhi aisa nahi sochna chahiye tha, tumhaare baare mein," she replied, crying.
"Hey! Shhh," Armaan soothed her, gathering her in his arms. "Tumhaari koi galti nahi hai, okay? Tum kabhi bhi kisi bhi cheez ke liye khudko nahi blame kar sakti, okay?" He said as he kissed her head repeatedly.
They sat like that for sometime, wrapped up together with Armaan rubbing circles on Riddhima's back and whispering softly in her ear, kissing her occasionally, trying to calm her down.
The nerve of that girl! She was apologizing for something that wasn't even her fault.
It took him sometime, but finally Armaan was able to calm her down.
"Basket tum poori paagal ho," he told her as he pushed some stray strands of hair behind her ear and kissed her forehead.
She shrugged her shoulders.
"Achcha chalo. Dekho main tumhaare liye kya gift laya hu," he said.
"Armaan ek aur gift?" She asked, exasperatedly.
"Tum kuch nahi bologi. Tumhe lena hi hoga," he said, his tone leaving no room for argument.
He pulled a box out of his jacket pocket and kept it on her outstretched hands.
He opened the box and pulled out a charm bracelet.

It was already adorned with a few charms. "A basketball," he said, holding the charm up.
"For when we first met?" She asked.
He nodded.

"A red cross," he continued, holding it up.
"For where we fell in love."

"A bike."
"For all the bike races."

"And, the last, a heart."
"Because, I love you."
"No, because I love you."

"It's so pretty, Armaan."
He smiled as he pulled her hand in his.
"I'm glad you liked it," he whispered as he put it on her.
"Liked? Are you kidding, I love it! Thank you!" She said, pulling him close and kissing him.
Armaan chuckled. "Agar har baar tum aise reactions dogi, toh main roz tumhaare liye aisi cheezein lekar aa jaaya karunga."
"Armaan!" She cried, swatting his arm. "Tum kabhi nahi sudhroge na!"
"Nahi," he replied, shaking his head. Then, he took his hand in hers and examined the bracelet. "I think isme kuch kam hai," he declared.
"Mujhe aisa bilkul nahi lagta!" She said. "Jaisa bhi hai mujhe bohot pasand hai."
"Lekin mere pass kuch hai jisse aur bhi zyada achcha lagega."
"Achcha, kya?"
He pulled a jewelery bag from his pocket and gave it to her. "Yeh."
"Yeh kya hai?" She asked him.
"Khud dekh lo," he replied, seemingly a little too nervous.
She opened the bag and pulled the charm out.
She gasped on seeing it. "Armaan..." she whispered, and looked up at him. But, he was in front of her, down on one knee.
(Maine yahaan pe end karne ka socha, lekin phir socha bohot joote padenge. Isliye aage likha!)
"I know, ki maine tumse kaha ki main abhi shaadi ke liye tayyar nahi hu, lekin iska yeh matlab nahi hai ki main nahi chaahta ki hum kabhi shaadi na kare. Isliye, aaj tumhe yeh dekar," he delicately took the charm out of Riddhima's hand.
"Tumse vaada karna chaahta hu, ki ek din, humaari shaadi zaroor hogi. Ek din, main phir is tarah tumhaare saamne, ghuntno pe baithke, tumse poochunga, ki kya tum mujhse shaadi karogi. Ek din. I promise," he whispered, his voice full of passion as tears fell from both their eyes.
"I love you," Riddhima whispered.
"I love you, too," he replied.
Riddhima pulled him up and kissed him hard.
"Bolo, Dr. Riddhima Gupta, kya mujhe kuch waqt dogi?" She nodded her head.
Armaan smiled and tied the charm to the bracelet.

"There," he whispered. "Perfect."
Riddhima smiled through her tears.
"I love you," she said, hugging him tight.
Armaan smiled and wrapped her up, pulling her close to him.
"Today was really amazing, Armaan. Thank you," Riddhima said, as they made their way inside the hotel.
"I'm glad," he replied, pulling her close.
He moved towards the elevators, but Riddhima stopped him. "Armaan, mujhe abhi upar nahi jaana."
"Toh hum kahaan chale?" He asked.
She took his hand in hers and guided him towards the pool.
She sat down at the edge of the pool and patted the spot beside hers, gesturing for Armaan to sit down as well.
Armaan smiled and shook his head, but sat down.
Riddhima removed her heels and pulled her dress up, dipping her feet in the water as Armaan did the same.
"This is nice," he said as Riddhima rested her head on his shoulder.
They sat like this for sometime, before fireworks lit up the air.
"Wow! I didn't know there was a fireworks show today! Tumhe pata tha Riddhima?" Armaan asked.
Riddhima shrugged her shoulders, smiling.
"Jo bhi ho, achcha haina?" She asked.
Armaan nodded, still awed by the burst of colors in the sky.
But, then, the colors started spelling something.
He gasped when I love you, Armaan' was spelled in the air.
"Jaan? Kab? Kaise?" He asked, amazed as he looked at her. Riddhima smiled as she saw the awed look in his eyes.
"Tumhe kya laga, sirf tum hi mujhe surprise de sakte ho? Main nahi?" She asked.
"Nahi, lekin, yeh sab? Tumhe time kab mila?" He asked.
"Aaj hi. Maine reception pe phone karke hotel staff ki saath sab organize kiya," she replied.
"Thank you," he said, kissing her thoroughly.
They made their way to the room, seemingly unable to keep their hands to themselves as they kissed and touched.
Armaan was surprised at how bold Riddhima was being but was enjoying too much to question her.
They were so into each other that they never realized when they reached their door. They pulled apart, with a lot of effort, and made their way to their room, thankful that Emma and Nate were in their rooms and weren't there to witness their upturned state with clothes disheveled, hair in a mess and lipstick running on both their lips. Inside the room, they started where they'd ledt off, kissing each other passionately.
They fell on the bed, but seemed unaware, as they continued to kiss. However, Armaan stilled when Riddhima's hands made their way to unbutton his shirt.
"Riddhima, stop," he said, pulling back.
She looked up at him, confused.
"Kya hua?"
He gestured at her hands on his shirt.
"Armaan, I'm ready," she announced.
"Riddhima, not like this, okay?"
"Why? I trust you," she whispered.
He smiled brilliantly on hearing that.
"I am glad to hear that, but not like this. Not the first time. I don't want it to be in a strange bed in a strange place, when we're not even engaged. Can we wait, please?"
Riddhima sighed but nodded.
"Let's sleep, then. Aaj ka din waise bhi bohot action packed tha."
And, that was that. They were ready. But they'd wait. Because being married first was important. To both of them.
Riddhima sighed as she settled herself in Armaan's waiting arms. "I love you," she whispered.
"I love you, too," he replied, kissing her head.
"I kind of don't want this to end. Itne din sirf hum dono the. Ab sab honge."
"Hmmm. Lekin hum saath honge na. Aur phir tum kitni excited thi Cole aur Tessa ki shaadi ke liye."
"Excited toh main ab bhi hu. Lekin phir bhi."
"Jaan, kuch nahi badlega. Hum aise hain, aise hi rahenge. Sab achcha hoga. Okay?"
"Good. So jao, ab. Good night," he said, kissing her head.
"Good night," she replied.


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