Friday, 25 June 2021

part 14 : Forbidden Love

"Hey Armaan!!!! What a pleasant surprise!!!" Rohan exclaimed as he saw Riddhima and Armaan enter the hall together. Both turned their heads at his call.

Armaan could finally release a sigh of relief. The close quaters of the car had been unbearable. He had surely broken many speed rules in his haste to get to the party. But it had been worth it. Now he could finally put some distance between them. Armaan quickly walked to where Rohan stood and tried to ignore Riddhima's presence only a few feet away, who followed him to Rohan.

"Yaar. You're here? I'm surprised," Rohan said shaking Armaan's hand and giving him a hug.

"Why are you surprised? I thought that you had..." Armaan was cut off.

"Lovely party Rohan. Congratulations to you!" Riddhima quickly added to prevent Armaan blurting out the little tid bit about Rohan's invitation.

"Ya ya..I totally agree. Fabulous job Rohan." Armaan agreed giving a weird look to Riddhima. What is up with her? But damn..she looked beautiful trying to chew on her lower lip. She usually did that when she was nervous. But why is she nervous now?

" success couldn't have been possible without your Riddhima here Armaan. I'm so glad you recommended her to me. She's a gem!" Rohan praised her and Armaan's heart swelled with pride for her accomplishments. Indeed, Riddhima was the real deal. Beauty and brains combined to create a mindblowing woman. He was so lucky to have her in his life.

Meanwhile, Words from Rohan, 'YOUR Riddhima' rang in Riddhima's head. Oh, how lovely it would be to be known as Armaan's Riddhima. She couldn't think of anything more perfect than that, Riddhima thought floating on a cloud. Oh wait, come down. Rohan had just given her a compliment.
"Thanks Rohan. I am very happy to be part of your company." Riddhima added and looked around to see familiar faces swarming around them. "Excuse me, lemme go say hi to everyone and come."

Riddhima quickly left Armaan and Rohan, who stood staring after her. Or more correctly, Armaan stood staring after her. What is it about that girl, she occupied his mind like nothing before had. Rohan started chatting with him catching up. But soon his mind wondered to Riddhima. He longed to have her around him. But when she was, he couldn't look at her directly, in fear that she'd read his eyes recognize his intentions towards her, which were anything but honourable. Armaan felt guilty at wanting her. He wasn't supposed to. He loved Nikita and Riddhima was just his friend. But even he couldn't control these overwhelming emotions he felt towards her.

Automatically, his magnetic eyes searched for Riddhima and found her conversing with an old lady. She looked absolutely beautiful. And her happy laugh projected her pure heart. And her companion seemed very much enthralled with her. No wonder, Riddhima could charm everyone around her, from young to old, from men to women. Ok, let's not go to men. That word associated with Riddhima made his blood boil.
"That's Susie with Riddhima," Rohan said, catching Armaan's gaze.

"Susie?" Armaan questioned.

"Yea. The old lady. Her name is Susie. Adorable woman. She has worked all her life, so when she retired, she couldn't stand the day-to-day mundane life. We lived in the same neighbourhood. So I gave her a job in the mail office and it seems she enjoys it very much."

"But what about her family?"

"Her husband has passed away. Only one son who lives in US with his family but comes to visit her all the time. They wanted her to come there but she wouldn't hear of it."

"She seems to really like Riddhima," Armaan said looking back at Riddhima. Indeed, both ladies looked like they enjoyed each others' company very much. Even their laughter seemed to make others around them smile.

"Haha..yea totally. Everyone likes Riddhima. No surprise there." Rohan added with a smile. "But I hear Susie likes her more than the others. In fact, going by the laughter the two are sharing now, I can just tell that she's spoken about her grandson again."

"Her grandson?" What was his connection? Armaan thought confused.

" has become the joke of the office now. Susie wants to get Riddhima married to her grandson." Rohan burst out laughing and missed the disgruntled expression of Armaan. NOT ANOTHER ONE!!! man..wasn't Varooon enough? Why did the stupid grandson have to come into this? grrr...

"uhh..what does Riddhima say to that?" Armaan wanted to know.

"The same she tells every guy who asks her out. That she's taken." Rohan said disappointedly. Rohan had liked Riddhima from the beginning. When they had become good friends, he had asked her out, only to be rejected very gently. Her heart was given to someone else, she'd said. But he was a very good friend and she didn't want to lose his friendship. And he'd agreed. He knew how to be professional, though he had some pangs for a loss of a wonderful girl like Riddhima.

SHE'S WHAT?????!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Armaan was SHOCKED! Riddhima TAKEN?? TAKEN Riddhima?? What? How? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? How come he didn't know? n Why had she never shared this with him? Armaan could hear something inside him breaking into little pieces. He felt so lost. His Riddhima was someone else's???? Who was the guy? Varun? Could it be that he's too late?? Had Riddhima given her consent to Varun already? Anger began to override his sense of loss.

"Is it Varun?" Armaan asked trying to keep his rage in control.

"What is Varun?" Rohan was confused.

"Riddhima's boyfriend??" Armaan hated even referring to that idiot with the term.

"Varun? Our Varun??" Rohan laughed out loud. "No ways man. Unless he's cheating on his fiancee. He's a very committed type of fellow. And he's desperately in love with his fiancee. So I really doubt it.

WHAT????? Varun had a fiancee??? When will this night stop giving him shocks!!! But no. Riddhima wouldn't lie to him. So could this be another Varun?

"Maybe there could be another Varun?" Armaan asked with dread. He wasn't sure if he really wanted the answer.

"No Armaan. Our staff is still small. There is only one Varun. But why did you think that Varun was Riddhima's boyfriend?" Rohan questioned.

"I don't know. I need to find out myself." Armaan decided with a firm glare at Riddhima. What was she upto? "Excuse me Rohan." Armaan took his leave from Rohan walking towards Riddhima. She still stood talking to that old lady.

Riddhima looked up to see a decisive Armaan heading towards her. She couldn't help but blush at his approach. There's nothing she could do about it. Everything about him induced her to fits of blushing. Susie turned her head towards where Riddhima was looking.

"Ohoh. Is that handsome man the one who stole you from my grandson?" She teased. Susie didn't need words to know that this man had significance in Riddhima's life. Riddhima's body language was screaming it.

"Shh..please Susie. Don't say that out loud!" Riddhima quieted her. Gosh..the only thing she needed now was Armaan to run away from her before she told him she loved him.

"haha..Why ever not beta? He has to know that he's gotten a diamond. And I must tell you. He's not too bad himself. You two make a lovely couple" Susie winked at Riddhima, who blushed even more in response. Soon Armaan reached them.

"Riddhima I wanna talk to you." He bit out sternly. Riddhima was confused. Why does he sound angry?

"Yea sure Armaan. But first lemme introduce you to a very good friend of mine. Armaan, this is Susie. Susie, this is Armaan. My best friend." Susie gave Riddhima a wink while shaking Armaan's hand and Armaan glared at Riddhima after giving a smile to Susie. FRIEND??? Goddammit! He was more than just her FRIEND!!!

"Will you excuse us, Susie?" Armaan was trying to be polite instead of abruptly dragging Riddhima away, which is what his erratic heart wanted to do right now.

"Yea sure sure. I see Shalini there. Lemme go say hi to her. See you guys later. "Susie cheerfully waved as she walked away from them. Riddhima watched her walk away waving back. Then she turned to Armaan who looked absolutely furious. What the hell??? What had made him so angry. She was confused.

Armaan gave into his urges. He grabbed Riddhima's hand and dragged her out of the Hall ignoring her protests. Riddhima tried to twist her hand out of his hold but his hold was too tight. Armaan didn't stop his pace until they came out into the garden. The garden was beautifully decorated with twinkly lights all shining around them. The soft music of the party reached them to create a romantic atmosphere. But Armaan was in no mood to notice any of this. In the middle of the garden, he stopped and swung his arm to bring Riddhima around to face him.

"WHO IS HE?" He bit out in anger still keeping his hold intact.

"Who is WHAT ARMAAN?" Riddhima was getting equally angry now. What was his problem? She tried to free her hand again only to have Armaan tighten the hold even more.


"My BOYFRIEND?? What rubbish are you talkin Armaan? Let me go. You are hurting me!" she yelled out in pain. Armaan released her hand, but only slightly. Even though his fingers were not pressing into her skin, he was still holding her hand.

"The boyfriend that you keep telling everyone that you have. I thought I was your best friend. So how come I never knew about this?" He asked sarcastically. Armaan was a mixture of anger and pain at the moment. Angry because she was someone else's and hurt also because she was someone else's!!

"Armaan. Let me go! It's none of your business what I do with my life. But for your information, I don't have a boyfriend. And even if I do, as I said it's none of your business." Riddhima screamed at him. This is the heights. Who the HELL does he think he is!

Armaan suddenly let go of Riddhima's hand, only to drag her lips into a fierce kiss. He clasped his hands on her shoulders to bring her closer to him. Shock didn't begin to cover Riddhima's feelings at the sudden development. Armaan's lips tasted wonderful on hers. He felt warm and tender, as if giving life to all her dreams. Her heart stopped beating. Her hands went upto his neck on their own volition and her lips pressed onto his. At Riddhima's response, Armaan gentled his force. He continued to kiss her caressing her shoulders and back. Riddhima felt inflamed at his passionate caress. She could feel a tingle everywhere he touched. Armaan was loosing himself in her. His heart was jumping all over. She felt absolutely amazing. And the kiss felt right. As if it was meant to be.

Soon, they both ran out of breath. Armaan released her gently, still keeping his hands on her shoulder. She did the same. Armaan leaned his head to touch her forehead. Keeping the touch intact both of them took deep breaths to calm their erratic heartbeats.

"WOW!" Armaan said after a while and Riddhima giggled. Wow indeed! She was so glad that no one had kissed her before. Her first kiss, and that too with Armaan, had been absolutely out of this world.

"Riddhima..I.." Armaan started to say only to be interrupted by the sudden heavy rainfall. He grabbed her hand again and both of them ran inside the building, laughing. Armaan released her hand once they reached the shelter while trying to brush off water droplets from his face and hands. It had been an absolutely crazy night. He grinned thinking about it and turned to look at Riddhima and stood stunned in his tracks. Riddhima...gosh he was speechless. If he'd thought she was beautiful before, the vision infront of him was breathtaking. A very wet Riddhima was trying to dry her hair, oblivious to the intense gaze of Armaan. The saree clung to her body, giving him all kind of ideas. He dragged his eyes away from her. But too late, Riddhima had noticed his perusal. She became flustered at the desire she saw in his eyes. They both looked away trying to ease the tension their eyes had created.

"Umm..we should go inside. To the party I mean.." Armaan said hesitantly. Though, he really did not want to leave this moment and go, it would be better for her to stay warm. He did not want her to fall sick.

"uhh..Armaan. I'm all wet..I think it's better if we go home now." She added. UGHH..did she have to mention that she was wet. He was trying to ignore that FACT!

"umm..ok. I'll bring the car. You stay in the lobby." Armaan instructed her and went to retrieve the car. Armaan couldn't believe all that had expired in such a short span of the night. Now he couldn't even remember what had possessed him to drag her into the garden. All he remembered was her touch. Her essence. He had drowned in her in that one kiss.

Riddhima was still trembling while she waited for Armaan to bring the car around. She was rubbing her hands together to get warm. It was still raining cat and dogs and she felt bad that Armaan had to go out in this. But she was glad for the moment of respite. She needed it to compose herself again. That had been one mindblowing kiss. And if his anger ended up like that everytime, she wouldn't mind being at the receiving end of his anger. She smiled. Honk of a horn brought her out of her musings. Armaan was there already. She hurried into the car.

The tension that had enveloped the car could be cut with a knife. Riddhima felt unable to breath as she kept sneaking glances at Armaan. She clutched onto the seatbelt to keep her hands from toching his face. Armaan searched for a topic to start a conversation. It was very easy to get distracted at this moment and he needed all his concentration to take them back home safely. So, think Armaan think. What were they talking about before. Before the surreal kiss happened. A guy..They were talking about a guy?..Armaan was thinking. OH YES! Boyfriend. Riddhima's boyfriend. Man..the previous chat about the boyfriend and ended up in a kiss, what would happen if he mentioned it again. But there was nothing else to talk about! Besides, he wanted to know the whole deal.


"Yea Armaan?" She answered quickly. Riddhima was glad that he'd started a conversation. She was going nuts wallowing in her thoughts.

"Umm..we never got to finish our talk." Armaan was hesitant.

"Which talk?"

"The one before...the..uh.." Armaan wasn't sure why he couldn't say the KISS. But for the life of him, wrangling those words out of his mouth seemed impossible.

"Oh..that" Riddhima blushed.

" really don't have a boyfriend?" Armaan said as if it was difficult to believe. But he knew deep down that she was not taken. If she was, she wouldn't have responded to his kiss that way. She's that type of a girl. Once committed, she'll always honour her commitment.

"No..I really don't. But what gave you that idea?" Riddhima was curious. Armaan had never questioned her like this before. What had prompted him to do so now?

"uh..I..umm..that is Rohan told me about Susie's grandson and how you say no to all the guys who ask you out saying you have a boyfriend."

"Oh.." Riddhima blushed at his reply. Oh god. How was she to respond to that? Of course she had said no to all the guys. She had no interest in any of them except Armaan. She fell silent thinking about an answer.

"So, why did you say that?" Armaan turned slightly to look at her. She was chewing on her lower lip again. Nervous?

" reason. It seemed the easiest way to reject them. I did not want to hurt their feelings." Yes, that is a good answer Riddhima, she patted her back, figuratively that is.

"Oh" Now it was Armaan's turn to be silent. Armaan did not know what he'd expected her response to be. But he had hoped that in someway it involved him. And he was disappointed to hear no such thing from her. But Armaan, she KISSED you back! remember. So you must mean something to her! His mind told him.

"So, there is no special guy in your life?" Armaan questioned. And Riddhima's head shot up in his direction in surprise. How could he not know how she feels about him after that kiss, she was confused. You Armaan, You are the most special guy in my life! her eyes sang to him. And he understood. He understood the words that her eyes were speaking. Her tender look spoke volumes about the special place he had in her life. He heaved a sigh of relief and his heart jumped in happiness. He, only He was the special guy in her life. Armaan could feel his heart singing and dancing at this revealation. He smiled lovingly at Riddhima and she blushed in response.

Exchanging tender glances, they soon reached the Malik Mansion. It was still raining heavily. Like they had before, Armaan and Riddhima ran into the house, giggling like children. They entered the house and Armaan looked for the light switch, which refused to bring brghtness into the room even after numerous attempts of flipping.
"Oh damn. I think the electricity is gone Riddhima. Do you know where the candles are?" Armaan asked trying to see if he could figure his way around using the moonlight that's shining through the windows.

"Yea. In the kitchen. Lemme go get them" Riddhima moved forward only to yell out in pain as her knee hit something. "OW!!!!"She bent down to clutch her knee.

"Riddhima, Riddhima are you ok?" Armaan reached to help Riddhima up, holding her by the shoulders. Their eyes now have become used to the darkness with the help of the moonlight.

"Yea Yea, I'm ok" she said rubbing her knee. "The pain is gone." She lifted her head up to see a transfixed Armaan. He was staring at her, with all the emotions he was feeling. His desire and longing for her were evident in his intense gaze.

"Armaan.." she whispered, suddenly afraid but hopeful.

"Shhh..." Armaan touched her lips with his fingers.

Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Tumko kya thi khabar thi main kitni akeli
Aaah haa, haa haa, haa haa, aah aah aah haa haa

Armaan searched her eyes. Her lips were trembling against his finger. She had started taking deep breaths, her chest moving erratically. Armaan moved his fingers to her face, carassing her lips, her cheeks, her temple, her foreheard. Riddhima stood still as Armaan continued his actions. Soon his finger was replaced by his lips. Riddhima's heart stopped beating at the contact. She took even deeper breaths to accomodate the  feelings he aroused in her.

Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Tumko kya thi khabar thi main kitni akeli
Aaah haa, haa haa, haa haa, aah aah aah haa haa

Riddhima couldn't take the intense feelings anymore. She broke away from his hold and ran to the window, leaving a flustered Armaan behind. And he couldn't help but follow her. She has aroused an unquenchable thirst in him and his oasis was her. She stood facing outside, holding onto the curtains of the window. Her heaving body only inflamed Armaan's desire. He put his hands on top of hers.

Ke kitni mohabbat hai tumse
Zara paas aake to dekho

Riddhima stopped shaking when Armaan turned her towards him. His gaze fiercing into her soul. As he leaned his head in, Riddhima closed her eyes in anticipation. His lips touched hers reverently. She shivered in response.

Kya aag hai dhadkanon mein
Gale se lagaake to dekhko

Armaan used his hands to bring her body even more closer to him, while continuing his kiss. He flattened her body against his and he could feel her body trembling.

Bataayi naa jaaye zubaan se yeh haalat
Meri jismo jaan ko tumhaari hai chaahat

Armaan ran his hands up and down her body in order to cease her trembling. Instead, it had the opposite effect. Her breath deepened and she trembled more. She moaned in response.

Kitna bechain hoke tumse mila
Kitna bechain hoke

Riddhima's hands went around his neck and she clutched him to her. She ran her fingers through Armaan's hair feeling it's silky texture. Armaan could feel shivers run down his spine at her touch.

Jo hai darmiyaan ek parda
Isse jaaneman ab hata de

Armaan moved his hands to her hair. He released her curls from its bun. It sprang down her back in long waves. He clutched a fistful of her hair and pulled. Her head arched up, giving him the longed access to her neck.

Yehi faasle keh rahe hai
Chalo dooriyon ko mita de

Armaan broke the kiss to move his lips to her neck. He nibbled on her neck and nape, appeasing his hunger. She clutched desperately onto his shirt, unable to bear the exquisite feelings he was arousing in her.

Na koi tamanna hai, na koi hasrat
Mujhe to sanam  hai tumhaari zaroorat

Armaan stopped his kiss to look at her face. She opened her eyes at the ceasing of his touch in question. Stop me now Riddhima, his eyes begged. I won't be able to stop myself if we continue this. He implored. Riddhima only smiled at his plea. She had waited so long to be with him. There was nothing that could stop this wonderful night.

Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Tumko kya thi khabar thi main kitni akeli
Aaah haa, haa haa, haa haa, aah aah aah haa haa

Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Kitni bechain hoke tumse mili
Tumko kya thi khabar thi main kitni akeli
Aaah haa, haa haa, haa haa, aah aah aah haa haa

Armaan groaned and leaned his head again to capture her lips in a kiss. Then he picked her up and Riddhima's arms snaked around his neck. Locked in a passionate gaze with Riddhima, Armaan walked up the stairs into her bedroom. He deposited her in the bed and continued his ministrations. Lost in the intense feelings both aroused in each other, Armaan and Riddhima continued to love each other. Giving each other pleasure to make up for all the moments of pain. And at the point of ecstacy, Riddhima yelled out the secret held most dearly to her heart.



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